Pedro Segarra, Dan Malloy and Liberal Hypocrisy

“I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he’s wrong, than the one who comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil.” ~ Malcolm X
This column appears in the April 10 -17 edition of the Hartford News… There are sincere whites who are interested in social justice and view Blacks as equals in the struggle. Then there are some of the whites running around in Hartford. These people believe that they have a halo over their heads. They suck up to those in power and play politics, while calling themselves activists. They view Blacks as pawns who they can use to push their agendas. They “help” Blacks while giving lip service to the bigger socioeconomic issues, such as poverty and racial economic disparity, that would require them to take on the political machine in this city and risk their white privilege. One Hartford blogger boasted on Twitter about petting Mayor Pedro Segarra’s dog, while looking the other way and saying nothing as Segarra single-handedly undermined the city’s Ban the Box ordinance. Ban the Box, the law which is designed to protect formerly incarcerated individuals and others with legal histories from employment discrimination, was violated by Segarra, who unhired Kennard Ray after sensationalized corporate media reports surfaced about Ray’s legal history. The so-called activists and independent journalists who initially supported Ray fell silent after the Hartford Internal Audit Commission released a report which found that Segarra had appointed several staff members without conducting background checks, drug tests or having the staffers fill out a job application. Employers in this city are now free to discriminate against applicants with legal histories and cite the precedent of Segarra making a mockery of Ban the Box. Segarra’s actions are especially egregious because the unemployment rate for young Black males in some areas of Hartford is as high as 50%, while the Latino jobless rate is at Depression-era levels.
Meanwhile at the State Capitol, Gov. Dannel Malloy, who apparently goes by the name Dan when he’s running for election, took a victory lap after the Connecticut General Assembly passed the minimum wage bill. Malloy was cheered loudly as he signed the bill into law. However the fine print will delay the increase to $10.10 until 2017. Imagine how you would feel if your boss said, “Congratulations, I’m giving you a raise. You just have to wait three years.” The increase, which was insufficient to begin with, will be further watered down by 2017 due to inflation. Liberals of course are hailing the bill’s passage as a great victory. True justice for fast food and low wage workers would be a $15.00 minimum wage indexed to inflation. The day after signing the minimum wage bill, Malloy announced that he is running for reelection. Democratic Party politicians such as Majority Leader Rep. Joe Aresimowicz, the party’s apologists and union “leaders” are now telling state employees to forget 2011, while they dutifully remind workers of Republican Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s successful war on public employees in the state that is the mecca of unions (I am a state employee). Last Saturday the American Federation of Teachers CT chapter hosted an event featuring Wisconsin public teachers, who talked about how Walker stripped their collective bargaining rights. There has been no mention on their Facebook page about Malloy’s attacks on public school teachers and unions. 
The message is clear; public employees better vote for Malloy so a GOP governor doesn’t take over. AFT CT supports the Hartford and Clark Rising groups. How is AFT CT supposed to hold Malloy accountable for his school privatization campaign while they’re simultaneously acting as agents for Malloy’s re-election campaign?  After CT state workers rejected a union concessions deal in 2011, the Democrats retaliated. The Democratic Party controlled Senate passed a bill which would put limits on state workers’ wages and benefits. House Speaker Chris Donovan threatened state employees with passage of the bill if they voted down the concessions deal again. Malloy issued thousands of layoff notices. Petrified state workers ratified the same deal that they had voted down just six weeks earlier. Next door in Massachusetts, the House Democrats passed a bill which would curb the collective bargaining rights of municipal employees.  Union “leaders” know that they can’t look at rank and file employees with a straight face and encourage them to vote for Malloy. Instead, they’re encouraging workers not to vote for likely Republican challenger Tom Foley.
The 2014 gubernatorial election is a false choice. Both Malloy and Foley are union busters; the only difference is degrees. Last year Malloy introduced an anti-teacher, anti-union education bill which was mostly dismantled by the legislature. Malloy is a champion of charter schools, which are a commodity being used in the Wall Street campaign against public employees. The objective of course is to roll back these workers’ gains in wages and benefits. The public sector is also the largest employer of Black people. Malloy is killing unions with a thousand paper cuts, while Foley will certainly use a sledgehammer if he’s elected. Liberal activists do not have the guts to offend Malloy by using political action to push him to the left, because they want the guv to support their pet issues. Liberals’ refusal to hold Segarra, Malloy and the Democrats accountable will only result in worsening conditions for people of color, the working class and vulnerable populations in this city and state. 
Safe Work Environment Act Update: Senator Gary Holder-Winfield, the co-chair of the Labor and Public Employees Committee, will introduce the Community Party’s Safe Work Environment Act in 2015. Stay tuned for updates in the coming months.
We need folks to contact the Judiciary Committee and legislators in your district and urge them to support the Community Party’s Trayvon Martin Act amendments during the legislative session. Call and email committee Chair Sen. Eric Coleman and Vice Chair Rep. Matt Ritter .  The contact info for the other committee members can be viewed here. Identify your legislators by providing your info on this page.  You can read our bill language here.
Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and global headlines and updates on the status of our Trayvon Martin Act and Safe Work Environment Act, including action alerts.    Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives. Contact us at 860-206-8879 or
David Samuels
Community Party
Fight for 15 website:



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