Archive for May, 2015

Community Party Update

May 28, 2015

No Community Party Hartford News column this week, due to the Hartford Arts and Heritage special edition of the newspaper. This week we’ll share an April 2012 interview on the WPKN 89.5 FM In Context program about the Community Party’s racial profiling bill and our campaign to bring a publicly owned bank to Connecticut. http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/59111 Also check out the Connecticut Network video of the March 20 Judiciary Committee public hearing on H.B. 5437, Rep, Matt Ritter’s racial profiling bill, which includes CP’s traffic stop receipt amendment. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/rep-bruce-morris-passionately-supports-h-b-5437-urban-lawmakers-hold-police-accountable/ The 2015 legislative session ends June 3rd. Tell your legislators to vote Yes on H.B. 5437, H.B. 6863 (Rep. Ritter’s other racial profiling bill) and anti-police brutality legislation currently active at the State Capitol. Check out our Action Alert for details. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/action-alert-stop-racial-profiling-police-brutality-in-connecticut/ CT-N will be providing a live stream of the House and Senate sessions. http://www.ct-n.com/

S.B. 1035 An Act Concerning Bullying in the Workplace passed the Labor and Public Employees Committee vote unanimously. However the bill only contains CP’s Safe Work Environment Act advisory board amendment, while our enforcement language has been excluded. The Senate also passed an amendment which would delay S.B. 1035 from going into effect until January 1, 2017. The bill has been added to the Senate calendar. http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&which_year=2015&bill_num=1035 Tell legislators to add CP’s enforcement provisions to S.B. 1035. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/real-protection-against-workplace-bullying-safe-work-environment-act/ Visit the Connecticut General Assembly website for info on finding and contacting your legislators. http://www.cga.ct.gov/

Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and global headlines and updates on the status of our Trayvon Martin and Safe Work Environment Acts, including action alerts. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1 Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives. https://www.facebook.com/wqtqfm Check out our No Sellout blog ( https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s for selected columns ( http://www.northendagents.com/) . Contact us at 860-206-8879 or info.community.party@gmail.com

David Samuels
Founder
Community Party

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H.B. 5437 Update/Safe Work Environment Act Report

May 21, 2015

This column appears in the May 21 – 28 edition of the Hartford News…

Capitol Update:

Gov. Dannel Malloy is a hypocrite for saying that the Connecticut Republicans’ opposition to reducing drug free school zones is racist (which it is). Malloy’s budget proposal is as racist as a burning cross. His draconian human services cuts would disproportionately impact Blacks and Latinos. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/policy-watch-budget-butcher-malloy-serves-up-more-cold-cuts/

Call and email your legislators and tell them to vote Yes on H.B. 5437, Rep. Matt Ritter’s racial profiling bill, and anti-police brutality legislation currently active at the State Capitol. Rep. Ritter’s bill includes the Community Party’s Trayvon Martin Act traffic stop receipt amendment. Check out our Action Alert on the CP No Sellout blog for details. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/action-alert-stop-racial-profiling-police-brutality-in-connecticut/ H.B. 5437 passed an Appropriations Committee vote 35-19 and has been referred to the Office of Legislative Research and Office of Fiscal Analysis for a technical review. The bill will be debated by the General Assembly next. Stay tuned for updates.

Former Major League Baseball player and current ESPN analyst Doug Glanville was a guest last Sunday on Face the State, where he discussed H.B. 6863. http://www.wfsb.com/video?clipId=11498098&autostart=true This bill bans patrol officers from going outside of their jurisdiction to enforce local ordinances. Rep. Ritter drafted H.B. 6863 after a a 2014 incident where a West Hartford police officer racially profiled Glanville in his own driveway. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/04/i-was-racially-profiled-in-my-own-driveway/360615/ Glanville started a Facebook page to provide updates on the bill. https://www.facebook.com/GlanvilleHB6863 The House of Representatives passed H.B. 6863 last month. Call and email your State Senator and tell them to vote Yes.

S.B. 1035 An Act Concerning Bullying in the Workplace passed the Labor and Public Employees Committee vote unanimously. However the bill only contains CP’s Safe Work Environment Act advisory board amendment, while our enforcement language has been excluded. Last week the Senate passed an amendment which would delay S.B. 1035 from going into effect until January 1, 2017; lawmakers also referred the bill to the Committee on Government Administration and Elections. http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&which_year=2015&bill_num=1035 Tell legislators to add CP’s enforcement provisions to S.B. 1035. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/real-protection-against-workplace-bullying-safe-work-environment-act/ Visit the Connecticut General Assembly website for info on finding and contacting your legislators. http://www.cga.ct.gov/

This week we’ll share commentary from Gail Pursell Elliott’s Mobbing and Bullying blog. https://mobbing101.wordpress.com/

*****

Whistleblowing, Workers’ Comp and Mobbing
Posted by tashidelay on April 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

©2011 Gail Pursell Elliott

Mobbing is an organizational dynamic. When mobbing and covert bullying are part of the organizational culture, they can be quietly used as retaliation for whistle blowing and/or to move workers out of the workplace who have become perceived liabilities due to work injury. If you are appalled by this concept, you are not alone. However this does occur and deserves a closer look on the part of ethical human resources administrators and risk management professionals.
The Ethics Resource Center’s 2009 survey reported that fifteen percent of surveyed employees who reported misconduct experienced both subtle and overt behaviors which they construed as retaliatory. When asked to specify these behaviors, the following were reported.

60% other employees gave employee a cold shoulder
62% supervisor or management excluded person from decisions and work activity
55% verbally abused by direct supervisor or someone else in management
48% almost lost job
42% verbally abused by other employees
43% not given promotions or raises
27% relocated or reassigned
20% any other form of retaliation
18% demoted
4% experienced physical harm to person or property*

The majority of these are included in the five categories of observable mobbing behaviors. While statistics are indicative of issues worthy of investigation, it may be helpful to look at some individual cases with which I have had experience within the past year. These situations occurred in a variety of industries as diverse as public works, education and health care. It should be noted that not only those persons reporting misconduct were subjected to this type of behavior but also those who had become aware of such concerns as misallocation of budgetary funding or grants, cutting corners which seriously put consumers or others at risk, not following written procedures, and so forth.
Case 1 is a clear whistleblower situation in which an employee became aware of discrepancies that not only involved funding but potentially impacted the health, welfare and safety of individuals. This person was supposedly protected by law and though no overt retaliation was enacted by the organization, the employee was placed in an unusual situation that resulted in a work injury. Upon returning to work, this person was reassigned to a location to work in isolation from others. It must be noted that this assignment was usually covered by two people and working in this location alone was outside of the boundaries of normal safety. Subsequently, a second work injury put the employee on workers’ compensation for an undetermined time and out of the work environment completely.
Case 2 is a situation involving a professional employee working in an area with partial grant funding. Based on the information at hand the person found that funds which should have been available were not and asked a colleague about it. After that, other associates began distancing themselves from this person while an increased and often inconsequential workload was assigned by the director. These increased assignments impacted the individual’s ability to maintain the level of performance necessary for the main functions of the job.
Case 3 involved an individual who observed behavioral misconduct that directly impacted services being provided and who attempted to report these using the organization’s formal reporting structure. When no action was taken, the person then filed a grievance, once again following policy. After meeting with a representative from upper management, the behaviors once simply observed in the department and reported were then targeted toward this individual while no results from the grievance were communicated. Subsequently, the employee’s official performance review was lowered into the satisfactory range. The prior review had been outstanding.
Many of these situations can be prevented by a zero tolerance approach to retaliation that is consistently acted upon. Follow up is essential as well. Too often there may be a resurfacing of misconduct after situations have supposedly been handled, rather like those hot spots that flare up after putting out a fire. While no organization is perfect, the perceived ethical climate of the organization as a whole by its employees can go a long way towards creating a culture grounded in respect and professionalism.

*Source: 2009 National Business Ethics Survey
The ERC publishes its survey every two years and is for informational purposes. To obtain a copy of the full report, visit their website http://www.ethics.org
* * * * * *
Gail Pursell Elliott, “The Dignity and Respect Lady”, has over 20 years experience in middle and upper management, founded Innovations “Training With A Can-Do Attitude” in 1998, and is author of several books including School Mobbing and Emotional Abuse and co-author of the book Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace. Her weekly Food for Thought is read by people around the world. Gail trains employees for corporations, associations and universities, designs sessions upon request to address specific needs and timely issues, and is a featured speaker at conferences as well as a sought after media expert on workplace and school violence. Gail has been a guest on such programs as MSNBC’s Deborah Norville Tonight, ABC World News NOW television programs and the Workplace Violence Today program on talk radio.
Contact Gail through her website: http://www.innovations-training.com

*****

Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and global headlines and updates on the status of our Trayvon Martin and Safe Work Environment Acts, including action alerts. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1 Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives. https://www.facebook.com/wqtqfm Check out our No Sellout blog ( https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s for selected columns ( http://www.northendagents.com/) . Contact us at 860-206-8879 or info.community.party@gmail.com

David Samuels

Founder

Community Party

Policy Watch: Jim Vicevich, CT Republicans Use Budget Issue to Push Corporatist Agenda

May 14, 2015

This column appears in the May 14 – 21 edition of the Hartford News…

Capitol Update: Call and email your legislators and tell them to vote Yes on H.B. 5437, Rep. Matt Ritter’s racial profiling bill, and anti-police brutality legislation currently active at the State Capitol. Rep. Ritter’s bill includes the Community Party’s Trayvon Martin Act traffic stop receipt amendment. Check out our Action Alert on the CP No Sellout blog for details. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/action-alert-stop-racial-profiling-police-brutality-in-connecticut/ Mary Sanders, who wrote CP’s Trayvon Martin Act bill language, will be a guest May 26th at 8:00 pm on Voice of the City with host JCherry on WESU 88.1 FM.

S.B. 1035 An Act Concerning Bullying in the Workplace passed the Labor and Public Employees Committee vote unanimously. However the bill only contains CP’s Safe Work Environment Act advisory board amendment, while our enforcement language has been excluded. There is an uncalled Senate amendment which would delay S.B. 1035 from going into effect until January 1, 2017. http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&which_year=2015&bill_num=1035 Tell legislators to add CP’s enforcement provisions to S.B. 1035 and to enact the bill January 1, 2016. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/real-protection-against-workplace-bullying-safe-work-environment-act/ Visit the Connecticut General Assembly website for info on finding and contacting your legislators. http://www.cga.ct.gov/

WTIC NewsTalk 1080 talk show host Jim Vicevich and the CT Republicans are attacking state employees in an effort to push a corporatist agenda: specifically privatizing state services and rolling back the wages and benefits gains of public sector workers (I’m a state employee). The Republicans introduced a state budget plan which calls for human services to be funded by state workers agreeing to concessions, which they have already done twice since 2009. Vicevich was a guest on Face the State May 3 and babbled about the current union contract which was negotiated by Gov. John Rowland, while he declared that the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee budget proposal to raise taxes on couples making more than $1,000,000 and individuals earning more than $500,000 was “silly”. http://ctmirror.org/2015/04/29/tax-plan-would-boost-revenues-by-1-9-billion-over-two-years/ The real problem with the finance committee plan is that the threshold should be $250,000 or more and the increase from 6.7% to 6.99% is insufficient: the rate could have been increased to over 7% and still left CT well below the rates in New York and New Jersey (see below). Vicevich claimed that working class people in the state “have the money” that the state would have to go after to boost revenue through taxes. The Government Spending Watchdog fell silent when I confronted him on Twitter with the CT Voices for Children proposal to bring in revenue by targeting those who really “have the money”: corporations.

“Connecticut can avoid deep budget cuts to programs supporting children and families by fixing tax inequities and waste.

The report outlines a series of revenue options that could prevent harmful cuts to essential programs and services, including: Establishing ‘sunset,’ or expiration dates, for tax breaks. Tax expenditures — in the form of exemptions, deductions and credits – result in a loss of over $6 billion in state revenues, nearly one-third of the state’s annual budget. Yet, unlike other forms of public spending, these tax breaks are not reviewed each year in the budget process. The report suggests establishing automatic sunset dates for all existing and new tax expenditure that would require regular review of these tax breaks.

Eliminating ineffective or outdated tax expenditures. The report specifically identifies $476 million in tax expenditures for elimination, including tax exemptions for amusement and recreation services, winter boat storage, and lawn bowling clubs. The reason given by the state’s Office of Fiscal Analysis for the creation of these expenditures is either expediency — defined as violating best tax practices without offsetting public benefit — or economic incentive for goods or services that no longer require special treatment.

Broadening the base of the sales tax to include more services. While the sales tax applies to the sale of most goods, services are not taxed unless done so explicitly through legislative action. Services make up a growing share of the state’s economy, but the state’s sales tax has not kept pace.

Increasing progressivity at the top end of the state’s personal income tax. Connecticut’s top ‘marginal rate’ of 6.7% is substantially lower than those in other states like New York (8.82%) and New Jersey (8.97%). Increasing progressivity by raising top rates would offset $300 million in cuts to children and families while leveraging significant ($114 million) federal funding. Further revenue options include closing corporate tax loopholes through “combined reporting” reforms, raising the cigarette tax, and introducing a sugar-sweetened beverage and candies tax.”

If Vicevich and the Republicans were truly interested in curbing government spending, they would enthusiastically support the CT Voices for Children plan. Both would be constantly talking about the $6 billion (that’s BILLION, with a b) that the state is losing through corporate tax breaks which aren’t subject to legislative oversight. Vicevich and the GOP aren’t saying a word about it, because they’re corporatists. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7260.htm The government spending argument is a pretext to privatize public sector services, the biggest employer of Black people. By dismantling state services the gains in wages and benefits workers have made would be wiped out. Wall Street would be able to ‘Walmartize’ human services the way they have education. I mean that literally. Walmart, big banks and hedge fund managers are huge investors in charter schools, a relationship that was exposed by Democracy Now! co-host Juan Gonzalez ( http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/7/juan_gonzalez_big_banks_making_a) and other independent media outlets such as Daily Kos http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/18/1371729/-Walmart-heirs-foundation-advises-hedge-funds-on-how-to-profit-from-charter-schools. Because Walmart refuses to pay its workers a living wage, these employees have to rely on public assistance to supplement their insufficient income. A company which makes billions of dollars in profits shifts their labor costs to taxpayers. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/10/1141724/-Walmart-fuels-inequality-epidemic-taking-advantage-of-our-safety-net#

Vicevich and the GOP don’t talk about these colossal amounts of wasted government dollars; they focus instead on public sector employees because they’re corporate shills. Last week Republican Congressman Darrell Issa said that America’s poor are the “envy of the world”. Issa is the wealthiest member of Congress with a net worth of $450 million. http://www.thefrisky.com/2015-05-09/dickensian-villain-darrell-issa-says-american-poor-are-envy-of-the-world/ As of January 2014, 50% of the members of Congress were millionaires. I could go on and on until the break of dawn, but you get the point. Vicevich and the Republicans don’t give a damn about government spending. They serve the corporate state. Private sector workers must stop falling for this divide and conquer b.s. When the corporatists are done rolling back state employees’ wages and benefits, they will come after yours next in their endless quest to fatten their balance sheets.

Resources

Analysis by Connecticut Mirror Budget Reporter Keith Phaneuf:

http://ctmirror.org/2015/04/29/tax-plan-would-boost-revenues-by-1-9-billion-over-two-years/

http://ctmirror.org/2015/04/30/a-shorthand-breakdown-of-the-new-state-tax-plan/

http://ctmirror.org/2015/05/06/state-tax-debate-whose-plan-really-helps-the-middle-class/

Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and global headlines and updates on the status of our Trayvon Martin and Safe Work Environment Acts, including action alerts. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1 Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives. https://www.facebook.com/wqtqfm Check out our No Sellout blog ( https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s for selected columns ( http://www.northendagents.com/) . Contact us at 860-206-8879 or info.community.party@gmail.com

David Samuels

Founder

Community Party

Meagan Matters: Police Murder of Black Women Ignored by Corporate Media, Activists

May 6, 2015

This column appears in the May 7 – 14 edition of the Hartford News…

“Sexism impacts every aspect of black women’s lives, including how we’re treated, or not addressed, in media after our deaths. Yet our experiences with law enforcement are very similar to that of black men.” ~ Evette Dione, Bustle.com

Meagan Hockaday, Tanisha Anderson, Yvette Smith, Miriam Carey, Shelly Frey, Darnisha Harris, Malissa Williams, Alesia Thomas, Shantel Davis, Rekia Boyd, Shereese Francis, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Tarika Wilson, Kathryn Johnston, Alberta Spruill, Kendra James. This is just a partial list of Black women who have been murdered by police officers. Meagan was shot to death March 28 by an Oxnard, California cop in front of her children. https://www.facebook.com/meaganmatters?fref=ts Misha Charlton, Meagan’s sister, has been working tirelessly to raise awareness about her sister’s murder; no national mainstream media outlets have reported on this story.

Kate Abbey-Lambertz broke down the information on the other victims in her piece for the Huffington Post, These 15 Black Women Were Killed During Police Encounters. Their Lives Matter, Too. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/13/black-womens-lives-matter-police-shootings_n_6644276.html “Four of the women were killed during police raids. Three women had young children with them when they were killed. Two were children when they were killed. Two women with mental illnesses were killed after their family members called authorities for help. Seven of the incidents resulted in charges. Only one woman’s death has led to conviction. Several cases are still open.”

Last week thousands of people marched in Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia in support of Freddie Gray, who died April 19 in Baltimore Police custody. As I was watching the sea of people in these cities, I thought about the fact that just a week earlier, about 100 people showed up in New York to march for Rekia Boyd, an innocent bystander who was shot in the back of the head by a Chicago police officer. http://theculture.forharriet.com/2015/04/no-one-showed-up-to-rally-for-rekia.html?m=1#axzz3YwK4mXDT It’s obvious why the corporate media won’t report on these extrajudicial killings: doing so would underscore the systemic brutality of the police. Black males are stereotyped as being dangerous and violent, so cable news channels feel free to host screaming matches between activists and law enforcement apologists who argue about whether or not we should have been shot, choked to death or had our spines severed. Every 28 hours, a Black person is killed by police, security guards or vigilantes. https://mxgm.org/we-charge-genocide-again-new-curriculum-on-every-28-hours-report/ The data in the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement report on extrajudicial killings refutes the ‘few bad apples’ explanation which minimizes police violence. This report presents data which proves there are enough ‘bad apples’ to fill the produce aisle of every supermarket in the country.

Last Friday after Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced that six police officers were being charged in the death of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police gave a press conference where they said with a straight face that their officers do not engage in brutality against Blacks. Since 2011 the city has paid out $5.7 million in brutality lawsuit settlements, according to an investigative report by the Baltimore Sun. Victims included an 87-year-old Black woman and a pregnant Black woman. http://data.baltimoresun.com/news/police-settlements/ President Obama’s speech on Monday about the Freddie Gray case and economic conditions in Baltimore was done for the sake of political expediency. Obama rejected a 2009 demand from the Congressional Black Caucus that he initiate targeted job creation in communities of color. He has never mentioned poverty nor Black unemployment during his annual State of the Union address since he has been in office. The Obama Justice Department has not prosecuted any police officers for the extrajudicial killings of Blacks.

While the corporate media fixated on the disappearances of white women such as Chandra Levy, Elizabeth Smart and Natalee Holloway, they totally ignore the cases of the 64,000 Black women who are currently missing in the United States. http://thoughtcatalog.com/kovie-biakolo/2015/03/64000-black-women-are-missing-in-the-united-states-where-are-they/ The lack of support from the left for Black women who have been killed by the police fits a historical pattern. Dorothy Height, Ella Baker and Rosa Parks were prominent organizers in the Civil Rights movement, but they were shoved aside at major events like the 1963 March on Washington while Martin Luther King and other males took center stage. Malcolm X caught flak from members of his Organization of Afro-American Unity when he appointed women to leadership positions. Sexism was rampant in the Black Panther Party. Pastor Jamal Bryant has been portrayed as the de facto leader of the protests in Baltimore, even though women are key organizers.

Working with Misha has heightened my awareness of Black women who have been the victims of street executions by the police. Watching the disparity in the response by activists to police murder cases involving Black males and females, it’s clear that opportunism is also a key factor. White activists in Hartford who have not supported racial profiling and anti-police brutality legislation are now organizing ‘Baltimore solidarity’ rallies. These are the same people who came out of the woodwork to exploit Trayvon Martin and Troy Davis. Mary Sanders and I will be working with Misha to bring attention to Meagan’s case and the other Black women who have been murdered by killer cops. ALL Black Lives Matter.

Call and email your legislators and tell them to vote Yes on H.B. 5437, Rep. Matt Ritter’s racial profiling bill, and anti-police brutality legislation currently active at the State Capitol. Rep. Ritter’s bill includes the Community Party’s Trayvon Martin Act traffic stop receipt amendment. Check out our Action Alert on the CP No Sellout blog for details. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/action-alert-stop-racial-profiling-police-brutality-in-connecticut/ Mary, who wrote CP’s Trayvon Martin Act bill language, will be a guest May 26th at 8:00 pm on Voice of the City with host JCherry on WESU 88.1 FM. http://tunein.com/radio/WESU-881-s28607/

Resources:

Meagan Hockaday rally in Oxnard, California

Independent media coverage of unrest in Baltimore:

http://blackagendareport.com/baraka-rejecting-oppressors-nonviolence-framework

http://www.democracynow.org/2015/4/28/national_guard_deployed_as_baltimore_erupts

http://www.democracynow.org/2015/4/29/you_can_replace_property_you_cant

The Real News Network report – St. Louis conference on community control of the police:

Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and global headlines and updates on the status of our Trayvon Martin and Safe Work Environment Acts, including action alerts. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1 Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives. https://www.facebook.com/wqtqfm Check out our No Sellout blog ( https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s for selected columns ( http://www.northendagents.com/) . Contact us at 860-206-8879 or info.community.party@gmail.com

David Samuels

Founder

Community Party