Archive for April, 2016

New Politics & the Bernie Sanders Movement

April 29, 2016

By David Samuels

 

This column appears in the April 28 – May 5 edition of the Hartford News…

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio
Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First and third Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in! Replays the following Wednesday, same time. Next show: May 3. Co-host: Mary Sanders. Guests: Dan Durso, a retired Teamster now volunteering as the Outreach Coordinator with the grassroots Bernie Sanders Connecticut Team, will join us. Lisa Ganser of Poor Magazine will talk about the deaths of Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans in police custody. California congressional candidate Marcus Musante, who is running on a police reform platform, will update us on his campaign. http://sometroradio.com/  Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our Community Party Media lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/community-party-media-3/
Community Party Radio Podcasts
                                                   
Policy Watch – The Chickens Come Home to Roost
Gov. Dan Malloy’s neoliberal attack on the poor, human services providers and public sector workers, the largest employer of Black people and women, is now costing him politically. Neil Vigdor of the Connecticut Post reported on Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief meeting with state employee unions, as Clinton visited Connecticut last week prior to the April 26 primary against Bernie Sanders.

“Could the pink slips handed out by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy cost Hillary Clinton at the ballot box in Connecticut? While the Clintons crisscrossed the state Thursday as part of final push for the upcoming primary, Hillary Clinton’s national campaign chairman, John Podesta, quietly met with leaders of three major state employee and teacher unions in New Haven to try to settle tensions…The unions are fuming over 643 layoffs and budget cuts by the state under Malloy, a loyal Clinton surrogate who has campaigned in New Hampshire and Iowa for the former secretary of state. Clinton’s campaign may have cause for concern over the strength of its support from labor, which played a key role in some of Clinton’s victories over Bernie Sanders in other states such as Nevada.”
Clinton’s narrow CT primary victory over Sanders Tuesday underscores the fact that there is strong opposition to Malloy and the Democratic Party establishment.
Dan Durso, a retired Teamster now volunteering as the Outreach Coordinator with the grassroots Bernie Sanders Connecticut Team, made an important observation about Malloy in his policy paper, Connecticut Budgetary Problems. “Malloy has veered so far to the right, that Republican leaders have proposed remedial measures that are far less anti-labor than the Governor’s. Thus the Governor has found himself with Republicans both to his right and left.” Sanders blasted Malloy’s human services cuts during campaign rallies last Sunday in New Haven, and Monday in Hartford. Sanders said that instead of cutting human services, Malloy should cut corporate welfare. Damn right. Corporate tax breaks cost this state $7.2 billion in revenue, according to a Connecticut Voices for Children report. CT corporations stash $180 billion in offshore accounts. Comptroller Kevin Lembo has called for stricter regulation of business tax credits, and the repeal of corporate tax breaks that aren’t producing in terms of job creation.  
During a Clinton campaign event Thursday in Hartford, Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose 6-year-old daughter Ana was one of 20 children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting, expressed her concern at what she called Malloy’s “devastating” budget cuts to mental health services. Following the Newtown spree killings, Malloy went on national TV news programs vowing to enhance mental health services; since then he has slashed funding every year. Mental health professionals have been targeted as Malloy has laid off 643 state workers (I’m a state employee), and vows to terminate a total of 2500.
The theme of Clinton’s visit is a prime example of Democratic racism. Clinton talked about gun violence, but the issue was primarily framed in terms of gun control, with a cursory mention by Clinton about inequities in income, health care and the prison system. There were 31 HOMICIDES in Hartford in 2015. Like Malloy, Mayor Luke Bronin and the Democrats in the Connecticut General Assembly and City Hall, Clinton mostly avoided what should have been the main topic of any conversation about gun violence in Hartford: poverty. Hartford has one of the highest poverty rates in the United States. Black/Latino unemployment are at Depression era levels. The unemployment rate for Black males age 18-25 in some parts of this state is as high as 50%. Poverty is the root cause of gun violence in this city.
Keith Phaneuf of the Connecticut Mirror reported on Democratic legislators deciding to move forward on a state budget for the next fiscal year, without Malloy’s input. “In a further rupture with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, the General Assembly will bypass the usual negotiations with the chief executive and head straight to a budget vote, House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey said Thursday. ‘My expectation is we will bring it straight to a vote,’ Sharkey, a Hamden Democrat, told The Mirror. ‘We want to be sure we have a budget completed before the end of the session’ on May 4.”
Democratic lawmakers finally seem to have realized that the leader of their party is driving them off a cliff, which could result in a resounding splat during the state elections in November. My reaction is too little, too late. The Democrats have been willing accomplices, as Malloy has carried out his neoliberal agenda. They cannot wash their hands of Malloy now. We will remember in November.
This week we’ll share a Huffington Post column on the future of the Bernie Sanders movement. The only part I don’t like is the piece about supporting Clinton, who is the likely Democratic nominee. Sanders’ candidacy for president has the potential to become a force for change long after the 2016 election.
                                                         
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Time to Transform Bernies’s Campaign Into a Permanent Organization
Miles Mogulescu
Entertainment attorney, producer, writer and political activist
The biggest question for Bernie Sanders and his supporters is whether they’ll transform his presidential campaign into a permanent organization that can carry his political revolution forward in the long-term; or whether, like Occupy Wall Street, it will quickly disappear.
If Bernie pulls off a triple bank shot, receives the Democratic nomination, and is elected president, such an organization will be needed to help him accomplish his ambitious goals. If a corporate centrist Democrat like Hillary Clinton becomes president, a mass national social democratic/socialist/liberal organization is needed to prevent her from moving to the right and to build a base for real progressive change. If a right-wing populist like Donald Trump becomes president, such an organization is needed even more to mobilize mass resistance to his potentially divisive and racist policies.
It’s not just Mitch McConnell who needs to look out his window to see 1,000,000 mobilized citizens. If Hillary wins the presidency, she also needs to see the same, supporting her if she does the right thing and protesting her if she backslides into corporate centrism or initiates regime change wars. And if Donald Trump wins (don’t kid yourself Democrats; it’s possible Trump could defeat Clinton) we’ll certainly need to be mobilizing, in the streets and elsewhere. In the meantime, we need to elect more candidates with Sanders-type politics at every level of government from city hall, to state-wide office, to the House and Senate.
There has rarely been a better opportunity to create and build a permanent, national progressive organization than has been afforded by the Sanders campaign. The historical moment is right, with Bernie winning millions of supporters’ votes for his campaign against a rigged economic and political system, against institutional racism and a broken criminal justice system, and for aggressive action to combat climate change.
There’s a campaign organization on the ground in virtually every state, innumerable cities and towns, and on college campuses that can contribute organizers and form the nucleus of a permanent organization. There are millions of dollars in small dollar campaign contributions, a few million of which could be diverted to organizing a permanent organization. And there are millions of supporters ready, even eager, to support the cause, not just for one election but for the future.
So here’s a rough outline of the plan:
• The Sanders campaign announces that it will not end with the Democratic Convention or the general election, but win, lose, or draw, will continue on as a permanent mass organization.
• The Sanders campaign agrees to fund several million dollars from its war-chest in start-up costs for such an organization.
• The campaign assigns and/or hires several organizers from its national staff to coordinate the creation of such an organization.
• Simultaneously, it assigns organizers on the national, state, local, and campus level to devote all or part of their time to building such an organization.
• The campaign announces that it will make its email list available for communication with its supporters about the organization and, after the election campaign, to communicate and fundraise on its own.
• The first building block would be an organizing meeting to be held in Philadelphia parallel with the Democratic National Convention.
• In the (somewhat unlikely) event that Bernie is the Democratic nominee, the initial task of the organization will be to elect him president. If Hillary is the nominee, the initial task will be to critically support her and prevent Trump or a Republican from taking the White House. Whomever the Democratic nominee is, the organization would also campaign to take back the Senate and House and, in particular, to support progressive candidates. If it’s Hillary, the organization would function semi-autonomously from her campaign and the Democratic Party, rallying Sanders supporters to block the Republicans. (In the 1964 Goldwater-LBJ campaign, civil rights and anti-war organizers — who were wary of LBJ but determined to block Goldwater — rallied under the slogan “Part of the Way With LBJ” in response to LBJ’s campaign slogan of “All The Way with LBJ”.) I suggest a slogan along the lines of “Partly Ready for Hillary”.
• Between the end of the election and the Inauguration Day on January 20, 201, intensive work would be devoted to building a network of supporters and chapters in cities, towns, neighborhoods, workplaces and college campuses.
• Around Inauguration Day, a national convention would be held in Washington to formally create the organization, ratify a policy platform, elect a national steering committee, and set forth a list of initial organizing priorities.
The organization would be devoted to uniting people across racial, ethnic and gender lines. It would engage both in electoral work and in mass protest politics. It would run people for office at every level from dog catcher, to city council, to state legislatures to Congress — mainly in the Democratic Party except where electoral law makes 3rd party campaigns practical. It would both endorse sympathetic candidates as well as run its own. At the same time, it would organize direct action on the ground for labor rights, civil rights, environmental causes, and against militarism and needless military action.
There are already several smaller organizations in place with similar goals, including the Working Families Party, National People’s Action, Democracy for America, Progressive Democrats of America, Democratic Socialists of America; mostly online organizations like MoveOn and The Progressive Change Campaign Committee; and loosely organized activist groups of mostly young African Americans and Latinos like Black Lives Matters and the Dream Defenders. Many of their activists and members might be interested in becoming involved in a larger new organization building out of the Sanders campaign. But, with their own history of activism and organizing, it’s unlikely most of these groups would want to dissolve themselves into a new organization, certainly not right away before it had proven itself. So the new organization would build coalitions with existing organizations.
Bernie is nothing if not a realist and a truth-teller. Committing resources now to building a permanent organization that would survive beyond the 2016 elections gives an additional raison d’etre for him taking his campaign all the way to the convention. The very rationale of his campaign is that change will occur not just by electing one person but by building a political revolution.
Committing resources during the campaign to start building a permanent organization would give substance to his call for a political revolution.
We’re at an historical turning point: It may be years until there is again a mass mobilization of millions of potential supporters, tens of thousands of volunteers, hundreds of staff, millions of dollars in resources, and a YUGE email list.
Bernie and the Sanders campaign can seize the moment to start now using its massive resources to begin institutionalizing the political revolution he’s calling for.
Or the movement he helped energize could dissolve after the election, leaving his insurgent campaign as an historical footnote like the insurgent campaigns of Gary Hart or Howard Dean.
Which is it going to be?
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Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1 Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary. https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948   Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives https://www.facebook.com/wqtqfm and So-Metro Radio the first and third Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues http://www.sometroradio.com/  Check out our No Sellout blog (https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s archive for selected columns (http://www.northendagents.com/). Contact us at 860-206-8879 or info.community.party@gmail.com  

 

A Vote for Hillary Clinton is a Vote for Dan Malloy

April 22, 2016

by David Samuels

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

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio
Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First and third Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in! Replays the following Wednesday, same time. Next show: May 3. Co-host: Mary Sanders. Guests: Dan Durso, a retired Teamster now volunteering as the Outreach Coordinator with the grassroots Bernie Sanders Connecticut Team, will join us. Lisa Ganser of Poor Magazine will talk about the deaths of Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans in police custody. California congressional candidate Marcus Musante will update us on his campaign. http://sometroradio.com/  Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our Community Party Media lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/community-party-media-3/
Community Party Radio Podcasts
                                                   
Meagan Hockaday Act Update: We Don’t Support Weak Bills 
Meagan Hockaday was murdered by Oxnard, California police officer Roger Garcia in front of her children on March 28, 2015. https://www.facebook.com/meaganmatters/timeline Garcia has not been charged.  The Community Party’s Meagan Hockaday Act includes enhanced criminal penalties for excessive use of force by the police against mentally ill people and individuals in crisis, in addition to whenever children are present. Our legislation is based on a new international approach to policing, based on a successful model in the United Kingdom and Canada that emphasizes de-escalation and treatment. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/meagan-matters-police-murder-of-black-women-ignored-by-corporate-media-activists/
Legislators have amended our bill to the point that it no longer resembles our original concept, so we will not support it going forward. The bill now moving through the Connecticut General Assembly is not the Meagan Hockaday Act: like the so-called police reform bill that lawmakers passed last year, it is weak legislation that actually protects the police. Police departments are not complying with the body camera provision in the legislation that was passed last year. We’re not interested in just passing bills, our goal is real reform. Check out CP’s legislative package at our No Sellout blog. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/community-party-2016-legislative-package/
Policy Watch: Bernie Sanders Campaign Challenges Neoliberal Agenda
Last week I listened to the tape of Bernie Sanders’ speech in front of 50,000 supporters in New York. Sanders talked about urban issues including the lack of resources, gentrification, and the lack of supermarkets and banks in low income communities of color. No presidential candidate, including the First Black President, Barack Obama, has mentioned these issues. Sanders has come a long way since he launched his campaign, in terms of his urban policy platform. I was very impressed by what Sanders said. His police reform policy still needs teeth and he should talk about the racial wage/wealth gap, but overall his platform is much improved. Sanders, who was once as hawkish as his primary opponent Hillary Clinton in his support of Israel, has hired a member of Jewish Voices for Peace, a group that supports Palestinian rights. Meanwhile more evidence of Hillary Clinton’s racism surfaced: video of a 2001 ABC News interview with Sam Donaldson, where Clinton said she supported racial profiling of Muslims following the 9/11 terror attacks. The corporate media has ignored this story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9SHcF7RXtA&sns=fb Sanders has made an effort to reach out to the Latino, Muslim and Native American communities during his campaign. Former New London mayor Daryl Justin Finizio shared his experience at the Sanders New York rally in a post on my Facebook page. I was at Washington Square and it was an incredible turnout. A LOT of progressives who only vote Green, or never vote, telling me they registered just for Bernie. The message is really resonating.”
Sanders’ message resonated with me especially, because I listened to it one day after Gov. Dan Malloy, who is raising money for Clinton all over the country as he attempts to secure a spot for himself in Clinton’s Cabinet if she is elected in November, launched another phase of his neoliberal attack against the poor, human services providers and public sector workers. Almost 400 state employees received layoff notices last week (I’m a state worker) as Malloy, with bipartisan support from the General Assembly, intensified his privatization/union busting campaign. Workers were escorted out immediately after being notified. One of my favorite co-workers, a kind and compassionate woman, was marched out of Connecticut Valley Hospital as if she was a common criminal. Entire job classes were eliminated, which is clearly a ploy by the Malloy administration to terrorize workers, and put pressure on the unions to agree to Malloy’s demand that union contracts be reopened, for the purpose of obtaining concessions. State employees have agreed to concessions twice since 2009.
The rich and corporations remain protected by Malloy and legislators: corporate tax breaks cost this state $7.2 billion in revenue, according to a Connecticut Voices for Children report. The Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee introduced a bill to repeal the estate and gift tax. This tax cut for the rich would cost the state $115.2 million in revenue, according to Derek Thomas, Fiscal Policy Fellow for CT Voices for Children. Remember that Malloy and lawmakers are using falling revenue as the excuse for their neoliberal attack. Corporations in this state stash $180 billion in offshore accounts. The Tax Foundation and Citizens for Tax Justice report that a taxpayer earning $50,000 a year pays $870 annually for corporate subsidies, $1600 to offset corporate tax loopholes, and $1231 to offset losses from offshore corporate tax havens. $36 goes to food stamps and $6 to safety net programs. CT Voices for Children has called for a revision of the state’s regressive tax code. Currently the working class and the poor pay more in taxes than the wealthiest residents. Last Sunday on the Fox 61 The Real Story program Comptroller Kevin Lembo said that for every state employee who is laid off, an additional 1.5 private sector jobs will be lost. Lembo said that the layoffs would result in a “debt spiral” and called for corporate tax breaks to be eliminated, in order to generate revenue and balance the state budget.
Connecticut Mirror budget reporter Keith Phaneuf was told by the unions that Malloy and his team of neoliberal gangsters were violating our contractual rights. “Council 4, which is one of the largest state employee worker unions, has accused the administration of violating members’ contractual rights in two ways. Affected unions are supposed to be given an opportunity to meet the administration before layoff notices are released and be granted an opportunity to offer alternatives. The union insists this requirement has not been not met. Secondly, the umbrella contract that spells out benefits for all unionized state employees stipulates that if other positions are open, these must be offered to laid-off workers before they can be offered to potential new employees. Council 4 says unions have not been given an opportunity to review the administration’s records and to confirm that it is adhering to this requirement.”
Meanwhile Malloy’s lieutenant, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, submitted a budget on Monday that will lay off 40 city workers and demands $15.5 million in concessions from unions.

George Monbiot, a columnist for The Guardian, provided a comprehensive assessment of neoliberalism. “Imagine if the people of the Soviet Union had never heard of communism. The ideology that dominates our lives has, for most of us, no name. Mention it in conversation and you’ll be rewarded with a shrug. Even if your listeners have heard the term before, they will struggle to define it. Neoliberalism: do you know what it is?

Its anonymity is both a symptom and cause of its power. It has played a major role in a remarkable variety of crises: the financial meltdown of 2007‑8, the offshoring of wealth and power, of which the Panama Papers offer us merely a glimpse, the slow collapse of public health and education, resurgent child poverty, the epidemic of loneliness, the collapse of ecosystems, the rise of Donald Trump. But we respond to these crises as if they emerge in isolation, apparently unaware that they have all been either catalysed or exacerbated by the same coherent philosophy; a philosophy that has – or had – a name. What greater power can there be than to operate namelessly?” While the left worries about Trump, who is not yet in a position to create policies, Clinton, Malloy and Bronin have already done catastrophic damage: Clinton with her support of neoliberal policies such as ObamaCare, a health care system conceived by the right-wing Heritage Foundation and written by health insurance industry lobbyists, which clearly benefits insurance companies according to former Cigna executive turned whistleblower Wendell Potter. ObamaCare has left 30 MILLION PEOPLE uninsured. As Secretary of State Clinton waged war across the globe, Libya being just one example. Malloy and Bronin are beating up on human services providers, working families, the poor and other vulnerable populations.
During the debate between Sanders and Clinton in New York, Clinton apologized for her husband Bill’s racist 1994 crime bill. Then she defended it. Clinton supporters bring up the fact that Sanders voted for the bill (as I did in this space). Sanders explained at a previous debate that he voted for the bill because it also contained domestic violence and assault weapons ban legislation, issues he had worked on for years. Here is the video of Sanders vehemently denouncing the racist impact of the crime bill on the House floor, prior to its passage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTn3jUoMdVI
It was amusing to see the verbal gymnastics by Clinton over the debate question of whether or not her policy positions are influenced by her donors. If I had the opportunity my question to Clinton would be, “If your donors don’t think that they can influence your policies, why are they giving you money?”
The latest Quinnipiac poll revealed that Malloy’s approval rating is a pathetic 30%. The public sector is the largest employer of Black people and women.
https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/malloy-bronin-racism-sexism-neoliberalism/  The April 26 primary is a referendum on the racist, sexist, neoliberal attack by Malloy, Clinton’s bagman. Malloy’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year includes more draconian human services cuts, and would give him unilateral power to slash funding in the future. If Clinton wins the Democratic Party nomination, Sanders supporters absolutely should NOT vote for Clinton in the general election, and should denounce a Sanders endorsement of Clinton. If Sanders loses the primary, he has to return to Congress and caucus with the Democrats. Sanders supporters have no type of obligation to the party. The clear choice going forward for a post-Sanders movement would be Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Stein’s domestic platform is similar to Sanders, and her foreign policy positions are stronger. Hopefully this influx of support would force the Green Party to undergo the same evolution as Sanders: the party overall has failed to connect with people of color.
Based on a Facebook conversation I had last weekend with Jennifer Sullivan, a member of the Green Party’s Gulf Coast chapter, the organization is still blaming Blacks for not running into their arms, instead of making an effort to form relationships with racial justice movements. I mean working together every day, breaking a sweat relationships. Sullivan’s attitude was, “Oh those poor Blacks, they just keep trusting the Democrats. Not our fault.” The CT chapter is plagued by racism and incompetence, despite an egalitarian platform. A few years ago I agreed to organize an urban Green Party chapter in North Hartford. I changed my mind when I received no support from the party, who clearly just wanted to use me and other Blacks. I contacted Black Agenda Report commentator Bruce Dixon on Facebook a few months ago to talk about my experience, after seeing a column he wrote about Stein’s campaign. Dixon is active with the Greens’ Georgia chapter. Dixon gave me his cell number and told me to call him to discuss; I called and he never responded. The Green Party is NOT an oasis for Black people, as Dixon and other BAR commentators claim. The Greens are throwing stones from a big glass house when they talk about racism by the Democrats. They need to clean up their own act. That would be a positive development in third-party politics.
Resources
OpenSecrets.org Center for Responsive Politics:
Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1 Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary. https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948   Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives https://www.facebook.com/wqtqfm and So-Metro Radio the first and third Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues http://www.sometroradio.com/  Check out our No Sellout blog (https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s archive for selected columns (http://www.northendagents.com/). Contact us at 860-206-8879 or info.community.party@gmail.com  

Replay Wednesday: Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

April 19, 2016

The planet’s PREMIER Soul, RnB and talk radio station. Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective.  Community Party Radio returns Tuesday, April 19. Co-host: Mary L. Sanders. Guests: Missouri police reform activist Toni Taylor will tell us about an upcoming weekend of events honoring the memory of her son Cary Ball Jr., who was murdered by St. Louis police. Dan Durso, a retired Teamster now volunteering as the Outreach Coordinator with the grassroots Bernie Sanders Connecticut Team, will talk about the April 26 CT primary between Sanders and Hillary Clinton. CT Valley Hospital employee John Hollis will join us for a conversation about Gov. Dan Malloy and the General Assembly launching a neoliberal attack on the poor, human services providers and public sector workers. Howaste Wakiya will discuss the plight of Native American activist Leonard Peltier. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Replays on Wednesday, starting at the same time. http://www.sometroradio.com/

 

Resources

Justice for Cary Ball Jr. Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/JusticeForCaryBallJr/timeline

Dan Durso Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/Skydogct

Malloy + Bronin = Neoliberalism:

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/03/25/malloy-bronin-neoliberalism/

Malloy & Bronin – Racism, Sexism & Neoliberalism:

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/malloy-bronin-racism-sexism-neoliberalism/

Suspending Democracy:

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/suspending-democracy/

The Bernie Sanders Effect:

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/the-bernie-sanders-effect/

Howaste’s Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009793771606

Democracy Now! Leonard Peltier archive:

http://www.democracynow.org/topics/leonard_peltier

 

 

The Bernie Sanders Effect

April 15, 2016

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

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio
Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First and third Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in! Replays the following Wednesday, same time. Next show: April 19. Co-host: Mary Sanders. Dan Durso, a retired Teamster now volunteering as the Outreach Coordinator with the grassroots Bernie Sanders Connecticut Team, will talk about the April 26 Connecticut Democratic presidential primary between Sanders and Hillary Clinton. My Connecticut Valley Hospital co-worker John Hollis will discuss the neoliberal attack on public sector employees, and workplace bullying. Howaste will join us from California to talk about the plight of Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Missouri police reform activist Toni Taylor will tell us about an upcoming event that will honor the memory of her son Cary Ball Jr., who was killed by St. Louis police. http://sometroradio.com/  Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our Community Party Media lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/community-party-media-3/
Community Party Radio Podcasts
                                                   
Meagan Hockaday Act Update: We Don’t Support Weak Bills 
Meagan Hockaday was murdered by Oxnard, California police officer Roger Garcia in front of her children on March 28, 2015. https://www.facebook.com/meaganmatters/timeline Garcia has not been charged.  The Community Party’s Meagan Hockaday Act includes enhanced criminal penalties for excessive use of force by the police against mentally ill people and individuals in crisis, in addition to whenever children are present. Our legislation is based on a new international approach to policing, based on a successful model in the United Kingdom and Canada that emphasizes de-escalation and treatment. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/meagan-matters-police-murder-of-black-women-ignored-by-corporate-media-activists/
Legislators have amended our bill to the point that it no longer resembles our original concept, so we will not support it going forward. The bill now moving through the Connecticut General Assembly is not the Meagan Hockaday Act: like the so-called police reform bill that lawmakers passed last year, it is weak legislation that actually protects the police. Police departments are not complying with the body camera provision in the legislation that was passed last year. We’re not interested in just passing bills, our goal is real reform. Check out CP’s legislative package at our No Sellout blog. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/community-party-2016-legislative-package/
Policy Watch:  Bernie Sanders Movement Possible Foundation of New Politics
While Gov. Dan Malloy uses declining revenue and a budget deficit caused by neoliberal policies as a pretext to attack state employees (I’m a state worker), a new report by Nick Defiesta, associate fiscal policy fellow for Connecticut Voices for Children, found that the state loses $ 7.2 billion in revenue as a result of corporate tax breaks. We have clearly reached a tipping point in CT and nationwide, as the Democrats’ continuous move to the right has spawned the grassroots movement that is fueling Bernie Sanders’ momentum as a presidential candidate. Win or lose, a seismic shift in politics is clearly on the horizon, whether the Democrats realize it or not. Former Teamster Dan Durso, who works with the Sanders CT campaign team, told Mary Sanders and I during a recent Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio interview that the movement isn’t about Sanders, it’s about his message and policy positions (free health care, free college, federal jobs program). Durso said that conversations are happening now about how to continue the movement on the city and state level after the presidential elections, regardless of the outcome. Mary has had conversations with some of the most active Sanders CT volunteers, who have made it clear they will not support Hillary Clinton if she wins the Democratic nomination and may instead get behind Green Party candidate Jill Stein. They are unmoved by the specter of a Republican president, and are prepared to let the chips fall where they may. The domestic policy positions of Sanders and Stein are similar. Stein has been more definitive regarding foreign policy, as she has stated her intention to cut the U.S. military budget. Stein plans to combat terrorism through financial strategy (cutting off funding sources), rather than using the war machine.
Malloy will certainly create more disenfranchised voters as he moves ahead with his plan for layoffs of an estimated 1,000 or more state employees, with full support from Democratic leaders. As the November election for seats in the General Assembly approach, SEBAC can no longer justify rubber stamp support for the Democrats. This party has rewarded state workers for their votes with a relentless neoliberal attack for the past 5 years, while they protect the rich and corporations. Connecticut Voices for Children reported that 1600 state corporations pay a mere $250.00 in taxes every 2 years. It’s time to identify candidates who will represent the interests of the working class, the poor and communities of color. It will be interesting to see if the post-Sanders movement will pursue a connection with the urban community and movements led by people of color, and if they will be willing to modify their ‘99%’ message, which glosses over racial wage/wealth gaps. These steps will be necessary, in order to realistically challenge the Democratic Party establishment. Sanders’ blowout losses to Clinton in South Carolina (73% to 26%) and other southern states is a prime example.
The post-Sanders movement has a golden opportunity to differentiate themselves from the Democrats, who perpetuate structural racism through their neoliberal policies. Malloy and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin launched a coordinated attack on the public sector, the largest employer of Black people and women. Bronin and city workers reached a concessions deal last week, but state employees agreed to concessions TWICE since 2009 and now face massive layoffs. My warning to city workers is this is only the beginning, you must be prepared for more neoliberal attacks in the future.
Bill Clinton’s condescending, finger wagging response to Black Lives Matter activists in Philadelphia, who heckled him over his racist 1994 crime bill and 1996 ‘welfare reform’ legislation, underscores Democratic Party racism. U.S. Uncut reporter Amanda Girard wrote about the response from one of the harshest critics of the Clintons’ exploitation of racialized politics.
“On Thursday, the former President of the United States was heckled by Black Lives Matter activists during a campaign rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The protesters were demonstrating against Clinton’s 1994 crime bill and his 1996 welfare cuts, which protesters said decimated the black community. Clinton responded by doubling down on his wife’s ‘super-predator’ comments, telling the protesters they were defending murderers and drug dealers.
The next day, Clinton said he would ‘almost want to’ apologize for his comments, stopping short of actually apologizing.
Ohio State University law professor Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, took the former president to task in a scathing Facebook post on Friday, starting off by thanking Clinton for revealing his true colors.
‘Thank you, Bill, for giving the nation a ten-minute tutorial on everything that was wrong (and apparently remains wrong) with the ‘New Democrats’ and their approach to racial politics,’ Alexander wrote. 
She then went on to talk about how Clinton’s strategy to win the White House was based on a racist appeal to white independent voters by convincing them that he could take even more of a hardline approach to crime than his Republican predecessors — something Clinton and his surrogates in the media argue was supported by the black community.
‘It is a gross distortion to suggest that black people wanted billions of dollars slashed from child welfare, housing and other public benefits in order to fund an unprecedented prison building boom. It was Bill Clinton’s deliberate political strategy — one he championed along with the ‘New Democrats’ — to appeal to white swing voters by being tougher on struggling black communities than the Republicans had been, ramping up the drug war and gutting welfare.’
This week we’ll share an article by Andrea Sears of Public News Service on the colossal losses in state revenue, due to corporate welfare.  Visit the Public News Service website.  http://www.publicnewsservice.org/index.php
                                                                                                    *****
                                                     Report: To Help Close Budget Gaps, Look at Tax Breaks Public News Service – CT
April 5, 2016
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – With the state facing massive public-employee layoffs and a $900 million budget deficit next year, one group is calling for a closer look at tax expenditures. The tax breaks and tax credits Connecticut allows now amount to more than $7 billion a year, a 71 percent increase since 2000. But according to Nick Defiesta, associate fiscal policy fellow for Connecticut Voices for Children, those those tax expenditures don’t get the same kind of scrutiny that’s given to spending on priorities like education and health care. “It’s really easy for these expenditures to just sort of sit there on the books, for years and years and years and years, without anyone taking a look at them,” says Defiesta. Connecticut Voices for Children has issued a report calling on the state to expand reporting on tax expenditures and to institute a legislative review process, including public hearings. Defiesta says right now, the only review of tax expenditures is a report from the Office of Fiscal Analysis, issued every other year. He says it simply lists the title of the expenditure, why it was enacted and how much it costs the state. “We would love to see OFA do a more robust evaluation of how each tax expenditure is doing and whether it’s meeting its policy goals,” says Defiesta. “And then, we’d like to see the Legislature have to act on that.” The report cites such examples as sales tax exemptions for non-commercial winter boat storage, worth $2.5 million a year. Defiesta notes there is currently no requirement to evaluate whether state tax breaks are doing what they were intended to do. “We should be looking at them just as closely as we’re looking at appropriations,” he says. “Just to be sure that, at a time when we’re all bucking up our belt straps, that we’re doing the same for this sort of spending.” He says requiring a closer look at tax expenditures would make the state budget process more fair, accountable and transparent.
                                                                                                    *****
Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1 Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary. https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948   Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives https://www.facebook.com/wqtqfm and So-Metro Radio the first and third Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues http://www.sometroradio.com/  Check out our No Sellout blog (https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s archive for selected columns (http://www.northendagents.com/). Contact us at 860-206-8879 or info.community.party@gmail.com  
                                                                                     

 

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio Podcast Archive

April 11, 2016

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thebwegroup

Meagan Hockaday Act Update: We Don’t Support Weak Bills

April 9, 2016
Meagan Hockaday was murdered by Oxnard, California police officer Roger Garcia in front of her children on March 28, 2015. https://www.facebook.com/meaganmatters/timeline Garcia has not been charged.  The Community Party’s Meagan Hockaday Act includes enhanced criminal penalties for excessive use of force by the police against mentally ill people and individuals in crisis, in addition to whenever children are present. Our legislation is based on a new international approach to policing, based on a successful model in the United Kingdom and Canada that emphasizes de-escalation and treatment. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/meagan-matters-police-murder-of-black-women-ignored-by-corporate-media-activists/
Legislators have amended our bill to the point that it no longer resembles our original concept, so we will not support it going forward. The bill now moving through the Connecticut General Assembly is not the Meagan Hockaday Act: like the so-called police reform bill that lawmakers passed last year, it is weak legislation that actually protects the police. Police departments are not complying with the body camera provision in the legislation that was passed last year. We’re not interested in just passing bills, our goal is real reform. Check out CP’s legislative package at our No Sellout blog. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/community-party-2016-legislative-package/

Podcasts – Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

April 8, 2016

https://www.spreaker.com/show/community-party-radio

So-Metro Radio website: http://www.sometroradio.com/

 

 

Suspending Democracy

April 8, 2016

 

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

 

 

My condolences to Andy Hart on the loss of his mother. Rest in Peace….

 

 

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

 

Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First and third Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in! Replays the following Wednesday, same time. Next show: April 19. Co-host: Mary Sanders. My Connecticut Valley Hospital co-worker John Hollis will discuss the neoliberal attack on public sector employees, and workplace bullying. Howaste will join us from California to talk about the plight of Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Missouri police reform activist Toni Taylor will tell us about an upcoming event that will honor the memory of her son Cary Ball Jr., who was killed by St. Louis police. http://sometroradio.com/  Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our Community Party Media lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/community-party-media-3/

 

 

                                                 

 

 

Meagan Hockaday Act

 

Meagan Hockaday was murdered by Oxnard, California police officer Roger Garcia in front of her children on March 28, 2015. https://www.facebook.com/meaganmatters/timeline Garcia has not been charged.  The Community Party’s Meagan Hockaday Act will include enhanced criminal penalties for excessive use of force by the police against mentally ill people and individuals in crisis, in addition to whenever children are present. Our legislation will implement a new international approach to policing, based on a successful model in the United Kingdom and Canada that emphasizes de-escalation and treatment. Public Health Committee co-chair Rep. Matt Ritter is collaborating with us on this bill. Stay tuned for updates and action alerts. Meagan Matters! https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/meagan-matters-police-murder-of-black-women-ignored-by-corporate-media-activists/ The official bill has been drafted: you can view it here. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/02/24/meagan-hockaday-act-bill-language/  Contact lawmakers and tell them to support our legislation.  https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/action-alert-support-the-meagan-hockaday-act/

Check out CP’s 2016 legislative package at our No Sellout blog. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/community-party-2016-legislative-package/

 

 

 

Media Bias and Hartford Police Officer Jill Kidik

 

Earlier this week, Hartford Courant reporter and police apologist David Owens reported on HPD officer Jill Kidik being honored for saving the life of a one-year-old baby. However Owens has not reported on Kidik having the worst record of sustained civilian complaints, which include violation of civil rights and excessive force. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/2015-hartford-police-list-of-officers-with-sustained-complaints/

This type of biased reporting, and Kidik being coddled by the HPD, is appalling and underscores the need to repeal police bill of rights/union contract language that protects cops who engage in misconduct. There is nothing heroic about Kidik’s pattern of abuse. http://samuelwalker.net/2015/05/walker-report-baltimore-police-union-contract-impedes-accountability/ Props to the officers nationwide who are speaking out against racism, brutality and corruption. https://www.facebook.com/PeacefulStreets/photos/a.349724435087459.82412.346419072084662/969893656403864/?type=3&theater

 

 

 

 

Policy Watch: Uprising Against Neoliberalism in Chicago and Connecticut

 

 

 

“The problems of racial injustice and economic injustice cannot be resolved, without a radical redistribution of political and economic power.” ~ Martin Luther King

 

 

 

“These recommended takeovers are very short sighted and make no sense! Here in Hartford the recommendation for some committee with State oversight of the City budget for example … If the City needs help managing our $$ why would we want the State to step in when apparently they cannot manage theirs?” ~ Real talk from Mary Sanders about the neoliberal attack on public schools in Chicago and Hartford.

 

 

 

Hartford Courant columnist and WNPR host Colin McEnroe used his weekly appearance on the Where We Live program to launch into a baseless, ‘Get off my lawn’ rant against me and my fellow state employees: he spun a narrative of us being on an island of entitlement, demanding “more fringe benefits” as we protest against Gov. Dan Malloy’s draconian human services cuts and union busting campaign. McEnroe doesn’t present facts to counter the argument by SEBAC, Connecticut Voices for Children and Democracy, Unity and Equality Connecticut that the budget can be balanced by revising the state’s regressive tax code, and eliminating corporate tax loopholes that cost Connecticut $6 billion in revenue.

 

 

 

McEnroe doesn’t even acknowledge that egalitarian budget options exist. Instead all of his outrage is aimed at the public sector, the largest employer of Black people and women, while corporations in this state stash $180 billion in offshore accounts. http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/article/20160304/NEWS01/160309951 This doesn’t bother McEnroe at all: he never brings it up. If you’re going to be mad, McEnroe, be mad at everybody. The fact that this elitist will not talk about the working class and the poor in Connecticut paying more in taxes than the rich, while corporations are receiving welfare and stacking cash on the low, is damning evidence that McEnroe is an agent of the Democrats and the ruling class.  http://wnpr.org/post/wheelhouse-drowning-deficits#stream/0  The Panama Papers have exposed tax evasion on a global scale, although Western perpetrators are being protected. https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/04/corporate-media-gatekeepers-protect-western-1-from-panama-leak/

Events in Chicago and at City Hall in Hartford show that McEnroe’s position is delusional, neoliberal propaganda.

 

 

 

Last Friday public school teachers in Chicago staged a one day strike to protest lack of funding for their schools; nursing services and supplies were among the areas of concern for the teachers. Like Flint, Detroit and Hartford, Chicago is a city with a large Black population that is the target of a neoliberal attack, with fiscal crisis being used as the pretext. Last week Courant reporter Vanessa de la Torre provided the details on the possibility of school closures and layoffs in the city.

 

 

“The city’s budget crisis is forcing Hartford school officials to talk openly about an issue that is usually a political land mine: The possibility of closing and consolidating schools. Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez said she has formed an advisory committee that plans to meet next week to start drafting a facilities master plan that will take a critical look at the number of schools.

 

And in recent conversations with community advocates that would have seemed unthinkable a few months ago, Hartford leaders have floated the idea of abandoning Weaver High School’s $100 million renovation project that is already underway in the city’s northwest corner.

‘It’s a fair question as to whether or not the city is going to be able to undertake new school construction projects,’ school board Chairman Richard Wareing said Wednesday. With the city low in reserves and facing more than a $30 million deficit next year, it’s possible that the city is ‘not going to be borrowing money to build schools anytime soon.’

On top of the city’s fiscal crisis, the school system faces a deficit of about $20 million and the possibility of cutting more than 200 positions in the next budget, Wareing said. Last year, nearly 80 positions in the district were eliminated.”

 

 

 

So the city no longer has the desire to spend money on renovating schools, but has no problem throwing taxpayer dough at a baseball stadium. Mayor Luke Bronin introduced legislation that would allow him and his cronies to have veto power over union contracts, a blatant attempt to eliminate collective bargaining. Monday community residents and activists packed City Hall and shut down Bronin’s legislation, as the city council voted 8-1 against supporting the measure. Meanwhile 1200 state employees and activists swarmed the State Capitol to speak out against Malloy’s neoliberal attack. Next week Malloy will send layoff notices to an estimated 1900 workers, who refused Malloy’s demand that they agree to concessions for the third time since 2009, while he refuses to ask for anything from the rich and corporations. Malloy and lawmakers are using declining revenues as the justification for their attack, while at the same time a bill has been introduced by the Finance Revenue and Bonding committee that would repeal the estate and gift tax. This tax cut for the rich would cost the state $115.2 million in revenue (about half of the $226 million budget deficit) according to Derek Thomas, Fiscal Policy Fellow for Connecticut Voices for Children. Thomas testified against this unconscionable bill at a recent public hearing. Why isn’t McEnroe upset about this legislation?  It’s not hard to spot the racist and sexist component of the Wall Street supported neoliberal agenda, which is about union busting and profits.

 

 

 

Common Dreams reporter Andrea Germanos reported on the uproar over neoliberalism in Chicago. “Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has been accused of ‘doubling down and holding Illinois citizens hostage with his austerity agenda’ following his backing of a Republican plan for a state takeover of the Chicago Public Schools. With the move, unveiled on Wednesday, Rauner ‘launched a years-in-the-making all-out assault on the Chicago Teachers Union,’ the Chicago Tribune reports, while Politico describes the school system as ‘the latest laboratory for an ambitious Midwestern governor trying push his anti-union agenda.’

 

 

 

 

As WTTW reports, the proposal would allow for CPS, which faces a $500 million cash shortage, to declare bankruptcy. It would also allow, the Tribune adds, ‘the governor’s hand-picked State Board of Education chief to replace the mayor’s appointed school board until the district’s finances were deemed fixed. The state panel would have the power to negotiate a new teachers’ contract if none is reached in current talks, or oversee a union contract that could be broken if the district filed for bankruptcy.’

 

 

 

WBEZ adds:

 

Emanuel’s current schools chief, Forrest Claypool, said the Republican proposals are missing the real problem facing the school district. Claypool argued that the state government has never adequately funded Chicago’s schools. In large part, the underfunding he’s talking about is driven by the state not paying into the Chicago teachers’ pension fund.

 

 

 

 

Among the proposal’s critics—who also include embattled Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the CTU—is House Speaker Michael Madigan, who pointed to failures in another city which stripped local control away with the appointment of an emergency manager. ‘The disaster in Flint, Michigan, is a very timely example of how reckless decisions just to save a buck can have devastating consequences on children and families.’

‘Republicans’ ultimate plans include allowing cities throughout the state to file for bankruptcy protection, which they admitted today would permit cities and school districts to end their contracts with teachers and workers—stripping thousands of their hard-earned retirement security and the middle-class living they have worked years to achieve,’ Madigan’s statement added.

Ben Joravsky argues at the Chicago Reader that the plan is ‘a blatant attempt to use bankruptcy laws as a pretext to reward friends and punish enemies.’ That’s because ‘the governor, having declared CPS bankrupt, would get to preserve the contracts that enrich his pals—like the borrowing deals that pay outrageously high interest to bankers, while ripping up the contracts that benefit his enemies, like Chicago’s teachers,’ Joravsky writes.”

 

 

 

My beef with McEnroe is that he promotes an economic agenda that is morally indefensible. McEnroe resorted to a personal attack against me because he doesn’t want to engage in a fact based conversation about the effects of neoliberalism: lead poisoned water in Flint, the city of Detroit cutting off the water supply of poor residents who couldn’t pay their bills, and the closure of the Spanish Speaking Center of New Britain, CT. Mary was the executive director of SSC, a nonprofit that served poor residents in New Britain for 50 years, until budget cuts by Malloy and Republican Mayor Erin Stewart resulted in SSC closing down last year. McEnroe knows that an analysis of neoliberalism is a dead end for him, so he hides behind juvenile insults, lame jokes, rhetoric and outright lies, such as his remark about state employees wanting “fringe benefits”. Health care and pensions aren’t fringe benefits. McEnroe is a relic who thinks that because he has a bigger megaphone, he can simply drown out all dissent. Like our brothers and sisters in Chicago, Flint, Detroit and Hartford, we will push back against the neoliberal agenda, which is a threat to democracy.

 

 

Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1 Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary. https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948   Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives https://www.facebook.com/wqtqfm and So-Metro Radio the first and third Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues http://www.sometroradio.com/  Check out our No Sellout blog (https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s archive for selected columns (http://www.northendagents.com/). Contact us at 860-206-8879 or info.community.party@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio Podcasts

April 5, 2016

Go to http://sometroradio.com/ Podcasts available through the So-Metro Magazine app and affiliate station So-Metro Talk.  Also available at TuneIn  http://tunein.com/     and iTunes. http://tunein.com/program/?ProgramId=860679      http://www.apple.com/itunes/

REPLAY WEDNESDAY: Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

April 5, 2016

The planet’s PREMIER Soul, RnB and talk radio station. Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. Co-host: Mary Sanders. Guest: Social worker Janet Frazao-Conaci will join us to talk about Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin launching a neoliberal attack on the poor and public sector workers. I will respond to WNPR host Colin McEnroe dissing me last week on the Where We Live program. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific.

http://www.sometroradio.com   Podcasts available through the So-Metro Magazine app, affiliate station So-Metro Talk, TuneIn.com and iTunes. http://tunein.com/program/?ProgramId=860679      http://www.apple.com/itunes/

 

Resources

Malloy & Bronin: Racism, Sexism & Neoliberalism

Malloy + Bronin = Neoliberalism

State employees, activists protest against budget cuts, layoffs:

cour.at/25HN43E

Hartford residents shut down Mayor Luke Bronin’s union busting bill:

http://www.courant.com/community/hartford/hc-hartford-council-legislation-0405-20160404-story.html