Archive for February, 2017

Bronin Covers Up Police Brutality, Malloy Budget Caters to the Rich & Donors

February 24, 2017

by David Samuels

This column appears in the February 23 – March 2 edition of the Hartford News.

 

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

 

 

Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First, third and fifth Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in! http://www.sometroradio.com/  Next show: March 7. 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

 

 

 

Visit No Sellout to listen to podcasts of past shows. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/podcast-community-party-radio-on-so-metro-radio/

 

 

Action Alert: Support the Meagen Hockaday and Trayvon Martin Acts!

 

The Meagen Hockaday Act has been officially filed: S.B. No. 440

 

https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=LCO&which_year=2017&bill_num=2809

 

 

 

Visit our No Sellout blog for details on how you can support this police reform legislation.

 

 

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/action-alert-support-the-meagen-hockaday-act/

 

 

 

Trayvon Martin Act

 

 

The bill has been officially filed. See this link for info on contacting Gov. Malloy, and the Judiciary Committee. Tell them to pass the Trayvon Martin Act racial profiling legislation!

 

 

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2017/01/14/action-alert-support-the-trayvon-martin-act/

Community Supports Ricardo Torres and Hartford Civilian Police Review Board

Hartford Police Minister of Misinformation Deputy Chief Brian Foley did his best to smear Ricardo M Torres and the Civilian Police Review Board in the Courant last week. Foley would only talk about the enhanced video of four HPD officers stomping Emilio Diaz as not being new. What the video shows is that the HPD attempted to limit the scope of the Diaz investigation to ‘one bad apple’: former Sgt. Sean Spell, who is the only officer who has been criminally charged. If the four cops assaulting Diaz weren’t doing anything wrong, why is a voice on the tape warning them about cameras? Torres is a certified use of force expert. Foley’s position is, ‘Who are you going to believe? Us or your lying eyes?’ The HPD is obviously shook by the outpouring of community support for Torres and the other Board members, and felt compelled to respond. Let’s see if Foley will explain why the Board was kept at the bare minimum of five members, when they are supposed to have nine members and two alternates, why the CPRB website (where meeting minutes are supposed to be posted) has not been updated since 2012, which was revealed by Torres at last week’s city council meeting, or why it took two years for the Board to receive information from HPD Chief James Rovella, on disciplinary action taken against cops who had sustained civilian complaints. The number of officers with sustained civilian complaints has increased for the third year in a row, to 36. Some officers have as many as three sustained complaints against them.
http://www.courant.com/community/hartford/hc-hartford-police-board-questions-0218-20170217-story.html The sabotage of the Board isn’t an isolated problem. Mary Sanders spoke at the city council meeting; she pointed out that multiple city commissions have no members. Mayor Luke Bronin is obviously trying avoid transparency and accountability.

Bronin is covering up police brutality in this city. In my opinion, there are at least two Democrats on the city council who are acting as accomplices: council president Thomas Clarke and John Gale. Torres and three other members were fired by Bronin, in retaliation for the Board requesting the names of the 19 Hartford Police officers who refused to cooperate with the brutality investigation of Spell. Bronin, Clarke and Gale have responded to the enhanced video evidence by trying to get rid of Torres, and the other Board members who are investigating the brutal assault on Diaz. During last week’s city council meeting, Clarke would only allow council member Wildaliz Bermudez (Working Families Party) to ask Torres one question, after he talked about the enhanced video evidence, and how the Board has been stonewalled by Rovella. Clarke himself asked no questions, and was visibly annoyed when Bermudez questioned Torres. Clarke seemed to be generally pissed off that Bermudez and her fellow WFP council member Larry Deutsch had microphones. Gale spent time during a recess badmouthing Torres, the only Board member with law enforcement training, as he talked to a couple who attended the meeting. The arrogance displayed by Clarke and Gale was appalling.

 

Policy Watch:  Malloy’s Neoliberal Agenda

Gov. Dan Malloy’s state budget proposal includes a plan to close Blue Hills Substance Abuse Services in Hartford. Connecticut liberals, If you want to understand what’s causing the gun violence that has engulfed Chicago, stop the selective outrage at sociopath-in-chief Donald Trump, and start paying attention to what the Democratic Party is doing in your own backyard. Urban areas, controlled by the Democrats, are being deprived of jobs and resources. Malloy’s budget includes a 10% across the board cut to funding for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, as opioid addiction plagues the state. Community Party team analysis of Malloy’s budget proposal reveals that while Malloy is cutting funding for health, education and jobs programs, he’s willing to forgo $20.1 MILLION in revenue by reducing the estate and gift tax, and reducing the lifetime cap on taxes an estate pays. Our complete budget breakdown is available here. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/team-analysis-gov-dan-malloys-state-budget-proposal/

 

Rep, Josh Elliott left Barnes stammering during a Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee meeting last week, after he confronted Barnes with data that contradicts the Malloy administration’s propaganda about how raising taxes on the rich will cause millionaires to flee the state. The number of millionaires in CT has actually increased since 2010, despite that fact that taxes on the rich increased during the same period.

https://www.facebook.com/staterepjoshelliott/videos/1493055927385698/?hc_location=ufi

CP team analysis exposed the connection between CT Democratic Party donors, and Malloy’s XL Center renovation plan. As Malloy slashes funding for human services, he included $250 million in his state budget proposal to renovate the XL Center…

Here’s the XL Center Connection

This was just in 2013:

“Of the $1.5 million raised this year by Democrats, $430,000 came from a roster of donors who wrote $10,000 checks, the maximum allowed by law. Those donors include top executives of the state’s largest utility, the company that manages state athletic venues, a major state landlord, a provider of state parking services and developers of major real-estate projects supported by state assistance.

“The maximum donors to the state account included Philadephia Flyers owner Edward Snider, the chief executive of Spectacor, the company that won the right earlier this year to manage two major state-owned venues, the XL Center in Hartford and Rentschler Field in East Hartford.” The state provided the XL Center with $35 million for renovations in 2014.

http://ctmirror.org/2013/10/28/roster-10000-donors-helps-malloy-drive-democrats-3-1-advantage/

Lieutenant Gov. Nancy Wyman attempted to justify Malloy’s plan during her appearance on the WFSB Face the State program. Wyman, with help from co-host Susan Raff, conflated perceived consequences of not renovating the XL Center (Raff said the building would “decay”) with the 1978 roof collapse. An investigation found that the collapse, which occurred when the facility (then known as the Hartford Civic Center) was three years old, was caused by a faulty roof design. https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=64YLLBfP&id=1FBDFAC240D87A1F7FFC9C47A816C9B0F88D5008&q=civic+center+roof+collapse&simid=608047012609589847&selectedIndex=0&ajaxhist=0

Independent, grassroots political action will be essential to pushing back against the corruption by Bronin, Malloy and the Democrats.

Resources

History Channel report on the 1978 Hartford Civic Center roof collapse:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ax6eUnpa68

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, third and fifth 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

 

Team Analysis: Gov. Dan Malloy’s State Budget Proposal

February 18, 2017

Labor

Source <http://ctmirror.org/2017/02/08/malloy-unveils-40-6-billion-two-year-budget/>

 

The budget “seeks $1.5 billion in labor concessions,” according to the CT Mirror. Unionized state employees would have to offer concessions of $700 million next fiscal year and another $800 million in 2018-19.

 

State budget director Ben Barnes claims that the only alternative would be to lay off at least 4,200 employees.  The CT Mirror declared that based on the legislature’s Office of Fiscal Analysis’ savings estimates from last spring, the state may need to layoff twice that number in order to reach $800 million in yearly savings.

 

 

 

Transportation

Data source <http://ctmirror.org/2017/02/08/malloy-unveils-40-6-billion-two-year-budget/>

 

Other than the start-up money that expires in 2020, Barnes claims that there are no funds to cover Malloy’s major transportation initiative which was announced two years ago. This continues to postpone projects like the I-84 and Route 8 junction in Waterbury and the replacement of I-84’s elevated section in Hartford.

 

However, Malloy is willing to request an issuance of bonds to renovate the XL Center in Hartford in the tunes of $125 million. The CT mirror notes that the expected total cost for this renovation is $250 million.

 

 

 

Education

Data source <http://ctmirror.org/2017/02/08/some-education-aid-may-not-be-spent-on-schools/>

 

The CT Mirror calculates that public colleges and universities, which have suffered large cuts since the 2008 recession, will have their block grants reduced by 4.5% on average.

 

The plan also directs $230 million in education grants to 52 municipalities with struggling schools. However, it will be up to the municipalities to decide if they use those funds for education or not. The 30 worst performing school districts will be legally allowed to reallocate only funds that are in excess of their budget.

 

Of the $38.1 million of increased state aid that Hartford is proposed to get, $12.2 million of it comes from education grants. The CT Mirror reports that when asked about how he’d use that state aid, Mayor Bronin said he would use it to help bail out the city’s finances.

 

Other municipalities may use that stat aid to pay their portion of the teachers’ pension fund. That’s because Malloy’s plan would make municipalities pay one-third of the employer contribution for fund. The state estimates it would save the state $400 million.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthcare

Data source <http://ctmirror.org/budget-tracker-2017-see-the-proposed-cuts-taxes-and-new-spending/>

 

Limit access to HUSKY A (cuts $11.8 million)

In order for parents of minor children to get Medicaid, they have to earn up to 138% of the poverty level, instead of the current 155%. As an example, the income limit for a family of four would drop to $33,534 from the current limit of $37,665. If this cut passes, it would be the second cut to the income levels in three years.

 

Admission freeze in the CT Home Care for Elders Program. (cuts $10.5 million)

Under the proposed plan, Malloy would continue the 2015 admission freeze imposed on Category 1. Category 1 is for people who are at risk of being hospitalized of temporarily placed in a nursing home if they don’t receive help. In addition, there would be an admission freeze to Category 2 of the program starting on June 30. A new person could enroll only if someone leaves the program. Category 2 helps people who require a nursing home but their finances put them above the Medicaid qualification limit.

 

Municipal Tax on Nonprofit Hospitals (cuts $55.8 million)

Currently, municipalities with nonprofit hospitals receive state funds to cover losses in property tax revenue. To eliminate this funding, Malloy’s proposal would allow municipalities to charge the nonprofit hospitals a property tax. To offset this new cost to hospitals, the administration would give them supplemental Medicaid payments totaling $250 million.

 

However, these hospitals say they will fight against a proposal that makes them subject to property taxes. Moreover, the situation with Medicaid in Washington is very uncertain, and hospitals could be left to cover the costs, which would mean higher healthcare costs for citizens.

 

Additional cuts to Hospitals

The plan also cuts an $11.8 million fund that supports small, independent hospitals.

Even more frightening is that the plan also gives the administration the power to cut more than $120 million in hospital funding if there’s a budget shortfall.

 

Defunding & Privatizing Mental Health Services (cuts $15.5 million)

The plan cuts grants for mental health, substance abuse services and employment opportunities by $4.7 million. Malloy argues that these grants shouldn’t be needed anymore because more people get coverage through the federal health law. Providers, however, say many clients still don’t have insurance and that the Medicaid rates are less than actual costs. These providers would not be able to bill more in order to cover the lost grants. This would cause providers to close programs or stop taking new clients.

 

By privatizing certain mental health services, the administration plans to save $7.5 million. Malloy claims this won’t result in layoffs or service cuts because workers in outsourced programs could fill the DMHAS vacancies. Additionally, the plan reduces funds to the Connecticut Mental Health Center in New haven by $1.2 million.

Lastly, Malloy wants to relocate a 21-bed detox program from Blue Hills, Hartford to Middletown, which, according to the administration, would lead to $2.1 million in savings and no loss in services. Where will Hartford patients go? What about job loss?

 

Helping the Wealthy

Data source <http://ctmirror.org/budget-tracker-2017-see-the-proposed-cuts-taxes-and-new-spending/

$20.1 million in revenues would be lost under Malloy’s plan because he wants to lower the estate and gift tax. It also proposes reducing the lifetime cap on taxes an estate pays from $20 million to $15 million. In three years, the CT estate tax would match the federal exemption level. However, Connecticut has one of the largest economic gaps in the nation between the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent. According to a January 26, 2015 report by Economic Analysis and Research Network, Connecticut’s top 1 percent had an average real income growth of 35% between 2009 and 2012. In alarming contrast, the bottom 99 percent had an average real income growth of -5.4%. In 2012, the average income of the top 1 percent was $2.7 million while the bottom 99 percent earned an average of $52,600. These $20 million dollars, which the wealthy currently pay, could go a long way in limiting cuts in healthcare, education or labor. Yet, Malloy is more interested in having the wealthy keep even more of their money in their coffers.

 

 

According to the Hartford Courant, here’s what Malloy’s administration said on taxing the rich:

Source <http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-malloy-budget-general-assembly-20170208-story.html>

 

“One of the criticisms …. we will hear … is that we are punishing X, Y and Z — you can name whichever constituencies you like that don’t do well under this budget but we’re not taxing the rich and taxing big corporations,” Barnes told reporters.

 

While acknowledging that liberals seeking such an approach have “a legitimate argument,” Barnes said excessive taxes could hurt the state’s long-term fiscal health.

 

“One of the things that’s really driving the difficulties we’re facing right now is an extraordinary slow-growing economy,” Barnes said. “The lesson of 2015 is that the easy answer of going to taxes on corporations and on business has significant negative repercussions for the state as well.”

Chicago: Poverty = Violence

February 17, 2017
by David Samuels
No Community Party Hartford News column this week, due to a special edition of the newspaper. This week we’ll share a special report on urban gun violence in Chicago.

My reaction to the tragic news that a 2-year-old toddler is among the latest victims of gun violence in Chicago… Long before people on the outside looking in were parroting President Trump’s call to send “the feds” into the city (a pretext to increase police repression), Jill Stein visited Chicago while she was running for president as the Green Party candidate. She walked the streets and talked to the people who actually live there.

Residents told Dr. Stein that their communities are being deprived of jobs and resources, and that money should also be put into education.
They added that law enforcement efforts should be focused on the gun traffickers who are providing weapons to gang members. Poverty = violence

 

Zaida Berrios got a response from Chicago activist Ja’Mal Green, who commented on his Facebook post about the gang related shooting death of a two-year-old toddler. Activists are raising money to open a youth center, because urban areas like Chicago are deprived of jobs and resources. Black people in Chicago don’t need your hand wringing and judgmental social media posts. They need money for their communities. Put your money where your mouth is.
https://www.gofundme.com/MajosteeAllstars/donate

 

Jill Stein Visits Chicago and Connecticut (September 2016 column)
Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein had honest conversations about police brutality and urban gun violence during her visit to Chicago, where she was born. The video of Black teen Laquan McDonald being murdered by police officer Jason Van Dyke, and the subsequent cover up by the police and corrupt mayor Rahm Emanuel, shocked the nation. The Chicago Police Department has a despicable track record of brutality. This is the department that teamed up with the FBI to assassinate Illinois Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton. http://www.democracynow.org/…/the_assassination_of_fred_ham…
The city’s murder rate is horrific: 530 homicides this year. Dr. Stein talked to the local media about the root causes of urban gun violence, which also applies to Hartford and other cities.
The Shadow Proof website reported on Dr. Stein’s Chicago visit. https://shadowproof.com/…/jill-stein-green-party-campaign-…/ “Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein wrapped up a day of campaigning in Chicago on September 8 with a rally that brought several hundred supporters to their feet multiple times. Earlier in the day, she was in the South Austin neighborhood to talk to residents.
Community activists and a few residents joined Stein for a ‘reality walk’ through the neighborhood. The community has one of the highest rates of violent crime in the city, but it also suffers from residential segregation, loss of industrial jobs, disinvestment, and exceptionally high unemployment.
Stein shared after her walk that South Austin residents had told her ‘they need jobs. They need an answer to the violence and the guns that they believe are being supplied to the community, that these guns are being made available through illegal means and that should be a highest priority for investigating.’
Residents in communities like South Austin also ‘need good schools. They need after school programs. They need youth programs. They need job training. They need housing and an end to the foreclosures. They need to reuse the housing that is just lying waste, empty now, to rehab that housing and create jobs.’
Elijah Sims, a young black teen who was about a day away from his 17th birthday, was shot and killed in South Austin on August 29. Stein was asked about the shooting and what she would recommend to white residents, who may be afraid to organize in the west side because they fear violence in the community.
‘We are a divided nation,’ Stein answered. ‘We are a nation that’s locked into fear, and we’re an armed nation because we’re afraid of each other.’
‘There is a living legacy of the institution of slavery because it kind of went from slavery to lynchings to Jim Crow to the red lining of communities to mass incarceration to the war on drugs, which is a war on black and brown communities, and then to police violence. We have this history of really entrenched racism and the flip side of that being white privilege and white supremacy.’
Stein said she believes people need to sit down in communities with each other and build trust and confidence and recognize, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Her campaign favors the formation of a truth and reconciliation commission to address the legacy of slavery and its role in fueling structural racism in present-day America.
‘If communities are struggling with poverty and closed schools and boarded up housing and violence in the streets, that injustice spills over into our economy, into our society, into our future, [and] into the violence that afflicts us all.’
During the rally, (vice presidential nominee Ajamu) Baraka had assertive words for those who ignore the poverty and only rail against the violence in communities, like west and south neighborhoods of Chicago. ‘People talk about [how] we need to deal with the issue of violence in the city. We understand that. But I say if you’re not talking about how we deal with these social and economic grinding conditions, I don’t want to talk about the violence,’ Baraka said.
The campaign has a plan focused on providing dignity, health care, a clean environment, and respect for human rights to poor and working class Americans, who desperately need it. It has developed what they call a Green New Deal, which links the climate crisis and the economic crisis together to simultaneously save families and the planet.”
Dr. Stein’s urban policy plan includes community control of the police, in the form of civilian review boards. Another component is utilizing independent investigators, who would probe every death and serious injury at the hands of police officers.
Dr. Stein talked about her plan to cancel student loan debt during her visits to Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, and Eastern Connecticut State University in Windham. Courant reporter Russell Blair talked about Dr. Stein’s plan. “Stein says her plan to write off student loan debt would cost $1.3 trillion and could be achieved by a 0.5 percent sales tax on Wall Street transactions. Bailing out the Wall Street banks cost $16 trillion, she said.” Dr. Stein views her student debt cancellation plan as an economic stimulus, freeing individuals currently saddled with debt to spend their money on goods and services. Mary Sanders met Dr. Stein and had a productive conversation with her about the Community Party’s ranked choice voting bill. Mary has also discussed our legislation with Hartford City Council members, and Democratic Party Assemblyman Edwin Vargas. Stay tuned…
Chicago In The Crosshairs: All In Town Hall (Full Episode) | All In | MSNBC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw3B0eJBBbI&feature=player_embedded
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 initiativeshttps://www.facebook.com/wqtqfm and So-Metro Radio the first, third and fifth 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

Enhanced Sean Spell Video / Malloy & Bronin Chase Islanders / DMHAS Makes Blacks History

February 10, 2017

by David Samuels

 

This column appears in the February 9 – 16 edition of the Hartford News.

 

 

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

 

 

Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First, third and fifth Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in! http://www.sometroradio.com/  Next show: February 21. 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

 

 

 

Visit No Sellout to listen to podcasts of past shows. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/podcast-community-party-radio-on-so-metro-radio/

 

 

Action Alert: Support the Meagen Hockaday and Trayvon Martin Acts!

 

The Meagen Hockaday Act has been officially filed: S.B. No. 440

 

https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=LCO&which_year=2017&bill_num=2809

 

 

 

Visit our No Sellout blog for details on how you can support this police reform legislation.

 

 

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/action-alert-support-the-meagen-hockaday-act/

 

 

 

Trayvon Martin Act

 

 

The bill has been officially filed. See this link for info on contacting Gov. Malloy, and the Judiciary Committee. Tell them to pass the Trayvon Martin Act racial profiling legislation!

 

 

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2017/01/14/action-alert-support-the-trayvon-martin-act/

 

 

Mary Sanders is the author of the Community Party’s bill language.

 

 

 

Community Update

 

 

HARTFORD RESIDENTS: Calls/emails are needed NOW to Hartford City Council members. Mayor Luke Bronin is attempting to remove Ricardo Torres and other members of the Hartford Civilian Police Review Board, in retaliation for the Board requesting the names of the 19 Hartford Police officers who refused to cooperate with the investigation of former HPD Sgt. Sean Spell. Spell faces an assault charge, after a West Hartford Police dashboard camera caught him kicking Emilio Diaz in the head following a car chase last June. Bronin wants to stack the Board with his cronies, and police stooges. Torres is the ONLY Board member with law enforcement training – Bronin’s leading candidate lists experience as a cosmetologist. Tell the councilmembers to stop this farce. Their contact info is available here. http://www.hartford.gov/council

 

 

Enhanced video of the June 4 assault, courtesy of Ed Peruta of American News, shows several officers kicking Diaz. A voice on the tape can be heard reminding officers that cameras are taping the arrest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpfoOMhyTmE

 

 

 

 

Here We Go Again

 

 

“If every sports team in Chicago were to suddenly disappear, the impact on the Chicago economy would be a fraction of 1 percent. A baseball team has about the same impact on a community as a midsize department store.” ~  Economist Michael Leeds

 

 

Fresh off of the Hartford baseball stadium debacle, Gov. Dan Malloy and Mayor Luke Bronin are pursuing another professional sports team. Malloy and Bronin have sent a letter to the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League, who are currently playing in Brooklyn but face eviction from the Barclays Center following the 2018-19 season, due to poor attendance and other problems. Bronin and Malloy have offered the Islanders use of the XL Center. While Bronin goes town to town hat in hand, talking about the city’s dire fiscal condition, and Malloy blathers on about the state’s “new economic reality” and “living within our means” as both cut funding for vital human services and attack public sector workers (largest employer of Blacks and women), they’re prepared to throw $250 million at the XL Center, in order to bring the arena up to NHL standards. Malloy has added the cost of the renovation to his state budget proposal that was released Wednesday. What could possibly go wrong? Studies show that professional sports teams do not benefit the local economy, and in some cases hurt the economy. http://www.marketplace.org/2015/03/19/business/are-pro-sports-teams-economic-winners-cities

 

 

Team owners and elected officials perpetuate the myth of sports teams boosting local economies, in order to sell taxpayers on paying the cost. Sports teams are status symbols for politicians, like having a Mercedes Benz in your driveway while you’re behind on your mortgage payments.

 

 

Policy Watch: Safe Work Environment Act Report

 

 

A Freedom of Information request filed by me and my Connecticut Valley Hospital co-worker John Hollis revealed that CVH disproportionately fires and disciplines Black workers, and discriminates against Blacks in terms of wages and employment: CVH fires Black employees 42% more often than whites. Overall Blacks are terminated at a rate of 70%, compared to just 22% for whites. Blacks are subjected to disciplinary action at a rate of 10% more than other workers. 70% of the CVH employees who make $120,000 per year or more are white, only 3% are Black. CVH is a Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services facility; DMHAS is being sued by employee Lois Craig, a Black woman, for subjecting her to a hostile work environment, based on her race. Robert Storace of the Connecticut Law Tribune reports, “The lawsuit seeks to force the agency to pay for Lois Craig’s indefinite medical leave for anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, high blood pressure and insomnia she suffers as a result of the hostile work environment.” http://www.ctlawtribune.com/id=1202776108003/DMHAS-Accused-of-Targeting-Black-Unionized-Employee  The Department of Health and Human Services says that workplace bullying is the equivalent of domestic violence. It’s no surprise that President Donald Trump’s house Negro Ben Carson, who routinely disparaged Black people during his run for president and made a Holocaust joke in 2009, was selected to be the centerpiece of the CVH Black History Month display in my building. Carson’s photo was taken down last Friday.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1kXjrg9FPs

 

This week we’ll share a post from the Undercover Lawyer website.  http://www.undercoverlawyer.com/   The Community Party’s Safe Work Environment Act removes hurdles for workers seeking a remedy to abusive workplace conduct.  https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/11/25/real-protection-against-workplace-bullying-safe-work-environment-act-2/

 

 

What is the Definition of a Hostile Work Environment?

 

 

 

Lenora’s Journey Through a Hostile Workplace

 

In two previous articles a 52 year old nurse named Lenora was harassed and abused by her new (younger) boss and former co-worker Michelle. Feeling distressed and sick, Lenora stayed home from work and called her brother in law, a corporate employment lawyer named Curt.

Although he usually works on the side of the employers, he wanted to help his family member. Talking on the phone and over lunch Curt explained the difference between legal and illegal hostile work environments, and explained why the concept of “employment at will” is so crucial to fighting back against a bullying boss.

Lenora wants to turn her boss Michelle into the hospital’s human resources department for “unfairly” attacking Lenora at work. Curt is trying to persuade Lenora to let go of the idea of “unfairness”, because U.S. employment law does not require supervisors to be fair.

It is shocking to Lenora that employment “at-will” actually allows employers to terminate workers at any time, for any reason or no reason (even a bad reason), just so long as it’s not an illegal reason. As we re-join their conversation, Curt is trying to explain to Lenora that the best way to fight back against a hostile work environment is to focus on the “illegal reasons” instead of focusing on “fairness”. Fight With Fairness, or With a Protected Class?

 

 

 

 

Curt Urges Lenora to Forget “Fairness”

 

“Thanks for returning my call, Curt; you’ve been very generous with your time,” said Lenora.

“Anything for family, Lenora. And besides, I don’t want you to go and screw yourself by thinking you can get what’s ‘fair’”, said Curt.

“Said like a true lawyer,” Lenora replied. “Right, I shouldn’t believe that fairness matters. Do people really pay you hundreds of dollars an hour to tell them stuff like this?”

“The pay me many hundreds per hour, because I know what works. It may not sound like what you want to hear, but it will get you where you want to go. Fighting back against an abusive boss is not path down a flowery trail marked ‘Fairness: this way’. It’s a tough journey that requires you to take up arms and fight.”

“Now you sound like a football coach.”

“Okay, I’m going to hang up the phone now–”

“No no no! Sorry. I’m just frustrated. Michelle can treat me like crap, and when I turn to attorney for help what’s the first thing out of his mouth? ‘It’s perfectly legal for you boss to treat you like crap.’”

“But there’s more to the rule!” said Curt. “There are exceptions to the rule that it’s legal for your boss to treat you like crap. That’s what I’m trying to tell you about: the exceptions.”

 

 

 

Your Protected Class is the Key

 

“But you are also telling me that one of the exceptions is NOT fairness, right?” “Yes, right,” said Curt. “Well I still say that’s stupid, ” said Lenora. “Supervisors should not be able to drive you out your job and some tiny little mistake while allowing other people to gossip their entire day away.”

“And what I’m trying to tell you is that the law doesn’t allow supervisors to do that if the people getting run out of their jobs are all older men, and the gossipers are all younger women. Or if it’s Asians getting run out of their job, while all the gossipers are Caucasian. Or pregnant women getting run out, or veterans or… well do you see what I mean?”

“I think so. Even though I’m upset Michelle is getting away with attacking me unfairly, I can’t say that.”

“Right,” said Curt. “You have to say, ‘Michelle is attacking me and singling me out because of my age. Because THAT is illegal. THAT will get H.R.’s attention. They don’t care about unfairness because no law prohibits unfairness. Saying all this crap Michelle is putting you through at work is happening because of your age is what will turn you from a whiner into a warrior.”

“Okay, I get it and I’ll do it. Even though I still think the law should be different. Don’t complaint about unfairness. Complain about mistreatment because of age.” Lenora smiled to herself. “I can’t wait to get back to work and do this.”

 

 

 

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, third and fifth 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

February 7, 2017

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio returns Tuesday, February 7. Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. Hosts: David Samuels and Mary Sanders. Guest contributor Janet Frazao-Conaci joins us for a Political Roundup segment. Topics include Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy’s neoliberal budget, which will be released February 8, Malloy and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin trying to bring the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League to Hartford,  the Community Party’s Safe Work Environment Act workers rights legislation,  and new video evidence in the brutality case of former Hartford Police  Sgt. Sean Spell. Missouri activist Toni Taylor talks about her proposed legislation, which would address police behavior toward individuals who surrender to them. We’ll also discuss the Trump presidency, including the backdoor Muslim ban. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. http://www.sometroradio.com/.

Resources

Community Party Safe Work Environment Act:

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/11/25/real-protection-against-workplace-bullying-safe-work-environment-act-2/

Connecticut Voices for Children state budget publications:

http://www.ctvoices.org/publications

Enhanced Sean Spell brutality video:

The Trump Presidency : ‘Law & Order’, Extortion, War Crimes & Islamophobia

February 3, 2017

by  David Samuels

This column appears in the February 2 – 9 edition of the Hartford News.

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

 

 

Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First, third and fifth Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in! http://www.sometroradio.com/  Next show: February 7. 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

 

 

 

Visit No Sellout to listen to podcasts of past shows. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/podcast-community-party-radio-on-so-metro-radio/

 

 

Action Alert: Support the Meagen Hockaday and Trayvon Martin Acts!

 

The Meagen Hockaday Act has been officially filed: S.B. No. 440

 

https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=LCO&which_year=2017&bill_num=2809

 

 

 

Visit our No Sellout blog for details on how you can support this police reform legislation.

 

 

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/action-alert-support-the-meagen-hockaday-act/

 

 

 

Trayvon Martin Act

 

 

The bill has been officially filed. See this link for info on contacting Gov. Malloy, and the Judiciary Committee. Tell them to pass the Trayvon Martin Act racial profiling legislation!

 

 

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2017/01/14/action-alert-support-the-trayvon-martin-act/

 

 

Mary Sanders is the author of the Community Party’s bill language.

 

 

 

 

Community Update: Luke Bronin’s Neoliberal Agenda

 

When Luke Bronin was elected Mayor of Hartford in 2015, I said in this space that Gov. Dan Malloy’s former legal counsel was merely setting up a Malloy administration satellite office at City Hall. Like his boss, Bronin is attacking the public sector, the largest employer of Black people and women.

Last week Connecticut Mirror budget analyst Keith Phaneuf reported on a Connecticut Conference of Municipalities plan spearheaded by Bronin to raise revenue through a revamped sales tax, while punishing city workers and undermining their collective bargaining rights.

 

“To make the sales tax increase more appealing, CCM also unveiled a proposal to demonstrate that this new revenue for towns would not be spent on raises or benefits for municipal workers. Specifically, the proposal would amend collective bargaining rules regarding binding arbitration — a process cities and towns routinely go through each year to settle compensation for teachers, police officers, public works staff and other unionized employees.

Critics of the binding arbitration system — which weighs past compensation levels, decisions in neighboring communities, and a municipality’s wealth and capacity to pay employees — have argued it favors labor and has driven excessive municipal compensation and benefits for decades.

CCM’s plan calls for new sales tax dollars dedicated to communities to be exempted from the arbitration review process. In other words, an arbiter could not weigh those grants when assessing a community’s ability to afford worker raises. Similarly, CCM’s plan also would revise collective bargaining laws to make it easier for neighboring towns to economize and provide services on a regional basis. The plan would exempt new services provided regionally from collective bargaining. And if two or more communities wanted to merge existing services provided by unionized employees, compensation for those workers would have to go through a new collective bargaining effort, rather than being tied to conditions set in previous union contracts.”

 

The Democrats are doing more to get Republicans elected than the Republicans are. Read on…

 

 

 

Policy Watch – President Trump: The First 100 Days

 

 

“Friends and those who knew him online said he had extreme political beliefs, but was not known to be violent. Eric Debroise said he called police after the shooting and told them Bissonnette is ‘very right and (an) ultra nationalist white supremacist,’ the French-language newspaper Le Journal de Quebec reports. ‘He really liked Trump and had a permanent discontent with the left.’ ” ~ Heavy.com report on Canadian terrorist Alexandre Bissonnette, who killed six people and wounded eight in a mass shooting Sunday night at a Quebec City mosque.

 

 

WHO’S GOING TO PAY FOR THE WALL? MEXICO!*

*Payment is subject to agreement by the Mexican government, who so far have told President Donald Trump to take a flying leap. In lieu of payment by Mexico, the wall will be paid for by American taxpayers. This claim is only valid at Trump campaign rallies.

 

 

 

I am prepared for eight years of a Trump presidency. I am also expecting the Connecticut Republicans to finish the job in 2018, and take the Senate, House and the governor’s mansion. I have accepted this fate because I see that the words ‘President Trump’, a Republican controlled Congress, losing the Supreme Court for generations, 32 GOP controlled state legislatures and 31 Republican governors have had no effect on the Democrats, or their liberal supporters. President Bill Clinton sowed the seeds of Trump when he repealed the Glass-Stegall Act, which led to Wall Street crashing the economy in 2008. New Democrats neoliberalism led to Trump’s victory – like it or not. 49.6 million people sat out the 2016 election, because they saw no difference between Hillary Clinton, Trump and their two corporate controlled war parties. Both candidates had historically high negative ratings.

The Democrats have responded by continuing their neoliberal agenda: witness the 2017 fiscal policies of Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. Liberals continue to delude themselves with visions of Russia stealing the election. All I can say is, rock on. You’re going to be crying again during the next Trump inauguration. Enjoy. The Community Party is pushing hard to pass whatever legislation we can in the next two years. We’re operating under the assumption that in 2018, the Connecticut Democrats will become the minority party at the State Capitol.

 

 

 

Trump, the “law and order” president, spent his first week trying to extort Mexico and threatening to jack Iraq for their oil, which would be a war crime. Trump postponed signing his executive order to his administration, to investigate the massive voter fraud that only he can see. Next week: Trump signs an executive order authorizing an investigation into Trump’s sighting of Elvis at the Paramus Mall in New Jersey.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked during a press briefing about Trump’s comment, that the U.S. should have “taken the oil” during the invasion of Iraq, and that “we may get another chance”, raising the possibility of sending more U.S. troops to Iraq. Spicer didn’t walk back Trump’s comments, and refused to provide an answer about sending troops. CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto said that Trump’s comment was “ridiculous”, pointing out that the U.S. taking Iraq’s oil would be a violation of military and international law.

One of my co-workers made an excellent point about Trump. He said criminality is a central component of any presidency and that Trump, who is clearly mentally unstable, won’t use political doublespeak to hide it. A sane president would whisper behind closed doors about ‘appropriating Country X’s resources’, while Trump tells the world, ‘Hell yeah, I want to steal Iraq’s oil. Spoils of war. They said it’s illegal? They’re fools. I’m the President. Get down or lay down.’

 

 

Activists should pay close attention to Trump’s tweet threatening to send “the feds” into Chicago, to address the murder rate. Trump will use urban gun violence and civil unrest over extrajudicial killings as a pretext to increase police repression of communities of color. Trump hasn’t mentioned education, job skills training or targeted job creation as a part of the solution to gun violence in the city.

Lost in the slew of executive orders from Trump is the racist impact of Trump’s hiring freeze on federal employees. The public sector is the largest employer of Black people and women. Salon reporter Matthew Rosza quoted Washington Post columnist Joe Davidson, who said that federal workers have reported more “racist encounters” on the job since Trump won the election. An NPR pundit said that the Trump administration is looking for ways to fire federal employees more easily. Trump’s backdoor Muslim immigration ban capped off a week of his demonizing Black and Brown people.

 

 

 

Last Saturday CNN reported that 134,000,000 million people have been barred from entering the U.S., as a result of Trump’s ban. A lawsuit was filed after travelers were detained at U.S. airports. Afghanistan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, a country with known ties to terrorism, including the 9/11 terror attacks, aren’t included in the ban. Pakistan, a known training ground for terrorists, isn’t on the list. The United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon, the other countries with direct ties to 9/11, aren’t included in the ban.

Foreign policy analyst Phyllis Bennis talked to The Real News Network about another glaring aspect of the Trump ban. “The thing that these seven countries all have in common, besides being countries at which the U.S. is attacking, none of them have Trump Industry projects. None of them have Trump Hotels, for instance. If you look at other Muslim-majority countries where there has been a much more direct link to terrorism, ironically enough, such as either Egypt or Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia, as we know, has long been accused of funneling money in various forms to ISIS and to other terrorist organizations, and, of course, in Egypt, largely because of increasing government repression, you have significant acts of terror being committed on their soil – neither Egypt nor Saudi Arabia is included in the list, and, what a surprise, in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Trump has significant commercial holdings, hotels, et cetera. So, do we assume that that’s just a coincidence? No, clearly, this is somehow linked here.”

CNN host Poppy Harlow nailed Republican strategist Alice Stewart, for her nonsensical defense of Trump’s ban. Stewart used the San Bernadino mass shooting to defend Trump’s ban. Harlow pointed out that the shooter attended school in Pakistan, where he met his wife, and also spent time in Saudi Arabia. Hillary Clinton denounced Trump’s ban, saying, “This is not who we are.” Days after the 9/11 terror attacks, Clinton, who was a New York senator at the time, told Sam Donaldson of ABC News that she supported racial profiling of Muslims. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hV4hrZueNZk

 

 

892 hate groups are currently active in the United States, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.  https://www.splcenter.org/hate-map

Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, a CIA asset, blew up Cubana Airlines Flight 455 in 1976 as the plane travelled from Venezuela to Cuba, killing 73 people. Carriles currently lives in Florida. The United States refuses to prosecute Carilles, or extradite him to Venezuela or Cuba.  https://www.democracynow.org/2006/10/10/twilight_of_the_assassins_why_the

 

 

 

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, third and fifth 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