Archive for May, 2017

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio Tuesday, May 30

May 29, 2017

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio returns Tuesday. Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. Last week Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy and state employee unions reached a tentative agreement on wage / benefit concessions, as the state faces a $2.3 billion budget deficit. Guest contributor John Hollis, a retired state employee and former union steward, will join us for a Policy Watch analysis of the deal. We will also talk with John about Malloy’s neoliberal attack on the public sector, the largest employer of Black people and women.

Our Political Roundup segment will include an update on the fatal police shooting of Jayson Negron in Bridgeport. We will also discuss right-wing extremist Joe Visconti launching a campaign for governor in CT, President Donald Trump’s war budget and free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick being blackballed by National Football League teams, because of his national anthem protest. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific.  http://www.sometroradio.com/

Resources

Ring of Fire – Public Pensions Under Attack:

 

ACLU Sabotages Police Reform / State Budget Update / White Left Racism

May 25, 2017

by David Samuels

This column appears in the May 25 – June 1 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: May 30. 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/
 
Community Update
 
 
Malloy Concessions Demands, Human Services Cuts
 
STATE EMPLOYEES
Below are Gov. Dan Malloy’s concession demands.
Union Concession Options
20% Premium Increase
Implement Tiered Deductible $1000 $1500 $2000
Increase Rx Copays
Increase SERS Contribution to 6%
Elimination of Overtime from Pension
10% Increase in Dental Premiums
Emergency Visit Copay Increase for Non-Emergencies ($30 to $300)
Increase Union Employee Contributions for Retiree Health from 3% to 5%
Wage Rate Differential
Elimination of Longevity
Elimination State Funding for Union Work
Salary Reduction
Seven Furlough Days
Accumulated Leave
Elimination of Meal Allowance
Retiree Pension COLA Change (Maximum of 2%)
Medicare Advantage Conversion
Total Potential SEBAC Savings
Fiscal Year 2018: $725.6 million Fiscal Year 2019 $721.6 million
From Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services website: “Additional adjustments to the Governor’s proposed DMHAS budget total $6.7 million and include reductions to Housing Supports and Services, Managed Services System, Legal Services, Connecticut Mental Health Center, General Assistance Managed Care, Young Adult Services, TBI Community Services, Jail Diversion, Discharge and Diversion Services, Home and Community Based Services and Employment Opportunities. These changes reflect annualizing the Deficit Mitigation Plan announced last week with the exception of the reduction to Legal Services.” See the full legislative update  here. http://www.ct.gov/dmhas/cwp/view.asp?a=2900&q=334844
State employees, contact Malloy and your legislators. Tell them we need the Minnesota tax the rich solution here. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2017/03/10/taxing-the-rich-raising-the-minimum-wage-fuels-budget-success-in-minnesota/ ;
Gov. Malloy’s office: Phone Number: (860) 566-4840      Toll-Free: (800) 406-1527 TDD: (860) 524-7397
Visit the CT General Assembly website to identify and contact your state representative and senator. Call and email them.

https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp

 
Neoliberalism = Racism 
 
 
Gian-Carl Casa of the CT Non-Profit Alliance promoted private providers as an alternative to human services currently provided by the State of Connecticut, during his appearance last Sunday on WFSB’s Face the State. The public sector is the largest employer of Black people and women. Neoliberalism is about privatization and profit.
Pot Calling the Kettle White

Last week I listened to Connecticut Green Party member Mike DeRosa and Hartford Food Not Bombs member Dave Rozza discuss Donald Trump supporters, on DeRosa’s New Focus radio show.
DeRosa and Rozza talked about how Trump used white fear to divide and conquer, demonizing people of color and creating a lily white base of supporters. This was amusing to listen to, considering the fact that the CT Green Party and Food Not Bombs are both overwhelmingly white. Food Not Bombs members also ran the Hartford Independent Media Collective, which included a radio show and website.
I worked with HIMC; the straw for me was a column they wrote where they said that the Tea Party wasn’t racist. The hypocrisy of a group of white people deciding if another group of whites were racist was of course totally lost on them. After I dissed HIMC publicly and made it clear that I had severed my relationship with the group, Rozza called to inform me that they had decided not to work with me anymore. Pure comedy.
I repeatedly confronted Rozza and other group members about their whiteness; Rozza said they were “always discussing” how to attract Black members. Of course there was no discussion about how they could support Black led movements. A few years ago I accepted an offer to organize a Green Party chapter in Hartford’s North End, but quickly changed my mind when I saw the level of racism in the party. Perhaps new party leaders will address this problem.
At least Trump and his supporters are honest about about their racism.
ACLU Contains Communities of Color
ACLU-Connecticut is exploiting the police shooting death of Jayson Negron. David McGuire, the ACLU executive director, is a member of the so-called CT Racial Profiling Prohibition Project; Gov. Dan Malloy stacked the board with political puppets and cops. The board opposes real police reform legislation. The ACLU sold out Black youths in Chicago, who had submitted a strong police reform ordinance, and cut a deal with the city to pass their ordinance, which is much weaker.
I see that folks in the movement who are quick to huff and puff about the police aren’t willing to step to the ACLU, because they think this big national organization is helping them. My message is alright then, DON’T GET ANY DAMN JUSTICE! The ACLU is only interested in helping the ACLU. You’ll be posting R.I.P. buttons and videos of the police killing and brutalizing Black and Latinx victims on Facebook for the rest of your life. The ACLU is containing you, not helping you.
 
Black Agenda Report commentator Brendan McQuade analyzed ACLU-Illinois selling out Black youths in Chicago.
 
                                                                                       *****
“The ACLU of Illinois sold out grassroots movements, who had been working to curtail stop and frisk by the Chicago Police Department (CPD). In the summer of 2014, the CPD conducted a quarter million stops that did not lead to an arrest, four times the rate of New York City. Nearly three quarters of those stopped were black. In response to this systemic racial profiling, We Charge Genocide, a grassroots abolitionist organization, wrote the Stop, Transparency, Oversight and Protection (STOP) Act. This municipal ordinance would have required the CPD to collect and share comprehensive data on police stops.
The We Charge Genocide (WCG) name is an allusion to a 1951 report that Civil Rights Congress presented to the UN. The study cited lynching, police brutality, legal disenfranchisement, and systemic inequality as evidence that the US government was engaged in genocide against its black citizens. In September 2014, WCG presented its own report to the UN Committee Against Torture that detailed the Chicago police’s systemic harassment and abuse of minority communities, the failure of existing redressive mechanisms, and the resultant impunity of the Chicago police. For the past ten months, WCG has worked to educate and mobilize youth of color about the CPD’s racially discriminatory stop and frisk practices.
The ACLU used WCG and STOP Act as bargaining chip to advance a narrow policy goal.
While grassroots activists were mobilizing support for the ordinance among Chicago’s communities and alderman, the ACLU entered secret negotiations with the CPD and mayor’s office to broker an alternative agreement. On the very day that the STOP Act was to be filed by three aldermen, the ACLU announced the details of their agreement with city government. Instead of public disclosure, the ACLU-CPD “settlement” names an independent consultant, former US magistrate Arlander Keys, who will issue biannual reports on the CPD’s street stops and recommend policy changes. This is sharp contrast from the STOP ACT, which would have required quarterly public reporting of more comprehensive stop and frisk data: demographic information of those stopped, the badge numbers of officers involved, as well as the location, reason, and result of the stop
In effect, the ACLU used WCG and STOP Act as bargaining chip to advance a narrow policy goal. As the WCG’s public letter put it:
“What you have ‘won’ is fundamentally different from the STOP Act, both in its means and in its ends. Our goals are rooted in the experiences of those most directly impacted; yours are not. Our movement is rooted in a political analysis that recognizes the need to shift power away from police and into our communities; your policy ‘victory’ is not. Our motivation is rooted in a theory of change that prioritizes movement building and centering the leadership of those most affected; yours is not. Now, because of your self-serving interest in pushing simplistic policy changes, we and our allies face a much harder task pushing the critical package of reforms included in the STOP Act but ignored in your settlement. There is no such thing as an easy victory, and yours has come at a high cost.”
The ACLU agreement shifted the terrain of struggle. Their agreement is a half measure that allows the CPD and city government to show that they are doing something, while, at the same time, undercutting a more radical plan that would have subjected the CPD to more meaningful public accountability.
Their agreement is a half measure that allows the CPD and city government to show that they are doing something.
More importantly, the ACLU-CPD agreement denies WCG and the larger Black Lives Movement an important victory. In their letter, WCG acknowledged that the ACLU settlement represents just one of many efforts… to co-opt our movement by engaging with less threatening groups. Passage of the STOP Act would be public recognition of the real, grassroots power of young Black and Brown Chicagoans; instead the City wisely sought to settle into an ongoing relationship with a legal organization that poses no real threat to the status quo. In other words, the ACLU is not an ally. It works to pacify the Black Lives Matter movement by blunting its grievances and overtaking its solutions with half measures.
The ACLU did not become complicit in the pacification of the radical movements because they are part of some crude conspiracy. It’s more subtle. The ACLU is a foundation funded non-profit. It’s part of the web of elite institutions that exercise political power in the United States. By class background, socialization, and worldview, the ACLU’s lawyers and administers have more in common with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy than they have with WCG activists.
The overlapping interests of elites in the ACLU and city government highlight the importance of the idea of pacification. In the recent years, critical scholars have recuperated the term pacification from military jargon to highlight continuities between warfare and policing. Both are class projects to eliminate enemies and fabricate social order. The iron hand and the velvet glove work together. To pacify communists in Vietnam or terrorists in Iraq, you need to build a government that enough people can abide. The same dynamic is at work in Chicago, where the ACLU just helped the city government efforts to pacify an ongoing black insurgency.”
                                                                                     *****
From  Democracy Now: “In Texas, a leaked police body cam video from 2016 shows a white police officer in a Dallas suburb using his Taser to electrocute a handcuffed black man who was not resisting arrest. In the video, an unidentified sergeant with the Balch Springs Police Department draws his Taser and shocks 39-year-old Marco Stephenson, who collapses. The sergeant then jabs his Taser into Stephenson’s back and repeatedly electrocutes him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjvkzbiBUPI The punishment? The officer was ordered to take a conflict resolution class. This is the same department that initially supported officer Roy Oliver, who lied about Black teens backing up a car towards him when he fatally shot 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. Body camera video showed that Oliver fired at the car as it was driving away. Oliver is now charged with murder.
*Because of developments with the Jayson Negron case and the state budget, we had to postpone our analysis of the Hartford bankruptcy issue. That report is coming as soon as time and space permits.
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 samuelssloflo@aol.com.   

 

Police Shooting in Bridgeport / Minnesota Budget Solution /’Democrats Would Rather Lose Than Go Left’

May 17, 2017

by David Samuels

This column appears in the May 18 – 25 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: May 30. 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/
 
Policy Watch
 
Jayson Negron
 
Monday night I spoke via email with attorney Michael Stratton. Stratton is representing Julian Fyffe, who was the passenger in the car Jayson Negron was driving when both were shot by Bridgeport police officer James Boulay. Stratton sent me a detailed summary of his interview with Julian. Here are points from the summary.
Neither Julian nor Jayson had a criminal record. Julian, who is 21, had been acting as a mentor for 15-year-old Jayson. They were driving to a recording studio to work on their rap CD when they were stopped by Bridgeport officers. Julian says neither he nor Jayson knew the car was stolen; Stratton says there is no evidence that it was stolen.
Julian said there was no chase, that Jayson was pulling into a Walgreens parking lot when Bridgeport officers converged on the car. Julian said that Jayson stopped the car, but Boulay reached into the car before Jayson could put the car in park. Jayson, who was confused, accidentlally put the car into reverse.
As the car slowly rolled backwards, making minimal contact with a parked car, Boulay shot Jayson in the chest, then shot Julian twice. The Bridgeport police have seized the Walgreens surveillance video. Stratton is calling for Bridgeport PD Chief AJ Perez to release the video, which Stratton believes supports Julian’s story.
My thoughts on the NAACP press conference last week in Bridgeport… I don’t claim to know what happened when Jayson was shot. I do know that the current state law, which merely moves the investigation of police involved shootings from the jurisdiction where the shooting occurred to another, is a shell game. The state’s attorney in any city works daily with the police. It’s a conflict of interest for them to investigate police use of force cases. These probes should be handled by elected, independent investigators in the community.
The toothless body cameras law doesn’t help. Police departments in Connecticut must voluntarily agree to their officers wearing cameras. Few have done so, saying they can’t afford it; Gov. Dan Malloy and the General Assembly haven’t put up any money. However Malloy is willing to throw $250 million at XL Center renovation. The late Ed Snider, founder of Comcast Spectacor, the company that manages the XL Center, was one of the top donors to the CT Democrats in 2013. Body camera video could have definitively told us what happened in Bridgeport.
During the press conference there was no mention of the poverty rate in Bridgeport, and how the neoliberal policies of Malloy and the CT Democrats deprive Bridgeport of jobs and resources. Poverty = violence. Black and Latinx teens need jobs and economic opportunity. Gun violence is a side effect of the underground economy, which thrives in low income communities of color. http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Report-Percent-of-Bridgeport-children-in-poverty-4071289.php
Malloy’s current budget slashes funding for human services, and reduces the Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor.  The racist so-called War on Drugs is also an issue. Former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper points to the drug war, and systemic racism in police departments as the key factors in police violence. None of this was mentioned during the press conference. It should have been. Cellphone video posted by a family member shows Jayson’s head change position after he was shot (camera turned away and returned after 4 seconds), indicating that he was still alive. No first aid was rendered.
I’m going to call a spade a spade… The press conference on Tuesday by the CT Democrats on the Jayson Negron police shooting was a publicity stunt, aimed at pacifying furious community residents in Bridgeport. The Democrats have resisted real police reform during the 2017 legislative session, and for years before that.
Don’t take my word for it – go through the 2017 archives of your favorite CT news source. See how many articles you find about comprehensive police reform legislation being pushed by the Democrats this year. Happy hunting.
Hearse chasing activists, who don’t give a damn about police reform or urban policy in general, are all over the Jayson Negron case. They know that they’re going to get plenty of TV camera time. You won’t see these frauds once the media storm passes.
Rep. Robyn Porter’s bill will change NOTHING. Tuesday’s press conference was about political expediency. It will take a holistic approach to address police violence in this country, something the CT Democrats have zero intention of doing. Don’t fall for this bs.
Minnesota is the Answer, Even If You Don’t Like It 
 
Connecticut AFL-CIO President Lori Pelletier appeared on Fox 61’s The Real Story to discuss the state budget, specifically Malloy’s plan to lay off 4200 state employees, if state employee unions don’t agree to concessions for the third time since 2009. The unions’ position is that the state should reform the state’s regressive tax structure, in order to raise much needed revenue (I’m a state worker).
The highlight of the interview: after Pelletier talked about how Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton turned a $6 billion budget deficit into a $1 billion surplus, by raising taxes on individuals earning $150,000 a year and couples earning $250,000 when filing jointly, co-host Jenn Bernstein’s follow up question was, “But can states tax their way to prosperity?” Um… Yeah, Jenn. They can. Pelletier just gave you an example. MINNESOTA. This is the level of corporate media dishonesty regarding tax inequity in Connecticut, where the working class and the poor pay more in taxes than wealthiest residents. The number of high income earners filing taxes in Minnesota increased following Dayton’s tax hike. The number of millionaires in CT has increased since 2006, when the total was 84,000. That number increased to 101,000 in 2015, despite small increases of the tax rates on millionaires since 2010.

State employees, contact Malloy and your legislators. Tell them we need the Minnesota tax the rich solution here.

 
Gov. Malloy’s office: Phone Number: (860) 566-4840      Toll-Free: (800) 406-1527 TDD: (860) 524-7397
 
Visit the CT General Assembly website to identify and contact your state representative and senator. Call and email them.

https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp

Corporatism Caused Democrats’ Collapse
“The Democrats are locked in a fatal contradiction: they cannot serve the people and their rich paymasters, too. The people want higher wages, affordable education and the right to healthcare. Instead, the Democrats engage in wishful thinking that the same tired nostrums would work one more time. The Democrats only run for office so they can make deals on behalf of the corporate interests which feed them. Democrats would rather lose than go to the left…
They don’t fight to win back state legislatures because they don’t want to. They know very well how to energize the base and win back what they have lost but they cannot do that and keep their big money contributors happy. If they promised free college or student debt abolition or a $15 per hour minimum wage they would surely resurrect themselves. But all of those policy positions are diametrically opposed to what their fat cat benefactors will allow. Simply put, they will not bite the hands that feed them. That is why Hillary Clinton lost enough states to give Donald Trump an Electoral College victory.” ~ Black Agenda Report commentator Margaret Kimberley
*Next week’s column will feature analysis on how Hartford filing for bankruptcy would decimate the public sector, the largest employer of Black people and women, while being a windfall for predatory bankers.
 
 
                                                                                                   *****
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 samuelssloflo@aol.com.   

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

May 14, 2017

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio returns Tuesday, May 16. Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective.  Social worker Janet Frazao-Conaci and retired state employee John Hollis join us for a Policy Watch analysis of the Connecticut state budget crisis. While Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton turned a $6 billion budget deficit into a $1 billion surplus by taxing the rich, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy and the Democratic Party controlled General Assembly are protecting the wealthy and corporations with a regressive tax structure and tax loopholes, while soaking the working class with taxes, slashing funding for vital human services and attacking the public sector, the largest employer of Black people and women. The state budget deficit for the next two years is $5 billion. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific.  http://www.sometroradio.com/

Resources

Connecticut Voices for Children state budget proposal:

http://www.ctvoices.org/BetterApproach

Thom Hartmann commentary on Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget plan:

Gov. Malloy & Connecticut Democrats Are Economic Terrorists

May 12, 2017

by David Samuels

This column appears in the May 11 – 18 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: May 16. 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/
Trayvon Martin Act
This legislation addresses racial profiling, police brutality, and  police containment of communities of color

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/11/17/community-party-trayvon-martin-act-bill-language-4/

 

 

Meagen Hockaday Act 

This police reform bill is based on a successful public health model, currently being used in Canada & Britain.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/meagan-hockaday-act/

 
Safe Work Environment Act
The Safe Work Environment Act would eliminate legal barriers that people currently face when they file a lawsuit against their employer.
https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/11/25/real-protection-against-workplace-bullying-safe-work-environment-act-2/
Community Update
 
 
Data Debunks Millionaire Tax Migration Myth 
“Even as some of Connecticut’s residents head to warmer climates and more favorable tax structures, the number of millionaires in the state grows. Just three years ago, in 2013, the number of millionaires in Connecticut topped 100,000 for the first time. In 2015, it exceeded 101,000. That compares with just over 84,000 in 2006. Millionaires made up 6.2 percent of state residents that year, compared with 7.3 percent in 2015, based on data from Phoenix Marketing International.” source: May 2016 CT by the Numbers
 
 
Policy Watch
 
 
Reign of Terror
 
“While states are generally bound by law to balance their budget, the economic impact of spending cuts is more damaging to near-term state economic growth than are tax increases, and spending cuts are far more damaging than progressive tax increases (tax hikes on high-income households or corporations).” ~ Economic Policy Institute
 
 
Neoliberalism and poverty are economic terrorism. Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport annually have poverty rates that rank among the highest in the nation. The neoliberal fiscal policies of Gov. Dan Malloy and the Connecticut Democrats are aimed at eliminating state government’s role in providing human services, through privatization. This is the ultimate goal. The state budget deficit is a manufactured crisis, to provide a pretext for cutting funding for services.
Malloy is trying to close Blue Hills Substance Abuse Services in Hartford, as opioid overdose deaths in the city spiral: 43 in 2016, an increase from 37 the year before. More people attempt to access Blue Hills than any other city or town in the state. Former Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services commissioner Thomas Kirk told the Courant that for addicts in Hartford, who need services that are in close proximity, Malloy’s plan to move Blue Hills beds to Middletown is the equivalent of moving them to Minnesota.
The Fox 61 The Real Story program last Sunday featured hypocrisy on parade. Nancy Wyman’s criticism of the TrumpCare bill is the height of hypocrisy. Wyman pointed to provisions in the bill that provide the rich with tax cuts. Malloy’s budget bill includes a reduction of the estate and gift tax. Malloy refuses to reform Connecticut’s regressive tax structure, where the working class and the poor pay more in taxes than the rich. CT companies stash $40 billion in offshore accounts. The state loses $7 billion in revenue yearly, due to corporate tax breaks and other business tax exemptions.
Wyman said the TrumpCare bill includes “cutbacks to the average individual, and the low wager.” Malloy’s budget slashes human services funding, including closing Blue Hills. Malloy’s proposal also reduces the Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor, and seeks wage and benefits concessions from state employees. The Republicans are just as bad. Co-host Jenn Bernstein asked possible GOP gubernatorial candidate Peter Lumaj about state employee contracts being subject to a vote by legislators. How about enhanced oversight of business tax incentives, which Comptroller Kevin Lembo has pushed for through legislation? Lumaj touted the standard Republican tax cut plan. As for this strategy, see Kansas.

Malloy is preparing to lay off 4200 state employees, if they don’t agree to concessions for the third time since 2009 (I’m a state worker). The public sector is the largest employer of Black people, and women. Malloy’s attack on the public sector will only worsen the racial wage / wealth gap. Blacks earn 60 cents for every dollar whites make, and possess 12 cents of net wealth for every dollar whites have.

If you’re a state employee who voted for  Malloy and the Democrats in the Connecticut General Assembly, you voted for layoffs. State employee unions give rubber stamp endorsements to the Democrats, with no demands. Ralph Nader talked about the need for unionized workers to develop “political self-respect”, and stop voting for neoliberal Democrats. That’s real talk. In 2018 we must break with the unions and identify candidates who truly support labor. Voting for neoliberal Democrats or Republicans is madness.

It doesn’t take a great leap of logic to see that the state budget deficit is a manufactured crisis; neoliberalism is based on privtization and profit.
Malloy and the Democrats couldn’t justify closing Blue Hills, cutting DMHAS funding 10% across the board, demanding concessions from public sector workers for the third time in eight years and threatening 4200 layoffs, if there was a budget surplus. It’s in neoliberals’ interests for the state budget to remain in the red. Their objective is to roll back decades of wage and benefits gains by unionized workers, while moving human services to the private sector. Go back and read Malloy’s 2017 State of the State address, where he bragged about reducing the number of state employees by 5,000 since 2008, while protecting 8,000 private sector jobs at Sikorsky Aircraft. Again, the public sector is the largest employer of Blacks and women. Malloy also compared himself to neoliberal icon Ronald Reagan. http://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/Press-Room/Speeches/Governor-Dannel-P-Malloys-2017-State-of-the-State-Address
There is no way state employee unions can look at their members with a straight face, and tell them to vote for neoliberal Democrats in 2018. They will, though. The public sector will soon be extinct, if we continue to vote for the Democrats who are cutting our wages / benefits, and laying us off. Rep. Josh Elliott is the ONLY Democrat who has spoken out in support of state employees. Urban legislators in Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport are supporting the assault on the public sector and their districts. Remember that. Malloy and his fellow neoliberal Democrats serve the rich and corporations; these are their real constituents. While the working class are soaked with taxes and the poor are deprived of jobs and resources, the rich pay the least taxes and corporations receive welfare.  We need a grassroots political revolution to end the bipartisan attack on Black and Brown communities. The Democrats and Republicans are in full agreement on screwing urban neighborhoods. The resulting poverty and lack of economic opportunity fuels the gun violence that plagues Hartford, and other cities. It’s up to Black, Latinx people and oppressed people of all colors to push back against these destructive politics. Stop this terrorism!
                                                                                                   *****
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 samuelssloflo@aol.com.  

 

Regime Change: Martin Luther King & the Left’s Mutiny Against the Democrats

May 5, 2017

by David Samuels

This column appears in the May 4 – 11 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: May 16. 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

Trayvon Martin Act

 
This legislation addresses racial profiling, police brutality, and  police containment of communities of color
 
 
Safe Work Environment Act
The Safe Work Environment Act would eliminatlegal barriers that people currently face when they file a lawsuit against their employer.
Community Update 
 
 
 
Hartford Civilian Police Review Board Vindicated
 
 
“It was normal at the end of a pursuit for Los Angeles police officers, and I’m sure at other police agencies – it was required to give these people an ass kicking, to teach them that you don’t run away from the police.” ~ Former LAPD officer Alex Salazar, talking about his reaction when he first saw the 1991 video of four LAPD officers brutally beating Rodney King, following a car chase. (2015 Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio interview).
 


April 26 Fox 61 report by Jim McKeever and Laura Roberts.

The Hartford Police Department is disciplining five of their own for violating department standards during a violent arrest following a stolen car chase last summer.
An investigation by the department’s Internal Affairs division found that seven officers in all were at fault. One of them, Sean Spell, retired in August and is facing assault charges as a result of this incident. A 68-page summary of the probe released early Tuesday states that Spell would have faced discipline for kicking a handcuffed suspect in the head had he not retired.
Five other active officers named in the report were disciplined, including one who also kicked suspect Emilio Diaz after he had been subdued, and initially lied to investigators about it.
Officer Ricardo Colon, who was caught on camera kicking the suspect three times, received the most serious punishment. He received a 90-day suspension and was denied a promotion.
Detective Christopher Mastroianni, Officer Stephen Barone, Officer James Prignano and Sergeant Luan Bojka were also named in the report as receiving disciplinary action for not following police department policies. One officer is getting a four-day suspension; one is getting a two-day suspension; while two received oral reprimands.
Ricardo Torres and three other CPRB members were fired by Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, after they requested the names of the 19 HPD officers who did not cooperate with the Emilio Diaz investigation. The Board subsequently asked for the names of the five officers seen on an enhanced video stomping Diaz. Torres raised an important question while commenting about the HPD announcement on Facebook: why wasn’t Colon criminally charged? Spell was charged for kicking Diaz once, Colon kicked him three times.
 
Malloy Doublespeak on State Budget
 
 
‘Highlights’ from Gov. Dan Malloy’s appearance Monday on WNPR’s Where We Live program…
Malloy talked about the plight of the rich and hedge fund managers. The working class and the poor in Connecticut pay more in taxes than the state’s wealthiest residents (CT Voices for Children report). Malloy said this about the state budget, “I’m open to having discussions. Having said that, whatever we end up with as a budget really has to live within our basic means.” Malloy then said out of the other side of his mouth that he still supports his $250 million XL Center renovation proposal, even though it would cost more money than the state has. The late Ed Snider, CEO of Spectacor, which manages the XL Center, was one of the Connecticut Democrats’ top donors in 2013.


 
Raff & House Support Oppressed Rich People & Hedge Fund Managers
 
WFSB Face the State hosts Susan Raff and Dennis House continue to shill for the rich. Last Sunday they had Department of Revenue Commissioner Kevin Sullivan on to talk about how wrong it is to tax the rich and rich people are fleeing the state, and blah, blah, blah. Needless to say the topic of Minnesota was avoided: Gov. Mark Dayton turned a $6 billion budget deficit into a $1 billion surplus by raising taxes on individuals earning $150,000 a year, and couples earning $250,000 when filing jointly.
Last week during an interview on WNPR, Connecticut Mirror budget analyst Keith Phaneuf said data indicates that the group driving the migration rate are college students who just graduated, and are moving to other states to find employment.
 
 
Policy Watch:  ‘Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?’
“The problems of racial injustice and economic injustice cannot be solved without a radical redistribution of political and economic power.” ~ Martin Luther King
“When having money in your pockets or a title is your bottom versus getting the best for your constituents you will not get my vote.” ~ Facebook comment by Sistah Nandi, on urban legislators in Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport.
“It would take the smallest tweak to properly adjust the tax brackets in this state and we would be out of this chronic manufactured debt crisis cycle. They are cowards for not doing the needful on this. Sick of the whining about the wealthy moving out as the asinine excuse for not doing the necessary work of government as far as taxes are concerned.” ~ Facebook comment by Jason Villani, on Gov. Dan Malloy and the Connecticut General Assembly refusing to tax the rich.
The subtitle of this commentary is the title of Martin Luther King’s final book. So appropriate. I’ve been doing policy work in Connecticut since 2004, and I must say that I am fed up with urban legislators, especially those in Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport. We have toothless racial profiling and body cameras laws that the police aren’t complying with. Human services funding is being cut every year. The public sector, the largest employer of Black people and women, is under constant attack: 2,000 state employees were laid off last year, and Malloy is threatening to lay off 4200 more. Villani’s point about the $1.7 billion deficit being a manufactured crisis is the most important point to remember about the budget issue.

Neoliberalism is based on privatization and profit. Malloy, his fellow neoliberal Democrats and the Republicans need a pretext to privatize human services: the deficit. The ultimate goal is to get government out of providing services, in addition to rolling back decades of wage and benefits gains by unionized workers.  http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=376  State Representative Josh Elliott is the only legislator in the General Assembly pounding the table for higher taxes on the rich, which should have always been a priority for urban lawmakers. This is a disgrace. I support the grassroots movement aimed at breaking up the Democratic / Republican duopoly.

“I think that we’ve got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard.” – Martin Luther King
Last Saturday was the 25 year anniversary of the Los Angeles Rebellion, following the Rodney King verdict. The uprising wasn’t just about the acquittal of the LAPD officers who were caught on video beating King within an inch of his life. It was about communities being deprived of jobs and resources by the Democrats and Republicans, which is still happening today, including right here in Hartford.
The police are viewed as an occupying force in low income communities of color. Their job is not to protect residents, but to contain them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyBaZ2KvTRo  The poverty rate in South Central L.A. is higher than it was 25 years ago. Hartford annually has one of the highest poverty rates in the U.S.
Where’s the poverty bill from urban legislators here in Connecticut? We’ve never seen one. They aren’t talking about Black unemployment, currently at Depression era rates, or racial wage and wealth disparity. The unemployment rate for young Black males age 18 – 25 in some parts of Hartford is as high as 50%. Black people earn 60 cents for every dollar whites make, and possess 10 cents of net wealth for every dollar whites have. Poverty = violence. There have been 10 murders in Hartford already this year.
Last week I heard a speech by Dr. King, who went in on white liberals. Dr. King said that liberals who stood by him during the fight to end segregation walked away, when he started to focus on poverty and racial economic disparity. Dr. King said these whites were outraged about Blacks being shot, lynched, bombed and beaten, but “they weren’t interested in EQUALITY.”
50 years later, nothing has changed. White liberals #resist Donald Trump, after supporting the Clintons and Barack Obama. Bill Clinton fueled poverty and Black mass incarceration with his racist welfare and crime bills, respectively (both supported by Hillary). Clinton repealed the Glass-Stegall Act, which directly led to Wall Street crashing the economy in 2008, and the conditions that created a perfect storm for Trump.
Obama funneled trillions of dollars to Wall Street, refused a 2009 demand from members of the Congressional Black Caucus that he implement targeted job creation in Black communities with the highest poverty and unemployment rates, his Justice Department prosecuted ZERO cops for killing Black people, he bombed seven predominantly Muslim countries, deported more immigrants than any other president, signed a law allowing citizens to be jailed without being charged, enhanced the surveillance state that’s now in the hands of Trump, and last week you were crying about how much you miss him.
The words ‘President Trump’ and losing the Supreme Court majority for generations has taught you nothing. You can’t see that to these corporate Democrats, you all are pawns, too. Dr. King pulled your card a long time ago. Urban legislators in Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport are only concerned about their political careers. As Dr. King would say, they represent cities on an island of poverty in the middle of an ocean of wealth. These lawmakers are cogs in the Democratic Party machine. They’re well connected, with sellout Black individuals, groups and nonprofits ready to leap to their defense. It will take a radical redistribution of political power to elect individuals who will truly work for communities of color, and all oppressed people.
Before he was assassinated Dr. King organized the National Conference on New Politics, a coalition of left organizations that included disenfranchised Democrats. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8d-IYSM-08 President Lyndon Johnson felt so threatened, he ordered FBI surveillance of the organization and attempted to sabotage their efforts. Dr, King left us a blueprint that we should use to challenge the Democratic / Republican duopoly on the local, state and national level. 
 
 
Resources
Martin Luther King: Struggling Not to Lose Him – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvnpyS430dg
Former LAPD officer Alex Salazar talks about LAPD racism, brutality and corruption.
San Francisco police union attacks Black cop for exposing racism in the department.
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 samuelssloflo@aol.com.