Archive for July, 2017

Trump Promotes Police Brutality / Racism at CT Valley Hospital / Colin Kaepernick

July 30, 2017

by David Samuels

This column appears in the August 3 – 10 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: August 15. 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/

 

PROGRAM ALERT

The Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio interview with Middletown Mayor and Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Dan Drew will air Tuesday, August 15 at 8:00 PM Eastern Time, 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Topics will include police accountability, the state budget crisis, single payer health care, workplace bullying and urban policy issues that are ignored by the corporate media.

 

http://sometroradio.com/

 

Political Roundup

 

Senate Approves Concessions Deal

Next week’s column will feature analysis of the Senate approval of the concessions deal between Gov. Dan Malloy and state employee unions.

 

Victory for Nury Chavarria

It was so funny watching bigots in the Connecticut Mirror comment section cry about Nury Chavarria’s victory, as she fights against deportation.  Nury was granted an emergency stay last week. Yeah, while you were trolling on Facebook, people were mobilizing in the streets to stop this injustice. Now you can cry on your laptops…

 

Corporate Tax Subsidies

The Community Party has contacted the Office of Legislative Research, for information on corporate subsidies and job creation. A Connecticut Voices for Children report found that corporate welfare in this state has basically been unregulated. Stay tuned. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/connecticut-budget-crisis-state-employees-get-blamed-corporations-get-paid/

 

Structural Racism & Workplace Bullying at Connecticut Valley Hospital

Black and Latinx employees, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to fear of retaliation, continue to complain about verbal abuse and disparate treatment. A Latinx worker said he was yelled at by a white supervisor, another was questioned about her attire, while a white employee who wears the same type of clothing regularly has not been approached once. A Black staff member was terminated for personal use of a work computer; a Freedom of Information request filed by myself and retired state employee John Hollis revealed that CVH managers routinely use their work computers for personal activities. Our FOI request also uncovered a staggering racial disparity in disciplinary rates. Black employees are fired at a rate of 71%, compared to just 22% for whites.

 

 

The data supports a common complaint by Black and Latinx workers, which is that they are punished for petty reasons, while white employees are protected. Meanwhile the Department of Administrative Services collaborates with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to kill workers rights legislation, including the Community Party’s Safe Work Environment Act, according to a source at the State Capitol. Our FOI request uncovered an email exchange between retired DMHAS Legislative Program Manager Doreen DelBianco and DAS official Terrence Tulloch-Reid, who boasted about killing a workplace violence bill that John and I supported (start reading from the bottom).
—–Original Message—–
From: Tulloch-Reid, Terrence
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2012 3:42 PM
To: DelBianco, Doreen
Subject: RE: Just FYI
Troublemakers!
—–Original Message—–
From: DelBianco, Doreen
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2012 3:29 PM
To: Tulloch-Reid, Terrence
Subject: RE: Just FYI
He is buddies with Mr. Hollis. They both work in medical records at CVH D
Doreen DelBianco
Legislative Program Manager DMHAS
—–Original Message—–
From: Tulloch-Reid, Terrence
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2012 2:43 PM
To: DelBianco, Doreen
Subject: Re: Just FYI
Going through SB 154 testimony–another DMHAS employee—-David Samuels………
—– Original Message —–
From: DelBianco, Doreen
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2012 06:04 PM
To: Tulloch-Reid, Terrence
Subject: Re: Just FYI
Thank you
—– Original Message —–
From: Tulloch-Reid, Terrence
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2012 04:35 PM
To: DelBianco, Doreen
Subject: RE: Just FYI
Hollis testimony
http://www.cga.ct.gov/2012/LABdata/Tmy/2012SB-00154-R000308-John%20Hollis-TMY.PDF
Have a good weekend hot stuff!
—–Original Message—–
From: DelBianco, Doreen
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2012 4:12 PM
To: Tulloch-Reid, Terrence
Subject: RE: Just FYI
I just looked at the bill. It is a bad one D
Doreen DelBianco
Legislative Program Manager DMHAS
—–Original Message—–
From: Tulloch-Reid, Terrence
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2012 4:11 PM
To: DelBianco, Doreen
Subject: Re: Just FYI
Killin em quietly.
—– Original Message —–
From: DelBianco, Doreen
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2012 04:09 PM
To: Tulloch-Reid, Terrence
Subject: RE: Just FYI
Big Bad DAS, killing those Labor bills
Doreen DelBianco
Legislative Program Manager DMHAS
—–Original Message—–
From: Tulloch-Reid, Terrence
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2012 4:09 PM
To: DelBianco, Doreen
Subject: Re: Just FYI
Always–was there because we hate the bill—–heard DMHAS and reported to you…….
—– Original Message —–
From: DelBianco, Doreen
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2012 04:08 PM
To: Tulloch-Reid, Terrence
Subject: RE: Just FYI
Really? AFSCME? I will have to look at the testimony. Our AFSCME members are in the clerical bargaining unit. Im surprised. I would have thought SEIU 1199 Thank you very much for the heads up D
Doreen DelBianco
—–Original Message—–
From: Tulloch-Reid, Terrence
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2012 4:04 PM
To: DelBianco, Doreen
Subject: Re: Just FYI
John Hollis, DMHAS—AFSCME Local 318
—– Original Message —–
From: DelBianco, Doreen
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2012 03:57 PM
To: Tulloch-Reid, Terrence
Subject: RE: Just FYI
Is he speaking for DMHAS? Yes please on the name.
Doreen DelBianco
Legislative Program Manager DMHAS
—–Original Message—–
From: Tulloch-Reid, Terrence
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2012 3:49 PM
To: DelBianco, Doreen
Subject: Just FYI
A DMHAS employee is at Labor speaking in support of Workplace Violence bill SB 154—
I’ll tell you his name if you care—disregard if you don’t.

This email is especially disturbing considering the history of workplace violence at state agencies, specifically the 1998 Connecticut Lottery mass shooting.  Employee Matthew Beck fatally shot four supervisors, before turning the gun on himself. http://articles.latimes.com/1998/mar/07/news/mn-26407

The root problem in getting workers rights legislation introduced, much less passed in its strongest form, is layered. Employers have tremendous political clout; there is an incestuous relationship between DAS / DMHAS and legislators. State employee unions are indifferent regarding the workplace bullying issue. This is apparently a national problem as workplace bullying legislation has been stopped in most states, with California being an exception.  https://www.californialaborlawattorney.com/new-workplace-bullying-laws   DAS / DMHAS frame the bullying issue as a peer-to-peer problem among employees, which they can police themselves. The reality, as the email shows, is that DAS / DMHAS are the biggest violators, and will stop at nothing to crush any attempt to hold them accountable on a policy level. Stay tuned for updates on workplace bullying and the Safe Work Environment Act.

 

Trump Promotes Police Brutality

By Ryan J. Reilly

Huffington Post

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump received applause on Friday when he endorsed police brutality while delivering a speech to law enforcement officers on Long Island, New York.
The president suggested that officers should hit suspects’ heads on the doors of their police cars.
“When you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, and I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice,’” Trump said.
“Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over, like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody, don’t hit their head, I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?’” he added.
His remarks received significant applause. Trump also made the dubious claim that laws were “horrendously stacked” against police officers and said he wants to change those laws. “For years and years, [laws have] been made to protect the criminal,” Trump said. “Totally protect the criminal, not the officers. You do something wrong, you’re in more jeopardy than they are. These laws are stacked against you. We’re changing those laws.”

 

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! reported: “The Gainesville, Florida, Police Department tweeted, ‘The @POTUS made remarks today that endorsed and condoned police brutality. GPD rejects these remarks and continues to serve with respect.’ The Suffolk County Police Department tweeted, ‘As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners.’ The International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Police Foundation have also criticized Trump’s remarks, as did police chiefs in Boston, New Orleans, Houston, Los Angeles and New York.
Some critics, however, didn’t buy the gesture of concern. Samuel Sinyangwe from the Use of Force Project tweeted, ‘Statements from police chiefs saying they don’t tolerate police violence ring hollow when their policies condone it.’ ”

 

Meanwhile in Baltimore, Tawanda Jones, the sister of Tyrone West, who died after being  brutally beaten for an hour by Baltimore police officers, refused a $1 million settlement from the city. Tawanda would not accept the money because the settlement includes a so-called no disparage clause, which prevents victims’ families and loved ones from criticizing the police. Tawanda explained her decision to the media, including The Real News Network, during a weekly protest (West Wednesday) that she organized for her brother.

 

“I want to be clear, and I want to set the record straight moving forward, so everybody can know. Let’s be crystal clear that Tawanda Jones did not settle for anything. This is public record that I actually took my name off as personal representative, as hard as that was, to detach my name from my brother. That was a hard moment, and from his kids, but it was something that I had to do, because at the end of the day we all know how the City of Baltimore works.

 

They will not craft my language. They will not craft the way I talk or tell me certain things I can and can not say, and I did not want to jeopardize his children’s settlement. So that’s why I detached myself away from it. I will never, ever settle for anything. I’m not going to settle. Let’s be clear. I’m on the right side of justice.”

 

 

Eze Jackson of TRNN reported on the settlement.  “The settlement comes amid a backdrop of tension in Baltimore over policing and the violence it engenders that has rocked the city since the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. In March, seven officers were charged with planting evidence, racketeering, and abusing overtime. A body camera video that surfaced in July shows another group of officers planting evidence in an alley in order to charge an individual with drug distribution.”

 

Colin Kaepernick

 

Last week Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh said that the team signing former Clemson QB David Olson (no NFL experience) doesn’t mean that the Ravens won’t sign Colin Kaepernick, who has been blackballed by the NFL following his national anthem protest against police brutality and structural racism. Harbaugh said that a decision on Kaepernick depends on how long starting QB Joe Flacco will be out with a back injury.

 

Harbaugh basically described Olson as a QB they need to throw to their receivers during practice.  If Flacco returns in a week, it’s unlikely that Kaepernick will be signed. If Flacco is out for an extended period (some estimates are three to six weeks), Harbaugh said the Ravens would be more interested in signing Kaepernick to compete against their other two QB’s, neither of whom are viewed as players the Ravens would want starting for them long term.

 

This is what some columnists predicted months ago, that a team would sign Kaepernick if they have a major injury at the QB position during training camp. Then the team can justify the signing to angry fans. Football analysts are saying that Kaepernick is better than the two QB’s who are backing up Flacco, so this really doesn’t compute. Under ordinary circumstances, a team would jump at the chance to sign a player with Kaepernick’s experience as insurance, in case their starter suffers a major injury.

 

Resources
34 cases dismissed after video appears to show officer planting drugs:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/34-cases-dismissed-after-video-appears-to-show-officer-planting-drugs/ar-AAp1V49?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartanntp

 

Community Party Safe Work Environment Act

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/real-protection-against-workplace-bullying-safe-work-environment-act/

 

The Real News Network

http://therealnews.com/t2/

 

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 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/). Contact us at samuelssloflo@aol.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio August 1

July 29, 2017

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio returns Tuesday, August 1. Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. President Donald Trump endorsed police brutality during a July 28 speech to law enforcement officers in Long Island.  We’ll discuss Trump’s remarks. We’ll talk about workplace bullying with a woman (we are concealing her identity) who was sexually harassed at her job, and analyze structural racism at Connecticut Valley Hospital.  Colin Kaepernick remained unsigned as National Football League training camps opened last week.  We’ll have an update. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific.  http://sometroradio.com/

 

Resources

Community Party Safe Work Environment Act

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/real-protection-against-workplace-bullying-safe-work-environment-act/

 

State of Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission

http://www.ct.gov/foi/site/default.asp

 

34 cases dismissed after video appears to show officer planting drugs

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/34-cases-dismissed-after-video-appears-to-show-officer-planting-drugs/ar-AAp1V49?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartanntp

 

 

President Trump to Law Enforcement Officers ‘Please Don’t Be Too Nice with suspects’

 

 

 

Real talk on Colin Kaepernick

 

 

Nury Chavarria, Luis Posada Carriles & U.S. Hypocrisy on Immigration, Terrorism

July 27, 2017

by David Samuels

This column appears in the July 27 – August 3 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: August 1. 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/

 

PROGRAM ALERT

 

The Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio interview with Middletown Mayor and Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Dan Drew will air Tuesday, August 15 at 8:00 PM Eastern Time, 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Topics will include police accountability, the state budget crisis, single payer health care and urban policy issues that are ignored by the corporate media.
http://sometroradio.com/

 

State Employees Concessions Deal and Hartford Bankruptcy

Check out the podcast of the July 18 edition of Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio. Retired state worker and former union steward John Hollis provides analysis of the concessions deal between state employee unions and Gov. Dan Malloy (I’m a state employee). State workers have agreed to concessions three times since 2009.  The show  also includes independent media commentary on the bankruptcy hustle being run on predominantly Black cities like Hartford.

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thebwegroup/community-party-radio-hosted-by-david-sa_52

 

Next week’s column will include an update on structural racism and workplace bullying at Connecticut Valley Hospital, and analysis of the Department of Administrative Services and Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services collaborating to kill workers’ rights legislation.

 

Policy Watch: U.S. Deports a Taxpayer, While Harboring a Terrorist

Update: Wednesday ICE granted Nury Chavarria an emergency stay from deportation.

Nury Chavarria has lived in the United States for 24 years, after escaping poverty and violence in Guatemala. She is an undocumented mother of four children, all citizens of the United States. Nury works as a housekeeper, has no criminal record, and pays taxes. While ICE persecutes Nury,  who sought sanctuary at a New Haven church as she faces deportation, the United States is harboring a terrorist who entered the country illegally. Luis Posada Carriles, an anti-Castro militant and CIA asset, blew up a Cuban jetliner in 1976, killing all 73 people on board. Posada snuck into the U.S. in 2005. The U.S. not only didn’t deport Posada, the George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump administrations have all refused to extradite Posada to Cuba or Venezuela (there were Venezuelan passengers on the plane).

 

Democracy Now! has documented Posada’s story.  https://www.democracynow.org/

Luis Posada Carriles Released from Jail
April 20, 2007

Luis Posada Carriles has been released from jail. Posada is the anti-Castro Cuban militant connected to the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people. He is a former CIA operative who has worked for years to bring down the Cuban government. But he is considered a terrorist by many because of his role in the 1976 airline bombing. He has been detained in the U.S. on immigration charges since he snuck into the country in 2005. On Thursday, Venezuela accused Washington of being an ‘accomplice’ of terrorism by allowing Posada to be released from jail.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez: “Of course all of Venezuela will raise its indignant voice over the protection that the imperialist government of the United States continues to give to the father of all the terrorists of all time on the American continent, the murderer Luis Posada Carriles. We demand that they extradite to Venezuela this terrorist and murderer, instead of continue to protect him as they are protecting him. And now they are practically in the process of liberating him.”
Posada will go on trial in May on immigration fraud charges. The U.S. is rejecting calls for him to be extradited to Cuba or Venezuela.

 

U.S. Frees International Terrorist
April 24, 2007
By AMY GOODMAN

A terrorist lives in Miami. He is not in hiding, or part of some sleeper cell. He’s an escaped convict, wanted internationally for blowing up a jetliner. His name is Luis Posada Carriles. As the nation was focused on the Virginia Tech shooting, the Bush administration quietly allowed Posada’s release from a federal immigration detention center.
It was Oct. 6, 1976, a clear day in the Caribbean. Cubana Airlines Flight 455 departed from Barbados, bound for Cuba, with a stop in Trinidad. Posada then ran a private investigative firm in Venezuela. Two of his employees were on the flight, deplaned in Trinidad and left C-4 plastic explosive on board, disguised as a tube of toothpaste. Shortly after takeoff, the bomb exploded and the plane went down. All 73 people on board were killed. Among them were six young Guyanese students on their way to Cuba to study medicine… There was also the entire Cuban Olympic fencing team, young athletes… The Cubana Airlines bombing remains to this day the only midair bombing of a civilian airliner in the Western Hemisphere. Posada was tried and convicted in Venezuela of organizing the bombing. He was imprisoned, then escaped in 1985.
Posada, who will be 80 next year, is a Cuban-born Venezuelan national. He has been a violent opponent of Fidel Castro since the early 1960s. Declassified CIA and FBI documents reveal the extent of Posada’s violent career. Through the decades he’s hopscotched around Latin America, smuggling arms, running drugs, plotting coups, working with Augusto Pinochet’s dreaded secret police, assisting with Oliver North’s illegal Contra war against Nicaragua — the list goes on. He was a paid CIA “asset,” and also served in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of second lieutenant, at Fort Benning, Ga. He has been implicated in the bombing of hotels in Havana. He was caught and convicted of attempting to assassinate Castro in Panama…
Venezuela wants Posada extradited. The U.S. has refused. Washington, D.C.-based attorney Jose Pertierra is representing Venezuela in this case. He says international law is clear: “The law says you extradite or prosecute, but you don’t free him into the streets of Miami.”
The Bush administration, and disgraced Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, should designate Luis Posada Carriles the terrorist that he is. Justice, and the memory of his many victims, demands it.

 

Alleged Cuban Airline Bomber Free After Acquittal on Immigration Charges
Story
April 11, 2011

AMY GOODMAN: A former CIA operative best known as the suspected mastermind of the 1976 bombing of a Cubana airline jet was acquitted Friday. But instead of terrorism charges, Luis Posada Carriles faced 11 charges of perjury, immigration fraud and obstruction of justice. The 83-year-old Cuban exile and anti-Castro militant was accused of lying under oath during an immigration hearing. Prosecutors say Posada Carriles lied about how he entered the United States in 2005, lied by denying his role in a series of bombings in Havana in 1997 that killed an Italian tourist and wounded 12 others. Posada Carriles had formerly admitted on tape to his role in the hotel bombings but later recanted.
After a 13-week trial, a jury in El Paso, Texas, deliberated for just three hours Friday and handed down a unanimous verdict of “not guilty” on all counts. Posada Carriles was facing a maximum of five to eight years in prison. His acquittal marks the end of a fourth attempt by the United States to convict him.
Cuba and Venezuela would like the United States to extradite him so he can be tried for his role in the bombings, but the U.S. has so far refused. Posada Carriles says he now plans to return to live with his family in Miami.
In a statement released after the verdict, the Cuban Foreign Ministry said, quote, “The U.S. government’s protection of Posada Carriles has become an emblematic case of the U.S. double standard in the international fight against terrorism.”
Peter Kornbluh, director of the National Security Archive at the George Washington University and the Cuba Documentation Project –  Posada escaped from prison in Venezuela, where he was being prosecuted for blowing up that plane, in 1985, with the help of anti-Castro, Miami Cuban Americans who sent money to him. He bribed his way out. He immediately went to Central America and joined Oliver North’s famous Iran-Contra operations, working surreptitiously with the Contras in El Salvador. He eventually orchestrated the hotel bombings, as I said. And then he was arrested in Panama for trying to kill Fidel Castro. He served four years in prison there and then was pardoned — another story that hasn’t really been told — by the outgoing right-wing president. And he was a fugitive for a year, and then he simply came to the United States.
He was brought, according to the evidence presented in court over these last 13 weeks, in a boat by one of his benefactors from Miami, a very wealthy Cuban American named Santiago Álvarez. He was brought surreptitiously from Mexico on a boat, just came into the country. And he thought, during the Bush administration, that he could simply appear, ask for asylum, ask to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, and he would be welcomed. We posted the CIA and FBI documents about his role in the plane bombing, and eventually he was arrested and detained for a couple of years, while he was undergoing this kind of whole long process of immigration charges.
But I just want to let your listeners know, here’s an individual who’s on the no-fly list. He can’t even get on a plane, a commercial airliner, from El Paso, where he was prosecuted, and fly back to Miami, because he’s considered a danger to aviation and to the security of American citizens. And that is documented in the papers from the U.S. government that are part of this case. And the issue now is, what is the U.S. government going to do with this individual? They’ve just presented a case in court that he’s an international terrorist. And now, are we just going to let him go back to Miami? You know, it really is an issue that has to be addressed.
He is still an illegal alien here, whether he was acquitted of lying or not. He came here illegally. He doesn’t have papers to be here. He doesn’t have a visa. He doesn’t have any resident papers. I mean, he still can be deported, if the U.S. government wants to deport him and can find a place to deport him to. And Venezuela, where he escaped from prison in 1985, has a valid extradition request into the Obama administration for his extradition to Venezuela to be prosecuted for the plane bombing, and the Obama administration could grant that request, if it wanted to. So, it has many options other than letting him return and live freely in Miami, to address the issue that we have — that the U.S. government’s position is this man is an international terrorist and should be treated as such.

 

The Democracy Now! reports clearly lay out the case for Posada to be deported and extradited to Cuba and Venezuela, to face terrorism charges.  From Wikipedia: “(Posada) currently resides in Miami, where he openly attends ‘right-wing exile fundraisers’ and participates in public protests against Fidel Castro’s Cuba.[23] A November 2016 El Nuevo Herald newspaper article described Posada celebrating the death of Fidel Castro in a Miami restaurant.”

 

The plight of Nury is now a national story. Gov. Dan Malloy visited her last week. Attorneys are exploring legal options to keep Nury in the U.S. Looking at Posada fills me with rage. If Nury was a CIA asset who had blown up a plane full of innocent people, she would be protected by the U.S. government. Nury would be with her children,  sleeping comfortably in her bed in Norwalk every night. Nury and Posada personify the hypocrisy of the government, and every anti-immigrant bigot in this country.  A fund has been set up to support Nury and her family.  https://www.gofundme.com/nuryChavarria

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 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/). Contact us at samuelssloflo@aol.com.

Community Party Police Reform & Economic Justice Plan

July 24, 2017

Activist Sandra Bland died in the custody of Waller County, Texas police July 13, 2015.

 
Community Party Police Accountability Legislation

Trayvon Martin Act

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

Mental and Emotional Crisis Act

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/community-party-mental-and-emotional-crisis-act/

Every 28 hours a Black person is killed by police, security guards or vigilantes.  http://www.operationghettostorm.org/ Police in the U.S. kill more citizens each year than all of the other developed countries combined.  http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cops-killed-8-hours-2015-early-graves-day/   Police in China, a dictatorship 41/2 times the size of the U.S., killed 12 people in 2014. Police in the U.S. killed 1100 people in 2014 and 476 in the first five months of 2015. The police in this country killed more people in three days in July 2015 than cops killed in Germany, England, Spain, Switzerland and Iceland in 2014 combined. http://thefreethoughtproject.com/numbers-police-kill-days-countries-decades/  The United Nations Human Rights Council has denounced law enforcement in the U.S. for its failure to follow their recommendations. http://thefreethoughtproject.com/police-violence-bad-united-nations-involved/
Cops nationwide such as former LAPD officer Alex Salazar (  http://www.latinorebels.com/2015/08/19/down-the-rabbit-hole-breaking-the-code-of-silence-of-a-vicious-police-culture/ ), Retired LAPD Sgt. Cheryl Dorsey ( https://www.youtube.com/user/BlackandBlueNews), former Auburn, Alabama police officer Justin Hanners ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGeZiWOeGIc&feature=youtu.be), and members of the NYPD ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGc505WuxpE ) are all speaking out against police brutality, racism and corruption. A group of NYPD officers are suing the department over illegal arrest quotas. https://www.rt.com/usa/314051-minority-police-officers-sue-nypd/

 

Samuel Walker wrote a report that found Maryland police union contracts and officers’ bill of rights language impede accountability. http://samuelwalker.net/2015/06/police-union-contract-waiting-periods-not-supported-by-scientific-evidence/ Add to this biased district attorneys, an opaque grand jury process, and brutal, corrupt police officers are protected by a system that places them above the law. A holistic approach is required to address racial profiling and police violence in the U.S. This includes an urban policy plan which addresses economic issues and police containment of low income communities of color. Poverty and police brutality are both forms of state sponsored violence. Lack of economic opportunity forces urban community residents to engage in the underground economy, which brings them in contact with law enforcement. Addressing racial economic disparities is a key component of ending racial profiling and police violence. The so-called War on Drugs is actually a war on poor Black and Brown people. The disease of addiction is criminalized. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is a national organization of police officers who have declared the drug war a failure.     http://www.leap.cc/for-law-enforcement/police/  Gloucester Police Department Chief Leonard Campanello has launched a revolutionary program which treats drug addiction as a public health issue. http://gloucesterpd.com/addicts/
Police Union Contracts/Bill of Rights
Police union contract language, which includes officers’ bill of rights, impedes accountability. A provision regarding death/use of force investigations provides officers with up to ten days before they can be interviewed by investigators. Officers involved in the death or injury of citizens and any officers who are witnesses should be interviewed immediately and separately at the scene.
“Some police union contracts in the U.S. have provisions barring interviews with officers involved in use of force and other incidents for 48 hours. The Baltimore, Maryland, contract (and the Maryland Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights) provide for a ten-day waiting period. Additionally, there is evidence that some police  departments voluntarily delay interviews for 48 hours because of union pressure.
Police unions and their supporters claim there is “scientific evidence” that a stressful incident impairs an officer’s memory and that “two sleep cycles” (i.e., 48 hours) are required for that person’s memory to fully recover.
A report by Sam Walker, University of Nebraska at Omaha has found that there is no such scientific evidence. A systematic review of research by psychologists on the impact of stress on memory found no support for a 48-hour delay. The systematic review of 244 studies over 100 years found it a highly complex issue, with mixed findings.Walker’s report concludes that the police union claims for a 48-hour or longer waiting period are “ inconsistent, hypocritical and self-serving.” ~ Samuel Walker website

Misconduct Investigations/Disciplinary Process
Union contract/bill of rights language stipulates that a police officer or district attorney must investigate officers accused of misconduct, and that a three person panel including a peer police officer will hear an appeal on a finding of misconduct which could result in suspension or termination before the police chief decides on a course of action. Investigations should be conducted by an entity separate from the police department and the district attorney, who partners with the police on criminal cases. Appeals should take place after a decision on discipline is made. Peer police officers should not be involved in the appeal process, as this is an obvious conflict of interest. Police officers should have rights that are equal to those of community residents.

 

“First, it is unreasonable that such a hearing occur before the police chief has imposed discipline in the case. (The right to an appeal of discipline after it has been imposed is an established matter of due process.)  In practice, the Hearing Board provides an additional step in the disciplinary process that is an opportunity for mitigating the seriousness of the alleged misconduct. A proper disciplinary process involves the internal affairs (IA) or professional standards bureau (PSB) investigating allegations of misconduct, including citizen complaints, determining whether misconduct occurred, and forwarding that finding to the chief for disciplinary action.  Second, including a peer officer as a member of the Hearing Board serves to protect misconduct. This is a particularly serious matter in departments that have troubled histories of a pattern of misconduct. By giving the rank and file a direct voice in disciplinary investigations, the police union contract and Maryland law necessarily lowers the standards for police conduct. The peer officer member of a Hearing Board has a vested interest in shielding all officers from meaningful investigations and discipline.  In passing, it should be noted that the Maryland statute does not specify whether decisions of a Hearing Board require a unanimous vote or may be approved by a 2-1 vote. This is an ambiguity that creates uncertainty, possible disagreements, and possible appeals.”  ~ Samuel Walker website

The disciplinary process should remain transparent. Police departments should not be allowed to expunge the records of police officers who are accused of misconduct.

The police controlling dashboard and body camera videos of use of force incidents resulting in injury or death is a conflict of interest. A special prosecutor should have custody of the video. Officers involved in these incidents should not be allowed to view the video prior to giving a statement to investigators. A special prosecutor and the victim and/or victim’s family/loved ones are the parties who should view the video. The victim’s family/loved ones should have veto power on any decisions regarding release of the video to the public. Body camera videos should be live streamed.
50% of police killings involve people with mental illness. Officers who use excessive force against mentally ill people or individuals in crisis, especially when children are present, should face criminal sanctions. De-escalation should be the focus in these situations.Treating Drug Addiction as a Public Health Issue

The Gloucester Police Department drug program model has taken a revolutionary approach to addressing drug addiction. Individuals who bring their drugs and paraphernalia to the Gloucester police station will not face criminal charges; they will instead be immediately entered into treatment. Heroin overdoses have decreased since the Gloucester program was launched. Police departments should adopt the Gloucester model.

 

New Deal 2.0
U.S. Census data shows that child poverty, the poverty rate among families, the amount of people whose income is below the federal poverty level and the number of residents without health insurance in Connecticut have all increased since 2003.  http://www.ctvoices.org/publications/poverty-median-income-and-health-insurance-connecticutsummary-2013-american-community-s  The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) perpetuates the cycle of poverty, emphasizing low wage, dead end jobs over education and job skills training that will make clients more marketable, and increase their chances of obtaining gainful employment that  will lead to financial independence.  Black and Latino unemployment rates are at Depression era levels. The jobless rate among Black males age 18-25 is as high as 50%. Poverty and lack of economic opportunity fuel gun violence in urban neighborhoods. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program employed over 8 million people at its peak, pulling the U.S. out of the Great Depression. A New Deal type of program could deliver the same results in low income communities of color and poor rural areas.

Rocky Anderson, the Justice Party’s 2012 candidate for president, included in his platform a job creation initiative modeled after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Work Progress Administration program. Anderson described his plan during the Democracy Now! Expanding the Debate special, which aired in conjunction with the October 3, 2012 presidential debate between President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney.   http://www.democracynow.org/2012/10/4/expanding_the_debate_exclusive_third_party

 

“During the last 43 months we have had more than 8% unemployment. It is the only time in this nation’s history that we have had a president that has presided even over three years of over 8% unemployment. There are things that have been proven in our history to work. We could have put in place, and it needs to be put in immediately, a WPA Works Progress Administration kind of program where we are investing in the future by building up our nation’s rapidly deteriorating infrastructure, putting people to work. In the WPA project they put 8.5 million people to work. We could be putting 20 million to 25 million people to work and making that kind of investment in our nation’s future.”

 

The UFE State of the Dream report found that funding from Obama’s 2009 job stimulus initiative did not reach urban areas and focused on industries that mostly employs
white people.

“Most of the job-creation projects in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and other federal initiatives are investments in infrastructure and transportation, ‘green’ building retrofits, and pass-through funds that help states maintain schools and other important programs. All are worthy, but there is no evidence that the jobs these initiatives create are going to the communities most in need. In some cases, the opposite is true.
• The Associated Press found that, across the U.S., stimulus money for transportation was directed away from where the economic conditions are most dire. More money went to areas with higher rates of employment.
• The New York University report Race, Gender and The Recession reported that federal recovery money is creating more jobs in construction and retail than any other industries. These are industries that traditionally have not been major job sources for African American communities.
If the rain falls on relatively well-watered areas of economic opportunity, it does little to revive the driest economic landscapes in our country. Targeted approaches are much more likely to be effective. Prioritizing our nation’s highest-unemployment communities is precisely the way to end the downward economic spiral in those places and start a real, broad-based recovery for the entire nation.
Congress must identify communities with the highest unemployment rates and target job-creation initiatives toward those communities, whether by census tract, zip code, or other method. This policy direction will lift up working-class white communities while narrowing the racial income gap. Congress should also ensure that as many of those jobs as possible pay a living wage. This report shows that broad-spectrum, universal solutions to the economic crisis will neither solve the pervasive racial wealth divide nor end gaping racial differences in income. We need job-creation and foreclosure-prevention programs that are targeted to communities most in need, including those with the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates. Such focused strategies will not only help close the racial wealth divide, but will lift up working-class families of all races.”
A federally funded, state WPA kind of program monitored through equity assessments would ensure that program dollars would reach low income communities of color in Connecticut. UFE explains how equity assessments would function.

“To ensure that stimulus funds reach working class and disenfranchised communities, equity assessments should be required for all federal spending. A proper equity assessment will track where funds go, what jobs are created and in what communities. Demographic data on race, ethnicity, gender, class, and geography will be required for an equity assessment. This information will help future government programs reach the disenfranchised and the working class, the communities who must be at the center of an economic recovery.”
Racial Economic Disparity
Blacks/Latinos currently earn about 60 cents for every dollar whites make, and possess about 10 cents of net wealth for every dollar whites have. Houses are the primary wealth asset for Blacks/Latinos. The toxic mortgage scam that contributed to the 2008 economic collapse disproportionately targeted people of color, who subsequently have lost their homes at a higher rate than whites. UFE recommends a plan to build wealth in low income communities of color.

Foreclosures – Draining the Wealth Reservoir:

Foreclosures continue to rise alarmingly. There were an estimated 3.4 million foreclosures in 2009 “Due to the rise in homeowner walk-a-ways, lack of forced bank modifications, growing unemployment figures… Housing Predictor forecasts foreclosures will now top 17 million homes through 2014.”

In addition to rampant unemployment, communities of color experience higher foreclosure rates due to racially targeted predatory lending, in which virtually every sector of the mortgage industry participated. A 2006 study that controlled for income and credit worthiness found that non-whites were significantly more likely than whites to receive high cost loans.
Revisiting the State of the Dream 2008: Foreclosed
The wealth-stripping effects of the recession and foreclosure crisis were documented in UFE’s 2008 State of the Dream: Foreclosed, which showed that predatory lending practices were stripping wealth from communities of color. People of color were more than three times more likely to have subprime loans than whites. Commonly, lenders gave people of color loans with less advantageous payment rates, even when they qualified for better ones. Lenders failed to provide those applying for a home loan with information on the strenuous repayment schedule. Lenders inserted stiff fines for people to pay to get out of a subprime loan if they discovered it was too expensive. Since homes are the main form of wealth for working-class families and especially for communities of color, these practices drained their wealth reservoirs to dangerously low levels.
Source: RealtyTrac reports, with NCRC projecting foreclosures for December 2009 (see Endnotes in report for full citation).
2007 2008 2009
In three years, there have been more than 7.1 million foreclosures in the U.S.
1,285,873
2,330,483
3,400,000 (estimate)
Over half of the mortgages to African Americans in recent years were high-cost subprime loans. This predatory lending formed the epicenter of the first stage of the foreclosure crisis. Significantly, more than 60 percent of those subprime loans went to borrowers whose credit ratings qualified them for lower-cost prime loans, according to a 2008 Wall Street Journal study.
The disproportionate damage from foreclosures compounds the economic challenges that communities of color face and makes their economic recovery more difficult. A recent study shows that workers laid off in an economic downturn can take up to 20 years to replace their lost earnings. Replacing the wealth stripped from communities by predatory lending and foreclosure could take even longer. And while some economic indicators are improving, unemployment and the foreclosure crisis continue to do long-lasting damage to the nation’s economy.
Are we narrowing or widening the racial wealth divide? Arresting the foreclosure crisis is a critical first step toward restoring health to the national economy. The housing industry employs millions of workers and provides the property tax base of cities across the country. Housing is also a main pillar of the nation’s credit markets; while that pillar remains shaky, credit cannot fully recover.
The irresponsible and predatory lending practices of our nation’s financial institutions directly led to the current foreclosure crisis that is stripping wealth from communities of color at alarming rates. The Obama Administration and Congress missed opportunities in 2009 to stop foreclosures, stabilize the economy, and start rebuilding wealth in the communities that the predatory mortgage industry targeted. Our government has an important role in protecting communities from the destructive actions of any party, be it the breaking and entering of a common burglar or the deceptive actions of the
mortgage industry. On this front, the government has failed.
While the Administration and Congress set up several programs to stem the tide of foreclosures, these efforts have been largely ineffective in getting the mortgage industry to renegotiate most mortgages.
Actions that could have been taken include:
• Declare an immediate moratorium on foreclosures. This would have stabilized housing markets, stopped the vicious spiral of wealth stripping in communities of color, and given the financial industry an incentive to renegotiate predatory loans.
• Give bankruptcy judges the power to lower mortgages for insolvent homeowners. This would have kept millions of families in their homes.
• Make mortgages more affordable by requiring cooperation from financial institutions with the affordability programs, including loan modifications, set up by the Administration.
• Strongly regulate financial markets and protect consumers. This would prevent future financial market failures that strip wealth and jobs from all communities and take down the nation’s economy.

 

 

Poverty and the Need for TANF Reform in Connecticut
by Mary Sanders
The candidates running for office this year are all avoiding the “P” word!  Poverty is a hot potato that causes candidates to cringe when questioned about their agenda to improve the lives of those most in need. For many single parents who are unemployed or underemployed, public assistance, also known as ‘welfare’, makes the difference in meeting their basic survival needs.  It used to be that people could get help as long as they needed it, there were also programs available to prepare people to become self- sufficient. What we have now does not meet the needs of families and individuals living in poverty.  The candidates for public office, all the way up to the governor’s seat, do not seem to understand or care enough to change things.

When President Bill Clinton’s administration announced the overhaul of the welfare system, what resulted was a federal maximum of 5 years of assistance throughout a person’s life. The message was, grab any job and don’t use up all your time in case you need it down the road!  Even in those states with the maximum of 5 years, this is problematic.  Imagine CT where you are only allowed 21 months and if you qualify a couple six-month extensions. The goal is to get as many people off assistance as possible during the year and look good to the feds. I know that someone analyzing the data may say, “CT has lowered the number of AFDC cases – Aid to Families with Dependent Children (now TANF, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) households by 10%.” But because important information is not attached to those closed cases, they neglect to say – or may not even know – that 3% of the clients are gainfully employed and 7% got kicked off the program for a variety of reasons.  After years of President Reagan’s demonization of “welfare queens”, CT’s welfare reform created an illogical timeline of activity that Department of Social Services caseworkers and the subcontractors are expected to enforce. The program used to be Job Connection and is now Jobs First. In the old program, recipients were assessed for potential return to school and/or vocational training. They were asked what they were good at and what career they would like to pursue and, if reasonable, their DSS social worker, the employment counselor and the school would work as a team to make sure nothing interfered with their training and job placement. This was changed to recipients spending a year looking for work before education or training is considered. It used to be that individuals needed a high school diploma to get a decent job; now that is not enough.
The last 2 decades have seen the largest growth of income for the elite few and the worst decline and climbing poverty rates for too many. And it’s not just that there are more poor people, it’s that more people are experiencing a deeper kind of poverty.  As “cash assistance” has ended for many, and people only have their food stamps, studies have shown that families exchange food benefits to buy their kids’ shoes and other household necessities.  http://www.democracynow.org/2010/2/19/welfare_recipients_forced_to_sell_food   Unscrupulous storeowners are complicit in this deprivation of food for the kids. They pay pennies on the dollar for whatever is left on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) card.  Parents do whatever they need to do when cash benefits end. This system is cruel and punitive; there is no way to get out of the vicious cycle of poverty. For adults with no dependent children it’s even worse, as city welfare departments were all closed in favor of the new State Administered General Assistance program. SAGA is a misnomer as little assistance is actually given. Recipients used to receive about $300 cash monthly in addition to their food stamps & Medicaid.  At least recipients could rent a room from someone. Now there is no cash assistance, resulting in extremely harsh circumstances for anyone who loses their job who has no unemployment benefits coming in. Lack of housing assistance is a huge problem and many new homeless are seeking some type of relief. The new 211 shelter line has at least 3 or 4 weeks of wait time for even an assessment and possible placement in shelters. This is not a good system for those seeking employment & stability. This is especially true for the able-bodied but long-term unemployed. That’s another story for another day but housing vouchers are what’s needed, so people can pay a portion of their income and have the stability they need to work towards self-sufficiency.

In spite of all the spending that goes to meet the DSS goals, pending cases sit on piled- high desks waiting for review, clients have no way to pay rent, buy food, get medical care, get childcare assistance, etc.  Applications are frequently lost, and it’s almost impossible to reach workers by phone. Caseworkers are overloaded and cannot provide the services they would like to for their clients.  Restrictions on what type of supports, training opportunities, and other services can be provided tie the hands of workers. On top of all the restrictions and the time limits, due to former Gov. Rowland’s privatization of the Jobs First program, state workers are no longer doing the case management they used to.  Now it’s up to private nonprofits, who are charged with getting X number of participants off the rolls each year. Get out there and prove you went to see 25 potential employers, filled out applications and got the names of the people you saw. Recipients must attend the workshops on how to fill out applications, how to interview, how to dress, etc., whether you’ve never worked or have an extensive work history and just need a decent job.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaM6iI-eCdk

 

The benefit of 1 or 2 years of schooling would raise recipients’ potential earnings.  If people could get the proper supports and enter training paid by the Department of Labor or DSS, they might have a decent chance to become self-sufficient but those opportunities are few and far between.  It’s no wonder so many low-income people are lured into student debt trying to attend ‘private educational institutions’ that offer high cost trainings to anyone that will sign the loan notes.  Unfortunately, many people are falsely led to believe their training will be subsidized then all of a sudden they are signing off on loan applications. Many of them are unprepared and not able to complete successfully; they still owe thousands of dollars. Someone needs to do something about these for-profit schools and those that have changed their status to non-profit are no better. Lives are ruined and children are even more deprived when these predators take advantage of low-income folks seeking training opportunities that they’ll be repaying for the next decade or so.

 

For those TANF clients who have found employment; how about not terminating people’s benefits as soon as they become employed and letting them put a little something away for a rainy day? Clients are afraid to accept any job that will cause them to lose their benefits because these days jobs are temporary, do not provide benefits, and most do not pay livable wages.  Don’t say, “Well they can get back on assistance if they need to”. It’s not that easy!  If an individuals send their application in by mail, it’s frequently misplaced and needs to be done again. Forget about getting through to DSS workers by phone; clients can be on hold 30 minutes to 2 hours and may get to speak to the right person.  Most low-income people have free government phones with very limited monthly minutes.  Those could be used up in a couple calls to DSS.  I know the department is overwhelmed by all the new cases being opened, but there has to be a way to process people’s redetermination forms so that they do not constantly have their benefits cut off.  Many of them end up at our food pantry asking for groceries and the toilet paper we purchase for distribution. It’s a damn shame that in our wealthy state, we cannot properly administer mandated entitlement programs that provide for the basic needs of our residents. Apparently, the computer system in place is programmed to automatically terminate people’s benefits on certain dates, if a worker does not physically enter data to stop that from happening. That means that if the worker is behind, and has 100 redetermination forms piled up on a desk, whose due dates have past, all those cases will automatically be closed. People who were expecting to receive their cash or food benefits are then in a crisis situation, and when told they did not send in their redetermination forms, will just send them over again, creating an even bigger pile. More people comply than do not; therefore, it would make sense to de-program that automatic cutoff feature and have workers physically enter data to close any cases that warrant termination, either for noncompliance or eligibility reasons.

 

CT was already cited by the feds for their inability to get SNAP applications processed quickly enough and for disqualifying too many who actually qualified.  People should not be going hungry, especially the kids. Their parents should have decent employment but if they do need assistance, their food stamps also shouldn’t run out mid-month. In another case, the young mother with a 4-year-old shouldn’t have been cut off of her cash benefits after 21 months when she hadn’t finished preparing for her HS exam. Now she sleeps on the couch at her mom’s house with her son on a cot near her.  Someone should give her a housing voucher, daycare, a good educational/vocational program and help her, not punish her for missing an appointment and denying her extension. I opted our agency out of participating in the Jobs First model; I didn’t want to be part of that because I knew that most people needed more time. We run a food pantry and have a social worker but we also have English and GED classes and help people go to college. I don’t want to send people out to look for work if they have education and training needs.  Some of the regulations have eased up a little, allowing people minimal training & education opportunities, but the majority of recipients of public assistance are still denied real vocational training or college, which would truly help towards self-sufficiency.

 

Tell our public officials that money needs to be allocated for the hiring of additional caseworkers to handle the backlog; we need timely processing of applications for assistance. We also need to be able to speak with caseworkers directly and not be relegated to a phone system that routes calls to full voice mailboxes. Tell them that more time needs to be allowed on public assistance while folks are going through adult education and vocational training or higher education so they can reach self- sufficiency (New York City recently implemented reforms, see our Resources section below). SNAP benefits also need to be increased, as food prices continue to climb and more housing vouchers need to be issued for all municipalities, not just urban areas. Those becoming homeless or jobless are flocking to the cities in search of services that are already stretched thin.  Additionally, a committee of diverse stakeholders should meet regularly to assess the progress the department is making towards the goal of true client self-sufficiency. The department should not take credit for reducing welfare rolls when half of those exited simply were deemed non-compliant and were therefore removed. There are hungry children out there whom the department has forgotten about.

 

 

At the federal level, we already know that poor people are not a priority, and military and corrections systems are more fully funded than education, health and social services. Government officials believe it is more important to avoid taxing the rich and corporations, than to make sure kids have their needs met.  It is time we rethink our priorities and come up with ways to protect our most vulnerable. There have been a few active grassroots community groups and non-profits trying to improve the lives of families living in poverty, a couple of them in Hartford have been around for years, organizing and meeting with legislators. The Community Party is also part of the discussion and we have some ideas on how to come up with the money needed.  Plans to address hunger, affordable housing, healthcare, and education for low-income CT residents are the topics I want to see on the candidates’ platforms. Why aren’t they discussing these critical issues?  Why are they afraid of the “P” word?

 

We will continue to enhance this plan in the coming months. Follow the Community Party on Twitter for updates. We will present this policy paper to legislators.  https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1

 

 

David Samuels

Contributors:  Mary Sanders, Laurie Valdez, Janet Frazao-Conaci

Community Party Mental and Emotional Crisis Act

July 24, 2017

The Community Party’s Mental and Emotional Crisis Act will include enhanced criminal penalties for excessive use of force by the police against mentally ill people and individuals in crisis, in addition to whenever children are present. Our legislation will implement a new international approach to policing, based on a successful model in the United Kingdom and Canada that emphasizes de-escalation and treatment.

UK Police use police back up, de-escalation, and public order shields to subdue a mentally ill man wielding a machete.

 

Investigative report on the police murder of Caroline Small, an unarmed woman who was experiencing a mental health crisis:

http://investigations.myajc.com/caroline-small-shooting/

Mentally Ill and Murdered by Police:

http://socialistworker.org/2012/12/11/mentally-ill-and-murdered-by-police

New Mexico Police Shoot at Minivan Full of Kids:

 

Race for Governor: Dan Drew

July 20, 2017

by David Samuels

This column appears in the July 20 – 27 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: August 1. 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/

 

PROGRAM ALERT

The Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio interview with Middletown Mayor and Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Dan Drew will air Tuesday, August 15 at 8:00 PM Eastern Time, 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Topics will include police accountability, the state budget crisis, single payer health care and urban policy issues that are ignored by the corporate media.
http://sometroradio.com/

 

Community Update

CT Voices for Children Report Predicted 2017 Budget Disaster

“Our July 2013 report, ‘A Gambler’s Budget,’ analyzed the two-year state budget approved by the state lawmakers and the Governor that year, and warned that the ‘quick fix’ budget solutions adopted in the plan would deepen the state’s long-term budget deficit and thus ultimately endanger funding for child and family services.”

http://www.ctvoices.org/publications/gamblers-budget-fiscal-year-2014-15-state-budget

 

State Employees Agree to Concessions

Next week’s column will feature analysis of the concessions deal between State of Connecticut employee unions, and Gov. Dan Malloy. The deal was overwhelmingly ratified Tuesday by state employees 83% to 17%. State workers have now agreed to concessions three times since 2009.

 

Safe Work Environment Act Update

I continue to receive reports from Connecticut Valley Hospital employees about racism and workplace bullying at CVH. Coming soon, a Hartford News and Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio update on structural racism at the facility, and analysis of the Department of Administrative Services (DAS runs CVH) using their political influence to kill workers’ rights legislation in Connecticut.

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

 

 

Policy Watch:  Dan Drew & the Party That Eats Progressives

Middletown Mayor Dan Drew’s candidacy for Governor of the State of Connecticut is definitely encouraging. We’re at a tipping point in the state and the country, where right-wing extremism and neoliberalism is taking over. My hope is that Drew will stick to his progressive platform, and not repeat the mistake of electoral candidates who gloss over urban policy issues (poverty, Black / Latinx unemployment, racial wage / wealth disparity, gun violence, police accountability) for the sake of political expediency. I will be following Drew’s campaign closely.

 

I first saw Drew on WFSB’s Face the State in April.  Hosts Susan Raff and Dennis House, two corporate stooges who never met a right-wing agenda they didn’t like, questioned Drew about his platform, which includes ending corporate welfare and giveaways to hedge fund managers, taxing the rich and single payer health care. Raff straight up lied, claiming that universal health care only exists in “Canada and maybe Taiwan.” The truth is that the United States is the only industrialized nation that doesn’t provide a national health program to all of its citizens. Raff did acknowledge that the U.S. already has Medicare, a single payer system for people 65 and older.   http://www.wfsb.com/clip/13265780/middletown-mayor-looks-to-take-on-governors-role

 

Last Sunday the WTNH channel 8 Capitol Report program played a clip of Drew, speaking at the official launch of his campaign last week at Harbor Park in Middletown. Drew talked about state employees, who have agreed to concessions three times since 2009 (I’m a state worker), being asked to agree to wage and benefits cuts once again, while the Swiss bank UBS and a bank owned by General Electric both received $20 million in corporate welfare from the state. Drew pointed out that both banks have since left Connecticut, with taxpayer money.  The public sector is the largest employer of Black people and women.  Drew’s platform is EXACTLY what state employee unions have been calling for. Will they endorse him?

 

Chokwe Antar Lumumba has given hope to leftists nationwide, as he defeated the political machine to become the new mayor of Jackson, Mississippi. Watching Drew’s announcement, it was refreshing hearing a Connecticut gubernatorial candidate talking about a progressive tax system, free college and living wage jobs. Drew’s campaign website bio lists his development of a welfare to work program while he worked for the Community Renewal Team; the program focused on job training and placement, while the current cash assistance program, implemented by President Bill Clinton in 1996 with  enthusiastic support from Hillary, fuels poverty by keeping individuals in dead end jobs before kicking them off the rolls. It would be great to see Drew bring his CRT model to the State Capitol. That being said, I also heard Bernie Sanders talk about these kinds of policies when he was running for president against Hillary. Sanders talked about Hillary’s servitude to Wall Street, her neoliberalism and how she generally sucked, then he endorsed Hillary after she won a primary that Sanders knew the Democratic National Committee had rigged against him, thanks to WikiLeaks releasing internal DNC emails.  https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/

 

Sanders has since become entrenched in the Democratic Party machine, stalling on introducing  single payer legislation as a groundswell of national support builds for universal health care. Liz Hamel, Bryan Wu and Mollyann Brodie reported for KFF.org on the latest single payer polling data. “The June Kaiser Health Tracking poll finds that a slim majority of the public (53 percent) now favors a single-payer health plan in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan, while just over four in ten (43 percent) are opposed. This is somewhat higher than the level of support found in a variety of Kaiser polls with slight variations in question wording dating back to 1998. From 1998 through 2004,  roughly four in ten supported a national health plan, while about half were opposed. In polling from 2008-2009, the period leading up to passage of the ACA, the public was more evenly divided, with about half in favor of a single-payer plan and half opposed.

 

“Not surprisingly, there are partisan divisions in how the public feels about single-payer health care, with a majority of Democrats (64 percent) and just over half independents (55 percent) in favor and a majority of Republicans (67 percent) opposed. However, the recent increase in support for single-payer has largely been driven by an increase among independents. Among this group, on average in 2008-2009, 42 percent said they would favor a single-payer plan, a share that has increased to a majority (55 percent) in the most recent tracking poll.”  http://www.kff.org/health-reform/poll-finding/data-note-modestly-strong-but-malleable-support-for-single-payer-health-care/

 

Drew’s candidacy has tremendous potential. He’s young (37 years old),  charismatic, has successful experience in governing a city and like Sanders, Drew’s policies will certainly resonate with young voters. Middletown’s Wesleyan University will be fertile ground for Drew to build support. Drew should take note of the mass exodus by many Sanders supporters, after he endorsed Hillary. The hashtag #JillNotHill exploded on social media the day that Sanders hopped aboard the Hillary train, as disillusioned supporters switched their allegiance to Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

 

Sanders also had failed to connect with Black voters. Sanders started off his campaign with no mention of urban policy issues. To Sanders’ credit he did develop an urban platform after being pushed by Black activists, but it was too little, too late. Sanders’ New Deal provision would have a been a boon to low income communities of color, providing job training and infrastructure jobs. Free college and health care obviously would be economic justice for Black and Brown neighborhoods. Sanders’ police accountability provision needed strengthening, but he was headed in the right direction.

 

If Sanders had developed a ground game in urban areas from the jump, and his supporters had actually built relationships with grassroots Black-led movements, instead of engaging in racist social media chastising and relying on posts of Sanders marching with Martin Luther King to get Black votes, the outcome of the primary could have been different.  Black Agenda Report commentator Bruce Dixon weighed in on Sanders and the Black vote, saying that Sanders didn’t lose the Black vote because he never had it, nor did he have a clue as to how to get it.  Dixon pointed out that the Democratic machine uses Black political puppets to monopolize Black votes, and Sanders should have gone outside of the political system to build Black support.  https://blackagendareport.com/bernie-sanders-black-vote

 

The Clintons’ legacy includes the aforementioned welfare legislation and a racist 1994 crime bill (written by Joe Biden) that fueled Black mass incarceration. Despite this history, the Clinton political machine had the Black vote on lock in the primary. An effective urban strategy by Sanders could have done damage, though. 46 million voters sat out the general election between Hillary and Donald Trump, because they rightfully saw no difference between the candidates.

 

Drew and his supporters must learn from the mistakes of the Sanders campaign. That includes acknowledging the catastrophic effects of Democratic Party neoliberalism on communities of color, including Gov. Dan Malloy’s yearly human services budget cuts. State employees, the core of the Democrats’ voter base, have been demonized by the Dems and Republicans, despite agreeing to concessions three times in eight years. They need a candidate who will continue to speak as forcefully as Drew did last week.

 

I highly recommend The Candidate starring Robert Redford. From the Internet Movie Data Base: “Idealistic young lawyer Bill McKay (Robert Redford), thoroughly involved with civil rights, legal aid and ecology, agrees to run for the U.S. Senate – not to win, he tells himself, but to bring vital issues before the voters. He despises political deals and compromises, but when the possibility of victory overshadows what seemed like certain defeat, his integrity begins to weaken. A fascinating and dynamic character study showing all the inner conflicts of a decent man torn between his ambition and his conscience. It tells what it costs – emotionally, morally, financially – to run for public office, and conveys all the doubts, all the self deceptions and ultimately all the cynicism of a man who knows he has sold out for something he isn’t sure he really wants. Oscar-winning screenplay by Jeremy Larner.” Larner was the principal speechwriter for Democratic Minnesota Congressman Eugene McCarthy. McCarthy ran for president five times including 1968, when he challenged incumbent Lyndon Johnson for the party nomination. McCarthy ran on an anti-Vietnam War platform.

 

Time will tell if unlike Sanders, Drew will refuse to be swallowed whole by the neoliberal core of the Democratic Party.

 

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 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/). Contact us at samuelssloflo@aol.com.

 

 

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio July 18

July 15, 2017

Community Party Radio on So- Metro Radio returns Tuesday, July 18. Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. The show will feature an interview (courtesy of Democracy Now! https://www.democracynow.org/) with Chokwe Antar Lumumba, the new Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi. The latest installment of our Policy Watch series will include analysis of the Hartford bankruptcy issue and the economic collapse in Kansas, which was caused by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget plan that is the model for President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget.  We’ll also discuss Johnny Eric Williams, a professor at Trinity College here in Hartford who created a national firestorm with his social media posts on racism. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific.  http://sometroradio.com/

 

Resources

Keep Hartford Public Library Mark Twain and Blue Hills Ave Branch from Closing
Petition by Jasmine Wilson

“Bridget Quinn-Carey ex Chief Operating Officer of the New York Queens Burough Public Library now CEO of Hartford Public Library, has made a budget cut totaling around $1.25 million resulting in the closing of the Mark Twain Branch, The Blue Hills Branch, and the Camp Field Branch. However, the 2017 budget for Hartford Public Library is $10.6 million. In 2015 they had a budget of $8 million and had much more staff and branches running perfectly fine. Why close access to a vital community asset if its affordable? These branches are essential for the citizens of Hartford who don’t have access to these resources at home. They are dangerously vital as it allows many citizens to apply to jobs and for youth to participate in after school programs. “Thousands of Hartford children and their families will lose reading programs, homework help and free computer time,” the library posted in a plea for help on its Facebook page. Read more here.
https://www.change.org/p/keep-hartford-public-library-mark-twain-and-blue-hills-ave-branch-from-closing

This petition will be delivered to:
Mayor of Hartford
Luke Bronin

 

Connecticut State Representative Josh Elliott talks about the state budget crisis, and presents his budget proposal.

 

 

Detroit Part II: Bankruptcy Dictatorship & Foreclosed Futures

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio Interview with CT Gubernatorial Candidate Dan Drew

July 15, 2017

The Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio interview with Middletown Mayor and Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Dan Drew will air Tuesday, August 15 at 8:00 PM Eastern Time, 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Topics will include police accountability, the state budget crisis, single payer health care, workplace bullying and urban policy issues that are ignored by the corporate media.
http://sometroradio.com/

 

Resources

WFSB Face the State interview with Dan Drew.

http://www.wfsb.com/clip/13265780/middletown-mayor-looks-to-take-on-governors-role

Lumumba Interview Part 2 / Keep Hartford Libraries Open!/ Rep. Josh Elliott’s CT Budget Plan

July 13, 2017

by David Samuels

This column appears in the July 13 – 20 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: July 18. 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/

 

Safe Work Environment Act Update

I continue to receive reports from Connecticut Valley Hospital employees about racism at CVH. Coming soon, an update on structural racism at the facility, and analysis of the Department of Administrative Services (DAS runs CVH) using their political influence to kill workers’ rights legislation in Connecticut.

 

Free the Land: An Interview with Jackson, Miss. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba Part 2

Lumumba was sworn in July 3. Interview by Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go back to your father, Chokwe Lumumba. In June 2013, I interviewed him just after he was elected mayor.
MAYOR-ELECT CHOKWE LUMUMBA: There are some people historically who have always tried to separate the populations and to have a certain portion of the population oppress the rest of the population. We’re not going to tolerate that. We’re going to move ahead. We’re going to let everyone participate in this movement forward. We’re going to invite everyone to participate in this movement forward. And we have formed like a people’s assembly, that’s key to what we’ve done here, where we have—every three months, the population can come out and participate in an open forum to say what’s on their mind.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Chokwe Lumumba in 2013, when he was mayor-elect, in the very same studio that you, Mayor-elect Lumumba, are sitting in right now. In that speech we just played that you gave at the People’s Summit, where I first met you just a few weeks ago, in Chicago, you said, “We’re going to be the most radical city on the planet.” What does that look like?
MAYOR-ELECT CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA: It looks like a plan where we, you know, change the way we view electoral politics. You know, in that speech, I spoke about not accepting someone’s agenda for our lives, but creating one ourselves. So, giving people more control of their governance is what that looks like. It’s an inclusive process. Sometimes when we use the word “radical,” people find themselves in fear and question whether they’re a part of that radical agenda. And that’s exactly our plan, is to incorporate more people, giving people voice who have not had it. That is a shift from what we’ve seen in traditional politics. It’s usually the lay of the land is given to those who are most privileged. And so, we’re trying to incorporate more people in the process, give voice to the voiceless.
And it starts with identifying, you know, the areas of greatest need. We need to show our workers, our city workers, and, you know, even the unionized work that we need—we need to show people dignity and respect in their jobs and also see the economic benefit of it. You know, Jackson is like many cities: It does not have a problem producing wealth; it has a problem maintaining wealth. And so, if you put more money in the people’s hands that live and work here, you stand a greater chance of receiving it back. And so we’re also going to look at practical solutions to our problems. It is about forming relationships. It is about operational unity and making certain that you can work with people who may historically find themselves on the opposite end of a struggle that you may be engaged in, such as the state, such as, you know, a Trump administration. And so you want to identify your common ends and see how you exploit those common goals in order to arrive at the solutions that benefit us all. But it’s also about how you take—make better use of the resources you have.

What we look at as—
AMY GOODMAN: Mayor-elect, I’m going to interrupt just because we only have a minute—
MAYOR-ELECT CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA: Yes.
AMY GOODMAN: —and I want to ask, Jackson drew a lot of attention earlier this year, when Daniela Vargas, who is a 22-year-old undocumented immigrant, was arrested by ICE after she had just held a news conference. Her pending application for renewal of DACA status, it was pending. Is Jackson going to be a sanctuary city?
MAYOR-ELECT CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA: Jackson is going to be a city which protects human rights for human beings. I don’t care whether your ancestors arrived on the Mayflower or whether you joined us more recently, you deserve the same protections and respect in this city. And so, I find—we find ourselves in interesting times, where the word “sanctuary” becomes a negative phrase. I’m proud of the work my father did in order to secure an anti-racial-profiling ordinance in the city, and we will continue to protect everyone who lives within our city, and make sure that they’re not harassed.
AMY GOODMAN: And the issue of police accountability? In the last weeks, we have seen two police officers acquitted or cases with mistrials around the killing of African-American motorists. Your thoughts?
MAYOR-ELECT CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA: I think we have a criminal justice system in our country which is entirely out of hand. You know, it’s the largest business going. And the fact that we’ve made the criminal justice system into more of an industry, it provides or creates a culture that allows for people to be harassed, killed and shuffled in like cattle.
AMY GOODMAN: We have 10 seconds.
MAYOR-ELECT CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA: And so, that encourages an environment of police brutality. And so, what we want to do is be ahead of the curve in the city of Jackson.
Keep Hartford Public Library Mark Twain and Blue Hills Ave Branch from Closing

Petition by Jasmine Wilson

“Bridget Quinn-Carey ex Chief Operating Officer of the New York Queens Burough Public Library now CEO of Hartford Public Library, has made a budget cut totaling around $1.25 million resulting in the closing of the Mark Twain Branch, The Blue Hills Branch, and the Camp Field Branch. However, the 2017 budget for Hartford Public Library is $10.6 million. In 2015 they had a budget of $8 million and had much more staff and branches running perfectly fine. Why close access to a vital community asset if its affordable? These branches are essential for the citizens of Hartford who don’t have access to these resources at home. They are dangerously vital as it allows many citizens to apply to jobs and for youth to participate in after school programs. “Thousands of Hartford children and their families will lose reading programs, homework help and free computer time,” the library posted in a plea for help on its Facebook page. Read more here.
https://www.change.org/p/keep-hartford-public-library-mark-twain-and-blue-hills-ave-branch-from-closing

This petition will be delivered to:
Mayor of Hartford
Luke Bronin

 

Rep. Josh Ellliott’s State Budget Plan

“Earlier in the year a little group of progressive legislators met to discuss what we wanted in a budget. We were never able to come to any sort of agreement, but at one point we were able to get over 45 house democrats to sign onto a document asking for revenue for the sake of investing in our future, whether that’s education, infrastructure, or help for small business.
But there are still some in the caucus who want us to close the $2.3BB all in cuts. That’s just dangerous. So, what would I do? The following:
A Statewide Property Tax:
Each statewide mil would bring in $300MM in revenue. We set a statewide mil rate to cover the baseline cost of education in every district. Then, the municipality can add additional mils to cover all other expenses.
Income tax on top earners
Top income earners pay a 6.99% tax rate, compared to NY and NJ where that rate is close to 9%. After the 2008 market crash the wealthy have completely rebounded and then some – the middle class has stagnated, and the poor are making less than they did before the crash.
We are the richest state per capita in the US. We can ask our wealthy to pay more. Each half percent on our millionaires will net us $200MM. I would propose a 2% increase, akin to what New York did nearly a decade ago – which brought in an additional $3.5BB a year for them. This would be about $800MM for CT.
Eliminating sales tax exemptions
Nearly $7BB in services is untaxed, even though they ought to be. Attorneys, engineers, architects, the list of exemptions goes on. We should be applying the sales tax to all services. We could then lower the sales tax to 5.35% and bring in an additional $700MM.
Large Employer Fee
Large companies come to the state, underpay their workers, suck up the profit, and leave the state to take care of their employees. Then people get to call them lazy for relying on the state. Sound fair? It’s not.
Asking companies with 500 employees or more to cover the cost to the state for underpaying their workers would bring in $300MM.
Marijuana
States nearby are beginning the process of legalization and will get a huge boost to their economy as the first entrants to the market. The market exists, and we are just missing out on anywhere between $50MM to $150MM a year. Plus there are the side benefits of increased youth, tourism, and new business.
Tolls
We were one vote away from getting tolls passed this year. This won’t have a budgetary effect this year, but will bring in billions of dollars over the next decade – and not all of it from residents.
And here is where we should be investing:
Universal Broadband
Build it and they will come – except big telecom companies are saying that there is no demand. They also pay heavily in to the Democratic Governor’s Association, which Malloy is the chairman of. This means that as long as Malloy is our Governor, we will not get universal broadband.
Want youth? Want information technology research? Want entrepreneurs? Want equalized access to education and information? Then we need universal broadband that is affordable, at least a gig of upload and download, and accessible to everyone.
Let’s sink $250MM into this and get the ball rolling. What if we could become the Silicon Valley of the East Coast?
State owned bank for small business liquidity and start up loans
The only reason I was able to open my business was because I’m a second-generation business owner. Without the access to easy capital and assets, I never would have been able to open my business. Ever. Not everyone is in the position. Banks do not lend to start ups – they are too risky.
That’s exactly why government is precisely the right entity to be a lender for new and small business. One place CT is really suffering is new business and high growth business. We need to provide entrepreneurs with an avenue for capital. If they succeed, we all succeed.
Let’s set aside $250MM for a state owned bank that collects deposits, but more importantly, provides loans and liquidity to CT businesses. We could get shares of start-ups, and charge low interest rates while businesses get up and running.”

Rep. Elliott’s complete budget proposal and info on how you can get involved is available on his Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/staterepjoshelliott/videos/?ref=page_internal

 

Resources

The Connecticut Economy, the State Budget, and the State of Our Children

 

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 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/). Contact us at samuelssloflo@aol.com.

 

 

 

Free the Land: An Interview with Jackson, MS Mayor Chokwe Lumumba

July 6, 2017

by David Samuels

This column appears in the July 6 – 13 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: July 18. 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

Get Global Network podcast. American News Network Summary Judgement hosts Rachel Baird and Ed Peruta expose the newly formed Hartford Civilian Police Review Board, led by police apologist Hyacinth Yennie, who was appointed by Mayor Luke Bronin.

Coming soon, we’ll have a report on racism at Connecticut Valley Hospital.

 

This week we’ll share Part 1 of a Democracy Now! interview with Jackson, Mississippi mayor Chokwe Lumumba, who was sworn in July 3. The Community Party will provide updates on the Lumumba administration, which will be a model for Black America.

 

Jackson, Miss. Mayor-elect Chokwe Lumumba: I Plan to Build the “Most Radical City on the Planet”
June 26, 2017

We end the show today in Jackson, Mississippi, where just one week from today social justice activist and attorney Chokwe Lumumba will be sworn is as the city’s next mayor. He has vowed to make Jackson the “most radical city on the planet.” He is the son of the city’s former mayor, the late Chokwe Lumumba, who was once dubbed “America’s most revolutionary mayor.” We air the mayor-elect’s speech at the People’s Summit and speak to him in Jackson about his plans for the city and his father’s legacy.

Earlier this month, Lumumba won the general election in a landslide, after handily winning a primary election in May. This is Chokwe Antar Lumumba celebrating his general election victory with supporters.
MAYOR-ELECT CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA: Free the land!
SUPPORTERS: Free the land!
MAYOR-ELECT CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA: Free the land!
SUPPORTERS: Free the land!
MAYOR-ELECT CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA: Free the land!
SUPPORTERS: Free the land!
MAYOR-ELECT CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA: By any means necessary. I need you to stand strong as we go forward. There are people who doubt your resolve, doubt that this city can be everything that it will be. And so, you can’t give up now. I say, when I become mayor, you become mayor. So that means y’all got some work to do.
AMY GOODMAN: Chokwe Lumumba is the son of the late Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, a longtime black nationalist organizer and attorney, dubbed “America’s most revolutionary mayor” before his death in 2014. The 34-year-old Chokwe Antar Lumumba supports economic democracy, and has proposed a civic incubator fund to support cooperative, member-owned businesses in Jackson. Shortly after his election, Lumumba was a featured speaker, just a few weeks ago, at the People’s Summit in Chicago.
MAYOR-ELECT CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA: I bring greetings from Jackson, Mississippi, where I have recently been named mayor-elect of Jackson, Mississippi. In this process, we defeated a field of 16 people. We were able to secure the general election with 94 percent of the vote. And more important than that, we did so on a people’s platform, on a people’s platform where, from the moment we announced, we did so saying that we were running on an agenda of social justice, of economic democracy and—and working with people, making certain that people had a voice. And that’s our story, and we’re sticking to it.
As we look at the condition of our country, as we consider the fact that we’re in Trump times, we have all kinds of questions of what that means. And when I’ve been confronted with the question of “How do you feel in Jackson, Mississippi, after the Trump election?” what I had to share with people is, after—the Wednesday after the election, I woke up in Jackson, Mississippi. And what that means is, no matter whether our country has experienced great booms or busts, in Mississippi we’ve always been at the bottom. And so what that means is that we have to decide that we are going to rescue ourselves, that in places like Jackson, Mississippi, we won’t allow it to become havens of oppression which endanger all of us.
So what happens in Jackson, Mississippi, impacts each and every one of us. And so we have to make the decision that we’re going to start controlling the way electoral politics proceeds. And so we’ve made the decision that we’re going to be the most radical city on the planet, that we’re going to make certain—that we’re going to make certain that we change the whole scope of electoral politics. No longer will we allow an individual to step before us and tell us all of the great things that they’re going to accomplish on our behalf, only to find that nothing in their past demonstrates a sincerity, a willingness or an ability to do so. What we must do—what we must do in Jackson, Mississippi, in D.C., in Maryland, in Gary, Indiana, in Chicago, Illinois, is we have to start drafting an agenda for ourselves, creating an agenda, creating what we want to see, and then we draft the leadership which represents our agenda.
And so, we’re excited about this energy which is surfacing, but it is time that we concretize it, that we take it from the mystical, from the mysterious, and put it into action and see what we can demonstrate when progressive people come together and have a plan and decide how we’re going to change the very scope of this world.
And so, we have to come to the same understanding that Martin Luther King came to in his last days. Martin had a conversation with Harry Belafonte not long before he died. And what Martin told Harry, he said, “Listen, Harry, we’re going to win this integration struggle. But I’m beginning to wonder. I’m beginning to wonder if we’re not integrating into a burning house.” He said, “I see a system which is abusing labor and abusing working people.” And he said, “I’m worried about integrating into a house that looks like that.” He said, “If people can’t be fed, if people can’t take care of their families, then it is useless to walk Mississippi roads together.”
And so, ultimately, it becomes greater than a question of color and more a question of ideas and what are the best ideas and what are the worst ideas. And what the worst ideas are, is that you can be oppressive to anyone. And so, we now demand—we now demand that our leadership looks at how we include the people’s voice in the process, and that we have a—we have two choices. We have a choice of economics by the people and for the people or economics by a few people for themselves. And so, we’re demanding, right now, right now, that we begin to rescue ourselves. Right now, as my comrade said, we have nothing to lose but our chains. Thank you so much.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Jackson, Mississippi, Mayor-elect Chokwe Antar Lumumba speaking earlier this month at the People’s Summit in Chicago. Well, he joins us now live from Jackson, Mississippi.
Mayor-elect Lumumba, welcome to Democracy Now!
MAYOR-ELECT CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA: Thank you so much, Amy. I’m happy to be on your program with you today.
AMY GOODMAN: So, one week from today, you’re going to be sworn in as the next mayor of Jackson, Mississippi. Talk about your plans, what are your—going to be your first actions in office.
MAYOR-ELECT CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA: Well, Amy, we’re putting together—we have a transition team that’s in place right now and looking at the issues which Jackson is facing, making certain that we don’t make plans just off conjecture, but a fact-based analysis of where we find our city, and bringing together not only people who have the acumen and ability and skill to do the job, but people who have a passion, a passion which goes beyond just the way we see electoral politics, but a passion to change people’s lives. And part of that process is putting together a budget. Shortly after we take office, we have to pass a budget. And so, it’s important that we have the right people in place.
One of the symbolic measures that we’re going to take immediately as we take office is a citywide cleanup. It’s more than just, you know, taking care of the aesthetic appeal of our city. It’s about unifying the city. It’s about bringing people from all areas of the city together and taking a collective interest in how our city looks. You know, I hearken back to the words of my mother: “If you don’t care for your house, no one else will.” And so, we’re going to take those easy first steps, that is symbolic of where we’re going and the direction we’re headed in collectively.
AMY GOODMAN: You referred your mother. Can you talk about the origins of your name, Chokwe, Chokwe Antar Lumumba?
MAYOR-ELECT CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA: Amy, I couldn’t hear you. My earpiece slipped out for a moment.
AMY GOODMAN: Oh. Can you talk about the—
MAYOR-ELECT CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA: Can you please repeat that question?
AMY GOODMAN: —the origins of your name, Chokwe Antar Lumumba?
MAYOR-ELECT CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA: So, my father changed his name when he was in law school, and accepted a name that he believed to be more culturally identifiable. Chokwe is the name of a tribe in the Angola region, a tribe that was resistant to the slave trade. The name Chokwe means “hunter.” Antar is the name of a historic poet and warrior who died while saving a woman from drowning. And Antar means “poet” and “warrior.” Lumumba, given that name from our namesake, Patrice Lumumba, the former prime minister of the Congo. And Lumumba means “gifted.”
AMY GOODMAN: And can you talk about—I mean, your rise to the—to becoming mayor of Jackson is very interesting, because the incumbent mayor, Tony Yarber, won the special election against you in 2014, the race that determined who would finish your father’s term after he died in office. Your thoughts about losing to him then but defeating him in this race? What changed?
MAYOR-ELECT CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA: Well, you know, as I’ve shared with many people, hindsight is 20/20. And I’m actually grateful that we lost the election in 2014, not because the sincerity was not there, not because we don’t believe we could have done a good job, but we’ve been able to, you know, appreciate far more that’s going on with the city of Jackson, and I’ve been able to appreciate more within myself. You know, people have to remember, in 2014, not only did I bury my father in a two-month time span and then enter into an election, my wife was pregnant with our first child. And so there was a world of change. You had a first-time candidate, who had not run for junior class president, much less mayor of a city. And so, we’ve been able to, you know, gather more information and position ourselves better. And so everything happens in a perfect timing. And so, we’re happy where we find ourselves at this time, to move forward the agenda that my father embarked on, an agenda of a people’s platform, one that was not only, you know, symbolic of his work in his short term as mayor, but symbolic of his work, a lifetime of work, that he subscribed to and also ultimately dedicated his family toward.
Next week: Part 2

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 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/). Contact us at samuelssloflo@aol.com.