Category: Prime Politics - Original Written by Amber Bogins
At 10:00 a.m., Friday, June 28, 2013, Mike Duggan announced his decision to mount a write-in campaign for Mayor of Detroit in the August 6th primary election.
Duggan 20,000 votes in order to be on the November ballot.
Last Updated on Friday, 28 June 2013 09:36
Category: Prime Politics - Original Written by Bankole Thompson, Chronicle Senior Editor
The U.S. Supreme Court, in a devastating blow to voting rights activists and people of color, including African Americans who have long been fighting for full access to the ballot box, today handed down the most extreme rule on the right to vote in decades.
The court in a 5-4 rule in Shelby County v. Holder invalidated Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, known as the coverage formula for identifying states that are violating voting laws or impeding on the right of minorities to vote.
The ruling cripples Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act which requires states such as Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Alaska, Virginia and Arizona that have a history of oppressing Black voters to preclear with the U.S. Department of Justice before changes to their voting laws.
The conservative Cato Institute filed an amicus brief in the Shelby County case saying, "America is no longer a land where Whites hold the levers of power and minority representation depends on extraordinary federal intervention."
Congressman John Conyers, the highest ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee and dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, expressed his disappointment.
"While I am encouraged the Court upheld the preclearance requirement of Section 5, its decision striking the coverage formula in Section 4 will do real damage to voting rights absent a swift and clear congressional legislative response. It is unfortunate the Court ignored Congress' unprecedented and comprehensive legislative findings in reenacting the Voting Rights Act in 2006 on an overwhelming and bipartisan basis," Conyers said.
"Today's decision missed an opportunity to reinforce the important role that the federal government has in ensuring that all Americans have an equal right to access the ballot box and have their votes count. I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that the voting rights of all Americans are protected."
Detroit Branch NAACP President Rev Wendell Anthony called the nation's high court decision "a supreme overreach."
"Today's ruling by the United States Supreme Court to eliminate Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, thus negating Section 5, is an example of an outrageous misfortune for the people of our nation," Anthony said. "While this ruling places the future of the Voting Rights Act and its enforcement in the hands of a Congress that is dysfunctional, intransigent and often engaged in political stagnation, it is indeed a betrayal of the fundamental voting rights of every American."
He said African Americans, Latinos and other minorities are still the victims of the severe misuse of voting ID laws.
"Early voting restrictions, even in the 2012 elections, demonstrate very clearly the need for monitoring and enforcement of state and local communities who violate the rights of the people," Anthony said.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, addressing a media conference at the Justice Department in Washington, today said the court has "invalidated an essential part of the Voting Rights Act, a cornerstone of American civil rights law. Like many others across the country, I am deeply disappointed with the Court's decision in this matter. This decision represents a serious setback for voting rights, and has the potential to negatively affect millions of Americans across the country."
Holder said the DOJ "will continue to carefully monitor jurisdictions around the country for voting changes that may hamper voting rights. Let me be very clear: We will not hesitate to take swift enforcement action — using every legal tool that remains available to us — against any jurisdiction that seeks to take advantage of the Supreme Court's ruling by hindering eligible citizens' full and free exercise of the franchise."
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 22:23
Category: Prime Politics - Original Written by Cathy Nedd
City of Detroit Emergency Manager, Kevyn Orr will host a series of town hall and community meetings throughout the city of Detroit in the coming weeks.
The first two scheduled events are:
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Greater Grace Church Temple
23500 W. 7 Mile Road
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Martin Luther King High School
3200 E. Lafayette
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 June 2013 10:58
Category: Prime Politics - Original Written by Bob Weiner & Shona Paige
President Obama has dropped some ten points in recent polls—not surprising given the massive media swirl about supposed scandals. Even though a strong case can be made that the scandals have little merit and are driven by partisan opponents, the President needs to be clearer about his positive agenda for the American people. It would be wise if he held a White House news conference in the near future laying out his second term agenda. The criticism saying he has none would dissipate. Here’s what he could include:
We recently asked in The Chronicle, “What About Jobs?” With the unemployment rate in the United States at 7.6% -- more than 50% over our post-World War Two average—and at 13.5% among African Americans, and the numbers even higher in Michigan, the major topic Americans and Michigan citizens are still concerned about is jobs. Jobs have become a forgotten issue. The President has been pushing creation of infrastructure jobs but the Congress has been filibustering and opposing the bills.
Implementation of the new national health bill and getting people to use and know the bill are also properly large on Obama’s second term agenda. The Affordable Health Care Act offers preventive care and allows children to remain on parents’ plans until age 26. It stops pre-existing conditions from blocking coverage and gives lifetime care. Most significantly, it covers 30 million previously uninsured Americans. Getting those who do not have insurance to use the law is imperative.
A vital concern on the agenda is the Sequester and its affects. The sequester is causing cuts in food stamps, college scholarships, K-12 education, cancer research and veterans’ benefits among other critical programs, as well as defense. The sequester should be repealed as the legislation of Cong. John Conyers, Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, would do.
High on the agenda is enforcing the Voting Rights Act. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told us recently, the power of the Voting Rights Act is authorized in the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. Yet the Supreme Court’s conservatives have just blocked part of the Act. We should be doing more to fight voter suppression, not less. Congress must pass corrective legislation, immediately.
There is no peace in the Middle East. There is no good answer in Syria, but it must not become a never-ending American war. The Afghanistan and Iraq wars must proceed on course to end, which includes the 200,000 contractors still in the fight. Contractors make up to five times as much money as soldiers, but have almost no oversight, as NSA leaker Edward Snowden and the CIA contractors who tortured in Abu Ghraib have proved.
We must fight oil price gouging. Have you noticed that gas prices go up and down based on the visibility of the opposition? Don’t fall for the claim that it is supply and demand.
Social Security should not be privatized to become a Wall Street benefit, nor cut. It is solvent for over twenty years, and only slightly in deficit after that.
China cheating: The U.S. continues to be victimized by a trillion-dollar debt to China. It is vital we do not allow ourselves to be blackmailed into niceness while our economy gets trampled on.
The President supports drones but other liberals oppose them. We must persuade liberals to support them because they keep American soldiers from being killed. They are an important tool against terror.
Nuclear power plants are often built on earthquake fault lines and hurricane centric locations; and in all locations, radioactive cancer-producing waste ultimately oozes out. Safety and waste have not been solved since nuclear power was created. As Joan Konner, Emmy Award winning television documentary producer, has stated, “We are no further along in what we need to do with nuclear waste than we were in the 1960s.”
There must be a more realistic approach to Latin America. The U.S. knee-jerk put-down of Chavez’s elections in Venezuela, as well as our refusing to do business with Cuba, showed simplistic opposition and did no good to the U.S. image. Now that Chavez is dead and Castro will be soon, we must accept whom those and other countries select.
To address a true concern, Obama should improve the IRS approval process of non-profits. The flaw happened in 1959 when the Eisenhower administration interpreted a law that said tax exemptions were for “exclusively” social welfare groups and inexplicably made it “primarily”—a gross error in regulation that opened the door to political abuse. “Exclusive” must be enforced.
We must quit making the fiscal cliff a priority instead of helping American citizens. Trickle-down economics theorystates that tax cuts to the wealthy and big businesses will translate to increased economic growth. This has continuously been proven wrong. Productivity is higher from direct support to infrastructure jobs and tax breaks to middle class Americans.
The value of public service should be respected. People who give to the country, state and locality by working for government should not be demeaned. However, anyone in government for the money who takes bribes should be thrown out and jailed.
Money in politics has a disproportionate influence and mostly helps conservatives who have more of it. The Citizens United Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited anonymous corporate money is a disaster for democracy. New legislation and at some point new Court appointees can change it.
Gun safety must return. 5000 have been shot and killed just since Newtown six months ago. Solely because of money’s election power, the NRA blocked 91% of the American people’s wish for background checks following Newtown, Aurora, and other mass killings.
An immigration bill must be passed. 71% of Hispanics voted Democratic because Romney did not back off his inane “self deportation” statement and policy. Both sides now realize that a policy must be adopted ultimately recognizing the 12-20 million illegals already in the United States but securing the border for the future.
The unconscionable VA backlog could be solved by hiring temps. If VA administrator Shinseki asked for an “emergency appropriation” from Congress, to hire all the temps he needed, it would be granted in an eyelash.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 June 2013 10:13
Category: Prime Politics - Original Written by April Ryan
June 12, 1963, Civil Rights Activist Medgar Evers was assassinated for his efforts to overturn segregation in Mississippi. Fifty years later, President Obama met with Evers widow, Myrlie Evers, and the Evers children and grandchildren in the Oval Office before the official ceremony commemorating his death.
Valerie Jarrett Senior advisor to President Obama contends the Presidents meeting with the Evers family “was a deeply poignant moment particularly timed on the same day the President appointed Judge Robert Leon Wilkins to the DC Circuit.” Jarrett during the phone interview said it is “a special day!” She explains, “To see Mrs. Evers and her family in the Oval Office, spending a private moment with the President demonstrates ‘that the moral arch of the universe is long but it does bends towards justice,’ to quote Dr. Martin Luther King.”
According to Jarrett, President Obama told Mrs. Evers the death of her Husband “‘turned tragedy into a rallying call.’ The fact that he is buried in Arlington [National] Cemetery demonstrates that he is a warrior of justice.” Medgar Evers is a World War II Veteran who fought in Normandy, France and in Germany during the war.
The Oval Office meeting with the President and the Evers family was punctuated by a gift. Mrs. Evers acknowledged her son, James Van Evers, presented President Obama with two black and white portrait originals. The portraits were inscribed. Jarrett said one portrait was of “Rosa Parks” and the other was of a “Coretta Scott King with Betty Shabazz and Myrlie Evers,” three of the widows of the Civil Rights movement.
Jarrett says the President is planning on having the portraits mounted and placed in his “private office.” It is not known if the President will hang the portraits in his private office off of the Oval Office or in his private office in the residence. Listen to my full interview with Valerie Jarrett:
This is Myrlie Evers second meeting with the President this year. She spoke with the Obama’s earlier this year as she delivered the invocation at the second Inauguration of President Barack Obama in January 2013.
Following her meeting in the Oval Office with President Obama, I had the opportunity to speak with Myrlie Evers outside of the White House:
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 June 2013 19:06
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