Friday, September 29, 2017

Edwin Melendez on Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief

Center for Puerto Rican Studies' Edwin Melendez discusses the current amount of federal aid needed for Puerto Rico.

Source: C-SPAN 

Douglas Holtz-Eakin on the Republican Congressional Agenda

Source: C-SPAN

'Flashback Friday': Malcolm X at the Oxford Union (1964)

Source: Donnie Mossberg

The Time Has Come - History of Black Politicians (1977)

Source: reelblack

Anti-Racism Educator Jane Elliot Blasts Trump For Attacks On NFL Players, Dividing The Nation

Source: Roland Martin

Black Lives Matter Is a Movement That Can’t Be Sued, Judge Says

BATON ROUGE, La. — Black Lives Matter is a social movement, like the tea party or the civil rights movement, and therefore can't be sued, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

A police officer anonymously sued Black Lives Matter and DeRay Mckesson, a prominent activist in the movement, after being injured by a rock thrown during a protest over a deadly police shooting in Baton Rouge last year.

But U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson dismissed the officer's suit and ruled that Black Lives Matter is not an entity capable of being sued.

"Although many entities have utilized the phrase 'black lives matter' in their titles or business designations, 'Black Lives Matter' itself is not an entity of any sort," Jackson wrote in his 24-page ruling. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

Focus Group Reveals Democrats ‘Have a Lot of Work to Do’ With Black Millennials

PHILADELPHIA — “Angry," "exasperated," "worried," "stressed" and "scared" were the responses from back-to-back focus groups here of a combined 20 African-American millennials, who were asked to describe how they feel about American politics.

These young voters from a key 2016 battleground state also expressed deep pessimism about the political process and their voices in it.

"I feel like I can't make the impact I want," said a 25-year-old man who recently got his college degree.

"I'm outnumbered," said a 33-year-old female payroll analyst.

"I feel like Trump is tearing everything down," added a 24-year-old woman who's a front desk supervisor.

"I don't think what I have to say really matters," said an 18-year-old community college student. "I am a minority," the woman added.

“Our votes don’t really count,” said a 24-year-old professional dancer. 

Click here for the full article. 

Air Force Academy Head Tells Racists to ‘Get Out’ in Impassioned Speech

The head of the Air Force Academy gathered 5,500 cadets, faculty, staff and cadet candidates Thursday to deliver a powerful message after racial slurs were found written on message boards at the academy’s preparatory school.

“If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out,” Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria told the group at the culmination of a forceful five-minute lecture on the “power of diversity.”

Five black cadet candidates at the Academy’s Preparatory School woke up Monday morning to messages saying “go home” followed by an anti-black slur, according to a statement released by the academy. 

Click here for the full article. 

This One Word Is Worth $500 Billion as Congress Debates Tax Cuts


That word could be worth $500 billion to congressional Republicans as they try to play down the effect of President Donald Trump's tax cut proposal on the nation's debt.

They're eyeing a switch in the standard Congress uses to measure the cost of tax cuts — from the "current law" baseline to a "current policy" baseline. The switch would mean that the tax cuts would appear to have far less impact on the long-term debt.

Here's how it's worked in the past: Congressional budget experts measure the deficit impact of new legislation against current law. If, for example, a tax break on rum is set to expire in two years, the experts assume that the government will collect more revenue in the third, fourth and fifth years because the tax rate on rum will have gone back up after the break has expired.

But the "current policy" baseline assumes that every law now in effect would continue in perpetuity, even if the law has a sunset date. Republicans like the "current policy" baseline because it means that projections of future government revenue are lower — and, as a result, tax cuts look smaller compared to current policy than they do compared to current law

Click here for the full article. 

Feds Demand Facebook Share Information on Anti-Trump Protesters

The Justice Department is demanding that Facebook turn over information from three accounts that could provide access to the personal details of thousands of activists who expressed interest in anti-Trump rallies.

The department obtained search warrants targeting three Facebook accounts that were used to organize Inauguration Day protests against Donald Trump, the ACLU said late Thursday. But accessing those accounts would provide information on thousands of other users who "liked" an anti-Trump Facebook page, the group explained.

The ACLU’s Washington, D.C., office said in a statement it would fight the enforcement of the search warrants. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

Health Officials Warn This Flu Season Could Be Especially Dangerous

Mom Says She Could Face Jail Time for Not Vaccinating Her Son

U.S. Plans to Withdraw Diplomats from Cuba

This report was broadcast on September 28. 

Source: CBS News

The Travel Ban is Still a Muslim Ban, and the Press Should Say So

By Jon Allsop

The inclusion of North Korea and Venezuela in President Trump’s latest border security directive has reignited a debate in the media: When does a Muslim ban stop being a “Muslim ban”? The latest round of coverage shows reporters and editors have hedged their bets.

The addition of two non-Muslim-majority nations doesn’t make the directive any less of a Muslim ban, as recent stories have noted. But the same reports struggled to capture that impression in headlines and shorthand descriptions. Leads in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, and Reuters variously called the new directive a “travel ban” and “travel restrictions,” and retroactively applied the same antiseptic language to the policy’s previous—more overtly anti-Muslim—incarnations.

The Times:
President Trump on Sunday issued a new order indefinitely banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.
Click here for the full article.

Source: Columbia Journalism Review. 

U.S. Army Takes Over Massive Mission to Save Puerto Rico

More than a week after Hurricane Maria, the response is finally being federalized as the island struggles to distribute supplies and restore power.  

By Ingrid Arnesen

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—The U.S. Army will take over recovery operations in Puerto Rico, Col. Jorge Santini of Puerto Rico's National Guard state command told The Daily Beast. The announcement is expected Thursday afternoon.

U.S. Northern Command appointed Army Brig. Gen. Richard Kim on Wednesday to oversee operations. The Army will oversee every facet of the massive mission and coordinate with the National Guard, FEMA, and Gov. Ricardo Rossello’s office, Santini said. Approximately 2,600 U.S. military personnel and Guard members are currently involved in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, the Pentagon said.

"We need more manpower, more resources, more help, quickly and efficiently," Santini said. "We needed to federalize the recovery plan."

Ret. Gen. Russel Honore, who led the military effort in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, told NPR on Thursday morning and far more troops are needed.

“Puerto Rico is a bigger and tougher mission than Katrina,’ Honore said, adding 20,000 federal troops and 40,000 National Guard were under his command. Honore said twice as many are needed for Puerto Rico.

“We started moving about four days too late,” Honore said. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Daily Beast 

Crime Map Reveals Most Dangerous Places in New York City

Rudy Giuliani did so much to help New York City move on from the days when fear and crime ruled.

Manhattan is a much safer place now than it was a decade ago — but there’s still a lot of work to be done, judging by these maps.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) crime locators reveal the most dangerous parts of the city.

The department offers three choices of map: precinct, crime location and heat. All show where cops received reports of crime across Manhattan.

Click here to review maps. 

Source: (via The Empire Report) 

Introducing 'Crain's' 100 Best Places to Work in New York City in 2017

Perks can be vital for recruiting top talent, especially in industries like tech and engineering, but 100 New York companies go above and beyond to nurture inspiring and supportive workplaces. Crain's 2017 list of Best Places to Work in New York City recognizes the firms that went the extra mile for their employees.

This year's champions of office culture, named alphabetically below, represent a variety of industries throughout New York, from financial technology to construction to socks—yes, socks.

Come celebrate with these companies at our awards luncheon on Dec. 1, when Crain's will announce the rankings for the 2017 Best Places to Work list. The definitive rankings will also be published online and in the Dec. 4 issue of Crain's New York Business.

Click here for listing. 

Source: Crain's New York Business (via The Empire Report) 

City & State: Winners and Losers, 9/29/2017

 Rob Astorino

Washington may have a monopoly on government dysfunction, but New York isn't giving up in the competition to be the most scandal-plagued place in the country. In the space of a couple days, a man who might have been New York City's mayor was sentenced for his sleazy online behavior and yet another former legislative leader had his corruption conviction overturned – at least for now.  But how do they stack up among this week’s Winners & Losers?


Rob Astorino – Last month, the Republican Westchester County executive vetoed a bill intended to protect undocumented immigrants, saying the legislation would threaten access to federal funding. On Monday, county legislators came one vote short of overriding the veto, meaning that Westchester will not become a so-called "sanctuary county" – although Astorino did issue an executive order directing county officers not to inquire about immigration status. 

Click here for the full listing. 

Source: City & State (via The Empire Report)

Army's Position on Fort Drum Soldier: It's OK to Be a Communist


WASHINGTON -- U.S. Army officials say soldiers like the one at Fort Drum who shared photos of himself with pro-communist messages under his uniform have the right to join political parties and engage in speech that many Americans may find offensive.

Soldiers are permitted to be members of the Community Party, American Nazi Party, or in the case of Army 2nd Lt. Spenser Rapone, a supporter of the Democratic Socialists of America.

But Rapone, assigned to Fort Drum's 10th Mountain Division, may have crossed a line for acceptable conduct this week when he tweeted photos of himself in his dress uniform to make a political statement.

That's why Fort Drum commanders launched an investigation into Rapone that could result in administrative or punitive action, said Tonya Stokes, speaking for the Northern New York military post. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: (via The Empire Report)

It's True: A Lot of People Are Leaving New York


New York state’s population declined last year for the first time in a decade.

State Republican Chairman Edward F. Cox blames the drop on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Cuomo's economic policies make it hard for employers to add jobs, especially in upstate New York, so residents are leaving the state for better employment opportunities elsewhere, he said.

"We have the biggest outmigration of citizens of any state," Cox said.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: POLITIFACT New York (via the Empire Report) 

New York Won’t Require Union Jobs As Part Of Amazon Package

By Ryan Whalen

From the Morning Memo:

Amazon is planning to build a new headquarters somewhere in the U.S. in the near future, potentially adding up to 50,000 jobs at whichever lucky location – or locations – get chosen.

Like so many other states across the nation, New York is pushing hard to win this contest.

While metro regions like Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and New York City are putting together the most attractive incentive packages they can, a large portion of what’s being offered will come from the state, and Empire State Development President Howard Zemsky said the package will be basically the same for any region that applies.

They have not decided on final numbers yet, but ESDC officials follow metrics based on the number of positions a company promises to bring and how well those jobs pay. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: State of Politics

Actually Gov. Cuomo, You're Not an Immigrant

By Chris Churchill

Albany, N.Y.- There's something about me you don't know. I was raised by a pack of wolves.

I've hesitated to mention this before because it isn't actually true. But it is increasingly obvious that anyone can claim to be whatever they want, as evidenced by something the governor claimed this week.

"I am an immigrant," Andrew Cuomo said on MSNBC, while discussing hurricane devastation in Puerto Rico.

The timing was odd, given that Puerto Ricans are Americans. When they move to the mainland, they are not immigrants.

But Cuomo has made this claim before.

"You want to deport immigrants?" the Democrat asked last year in a speech directed at Donald Trump.  "Start with me because I am an immigrant."

Cuomo was born in Queens. His parents were also born in New York. He is not, therefore, an immigrant.

Click here for the full article.

Source: (via The Empire Report)

Yom Kippur Greetings.....from The G-Man

‘G’mar Fatima Tova’

South Korea Marks Armed Forces Day in Show of Strength Against North

African Security Officials Tackle Regional Threats

Lebanon Sentences Muslim Cleric to Death Over Deadly Attack

Syrian Expat in Greece Sets Up a Farm for Refugees

Bali: Fear of Volcanic Eruption Forces 130,000 to Flee

Catalonia Referendum: Separatists Call for Peaceful Defiance

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Russia: Why Was the Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Detained?

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Iraq: IS Group Leader Hails Jihadists Despite Loss of Territory

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Rohingya Crisis: 'Kutupalong Camp is Going to Be One of the Biggest Refugee Camps in the World'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

'Puerto Rico Deserves Better'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Eye on Africa: Kenya's Ruling Party Moves to Amend Election Law Ahead of Presidential Re-Run

Source: FRANCE 24 English

How French Police Are Cracking Down on 'Les Casseurs'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Thursday, September 28, 2017

LatinoJustice PRLDEF, the NAACP and CBC File Briefs in Support of TENNY Lawsuit


New York City - LatinoJustice PRLDEF, the NAACP and the Citizens Budget Commission each filed Amicus Curiae briefs this week in support of Tax Equity Now New York’s (TENNY) lawsuit seeking reform of New York City’s property tax system. TENNY is a coalition of homeowners, renters, rental property owners, civil rights and social justice organizations, that filed suit in April 2017 seeking reform of the New York City property tax system on the grounds that it is irrational, and unfairly burdens low income & minority neighborhoods.  Despite widespread support for property tax reform in New York, the City and State are currently fighting the suit.

“We have brought together a diverse coalition of voices to help people understand the property tax system and to fight for change to a regressive, opaque and irrational system,” said Martha Stark, Director of Policy for TENNY. “Because the political will required for change has been lacking, we filed suit and are seeking justice through the court system. LatinoJustice, the NAACP and the Citizens Budget Commission are formidable allies in our cause for reform, and their supporting our lawsuit is a testament to the strength of our case. With organizations like these by our side, we will finally force policy-makers to find a solution and right a serious injustice.”

“LatinoJustice is committed to the protection of civil and human rights within Latino communities,” said Juan Cartagena, President of Latino Justice. “We are very pleased for the opportunity to support TENNY’s efforts to reform NYC’s property tax system by submitting an amicus curiae brief in support of their lawsuit. We look forward to supporting their continued efforts fighting for reform of New York City’s broken property tax system alongside this diverse and broad coalition.”

Dr. Hazel N. Dukes, President of the NAACP New York State Conference said, “New York City’s property tax system is aggressively regressive, shifting tax burdens away from the wealthy and onto the backs of minorities and lower income property owners and tenants in underserved communities throughout the City. We were among the first supporters of TENNY, and proud to submit briefs in support of the lawsuit, because it is long past time that this institutional racial injustice come to an end.”

Carol Kellermann, President of the Citizens Budget Commission said, “The City gets more than $24 billion in revenue from property taxes and we need to make sure the system is fair and transparent.  For more than three decades we’ve been waiting for the City and State legislatures to address the inequities and economic inefficiencies in the design and administration of property taxes.  We’re supportive of this action and believe that when the data that TENNY has assembled is presented in court, it will help foster a comprehensive restructuring of the system.  It’s long overdue.

Judge Jonathan Lippman, Of Counsel at Latham & Watkins and attorney for TENNY, said, “Our case for reform is only made stronger by LatinoJustice , the NAACP and CBC joining our lawsuit. Our complaint makes clear that the longstanding and stark inequities in the current system are not just unfair, they are unlawful—violating provisions of the New York State Constitution, New York’s real property tax law, and federal law that require property taxes to be imposed uniformly and rationally. We look forward to seeking justice via the court system with these critical allies on our side.”

For decades, political leaders and independent analysts have decried New York City’s property tax system as unfair, antiquated, and outdated, and acknowledged that it imposes unequal tax bills on property owners that bear little relationship to their properties’ actual value. The system is regressive, and shifts the onus from wealthy Manhattan co-op and condo owners to renters and homeowners in the outer boroughs, disproportionately burdening neighborhoods primarily populated by racial and ethnic minorities and lower income families least able to afford it. The broken system also discourages the construction of rental housing, and is unfair to countless communities across the City.

The system’s problems are widespread and insidious: data shows that racial minorities are particularly harmed. According to recently released data from the New School Center for New York City Affairs, the inequities in the system “have a marked class and race dimension. The median income of renters is only half that of home and apartment owners, and racial minorities account for three-quarters of renters, but are slightly fewer than half of home and apartment owners.”

Higher assessments lead to higher taxes in minority-majority neighborhoods across the City. People of Color constitute a minority of the population in the 15 community planning districts in which condos, coops, and rental properties are taxed at the lowest effective tax rates. By contrast, People of Color constitute 72% of the 15 community planning districts in which those properties are taxed at the highest effective tax rates.

Over twice as many African-Americans and almost one-third more Latinos live in the 15 community planning districts in which one, two, or three-family homes pay the highest effective tax rates than the 15 community planning districts in which such properties are taxed at the lowest effective tax rates. Disparities between individual properties are often even starker. A home sold in 2015 in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn for $150,000 has the same exact property tax bill ($4,297) as one that sold the same year for $9,000,000 in Carroll Gardens, even though the latter property was 6000% times more valuable.

Moreover, the effective tax rate paid by homeowners in community planning districts with a population that is greater than 60% Latino is 20% higher than in districts that are more than 60% white.  In other words, the taxes for Latinos per $1 million of market value is more than $8,600 compared to just $7,200 in districts that are white.

Link to Court filings:
Case number: 153759/2017

Tax Equity Now New York is an association of New York City homeowners and renters, civil rights and social justice organizations, and real estate leaders, with the support of civic leaders, committed to exposing, educating, and correcting the current, antiquated and inequitable New York City property tax system. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are not seeking financial remuneration – but simply to ensure that New York City has the best and fairest property tax structure in the state and country. For more information and get a better understanding of the problem and find specific information about your own properties please visit:
Source: Mercury

Trump Is Nobody's Fool

The president's latest "travel ban", which still primarily impacts Muslims, is politics and deception in its fullest form. 

By Nida Khan

One of the biggest critiques we hear about President Donald Trump is that he is crazy, unhinged – even mentally deranged. Cable news networks have done entire segments about his mental stability (or lack thereof) and fitness for office, with journalists, pundits and analysts sitting around playing the role of psychologists. When it comes to this president and this administration, one thing everyone should keep in mind is that despite the outbursts, offensive statements, ridiculous tweets and antics, he isn't some clown. Rather, he and his team are a cold, calculating and opportunistic bunch that have perfected the art of deception while quietly mastering the political game behind-the-scenes. The latest example of this dichotomy is no other than the newly revised travel ban.

While everyone's attention was focused on the Graham/Cassidy bill, Republicans' latest failed effort to repeal Obamacare, Trump's outrageous comments about athletes who exercise their First Amendment rights, the tragedy in Puerto Rico and other stories, this president quietly signed a new executive order, adding additional countries to his banned list. Sunday's order bans most people from Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, Libya, Iran and North Korea, as well as some Venezuelan government officials and others. It conveniently came as provisions of the previous ban expired, and right before the Supreme Court was set to hear the case next month. By adding countries like North Korea and Venezuela, the Trump administration has cleverly thrown a monkey wrench into the argument that this is a Muslim ban. But let's not be fooled by the political games: This was, is and will still be an initial ban on millions of Muslims entering the United States.

The Supreme Court this week removed two cases from their oral argument calendar following this latest executive order: Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project and Trump v. Hawaii. The parties fighting against Trump's ban have long maintained that it violates the Establishment Clause, which prohibits the government from favoring one religion over another. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: U.S. News & World Report 

Bronx Organizations to Launch Relief Drive for Puerto Rico and Mexico

What You Should Know
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District

You should know that here in Bronx County they are several organizations that are coordinating a humanitarian relief effort to collect and sends aid to the victims in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria and the victims of the Earthquake in Mexico.

As we all know, Hurricanes Irma and Maria have wreaked havoc on the island, leaving much destruction, floods and thousands of families helpless and with urgent needs for help.

On the other hand, our brothers and sisters in Mexico have been visited by a tremendous earthquake of 7.1 on the Richter scale.

This earthquake in Mexico has destroyed thousands of homes and buildings causing the loss of life of hundreds of people and hundreds of others hospitalized homeless and without shelter.

It is for this reasons that, The New York Hispanic Clergy Organization, the Christian Community Benevolent Association, Radio Vision Cristiana Internacional, and Radio Cantico Nuevo, have organized this humanitarian relief effort, and they have been supported by elected officials such as Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr, Senator Rubén Díaz Sr., Assemblymen Marcos Crespo, Luis Sepulveda, and Councilman Rafael Salamanca.

We must all answer the call at this time when Puerto Rico and Mexico need our help.  Water, canned foods, medicines, pampers, infant formula, first aid articles, batteries and flashlights, and other aids will be received at this humanitarian relief effort.

I am Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz and this is what you should know.

Future Hope Columns: Religion and Revolution, Part Two

By Ted Glick

In my first column on this topic on September 16, I referenced my intention via study and discussions with others, “to try to pinpoint what is at the root of the failure, by and large, of both organized religion and organized Marxism/socialism to do what Marx called for in words inscribed on his grave: ‘The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.’”

I’ve done some thinking about this as I’ve been moving forward with this personal project. Believing that input and constructive criticism from others is always a good thing, I’m going to share my current thinking and invite others to respond.

After reading my father’s Bible from beginning to end a number of months ago, I re-read Foundations of Christianity, a Marxist analysis of Christianity by Karl Kautsky written in 1908. Kautsky at the time was one of the leading theoreticians of the European socialist movement and a leader of the German Social Democratic Party.

There were many things I appreciated about Kautsky’s analysis, but there were aspects of it that have not held up as human history has unfolded, in particular, Kautsky’s view of religion as a “backwards” thing of the past of no use for those interested in forward progress.

Here’s a sentence which sums up this view of religion: “the religious mode of thought was superseded by the methods of modern science, with the result that it [religion] is cherished only by backwards classes and strata of the population, or backward regions, and may not in any manner continue to serve as an envelope for new social goals.” (p. 171)

Tell that to Pope Francis! Or even Fidel Castro, if he was still alive [see part one].

So one candidate for the root of our desperate civilizational crisis in this time of climate disruption and massive inequality is the historic antagonism between religion and scientific socialism.

But there has been a change over the years. For decades, since the 60’s at least, there have been substantive interactions between religionists and socialists, and there is much more appreciation by both sides of the need for unity in action, if not ideological or theological unity, in the struggle against injustice and for a new world.

Another reason for our situation is the continuing, if weakening, hold of the worst cultural values of capitalism: individual advancement before the common good, greed and power-seeking, domination over others for private gain, selfish individualism, interwoven with and supporting white supremacy, patriarchy, heterosexism and other backwards ideologies and practices.

The fact that a person as retrograde as Donald Trump could be elected President is a sure sign, a maddening sign, that US culture, and the politics that come with it, are seriously infected with the worst aspects of capitalism.

However, there’s another side to this. Prior to Trump’s electoral college, not popular, victory, black man Barack Obama was President for eight years. Obama was not a socialist; he was a liberal, unapologetic backer of capitalism, and his overall record was very mixed. But the fact that he could be elected and then re-elected President in the United States of America was a sign that there are cultural and political changes happening at the grassroots.

Recent polling about attitudes toward “capitalism” and “socialism” reinforce this. The Washington Post reported on a poll in early 2016 which showed that, among the upcoming millennial generation, socialism is seen more favorably than capitalism by 43 to 32 percent. 30% of US Americans of all ages hold that view.

The fact is that a different kind of movement is building in the US and elsewhere for fundamental social change. And because the US is a wealthy society, it is practically possible for that movement, when it wins, to rapidly take steps toward a much more just distribution of wealth and power, much healthier social and economic relationships based on cooperation instead of individualistic competition, and protection for and healing of our threatened climate and environment as a top-level priority.

How are we going to win, and build upon that win to transform society?

There are many aspects of a winning strategy, but the one that I believe is most fundamental, the one that I have come to believe is the key link to the social transformation process so urgently needed, is this: building and deepening a way of working together and developing organizations which is collaborative, respectful, democratic to its core and which, as a result, is truly transformative, built to last.

I have been a community and political activist for over 49 years, and so many times I have experienced groups falling apart or blowing up because people just don’t know how to give good leadership, or how to work in a collaborative way, or how to submerge ego on behalf of the common good, or because of personal racism or sexism, all of which ultimately derail the best intentions. And since there is no hope, zero, for transformative change without effective organizations that are deeply rooted among our peoples, it is essential that we identify this problem as fundamental if we are to win.

That’s what I think, as of today, is the key to our making the kind of changes in our world that must be made if our children and grandchildren and those coming after them are to have a world worth living in and living for.

Do you agree?

Ted Glick was a draft resister during the Vietnam War who has been an activist and organizer on many issues since 1968. Past writings and other information can be found at, and he can be followed on Twitter at

New York City Stands in Solidarity with Charter Workers

On Sept, 18, thousands of New Yorkers rallied in solidarity with the 1,800 New York IBEW Local 3 members who have been on strike against Charter/Spectrum for six solid months. Their message: Charter workers deserve a fair contract.

Baltimore’s ‘Kushnerville’ Tenants File Class Action Against Landlord

Tenants allege that a property management firm controlled by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s real-estate company has unjustly charged them fees and threatened eviction to make them pay up.

Tenants of the Baltimore-area apartment complexes owned by Jared Kushner’s real-estate company have brought a class-action lawsuit against the firm’s property management arm over its aggressive pursuit of tenants for allegedly unpaid rent.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Circuit Court for Baltimore City, alleges that the management company and related corporate entities have been improperly inflating payments owed by tenants by charging them late fees that are often unfounded and court fees that are not actually approved by any court. This, the lawsuit charges, sets in motion a vicious cycle in which tenants’ rent payments are partly assessed toward the fees instead of the actual rent owed, thus deeming the tenant once again “late” on his or her rent payment, leading to yet more late fees and court fees. Making matters worse, the 5 percent late fees are frequently assessed on principal that includes allegedly unpaid fees, not just the rent itself. Tenants are pressured to pay the snowballing bills with immediate threat of eviction, the suit alleges. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: ProPublica

Trailblazers in Black History: Anthony Bowen

Anthony Bowen, a slave who purchased his freedom in 1830, made an unprecedented impact by founding the first YMCA to serve African Americans in the nation. Over the next century, this Y provided refuge for young men in their pursuit of personal and professional growth, including Poet Langston Hughes, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Dr. Charles Drew, NBA great Elgin Baylor and more.

Source: YMCAMetroDC

'Be The Change' - A Poem About Domestic Violence

This video was published on YouTube on February 2, 2013. 

Source: Laura Lisete Roosaar

Saving Our Youth: One Man's Journey from Gang Member to Academia

This video was published on YouTube on February 1, 2012. 

Source: PBS News Hour

49ers Safety Eric Reid Says Kaepernick's Message Has Been Lost

Source: Skip and Shannon: UNDISPUTED

Google Rewards Peruvian NGOs with More Than $1 Million

As part of Desafío 2017 contest, three Peruvian non-governmental organizations received more than US$1 million, the Internet giant revealed.

Thus, the initiative will finance said Peruvian nonprofits with a US$350,000 donation for each in a bid to foster innovation projects with social impacts.

The winners were "Asociacion para la Conservacion de la Cuenca Amazonica," "Asociacion para el Mejoramiento de la Educacion Basica de Piura," and "Movimiento Peruano sin Agua."


The Asociacion para la Conservacion de la Cuenca Amazonica Project combines satellite and field technology (drones) to support Brazilian chestnut pickers. The project's goal is to protect one million hectares of the Peruvian rainforest.

Click here for the full article.


Technology Companies Face Growing Questions in Russia Probe

The flood gates have opened in a Congressional probe into how suspected Russian entities used social media to spread misinformation designed to influence America's presidential election.

On Thursday, Twitter, which has kept relatively quiet about suspected use of the platform for election meddling, will appear before Senate and House Intelligence Committee members.

The move comes as Facebook begins to hand over 3,000 Russian-linked ads, including payment data and details on how Russian entities targeted voters through Facebook's system. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News