Bill De Blasio For Mayor
Bill de Blasio, a steady and consistent progressive force in politics, has demonstrated that progressive politics can succeed. In managing one of the largest and most complex government body in the country, Mayor de Blasio has stabilized the City, reduced crime and arrests, increased racial harmony with an increasing budget surplus.
In today’s world of The Trump effect on governance and policies, the de Blasio progressive model is not only a refreshing release and it is a hope for sane government, unity among people, absences of white supremacy and an expanding criminalization of black and brown people.
After the Bloomberg mayoralty, there was healthy skepticism as to the ability of a progressive mayor to manage the city. There were predictions of doom and gloom. Well Mayor de Blasio has laid those suspicions to rest.
The mayor aggressively pursued one signature program PRE-K For All, universal pre-K in public schools – he delivered big on that campaign promise in spite of considerable obstacles in Albany. The education system and the future of our children are better by this program.
The question of “Stop and Frisk” was the issue for black and brown youth of the city. The Mayor took it on in spite of the dire consequences that were predicted. Now “Stop and Frisk” is down over 90 percent over the past three years, while the crime rate continues to drop; now New York is on track to have less than 300 murders in 2017. This kind of achievement in contrast to Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions lock them up policy, is a remarkable achievement.
Both Mayor Giuliani and Mayor Bloomberg were touted as pro-business mayors, and there were all kinds of predictions that Mayor de Blasio’s agenda would force business out of the City. Companies are staying in the city, more are coming in, and the city’s economy is in high gear, creating steady and admirable surplus.
On the vexing problem of affordable housing, the mayor has been very clear on his priority to address the problem. He has committed to build or preserve over 200,000 apartments of affordable housing for a ten year period; he is on the path to achieving that. This, at a time when Dr. Ben Carson, Trump Administration Secretary of HUD is taking to the chopping block, funds for affordable housing.
While not perfect, Racial Harmony in New York city is so much better than under predecessors Mayor Giuliani and Bloomberg. The progressive concern for people to work together and live together in harmony is one of the hallmarks of a society development. New York City is showing us the way, under the leadership of Mayor de Blasio. Contrast this to the open racist policy and white supremacist talk on the national scene by President Trump, and we see some hope by the New York example.
The hostility to Unions has subsided, most municipal unions have contracts. He has taken on the issue of deaths from traffic accidents by reducing the speed limits. The mayor is not perfect, and there is more to be done in the area of homelessness, the transit problem, and his own problem of pay for play in political donations. When compared to his four contenders, the mayor rides head and shoulders above them.
What this mayor represents, most importantly, is the hope for Progressive Politics and Policies, not only in New York City, but nationally. There has to be some counterweight to what is currently happening in the White House, i.e. progressive policies can work. We welcome the mayor’s initiative in organizing a national urban agenda Please do not take the mayoral victory for granted; your votes will send a message around the country that progressive politics and policy work. Vote like your life depends on it because it does.
Bill de Blasio for Mayor
CONGRATULATIONS TO ST. KITTS-NEVIS
As the Caribbean Region gets through some perilous times and even more impending disaster, the region is called to display its resilience and determination. St. Kitts-Nevis through its 34 years of Independence has shown that quality of resilience and determination. We wish to congratulate the People and the Government with warm wishes and continued success and prosperity.
It is so fitting that the Government of St. Kitts-Nevis in its celebration activities for its Independence Anniversary chose to organize an Independence State Service to unite the nation through prayer, praise and thanksgiving. In the historic Charlestown Methodist Church in Nevis, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, Members of the Opposition, Diplomats and Citizens all gathered together for the Thanksgiving Service as the Federation of St. Kitts-Nevis observed its 34th Anniversary of nationhood. The Fedeation of St. Kitts-Nevis has made significant progress in terms of economic growth and overall development over the 34 years of independence. This progress was made despite the many challenges that small States like St. Kitts-Nevis face in development in this global environment. It is remarkable that in its most recent assessment of the economy of St. Kitts-Nevis, the IMF has stated “Notwithstanding a difficult international.
environment, St. Kitts-Nevis economy is expected to grow again in 2017 for the 5th consecutive year”. St. Kitts-Nevis strong macroeconomic performance owes much to the robust Citizenship by Investment (CBI) inflow and the spillover to the economy, as well as to prudent macroeconomic policies.
These economic accomplishments are a reflection on the quality of leadership of the Federation, its hard working people and its rooted commitment to democracy and the prosperity of the country. Like most countries in the Region, St. Kitts-Nevis suffers from the lack of resources and an enormous debt bill that financed some of the projects and infrastructure. These have been resolved without major dislocation and shown steady progress.
As the country and the region faces the blowing winds of destruction from fierce and furious hurricanes, we must pray for the survival of these countries. We must also mobilize to help because help will certainly be needed. We must plan to protect and preserve the countries and its people in the face of the horrors of climate change. St. Kitts-Nevis solemn approach to this year’s Independence celebration is a reflection of a people in the moment and what is appropriate.
There is much for the Government and people of St. Kitts-Nevis to be proud of, and we wish to lift them up in thanksgiving of a celebration. Congratulations St. Kitts-Nevis on your Anniversary of Independence.!
TEMOPARY PROTECTED STATUS (TPS)
A HUMANITARIAN PROGRAM OF WORTH
The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians grew out of a deep humanitarian need to protect victims of a natural disaster and allow for recovery and relocation. In many instances these are young people who are given the opportunity to flee the disaster. In Haiti’s case, it was the horrific earthquake. Recovery from that tragedy is yet to happen. As we in recent times have seen an expanding devastation taking place in the Caribbean and the images of death and destruction, there is a cry for a humanitarian response. These countries are in harm’s way precisely because of climate change, a condition they had no part in creating.
The Trump administration has undertaken the inhuman decision to end TPS when suffering in the region is at the highest level, and the need for good neighborliness is clear. This is why the effort of about six Democratic lawmakers to craft a strategy to convince the Trump administration that the TPS should be extended is so important.
These Members of Congress met with the Haitian officials to explore how best to develop this strategy and who are some enablers who can help. As Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee put it, there is a need “to create an atmosphere where the man in the Oval Office says, “I’m considering it” Some Democrats also proposed that it might be a wise move to tie TPS to DACA because a number of young people from the Caribbean came to the US under TPS and this is the only country they know. Tying TPS to DACA could also engage the business community to understand that a disruption in the labor market could occur with the deportation of 58,000 Haitians. It led Congressman Alcee Hastings to remark “If all the Haitian workers at Fort Lauderdale International Airport left tomorrow, they would have the messiest bathrooms of any airport”.
Congesswoman Yvette Clarke, one of the organizers of the meeting made it clear “we are going to whomever we need to make the case.” Clarke has tabled a bill in the US House of Representatives that would expand TPS for Haitians living in the United States. As we continue to experience the impact of Irma and the prediction of more to come, the extension of TPS is the only human response the Trump Administration can take. Last year Haiti suffered severe damage from hurricane Matthew. Hurricane Irma hit northern Haiti, and hurricane Maria is on the destruction path. The initiative of the six Members of Congress is an admirable and noble effort that must be supported also by every black and brown person in the US coming to understand the connection of issues, and to exercise in all manner and at all levels, their political clout. This is not the time to allow for division and divisiveness. The battle against white supremacy is the battle for all. We know what drives many of the policies of the Trump administration, and it is the ascendancy of the White Supremacist ideology. We must call it out for what it is, and must resist it.
TPS and DACA are winnable causes – let’s go to work.
SUPPORT FOR DACA
The NAACP, the historic and legendary Civil Rights organization, has taken steps in defense of the Dreamers, and have filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s rescinding of the Obama DACA PROGRAM. We welcome this action by the NAACP at this time. The Trump Administration’s action has been described as “shameful”, despicable, “cruel”, heartless and bigoted; now the NAACP has deemed it unlawful. The Organization has filed the lawsuit against President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Homeland Security Elaine Duke, US Citizen and Immigration Services and the Department of Homeland Security.
The NAACP’s legal position is that cancelling the DACA Program violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fifth Amendment, and is also racially motivated. The legal action is to protect the hundreds of thousands of Mexican, Caribbean and African immigrants who would be affected by the unlawful termination of the DACA Program.
We support the NAACP in this legal action, and to express gratitude for this Organization seeing it fit to take on this cause. In another legal development on DACA, a United States Federal Judge in New York is urging the Trump Administration to extend the deadline for the “Dreamers” to stay in the US. Federal Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis said the deadline was too soon and requested it to be pushed back so that Congress will have enough time to fix the program. The Judge further stated that thousands of children and young people would be ‘harmed’ by keeping his deadline in place.
We are pleased to see a full range of action against the Trump rescinding of DACA, and the legal aspect has merit. We encourage support for these actions in the court and continued demonstrations in the street. All approaches must be used.
W applaud Congress members Luis Gutierrez, Raul Grijalva and Adriano Espaillat for demonstrating against the injustice outside the Trump Tower, even though it meant them being arrested. The resistance must carry on.
DACCA, Daggers and Brutus
by Basil Wilson
The fate of over 800,000 undocumented immigrants will be decided by the United States Congress and the President of the United States over the next six months. These are the children of DACCA, the acronym for Deferred Action for Children Arrivals, better known as the Dreamers.
In 2012, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order that protected children who were brought to the United States before the age of sixteen and who knew no other country but the United States of America were given a reprieve from deportation. The children of DACCA who arrived before 2012, could apply for work permits. Obama was not under any illusions that this was a lasting remedy but that it was the responsibility of the United States Congress to pass legislation that would give these productive young people some legal footing and a subsequent path to citizenship. There were quite a few stipulations for those eligible to qualify for DACCA protection. They had to be high school graduates, or serving in the military and had no criminal record and had to have been in this country by 2012 and not older than 31 years.
There is no public policy that evokes more emotions than immigration. American immigration policy from 1920s to the 1960s gave preferential treatment to Europeans. As an outgrowth of the civil rights movement, immigration policy became color blind and the demographics of immigrants encompassed more than the European continent. The policy resulted in the browning of America and that has led to a white backlash that is personified by anti-immigrant organizations committed to changing the 1965 immigration law.
Contemporary American society has approximately 43.5 million foreign born residents. There are approximately 11 million unauthorized immigrants including the children of DACCA. Proposed legislation to give these eleven million some regular status is vehemently opposed by some Congressional Representatives like Stephen King of Iowa who serves as an echo chamber for white nationalism. When the bi-partisan group of the Gang of Eight agreed on punitive measures to tighten border crossing and to give legal status to the 11 million undocumented, the legislation was passed in the Senate but a white backlash led by right wing talk radio personalities convinced the Republican House of Representatives not to bring the Senate bill to the floor. Trump’s “trump” card was playing on the xenophobic sentiment very much imbedded among the white working class who have seen more than the normal share of downward mobility and stagnant wages. One school of thought recently enunciated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions is that illegal immigrants are taking jobs away from Americans and are the cause of wage stagnation. Continuing with this absurd logic, the salvation of the white working class is to mass deport the eleven million illegal immigrants.
In some respects, the plight of the Dreamers has gotten the support of the majority of Americans. Even President Trump, who touted mass deportation, has now indicated that if Congress passed legislation to give DACCA residents legal status, he will sign the bill and make it law.
At this juncture, there appears to be a pricklish consensus to giving DACCA recipients some legal footing but Brutus is still roaming the halls of Congress determined to throw daggers and sabotage any deal concerning DACCA. Already Steve Bannon and the Breitbart right wing insurgency have stipulated that giving Dreamers legal status is amnesty and an abandonment of Trump’s campaign promise to embark on merciless mass deportation. Senator Tom Cotton, the Senator from Arkansas, has introduced legislation supported by elements in the White House to fundamentally alter immigration policy. Cotton prescribes an immigration policy change that would reduce America’s annual intake of one million immigrants to half-a-million. Senator Cotton’s bill would eliminate family preferences and priority would be given to skilled workers that supposedly boost the American economy. The legislation proposal does not presently have the support of the Republican leadership in the House or in the Senate.
There is an interesting peculiarity in relationship to those 800,000 eligible for DACCA. Although immigrants have diversified in recent decades with more legal immigrants coming from Asia, the DACCA eligibles are predominantly Mexicans. Pew Research Center estimates that 439,000 have their origins in Mexico, 28,000 in Guatemala, 17,000 from Korea, 15,000 from El Salvador and 10,000 from the Philippines. The DACCA data reflect the proximity of Mexico to America and the high premium that Mexicans place on trying to make the family whole even under very trying circumstances.
Alt-Right elements have already warned that if Trump is instrumental in giving DACCA children a legal status in the only country that they have known, there will be a revolt among his base supporters. This comes down to the question of does Trump need Bannan more than Bannon needs Trump?
There are serious ideological contradictions imbedded in the Trump campaign and governing rhetoric. Both Trump and Bannon accede to the creed of ethno-economic nationalism with the prescription that such a message resonates with the white working class. And that same electorate is also vehemently opposed to the “browning of America”. The question for Bannon and for Trump is that the embrace of populist economic nationalism will not necessarily reduce the stark income inequality in America or stimulate wage growth. Donald Trump is the quintessential demagogue and will embrace economic nationalism if as Bannon argues can ensure his re-election in 2020. But there are other pressing obstacles to overcome before 2020 and DACCA is a true test as to whether President Trump and the Congress can humanely create the necessary pathway for some of America’s best and brightest. In the next couple of months, we will see whether the daggers in Congress and outside of Congress will fatally damage the future of the 800,000 Dreamers who know of no other country but the United States of America.
Trump Can’t Deport the American “Dreamers” Without a Fight
By Julianne Malveaux (NNPA Newswire Columnist)
Our 45th President swept into office with a foundation of racist claims. First, the very basis of his political participation was his false assertion (for which he has never apologized) that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Using the “birther” movement as a basis, “45” signaled to every random racist out there that he was willing to ignore truth to attack President Obam Then, he used horrible rhetoric to describe Mexican people as violent rapist, followed by his usual “and some of them are very nice.” He suggested that a federal judge could not do his job because he was of Mexican descent. And much of his campaign was focused on deporting people. The pace of deportations has increased since he took office. Now, he has snatched stability away from a group of young people called “dreamers” have built.
These young folks were brought to these United States by parents who came to this country illegally. In legal limbo and unable to apply for jobs or college admission, many of these young people lived in the shadows, working under the table or not at all, piecing together livelihoods as best they could.
President Barack Obama grappled with this issue and, through executive order (because Congress would not act), created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Attorneys general in some states have described the program as illegal and have threatened to sue for its elimination. Attorney General J. Beauregard Sessions has said he would not defend the program, because President Obama “overreached” in establishing it. So, the camera-hogging “45” actually allowed Beauregard (who he very recently dissed) to announce that DACA will end, although there is a “grace period” of six months. I don’t think many understand how many hoops childhood arrivals must jump through to attain “dreamer” status. They have to pay almost $500 every two years and fill out more than a dozen forms to qualify, including forms that detail income, expenses and assets. They must have a work permit. If they move, they have to inform the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service. And they can’t leave the country without permission, which is only sparingly granted, and usually only for educational purposes. Requests to visit relatives are rarely granted and, even when permission is granted, there is no guarantee that “dreamers” will be allowed back into the country.
So, while President Obama did a great thing by creating DACA, the program does not go far enough. “Dreamers” do not have the same privileges that other citizens have, and they have more responsibilities. Their status can also be revoked, if they have had any interactions with “law enforcement” officers, and we all know how that one goes.
While it appears that “45” has given dreamers some hope by delaying enforcement of DACA elimination for six months, and by making nice with Democratic leaders, the drama of dangling possibilities in front of folks and then snatching them away is typical “45” showmanship and irrationality. The fact that Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House parrot, raised Black unemployment in a White House press conference is further evidence of this administration’s racism. Has there been any other time when these people have mentioned Black unemployment? Part of the reason “45” is revoking DACA has to do with his anti-Mexican, anti-immigrant, racist biases. But part has to do with his administration’s attempt to eliminate anything Obama from our government. It is pathetically appalling to watch the way that “45” and his minions are obsessed with President Obama and the work he did.
As an example, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who I call “Secretary DeVoid” (of good sense), has decided to “examine” the Obama approach to campus rape. She is more concerned, it seems, with those accused of rape or sexual assault than with the victims. FBI data shows that only 5 percent of rape accusations are false. We should be more concerned about those who won’t come forward than those who are unjustly accused. But someone who works for a genital-grabber might well see things differently.
Similarly, an Obama-era regulation that would have EEOC collect data on pay differences by race and gender in companies with more than 100 employees has been suspended and socalled woman’s advocate Ivanka Trump has said that collecting such data really doesn’t matter. As many as 800 Obama executive orders and regulations have been reversed. We shouldn’t be surprised that DACA has met the same fate. Dreamers aren’t going to simply slink back across borders to countries they have never known as adults. Moments after Beauregard Sessions’ announcement they took it to the streets in protest. They are letting “45” and his sidekicks know that their dream won’t be deferred. We should all be inspired by their activism and stand with them for justice. Julianne Malveaux is an economist, author, and Founder of Economic Education. Her latest book “Are We Better Off: Race, Obama and public policy is available via amazon.com. For booking, wholesale inquiries or for more info visit www.juliannemalveaux.com SEO KEYWORDS: Julianne Malveaux, NNPA Newswire Columnist, op-eds, commentary, Dreamers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Julianne Malveaux on DACA Julianne Malveaux criticizes President Trump’s approach to immigration, the dreamers and DACA.