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Showing posts from March, 2012

Congressman Conyers Presents "Jobs Bill" to Congress

Great news! Congressman John Conyers, Jr. presented his jobs bill to Congress at 2:30 PM on March 28th, 2012. John Conyers, Jr. is in his 80's, served as the lawyer for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and is presently serving as the congressman for Detroit's District 14. His jobs bill presently has two names as well as two bill numbers. It is known as the "Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act" as well as the "Work Opportunities and Revitalizing Our Communities Act". Until March 28th it was bill number H.R. 870. (H.R.= House Resolution.) It has been assigned a new number: H.R. 4277. Many people call it H.R. 870/4277 in order to avoid any congress-induced confusion. (The numbers don't correspond with the names.)

The bill aims to employ any and all Americans who are ready, willing and able to work, offering job training when necessary. You're probably wondering how it differs from any of the other jobs bills being considered a…

Powerful Proactive Political Protesting

We had the Arab Spring in early 2011 followed by the Occupy Movement last fall. The latter is planning a resurgence which will begin on March 30th and has been dubbed the "American Spring". The winds of change are blowing and it is clear that people all over the world are becoming "socially conscious" -- knowing that something is gravely wrong with their respective societies as well as the world economy as a whole and wanting to do something about it.

But, as the movements grows, it is important to learn from the mistakes of the past. I would dare say that the movement's biggest mistake is its failure to develop the elements and components of the new system which we are fighting to create within the existing system which we are fighting to dispose of -- not its insufficient level of social theory. In order for a revolution to occur and be successful, these are two of the things that MUST happen:

1 -- The existing socio-economic system must have run its course. T…

Useless, Ineffective Government Bodies

We're at no shortage of governmental flaws and failures to talk about -- whether addressing the federal government or state and local governments. We all watched the congressional bickering play out in the summer of 2011 as many people whose lives were destroyed by natural disasters were made to wonder if Congress would add insult to injury by cutting off their assistance, we almost defaulted on our national debt and President Obama urged Congress to play nicely (with people's lives, I must add). While some disasters were averted, Americans (and the whole world, thanks to technology) were made keenly aware of the ineffectiveness of our national government (if they hadn't already known).

My anti-capitalist friends and I are left to wonder how much of the dysfunction of government is due to the shortcomings of our elected officials and how much of it is due to them being unsympathetic, intransigent, war-loving, imperialistic capitalists who are deliberately throwing their poo…

A Good Day For PROACTIVE ADVOCACY; A Bad Day For SELF ADVOCACY

On Monday, March 12th at 10 AM, dozens of people gathered outside of the Wilson Building (DC City hall) to give Mayor Vincent Gray (or his staff) our budget recommendations for Fiscal year 2013. This year we came out about a week and a half BEFORE he is expected to issue his budget proposal to the DC Council, as opposed to the usual manner of reacting to the budget in mid-April AFTER it has been issued. This more PROACTIVE approach is what advocates decided on during a debriefing in June 2011, following last year's budget cycle. I'm glad to see that we're pulling it off.

We got at least a dozen of DC's nearly 7,000 homeless people to come out and self-advocate. Several other people who would be directly affected if the mayor were to make cuts to human services spoke about their struggles. They included a blind, single mother of three and a man whose 7-year old daughter is chronically ill and presently in the hospital. Councilmen Jim Graham, Michael Brown and Tommy Well…

The Budget Battle to Fund Human need in FY 2013 Has Begun

This post is an addendum to "The Homeless Mentality: A Need for Love and Empowerment" which is 2 blog post below this one.

I was ABSOLUTELY PLEASED by what I heard DC Councilman Jim Graham (who has oversight of the Human Services Committee) say at a hearing on March 1st, 2012. I was firmly convinced that he was extremely passionate about fighting for the city's poorest and most vulnerable citizens. It's safe to assume that others in the hearing chamber felt the same way. But, before I explain what was so admirable about the councilman's performance, let me describe the worsening crisis that he was responding to.

It's budget season again for DC Government. Same song, different verse. Mayor Vincent Gray (who was the director of the Dept. of Human Services at one time and ran a homeless shelter) is threatening to make deep, hurtful cuts to the human services budget -- in typical mayoral fashion. This is a trend which advocates for the poor and homeless have become…

How The City Might Shut Down The Tent City @ 7th And R Streets NW

For some strange reason this old post from 2010 reverted to "draft". Republishing.....


Some of you received a shorter version of this message on July 31st. That portion is in brackets "[ ]". I've added some more recent developments such as an encounter that I had with Mayor Fenty this morning, August 2nd.

[ The tent city at the intersection of 7th, R and Rhode Island in northwest DC is over 3 weeks old now. Many people are surprised to see that it hasn't been shut down by the city yet. It is firmly believed that Mayor Fenty doesn't want the images of protesters being arrested for defending their human right to housing plastered all over people's T.V. screens and that that may be the reason for the longevity of the camp. Let's bear in mind that he is fighting for his political life and that such images could be his political death knell. Some of us were actually anticipating getting arrested and that may still be a prospect.

On the even…