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« May 2008 | Main | July 2008 »

Front Page » Monthly Archives » June 2008

By Larry James on June 30, 2008

"Politics can be chaotic and messy, but that is the nature of inclusive politics.... Political systems and the politicians who operate in them — along with the electorate — take time to mature.... We’ve seen that some minority politicians are as flawed as any of their white predecessors, but we’ve also seen that there are many who are equally, if not more, talented and committed.... In 2008, we’re debating whether we can entrust the leadership of our country to an African-American. One hundred and forty-five years after the Emancipation Proclamation...."(Rev. Gerald Britt Jr.)

Gerald has been making a difference in Dallas for a long, long time, and he is still a young man!

If you want to read an informed, brief summary of the history of the advancement of civil rights and participatory democracy in Dallas, Texas, you must read the Op-Ed piece that my dear friend and partner, Rev. Gerald Britt wrote...

Read more from this post here ...

By John Petty on June 30, 2008

The Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade was held just the other day, on June 26, which would have been right smack dab in the middle of the GAFCON Conference.

Let me explain. GAFCON stands for the Global Anglican Future Conference which was held, in Jerusalem, June 22 - 29. It was called by conservative African bishops who are still in a snit because the Episcopalians of New Hampshire, in a free election, chose Gene Robinson, a gay man, to be their bishop five years ago.

I'll bet these gay-bashing bishops loved that parade! (/snark)

Read more from this post here ...

By Ally Klimkoski on June 30, 2008

Join me for the Live Blog of Obama's Patriotism Speech!

UPDATE: Now with video
Late this morning Barack Obama is appearing in Independence, Missouri where he will speak about patriotism in the lead up to the 4th of July holiday.

Obama's speech will detail what he fells patriotism requires of all Americans who loves this country and how he wants to see it do better according to the release. Free tickets for the speech were gone within two hours and large crowds are packed in the Truman Memorial Auditorium

10:30am: Crowds are packed in, fired up, and ready to go. Lots of chanting of OBAMA OBAMA!

11:12am The introduction of Obama begins, the building is beautiful if you haven't been here I highly suggest it...

Read more from this post here ...

By Sarah Burris on June 30, 2008

Yesterday I wrote part 1 of my Discovering Young Voters series designed to help those unaccustomed to the youth movement learn more about how Millennials can impact the upcoming election.

Often times we bypass the introductory level information assuming everyone knows about these things. Therefore, today I'd like to continue the series for entry level topics to create an understanding of why young voters are important and how they impact elections, what are frequent mistakes about young voters, what are attitudes of young voters, youth policy and talking about issues, and how to begin a youth program.

Read more from this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on June 30, 2008

Obama's suggestion to host a Unite for Change event triggered my community organizing imagination. Though I'm not big on hosting an event like that for a bunch of people who are already sold on Obama, I am interested in encouraging more people to register and actually vote. I decided I would host the event for the young adults I know... many of whom will be first-time voters this election. I called on one of the college students who said she'd be interested to learn more about the process to help me organize.

To prepare for the event, I began looking up statistics.

As in many inner city communities across the nation, our wealthier and whiter northern part of the city votes at a higher percentage than our lower-income, highly minority southern sector. This is what I found:

  • In northern Dallas, 31.61% (166,848) of all eligible voters show up to vote at the last presidential election
  • In southern Dallas, only 18.77% (63,816) of all eligible voters showed up

What was even more sobering... and disturbing... was to find that my neighborhood, zipcode 75223, the turnout was much lower... only 8.51%. (source: www.analyzedallas.com) So, instead of creating a Unite for Change / Obama event, I contacted the Dallas County Elections Department to see if they would agree to educate and deputize everyone...

Read more from this post here ...

By Sarah Burris on June 29, 2008

Hi all - I'm new to Everyday Citizen (EDC) but am a longtime blogger and activist for many causes, but particularly understanding more about young voters and working to increase awareness about their impact on the electorate.

Compared to the circle of friends I roll with, I'm a newbie. Many of them have been working to increase turnout among young voters since 2004 or even 2000, and I didn't come into the game until 2006. But boy when I figured it out did I begin bringing it on home. I've also been responsible for feeding research and information to Ally here on EDC encouraging more blogging about these topics.

Often times we bypass the introductory level information assuming everyone knows about these things. Therefore, today, I'd like to begin a series for an entry level topics to create an understanding of why young voters are important and how they impact elections, what are frequent mistakes about young voters, what are attitudes of young voters, youth policy and talking about issues, and how to begin a youth program.

Read more from this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on June 29, 2008

As I drove through my neighborhood, the planted flowers immediately caught my eye.

I continued driving up the street... but the more I thought about it, I had to turn around and go back.

Flowers outside of a business in my neighborhood...spending extra time and money on making their place aesthetically pleasing... is pretty much unheard of. It amazed me how much of a difference this little row of flowers made!

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on June 29, 2008

A new film about to break on the scene likely will be a "must-see." The documentary made by a group of young Americans began as a quest to understand the changing demographics of the United States.

The filmmakers started out with one set of assumptions and, while giving due regard for contrary opinions along the way, ended up in a completely different place. Their shift seems to be because they really got to know the subjects of their study as people.

Funny how that choice and commitment usually changes preconceived notions, isn't it? Getting to know people as people -- that is the essence of community formation.

Read more from this post here ...

By Stuart Elliott on June 29, 2008

Roberts should have known that it was unfair to ask Boeing to compete with a company subsidized by European governments.

At a press conference in Wichita Tuesday, Jim Slattery, Candidate for US Senate for Kansas, criticized incumbent Senator Pat Roberts’ role in the removal of a precisely worded "Buy American" provision from the 2006 Defense Authorization Bill. The removal of the provision allowed European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS) to compete with Boeing for the Air Force tanker contract.

“Roberts had two chances to fight for Boeing and Kansas,” Slattery said. “First as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and then as a member of the conference committee for the 2006 Defense Authorization bill. On both occasions, Roberts failed.”

The explicit purpose of the provision was to prevent EADS from competing against Boeing for the Air Force tanker contract.

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on June 28, 2008

In 1992, when she was only 12, Severn Cullis-Suzuki brought world leaders to tears with a speech at the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in which she chastised them for failing to protect her and her friends from the looming environmental catastrophe.

That was 16 years ago.

Her words remain more than relevant today. As I listened to her, I thought of the power, importance and nature of authentic community, no matter what the issue.

Take a moment and hear her out...

Read more from this post here ...

By Randy Leer on June 28, 2008

I spent some time thinking about this so I thought it would be an interesting article. Also, if I end up being right I want it documented for bragging rights.... So here it is. The next Executive Branch that will fix the country.

President Barrack Obama. I'm not going to explain this here because it's not necessary for this article.

Vice President Jim Webb. I think this guy has the rocks to be a firm Vice President / President of the Senate. Also, it is hard for Obama to pick a better representative of the Veteran and Military demographic. This man has a son who has served in Iraq and may still be there. Being a veteran himself, he carried his son's "seasoned" combat boots with him on the campaign trail. He has given the Democratic response to the State of the Union address and is a complete package and, in my opinion, ideal for Obama as a running mate.

Read more from this post here ...

By Henry Schwaller on June 27, 2008

Conservatives are worried about the November election - polls show Senator Obama easily beating McCain.

No surprise, then, that two right-wing republican attack dogs have come forth with their analysis of the Democratic nominee: Karl (Turdblossom) Rove calls Obama "arrogant," while Grover Norquist says that the Democrat is "John Kerry with a tan."

Really? Is that the best you guys can do?

By Angelo Lopez on June 27, 2008

Growing up, my views of the American Revolution were influenced by the musical 1776 and the School House Rock specials on Saturday morning. I grew to deeply respect our Founding Fathers and to see in them a heroism that is lacking in today’s leaders. As a grown up I’ve started reading a lot of history books that remind that though these Founding Fathers were great leaders, they were also human, and that the Revolution was as much the story of the ordinary merchants, farmers, slaves, native Americans, and women as it was of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Our historians remind us that the American Revolution was a complicated event, with mixed results many of the people who participated in the fight. I’ve especially learned from 3 of my favorite historians, Howard Zinn, Gordon Woods, and Joseph Ellis, to see the founding of our nation in new ways.

Read more from this post here ...

By Beth Boisvert on June 27, 2008

I recently read a short blurb in my hometown newspaper about a local Superfund (hazardous waste) site that finally was going to be cleaned up. On one hand, I rejoiced. No longer would the neighbors of this dangerous place have to live with contaminants in the air, water, and soil. Health problems would most likely be diminished. It took residents many years to get through the bureaucracy to reach this goal, and for that I applaud them.

Then, something else caught my eye. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided that the easiest and most cost-effective way to "fix" the site is to do offsite disposal. Now, when I looked on the EPA's Superfund website, it seems that the end result is a chemical landfill.

Hold the phone: We're taking it from one community's backyard, and putting it in another's? Yup, basically. Now, there are all these technical phrases in the document's about recovery of these sites I didn't understand, having to do with chemical levels and parts per millimeter or something or other, that seemed to say they take into consideration how toxically saturated the soil is to decide how close to a residential area it can go.

See, that's the thing about stuff -- hazardous or otherwise.

Read more from this post here ...

By Henry Schwaller on June 27, 2008

Since his December 2007 endorsement of McCain, Senator Joe Lieberman has been at the republican's side at every important moment.

Yesterday Lieberman indicated that "John McCain on Foreign Policy is closer to where Al Gore and I were in 2000, then Barack Obama is." He went on to say:

I’m closer on a lot of issues, not all, to Obama," Lieberman said. "But the big difference for me is, McCain will actually get something done. It’s one thing to say where you are on a policy and give a good speech, but McCain as president will actually get something done."

Read more from this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on June 26, 2008

Back in the 1940s and 50s, white Dallas residents and politicians purchased land and created laws that relegated black Dallas residents to Rochester Park. Unknowingly to the black residents at the time, Rochester Park was a flood plain, as were many other parts of Dallas. The Dallas politicians purchased land (some of which is now the downtown area), created laws that provided them economic benefit, and redeveloped their land, causing even more flood waters to be channeled to the Rochester Park area. For more information, see Jim Schutze, The Accommodation. (fyi...This area is also known as Bon Ton, though in this blog, I most often refer to the housing development in Rochester Park called Turner Courts.)

Six months ago we started our very first Town Hall meeting in Turner Courts. Deputy Mayor Pro Tem, Dwaine Caraway, came with many different city staff and committed to us that he would not allow Rochester Park to be neglected anymore. For the next six months, he agreed to attend our meetings. With the exception of one meeting, he has been there and fulfilled his promise... and even when he's not there, he makes sure city staff people are. His assistant, Stephanie Pegues, has helped us tremendously and has always arranged for whatever city staff we asked for to attend the meeting. Mike Davis, has been an amazing advocate with us and for us--often, I'm sure, when we don't even know it.

Read more from this post here ...

By Henry Schwaller on June 26, 2008

While we're talking about wacko evangelicals, let's take a moment to discuss Dr. James Dobson, the homophobic, misogynistic founder of Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family.

Dr. Dobson is not a friend of Senator McCain - some say that he loathes the republican nominee - but the good doctor took some time this week on his syndicated radio show to refrain from the usual topic of Bible-friendly child rearing advice and turn to presidential politics. Specifically, Dobson:

... took aim at examples Obama cited [in a 2006 speech] in asking which Biblical passages should guide public policy — chapters like Leviticus, which Obama said suggests slavery is OK and eating shellfish is an abomination, or Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, "a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application."

Dobson reserved some of his harshest criticism for Obama's argument that the religiously motivated must frame debates over issues like abortion not just in their own religion's terms but in arguments accessible to all people...

Read more from this post here ...

By Tula Connell on June 26, 2008

I want to share with you all our endorsement today of Sen. Barack Obama. Seth Michaels on our staff has the details below.

The AFL-CIO today endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president. The AFL-CIO General Board, which voted to endorse Obama, includes presidents of all 56 unions in the AFL-CIO, as well as Executive Council members and representatives of state and local federations, trade departments and constituency groups. The General Board votes by per capita membership. In conjunction with the endorsement, the AFL-CIO launched a new website: Meet Barack Obama.

In its endorsement statement, the General Board noted that Sen. Barack Obama "secured the nomination of his party in a campaign that has energized millions of Americans and spoken to the hopes and dreams of people from every corner of our nation."

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on June 26, 2008

The line snaked around the front of our building on Haskell Avenue and ran down the sidewalk toward Hill Street. I expect people had been standing in the humid, morning sunshine for over an hour waiting for the Food Pantry to open.

People were patient and grateful. Before the day ended, over 300 families discussed their personal lives with our volunteers. Thousands of pounds of food left our community center during the day.

I found myself almost unable to leave the crowd in the interview room. People wanted to talk, and I was happy to listen.

Read more from this post here ...

By Bill Shanahan on June 25, 2008

This election again offers a choice basically between only two candidates. Each one regularly presents their respective constituency with procedural, policy, and other reasons to vote against them.

Still, recent history suggests only two choices are viable and that most voters will vote for one or the other. Despite differences and disagreements with a particular candidate, voters are more likely to vote for the viable candidate that best represents their beliefs.

Ralph Nader's legitimate response to his critics that he brought out new voters who would not otherwise have voted is no longer relevant. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama helped bring out new voters who were energized to vote for a historic Democratic president.

Even Ron Paul ended his bid for the Republican nomination. Where his votes will go, though, no one knows. Some experts think they will slide to John McBush. Others suggest Libertarian candidate Bob Barr or Constitution candidate Chuck Baldwin.

Few apparently believe Obama will gain many.

Read more from this post here ...

Earlier posts in this month:

Changing of the Guard, June 25, 2008
Interest Rates on Student Loans Drop, June 25, 2008
GI Bill for the 21st Century - Ready for Signature, June 24, 2008
How It Was, June 24, 2008
Economic Dictatorship, June 24, 2008
Life Lessons From Tim Russert, June 24, 2008
Campaign Financing and Barack's Decision, June 23, 2008
Poverty Simulation: When Compassion Replaces Judgment, June 22, 2008
Can schools help us become a more progressive society?, June 21, 2008
Mad Cow Disease: Are We Safe Enough?, June 21, 2008
Kansas Supremes Get it Right: Civil Liberties Find New Breath, June 20, 2008
Move over Tony, it's Poodle Pat, June 20, 2008
My Long and Winding Path to Supporting Obama, June 20, 2008
Bonhoeffer: We have been silent witnesses to evil deeds, June 19, 2008
Sleeping like Grandpa, June 19, 2008
Supersonic, June 19, 2008
The Congressional Progressive Caucus, June 18, 2008
KS-02: Nancy Boyda Wins!, June 18, 2008
Why Should We Pay Attention to Girls?, June 18, 2008
Blue Ribbons and Burlesque, by Charles Fish, June 17, 2008
Help Support the Housing Trust Fund, June 17, 2008
All in the Family, June 17, 2008
The scoop on local pets and vacant lots, June 17, 2008
Gay Marriage in San Francisco, June 16, 2008
Government 2.0 Part 2, June 16, 2008
Most unfleetingly unpopular president in modern history, June 16, 2008
Death with Dignity, at Home, June 16, 2008
Honesty in politics, or are those two mutually exclusive?, June 14, 2008
Sunday mornings will never be the same, June 14, 2008
Why More and More Americans are Cheating to Get Ahead, June 13, 2008
Good News from the White House, June 13, 2008
Grace Paley: The role model who keeps on giving, June 13, 2008
Update: Feminist Rant from an Anti-Feminist, June 12, 2008
My Red State Gets More Blue Candidates, June 12, 2008
Why Obama should not choose Clinton, June 12, 2008
The Duty of Delight, June 11, 2008
Shift Workers, June 10, 2008
BREAKING: Phill Kline to Seek Office, June 9, 2008
Public Schools, Wealthy Cities and Poverty, June 9, 2008
Feminist Rant from an Anti-Feminist, June 9, 2008
Crossing over - one step closer to the future, June 9, 2008
A Rare Commodity, June 8, 2008
Americans Who Tell The Truth, June 8, 2008
Community, pure and simple, June 8, 2008
Headline: GOP Set To Woo Dismayed Voters, June 7, 2008
Your Anger Towards Her Diminishes and Alienates Us, June 7, 2008
Appreciating Bobby Kennedy, June 6, 2008
Juneteenth: Still Working Toward Freedom, June 6, 2008
Northrop Tanker Deal Will Cost U.S. Taxpayers Billions, June 6, 2008
One Man's Pursuit of Justice, June 6, 2008
Campaign notes from a Clinton supporter, June 5, 2008
KS-Sen: Slattery Releases Lobbyist Contracts, June 5, 2008
In order to win, you must first learn how to lose, June 5, 2008
My name is Donald Betts, Jr. and I'm running for US Congress, June 4, 2008
Cinderella Liberty, June 4, 2008
On the Precipice of an Historic Occasion, June 4, 2008
Wonder what's on the bottom of that Gucci?, June 4, 2008
American Friends Service Committee, June 3, 2008
Fathers and Sons, June 3, 2008
Celebrations of Survival: Juneteenth, June 3, 2008
Whirlwind Trip, June 1, 2008
The Next U.S. Congressman from Kansas 4th District, June 1, 2008
Activism: We're Not Alone When We Work Together, June 1, 2008
Compassionate Conservatism: Great Unmet Social Needs, June 1, 2008

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