Friday, August 26, 2016

Movement for Black Lives -- Policy proposals -- in the news

CNN: The next battle for Black Lives Matter: Economic Justice

Movement for Black Lives -- Policy Paper -- Organizations and People

People representing over fifty organizations were involved in developing the policy recommendations.

We are also going to look at the backgound of some of the members and organization who helped prepare the document.

Patrick Mason, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative
Anja Rudiger, National Economic & Social Rights Initiative
Cathy Albisa, National Economic & Social Rights Initiative
Karl Kumodzi, Black Youth Project 100, Blackbird

Thena Robinson Mock, Education Law Center
Ruth Jeannoel, Power U Center for Social Change
Rachel Gilmer, Dream Defenders
Chelsea Fuller, Advancement Project
Marbre Stahly-Butts, Center for Popular Democracy

Mark-Anthony Johnson, Dignity & Power Now
Rachel Herzing
Mary Hooks, Southerners on New Ground

Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100)
Project South
Southerners On New Ground
Philadelphia Student Union
Alliance for Educational Justice
Black Lives Matter Network
Dream Defenders
Baltimore Bloc
Freedom Inc.
Organization for Black Struggle
Highlander Research and Education Center
Million Hoodies Movement for Justice
The National Conference of Black Lawyers
Black Women’s Blueprint
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
SpiritHouse Inc.
The Worker’s Center for Racial Justice
The BlackOut Collective
Open Democracy Project at Crescent City Media Group
National Black Food and Justice Alliance
Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth
Dignity and Power Now
Center for Media Justice
Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota
BIG: Blacks in Green
Mothers Against Police Brutality
Color of Change
Black Leadership Organizing Collaborative
Black Liberation Collective
Black Organizing for Leadership & Dignity
Center for Constitutional Rights
People of Color Beyond Faith
Central Illinois CBTU
Racial Justice Action Center (RJAC)
Solutions Not Punishment Coalition (Snap Co.)
Million Women March Cleveland
The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
Women of Color Network, Inc.
Right To The City
Freedom Side
Jobs With Justice
Philly Coalition for REAL Justice
Race Forward
Center For Third World Organizing
PICO’s Live Free Campaign
Southeast Asian Freedom Network
National Economic & Social Rights Initiative
Center for Popular Democracy
Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign
Project NIA
Community Justice Network for Youth
Institute of the Black World 21st Century
National African American Reparations Commission
Brooklyn Movement Center
The Truth Telling Project
New York State Prisoner Justice Network
Good Jobs Now
The Ordinary People’s Society
People’s Justice Project
Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment
Urban Youth Collaborative
European Reparations Commission (ERC)
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)

Organizations working on this topic

Advancement Project
Alliance for Educational Justice
Dignity in Schools Campaign
Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network
NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Alliance for Quality Education (New York)
Baltimore Algebra Project (Baltimore)
Boston Youth Organizing Project (Boston)
Community Justice Project (Miami)
Critical Exposure (District of Columbia)
DeSoto County Parents and Students for Justice (Mississippi)
Dream Defenders (Florida)
Desis Rising Up and Moving (New York)
Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (New Orleans)
Girls for Gender Equity (New York)
Labor Community Strategies Center (Los Angeles)
Nollie Jenkins Family Center (Mississippi)
One Voice (Mississippi)
Padres y Jóvenes Unidos (Denver)
Philadelphia Student Union (Philly)
Power U Center for Social Change (Miami)
Portland Parents Union (Portland)
Project South (Atlanta)
Racial Justice Now! (Ohio)
Rethink (New Orleans)
SpiritHouse (North Carolina)
Tenants and Workers United (Virginia)
Tunica Teens in Action (Mississippi)
Urban Youth Collaborative (New York)
Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (Chicago)
Youth Justice Coalition (Los Angeles)
Youth United for Change (Philly)

Movement for Black Lives Releases Policy Agenda -- Bravo !!!

In a move surprising critics, The Movement for Black Lives released a detailed policy proposal. The proposal was the work of 67 groups and organizations according to the website. The proposal extends the work of the Black Lives Matter movement to economics, social justice and political participation in the US.

You can read the proposals here...
A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom and Justice

The Policy demands are split into six areas: Criminal Justice Reform, Reparations, Investment Priorities, Economic Justice, Community Involvement, and Politically Related matters including other.

Each sections starts with the policy recommendations followed by the description of the problem and then how the recommendations form a solution. .  Next, come proposed changes at the federal, state and local level. Finally, each section ends with how the policy would affect Black people who have the worst-off.

We are going to look only at the economic related issues in all six areas, but we encourage you to read the full document.

Section #1: Criminal Justice Reform.

In the criminal justice section there are three economic proposals: End "defendant" funding of the criminal justice system, end bail and end the privatization of the criminal justice system.


The failings of the criminal justice system are well known. There are many cases across the US where poor defendants to extract court fees and penalties. Privatization in the the criminal justice system has resulted in any improvements only profits and worse prison conditions. And bail keeps "low-risk" suspects locked up because they are poor.

This section also includes a long section on educational changes. It also proposed to limited the use of past criminal records in employment, licensing, housing and financial transactions.

Section #2: Reparations

The Reparations section calls for free college education, support for HBCUs and universal basic income.

Section #3: Invest - Divest

The investment section suggests better uses for funds spent in the US and "spent" on Black People. The money would come from reduce military and criminal justice spending. It should be redirected toward education and employment programs and universal healthcare.

Section #4: Economic Justice

The Economic Justice platform calls for making the tax code more progressive, creating a jobs program, reforming banks to support small and Black banks, supporting workers right to for unions, ending the TPP, support for Black Co-ops and improving worker protections


Many of the proposals have been circulating on the left for years.  We have long supported government jobs programs, universal income, free college education and police and military cuts, But never specifically for Black people. Maybe that approach is all wrong.  Maybe, in this country, with the long and deep history of racism, you need you specifically label something as Black to cut through the noise and get people to pay attention.

House Republicans Release Welfare Plan -- June 07, 2016

On June 7th, 2016, the House Republicans released their proposals on poverty and welfare reform. The proposals seek to cut costs, push more people to work and give more control to local governments.

The goal of the proposals seem to be to provide cover for the Republicans on an issue sensitive to the public. The proposal are standard Republican ideas: Make people work for benefits regardless of their conditions, cut the amount of money and turn everything into a block grant for the states,

Some of the goals have an almost complete disconnect from the real lives of people living in poverty.

For example: Goal #2: "Promote opportunity for every American to get ahead and stay ahead by removing government barriers to success." I am just scratching my head trying to think of government barrier that keeps people in poverty.

Goal #4. Support and protect healthy families and a vibrant civil society; This is just meaningless "Apple Pie" gibberish.  There is no policy here. So, do the unhealthy or people without families get NO support and NO protection. Does a vibrant civil society include voter suppression.

Goal #7. "Fight fraud that comes at the expense of the needy." The truth is fraud is very small. Pure, intentional welfare fraud is in the range of 1-2% and is small in comparison to defense department fraud.

Any way you can real them yourself.

Official Webpage for Task Force

A Better Way PDF

It makes you kind of wish the Republicans put some thought into their proposals so we could have an honest and construction debate. But this stuff is fish wrapping material.

"Out of Reach 2016" by National Low Income Housing Coalition Documents Widespread Lack of Affordable Housing

The National Low Income Housing Coalition published research on the nationals lack of affordable housing.  The report called "Out of Reach 2015" contains statistics on housing costs and wages in all 50 of the united states and Puerto Rico.

Out of Reach 2016 home page

The full report with the state and country level details is in this report "Out of Reach 2016 PDF"

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