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Progressives Will Deliver Their Own Response to Biden’s Speech to Congress

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Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s (D-NY) feedback defies tradition. For decades, the president’s opposing party pre-writes a text replying to the leader’s speech. The rebuttal typically highlights a rising star in the party. Additionally, figures from the other party will try to convince the public as to what the Commander-in-Chief is getting wrong.

What We Know:

  • President Joe Biden will address Congress on April 28, the same week as his 100th day in office. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) invited Biden in a letter to give a speech to Congress’s joint session that day. Pelosi asked Biden to share his plan for “addressing the challenges and opportunities of this historic moment.” His speech will be different from than ones from previous years. Due to COVID-19 Restrictions, the House chamber will be almost empty.
  • Bowman will represent the left-wing Working Families Party. He states the rebuttal will not be critical. Instead, Bowman intends on crediting Biden for his success. Bowman will proceed to inform Biden what the left wants to see next.

“It’s a balancing act. He’s already done a lot that I love. And he’s going to say a lot of things that I like, as well… But if we relent, it doesn’t mean that what’s been going on so far is going to continue. It’s important for us as progressives to continue to push and continue to organize,” he said in an interview.

  • The Working Families Party supports progressive candidates in the Democratic Party. The party’s goal is to join “regular people” together. They are a “multiracial party” that fights for the working class to achieve true equality. Working Parties Family. During former President Donald Trump’s administration, the Working Families Party began giving their own responses to his speeches. They are continuing to do so in Biden’s presidency.
  • Maurice Mitchell, the Working Families Party’s national director, says giving Biden feedback will allow him to succeed and make the Rooseveltian change he promised. Although progressives are generally content with Biden, Mitchell referenced a story about President Franklin D. Roosevelt telling activists, “You’ve convinced me. Now go out and make me do it.”
  • During the Trump Administration, the Working Families Party chose Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D-WI), and former Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) to comment on Trump’s addresses. NBC News says the Working Families Party’s choosing Bowman and the others to respond to the President symbolizes the desire of the “historically white professional left” to align itself with the racial justice movement, which may be front and center after Derek Chauvin’s conviction.
  • Bowman is a freshman lawmaker. Last year, he defeated 16-term Democratic incumbent Elliot Engel in a New York City primary. Since entering Congress, he has become the only male member of “The Squad” and has worked tirelessly to promote progressive causes related to education, broadband access, and equity, and more.

In the three months that he’s been in D.C., Bowman has been unafraid to praise and criticize Biden, making him the perfect candidate to represent the Working Families.

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Headlines

Black Women Lead Initiative to Raise $100M for Black Girls and Women in the South

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The Southern Black Girls and Women’s Consortium is looking to raise $100 million in the next 10 years.

What We Know:

  • LaTosha Brown is one of the notable activists responsible for having a hand in turning Georgia into a blue state last election cycle. Brown is the co-founder of Black Votes Matter, the Black Voters Matter Fund, and the Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute. Another community that is joining this effort is Margo Miller. Miller is a Tennessee native is the executive director of the Appalachian Community Fund.
  • The Appalachian Community Fund is a non-profit looking to counter poverty and improve the lives of residents of Central Appalachia. Both Brown and Miller want to empower others to continue in their footsteps. Another member of the Southern Black Girls and Women Consortium is Felecia Lucky, who is the president of the Black Belt Community Foundation. Executive director of the Fund for Southern Communities, Alice Jenkins, is also a member.
  • The consortium has given itself the task of raising $100 million for Black women and girls over the next decade. As of today, they have already raised $10 million of that total and are in the process of raising more. Some of the funds have already been distributed to organizations in the form of grants. The group hosted a chat via their Twitter account, @Blackgirlsdream, on March 31st to discuss the state of women of color.
  • In an interview with theGrio, Brown expressed that their focus was on the South because the majority of Black people live in the South. The group of women designed listening sessions to learn Black Girl’s perceptions about themselves, their needs, their dreams, and the resources they need. The group then used this information to design funding approaches that ensure a fair distribution of funds.

The group hopes that their work will result in a shift in how Black girls in the South see themselves.

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Kansas Coach Fired for Using N-Word Toward Black Player

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The head baseball coach at Olathe North Highschool in Kansas has now been fired after using the N-word toward a Black player.

What We Know:

  • The father of student Tony Banks commented that he believes head coach Pete Flood was attempting to “derail” his son’s successful athletic career. Flood is now officially terminated from teaching in Olathe Public Schools after being suspended for a time period. The District recommended Flood’s termination on Friday. On Monday, the District board voted to fire him unanimously.
  • Banks’ son is the only Black player on Olathe North Highschools’ baseball team. His son was allegedly playing rap music during practice when Flood said to him, “We don’t play that N– music over here. We only play country and rock music.”
  • The coach claimed he was only referring to the music’s lyrics and not the student’s race. He goes on to say that he has never called anyone a racial slur in his 25 years of teaching nor in his personal life.
  • Flood has expressed regret in saying the N-word aloud but doesn’t regret telling the student to change the music. Banks expressed, “We really wanted to move beyond this. We’re not attention seekers.”
  • Olathe School Board President Joe Beveridge called Flood’s actions “inexcusable.” The Board of Education met in a special board meeting on Monday morning to discuss the situation. The conversation that took place wasn’t in doubt because there is no justification for a coach to talk to any student in that manner. Banks called other parents to contact Principal Janson Hermanon and Athletic Director Josh Price for Flood’s removal. Flood had been employed in the school district since 1996.

Pete Flood started as Olathe North’s head baseball coach at the beginning of this school year.

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Crime

7 People Dead In Colorado Birthday Party Shooting

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According to authorities, a lone gunman opened fire at a birthday party on Sunday, killing six before killing himself.

What We Know:

  • Shortly after midnight, the shooting took place in a mobile home park on the east side of Colorado Springs. Officers responded to a call at 12:18 a.m. and arrived at the trailer to find six adults dead, according to NPR. Another man with serious injuries was found who later died at the hospital.
  • In what Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers called “a senseless act of violence,” the shooter entered the mobile home and opened fire. Family friends and children were gathered inside the trailer, but no children were hurt in the shooting. Police say the suspected shooter was the boyfriend of one of the female guests at the party.
  • Gladis Bustos, who lives near where the shooting happened, described the night as quiet before the commotion happened. Bustos said the incident was “a bad, traumatic experience for everyone.” Another neighbor, Denise Knoll, was left speechless by the events. “There’s not really any words, you know? Why people do things like this, I just don’t get it,” said Knoll to NBC.
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis called the Mother’s Day shooting “devastating,” offering his condolences to the victims’ families. Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski said in a statement a shooting of this kind is something you hope never happens in your community and that the police department would do everything in its power to investigate what happened.
  • The tragic incident in Colorado Springs is the first mass shooting in the state since March. During that incident, ten people were killed when a gunman walked into a grocery store and opened fire. The 1999 shooting at Columbine High School remains one of the most notable mass shootings in the state and nation’s history.

The identities of those killed in the shooting have not yet been released, and the investigation is ongoing. Colorado Springs is the second-largest city in the state after Denver.

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