fbpx
Connect with us

Politics

Colorado to Unveil New Congressional Districts

Published

on

(Olivia Sun, The Colorado Sun)

Colorado is set to reveal a preliminary map of its congressional districts next week. For the first time, an independent redistricting commission will be utilized to determine the district borders.

What We Know:

  • Redistricting occurs every ten years across the nation. With Democrats having a slim majority in the House of Representatives, many are curious to see how redistricting across the country will influence upcoming midterm elections.
  • U.S. Census data is typically referenced when redistricting. Because of the pandemic and change in the presidential regime, this data has been delayed. Analysts fear that this might enable gerrymandering, where electoral lines are skewed to benefit one political party.
  • In a 2018 amendment, Colorado became one of several states that now rely on independent redistricting commissions in hopes of reducing partisanship. The Colorado commission consists of 4 Democrat voters, 4 Republican voters, and 4 unaffiliated voters. They will be relying on data from past censuses as well as municipal data from the state.

Kathay Fend, national redistricting director for the Common Cause, stated, “It is an explicit rejection of the scorched-earth tactic that has been used by some party leaders, a way of demonstrating that we can bring people back to the table and make democracy work.”

  • The commission has been instructed to not take existing districts or the homes of incumbent representatives into account. They must try and keep the new districts equal in population and contiguous. They also are to avoid splitting cities, counties, or communities with shared interests. The hope is that these districts will be as compact and politically competitive as possible.
  • Effects of redistricting are expected to challenge established Republicans because of a major shift in population. The state’s population experienced a 14.5% growth from 2010-2020 which has earned them an eighth seat in the House of Representatives. The majority of this population increase is around the Denver area. In contrast, the eastern plains region, a Republican stronghold, experienced the most decline.
  • Scott Martinez, a lawyer who drew congressional redistricting maps for Democrats in 2001 and 2011, is optimistic, “My hope is that the benevolence of these commissioners finds a way to grant equality to our ethnic minorities.” Already the commission has received over 400 comments from the community providing input towards the redistricting effort.

Preliminary congressional district maps will be unveiled by June 23 and preliminary legislative maps on June 28. The commission will elicit public feedback in hearings hosted around the state, before incorporating more granular census data for the final product expected to be submitted by the November 1 deadline.

Comments

comments

Alex Haynes is Editor-At-Large/NYC Editor at Urban Newsroom, Executive Editor at UNR's Black Alerts and the host of Boss Mornings and Unmuted Nation. Alex joined Urban Newsroom in 2010 and contributes regular op-ed and editorial pieces while advising the columnist and contributing staff.

Politics

New Report Spotlights Border Patrol Misconduct Years Before Haitian Migrant Controversy

Published

on

By

US-POLITICS-IMMIGRATION-TEXAS

Source: PAUL RATJE / Getty

A new report from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform found several issues in disciplining agents for sharing derogatory posts online, including in a private Facebook group. The overview notes many failures of Customs and Border Protection officials and raises concerns about the treatment of migrants as the Haitian crisis continues.  

Rep. Carolyn Maloney expressed her displeasure with the “broken disciplinary process in a statement released Monday.” As the committee chair, Maloney oversaw the investigation into reports of agents posting in secret “I’m 10-15” Facebook group.  

“CBP’s failure to prevent these violent and offensive statements by its own agents or impose adequate discipline creates a serious risk that this behavior will continue,” Maloney said. “As we saw with the mistreatment of migrants by Border Patrol agents in Del Rio, Texas last month, systemic behavior problems within CBP persist.” 

While Maloney called for strengthening social media policies, training and adjusting disciplinary procedures, the findings are a part of the agency’s long history of racist actions, pointing to a more significant issue. Several weeks ago, violent imagery splashed across social media of agents on horseback detaining Haitian migrants. But Maloney’s committee report highlights numerous instances of agents posting vulgar, racist, or sexually explicit posts, some warranting removal from duty. The punishment was reduced in several instances, with some agents remaining on staff who should not retain such power. 

The report gives the example of one border patrol agent, who had a history of multiple infractions, posting a picture of a parent and child who drowned and calling them “floaters.” The agent was allowed to retire with disability benefits instead of facing any form of discipline.  

 

Maloney’s work builds on an investigation initiated by the late Rep. Elijah Cummings after hearing reports of disturbing accounts of online agent behavior. Her report points to several failings at CBP.  Below are some of the findings from the Committee’s investigation: 

At least 60 Border Patrol agents committed misconduct related to a secret Facebook group during the Trump Administration. 

– Most of the 60 agents who committed misconduct received reduced penalties, and 57 agents continue to work with migrants today. 

– CBP knew about Border Patrol agents’ inappropriate posts on “I’m 10-15” since 2016, three years before it was reported publicly.  

– Weaknesses in CBP’s disciplinary process hampered its ability to hold Border Patrol agents accountable. 

Like their domestic police counterparts, border patrol is rife with documented instances of abuse. Maloney’s committee report follows a release from the Department of Homeland Security confirming physical and sexual abuse cases. Human Rights Watch pointed to the inappropriate touching of an underage asylum seeker. In another instance, a migrant was bitten in the testicle by an agency dog and not given medical treatment. 

Calls for reform are often met with questions about the fundamental practices these agencies adopt and their interactions with target populations. Brutality seems to be built into the agency’s daily routine and oversight. 

“Evidence that the nation’s largest federal law enforcement agency, CBP, suffers from serious transparency, oversight, and accountability deficits has been mounting for years,” wrote Human Rights Watch.  

See Also:  

Right-Wing Support For Border Patrol Grows After Agents Whip Haitian Migrants With Horse Reins 

Biden Administration’s Continued Deportations Of Black Immigrants Raise Concerns 

[ione_media_gallery id=”4185716″ overlay=”true”]

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Politics

White Republican Wendy Rogers Accused Vernon Jones Of ‘Tap-Dancing.’ She’s Out Of Line…But She’s Right

Published

on

By

Trump Supporters Continue Election Protests At Georgia State House

Then-Democratic Georgia State Representative Vernon Jones speaks to supporters of Donald Trump host a ‘Stop the Steal’ protest outside of the Georgia State Capital building on November 21, 2020, in Atlanta. | Source: Megan Varner / Getty

Vernon Jones, the former Democratic Georgia state Rep.-turned MAGA man who hopes to become the Peach State’s next Republican governor, is finding that his descent into the sunken place hasn’t happened very smoothly as white people are still white people and for him to be the quintessential “Black friend,” his background must show that he’s the squeaky-clean Blacky-lackey white Republicans who endorsed him always wanted him to be.

As we previously reported, Jones recently found himself on the wrong side of white fragility when he sat down with right-wing podcaster Stew Peters, who grilled him about a lawsuit he was hit with in 2010 when he was Dekalb County’s first Black CEO. Jones was accused of being part of a scheme to replace white managers in the county’s Parks and Recreation Department with Black managers because white people think they’re entitled to the domination of literally every workforce everywhere. A mostly white jury sided with two of the plaintiffs in the suit and Jones was ordered to pay them a butt-load of money.

Peters questioned him on the incident and basically accused him of being racist against white people—to the point where Jones got frustrated and walked off the set. 

*Arizona State Sen. Wendy Rogers enters the chat.*

Because white Republicans are desperate to earn as many “See, I’m not racist” points as they can, many of them are always on the hunt for a Black conservative to endorse. So, Jones got plenty of GOP support from Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, who suggested he run for to be Georgia’s next governor in the first place.

But after the interview with Peters, some of Jones’ overseers…I mean, backers have been jumping ship, including Rogers, who earlier this month, demanded that Jones “remove my endorsement off all campaign materials and website immediately.”

On Monday, Rogers tweeted about it again saying Jones still has her endorsement up and she wants it removed, but Jones’ campaign was like, “Hold up, non-sis, you got the endorsement on your page too!”

Rogers responded by invoking a term she likely knows has a certain connotation when applied to Black people, and particularly Black people of the house negro persuasion.

“Sounds like tap-dancing,” she wrote. “Website endorsement page is not the same as an old tweet. Keep dancing.”

On one hand, Rogers was likely being racist as hell with that remark.

On the other hand—Vernon Jones do be tap-dancing tho.

At this point, Jones is drowning in the sea of extra-caucasified whiteness that he chose to dive into, but we all know he’ll continue trying to swim.

SEE ALSO:

MAGA Minion Vernon Jones Walks Off Set When Host Grills Him About Losing Reverse Racism Lawsuit

‘Uncle Tom’ Trends On Twitter After RNC Trots Out Black Men To Deny Trump’s Racism

[ione_media_gallery id=”4230665″ overlay=”true”]

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Politics

Atlanta NAACP President Apologizes For Rebuking Mayor Candidate As Some Members Defend Him

Published

on

By

The president of the NAACP’s Atlanta chapter has formally apologized for denouncing a leading candidate in the city’s mayor race one day after the national group publicly admonished what it said amounted to an unsanctioned endorsement. Meanwhile, other prominent NAACP members affiliated with local chapters have publicly shared their grievances about the national organization offering what the Atlanta Journal-Constitution called a “rare repudiation” of a local chapter.

The unfortunate episode began to unfold last week when Atlanta NAACP President Richard Rose offered his unsolicited rebuke of Kasim Reed, the city’s embattled former mayor who is running for the same office. Rose laid out his problems with Reed, including referencing a federal corruption investigation that the candidate says doesn’t exist.

That led to NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson reprimanding Rose for overstepping his organizational boundaries as Atlanta chapter president. At the heart of the issue was Rose’s perceived endorsement of other candidates over Reed, who was at the center of a bribery and corruption scandal that engulfed his office as mayor in the not too distant past.

US-POLITICS-NAACP

Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP, pauses while speaking during a press conference announcing a lawsuit by the NAACP and Prince George’s County, Maryland against the US Census Bureau on March 28, 2018, in Washington, D.C. | Source: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / Getty

Then, on Monday, the national NAACP publicly called out Rose for his words against Reed, saying such statements are inconsistent with the organizations fundamental tenets.

“By issuing a public partisan statement opposing Mr. Reed’s candidacy and by essentially endorsing other candidates, you clearly violated Article II, Section 2 of the Bylaws for Units of the NAACP,” Janette McCarthy Wallace, the NAACP’s general counsel, wrote in a letter made public on Monday. “You are engaging in conduct inimical to the best interest of the Association. Your conduct is not in accord with the NAACP’s principles, aims and purposes.”

Wallace’s letter served as a cease and desist notice to Rose to keep him “from endorsing political candidate and/or political parties.” Wallace threatened Rose with “suspension, expulsion or other disciplinary action” if he failed to comply with the terms included in the letter.

By Tuesday morning, Rose was reportedly contrite in expressing his apology.

A journalist with local news outlet WABE tweeted that Atlanta NAACP President Richard Rose said he was sorry “for renouncing Kasim Reed as Atlanta’s next mayor.” Lisa Rayam added that Rose said doing so “was wrong in the capacity in which he serves.”

Reed, for his part, tweeted Monday afternoon that he was “grateful” for the NAACP’s letter to Rose and called it “unfortunate that a leader of a local chapter used this historic organization to be used by dark money interests.”

However, the sentiments of Rose’s apology were not shared by other prominent NAACP members in Georgia who pointed to the previous national election cycle in an effort to spotlight an apparent double standard when it comes to political endorsements.

Gerald Griggs, a high-profile civil rights lawyer in Atlanta who calls himself a lifetime member of the Atlanta NAACP, issued a statement on Monday defending Rose. Griggs noted that Rose was not the first NAACP member to weigh in on a contentious election but that he is seemingly among the first, if not the first, to suffer “ramifications” for doing so. He invited the national NAACP “to determine local conditions on the ground prior to commenting on local issues.”

James “Major” Woodall, a public policy associate of the Southern Center for Human Rights who is also the former State President of the Georgia NAACP, called it “disappointing” that the national organization “would tell any leader to not use their voice to speak about local issues.” He added that it was “quite telling” for the national NAACP to rebuke criticism of Reed while pointing out how “There was no problem in publicly rebuking Donald Trump though.”

The organizational power struggle came one week before Atlanta voters decide who will be the city’s next mayor.

According to a detailed timeline of the corruption investigation into Atlanta City Hall under Reed’s administration, the probe has been largely dormant for about a year. However, the chief financial officer in Reed’s administration remains under indictment for fraud and weapons charges, showing the investigation is still open.

Whether fair or not, guilt by association is a very real thing.

When local news outlet WSB-TV questioned in May how so much corruption was able to happen on his watch, Reed deflected and suggested it’s impossible to keep tabs on each and everybody in “a 9,000-person organization.� He emphasized that he was never accused of anything and challenged WSB-TV to tell him what he could have done differently.

“I would love to have another interview where you and I sit down and you explain to me why I should have known or how I should have known,� Reed said before apologizing.

“Anything on my watch, I take responsibility for,� Reed added. “I’m sorry I didn’t see it faster, and certainly after what I’ve been through personally, but more importantly what our city was taken through, I would do everything in my power to make sure it didn’t happen again.�

The vacancy in Atlanta’s City Hall comes after Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms shocked her supporters in April by making the “very difficult decision� of declining another run for office. Bottoms is the first incumbent mayor since Maynard Jackson who chose to not seek reelection. Reed now becomes the city’s first former mayor since Jackson to seek a third term in office.

In spite of the ongoing federal investigation into Reed’s former staff, he is still a political force to be reckoned with in Atlanta.

“No one should underestimate the power that Kasim Reed wields in the city, and anyone who does is making a grave mistake,� Winfield Murray, a former deputy chief of staff to Bottoms and lawyer who teaches constitutional law at Morehouse College, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

SEE ALSO:

‘I’m Back’: Kasim Reed Officially Launches Atlanta Mayor Campaign Despite Ongoing Federal Investigation

‘We Ain’t Going Back’: Georgia Faith Leaders Demand Action On Voting Rights

[ione_media_gallery id=”4237330″ overlay=”true”]

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Trending