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There’s still work to do: vote ‘Yes’ on Proposal 2

As I talk to people in my hometown of Detroit, I’m confronted with a question more often than I would like. I hear it asked by young people frequently, but increasingly I’m hearing it from veterans of the workforce, too. The issue at stake is collective bargaining, and the question is, "Why do unions still matter?" There’s another question implicit there. Even if unions and collective bargaining do matter, ...

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Health care is a civil right

Our Constitution offers us “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” but we can’t pursue anything if we are unhealthy. Yet, health disparities in the United States are a fact of life. African American people have shorter lives than whites for three reasons. One has to do with income and poverty. Poor people (and 27 percent of African Americans are poor, compared to about 10 percent of whites) have less ...

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Black folks must use their collective economic weapon

Now that the end of the presidential campaign is nearly upon us, it is time to state once again that when it comes to promoting and protecting our individual and group interests in this country, we, as Black people, have an extremely powerful — not influential, but powerful — weapon, which we don’t effectively use. That weapon is our individual and group economic resources. ...

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Ignored and taken for granted

What will it finally take for Black people to accept the fact that we have no real political clout? A little influence, yes, but no power. If our voting bloc were as strong as we like to think, the Republicans would not ignore us and the Democrats would not take us for granted. If we had real political power, both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama would have accepted the invitation by the National Newspaper Publ ...

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Stand up for Democracy: Repeal the EM Law

There are four good reasons to stand up for democracy by voting “no” on Proposal 1. First, democracy is worth having on the local level because local people know what’s best for their communities. Proposal 1 stops local people from participating in their government. Every decision from policing to parking is in the hands of one person — a state bureaucrat. ...

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Steps to counter voter suppression

Hopefully by now you have heard a thing or two about efforts on the part of the Republicans to suppress the votes of minorities, youth, the elderly, union members and many veterans. The plot is fairly simple: Make it especially difficult to vote by setting up all sorts of systems of identification in the name of avoiding alleged voter fraud. The fact that voter fraud has not been a major issue in the United ...

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Ignore debate zingers, focus on issues

As the first 2012 presidential debate approached, political junkies were gearing up for a shoot-out. With history as a guide, much attention was paid to the political horse race. Much debate commentary was about technique: Would President Barack Obama be crisp? Would Mitt Romney use the zingers he has reportedly practiced? Would he get under the president’s skin? ...

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CBC opposes plan to enable predatory lending

At the urging of veteran Congressman John H. Conyers, D-Mich., a growing number of Congressional Black Caucus colleagues are actively opposing a bill that would negatively impact consumers of color and others who lack a personal bank account. Moreover, the bill, HR 6139, would also remove the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from its current enforcement authority over non-bank lenders and additio ...

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On the governor’s public bridge, let the people decide

To hear it from proponents of the New International Trade Crossing (NITC), a proposed new bridge between Detroit and Windsor will provide a risk-free bounty of jobs and dollars for the state. But not only have state officials misinformed the public by vastly overstating the economic benefit from the project, they have also completely disregarded a crucial consideration: how a new bridge will devastate the n ...

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