Little Rock Nine – 57th Anniversary

09/03/2014

 Photograph shows a group of people, one holding a Confederate flag, surrounding speakers and National Guard, protesting the admission of the "Little Rock Nine" to Central High School. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA - Photo Credit: John T. Bledsoe


Photograph shows a group of people, one holding a Confederate flag, surrounding speakers and National Guard, protesting the admission of the “Little Rock Nine” to Central High School. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA – Photo Credit: John T. Bledsoe

Little Rock Nine were a group of African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Their enrollment was followed by the Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Orval Faubus, the Governor of Arkansas. They then attended after the intervention of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its historic Brown v. Board of Education of TopekaKansas, 347 U.S. 483, on May 17, 1954. The decision declared all laws establishing segregated schools to be unconstitutional, and it called for the desegregation of all schools throughout the nation. After the decision, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) attempted to register black students in previously all-white schools in cities throughout the South. In Little Rock, the capital city of Arkansas, the Little Rock School Board agreed to comply with the high court’s ruling. Virgil Blossom, the Superintendent of Schools, submitted a plan of gradual integration to the school board on May 24, 1955, which the board unanimously approved. The plan would be implemented during the fall of the 1957 school year, which would begin in September 1957. By 1957, the NAACP had registered nine black students to attend the previously all-white Little Rock Central High, selected on the criteria of excellent grades and attendance. The nicknamed “Little Rock Nine” consisted of Ernest Green (b. 1941), Elizabeth Eckford (b. 1941), Jefferson Thomas(1942–2010), Terrence Roberts (b. 1941), Carlotta Walls LaNier (b. 1942), Minnijean Brown (b. 1941), Gloria Ray Karlmark (b. 1942), Thelma Mothershed (b. 1940), and Melba Pattillo Beals (b. 1941). Ernest Green was the first African American to graduate from Central High School.

The Blossom Plan

One of the plans created during attempts to desegregate the schools of Little Rock was by school superintendent Virgil Blossom. The initial approach proposed substantial integration beginning quickly and extending to all grades within a matter of many years. This original proposal was scrapped and replaced with one that more closely met a set of minimum standards worked out in attorney Richard B. McCulloch’s brief. This finalized plan would start in September 1957 and would integrate one high school, Little Rock Central. The second phase of the plan would take place in 1960 and would open up a few junior high schools to a few black children. The final stage would involve limited desegregation of the city’s grade schools at an unspecified time, possibly as late as 1963.

This plan was met with varied reactions from the NAACP branch of Little Rock. Militant members like the Bateses opposed the plan on the grounds that it was “vague, indefinite, slow-moving and indicative of an intent to stall further on public integration.” Despite this view, the majority, most feeling that Blossom and the school board should have the chance to prove themselves, that the plan was reasonable, and that the white community would accept it, accepted the plan.

This view was short lived, however. Changes were made to the plan, the most detrimental being a new transfer system that would allow students to move out of the attendance zone to which they were assigned. The unaltered Blossom Plan had gerrymandered school districts to guarantee a black majority at Horace Mann High and a white majority at Hall High. This meant that, even though black students lived closer to Central, they would be placed in Horace Mann thus confirming the intention of the school board to limit the impact of desegregation. The altered plan gave white students the choice of not attending Horace Mann, but didn’t give black students the option of attending Hall. This new Blossom Plan did not sit well with the NAACP and after failed negotiations with the school board; the NAACP filed a lawsuit on February 8, 1956.

This lawsuit, along with a number of other factors contributed to the Little Rock School Crisis of 1957.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Rock_Nine

.Little Rock Nine

Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine

 

2014 Pres Obama’s Year of Action vs GOP Abandoning the 99%

06/27/2014

Jon Stewart takes down GOP “warfare queens”

The GOP are starring in the play “A Streetcar Named We’re Always Wrong”

JUN 27, 2014 SARAH GRAY – SALON

Last night Jon Stewart destroyed the GOP’s hypocrisy when it comes to readily spending on nation building (military interventions everywhere), but their desire to block nation building when it is our own country (infrastructure, healthcare, gun control).

“I’m really worried about the Republicans,” Stewart explained. “Their inability to wean themselves off of military intervention. They have a culture of defendency, if you will. And I believe it’s turned them all into warfare queens. And I think we need to cut them off for their own good.”

After plenty of mocking of John McCain (“We are the party of hell no!”), Stewart turned his eyes to another GOP leader who could uses some serious weaning off the military industrial complex: Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

GOP_Elephant_WRONG_WAY_smallWHAT GOP CONGRESS HAS DONE in 2014 FOR 99% OF  AMERICANS

.

2014 Year of Action

President Obama is Taking Action

In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama affirmed that this would be “A Year of Action” to help ensure opportunity for all Americans.

Since January, the President has taken more than 20 actions on his own to help build real, lasting economic security for the middle class and expand opportunities for every hardworking American to get ahead:

COMING SOON:

.

VOTE SMART & VOTE DEMOCRAT 2014

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


William Carpenter – Medal of Honor Recipient & FLOTUS @ DCCAP 2014 Commencement

06/18/2014

Medal of Honor

President Obama to Award Medal of Honor

On June 19, 2014, President Barack Obama will award Corporal William “Kyle” Carpenter, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret), the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.  Corporal Carpenter will receive the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as an Automatic Rifleman with Company F, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division (Forward), I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Corporal Carpenter will be the eighth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.  He and his family will join the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service.

.

June 19, 2014
President Barack Obama awards Corporal William “Kyle” Carpenter
the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry
White House

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~DC Graduation

 First Lady Michelle Obama to Address 2014 Graduating Seniors

DC College Access Program (DC-CAP) Graduation Celebration on June 19 at 6:00 PM (Eastern)

Mrs. Obama will deliver remarks at the Graduation Celebration for the DC College Access Program (DC-CAP) on Thursday, June 19 at 6:00 PM Eastern at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. DC-CAP is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping DC high school students prepare for, enroll in, and graduate from college. The overwhelming majority of students served by DC-CAP are from low-income, minority, single-parent households and are the first in their families to attend college. DC-CAP provides student and parent college readiness counseling starting in 9th grade helping families navigate the college application and financial aid process throughout the high school years. DC-CAP also provides integral support and financial assistance for students while in college. Since DC-CAP’s inception in 1999, the program has played a critical role in helping to double the number of students enrolling in college and tripling the number who graduate in DC. The event is an opportunity to applaud their achievement and honor their families who supported them.

 

District of Columbia College Access Program Commencement 2014
First Lady Michelle Obama – Commencement Speaker
Thursday, June 19 @ 6:00 PM ET
The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC

Obama_Biden_thumbnail

 


Pres Obama in Indian Country & @ UC Irvine 2014 Commencement

06/12/2014

North Dakota - T. Roosevelt Natl Park

http://youtu.be/70wsOvkZUMA?t=4s

On My Upcoming Trip to Indian Country

6/5/14 President Barack Obama – indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com

Six years ago, I made my first trip to Indian Country. I visited the Crow Nation in Montana – an experience I’ll never forget. I left with a new Crow name, an adoptive Crow family, and an even stronger commitment to build a future that honors old traditions and welcomes every Native American into the American Dream.

Next week, I’ll return to Indian Country, when Michelle and I visit the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Cannonball, N.D. We’re eager to visit this reservation, which holds a special place in American history as the home of Chief Sitting Bull. And while we’re there, I’ll announce the next steps my Administration will take to support jobs, education, and self-determination in Indian Country.

As President, I’ve worked closely with tribal leaders, and I’ve benefited greatly from their knowledge and guidance. That’s why I created the White House Council on Native American Affairs – to make sure that kind of partnership is happening across the federal government. And every year, I host the White House Tribal Nations Conference, where leaders from every federally recognized tribe are invited to meet with members of my Administration. Today, honoring the nation-to-nation relationship with Indian Country isn’t the exception; it’s the rule. And we have a lot to show for it.

Read more at https://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/06/05/my-upcoming-trip-indian-country@

Obama Taŋyáŋ yahí

President Obama and First Lady Michelle visit
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Cannonball, N.D

President Obama, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II, First Lady Michelle Obama and Nicole Archambault  @  Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

President Obama, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II, First Lady Michelle Obama and Nicole Archambault @
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Presidential Visit Live Stream: http://www.kfyrtv.com/category/284151/presidential-visit?clienttype=generic&mobilecgbypass

Native American Heritage

Native American Tribes A-Z

 National Museum of the American Indian

US Department of the Interior: Indian Affairs

US Environmental Agency Tribal Portal

National Congress of American Indians

Tribal Leaders Directory

Native American Heritage

Trace Indian Ancestry

 US Govt & Indigenous Peoples Timeline 1819-2014 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

Discover Indian Country

Travel Destinations – Exploration in Indian Country

Information provided by Ms. Johnson at ictmn.com

.

The history of the European settlement of North America and the fate of the indigenous people is a tragic one, which cannot be ignored at any national holiday. In recent years, however, the government has taken steps to acknowledge past grievances. One of these steps has been to commemorate ancient and existing Native American heritage sites as National Parks and Monuments.

All the sites on this list are of cultural or historical importance to different indigenous peoples. There are many, many more – a whole continent’s worth – just as important and beautiful, but we hope this sampling will motivate you to learn more about the Native heritage of the United States. 

27 Native American Heritage Sites

Northern Baja’s Indian Country

The Verdant Fist That Is the Mescalero Apache Reservation

Travel Destination! Majestic Mountain Loop Wins Prestigious 2014 Poppy Award

Swamp Rides and History Lessons Make for Unique South Florida Winter Vacay

Indian Casino Closest to Yellowstone Park Wins TripAdvisor Award

Burned Out: Huge AZ Wildfire Slows Navajo Jewelry, Pottery Sales in Sedona

The Never-ending Wonder of It All—The Iconic Foxwoods Resort Casino: Past, Present & Future

Tribe’s Marina Offers Docks to Boaters, Waterfront Homes to Seasonal Residents

Tribe Breaks Ground on $80M Cherokee Casino Roland to Replace Existing Facility

Bingo! Viejas Tribe Brings Gaming to Shopping Center Near San Diego

Hearts and Diamonds in the Rough: Quechan Tribe’s Casinos Draw Gamers Across Borders

Tohono O’Odham Party Time: Celebrating Three Decades of Gaming and Progress

The Buzz About Arizona’s Newest Casino Resort

Tortoise Rock Casino in Twentynine Palms Preps for Grand Opening

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PBO UCIrvine

President Obama to speak at UC Irvine commencement celebration

Event marks 50th anniversary of President Johnson’s dedication of campus land

Irvine, Calif., March 20, 2014 –President Barack Obama will speak to UC Irvine’s class of 2014 in a commencement ceremony set for Saturday, June 14, in Angel Stadium of Anaheim, the White House confirmed today.

The historic appearance honors the accomplishments of the more than 8,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students of the graduating class of 2014 and kicks off the campus’s 50th anniversary celebration. In June 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson landed in a barren pasture to dedicate the land that would become UC Irvine. Johnson had only recently unveiled his Great Society agenda; groundbreaking civil rights legislation was passed by the Senate just a day earlier.

“I have come to California to ask you to throw off your doubts about America,” Johnson said from the podium that day. “Help us demonstrate to the world that people of compassion and commitment can free their fellow citizens from the bonds of injustice, the prisons of poverty and the chains of ignorance.”

Completing a historic circle, President Obama will speak to a diverse class in which nearly 50 percent are first-generation university graduates.

“We are thrilled that the President has accepted our invitation to deliver the keynote address at our commencement exercises this June,” said Chancellor Michael V. Drake. “We will be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking and dedication ceremonies of our campus. We are proud of the progress we have made during our first half century, and are looking forward to even greater achievements in the years to come.”

For more: http://news.uci.edu/press-releases/president-obama-to-speak-at-uc-irvine-commencement-celebration/

.

University of California, Irvine Commencement 2014
President Obama- Commencement Speaker
Saturday, June 14 @ 1:30 PM ET
Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Irvine, California

.

Live Stream: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/uc-irvine-2014-commencement

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Pres Obama @ Worcester Technical HS 2014 Commencement

06/10/2014

Worchester

President Barack Obama to deliver Worcester Technical High School’s 2014 Commencement Address 

Worcester, MA (March 20, 2014_ Principal Sheila Harrity announced today that, President Barack Obama will deliver the Commencement address to Worcester Technical High School on Wednesday, June 11, at the DCU Center.

“We are honored that President Obama has chosen to address the graduates of Worcester Technical High School,” said Harrity. “As a preeminent leader and advocate for Career and Technical Education (CTE), the President’s work and commitment to promoting equality of opportunity for all, will inspire the class of 2014.”

President Obama, in his fifth State of the Union address stated, “We’re working to redesign high schools and partner them with colleges and employers that offer the real-world education and hands-on training that can lead to a job and career.” Worcester Technical High School has undergone just such redesign and transformed from the lowest performing school in the city and one of the lowest performing vocational schools in the state to a 2013 U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School.

For more: http://goo.gl/s5GEzz

.

Worcester Technical High School Commencement 2014
President Obama- Commencement Speaker
Wednesday, June 11 @ 4:00 PM ET
DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Expanding the ‘Pay As You Earn’ Federal Student Loan Qualifications

06/07/2014

collegeafforadabillityshares_1

#CollegeOpportunity - 2

#CollegeOpportunity - 3

#CollegeOpportunity - 1

12/21/12 – Pay As You Earna U.S. federal student debt relief law program is passed and into law and signed  President Barack Obama.

Only borrowers who do not have outstanding federal loan debt as of October 1, 2007 may qualify if they receive a disbursement on a loan on or after October 1, 2011. As with Income-Based Repayment (IBR), the borrower must prove Partial Financial Hardship.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay_as_You_Earn_(PAYE)_-_Federal_Student_Loan_Relief_Program

 

Expanding Income-Based Repayment

The Administration’s “Pay as You Earn” plan expanded income-based repayment to enable students to take advantage of a new option to cap repayment of student loans at 10 percent of monthly income. These changes reduced the burden of student loans in a fiscally responsible way. Additionally, millions of borrowers are now eligible to consolidate Direct Loans and FFEL Loans and save up to half a percentage point on their interest rate.

Learn more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/higher-education/making-college-affordable

.

Making Student Loans More Affordable

President Obama declared 2014 a year of action – vowing to use the power of his pen and phone to help ensure that hardworking Americans have the opportunity to succeed. And this week will be no different. With a focus on supporting hardworking Americans and upholding our country’s commitment to provide a quality education for all of our students, the President is again taking action. Today, he will deliver remarks at the White House, announcing new executive actions to further lift the burden of crushing student loan debt, including a Presidential Memorandum that will allow an additional 5 million borrowers with federal student loans to cap their monthly payments at just 10 percent of their income

FACTSHEET: Making Student Loans More Affordable

A postsecondary education is the single most important investment that Americans can make in their futures. Higher education results in higher earnings and a lower risk of unemployment, but for too many low- and middle-income families this essential rung on the ladder to opportunity and advancement is slipping out of reach.  Over the past three decades, the average tuition at a public four-year college has more than tripled, while a typical family’s income has barely budged.  More students than ever are relying on loans to pay for college.  Today, 71 percent of those earning a bachelor’s degree graduate with debt, which averages $29,400.  While most students are able to repay their loans, many feel burdened by debt, especially as they seek to start a family, buy a home, launch a business, or save for retirement.

The President and his Administration have a long track record of taking steps to make college more affordable and accessible for families. And as part of his year of action to expand opportunity for all Americans, the President is committed to building on these efforts by using his pen and his phone to make student debt more affordable and more manageable to repay.

Today the President will use the power of his pen to help millions of borrowers afford their student loan payments. He will sign a new Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Education to propose regulations that would allow nearly 5 million additional federal direct student loan borrowers the opportunity to cap their student loan payments at 10 percent of their income.  The Presidential Memorandum also outlines a series of new executive actions aimed to support federal student loan borrowers, especially for vulnerable borrowers who may be at greater risk of defaulting on their loans.

Today the President will also reiterate his call for the sean to pass legislation that could help an estimated 25 million Americans refinance outstanding student loans at lower interest rates, the same as those available to federal student loan borrowers taking out loans this year.  This move could save a typical student $2,000 over the life of his or her loans.

    • The Challenge of Student Debt
    • Capping Student Loan Payments at 10 Percent of Income
    • Doing All We Can to Help Students Repay their Loans
      1. Strengthen Incentives for Loan Contractors to Serve Students Well
      2. Ensure Active-Duty Military Get the Relief They Are Entitled to
      3. Work with the Private Sector to Promote Awareness of Repayment Option
      4. In addition, the Administration will work with Intuit to explore ways to communicate with federal student loan borrowers through Intuit’s free personal financial management product, Mint.com
      5. Use Innovative Communication Strategies to Help Vulnerable Borrowers
      6. Promote Stronger Collaborations to Improve Information for Students and Families
  • Additional Actions to Reduce Indebtedness and Promote College Affordability: Helping Students and Families Access Education Tax Benefits

For the entire article:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/09/factsheet-making-student-loans-more-affordable

.

Weekly Address: Supporting America’s Students

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House

June 7, 2014

Hi, everybody. This is commencement season, a time for graduates and their families to celebrate one of the greatest achievements of a young person’s life. But for many graduates, it also means feeling trapped by a whole lot of student loan debt. And we’ve got to do more to lift that burden.

See, in a 21st century economy, the surest pathway into the middle class is some form of higher education. The unemployment rate for workers with a bachelor’s degree is just 3.3 percent – about half what it is for high school graduates. The typical graduate of a four-year college earns $15,000 more per year than someone with just a high school degree.

But at a time when college has never been more important, it’s also never been more expensive.

That’s why, since I took office, I’ve worked to make college more affordable. We reformed a student loan system that gave away billions of taxpayer dollars to big banks and invested that money where it makes a bigger bang – in helping more young people afford a higher education.

But over the past three decades, the average tuition at a public four-year college has more than tripled. The average undergraduate student who borrows for college now graduates owing almost $30,000. And I’ve heard from too many young people who are frustrated that they’ve done everything they were supposed to do – and now they’re paying the price.

I’ve taken action on my own to offer millions of students the opportunity to cap their monthly student loan payments to 10% of their income. But Congress needs to do its part. The good news is that Senate Democrats are working on a bill that would help more young people save money. Just like you can refinance your mortgage at a lower interest rate, this bill would let you refinance your student loans. And we’d pay for it by closing loopholes that allow some millionaires to pay a lower tax rate than the middle class.

That’s the choice that your representatives in Congress will make in the coming weeks – protect young people from crushing debt, or protect tax breaks for millionaires. And while Congress decides what it’s going to do, I will keep doing whatever I can without Congress to help responsible young people pay off their loans – including new action I will take this week.

This country has always made a commitment to put a good education within the reach of all who are willing to work for it. That’s what made us an economic superpower. That’s what makes us special. And as long as I hold this office, I’ll keep fighting to give more young people the chance to earn their own piece of the American Dream.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to tell them to pass the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act !!!

U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
Tweet a Message to Your Representatives


VPOTUS @ Univ of Delaware 2014 Commencement & Citizens Congress Conference

05/30/2014

UDelawareVP Biden @ UD 2014 Commencement

Vice President Joe Biden to deliver remarks at the University of Delaware’s 165th Commencement May 31st

April 7, 2014– udel.edu

Vice President Joe Biden will deliver the Commencement address at the University of Delaware, his alma mater, on Saturday, May 31.

The University’s 165th Commencement ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. in Delaware Stadium, rain or shine, and the event is free and open to the public.

For more: http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2014/apr/commencement-040714.html

The University of Delaware Class of 2014
165th Commencement Ceremony
Vice President Joe Biden – Commencement Speaker
Saturday, May 31, 2014 @ 9:00 AM ET
Delaware Stadium, Newark, Delaware

.

Live Stream: http://udcapture.udel.edu/udlive/watch.php?t=f&s=thebob.flv&w=896&h=504

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Congress Can Be Better

 

ABOUT
Democrats and Republicans agree, the gridlock in Congress has frustrated the American people and complicated the critical decisions our country faces.

Our representatives in Washington are unable to render solutions for one reason- money.

Since the 1970s, corporate business organizations have focused billions of dollars to organize and lobby for legislation that favors their special interests. This money buys access and influence in Washington; it dominates our policies, and corrupts our politics. Polls indicate that 90% of Americans favor removing the corrosive influence of money in elections.

Citizens Congress Conference is a non-profit volunteer group of concerned citizens comprised of teachers, doctors, nurses, farmers, firefighters, web designers, business owners, artists and others who know that ending government corruption should be the number one national priority.

They are a non-partisan in our pursuit of this issue and are developing and working successfully with organizations across the nation who are deeply committed to restoring balance and faith in our political system.

For more: http://www.citizenscongress2014.org/about.html

 

Citizens Congress Conference
June 2 – 5, 2014
 Cal-Poly University,  Spanos Theatre, San Luis Obispo, California

The first national gathering of legislators, scholars, and public advocacy groups combating the corruptive influence of money in our political system. Learn more: http://www.citizenscongress2014.org

Conference Registration & Attendees: http://www.citizenscongress2014.org/conference-1.html

$ Should Not Run Politics

 

.

Citizens United v. FEC and the Future of Federal Campaign Finance Reform

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. ___ (2010), (Docket No. 08-205), is a US constitutional law case, in which the United States Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting political independent expenditures by corporations, associations, or labor unions. The conservative lobbying group Citizens United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton and to advertise the film during television broadcasts in apparent violation of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (commonly known as the McCain–Feingold Act or “BCRA”). In a 5–4 decision, the Court held that portions of BCRA §203 violated the First Amendment.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_united

.

Wake up people, and see the danger we’re in

4/09/2014 10:14:54 AM By Leonard Pitts Jr. – mercurynews.com

This is a column about campaign finance reform.

And your eyes glazed over just then, didn’t they?

That’s the problem with this problem. Americans know that government truly of, by and for the people is unlikely if not impossible so long as the system is polluted by billions of dollars in contributions from corporations and individual billionaires. Half of us, according to Gallup, would like to see public financing of campaigns; nearly 80 percent want to limit campaign fundraising.

And yet somehow, the issue seems to lack a visceral urgency in the public mind. William Ostrander understands that all too well.

“There are people that will go nuts over the Second Amendment,” he says in a telephone interview. And not to diminish the importance of self-defense, he adds, but “when you look at the practical character of it, what’s going on in campaign finance corruption is far more injurious to their lives, their well-being and their children’s lives than anything most people have had to deal with the Second Amendment.”

Ostrander is a farmer in San Luis Obispo, and the director of something called Citizens Congress 2014. Its members include a schoolteacher, a small-business man, a firefighter, a general contractor and a doctor — your basic average Americans — who have collectively invested thousands of volunteer hours to set up a summit (June 2 to 5) of lawyers, lawmakers, academics, advocacy groups and other experts.

Their aim: to brainstorm strategies and craft a plan of action to eliminate the influence of big money in politics.

For more: http://www.mercurynews.com/News/ci_25529920/Leonard-Pitts-Jr:-Wake-up-people

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 276 other followers