George Floyd: The Turning Point


“If, going forward, we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained, and effective action, then this moment can be a real turning point in our nation’s long journey to live up to our highest ideals.
Former President Barack Obama

Say Their Names
A Decade of Watching Black People Die

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Charles Kinsey,  Alton Sterling …and many more

 How To Make This Moment the Turning Point For Real Change
                                                                            Barack Obama

  • Aspirations have to be translated into specific laws and institutional practices
  • The elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.
  • It’s mayors and county executives that appoint most police chiefs and negotiate collective bargaining agreements with police unions. It’s district attorneys and state’s attorneys that decide whether or not to investigate and ultimately charge those involved in police misconduct. Those are all elected positions.
  • We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform.
  • Finally, the more specific we can make demands for criminal justice and police reform, the harder it will be for elected officials to just offer lip service to the cause and then fall back into business as usual once protests have gone away.

Three Steps to Impact Change
                                                                                   Barack Obama

We know there are specific evidence based reforms that would build trust, save lives and would not show an increase in crime that are included in the 21st Century Policing Task Force Report  

  1. I’m urging every mayor, and city council official in this country to review your use of force policies with members of your community and commit to report on planned reforms. What are the specific steps you can take?
  2. Organizations like Campaign Zero and Color of Change are highlighting what        the data shows what works, what doesn’t in terms of reducing incidences of police misconduct and violence. Lets go ahead and start implementing those,  We need mayors, county executives and others who are in positions of power to say this is a priority.
  3. Every city in this country should be a My Brother’s Keeper community. We’ve got 250 counties, cities, tribal nations who are working to reduce barriers and expand opportunity for boys and young men of color..programs, policy reforms and public private partnerships.


Policing Reform At The Local Level

Address and demand these reforms/legislation with your county executives, mayors, and council members

Campaign Zero

“We can live in a world where the police don’t kill people
by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.”

  • End broken windows policy
  • Community oversight 
  • Limit use of force
  • Independently investigate & prosecute 
  • Community representation 
  • Body cams
  • Training 
  • End For-Profit Policing
  • Demilitarization
  • Fair Police Union Contracts

New York City 

Updated August 11

N.Y.P.D. Besieges a Protest Leader as He Broadcasts Live
A helicopter and dozens of officers, some in tactical gear, were deployed for an arrest at a Manhattan apartment but withdrew after protesters arrived.

NYPD Sued for Info on How Cops Treated Homeless People on the Subway

The Coalition for the Homeless sued the NYPD Monday for information on the scope and impact of cops’ efforts to encourage homeless people to get off the subways and into shelters. The much-publicized Subway Diversion Project, with its philosophy of “supports, not summonses,” was touted by Mayor Bill de Blasio as a way for officers to provide help without steering the homeless into the criminal justice system.

Who Opposes Defunding the N.Y.P.D.? These Black Lawmakers
Several Black City Council members have lashed out at progressives, comparing calls to defund the police to “colonization” and “political gentrification.”


Updated July 8:

NYC council passes six sweeping police reform bills that include:

  • requiring officer badge numbers to be visible
  • an official ban on chokeholds or any other maneuver that restricts air flow
  • oversight of the New York City Police Department’s surveillance technology
  • a penalty system for police officers with disciplinary issues
  • a system to intervene with training for officers who are deemed “problematic”
  • a bill that puts into law the right to record police interactions

Originally proposed:

New York City Council introduces bills including:

  • criminalizing the use of chokeholds 536A
  • creating standardized police discipline guidelines Intro 1309
  • repealing  the state law that shields police disciplinary records from the public Res. 750
  • grant and protect a person’s right to record police activity. 721 A
  • another which would call on the State to ban chokeholds and create the crime of strangulation in the first degree Res 27
  • the NYPD would be required to “maintain a centralized system that is used to record, track, review, and evaluate officer activity and to identify officers that may be in need of enhanced training, monitoring, or reassignment.”

Additional Reforms In The News:

New York City Police Department’s Budget has been slashed by $1 billion

The approved budget includes nearly $484 million in cuts and will reallocate $354 million to other agencies “best positioned to carry out the duties that have been previously assigned to the New York Police Department, like the Department of Education, the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and the Department of Homeless Services.

The mayor also noted that $500,000 that was earmarked for NYPD major projects will now be redirected to youth centers and expanded access to high speed internet for public housing residents

Originally Reported:

The NYPD’s $6 billion budget amounts to more than the budgets for the Departments of Health ($1.9 billion), Homeless Services ($2.1 billion), Youth and Community Development ($872,000), and Small Business Services ($293,000) COMBINED.  As a comparison, the Fire Department of the City of New York’s budget is $2.1 billion and the  New York City Department of Education and School Construction Authority’s budget is  $27.1 Billion

Originally proposed:

Comptroller Stringer to Mayor de Blasio: Cut $1.1 Billion in NYPD Spending Over Four Years and Reinvest in Vulnerable Communities and Vital Services  

De Blasio Vows for First Time to Cut Funding for the N.Y.P.D.The mayor on Sunday declined to say precisely how much funding he planned to divert to social services from the New York Police Department.

Policing Reform at The State Level

 Address and demand these reforms/legislation with your
governor and state legislators. 

New York


Updated August 11 2020

NYPD Disappeared Black Lives Matter Protesters Into Detention For Days At a Time. Lawmakers want to end the practice.

The public defenders accused the police department of deliberately slow-rolling standard procedures to keep protesters in jail as payback for demonstrations against police brutality. Judge James M. Burke of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan sided with the police. He accepted the NYPD’s rationale that the conditions on the ground should overrule preexisting state law: The 1991 Roundtree v. Brown decision established the 24-hour standard from arrest to arraignment.”

In Albany,  State Sen. Michael Gianaris introduced a bill to codify the Roundtree decision and better track detentions. On Wednesday afternoon, the bill passed the full New York State Senate, clearing the way for it to appear before the State Assembly . A key component of the bill, Gianaris said, is that it would force all municipalities in New York state with over a million residents — only New York City would qualify — to create a detained persons registry.

New York State Bill Would Require Police Officers to Carry Liability Insurance
State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, D-Bronx, who is sponsoring the legislation, says the measure aims to establish a financial disincentive for police misconduct and create accountability.

Updated June 13, 2020:

N.Y. Bans Chokeholds and Approves Other Measures to Restrict Police

Many of the bills were introduced years ago but gained little traction because of fierce opposition from powerful police unions that for years held sway over elected officials in Albany, especially when Republicans controlled the State Senate. The 10 bills are now law and include:

  • Transparency of prior disciplinary records of law enforcement officersThe most contentious of the legislation was a measure to repeal an obscure statute in the state’s civil code known as 50-a, which prohibits the release of “all personnel records used to evaluate performance” of police officers without permission from the officer or a judge.
    Criticism of the law came to a head following the death of Eric Garner in Staten Island after a police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, held him in a chokehold in 2014. Despite a lawsuit to make them public, Mr. Pantaleo’s disciplinary records remained secret for years until they were leaked, revealing a long history of complaints.
    New York was one of the few remaining states with such a secrecy law
  • Banning chokeholds by law enforcement officersThe new law banning the use of chokeholds by law enforcement officers — named after Mr. Garner, whose mother, Gwen Carr, attended the law’s signing ceremony — makes the use of the technique a felony.
  • Prohibiting false race-based 9-1-1 reports and making them a crimeThis law would give recourse to people who believe someone “called a police officer on them” because of their race, gender, nationality or any other protected class.
  • Designating the Attorney General as an independent prosecutor for matters relating to the deaths of unarmed civilians caused by law enforcement.

Another law, pushed by a group of black mothers whose sons were killed by the
police, codified into state law a special prosecutor’s office within the state’s
attorney general’s office to investigate and prosecute police killings of unarmed

  • New York State Police must wear body cameras during specific times while on duty.
  • A person not under arrest or in the custody has the right to record police activity and to maintain custody and control of that recording, and of any property or instruments used to record police activities.


Originally reported:

Law enforcement organizations in New York tried to push back against these reforms.

An Executive Order addresses 500 Local Police Departments and Agencies

Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order to reinvent and modernize police strategies and programs This require New York’s local police departments to develop plans to modernize their policing tactics with community input by April 2021, or risk becoming ineligible for state funding. He said the goal of the executive order is to restore trust.

Local governments and police agencies need to:

–Develop a plan that reinvents and modernized police strategies and programs in their community. Any agencies that don’t comply will not get funded.
–Must formulate a plan addressing use of force by police officers, crowd management, community policing, implicit bias awareness, de-escalation training and practices, restorative justice practices, community based outreach, a transparent citizen complaint disposition procedure and other issues raised by the community.

Additional Reforms In The News

NY State Police Plan to Go Forward With Body Camera Pilot Program
Last month, a nationwide poll found New York State Police as the country’s largest primary state law enforcement agency not equipped with body or dashboard cameras

New Jersey

Updated August 11

NJ lawmakers voted on dozens of police reform, criminal justice bills. Here’s what happened
The Senate passed three bills Thursday that go to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk, who decides whether or not to sign them into law:

  • The S2635 bill would make false 911 calls, used to intimidate or harass a person based on their race or other protected class — like gender, age, disability and others — a crime.
  • Bill S401 – Law enforcement agencies across the state must establish programs to recruit more minorities and women to the force. 
  • Another bill, S2689, would make cultural diversity and implicit bias prevention part of the standard training curriculum for all law enforcement officers in the state.

The NJ Assembly has passed various bills that must now go before the Senate:

  •  crisis intervention lessons for officers across the state to better help them address mental health issues
  • bills impacting prison sentences and parole that aim to reduce racial inequity in the criminal justice system.
  • bills that  addressed laws that  mandated especially severe punishments for offenses for which Black and Hispanic people often are disproportionately arrested and convicted:
    •  eliminate mandatory minimum prison sentences for nonviolent property and drug-related crimes, such as shoplifting, hacking a government computer or dealing drugs,
    • reduce required prison terms from 85% to 50% of the imposed sentence for second-degree robbery and second-degree burglary.

Other New Jersey Criminal Justice Reform bills passed the New Jersey Assembly and will now move onto the New Jersey Senate.

Hunterdon County is a county located in the western section of the U.S. state of New Jersey.  The Hunterdon County Prosecutor followed  up on the” Use of Force” Town Hall he attended along with  Warren and Somerset county prosecutors. Williams outlined feedback and goals to the Hunterdon County Board of Chosen Freeholders including:

  • more transparency on the police use of force
  • more education for law enforcement officers
  • more training in dealing with individuals who might have mental health disorders or issues
  • greater de-escalation training in order to decrease the amount of force police use or the types of force they may use
  • increased police accountability when they employ use of force
  • public access to use of force investigations
  • more police visibility in neighborhoods so the officers are viewed as a part of the community itself

New Jersey will soon change the name of freeholders to commissioners. The state stands alone in the nation for using the Colonial-era term for the elected officials that oversee county governments.“As our nation tears down symbols of injustice, we must also tear down words we use in New Jersey that were born from racism.”

Updated July 8:

Governor Murphy Signs Legislation to Further Reform New Jersey’s Criminal Justice System    

The Governor signed three pieces of legislation that make various reforms to New Jersey’s criminal justice system. One pertains to police reform. 

Legislation A744 requires law enforcement agencies to provide internal affairs and personnel files of law enforcement officers to other agencies under certain circumstances. The reasons given include :

  •  we intend to give departments and jurisdictions all the information they need to determine if an applicant is the right fit
  •  There needs to be more accountability. If an officer faces disciplinary action within one agency in one town,  and can easily move on to another agency in a different town without their record following them, we have an accountability problem.
  • Ensuring departments have access to the personnel records they need to bring a new officer on board is about trust and confidence
  • To strengthen the view of police as a force for good in the community, policies requiring disciplinary histories to be shared must be status quo. 
  • Police officers are given an immense amount of power and responsibility and the vast majority serve with honor and deference to the position.
  • Police officers, quite literally at times, have the lives of our state’s most vulnerable in their hands

Should disciplinary records be public? In NJ The Answer is still No

Transparency is seen as one of the first and most necessary steps that must be taken for there to be meaningful police reform.   New Jersey has continued to shield the identities of police officers accused of serious misconduct from public view. “The public can learn about allegations of misconduct against lawyers, judges, plumbers and manicurists. We deserve no less for the profession we empower to carry weapons and use force.” Alexander Shalom, Director of Supreme Court Advocacy for American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey. 

The Senate’s Law and Public Safety Committee in the coming weeks will be holding hearings on use of force guidelines, police training, and proposals by N.J. Attorney General Grewal to create a licensing system for police officers. The issue of public disclosure of police disciplinary records is not currently being considered, but said it might ultimately be part of the discussion.

Originally reported: 

Governor Phil Murphy and New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal are continuing to promote the Excellence in Policing Initiative which involves creating

  • a crisis intervention team
  • statewide licensing for police
  • a use of force database
  • an updated use of force policies
  • an incident response team

Additional Reforms In The News:

Updated July 8

A Black Man Is Killed By a Trooper. His Family Wants Answers. created the most comprehensive statewide database of police use of force in the U.S. and lets you know how your police department compares to others in NJ in regard to use of force.  

“New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal on Tuesday announced several initiatives designed to increase trust between police and the communities they serve, including an expansion of the state‘s use-of-force database and a proposed licensing program for law enforcement.”


Updated August 12

Pennsylvania lawmakers take first step toward police reform. What comes next?

The most substantial police reform bills, which would include banning chokeholds, narrowing the instances in which lethal force is permitted and appointing special prosecutors to investigate police shootings, haven’t budged in Pennsylvanias State House. Future reforms should include allowing the sharing of employment records with the public or anyone outside of law enforcement. “This furthers transparency, trust and accountability between police departments and the community.” An additional reform would would involve shifting police funds to other social and community programs.


What Black Lives Matter Has Revealed About Small-Town America A multiracial future has appeared, along with unprecedented conversations about race. Chambersburg Pennsylvania is a small town southwest of Harrisburg. Franklin County was not only conservative,  but enamored of a brand of America-first politics that truly electrified many of the white voters. Trump won the county by more than 45 points. But the election also revealed a silent minority, long quiet about their politics. They began forming groups — Franklin County Coalition for Progress, Community Uniting, Concerned Citizens of Franklin County — planning events to celebrate Pride month, for instance, and digging into issues like redistricting reform.

Then the George Floyd demonstrations began. These protesters  were not the Trump faithful, nor were they members of the so-called resistance. The protesters were mostly white but not exclusively so, not in a town where more than a third of the students in the local schools are minorities.

The most unexpected champion, perhaps, has been the Franklin County district attorney, Matt Fogal, a Republican. “I’m listening to them out there and just people honking in support, absolutely peaceful, a contrast to some of the images that we had been seeing,” he saidHe sent a statement to local media.Black lives matter. Period,” it said, going on to urge people to put country over party in November.


Updated July 8

Gov. Tom Wolf Will Sign Police Reform Bills Passed Unanimously By Pennsylvania Senate

  1. One bill is designed to prevent bad officers from continuing to find employment in police departments. A department must conduct background checks of job applicants  that must include disciplinary actions, complaints and reasons for separation. The bill does not allow public access to the database.
  2. The other bill requires officers to be trained every other year in how to interact with people of different racial and ethic backgrounds and to receive annual instruction on de-escalation and harm-reduction techniques.

Pa. is making a rare show of unity on police reform. It’s unclear how far it’ll go.

The remaining bills being considered include

  1. the Senate’s measure that would ban chokeholds
  2. a requirement that  police departments create and publicize official use-of-force policies.
  3. a requirement  police departments track all uses of force, and release reports on those numbers to the General Assembly every year.

The 19 proposals demanded by the Legislative Black Caucus also included:

  • significantly limiting the situations in which police can use deadly force
  • appointing a special prosecutor for cases in which deadly force is used,
  • making police body-camera footage more publicly accessible
  • updating interrogation protocols 
  • creating a licensing system for police officers.
  • drastically limit the arbitration process that lets police unions bargain to save officers’ jobs, even after outside investigators concluded that a cop was guilty of misconduct.

Originally Reported: 

Gov. Tom Wolf announces law enforcement reforms in wake of George Floyd protests:

  • review training and education of police
  • citizen advisory boards
  • Creating a Deputy Inspector General within the Pennsylvania Office of State Inspector General (OSIG)
  • Creation of a Pennsylvania State Law Enforcement Advisory Commission.
  • Creation of ‘a racial and ethnic disparities subcommittee’
  • Enhancing officer safety and wellness
  • Supporting legislative reforms

Additional Reforms In The News

On Tuesday, a group of state House Democrats and local Philadelphia lawmakers proposed dozens of reforms regarding police training, discipline, and oversight.These lawmakers are also lobbying Wolf to require the State Police to create and maintain a database of disciplinary actions and complaints lodged against officers. 

While state law lays out the circumstances under which an officer may use deadly force, not every department has a written policy on how it should be used.


Updated August 12

California Eyes 11 Police Reforms After George Floyd’s Death

Lawmakers have until Aug. 31 to approve and send legislation to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. The bills include the following,  and more.

  • Chokeholds
  • Duty to Intercede
  • Decertifying Officers
  • Sheriffs Oversight
  • Journalists – right to cover protests without interference from police
  • Police Records


Are California police officers trained enough and in the right things?

State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, who sits on the Senate Standing Committee on Public Safety, says the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), which sets the legal standards for policing in California, ought to start by reviewing its curriculum.“Where are the criticisms? Where are the deficiencies? Who’s making the mistakes?” he said. “They have state-of-the-art training. So now the question is: How much and how often and how do you even know if it’s working?”

Updated July 8

California lawmakers this week introduced bills to strip problem police officers of their badges and better equip police agencies from hiring officers with a checkered past. California is one of five states without the authority to take away an officer’s badge for crimes and serious misconduct.

Other bills being considered include an effort to reform and broaden SB 1421, the landmark 2018 law granting public access to police disciplinary records of officers involved in shootings and other uses of force.

Attorney General Becerra Calls for Broad Police Reforms and Proactive Efforts to Protect Lives

The California Attorney General Becerra  urges law enforcement agencies statewide to develop and implement policies, as appropriate, and to adopt the following use-of-force reforms:

  • Intervention
  • Ban Chokeholds and Carotid Restraints
  • De-Escalation
  • Proportionality
  • Verbal Warnings
  • Moving Vehicles
  • Deadly Force As Last Resort
  • Comprehensive Reporting
  • Canine Use

Originally Reported:

After a week of engagement with civic leaders and law enforcement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and demonstrations nationwide, Governor Newsom today announced his support for new policing and criminal justice reforms:

  • the end of the carotid hold and other like techniques directing that the carotid hold be removed from the state police training program and state training materials.
  • commits  to working with the Legislature on a statewide ban that would apply to all police forces across the state.
  • the creation of new standards for crowd control and use of force in protests

Additional Reforms In The News

Chokeholds, rubber bullets and tear gas targeted in California police reform proposals  

Bay Area leaders chosen to advise governor on police reform; here’s what they have in mind

  •  Gov. Newsom appointed a 30-year police veteran, Ronald Davis who served with both Oakland and East Palo Alto police departments and civil rights leader Lateefa Simon.
  • Their job is to listen to community members and bring police reform ideas to the governor’s desk. “I’m going to be talking to about 50 groups in the next couple of days that I have worked with consistently over .. 25 years,”  said Simon, president of the Akonadi Foundation.


Updated August 12

Massachusetts Police chiefs back reform package in letter  “We stand proudly with the members of the Black and Latino Caucus in their vision for a 10 Point Plan that will stand to

  • improve training for law enforcement officers
  • professionalize policing in general, demonstrate and demand excellence in policing programs, policies, and services,
  • adopt best practices and proven national standards
  • highlight continued organizational transparency and
  • hold all officers accountable for any and all acts of misconduct or malfeasance,”


Massachusetts policing bill differences remain unresolved as negotiations stretch into August

The Senate bill, proposed as House leaders were preparing their own proposal, proposed a much more far-reaching series of reforms. It would create an oversight board that included police officials and civilians, strengthen use of form standards, as well as temporarily ban facial surveillance, limit qualified immunity and restrict what student information can be shared with outside law enforcement agencies.

The House version similarly includes use of force changes, a facial surveillance ban, student information restrictions and other elements of the Senate proposal. It differs in the structure of the oversight board, proposing one mostly comprised of civilians. It also calls for a training committee comprised of law enforcement officials and an investigative arm.Another key difference in the redrafted House bill is that it would strip an officer of qualified immunity protections only if he has been decertified.



Updated July 8

Baker Unveils ‘First Step’ Police Reform Bill   

Under the bill, the state would

  • create a Police Officer Standards and Accreditation Committee tasked with certifying all officers. Every member of law enforcement would be required to undergo a licensing process every three years. The committee would compile a database of all personnel so that departments could track training and disciplinary records. 

According to the bill text the new committee would be responsible for:

  • revoking certification and would be instructed to do so for a range of reasons
  • Officers with a “sustained internal affairs complaint,” including use of a chokehold or similar restraint, failing to prevent another officer from using excessive force, or filing a false police report, would also be automatically decertified.

Legislative leaders had already set their sights beyond law enforcement certification. Gonzalez said Wednesday that the legislation is a “start in the right direction” but addresses only one part of the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus 10-point proposal for police reform. (Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus proposal listed below under “Originally Reported“)

As Baker Files Reform Bill, What Will Change In Mass. Policing?

With Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Karen Spilka all signaling support for the idea, it’s hard to imagine POST not becoming a reality in the not-too-distant future.

There’s a caveat, however: according to state representative Russell Holmes, who’s pushed for a POST system for years, the state’s various police unions still need some convincing. “They should be in the room and they should be in every discussion,” he added. “And they should be at the front of those discussions, not at the end.” Right now, though, police in Massachusetts aren’t just being asked to accept greater oversight. They’re also being pushed to fundamentally alter their use of force.

And as State Senator Chang-Diaz notes, the longer it takes for Beacon Hill to act, the less likely action becomes.“That is how, most often, proposals having to do with racial justice die,” she said. “It’s not that someone stands up and says, ‘I don’t support racial justice.’ It’s that other priorities take precedence.

It’s a point worth pondering as we watch what gets done at the State House in the coming weeks — and what doesn’t.

Originally Reported:

As of June 5, 2020, Gov. Charlie Baker says he’s been in discussions with the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus about what law changes the state should make following the widespread protests — and to expect proposals supported by his office next week

Additional Reforms In the News

What comes after the protests? Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus have 10 proposed police reforms including: 

  • create a special commission to study and make recommendations for a Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) system, which would set standards for the hiring, training, ethical conduct, and retention of law enforcement officers. 
  • According to the ACLU, Massachusetts is one of just six states without some sort of system to license police officers
  • establish a new office to review — and potentially reform — the current diversity plans of all state agencies and a “Commission on Structural Racism”
  • impose new limits on police use of force — including chokeholds and other potentially fatal tactics
  • require an independent investigation of all officer-related deaths.
  • Miranda’s legislation would also require departments to collect data on the race of all individuals subject to arrest and police use of force.
  • declare racism a public health crisis “worthy of treatment, assessment and financial investment in order to eradicate negative health impacts.”
  • create municipal civil review boards — independent of police departments — with subpoena power to investigate allegations of law enforcement wrongdoing (advocates say that the reliance on police departments to do their own investigations is often a barrier to addressing misconduct).

Policing Reform At The Federal Level

Presumptive Democratic nominee  Joseph R Biden, Jr.
The Biden Plan For Strengthening America’s Commitment To Justice

  • We can and must reduce the number of people incarcerated in this country while also reducing crime.
  • Our criminal justice system cannot be just unless we root out the racial, gender, and income-based disparities in the system.
  • Our criminal justice system must be focused on redemption and rehabilitation.
  • No one should be profiteering off of our criminal justice system.

Vice President Democratic Nominee Kamala Harris’ 2019 plan:
“Transform the Criminal Justice System and Envision Public Safety in America” 

“This plan will fundamentally transform our criminal justice system to shift away from mass incarceration and to invest in building safer and healthier communities.”

  1. End Mass Incarceration and Invest Resources into Evidence and Community-Based Programs that Reduce Crime and Help Build Safe and Healthy Communities
  2. Law Enforcement’s Primary Mission is to Serve and Protect Communities. It Should Instill Trust and Be Accountable to the Communities It Serves
  3. The System Must Treat Individuals Equitably and Humanely
  4. The System Must Protect Vulnerable People

Read more details about Biden and Harris’ policies proposals  from my earlier post Criminal Justice Reform.


Address and demand these reforms/legislation with your Senator and
 House of Representatives Member  

Updated July 8

The House approved the Democrats’ George Floyd Justice in Policing Act  

The measure:

  • bans federal police from using chokeholds and other dangerous restraints 
  • bans no-knock warrants in drug-related cases.
  • lowers legal standards to pursue criminal and civil penalties for police misconduct
  • empowers prosecutors to scrutinize police for misconduct
  • grant the Justice Department subpoena power in “pattern or practice” investigations examining whether police departments have engaged in racial discrimination
  • would limit “qualified immunity”, a legal doctrine that makes it difficult to sue police for misconduct


The Senate Republican Justice Act measure: 

  • focuses on data collection
  • includes training protocols 
  • withholds federal funds for states or units of local government which do not have a policy that prohibits the use of chokeholds except when deadly force is authorized. 
  • encourages reporting on practices, like no-knock warrants in narcotics cases and suspect take-down tactics  with an eye toward potentially changing or ending these down the road.
  • would reduce by 20% federal grant money in the first fiscal year after the law is enacted and a 5% reduction in each following year for  departments that fail to report annually to a national database all use of force incidents that result in “serious bodily harm” or where a firearm was discharged.  ABC NEWS
  • would beef up funding for popular Community Oriented Policing (COP) programs,

Both would :

  • offer federal incentives to state and local police departments who ban chokeholds and implement best practices while ending controversial tactics, and penalize those that don’t
  • ramp up the use of police body cameras
  • include a  measure that would make lynching a federal crime.

Neither bill focusses on defunding the police.  This initiative focuses on shifting funds from law enforcement toward other social services like education and food aid that could address the root causes of inequities.

Senate Democrats blocked the Republican Justice Act. Chief among the problems they cited is the lack of legal accountability demanded of police. It also does not include federal mandates to curb police use of force and other questionable practices, like chokeholds.   

Originally Reported:

Federal bills that were introduced in both The House of Representatives  and the  Senate:

1.Harris, Markey, and Booker Introduce Senate Resolution to Abolish Qualified Immunity for Law Enforcement, Hold Officers Accountable for Police Brutality         

      Qualified immunity is a legal doctrine in United States federal law that shields government officials from being sued for discretionary actions performed within their official capacity, unless their actions violated “clearly established” federal law or constitutional rights.

2. A Federal Ban on Chokeholds
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced Senate legislation, the Eric Garner Excessive Force Prevention Act,   which would make the use of chokeholds or maneuvers that restrict oxygen intake or blood flow to the brain by law enforcement unlawful under federal civil rights law. 

3. Restrict shipments of military surplus
Lawmakers begin bipartisan push to cut off police access to military style gear.

4. Pressley, Omar, Bass, and Lee introduced a resolution to condemn police brutality, racial profiling and the excessive use of force:   

5. The Congressional Black Caucus and the House Judiciary Committee, as well as Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey and Senator Kamala Harris of California, crafted the plan The Justice of Policing Act It includes, but is not limited to:

  •   prohibit the use of chokeholds
  •   lower legal standards to pursue criminal and civil penalties for police   misconduct
  •   ban no-knock warrants in drug-related cases
  •   create a national registry to track police misconduct
  •   limits the transfer of military-grade weapons to state and local law  enforcement agencies and requires the use of body cameras
  • empower attorneys general and the Justice Department to play a much larger role in its oversight of police agencies


Additional Injustice Campaigns

Address and demand these reforms/campaigns with your local, state
and federal representatives

Color of Change 

Color of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by 1.7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world
for Black people in America.”

  • holding prosecutors accountable and accelerating prosecutor reform
  • ending profit incentives fueling mass incarceration
  • decriminalizing poverty and stopping unnecessary prosecutions
  • implementing fair sentencing laws and sentence reductions
  • stopping prison expansion and prison labor exploitation
  • stopping anti-black violence and vigilantes

Where does your state stand on other Criminal Justice reforms? 

California Governor Newsom 

  • placed a moratorium on the death penalty 
  • proposed to close the Division of Juvenile Justice and proposed closing two state prisons
  • proposed expanding opportunities for rehabilitation and shortening prison time for offenders participating in treatment programs, in education programs and otherwise engaging in good behavior
  • increased access to higher education for young people who are incarcerated.

See Determined-Spririts February 2020 post on Criminal Justice Reform for more policy recommendations by the 2020 Presidential candidates.

My Brother’s Keeper Alliance 

“MBK Alliance leads a cross-sector national call to action focused on building safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they feel valued and have clear pathways to opportunity”

  • Getting a Healthy Start and Entering School Ready to Learn
  • Reading at Grade Level by Third Grade 
  • Graduating from High School Ready For College and Career
  • Completing Post Secondary Education or Training
  • Successfully Entering The Workforce
  • Keeping Kids on Track and Giving Them Second Chances

Re-Imagining Public Safety 

Updated July 8:

A Black Man is Killed by a Trooper His family wants answers.

Mr. Gordon, a 28-year-old black man who had moved to the United States from Jamaica to work and attend college, had been shot and killed by a New Jersey State Police trooper during a traffic stop on May 23.  Mr. Gordon was frisked before entering the trooper’s car and was not carrying a weapon, There had been a struggle, his mother said she was told, and Mr. Gordon had been shot four times.

He was being treated for schizophrenia. His mother, sister and a family lawyer neither confirmed nor disputed that, but they said it was irrelevant to his death.

Originally Reported:

“The alternative is not more money for police training programs, hardware or oversight. It is to dramatically shrink their function. We must demand that local politicians develop non-police solutions to the problems poor people face. We must invest in housing, employment and healthcare in ways that directly target the problems of public safety. Instead of criminalizing homelessness, we need publicly financed supportive housing; instead of gang units, we need community-based anti-violence programs, trauma services and jobs for young people; instead of school police we need more counselors, after-school programs, and restorative justice programs. “  

Is it time to re-imagine public safety?  In the wake of George Floyd’s killing, some cities are asking if the police are being asked to do jobs they were never intended to do.



Police Department Reform

Updated July 8:

The City That Really Did Abolish the Police  (The strange, hopeful, politically complicated story of Camden, N.J.)

“You had to change the underlying principles of the way police officers were being trained and taught, and the culture in the department,” said former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who supported the changes in Camden. “The most effective way to do that was to start over.”

Yet, the Camden police reform was—and remains—politically divisive.


  1. The most obvious change was that the Camden police was now bigger
  2. No longer would officers be the “arbitrary decider of what’s right and wrong,” he said, but rather consider themselves as “a facilitator and a convener”.
  3. The internal metric system for rating an officer’s performance was also overhauled—no longer were officers rewarded for the number of tickets they had written, or how many arrests they had made. Thomson says his highest priority was working to integrate officers into the fabric of the community.
  4.  Sean Brown, business owner,  now feels safer in his city than ever before, in part because police actively check in with him on the status of his neighborhood.
  5. Police officers can now be seen hosting block parties, flipping burgers and competing in games alongside kids in the neighborhoods.
  6.  Last year, the department implemented a use-of-force guidebook developed with New York University’s Policing Project, which has gotten the seal of approval from both the ACLU and the Fraternal Order of Police.


  1. Union contracts were thrown out.
  2. Salaries were cut.
  3. Critics also say the department has been less than transparent. Camden was one of 21 cities selected for the Obama federal partnership, and it’s the only one that hasn’t posted any data yet 
  4. There is also high turnover in the police department
  5. The department’s force does not reflect the community
  6. A list of demands exist including working to help officers eliminate racial bias in policing, the creation of an independent civilian review board and recruiting a more diverse force.


Originally reported: 

The City That Remade Its Police Department Over the past seven years….Camden…  has undertaken some of the most far-reaching police reforms in the country, and its approach has been praised by former President Barack Obama.



  • Identify the government officials responsible for these campaigns/reforms at the  state, local, municipality and federal levels.  I’ve provided links.
  • Educate yourself as to what policing reforms are necessary locally This varies state to state,  town to town.I’ve included what they are, at this moment in time (June 2020), for New York, New York City, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, and Massachusetts  Check your media regularly for updates. 
  • Create Zoom/Google Groups/ Skype and other meetings where everyone works on their letters, emails, and/or phone calls at the same time with the same initiatives. Support each other within the same state so you can exchange the names, addresses, emails, etc. of your elected legislators and candidates.
  • Email/phone/write/question proposed cuts to education, housing, homelessness, food insecurity, mental health, addiction, health inequity, community-based anti-violence programs, trauma services and jobs for young people and youth services on the local and state level.
  • Donate, join and/or volunteer for each of these Obama-recommended organizations. Support their evidence based reforms:
  1. Mayor
  2. Council Members
  3. County Executives, Supervisors, Freeholders
  4. County District Attorney
  5. County Sheriff
  6. State Senator
  7. State Assembly/Representative
  8. State Attorney General
  9. Governor
  10. Congressional Senator
  11. Congressional House of Representatives Member 
  • Follow up on what became law, and what didn’t. Repeat again until it does.
  • Send thank you letters to legislators who act on reform bills.
  • Americans Living Abroad may be limited to voting on the federal level depending on your home state rules. You can still, however,  contact your home state local, state and federal representatives. Use your home state primary address, should your legislator ask for one before emailing him or her.
  • Attend and ask questions about these reforms/campaigns at your legislator’s town hall meetings (virtual)
  • Email/phone/write/question your 2020 Candidates about these reforms/campaigns. 
  • State and County Judges are elected by the people. Email/phone/write/question your county and state judicial candidates regarding their record on these reforms.
  • Vote vote vote – my next post will focus on voting.
  • Make this an intergenerational initiative – all ages can contribute.
  • Read recommended resources from family and friends. A must read should include Invisible No More. Attorney Andrea Ritchie examines violent encounters between police and citizens from the perspective of black women, women of color, transgender women and others.
  • Join Indivisible initiatives and work together to bring about permanent change.
  • Participate in marches and demonstrations wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart. Vulnerable populations are valuable participants  with the legislation initiatives above.
  • Follow police misconduct lawsuit settlements in your state.
  • Work with local community groups, governments and police departments to follow this task force’s recommendations :

21st Century Policing Task Force

 5 Things Law Enforcement Can Do 

  1.  Review and update policies, training, and data collection on use of force, and engage community members and police labor unions in the process.
  2. Increase transparency of data, policies, and procedures.
  3. Call on the Police Officers Standards and Training  Commission to implement all levels of training.
  4. Examine hiring practices and ways to involve the community in recruiting.
  5. Ensure officers have access to the tools they need to keep them safe.

5 Things Communities Can Do 

  1.  Actively engage with local law enforcement by participating in community meetings, surveys, listening posts, civilian oversight boards, citizen academies, chaplain programs, and innovative activities related to technology.
  2. Participate with officers in problem-solving efforts to reduce crime and improve quality of life in neighborhoods.
  3. Work with local law enforcement to ensure that they are deploying resources and tactics that reduce crime, improve relationships with the community and mitigate unintended consequences.
  4. Call on state legislators to ensure that the legal framework does not impede the ability of the community to hold local agencies accountable for their policies and practices.
  5. Review school policies and practices that may have an unintended consequence of pushing children and young people into the criminal justice system and advocate for strategies that are more effective at prevention and early intervention.

5 Things Local Governments Can Do 

  1. Create listening opportunities with various areas and groups in the community. Listen and engage in a dialogue regarding concerns or issues related to trust.
  2. Specifically allocate local government infrastructure and IT staff expertise to support law enforcement reporting on activities related to implementation of the task force recommendations. These should include making public all relevant policies and procedures, records, and open data sets. Let the community know what you have done and will be doing.
  3. Conduct community surveys on community attitudes toward policing, and publish the results along with associated data. Establish baselines and metrics to measure progress, and use the results as a means to engage the community in dialogue.
  4.  Define the appropriate form and structure of civilian oversight to meet the needs of the community.
  5. Recognize the correlation between poverty, urban decay, and unemployment to quality of life, the breakdown of community cohesion, and the increase of crime. Link economic development and poverty reduction to longer-term problem-solving strategies for addressing crime.


Who is responsible for policing and injustice reform at
the State & Local Levels?

New York State

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
New York Attorney General Letitia James
Your New York State Senator and your New York State Assembly Member
Your County Sheriff
Sheriffs are selected by voters. The County Sheriff  provides: criminal law enforcement, traffic patrol, emergency rescue operations, homeland security programs, SWAT operations, civil emergency response, jail operations, courtroom security, and civil litigation process. Sheriffs are elected to four-year terms in 42 states, including New York.
Your County District Attorney is elected.
New York State has one District Attorney for each of its 62 counties, in addition to a D.A. for each of New York City’s five boroughs.
Your New York State County elected/appointed Executive/ Manager,  Legislature or Board of Supervisors.
New York State Counties have various responsibilities including police and public safety, jail operations, the district attorney and public defenders.
The Mayor/Supervisor of your town/city/village
Your New York town/city/village Board/Board of Trustees/Council

The Structure of Policing in New York State  

Local Level Police Departments
Cities, villages, and towns are responsible for their own police departments. This is the same for New York City
New York State Police  – responsibility of the New York State Government
New York State Department of Corrections  – responsibility of the New York State Government

New York City

Mayor Bill DeBlasio
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams
The public advocate’s primary role is to be a check on city agencies and investigate complaints about city services
NYC Sheriff Joseph Fucito
The Sheriff of the City of New York is appointed by the mayor.  He holds jurisdiction over all five county-boroughs within the city.  Deputy Sheriffs of the City of New York can issue summonses, carry and use a firearm, batons, pepper spray, handcuffs, and use physical and deadly force.
Your County District Attorney
New York State has one elected District Attorney for each of its 62 counties, in addition to a D.A. for each of New York City’s five boroughs. (on bottom of page)
Your Borough President
When New York City was consolidated into its present form in 1898, all previous town and county governments within it were abolished in favor of the present five boroughs and a unified, centralized city government. Borough presidents have many responsibilities that include appointment of members to community boards and can spearhead legislation at the City Council.
Your New York City Council Member
New York City Council – Responsibilities include legislation having to do with all aspects of City life, city budget negotiations, land use and monitoring city agencies such as the Department of Education and the NYPD to make sure they’re effectively serving New Yorkers.
Your New York City Community Board Members
Community Boards are local representative bodies. There are 59 throughout the city. They are advocates and service coordinators for the community and its residents. Community Boards assess the needs of their own neighborhoods, meet with city agencies and make recommendations in the City’s budget process to address them.


New Jersey 

New Jersey Governor Phil  Murphy
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal
Your New Jersey Senatorand your New Jersey General Assembly Member
Your County Sheriff
Sheriffs are selected by voters. These elections could shape immigration policy, law enforcement, and jail conditions. Sheriffs are elected to four-year terms in 42 states, but three-year terms in New Jersey.
Your County District Attorney
 County Prosecutors in New Jersey are appointed by the Governor for a term of five years, and must be affirmed by the State Senate. Contact your Governor/ State Senator regarding DA decisions.
Your County Board of Freeholders
In New Jersey, all 21 counties have elected  boards of freeholders. The county government responsibilities vary, but include maintaining and operating the county jails, court and juvenile detention facilities.
The Mayor of your town/city/borough
Your City/Borough/Township Council Members

The Structure of Policing in New Jersey 

Local Level Police Departments
New Jersey is divided into 21 counties and contains 565 municipalities consisting of five types: 254 boroughs, 52 cities, 15 towns, 241 townships, and 3 villages. Municipalities are responsible for their own police departments Any town that does not have its own police has State Police protection.
New Jersey State Police – Responsibility of New Jersey State Government
New Jersey Department of Corrections – Responsibility of New Jersey State Government



Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro
Your Pennsylvania State Senator and your Pennsylvania House of Representatives Member
Your County Sheriff
In Pennsylvania, sheriffs are either selected by voters or county executives.A Pennsylvania sheriff retains all arrest powers and has the authority to enforce the criminal laws as well as the vehicle laws of Pennsylvania, Sheriffs are elected to four-year terms in 42 states, including Pennsylvania.
Your County District Attorney
 There is one elected Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Office for each of the state’s counties and the City of Philadelphia.
Your County Board of Commissioners.
Pennsylvania is divided into 67 counties. Most counties are governed by a board of commissioners, consisting of three elected members.  Other counties have adopted a “home rule” form of county government. They may have an elected county executive and an elected county council. The County Board’s responsibilities vary, but include policing.
The Mayor of your town/city
Your City/Borough/Township Council Members

The Structure of Policing in Pennsylvania 

Local Level police departments
Municipalities are responsible for  their own police departments, others have joint police departments by region,  others can contract their police services out to a nearby municipality, and lastly, they can contract out to state police.
Pennsylvania State Police – responsibility of Pennsylvania State Government
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections – responsibility of Pennsylvania  State Government



California Governor Gavin Newsom
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra
Your California State Senatorand your California Assembly Member
Your County Sheriff
California sheriffs are elected by voters for four year terms.  Once elected, sheriffs in all 58 counties have power over jails and policing.
Your County District Attorney  In California the District Attorney (DA) is an elected county official. Ten cities, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Monica and Pasadena, have city prosecutors.
Your County Board of Supervisors
Other than San Francisco, which is a consolidated city-county, California’s counties are governed by an elected five-member Board of Supervisors.
The California Constitution allows a county or city to make and enforce within its limits all local, police, sanitary, and other ordinances and regulations that do not conflict with the state’s own general laws. Most legislative acts, including using the police power, are adopted by ordinance.
The Mayor/Manager of your city.
Most small cities have a council–manager government, where the elected city council appoints a city manager to supervise the operations of the city. Some larger cities have a mayor–council government,
Your City Council Members

The Structure of Policing in California 

City police departments
48% of all full time law enforcement employees in California were municipal police officers.
County Level
39% of all full time law enforcement employees in California  were county sheriff officers. The county sheriff is elected.
The sheriff’s department of each county polices unincorporated areas  As such, the sheriff and his or her deputies in rural areas and unincorporated municipalities are equivalent to police officers in the cities. Sheriff’s departments in California are also responsible for enforcing criminal law on Native American tribal land.
California Highway Patrol
The CHP has patrol jurisdiction over all California highways and are also known as the state police. They also have jurisdiction over city roads, and have the right to conduct law enforcement procedures there. They are the responsibility of California State Government
California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation – responsibility of California State Government



Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker
Massachusetts  Attorney General Maura Healey
Your Massachusetts State Senator and your House of Representatives Member
Your County Sheriff
Massachusetts has 14 counties . Sheriffs are elected to four-year terms in 42 states, but six-year terms in Massachusetts.Though most county governments have been abolished, each county still has a Sheriff’s Department which operates jails and correctional facilities and service of process within the county.
Your County District Attorney
Massachusetts has an elected District Attorney for each judicial district – called District Courts.  These districts can represent more than one county or town.  Check which District Court you belong to.
Your City,Town Mayor/Manager
A few medium to large size towns have a Manager/Council form. Most of the cities operate with a Mayor/Council form of government.
Your Select Board, Council or Board of Aldermen
Nearly 1,200 select board members serve in 292 towns in Massachusetts. They operates as a collective decision-making body. A city has a council or board of aldermen.

The Structure of Policing in Massachusetts 

City, Town and County
Cities and towns are responsible for their own policing. Many municipalities have their own police departments, as do many Massachusetts colleges and universities. Massachusetts State Police have sole authority under state law for investigating homicides, except for Boston, Worcester, and Springfield.

Massachusetts  State Police – responsibility of Massachusetts State Government
Massachusetts Department of Corrections – responsibility of Massachusetts  State Government

Who is responsible for policing and injustice reform at the Federal Level? 

Your U.S. House of Representatives Member

Your U.S. Senator

Next Post:

The War on Voting in America

Posted in Criminal Justice Reform, Police Reform, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on George Floyd: The Turning Point


While education is primarily a state and local responsibility in the United States, it has become a crucial top tier issue in national elections. It is on the minds of Democratic voters,  specifically policies concerning  charter schools, early childhood education, free public college, desegregation and more.


Charter Schools & Vouchers

These publicly funded independently run schools have been the focus of a twenty five year battle.   How they are run, funded, and overseen varies dramatically from state to state, school to school. The top criticisms of charters is that they rob funding from district schools, and inadequately serve children with special needs. Charter schools suspend children with disabilities at a higher rate than public schools, and there have been many cases of inadequacy due to a lack of resources, experience, and insensitivity. And critics highlight that after 25 years and some 6,000 schools, charters still on average produce results roughly equal those of the public schools to which they set out to be better alternatives. Charter schools, along with private school vouchers and tax credit scholarships are at the heart of the school choice policies promoted by this administration and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Sanders wants a moratorium on federal funding for new charter schools until the impact of their growth can be studied.  This means halting expansion of public charter schools. He is calling for a ban on for-profit charter schools. He does not support using public money in the form of vouchers or tax credits for private or religious school education.

Biden has said he is opposed to for-profit charter schools and would increase accountability for public charter schools. He does not support school vouchers.

Harris does not support charter schools. We should focus on improving our public schools and increasing teacher wages instead.

Free Public College

Many Democrats have lined up behind the most generous forms of free public college, including waiving tuition for students from families under a certain income threshold. The Obama administration wanted to make two years of community college or technical school free, arguing the U.S. should extend public schooling through grade 14.

Sanders’ proposal would wipe out tuition for all public colleges and universities for all families regardless of wealth.  States would be on the hook for 33 percent of the cost and the federal government would cover the rest.

Biden supports making two years of college or technical school free for low and middle income families.   He proposed it could be covered by closing a single tax loophole.

Harris planned to make four year public college debt fare and was co-sponsor the The Debt-Free College Act. She backed the College For All Act in 2017 (a bill sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders), and she co-sponsored the Debt-Free College Act of 2018,which would have created a federal-state partnership to incentivize states to reduce or eliminate tuition at public colleges and universities.

Student Debt

More than 45 million Americans collectively owe $1.6 trillion dollars in outstanding student loan debt. Student debt has cast a shadow over everything from financial security to philanthropy.  Overwhelming debt prevented 80% of borrowers from saving for retirement, 56% from buying a home, 42% from buying a car, and 50% from contributing to charity, according to the report. Most Democrats have called for  fixing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, an existing federal benefit that’s supposed to cancel the debt of borrowers who work in public-service jobs for 10 years. But few borrowers have actually had their loans forgiven under the program, which has been plagued by bureaucratic hiccups and complicated eligibility requirements.

Biden’s plan would make student loans easier to pay off for current borrowers, fix the flawed Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, and take several other steps to make higher education more affordable — both during and after college.

Sanders has the most sweeping proposal;  calling for the elimination of all $1.6 trillion in existing student-loan debt held by either the federal government or private lenders.

Harris believes in refinancing high interest loans to lower rates, extending Income Based Repayment IBR to insure no student pays more than they can afford, and cracking down on for-profit colleges and lenders that defraud our students.

Teacher Pay

Teacher salaries are typically funded with local and state money, with some federal subsidies for teachers in schools with a significant number of poor students. Despite being so highly valued, teaching professions are among the lowest paying jobs for college graduates. The recent and ongoing wave of teacher strikes that swept the nation last year and since in states like West Virginia, Arizona, and Oklahoma (each among the lowest paying states for teachers), demonstrates that in some states compensation structures and working conditions for teachers are a serious issue.

Sanders would work with states to set a minimum starting salary for teachers of $60,000tied to cost of living, years of service, and other qualifications; and allow states to go beyond that floor based on cost of living.

Biden would nearly triple Title I funding and require districts to use the funds to give educators “competitive salaries” and make other “critical investments” before using the money for other purposes.

Harris states “American’s teachers are drastically underpaid and they deserve a raise. We’ll make the largest investment in teachers in American history and provide the average teacher a $13,500 raise, entirely closing the teacher pay gap.

Free Universal Pre-K

High-quality early childhood education can help set students up for success in kindergarten, so there has been a surge of interest in new programs, including subsidies based on income, and across-the-board free pre-K as part of the public schools.

Both Biden and Sanders believe the federal government should fund and implement a national free universal pre-K program. Harris is a co-sponsor of the Child Care for Working Families Act, which supports “universal access to high-quality preschool programs for all 3 and 4 year olds.


Many schools are still segregated by race, as well as by income, and the situation has grown worse in some communities in the years since federal courts lifted most desegregation orders. Today, some school districts are working to desegregate their schools. The Obama administration put forth some modest efforts to encourage this, but they have been rolled back under President Trump.

Biden plans to reinstate Department of Education guidance that supported schools in legally pursuing desegregation strategies and recognized institutions of higher education’s interests in creating diverse student bodies. And, he will provide grants to school districts to create plans and implement strategies to diversity their schools.

Sanders plans to increase federal funding for community-driven strategies to desegregate schools. He would end funding penalties for schools that attempt to desegregate.

Title IX and Sexual Assault Investigations

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has proposed new rules for how schools handle allegations of sexual harassment and assault,  specifically the right to cross examine one’s accuser. Many believe these rules will keep survivors silent.

Biden continues to support the Obama-Biden Department of Education Office of Civil Rights guidance that “strongly discourages schools from allowing the parties personally to question or cross-examine each other during the hearing.”

Sanders plans to reverse Devos’ decision to weaken Title IX protections for victims of sexual assault victims on college campuses

U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris  joined Senator Patty Murray  and 35 of their Senate colleagues in slamming Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ final Title IX rule, which will weaken protections for student survivors of sexual harassment and assault.


  • Volunteer and/or donate to your House Representative (all up for re-election)  and your local Senate re-election campaigns . Future posts will be dedicated to the Congressional races.
  • Volunteer to Get Out The Vote (GOTV) like Rock The Vote, League of Women Votersand more posted on the Nov 19 post.
  •  Join individuals, businesses, government organizations, nonprofits and community leaders who have a role to play in the 2020 Census.


                               Democratic Delegate Count (as of March 12)

According to NPR’s delegate tracker, Biden has 864 delegates and Sanders has 710. These numbers are expected to grow as results continue to trickle in over the coming days. To secure the nomination, a candidate needs to win a majority of delegates, meaning at least 1,991.

Biden’s Wins 
Feb 29
South Carolina
March 3 Super Tuesday.
Virginia,  Alabama, and North Carolina
Other wins that day: Tennessee, Minnesota , Texas , Arkansas , Oklahoma,  Massachusetts, and Maine.
Tuesday March 11
Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, and Missouri

Sanders Wins
Feb 3
Feb 11
New Hampshire
Feb 22
March 3 Super Tuesday
Other wins that day: Colorado , Utah , and Vermont
Tuesday March 11
North Dakota, Washington

What’s ahead:

Debate Sunday March 15
8 pm

March 14
Northern Marianas Islands

Tuesday March 17
(If one candidate sweeps Arizona, Florida and Illinois, there will be immense pressure on the other candidates to exit the race.)
Florida, Illinois, Ohio

March 24

March 29
Puerto Rico


Next Post:  The Future of Elections


Posted in Bernie Sanders, Education, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, The House Race, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Education

Immigration – I lift my lamp

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”  Emma Lazzarus


The fabric of this nation is weaved by the dreams, labor and courage of immigrants and refugees. The present administration has fractured the American vision by labeling migrants as criminals, blocking refugees and embracing the mantle of nationalism through policies and actions.

The Wall

Democrats oppose President Trump’s plans for a new “big, beautiful” border wall. He is presently on track to build more than 450 miles of border wall.

Warren, Biden, Sanders, Harris  and Bloomberg will not support any more wall construction along the southern border.

Border Security

 Warren, Biden, Sanders  and Bloomberg are receptive to requests for increased funding for border security efforts that do not include new barriers. A bipartisan deal reached in February allowed the Trump administration to hire as many as 1,200 more Border Patrol officers, while allocating $112 million for aircraft and sensor systems and $100 million for other technology between border crossings. An additional $564 million was approved for increasing scanning capabilities at ports of entry, where law enforcement officials say the majority of drug smuggling occurs.

Decriminalization of Illegal Border Crossings

Several candidates support the elimination of criminal penalties, specifically Section 1325 of Title 8 of the U.S. code,  for entering the country illegally. Trump used the statute to justify separating families in the spring of 2018, and still does today.  Under the policy adults were charged and detained for prosecution. They were separated from their children, who were then labeled “unaccompanied”.

Sanders, Warren, and Harris have pushed for a repeal of the criminal statute for entering the country. Biden and Bloomberg,  oppose eliminating criminal border crossing penalties.

Deportation Policy

In 2014, President Obama imposed new guidelines that prioritized the deportation of recent border crossers, convicted criminals and those posing national security threats.

 Warren, Biden, Sanders and Bloomberg deportation policy will focus only on criminals and national security threats.  Harris did notagree with all of it.

ICE statistics show that the agency removed 267,258 people from the country in fiscal 2019, up from 240,255 people in fiscal 2016. In response, immigration activists and some candidates have said they want deportations suspended for a time.

Temporary Moratorium on Deportations

Warren and Biden support a 100 day moratorium on deportations. Sanders supports a moratorium until a thorough audit of past practices and policies is complete, with the exception of violent criminals. Bloomberg  will not freeze deportations, but will replace Trumps indiscriminate deportations with sound policy. Harris and  Jayapal introduced a  Bicameral Bill to Place Moratorium on Immigration Detention Facilities

 DACA and Path to Citizenship for Undocumented People

In 2017 President Trump moved to phase out the Obama Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  This offered deportation relief and work permits to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Trumps decision, presently blocked by federal courts, left the status of 700,000 “Dreamers” in limbo.

A path to citizenship for those currently living in the country without documentation has been a baseline for most Democratic leaders since 2013, when a Senate bill that would have legalized millions died in the Republican-controlled House. Trump’s efforts to end protections for others now living legally in the country has more recently extended the debate.  In addition , under the Temporary Protected Status program, the United States provides residency to 417,000 foreign nationals from 10 countries that have been marked by civil unrest: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

 Warren, Biden, Harris, Sanders and Bloomberg support a path to citizenship for the roughly 11 million immigrants now living in the country without permission, including Dreamers,  and others in the U.S. under protected status programs.

Mandatory E-Verify – The Other Border Wall

The federal government and federal contractors are required to use E-Verify. This program checks employee documents that show legal authorization against federal databases to prove their authenticity.  Many Democrats believe that mandatory E-Verify for private employers would constitute a psychological barrier to large-scale illegal immigration. Knowing that there is a high degree of probability that a bogus or stolen Social Security number will be flagged when an employer runs it through the E-Verify system would serve as a strong deterrent for economic migrants, whether they cross the border illegally or overstay visas.

Sanders does not believe the federal government should require the use of E-Verify, in its current state, to check the legal status of all hires by private employers. Bloomberg  does not presently support this requirement for private employers.  Both Warren and Biden have not taken a stand on E-Verify.

Health Care for Undocumented People

Some government health-care plans call for the federal government to fund the health insurance of the approximately 11 million undocumented people living in the United States.

Biden,  Harris, Sanders, and Warren believe all undocumented immigrants should be covered under a government run health plan. Bloomberg  believes only undocumented immigrants who begin the path to citizenship should be covered.


In the final years of his presidency, Obama raised the limit on the number of refugees the United States would accept each year from 70,000 in 2015 to 85,000 in 2016 and then 110,000 in 2017. Trump has reversed that pattern, reducing the number to 18,000 in 2019. Refugee status is available to people who are unable or unwilling to return to their home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.

 Warren, Biden, Sanders  and Bloomberg agree they would accept at least 110,000 refugees a year.

Detaining Asylum Seeking Families

The U.S. government currently confines asylum-seeking women and children in large scale detention facilities.Immigrant mothers and children who are apprehended together at the U.S./Mexico border by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are placed into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. ICE places some immigrant families in family detention facilities located in the United States.

 Warren, Biden, Sanders  and Bloomberg support eliminating or limiting family detention and support turning to community based alternatives. Congressional Democrats have sought to limit the number of new detention beds in an effort to force the release of more migrants who are awaiting court dates.

Foreign Aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala

A surge in unaccompanied minors and families from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala during Obama’s second term led to a significant increase in foreign aid to the region, peaking at $754 million in 2016. The goal was to strengthen civil society, including local and national police forces, and increasing economic opportunities to decrease migration. Since Trump took office, the funding has gradually decreased, with the White House requesting $436 million in fiscal 2019. At the end of March, Trump announced that he would be “ending” previously appropriated aid to the three countries because of another surge in migration from the region.

 Warren, Biden, Harris, Sanders  and Bloomberg support increasing foreign aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala in an effort to reduce the flow of asylum seekers to the U.S..

ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

President Trump’s aggressive domestic immigration enforcement policy has turned many Democrats against the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a division of the Department of Homeland Security tasked with domestic enforcement of immigration laws. Sanctuary cities, counties and states around the U.S.  don’t fully comply with federal immigration enforcement efforts.

Sanders would abolish ICE and redistribute its duties.  Bloomberg, Harris, Warren and Biden would not abolish it, but would restructure and redistribute its duties


  • Get involved, volunteer, and/or donate to the following organizations that are leading the conversations on immigration, refugees, and global migration.  Take action on the issues that are important to you, do your part to help those less fortunate, give confidently to one of these outstanding organizations today:

RAICES(The Refugee & Immigration Center For Education and Legal Services
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
National Immigration Law Center 
Hispanics In Philanthropy
Catholic Legal Immigration Network
American Immigration Council

  • Volunteer, donate and/or attend rallies and public events for the Democratic Primary candidate that you support:
    Biden, Bloomberg,   Sanders,   Warren.
  • Volunteer and/or donate to your House Representative (all up for re-election)  and your local Senate re-election campaigns . Future posts will be dedicated to the Congressional races.
  • Volunteer to Get Out The Vote (GOTV) like Rock The Vote, League of Women Votersand more posted on the Nov 19 post.
  •  Join individuals, businesses, government organizations, nonprofits and community leaders who have a role to play in the 2020 Census.


Super Tuesday Eve

Democratic Delegate Count to Date (after Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina Primaries):
Bernie Sanders (60),  Joe Biden (54) Elizabeth Warren (8) and Mike Bloomberg (0).

1,357 delegates are up for grabs tomorrow:

March 3 Super Tuesday
(This day accounts for about 40 percent of total delegate allocation)
Alabama, American Samoa, Arkansas
(Because it has the largest delegate trove in the country, California is key )
Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina,
Oklahoma, Tennessee
(Texas has the second-largest delegate trove of the primary)
Utah*, Vermont*, Virginia, Democrats Abroad

Peter Buttigieg, Amy Kobucher, and Tom Seyer  dropped out by March 2, 2020.  The fifth Democratic Primary candidate , Tulsi Gabbard,  has not gained any delegates or momentum.

How To Win The Democratic Nomination

As a reminder; to win the Democratic nomination for president, a candidate needs the support of a majority of delegates eligible to vote on a given ballot at the party’s national convention in Milwaukee in July: 1,991 delegates 

If no one gets 1,991 votes on the first ballot, then things could get more complicated. This is the scenario people refer to when they use the phrase “contested convention” or “brokered convention.”

In this situation, there would be a second ballot. And on the second ballot, there are votes from two sets of delegates: Votes from the 3,979 pledged delegates, who are allowed to support a different candidate on the second ballot if they so choose. There are an additional 771 votes from “automatic delegates,” commonly known as superdelegates

Next Post: Education

Posted in Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Immigration - I Raise My Lamp, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Michael Bloomberg, Super Tuesday Eve, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Immigration – I lift my lamp

Grief, Carnage, and Gun Control

“So this is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American — regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation — is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country. And no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans.” Barak Obama


President Obama responded to 14 mass shootings  from 2012 – 2016 with gravity and compassion during his term in office including the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the Charleston church shooting, the Aurora Movie Theatre Shooting, the Orlando nightclub shooting, Gabby Giffords assassination attempt, two Fort Hood shootings, the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting, the Navy Yard shooting, the Kansas Jewish Community Center shooting, the Chattanooga recruitment center shooting, and more.

2017 saw the nation’s single deadliest mass shooting in Las Vegas with 58 dead. This was followed by a mass killing at a Sutherland Springs Texas church that killed 26 church goers. a Congressional baseball game shooting, along with 19 other mass shootings that year.

2018 included the Stoneman Douglass High School shooting in Parkland Florida that killed 17, the Sante Fe High School shooting that killed ten, the Pittsburg Tree of Life Synagogue shooting that killed 11 along with other mass shootings that year.

There were more mass shootings across the U.S. in 2019 than there were days in the year, according to a gun violence research group. 2019 had the highest number of mass shootings in any year since the research group started keeping track.

By the end of 2019, there were 417 mass shootings in the U.S., according to data from the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive (GVA), which tracks every mass shooting in the country. Thirty-one of those shootings were mass murders. This includes the Walmart shooting in El Paso Texas that killed 22 people,  and the Dayton Ohio killer who used an AR-15 to kill 9.

How should our leaders respond? Here is how Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden stand on gun control:

A Federal Assault Weapons Ban

These types of weapons, including AR-15 style semi-automatic rifles,  have been used to perpetuate the most lethal mass shootings in U.S. history.  The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban ended in 2004 . Most reviews of the 1994 version of the assault weapons ban point to loopholes in the text of the bill that, some argue, made it less effective than some would have wanted. Recently, while co-sponsoring legislation to ban military-style semiautomatic weapons, divided Democrats have stepped back.

Biden and Sanders support the ban with a voluntary buyback plan.

       Should federal law require gun owners to obtain a license or permit?

Gun-control activists argue that federal law should require gun owners to obtain a license or permit for purchasing firearms, which a study found reduced gun deaths. Right now, only six states and the District of Columbia require a license or permit to purchase all types of guns:  Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, California and Hawaii. Seven states require either a permit or a license for only handguns: Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. Washington only requires a firearms safety certification for semiautomatic rifles.

Sanders believes a license should only be required for assault weapons. Biden is against a federal law requiring gun owners to obtain a license.

Should federal law require gun owners to register every firearm they own?

This proposal would require gun owners to register their firearms with law enforcement. Advocates say such a federal database would hold gun owners accountable by more closely tying a gun to its owner. Opponents say such a registry would provide the federal government with too much information about gun owners and possibly lead to confiscation of their firearms. Only six states and the District of Columbia have some version of gun registries, while eight states prohibit registries of firearms. These registries vary from registering a hand guns to assault pistols, weapons and large capacity magazines.

Biden and Sanders believe there should be a federal gun registry for assault weapons only.  

Should the federal minimum age to purchase a gun be increased to 21
for all sales?

Federal law prohibits licensed gun dealers from selling handguns to anyone under 21 and long guns to anyone under 18, though unlicensed sellers face fewer restrictions. State laws are a patchwork, and some allow those in rural areas as young as 14 to buy guns used for hunting.

Sanders supports an increase of minimum age to 21 except for long guns and shot guns with fixed capacity magazines that are primarily intended for hunting. Biden has not taken a stand on this.

Support for a federal “red flag” law

Seventeen states and the District have adopted “red-flag” laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders, that allow courts to temporarily block access to guns for individuals deemed mentally unfit following a petition from family members or law enforcement. Supporters say the laws have been used to preempt mass shootings and suicides where they have been implemented. A September 2019 Washington Post-ABC News poll found 86 percent of the public favors such a law.

 Sanders supports a federal red flag law. Biden will encourage states to pass this type of law.

Should federal law require a background check for every gun purchase?

Federally licensed gun dealers are required by the Gun Control Act of 1968 to conduct a background check on buyers before selling a gun, but occasional sellers can do so without such a check. A September 2019 Washington Post-ABC News poll found 89 percent of the public favor requiring background checks for all potential gun buyers.

Biden and Sanders support federal law requiring a background check.

The Specifics of the Gun Control Plans

Vox has focused on the plans of  Biden  and  Sanders.  The New York Times further profiled each candidate and their view of gun control.


Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Harris, Klobuchar, Steyer and Warren support the federal assault ban with a voluntary buyback plan. Gabbard supports the ban,  but unclear about buyback.

Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Harris, Steyer and Warren believe federal law should require all gun owners obtain a license. Klobuchar supports a gun licensing proposal but has not declared a position as to what type of gun. Gabbard is unclear as to where she stands on this.

Warren and Harris support a federal gun registry for all guns. Bloomberg and Steyer believe there should be a federal gun registry for assault weapons only.  Buttigieg does not support a federal gun registry. Both Klobuchar and Gabbard have not taken a stand.

Harris, Klobucher, Steyer and Warren all believe the federal minimum age to purchase a gun should be increased to 21. Bloomberg believes it should be increased to 21 to purchase handguns, semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. . Buttigieg does not support increasing the federal minimum age to 21. Harris

 Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Harris, Klobuchar,  Steyer and Warren support a federal red flag law. Gabbard has not taken a stand on this.

Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Gabbard, Harris, Klobuchar,  Steyer and Warren all support federal law requiring a background check.

The Status of The Primaries

Governor Deval Patrick, Andrew Yang, and Senator Matthew Bennet have withdrawn from the primary race.

Delegate totals including Iowa and New Hampshire (updated Feb 20):
Pete Buttigieg 23, Bernie Sanders 21, Elizabeth Warren 8, Amy Klobucher 7, Joe Biden 6, Michael Bloomberg, Tulsi Gabbard and  Tom Steyer: 0

The Democratic nomination isn’t decided by who wins the most votes, but by which candidates receive the most delegates — people selected by each campaign from every state or district — to represent them at the Democratic National Convention, taking place July 13-16 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At the convention, a candidate will be nominated when a simple majority of 1,991 out of 3,979 total pledged delegates support a given candidate.

This was discussed at last evening’s Nevada’s debate as Bernie Sanders is the only candidate who believes the candidate with the most delegates should win, even if he/she doesn’t have the majority. Otherwise, if no candidate hits that threshold (a majority) initially, superdelegates would be allowed to vote on a second ballot. They include members of Congress and other party leaders

My initial 2020 post explains the importance of each state’s primary.  This includes the upcoming Saturday Feb 22 Nevada Caucus, in addition to the following Saturday Feb 29 South Carolina Primary.  The number of delegates at stake on March 3 Super Tuesday is 40% of the total delegation allocation.

The gloves were off for last evening’s Nevada debate. Tune in for the next debate,; Tuesday,  February 25 in South Carolina.  Biden, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Sanders, and Warren. Steyer might qualify, but it’s unlikely if Gabard will.


  • Get involved, volunteer, and/or donate to the following organizations that fight for public safety measures that protect people from gun violence:

Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in AmericaGuns Down America
Brady United Against Gun ViolenceCoalition to Stop Gun Violence
Everytown for Gun Safety , Giffords , Sandy Hook Promise,
Newtown Action Alliance

  • Volunteer, donate and/or attend rallies and public events for the Democratic Primary candidate that you support:
    Biden, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Gabbard, Klobucher,  Sanders,  Steyer, Warren.
  • Volunteer and/or donate to your House Representative (all up for re-election) , and your local Senate re-election campaigns  Future posts will be dedicated to the Congressional races.
  • Volunteer to Get Out The Vote (GOTV) like Rock The Vote, League of Women Votersand more posted on the Nov 19 post.
  • The United States census is a snapshot of America that determines how congressional seats are apportioned, how state and federal dollars are distributed, where businesses choose to ship products and where they build new stores. Join individuals, businesses, government organizations, nonprofits and community leaders who have a role to play in the 2020 Census.


Next Post: Immigration

Posted in Amy Klobucher, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Gun Control, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Peter Buttigieg, Tom Steyer, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Comments Off on Grief, Carnage, and Gun Control

Criminal Justice Reform


Restoration of Voting Rights for Felons

It has been common practice in the United States to make felons ineligible to vote. In 16 states and the District of Columbia felons lose their voting rights only when incarcerated, and receive automatic restoration upon release. In 21 states, felons lose their voting rights during incarceration, and for a period of time after, typically while on parole and/or probation.In 11 states felons lose their voting rights indefinitely for some crimes, or require a governor’s pardon in order for voting  rights to be restored.

Biden supports voting rights for formerly incarcerated individuals. Sanders supports allowing people to vote also while incarcerated.

The Federal Government and Private Prisons

US private prisons incarcerate 8.2% of the total state and federal prison population.
The Sentencing Project found that between 2000 and 2016, “the number of people housed in private prisons increased five times faster than the total prison population.” According to the Detention Watch Network, more than 70 percent of immigration detainees are held in facilities operated by private companies. Democrats take issue with companies profiting from incarceration, which they argue incentivizes imprisonment and cost cutting at the facilities. Private prisons experience more safety and security issues compared to government-run ones, according to a 2016 Justice Department inspector general’s report.

Sanders and Biden believe the federal government should stop using private prisons.

The Elimination of Mandatory Minimums in Federal Sentencing

The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 established minimum sentences for drug possession, including a five-year minimum for five grams of crack. Mandatory minimum sentencing laws force a judge to hand down a minimum prison sentence based on the charges a prosecutor brings against a defendant which result in a conviction — usually a guilty plea. Many states have such laws. These laws take away from a judge the traditional and proper authority to account for the actual circumstances of the crime and the characteristics of the individual defendant when imposing a sentence. About 45 percent of federal inmates were imprisoned on drug offenses as of Jan.10. The First Step Act eased some mandatory minimums, but Democrats argue they should be further reduced or eliminated altogether.

Biden and Sanders support elimination of mandatory minimums in federal sentencing.

Cash Bail Reform

After an arrest — wrongful or not — a person’s ability to leave jail and return home to fight the charges depends on money. That’s because, in most states, people are required to pay cash bail. Originally, bail was supposed to make sure people return to court to face charges against them. But instead, the money bail system has morphed into widespread wealth-based incarceration.Candidates who advocate ending the cash bail system argue it disproportionately affects low-income Americans — those who can’t afford to post bond and  thus face the choice of accepting a plea deal out of desperation (despite being innocent), remaining in jail until their trial (which could take months or even years) or being beholden to a bail bondsman.

Sanders and Biden advocate ending the cash bail system.

Capital Punishment/Death Penalty

Opposition to the death penalty is at its highest point according to Gallup polling.
While fifty six percent continue to support capital punishment for individuals convicted of murder, a majority of Americans say life without parole is a better punishment than the death penalty.  Democrats argue that the death penalty is unfairly applied. In addition, new technologies have exonerated death row inmates.

Biden and Sanders support abolishing capital punishment/death penalty.

Cocaine Sentencing Disparities

A 1986 drug bill instituted different sentencing guidelines for two different forms of the same drug – cocaine. As a result of the legislation, those arrested for offenses involving crack cocaine faced much steeper punishments than those using powder cocaine. This disparity has affected Black Americans at much higher rates than other groups. Some candidates argue that the sentencing disparity (now 18:1) between crack cocaine and powder cocaine should be eliminated. A bipartisan criminal justice reform bill, The First Step Act,  was signed into law in December 2018. In 2019 Senator Cory Booker introduced a bill called The Next Step Act. His bill would eliminate the disparity from 18:1 to 1:1.

Biden and Sanders support scrapping the disparity.

UPDATED August 11 2020

Kamala Harris, Vice President Candidate 2020
Kamala’s Plan to Transform the Criminal Justice System and Re-Envision Public Safety in America

  1. End Mass Incarceration and Invest Resources into Evidence and Community-Based Programs that Reduce Crime and Help Build Safe and Healthy Communities –  Make significant federal investments in policies that would end mass incarceration and especially into evidence-based, non-carceral social supports and programs at the state and local level to improve public safety and reduce violence.  End the “War on Drugs”. Legalizing marijuana. Invest money in states to significantly reduce the incarceration of women convicted of non-violent offenses. Sentencing Reform. End the use of private prisons. Create a bureau of Children and Family Justice. Promote Rehabilitation and Reintegration.
  2. Law Enforcement’s Primary Mission is to Serve and Protect Communities. It Should Instill Trust and Be Accountable to the Communities It Serves – Establish Law Enforcement Trust & Accountability. Create a National Police Systems Review Board. Have independent investigations of officer-involved shootings. Double the size of the Civil Rights Division. Prioritize mental health informed responses
  3. The System Must Treat Individuals Equitably and Humanely  – Stop criminalizing poverty. End suspension of driver’s licenses for unpaid fines. Humane Treatment of Prisoners. Keep families intact.
  4. The System Must Protect Vulnerable People  Clear nationwide rape kit backlog. Protect consumers against fraud and fight for victims’ rights.





Democratic candidates broadly support voting rights for formerly incarcerated individuals ( Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Gabbard, Klobucher, Patrick, Steyer, and Warren),  but only a few support allowing people to vote while incarcerated ( Yang).
All of the Democratic candidates believe the federal government should stop using private prisons.
All of the Democratic candidates support eliminating mandatory minimums in federal sentencing.
Buttigieg, Gabbard,  Patrick,  Steyer, and Warren advocate ending the cash bail system. Bloomberg, Klobuchar, and Yang believe you should reform or reduce it. Andrew Yang and Michael Bloomberg have called for providing states with incentives to reduce reliance on cash bail. Yang proposes  a federal pre-trial services system instead. Bloomberg recommends rewards for jurisidictions that adopt risk assessment tools to give judges greater discretion.
All of the Democratic candidates support abolishing capital punishment/death penalty.
Steyer support scrapping the disparity. Bloomberg,  Buttigieg, Gabbard, Klobucher, Warren and Yang have yet to state a position .

The Primaries Have Begun

The Iowa caucus is today, Monday, Feb 3.The next debate will be this Friday February 7 and only 7 candidates have qualified: Biden, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, Klobucher, Yang and Steyer. Though candidates can also qualify by earning at least one delegate in the Iowa Caucus today.

Next week, Tuesday February 11, will be New Hampshire‘s Primary.  Nevada follows with their primary; Saturday Feb. 22.  South Carolina closes the month with their primary; Saturday Feb. 29. My first post for the 2020 Elections explains what’s at stake in each state. What will their primary results tell us?


Next Post: Grief, Carnage and Gun Control

Posted in Amy Klobucher, Andrew Yang, Bernie Sanders, Criminal Justice Reform, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Michael Bloomberg, Peter Buttigieg, Tom Steyer, Uncategorized, Voting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Criminal Justice Reform

Income Inequality in America


Income Inequality

Have we become a tale of two cities? The richest 10% of households now represents 70% of all U.S. wealth.    A booming economy means that people who have higher income and own capital are able to see continued higher returns on that. Subsequently their wealth increases. This is a much larger gain than middle or lower income earners. The gap between rich and poor is at its widest in five decades.

The top 1% alone holds more wealth than the middle class. They owned 29 percent—or over $25 trillion—of household wealth in 2016, while the middle class owned just $18 trillion.

This has not always been the case. Before 2010, the middle class owned more wealth than the top one percent. Since 1995, the share of wealth held by the middle class has steadily declined, while the top one percent’s share has steadily increased.

The Top Two Candidates Address Income Inequality &
The Economy


Bernie Sanders
has called for an “extreme wealth tax” on the highest-income Americans, along with a “national wealth registry.” He would raise taxes on businesses whose CEOs make
at least 50 times more than their median workers.

Bernie Sanders also supports:

  • breaking up big tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon.
  • raising the federal corporate income tax by returning to the original 35%.
  •  more than 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses outlined by the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act
  •  a commission that will study the possibility of reparations to descendants of slaves. This may take the form of cash or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas
  •  raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide
  •  the idea that the federal government should guarantee a job to every American
  • the government cancelation of all existing student debt for everyone
  •  a national rent control cap
  • keeping the child tax credit increases from the Republican passed 2017 “Tax Cuts and Job Act”, but not the standard deduction.

Joe Biden
proposes higher taxes on the rich, especially those who derive most of their income from stock ownership and other investments.

Joe Biden also supports:

  • strengthening antitrust enforcement of the big tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon
  • raising the federal corporate income tax to somewhere between 21% and 35%
  • raising the Federal minimum wage to $15/hour
  • the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act that would fund up to 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses
  • a commission that will study the possibility of reparations to descendants of slaves. This may take the form of cash or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas
  •  raising the federal  minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide

Joe Biden does not support:

  • a “wealth tax” but supports adjusting taxes on capital gains
  • the government cancelation of existing student debt  He supports alleviating student debt in other ways.
  • the idea that the federal government should guarantee a job to every American. He proposes ways to support union workers and the middle class.
  • a national rent control cap

Joe Biden has not taken a stand on:

  • whether he would maintain both the standard deduction and child tax credit increases from the Republican passed 2017 “Tax Cuts and Job Act”.
  • an affordable housing plan



Elizabeth Warren
has proposed an “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” on the 75,000 richest families in the United States that she says would help pay for universal childcare and
student loan debt relief.

Elizabeth Warren also supports:

  • breaking up big tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon
  • raising the federal corporate income tax by returning to the original 35%.
  •  the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act that would fund up to 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses.
  • commission that will study the possibility of reparations to descendants of slaves. This may take the form of cash or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas.
  • raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide.
  •  the government cancelation of existing student debt based on income.
  • and would  maintain the child tax credit increases from the Republican passed 2017 “Tax Cuts and Job Act”, but not the standard deduction

She is “open” to: 

  •  the idea that the federal government should guarantee a job to every American

Elizabeth Warren does not support:

Peter Buttigieg
proposes a capital gains tax on the top 1% of all earners,  and the elimination of Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy.

Peter Buttigieg also supports:

  •  strengthening antitrust enforcement of the big tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon
  • raising the federal corporate income tax by returning to the original 35%
  • the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act that would fund up to 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses
  • a commission that will study the possibility of reparations to descendants of slaves. This may take the form of cash or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas.
  • raising the federal  minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide.
  • maintaining both the standard deduction and child tax credit increases from the Republican passed 2017 “Tax Cuts and Job Act”.

Peter Buttigieg does not support:

  • the idea that the federal government should guarantee a job to every American He has called for boosting the rural economy through development programs and partnerships, and supports the expansion of rural high-speed broadband.
  • the government cancelation of existing student debt. He supports alleviating student debt in other ways. 
  • a national rent control cap, but has other ideas for affordable housing.


Amy Klobucher
would raise capital gains and dividend tax rates for those in the top two income tax brackets. She would impose a 30% federal minimum tax for those with
incomes over $1 million.

Amy Klolbucher also supports:

  •  strengthening antitrust enforcement of the big tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon
  • raising the federal corporate income tax to somewhere between 21% and 35%
  • the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act that would fund up to 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses.
  •  a commission that will study the possibility of reparations to descendants of slaves. This may take the form of cash or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas.
  •  raising the federal  minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide.
  • maintaining both the standard deduction and child tax credit increases from the Republican passed 2017 “Tax Cuts and Job Act”.

Amy Klobucher does not support:

  • the government cancelation of existing student debt. She supports alleviating student debt in other ways.
  • the idea that the federal government should guarantee a job to every American. She does support investment in education and training for workers affected by automation.  She recently rolled out a  $1 trillion plan to upgrade and invest in America’s infrastructure, which she says will create thousands of good-paying jobs.
  • a “wealth tax”

She has not taken a stand  on:


Michael Bloomberg
calls for a dramatic increase in public investment, especially in areas that have seen economic decline. He has promised to increase spending on research and development by over $100 billion through agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense in an effort to innovate manufacturing and agriculture. Bloomberg also supports the expansion of high speed internet to rural areas and calls for scaling up federal apprenticeship programs.

Michael Bloomberg also supports:

  •  raising the federal corporate income tax
  •  the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act that would fund up to 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses
  •  raising the federal  minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide
  •  the government cancelation of existing student debt based on income

Michael Bloomberg does not support:

  • the idea that the federal government should guarantee a job to every American
  • a “wealth tax” but supports adjusting taxes on capital gains

Michael Bloomberg has not taken a stand on:

  •  breaking up big tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon
  •  supporting a commission that will study the possibility of reparations to descendants of slaves. This may take the form of cash or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas.
  •  a national rent control cap
  • whether he would maintain the standard deduction and child tax credit increases from the Republican passed 2017 “Tax Cuts and Job Act”


Tom Steyer
supports a wealth tax for those making $32 M or more.

Tom Steyer also supports:

  • strengthening antitrust enforcement of the big tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon
  • raising the federal corporate income tax by returning to the original 35%
  • more than 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses outlined by the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act.
  •  a commission that will study the possibility of reparations to descendants of slaves. This may take the form of cash or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas.
  • raising the federal  minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide
  • maintaining the child tax credit increases from the Republican passed 2017 “Tax Cuts and Job Act”, but not the standard deduction

Tom Seyer does not support:

Kamala Harris
Supports a proposal called the LIFT the Middle Class Act, a piece of legislation aimed at addressing the rising cost of living by providing middle-class and working families with a significant tax credit. It would provide a refundable tax credit worth up to $6,000 for households. If passed, it would come on top of existing tax credits and public benefits for lower-income Americans.

Kamala Harris also supports :

  • Ms. Harris has also attempted to use the policy as a catchall description of her economic vision, reframing questions about the racial wealth gap and reparations, for instance, into a broader discussion of racial disparity.
  •  a federal investment in teacher pay, an almost universally supported idea among her Democratic colleagues.
  • more than 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses outlined by the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act.
  • a commission that will study the possibility of reparations to descendants of slaves. This may take the form of cash or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas.
  • raising the federal  minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide
  •  the idea that the federal government should guarantee a job to every American
  • raising the federal corporate income tax by returning to the original 35%.

Kamala Harris does not support:

  • Rather than trying to appease the party’s left wing with policies that focus on large-scale wealth redistribution and structural change, Ms. Harris has staked her bet on an incrementalism more reminiscent of Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton.
  • But some progressives view it as not bold enough — calling it an expansion of the earned-income tax credit by another name — and say it will not lift up the neediest Americans.
  • the government cancelation of existing student debt. She supports alleviating student debt by refinancing high interest loans to a lower rate
  • a rent control cap.
  • a wealth tax. Instead she is pitching a lower-middle-class tax cut for households earning under $100,000 annuallyand single people making under $50,000 a year. Families would pocket $6,000 annually and individuals would receive $3,000 through Harris’ refundable tax credit plan

Kamala Harris is open to :

  • breaking up big tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon




This candidate has withdrawn:

Andrew Yang
supports a universal basic income ($1,000 monthly) to all Americans.   It would require the government to make regular payments to all U.S. citizens, regardless of whether or not they’re working, no strings attached.  He argues that it will help Americans at risk of losing their jobs because of technological advances.

Andrew Yang also supports:

  • strengthening antitrust enforcement of the big tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon
  • addressing the federal corporate income tax rate by adding a “value added” tax
  • more than 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses outlined by the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act.
  • a commission that will study the possibility of reparations to descendants of slaves. This may take the form of cash or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas.
  • maintaining both the standard deduction and child tax credit increases from the Republican passed 2017 “Tax Cuts and Job Act”.

Andrew Yang does not support:

  • the idea that the federal government should guarantee a job to every American
  • the government cancelation of existing student debt. He supports alleviating student debt in other ways.
  •  a national rent control cap, but has other plans for affordable housing
  • a “wealth tax”, but supports a “value-added tax”


The Status of The Democratic Primary

There are nine top-polling Democratic presidential contenders with less than a month to go until the Iowa caucuses. My initial post for the 2020 Race Where We Are, The Presidential Primaries, and The Future walks you through the Primary labyrinth that’s ahead. Six candidates qualified for the last debate, January 14. The upcoming debates will be February 7, 19 and 25.


Candidates receive endorsements from prominent party members, in addition to the editorial boards of local and major newspapers in an effort to secure the nomination.

Last evening ,the New York Times broke with tradition and endorsed two candidates: Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobucher.  It was the end of a lengthy transparent interview process publicized as The Choice.


Multiple sites have tried to coalesce the policy statements of the leading candidates, though some sites might require membership to read such: The Washington Post, The New York Times, Politico, and USA Today to name a few. The Washington Post goes as far as attempting to match your policy opinions with a candidate.

  • Attend rallies and public events. Each presidential candidate will list activities and dates under the “Events” link.
  • Volunteer and/or donate to your House Representative and Senate re-election campaigns  (future post will be dedicated to these races)
  • Find and join a local community activist group 
  • Volunteer to Get Out The Vote (Nov 19 post for list of organizations)
  • Join individuals, businesses, government organizations, nonprofits and community leaders who have a role to play in the 2020 Census.


Upcoming Post: Criminal Justice Reform






Posted in Amy Klobucher, Andrew Yang, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Income Inequality, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Michael Bloomberg, Peter Buttigieg, The Economy, Tom Steyer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Income Inequality in America

Climate Change, COP25 and The Green New Deal

“The point of no return is no longer over the horizon. It is in sight
and hurtling toward us.”


U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ speech addressed delegates at this week’s 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25), and cited recent scientific data showing that levels of heat-trapping gases have hit a record high. Countries have failed to halt the rise of greenhouse gas emissions with China and the United States, the two biggest polluters, further increasing their emissions last year.   Unless emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are sharply cut, temperatures could rise to twice the threshold set in the 2015 Paris accord by the end of the century, he warned.

 Climate Change

The effects of global warming are seeping into our daily lives. Scientists prefer to use “climate change” when describing the complex shifts now affecting our planet’s weather and climate systems. Climate change encompasses not only rising average temperatures but also extreme weather events, shifting wildlife populations and habitats, rising seas, and a range of other impacts. All of these changes are emerging as humans continue to add heat-trapping greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

The 2015 Paris Climate Accord/Agreement

The world leaders of the Paris Climate Accord made a commitment to make sure global warming stayed “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. They also agreed to “pursue efforts” to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

This year’s meetings in Madrid are intended to hammer out the last remaining rules on how to implement the Paris climate accord. To make meeting the reduction targets even remotely possible, global leaders must come up with a practical plan for cutting emissions in the next two weeks.  Experts say that if the delegates reach a deal on emissions trading, we might just about be able to reach the targets.

How far have we come since the Paris accord?

The UN Emissions Gap report noted that 65 countries (including Britain, France, and Germany) and some “subnational regions,” like California, have begun moving toward net zero greenhouse-gas emissions by the year 2050.

Since 2007, the share of electricity generation in the United States that comes from fossil fuels has fallen from 72 percent to 63 percent, according to a recent Center for American Progress report,  This decline is partly a result of federal investments in clean energy and state mandates to reduce pollution.

Getting to net-zero emissions requires changes to transportation, manufacturing, agriculture and more. It requires much more federal investment in research, as well as an open-minded approach that includes new technologies that can remove previously emitted carbon from the atmosphere.

In sharp contrast,  the Trump administration gave notice it would withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change. From replacing the Clean Power Plan to attempting to loosen fuel economy standards, it is another push from an administration that has made rolling back environmental regulations a top priority.

The Green New Deal

The Green New Deal is a nonbinding Congressional resolution that calls on the government to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create high-paying jobs, and ensure that clean air, clean water and healthy food are basic human rights. 

It envisions sourcing 100 percent of the country’s electricity from renewable and zero-emissions power, digitizing the nation’s power grid, upgrading every building in the country to be more energy-efficient, and overhauling the nation’s transportation system by investing in electric vehicles and high-speed rail.

To address social justice, the resolution says it is the duty of the government to provide job training and new economic development, particularly to communities that currently rely on jobs in fossil fuel industries. It also proposes working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector. 

Both Sanders and Biden support the Green Deal resolution.

The Top Candidates Address Climate Change


Bernie Sanders plan calls for the United States to eliminate fossil fuel by 2050. It declares climate change a national emergency; envisions building new solar, wind and geothermal power sources across the country; and commits $200 billion to help poor nations cope with climate change.  It also calls for a moratorium on nuclear power plant license renewals, and it says that the goal of 100 percent sustainable energy “will not rely on any false solutions like nuclear, geoengineering, carbon capture and sequestration, or trash incinerators.”

Biden’s time line for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions states only that the economy ,as a whole,  should reach “net zero” emissions by 2050. He’s proposing spending $1.7 trillion over 10 years. He proposes the development of advanced nuclear power plants, and technologies that can capture carbon dioxide from fossil-fuel plants. HE pledges to rejoin the Paris agreement, and work with world leaders to boost goals for emissions cuts. In addition, he says he’ll push to end fossil-fuel subsidies worldwide.

Biden has pledged  to spend $400 billion over 10 years and create a new agency, ARPA-C, to accelerate research on small modular nuclear reactors, carbon capture, grid-scale energy storage, and lower-emissions methods for producing steel, cement, hydrogen, and food.

Biden wants to accelerate the shift to cleaner cars and trucks by restoring tax credits for electric vehicles, building out half a million charging stations around the nation, and enacting stricter vehicle mileage standards. He also wants to find ways to encourage the development of sustainable fuels for aircraft, reduce urban sprawl, and increase public transit and high-speed rail systems.

He supports setting a price on carbon, either through a tax or a cap-and-trade program. He isn’t calling for a ban on fracking, a drilling method widely used for natural-gas and oil extraction. He does support “aggressive methane pollution limits” and other tighter regulations on the sector.

Nuclear Power Plants

Nuclear power remains the nation’s largest carbon-neutral energy source, but it faces an uncertain future. Of the 97 U.S. commercial nuclear reactors active as of June 2019, 11 are scheduled for retirement by 2025, including Three Mile Island’s remaining reactor, which shut down this year. Only one new reactor, at the Watts Bar plant in Tennessee, began operating in the past 20 years, and two new reactors are under construction at the Vogtle plant in Georgia, with loan guarantees received from both the Obama and Trump administrations. Still unresolved are questions of how and where we can safely store nuclear waste.

Sanders would phase out nuclear power plants. Biden not clear if he would build more. 

Fossil Fuel Exports

The Energy Information Administration expects the United States to become a net energy exporter by 2020. The United States has long exported more coal than it imports and as of 2017 exported more natural gas. Exports of crude oil have shot up since a four-decade ban was lifted in a 2015 spending bill, passed by a Republican-controlled congress and signed by President Barack Obama.

Biden has nodded in the direction of thwarting exports but hasn’t included it in his detailed written plan. Sanders will ban all fossil fuel exports. 

Leasing fossil fuel extraction on federal lands

A significant amount of the nation’s fossil fuel production happens on federal lands and waters — 42 percent of coal, 24 percent of crude oil and 13 percent of natural gas in 2017. The extraction and combustion of these fuels accounted for nearly a quarter of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions between 2005 and 2014, according to a study from the U.S. Geological Survey study. The Keep It In the Ground Act by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) would end new federal leases for fossil fuel extraction on federal lands and waters. The Obama administration issued a moratorium on coal leasing in 2016, but it was reversed by the Trump administration, an action that has led to an ongoing legal battle.

Both Biden and Sanders would end this leasing. 

Elimination of fossil fuel subsidies

The federal government subsidizes fossil fuel exploration and production through a number of tax breaks. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that these tax breaks cost $4.6 billion in 2016. The Trump administration proposed a rule that would prop up coal by crediting power plants that keep a 90-day supply of fuel; it was rejected by regulators.

Both Sanders and Biden would eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. 


Elizabeth Warren’s plan is to to move the U.S. to 100 percent clean energy, spur economic development with a raft of new jobs and protect poor communities dependent on fossil fuels. Her multi pronged approach to addressing climate change would target eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, vehicles and the electric grid while creating millions of new jobs in manufacturing and clean energy.

Peter Buttigieg’s plan calls for doubling clean electricity in the US by 2025, zero emissions in electricity generation by 2035, net-zero emissions from industrial vehicles by 2040, and a net-zero emissions by 2050.The plan also raises a variety of economic tools to accelerate the shift toward a low-carbon future, like climate action bonds, creating a clean energy bank, and ending subsidies for fossil fuels. It includes a special focus on supporting towns and cities like South Bend . He believes every part of the country deserves the chance to participate through energy efficiency upgrades, job training for displaced workers, or resiliency against extreme weather.

Amy Klobuchar‘s plan would implement strict fuel efficiency standards for automobiles and place limits on carbon pollution from power plants. It would create  incentives to expand climate research and clean energy.  She would ask Congress for more ambitious action, including a law to set a target of 100 percent net zero emissions by 2050, and some kind of price on carbon.

Michael Bloomberg’s  plan is to slash U.S. carbon dioxide emissions that are driving climate change by half in 10 years. It calls for replacing all coal plants with clean power plants by 2030. He would quadruple federal funding for clean energy research, expand solar and wind tax credits and create tax incentives for battery storage and hydrogen fuel technology. Bloomberg would factor in climate risks and community impacts in all environmental reviews and beef up enforcement staff at the Environmental Protection Agency.


Tom Steyer’s plan calls for cutting “fossil fuel pollution” from all sectors in order to achieve a 100 percent clean energy economy and net-zero global-warming pollution by 2045. It sets a target of no later than 2030 to eliminate toxic air pollution from diesel engines, power plants and other sources.The plan would also establish a Civilian Climate Corps to create 1 million jobs, as well as training and resources to help communities transition toward clean energy.

Kamala Harris’s plan  seeks  to make environmental justice a central part of her climate plan, including working with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the avatar of the Green New Deal, to draft a Climate Equity Act. They propose that all environmental and climate legislation and regulations be scored for their impacts on “frontline” communities—the same kind of analysis that is now required for the budget impact of legislation and the economic costs and benefits of regulations. The idea is to maximize the benefits and minimize the negative impacts for those who live in poor and minority neighborhoods that contend with high levels of air and water pollution and are also in the crosshairs of global warming impacts .

In her climate plan  Harris pledged $10 trillion in investment over 10 years in the clean energy transition, a plan that catapulted her into the top tier of candidates committing to spend the most on climate actions, but she does not specify how much of that money would come from public spending and how much from the private sector.

These candidates have withdrawn: 

Andrew Yang’s plan commits to an aggressive timeline for abandoning fossil fuels: a zero-emissions requirement for all new cars by 2030, a 100 percent renewable electric grid by 2035, net-zero emissions from transportation by 2040, and net-zero emissions overall by 2049 . He would set a carbon tax of $40 per ton, rising gradually to $100 per ton. He proposes massive subsidies for two alternatives to traditional nuclear reactors: nuclear fusion and thorium power. A section of his plan called “Moving to Higher Ground” focuses on supporting humans in adapting to climate related disasters. 

Cory Booker’s plan would direct spending to develop clean energy, energy storage and electric vehicle technologies. It would establish a carbon fee and dividend program that would return money to citizens on a monthly basis. The plan would shoot to achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2030 and a carbon neutral economy by 2045. It would create an Environmental Justice Fund, to replace all lead drinking water pipes, clean up polluted sites around the country and ensure proper wastewater disposal for households. In addition the plan involves planting billions of trees, turbo-charging sustainable agriculture practices and reestablishing the Civilian Conservation Corps to help provide young people with jobs.

The December 19 Debate 

Candidates must meet the following requirement:
           contributions from 200,000 unique donors

And one of two polling requirements between Oct 16 and Dec 12:
          two polls at 6 percent or more in the four early nominating states:
                  Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina
          four polls at 4 percent or more in early nominating states or national surveys

Seven candidates have qualified for the December debate :
Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Peter Buttigieg, Amy Klobucher , Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang

The following candidates are still in the race, as of December 7, 2019, should you want to explore their climate change proposals:

Julian Castro,  Michael Bennet, Tulsi Gabbard, John Delaney, Marianne Williamson, Deval Patrick, and Michael Bloomberg


  • Watch the sixth Primary Debate co-hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico on Thursday, December 19 at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
  • Get involved with any of the top environmental advocacy groups:                     National Resources Defense Council
    Friends of The Earth
    Environmental Defense Fund
  • Attend rallies and public events for 2020 presidential and congressional candidates. Each presidential candidate will list activities and dates under the “Events” link. Your Congressional member will post town hall meetings and fundraising events.
  • Volunteer and Donate Your Democratic House Representatives are already beginning their campaigns for re-election in 2020, along with 12 Democratic Senators.
  • Follow the candidate(s) on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Upcoming Post

Income Inequality in America


Posted in 2020 Democratic Primaries, Amy Klobucher, Andrew Yang, Bernie Sanders, Climate Change, COP25, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Environment, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Michael Bloomberg, Paris Climate Accord, Peter Buttigieg, presidential candidates, The Green New Deal, Tom Steyer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Climate Change, COP25 and The Green New Deal

Health Care & Medicare For All


The State of Health Care Today

The cost and quality of the U.S. healthcare system is one of the most prominent issues facing everyday Americans. It is a top policy concern for voters, a key indicator of economic efficiency, and a significant driver of the national debt.
Americans will spend $52 trillion over the next decade on health care,

The Affordable Care Act offered subsidies for individuals and families to buy private plans through a government exchange. Unfortunately the ACA’s exchanges have struggled to attract insurance companies, leaving many areas with few choices of plans. Customers who make too much money to qualify for subsidies have sometimes found the plans unaffordable, while others have complained that deductibles, while capped under the law, are still too high. While it reduced the share of uninsured, 27 million Americans still don’t have insurance.

The ACA also expanded and extended Medicaid eligibility to uninsured adults and children whose incomes are at or below 138% of the federal poverty level (family of 4 can make up to $34,638). As of July 2019, however, only 36 states and the District of Columbia have chosen to adopt the adult expansion.

For those who do have insurance through their job or through an individual plan, deductibles are rising faster than wages and customers can face surprise hospital bills from out-of-network doctors and specialists. The US health care system now costs nearly double what other high-income countries pay, per capita.  The industry is crippled by an expensive, nontransparent and discriminatory pricing system. A complex system of profit-driven corporations, from manufactures to insurance companies, add cost at every juncture. Americans spent $3.56 trillion on health care in 2018 with 59% going to hospitals, doctors, and clinical services. Prescription drug spending was up 3.5% due to higher prices. Medical debt and/or bankruptcy has severe consequences for the 80 million struggling with medical bills. It is a problem that cuts across age groups and educational levels. It is time for health care reform in America.

Right now, multiple groups pay for healthcare. That includes private health insurance companies, employers, and the government, through programs like Medicare and Medicaid. There are a number of proposals out there that would expand the role of public programs in healthcare.


The Sanders “Medicare For All” Plan

Medicare for All is a single-payer, government-run health care program in which all Americans are covered. Most people tend to think of the most far-reaching “Medicare for All” proposals outlined in bills sponsored by Presidential Candidate  Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal,  These two bills share many similarities. Presidential Candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren signed onto Mr. Sanders’s single-payer legislation.

The Nuts and Bolts

This single payer national health insurance plan is tax financed and includes comprehensive benefits. It is a replacement for all private health insurance, as well as the current Medicare program. The plan includes lifetime enrollment and no premiums.  There will be no out-of-pocket costs for healthcare-related expenses. Deductibles, coinsurance, and co-pays would be prohibited. Pre-existing conditions will be covered. The plan includes inpatient and outpatient hospital care, emergency services, preventative services, most prescription drugs, as well as dental and vision coverage. The Sanders and Warren websites provide more detail.

What will the Sanders “Medicare For All” plan cost?
A report released by the Urban Institute  found that his single-payer approach would cost $34 trillion over 10 years.

How will Sanders “Medicare For All” plan be paid for?
Sanders proposes paying for his version of Medicare For All with a payroll tax on employers, income based household premiums, taxes on the wealthy, and taxes on corporations. He would also make the federal income and estate tax more progressive, impose a large fee on large financial institutions and close the Gingrich-Edwards Loophole.  The loophole allows self-employed people who set up so-called S corporations to avoid paying taxes into Social Security and Medicare.  


Critics & Supporters of Sanders’ “Medicare For All”

Critics say the cost of “Medicare For All” will be astronomical, worry how it will be paid for and question whether the government can effectively manage such a massive undertaking. They also believe the plans require Congress to pass far-reaching legislation, an enormous political challenge and a virtual impossibility unless Democrats win control of the Senate. Other say that people who get employer insurance report being satisfied with their plans,  and could be upset if they’re required to join a new government program instead.

Supporters of a single-payer plan argue it could hold down costs by negotiating or requiring lower payments to doctors, hospitals and drug companies, while eliminating overhead associated with private insurance.They argue  that money currently going to premiums would help offset the new taxes on individuals and families.

Single Payer “Public Option” Health Care Plans


 Many people believe that Biden’s plan  is much more ambitious than Obamacare – and despite its incremental label, would make some very controversial changes. “No matter how much Biden wants to draw distinctions between his proposals and single-payer, his plan looks suspiciously like “SandersCare Lite,” writes former congressional aide and conservative commentator Chris Jacobs in a column for The Federalist.

The centerpiece of the Biden plan is a Medicare-like public option for people seeking individual coverage on the ACA exchanges. It would be offered as an alternative to private insurance, not as a replacement. 

His plan would would enhance premium subsidies for the insurance purchased on ACA exchanges . They would be scaled so that premiums would consume no more than 8.5 percent of family income. It would allow employees, presently in an employer sponsored plan, become eligible for subsidies if they switch to plans offered on the ACA exchanges.

The Biden plan retains Medicaid as the primary vehicle for delivering health care to people with low incomes. States presently in the expanded Medicaid can switch to the public option provided they continued to pay their current share of the costs. In the 14 states that have not offered expanded coverage, low-income residents would be eligible for zero-premium coverage under the new public option.


What will the Warren’s “Medicare For All” plan cost?
Warren’s campaign said her single-payer health plan would cost $20.5 trillion over ten years. She recently modified her plan to start with a public option and transition into Medicare For All. She has yet posted a new projection of cost.

How will Warren’s “Medicare For All” plan be paid for?
Warren pledged not to raise middle class taxes, but instead to tax financial firms, large corporations, top 1% and other sources. In addition she will shift the burden of most health-care costs from consumers, in the form of spending such as premiums, deductibles and copays, to federal,  state and local governments and employers. Her tax on employers is meant to replace the amount that companies now pay directly to health insurers.

Elizabeth Warren just recently modified her Medicare For All plan by starting out with a public optionOnly later, in her third year in the White House, does Warren say she would pursue Medicare-for-all legislation.  The remaining Democratic candidates back more modest proposals that would expand access to Medicare and Medicaid without ending the private insurance system.  Most of these alternatives involve allowing individuals or employers to purchase a Medicare-like “public option,” a government insurance plan that would compete with private plans rather than replace them.

Pete Buttigieg’s ( Medicare For All Who Want It plan would cost $1.5 trillion over ten years. It would offer public health insurance to those who want it , while also keeping private health care plans available. Affordable insurance will be offered to the currently uninsured.  It would end surprise billing, make the marketplace coverage more affordable, limit cost of out of network care and offer mental health parity. In addition, it would tackle high administrative costs, and monitor health care mergers. Critics of the plan believe it won’t guarantee universal coverage, props up the existing health care industry, and only offers to finance the plan by tightening corporate taxes. 

Amy Klobucher prefers offering a Medicaid-type plan, embracing a bill to create a Medicaid-based public health-care option on state insurance marketplaces. She also signed onto a bill to lower the Medicare eligibility age to 50. She has specific plans for  health care (public option),  prescription drug, addiction,  mental health and more. 

Michael Bloomberg unveiled a health plan  that would create a government-run health insurance public option plan but not provide universal guaranteed coverage. He believes smaller changes can make medical care more affordable while preserving the private insurance more than 150 million Americans receive through their employers. His plan focuses focuses on building on the policies in the Affordable Care Act

Tom Steyer  supports a universal health care system, including a strong public option that aggressively competes with the private insurance marketplace, drives down costs, and expands coverage.” His   Affordable Health Care For All includes enacting antitrust regulations for the health care industry and limiting prescription pricing.

Tulis Gabbard co-sponsed the Medicare for All Act. “I support a single-payer system that will allow individuals to access private insurance if they choose,” A single-payer system like Medicare-for-all would effectively eliminate private insurance. Her  Health Care For All plan guarantees every American will get the health care they need.

These candidates have dropped out: 
Andrew Yang’s plan to work with Congress to create a Medicare For All system including holistic healthcare.
Cory Booker’s fight for Medicare For All, lowering prescription prices, combating opiod addiction and more.
Kamala Harris’ Medicare For All plan  (public option) and fair prescription drug prices

How do Americans Feel About Health Care Reform?

Six in ten Americans believe that it is the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage. American opinions about a single payer government run health care program have evolved over time. At the beginning of 2019 only one in 10 registered voters wanted the equivalent of Medicare For All if it meant abolishing private health insurance plans.

As time went on support grew for a Medicare For All plan if preferred providers stayed in the program.  Recent polls are showing up to 70% supporting the Medicare for All proposal. There’s a sea change in the way doctors, themselves, are talking about health care reform. From 2008 to 2017, the share of physicians who favor single-payer health care increased from 42% to 56%.

But which version of Medicare For All? At this point public opinion seems to be split between expansive changes, like Sanders and Warren proposals, or a less sweeping overhaul that would simply move the country closer to universal coverage, such as those from Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg.  A final third support Republican plan which would reduce federal involvement in the health system and give more money and autonomy to states.

In a survey released on Oct 19, the Kaiser Family foundation found that “more Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents would prefer voting for a candidate who wants to build on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in order to expand coverage and reduce costs…..In addition they found broad support for proposals that expand the role of public programs like Medicare and Medicaid as well as a government-administered public option.”



  • Watch tomorrow’s debate in Georgia, Wednesday Nov 20
  • Link to the presidential candidate sites above and learn more about those you are leaning toward.
  • Attend Presidential candidates and your own Congressional member rallies and public events. Each presidential candidate will list activities and dates under the “Events” link. Your Congressional member will post town hall meetings and fundraising events. Ask questions.
  • Volunteer and Donate to Presidential primary and Congressional candidates. Your Democratic House Representatives are already beginning their campaigns for re-election in 2020, along with 12 Democratic Senators.
  • Follow the candidate(s) on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
  • Research the remaining 9 candidates who are still running, (as of Nov 18), and have their own policy proposals out there.  Just recently, former Massachusetts Governor and Bain Capital partner Deval Patrick has announced his candidacy.  In addition, billionaire former mayor Michael Bloomberg is close to announcing his decision to run. The remaining 7 Democratic candidates include Julian Castro, Steve Bullock, Michael Bennet, Marianne Williamson, John Delaney, Joe Sestak, and Wayne Messam
  • Volunteer to Get Out The Vote for 2020 with organizations such as

My next post: Climate Change, COP25 and The Green New Deal

Posted in Amy Klobucher, Andrew Yang, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Health Care, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Medicare for All, Michael Bloomberg, Peter Buttigieg, presidential candidates, Tom Steyer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Health Care & Medicare For All

November 2019: Where We Are, The Presidential Primaries, and The Future

It is you, the individual citizen, who stays informed, attends meetings, makes financial contributions, votes, canvasses, demonstrates, phone banks, volunteers and does all you can to make a difference. And it does. On the local, state and national level.

This political blog was created as a civic response to the current presidential administration’s policies and legislation. Past posts included information and actions in preparation for the 2018 Congressional, State and Local elections. Today we start to prepare for the 2020 Presidential and Congressional elections.

The House of Representatives

The past
For Democrats to flip the House, they needed to gain 23 seats in 2018.  Any fewer and Republicans would maintain control.

2018 Midterm Election Results: Democrats gained 41 seats and won control of the House.

The present
There are 234 Democrats, 197 Republicans and 1 Independent in the House of Representatives. The Democrats hold the majority. In addition, there are 3 vacancies as of September 30 2019: Representative Duffy (R) resigned, Representative Chris Collins (R) resigned and Representative Cummings (D) passed away. A total of 435 seats.

The future
The 2020 House Race: All 435 U.S. House seats will be up for election.

The Senate

The past
For Democrats to flip the Senate, they needed to gain two seats. Any fewer and Republicans would maintain control.

2018 Midterm Election Results: Five incumbents—four Democrats and one Republican—lost their seats in 2018. The Republican Party expanded their majority by two and controlled 53 seats in the chamber. Democrats controlled 45 seats, and Independents in Maine and Vermont held two seats.

The present
There are 45 Democrats, 53 Republicans and 2 Independents (both caucus with the Democrats) for a total of 100 seats

The future
The 2020 Senate Race: Republicans will be defending 23 seats (including the special elections in Arizona and Georgia), while the Democratic Party will be defending 12 seats.

The 2020 Democratic Presidential Primaries

“……may (God’s) care still be extended to the United States; that the virtue and happiness of the People, may be preserved; and that the Government, which they have instituted, for the protection of their liberties, may be perpetual.”
President George Washington….8th Address to Congress 1796

Today, 223 years later, this democracy and its promised liberties have never been so tested. We are in the midst of the most crowded Democratic candidates field in history.  How will you decide who is the best candidate to support?


Updated July 9: 

The primaries were rescheduled in some states once the pandemic began. Updated information  on the dates they were originally scheduled for.

February 3

(There is a lot at stake in terms of momentum and attention from donors and the news media as these are the first votes cast.)

February 11

New Hampshire
(Don’t be surprised if only a few candidates are still standing after the votes are counted here)

February 22

(Another key early state with a high-turnout caucus, and the first one with a significant Hispanic population)

February 29

South Carolina
(This state will offer the first real indication of the candidates’ strengths
with black voters.)

March 3 Super Tuesday

(This day accounts for about 40 percent of total delegate allocation)
Alabama, American Samoa, Arkansas
(Because it has the largest delegate trove in the country, California is key )
Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina,
Oklahoma, Tennessee
(Texas has the second-largest delegate trove of the primary)
Utah*, Vermont*, Virginia, Democrats Abroad

March 10

(Midwestern powerhouses like Michigan and Ohio will test the candidates’ appeal among suburbanites, African-Americans and working-class white voters. If the race is not decided on Super Tuesday, this could be a line of demarcation.)
Mississipi, Missouri, North Dakota, Washington

March 14

Northern Marianas Islands

March 17

(If one candidate sweeps Arizona, Florida and Illinois, there will be immense pressure on the other candidates to exit the race.)
Florida, Illinois, Ohio

March 24

Georgia postponed its presidential primary until June 2.

March 29

Puerto Rico postponed its presidential primary until July 12. 

April 4

Alaska canceled in-person voting and extended its deadline for mail-in ballots until April 10.

  Wyoming canceled in-person caucuses, and extended its deadline for mail-in ballots until April 17 .

Hawaii canceled in-person voting, and extended its deadline for mail-in ballots until May 22. 

Louisiana postponed its primary until  July 11.

April 7

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday, April 6  that the governor could not postpone the state’s primary over concerns about the coronavirus. Consequently it remained as originally scheduled.

April 28

(This may be last big delegate day of the race. If one candidate dominates every state this late in the primary, party leaders will likely move to get behind that person and seek to bring the race to an end. )

Connecticut postponed its presidential primary until August 11.

Delaware postponed its presidential primary until  July 7. 

Maryland postponed its presidential primary until June 2.  Most voters must cast their ballot by mail.

Pennsylvania postponed its presidential primary until June 2.

Rhode Island postponed its presidential primary until June 2.

New York canceled its already-postponed presidential primary after the Democratic presidential race was settled, but a federal judge ordered that the election go forward on June 23. 


 Guam, Kansas, Nebraska,  Oregon remained as originally scheduled. 

Indiana postponed its presidential primary until June 2.

West Virginia postponed its presidential primary until June 9

Kentucky postponed its presidential primary until June 23

June 2

 DC, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico,  South Dakota, and Virgin Islands
remained as originally scheduled.

July 11 & 12

Louisiana and Puerto Rico (see above)

August 11

Connecticut (see above)

Democratic National Convention
August 17-20

Democratic officials postponed the convention, originally planned for mid-July.  It will still be held in Milwaukee, placing a spotlight on a key Midwestern battleground state.

Republican National Convention
August 24-27

The Republicans are scheduled to hold their convention in Charlotte, N.C. Mr. Trump will deliver his convention speech in Jacksonville, Fla., on Aug. 27.



  • Watch the debates

Primary Debates

The upcoming Democratic primary debate will be November 20 in Georgia. In order to qualify for this debate, candidates will need at least 165,000 donors (up from 130,000) and at least 3 percent support in four approved polls (up from 2 percent). Ten candidates;  Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Yang,  Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttegieg, Amy Klobucher , Joseph Biden, Cory Booker, Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer  have qualified before the Nov 13 deadline (as of November 11).

The December debate date will be December 19 and cohosted by Politico and PBS. To qualify for the Dec. 19 debate, White House hopefuls must meet 4 percent support in at least four approved polls. In addition, candidates must receive contributions from at least 200,000 unique donors.

  • Link to the presidential candidate sites above and learn more about those you are leaning toward.
  • Attend Presidential candidates and your own Congressional member rallies and public events. Each presidential candidate will list activities and dates under the “Events” link. Your Congressional member o will post town hall meetings and fundraising events.  Ask questions.
  • Volunteer and Donate to Presidential primary and Congressional candidates.  Your Democratic House Representatives  are already beginning their campaigns for re-election in 2020, along with 12 Democratic Senators.
  • Follow the candidate(s) on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
  • Become informed about policy issues such as Health Care & Medicare For All, the Climate Crisis & The Green Deal,  Closing the Wealth Gap, Criminal Justice Reform, Immigration,  Foreign Policy, College Debt, Guns, and Housing.  

It’s important to understand the complexity and details of each  proposal before deciding whether you’re for, against, or would support a modified version of.  Future posts will focus on these issues and the candidates’ positions.  

Upcoming Post

Health Care & Medicare For All





Posted in 2020 Democratic Primaries, Debates, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Comments Off on November 2019: Where We Are, The Presidential Primaries, and The Future

November 2018: The Future Of This Republic

We are now on the eve of the 2018 Midterm Elections, the culmination of endless months, weeks and hours of volunteering, canvassing, phone banking and donations. Many motivated by the spirit expressed within:

Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.         Thurgood Marshall

More Americans are taking advantage of absentee and early voting this year. In 22 states and Washington, D.C., advance vote counts have already surpassed those of the last midterm election.  Others are expecting long lines at polling sites this Tuesday November 6. Some states permit voters who are in line at closing time to cast a ballot, but that provision can vary by jurisdiction.

The House of Representatives

Democrats must net a 23-seat gain in order to take power in the House, and there are now 17 districts currently held by Republicans that are leaning slightly or strongly toward Democratic candidates.  

There are an additional 56 Republican-held seats that are vulnerable, rated either as toss-ups or as leaning slightly to the right. Republicans must win nearly 90 percent of those seats to keep control. Republicans could still keep control of the House by a slim margin, but they would have to win the overwhelming majority of competitive races in order to hang on.

Flipping The House includes an up-to-date analysis of each House race by the Cook Political Report and Nat Silver’s Five Thirty Eight. 

The Senate 

The GOP is heavily favored to hold or boost its 51-49 advantage in the Senate. Polling suggests Republicans have an edge to flip at least one Democratic seat, while the GOP either has a lead or is locked in tight races for all of the seats it will defend on Tuesday.

The Battle For The Senate provides up-to-date analysis of each Senate race by the Cook Political Report and University of Virginia’s Sabato’s Crystal Ball. 

Gubernatorial and State Legislature Races

There are 36 gubernatorial races this year. Up to 29 of the governors elected this year will have the power to veto the maps that local legislatures draw after the 2020 Census. These maps could impact the eventual makeup of the House of Representatives and, in turn, which bills become laws. Republicans currently occupy the governors’ mansions in more than 30 states.  

The outcome of 6,069 state legislative races will determine political control in the states. Voters will also decide on over 160 statewide ballot measures that will cover everything including finances, health, the environment and hot button issues.

This Land Is Your Land offers an  up-to-date analysis of each Governor race by the Cook Political Report and University of Virginia’s Sabato’s Crystal Ball. New York, My Hometown’s State Elections provides an analysis of New York’s issues and analysis of crucial state senate races.

The Nation In Brief

Last, but not least, A State by State Sizzling Hot Season, offers a snapshot of all competitive battlegrounds across the 50 states without poll analysis.

America votes on Tuesday, Nov 6.


The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.
                                                                             Dwight D Eisenhower

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on November 2018: The Future Of This Republic