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Study Shows High Death Disparity Among Homeless

By Healthy Living News

A new study shows that homeless individuals, especially those suffering from mental illness or substance abuse, have a death rate significantly higher and a life expectancy that is significantly shorter than those with homes. The study, recently published in the journal The Lancet, collected data on people in homeless shelters using Denmark’s nationwide homeless registry. The data consisted of 32,711 homeless people, aged 16 years and up, who where homeless between 1999 and 2009.

To determine the rate of death and life expectancy, researchers separated the homeless registry data into several groups. These included those with psychiatric disorders, those with a history of substance abuse, those with a dual diagnosis of both, and those who had no such diagnosis.

Researchers then compared their rate of death, or mortality, to that of the general population. They discovered that for those homeless, the rate of death was 6.7 times higher for women and 5.6 times higher for men. The group with substance abuse disorders had the highest mortality of any of the homeless groups, followed by those with a dual diagnosis. Information on the causes of death, when available, showed that suicide and violence accounted for more than a quarter of them.

”There was a larger disparity in life expectancy between the homeless shelter population and the general population than previous studies have found,” said study author, Dr. Sandra Nielsen.

The study also revealed that homelessness can cut short lives for those who are still young. For those homeless, age 15-24 years, their estimated life expectancy was, respectively, 21 and 17 years lower than men and women in the general population.

Regardless of age, however, Dr. Nielsen said that the death disparity confirms that homeless people living in shelters constitute a high-risk, marginalized population whose physical and mental health needs require more attention.

In an accompanying commentary in The Lancet, Professor John Geddes and Dr. Seena Fazel of Oxford University wrote that more work needs to be done to end death disparities among the homeless. That includes improved integrated psychiatric and substance abuse treatment to better address the problem.

Another concern regarding the study was its country of origin. Denmark provides free health care and a substantial social-service and housing support infrastructure. These should be helping alleviate death disparities among the homeless.

The Lancet commentary also pointed out potential cross-border differences in data. 
”International comparison of studies of homelessness,” it noted…”is made harder by the different social and housing systems between developing and more developed countries, and between small well-organized and highly socially integrated Nordic countries and larger more heterogeneous countries such as the USA.”

The commentary added that the situation is likely to be worse in countries with less well-organized welfare systems.

And fixing the death disparity problem for the homeless is now even a more daunting challenge. The crash in housing markets and the recent recession has increased homelessness in the U.S. and Europe, all while social services are being cut due to severe government financial restrictions.


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Pain + Suffering= $$$ For Wells Fargo

Pain + Suffering= $$$ For Wells Fargo
Protests Launch National Prison Industry Divestment Campaign
By Lydia Heather Blumberg

On July 1st, protesters in community and labor groups nationwide will take to the streets in protest of the private prison industry’s business model of lobbying for harsher incarceration policies for drug users, immigrants, and other marginalized populations who are often scapegoated as being the origin of our nation’s problems. These policies have devastated state and federal budgets worldwide, forcing a slash and burn of the social safety nets that the poor and middle classes depend upon for survival. Protesters will call on Wells Fargo Bank to divest its holdings in GEO Group (one of the two largest private prison companies in the US that runs immigrant detention centers and Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp for the federal government) and CCA, Corrections Corporation of America. In addition, protesters will demand that Wells Fargo put a moratorium on foreclosures and stop the criminal lending practices targeting communities of color, as well as pay its fair share of local, state, and federal taxes.

Immigrant detention centers cost taxpayers over $10 billion a year while making big money for hedge fund managers and shareholders like Wells Fargo. Prison stock held by Wells Fargo alone is currently valued at over $88 million. The private prison industry and its investors have a long and shameful record of targeting and incarcerating communities of color by lobbying for legislation to enact “three strikes” laws, criminalize undocumented immigrants (through laws like SB1070 in Arizona and a similar bill in Georgia, home of the largest private prison in the nation), and increase sentencing standards for even the most minor drug offenses. Political candidates financed by these groups often run on a “tough on crime” platform. With CCA and GEO Group making $200 a night per immigrant detained, it all adds up to a profit of over $5 billion a year made just by these two companies–at the expense of taxpayers (and the destruction of the lives of thousands of families of those incarcerated.)

Even San Francisco has fallen prey to the financial manipulation of Wells Fargo and its policies of backing political campaigns that increase incarceration. Last August, The Bay Citizen reported that one of the largest contributions to the so-called “Civil Sidewalks” campaign was made by former Wells Fargo CEO and board chairman, Richard M. Kovacevich. The Civil Sidewalks campaign, backed by banks and big business, put Prop L on last year’s San Francisco ballot, which criminalized people for the simple act of sitting on a sidewalk.

The July 1st action is just one event in a long-term campaign for national prison industry divestment. The protest, sponsored by Communities United Against Violence, among other organizations, will feature a rally and street theater beginning at 11am in front of the Wells Fargo Bank at 464 California Street. Several similar-themed direct actions have happened over the past few months, including a protest in May at a Wells Fargo shareholders’ meeting and a Communities Rising rally on June 17th in front of City Hall. The rally on June 17 was sponsored by CURB (Californians United for a Responsible Budget) and the SF Drug Users’ Union to commemorate 40 years of Drug War failure, calling for an end to the failed War on Drugs and national divestment from the Prison Industrial Complex in order to fund education and health care.

Can’t make it to a rally? Slactivists far and wide can make their voices heard by moving their money from Wells Fargo accounts to local credit unions which invest in our communities. Want to learn more? Surf to immigrantsforsale.org and justicepolicy.org.

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Causa Justa Call to Action: Protests for Prison-Industry Divestment

Causa Justa::Just Cause
Solidarity Statement and call to action!
May 12, 2011: Protests Launch National Prison Industry Divestment Campaign

Today we stand in solidarity with community and labor groups that are taking to the streets to protest the private prison industry’s business model of pushing for harsher immigrant incarceration policies. Such policies drive up prison populations and put added strains on state and federal budgets.

On May 3rd, CJJC along with ACCE, SEIU, PICO and many more ally organizations took to the streets for the big Wells Fargo Shareholder meeting protest. We had a delegation of people inside and hundreds outside demanding that Wells Fargo puts a moratorium on foreclosures, divests from the prison industry and stops the criminal lending practices targeting communities of color as well as pay its fair share of local, state and federal taxes.

Today in LA groups are demanding that Wells Fargo divest its holdings in the GEO Group, a private prison company that runs immigrant detention centers and the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp for the U.S. government.

Detentions of immigrants are set to cost taxpayers over $10 billion a year while profiting Manhattan-based hedge fund managers and other finance industry magnates like Wells Fargo who have significant investments in the private prison industry. Wells Fargo’s prison stock is valued at $88 million.

The private prison industry, in league with major investors, is working to increase the criminalization of our communities to further overpopulate our prisons. This industry has a long and shameful record of targeting and incarcerating African American communities, and is now seeking further profit through lobbying efforts to accelerate the detention of immigrants through laws such as SB 1070 in Arizona and its copycat bill in Georgia.

“Now they’re conspiring to get states to put more people in jail for longer periods of time, costing tax-payers millions for no justifiable reason which undermines the credibility of our justice system. We can’t let this happen,” said Peter Cervantes-Gautschi of Enlace, an alliance of low-wage labor groups in the U.S. and Mexico.
This group, in partnership with community groups and unions across the US, is calling on all public and private institutions to divest their holdings in Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group, America’s largest private prison corporations who profited a combined $3 billion.

The major investors in the private prison industry include Pershing Square Capital Management, Wellington Management Company, Wells Fargo Bank, General Electric and others. The protests coincide with the annual shareholders meeting of CCA in Nashville, TN where one of the protests will be taking place that day.

This is the first action and the beginning of the National Prison Industry Divestment Campaign. We are calling on all people of conscience to divest from Wells Fargo and demand that they stop profiteering off the suffering of our communities. Join us today and in all future actions that will be occurring all over the country.

Look for information for another action coming up on July 3rd.

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40 Years of Drug War Failure

Groups March and Rally Across the State to End Mass Incarceration and 40-Year “War On Drugs”

Contact: Emily Harris
Statewide Coordinator, Californians United for a Responsible Budget
Cell: 510-435-1176

Beginning on Friday June 17th, the 40th anniversary of the “war on drugs,” hundreds will come together to hold “Communities Rising” actions and rallies in communities across California. Over 40 organizations working with the Californians United for a Responsible Budget, or “CURB,” alliance will send a strong message from different parts of the state to Governor Brown and the state legislature, calling for the State to take active steps to end its participation in the 40-year-old “war on drugs”, and to prioritize vital social services over prison spending.

“Spending on prisons has grown from five percent to ten percent of our General Fund spending, doubling in the past decade,” said Lisa Marie Alatorre of Critical Resistance, a CURB member organization. “Locking up too many people for too long does not contribute to public safety and is draining essential resources from education and health care – programs that make a real difference to Californians.”  California remains billions of dollars in debt.

In response to the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a lower court rulings in Brown v. Plata, California has been ordered to reduce its lethally crowded prison system in the next two years. The Governor’s plan is to shift tens of thousands of prisoners to county jails, building tens of thousands more jail cells and thousands more high-security prison cells.  “It looks like Governor Brown wants to do nothing but repeat the mistakes of the last 30 years,” said Debbie Reyes of California Prison Moratorium Project, another CURB member organization. “We built 23 massive prisons and that didn’t solve overcrowding. Now he wants to extend that failed effort by expanding county jail systems. Like the Supreme Court said, you can’t build your way out of this problem.”

Organizations and residents across the state are frustrated by the impacts of the State’s economic and social priorities.  “For years we’ve been cutting back on state programs that save lives and build decent futures for the next generation,” said Amanda Vela of Madera Citizens for Better Community and Schools, “Now Gov. Brown is asking voters to raise state revenues to pay for more jail cells? We have to stop the cuts and re-channel funds away from prisons and jails and back into programs that make a difference for us and our kids.”

The various rallies, marches, speak-outs, and other actions across the state fall on the forty year anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s declaration of a “war on drugs”, a policy that many experts have shown to wreak havoc in low income communities and communities of color. “The Plata decision is a real opportunity for our state to reverse decades of racist ‘tough-on-crime’ policies,” says Rodrigo “Froggy” Vasquez of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. “We are tired of being politically ignored. We need leadership in Sacramento with the guts to get smart, end the war on drugs, and decriminalize drug possession.”

Texas, New York, and Michigan, among other states have successfully reduced their prison budgets and populations while increasing public safety. CURB argues that California could do the same by implementing parole and sentencing reforms such as amending or repealing three strikes laws.

Communities Rising Actions are planned for June 17th and 18th in cities across California, including Los Angeles, Fresno, Bakersfield, Madera, and Visalia. San Francisco’s action will kick off with a press conference on June 17th at noon on the steps of City Hall, followed by a march led by the Brass Liberation Orchestra. Activities will include puppets and other art, as well as a community speak out and a free delicious lunch served by Food Not Bombs.

Sponsoring organizations across the State include: A New Path – LA, A New Way of Life, All of Us or None, American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, American Friends Service Committee, Berkeley Needle Exchange Emergency Distribution, Blacksmith Records Inc., California Coalition for Women Prisoners, California Partnership, California Prison Moratorium Project, Californians United for a Responsible Budget, Center for Non-Violence, Community Justice Network for Youth, Cop Watch – LA, Critical Resistance, Dolores Huerta Foundation, Drug Policy Alliance, Enlace, Families to Amend California’s Three Strikes, Fresno Brown Berets, Harm Reduction Coalition, Hip Hop Not Bombs, Homies Unidos, Justice by Uniting Creative Energy, Justice Now, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Leadership through Empowerment Action and Dialogue, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Madera Citizens for Better Community and Schools, October 22nd Coalition – LA, Oasis Clinic, Pico Youth and Family Center, SF Drug Users Union, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, TGI-Justice Project, These Cuts Wont’ Heal, United for Drug Policy Reform and Youth Justice Coalition.

For more information about actions, prisons, the budget crisis and realignment, surf to http://www.curbprisonspending.org

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Vision for an Equitable Budget

The City of San Francisco released a five-year budget plan as now required by voters. It was more than a bit disturbing. Here I was thinking that the recession is over, city coffers would become flush again. The heart break and travesty our community has endured with multiple years of budget blood spatter, the closure of so many shelters, drop-in centers, treatment programs, cuts to disability, In-Home-Support Services, supportive housing has certainly caused a whole lot of pain. Literally. Whether it is longer waits for a disabled elder to get off the streets, or disease caused by lack of access to water, or back pains from sleeping on the cold concrete. Painful as in losing an after school program or a childcare slot for your child while you work, or having to leave your job to care for a parent who has Alzheimer’s and whose day treatment program shut down. It is pain. Painful as in losing your good city job.

What makes it most painful is that it never had to be this way. There are a myriad of ways the budget could be solved. At the state level, many of us remember when Proposition 13 passed – sports almost immediately disappeared from public schools. It has plagued the state ever since, as the major beneficiary has not been little old ladies as advertised by the tax Jarvis creeps, but corporations with large properties – properties that get taxed on the original value even after they merge with other large companies.

Here we have two plans we are presenting – one to solve the state budget crisis and the other to solve the local budget problem.

The State Budget Crisis:
Presented by California Tax Reform Association

The following summarizes 10 measures, which will spread the burden in a way, which arguably have a minimal impact on economic growth and recovery. These include eliminating new loopholes recently opened, taxing untaxed windfalls, ending tax breaks with no benefits, imposing taxes on the very rich, and increasing sin taxes. In addition, without adding to the current burden of taxes for the general public, the state could maintain some part of the previous increases for broader-based taxes, such as keeping the vehicle license fee increase and lowering the sales tax only 1⁄2 cent, rather than the expected 1 cent. Taken together, these continued taxes could avoid cuts, which are damaging to the recovery and to our future, and arguably would have little negative impact on economic recovery. Note: The revenues are not the same in every year, since some do not take effect until fiscal year 2011-12. The Legislative Analyst’s Office calls for a long-term workout, and these revenues would provide that. For a more complete explanation of tax options, surf to http://caltaxreform.org/?p=101.


1. Enact an Oil Severance Tax at 9.9% ($1.2 billion)
California is the only state, and the only place in the world, that does not tax oil production. 9.9% is the rate proposed by Governor Schwarzenegger. Contrary to oil industry claims, California has the lowest tax on oil in the nation—about 60 cents per barrel—when other states are at $6-$7 per barrel or more at current prices. This tax will have no effect on the price of gasoline or on oil production.
2. Eliminate Secret Corporate Tax Loopholes ($1.7 -2 billion)
Enacted in Recent Budget Agreements The Legislature passed new permanent corporate loopholes in secret—loss carry-backs, credit sharing, and an elective single-sales factor, that will all take effect in 2011. These are de-stabilizing and costly, and repealing them now would not increase any taxes. They are also egregious, giving multinational corporations the ability to manipulate the system to lower their tax burden.
3. Broaden Sales Tax Base to Include Untaxed Commodities ($2 billion or more)
There is virtually unanimous agreement that our sales tax base is too narrow. The Governor has supported broadening it, and the first steps should include taxes on entertainment, admissions, parking, golf and skiing, hotels (i.e., the temporary rental of space), and digital products—all of which are commodities easily subject to tax and would result in $2 billion. Beyond that, sales taxes on telecommunications, cable and satellite would generate an additional $2 billion. And beyond those, there are many services, which arguably should be taxed, for billions more.
4. Reinstate Top Income Tax Brackets to 11% ($4 billion)
The top 1% of earners earns an unprecedented 25% of income in California. While that may decrease due to the recession, the recovery of the stock market means capital gains for the wealthy are likely to recover, while ordinary incomes in a slow economy are not. State income taxes have no impact on the location of the wealthy or investment in California, and this revenue will grow faster than economic recovery.
5. Close Corporate Property Tax Loopholes ($2 billion)
Statutory definitions of change of ownership are thoroughly loophole-ridden. CTRA research has identified numerous cases where properties have not been reassessed at market value following a change in ownership. We estimate that tightening corporate property tax loopholes would raise $2 billion. The Legislature can act by statute to close this loophole.
Maintain Vehicle License Fee (VLF) at 1% ($1.3 billion)
The VLF is supposed to be an in-lieu property tax, but was cut from 2% to .6%, then raised temporarily to the current rate of 1.15%. A long-term resolution of this issue would put the VLF at the Proposition 13 rate, 1%, beginning in FY 2011-12.

7. Close Useless Corporate Tax Loopholes ($1 billion)
Enterprise zones have been demonstrated to have no impact on jobs ($500 million). Avoidance of capital gains on commercial property sales—so-called like-kind exchanges—are driven by federal, not state considerations ($350 million). Placing offshore tax havens in the water’s edge stops blatant tax manipulation ($150 million). Impact on economic decisions: zero.
8. Increase Tobacco and Alcohol Taxes ($2.4 billion)
Taxing products with negative impacts on society has positive effects. Enacting a tax at 10 cents per alcoholic drink would generate $1.4 billion. Proposals to increase tobacco taxes have been estimated to generate $1 billion.
9. Improve Tax Collections ($1.5 billion initially, less ongoing)
Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation which would have provided an initial $1.5 in improvements in collections, including withholding on independent contractors, tightening nexus (Amazon issue), and proposing a bank records match. That amount would fall as others, above, phase up.
10. Lower Current Sales Tax by 1⁄2 Cent ($2.5 billion)
The temporary 1-cent sales tax increase will expire July 2011. Extending—but lowering—the sales tax to 1⁄2 cent would grow revenues to $3 billion, particularly with a broader base. This could phase down by 1⁄4 cent/year as the state’s fiscal condition recovers. Many of these tax changes would have little or no negative economic impact, particularly when contrasted to a state unable to finance infrastructure, that allows its higher education system and schools to deteriorate, that forces cutbacks in local government, and that shreds its safety net for its poorest citizens.

San Francisco’s Budget Crisis
The popular rhetoric is that the pensions are bankrupting the city – the reality is that the city is paying more into the pensions because the banks screwed the working man – and the pensions stopped making money. Nonetheless the workers are giving back year after year, and the poorest of the poor are paying with their lives. Isn’t it time for everyone to share the pain?

In the City’s five year budget plan, by year 2015/16, they are planning on bringing in $100 million in unidentified additional revenue – but saving twice that, $200 million, on employment and pension costs. While it is difficult to imagine what else they would cut – the deficit, and the ensuing cuts to social services, don’t get any better over the next five years. For example, public documents demonstrate that public health has cut $33 million from health care over the past four years, and $32 million from mental health, substance abuse and homeless programs. We have lost 1/3 of our shelter beds and over ½ of our resource centers. The savings through budget cuts to city services range each year from $63 million to $87 million over the next five years according to the plan – for a total of $311 million in savings from reductions over the five year period. Ouch!

Platform For An Equitable City Budget

I.  Steps to Take Right Now:

~Change of Ownership- Collection on Existing Mergers/Acquisitions
Under Proposition 13, when a property changes hands, the property is reassessed and the taxes are based on the new purchase price. In addition, when property changes hands, the city collects a property transfer tax from the buyer – it is just tacked onto the purchase prices and folded into the loan. SEIU and the Revenue Coalition has been working to make sure that recent mergers have property reassessed – so far, we have forwarded names to the Assessors office that have led to new revenue for the city. These have included the JP Morgan/Chase merger, and the Blackton purchase of Hilton. Most recently, the Assessor has gotten lost revenue back from Jiffy Lube change of ownership as well. This work must continue as there are at least 25 more properties where change of ownership has occurred from which the city did not reassess or get transfer tax.

To stop this tax evasion from occurring in the future, we are recommending that a penalty be applied to companies who fail to report on a change of ownership or merge. This could be passed by legislation.

~Foreclosure Registry
Lots of folks don’t think foreclosures are a big problem in San Francisco. They are wrong, we have had a couple thousand and many are long time homeowners who put out seconds on their homes. Once the home is foreclosed upon, the deed passes to the bank. Unfortunately foreclosures are not being registered with the city, and we have no means to collect both the transfer tax and to reassess the property value.

One idea is to have a registry. Banks would have to register on every foreclosure and they would have to register again when the deed is passed onto another bank, and another. This will allow us to collect reassessed property taxes and transfer taxes EACH time the property changed hands. We also could include in this legislation rights for property owners who are losing their homes – rights that could protect them from the foreclosure.

~Property Tax Appeal Reform
Big corporations have no reason not to appeal their property tax assessments – it only costs them $60! The city is losing right now over $20 million in appeals to lower taxes. Bank of America just requested $4 million on 555 California properties and 1 Market requested $8 million. Appeals are almost always granted at least in part.

Legislation could be passed to create criteria for appeals on commercial property, and the city could assert fines and penalties for frivolous appeals. This could save the City and County of San Francisco millions.

~ Blight Ordinance Lots of big property owners simply leave their properties vacant instead of reducing rents on commercial properties. The result is boarded up buildings and public safety issues. The City could expand the blight ordinance fines to include boarded up $1,000 a day. Here at the Coalition on Homelessness, we are aware of quite a few empty large apartment and residential hotels that are sitting vacant. The fines would generate revenue, and hopefully bring rents down.

II.  For November 2011
~ Vacancy Parcel Tax
Vacant lots are often the result of land speculation, and ironically cause decreased property values and other problems for neighborhoods. One way to bring in revenue and to address this situation is to have a parcel tax specific to vacant lots. South of Market Community Action Network is pushing this proposal for the South of Market area.

~ Merger Transfer Tax
As Proposition 13 doesn’t count change of ownership on mergers, so localities miss out on a whole lot of income from property reassessments and transfer taxes. Our above proposal of a fine on not registering mergers would go a long ways in ensuring San Francisco gets all those transfer taxes, however a new idea is to pass a “merger” tax specific to mergers to capture some of that lost revenue. This could go on the November ballot and would not hurt everyday San Franciscans.

~Revenue Impact and Maximization Report
We need to know if San Francisco is collecting what is should be in revenue, and who is paying that bill. This initiative would force the city to look at disparities in tax burdens and where there is lost revenue. This could help all of us move forward for a more equitable budget.

III.  For November 2012
~Gross Receipts
San Francisco used to collect both gross receipts taxes (or profit tax) and payroll taxes. A lawsuit from 7 of the more powerful downtown interests changed that, and we ended up with a payroll tax. This is a regressive tax that hurts small business. If we changed to a gross receipts tax, that business that is pulling in the insane bucks would have to pay more. This would require voter approval and bring in an additional $30 to $60 million a year.


Well there you have it. We don’t present a federal plan – just slash the military budget bring every impoverished American out of poverty, into decent housing with full stomachs to boot.

We can move forward with the vision of a thriving and just San Francisco, where all our citizenry is treated fairly and basic human rights to healthcare, housing and freedom from hunger are embraced.

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Equal Access to Education for Homeless Children

It’s common, if infrequently articulated, knowledge that homelessness isn’t good for you. Homelessness is accompanied by a substantially higher mortality rate than has the population at large, difficulty obtaining employment, and enormous social stigma.

These negative impacts are compounded for homeless children, and their schooling suffers as a result. Researchers at Columbia University have found that homeless children are half again as likely as their housed peers to perform below grade level in reading and spelling, and more than twice as likely to perform poorly in math.

The causes are obvious: Without stable housing, homeless children are subject to far higher stress; they frequently do not have adequate space to do homework. They lack access to many of the resources employed by their housed peers.

With the current recession, this problem is expanding dramatically. Looking at the first year of the recession, the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) and First Focus published the report The Economic Crisis Hits Home: The Unfolding Increase in Child & Youth Homelessness. NAEHCY looked into homeless student populations at 1,716 school districts across the country. In the first semester of the 2008–2009 school year, nearly 20% of these districts had enrolled more homeless students than they had in the entirety of the 2007–2008 school year. A further 49% had seen at least half the prior year’s number of students within the first few months. Over 95% reported some increase. And 2008–2009 built on increases the prior school year.

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Why We Come Together

A story that organizers often hear when they fist start working to influence Federal politics involves a meeting of civil rights leaders with LBJ in the oval office. Those were the days before the Voting Rights Act of 1965; the civil rights leaders argued that this bill was a moral obligation—no matter the fierce of opposition of Southern Democrats. LBJ agreed—or so the story goes—and then said: “Make me do it. Go organize your communities so that I have no choice but to do what’s right.”

Replace Southern Democrats with Blue Dog Democrats and it’s the same situation we find ourselves in today: We almost assuredly do have a President who will support our agenda, but we also most assuredly know that we are the only ones who can make our agenda a reality in the financially corrupt and morally bankrupt corridors of Washington D.C.

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