Sunday, October 21, 2018

North Carolina poll worker removed amid allegations of intimidating black voters

Election officials in Bunn, North Carolina removed a poll worker from an early voting site Thursday following allegations that she intimidated several African American voters.

The poll worker has been assigned to office duty away from the voting site pending a meeting Tuesday, the NC State Board of Elections confirmed to The News & Observer on Saturday. On Tuesday, voters who filed complaints will speak with members of the Franklin County Board of Elections.

Members of an African American political action committee, Franklin County PAC, accused the poll worker of repeatedly asking about a half dozen African American voters voters to spell their names on Wednesday, the first day of early voting across the state.

The voter complaint comes amid a highly sensitive atmosphere with accusations of voter suppression, fraud and intimidation targeting people of color in a number of states including, Georgia, North Dakota and North Carolina.

The State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement said on Saturday that the agency has been in contact with Lisa Goswick, the Franklin County elections director.

The state agency released a statement to The News & Observer:

“The poll worker in question was taken off of poll duty and is working in the county office until the County Board can meet to discuss the incident. It is our understanding that the County Board will hear from the poll worker involved to get the other side of the story. The board also will hear from several eyewitnesses to the events. Both the State and County Board take these allegations seriously and will continue to gather facts.”

SOURCE: The News & Observer

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Netflix Cancels ‘Luke Cage’

Netflix has canceled “Luke Cage.”

News of the cancellation comes four months after the superhero action drama from Marvel Television debuted its second season on the streaming service — and just days after Netflix pulled the plug on another Marvel show, “Iron Fist.”

“Unfortunately, ‘Marvel’s Luke Cage’ will not return for a third season. Everyone at Marvel Television and Netflix is grateful to the dedicated showrunner, writers, cast and crew who brought Harlem’s Hero to life for the past two seasons, and to all the fans who have supported the series,” Netflix and Marvel Television said in a joint statement.

A source tells Variety that talks for a third season had taken place, but that Netflix ultimately decided that one would not be feasible.



The Black Economic Alliance PAC and Black Economic Alliance Fund announced today a $2.6 million campaign to mobilize Black voters in 15 key races ahead of next month’s midterm elections. The campaign seeks to increase Black voter turnout in support of candidates who are championing sustainable policies that will improve and enhance economic outcomes for the Black community in the U.S.
“For far too long, many of our nation’s elected officials have been crafting policies that contribute to the economic disenfranchisement of millions of Black people across the country,” said Gerald Adolph, board member of the Black Economic Alliance PAC. “By investing nearly $3 million in targeted gubernatorial, congressional and senate races, we can help ensure that candidates rallying for policies that lead to better employment opportunities and wages for Black Americans are victorious in November.”
“This midterm election is crucial for the economic well-being of many Black people and their families. That’s why we’ve extensively surveyed the national landscape to identify candidates who can help improve economic opportunities for the Black community,” continued Adolph. “As the election draws closer and fields shift, we will continue to invest in candidates and races that can make the ultimate difference in the lives of Black people.”
The Black Economic Alliance PAC and Black Economic Alliance Fund’s investments will support candidates in the following races: Florida Governor (Andrew Gillum); Florida U.S. Senate (Bill Nelson); FL-18 (Lauren Baer); FL-26 (Debbie Murcarsel-Powell); IL-14 (Lauren Underwood); Maryland Governor (Ben Jealous); Michigan Governor (Gretchen Whitmer); Mississippi U.S. Senate (Mike Epsy); NV-4 (Steven Horsford); NY-19 (Antonio Delgado), NC-13 (Kathy Manning); Ohio Governor (Richard Cordray); TX-7 (Lizzie Fletcher); TX-32 (Colin Allred); and VA-2 (Elaine Luria).
The investments will also help engage and mobilize Black voters through a variety of tactics, including polling, radio, and digital advertising, door-to-door canvassing, SMS texting, and direct mail.
In addition to their own direct electoral programming, the Black Economic Alliance PAC and Black Economic Alliance Fund is partnering with and supporting the ongoing voter mobilization efforts of the BlackPAC, BlackPAC-FL, The Collective, House Majority PAC, For Our Future, Power PAC Plus, and Maryland Together We Rise.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Kamala Harris Proposes Bold Relief for Families Amid Rising Costs of Living

Today, U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris announced the LIFT (Livable Incomes for Families Today) the Middle Class Act, legislation to provide middle class and working families with a tax credit of up to $6,000 a year—or up to $500 a month—to address the rising cost of living. According to one survey, 57% of Americans do not have enough cash to cover a $500 unexpected expense—meaning that a rent increase, medical bill, or child care expense could lead to a financial emergency.
“Americans are working harder than ever but stagnant wages mean they can’t keep up with cost of living increases,” said Senator Harris. “We should put money back into the pockets of American families to address rising costs of childcare, housing, tuition, and other expenses. Our tax code should reflect our values and instead of more tax breaks for the top 1% and corporations, we should be lifting up millions of American families.”
The LIFT the Middle Class Act would:
  • Provide up to $6,000 a year per family, in the form of a refundable tax credit.
    • Tax credit applies to households earning under $100,000 annually.
    • Tax credit provides up to $3,000 for single filers earning under $50,000 per year.
  • The tax cut can be accessed each month or at the end of the year.
    • Families can receive up to $500 per month.
    • Individuals can receive up to $250 per month.
  • The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimates the LIFT Act would impact one in every two workers and two out of every three children in America. In addition, ITEP estimates approximately 1 million Pell Grant eligible students would qualify for the credit of up to $3,000.
"Americans want a tax system that's fair, and they're tired of seeing benefits go to the wealthy and corporations while everyone else struggles to get ahead. We need real action to provide financial relief to the working and middle-class, which is exactly what this bill does.” –Natalie Foster, Co-chair of the Economic Security Project
“Despite the low unemployment rate, millions of Americans still face the spectre of economic insecurity. One surprise expense — one family or medical emergency — is often all it can take to knock a happy household into a financial tailspin. The LIFT the Middle Class Act goes a long way to rectifying this problem, ensuring the majority of working households, up and down the income ladder, have a steady stream of resources for transitioning through turbulent times. The Act builds on the growing mountain of evidence demonstrating cash — money — is often the single best tool policymakers have meeting the diverse and varied needs of households. This Act should be seen as a true tax cut for the average American, putting money into worker's pockets to spend on the things they need and care about, rather than what a distant bureaucracy thinks is best. As an economist, the Act also excites me as a tool for ensuring demand stays high in the face of another recession, thereby helping to buoy the economy as a whole.” – Sam Hammond, Director of Poverty and Welfare, Niskanen Center
“Instead of doubling down on lavish tax cuts for people who should be paying more--not less--in taxes, we should be advancing ideas like these to raise incomes for working people.” – Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Co-Executive Director, The Center on Poverty and Inequality, Georgetown Law
“The federal tax code is perhaps the most powerful tool of economic policymaking. It can impose economic burden and stimulate economic power. This remarkable bill recognizes the increasing economic challenges faced by ordinary Americans and uses the tax code to more fairly spread our nation’s prosperity to the families that need it most.  It marks a break from a tax code that spends one-third of $500+ billion dollars allocated for asset promotion through tax savings and subsidy on those earning over $1 million a year, while bottom 60 percent of earners receive less than five percent of this allocation. And certainly a break from the Republican passed Tax Cuts and (so-called) Jobs Act, which will spend close to $2 trillion dollars over the decade largely on corporate interests based on some fickle notion that it will “trickle down” to the rest of us.” – Darrick Hamilton, Professor of Economics and Urban Policy, New School of NY
“A decade later, American families have not recovered from the Great Recession and are in a state of emergency with respect to their economic health. The sharp decline in the unemployment rate masks the presence of stagnant wages and the fact that the typical middle income family cannot cover an additional $500 in expenses without taking on more debt. Senator Harris’ plan will bring much needed relief and support to the nation’s beleaguered middle income families.” – William Darity Jr., Ph.D., Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, Duke University
“This is a brilliant approach as we know that all essentials for living a standard quality of life are increasing while salaries are stagnated. Most middle-class families cannot afford to live where they work or the rising cost of education for their children so this welcome relief will help to ensure they can have a shot at realizing the American dream. Thank you, Senator Harris, for caring about working families.” – Alice Huffman, President, CA NAACP
Supporters of the LIFT the Middle Class Act include DEMOS, the Economic Security Project, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), SEIU International, Greenlining Institute, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas, Corcoran Mayor Raymond Lerma, Selma Mayor Jim Avalos, Madera Mayor Andy Medellin, Wasco Mayor Pro Tem Alex Garcia, Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, Monterey County Board of Supervisors Chairman Supervisor Luis Alejo, Selma Councilmember Yvette Montijo, Selma Councilmember Louis Franco, State Center Community College District Trustee Miguel Arias, State Center Community College District Trustee Eric Payne, California Budget & Policy Center, Center for Community Change, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, SEIU 2015, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), National Coalition of 100 Black Women Oakland Bay Area Chapter, Washington State Budget & Policy Center.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

3 Florida Ex-Cops Sentenced In Scheme To Frame Innocent Black People

Three former Florida police officers were sent to prison this week after pleading guilty to their roles in a departmentwide conspiracy to frame people of color for crimes they did not commit.

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced Guillermo Ravelo, a 37-year-old former officer with the Biscayne Park Police Department, to 27 months behind bars, the Miami Herald reported. On Wednesday, former officers Charlie Dayoub, 38, and Raul Fernandez, 62, were sentenced to one year apiece after pleading guilty to making false arrests.

Dayoub and Fernandez had cooperated with federal authorities in making a case against former police chief Raimundo Atesiano. The former officers told prosecutors that Atesiano’s goal was to clear cases involving property crimes in the small village north of Miami, even if it meant pinning crimes on innocent people.

“Atesiano was acting under color of law as chief of police when on three separate occasions he ordered officers under his command to falsely arrest and charge individuals with unsolved burglaries,” the U.S. Department of Justice said in September.

Read more: 3 Florida Ex-Cops Sentenced In Scheme To Frame Innocent Black People