Eutaw City Council moves forward, secures help with finances and operating water system

Tommy Johnson take oath of office as new Police Chief of Eutaw on Nov. 2, from Judge Josh Swords; his wife holds Bible.

By John Zippert,
Co-Publisher
The new Mayor and City Council of Eutaw met for its first regular meeting on November 10, 2020 at the Carver School Community Center gymnasium. The City Council held an Organizational Meeting on November 2nd after they were sworn-in to handle procedures and appointments.
Mayor Latasha Johnson said that she had spent most of the past week learning about the operation of the City’s water system and securing a needed permit from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, which had expired in the Spring of the year.
Mayor Johnson indicated that she had received help from Kathie Horne of Rural Water Management, a consulting firm, that the previous mayor had barred from working at the City Hall. “We worked most of last week and weekend with ADEM to secure the permit to operate our water system. We were about to incur fines of $10,000 a day for being out of compliance but we have resolved this issue,” said Johnson.
Johnson, City Clerk Kathy Bir and Assistant Clerk Joe Lee Powell have worked with Rural Water Management, the computer softwear company that handles the water billing and others to begin to unravel the billing and water loss problems of the Eutaw Water System.
Powell said, “By January 2021, we should have a pretty good handle on the water meters, billing and revenues; in November, we billed for over $90,000 water, sewer and garbage bills. We are also enforcing a “no cash policy” which means residents must pay their bills with checks or money orders.”
Johnson presented a proposal from former City Council member, attorney and financial management consultant to York and Livingston, Ralph Liverman, to provide financial management services to the Eutaw City Council including preparing a budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, monthly financial reports, a four-year capital and infrastructure improvement plan and budget. Council approved this agreement with Liverman, which will cost no more than $1,500 a month.
The Council appointed Mayor Latasha Johnson as “City Water Superintendent” for a compensation of $800 month in addition to her salary as Mayor. When asked, how the City was going to pay for all these expenses, Mayor Johnson said, “We have found and deposited over $30,000 in checks and cash this week, that was casually lying around in the office, in drawers and cabinets. Also, we are expecting better revenues from the Water Department, as we straighten it out and there are some positions we discontinued and will not fill, until we are sure we can afford them.”
In other actions, the Eutaw City Council:
• Received a proclamation from Alabama Governor Kay Ivy extending the state “Safer at Home” health order, which includes mandatory mask wearing, from November 8, 2020 to January 7, 2021. Councilwoman Tracie Hunter suggested that the City check with local businesses and urge them to enforce the mask mandate because some are not requiring mask wearing.
• Agreed to advertise available city positions for 3 weeks in both local newspapers. The positions include: Utility Clerk, Assistant Utility Clerk, UCR Clerk and Assistant Clerk, Water/Sewer Workers and Street/Garbage Workers.
• Approved a new City employee pay scale which will raise wages for most employees.
• Approved purchase of an overnight deposit bag for Merchants and Farmers Bank.
• Agreed to celebrate Veterans Day (November 11) as a paid holiday for city employees.
Chief of Police, Tommy Johnson introduced has staff of new officers and said all would wear unforms rather than other forms of dress.
Mayor Johnson asked Council members with resident’s complaints about streets, drainage and other concerns, to put them in writing and submit them, so she and the city staff can be sure to respond and correct any problems.
Councilwoman Jacqueline Stewart asked that the City Council members be informed between meetings of any new hires for city positions so that they would know before their constituents questioned them about new people.
Councilwoman Valerie Watkins asked for a training in Robert’s Rules of Order, so they would know the proper way to make motions and conduct city business.
Councilwoman Tracie Hunter asked the audience “To pray with us and for us and be patient as we learn how to be a good City Council.”

COVID-19

As of November 11, 2020 at 11:30 AM
(according to Alabama Political Reporter)
Alabama had 208,637 confirmed cases of coronavirus,
(10,860 more than last week) with 3,201 deaths (195 more than last week)
Greene County had 362 confirmed cases,
(8 more cases than last week),
with 17 deaths
Sumter Co. had 514 cases with 21 deaths
Hale Co. had 843 cases with 30 deaths

Commission selects Summerville as Chair, approves raises for general fund employees

Comissioner Roshanda Summerville selected as
Chairperson and Allen Turner as
Vice Chairperson

At its regular monthly meeting, held Nov. 9, 2020, the Greene County Commission selected Commissioner Roshanda Summerville as Chairperson for 2020-2021 fiscal year and Commissioner Allen Turner as Vice-Chairperson as part of its annual re-organizational process. The vote was three-two with only Commissioners Turner, Cockrell and Summerville voting for the nominees.
The organizational process also requires the commission to set its meeting schedule. The body unanimously agreed to keep the same schedule of second Monday of the month at 3:30 pm. The commission will continue to govern its operations under the Rules of Procedures of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA). The body also approved utilizing the Fund Balance Policy in accordance with GASB 54 (Governmental Accounting Standards).
The commission will also maintain the same signatories for its banking operations, including check signing.
The commission chairperson has the obligation of appointing commissioners to head various committees related to its operations. This duty was tabled. The commission approved a budget revision which includes a 3% salary increase for county employees under the General Fund.. This goes into effect with next pay period. At the commission’s work session the previous week it was noted that elected officials are not included in the 3% raise.
In his financial report for October, CFO Macaroy Underwood reported claims paid for the month totaled $530,381.46. This included payroll at $220,413.8; other accounts payable at $231,993.16; fiduciary at $77,974.50. Claims paid electronically totaled $68,609.93. Bank totals are as follows: Citizen Trust Bank – $3,893,208.48; Merchant & Farmers Bank – $2,664,274.46; total investments – $1,074,695.32. No report was available for Bank of New York.
In other business, the commission approved the proposal from Dynamic Civil Solution for surveying and engineering services for bridge replacement on County Road 60 over Little Creek.

Greenetrack, Inc. Charities distribute $71,000 for October, and $1,000 scholarship award

The non-profit charities operating electronic bingo at Greenetrack in Eutaw, AL, E-911 Communication Services, the Greene County Volunteer Fire Fighters Association, and Woman to Woman, Inc., provided charitable contributions, for the month of October, to a variety of local organizations, all benefitting Greene County residents.
A total of $71,100 dollars was divided and given to the following charities:
Greene County Board of Education ($13,500); Greene County Hospital ($7,500); Greene County Commission ($24,000); City of Eutaw ($4,500); City of Union ($3,000); City of Boligee ($3,000); City of Forkland ($3,000); and Greene County Ambulance Service ($8,000).
Woman To Woman, Inc. distributed the Greenetrack $1,000 scholarship to Tyleshia Porter, a 2020 graduate of Greene County High School.
The following non-profit groups received $300: Greene County Nursing Home, SCORE, Greene County Golf Course, James C. Poole Memorial Library, Greene County Foster & Adoptive Parents Association, PARA, Greene County Housing Authority Youth Involvement, Children’s Policy Council, Reach, Greene County DHR, Greene County Volunteer Fire Fighters Association, and the Society of Folk Arts and Culture.

Newswire: Democracy takes a beating in elections across the African continent

Democracy takes a beating in elections across the African continent


Nov. 1, 2020 (GIN) – Foul play may have been the winner in recent national elections in Tanzania, where the ruling party swept up an overwhelming majority of parliamentary seats and the leaders of both top opposition parties lost theirs.
 
Citing “seditious language”, the election commission suspended the campaign of opposition challenger Tundu Lissu. Heavily armed police blocked his entire convoy for hours as he headed to launch new offices earlier this month. In similar fashion, opposition candidate Seif Sharif Hamad was arrested on Oct. 29, soon after holding a press conference in Zanzibar.
 
Zitto Kabwe, a leader of Hamad’s ACT-Wazalendo party, complained on Twitter: “Police have arrested the whole ACT leadership and one of the leaders was beaten to near death. We are not sure if he is still alive and he is in custody.”
 
With almost all votes counted, President John Magufuli of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi party is claiming victory with 12.5 million out of 15 million votes cast while candidate Lissu of the Chadema party chalked up only 1.9 million.
 
“We’re calling for fresh elections and the disbandment of the electoral commissions that participated in the fraudulent elections”, Lissu told the Financial Times. Tanzania Elections Watch, a regional whistleblower, called the election “the most significant backsliding in Tanzania’s democratic credentials.”
 
Tanzanian lawyer and Magufuli critic Fatma Karume tweeted that Thursday was the president’s birthday. “He is going to get the present he has always wanted: No opposition in #Tanzania,” she said.
 
In another heavily contested election, Guinea’s electoral commission declared incumbent President Alpha Conde the winner of last week’s presidential election with 59 percent of the vote. Restrictions on internet and phone usage had sparked violence that led to the deaths of nearly two dozen people.
 
In Guinea’s neighbor to the south, President Alassane Ouattara has claimed victory despite weeks of street clashes over the president’s bid for a third term. Ouattara won all 20 of the districts announced by the electoral commission with results from the other 88 districts expected shortly.
 
Christopher Fomunyoh, a Cameroonian scholar with the Washington-based National Democratic Institute, opined grimly: “Democratic trends have reversed and there are now fewer democracies in Africa than 20 years ago… Many countries in Africa are falling short in their efforts to consolidate constitutional rule as to presidential term limits, laws on elections, civic space and political party activity.”
 

Newswire : Dave Roberts becomes second Black manager to win the World Series

Dave Roberts, Manager LA Dodgers

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the champions of baseball in large part because of a masterful managerial job by Dave Roberts, who becomes just the second African American skipper to win the World Series.
The Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 in Game 6 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, the first-time Major League Baseball held the Fall Classic at a neutral site.
“It feels great,” proclaimed Roberts, who joined Cito Gaston of the Toronto Blue Jays as the only Black managers to lead their team to a world championship. Gaston’s Blue Jays won back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993.
The title is the seventh in franchise history for the Dodgers and first since 1988. It marked the second celebration in less than a month for a Los Angeles professional sports team – the Lakers defeated the Miami Heat on October 11 to win the NBA championship.
The victory also comes 33 years after then-Dodgers General Manager Al Campanis appeared in a controversial and racially-charged interview on ABC News’ “Nightline” with Ted Koppel.
During the mostly forgettable 1987 broadcast, Campanis infamously told a live audience why he believed African Americans couldn’t succeed in managing a Major League Baseball team.
“No, I don’t believe it’s prejudice,” Campanis blasted when Koppel asked the reason for the lack of African American managers in baseball. “I truly believe that they may not have some of the necessities to be, let’s say, a field manager, or perhaps a general manager.”
When Koppel responded by questioning whether Campanis believed that, the Dodgers’ boss didn’t relent. “Well, I don’t say that all of them, but they certainly are short. How many quarterbacks do you have? How many pitchers do you have that are black?” Campanis demanded.
To his credit, Koppel shot back: “I gotta tell you, that sounds like the same kind of garbage. That really sounds like garbage, if – if you’ll forgive me for saying so.”
Unrelenting, Campanis volleyed: “No, it’s not garbage, Mr. Koppel, because I played on a college team, and the center fielder was Black, and the backfield at NYU, with a fullback who was Black, never knew the difference, whether he was Black or white, we were teammates. So, it just might be – why are Black men, or Black people, not good swimmers? Because they don’t have the buoyancy.”
Roberts, like Gaston before him, proved his so-called buoyancy. With a deft-touch, Roberts guided the Dodgers from a 2-0 and 3-1 deficit in the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves.
Just 14 teams out of 89 in baseball history have come back to win a best-of-seven series after dropping three of the first four games.
Since 1992, 11 Black men have managed Major League Baseball teams, including Dusty Baker, who came out of retirement this year to manage the Houston Astros to the American League Championship Series.
Roberts’ success is already legendary. Since he took over the Dodgers in 2016, he’s guided the team to three National League Championships. Now, he’s delivered the ultimate prize, defeating the relentless and talented Rays in just six games.
Roberts has compiled an impressive 436-273 won-loss record for a Hall-of-Fame like .615 winning percentage.
After a COVID-shortened but challenging 60-game regular season and an extra playoff round that culminated into a world championship, Roberts said he’ll let it all sink in. “It means a lot for me personally, of course,” Roberts exclaimed as his players doused him and each other with champagne.
“But for the Dodgers organization, the franchise where they’ve always been forward-thinking and groundbreaking as far as race and color barriers,” Roberts continued.
“So, for the Dodgers and for me to be the manager of this ball club to bring a championship back to Los Angeles, I think it’s well beyond bigger than

Newswire : Police kill yet another Black man as people cast final votes Nov. 3

By Hazel Trice Edney

The 6100 block of Locust Street in west Philadelphia’s neighborhood where Walter Wallace was shot and killed by police Monday (photo by Kimberly Paynter, WHYY)


TriceEdneyWire.com) – As President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden campaign in key states in final days of the 2020 presidential race, yet another Black man was shot and killed by police Monday afternoon, Oct. 26.
The Philadelphia police shooting of 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr., a reportedly mentally ill man holding a knife as his mother tried to calm him down when the police arrived on the scene, is the latest of a string of police killings of Black people that had already risen as a major campaign issue. The family had reportedly called emergency for an ambulance for Wallace – not police.
In a video taken by a by-stander, Wallace appears to be agitatedly walking around and then toward two police officers who were screaming, “Put the knife down!” Wallace walked toward the police; then collapsed in a hail of bullets.
A woman can be heard wailing with shock and grief. A man can be heard saying, “They just killed him in front of me…Y’all ain’t have to give him that many shots.”
Protests broke out immediately as citizens ran toward the dying man and the police in shock and anger.
Wallace’s father, Walter Wallace Sr., in a CNN interview, pleaded for the violence to stop, saying “It will leave a bad scar on my son with all this looting and chaos…This is where we live, and it’s the only community resource we have, and if we take all the resource and burn it down, we don’t have anything.”
Local TV stations showed both looters and protesters in the streets daily. The Pennsylvania National Guard was called in by Gov. Tom Wolf as police continued to clash with protestors. Mayor Jim Kenney has promised a full investigation. “I have watched the video of this tragic incident,” Kenney said in a statement. “And it presents difficult questions that must be answered.”
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said there would be a release of more information in a few days. Outlaw said the officers who killed Wallace were not carrying stun guns. They have not explained why the police did not try to restrain the mentally ill man in another way.
Repeated police killings of Black people have already been a strong issue in the presidential campaign. The most recent controversial killings have been of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., Brianna Taylor in Louisville, Ken., and Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta.
“Our hearts are broken for the family of Walter Wallace Jr., and for all those suffering the emotional weight of learning about another Black life in America lost,” said a statement issued by Biden and vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris. “We cannot accept that in this country a mental health crisis ends in death. It makes the shock and grief and violence of yesterday’s shooting that much more painful, especially for a community that has already endured so much trauma. Walter Wallace’s life, like too many others’, was a Black life that mattered — to his mother, to his family, to his community, to all of us.”
Biden and Harris also walked the fine line of scolding violent and unlawful protestors.
“At the same time, no amount of anger at the very real injustices in our society excuses violence. Attacking police officers and vandalizing small businesses, which are already struggling during a pandemic, does not bend the moral arc of the universe closer to justice. It hurts our fellow citizens,” they said. “Looting is not a protest; it is a crime. It draws attention away from the real tragedy of a life cut short. As a nation, we are strong enough to both meet the challenges of real police reform, including implementing a national use of force standard, and to maintain peace and security in our communities. That must be our American mission. That is how we will deliver real justice. All Donald Trump does is fan the flames of division in our society. He is incapable of doing the real work to bring people together.”
A Trump Administration statement issued by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany leaned to the comfort of the police and blamed Democrats for the chaotic reactions.
“The riots in Philadelphia are the most recent consequence of the Liberal Democrats’ war against the police,” the White House statement said. “Law enforcement is an incredibly dangerous occupation, and thousands of officers have given their lives in the line of duty.  All lethal force incidents must be fully investigated.  The facts must be followed wherever they lead to ensure fair and just results.  In America, we resolve conflicts through the courts and the justice system.  We can never allow mob rule.  The Trump Administration stands proudly with law enforcement, and stands ready, upon request, to deploy any and all Federal resources to end these riots.”
Meanwhile, church organizations, civil rights groups and activists around the country have for months galvanized get out to vote efforts with a large focus on police reform because of the out of control police shootings, the Coronavirus pandemic, health care, economic justice and other issues of racial inequality.
The release also said that Bishop Barber is “among more than 1,000 clergy members, religious scholars and other faith-based advocates who signed a unique statement supporting a comprehensive path to a ‘fair and free election’ and urging leaders to accept the ‘legitimate election results’ regardless of the winner in November.”

Newswire: Kamala Harris: ‘Our very democracy was on the ballot’

By Sandy Fitzgerald, Associated Press

Vice-President elect, Kamala Harris


Kamala Harris, while introducing Joe Biden to make his victory speech as president elect of the United States, lauded American voters for delivering a “clear message” by choosing “hope and unity, decency, science, and yes, truth”  by choosing the former vice president as their choice for president of the United States 
“I know times have been challenging, especially the last several months,” the California Democrat told a wildly cheering crowd in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden’s home. “The grief, sorrow, and pain, the worries and the struggles, but we have also witnessed your courage, your resilience and the generosity of your spirit. For four years, you marched and organized for equality and justice, for our lives and for our planet and then you voted.”
Harris further told the audience that “our very democracy was on the ballot” in the election and the “very soul of America” was at stake, and the voters “ushered in a new day for America.”
Harris lauded Biden as a “man with a big heart who loves with abandon” including with his love for his wife, Jill, and for his family, Hunter and Ashley and his grandchildren.  “I first knew Joe as vice president,” she said. “I really got to know him as the father who loved Beau (Biden)”
She also lauded her husband and family, before moving on to speak about her own role in history as the first female vice president, not to mention the first Black and Asian-American to be elected. 
“This is for the women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality and liberty and justice for all. Including the Black women who are often, too often overlooked, all the women who have worked to secure and protect the right to vote for over a century, 100 years ago with the 19th amendment. Fifty-five years ago with the Voting Rights Act and now in 2020,” said Harris. 
“Tonight I reflect on their struggle, their determination, and the strength of their vision to see what can be unburdened by what has been, and I stand on their shoulders,” said Harris, praising Biden for his vision in breaking “one of the most substantial barriers that exist in our country and seek a woman as his vice president.”
She also promised that she will not be the last woman in the office, as “every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities and to the children of our country, regardless of your gender. Our country has sent you a clear message: Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourselves in a way that others may not simply because they’ve never seen it before. But know that we will applaud you every step of the way.”
Harris further promised that she will be an “loyal, honest, and prepared” vice president, like Biden was to President Barack Obama. “The road ahead will not be easy, but America is ready. And so are Joe and I,” said Harris.
Harris, at 56, is set to be sworn in not only as the first female vice president but the first Black and Indian-American vice president. But the second spot at the White House is a pinnacle for Harris, a former San Francisco district attorney and the first Black woman to serve as California’s attorney general, notes a New York Times profile of Harris. 
And when Harris was elected to the Senate in 2016, she was the second-ever Black woman in the chamber’s history. Her argumentative style quickly gained notice in the Senate, particularly after she fiercely grilled witnesses during committee testimony, including during the confirmation hearings for now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
After their exchanges, President Donald Trump labeled the California Democrat as being “extraordinarily nasty” to Kavanaugh and called the way she treated him a “horrible thing.”
Harris is the daughter of a Jamaican father, Donald Harris, an economist and Stanford University professor and an Indian mother, scientist Shyamala Gopalan, who died in 2009 of colon cancer. 
Harris’ parents divorced when she was seven years old. She also has a sister, Maya, and is married to a Jewish husband, Douglas Emhoff, who will become the first second gentleman. Her stepchildren have nicknamed her “Momala.” 
Harris attended an historically black college, Howard University, before becoming a prosecutor working on domestic violence and child exploitation cases. 
Her legal background as California’s attorney general has caused her political issues, including when she was running for president early in the 2020 race. However, Harris gained attention when, during an early debate, she attacked Biden’s Senate record on race. 
But since then, Harris has stressed that she does support Biden and his positions, and has come under several other attacks from Trump, who has ridiculed the pronunciation of her name. After she debated Vice President Mike Pence, Trump slammed her as a “monster.”
Harris joined Biden’s ticket after the former vice-president promised to pick a female running mate. Even that came under criticism from Trump, who expressed surprise that Biden would pick a running mate who had attacked him during their presidential debate. 

Newswire : Black and other voters of color restored democracy in America in 2020 Presidential Election

Biden and Harris

By Sunita Sohrabji and Pilar Marrero
Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from Ethnic Media Services
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – In a country that is polarized and hurt by Covid-19 and a divisive leadership, a massive turnout of voters resulted in a close election where Democrat Joe Biden was pushed across the finish line by large majorities of voters of color.
On Saturday, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were the projected winners of the 2020 elections, relegating Donald Trump to a one term, even as he refused to concede, and his lawyers tried legal maneuvers to argue electoral fraud.
The Democratic presidential ticket reached that goal mainly because communities of color rejected the Trump Administration by large margins, explained experts who discussed the numbers, the history, and the motivations of electoral choices by communities of color in the United States in a briefing with ethnic media.
Election eve surveys and exit polling confirmed that the majority of white voters voted for President Donald Trump, but that Asian Americans, Latinx, and Black voters turned out in record numbers to oust the incumbent, and to propel the first woman of color into the White House.
According to the American Election Eve Poll by Latino Decisions, 56% of whites voted for Trump. A CNN exit poll found a similar number, 57% of whites voting for the President.
But voters of color were a different story. According to the LD poll, 70% of Latinos, 89% of Blacks, 68% of Asians and 60% of American Indians voted for Biden.
“I want to thank people of color and communities of color for saving our democracy,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice at the Nov. 6 briefing organized by Ethnic Media Services. “Speaking as a white man, I come from a community that voted in the majority for Donald Trump. And if it were not for the African American, Latinx, and Asian American Pacific Islander Community, we would not be celebrating the victory that we’re celebrating today,” said Sharry.
It was a very close election, a cliffhanger that lasted from Tuesday November 3rd until Saturday morning, November 7th, when the official numbers made it clear that Biden-Harris had clinched the 270 electoral college votes needed.
That polarization and the states in which the Biden advantage played out made it clear that lopsided democratic votes by people of color had an outsize role in the results.
Stephen Nuño-Perez, a senior analyst at Latino Decisions, whose firm conducted an election eve poll of ethnic voters in key battleground states, said that “it’s extremely difficult to win an election when you have mobilized minorities and Latinos in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Albuquerque”. Latinx voters were critical in flipping Arizona blue, said Nuno Perez of Latino Decisions, pointing to counties such as Maricopa, Pima, and Yuma, which all have significant Latino populations.
Latinx voters also made their presence known in Florida, handing Biden victories in Miami-Dade, Tampa Bay, Orlando, and Broward County. In Miami, Cuban Americans threw their support behind Trump. Nuño warned about taking some outliers, like the Cuban vote in Miami-Dade and a couple of counties near the border in Texas where Trump did much better with Latinos, to project that into the larger narrative.
“Yes, Latinos are not a monolith, and yes, they are a monolith, they do respond to certain types of messaging and at the national level, seventy percent of Latinos voted for Biden. That’s a clear pattern”, he said.
Theodore Johnson, a senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, said that a summer of protests for racial justice along with the disproportionate numbers from COVID-19 and record levels of unemployment in black communities, galvanized Black voter turnout in record numbers to remove Donald Trump from office.
“That explains why we’re seeing Atlanta change Georgia, Philadelphia change Pennsylvania, Milwaukee change Wisconsin, and Detroit change Michigan,” he said. “That’s the enthusiasm and power of the Black vote.”
Overall Black voters were pragmatic, Johnson noted, pointing to South Carolina where they opted for Joe Biden over Kamala Harris or Corey Booker. “They picked the candidate they thought had the best chance of winning over white voters.” Johnson attributed the small increase in Black males voting for Trump to those Black Republicans who had opted to vote for the first Black president in 2008 and 2012 and who were now returning to the Republican Party.
Asian Americans turned out in significant numbers for the 2020 election, said John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice/ AAJC. Some 300,000 were first-time voters. Exit polls plus pre-election polls showed there was much more enthusiasm to vote, Yang noted. Between 65%-70% of AAPI voters supported Biden, with 30 percent voting for Trump, consistent with voting patterns in 2012 and 2016.
While one-third of Asian Americans live in the 10 battleground states, and it would be easy to attribute the margin of victory in Nevada, Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania to the AAPI vote. But Yang said it was the common values that brought Black, Latinx, Native and Asian Americans together that provided the margin of victory for Biden in those states.
Yang recalled June 16, 2015, when Trump rode down an escalator at Trump Towers to announce his bid for the White House. “That was a defining moment for me and changed my career path. When he talked about illegal aliens being rapists and gangsters and criminals, he was talking about me because I was at one point an undocumented immigrant.”
Mark Trahant, editor of Indian Country Today, discussed the impact of the Native American vote, indicating that a large number of Native Americans ran for elected office and that next year’s Congress will have a caucus with three Republicans and three Democrats. “This will give a bipartisan spin on Native issues,” he said.
Native Americans were also elected to state Legislatures including Arizona and Kansas.
Sharry, of America´s voice, said that the massive vote by minorities was also a rejection of Trump´s flagstone issue: xenophobia and racism.
“An American public was forced by Donald Trump and his extremism to choose, and they chose to come down on the side of refugees and immigrants. This is a statement of what a multiracial majority in America said through this election. They said ‘we want to be a welcoming country. We don’t like Trump’s separation of families.’”