Alabama New South Alliance endorses candidates for the August 25th municipal elections

Sandra Walker

The Alabama New South Alliance (ANSA) met on Sunday afternoon to endorse candidates in the upcoming August 25th municipal elections in Eutaw and Forkland, Alabama.
Carol Zippert, Greene County chapter chairperson, welcomed the 30 ANSA members who partciapated in the screening. “I sent letters to every municipal candidate, in contested races, to attend the screening and decide on these endorsements.”
Judge Lillie Osborne, chair of the ANSA endorsement committee, explained the endorsement process. Each mayoral candidate was given 15 minutes, 3 minutes of introductory remarks and 12 minutes of questions, while council candidates were given 10 minutes, 2 minutes for opening remarks and 8 minutes of questions.
ANSA endorsed Sandra Walker for Mayor of Eutaw. She and two of her opponents, Latasha Johnson and Joe Lee Powell, attended the screening, however, incumbent Mayor Raymond Steele and Queena Bennett Whitehead did not attend to answer voter’s questions.
For Mayor of Forkland, the ANSA endorsed incumbent Charlie McAlpine, over his opponent Michael Barton, who did not attend the screening.
For the City of Eutaw, ANSA endorsed Valerie Watkins for City Council District 1. Opponent Ke’Undra Q. Cox attended the screening but Chandra Mayes did not.
For City of Eutaw, District 2, ANSA endorsed incumbent La’Jeffrey Carpenter over his opponent Bryant N. Snyder Jr., who both attended the screening and competed for the endorsement. The City Council District 3 seat is uncontested with Tracy Hunter, as the sole candidate who qualified.
Incumbent District 4 City Council member, Sheila H. Smith, was endorsed by ANSA. Her opponent Larry Coleman did not attend the screening.
For Eutaw City Council, District 5, the ANSA endorsed Rodney Wesley. His opponent Jaqueline Stewart did not attend the screening.
ANSA will publish a sample ballot with its endorsements to be distributed to the voters before the election and at the polls.
ANSA is the sister organization to the Alabama New South Coalition (ANSC) which is a statewide predominately Black and progressive social justice organization .
ANSC works year-round on civil rights and social justice issues such as Medicaid Expansion, police reform, voter suppression and other issues. Membership is open to the public at $30 a year – $25 for the state and $5 for the local chapter. Persons interested in joining may contact Carol Zippert, Greene County chapter president at 205-372-0525;

Newswire: Will Reparations become Democrats’ campaign theme?

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent

Statue of Slavery

A new refrain could be taking center stage during the 2020 Presidential Campaign. Senators Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, both 2020 presidential candidates, said they support reparations for African Americans to redress the legacy of the slavery.
The senators’ statements came as many are observing the 500thanniversary of the transatlantic slave trade and the 400th year since the first African was brought to Virginia.“ I think that we have got to address that again. It’s back to the inequities,” Harris said during in an interview with The Breakfast Club radio show. “America has a history of slavery. We had Jim Crow. We had legal segregation in America for a very long time,” she said.
Harris continued:
“We have got to recognize, back to that earlier point, people aren’t starting out on the same base in terms of their ability to succeed and so we have got to recognize that and give people a lift up.”
When she told the radio show’s host, Charlamagne Tha God, that “Livable Incomes for Families Today,” the Middle Class Act tax cut plan is one way to address the rising costs and the inequities of living in the U.S., the host asked if her comments were about reparations. “Yes,” Harris said.
She also noted the “systemic racism” in the criminal justice system .“We have a problem with mass incarceration in particular of black and brown men,” Harris said. “There is no question that no mother or father in America should have to sit down when their son turns 12 and start having the talk with that child about how he may be stopped, arrested or killed because of the color of his skin,” she said, addressing police brutality.
Warren also said she supported reparations for both African Americans and Native Americans. “America has an ugly history of racism,” Warren said after addressing Democrats at an annual state dinner in New Hampshire, according to The Boston Globe. “We need to confront it head-on. And we need to talk about the right way to address it and make change.”
Warren later expanded on her ideas for Native American reparations in a statement, writing that, “tribal nations have unique interests, priorities and histories, and should not be treated monolithically.”
“I fully support the federal government doing far more to live up to its existing trust and treaty responsibilities and that includes a robust discussion about historical injustices against Native people.”
She continued: “Tribal nations have a government-to-government relationship with the federal government, and they deserve a seat at the table in all decisions that will affect the well-being of their people and their communities.”
Another Democratic Presidential hopeful, Julian Castro, also has said he endorses reparations.
A 2017 article in Quartz, noted that to “repair this breach, it’s becoming increasingly clear that reparations for black slavery and its legacy—including Jim Crow—must be part of the equation.”
The article continued:
“Facing what activist Randall Robinson calls ‘the debt’ to people of African descent, those of us who are low on melanin content (aka ‘white’) will have to address the often uncomfortable history of how lighter skin color conferred, and continues to confer, economic advantage. To do otherwise is to live a destructive lie, perpetuating a perverted myth of deservedness that holds back our entire society and each of us individually.”
As Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote in his groundbreaking 2014 Atlantic article, reparations are “the price we must pay to see ourselves squarely.”
“Reparations,” he continued, “beckons us to reject the intoxication of hubris and see America as it is—the work of fallible humans. An America that looks away is ignoring not just the sins of the past but the sins of the present and the certain sins of the futureCoates said.

Newswire : Growing number of states reject voter data request from Trump’s election commission

Voting rights groups have also come out against Kris Kobach’s push to gain information about voters in all 50 states.

By: Arturo Garcia, Snopes News Service
Kristen Clarke, Director Lawyers Committee
Kristen Clarke, Executive Director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law condemned the national request for voter data

At least twenty-two states have signaled resistance or rejected a request from President Donald Trump’s administration for data for every registered voter in the U.S.
The request was submitted via letters to all secretary of state offices in the nation and the District of Columbia by the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity on 29 June 2017, seeking information that includes the names, party affiliations, addresses, military statuses and the last four digits of the voters’ Social Security numbers, as well as voting history from 2006 onward.
Kris Kobach, the commission’s vice-chair and current Kansas secretary of state, has claimed in the past, as has Trump, that U.S. voter fraud is widespread — but without providing evidence. Trump signed an executive order creating the commission in May 2017, which quickly spurred accusations that it would be used to implement, rather than investigate, voter suppression.
Ten states — California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Virginia — have fully rebuked Kobach’s call for voter data.
Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican, in a statement of his own said, “They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great State to launch from. Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our State’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes.”
Even Kobach’s home state of Kansas balked, prompting backtracking from his office: “In Kansas, the Social Security number is not publicly available. … Every state receives the same letter, but we’re not asking for it if it’s not publicly available,” Kobach said.
He did not rule out the possibility of providing that information to the commission in the future. “If the commission decides that they would like to receive Social Security numbers to a secure site in order to remove false positives, then we would have to double check and make sure Kansas law permits,” Kobach said.
“I know for a fact that this information would be secured and maintained confidentially,” he added in response to security concerns.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) made reference to the allegations that led Trump to create the commission in a statement said: “New York refuses to perpetuate the myth voter fraud played a role in our election. We will not be complying with this request and I encourage the Election Commission to work on issues of vital importance to voters, including ballot access, rather than focus on debunked theories of voter fraud.”
Several other states have responded by saying that they will only share information that is already publicly available.
Voter advocacy groups have also come out against the commission’s push for access to the data, which it said it wanted by 14 July 2017. League of Women Voters president Chris Carson said in a statement that her group would support any state that refused to comply with Kobach’s request: “There is no justification for this giant fishing expedition. The Commission itself is a distraction from the real issue of voter suppression, and that efforts to “investigate voter fraud” threaten our most fundamental voting rights. This most recent move by Mr. Kobach is an indicator that the so-called Election “Integrity” Commission is not interested in facts, but false accusations and dangerous policy recommendations.”
Kristen Clarke, Executive Director of The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law also condemned Kobach’s letters and called on his counterparts in other states to “discourage state and local officials” from participating in the commission’s activities: “This meritless inquisition opens the door for a misguided and ill-advised Commission to take steps to target and harass voters and could lead to purging of the voter rolls.”
Before joining Trump’s administration, Kobach worked as an attorney for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a hardline anti-immigration group. In September 2016, a federal appeals court found that Kobach had provided “precious little” evidence that non-U.S. citizens were engaging in voter fraud.