I read the Vox article Are We In a Constitutional Crisis Yet? with a mix of interest, curiosity and concern. While all of the 13 law professionals interviewed agree that we’re in a difficult situation in regards to how the United States government is being run today, some say we’re not in a Constitutional crisis until the president refuses to obey a court order – an order which could be issued if Congress’ demands for information relating to its task of rounding up materials needed to impeach government officials are ignored.
If you’re the type who enjoys hating on immigrants, telling people, “Go back home!” or threatening to call immigration on somebody, well, a word to the wise. Whilst in New York City, best keep those thoughts to yourself, ’cause now it’s illegal to speak them.
If you really can’t stop yourself from hating immigrants out loud, there’s a remedy for that: be prepared to pay the city a fine of up to $250,000 smackeroonies.
Connecticut está disfrutando un éxito enorme con su programa de licencias para conducir para residentes indocumentados. Beneficia a residentes, la policía – que ya no pierden tiempo con las complejidades de procesar violaciones automovilísticos cuando el chofer no tiene licencia, las autoescuelas y también ha producido ingresos para el estado. Es un modelo ejemplar para otros estados. Ver el reporte (en inglés) de WGBH.
Connecticut is enjoying great success with its drive-only license program for undocumented immigrants. It benefits residents, police, state coffers and driving schools – and it’s a great model for other states to take note of. Read the WGBH article.
Prison-based gerrymandering is destructive to the families of incarcerated individuals. The NJ State legislator is trying to end this practice #p2
For some people half the battle of voting is getting to the polls, but this year voters can get some relief from a slightly unexpected source: Uber and Lyft.
Both ride share companies are offering free or discounted rides to voters on Nov. 6, and both companies are partnering with voting organizations that encourage people to register and then go out to vote.
According to Pew Research, 3 percent of registered voters who did not vote in 2016 cited “transportation problems” as the main reason they didn’t vote. Additionally, 14 percent of people cited that they were “too busy or conflicting schedule,” and “inconvenient hours or polling places,” which are issues that tend to affect low income communities.
This is why Lyft in particular said it wants to offer free rides to underserved communities.
Uber said in a press release it is partnering with When We All Vote to get people registered and with #VoteTogether and Democracy Works to offer free rides to polling places.
Uber is also sharing voter registration resources with users in the app.
In order to get a free ride to the polls on Elections Day, users will need to open the app, search for their polling place using the “get to the polls” button, and order a ride.
It appears that users will not be able to use the free ride for another location as the polling place search bar is separate from the standard location search bar.
Lyft announced its Election Day initiatives back in August, partnering with Vote.org, Turbo Vote, Nonprofit Vote, and other organizations which will distribute promo codes for 50 percent off rides to polling places. Lyft has also partnered with Vote Latino, the National Federation of the Blind, and Urban League affiliates to provide free rides to underserved communities.
Like Uber, Lyft is also encouraging its users to register to vote through the app, and partnered with When We All Vote and National Voter Registration Day to amplify their get out the vote efforts.
More information about how to get a free or discounted ride to your polling location can be found on Uber and Lyft’s websites.
In New Jersey, the deadline to register to vote was Oct. 16.
Uber’s website is www.uber.com
Lyfts’ website is www.lyft.com
A good place to turn for information about your rights is the League of Women Voters. If you have questions about voting issues call their voting rights hotline website Vote411.org. Visit the website or
Call one of these national hotlines:
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
Here’s some specific information they shared about New Jersey voter rights:
Adams Lake (all girl) Indian Band’s “Worthy” carries a message of hope for youth:
The light will glow and inspire your journey … when you get a little older everything will be all right… you are worthy, you are worthy
“Many Paths” with Kawacatoose First Nation youth
I’m going to keep my head up and make better decisions. You have to walk in my shoes to understand my position … If there’s one thing that a native people lack, the love and care – so unfair as I’m looking back … We walk the land of many paths, a narrow road that will lead us back to a life that we had …
“When the Dust Settles” by Oxford House, Manitoba
… so many can relate with these broken-down homes … with a little bit of pride and a little bit of hope … we have been blinded with all we have been through, we’re always reminded it’s time we live true. When the dust settled you can see clearly, there’s hope where our home is, hold your tears.
Newark, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy has announced that he intends to allocate $2.1M to fund free legal representation for immigrants facing detention or deportation who cannot afford private attorneys. In New Jersey, the vast majority of immigrant detainees fight their deportation cases without an attorney. It is not surprising that only 14% of unrepresented detainees are successful and able to remain in the United States, given the complexities of our immigration laws and the challenges of gathering evidence while incarcerated. Individuals facing deportation have no right to appointed counsel.
“While the funding will not be enough to ensure representation for all of the approximately 2,000 immigrants currently detained in New Jersey detention facilities for civil immigration violations, it is a promising first step towards protecting the due process rights of both long-time New Jersey residents with deep ties to our communities and who have families who would be devastated by their detention and deportation, as well as recently arrived immigrants fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries,” said Nicole Miller, Legal Services Director for the American Friends Service Committee’s Immigrant Rights Program (AFSC) in Newark, NJ. “AFSC has been representing immigrant detainees for over 20 years in New Jersey and we have seen firsthand the significant impact that legal representation has on a detainee’s ability to present their case to an immigration judge. It also ensures that detainees are treated with dignity and respect as they navigate a dehumanizing immigration system that tears families and communities apart.”
“We will continue to advocate on behalf of immigrant detainees and look forward to a day where the state of New Jersey fully funds a universal representation program that provides access to counsel to all immigrants detained in New Jersey and facing deportation,” stated Chia-Chia Wang, AFSC’s Director of Organizing and Advocacy.
AFSC, the ACLU of New Jersey and the Seton Hall Law School Immigrant Rights Clinic recently issued a report entitled “The Meaning of Counsel in the Immigration System: New Jersey Case Stories”, that highlights the importance of access to counsel for detained immigrants in New Jersey by documenting the stories of eleven New Jersey immigrants detained in immigration detention centers, many of whom are AFSC clients.
The focus of the Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) report issued on January 12, 2018 is in its name: Ten actions that hurt workers during Trump’s first year: How Trump and Congress further rigged the economy in favor of the wealthy
See the article for facts about how workers are affected by each action on this list:
Join the conversation with John Legend on his listening tour of American prisons for the FreeAmerica project.
“FreeAmerica is a multi-year culture campaign initiated by John Legend to change the national conversation about our country’s misguided policies and transform America’s criminal justice system.”
Its ambitious goal is to end mass incarceration in the United States of America. Get involved.
Elizabeth – El candidato demócrata para gobernador de New Jersey Phil Murphy prometió trabajar mano a mano con los puertorriqueños en New Jersey para superar los estragos del Huracán María y reiteró su solidaridad con miles de familias, ancianos y niños afectados en la isla.
“Yo siento la misma preocupación de ustedes, porque la crisis humanitaria nos afecta a todos”, dijo el líder demócrata durante la Convención Anual del Congreso Boricua en Elizabeth, en la cual se rindió un minuto de silencio en la memoria del lider puertorriqueño Eliu Rivera, ex -director de la agencia PACO fallecido el 30 de septiembre.
“Los puertorriqueños son nuestros compatriotas estadounidenses y ellos nos necesitan más que nunca”, enfatizó Murphy tras indicar que New Jersey es el hogar de casi medio millón de puertorriqueños. Al responder las preguntas relacionadas con la ayuda humanitaria puntualizó: “el pueblo de Puerto Rico se enfrenta a un largo camino por recorrer para volver a la normalidad, y necesita nuestro apoyo”.
“Washington debe actuar de manera agresiva, rápida y decisiva para acelerar la ayuda humanitaria a Puerto Rico”, indicó Murphy, quien mantiene directa comunicación con el gobernador de Puerto Rico.
Murphy aseguró que trabajará por una economía sólida y justa para todos. “Tenemos que estar seguros que nuestra economía sea fuerte para que podamos beneficiar a toda la población y seguir ayudando a nuestras comunidades”.
La convención puertorriqueña ha sido organizada por el Puerto Rican Congress de New Jersey y Lydia Valencia es su presidenta y CEO.
Published Sep 24, 2017
Stand For what?!
You want me to stand for a song that continues to remind me of all the harms that have done me wrong?
Stand for what?!
For your Army that none of our sons truly belong
Stand for what?
The 100 years it took them to convince Congress to become the anthem after 40 failed attempts
Stand for what?
Your forefathers who really just Pimps.
Stand for What?
A song about War, not freedom
That’s how you want to lead them
Brainwash your people? that’s how you want to treat em
Slavemasters whips to Cops night sticks, that’s how you continue to beat em.
Stand for what
the beginning of Slavery in 1619
Or the end of those Black Marines of 1814
That’s really what the lyrics are about
They may have taken the word slave out
but they forget to remove the slave connotations from their brains and they mouth The mentality to make America Greater than your imagination is how you pout
Hating because we burned down their White House
Gave proof through the night, that its light out
For the old elitist white man thinking
Drunk off they ass with power at baseball games singing and drinking
Man stand for what?
Stand for something or fall for dumb shit!
Stand for what
To salute the Red White and Blue, on a Flag where my Colors not reflected
Stand for what
To uphold laws that were embedded to have my community negatively affected
Stand for what
Your racist systemic melodies of mind manipulating rhetoric?
Did you know the government pays Sports organizations for plays, to make people more patriotic
This MK Ultra Soul control needs to stop it
I can still love my country and hate that fucked up song about rockets, and bombs bursting air
Reminds me of Charlottesville’s vicious glares
And police shootings with no care like the dash cameras wasn’t there.
Stand for what
Monuments and statues of old slave masters
Constant reminders of our nations disasters
The Heros in Houston, the Doctors, the Poets and the Pastors.
That’s who I want to shape our greatness after
I honor and respect our men and women of service
But we’ve been taught to idolize wars without purpose
The majority of our Militaries casualties are minority soldiers
So let’s make statues of those warriors because they truly deserve it
Mt Rushmore was built by the Ku Klux Klan, so why the fuck should I have respect for those men
Damn, This is not my country and it’s not yours either.
Go back to Africa? I wish we never had to leave it
But the entire World is our neighborhood
So why do we perceive certain blocks to be bad and other blocks to be good?
Instead of glorifying the past we gotta focus on the future
Dick Gregory warned me if U speak up They probably gonna shoot ya!
But I shout for his eternal voice along with Martin, Malcolm and Marcus Garvey and
march wholeheartedly for their legacy
Because I’ll say it loud as you can see
Fuck Francis Scott Key and Robert E. Lee
They don’t represent me and neither do either of these hypocritical political parties
I am a native to the cosmic and Universal God Energy.
Even though the constitution really doesn’t apply to me
I’ll try to exercise my freedom of speech
So you can tell them you heard it from me.
Yeah I said it
Brutality, Historic Fallacies and
All war is wrong and so is that fucking song!
It’s Been way too long!
It’s time to make a change and acknowledge that your home of the brave was built on the back of a Slave.
So bowing down to a true King
Is the only way to let freedom ring
Stand for what?
I ain’t standing For Shit… except Kaepernick!
Brilliant skit starring Chris Pine playing highly erratic and childish company president (president – get it?) points out the extremely awesome truth: we don’t need to put up with the nut or his buddies. And p.s. if these loons worked in industry, they would have been ousted long ago with minimum fuss.
The good news? Yes, we can vote and get rid of them. Learn how and where at SaveTheDay.vote.
Skit stars Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk, J. August Richards, Jillian Morgese, Romy Rosemont, Josh Zar, Zac Oyama and David Fury.
Lily Seville posted this story on Facebook August 18 and made it publicly available so it can be shared.
I haven’t told any stories from England since I got home but it seems like maybe we could all use a good story about a civil war statue, a good story about an American President, and a good story about the power of the common people against the rich and powerful, so I’m going to start with this one. It’s probably for the best that you’re reading this here because I haven’t managed to tell this story in person without crying.
I was in Manchester with a bit of time to spare on a cool, sometimes rainy morning that reminded me of home. Since I had a minute I turned on Pokemon Go on the off chance that there would be a Mr. Mime in range. As luck would have it there was one only two blocks away from my intended destination! The game led me to a small square and as I approached I could’ve sworn that it had an enormous statue of Abraham Lincoln right in the middle of it. Much to my dismay the closer I got, the more it looked like Lincoln. When I was close enough to read the inscription I learned that it was in fact, a statue of Lincoln. What was a statue of Lincoln doing in a lonely square in Northern England?!
Then it got weirder.
There was a large blue sticker that was somewhat haphazardly stuck onto the base of the statue that said something along the lines of “talking statues of Manchester” and had a QR code with no further explanation. There was no question, I had to know what that QR code said! I immediately installed a QR scanner and no sooner had I clicked the shutter button then my phone rang. That was weird and more than a little creepy, but if they say one thing about me when I’ve gone it will be that I never passed on an adventure.
I answered the phone.
There was no preamble, no explanation, just a man’s voice saying “to the working men of Manchester” he then continued in beautiful, archaic prose to praise the workers of Manchester and thank them for their courage and sacrifice. It seemed to be a letter and when it came to an end it was signed “Abraham Lincoln”. When he had finished uttering his name President Lincoln hung up on me. It was a tantalizing letter to a child of Lincoln’s far future standing alone in a rainy square, 4,500 miles away from home. President Lincoln did not bother to list the brave acts or to sum up the sacrifice. Why would he? The people of Manchester knew what they had done.
Luckily, after the phone call ended a screen popped up offering links to learn more. I stood in the drizzle, read an amazing story and wondered why I had never heard it before.
As you probably know during the Civil War the North imposed a Naval blockade on the South. The economic hardship that this caused was an important factor in the North’s victory. What I didn’t know was that the blockade also badly hurt the people of Lancashire, England. At that time the mills of Northern England produced the fabric that clothed the world. Seventy five percent of all the cotton grown on Southern plantations was sent to Lancashire where it was spun, dyed, and woven.
A year into the war and the embargo found Northern England in real distress. Sixty percent of its mills were shuttered, thousands of people were without work. The desperate wealthy mill owners started lobbying the British government to send the British Navy to break the blockade and let the cotton through.
Then an amazing thing happened. The workers themselves organized a mass meeting in the Manchester Union Hall to discuss the matter and those working class men, who had the very most to lose, chose to refuse cotton grown by enslaved hands. The blockade held and the men did indeed lose. In one town alone only five out of thirty-nine mills continued to operate. People went without fuel for heat, there was wide spread starvation, families lost their homes. And still–an ocean and a world away from a war in a place they had never seen–the people of Manchester chose to live and die by their values. They would not support slavery.
When the war ended that letter came from President Lincoln and it was followed shortly after by ships loaded with food and supplies for the people of Lancashire from the people of America, in gratitude.
And that is how I ended up crying in the rain 4,500 miles from home, in a square named for Lincoln in a country that he never set foot in.
I also caught my Mr. Mime.
If you are interested in reading the letter you can do so here.
I have made this post public so that it can be easily shared if you know someone who could use a hopeful story too ~ Lily Seville
Ed note: This story came to me via Han Broekman. Thanks for the beautiful share, Han.
Senator Nia H. Gill (D-Essex, Passaic) today called on the New Jersey Secretary of State to reject a request by President Trump’s election commission to turn over state voter data. The commission was established to investigate unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.
The commission, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and Vice Chaired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, sent letters to 50 states and the District of Columbia last week asking for information, including names, addresses, birth dates and party affiliations of registered voters in each state. It also sought felony convictions, military statuses, the last four digits of Social Security numbers and voting records dating back to 2006, according to published reports. To date, 44 states have already refused to comply, according to a story published today on CNN.com:
President Trump has made claims for months that millions of people voted illegally in the last election, without a shred of evidence. Now he is using those unfounded claims to justify the collection of personal information and voter data from all 50 states.
This request is alarming. Under no circumstance should the state of New Jersey turn over our residents’ information to this commission. I am calling on the Secretary of State to protect our state’s voter information, and refuse to comply with this illegitimate request.
No one believes this Trump-created panel is interested in protecting the right to vote. The commission was created with the goal of legitimizing Trump’s widely discredited claims of voter fraud and is headed by Kris Kobach, the politically-driven Kansas Secretary of State.
New Jersey should not contribute to the president’s effort to undermine the integrity of the election system. The Secretary of State must inform the people of New Jersey if she intends to share the personal information of the residents of the state with this illegitimate panel – silence in not an option.