Young, Black, Gay and Running for Congress

by Guest Columnist on August 4 2009, 9:02AM

By Michael Arceneaux, Originally published @ The Grio Earlier this year, Sean Penn and Dustin Lance Black received Academy Awards honoring their work in the film Milk, which chronicled the life of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to…

Topics: Politics

A Chance to Rework Welfare-to-work

by Michelle Chen on July 31 2009, 11:05PM

A few months ago, we looked at the recession as a potential wake-up call for the political forces that brought us welfare reform during the Clinton Era. Now that epidemic levels of joblessness and homelessness are creeping into the…

Topics: Economy, Politics

DC Lobbyist Firm Abandons Truth Entirely, Forges NAACP Letters to Congressman

by Channing Kennedy on July 31 2009, 12:03PM

Question: Why would the NAACP come out against measures ensuring racial and gender equity in the green economy? Answer: They won’t. Just forge their name on something and call it a day, dude. At least that’s the solution reached…

Topics: Politics

Sikh Students Speak Out: “We Want Safe Schools Now!”

by Julianne Hing on July 8 2009, 1:35PM

I’m both excited and a little disheartened to share the latest news from the Sikh Coalition’s New York office. The community org released a new report with findings that show that one year into a 2008 resolution announced by New…

Topics: Politics, Schools & Youth

WBAI in New York Interviews Terry Keleher on “Jump-Starting Racial Justice”

by Channing Kennedy on July 6 2009, 2:16PM

Terry Keleher, coordinator of the Applied Research Center’s Racial Justice Leadership Action Network and a blogger for RaceWire, was a guest this week on WBAI-New York’s ‘Talk Back!’ with host Hugh Hamilton. Terry discussed Racial Equity Impact Assessments and Truth…

Topics: Colorlines Press, Politics

Universal coverage, hidden exclusion

by Michelle Chen on July 1 2009, 9:10PM

In the increasingly ugly debate over “universal coverage,” various proposals are being bounced around among competing agendas. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a proposal recently floated in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee—currently…

Topics: Health, Politics

Stimulating equity

by Michelle Chen on June 25 2009, 4:22PM

As the recession rolls on, the federal stimulus package seems more and more like just a drop in the bucket, but even those limited resources are trickling down to an unlevel playing field. The National Black Chamber of Commerce…

Topics: Economy, Politics

GOP Racist Emailers Save Reputations with Snappy Apologies

by Channing Kennedy on June 15 2009, 4:50PM

When South Carolina GOP operative Mike Green was confronted with the above screenshot of his Twitter account, and asked if he had really ‘tweeted’ that, he answered “I don’t know. Let me give you a call back.” Nice save,…

Topics: Politics

San Quentin prison blues

by Michelle Chen on June 9 2009, 9:48PM

California’s most infamous prison may be shuttering its doors at last, and some may feel surprisingly troubled about its closure. The cash-strapped state is moving toward closing San Quentin—which houses more than 5,000 inmates, many of them on death…

Topics: Politics

Local (in)hospitality

by Michelle Chen on June 8 2009, 9:00PM

Official attitudes toward immigrants across America are remarkably diverse, ranging from public embrace to stiff exclusion. If you happened to pass through Tennessee last week, you might have heard Republican lawmaker Joe Carr vigorously slamming the door on undocumented…

Topics: Immigration, Politics

Race and the Race: Tim Pawlente Race: Tim Pawlenty’s Republiy’s Republican Strategy

by Guest Columnist on June 8 2009, 1:02PM

by Anusuya Sivaram As soon as Tim Pawlenty announced that he wouldn’t seek reelection in 2010, most people found it safe to assume that he’d run for President in 2012. Given the plethora of Republican hopefuls, and their diverse visions…

Topics: Politics

UAFA Would Keep Shirley Tan with her Partner and Kids

by Gina Acebo on June 5 2009, 9:37AM

This is Shirley Tan, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). UAFA would allow U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their same-sex partners for family-based immigration. Tan fled to the U.S….

Topics: Immigration, Politics, Video & Multimedia

Freedom of association

by Michelle Chen on May 28 2009, 10:03PM

The fight over the Employee Free Choice Act is getting uglier by the day. While the business interests campaign hard to kill the legislation, the labor movement is trying to beef up its offense by broadening it. The bill…

Topics: Politics

Andrea Shorter on the Supreme Irony of Today’s Prop 8 Ruling

by Julianne Hing on May 26 2009, 5:05PM

What a newsday to start off the week. It reminds me of another big day last year that was filled with both joyous and crushing news. You know, November 5, 2008, the morning after Barack Obama won the election and…

Topics: Politics

The gang aptitude test

by Michelle Chen on May 25 2009, 4:50PM

Pop quiz: Do any of the following describe you? I try to be nice to other people because I care about their feelings. I get very angry and “lose my temper” (yell or get mad). I do as I…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Politics

Goodbye, Abstinence-Only [VIDEO]

by Terry Keleher on May 9 2009, 10:38AM

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy President Obama has just cut all federal funding for failed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in his proposed 2010 budget. The $100 million program from the George W. Bush era is…

Topics: Politics

Crack, powder and kicking butt in drug policy

by Michelle Chen on April 29 2009, 5:31PM

After years of frustration under Reagan-era drug laws, a Senate subcommittee hearing today parsed the fine line between crack and powder. The notorious 100-to-1 gap between sentencing policies for powder and crack cocaine is a linchpin of the mandatory-sentencing…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Politics

The law of unintended consequences

by Michelle Chen on April 27 2009, 5:35PM

Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano indicated last week that she is open to reforming the Real ID Act—the controversial 2005 legislation that purported to standardize driver’s licenses and block access for undocumented immigrants and people deemed security threats. The…

Topics: Immigration, Politics

Numbers game

by Michelle Chen on April 3 2009, 6:01PM

Counting people is harder than it looks. The 2010 census is morphing from a sociological project into a political one: conservatives are crowing about the dangers of tallying “illegals,” and activists are seeking policy changes to guard against undercounting….

Topics: Politics

Sticky fusion

by Michelle Chen on April 1 2009, 2:39PM

In a House Subcommittee hearing today, civil liberties advocates tried to shed some public light on one of the darkest corners of law enforcement. The hearing focused on so-called “fusion centers” funded by Homeland Security and scattered across the…

Topics: Politics