Arpaio Gets Another Four Years to Harass Latinos In An Unchanged Arizona

Arpaio Gets Another Four Years to Harass Latinos In An Unchanged Arizona

Latinos in Phoenix went to bed last night with the news that they’ll face another four years of harassment from Joe Arpaio and his deputies. The 80-year-old sheriff told supporters at his victory party that he looks forward to another term “just enforcing the law,” by which he tends to mean racial profiling and prisoner abuse. The Arpaio victory is not a surprise, but it is a disappointment for immigrant and civil rights advocates who hoped the county was ready to turn a corner.

Arpaio’s victory came amid a generally good day for Republicans in the state, despite Democratic hopes that the party could turn the state by organizing Latino residents. Arizona has acted as a testing ground for far-right laws that incubated in the imaginations and white papers of conservative think tanks. Despite two years of organizing to register growing numbers of Latinos, and waning support for bills like the state’s SB 1070 in the face of broad national challenges, it appears that Arizona may still be a Tea Party petri dish.

Polling Places 2012: Cute Kids Edition [Photos]

On Election Day, we heard lots of reports of folks standing in line for hours to vote. But what about the kids who came with their parents to their polling places — kids who must have felt that the wait took days?

Take a look at some of the future voters below.

Washington, D.C.


Children from Kingdom Kinds Child Development Center march past a polling station to get out the vote at Dunbar High School on November 6, 2012 in Washington, DC.

Cambridge, Massachusetts 


Alice Vu, 5, read a book, ‘The Hungry Kitten,’ while waiting outside a polling station on Lexington Avenue in Cambridge on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6 2012. (Photo by Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Obama Wins Re-Election, But Mixed Results on Ballot Initiatives

Obama Wins Re-Election, But Mixed Results on Ballot Initiatives

While eyes were glued to television screens waiting for word on the president, votes were still being tallied in a set of state ballot initiatives about the lives of people of color, women, immigrants and the working folks. Here’s a quick rundown of the results in key ballot measures.

Last night we reported some decidedly mixed early results. Oklahoma voters banned affirmative action in government hiring and public education, while Maryland voters broadly approved a state DREAM Act, granting in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants.

As Maryland made itself more inclusive of undocumented immigrants, Montana voters excluded undocumented immigrations from state services. A measure there requires state agencies check the immigration status of anyone applying for state permits, licenses, disability benefits, state employment and services for crime victims. The ACLU warns that on top of its impact on immigrants, the law would exclude many citizens who lack needed identification.

With Obama’s Win, He’ll Need to Send More Than a Thank You Note to Latinos

With Obama's Win, He'll Need to Send More Than a Thank You Note to Latinos

The steady browning of the nation is the undeniable reality in the nation’s future—no surprise there. Latinos translating their growing numbers into electoral power in key states like Florida, Colorado, Arizona and Virginia which have the power to win elections. It’s a growing electoral power that advocates have hinted at for years, and we are seeing the first evidence of the night bearing that out.

In Florida for example, where Obama is holding on to a steady but narrow lead, the showing of Latino voters was up. They were 15 percent of Florida’s vote in 2008 and 17 percent of the vote tonight, according to CNN exit polls. And Latino voters were 11 percent of those who turned out in Colorado, surpassing the 8.7 percent that even (Latino political organizations)[] expected them to make up. In Arizona, where Romney’s got a comfortable lead and may likely win, Latino voters were still nearly one in five of those who voted—and were expected to be just 12 percent of those who turned out.

So critical is the Latino vote that the Romney camp projected it would need to take home 38 percent of the Latino vote in order to win, The Hill reported. For some context, that’s a seven-point jump from the 31 percent of the Latino vote that John McCain won in 2008. But Latino voters, then as now, overwhelmingly supported President Obama tonight, and in states like Colorado by a near-50-point margin. Latinos cite among their top concerns the economy, immigration and the DREAM Act and education, according to Election eve polling conducted by (Latino Decisions)[], and have backed the president to deliver on those concerns.

The nation saw a glimpse of the Latino vote’s power in the 2010 midterms when Latino voters saved the West for the Democrats, holding back an onslaught of Republican and tea-party-backed senate and gubernatorial candidates like Sharron Angle in Nevada and Meg Whitman in California, respectively.

Follow the rest of the election returns with us at

Bill O’Reilly: ‘The White Establishment is Now the Minority’ [VIDEO]

Bill O'Reilly: 'The White Establishment is Now the Minority' [VIDEO]

Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly said tonight that if President Barack Obama is re-elected, it’s because the demographics of the country have changed and “it’s not a traditional America anymore.”


“The white establishment is now the minority,” O’Reilly said. “And the voters, many of them, feel that the economic system is stacked against them and they want stuff. You are going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama. Overwhelming black vote for President Obama. And women will probably break President Obama’s way. People feel that they are entitled to things and which candidate, between the two, is going to give them things?”

“The demographics are changing,” he said. “It’s not a traditional America anymore.” O’Reilly said 50 percent of the voting public are people who “want stuff. They want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama. He knows it, and he ran on it.”

“He’s right,” publisher Rinku Sen tweeted in response to O’Reilly’s comments.

For more updates from election night, visit the live blog.

What’s the Scope of Voter Suppression in this Election?

What's the Scope of Voter Suppression in this Election?

It’s too early to tell, but here’s a sampling of anecdotal reports from our community journalists spread out around the country that are unconfirmed but offer a sense of the problem.

Meagan Ortiz has the following from California:

[Voter] ID problems continue to occur across the country. In Los Angeles County, in a predominantly Latino and African-American neighborhood, a woman reported that voters were being asked to present a California state driver’s license or ID in order to vote.

In Jefferson County, Colorado, which includes the city of Lakewood, a pollworker was unaware that a utility bill is acceptable form of identification. At first the voter was told to file a provisional ballot but she insisted and verified she was on voting list. Eventually she was allowed to vote via a regular ballot.

From Kemi Bellow in Texas:

College students in Terre Haute, Indiana were made to stand in a separate line to cast their ballot. When a voter and college student attempted to vote, her ballot was taken away from her by a poll official, who told her that she would not be able to vote. The poll worker then reportedly told her that the ballots of the other college students would be destroyed.

Election Protection has also received multiple reports from Minnesota that poll workers were informing voters that “not voting for the constitutional amendments is the same as voting no,” perhaps in an attempt to influence voting behavior.

At Camp Navajo in Arizona, a voter called in to explain that she was required to submit photo identification, when Arizona law only requires ID.

Here’s what Meta Mendel-Reyes is reporting from Kentucky:

In Detroit Michigan,”>according to Election Protection, District 13 is demanding drivers licenses. People are not being allowed to vote even if they have a voter ID card., nor are they being given the option of signing an affidavit saying they don’t have ID.

In Cottageville, SC, a”>voter had allegedly had his military identification rejected and he was asked to show a driver’s license, even though a photo id is not required under state law until 2013. He reported that the election officials did not seem to know about the law.

From Hermelinda Cortes in Virginia:

Across the country, voters are also being sent to the wrong polling locations. In Springfield, MA, redistricting changes sent voters to multiple locations before finding the correct one. In Staunton, VA a voter was told that they had to return to a former polling station from a former address and was turned away. In San Francisco, CA, an official city elections map is sending people to the wrong neighborhood.

For months, our Voting Rights Watch team has been reporting on voter suppression news from across the country. And, finally, today’s the day. Stay tuned for more once we’re able to confirm these reports.

Pennsylvania’s Spanish-Speaking Voters Face Barriers at the Polls

Pennsylvania's  Spanish-Speaking Voters Face Barriers at the Polls

Our Voting Rights Watch community journalists are watching the polls today. So far, Election Protection monitors are getting lots of reports of individual dustups, particularly around the voter ID laws. James Cersonsky sends in this latest report from Pennsylvania:

Reports continue to pour in about voter ID misinformation in Pennsylvania. Meredith McCoy from the Lawyer’s Committee tells Voting Rights Watch that signs have been up in Harrisburg and Dauphin Counties stating that photo IDs are required. In Erie County, she says, one polling place has told voters that “although some places don’t require ID, this one does.” Community journalist Meta Mendel-Reyes writes that a voter was wrongly rejected from the polls in Oley for not having ID, while the city of Berwick has signs stating that ID is required. Voting Rights Watch Community Journalist *Maegan Ortiz *reports that similar posters have been up in the Philadelphia suburb of Havertown.

Meanwhile, Spanish-speaking voters at several polling places in North Philly have been left without interpreters, Ceiba’s Will Gonzalez tells Voting Rights Watch. “It would be akin to opening a polling place without electricity,” he says. In some cases, poll workers have asked Spanish-speaking voters to put their name on a list for follow-up, making many voters uneasy. Adds Gonzalez: “Any delay is denial on this thing.”

Philadelphia’s Latino population has also had issues with voters not showing up on the rolls and being forced to fill out provisional ballots—or walk away in frustration. As Philadelphia’s City Paper reports, provisional ballots, a theme across the city today, require extra follow-up from voters after they’ve filled out their forms. Absentee ballots have also been an issue. As Luke McKinstry from the Committee of Seventy tells Voting Rights Watch, numerous voters have called in saying that they haven’t received their ballots even after submitting absentee applications well in advance.

The Committee of Seventy office, which I visited this afternoon, is a phone-ringing nightmare. “Usually with federal elections it’ll die down [mid-afternoon]—people doing crossword puzzles,” President and CEO Zack Stalberg says. “I haven’t seen anything like this before.”

Earlier today, Aura Bogado reported from Colorado that Latino voters in that state are also facing stiff challenges at the polls. For more, keep up with breaking Election Day news over our liveblog.

Voters in Predominantly Black Ohio Suburb Forced to Cast Provisional Ballots

Voters in Predominantly Black Ohio Suburb Forced to Cast Provisional Ballots

A number of residents in Forest Park, a predominantly black suburb outside Cincinnati, are reporting they’re being forced to cast provisional ballots because records incorrectly show they already submitted an absentee-ballot.

The state Board of Election says the issue was caused by a “human error” but Forest Park residents—65% of them who are black—will still have to file a provisional ballot

WKRC-TV has more details about the “human error” thats preventing msny Forest Park voters from casting their ballots today:

We learned of it from a couple who lives in Forest Park and who vote at Word of Deliverance Church. When Acquanitia and Thomas Moxley showed up this morning, a poll worker said that they already voted absentee. The Moxley’s contend they never requested an absentee ballot-nor did they fill one out. They say they’ve voted at the polls every year since they turned 18 years old.

Precinct officials told them to cast a provisional ballot. Wilson went down to the Board of Elections, where the deputy director checked the official list and confirmed the Moxley’s story.

Meanwhile, other voters began reporting similar problems. Officials finally figured out that human error is to blame and affects the voters at only that Forest Park polling. Those voters will be asked to cast a provisional ballot. Officials will wait ten days to count the votes-but they will be counted.

Ohio has 18 electoral votes and it’s important to note that no Republican candidate has won the presidency without carrying the state.

Faulty Electronic Touchscreen Voting Machine Votes for Anyone But Obama

UPDATE 6:10pm EST Andy Hirsch, another Pennsylvania voter attempting to vote for President Obama today ran into a similar issue and uploaded a video of his experience. “Exercising our right to vote shouldn’t be difficult, nor should it test our faith in the system,” Hirsch wrote.


A central Pennsylvania voter reminded the country why plenty of people have so much paranoia about casting ballots on electronic voting machines. They break, while they’re supposed to be delivering future-altering votes in national elections.

The voter, who was trying to cast his ballot with his wife today wrote that after having his vote switched to Mitt Romney when he intended to vote for President Obama he, “assumed it was being picky so I deselected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney.”

He writes about the ordeal of trying to figure out how to fool the machine into letting him cast a ballot for Obama:

Being a software developer, I immediately went into troubleshoot mode. I first thought the calibration was off and tried selecting Jill Stein to actually highlight Obama. Nope. Jill Stein was selected just fine. Next I deselected her and started at the top of Romney’s name and started tapping very closely together to find the ‘active areas’. From the top of Romney’s button down to the bottom of the black checkbox beside Obama’s name was all active for Romney. From the bottom of that same checkbox to the bottom of the Obama button (basically a small white sliver) is what let me choose Obama. Stein’s button was fine. All other buttons worked fine.

The machine was eventually taken offline, and “recalibrated,” and returned to service, Mother Jones reported.

But there are reports that the faulty machinery is taking an agnostic approach to whose votes it wants to mess up. Last week a voter in Marion County, Ohio tried to vote for Mitt Romney on an electronic touchscreen machine, but her vote was automatically switched to a vote for President Obama, The Marion Star reported.

A PSA For Your Friends Who Don’t Vote: ‘Your Excuse Sucks’

After interminable years, several billions of dollars and an unending stream of political ads (more if you live in a swing state), Election Day is here. But what’s that? You know eligible voters who still aren’t planning on turning out?

It’s time you send your friends to Your Excuse Sucks, a project by Cultivated Wit and Fight for the Future. Among the brains behind it are comedians and writers like Brian Janosch and Baratunde Thurston. Trust them to help make the case for voting, if being part of the democratic process to shift power in the country isn’t a good enough excuse on its own.

Think you don’t have time to vote? “Sure, time is money. But you know what else is money? Money! Specifically the amounts of it you could gain or lose based on the outcome of this election,” they say.

You live in a solidly blue or red state where the presidential results for your state are pretty much taken care of? Your Excuse Sucks says, “There’s a word for someone who only participates if they know they can win: asshole.”

And on and on it goes. Of course, there are several legitimate reasons why you may not be voting today: you’re under 18; you’re not a citizen; you live in Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, or Virginia and have a felony on your record and so are possibly barred from voting; you didn’t register in time; or, as Your Excuse Sucks says, “you’re dead.”

Voter ID Confusion and Tea Party Poll ‘Monitoring’ in Pennsylvania

Our Voting Rights Watch community journalists are deployed around the country watching the polls today. So far, Election Protection monitors are getting lots of reports of individual dustups, particularly around the voter ID laws. James Cersonsky sends in this report from Pennsylvania:

Polling places this morning across the state have been rife with confusion—and misinformation—about photo ID requirements. NAACP field organizer Liz Lassiter told Voting Rights Watch that a voter in Hatfield was turned away for not having ID; election officials called the police when she attempted to make a phone call while continuing to wait in line. A university administrator sent us this photo showing confusing signage for student voters. And my fellow community journalist Kemi Bello reports that a Lancaster election official held aside voters who didn’t have ID, while poll watchers in Collegeville allegedly asked voters to show ID and told those who refused to present it, “Well, we’ll get your name anyway.” In a related instance of potential intimidation, a voter in Upper Darby called the Election Protection hotline saying that a man in a suit was directing voters of color away from the line and sending them to the “wrong line for the wrong precinct.”

Yesterday, civil rights and community groups in Pennsylvania released a report detailing how tea party poll watchers planned to clump in black neighborhoods in the Pittsburgh area. The 59 targeted precincts in Allegheny County are over 79 percent black; the remaining precincts are less than 11 percent black (for full stats, see Daniel Denvir’s coverage at Philadelphia’s City Paper). “I’m sure they’re targeting everywhere with the same type of antics,” NAACP Vice President Jotaka Eaddy told Voting Rights Watch.

As Brentin Mock reported yesterday, nationally the place to look for potential voter suppression may not be the polls themselves today. Brentin found a list of dozens of voters in Hillsborough County, Fla., whom the tea party group Tampa Vote Fair had challenged in advance, meaning those voters would be forced to cast provisional ballots. It’s unclear how many counties received similar lists or how many voters were on them.

Fourteen-Year-Old From Inglewood Explains Why He’s Canvassing for Obama in Nevada

antoine-jenkins-will-coley-vegas.jpgAntoine Jenkins on a charter bus traveling from Los Angeles to Nevada. (Photo: Will Coley)

Fourteen-year-old Antoine Jenkins traveled from Inglewood, Calif. to Las Vegas, Nevada to knock on doors and urge voters in the swing state to vote for President Obama.

“In four years I’ll be able to go college and that’s why I need that student loan from Obama,” Jenkins explained to a resident he met that asked why he was knocking on doors. The interaction was captured in an audio story by Will Coley, a Los Angeles based progressive activist who works as a social media strategist.

Coley met Jenkins on a charter bus that traveled from Los Angeles to Las Vegas this past weekend.

“When I boarded the bus, Antoine and his mother were sitting behind me and we immediately hit if off,” Coley told “He was the youngest canvasser in our group and everyone cheered him on. We chanted ‘Antoine!’ almost as much as we did ‘Four more years!’”

Inglewood is a predominantly black and Latino community in the South Bay region of Los Angeles. Earlier this year the Inglewood Unified School District became the first Southern California district to be taken over by the state due to the district’s “ballooning budget deficit.” In an effort to cut costs the district eliminated 200 positions and increased class sizes as a result.

Listen to Will Coley’s story below.

Debunking Election Myths: Don’t Worry, Your Straight-Ticket Vote Is Totally Okay

Debunking Election Myths: Don't Worry, Your Straight-Ticket Vote Is Totally Okay

Among the rumors and misinformation floating around today is one that’s very easy to debunk—if you’re voting anywhere but North Carolina. Do not fear—your straight-ticket voting is perfectly valid, and will include a vote for the president. Nevertheless, rumors to the contrary are populating the social mediasphere and even reaching the Election Protection hotline. So reports Kemi Bello, a Voting Rights Watch community journalist from Texas, who is monitoring the Election Protection feed today.

The Florida Times-Union explains the one exception to this rule:

In North Carolina, however, the warning in the viral email could be a good one. In that state, straight-ticket voting is allowed, but only for races other than president/vice president. So if you vote a straight ticket, you must vote separately for the president and vice president. A state law passed in 1967 prohibits the combination of the vote for president with any other office on the ballot, according to the state’s election website.

Still, rumors are popping up in Pontiac, Michigan; Stewartstown, Pennsylvania and elsewhere. The rumor is so widespread that a spokesperson from Alabama’s Secretary of State responded to the talk today to assure voters that straight-ticket voting, a ballot option allowing voters to vote for a party’s entire slate of candidates with a single mark, is a valid way of voting that will indeed include a person’s pick for president.

Once an unavoidable part of the voting process, today just 15 states offer straight-ticket voting. They are: Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

AP: Strong Turnout in New York and New Jersey Despite Sandy’s Chaos

Election watchers have wondered how Hurricane Sandy would impact turnout and voting experience. Associated Press is reporting that it doesn’t appear to have dampened turnout this morning even in hard-hit areas of New Jersey and New York.

Turnout in the heavily Democratic Northeast has been a significant question as election watchers game out the potential outcome. One prediction for the night is that President Obama will win the Electoral College but not the popular vote. That’s concerning to some, because it may well deepen already troubling emotions among those on the far right who believe the president is illegitimate.

That said, thus far signs point to a strong turnout despite Sandy’s chaos. Colorlines reporters voting this morning in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, a majority black and Caribbean neighborhood, saw lines about an hour long. Our Voting Rights Watch community journalist Hermelinda Cortes, who’s monitoring reports from election protection teams this morning, notes the following:

Election Protection is documenting a number of issues for voters at polling locations across the country, especially areas hit by Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey, and Pennsylvania where there are long lines, confusion about voting locations, and sometimes no power or heat at polling locations. Many people are also being asked for photo identification.

We’ll follow these reports throughout the day. We’ve also heard separate reports of conflict at Pennsylvania polling stations over voter ID requirements. We’ll follow these throughout the day. On the hopeful side in terms of encouraging voting, both New York and New Jersey have made it possible for voters to cast provisional ballots in any polling place, in order to accommodate displaced voters.

Obama Has 431 Ways to Win, Romney Has 76 Ways to Win [Infographic]

Obama Has 431 Ways to Win, Romney Has 76 Ways to Win [Infographic]

An interactive graphic published by the The New York Times recently allows users to explore the 512 combinations of swing states President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney must win to get to the White House.

Obama has 431 ways to win enough electoral college votes to be re-elected, while Romney has just 76. However, if Romney loses Florida, he has only one path to victory.

Visit the New York Times and check out the interactive graphic created by graphics editors Mike Bostock and Shan Carter.

The Rest of World Would Vote for Obama, BBC Poll Finds


A BBC News poll that surveyed close to 22,000 people in 21 countries found most would re-elect President Obama.

An average of 50% favored Obama, with 9% for Mr Romney.

Only Pakistan’s respondents said they would prefer to see Romney win today’s election.

France was the most strongly pro-Obama (72%).

The survey was conducted by GlobeScan/PIPA between 3 July and 3 September.

Chris Rock’s Message for the ‘Undecided Voters of the Caucasian Variety’

Chris Rock's Message for the 'Undecided Voters of the Caucasian Variety'

On last Friday night’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Chris Rock starred in a satirical campaign ad that proved President Barack Obama is white.

The Hollywood Reporter transcribed Rock’s evidence of why the Commander in Chief is so white:

-Obama formerly went by Barry, “the third whitest name on Earth.”

  • After college, the president went into black Chicago neighborhoods to organize people. “How white is that? Black people don’t go into black communities,” Rock says. “We don’t have to. We’re already there.”

-“Barack Obama supports gay marriage,” Rock says. “Most black men don’t even support straight marriage.”

It’s a pretty good satirical ad, but the record, that last bit about black people not supporting gay marriage is actually a myth that’s worth addressing. In fact, black people are more likely to support gay marriage than whites.

How the Romney and Obama Campaigns Racially Typefaced You

How the Romney and Obama Campaigns Racially Typefaced You

Both the Barack Obama re-election campaign and the Romney for President campaign have what they call “groups” or “communities” within their campaigns to target the so called “minority” groups.  The campaigns have given the groups their own identity and typeface and it may provide some insight in how they perceive these groups. (For those that don’t know, a typeface = fonts.)

Some of the typefaces are good, some of them are bad and whoever picked the Latinos for Obama font should be charged with a hate crime.

Here we go, we’ll start with the Obama campaign’s groups:

For starters they have the general group meant for white folks and everyone who doesn’t know they have their own dedicated group.


Latinos got the craziest font.

Take a look at the letter “S” in Latinos, does it look like it comes from the golden age of gang graffiti to you? Or like some low-rider cars should be in the picture too?


Then there’s the African-American group with this interesting selection:


The classiest font went to Asian-Americans.

Take a look, it looks so serious compared to the African-American and Latino groups. So serious! It could have gone much worse though…


11 Arrested at City Hall as Chicago Teachers, Families Unite to Defend Public Schools

11 Arrested at City Hall as Chicago Teachers, Families Unite to Defend Public Schools

While the rest of the city was easing into their weekend, Chicago teachers and parents were laying themselves on the line Friday evening to protest Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s school reform agenda. In a press conference turned sit-in, over a hundred Chicago students, parents and teachers gathered at Chicago’s city hall Friday evening demanding a moratorium on the mayor’s campaign to shut down dozens of Chicago’s neighborhood public schools. Jitu Brown, the education organizer at Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, said eleven people were arrested at around 10pm, but not before protesters took over the hallway just outside Emanuel’s door for hours.

“What they should do is declare a moratorium on school closings because so much damage has been done by these policies,” Brown said. “There’s enough examples of how [school closures] have already been harmful to communities that they should do it just out of acknowledgement of past history.”

The sit-in came just days after the city released its guidelines for shutting down city schools. In February, Mayor Emanuel proposed a plan to phase out or shut down some 100 public schools in Chicago, and also announced a parallel plan to open 64 schools. The public school closures are explained as a measure of efficiency; they’re targeted at so-called “underutilized” schools where enrollment is far below building capacity. Yet, Brown and others say that the underutilization of schools is a manufactured problem by reformers like Emanuel who are intent on destabilizing the public education system and transferring public education into the hands of non-public entities. The increasingly vocal coalition of Chicago public school teachers, students and families rising up against Emanuel’s school closures agenda say the city’s already long history with school closures have had a destabilizing effect on the poorest communities, which are most in need of stable public institutions to anchor communities.

The National Disaster Seen in New York’s Income Inequality

The National Disaster Seen in New York's Income Inequality

As New York makes an uneven recovery in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, harsh economic truths obscured by the city’s shining opulence are coming to light. With its global status as America’s financial capital, the consequences of New York’s crushing income inequality holds lessons for the entire nation. Whether we learn from them will be a task of the next president.

The annual economic output of New York and its suburbs is larger than South Korea, Switzerland or Saudi Arabia.

Yet, as Adam David Rohde reported in The Atlantic Magazine, income inequality in the city “rivals parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.” Despite the shine of the Big Apple, wealth is concentrated in the hands of the few in a way that is matched by few places on earth.

One out of three workers in New York hold hourly wage jobs. When these men and women who clean offices or take fast-food orders do not work, they do not earn. According to the latest census data, the bottom 20 percent of wage earners in New York make under $10,000 a year.

As salaried workers and the wealthy fled to hotels or second homes in advance of the storm, “the city’s army of cashiers, waiters, and service workers remained in place,” Rohde writes.

In Sandy’s wake, New York’s inattention to these inequities has had severe consequences.

In cash-strapped areas such as the Rockaways, Red Hook and Coney Island, over 40,000 people are homeless because of the hurricane. As temperatures dropped to freezing at the weekend, seniors were trapped in high-rise public housing towers without food and water. The same is true for the disabled. Half of the storm’s deaths occurred on working class Staten Island where many first responders—deployed to other areas of the city—live.

New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s focus the day after the storm was on opening Wall Street. The impact of inequality seemed far from his thoughts. But that Empire State of Mind puts a great many number of his citizens at risk. In that, New York is in the same boat as the rest of America.

Where we go from here needs to be a major focus of the next occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218