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Hometown: New England, The South, Midwest
Home country: USA
Current location: Chicago
Member since: Sat Mar 5, 2011, 12:32 PM
Number of posts: 18,733

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Human. Being.

Journal Archives

Kamala Harris 2020 Democratic National Convention Speech -- Full Transcript

Greetings America.

It is truly an honor to be speaking with you.

That I am here tonight is a testament to the dedication of generations before me. Women and men who believed so fiercely in the promise of equality, liberty, and justice for all.

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment. And we celebrate the women who fought for that right.

Yet so many of the Black women who helped secure that victory were still prohibited from voting, long after its ratification.

But they were undeterred.

Without fanfare or recognition, they organized, testified, rallied, marched, and fought — not just for their vote, but for a seat at the table. These women and the generations that followed worked to make democracy and opportunity real in the lives of all of us who followed.

They paved the way for the trailblazing leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

And these women inspired us to pick up the torch, and fight on.

Women like Mary Church Terrell and Mary McCleod Bethune. Fannie Lou Hamer and Diane Nash. Constance Baker Motley and Shirley Chisholm.

We’re not often taught their stories. But as Americans, we all stand on their shoulders.

There’s another woman, whose name isn’t known, whose story isn’t shared. Another woman whose shoulders I stand on. And that’s my mother — Shyamala Gopalan Harris.

She came here from India at age 19 to pursue her dream of curing cancer. At the University of California Berkeley, she met my father, Donald Harris — who had come from Jamaica to study economics.

They fell in love in that most American way — while marching together for justice in the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

In the streets of Oakland and Berkeley, I got a stroller’s-eye view of people getting into what the great John Lewis called “good trouble.”

When I was 5, my parents split and my mother raised us mostly on her own. Like so many mothers, she worked around the clock to make it work — packing lunches before we woke up — and paying bills after we went to bed. Helping us with homework at the kitchen table — and shuttling us to church for choir practice.

She made it look easy, though I know it never was.

My mother instilled in my sister, Maya, and me the values that would chart the course of our lives.

She raised us to be proud, strong Black women. And she raised us to know and be proud of our Indian heritage.

She taught us to put family first — the family you’re born into and the family you choose.

Family, is my husband Doug, who I met on a blind date set up by my best friend. Family is our beautiful children, Cole and Ella, who as you just heard, call me Momala. Family is my sister. Family is my best friend, my nieces and my godchildren. Family is my uncles, my aunts and my chithis. Family is Mrs. Shelton — my second mother who lived two doors down and helped raise me. Family is my beloved Alpha Kappa Alpha … our Divine 9 … and my H.B.C.U. brothers and sisters. Family is the friends I turned to when my mother — the most important person in my life — passed away from cancer.

And even as she taught us to keep our family at the center of our world, she also pushed us to see a world beyond ourselves.

She taught us to be conscious and compassionate about the struggles of all people. To believe public service is a noble cause and the fight for justice is a shared responsibility.

That led me to become a lawyer, a district attorney, attorney general and a United States Senator.

And at every step of the way, I’ve been guided by the words I spoke from the first time I stood in a courtroom: Kamala Harris, for the people.

I’ve fought for children, and survivors of sexual assault. I’ve fought against transnational gangs. I took on the biggest banks, and helped take down one of the biggest for-profit colleges.

I know a predator when I see one.

My mother taught me that service to others gives life purpose and meaning. And oh, how I wish she were here tonight but I know she’s looking down on me from above. I keep thinking about that 25-year-old Indian woman — all of five feet tall — who gave birth to me at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, California.

On that day, she probably could have never imagined that I would be standing before you now speaking these words: I accept your nomination for vice president of the United States of America.

I do so, committed to the values she taught me. To the Word that teaches me to walk by faith, and not by sight. And to a vision passed on through generations of Americans — one that Joe Biden shares. A vision of our nation as a Beloved Community — where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love.

A country where we may not agree on every detail, but we are united by the fundamental belief that every human being is of infinite worth, deserving of compassion, dignity and respect.

A country where we look out for one another, where we rise and fall as one, where we face our challenges, and celebrate our triumphs — together.

Today … that country feels distant.

Donald Trump’s failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods.

If you’re a parent struggling with your child’s remote learning, or you’re a teacher struggling on the other side of that screen, you know that what we’re doing right now isn’t working.

And we are a nation that’s grieving. Grieving the loss of life, the loss of jobs, the loss of opportunities, the loss of normalcy. And yes, the loss of certainty.

And while this virus touches us all, let’s be honest, it is not an equal opportunity offender. Black, Latino and Indigenous people are suffering and dying disproportionately.

This is not a coincidence. It is the effect of structural racism.

Of inequities in education and technology, health care and housing, job security and transportation.

The injustice in reproductive and maternal health care. In the excessive use of force by police. And in our broader criminal justice system.

This virus has no eyes, and yet it knows exactly how we see each other — and how we treat each other.

And let’s be clear — there is no vaccine for racism. We’ve gotta do the work.

For George Floyd. For Breonna Taylor. For the lives of too many others to name. For our children. For all of us.

We’ve gotta do the work to fulfill that promise of equal justice under law. Because, none of us are free … until all of us are free …

We’re at an inflection point.

The constant chaos leaves us adrift. The incompetence makes us feel afraid. The callousness makes us feel alone.

It’s a lot.

And here’s the thing: We can do better and deserve so much more.

We must elect a president who will bring something different, something better, and do the important work. A president who will bring all of us together — Black, White, Latino, Asian, Indigenous — to achieve the future we collectively want.

We must elect Joe Biden.

I knew Joe as Vice President. I knew Joe on the campaign trail. But I first got to know Joe as the father of my friend.

Joe’s son, Beau, and I served as Attorneys General of our states, Delaware and California. During the Great Recession, we spoke on the phone nearly every day, working together to win back billions of dollars for homeowners from the big banks that foreclosed on people’s homes.

And Beau and I would talk about his family.

How, as a single father, Joe would spend 4 hours every day riding the train back and forth from Wilmington to Washington. Beau and Hunter got to have breakfast every morning with their dad. They went to sleep every night with the sound of his voice reading bedtime stories. And while they endured an unspeakable loss, these two little boys Always knew that they were deeply, unconditionally loved.

And what also moved me about Joe is the work he did, as he went back and forth. This is the leader who wrote the Violence Against Women Act — and enacted the Assault Weapons Ban. Who, as Vice President, implemented The Recovery Act, which brought our country back from The Great Recession. He championed The Affordable Care Act, protecting millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions. Who spent decades promoting American values and interests around the world, standing up with our allies and standing up to our adversaries.

Right now, we have a president who turns our tragedies into political weapons.

Joe will be a president who turns our challenges into purpose.

Joe will bring us together to build an economy that doesn’t leave anyone behind. Where a good-paying job is the floor, not the ceiling.

Joe will bring us together to end this pandemic and make sure that we are prepared for the next one.

Joe will bring us together to squarely face and dismantle racial injustice, furthering the work of generations.

Joe and I believe that we can build that Beloved Community, one that is strong and decent, just and kind. One in which we all can see ourselves.

That’s the vision that our parents and grandparents fought for. The vision that made my own life possible. The vision that makes the American promise — for all its complexities and imperfections — a promise worth fighting for.

Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy. We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.

We believe that our country — all of us, will stand together for a better future. We already are.

We see it in the doctors, the nurses, the home health care workers and the frontline workers who are risking their lives to save people they’ve never met.

We see it in the teachers and truck drivers, the factory workers and farmers, the postal workers and the Poll workers, all putting their own safety on the line to help us get through this pandemic.

And we see it in so many of you who are working, not just to get us through our current crises, but to somewhere better.

There’s something happening, all across the country.

It’s not about Joe or me.

It’s about you.

It’s about us. People of all ages and colors and creeds who are, yes, taking to the streets, and also persuading our family members, rallying our friends, organizing our neighbors, and getting out the vote.

And we’ve shown that, when we vote, we expand access to health care, expand access to the ballot box, and ensure that more working families can make a decent living.

I’m so inspired by a new generation of leadership. You are pushing us to realize the ideals of our nation, pushing us to live the values we share: decency and fairness, justice and love.

You are the patriots who remind us that to love our country is to fight for the ideals of our country.

In this election, we have a chance to change the course of history. We’re all in this fight.

You, me and Joe — together.

What an awesome responsibility. What an awesome privilege.

So, let’s fight with conviction. Let’s fight with hope. Let’s fight with confidence in ourselves, and a commitment to each other. To the America we know is possible. The America, we love.

Years from now, this moment will have passed. And our children and our grandchildren will look in our eyes and ask us: Where were you when the stakes were so high?

They will ask us, what was it like?

And we will tell them. We will tell them, not just how we felt.

We will tell them what we did.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

President Barack Obama's 2020 Democratic National Convention Speech -- Full Transcript

Good evening, everybody. As you've seen by now, this isn't a normal convention. It's not a normal time. So tonight, I want to talk as plainly as I can about the stakes in this election. Because what we do these next 76 days will echo through generations to come.

I'm in Philadelphia, where our Constitution was drafted and signed. It wasn't a perfect document. It allowed for the inhumanity of slavery and failed to guarantee women -- and even men who didn't own property -- the right to participate in the political process.

But embedded in this document was a North Star that would guide future generations; a system of representative government -- a democracy -- through which we could better realize our highest ideals. Through civil war and bitter struggles, we improved this Constitution to include the voices of those who'd once been left out. And gradually, we made this country more just, more equal, and more free.

The one Constitutional office elected by all of the people is the presidency. So at minimum, we should expect a president to feel a sense of responsibility for the safety and welfare of all 330 million of us -- regardless of what we look like, how we worship, who we love, how much money we have -- or who we voted for.

But we should also expect a president to be the custodian of this democracy. We should expect that regardless of ego, ambition, or political beliefs, the president will preserve, protect, and defend the freedoms and ideals that so many Americans marched for and went to jail for; fought for and died for.

I have sat in the Oval Office with both of the men who are running for president. I never expected that my successor would embrace my vision or continue my policies. I did hope, for the sake of our country, that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously; that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care.

But he never did. For close to four years now, he's shown no interest in putting in the work; no interest in finding common ground; no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends; no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.

Donald Trump hasn't grown into the job because he can't. And the consequences of that failure are severe. 170,000 Americans dead. Millions of jobs gone while those at the top take in more than ever. Our worst impulses unleashed, our proud reputation around the world badly diminished, and our democratic institutions threatened like never before.

Now, I know that in times as polarized as these, most of you have already made up your mind. But maybe you're still not sure which candidate you'll vote for -- or whether you'll vote at all. Maybe you're tired of the direction we're headed, but you can't see a better path yet, or you just don't know enough about the person who wants to lead us there.

So let me tell you about my friend Joe Biden.

Twelve years ago, when I began my search for a vice president, I didn't know I'd end up finding a brother. Joe and I came from different places and different generations. But what I quickly came to admire about him is his resilience, born of too much struggle; his empathy, born of too much grief. Joe's a man who learned -- early on -- to treat every person he meets with respect and dignity, living by the words his parents taught him: "No one's better than you, Joe, but you're better than nobody."

That empathy, that decency, the belief that everybody counts -- that's who Joe is.
When he talks with someone who's lost her job, Joe remembers the night his father sat him down to say that he'd lost his.

When Joe listens to a parent who's trying to hold it all together right now, he does it as the single dad who took the train back to Wilmington each and every night so he could tuck his kids into bed.
When he meets with military families who've lost their hero, he does it as a kindred spirit; the parent of an American soldier; somebody whose faith has endured the hardest loss there is.

For eight years, Joe was the last one in the room whenever I faced a big decision. He made me a better president -- and he's got the character and the experience to make us a better country.

And in my friend Kamala Harris, he's chosen an ideal partner who's more than prepared for the job; someone who knows what it's like to overcome barriers and who's made a career fighting to help others live out their own American dream.

Along with the experience needed to get things done, Joe and Kamala have concrete policies that will turn their vision of a better, fairer, stronger country into reality.
They'll get this pandemic under control, like Joe did when he helped me manage H1N1 and prevent an Ebola outbreak from reaching our shores.
They'll expand health care to more Americans, like Joe and I did ten years ago when he helped craft the Affordable Care Act and nail down the votes to make it the law.
They'll rescue the economy, like Joe helped me do after the Great Recession. I asked him to manage the Recovery Act, which jumpstarted the longest stretch of job growth in history.

And he sees this moment now not as a chance to get back to where we were, but to make long-overdue changes so that our economy actually makes life a little easier for everybody -- whether it's the waitress trying to raise a kid on her own, or the shift worker always on the edge of getting laid off, or the student figuring out how to pay for next semester's classes.

Joe and Kamala will restore our standing in the world -- and as we've learned from this pandemic, that matters. Joe knows the world, and the world knows him. He knows that our true strength comes from setting an example the world wants to follow. A nation that stands with democracy, not dictators. A nation that can inspire and mobilize others to overcome threats like climate change, terrorism, poverty, and disease.

But more than anything, what I know about Joe and Kamala is that they actually care about every American. And they care deeply about this democracy.

They believe that in a democracy, the right to vote is sacred, and we should be making it easier for people to cast their ballot, not harder.

They believe that no one -- including the president -- is above the law, and that no public official -- including the president -- should use their office to enrich themselves or their supporters.
They understand that in this democracy, the Commander-in-Chief doesn't use the men and women of our military, who are willing to risk everything to protect our nation, as political props to deploy against peaceful protesters on our own soil.

They understand that political opponents aren't "un-American" just because they disagree with you; that a free press isn't the "enemy" but the way we hold officials accountable; that our ability to work together to solve big problems like a pandemic depends on a fidelity to facts and science and logic and not just making stuff up.

None of this should be controversial. These shouldn't be Republican principles or Democratic principles. They're American principles. But at this moment, this president and those who enable him, have shown they don't believe in these things.

Tonight, I am asking you to believe in Joe and Kamala's ability to lead this country out of these dark times and build it back better. But here's the thing: no single American can fix this country alone. Not even a president.

Democracy was never meant to be transactional -- you give me your vote; I make everything better. It requires an active and informed citizenry. So I am also asking you to believe in your own ability -- to embrace your own responsibility as citizens -- to make sure that the basic tenets of our democracy endure.

Because that's what at stake right now. Our democracy.

Look, I understand why many Americans are down on government. The way the rules have been set up and abused in Congress make it easy for special interests to stop progress. Believe me, I know. I understand why a white factory worker who's seen his wages cut or his job shipped overseas might feel like the government no longer looks out for him, and why a Black mother might feel like it never looked out for her at all. I understand why a new immigrant might look around this country and wonder whether there's still a place for him here; why a young person might look at politics right now, the circus of it all, the meanness and the lies and crazy conspiracy theories and think, what's the point?

Well, here's the point: this president and those in power -- those who benefit from keeping things the way they are -- they are counting on your cynicism. They know they can't win you over with their policies. So they're hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn't matter. That's how they win. That's how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That's how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That's how a democracy withers, until it's no democracy at all.

We can't let that happen. Do not let them take away your power. Don't let them take away your democracy. Make a plan right now for how you're going to get involved and vote. Do it as early as you can and tell your family and friends how they can vote too. Do what Americans have done for over two centuries when faced with even tougher times than this -- all those quiet heroes who found the courage to keep marching, keep pushing in the face of hardship and injustice.

Last month, we lost a giant of American democracy in John Lewis. Some years ago, I sat down with John and the few remaining leaders of the early Civil Rights Movement. One of them told me he never imagined he'd walk into the White House and see a president who looked like his grandson. Then he told me that he'd looked it up, and it turned out that on the very day that I was born, he was marching into a jail cell, trying to end Jim Crow segregation in the South.

What we do echoes through the generations.

Whatever our backgrounds, we're all the children of Americans who fought the good fight. Great grandparents working in firetraps and sweatshops without rights or representation. Farmers losing their dreams to dust. Irish and Italians and Asians and Latinos told to go back where they came from. Jews and Catholics, Muslims and Sikhs, made to feel suspect for the way they worshipped. Black Americans chained and whipped and hanged. Spit on for trying to sit at lunch counters. Beaten for trying to vote.

If anyone had a right to believe that this democracy did not work, and could not work, it was those Americans. Our ancestors. They were on the receiving end of a democracy that had fallen short all their lives. They knew how far the daily reality of America strayed from the myth. And yet, instead of giving up, they joined together and said somehow, some way, we are going to make this work. We are going to bring those words, in our founding documents, to life.

I've seen that same spirit rising these past few years. Folks of every age and background who packed city centers and airports and rural roads so that families wouldn't be separated. So that another classroom wouldn't get shot up. So that our kids won't grow up on an uninhabitable planet. Americans of all races joining together to declare, in the face of injustice and brutality at the hands of the state, that Black Lives Matter, no more, but no less, so that no child in this country feels the continuing sting of racism.

To the young people who led us this summer, telling us we need to be better -- in so many ways, you are this country's dreams fulfilled. Earlier generations had to be persuaded that everyone has equal worth. For you, it's a given -- a conviction. And what I want you to know is that for all its messiness and frustrations, your system of self-government can be harnessed to help you realize those convictions.

You can give our democracy new meaning. You can take it to a better place. You're the missing ingredient -- the ones who will decide whether or not America becomes the country that fully lives up to its creed.
That work will continue long after this election.

But any chance of success depends entirely on the outcome of this election. This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that's what it takes to win.

So we have to get busy building it up -- by pouring all our effort into these 76 days, and by voting like never before -- for Joe and Kamala, and candidates up and down the ticket, so that we leave no doubt about what this country we love stands for -- today and for all our days to come.

Stay safe. God bless.



1. BY SEPT 15: RETURN old and install replacement high speed sorter equipment across states.

2. BY SEPT 20: CERTIFY (ONLY by local postmasters sign off) the functionality of all 600+ high speed mail sorters across states.

3. BY SEPT 20: CERTIFY the finished reinstallment of all mail collection boxes from the streets.

4. BY SEPT 20: CONGRESS CANCELS THE CONTRACT DE JOY set up with his personally connected private mail carrier, overriding the barely existing Postal Service Board's approvals.

5. BY JAN 30 2021:

Historically, Congress has not enacted specific policies concerning the extent of the USPS’s use of contractors to deliver mail. It has left the matter to be decided by the Postal Service and its letter carrier unions through collective bargaining and the grievance process. Congress may continue this practice, reasoning that the USPS has legitimate grounds to pursue cost-savings via the use of contractors.

Contractors have been used to collect, transport, sort, and deliver mail; and machines built by private firms do much of the mail sorting work once performed by USPS employees.

Letter carriage would not appear to be an inherently governmental function under current procurement policy, so the USPS should be free to outsource this work as it deems proper.

But given the essential frontline nature of USPS in recent decades, that is the current issue.

Congress may choose to intervene, viewing the issue as involving an unintended conflict arising out of two national policies—USPS operational efficiency and the rights of unionized, federal employees. The two are not mutually exclusive, were Postal Service Board members not predominantly composed from the business world.

From this perspective, it could be argued that the USPS is supposed to be a self-supporting agency; but that does not necessitate that the USPS should be permitted to outsource however much postal work it chooses. The postal service may forever be a service and not a business, despite the conflict of issues board members might impose on the federal employees.

It might be further argued that there is a positive societal benefit in the federal government hiring individuals (often minorities and veterans) and compensating them well.

Thus, Congress might either ban the practice of using contractors to deliver mail (or perform other mail-movement activities); or it could limit the amount of mail delivery work performed by contractors — perhaps by capping the percentage of routes served by non-USPS employees.

Were Congress either to ban or limit the use of contractors, it might wish to consider helping the USPS recoup any lost savings by providing it with additional authorities to increase its revenues or decrease its operating costs. It could change the current undue burdening standard for pension solvency, which has amounted to defunding USPS.

The essential frontline nature of USPS in recent decades, and its proper funding and functioning is America's future concern.

Congress will HAVE to name post offices less, and take on the regular and indispensable oversight of the U.S. Postal Service more. More. Pandemics and climate crises will necessitate that Congress run the U.S. Postal Service, NOT the president and NOT any corporate business board.

Disney Princess Theology

We lefties always have to drag them kicking and screaming as we do their thinking for them as they pout their way to progress. And that's after they shoot first, aim later.

From reddit.

Governor Cuomo Briefing August 17 2020

Day 170

Partial Transcript (10:12)

...Tonight I have the honor of addressing the Democratic Convention in a speech ... I say in the speech, it takes a strong body to resist the virus. Because it really is a great metaphor, right? When does the virus wreak havoc? When the body is weak and America’s body politic is weak. We’re divided. Our government was not ready to respond. So I speak about that.

...To me, this period of time has really reshaped not just our national dialogue, but our impression of government. Ask yourself when was the last time government was as essential as it is today. When? When did government matter the way it matters to you today, to everybody today? Maybe the last time we went to war, maybe the depression, maybe the last time they said they were going to draft your child to go into an army.

... Government affects every person’s life, and not some political theoretical abstraction. What do you politically think, are you politically a progressive, are you politically a conservative? Government is making life and death decisions. I think it’s going to reshape the way people think about government for a long time.

Because I don’t care what you thought about government yesterday, pre-COVID. It was a waste of time, I’m not political, government doesn’t matter. It all changed. Government matters today. Democrat, Republican, Upstate, Downstate, government matters. Leadership matters. Leadership matters. Performance matters.

Performance matters. Strip away all the rhetoric. Did you get the job done or not? Performance matters. It was a great crystallizer of truth and fact, what we’ve been going through. Social unity matters.

How did New Yorkers bend the curve? How did new Yorkers bend the curve? That’s the great question. Right? That’s what all the experts now ask me. “How did you do it? How did you do it?” I say, “I didn't do anything.” I communicated information to the people of the State, and the people acted intelligently, and they were smart, and they acted as a community. We talk about that word community, we’re a community. Community, from the Latin, communitas of the common. Right?

Constitution speaks about common good, common good, common good. Yeah. What the Founding Fathers didn’t anticipate was people not acting in the common good. New Yorkers acted in the common good. I wear a mask for you, you wear a mask for me. I respect you, and you respect me. That’s community.

New Yorkers forge community. Well, how? We’re so fractious, we’re so divided. No. They overcame the divisions, and found the commonality. It matters. If we were divided, this would never happen.

If a significant portion of the population said, “I’m not doing this social distancing, it’s a Democratic idea. I’m not doing masks. I’m not doing that.” If a significant portion of the population that did that, those numbers in that curve would be dramatically different.

I also say in this speech, which probably is one of the most important things to me personally, I say thank you to all the Americans who came to help New York. I don’t know that you felt it the way I felt it. But one day I said, “We need help. Our medical staff is getting overwhelmed, and they’re working too hard.” And I asked people across the country who were nurses or doctors, “Could you please help? If you’re not busy in your state, could you please come help?” I just asked the question.

I didn’t talk about it before, it wasn’t premeditated. It was just common sense, and it was just spontaneous. 30,000 people volunteered. 30,000 nurses and doctors volunteer to come to New York in the middle of the pandemic, at the hotspot, nurses and doctors, to go into an emergency room.

30,000. I was so touched. I was amazed. Sometimes we underestimate the goodness of people, and the courage of people. I had seen snapshots of it after 9/11. There were all sorts of people who just showed up here...

We now have to address the other crisis. Right? COVID crisis. What could be worse? Another crisis on top of COVID could be worse. “Oh, that could never happen.” Anything could happen, and it happened. And that was the tensions unleashed after the George Floyd murder, that are still ongoing today.

And these are now, let’s call them police community tensions. Right? A significant portion of the population that is unhappy with policing public safety policies. “How do you know that?” Because we’ve had millions of protestors in the middle of a global pandemic. That’s how I know it. And we’ve all seen it. The tensions are real. The tensions are there. That has, in some ways, distorted the public safety function in many communities. New York City, murders are up 29% year to date. Shootings are up 79% year to date. Bronx, 60%. Brooklyn, 102%. Manhattan, 54%. Queens, 75%. Staten Island, 108%. You cannot dismiss these numbers.

You cannot look at this reality and say it doesn’t exist. Because the reality is so clear. New York City, recent data, over 90% of the victims are black and brown. 90% of the victims are black and brown.

You want to talk about social justice? You want to talk about civil rights? You want to talk about social equity?

How do you explain that? It’s not just New York City, it’s all across the nation. It’s also Upstate New York. Upstate cities, shooting injuries up 70% year to date. Albany, shootings up 240. Buffalo, 66%. Rochester, 54%. Syracuse, 130%. So it’s not just New York City. I announced an executive order on June 12th, which was ambitious. It was called the New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative. What it said is, we have an issue and we have to address the issue.

Very little has been done. Today, I’m sending a letter to 500 jurisdictions in New York State that have a police department. And the letter is explaining that it is imperative that we address this urgent crisis. I understand it’s complicated. I understand it’s difficult. I also understand people are dying. Right? It’s like the COVID crisis. ” Oh, this is complicated. This is hard.” Yeah. I know. It’s also a matter of life and death. And so is this situation.

Denial is not a successful life strategy. Not in government, not in your personal life. This state does not run from a crisis. It’s not what we do. It’s not who we are. And we’re not going to deny that this is a crisis. What do we do in a crisis? Leaders lead, and leaders act. This is a time for leadership, and action.

Acknowledge the tensions, they’re real. Talk to members of the community, they have real issues. Talk to the police department, they have real issues. They will tell you there are policies in place that frustrate their ability to do their job. Talk to members of the community, they’ll say there are policies in place that they found find repugnant. They’re real feelings on both sides. I understand that.

Acknowledge them, and then you have to move to resolve them. How? Form a collaborative, put people at the table. We understand the issues. We understand the tensions. We understand the differences of opinion. Let’s design a public safety function, a police department, where the police say they can operate with these policies. And the community says they’re reforms that they require necessary for social justice. That’s the only way out of this.

There is no other option. Denial doesn’t work. ” Well, let’s ignore it, and maybe it’ll go away.” It’s not going away. It’s not going away. The relationship is frayed. The relationship is based on trust and respect. And the relationship is ruptured. But divorce is not an option here.

Divorce is not an option. You can’t say, “We don’t need any police, and the police department.” Oh, really? And then what happens at two o’clock in the morning when someone’s coming through the window and you hear the glass break. So divorce is not an option. You have to resolve the and reconcile it. I understand it’s politically difficult. I understand politicians don’t like to get involved in politically difficult situations.

I don’t lust for politically difficult situations, but it has to be done. It has to be done quickly. I’m saying in the letter today, if you don’t have a plan, that is a re-imagined police department, by next April, there will be no state funding for that jurisdiction. Okay?

What am I trying to do? I’m trying to force attention, and focus, and action on this issue. People are getting shot every day. It’s getting worse, not better. We have to act. And look, change is hard. Change a large system, very hard. But there’s an opportunity in that. If you don’t change, you don’t grow.

If you don't change, you don’t grow. If you don’t change, you don’t achieve progress. If you don’t change, you don’t evolve. And change happens when the people stand up and say, “We want change and we have generated enough energy to overcome the status quo.” When did we pass marriage equality, the first state in the nation? When the people rose up and said, “We demand change.” When did we raise the minimum wage? When the people stood up and said, “We demand raising the minimum wage.” When did we pass gun safety? After there was a shooting in Connecticut and people stood up and said, “I’ve had enough.”

These are moments for positive change. They’re hard. They’re disruptive. But there is no change without disruption. Disruption is the price of change and progress. And this is a moment for disruption. Disruption has happened by the way.

Now that we’re in the moment of disruption, let’s make the change, let’s make it positive. And let’s reimagine public safety in a way that works for the overall community. That’s what has to be done even though it’s hard. And that’s what we’re going to do because we are New York tough, which is smart, which is united, which is disciplined, which is loving. Questions?

The Adults Are Coming

It's exciting.

But they're not here yet.

To get them there, we're going to have to shift focus and energy to fight for the vote.
If we think the uphill fight has been hard up 'til now, it will have been nothing compared to a life of accelerating crises and decay if we lose.

As Rachel said tonight, pressure works. But now that Congress are in their respective corners, and campaign energy is on screens, we'll have to contact state levels.

Because government as we have known it is on the line, and state level is democracy's strength right now.

Having a couple of directories might help. One for governors, one for attorneys general.

We might have to work through them over the next two months.



The True Coronavirus Toll in the U.S. Has Already Surpassed 200,000

Source: New York Times

Across the United States, at least 200,000 more people have died than usual since March, according to a New York Times analysis of estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is about 60,000 higher than the number of deaths that have been directly linked to the coronavirus.

As the pandemic has moved south and west from its epicenter in New York City, so have the unusual patterns in deaths from all causes. That suggests that the official death counts may be substantially underestimating the overall effects of the virus, as people die from the virus as well as by other causes linked to the pandemic.

When the coronavirus took hold in the United States in March, the bulk of deaths above normal levels, or “excess deaths,” were in the Northeast, as New York and New Jersey saw huge surges.

Counting deaths takes time and many states are weeks or months behind in reporting. The estimates from the C.D.C. are adjusted based on how mortality data has lagged in previous years. Even with this adjustment, it’s possible there could be an underestimate of the complete death toll if increased mortality is causing states to lag more than they have in the past or if states have changed their reporting systems.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/08/12/us/covid-deaths-us.html?searchResultPosition=1

Among the five charts shown.

Jeff Tiedrich!


To Pass Along To Young Critics Who Say This Ticket Is "Too Corporate"

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris LIVE!

Start 22:30

EDIT: Video replaces live stream
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