Tag Archives: politics

Voto Latino, Mi Familia Vota, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Latino Victory Project, Cosmo Latina, and more than 50 other Partners Launch Robust National Voter Registration Drive

15 Sep

#PowerOfOurVote Hispanic Heritage Month of Action campaign to deliver record Latino turnout
for 2014 Midterm Elections.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sept. 15, 2014 – Today, more than 50 partners are launching an online
voter registration campaign in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Our collective voice will
ensure elected officials no longer ignore us or the issues that impact the Latino community.
The campaign kick-off urges Latinos to register to vote and then take their families, neighbors,
and friends to the ballot box on Election Day, November 4. Only by exercising the power of their
vote, can the Latino community influence real policy changes.
The campaign will launch a national “Hispanic Heritage Month of Action” and will have three
main voter registration pushes: today (September 15), September 23 (National Voter
Registration Day), and October 15 (the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month). The initiative is
the first of its kind to mobilize Latinos during Hispanic Heritage Month and brings together
partners across all industries to put the needs of the Latino community above individual politics.
Hispanic Heritage Month of Action relies heavily on digital and social media assets, along with
ground components in key states, including outreach to young Latinos who have reached voting
age. The initiative is led online by Voto Latino, on the ground by Mi Familia Vota in key Latino
states, and nationally with partners, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, U.S.
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, ImpreMedia, Entravision, Liberman Broadcasting,
Cosmo Latina, Being Latino, Alliance for Citizenship, Latino Victory Project and others.*
Voto Latino Chairwoman Rosario Dawson, Voto Latino Artist Coalition co-Chairs America
Ferrera and Wilmer Valderrama, and Latino Victory Project co-founder Eva Longoria are also
lending their voices to the campaign, which runs through October 15, the last day of Hispanic
Heritage Month.
ADD YOUR ORGANIZATION’S QUOTE
“We are calling American Latinos to rise above our political differences and to unite as a
community this November,” said María Teresa Kumar, President and CEO, Voto Latino. “Today
and for the next month, we will show that Latinos stand tall because we have pride in our
culture, and we recognize the power of our vote.”
Ben Monterroso, Executive Director, Mi Familia Vota, said the Latino community will not remain
silent after the political stalemate in Washington over immigration reform, because, “Latinos
understand that the only real way to impact our future is with a strong showing of our voting
power. We began the immigration debate with our record turnout in the 2012 election, and we
will continue fighting for our community and for immigration reform by voting.”
“Pride in our Latino culture includes pride in our Nation. As Americans, we are proud to exercise
our right to vote and elect officials who reflect the values of our communities. We stand with our
partners to mobilize our communities, register our family and friends, and ensure a path to
reach the polls on Election Day,” said Cristóbal Alex, President of the Latino Victory Project.
“Exercising our right to vote builds power in the Latino community so that the faces and voices
of Latinos are reflected at every level of government and in the policies that drive our country
forward.”
More than 7.8 million Latinos are expected to vote this November, up from 6.6 million Latinos
who voted in the last midterm election in 2010, according to projections by National Association
of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). The record Latino voter turnout in 2012
propelled immigration to the top of the policy agenda. Latino voters must be heard again to
create the political climate to find solutions for immigration, the economy, and other issues
important to the Latino community.

For more information about Hispanic Heritage Month of Action, visit http://www.latinos2014.com or
find the voter registration toolkit at http://www.latinos2014.com/

HHM_ActionGraphic

In Report, Texas University History Departments Face Scrutiny

10 Jan

In Report, University History Departments Face Scrutiny
by Reeve Hamilton, The Texas Tribune, http://texastribune.org/

At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, three conservative groups — the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the National Association of Scholars and the Texas Association of Scholars — will release a sure-to-be controversial report alleging that the University of Texas and Texas A&M University offer students “a less-than-comprehensive picture of history.”

The report’s rollout is part of a three-day policy orientation by the TPPF, an Austin-based think tank that has been tied to some of the state’s most hotly-debated proposed higher education reforms. It signals a renewed push to reconsider the course offerings in the history departments of the state’s public universities, and particularly to boost the number of courses dedicated to the study Western Civilization.

Jeremi Suri, a prominent historian at UT who has already read the report, called it disappointing.

“I have a lot of respect for the National Association of Scholars. They spend a lot of time defending free speech, and I’m a big believer in free speech, but this report is just so off base. It’s just not accurate.”

Written by Richard Fonte, the former director of the We the People program at the National Endowment for the Humanities, the study examined the background of professors and the syllabi for 85 courses offered in the fall of 2010 that could have counted toward the state’s requirement that students at public institutions take two American history classes.

“We found that all too often the course readings gave strong emphasis to race, class and gender social history, an emphasis so strong that it diminished the attention given to other subjects in American history (such as military, diplomatic, religious, intellectual history),” Fonte wrote.

He contended that the prevalence of so-called “RCG” — race, class and gender — assignments was more of an issue at UT than at A&M. He determined that too many courses were highly specialized, and also noted that major historical figures were being overlooked at both universities, with only rare mentions of “Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Dewey, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas A. Edison, the Wright brothers or the scientists of the Manhattan Project.”

Thomas Lindsay, the director of the TPPF’s Center for Higher Education, said in a statement that his organization “is pleased to be a part of launching this study, which will help universities and administrators to return to teaching American history in its fullness.”

“Strengthening the teaching of American history, government, and Western Civilization is at the very core of our recommendations for reform,” he added.

In December, Lindsay was among the authors of a TPPF report that suggested that “university regents and other administrators should be encouraged to institute reforms that place more focus on teaching students basic American history, government, economics, and Western Civilization, whether through a standardized test or more course options/requirements.”

This new report recommends that the universities have their curriculum reviewed, hire new faculty members with broader interests, make sure survey courses remain broad in scope and “depoliticize history.” The report will be given to the leadership at the universities.

“We hope that they will read it and consider it instead of judging it without reading it,” said Ashley Thorne, director for the study of the curriculum at the National Association of Scholars.

She acknowledged that the group is accustomed to taking controversial stances, including a strong opposition to affirmative action, which UT recently defended before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Suri said the UT history program has a strong emphasis in military, political and diplomatic history; some on the left argue it’s too strong, he added.

Suri, author of Liberty’s Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama, said that departmental focus was one of the primary reasons he came to UT. He said the report makes no mention of a new university center focused on diplomacy and national security, or of the Normandy Scholars program, which offers students an intense focus on World War II and is one of UT’s signature offerings.

“There is political correctness in the academic world, and academics — like people in any field — tend to follow fashions and trends. And sometimes that’s a problem,” he said. “But that’s not a problem with the teaching of history in this department. They just chose the wrong thing.”

Fonte said he anticipated that the university would defend itself against his findings and acknowledged that the report makes assumptions about courses based on their assigned readings. Suri argues that an accurate understanding of the nature of a course requires more involvement than merely a review of the syllabus from a single semester.

“Come sit in, come engage us, if you really care,” Suri said, extending the same invitation to curious legislators.

Anxiety about the history curriculum at Texas public universities is nothing new for state legislators. One of the most memorable debates on the House floor during the 82nd legislative session occurred when state Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, proposed an amendment requiring that universities dedicate 10 percent of their courses to instruction in “Western Civilization.”

The amendment failed, in part because of his inability to articulate his motivation for offering it.

When Rep. Borris Miles, D-Houston, pressed him on what he meant by “Western Civilization,” Christian provided the following response:

Similarly frustrated with Christian’s responses to questions about whether the abolitionist movement or Native American studies would be included in the requirement, state Rep. Raphael Anchia, D-Dallas, publicly speculated that the motivation behind the amendment was “very political and potentially insulting,” and argued that UT and other universities should be “free from this type of manipulation and political statement on the House floor.”

Christian will not be returning this session; he lost his bid for re-election. But Thursday’s press conference is a strong indication that his proposal — or something resembling it — might.

Lindsay told the Tribune that he did not think the discussion should be as contentious as it was in the previous session. “This transcends any party differences,” he said. “Democracy is not a gift. It’s something that each generation has to earn, and the current generation must teach to the up and coming generation.”

As for race, class, and gender, both Lindsay and Fonte said those topics should be taught, but with less of an emphasis than they believe currently exists.

“Those are all aspects of American history,” Lindsay said. “Students should be introduced to all of them, because you want students to have a broad understanding of American history.”

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://trib.it/VU1Cql.

FREE PUSSY RIOT!

4 Aug

 

Image

img source: https://www.facebook.com/agirlsguidetotakingovertheworld?ref=stream

The Pussy Riot trial began in Moscow on Monday. Three young women charged with “hooliganism” now face up to seven years’ imprisonment. Why? Because their punk rock band gave a politically charged and impromptu performance poking fun at President Putin at a cathedral.

But don’t judge these women too harshly. At least that’s what Putin said himself in a stunning statement Thursday: “There is nothing good in what they did [but] I don’t think they should be judged too severely.”

However, Putin’s words have not yet translated into action. Seven years incarceration is still a very real possibility. Our sources inside Russia tell us that the trial may wrap up as early as next Wednesday, August 15, and some signs are pointing in the direction of sending the women off to a labor camp.

Say what you will about Pussy Riot: this may not be your kind of music. Some people find their shows offensive.

But it doesn’t change the facts: Since March, these young women have been in jail and kept from their families, including small children, and they are being threatened with seven years imprisonment – all because of a peaceful protest song that lasted less than a minute.

Tell the Russian authorities to drop all charges and release Pussy Riot immediately.

Amnesty International considers these women to be prisoners of conscience, and we are not going to give up on them. Sadly, members of Pussy Riot aren’t the only ones getting caught up in the backlash against dissidents in Russia lately. One of Putin’s fiercest critics, blogger Alexei Navalny, was charged this week with embezzlement, a crime that could carry up to a 10-year prison sentence.

The crackdown doesn’t stop there. In recent weeks, President Putin and his cronies have moved swiftly to limit street protests by enforcing hefty fines and re-criminalizing some forms of defamation.

Oppression thrives in silence. That is why we must loudly demand that Russian authorities free Pussy Riot now!

It is not hard to spot Pussy Riot supporters – bright tights, colorful dresses and faces covered by balaclavas. At our protests outside the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC, we’re using multi-colored ski masks – check out our pictures!

Some high-profile musicians are also taking action in solidarity. During recent concerts in Russia, rockers StingRed Hot Chili Peppers and Franz Ferdinand all called on the Russian authorities to free Pussy Riot and respect freedom of expression. MadonnaPeter Gabriel and Pete Townshend of The Who have voiced their support, too, while Björk has invited other members of Pussy Riot to join her on tour.

Now that even President Putin has flinched at the punishment Pussy Riot is facing, it won’t be long now before the court in Moscow faces the music that world leaders, celebrities and activists alike are already chanting with passion and pride:

FREE PUSSY RIOT!

Take action: http://bit.ly/NTwnN6

 

The National Atheist Party

1 Dec

From Diversity and Reason, Unity

We are an American political party, uniquely formed as a true, constitutional movement, reaching out to all who seek a secular government as outlined in the First Amendment to our United States Constitution. Our mission: To politically represent U.S. atheists and all who are drawn to our mandate, in a political process that has thus far marginalized and ignored one of the largest and growing segments of the U.S. population.

The National Atheist Party is a diverse, all inclusive, progressive, secular political movement and a response to the lack of representation for all free thinking people who are legal, law abiding citizens of the United States. We demand emancipation from the religious dogma that has infiltrated our government and has unfairly influenced political decisions and policy making. We are for the people, by the people, and therefore incorporate the right to use the power of the people to restore equality to our Democracy using reasonable, rational and non-violent means.

The National Atheist Party is open to people of all races, sexes and sexual orientations, and cultures. We are committed to a government free of superstition and bias and are guided by principles of equal opportunity, recognition of merit, and economic responsibility. The National Atheist Party does not seek to inhibit the religious practices or beliefs of any group, but is committed to the idea that religious preference is a private matter and has no place in the government or workplace. We support the separation of church and state, and seek to ensure its strictest interpretation.

National Atheist Party Charter

Check it out, http://www.usanap.org/documents/charter.html/ Very humane and logical.

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Occupy The Planet

27 Sep

!!!OCCUPY YOUR CITY!!! Find Your City: http://occupytogether.org/OCCUPY TOGETHER: a hub for all of the events springing up across the country in solidarity with Occupy Wall St. As we have followed the news on facebook, twitter, and the various live feeds across the internet, we felt compelled to build a site that would help spread the word as more protests organize across the country. We hope to provide people with information about events that are organizing, ongoing, and building across the U.S. as we, the 99%, take action against the greed and corruption of the 1%.

 

We will try our best to provide you with the most accurate information possible. However, we are just a few volunteers and errors are bound to occur. Please be patient as we get this site off the ground and populated and please contact us if you have any info on new events, corrections, or suggestions for this site. You can contact us at info[at]occupytogether[dot]org.

 

We will only grow stronger in our solidarity and we will be heard, not just in New York, but in echoes across this nation.

 

Important note: Occupy Together will never ask for any monetary donations. We suggest that, if you want to donate monetarily, that you visit this site to help those who currently Occupy Wall St.

Huge event in Washington DC October 6. http://october2011.org/

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