A Proposed Black Agenda for Democrats

BlackCommentator.com has a great list of items that the Democrats should focus on should they take control of the House of Representatives. These items, in their view, would be the most beneficial things that they could do for Black people in this country.

Here are the plan’s 10 proposals:

1. Introduce and pass comprehensive Katrina legislation that includes a victim’s compensation fund akin to that awarded the 911 families
2. Introduce and pass legislation to fix and expand the Unemployment Insurance (UI) system
3. Equalize education funding in the states by introducing and passing legislation authorizing a federal education incentive fund that induces states to eradicate unequal school financing schemes
4. Improve the quality and effectiveness of primary and secondary schools by introducing and passing legislation that encourages comprehensive school reform in the states
5. Authorize and appropriate resource support for African Union peacekeeping forces in the Darfur region of Sudan
6. Combat the spread of HIV/AIDS in African American communities by introducing and passing comprehensive HIV/AIDS legislation
7. Spur economic development by passing legislation implementing federally funded business training programs in high schools, community colleges, HBCU’s and other minority-serving education institutions
8. Introduce and pass legislation to guarantee universal access to health insurance
9. Introduce and pass federal legislation standardizing state voting requirements and mandating paper verification voting systems
10. Respect the traditional seniority system in the House of Representatives that would allow ranking African American committee members to ascend to their rightful place as chairs of powerful House committees

The most interesting points on this list in my mind are numbers 3 & 9.

#3 is interesting because if we do real work to equalize funding, then maybe we can actually have a real merit-based process for evaluating school performance instead of the sham that is No Child Left Behind. Having school funding being tied almost solely to property taxes leads to a vicious cycle in the presence of urban sprawl, brain drain, and other migration phenomena. Perhaps we can come up with a better system that works in spite of these sorts of things.

#9 is important because voting is important. Because voting is so important, anything that can be done to protect the system for counting votes is equally as important. If people were completely confident in said system, I wouldn’t have to beg so hard.

Would you add more to this list?

One Love. One II.

Black Issues


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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org. I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

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