Friday, July 22, 2016

CONYERS Applauds Court Decision To Block Michigan Ban On Straight Party Ticket Voting

Detroit, MI – Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) released the following statement after a U.S. District Court Judge signed an injunction to prohibit the enforcement of Michigan law P.A. 268, which bans straight-ticket voting:

Dean of the U.S.
House of
Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“I applaud Judge Gershwin Drain’s decision to strike down the ban on straight party voting in Michigan. If allowed to take effect, this law would have made voting in Michigan burdensome for many of the citizens of Michigan, and would have further infringed upon minority voters’ access to the ballot box.

“More than 50 years after the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act, it’s shameful that our Republican controlled state legislature would pass a law that has the potential to disenfranchise voters and impede their right to have their voices heard. Instead of making it more difficult to vote, we should be working to strengthen and protect this fundamental right for all. I am glad the court did just that, by upholding our straight-ticket voting system.”





Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

UPDATE:  

State to appeal 'bizarre' ruling that allows Michigan straight-ticket voting

Thursday, July 21, 2016

House Members Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Whistleblower Protections for Federal Contractors


Washington, DC—Today, Reps. John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Committee on Judiciary, Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of the Oversight Committee Stephen F. Lynch, and Hakeem Jeffries, introduced H. R. 5920, the Whistleblower Protections for Contractors Act, to expand whistleblower protections to additional federal contractors and grantees.

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“Whistleblowers are the front line of defense against waste, fraud, and abuse," the Members said. "The employees who work on federal contracts and grants see firsthand when taxpayer money is being wasted, and they must be protected against retaliation when they blow the whistle on wrongdoing.  This bill makes such protections permanent and ensures more employees are covered.”

H.R. 5920 is a companion bill to S. 795, introduced by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) and cosponsored by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), and gives subgrantees and personal services contractors the same whistleblower protections currently given to contractors, grant recipients, and subcontractors. This bill also makes existing protections permanent for civilian contractors and grantees
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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

CONYERS RELEASES NEW “RECORD OF PROGRESS” REPORT


Congressman John Conyers, Jr.: A Record of Progress:  A Summary of Legislative and Related Accomplishments, 1965-Present

Detroit, MI - Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) today released an updated version of  “A Record of Progress:  A Summary of Legislation and Related Accomplishments,” a 154-page report detailing his more than 50 years of public service on behalf of the people of Michigan. Congressman Conyers is the Dean of the U.S. Congress, founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and first African-American Chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Congressman Conyers has helped secure hundreds of millions of dollars of funding for the Detroit area during his legislative career, including more than $850 million in grants and appropriated funding since 1993, and more than $300 million in the current Congress.

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“It is my absolute privilege to serve the people of Michigan,” said Congressman Conyers. “I am fortunate to have been able to help pass legislation, procure funding, and take actions – both this Congress as well as in prior years – benefitting many important and worthy causes in the 13th District.  These include the Hardest Hit Fund, helping to save the IRS office in Detroit this Congress, and working to bring the first Patent and Trademark satellite office to Detroit in 2012.  I recognize that much work remains to be done, and I look forward to continuing to fight for jobs, justice and peace.”

Over the course of his career, Congressman Conyers has been responsible for more than 100 bills, amendments and resolutions that have been signed into law. These include: the Martin Luther King Holiday Act, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act, and Reauthorizations of the Voting Rights Act and the Violence Against Women Act.

This Congress, as the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Conyers was the lead Democrat in enacting the USA Freedom Act, which ends bulk data collection; the lead Judiciary Democrat in enacting the Comprehensive Addition and Recovery Act, which authorizes grants for opioid abuse; and is the lead Democrat seeking to reform our criminal justice system, including limiting mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders.  He is also continuing his long-term efforts to examine the causes and incidents of police misconduct – which efforts led to passage of Congressman Conyers’ landmark Pattern and Practice legislation in 1994 and his reintroduction of the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act this Congress, which is presently the subject of bipartisan discussions.  

Overall, Congressman Conyers has introduced more than 50 bills and resolutions this Congress, many of which are aimed at helping Detroit and Michigan, including updating the Voting Rights Act, responding to the abuses of Michigan’s emergency manager law, repairing our crumbling water infrastructure, and ensuring healthcare and jobs for all. He has also cosponsored and advocated for key gun safety legislation. 
Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

CONYERS: Justice Deferred: Our Work is Far From Done

By John Conyers, Jr.

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
In 1968, the world watched as America imploded. Our descent into the Vietnam War and the continuing struggles for civil rights drew stark contrasts for American voters. At the very moment that we needed visionary leadership on these issues, two of our greatest voices for peace and justice—Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy—were struck down.  There was civil unrest on the streets and protests on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. When the smoke cleared, a president was elected who would magnify our divisions and ultimately resign in disgrace.

Many are drawing comparisons between 1968 and the present. We have a presidential candidate who suggests rounding up millions for deportation and wants to ban Muslims from the America Dream. We face daily reminders of injustices that we hoped we had overcome – growing fear about the state of race relations and violence in the streets that leaves young Black men dead and officers gunned down. 
There is, however, one important difference between today and the 1960s: the confidence of progress. Our nation and the Black community have made tremendous progress since I was first elected to Congress in 1965. We defeated Jim Crow, opening a path for economic and political opportunity. America has twice elected an African American to the presidency. Black voices and the Black narrative are as influential and as powerful as they have ever been in every facet of our society.

I like to think my friend, Dr. King, is looking down with pride at how far we, as a people, have come.
As the former chairman and now Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, I have dedicated my service to jobs, justice and peace. After decades of community complaints about police brutality, I chaired hearings in Los Angeles, Miami, New York City and Dallas, which helped build the record for passage of landmark legislation like the 1994 “Pattern and Practice” statute, which gives the Department of Justice the authority to investigate law enforcement discrimination and abuse in cities like Ferguson and Baltimore. 

The loss of lives in Baton Rouge, suburban St. Paul and Dallas has left the nation in shock, as seemingly every day the media brings us news of violence borne of hate and intolerance. Modern technology and the advent of social media have made us all witnesses, just like the marches in Selma and Birmingham, making it impossible to dismiss them as fiction or someone else’s problem. We live these injustices first hand. When you see a man die before your eyes on camera, civilian or police officer, it changes your perception of humanity and invokes a response.


Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

CONYERS Speaks At 107th NAACP Anniversary Conference On Policing Strategies Working Group



Yesterday I spoke at the 107th anniversary conference of the NAACP. I discussed current negotiations of my Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act as well as the recently formed bipartisan Congressional working group on policing strategies. I'm glad to have participated in a such an important conversation on strengthening community and police relations. This is an issue that requires an ongoing unified effort.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Michigan 13th Congressional Candidate John Conyers (U.S. Rep., D-MI) In His Own Words

Click below to hear the full WDET 101.9 FM Detroit Public Radio interview of John Conyers with quinn klinefelter



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BIPARTISAN POLICING STRATEGIES WORKING GROUP HOLDS FIRST MEETING


Washington, D.C.  – The bipartisan working group on policing strategies – announced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) – met to discuss the issues of the use of excessive force by police, aggression towards law enforcement, and public safety concerns related to these issues.

Also attending the working group meeting were Reverend Doctor DeForest B. Soaries, Jr., the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey, and Deborah A. Ramirez, the Executive Director for Partnering for Prevention and Community Safety Initiative and Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law.

Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers released the following statement after the meeting:

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“The first meeting of the bipartisan working group on policing strategies was a productive start to the important national conversation on what can be done to improve the relationship between police officers and their local communities, end excessive use of force, strengthen police accountability, and prevent attacks on law enforcement.

“Members agreed to use the coming weeks to engage with their constituents, including law enforcement, religious and other community leaders, area youth, as well as mothers and fathers who have lost children to violent crime, on these issues and reiterated their commitment to finding ways to rebuild the trust between local law enforcement and the citizens they are sworn to protect and serve. We expect the task force will be holding future meetings in the coming weeks and months as well.”

Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers are leading the working group.  Members of the working group are: Representatives Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), Will Hurd (R-Texas), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), and Robin Kelly (D-Ill.).

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©