Tuesday, September 19, 2017

CONYERS: Judiciary Braintrust: Organizing The Resistance - Civil Rights In The Trump Era


Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
I am glad to be the honorary host of the Judiciary Braintrust at this 2017 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference (ALC).

Please join me on Friday, September 22, 2017 by clicking here.

Criminal Justice Reform: Making America Accountable for Black Lives in Conjunction with NOBLE

Friday, September 22, 2017 from 9:00 AM - 10:45 AM in Room 147B
Recent events demonstrate that racial profiling remains a divisive issue that strikes at the very foundation of our democracy. The issues of race and reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct are so closely linked in law enforcement practices that profiling has an impact on virtually every area of criminal justice policy. From the prison pipeline to clemency and over-criminalization, race has a continuing impact on policy development in the criminal justice system. This panel will feature experts from the judiciary, law enforcement, and the advocacy community to provide an overview of the continuing challenges in juvenile justice, drug and sentencing policy reform efforts.

Voting: Engaging Activism Beyond the Ballot Box (Sponsored by League of Conservation Voters)

Friday, September 22, 2017 from 11:00 AM - 12:45 PM in Room 147B
The continuing attacks on voting rights has evolved new voter suppression strategies that will require novel strategies to protect African-American political interests. This forum will assemble voices from across the community spectrum to explore issue development and coalition building for greater activism from the local to federal level.

Haiti: Empowerment Beyond Our Borders

Friday, September 22, 2017 from 1:00 PM - 2:45 PM in Room 147B
This issue forum will focus on efforts to support and build the Haitian economy and community with an emphasis on housing, education, and economic development. This panel will feature experts from the non-governmental organizations, the advocacy community, the U.S. government, and the Government of Haiti.

HR 40: Deconstruction of Institutionalized Racism

Friday, September 22, 2017 from 3:00 PM - 4:45 PM in Room 147B
Since its introduction in 1989, H.R. 40, the Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act, has sought to further a national dialogue on the plight of Africans-Americans in the context of slavery, Jim Crow, and other legally sanctioned forms of discrimination. With a renewed dialogue on the issue of reparations, both on the domestic and international levels, this legislation presents a real opportunity to create an official government-based discussion. This Braintrust will bring together commentators from a variety of positions to explore strategies for broadening the debate on reparations in an increasingly “post-racial” society.


Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Mueller meets with House Judiciary chairman, top Democrat

WASHINGTON — The chairman and top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee have met
U.S. House Judiciary Chairmen, Goodlatte & Conyers
with Special Counsel Bob Mueller. That’s according to the committee, which says they met Thursday.

Mueller is investigating allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and any possible links to President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Several congressional committees are also investigating, but Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia has said his panel will defer to Mueller. Goodlatte has said the panel will exercise oversight over Mueller as appropriate, and that Mueller should not be impeded by politics.

Goodlatte has also called on the Justice Department to appoint a second special counsel to investigate “unaddressed issues” related to the 2016 election and former Obama administration officials, including Hillary Clinton.

Democrat John Conyers of Michigan also attended the meeting.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/mueller-meets-with-house-judiciary-chairman-top-democrat/2017/09/15/67312690-9a0a-11e7-af6a-6555caaeb8dc_story.html?utm_term=.5e34d762f166

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

CONYERS: Pass DREAM Act Now

The six-month delay in initiating this process does no justice for these DREAMers and the families who will be torn apart.

And the Trump Administration’s pretext for this action—DACA’s supposed unconstitutionality—simply doesn’t carry water. I stand with DREAMers & call on House Republicans' Leaders to pass the DREAMAct now.


#ProtectDREAMers

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

CONYERS: Ahead Of Constitution Day, Conyers Introduces Resolution Urging Congress And The States To Reform The Electoral College


Washington, D.C. – In advance of Sunday’s Constitution Day, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) introduced H. Con. Res. 79, a resolution expressing the sense of Congress that it and the States should consider a constitutional amendment to reform the Electoral College and to establish a process for electing the President and Vice President by a national popular vote.  The resolution also encourages the states to further their efforts to form an interstate compact to award their Electoral College votes to the national popular vote winner.  Rep. Conyers released the following statement upon the bill’s introduction: 

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, jr.
“This Sunday, September 17 is Constitution Day, which marks the 230th anniversary of the Philadelphia Convention’s approval of the Constitution.  We should rightly celebrate the day that the Framers endorsed the basic framework of our democratic system of government enshrined in our Nation’s governing charter.  Yet, we should also use this day as an opportunity to reflect on the fact that the Constitution still retains the Electoral College, a fundamentally anti-democratic process for electing our Nation’s highest federal officeholders.

“On five occasions in our history, the Electoral College has permitted the national popular vote winner to lose the presidential election, including the most recent election, where Hillary Clinton won nearly 3 million more votes than Electoral College winner Donald Trump. This occurs because a presidential candidate needs only 270 electoral votes and 48 states award their electoral votes on a “winner-take-all” basis.  As a result, the Electoral College creates perverse incentives for candidates that further distort the presidential campaign process in undemocratic ways.

“For example, the Electoral College encourages candidates to focus their campaign efforts on only a handful of so-called swing states.  During the last presidential campaign, for example, both major party candidates largely bypassed three of the four states with the largest populations and skipped campaigning in 12 of the 13 smallest states as well.  

“Additionally, the Electoral College is an anachronistic institution intended, in part, to protect the institution of slavery. According to Yale Law School Professor Akhil Reed Amar, who participated in a forum on Electoral College reform sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Democrats last year, the Electoral College was established, in part, to preserve the political influence of slaveholding states. Although enslaved populations were not allowed to vote, slave states insisted that three-fifths of enslaved persons be counted when determining a state’s representation in the House, which in turn affected the number of Electoral College votes allotted to the state.
           
“Given its history and undemocratic nature, it is clear that the Electoral College system must be replaced with a process that determines the election of the president and vice president by a national popular vote.  As such, Congress and the States should consider a constitutional amendment to reform the Electoral College.

“And, Congress should also encourage the States to reform the Electoral College through the formation of an interstate compact. Eleven states representing 165 electoral votes have already entered into an interstate compact to cast their electoral votes for the national popular vote winner.  When enough states – representing 270 electoral votes – join the compact, the presidential election will essentially be determined by national popular vote, obviating the need for a constitutional amendment.
               
“In a democracy, no person’s vote should be worth more than any other person’s vote.  Congress should affirm its commitment to this essential principle and definitively declare that the American people, not state-based Electors, should have the power to directly select the President and Vice President of the United States.”

Original cosponsors include,  Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), Rep. Luis Guti√©rrez (D-IL), Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Rep. Al Green (D-TX).

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

CONYERS Applauds Bernie Sanders' Senate Introduction Of Medicare For All Legislation

Conyers Adds 118th Cosponsor to House Legislation Today

Washington, D.C. – Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) today released the following statement on the Senate introduction of Medicare for All legislation:

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“The Affordable Care Act has done a great deed for our nation in providing millions who were uninsured with health insurance. It is vital that we continue to protect and build on this progress; however, it’s a fact that there are still millions of Americans who don’t have health insurance or have high-deductible plans that they can’t afford to use.

“I’ve been introducing H.R. 676, The Expanded And Improved Medicare For All Act since 2003. Under my bill, instead of a complicated, expensive network of exchanges and employer-sponsored plans and networks administered by for-profit insurance companies that some people can afford and many others can’t,  we would have one health insurance plan, one health insurer and one network available to every single American. In other words, we would finally have guaranteed, universal healthcare. I’m proud that we currently have 118 House Democrats who cosponsored the legislation – a majority of the Democratic Caucus.

“I applaud Senator Bernie Sanders’ introduction of the Senate companion to my Medicare for All bill and all of the momentum he has garnered in support of a universal single-payer healthcare system. 

“Healthcare should be a right, not a privilege for those who can afford it.  It deserves to be an essential service provided by the government, no different than fire departments, public schools, and military protection.

“Poll after poll shows that Americans agree that we have a collective obligation to guarantee healthcare coverage to everyone through a government financed healthcare system. It’s time for a real debate, including hearings, independent analysis, and input from doctors, patients, and hospitals.

“As I’ve said many times before, it took a nationwide movement to achieve civil rights. I introduced legislation to make Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday a federal holiday and it took nearly two decades for it to become a reality. In that same vein, we are creating a movement to make Medicare for All the law of the land.”





Background: In January 2017, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. reintroduced H.R. 676, “The Expanded And Improved Medicare For All Act.” H.R. 676 would expand and improve the highly popular Medicare program and provide universal access to care to all Americans. Rep. Conyers has introduced H.R.676 every year since 2003. 

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CONYERS: House Judiciary Committee Democrats Walk Out On Markup Sabotage Of Comey Firing Inquiry

House Judiciary Committee Republicans doubled down on their neglect of conducting oversight of
the Trump Administration by sabotaging a markup of Representatives David Cicilline (RI-01) and Pramila Jayapal’s (WA-07) resolution of inquiry that requested the Trump Administration to release information pertaining to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Sessions’ involvement in that decision.

 Early into the debate, Chairman Bob Goodlatte “called the previous question” — a procedural move that shut down debate in its entirety and denied Democrats an opportunity to discuss the bill further. In protest, Democrats walked out of the committee room and took to Facebook Live to share their thoughts.


Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Sunday, September 10, 2017

CONYERS: Members Hold Forum On Affirmative Action, Racial Climate On College Campuses




Image may contain: 1 person, sittingWASHINGTON – On FRIDAYSeptember 8th, Members of the U.S. House of Representatives held a forum entitled “Affirmative Action, Inclusion, and Racial Climate on America’s Campuses.” Amidst national conversations on white supremacy, xenophobia, and racial inequality, reports surfaced suggesting that the Trump Administration has plans to reexamine the values of racial diversity on campuses.

Image may contain: 3 peopleThis forum convened student officers, representatives from institutions of higher education, and key legal experts to discuss the role of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act in ensuring that students are welcomed to a safe, inclusive learning environment free of harassment and intimidation on the basis of race, color, or national origin.
 Image may contain: 4 people, people sitting
         
  • Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Ranking Member, Committee on Education & the Workforce
  • Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13), Ranking Member, Committee on the Judiciary
  • Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)
  • Congressman Hank Johnson, Jr. (GA-04)
  • Additional Members of Congress
  • Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
  • Richard Cohen, Executive Director, Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Theresa Sullivan, President, University of Virginia
  • Dr. Benjamin Reese, Vice President of the Office for Institutional Equity, Duke University
  • Roger Worthington, Chief Diversity Officer, University of Maryland
  • Taylor Dumpson, Student President, American University
  • Weston “Wes” Gobar, President, Black Student Alliance, University of Virginia
  • Payton Head, Former Student Body President, University of Missouri

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