Tuesday, August 30, 2016

CONYERS & GOODLATTE Launch House Judiciary Community Policing Strategies Working Group In Detrot

I am hoping to see discussions in addressing child welfare practices and reporting of fraud within this national legislative work group.

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Election 2016 Focus of A. Philip Randolph Institute 47th Annual Education Conference

Hundreds of labor union activists, celebs, political and civic engagement leaders gather in Detroit Aug 24-28 including AFL-CIO EVP Tefere Gebre, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Congressman John Conyers, Rev. Wendell Anthony #APRIUnity , #APRIpower #APRIUNITY

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
WASHINGTON - Aug. 26, 2016 - PRLog -- Seeking solutions to end to what it calls a "parasitic divisiveness" which is having a devastating social and economic impact on working families, the A. Philip Randolph Institute is bringing together a wide range of  labor union members, community leaders, politicians, business executives and celebrities for its annual Education Conference in Detroit.  "The Power of Unity…All Workers Matter" is the theme of the conference which will be held August 24-28, 2016 at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Detroit Michigan.

APRI is a 50- year old labor and social justice organization which advocates on the behalf of African American working men and women across the nation.

More than 500 labor and civil rights activists, including a delegation of youth activists s ages 17-25 from across the U.S. will take part in a broad range of activities and discussions. "This conference is to inform and train delegates on important issues directly impacting the Black community," said APRI President Clayola Brown. "We plan to explore the current 2016 Elections and its potential impact on communities as well as to address health, economic and social justice issues," she added.

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS (All events will be held at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel, Renaissance Ballroom,  GM Renaissance Center, 400 Renaissance Center, Detroit, MI 48243)

Wednesday,   August 24, 2016 – 7: 00 pm  Townhall "Labor Creating Change with the Ballot"

Moderator: Joe "Black Eagle" Madison
Sirius XM Talk Show Host
Civil Rights Activist


Barbara Arnwine
President & Founder, Transformative Justice Coalition

Melanie Campbell
President & CEO
National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

Attorney Benjamin Crump
Parks & Crump Attorneys at Law

Judith Browne Dianis
Executive Director
The Advancement Project

Reverend Jesse Jackson

Thursday, August 25, 2016

9:00 am Keynote Speaker

J. David Cox
American Federation of Government Employees

10:00 a.m. "The Power of Women in Politics"


April Ryan
Journalist, White House Correspondent, American Urban Radio Networks,

Dr. Avis Jones DeWeever
Founder of Exceptional LeadershipInstitute for Women

Ashanti Gholar
Political Director, Emerge America

Melanie Campbell
President & CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

Carmen Berkley
Civil Rights Director, AFL-CIO

Krista Johnson
Forward Baltimore Activist

Pierrette Talley
Secretary-Treasurer OH AFL-CIO

12:30 p.m., Keynote Speaker: Cecil Roberts, President, United Mine Workers of America

1:45 p.m.  SPECIAL PLENARY: "The Power of the Legislative Agenda"

Hilary Shelton, Vice President for Advocacy/Director, NAACP Washington Bureau, Cong. John Conyers (D-MI), Cong. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Cong. Donna Edwards (D-MD) and Cong.  Bobby Scott (D-VA)

Friday,  August 26, 2016

9:00 a.m. "The Power of Community Partners"


AFL-CIO Constituency Groups

Pride@Work – POW

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists CBTU

Coalition of Labor Union Women –CLUW

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – APALA

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement LCLAA

Tefere Gebre, Executive Vice President, AFL-CIO

Yvonne White, President, Michigan State NAACP

Our Environment

Karen Weaver, Mayor, Flint, Michigan

Our Health

Christopher Blass, Vice President, Labor & Trust, Kaiser Permanente

Our Finances

Shawn Miles, Executive Vice President For Public Policy, Master Your Card

Kim Dodson Sydnor, PhD, Dean, School of Community Health Policy, Morgan State University

AFL-CIO Commission on Racial & Economic Justice

Tiffany Loftin, Program Coordinator, Civils Rights


12;30 p.m. Keynote Speaker: Reverend Wendell Anthony, President

Detroit NAACP,  Pastor, Fellowship Chapel – Detroit, Michigan


"Lawmakers &  The Power Conversation"

Moderator: Jeff Johnson, TV Commentator

Video "Don't take my Life, Let me Live" Introduced by Reverend Terry Wright

Founder, Wright & Young Funeral Home, Miami, Florida

Judge Deborah Thomas, Wayne County Michigan Third Circuit Court

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Marilyn Mosby, States Attorney, Baltimore, MD

Erika Alexander, Actor/Activist

The A. Phillip Randolph Institute (APRI) is a labor rights organization founded in 1965 by A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin.   The organization has more than 139 chapters nationwide with membership from the nation's top unions and community organizations.  Clayola Brown,  the first female to head the organization, is the current president. .

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Monday, August 22, 2016


Washington, D.C. – Several members of the bipartisan Policing Strategies Working Group will be traveling to Detroit, Michigan to meet with local community leaders and law enforcement to discuss police accountability, aggression towards law enforcement, and public safety concerns related to these issues. Members of the working group plan to hold their first photo spray and press conference following their private roundtable with community leaders on Tuesday, August 30, 2016  beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET. Details can be found below.

WHO:              House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)
                        Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.)
                        Representative Doug Collins (R-Ga.)
                        Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas)
                        Representative David Reichert (R-Wa.)
  Representative Cedric Richmond (D-La.)
  Representative Robin Kelly (D-Ill.)
Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)

WHAT:          Photo spray immediately following the conclusion of the bipartisan Policing Strategies Working Group roundtable with community leaders. A press conference will begin shortly after the photo spray.

WHEN:          Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. Photo spray begins at 12:00 p.m. and press conference begins at 12:15 p.m. Media with video equipment can begin setup at noon during the photo spray.

WHERE:       Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse
231 West Lafayette Boulevard
Room 115
Detroit, MI 48226

RSVP:            Members of the media who wish to attend must RSVP with Jessica Collins at Jessica.Collins@mail.house.gov and Shadawn Reddick-Smith at Shadawn.Reddick-Smith@mail.house.gov by Friday, August 26, 2016. Members of the media who do not RSVP will not be permitted to enter the courthouse and bring media equipment.

Background on the Working Group: In July 2016, Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Ranking Member John Conyers announced the establishment of a working group to examine police accountability, aggression towards law enforcement, and public safety concerns related to these issues. The bipartisan working group is in the process of holding a series of roundtables to candidly discuss the issues fueling excessive force used by law enforcement and attacks against police officers. Read Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers’ op-ed on the working group in The Hill here.

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Obama Signs Bill Removing ‘Oriental’ and ‘Negro’ From Federal Laws

Now, only if we could do this to our school textbooks and university curriculae theories.

Thank you, U.S. Representative Grace Meng.

Congresswoman  Grace Meng
The words “Oriental” and “Negro” will no longer be part of federal law.
President Barack Obama signed a bill Friday eliminating the offensive and outdated descriptors, after the legislation passed unanimously in the House and Senate earlier this month.
Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) sponsored the bill, which aimed to “modernize“ two references to “Orientals” and “Negros” in the U.S. Code that date to the 1970’s. The words will be replaced with “Asian Americans” and “African Americans,” respectively. 
“The term ‘Oriental’ has no place in federal law and at long last this insulting and outdated term will be gone for good,” Meng said in a statement on Friday. 

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

CONYERS With Inkster Mayor Byron Nolan, Police Chief William Riley, Students and Seniors

"A little over a week ago, I met with Mayor Nolan and Police Chief Riley from the city of Inkster to discuss police and community relations. The Mayor also hosted a luncheon after our meeting with seniors and students from the community." said Conyers

Inkster Mayor Byron Nolan and Police Chief William Riley

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Justice Department to Release Blistering Report of Racial Bias by Baltimore Police

"I commend the Department of Justice for their thorough investigation of the Baltimore Police Department following the death of Freddie Gray. I am troubled by the broad range of unconstitutional and blatantly discriminatory practices that were uncovered through this investigation. These findings echo the need to pass comprehensive policing reform legislation this Congress. The people of Baltimore deserve a fair and just police department that works on their behalf to protect and serve. My hope is that the agreement established between the city and the Justice Department will forge positive reforms to the Baltimore Police Department in the coming months and years." said Conyers

The Justice Department has found that the Baltimore Police Department for years has hounded black residents who make up most of the city’s population, systematically stopping, searching and arresting them, often with little provocation or rationale.
In a blistering report, coming more than a year after Baltimore erupted into riots over the police-involved death of a 25-year-old black man, Freddie Gray, the Justice Department is sharply critical of policies that encouraged police officers to charge black residents with minor crimes. A copy of the report was obtained by The New York Times.
The critique is the latest example of the Obama administration’s aggressive push for police reforms in cities where young African-American men have died at the hands of law enforcement.
The findings, to be released Wednesday, are the first formal step toward the Justice Department’s reaching a settlement with Baltimore — known as a “consent decree” — in which police practices would be overhauled under the oversight of a federal judge. The department started the inquiry at the invitation of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

CONYERS: Lame duck TPP vote could be disastrous for Dems—and America

By John Conyers, Jr.

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
In terms of style and substance, tenor and tone, the two parties’ conventions could not have differed more dramatically.  Whereas the Republican gathering focused on fear and division, the Democratic convention called forth hope and constructive action.   

And yet, almost paradoxically, there was a common message reverberating through the convention halls in Cleveland and Philadelphia: The system is rigged

While the causes and consequences of the public perception are many, there’s one hot-button issue in this campaign that exemplifies what people see as wrong with the system: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Negotiated in secret under the advisement of multinational corporations, the TPP gives handouts to the multinational corporate class at the expense of the middle class.  It pits workers here against those abroad, boosting profits of multinational corporations while our workers see downward pressure on wages. It allows fossil fuel corporations to sue governments in private tribunals to overturn policies that protect our families and our environment.  It gives the pharmaceutical industry monopoly protections while consumers endure skyrocketing prices for medicine.

Despite these concerns, it is an open secret that an overwhelming number of Republicans and a few of their Democratic counterparts are quietly seeking to push TPP through during the lame duck session of Congress. That period after the November elections is when legislators are least accountable.  With a lame duck vote, Members of Congress who lost their November elections would still able to throw their weight behind the extraordinarily unpopular deal. Newly-elected Members would not have a voice.  And reelected legislators would feel free to take a controversial vote that would please their corporate benefactors, confident that voter anger over their decision will subside in the two years before their next election.

In short, a lame duck consideration of the unpopular TPP would be undemocratic, and would wildly exacerbate frustrations about a rigged system.  

As a representative of one of America’s great manufacturing cities and a lifelong advocate for corporate accountability, I believe strongly that the TPP should never be approved.  But even those lawmakers and officials who support the deal should recognize that lame duck consideration of such a highly controversial deal would create a crisis of legitimacy in American politics and actually undermine trust in the system of global commerce they’re trying to support.  Finally, the specter of a lame duck TPP push could also be the campaign gift to Donald Trump that he and his donors couldn’t buy.

Opposing TPP is the right thing to do.  But it is also the politically smart thing to do.  Hillary Clinton is running for President in opposition to TPP—it is time for Democrats to unify and help her provide a clear choice for voters opposed to unfair trade rules.

I’ve known Hillary Clinton personally for four decades, and I appreciate her strong opposition to the TPP “before and after the election.”   The Hillary Clinton that I know has been a dedicated lifelong fighter for causes—including quality healthcare, environmental protection, and full employment—that are antithetical to the TPP.  In voting against the Central American Free Trade Agreement as a Senator, she demonstrated discretion on trade deals. She required Tim Kaine to make a strong statement of opposition to the TPP as a precondition for joining the Democratic ticket. Most importantly, she wants to go even further than stopping new corporate trade deals, promising the United Auto Workers that she would seek to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement as well.

Trump has managed to exploit the trade issue for political gain, as former Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell has warned, and hopes to convince voters that Hillary’s TPP opposition is insincere.  This is despite his utter unwillingness to address the hypocrisy on his side of the aisle and in his own life.  He picked one of the foremost corporate ideologues and TPP cheerleaders as his own vice presidential candidate. He’s entirely failed to address the fact that corporate trade deals rely on the overwhelming support of Congressional Republicans—who, by and large, remain wedding to their Wall Street and Big Oil contributors more than to the public interest. Trump himself, of course, personally outsourced countless jobs overseas with his own companies (and first-hand accounts indicate that he never expressed any concern about denying jobs to American workers). If Donald Trump will not sacrifice a couple dollars to make his ties in America, what makes us think he’ll make sacrifices to block Congressional Republicans on TPP?

Hillary Clinton, by contrast, has shown her strong capability to lead on trade throughout the campaign.  She's gone well beyond words, working with the foremost critics of TPP, including Sen. Sherrod Brown, labor leaders, environmental groups, and other key stakeholders fighting for fairer trade.  Trump has done the exact opposite, and will cede authority to Congressional Republicans who prioritize the pro-corporate trade agenda above all else.

It’s now up to President Obama and the very small number of pro-TPP Democrats in Congress to follow Hillary’s lead.  Allowing the possibility of a lame duck TPP vote to remain on the table wouldn’t just undermine trust in government and validate perceptions of rigged system—it could play into Donald Trump’s small and unsteady hands, with potentially disastrous consequences for the country.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

CONYERS, JACKSON LEE Commend President Obama For Commuting the Sentences of 214 Americans, Call For Sentencing Reform This Congress

Washington, D.C. - House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and House Judiciary Crime Subcommittee Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) released the following statements after the White House announced the commutation of the sentences of 214 individuals:

Dea of the U,S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“I commend President Obama and Attorney General Lynch for their continued commitment to commuting sentences in appropriate cases,” said Ranking Member Conyers. “Such cases underscore the need to change our sentencing laws to reduce the imposition of unjustly long and counterproductive sentences in the first place.  I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to develop and adopt bipartisan legislation to reform our sentencing laws and to improve other aspects of our criminal justice system. I look forward to congressional action on these issues before the end of this Congress.” 

“I am encouraged by President Obama’s commutation of sentences of 214 individuals today – who were all victims of unjust sentencing,” said Crime Subcommittee Ranking Member Jackson Lee.  “Nearly all of these men and women would have been released and contributing back to society already had they been convicted under today’s laws or reform proposals. I welcome and applaud the commutations of the sentences of these individuals.  Incarcerating people for unwarranted lengths of time serves no constructive purpose.  The President has recognized this, as has Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and I hope the Administration’s Clemency Project will continue to address the multitude of cases in which sentence reductions are appropriate.”

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Waters, Conyers, Johnson Lead Over 60 House Democrats in Letter Supporting CFPB Arbitration Proposal


Members Urge Swift Action to Finalize Rule to Restore Consumers’ Rights

WASHINGTON – 65 House Democrats, led by Reps. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services; John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Committee on the Judiciary; and Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (D-GA), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law, sent a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau expressing strong support for its proposal to limit forced arbitration in consumer contracts.

The rule would ban class-action waivers in forced arbitration agreements for financial products and services, restoring consumers’ right of action when harmed by financial institutions. In the letter to Director Richard Cordray, the Members wrote that the proposed rule “is a critical step to protect the public interest by ensuring that consumers receive redress for systemic unlawful conduct.”

Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Congress directed the CFPB to research the impact of forced arbitration clauses and promulgate a rule that would be in the public interest and for the protection of consumers. The CFPB proposed the rule in May after conducting a three-year, in-depth study on the landscape of consumer arbitrations.

“By restricting class actions and class-wide arbitration in consumer contracts, these clauses enable corporations to avoid public scrutiny by precluding access to the courts,” the letter states. “This is particularly problematic for small, diffuse misconduct that harms innumerous consumers.” The Members encouraged Director Cordray to proceed quickly on the rule “to ensure that consumers have equal protection under the law.”
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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Conyers affirms staying power with convincing win

Dean of the U.S. House of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
Detroit – U.S. Rep. John Conyers on Tuesday survived his closest election in more than 20 years and he did so with ease, defeating Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey by more than 20 percentage points in the 13th congressional district Democratic primary.
Considered the “dean of the House” as the longest continuously serving member, the 87-year-old civil rights icon has faced primary challenges in the past three election cycles, but his strong showings suggest the job may be his as long as he wants it, political experts said Wednesday.
“You’ve got a political class that lusts for that seat, but voters are clearly happy with their representation,” said Democratic political consultant Joe Disano.
Winfrey, a longtime city clerk who won more votes than Mayor Mike Duggan in her successful 2013 re-election bid, was considered a serious challenger before falling to Conyers by double digits.
Conyers defeated the Rev. Horace Sheffield III by more than 50 points in the 2014 primary after a petition signature issue that almost kept him off the ballot. In 2012, he topped his nearest primary competitor, former state Sen. Glenn Anderson of Westland, by 37 points.
The primary challenges are a recent phenomenon. State election records show Conyers went at least 14 years without competition from a fellow Democrat until the past six years.
“The results show that the only one restless for a changing of the guard is somebody who wants the job,” said political consultant Steve Hood, who worked for the Conyers campaign in 2014. “The people aren’t restless. Look at the percentage the guy won by.”
In the general election, Conyers will face Republican Jeff Gorman, whom he defeated by more than 60 points in 2014.
Winfrey argued that Conyers has begun “to diminish” and is no longer serving his constituents well as he once did.
But questions over Conyers’ mental acuity have not hindered his electability, Hood said. The congressman is likely to keep winning elections in Detroit, he said, unless he “really stumbles” and does something “really stupid” because of his age.
“I feel he’s at least as sharp as Paul Ryan is,” Hood said, referencing the Republican speaker of the U.S. House. “He’s definitely sharper than Donald Trump, and on his worst day, he was sharper than Janice Winfrey will ever be,” echoing a criticism he made about Sheffield in 2014.
State. Sen. Bert Johnson, D-Highland Park, who helped run Conyers’ re-election campaign this year and in 2014, said his age and experience – along with his status as the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee – should be considered an asset .
Johnson inadvertently ran against Conyers in 2012, entering the race before Conyers moved into the 13th District after the Republican-led state Legislature redrew Michigan’s political map.
“I got what many would consider an unlucky draw,” Johnson said. “When you’re running against John Conyers, you’re running against the United States of America.”

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