Political Intelligence covers the intersection of race and politics, highlighting the power that the multiracial majority has in advancing social change in America. We follow key stories about electoral politics, report on progressive issues and the people involved in both, with a special emphasis on the campaigns and careers of PowerPAC+ Social Justice Champions who are running for public office.

If you have a question, comment or would like to submit a guest column, please contact Senior Vice President and Political Intelligence editor, Aimee Allison, at info@powerpacplus.org.

9 Forgotten Quotes from the March on Washington

MOW_monument.pngDr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” from 1963 means so much to us as a nation that we almost forget he was notthe only speaker at the March on Washington.

Today, on the 51st anniversary of the March on Washington, we're taking a look back at its lesser-known speeches. From the events in Ferguson to ongoing battles for higher wages and equal education, these words from our nation’s most iconic civil rights march speak to the work that remains to be done today.

 

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Working Women Vote - Now Let's Get Them Elected

shirley-chisholm-495x403.jpgNinety-four years after the passage of the 19th Amendment, working women in America are making the most of their hard-won right to vote. Women are now seen as a decisive voting bloc in elections at every level, and for good reason - women have voted in higher numbers than men in every presidential selection since 1960. In 2012, male voters alone would have decisively selected Mitt Romney, but were outvoted by women.

Women are clearly engaged in the political process, which begs the question – why don’t we have more women in office? In 2014, the stats on women in public office remain disturbingly low:

  • Women hold just 18.5% of total seats in Congress.

  • Four states (Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi, and Vermont) have never sent a woman to either the House or the Senate.

  • Women account for 22.5% of statewide elective executive offices, with only 5 women in governor’s mansions nationwide.

  • 24.2% of state legislators are women. (This number has actually quintupled since the 70s).

  • The gap is even larger for women of color: only 5% of seats in Congress are held by women of color, almost all of them in the House. Mazie Hirono is the only woman currently sitting in the Senate, and we have not had a Latina Senator to date.

Source: Center for American Women in Politics

 

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Ferguson is America [VIDEO]

The protests and brutal police response to the police killing of young Michael Brown have sparked a movement. This video says it all.

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5 Political Fixes in Ferguson

Ferguson_mayor_photo.gifWhen black community members confronted Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III after the tragic killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown on August 9th, it became increasingly clear that there has to be electoral change in Ferguson. Now is the time to invest in local leaders and build civic engagement in Ferguson – and in all the “Fergusons” across the nation. As a movement, we have rallied to recognize Ferguson’s pain. Will we rally to change it?

Here are some concrete steps for a better political future in Ferguson:

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We Can End All Fergusons

FERGUSON-CST-081314-08_48183269.jpgThe story of the officer killing unarmed teen Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri feels like déjà vu. We’ve seen this pattern before in Sanford, Florida; Monterey Park, California; Calumet City, Illinois; Dotham, Alabama; Galveston, Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Los Angeles, California; Jackson, Mississippi; Dayton, Ohio; and Staten Island, New York.

The cycle is like this: 

Young unarmed black man or boy is shot by police. Police protected by authorities. Parents and community cry out for justice. Protests ensue. Police from the surrounding area converge on protesters with riot gear and tear gas. Victim is vilified. Heavy handed police state tactics garner national and international attention. Case is absorbed into courts and long investigations. When the case reemerges, nothing decisive is determined.

And so it goes. We can take strategic, concrete action now to end this pattern.

 

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Cory Booker: We Need Agents of Activism [VIDEO]

Cory Booker is not satisfied with the direction of the nation. If we want to tackle our biggest problems - a criminal justice system that robs future generations, underfunded schools, and a lack of jobs in our communities - we need to stand up as agents of activism. We can be as great as the civil rights pioneers who came before us.

Cory Booker is a U.S. Senator from the state of New Jersey and a PowerPAC+ leader. This video is a part of the series Replay: Race Will Win the Race.   

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Sonia Sotomayor's 5 Greatest Lines In 5 Great Years

Sonia_Sotomayor_Blog_photo_3.jpg

Since joining the Supreme Court as its first Hispanic justice, Justice Sonia Sotomayor's incisive opinions have challenged the court to protect the underrepresented. With her on the bench, we know the social justice movement is in good hands. 

In honor of today's five-year anniversary of her swearing-in ceremony, we’re taking a look back at Sonia Sotomayor’s most powerful statements – so far.

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Honoring the Voting Rights Act: Let's Stop the Voting Games [VIDEO]

On August 6th, 1965, the Voting Rights Act outlawed racial discrimination in voting, and took on sinister tactics like literacy tests and poll taxes designed to keep people of color out of the ballot box.  It revolutionized the face of the American electorate.

Today, a number of under-the-radar voter suppression tactics are undermining the core of what the Voting Rights Act set out to do. In fact, the Brennan Center for Justice found that since 2010, laws limiting voting options have passed in 22 states.

PowerPAC+ board member Subodh Chandra, a powerhouse civil rights lawyer and leader in the ongoing fight against voter suppression in Ohio, spoke about these discriminatory practices at our Race Will Win the Race conference. Here, we break down Subodh’s eye-opening remarks on voter suppression in Ohio and across the nation.

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Rebecca Thompson: Bringing Vision and Grit to Michigan

RebeccaThompson_Headshot_Full_.jpgRebecca Thompson is often described as a “political newcomer” in the press. It doesn’t do her justice.

A quick glance at the 31-year-old’s credentials reveals keen leadership ability and a history of bold political advocacy. Read on to learn why we are so excited about Rebecca’s future in politics.

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Alida Garcia: Immigration Reform is about People Not Votes [VIDEO]

Alida Garcia is tired of seeing Democrats use immigration reform as a bargaining chip to win the Latino vote. At PowerPAC+’s Race Will Win the Race conference, Alida speaks up for the countless families and communities impacted by our broken immigration system and challenges progressive leaders to go beyond campaign promises to enact meaningful immigration policy change.

Alida Garcia is the former National Latino Vote Deputy Director of Obama for America, and is currently the Director of Policy and Coalitions for FWD.us.

This video is a part of the series Replay: Race Will Win the Race.

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