Michelle Goldberg | America Is Brutal to Parents. Biden Is Trying to Change That. – The New York Times

” . . .  In “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together,” Heather McGhee detailed how support for public goods collapsed among white people once Black people had access to them. This very much includes relief for parents and children.

“The fear of lazy Black mothers who would reproduce without working goes really deep in this country,” McGhee told me. It’s hard to imagine how a proposal for automatic cash payments to families could have gone anywhere during decades of moral panic about Black mothers luxuriating on the dole.

But universal day care programs that would help women work didn’t go anywhere either. In 1971, Congress passed a bill that would have created a national network of high-quality, sliding-scale child care centers, akin to those that exist in many European countries. Urged on by Patrick Buchanan, Richard Nixon vetoed it, writing that it would “commit the vast moral authority of the national government to the side of communal approaches to child rearing over against the family‐centered approach.”  . . . . “

Bret Stephens | Race and the Coming Liberal Crackup – The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/26/opinion/race-police-violence-liberalism.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Opinion Columnist

“Americans breathed a collective sigh of relief last week after Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd. The crime was heinous, the verdict just, the moral neat. If you think that systemic racism is the defining fact of race relations in 21st-century America, then Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck is its defining image.

But what about a case like that of Ma’Khia Bryant, a Black teenager who was shot and killed last week by Nicholas Reardon, a white police officer in Columbus, Ohio, at the instant that she was swinging a knife at a woman who had her back against a car?

Ben Crump, the Floyd family’s lawyer, accused the Columbus police in a tweet of killing “an unarmed 15yo Black girl.” Valerie Jarrett, the former Obama adviser, tweeted that Bryant “was killed because a police officer immediately decided to shoot her multiple times in order to break up a knife fight.” Jarrett wants to “Demand accountability” and “Fight for justice.”

An alternative view: Maybe there wasn’t time for Officer Reardon, in an 11-second interaction, to “de-escalate” the situation, as he is now being faulted for failing to do. And maybe the balance of our sympathies should lie not with the would-be perpetrator of a violent assault but with the cop who saved a Black life — namely that of Tionna Bonner, who nearly had Bryant’s knife thrust into her.  . . . “

City of Chicago :: Chicago Community Land Trust for Buyers

” . . . How CCLT Homeownership Works
CCLT homeownership is designed to preserve the long-term affordability of its homes, while providing its homeowners with a return on their investment.  Unlike renting, CCLT ownership provides an opportunity to begin building equity.

  • The CCLT works in combination with the City’s affordable homeownership programs. The City provides land and / or subsidies to make affordable homes available for purchase by income-qualified working individuals and families.  See the Homes for Sale list of available units, including links to City program requirements.
  • Through the County County Assessor’s Office, property taxes are assessed on the home’s affordable price, instead of on the market value.
  • In exchange for the subsidies and reduced property taxes:

Buyers sign a long-term affordability agreement agreeing to resell the home to another income-qualified buyer at an affordable price.

The affordable resale price is designed to give the owner a return on his/her investment, but limits that return in order to keep the home affordable to the next family.

The original subsidies stay with the home to help maintain affordability.  . . . . ”

Source: City of Chicago :: Chicago Community Land Trust for Buyers

Opinion | Affordable Housing Forever – The New York Times

Mr. Friedrich is a journalist who writes about the social problems caused by gentrification.

Credit…Monica Garwood

“If anyone knows how gentrification has displaced Black working-class residents in Atlanta, it’s Makeisha Robey, a preschool teacher. During her two decades living in the city, she has watched affordable apartment complexes vanish as new developments arise and wealthier, white residents move in.

After being priced out of renting in a series of neighborhoods, Ms. Robey, a 43-year-old single mother, became determined to buy a house of her own. “Being able to build some kind of equity, being able to have this home base where your family can come visit,” Ms. Robey said, “I wanted that for myself.”

That wish became a reality when she discovered the Atlanta Land Trust, an organization that creates and protects affordable housing. Community land trusts are locally run nonprofits that purchase land, build homes on it and sell those homes below market rate to low-income buyers. The trust keeps the deed for the land, leasing it to homeowners who sign a long-term agreement to limit their home’s resale price, so that it stays affordable into the future.

“You make a one-time investment in creating a community land trust unit, and that unit is affordable forever,” said Amanda Rhein, executive director of the Atlanta Land Trust. Community leaders founded the organization in 2009 during the development of the Atlanta BeltLine, a 22-mile rail park — similar to New York City’s High Line — that has inflated housing prices in historically Black neighborhoods nearby.  . . . “

Charles M. Blow | Rage Is the Only Language I Have Left – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

Credit…Josh Galemore/Arizona Daily Star, via Associated Press

“One of the first times I wrote about the police killing of an unarmed Black man was when Michael Brown was gunned down in the summer of 2014 in Ferguson, Mo. Brown was a Black teenager accused of an infraction in a convenience store just before his life was taken. Last summer, six years on, I wrote about George Floyd, a large Black man accused of an infraction in a convenience store, this time in Minneapolis.

Both men were killed in the street in broad daylight. Brown was shot. An officer knelt on Floyd’s neck. In both cases there were multiple community witnesses to the killings. In both cases there was a massive outcry. In both cases the men were accused of contributing to, or causing, their own deaths, in part because they had illegal drugs in their systems.

Between those two killings there has been a depressing number of others. In January of 2015, The Washington Post began maintaining a database of all known fatal shootings by the police in America. Every year, the police shot and killed roughly 1,000 people. But, as The Post points out, Black Americans are killed at a much higher rate than white Americans, and the data revealed that unarmed Black people account for about 40 percent of the unarmed Americans killed by the police, despite making up only about 13 percent of the American population.

Something is horrifyingly wrong. And yet, the killings keep happening. Brown and Floyd are not even the bookends. There were many before them, and there will be many after.   . . . “

Editorial | You’ve Heard About Gerrymandering. What Happens When It Involves Prisons? – The New York Times

The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values. It is separate from the newsroom.

Credit…Illustration by Nicholas Konrad/The New York Times; photograph by Getty Images

“Where do you live? For most people, that’s an easy question to answer when the census comes around. It’s much harder for those locked up in a state or federal prison, often hundreds or even thousands of miles from the place they last called home.

Longstanding Census Bureau policy is to count people as residing wherever they usually eat and sleep, known as the “usual residence” rule. For prisoners, that means being counted in the legislative districts where they are incarcerated.

But that makes no sense, because virtually everyone who goes to prison comes from somewhere else, and almost all will return there after being released. While they are behind bars, they can’t vote, nor do they have any attachment to the local community or its elected officials. They are counted, even though they can’t hold their representatives accountable.

The result is one of the more persistent and pernicious distortions in the redistricting process, known as “prison gerrymandering.” Now that the 2020 census count is over, and the nation begins its decennial struggle over how to draw new congressional and other legislative district lines — and who gains or loses political power as a result — it’s a good time to talk about how we can get rid of prison gerrymandering at last.” . . .

Opinion | Georgia’s Voter Law Is Called ‘Jim Crow 2.0’ for a Reason – The New York Times

Mr. Ward is a historian who has written extensively about the civil rights movement, the South and politics.

316

Credit…Illustration by The New York Times; photographs by Getty Images

“Seventy-five years ago this July, a World War II veteran named Maceo Snipes reportedly became the first Black man to cast a ballot in his rural Georgia county. The next day, a white man shot him in his front yard, and Mr. Snipes would soon afterward die from those wounds.

Fortunately, three generations removed from the political reign of terror that claimed Mr. Snipes’s life, voter suppression seems much less likely to arrive by bullet. But we may not be as distant in our political moment from theirs as we might think: The long struggle to block access to the ballot has always relied on legal maneuvering and political schemes to achieve what bullets and bombs alone could not.

What legislators in Georgia and across the country have reminded us is that backlash to expanded voting rights has often arrived by a method that our eras share in common: by laws, like Georgia’s Senate Bill 202, passed by elected politicians.

Opponents of the new Georgia law denounce the legislation as “Jim Crow 2.0” precisely because they recognize the continuities between past and present. The bill’s most ardent supporters, who lined up in front of a painting of a building on the site of an antebellum plantation to watch Gov. Brian Kemp sign it into law, seem less interested in distancing themselves from that past and more eager for Americans to forget it.” . . .

Bob Bauer | How to Counter the Republican Assault on Voting Rights – The New York Times

Mr. Bauer teaches constitutional law concerning the presidency and political reform at New York University Law School. He was a senior adviser to the Biden campaign and served as White House counsel to President Barack Obama.

  • 239

Credit…Danny Lyon/Magnum Photos

“Republican-dominated state legislatures around the country have responded to the cynical calls from Donald Trump for “election reform” with an array of proposals to restrict voting rights. They include limiting early-voting opportunities, constraining access to vote-by-mail and imposing more voter identification and other requirements to protect against what Mr. Trump falsely claimed to be “a level of dishonesty” that “is not to be believed.”

In Washington, congressional Democrats have rallied around H.R. 1, which has already passed in the House and would establish specific voting rules that states would be required to follow for federal elections, empowered by Congress’s clear constitutional authority to “make or alter” state regulations governing the “Times, Places and manner” of holding such elections.” . . .

Good op-ed, excellent comments.

The Intelligence on Russia Was Clear. It Was Not Always Presented That Way. – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — Representative Jason Crow listened during a classified briefing last summer while a top intelligence official said that Russia was hurting Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign to help President Donald J. Trump.

Mr. Crow, Democrat of Colorado, held up an intelligence agency news release from days earlier and demanded to know why it said nothing about Russia’s plans.

“‘When are you going to come out publicly and correct this record?’” Mr. Crow recalled asking the official, William R. Evanina. “‘Because there’s a massive disconnect between what is in your news releases and what you’re saying publicly — because of the pressure of the president.’”

A report released Tuesday made clear that the intelligence community believed that Russia had long attacked Mr. Biden for the benefit of Mr. Trump. But throughout 2020, senior officials bowed to Mr. Trump’s hostility toward any public emphasis of the threat from Russia, and they offered Congress and the public incomplete or misleading portraits of the intelligence on foreign influence in the election.” . . .

For Voting Rights Advocates, a ‘Once in a Generation Moment’ Looms – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — State and national voting-rights advocates are waging the most consequential political struggle over access to the ballot since the civil rights era, a fight increasingly focused on a far-reaching federal overhaul of election rules in a last-ditch bid to offset a wave of voting restrictions sweeping Republican-controlled state legislatures.

The federal voting bill, which passed in the House this month with only Democratic support, includes a landmark national expansion of voting rights, an end to partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts and new transparency requirements on the flood of dark money financing elections that would override the rash of new state laws.

The energy in support for it radiates from well-financed veteran organizers to unpaid volunteers, many who were called to political activism after former President Donald J. Trump’s upset win in 2016. It is engaging Democrats in Washington and voting rights activists in crucial states from Georgia to Iowa to West Virginia to Arizona — some facing rollbacks in access to the ballot, some with senators who will play pivotal roles and some with both.

But after approval of the Democratic bill in the House, the campaign to pass the For the People Act, designated Senate Bill 1, increasingly appears to be on a collision course with the filibuster. The rule requires 60 votes for passage of most legislation in a bitterly divided Senate, meaning that Republicans can kill the voting bill and scores of other liberal priorities despite unified Democratic control of Washington.

To succeed, Democrats will have to convince a handful of moderate holdouts to change the rules, at least for this legislation, with the likelihood that a single defection in their own party would doom their efforts. It is a daunting path with no margin for error, but activists believe the costs for failure, given the Republican limits on voting, would be so high that some accommodation on the filibuster could become inevitable.

Two left-leaning elections groups, the advocacy arm of End Citizens United and Let America Vote along with the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, plan this week to announce an infusion of $30 million to try to hasten the groundswell. The money will fund paid advertising in at least a dozen states and finance organizers to target Democratic and Republican swing senators in six of them.

“We are at a once-in-a-generation moment,” said Tiffany Muller, president of End Citizens United and Let America Vote. “We either are going to see one of the most massive rollbacks of our democracy in generations, or we have an opportunity to say: ‘No, that is not what America stands for. We are going to strengthen democracy and make sure everyone has an equal voice.’” ” . . .