Posts tagged with "Democratic Party"

gun violence image for 360 magazine by Kaelen Felix

Motherhood Does Not Drive Support For Gun Control

A recent study has found that moms are not more likely than other women to support gun control efforts. In fact, this new study finds that parenthood doesn’t have a substantial effect on the gun control views of men or women.

“Everybody ‘knows’ that moms are more politically liberal on gun control issues,” says Steven Greene, corresponding author of the study and a professor of political science at North Carolina State University. “We wanted to know if that’s actually true. And, as it turns out, it’s not true – which was surprising.”

To explore the impact of parenthood on people’s gun control views, the researchers drew on data collected by the Pew Center for Research in 2017 as part of Pew’s nationally representative American Trends Panel. The researchers then used statistical models to account for various confounding variables, such as political affiliation, allowing them to focus specifically on the effect that parenthood has on one’s beliefs regarding gun control.

The Pew surveys had examined a range of issues pertaining to gun control. Across the board, men were substantially more politically conservative than women on questions related to gun laws and regulations. In other words, men were more likely to favor fewer regulations and laxer legal requirements when it comes to guns.

On four of the gun control issues, parenthood had no statistical impact at all – meaning that the positions of moms were no different from the positions of women who weren’t parents, and the positions of dads were no different from the positions of men who weren’t parents. Those four issues pertained to: gun ownership, or how permissive gun ownership laws should be; home safety, or laws pertaining to how guns and ammunition are stored or secured in the home; teachers and guns, or whether school personnel should carry firearms; and whether stricter gun laws would reduce mass shootings.

However, parenthood did have a small – but statistically significant – impact on two other gun control issues.

Mothers were actually more politically conservative than other women on the issue of gun strictness – meaning that moms were slightly more likely to support less restrictive gun laws.

And fathers were more politically conservative than other men on the issue of gun prevalence – meaning they were slightly more likely to believe that more people should be allowed to own guns, and guns should be allowed in more places.

“When we talk about political movements and efforts to change laws, it’s important to have a clear, accurate sense of where people stand on the relevant issues,” Greene says. “Using the potent symbolism of motherhood in America in order advance a political agenda, in this case, is actually ignoring the fact that positions on gun control are virtually identical for women across the board. There is some minor variation, but even there, it actually suggests that mothers are less supportive of restrictive gun laws.

“To be clear, most women – including most moms – support more restrictive gun laws. But it’s not because they’re parents.” In conclusion, there is no true correlation between how adults feel about gun laws and if they are a parent.

The paper, “Do moms demand action on guns? Parenthood and gun policy attitudes,” appears in the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties. The paper was co-authored by Melissa Deckman, of Washington College; Laurel Elder, of Hartwick College; and Mary-Kate Lizotte, of Augusta University.

“Do moms demand action on guns? Parenthood and gun policy attitudes”

Authors: Steven Greene, North Carolina State University; Melissa Deckman, Washington College; Laurel Elder, Hartwick College; and Mary-Kate Lizotte, Augusta University

Published: Dec. 28, 2020, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties

DOI: 10.1080/17457289.2020.1862130

Abstract: The idea that motherhood primes women to support stronger gun control policy permeates our contemporary politics. Motherhood shapes views on a variety of issues, but the question remains whether mothers hold distinctive views on gun control policies relative to their non-parent peers. We draw on 2017 Pew Research Center data to explore the ways gender, parenthood, and race intersect to shape attitudes on gun policy in the post-Sandy Hook era when gun violence has become prominently linked with schools and children, and during a time when the Black Lives Matter movement has drawn national attention to the relationship of gun violence and racial inequality. Most notably, we find that contemporary depictions of mothers as a distinctively pro-gun control constituency are largely inaccurate. The very real gender gap in gun policy attitudes appears to be falsely attributed to motherhood, rather than gender. We also find very little impact of parenthood for men. Finally, we generally fail to see much relationship between race, parenthood, and gun attitudes. Overall, despite common belief and media reporting to the contrary, the story is very much one where parenthood seems to play little role in gun policy attitudes.

ICYMI: Amended Lawsuit Alleges NJ Governor Allowed Institutional Racism

Blueprint Capital Advisors (Blueprint), the only Black asset manager in the state of New Jersey by and through its undersigned counsel, Brown Rudnick, LLP and the Constitutional Litigation Advocacy Group, P.C., today filed an amended complaint directly against New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and senior members of his administration charging blatant, aggressive, and unapologetic racist abuse from the State of New Jersey and seeking injunctive relief for his failure to address the maltreatment.

The amended complaint adds federal racketeering claims against former and current employees of New Jersey’s Division of Investment (DOI) on quid pro quo schemes, entrenched corruption and malfeasance, where external investments were granted to firms on the basis of racial preference using discriminatory practices and policies and in multiple instances Black-owned firms like Blueprint had their intellectual property stolen and provided to larger firms thereby unjustly enriching the firms and individuals who participated in the schemes.

In the amended complaint, the Plaintiff Blueprint seeks declaratory, injunctive and equitable relief, as well as monetary damages, to redress Governor Murphy and the DOI’s violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (“Section 1981”), 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“Section 1983”), New Jersey Civil Rights Act, racketeering in violation of 18 U.S.C.§ 1962 and N.J.S.A. 2C:41-2, violation of the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause, breaches of contract, fiduciary duty, duty of confidentiality, as well as claims for unfair competition, civil conspiracy, fraud, commercial disparagement, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, aiding and abetting racketeering, and aiding and abetting fraud.

Blueprint filed its original complaint against the State of New Jersey on June 23, 2020 for racial bias, and also sued BlackRock and Cliffwater LLC for profiting from Blueprint’s proprietary investment program. On September 30, 2020 Blueprint announced that attorneys Michael J. Bowe of Brown Rudnick and Jay Sekulow of Constitutional Litigation and Advocacy Group (CLAG) would join Blueprint’s legal efforts against New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s Department of the Treasury, Division of Investment (DOI), BlackRock Alternative Advisors, and Cliffwater LLC for racial discrimination, fraud and retaliation.  CLAG has been intensely focused on New Jersey’s refusal to comply with the New Jersey Open Records Act and release public information Blueprint believes demonstrates the racial animus and bias that has characterized its relationship with the DOI and underlies their refusal to provide opportunities for other Black-owned firms.

“A Black-owned firm with an innovative solution to New Jersey’s pension fund crisis, was shamefully exploited by the DOI’s entrenched “old-boys” network of political patronage and Wall Street money,” said attorney Michael Bowe. “But, this is not only a case about a past abuse, it is a case about a wrong that continues today, and will continue every day Governor Murphy does nothing. Governor Murphy and his administration shouldn’t say another word about what they are doing about systemic injustice before they address this injustice they are themselves perpetuating. Our 100- page detailed complaint speaks for itself and Governor Murphy should fix this before a Federal court does.”

“Governor Phil Murphy frequently cites with dishonest pride the diversity of his state, his cabinet and the state Democratic Party yet, over the last four years, began working with the DOI and the Assistant Treasurer to attack Jacob Walthour, Jr. after he publicly reported Blueprint’s abuse to, and sought the support of, the African-American community and its religious and political leaders,” said Pastor David Jefferson, Senior Pastor, Metropolitan Baptist Church and board member of National Action Network. “This is a necessary legal fight against Governor Murphy and the DOI to put a stop to exclusionary policies and practices that hurt certain groups and hold all parties who preclude fair and equal access to opportunities accountable.”

“While Blueprint is forging new paths in the financial service sector, they should not have to contend with systemic and systematic racism from Governor Murphy and his administration,” said attorney Jay Sekulow. “Racial and economic justice is everyone’s fight and anti-racism is not only bi-partisan, it transcends politics. This landmark case is about affording equal access and exposing the veil of inequality that exists in the asset management and financial services sector for Black Americans in New Jersey and this country.”

Kamala Harris illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Joe Biden × Kamala Harris

Presidential candidate Joe Biden has declared California Senator Kamala Harris his Vice President running mate. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s selection of Senator Kamala Harris Harris shows Biden doubling down on his long history of excessive law enforcement and support for the war on drugs. 

In a year of national uprising against police violence, Kamala Harris who spent 25 years in law enforcement is an ironic selection. Her campaign for president ended quickly as she dropped out of the race two months before the Iowa Caucus and three days before the filing deadline to be on the ballot in her home state of California, where she was behind in the polls. Part of her decline was caused by voter dismay at her reversal on Medicare For All, when she flip-flopped to a policy that subsidized private health insurance and misleadingly continued to call it Medicare for All.

While Joe Biden was the principal legislative architect of the drug war and mass incarceration from his time on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Harris’s record as a prosecutor and Attorney General was as a foot soldier in the drug war and mass incarceration. As the San Francisco District Attorney drug-related prosecutions increased from 56 percent in 2003 to 74 percent in 2006. In 2019, she admitted smoking marijuana in college but while Attorney General of California from 2011-2017, Harris sent at least 1,560 people to prison over marijuana-related offenses. In 2014, a week after the New York Times called for legal marijuana, Harris laughed when asked if she supported it. Now, she supports ending federal laws against marijuana, a position not held by Biden.

While Biden sponsored mandatory sentencing, Harris defended one of the worst mandatory sentencing laws in the US, California’s ‘three strikes law’ that also applied to “minor” felonies. She campaigned against a voter initiative that would have reformed this to require serious or violent felonies for life sentences. Harris did not take a position on two ballot initiatives in 2012 and 2014 that would have reduced punishment for low-level crimes and given judges more flexibility at sentencing. Both initiatives passed without her support.

After the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, police accountability was on the agenda in the California legislature. Harris refused to take a position on racial profiling by police. As Attorney General she refused to investigate highly questionable police shootings in Los Angeles 2014 and in San Francisco in 2015.

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KAMALA HARRIS × ESSENCE

Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) speaks to ESSENCE.com during Black Maternal Health Week (April 11 – 17) on how COVID-19 has exposed the deep racial disparities in our country’s health care system. In her latest Kamala’s Corner column piece, We Can’t Let Up the Fight to End the Black Maternal Health Crisis – Especially Right Now, she talks to ESSENCE about:

  • The On-going Health Disparities Between Pregnant Black Women and White Women: “…Black women are three to four times more likely than White women to die from pregnancyrelated causes and twice as likely to suffer from life-threatening pregnancy-related complications. These disparities persist regardless of one’s income or education level. So, while this is a stressful time for any expectant mother, the potential ramifications that come with giving birth during a pandemic – and specifically a pandemic that is disproportionately impacting African Americans – is of particular concern to Black women…”
  • Underlying Health Conditions Affecting Black People During COVID-19: “We already know that people who have certain underlying health conditions are more at risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19. Sadly, data shows that Black people are 20 percent more likely to have asthma than our White counterparts. We are 40 percent more likely to have high blood pressure. And for Black women, we are three times more likely than White women to be diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease that medical professionals warn could increase one’s chances of getting any kind of infection. Black women can’t afford not to be heard when their lives and babies are on the line, but they especially can’t afford to be shut out when we are going through a pandemic…”
  • The Black Maternal Health Momnibus: “That is why, this year, I was proud to partner with Rep. Lauren Underwood and Rep. Alma Adams to introduce the Black Maternal Health Momnibus. This historic package of bills that would tackle systemic health disparities by making much needed investments in social determinants that influence maternal health outcomes, like housing, transportation, and nutrition. It calls for more diversity in the perinatal workforce, so every mom is provided with inclusive care…”

For more on this story, visit ESSENCE.com.

William Anthony Allen – Harlem’s Renaissance

By Abigail Baldwin × Vaughn Lowery

Earlier this month, 360 had the opportunity to sit down with the award-winning community activist William Anthony Allen. After many years of serving Harlem as a community leader and on its District Council, Allen is exploring the possibility of running for City Council serving the 9th District.

Harlem has long been a beacon of Black culture, community, and heritage since the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, the Harlem that William Anthony Allen knew was one of unity, familiarity, and freedom. According to Allen, “Crack cocaine came and killed all that. It stopped people from going to the community. It created mistrust. It changed how people participated politically and how they saw themselves. A great number of the working class and middle class of Harlem began to look at other options.” Allen describes his childhood in Harlem as poor but centered in the community, “people were so loving like they were aunts and uncles, but they really were not a blood relationship. The way they treated you, felt like family.” He watched as crack cocaine and the crisis that followed attack the infrastructure of Harlem and divided its community, giving way to gentrification. “Black people don’t own the businesses in their own neighborhood anymore and young people say that can’t afford to come back to Harlem,” he says. Allen has completed housing and community development efforts in New York, as well as health care and social services proposals on a local, state and federal level. His efforts have always been lead by a desire to uplift the community and uphold the “great legacy” of Harlem, “particularly for African Americans.”

But what are his plans? How does Allen intend to use his experience in the community to serve them at a City Council level? He told 360 he would begin by “sitting down with parent leaders, senior citizen leaders, youth leaders, and really talk about mapping it out in terms of how do they see the future of this community, what do they want from it, and make that the blueprint.” He calls for the people of Harlem to define their own community and make their own decisions, with himself as a representative of their interests. “I’m going to be fighting very hard to address the housing inequities and disparities, helping to lower the cost of housing,” he told 360, “making sure that folks that really want to make a contribution to the life of this city can afford to be here.”

Allen lamented that a particular program that had been around for nearly fifty years, the Addicts Rehabilitation Center (ARC), has closed; “without those services, gentrification moves us all out.” Allen is fighting to get these programs reestablished, but he specifies that black and brown people should be running these programs for the community, “I want to make sure that the people that are running the program are culturally correct.”

In his youth, William Anthony Allen attended Fordham University in the Bronx where he was the first non-white person to serve as Vice President of the Student Council. Later, he transferred to CUNY where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper. Now, he is the founding member of a local charter elementary school. He recognizes that education is of the utmost importance. In the City Council, Allen plans to create a network through Historically Black Colleges. “We need to make learning and knowledge sexy,” he says, so everyone, regardless of their circumstance can step up and participate in the betterment of their community.” Of his current efforts, he says, “I’m organizing a network of black influencers to address crisis issues that affect black people across the country.” These crisis issues include police relations, employment discrimination, gentrification, and inadequate schools.

For himself, Allen’s goal is, “to be known as the guy who brings everybody together to have dialogue and then create action.” He says to not only the Black community, but to the youth of Harlem and the LGBTQ+ community, “Tell me how I can support you to have a strong voice.”

“Harlem represents a great legacy, particularly for African Americans. And our entry, not only here into the city but what we have done for the nation,” says Allen, “We need to leverage that.”

Check out his latest article inside New York County Politics.

William Allen, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery, Harlem, protests

Harlem Democratic District Leader William Allen encourages others to take a knee during a march in honor of George Floyd. Black men march through Harlem, pick up hundreds of others along the way to insure justice by claiming power.