Opinion Pieces

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  • Federal trial would protect rights of state voters
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on March 27, 2012 | Preview rr

    Published in the Palm Beach Post on March 27, 2012. The United States Department of Justice recently announced that it will seek a trial to block implementation of House Bill 1355, which Gov. Scott signed into law on May 19, 2011. Gov. Scott and the Republican-controlled Legislature's bill is an underhanded attempt to hinder access to the polls for minorities, seniors and students. Republicans claim that this bill is necessary to reduce voter fraud, but one only has to look at which voters are a... Read more

  • Focusing on Foster Care
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on March 26, 2012 | Preview rr

    By Representatives Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Karen Bass (D-CA), Tom Marino (R-PA), and Frederica Wilson (D-FL) Far too often, attention is only given to the failures of the foster care system. As necessary as this may be, only through greater awareness of both the system's failures and accomplishments can we better serve our children in need. On March 30th, a delegation of Members of Congress will be taking part in a Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth Field Visit to do just that. Members will ... Read more

  • Voting Law Changes: Your Rights Are Under Attack
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on March 8, 2012 | Preview rr

    Published in Huffington Post BlackVoices' Power and Politics Blog on March 8, 2012. There is a "War on Voting" in this country and, wherever you live, you need to be paying close attention. The Constitution protects voters from discrimination, but that protection is being challenged in states across the nation, and making it harder for people to vote. In dozens of state legislatures, the new and expanded Republican majorities are pushing and even enacting policies that are proven to lead to the ... Read more

  • The struggle continues for King's dream
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on August 25, 2011 | Preview rr

    Published in The Hill's Congress Blog on August 25, 2011 Today, when the term "civil rights" appears to be an old-fashioned concept and the ideology of post-racialism penetrates the minds of many Americans, it is only proper to pause and recognize moments in history that remind us not only of how far we have come, but of how the fight for equality still continues. I was born in 1936 and raised in Altamonte Springs, Fla. I remember clearly the day the Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Educa... Read more

  • Inequity in Unemployment
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on July 25, 2011 | Preview rr

    Published in the Congressional Black Caucus Blog on July 25, 2011 The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) continues to focus its efforts on assisting those who are unemployed. Unemployment is of particular concern to me, given that my home state of Florida continues to have one of the highest rates of unemployment in the nation. The economic crisis has left millions of Americans out of work, causing families to struggle to make ends meet. Especially impacted by the recession, however, are minority ... Read more

  • While we work for ESEA Reauthorization, protect low-income, minority children
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on July 20, 2011 | Preview rr

    Published in The Hill on July 20, 2011 Recently, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that the Department of Education would consider waivers if Congress is unable to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Despite the pressing need for reauthorization, such an action not only usurps congressional authority, but may also prove detrimental to countless low-income and minority students. Among the provisions that may be waived is the requirement that school districts ... Read more

  • One in Five: AIDS Pandemic Can be Curtailed by Early Testing
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on June 27, 2011 | Preview rr

    Published in the Congressional Black Caucus Blog on June 27, 2011 HIV/AIDS is a pandemic that has no prejudices, altering the lives of over one million Americans regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or economic background. More than 18,000 people in our country die from HIV/AIDS every year. These deaths include countless victims who were not even aware of their condition. Lives could have been saved had they been tested and then treated. On June 5, 1981, the Centers for Disease Con... Read more

  • Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature trampling on the Rights of Florida voters
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on June 9, 2011 | Preview rr

    Published in The Westside Gazette on June 9, 2011 On May 19th, Governor Rick Scott signed into law HB 1355, a bill attacking one of the most fundamental rights of our democracy: the right to vote. In essence, Florida Republicans under the leadership of Gov. Scott have forced into law a measure that will limit access to the polls for minorities, seniors, and college students; limit early voting days; and impose new restrictive regulations on voter registration groups. This disastrous law takes Fl... Read more

  • Rejecting high-speed rail money was big mistake
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on June 1, 2011 | Preview rr

    Published in the Sun Sentinel on June 1, 2011 As gas prices hover around $4 per gallon nationwide, Floridians are reminded yet again of what could have been. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced on May 9 $2 billion in high-speed rail awards to boost train speeds in the Northeast Corridor, expand service in the Midwest, and provide new, state-of-the-art locomotives and railcars. These funds could have gone to Florida. In fact, they did. Last year, Florida was poised to become the fi... Read more

  • Roll back rules that hurt college students
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on April 14, 2011 | Preview rr

    Published in Politico on April 14, 2011 The Department of Education is proposing arbitrary restrictions on private-sector colleges and universities that could disproportionately affect the most disadvantaged students. In these tough economic times, more than ever, adult students, full-time workers, folks from low-income families and many African-Americans and Latinos turn to these institutions because of their career-focused training, job-placement help and flexibility. Over the years, I have no... Read more