Brief Analyzes Political Impact of Projected Eligible 2016 Voters of Color in Key Battleground States

The political implications of the nation’s changing demographics are already being felt in many states across the country. These implications are addressed in a new issue brief, “The Changing Face of America’s Electorate,” released today by the Center for American Progress, which examines 2016 election trends and patterns for voters of color.The CAP analysis identifies what the electorate is projected to look like in 2016 for key battleground states—including vital states such as Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Virginia, and North Carolina—and estimates the racial and ethnic makeup of the 2016 eligible voting population. Based on those projections, the brief demonstrates the potential political impact of electoral demographic changes through two election simulations.“Demographic changes have only become more acute in the United States since 2012,” said Vanessa Cárdenas, Vice President of Progress 2050 at the Center for American Progress. “As people of color become a larger share of states’ electorates, the political implications for both political parties are evident: To win the presidency and many of the U.S. Senate races in the 2016 election, candidates will need to substantially engage voters of color.”The first simulation explored in the CAP analysis looks at how the demographic shifts will affect the 2016 election if voters across all racial and ethnic groups turn out and have the same party preferences as they did in 2012. In the second simulation, CAP holds voter turnout rates constant from 2012 but assumes that racial and ethnic groups revert to party preferences they showed in 2004. Continue Reading

Crop insurance: Good enough for Monsanto, good enough for sustainable agriculture

From the fact-is-stranger-than-fiction department: In 2007, Monsanto talked the USDA’s Risk Management Agency into giving farmers a discount on crop insurance premiums if they planted the company’s triple-stacked GMO corn. Reportedly, some reviewers of the proposal raised concerns that the premium subsidy would unfairly benefit a single private company. Continue Reading

Immigrants cautioned about reform scams in wake of Obama immigration order

Recently, a group of lawyers and community service organizations gathered at Waite House in South Minneapolis to discuss President Obama’s new Executive Orders regarding immigration reform. Many of the attendees had questions about permanent residency in the United States, and one important message of the meeting was a word of caution. It’s too early to apply for a change in status, so potential applicants should be wary of anyone who offers to charge them to fill out papers. KFAI’s Rico Morales was there and filed this report. [Audio below] Continue Reading

BEHIND THE STORY | Public dollars, private land and freedom of speech

Two years ago, I attended one of the most amazing acts of public expression I think I’ve ever experienced. It was at the Mall of America- a Round Dance held in the rotunda where I witnessed over a thousand people, mostly Native American, sing and dance in a circle as drums played. Not a protest, exactly, it was really more of a healing prayer and a call to action, precipitated by the Idle No More Movement, which got started in Canada over tribal sovereignty issues.Related article: Thousands protest at Mall of America, spark mall shut-down; 12 arrestedI’m not exactly why the 2012 roundy was allowed to occur by MOA security without a hitch when in the following year, a similar action was nipped in the bud. Last year, I reported for The Uptake how Idle No More organizers received letters not to attend a planned action, and were arrested upon arrival. The protest did not take place.It’s possible the 2012 round dance was given prior permission while the 2013 one didn’t. Continue Reading

Thousands protest at Mall of America, spark mall shut-down

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Bloomington threatens to arrest Black Lives Matter organizers, not protesters

A Black Lives Matter protest planned for Dec. 20 at the Mall of America hit a snag this week when Mall of America officials threatened to remove any protesters and potentially have them arrested. The protest is part of a national movement aimed at raising awareness about police violence against people of color.Related stories: [PHOTOS] #BlackLivesMatter momentum continues, protesters march on downtown Minneapolis[PHOTOS] #BlackLivesMatter protesters halt 35W traffic: “We’re ready for change”A letter, signed by Mall of America Management, was sent by courier to the homes of several of the organizers, saying that advocates were allowed to protest on the Alpha Business Center Lot, adjacent to the mall, but that any protesters inside of the mall would be subject to removal, as the Mall of America is private property.Black Lives Matter organizer Michael McDowell said the letter was delivered to his house by courier on Dec. 12, though he didn’t receive it until Dec. 13. Continue Reading

President Obama’s executive order is a good first step, but the work continues

Over past weekends, leaders of statewide nonprofit La Asamblea de Derechos Civiles have been gathering at local churches, meeting with the community, discussing the impacts of President Obama’s recently announced immigration relief.This is a Community Voices submission and is moderated but not edited. The opinions expressed by Community Voices contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TC Daily Planet.President Obama recently announced immigration relief for over five-million undocumented immigrants. The fight continues, however, and so does the work of groups such as ours. Antonia Alvarez, Asamblea co-founder and organizer, explains “The President’s announcement gives with one hand, but it also takes with the other hand. It is a victory, but there are more victories to be had.”Asamblea’s platform is one of Emancipation, the Emancipation of all immigrant peoples. Its tenets are:comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship,access to higher educationjustice for all workersthe right and opportunity to participate in civic societymedia justiceWhile Asamblea leaders and leaders continue to fight for comprehensive immigration reform and pathway to citizenship, its leaders also believe all immigrant communities must have access to the education, jobs, and resources they need to thrive in this state and in this country. Continue Reading