Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick Issues Statement about Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi's Decision Regarding Chairmanship of the House Intelligence

Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (13th District, Michigan) released the following statement today after hearing that Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi was not selecting Congressman Alcee Hastings to serve as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee:

"I support my friend and colleague Alcee Hastings. He is an effective, intelligent, and hard working public servant. He is committed to protecting our national security.

The Congressman has a wealth of experience and has shared his knowledge to keep America safe. Congressman Hastings has been an effective Member of the House Intelligence Committee for the past seven years. I sincerely hope he will be reappointed to the Intelligence Committee.

I respect the decision of Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi. I will support the new Chairperson of the House Intelligence Committee."


A range of measures suggest that many black and Latino families face hardship of some type. Between one-fourth and one-third of families with children headed by blacks or by Latino citizens experience overcrowded living conditions, difficulties paying for food, or lack of needed medical care. Hardship rates rise further — to as many as half of black families with children — when additional types of hardship are considered.

These findings come from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), which will be terminated this year unless Congress provides additional funding in the fiscal year 2007 appropriations bill that provides funding for the Bureau.

Between one-fourth and one-third of black African American families with children (28 percent) experienced at least one of three hardships — overcrowded housing, hunger or the risk of hunger (termed “food insecurity” by the government), or lack of needed medical care — in the 12 months before the survey was conducted in summer 2003.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Well-Being of Black Middle Class Affected by Ties to Poor Siblings

Blacks teetering at the lower end of the middle-class spectrum are two and a half times as likely to have a low-income sibling as whites in the same socioeconomic bracket, the study shows. They also are four times as likely to have been poor when they were young, suggesting the relatively recent rise of many blacks to middle-class status.“Basically the study shows that blacks in the lower middle class are much less likely to have kin to call on when an occasion arises in which they need, say, quick cash for a hospital bill or to fix a car,” says Northwestern's Mary Pattillo, chair and professor of sociology at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and co-investigator of the study. “And they are much more likely to have kin calling upon them for financial and other assistance.” The study, “Poverty in the Family: Race, Siblings and Socioeconomic Heterogenity,” by Pattillo and Colleen Heflin, University of Kentucky, will be published in the December issue of Social Science Research.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Hastings Appeals to Caucus for Support

Text of an open letter found at Politcal Insider from Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) to his House colleagues in an attempt to become Chairman of the House Intellgence Committee. The entire text appears at

Because I know you and because many of you are mindful of my 14 years in Congress, and in order not to stoke a simmering fire which had the potential to adversely affect Democrats in the '06 election, I elected not to participate in the "discussion" about whether I should be appointed Chair of the HPSCI.

The noise and misleading, poorly informed, misinformed, and sometimes venomous attacks on my integrity and character by pundits, politicians, and editors screaming the word impeachment (ignoring a Not Guilty verdict in a court of law) in a frenetic attempt to justify denying me a position I have certainly earned and am completely competent to perform requires now that I set the record straight.

Colleagues, some of the things I write you may be familiar with. Some you may not know. It is all meant to edify you so that you have the best information possible in case you are asked about me or read about me in the paper or online.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

CA - Racial report critical of bill vetoes

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gets a D and the state Legislature a C-minus when it comes to supporting bills that bridge California's racial divide, according to a report card put out by an advocacy group Tuesday.

Despite the governor's pledge to represent all Californians, authors of the 2006 racial equity report card gave him poor marks for vetoing bills to provide universal health insurance and allow separate textbooks for English learners. The Governor's Office called the report flawed.

The report card called "Facing Race" was compiled by the Applied Research Center, a privately funded public policy institute headquartered in Oakland. The governor and the Legislature were graded on 20 bills addressing racial inequities in education, economic justice, health and civil rights.

GA - Congressman David Scott Applauds New Commuter Rail

“I applaud the Norfolk Southern Rail Company and the Georgia DOT for their recent agreement to proceed with a very important commuter rail line from Atlanta to Macon – with the first phase being the Atlanta to Lovejoy line in south Clayton County,” said Congressman Scott. “This represents an extraordinary partnership between the U.S. Congress, Georgia Legislature, Governor Sonny Perdue, GDOT, Clayton County government and Norfolk Southern. This will certainly offer a badly needed means of alternative transportation for traffic congestion, especially in the fast-growing South Metro area.”

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

IL - Obama gets new committee assignments

While Senator Barack Obama considers whether he should run for the White House in 2008 and possibly become the nation's first black president, he is getting more assignments to keep him busy on Capitol Hill. In the upcoming 110th Congress, where Democrats will control both the House and the Senate, the Chicago Democrat will have his duties spread among four committees, instead of on three, as he has had in the 109th Congress.

He will continue on Foreign Relations and Veterans' Affairs. He will lose his seat on Environment and Public Works. But he will pick up Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, plus Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Obama says keeping the American people safe should always be our top priority. He pledges to work to secure the nation's chemical plants and to implement the 9-11 Commission's recommendations.

TX - Congresswoman Johnson Announces $75 Million Contract Through VA for Gulf War Veterans' Illness Research

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson announced that the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas has been awarded a $75 million contract through the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) for Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses research.

The objective of the contract award is to ultimately improve the health of Gulf War Veterans that are ill due to their service. Under the contract, UT Southwestern Medical Center, in collaboration with a VA Medical Center, shall conduct and manage Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses research projects in order to answer central questions on the nature, causes and treatments of Gulf War Veterans’ illnesses.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

MD - Congressman Wynn Puts Pressure on Egypt to Mediate Crisis in Darfur

Congressman Wynn met with Ambassador Wafaa Baseem, Assistant Foreign Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt. Congressman Wynn pressed the Ambassador about Egypt’s role as a strategic force in the region and the nation’s potential to mitigate the genocide in Darfur. Wynn said, “The US needs cooperation from Egypt to press Sudan to accept a United Nations force or devise a viable compromise.” Egypt, which shares a border with Sudan and has a strategic interest in its neighbor’s stability, indicates it is committed to bringing peace to all Sudanese people. However, Egypt will not support a UN force against the will of the Sudanese government, which rejected efforts to replace the African Union’s 7,000 troops with 20,000 UN peacekeepers. Sudan claims a UN force is a threat to their sovereignty.

Il - U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush to host One Stop Utility Assistance Day for Chicago residents

Congressman Bobby L. Rush and various city and utility representatives will be present to provide important information to Chicago residents on how to apply for various utility grants to both pay for current bills and/or get service turned back on, get info on pending CEDA applications and learn how to apply for services through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Friday, November 10, 2006

DC - Norton Says D.C. House Vote Not in Doubt

The Office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said that the Congresswoman today had confirmed continuing support of the new House Democratic leadership for the pending D.C. House vote bill. Leader Nancy Pelosi is a cosponsor. Unfortunately, the Judiciary Committee required preliminary action by the newly elected Utah legislature, which has not met or acted yet, putting at risk the passage that Norton is pressing during the lame duck session that begins Monday. If time runs out, the D.C.-Utah bill will be reintroduced in the new Congress.