Posts Tagged ‘minorities


President Obama: Changing The Face Of Government For The Better



Juliet Eilperin: Obama Has Vastly Changed The Face Of The Federal Bureaucracy

Friday afternoon announcements in Washington are usually aimed at attracting as little attention as possible, but last Friday was different. President Obama’s decision to nominate Eric Fanning — an openly gay man — to head a branch of the military which only four years ago did not allow gays and lesbians to serve openly, was both historic and attention-grabbing. And it underscored an often-overlooked feature of the Obama presidency: Obama has presided over the most demographically diverse administration in history, according to a new analysis of his top appointments. The majority of top policy appointments within the executive branch are held by women and minorities for the first time in history. The shifts are significant enough, experts say, that they may have forever transformed the face of government. The Obama White House, by contrast, has established specific programs to boost diversity among appointees.

The Presidential Personnel Office targets historically black colleges and universities, as well as minority-serving institutions, as part of a new campus recruitment program. It has a liaison to identify candidates by working with leaders from underrepresented groups, including those who are LGBT or have disabilities. The impact of Obama’s diversity efforts could reverberate for decades in people such as Michael Blake, a son of Jamaican immigrants who was homeless as a child but worked on Obama’s two presidential campaigns and in the White House as associate director of public engagement. Last year, Blake won election to the New York State Assembly, with the help of a lot of other Obama alumni, including Marlon Marshall, who is now Hillary Rodham Clinton’s director of state campaigns and political engagement. Blake’s campaign slogan was about his transformation: “No House to the White House.”  Obama, Blake said, has helped create a new network of people of color now climbing the ranks of government. “He did that,” Blake said. “He grew that.”

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President Barack Obama: Change We Can Believe In

President Barack Obama signs a Presidential Memorandum establishing My Brother’s Keeper




President Barack Obama reacts as he is introduced to speak by Christian Champagne, 18, from Chicago at the unveiling of Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative at the White House. The program aims to improve opportunities for boys from minority groups.





Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton (parents of Trayvon Martin)

Continue reading ‘President Barack Obama: Change We Can Believe In’


supressing the vote

Mother Jones: On Thursday, Senator Dick Durbin held a hearing on the rash of restrictive voter ID laws being pushed by Republicans all over the country. Voting rights activists have argued the laws will reduce turnout among minorities and the poor.

Republicans’ huge midterm victory last November translated into increased control of state legislatures, which they’ve used to pass new, more onerous restrictions on voting, sometimes explicitly for the purpose of suppressing votes from Democratic-leaning constituencies. Judith Brown Dianis of the Advancement Project called the wave of restrictions the largest effort to suppress the vote “since Reconstruction”.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights has produced a map showing how many states are in the process of passing such laws (see above).

What the map doesn’t show is that five states, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio, and West Virginia, have actually curtailed early voting as well. As Ari Berman reported, some of these ban voting on “the Sunday before the election — a day when black churches historically mobilize their constituents.”

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