WILLIAM J. BARBER II
Biden faces questions about commitment to minimum wage hike
"They need to feel the pressure.”The minimum wage debate highlights one of the central tensions emerging in the early days of Biden's presidency. "I don’t think it's going to survive,” Biden recently told CBS News, referring to the minimum wage hike. For now, the measure's most progressive Senate backers aren't openly pressuring Biden to step up his campaign for a higher minimum wage. The federal minimum wage hasn’t been raised since 2009, the longest stretch without an increase since its creation in 1938. Supporters say the coronavirus has made a higher minimum wage all the more urgent since workers earning it are disproportionately people of color.
Biden's long political evolution leads to his biggest test
Now Biden’s central political identity faces the ultimate trial. Biden's answer follows two tracks: defending the fabric of society and institutions of government that Trump’s tenure has stressed and calling for sweeping legislative action. The outcome will determine the reach of Biden’s presidency and further test the lifetime politician’s ability to evolve and meet events. Biden’s longtime friend, California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, is the House speaker, but presides over a diminished Democratic majority and slim margin for error. “They believe in his compassion and they believe in, quite frankly, his leadership skills.”Anzalone loosely compared Biden's appeal to Ronald Reagan's.
Warnock, Biden wins give twin thrills to religious liberals
Sen.-elect Warnock shares more than a party with Biden: Both Democrats made faith a central part of their political identity on the campaign trail and their victories are emboldening religious liberals. and Sen.-elect Raphael Warnock shares more than a party with President-elect Joe Biden: Both Democrats made faith a central part of their political identity on the campaign trail — and their victories are emboldening religious liberals. Warnock and Biden are hardly the only two national-profile Democrats driving the party’s evolution toward engagement on spiritual matters. Despite coming from different partisan backgrounds, both Head and Wear advised Democrats to avoid embracing religious rhetoric for purely political purposes. She described the disparate religious backgrounds of Warnock, Ossoff, Biden and Buttigieg as an unsung asset for the party.
In Georgia, Warnock brings faith and activism to the arena
Now Warnock is the politician running for office and the one under attack for his sometimes impassioned words from the pulpit. His opponent, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, has blasted his rhetoric and proposals as “radical,” socialist and out of step with Georgia residents. At the Georgia Capitol in 2014, he was arrested while protesting the refusal of state Republicans to expand Medicaid. Warnock said he was trying to make sure young people had lawyers or family present when questioned by authorities. Warnock is right to keep focusing on his platform of a living wage, expanded health care options and voting rights, said the Rev.
Biden tells civil rights leaders he'll advance racial equity
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)DETROIT – In a meeting with leaders of some of the nation’s top civil rights organizations, President-elect Joe Biden reaffirmed Tuesday that his administration will prioritize racial justice and assemble a diverse Cabinet that can tackle pressing equity issues. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond, who will join the Biden administration as a senior adviser, also participated in the nearly two-hour virtual meeting with seven civil rights leaders. The talk touched on how racial justice will be a common thread as the Biden administration works to address policing and criminal justice reform, COVID-19, the nation’s racial wealth gap, voting rights and more. The civil rights leaders said they made clear that Biden's supporters expect him to deliver on his promises. Although Tuesday’s meeting with the Biden transition team seemed reserved for leaders of historic civil rights groups, other leaders are also in line for opportunities to lobby the incoming administration.
'This is proof': Biden's win reveals power of Black voters
“We believed in the power of Black voters and Black organizers in our movement." In 2008 and 2012, Black voters showed up in record numbers for Barack Obama, the nation’s first Black president — setting a new high bar. Black Biden voters were much more likely than other Biden voters — especially those who were white — to say they were casting their ballots for the Democrat rather than against Trump, according to AP VoteCast. Black Voters Matter Fund targeted more than 15 states, sending a fleet of buses on road trips across the nation. Activists said they intended to keep up momentum and expected a flood of attention and money, giving Black voters another chance to demonstrate their power.
Letters, texts, caravans, parades: Advocates mobilize voters
Voters have been ushered to the polls by fleets of minivans, with bicycle parades and on horseback in Indian Country. Often unable to knock on doors or chat in person because of virus concerns, advocates have had to adapt. A recent video on social media showed voters in Philadelphia dancing joyfully as they waited, alongside members of the Resistance Revival Chorus. Some voters are wary of catching the virus by voting in person, but they're also concerned about the mail-in option. Like Gehman in New Mexico, Radha Pyati in Philadelphia has devoted untold hours to writing letters as part of Vote Forward.
1,000-plus faith leaders call for 'free and fair election'
People line up at an early voting location near Lincoln Center Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in New York. Early voting ahead of the Nov. 3 general election continued for the second day in New York state. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)WASHINGTON – More than 1,000 clergy members, religious scholars and other faith-based advocates have signed onto a unique statement that supports a comprehensive path to “a free and fair election” and urges leaders to heed the verdict of “legitimate election results” regardless of who wins in November. William Barber, as well as two past faith advisers to former President George W. Bush. The statement’s wide swath of endorsements illustrates the extent to which the unprecedented nature of a mid-pandemic election has pushed organized religion to showcase its civic power.
US election spotlight mostly bypasses mainline Protestants
It’s one of the few times that a mainline Protestant denomination entered the national spotlight amid a volatile election year abounding in political news about evangelicals and Catholics. Rarely garnering national attention are the mainline Protestant denominations that dominated America’s political and civic leadership for much of its history, beginning in colonial times. Through the mid-20th century, most Protestants in the U.S. belonged to mainline churches, but now they are outnumbered by evangelicals. Polls in recent years indicate that about one-quarter of U.S. adults identify as evangelical, and less than 15% as mainline Protestant. The mainline churches have been politically active in a number of less-partisan ways, notably in registering voters and recruiting poll watchers.
AP Exclusive: 'Strike for Black Lives' to highlight racism
The national strike will also include a handful of worker-led marches through participating cities, organizers said Wednesday. Our members have been on a journey to understanding why we cannot win economic justice without racial justice. This strike for Black lives is a way to take our members understanding about that into the streets, Henry told the AP. Strike for Black Lives" organizers say they want to disrupt a multi-generational cycle of poverty perpetuated by anti-union and other policies that make it difficult to bargain collectively for better wages and working conditions. An estimated 54% of Black workers and 63% of Hispanic workers fall into that category, compared to 37% of white workers and 40% of Asian American workers, the group said.
Poor People's Campaign eyes 'virtual march' in poverty fight
The Mass Poor Peoples Assembly & Moral March on Washington aims to build upon the nations principles to pursue solutions to poverty something advocates say is getting especially severe in rural areas. The Mass Poor Peoples Assembly & Moral March on Washington aims to build upon the nations principles to pursue solutions to poverty something advocates say is getting especially severe in rural areas. But instead of assembling in camps near the National Mall as protesters did in the wake of King's death in 1968, as part of the Poor People's Campaign this week's gathering will offer poor people a chance to describe their lives, live-streamed to a national audience. Organizers say poor coal miners from Kentucky and Apache tribal members from Arizona will speak about their own experiences in extreme poverty. He said organizers want both President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden to hold at least one debate that focuses on poverty.
Use of force criticized in protests about police brutality
(Daily Memphian via AP)As protests grip the nation, officers have doused crowds with pepper spray, struck protesters with batons, steered police cars into throngs, shoved demonstrators and screamed curses. Now, some are questioning whether tough police tactics against demonstrators are actually making the violence worse rather than quelling it. Another officer stepped in within seconds to assist the man, as did the officer who knocked him down. As we do everything to stop NYC from burning, all we hear from elected officials is criticism," the group tweeted. Maybe they should try it on the front lines.___Reeves and Stafford are members of the AP's Race and Ethnicity team.