Friday, September 23, 2016
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Monday, September 19, 2016
How Waves of Latino Immigration Turned a Purple State Blue
The political impact of our changing demographics
September 19, 2016 Harold Meyerson L.A. History, Politics 0 Comments
Demography may be destiny—at least in places that hold democratic elections—but it always needs a little push. Numbers alone don’t dictate outcomes. Last year, for instance, the percentage of Latinos in both California and Texas was an identical 38.6 percent. But given the immense gap between the two states’ politics, you have to wonder why the influx of Latino immigrants has changed California from a purple state to a blue one while, despite a similar influx, Texas remains the deepest shade of red.
The answer is that the assimilation of immigrant groups into a city’s, a state’s, or a nation’s politics is never an automatic process. Some powerful political force has to believe it is in its interest to mobilize such groups—as New York’s Tammany organization did when it registered Irish immigrants as they clambered out of steerage in New York’s harbor in the mid-19th century. The difference between California and Texas is that in California, and more particularly in Los Angeles, labor unions reached out to the great wave of Latino immigrants who began coming into the state in the 1980s. The Texas labor movement, by contrast, is far smaller and weaker than its California counterpart. Absent the resources that labor can provide, no equivalent effort has yet been waged in Texas—though progressive foundations and other liberal groups are finally realizing that turning Texas blue will require a massive commitment of their money and manpower.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Saturday that Hillary Clinton wants to eliminate the United States' borders. While speaking to an anti-immigrant group at a luncheon, Trump described Clinton as "the first person in history to run for the presidency who is proposing to abolish the borders around the country that she is supposed to protect." Trump's accusation, of course, bears no resemblance to the truth. Clinton supports a path to citizenship for undocumented workers, and would continue the Obama administration's policy of allowing certain undocumented immigrants to stay in the country. But "she has never advocated halting deportations of undocumented immigrants convicted of crimes, or reducing or ending border enforcement," Eli Stokols reports for POLITICO. More here.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
We’re in the midst of a hot, dry summer. While you’re thinking about how you’ll cool off, consider this: four times more Californians than the entire population of Flint, Michigan do not get clean, safe water from the tap in their homes. They live where water must be trucked in for drinking and cooking. Where they wait in line to shower in public trailers. And where they’ve been living like this for a long time.
California’s drought didn’t cause these third-world country problems, but it certainly exacerbated them.
The hardest-hit communities, most in rural areas that are not served by large municipal water agencies, relied on groundwater sources that are contaminated or dry. Their small water agencies don’t have the funding to operate and maintain new infrastructure projects that could treat the water or bring in drinking water from other regions. And the customers – most living well below the poverty line – simply cannot cover the high cost of this expense.
This tragic situation is a study in paradox. It cuts very close for me, in part because of the experiences of my professional life, but perhaps more by virtue of having grown up in a farm worker family.
In California, the sixth largest global economy – and one of the most affluent—more than 500 communities are served by water agencies that cannot provide clean, safe water to their residents.