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18-year old black man killed by police in MO

 
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bindy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bindy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 19 2014 at 11:47pm
MON AUG 18, 2014 AT 10:42 AM PDT
Ferguson's voting precincts in St. Louis County. These precincts went 83 percent for Obama in 2008.

A consistent subplot to the horrors in Ferguson over the past week has been a consistent sense of wonder at how a city that has, over the past two decades, become a majority-black community could have a white mayor, a majority-white city council, and an almost universally white police force.

That wonder emanates from two simple facts: the city's population is more than two-thirds African American, and the voting precincts that make up the greater Ferguson area are overwhelmingly black and Democratic. And yet the political power structure in the city is white, and the mayor is not only white, he is a Republican.

As two must-read articles (one by Ian Millhiser of Think Progress, the other by Jeff Smith in the New York Times) affirm, the answer, in part, is electoral politics.

It would not be a stretch to say that municipal elections, in no small part, are rigged. Not in the classic "stolen election" sense, of course, but rigged in the sense that a number of factors, chief among them their scheduling, of all things, ensure that political change comes to communities at a snail's pace, if at all.

Please read more on this story below the fold.

As Millhiser writes:

If you compared the racial makeup of Ferguson, Missouri’s population as a whole to that of its government, it would be easy to mistake the city for an enclave of Jim Crow. Although nearly 70 percent of Ferguson is black, 50 of its 53 police officers are white. So are five of Ferguson’s six city council members. The mayor, James Knowles, is a white Republican.

Ferguson can help ensure that its leaders more closely resemble its population, however. They just need to hold their elections at a time when voters are actually likely to show up.

To explain, a major contributor to the disparity between Ferguson’s population demographics and that of its leaders is Ferguson’s unusual elections calendar.

The only flaw in Millhiser's spot-on lede is that Ferguson is not actually all that unusual.

Most municipalities hold their elections apart from the "traditional" electoral calendar for state and federal elections. As an example, here in my backyard, the LA city mayoral calendar saw Democrat Eric Garcetti elected in May of 2013. Some municipalities make a slight bow to tradition, holding their elections in November, but insisting on holding them in those odd-numbered years where there are no competing state or federal elections in all but a handful of states.

On the surface, it makes little sense. After all, with most cities and communities perpetually cash strapped, what is the acceptable rationale for deciding to schedule elections in such a way that it incurs the expense of an additional and separate election? Costs will, of course, vary with size (as one representative example, the Arizona city of Prescott, with only about 25,000 registered voters, spends about $65,000 to administer their elections). So, why would these municipalities willingly hang onto a schedule that requires them to fund more elections than absolutely necessary?

The answer, as Jeff Smith is quick to point out, is power and money:

Many North County towns — and inner-ring suburbs nationally — resemble Ferguson. Longtime white residents have consolidated power, continuing to dominate the City Councils and school boards despite sweeping demographic change. They have retained control of patronage jobs and municipal contracts awarded to allies.
By leaving municipal elections as stand-alone dates, these communities ensure that their own municipal elections are stunningly low turnout affairs. As Millhiser noted, turnout in Ferguson in the last municipal elections was a putrid 11.7 percent of registered voters. This is not unique to Ferguson: last year's spate of municipal elections in my home county of Los Angeles drew 11.9 percent of registered voters to the polls.

In low turnout affairs, allies of the incumbent power structure have an inherent edge because they have a vested interest (and financial resources, courtesy of those patronage jobs and city contracts) in preserving the community political hierarchy. Therefore, they can swamp any upstart candidates financially, leaving the existing structure in place.

What's more, as Millhiser noted, the disparity between municipal turnout and, say, presidential turnout had a clear racial component to it, as well:

Turnout is especially low among Ferguson’s African American residents, however. In 2013, for example, just 6 percent of eligible black voters cast a ballot in Ferguson’s municipal elections, as compared to 17 percent of white voters.

(...)

Fifty-four percent of Ferguson’s African American voters turned out in November of 2012, as opposed to 55 percent of whites. Admittedly, 2012 may have been an unusually high year for African American turnout in Ferguson, given President Obama’s presence on the ballot, but even if black turnout typically fell 20 points behind white turnout in a presidential year, that would still be better than the 3 to 1 disparity during the April municipal elections.

The two authors actually prescribe quite different remedies for this phenomenon. Millhiser suggests a referendum changing the electoral calendar, while Smith advocates for municipal consolidation of these stagnant or declining inner ring suburban cities to change the electoral calculus. Either method would be preferable, of course, to a status quo that it must be argued is at least a contributory factor to the horrors we have witnessed in St. Louis County over the past week.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/08/18/1322606/-Ferguson-s-election-turnout-is-terrible-by-design-Here-s-how-to-fix-it#
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eanaj5 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote eanaj5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 19 2014 at 11:51pm
i hope somebody does a documentary about this. They should name it "What Happened In Ferguson?: Justice for #MikeBrown" or something. I'd love to see/hear what folk on the ground were going through outside of pics and vine clips.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote bindy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 19 2014 at 11:52pm
^^There needs to be some sort of community organization to get voters to the poles on election day. Change will only take place at the ballot box............even if it means taking a day off work.....sometimes you need to make the sacrifice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote afrokock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 19 2014 at 11:53pm
Originally posted by eanaj5 eanaj5 wrote:

i hope somebody does a documentary about this. They should name it "What Happened In Ferguson?: Justice for #MikeBrown" or something. I'd love to see/hear what folk on the ground were going through outside of pics and vine clips.
im sure spike will

i will donate to that kickstarter
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trudawg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 19 2014 at 11:54pm
Originally posted by HaitianLuv HaitianLuv wrote:

thats the thing. Too many blacks dont take voting seriously enough to follow up and get out there. The ferguson residents being the majority should be getting far better treatment than this. The fact that the governor there is freely shtting on them and ignoring them is because their votes didnt get him there. their votes arent counted at all.


truth
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bindy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 20 2014 at 12:04am


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/08/15/how-ferguson-exposes-the-racial-bias-in-local-elections/

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote kfoxx1998 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 20 2014 at 12:45am
I hope you guys aren't feeling discouraged.  This is exhausting but some amazing things are happening in all of this.  Ferguson has ignited a firestorm.  

I feel like the cops are a little shook about holders arrival and the people feel happy about it.  I hope its not misplaced and if if is at least they get some rest, regroup, organize.  I hope those yt anarchists are handled.  They are blocking certain people by asking for ID at the  check points coming in.  People who are refusing to show it may be the agitators everyone is upset about.

I am of the unpopular opinion that they should just keep that prosecutor but too tired to explain except to say the judges and everyone in the legal system there are cronies.  The challenge is to shake him up enough to FORCE him to do his job.  I don't think him and Holder will hit it off.  They have basically already taken position.  Its going to be tense.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote kfoxx1998 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 20 2014 at 12:48am
I/a with  Chris Hayes who basically said the gov.doesn't want to remove him because then whatever results we get will be on him.  We already know he's a coward so...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote bindy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 20 2014 at 12:59am
They are probably going to put on a show trial like the Zimmerman trial and then acquit the cop.... but I think after this acquittal there may be riots.

Edited by bindy - Aug 20 2014 at 1:19am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 20 2014 at 1:03am
He can't say it wit his chest obviously LOL

Originally posted by kfoxx1998 kfoxx1998 wrote:

I/a with  Chris Hayes who basically said the gov.doesn't want to remove him because then whatever results we get will be on him.  We already know he's a coward so...
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