Posted June 4, 2015

The New York Times/CBS News published a poll yesterday based on a national telephone survey conducted of 1,022 adults throughout the United States.   The methodology of the survey was designed to reach every state, demographic, and political party.

To the question:

Which comes closer to your view? In today’s economy, everyone has a fair chance to get ahead in the long run, or in today’s economy, it’s mainly just a few people at the top who have a chance to get ahead?”

Only 35% replied, “Anyone can get ahead.”  43% of those respondents were republican, 33% democrat, and 32% independent.  While 61% responded, “Just a few people at the top have a chance to get ahead.”  

Of these 61% of naysayers,  more than half (53%) were republican.

The poll touches on issues ranging from raising the minimum wage to the question,

“Do you feel that the distribution of money and wealth in this country is fair, or do you feel that the money and wealth in this country should be more evenly distributed among more people?”

To which the answer was overwhelming across partisan and income lines.  66% replied that wealth distribution in the U.S. SHOULD BE MORE EVEN, while 21% responded that it was fair.

According to the Times, “Americans overwhelmingly favor a variety of proposals aimed at strengthening workers’ rights, including paid sick leave and paid family leave…A majority, moreover, continues to support raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10.”

Click graphic for full poll details.

M.K. Williams – Civilrightsagenda.com





Posted: 05/06/2015 7:55 pm EDT Updated: 38 minutes ago
   By Alex Dobuzinskis
May 6 (Reuters) – Emmeryville, a small city in the San Francisco Bay Area, has given initial approval to the nation’s highest minimum wage by setting baseline pay at $16 an hour in 2019, with gradual increases leading up to that level.The 5-0 vote on Tuesday by the city council in Emmeryville, a community of about 10,000 residents, follows moves by several major U.S. cities to sharply raise their minimum wages.The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 since 2009. Labor and religious groups have despaired of wringing an increase from the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress and have instead pressed local governments in liberal-leaning areas to enact their own increases.The Emmeryville proposal faces a final approval vote on May 19. It would take effect on July 1, when the minimum wage would rise to $14.44 an hour for businesses with at least 55 workers and $12.25 for smaller companies, city documents show.It would increase gradually every year until it reaches $16 for all businesses in 2019.

“Just as our workers are creative enough to make a living off of minimum wage and support their families, I think our businesses will be creative enough to make it work and we’ll all lift up together,” Emmeryville City Councilwoman Dianne Martinez said at the meeting on Tuesday.

No other community in the United States has set a minimum wage target higher than $16, said Jennifer Lin, deputy director for the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, which supports the measure.

Emmeryville is known as a regional destination for shoppers at big box retail outlets, such as Ikea and Home Depot, and Lin said it has thousands of workers who commute from other cities.

A representative from the California Chamber of Commerce declined to comment on the proposal.

Opponents of minimum wage hikes say they place an undue burden on businesses and force some employers to lay off workers and pass on higher labor costs to consumers.

Seattle is phasing in a minimum wage hike, with the level set to reach $15 an hour over the next three to seven years, depending on the size of the business.

Voters in San Francisco last November approved a measure to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018.

California’s minimum wage is $9, making it one of more than 20 states with a higher wage than the federal level. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Eric Walsh)



March 20, 2015

10 Poverty Myths, Busted

In this photo taken Nov. 23, 2009, Lisa Zilligen, 28, serves lunch to her three children, Miles, 20 months, Olivia 6, left, and Danielle, 8, in her home in Chicago. Zilligen, a single mother and full-time student at Loyola University has been getting food stamps for the past several months; sometimes the allotment runs out before the end of the month and the family ends up visiting a food pantry. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

In this photo taken on November 23, 2009, Lisa Zilligen, a single mother, serves lunch to her three children, Miles, 20 months, Olivia 6, left and Danielle, 8, in her home in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

This post originally appeared in this month’s issue of Mother Jones magazine alongside an article entitled “What If Everything You Knew About Poverty Was Wrong?”

1. Single moms are the problem. Only 9 percent of low-income, urban moms have been single throughout their child’s first five years. Thirty-five percent were married to, or in a relationship with, the child’s father for that entire time.*

2. Absent dads are the problem. Sixty percent of low-income dads see at least one of their children daily. Another 16 percent see their children weekly.*

3. Black dads are the problem. Among men who don’t live with their children, black fathers are more likely than white or Hispanic dads to have a daily presence in their kids’ lives.

4. Poor people are lazy. In 2004, there was at least one adult with a job in 60 percent of families on food stamps that had both kids and a nondisabled, working-age adult.

5. If you’re not officially poor, you’re doing okay. The federal poverty line for a family of two parents and two children in 2012 was $23,283. Basic needs cost at least twice that in 615 of America’s cities and regions.

6. Go to college, get out of poverty. In 2012, about 1.1 million people who made less than $25,000 a year, worked full time and were heads of household had a bachelor’s degree.**

7. We’re winning the war on poverty. The number of households with children living on less than $2 a day per person has grown 160 percent since 1996, to 1.65 million families in 2011.

8. The days of old ladies eating cat food are over. The share of elderly single women living in extreme poverty jumped 31 percent from 2011 to 2012.

9. The homeless are drunk street people. One in 45 kids in the United States experiences homelessness each year. In New York City alone, 22,000 children are homeless.

10. Handouts are bankrupting us. In 2012, total welfare funding was 0.47 percent of the federal budget.

*Sources: *Analysis by Dr. Laura Tach at Cornell University. **US Census.

Erika Eichelberger is a reporter in Mother Jones’ Washington bureau. Follow her on Twitter@eichelberger_e.


March 19, 2015

Dr. King on Reparations, “When We Come to Washington, We’re Coming to Get Our Check”

Compliments of I LOVE BEING BLACK shared by Stephen Sparrow


I Love Being Black

Broadcasting & Media Production · 6,629,109 Likes

· December 4, 2014 ·

February 14, 2015

Home Sales & Prices are Climbing – It’s Time to Get Our Priorities Right


Why is CIVILRIGHTSAGENDA.COM reporting on this housing issue?  Because its time to get our priorities right.  Far too few people of color own their own homes.  How many of us have rolled through areas and seen cars parked outside of rentals which costs more than the housing costs of its dwellers?  Let’s not even talk about how cars are DEPRECIATING expenses which normally incur significant debt and insurance costs.  If the car is the latest model Mercedes-Benz or BMW, the payments and insurance are probably more expensive than a mortgage payment.

While we gripe and complain about many of “our communities”, how many of us are actually doing anything about it?  How many of us truly have a real stake in our communities?  Many of us flee to the hills of mainstream suburbs to escape “the hood”.  My question to you is this:  How can a community in any way turn around from being or becoming a ghetto if everyone who can contribute positively to the education, safety, economic, and cultural development of that community, abandons it?  The, “I got mine…so you get yours” mentality kills a community as destructively as any arsenal of bullets.

We march and scream over bull horns that “WE ARE TAKING BACK OUR COMMUNITIES”.  Are we really, though?   Just something to think about.

Why else should we own our homes?

First, when you don’t own your home, you are more than likely forking out a rental rate that is MORE EXPENSIVE than a mortgage payment, which would contribute to the purchase of a home of your own.  Think about that for a second…  How could your landlord make a profit from your rent if his mortgage payment was not lower than your rental payment?  Second, the rent paid to the landlord gives you no tax write-offs whatsoever.  However, you can best believe that your landlord is using every tax code in the book to write off expenses and “depreciation” on the very home or apartment that you currently are paying top dollar for.

The tax advantages to home ownership cannot be emphasized enough.  The IRS allows homeowners to DEDUCT every penny of interest which is paid on your primary dwelling from your gross income when you file your annual tax returns.  For the first 10 years in most cases, most of your monthly mortgage payment IS interest.  I have personally seen people whose tax returns began by showing that money was owed to the IRS for a tax year, but instead RECEIVED sizable REFUNDS AFTER deducting their interest payments on the same tax return.

Another major component to home ownership is building your net worth with an appreciable asset.  As opposed to the latest fancy car that turns heads, real estate has a value that truly speaks for itself.

The quarter-end report of 2014 from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is attached below.  The real estate market is indeed improving.  NOW IS THE TIME when you can still find GREAT DEALS, particularly on foreclosed or distressed properties.  (By distressed, we don’t mean that the property itself is necessarily distressed and falling apart. Distressed is a term that realtors use to describe highly-motivated sellers who are willing to deal on the price due to personal circumstances).

According to its latest in depth report, NAR recorded that in Q4  of 2014,  home sales and prices rose in 86% of U.S. cities/metropolitan areas.  In those cites/metropolitan areas, home prices averaged a solid 25% incline within the last 3 years.  Since home values dived in value by 25% to over 50% in some markets during the real estate collapse/recession, this is a very healthy starting point to buy a home.  As of today’s date, the average interest rate for a mortgage is only 3%. Before the collapse, people were happy to get 6%.

If you aren’t sure if you qualify for a mortgage, go to your bank and ask.  If they offer mortgages, they will be more than happy to go over every step that you need to take to get approved.  If they don’t offer mortgages, ask a good realtor to refer you to a bank or lender that does.

I hope you enjoy the NAR info below.

Your Advocate,


Home Prices Are Up, Supply Is Down—Expect Bidding Wars.

Gabriel Santiago

It’s getting more expensive to buy a house. Prices rose 6% in the fourth quarter of 2014 as buyers competed for fewer and fewer available homes for sale, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors®.

The NAR report shows most cities (86%) are experiencing rising prices, with fewer available homes to choose from. Just 24 cities, or 14%, recorded lower median prices in 2014 than in 2013.

“Home prices in metro areas throughout the country continue to show solid price growth, up 25% over the past three years on average,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “This is good news for current homeowners but remains a challenge for buyers who are seeing home prices continue to outpace their wages.”

Still, as more jobs are created, consumer confidence rises, driving the demand for housing. But with fewer sellers putting their homes on the market, the housing market just chugs along.

“This should signal existing home owners, who may have been slow to think of selling, to consider now a great time to list,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com®. With prices rising by double digits in 24 areas across the country, according to the report, many sellers would find a pool of buyers vying for their homes.

To be sure, Smoke scoured 200 of the largest metro areas across the country on realtor.comand found that the prices in 98 of them had increased by 6% or more. In 66 of those markets, houses are spending 8% less time on the market, he said.

Prices and inventory go hand in hand. The average supply of available homes for sale was 4.9 months’ worth, according to the report. In a normal market, there would be a six- to seven-month supply of available homes.

“This is a clear sign that demand is growing faster than supply,” said Smoke. Once more homes are listed, prices would moderate, he said.

The NAR wants more new construction. “Unless homebuilders significantly boost construction, housing supply shortages could develop and lead to further price acceleration this spring,” said Yun.

The five most expensive housing markets in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the report, were:

  • San Jose, CA, $855,000
  • San Francisco, CA, $742,000
  • Honolulu, HI, $701,300
  • Anaheim-Santa Ana, CA, $688,500
  • San Diego, CA, $493,100

The five lowest-cost metro areas were:

  • Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH, $78,000
  • Rockford, IL, $86,800
  • Toledo, OH $87,100
  • Decatur, IL $90,400
  • Cumberland, MD, $90,500

Housing demand is rising as buyers look to take advantage of low interest rates and a slight uptick in median income ($65,782). To afford a single-family home at the national median price of $208,700, a buyer making a 5% down payment would need an income of $45,863, while a 10% down payment would require an income of $43,449 and $38,621 for a 20% down payment, according to the report.

Regional breakdown

In the Northeast, sales rose 2.5% in the fourth quarter of 2014 but are 4.1% below the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the report. The median price of the home rose 2.2% to $246,300.

In the Midwest, sales of existing homes declined 4.7% in the fourth quarter and are 0.6% below their 2013 level. The median price of an existing single-family home in the Midwest increased 6.2% to $162,000.

In the South, sales climbed 2.7% in the fourth quarter of 2014 and were 5.8% over 2013 levels. Median prices also increased 6.2% to $183,000, according to the report.

In the West, sales fell 6%; however, the median price of a home jumped 4.8% to $299,500 in the fourth quarter.


April 30, 2014

STAND WITH US ON MAY 1, 2014 – Hosea Feed the Hungry by E. Omilami

Those in the Atlanta Region and accross the U.S., Please stand up against poverty with Hosea Feed the Hungry and Elisabeth Omilami.


Stand with Hosea Feed the Hungry and Elisabeth (daughter of founder, Rev. Hosea Williams, Sr.) tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. where there shall be a press conference on the front steps of the Fulton County Commissioner’s Office on Pryor Street.


April 30, 2014

Republicans Block Minimum Wage Increase: http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/recent-business/republicans-block-minimum-wage-increase



April 30, 2014


April 30, 2014

The Civil Rights Agenda on Poverty….

$435 Million Spent on Tanks That The Military Said We Don’t Need


Why?  Because General Dynamics spent $11 Million in Lobbying Congress Prior To



CIVILRIGHTSAGENDA.COM….Dedicated to justice, equality, and the eradication of corruption and poverty

“The Movement Never Dies…We Stand, We March, We Strive!”


April 30, 2014 – Civil Rights Agenda on Poverty

CIVILRIGHTSAGENDA.COM…Dedicated to justice, equality, and the eradication of corruption and poverty

“The Movement Never Dies…We Stand, We March, We Strive!”




Measuring the Movement 50 Years After L.B.J's "War on Poverty"
Photo by Terrence Jennings




April 12, 2012 – NY

“NO JUSTICE? …  NO PEACE!”, was the call and response by Rev. Al Sharpton to set off this dynamic panel featuring some of the greatest Civil Rights Leaders of our time.

Martin Luther King, III delivered one of his most powerful and fiery addresses on the topic of “Measuring the Movement 50 Years After L.B.J.’s War on Poverty”,  that most audiences have ever seen.  King, III’s delivery was a living reminder of his father, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s legacy.

Barbara Arnwine was as mighty and powerful as her cause when she ignited the podium on topics ranging from voting rights, the prison industrial complex, and civil rights.  Arnwine is the  President and Executive Director of The Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights.

Special plenary speakers included:

Marc Morial, President, National Urban League



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