Race And The Political Landscape
Since the election of Denver City Councilwoman Carla Madison to replace Elbra
Wedgeworth in the "historically safe African-American" seat in
District 8, the thought has been that the glory days of safe seats for
African-Americans were over.
At the statehouse this week, a Democratic vacancy committee's selection of Mike
Johnston to replace Peter Groff as state senator for District 33 has further
exacerbated the perception that African-Americans are losing ground politically
Though I supported another candidate for the seat, I believe Johnston will
represent all citizens of District 33 well. He is capable and committed. I
agree that paradigm shift is occurring, but I do not necessarily agree it is a
negative for the African-American community.
As Generation X comes of age, we have ushered in a new way of managing the
political landscape, not counting seats based on geography but counting
opportunities based on preparedness. African-American candidates who speak to
the bread- and-butter issues of the American people can compete for any office,
anywhere. The outlook for African-American candidates has never been brighter.
President Barack Obama's election is the most obvious example of the
African-American members of the baby-boom generation and their predecessors
fought successfully for basic civil rights, including the right to vote and to
live wherever their financial capacity could get them. Generation X is reaping
the benefits of those battles for upward mobility. While there is still much
work to be done, this generation is enjoying income levels their parents only
dreamed of, greater access to higher education, and protected access to the
This has resulted in an increased number of African-American elected officials
all over the country and, yes, increased mobility to outlying communities. In
Denver, there is no geographic community that is predominantly
African-American. In fact, Aurora has experienced the greatest growth in
African-American population in the state, while Denver saw the greatest flight.
That shift should not be seen as a negative but as an opportunity borne from the
efforts of our ancestors.
Madison's election and Johnston's selection are not indications of a problem.
Rather, they are indications that it's time for the African-American community
to broaden its reach and political vision.
The opportunity to compete for any office in the country has been earned, and
now we must take full advantage of it. The Colorado electorate has proven that
when electing officeholders, it is more concerned about a candidate's
qualifications than his race. To focus on so-called "traditionally
safe" seats misses the point of what so many people have fought for.
President Obama has said "our time has come." Nothing could be truer
for African-Americans in Colorado who desire to serve the public.
Michael B. Hancock
City Councilman for District 11
CO Legislature Losing People Of Color
is the guest commentary by Councilman Michael Hancock about Sen. Peter Groff's
senate seat going to Mike Johnston, stating: "Though I supported another
candidate for the seat, I believe Johnston will represent all citizens of
District 33 well. He is capable and committed. I agree that paradigm shift is
occurring, but I do not necessarily agree it is a negative for the
However, what is not addressed in the commentary, and what seems to be getting
lost in this mythology of a post-racial America since the election of President
Obama, is that the Colorado legislature is losing people of color
representation rapidly at levels we haven't seen since the gains made in
the 1970's. We are, in fact, losing political ground, and we must mobilize to
reverse this trend.
According to a study by Elizabeth Esterchild: “People of color comprise about
one-third of the voting age population in the United States; white women
another third¸ and white men make up the other third. In the state
legislatures, however, white men hold more than two thirds of the total state
legislative seats, while white women and people of color each hold far fewer
seats in these houses of power. Clearly, white men are overrepresented in state
legislatures compared to their share of the total population, while other
groups are underrepresented." Further, "...sociologists frequently
note that the larger the minority population in a given area, the greater the
discrimination against them."
Over the past several months, a fired-up and growing multi-racial group of
grassroots and influential progressives have been coming together to work
toward equitable representation of people of color in various political races.
you are interested, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Re: FIELDS OF FEAR for a group of
farm laborers working in the U.S. illegally, it wasn't jail or deportation that
scared them - it was their contractor. Denver Post, 5/16
Obama, "no slavery
reparations." I was born and raised behind The Cotton
Curtain (SC/NC, respectively). I heard no tales of anyone named Obama ever
being stripped of their native religions, customs, languages, nor any woman
with this surname, ever being raped and bred like cattle.
I know of no one with the Obama name that was ever tossed into a river (my
step-brother was) by the KKK,
hung from a tree, subjected to syphilis testing, or culled in the Vietnam War.
Fifty five percent of the soldier-draftees killed in Vietnam were Black, while
we only comprised 12
percent of the nation's entire population. I served in
three deployments to Vietnam and my younger brother (USMC machine gunner)
served there too. We own a Purple
Star, and four
Ribbons. Our step-brother was drafted too (Germany-army).
blows my mind, criminal and illegal Mexicans, are being awarded $7.8 million for
breaking our laws. My fore-fathers (3/5s of a citizen) must be rolling over
in their graves. These illegal aliens (Mexicans, Africans and Europeans)
are financially and emotionally raping Black folks (nullifying votes, stealing
jobs, etc.). Clinton stripped Blacks from this nation's welfare rolls; however,
he knowingly left illegal aliens and Mormons (FLDS-LDS) on this cash-cow. My
younger brother recently asked me, why didn't Mormons serve in Vietnam? I had
no answer except for their herd of wives and kids. Mitt, Beck, and Reid should
be held to account.
(WWII draft-avoider) gave Japanese-Americans $20K each,
for them being incarcerated during WWII. Prior to his death, Johnnie L. Cochrane, Jr.,
formed a coalition of Black lawyers who intended to fight for slavery reparations
(free-labor). Obama wasn't on this Soul-Train team. In the aggregate, Black
lawyers should ban together and file a class-action lawsuit on the behalf of
all Blacks nationally. Denver would be a great place to file this
lawsuit, because Denver Federal Court Chief Judge Wiley Y. Daniels is Black.
Commander, USN, Retired
Media Commended For Swine Flu Coverage
look back at the coverage by all media in Denver of the H1N1 Flu over the last
week, what stands out is the exemplary role you have played in educating the
public, which is a significant accomplishment.
have you helped people in this community better understand this particular flu,
you’ve also helped them understand a core essential of preventing disease:
covering coughs and washing hands and when ill, not putting others at risk.
first announcement until the present moment, you have demonstrated what media
in a community can do to inform and motivate community members. You have
fulfilled your mission of timely, accurate reporting about a matter that is
critical to the community’s health and well-being.
to commend all Denver media for this contribution to our residents’ health and
well-being. We believe that when the full story of H1N1 is complete it will be
clear that the Denver Metro media played a central role in helping controlling
the spread of this disease.
group of professionals who care about this community’s health to another, we
Ivaska, Infection Prevention and Control,
Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital Amber
Miller, Infection Prevention and Control,
Exempla Lutheran Medical Center Lois Van
Fleet, Infection Prevention and Control,
Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center