Monday, January 22, 2018

Meet Nina Ahmad-- You'll Be Happy You Did


Machine bossism is not dead-- far from it. The Queens Democratic Party boss, Joe Crowley, has been picked by Hoyer and Pelosi to take over the Democratic congressional caucus after they're gone. The political capo dei capi of New Jersey Democrats, George Norcross, was able to install his kid brother, Donald, in a South Jersey congressional seat the Machine owns (Camden, Cherry Hill, the eastern Philly suburbs, Gloucester County), and in Philly, on the other side of the Delaware, you have Bob Brady, a congressman and the machine boss of Philadelphia (technically, since 1986, the chairman of the Philadelphia Democratic Party). When Bill Clinton appointed 17-year Congressman Tom Foglietta Ambassador to Italy, there was no primary and barely a general election battle at all. Brady waltzed into the seat and has sat there ever since. He generally gets around 80% of the vote with no serious opposition. Last year he was investigated by the FBI for paying off an opponent, Jimmy Moore, to withdraw from the race. In 2015, during Pope Francis' visit to the United States, Brady stole the glass that the Pope drank from, drank from it himself and had his wife, Sen. Bob Casey and his wife drink from it and allowed Joe Crowley to stick his fingers in the glass. The Philadelphia Inquirer has written that "running against him could equal career suicide." Now he has an opponent who doesn't care about that kind off politics, Nina Ahmad. Will Bunch did an excellent profile of her for The Inquirer about a week ago. When he asked her "Aren’t you afraid of taking on the (Democratic) machine?" she told him "Death has visited my door-- rape, and being killed."
[T]here’s something very different about this race in Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District-- one of the nation’s poorest, snaking down the Delaware from Philly’s river wards to struggling Chester in Delaware County.

...Ahmad makes a strong case that working-class and poverty-plagued women need to win the war against entrenched patriarchy more urgently than affluent females, who have the means to hire a lawyer and sue a male boss for sexual harassment. “These are women who have to suck it up and have been sucking it up for ages, because they don’t have the luxury to smack the man who’s been pawing them as they do their work,” she said, “because that’s one of the three jobs they have to keep so they can put food on the table.”
Goal ThermometerNina Ahmad was born in Bangladesh and lived through genocide and war in 1971, only to come to the U.S. and earn a PhD in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and the go on to work as a molecular geneticist. She became politically active as an organizer for Howard Dean in 2004, served on President Obama's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, was elected president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization for Women and served as Deputy Mayor for Public Engagement under Mayor Jim Kenney, where she did outreach to ensure communities of color, women, and millennials were represented in government. Did I mention she's one of the best congressional candidates I've ever spoken to? I asked her to introduce herself to DWT readers and Blue America members. If you like what she has to say, consider contributing to her campaign by clicking on the thermometer on the right.

Confronting Monopoly Power And Its Role In Racial Inequality
-by Nina Ahmad

Monopoly of any industry smacks of a “rigged” system. The rising income inequality can be attributed to the consolidation of wealth and power in the hands of a few. A growing number of candidates are pledging to tackle the trend towards the monopolistic market domination, and I can be counted on to be amongst those who will fight to ensure the corporate power over our economy and our politics is regulated. But less examined in the fight against these forces are the burdens it has placed on people of color locked into an economic class structure that continues to hobble them at the knees. One must be careful to not use race as a stand in for class, but the reality is that structural barriers to racial equity result in low-income communities that disproportionately contain people of color with women being most affected. As a legislator, it will be my job to ensure that all people in my district have a voice, and I wanted to examine the real-world consequences of our failed policies and try to foster solutions for the future.

Starting in the 1980s, the Reagan administration and the courts changed the focus of anti-trust laws to protect businesses with considerable market power under the conservative concept of “economic efficiency." The old gospel of trickle-down economics has, of course, had the opposite effect. Wealth inequality is now at its highest level since the great depression.

Of course, when inequality grows, it adversely affects those at bottom the most, and people of color have the built-in disadvantage I spoke of earlier.  According to an article in Forbes Magazine, (Forbes!) the wealth gap between the median white family and the median African American family will grow from about 25x in 1983 to more than 99x in 2024.  As we concentrate more wealth up the chain, we are further stacking the deck.

The growing influence of monopoly power threatens to further create problems. The social & economic injustice of the “digital divide” facing people in poor communities is further entrenched by the callous and cruel decisions. With the FCC’s decision to end net neutrality, the monopolies that control telecommunications can charge more for certain products, which will further hurt people of color. When people don’t connect to the internet, they fall behind educationally, then economically, and the cycle of poverty is strengthened. The government needed more regulation in that case, not less, and in Congress I will fight to undo this injustice.

As an immigrant woman of color, I am keenly aware of the intersections of race and economic mobility. Monopoly of power in the hands of a few primes and solidifies the structural and institutional barriers to economic freedom. My candidacy for Congress is founded on principle that all marginalized constituencies need more representation in Congress. As the old cliché goes: “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” In an era where the courts have allowed corporations unlimited political power, we need more people in Congress who are willing to stand up to the powerful and who will make economic justice with a racial equity lens a central part of their platform going forward.

Labels: , , , , , ,


At 6:33 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

This is her Twitter page she's very good.

At 6:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Monopoly of any industry smacks of a “rigged” system. The rising income inequality can be attributed to the consolidation of wealth and power in the hands of a few."

substitute 'industry' with 'government' and you have correctly ID'd the problem. But she got pretty close.

Note: the word monopoly derives from mono, meaning one or single. There is no Duopoly (R and D). It's all one. money. does money also come from mono? you bet. Money also GOES to mono.

At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

She's brave, running against both The Mafia and the DNC. I honestly wish her success - and a lot of luck.

At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Although she sounds good, why the cleavage? What does this portray and why is she doing so? It would best not to display it, in my opinion. I am a feminist loud and clear but to me this is not a good message for her with all of this "me too" stuff going around. It's like she is is daring anyone to make sexual comments while looking at her cleavage. It muddies things up.

I am sure many others would think this is her right and females have the right to dress however they want. While I do agree with this, as a candidate I think it is a poor choice.

This is totally the first thing anyone would look at in the photo at the top. TOTALLY. Your eyes are drawn right to it, whether you are male or female. As a real female progressive very interested in her message, this is a turn off for me.

Please let her know, that others may react as I did, Howie.


Post a Comment

<< Home