Saturday, December 7, 2019

Black Elected Officials: The Need For A Black Political Agenda

The Need For A Black Political Agenda

BY LOUIE OVERSTREET

Louie Overstreet

My dear friend Ida Gaines and I have developed a five-point plan for a black political agenda. It could potentially bring about an improvement to our current plight: a lack of effectiveness of our political leaders and community. 

  • Black politicians need to work with Hispanic politicians, such as Edgar Flores, to support the passage of BDR 892 — which sets goals on state-funded contracts, similar to those required on federally-funded NDOT projects in Nevada. 
  • Black politicians need to develop a joint website, where black folks can get useful information in real time. 
  • Black politicians need to hold periodic joint press conferences on issues of importance to our community — like the criminal justice system, lending practices of banks, and economic development. 
  • Black preachers need to share their members’ mailing addresses with Black politicians — who could then send out periodic mailers to inform black individuals and groups how to organize and take advantage of business opportunities. 
  • Support Black Image magazine financially — so that it can become the most significant medium for information on black social, health, business, entertainment, and political issues. 

Regarding number 5: there is no better example of the need for more effective political power than how The Fremont Street Experience lied with impunity and pulled the plug on the Taste and Sounds of Soul event at the last minute — after it had been held at the site for 17 consecutive years. 

If you are thinking, since we have the ideas, why don’t we do something about the condition in which we find ourselves? Our answer is that we, like a number of others, have tried to do so for many years — but more help is needed. Besides the crabs in the barrel, bites marks have taken a toll. So there exists a need to spread the bites around to more behinds than just ours. 

And an apology: in my March 2019 column, while the identified need was rock-solid, I did “bust” some budget numbers.

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