Story Archives 2006

What We Do Best, Pt. 1 Make money, create new technologies and sell 'em globally.

09/24/2021 - 11:01 by Anonymous (not verified)
Original Author
Original Body

Anti Aging,is it still a joke?

As those of you still laugh keep it

As Extended Life improves,I hope to be
one of the early practioners.

In the end I will not laugh,at the dead
no time for that just living long will be my
large horse laugh, Enshala.

by Joe B.

What We Do Best

I couldn’t begin my column there were errand to see to before stating, oh to Ms. Sweet747.

(My God Please may the size be a true description of a well fed,healthy, robust,heavenly body with brains to match.

I never was good at this web romance email thing, being economically strapped makes it worse.

Those other lovelies,You know who you are could’ve always contacted me through my column I am not hiding if you’ve stumbled onto a certain strange eclectic column.

I’m a really poor guy working in a struggling non profit organization.

Glad to have the job,a roof over my head and take a fem friend out on a date, while trying to pay back another for the free dinners she’s given me in her home and in other restaurant’s.

My regular bed had to thrown out because it was full of bedbugs and the wood was rotted through.

I have enough pride in myself that I couldn’t let them sleep on the bare floor.

Better they be in a Motel 6,Days Inn, with their more comfortable single,double,king,or queens size beds than in my bad smelling bachelor space.

If I’m in a woman’s home at her discretion its her decision of yes or now. I’d like to be invited back a second or third time because I am trusted to be alone with and of course other thing but without trust everything is lost.

I’m believed in Cryonics,Life Extension, and Immortality.

Cryonics is a last gasp at life being frozen immediately after death so what ever killed me can be reversed and life is returned to me.

However,Life Extension is an ongoing process and eventually leads to an immortal life.

As a formally houseless,jobless person it was always on my mind that people such as I from bum, tramp,to hobo,and transients aren’t suppose to think these things only of the next meal,next bed, or rare romp in a woman’s bed.

Yes,a woman will feed a guy or girl either before or after physical exercise.

Between money,sex,or food whew I’d chose food cause energy is needed and after strenuous exercise some scratch and that’s only if the woman feels the guy or girl is deserving of it.

Which brings me to the main topic what we as American’s do best.

Sex-No,Food-No,Aha,but money we’re great at making money,finding ways of exploiting each other making more loot.

That radio show of the weird ‘um Coast to Coast Am.

As usual worried about my own economic downturn, where to go next and basic survival the words "Stem Cells,Anti-Aging" came at me and I began to listen hard to Mr. Art Bell and his guest Dr. Ronald Klatz, President of American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine or the 4A’s.

I became very angry at Select President Bush’s stand in the way of research and technology.

He’s suppose to be able to balance his own private beliefs with all those American’s suffering from illness and disease that may be curable or be in less pain because of this emerging new science that has the potential of bypassing the cloning debate all together.

Although cloning can be intimately involved at times.

But then remembering he’s an oil man, anti-choice,began a war in IRAQ,and flipped taxes so monies are taken from the poorest folk,balanced on the working and shrinking middle class while giving a tax break to the wealthiest 1%.

What should I expect but this automatic "This is against God and Nature" knee jerk reaction.

1095 7th & Market Street,

S.F. Ca.94103

also M.O.'s (hey,I work at P-M-I that's it.

Snail or Email

Joe at:
PO Box #204

S.F.,Ca. 94102


Slav-Mart (Wal-Mart) comes to Oakland

09/24/2021 - 11:01 by Anonymous (not verified)
Original Author
Original Body

Oakland creates big Corporate welfare payoff to bring Wal-Mart to Oakland without any community input and the community fights Back!

by tiny/PNN

"I don't like it to be here, but for a minute, when they open I will apply for a job" 16 year old East Oakland resident Miguel Coelho pushed his wayward ghetto-fabulous fro' out of his eyes as he spoke to me over the grinding traffic sounds emanating from the nearby Hagenburger road.

We were huddled on the tip of the medium strip on Edgewater Road near the Oakland Airport as part of a Rally against the impending development of another Slav-Mart (oh excuse me, Wal-MART) Store

"Can I take your picture for the story," I asked Miguel

"Yea, but I want to take it under this sign; " Government Responsibility and Corporate Accountability……

And so it goes, the frightening paradox of low-income, conscious, intelligent youth like Miguel who although he is Not Down with the 40 million dollar Corporate Welfare deal struck between the City and Port of Oakland and Simeon Commercial Properties that will bring the first Wal-Mart store to Oakland, he needs a job, and Wal-Mart, as the largest employer in the US with 1.4 million workers, always has a lot of low-wage, non-unionized,jobs with no benefits, not to mention, unfair racist, sexist employment practices.

Or consider the case of Oji graduate from The YouthinMedia program at POOR Magazine, who is an extremely talented visual artist, musician and poet but due to his poverty was forced to apply for welfare and then told by his General Assistance (Welfare) caseworker that he must find a job, any job. Lacking many other employment opportunities as an African Descendent youth in the Bay Area, he began working for Slave-Mart, there I go again, I meant, Wal-Mart in West Contra County.

"We're out here today, cause we just found out that the City provided a huge amount of dollars to bring a Wal-Mart into Oakland without any community input, Alicia Schwartz, an organizer with Just Cause Oakland was breakin down the reasons that led Just Cause folks to call this rally, " and we are letting folks know that they have a right to deserve more from Oakland City Government and from these kinds of large corporations especially when they are getting our tax dollars"

The proposed location for this new Oakland Wal-Mart is near the Oakland Airport and will be called The Metroport Development Project, and will include several other large chains like N' and Out Burger and Payless shoes, also known for paying its workers low wages and not giving back to the community.

"In Berkeley large corporations are forced to give back to the community by funding youth apprenticeship programs and job development" Alicia outlined the kinds of give- back programs that Wal-Mart, owned by the Waltons, listed as five of the richest people in the world and #1 contributors to The Republican Party could do in the very poor county of Oakland. She concluded, " Our schools need money, our communities need money"

"Wal-Mart believes that paying women a living wage leads to broken single-parent headed families" Ben from The Oakland Coalition of Congregations (OCC) was one of the several community youth and adult leaders that spoke at the rally on the bizarre draconian worker practices of Wal-Mart. His disclosure about Wal-Marts old-school Euro-Centric sexist beliefs reminded me of the whole GW Bush-Jerry Falwell concept of what is a "healthy family" i.e., the way for welfare moms to become economically stable is to get married, no matter who they marry, similar to the welfare/Wal-Mart mandate of a job, any job.

"In this year alone, over 300 immigrant workers were arrested and deported from their jobs, while hundreds more were laid off from their jobs" An organizer from Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride spoke about the flagrantly racist tactics of Wal-Mart, "As well, Wal-Mart pays a very low wage to its workers and gives no benefits," He concluded with a chant that the crowd of over 50 community members, workers and organizers joined in on, "Wal-Mart you are not Welcome here!"

"So we already know that Wal-Mart is shady, that they are unfair to Black people and females, and we know that Wal-Mart has the money to pay its workers more considering that it just received a multi-million dollar payoff to come here", Theresa, a young African Descendent woman was summing up the goals of the community at this rally, "So what I want is a job with a living wage so I can support my family, career development and education and what I want is for Wal-Mart and Simeon development to create a fair partnership with the community so that we can all live while Wal-Mart is here."

For more information on the effort to demand a fair partnership from the developers and elected officials call Just Cause at (510) 763-5877.


Nowhere to Lay Your Head

09/24/2021 - 11:01 by Anonymous (not verified)
Original Author
Original Body

Homeless San Franciscans denied access to beds because of Care Not Cash

by PNN shelter Observer with poetryJournalism by Po Poet Laureate A. Faye hicks

Care not Cash

It is not my friend

No Cash, No Care, No House

No where to lay your head

Care for the Homeless?

Just who is the homeless, just us?

Houseless Americans

We come in all shapes, colors, sizes, and ages!

"When the rains come, where will we go?" Tears of sorrow and powerlessness poured from the eyes of PNN's Shelter Observer. Now for most folk that wouldn't be so strange but for this feirce, currently houseless African Descendent woman who is a, poverty scholar and survivor of a lifetime of race and class oppression, those tears were wrong on so many levels.

"Since Care Not Cash they are making it impossible for folks on SSI who stay in shelters to get a bed, they make us go through so many hoops, and go so many places that elderly women and men like me can't possibly do them. Meanwhile, they are reserving the beds for people on Welfare and most of the time beds just go empty." As she spoke haltingly I cringed with fury.

As readers of PNN and the Bayview will know the poverty journalists and media organizers at PNN/POOR fought with every nerve left in our body to halt the racist classist legislation known as Care Not Cash. The legislation created as Mayor Gavin Newsoms mayoral platform reduced the welfare checks of Welfare recipients from the already meager amount of 279 to just $59.00 per month , which is straight-up theft for the GA recipients seeing as noone gets free money - all GA recipients who aren't disabled have to work for their cash grant so now they are earning less than minimum wage and their money is being taken from their checks to pay for the shelter beds. All of this resulting in the frightening result that we all predicted which is that folks on SSI or working poor folks who aren't on any government subsidy don't have access to any seven day beds at all and even for one day beds its so much work that most people give up and stay on the streets.

We are not just, Bag Ladies, and Men

We are not just people pushing a buggy filled with their belongings

We are not just faceless people, panhandling, with a cup stuck out

We are people in America, sleeping out doors

Rain or Shine, disabled, displaced teens, the elderly, ex-convicts,

Unemployed, mothers with children

"Well we will fight back," I consoled her with the sounds of resistance , but in my heart I, too, felt dejected and weary. Newsoms master plan is just another in a nation-wide trend of mayors backed by big business dollars begining with New Yorks' Rudy Giuiliani who launched the shelter as jail system - that hooks your bed in with unpaid labor, forcing residents to do a daily piss test, kicking you out on the street with one infraction and leaving you with only one option; the other shelter for poor folks- the county jail .

In God we Trust!

Because we can’t rely on “Care not Cash

We can’t rely on the Shelter System

Bed today none tomorrow.

To our sorrow, running here, running there

No beds, just confusion, empty beds lay wasted

While long lines form

"they used to give folks a sandwich if they weren't able to find a meal that day - those are no longer provided , but now due to these new rules you can't even get to your dinner," When I called DHS to get a quote about the sandwich , I was told that that was no longer possible with the new budget cuts.

She continued, "and just like we were worried about, the only solution they give you when you try to fight back is that maybe you , the elder, should be put in another "place" if you can't do the hoops, i.e., an old peoples home "

The fog is settling in as we finally trek, to our “slot”

Lights out Nine o/clock

We barely lay down, we its l5 minutes, up and at it again!

Something to eat and a place to sleep

Seven days a week!


About their departure

09/24/2021 - 11:01 by Anonymous (not verified)
Original Author
Original Body

The people unite against terrorizing "terrorist" seizures and raids by INS officials in San Francisco

by Ace Tafoya/PNN

In the early waking hours of a crisp May sunshine in the heart of the Mission District in San Francisco, United State Federal Officials stormed and raided the Hotel Sunrise on Valencia Street this year. Looking for a "deportee", the agents terrorized and scared residents just getting ready for a days work. When all was said and done, the representatives from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE, formally INS), had coiled up seven Mexican Nationals and two East Indians. This story was virtually ignored in the daily presses. But it happened, and it’s continuing to happen, here and across this so-called "free country."

On Tuesday, July 27, the midst of the financial district was turned upside down
when a protest march and rally disrupted dozens having lunch in the outdoor breezes.
About a hundred people from The St. Peter’s Housing Committee, La Raza Centro Legal, SF Day Labor Program, Heads Up Collective and other local foundations treaded towards government land to speak up and speak out against these current seizes.

"We are here to call for the raids to stop," demanded Juana Flores from the Mujeres Unidas y Activas organization. "We want them to stop nationally, we want them to stop here in our state, and we want to make sure they stop raiding our brothers, our sisters and our companions!"

On daily radio stations throughout this country they tell of the Democratic National Convention, missing women in Utah and a husband on trail for killing his wife and unborn child. With all due respect, why are the missing ones all white on television and the radio news? Why don’t we hear about what’s happening in the inner cities? Why don’t we hear of things like this?

"I stand here to charge them (the ICE) with these crimes," Sunaina Maira of the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action voiced. We were spellbound as she told about an immigrant man being locked up for six weeks – for no reason. "We are not the ones who are guilty. They are the ones who are guilty of terrorizing our communities!"

Denizens dressed in suits, street length dresses and mini skirts adjusted and fumbled their cell phones to tell their friends what the ruckus was about during their afternoon break.

When explaining a connection between globalization and immigrant issues, Marisol Ocampo from St. Peter’s Housing Committee said, "We work degrading jobs…We’re exploited at our jobs everyday…We have to live in secret, in clandestine situations because we don’t have a right to papers."

At the rally outside 630 Sansome, we heard issues regarding how the raids have impacted the Day Labor Program and how the immigrant community as a whole have been impacted. And we heard a heartbreaking story of a mother with a young son, who’s a citizen of this country, are being deported. "We have 14 days to rent our house, get our belongings together," Veronica Orozco cried through translation about their departure. "My son doesn’t even speak Spanish properly…We’re gonna have to go to Mexico and start our lives over again."

"We unequivocally demand immediately that you (the ICE) stop the raids in San Francisco," yelled Renee Saucedo, a candidate for Supervisor in District 9. Miss Saucedo had just met with the ICE moments before. "The community demands that they do not collaborate with other law enforcement agencies including the San Francisco Police Department, the FBI and other federal law enforcement."

The ball is in their court now, what will they do is anyone’s guess. As others voiced their concerns that echoed off the Immigrant’s Attorney Offices from across the street, I thought of my Grandmother Tona, an immigrant from Mexico, and wondered if she ever had to go through trouble like this in her life, like these people are now?


A Last Farewell -Thurs. August 5, 2004. It Had to Happen, Now's The Time.

09/24/2021 - 11:01 by Anonymous (not verified)
Original Author
Original Body

I'm leaving POOR.

Way past time.

They,their interns taught me
alot,now its go time.

by Joe B.

A 6 year cacoon,comfort zone must be left for other vista's,Wish I had a Vista Cruiser so I could...

Cruise the Vista's.

Now,I have to find work either as a columnist in some obscure news paper, magazine,or organization.

Wait- done that aleady.

I'd still love to write columns but no reporting, taking pictures with camcorders.

I'm thinking of traveling by cruise ship, train,or bus.

How am I to break it to my bosses?

A stickler there,anyway its time I left,look for work.

Who know maybe I can do bit parts in porn you know like the folks in commercials parts of it.

Mari always said I write porno. If you by chance ever see me in a skin flick know that I'm being taken advantage of at all as for you beyond our secret letters Y.A.L. (read some past email and I hope I haven't angered you.

I hurt when you are. Hope your doing ok PEACE.

This could be my golden opportunity I wonder if Ms. Nina Hartley could help me,oops no classes.

I must run,and for the people on cerain Adult Date sites I guess I can finally try and be a real member and pay for the privilige.

that's it - Not Quite.

Snail or Email

Joe at:
PO Box #204

S.F.,Ca. 94102

PSI don't have home pc,they all break down but I'm seeing a friend who knows about swap meets to by G3's, 4's and printers.

But still I'd like to get a free gift in the mail if any of you don't need your old PC's mail... no I might not be able to reiburse you. Only those that can aford to do it should.

Again,for my readers take care,live long,live free,enjoy your lives,because you never know when its suddenly.

By for now.
Joseph O. Bolden.©


Reactionary and Revolutionary Responses to Leroy’s Report on the Democratic National Convention (and The Republican National Convention in New York of 2004)

09/24/2021 - 11:01 by Anonymous (not verified)
Original Author
Original Body

Leroy's Reports went out on email listserves focused on issues of race and disablility - these are most of the responses

by Staff Writer

1)From James Tracy The reaction to Leroy's criticism (of the Democratic Convention) illustrates why the Democratic Party
is in the trouble it is in. Let's face it, the Dems have had a choice for
a longtime. They could have re-alinged themselves awhile ago to speak to
the issues of the mass yet they have chosen to rely on our fear of
Republicans to keep the folks docile and on the receiving end of the Donkey's ass.

But guess what? It will take a long time, but eventually people will
move beyond fear and build real political alternatives. During this time,
voices like Leroy's will be valued and considered, instead of marginalized.

James Tracy

2) From Keith Jones


I received your forward and I must say that as a disability rights
advocate and a progressive, i am surprised at the response you
received. The Democratic National Convention here in Boston had very
few specific disability related events other than the caucus and an ADA
celebration across town virtually at the same time as its caucus. As an
African American with a disability, I was not overly impressed with the
lack of minority representation within the disability leadership of the
DNC, nor the lack of disability representation at any of the other
minority caucuses.

I have worked as an activist related to disability and civil rights
issues both locally and nationally and there is a clear disconnect
between the Independent Living Movement and communities of color. For
anyone to assume that people of color with disabilities have been fully
engaged in issues such as: Olmstead, MiCASA, HAVA or any other topic;
that is simply not the case. I can assure you that in working to
ensure access to basic rights for people with disabilities, neither
party has disability issues as a high priority. REMBER it was a
republican who signed the ADA into law and it is a current republican
president who has offered close to $300 million in grants for community
access via "The Freedom Initiative"

So, regardless of party affiliation we need to keep focused on the real
issues. Unemployment for people with disabilities - roughly 65 - 85%
add a gender, ethnicity, or low level of education add an additional 7
to 10 percentage points. Keep yelling in the hurricane, there are
those of us who hear you.

Keith P. Jones

3) From Marvin Wasserman


I'm sorry, but this listserv is for those who support the Democratic
Party. It is not a platform for those who oppose it.

We are also a forum for disability activists. Although you are
disabled, you don't speak about the oppression of persons with
disabilities. You don't even relate the oppression of persons with
disabilities to the other struggles you espouse. It is significant
that in your listing of the convention speakers who most spoke to
you, you didn't list Marca Bristo, who gave the strongest disability
rights message among the speakers.

There are many other African-American disabled activists who would
have had far greater appreciation for the opportunity you were given
to attend the Democratic National Convention as delegates.
Unfortunately, you aren't relating to them!

-Marvin Wasserman

4) From Joe

I certainly understand why people are upset. As I said folks really need to pay their dues in an organization. And if some get an opportunity short of that than they have a responsibility to at very least report accurately what happens and to lobby and be knowledgable of the wants and needs of those who have been active over the years.

I am a bit conflicted though not at you or others on this list...

I am concerned that elements of the Party overall take those with
disabilities for granted.

And I can honestly say that many Party members here in Michigan still
discriminate against PWD.

That goes to Democratic clerks who select inaccessible polling places and do
not have accessible voting systems. Thus they violate the ADA and 504.

This may sound like a digression but I have filed ADA complaints against
My Republican Secretary of State and my local Democratic Township Clerk.

Our civil rights in this society begin with the franchise.

When I see entire state's that don't have one single fully ADA compliant
polling place like New Hampshire (re: state survey) or one accessible voting
device like here in Michigan I am outraged.

Now getting back to the topic...Smile...I'm wondering if delegates like
Leroy even brought this sort of "Jim Crowetization" of PWD up at convention?

He talked about the plight of the homeless and indeed much if not most if
not all of our nation's chronically homeless people are disabled.

But did he bring up the fact that many if not most of our homeless shelters
in America are not accessible in whole or part to PWD with severe physical

Did he even mention the gross attack upon all of our civil rights under the
sovereign immunity banner?

Did he even mention the hundred of thousands of our brothers and sisters who are incarcarated against there wishes and often without due process in
institutions and nursing homes around America?

Did he encourage people of color to see how our civil rights struggle
coincides with theirs in so many ways that an alliance would be surely
productive and that sensitivity is in order?

For example Al Sharpton rightfully mentioned several times the assault upon
civil rights by Bush....

The civil rights of African-Americans, gays, women, Hispanics, etc.

But I never heard a mention of the 53 million Americans with disibilities.

Now even when election reforms come into play our rights are second if
included at all in reform schemas like HAVA; And many of us had to fight
like hell for the provisions in HAVA for PWD.

These are things that the Party needs to be attentive to. And the role of
disabled Democrats was to bring attention to these issues and more.

So regardless as to the inequities in the nomination of these two the real
question here is: "Did they do their job?"

By the looks of things they did not.

Regards and Solidarity,


5) From Francie to Joe (and Leroy)


What bothers most of us from California is that Disability Caucus
members were deliberately ignored and passed up. We were told to tell our
people to learn how to run for delegates positions by August Longo. When the ones who had, were ignored only to have the ones who had not (August and Leroy) were picked as delegates and sent to the convention. Then August does not do reports and the reports Leroy does do talks about the need for a third party, and puts down the democratic party. Does not speaks about disability issues, and speaks about someone who attended for the purpose to speak about the needs of minority issue more. Had Leroy ever worked with the Disabilities committee members and community within the party he would have found that many of the issues he is concerned about are being talked about, are being worked on, and many many more issues. It is to bad that people are sent to meeting who do not really know what is going on in their own state, never mind their own back yard.

And for some one to complain so much, they should do their homework first.

Take a look at some of Leroy's reports

6) From Mr. Toy

I actually thought it was a fairly reasonable response, considering some of
Leroy's reports from Boston, but I got this from a friend of his, which I
haven't replied to. I'm not sure I want to get into a pissing match, but I
think this is worth sharing. I like this person's anger and I certainly
appreciate his defense of his friend. He also writes very well. Some of his
(and Leroy's) points about the need for change in the Democratic Party are
absolutely on point. I think we can all agree with that, and many of us
have worked to achieve some of those needed reforms.

But my irritation with both of their approaches is that Leroy went as a
Democratic delegate from California. There were many in this state who
tried very hard to be representatives of the Democratic disability
community, who had a lot of serious and specific platform points regarding
disability that they wanted to advocate for in the DEMOCRATIC party. (Have I said Democratic - as opposed to "independent" as Leroy refers to himself - enough times?) They weren't invited. I don't know why and at this point, it is moot. But the process needs to be revisited before the next
convention, for sure.

And Leroy asked us all for our financial and other support of his trip to
represent us. I think he may have squandered that opportunity and so many
of us felt let down, by the system that denied hardworking party members a
chance to represent us in general and by Leroy's caustic missives in

Maybe some of you out there would like to join this discussion. I feel as
though I've made my point to Leroy. I applaud his friend for his vigorous
response, but I don't really feel like putting more energy into this aspect
of the election. I still recommend Leroy's poetry to those of you who don't
know his other writing. But I still don't think he served us very well, or
even fully realized his role as our community's only representative to the
Democratic convention from California.

Here is his friend Ali's letter to me:

Dear Mr. Toy,

I am a disabled activist and a long time friend of Leroy Moore. I, too, read
all his reports from the Democratic Convention. He allowed me to read the
e-mail you sent him, and it angered me, so I am writing in his defense.

How dare you be so patronizing to my friend?!
For example, what makes you think Leroy has not read the Constitution? What makes you think he is not going to vote for Kerry? You ask him to take some time to understand why Al Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich are Democrats. I think he gets it, and as I recall, he spoke highly of them. All Leroy is trying to do is take U.S. politics and the Democratic Convention to an even higher, more progressive level, one that takes more direction from the grassroots, one that has more transparency and integrity and one that
doesn't pander to the center to try to get votes. You may not agree with his
politics or his confrontational style, but give the man some credit for
having done his research and arrived at his views in a balanced and
intelligent way!

I have been friends with Leroy for the past eight years, and I know he has
read books that you probably never dreamed existed. He has done incredible
research on people of color with disabilities world-wide and enlightened me
and many others on various disability issues. He is not an "embittered
side-liner," but a very energetic and dedicated grassroots activist who is
quite involved locally.

Every time I talk to Leroy, he is going or coming from some meeting or
other; he sits on several boards and committees, and I cannot walk a block
with Leroy on the Berkeley streets without him running into a fellow
activist. Leroy is very skilled at examining the connections between racial
oppression and able-ism and their combined effect on disabled people of
color. He has researched and spoken up about many instances of police
brutality against disabled people of color, and he has advocated for housing
rights and social services reforms. His work always exposes society's lack
of understanding and prejudice against all disabled people. He is also
involved nationally and internationally with activists doing similar work in
their own localities.

In the context of main-stream American politics such as the Democratic
Convention, he may seem like an outsider, but that is only because he is
much more radical than most people who attended. Just like you, Leroy has
been fighting for disability rights - his own rights - all his life. His
views stem from his direct life experience and his extensive research, and
they are not arrived at casually. Leroy is in no way a political novice.
He could have expressed the reasons for his views more clearly, but I can
assure you that his views are well-researched and well-considered.

Please understand, I am not criticizing you for simply disagreeing with
Leroy; you have the right to your opinion. I AM criticizing you for your
patronizing assumption that Leroy doesn't know what he is talking about.
Leroy is now working on a news article on his experience at the Democratic
Convention, and I hope you will ask him for a copy and consider what he

If you do choose to write him again, I hope you will write him from the
point of view of an equal and sincerely ask him how he arrived at his
opinions and what he suggests disability rights activists should do from
here. Have a REAL debate with him instead of assuming his point of view
comes from ignorance. He might be able to teach you a thing or two, and if
nothing else, debating with him will help you back your ideas up with facts
and logical assertions instead of assuming that you automatically
win the argument because you know more.

Personally, I plan to vote for Kerry because I understand that Bush is a
threat to the civil rights of everyone in this country and to people's basic
human rights world-wide.

However, I agree with Leroy that we must constantly question our leaders,
call them accountable, and expect more of them. I would actually like to see
Kucinich in office because he has a lot more integrity and responsiveness to
his constituency than Kerry, but I'm willing to vote for Kerry to get Bush
out. I don't think Kerry is all bad, he's infinitely better than Bush on
many counts, but I do think he'll need to be closely monitored and pressured
by activists to institue truly equitable economic policies (domestically and
internationally) and truly sound and fair international policies. I believe
Leroy feels similarly. I don't think he is saying "don't vote for Kerry."
I think he is expressing frustration and lament that there is not as much
difference between Democrats and Republicans as there should be and that
there is not more of a choice of Democratic candidates who stand a chance of defeating Bush in this conservative political climate. I agree with him
completely. I think all disabled activists - regardless of race or class -
have more to gain by working with Leroy Moore than denouncing him or feeling threatened by him.

Again, I hope you will consider these points and some day enter in to a
conversation of equals with Leroy. To my mind he has a unique and refreshing point of view, and through his research, he constantly forces me to question my assumptions.

I hope this letter finds you well, and I hope you enjoy your semester. I
also whole-heartedly hope that Kerry wins the election because I do agree
with you that we cannot take another for years of Bush or his cronies.


Ali Smookler

7) From Alan

Well, I'd like to give Leroy the benefit of the doubt and not dis him for being idealistic. This was a learning experience for him too and he's made a lot of new friends who will help him understand a practical approach to politics is often far more effective in the long run than a purely dogmatic one.

The really sad people are the ones who still, after all we've seen as a
nation, will vote for George junior no matter what.


8)Francie Moeller wrote:

Alan, Leroy and All,

As I read Leroy's reports my first response was to write to the party and
say this is what happens when we do not send Caucus members. I was still
angry about the Caucus being ignored and dismissed in the process.

However, As it turned out for me at least I had a ring side seat with
c-span, and my doctor grounded me anyway. And Maybe having Leroy write the articles he did write, helped me to understand that no matter what, we must fight on, as hard as we can. We must change those who are in control of Washington D.C.

We can not for any reason allow Bush and his regime to stay in control or we all will lose more than anyone of us can imagine. We have only seen the
beginning of the damage this man and his friends can inflict. And the sad
part is that there are far to many people like Leroy out there who still can not see the difference.

So as Al says we ride the Donkey and we fight on...........Yes we did see
disabled spoken about, no it was not in prime time, and no we did not see
disabled all through the audience. Infact the only time I saw disable was
when Stem Cell Research Finished CNN spanned the audience and found 3 people in wheel chairs and when Max spoke. Other then that I did not see one person with a walker, crutches, a Signer nothing. I know Marva spoke,
however I missed the speech. And I wish At least one of the speakers would have mentioned disabled but I guess we did better than we have done in the past.

We are going ahead with the formation of the national Disabilities Caucus,
and yes I still need help and a new membership chair, and yes I am still
going to have surgery for my nerve damage and they have also found out that I have two herniated disc's that they will try and take care of at the same
time. The next Caucus meeting will be in Oakland Sept. 10 and 11th
Disabilities Caucus will meet Friday the 10th at 6p.m. Hilton Oakland
Airport. The call will be sent out in two weeks.

More to come. Francie

9) From Marvin Wasserman July 30, 2004

I just returned from the convention and had what amounted to the experience of a lifetime. I also had the chance to meet and talk to Leroy.

Yes, there is some degree of partying that went on at the convention. Yet I
am tired, but not from the partying. We fought hard for the past four years
so that people with disables like Leroy would have the opportunity to be
representing greater diversity in the party. I was pleased that so many people with disabilities cared enough to attend, both as delegates and visitors. It was empowering to meet and talk with them. I met the county Democratic Chair from Nebraska, a former Congresswoman from Florida, and Councilmember from New York City, all wheelchair users, who proudly put on our Kerry disability pin. I met my old friend from college, whom I haven't seen in 35 years, who, as a result of my contact with him at the convention, will do outreach for Kerry to other parents of children with disabilities (his son has a spinal cord injury). I had the rare opportunity to talk with many of my local elected officials about the 504 Democratic Club and disability issues.

It was thrilling to see Marca Bristo deliver her address on the anniversary
of the signing of A.D.A. It was thrilling that the highest ranking disabled
elected official in New York State, David Paterson, Senate Democratic Leader (who is also African-American), had the opportunity to address the convention. It was thrilling to hear and see former Senator Max Cleland introduce John Kerry on the final evening. It was thrilling to be at the convention with the four Executive Committee members of the 504 Democratic Club, all wheelchair users, who were part of the New York Delegation.

People with disabilities have far to much at stake in this year's election.
Read Senator Kerry's disability platform. As President, he will not appoint
judges to lifetime appointments who will destroy the A.D.A. He will
substantially increase employment opportunities for persons with disabilities on the federal payroll. With a Democratic Congress, he would strengthen the A.D.A. and I.D.E.A.

We still have a long way to go to increase our representation within the
Party. We need to get pollsters to no only include persons with disabilities in their polling, but to measure their attitudes as they do African-Americans, Hispanics, women and other significant groups. They need to target people with disabilities for voter registration and GO-TV. The candidates need to reach out to people with disabilities as they do other groups, particularly in the targeted states.

I agree with Alan Toy that Leroy is far too young to be so cynical. I, too,
have been involved in disability issues over Leroy's entire lifetime. There
is far greater diversity in the Democratic Party than the Republican Party. We
can make a difference in this year's election and we will!

-Marvin Wasserman

10) from Alan Toy

July 30, 2004 Leroy,

I'm glad you had a chance to attend the convention. I know who you are and
have your poetry book, which I enjoyed and have shared with others. I
believe there is and should always be a place for your voice at the table
of discourse over politics and other issues facing us all.

But I am not sure you did us or yourself justice in your reports back from
Boston. Perhaps you misunderstood that you went representing us all as a
Democrat to a Democratic convention. If you are and were attending as an
"Independent" then you essentially denied someone who identifies as a
Democrat the chance of a lifetime.

As for John Kerry's plan, I hope you were in attendance last evening when he accepted the nomination. He laid out some of his vision to us all. I
wish I too could have been in the Fleet Center to experience the moment. Is
he the answer to all of our historical issues of discrimination and
neglect? No, of course not. No candidate for president could be that and
have any chance of getting elected. But there is a HUGE difference in the
Democratic party's plan for America and the Republicans'. And we MUST
reelect a Democrat this year. The Supreme Court and our very Constitution
with its Bill of Rights hangs in the balance.

You ask, "Do we need a President?" You should be asking, can we survive
under a regime that is looking more and more like a dictatorship intent
upon becoming the bully of the world?

Please take some time to read our Constitution. It is the only thing that
keeps us from a chaotic spiral towards totalitarianism. The desire to
protect and preserve that precious document in letter and in spirit is what
united the diversity of "African American, Latinos, Gays & Lesbians, movie
stars, the disabled and others" that you mentioned. Let me include Jews,
Arab Americans, Catholics, Sikhs, Latinos, Native Americans, families of
men and women in the armed services, and a slew of others to your mix. We ALL fear the consequences of another Bush administration.

We have a lot of work to do ahead of us. And you are far too young to be
so cynical. It is the easy way out, to be a critic. I challenge you to be
better than that. I have been struggling for disability rights for
probably your whole lifetime, but I'm still hopeful, and still very
committed . And as tarnished as it has been, like Reverend Sharpton, I'm
still riding that old Democratic mule. Why? Because it is our last best
chance to save our nation from its baser tendencies. And because, as Al
said, it is under Democrats that we have accomplished many of those
revolutionary reforms that have made our nation better and stronger.

Yes, even Democrats succumb to those base tendencies. Last night, for
example, was far too jingoistic and militaristic for my liking. But if we
don't grab that tendency from the Republicans, they'll do it their way,
which scares the hell out of me. There are very deep reasons why the folks
you admire, like Obama, like Al, like Maxine and like Dennis are
Democrats. Please take some time to understand why for yourself.

Leroy, I look forward to meeting you someday. I hope it is as an active
and engaged social change agent, not as an embittered sideliner, taking
cheap shots at your friends, which by the way DOES help our enemies..

And don't forget to vote.

Best regards,

Alan Toy

11) From Bird

July 30, 2004 Yo, Leroy!

While I agree entirely that from the standpoint of popular opinion the political scene looks like a cultural wasteland, when we dig a little deeper though, we find the compelling Human Drama. In truth, it isn't that choices do not exist. A more compelling and difficult question remains: How are choices made? What are the underlying axiomatic assumptions?

Many world leaders are now engaged in a Dialogue of Civilations.
We should take heart in this!
In these challenging times, we find the culmination of a number of socialogical phenomena.

The paradigms are comin' home to roost! Upon examination of the very criteria by which choices are made, we immediately transcend popular opinion. We walk in the footsteps of great thinkers throughout history. Upon adoption and practice of this method, born to Socrates with Egypt as midwife, we can say that we are on the road to making original discoveries of universal principles

The Schiller Institute, named for great poet and philosopher Freidrich Schiller, is dedicated to the creation of true political freedom.

Economist Lyndon LaRouche has run in every Presidential race since 1976, yet many have never heard of him. The Blacklist lives! In this day and age! Who'da think it!!

Nary a day goes by without some intervention from Lyn LaRouche on behalf of what FDR called "the forgotten man".

I am honored to have Lyn and Helga LaRouche as teachers and coleauges. They have dedicated their lives to creating a Global Rennaisance the likes of which has never been seen. We should take moments of reflection. We may have lost the body of the great Willaim Warfield: and we may no more experience in person the virtuosity of Sylvia Olden Lee, but they indeed live on. The Euphoric "Eureka!" to which they treated us over and over again, etches them in the firmament of history.

So, choices do indeed exist, my friend. We must be brave enough to take the"road less travelled", to coin a kinda corny phrase. The media has not been our friend in this quest for broader horizons. I find my senses bombarded.

Thank goodness for you, Leroy, and others like you: ready to shake things up a bit! Let us begin the adulthood of the Human race.
Let's have some fun!


(12) From unknown:

July 28 , 2004 Hello,

I live in Boston and am a member of my neighborhood civic engagement
committee. I decided that I would like to see what goes on at a Caucus
meeting. As a result, I took two hours off work and went to the DNC
Disability Caucus meeting. I had a chance to introduce myself to Leroy
Moore and asked him if I could follow his lead and send you a brief message.

Even before this meeting began, I had a curious experience. I arrived early
and was told that the Asian-Pacific islander Caucus was meeting. I asked if
I could go in to the room and sit and listen. I do not know if this is
policy or just the response of one person, however, I was strongly
encouraged to find a seat outside and to wait for the disability Caucus
meeting. Surprised and a little disappointed, I pulled out some reading
material and waited.

I love politics and was looking forward to being at the Disability Caucus.
I have never attended another convention and perhaps my expectations were
out of line. I thought the Caucus was a forum in which delegates and others
would have the opportunity to voice their concerns and issues and to ensure
that these are heard by the Party. I also thought it was the forum in which
the Party would share its position. I thought the Caucus was the forum in
which the Party would inspire its supporters by giving us information, which
we can use to motivate others.

Today I learned that a Caucus meeting does not necessarily do any of these
things. We had a chance to hear from politicians and movie stars who all
encouraged us to get out the vote. They all talked about the importance and
need to elect Kerry and Edwards.

Because I am not a delegate, I may have missed some materials, which were
distributed earlier during the week. However, I wish this time had been
spent telling me specifically what Kerry and Edwards will do for people with disabilities. The good thing is I am now even more committed to reading the entire Platform Document. Watching the Convention, I am energized and inspired by the speeches. but, I still want to know that all this talk of inclusion really does extend to me a Black woman with a disability.

13) From Kim July 25, 2004

I'm on the BlackDisabled mailing list, but I haven't figured how to add information. Just want you to know that we (that can't reply) are listening to you and look forward to your reports. I'll also look out for you on the floor when they show the California Delegation on CSPAN and all the other channels as well, to be honest :-)

Thanks for the representation.

Kim from Richmond, VA. Black, female, disabled wheelchair user since 1


Along the railroad of Houselessness and racism

09/24/2021 - 11:01 by Anonymous (not verified)
Original Author
Original Body

African Descendent houseless elder Dalrus Joseph Brown beaten to death in West Oakland

by Clive Whistle/PNN

The black-brown steel felt soft beneath my feet. Almost like velvet. And if I closed my eyes I could imagine the solid steel of the ancient West Oakland railroad tracks to be the plush velvet lining of a proper coffin for my murdered brother, African Descendent Houseless elder Dalrus Joseph Brown.

Dalrus or DJ , as some of us called him, was 55 years old and kept to himself and we only spoke a few times when I too, not so many months ago was staying "on the tracks" in West "O" . He was a decent man who really bothered no-one. Some people said he was a vet and I wouldn't be surprised, he had a silent courage which could have faced any situation. Inside that silent countenance was also loss, perhaps the loss of a man who somewhere along the railroad of homelessness and racism in Amerikka lost his soul..

When my editors at PNN asked me to write about the brutal beating and murder of Dalrus Brown on Saturday July 17th at the very place that he lived, the railroad tracks of West Oakland, I winced back tears of shame. I already knew about DJ's murder but something inside me just couldn't touch it It was common knowledge between folk who were homeless in Oakland that there was a "gang" of young folks, race not clear, roving the areas in West Oakland peopled by Houseless folks and beating them mercilessly.

In that story there are so many troubling things to examine. First of all, how could these "youth" as the police and corporate media referred to them become so hateful and disconnected from humanity to do such things. Perhaps, in a capitalist society that actively encourages the separation of youth from elders, Black from white, and most importantly rich from poor, these "youth" could act with no supervision from adults and have absolutely no respect for these poor elders. Or perhaps, the constant lies and myths promoted by mainstream media, policy makers and pop culture that "homeless" people are a tribe of worthless people who were born that way, rather than the kind of root cause examinations that POOR/PNN tries to do when they break down the connections between houslessness and eviction, gentrification and redlining of poor folks and communities of color. Or perhaps, the extreme violence promoted in Army-sponsored video games, the most recent being one that I saw set-up at the UA theatre in Oakland that points a "gun" at street people and animals and allows the game player to "shoot". Or maybe more likely it is all these things with some random kid tendencies thrown in.

And lest readers think that his murder was racially motivated, you're wrong. Homeless people of all colors in the West Oakland area have been violently attacked for the last several months with no regard for each persons race, age or gender. And in fact these attacks follow a national and international trend of attacks on homeless people, In June a white 54 year old man in Louisville, Kentucky man was brutally beaten, sodomized and murdered, In July two homeless men (one Native American, one white were beaten and stabbed in GRANDVIEW, Mo and in Japan (another highly competitive consumer economy well-known for its contempt of homeless people) four teenagers were arrested for beating a houseless man, dousing him with paint thinner and setting him on fire

Perhaps the saddest part of attacks on folks like Dalrus is that if these kinds of attacks happened in other neighborhoods peopled by homeful residents, folks might get bars on their windows or locks on their doors, but in Dalrus' neighborhood we all still dwell, unprotected and helplessly ready for the next attack.

In the end, very few people will miss Dalrus, but I will, forever seeing him sitting quietly, gracefully, by the soft strong steel rods embedded in the earth in West Oakland


Penetrating the System

09/24/2021 - 11:01 by Anonymous (not verified)
Original Author
Original Body

The unsafe and unchecked systems of Foster Care and Child Protective Services for youth living in that system

by Byron Gafford and Tiny/PNN

"On July 23rd I walked into a group home for foster care youth in the Bay Area and took a child out of that home… I was not related to the child.. and I was not asked to show ID, permission or anything… this was wrong.. real wrong"

Byron Gafford, poetry journalist, child abuse survivor, poverty scholar at POOR Magazine and author of the book; Thru the Eyes of a Child Vol 1 and 2 released on POOR Press ©2003/2004 was focusing his dark brown eyes on the window above my head in the PNN office as he told and re-told this horror story of "systems abuse" of a child who has like many young folks become lost in an often uncaring, unchecked system called Foster Care.

"Not one person came to the door to see who I was that was taking the child away, and "the Foster Care system" claims group homes are safe. But how safe are they if an unrelated adult male like me can go in and take out a child without being checked
Out" As Byron I reflected on all of the horror stories reported to POOR's COURTWATCH project, a project which aims to document the stories for families abused by CPS and Foster Care systems. Almost every family that has lost their child to the black hole of CPS and The Juvenile dependency Court, then loses their child to the even deeper hole of The Foster Care System, often not seeing their child for many years or in some cases never again.

It took the death of Florida's Rilya Wilson in the Spring of 2002 for the issue of children "missing" from foster care to garner national attention. It first came to light that the state of Florida had managed to lose track of nothing less than 500 of its foster care children. Some time thereafter, the body of 17-year-old Marissa Karp was found in Collier County Florida. She had run away from her state-designated foster family in April. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office explained that she had been murdered.

Since August of 2002, officials in the states of California, Tennessee, and Michigan have disclosed that hundreds of children are similarly "missing" from their foster care systems.

The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services reported in August that 740 foster children were missing from its system. Shortly thereafter, Michigan foster care officials announced that 300 foster children were missing from their foster care system.

Many critics of these broken systems point to the privatization of foster care which has led to spending even more money to take and keep children away from their families rather than to support restoration of the children's families.

In the private foster care agencies that oversee most of the children, some executives receive up to $310,000 a year in salaries and benefits and spend millions of taxpayer dollars for posh offices, expensive furniture and luxury cars, according to tax returns and county audits.

Aggressive reforms have been under way in Los Angeles County since one young boy died of Asthma in Foster care because the "system" refused to listen to the directions about his medication given by the mother. Starting in November of 2003 The LA Board of Supervisors voted to negotiate with the federal government for a waiver that would allow DCFS to use $250 million of its $1.4 billion budget on services to help keep children with their families, instead of placing them in foster care.

Under the current "buck-a-head" payment structure in place across the nation, the private agencies lose revenue when children are reunified with their families or put up for adoption, child advocates say.

"Children like this young man living in group homes and foster homes are really
not safe at all" Byron continued, pointing out the fact that not only was he not questioned for ID but that there used to be a strict fingerprint clearance expectation of any unrelated adults who wanted to visit or meet with a child who is in "the system" and nothing like that was expected of him.

"The next day, a full 24 hours later, the child's mother and myself brought the child back to the home, once again as far as they were concerned, No big deal," Byron took a breath concluding with his mission to get this horror story out to the world by any Means necessary in the hopes that it will make some people make some real changes to this broken system which endangers the very people it is supposed to protect, "One of the saddest things of all which is all too common the case, to this day the child doesn’t know why he was put in the system and nobody will not even tell him why. "

To get a copy of Thru the Eyes of A Child vol 1 & 2 click on POOR Press or call (415) 863-6306


Illin n' Chillin at The Democratic National Convention

09/24/2021 - 11:01 by Anonymous (not verified)
Original Author
Original Body

Revolutionary columnist for Illin n Chillin, Leroy Moore, goes to Boston... as a Delegate!! (and speaks the Truth!!)

by Leroy Moore

A Week of Partying No It’s Not College Spring Break!

College students go to Dayton Beach or other warm places to party. Politicians go to political conventions to do the same, party.

The night was sharp to my half-awake half-asleep stance as the car hummed toward the Oakland Airport July 23rd, 2004. This non-responsive stance to the massive endeavor I was about to jump into summed up the last two months, May & June, since I received an out-of-the-blue call from a member of the disability caucus of the California Democratic Party requesting me to be a delegate at the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston from July 23rd -29th. I bust out laughing! Me, a radical, independent, son of a Black Panther, activist and politically hungry for anything except the same old two party system be a delegate of the California Democratic Party? I was so used to being outside protesting past conventions like Sojourner Truth did the late 1800. My mind couldn’t express how would it feel wearing that custom of the party system being inside of the beast! I once again thought about Sojourner Truth’s 1851 speech she delivered at the Women’s Convention and her strength and Fannie Lou Hamer's testimony at the 1964 Democratic convention as an alternative to the Democratic Party. After some time of thinking about it I told myself, I will wear this custom for only one reason and one reason only and that is to help get the voices of people of color with disabilities onto the political table nothing more and nothing less. Like Fannie Lou Hamer once said,

Although I sounded calm during May, June and most of July when congratulation cards, donations and info about the Convention started to jammed my mail box, my political & networking mind was running with excitement with opportunities to network. You see I was a political science major, was president of student government and have been active in the local political arena. So as I a delegate of the Democratic Convention to help take people of color with disabilities issues inside like Mrs. Truth is not so strange. By showing up to the airport a day early by mistake was a sign that I could not hide my excitement.

Now it is Saturday July 24, and I’m in my hotel room downtown Boston checking out the schedule for the Convention. This moment reminded me of my trip to Atlanta, GA. couple months before the Olympics. The other side of Conventions or big events make my blood boil like the increase of police appearance all over Boston and how the media are playing on the hype, and stories of how certain people are and have been swept out for appearances. So I went out and saw the other side first hand. I passed through the upscale hotel at ease with my credentials I.D. clipped on my shirt. However I was stopped when I entered Credentials Committee meeting. My name wasn’t on the list and the people kept looking at my delegate I.D. After an hour I decided to go back to my room. You see the real deal starts on Monday July 26th. Before retiring for the night I talked to an activist for people who are homeless and he educated me on what had happened months before. He knew twenty people that were swept from the area next to the high-class hotel and the Fleet Center where the Convention will be hold. Anybody has a video camera because this is real reality t.v. Back at the hotel I looked at my schedule for Sunday and found out that Sunday night is the California Delegation Party. On my ticket for the "party" says I’m allow one guest and I wonder if everybody took one person that was swept out of their place because of the Convention maybe it’d be a great party. By the way why would you have a party at the beginning of the convention? I guest I’m learning in this new arena!

As an African American, I know we are excellent in entertaining- singing, dancing etc and I found out on July 25th, 2004 that the California Democratic Party knew it too! Sunday July 25, 2004 is the last day to party for the Democrats and they pulled out "The Best in African Americans!" Before the California Democratic Delegation party at 5pm East Coast time, I took a walk around the neighborhood where the Westin Copley Place Hotel is. As I walked around Boylston, Newbury, Commonwealth and Beacon streets and avenues it was clear to me I was center in upper class central. Cafes, bars, clothing shops and record stores it did bring me back home to Berkeley, no more like Piedmont area. If that’s not enough, I hit Berkeley St. on the way back to the hotel. There was a demonstration of Falun Dafa, Falun Dafa is a traditional Chinese self-cultivation practice that improve mental and physical wellness through a series of exercises, meditation and development of one’s ‘Heart/Mind Nature. Yes I sat down and did some Falun Dafa. I recommend Falun Dafa to all activists, delegates, politicians and others. The exercise led into a march against the genocide and torture in China. One of the demonstrators told me that the "Falun Dafa Movement was founded by Li Hong Zhi, in recognition of our teachings of peace and spirituality and for our courage and perseverance in the face of oppression by the People’s Republic of China." I was happy to be among the people. He also told me over 1,000 were tortured in mental hospitals last year alone.

I ran back to the hotel to get ready for the Democratic Delegation party at the Franklin Zoo in the Roxberry District, a mostly African American district, of Boston. In the van, I noticed I was under dress and I also noticed that the van went silent when we drove through the hood, the inner city of Boston. There were talks about Organ County in LA, the fund raising that they did for John Kerry and the tension broke when we pulled into the zoo.

Inside the white tent I noticed that there was a group of African Americans dressed in traditional Africa attire. A quick look around I realized that there was a big Latino turn out and a modest African American turn out but only saw one other person with a noticeable disability. Another thing that rang my activist’s bells was the number of police, U.S. Army and other guards that surrounded the tent. I saw some familiar Bay Area political faces like Willie Brown etc.. The speeches began with local Senator who is African American. About the time I got out my mini-disk recorder Dick Patterson CEO of Time Warren who spoke about the diversity of Boston and the hard work that went into bringing the Democratic Convention to Boston, I manage to get some speeches recorded. The African traditional dancers began to tear down the tent with their bare feet dancing to drumming. One of the dancers took my hand and led me to the dance circle.

After dancing I saw a person that I’m on a board with back home. He and his family were standing in line to speak and take a picture with Governor Gray Davis. Yes I got into the picture but when I ask Davis about disability issues he suddenly became busy signing autograph. The party featured African traditional dancers, an African American DJ; some of the waiters and waitress were people of color and yes an African American local Senator and the Chairman of the CA Democratic Party and Senator, Art Torres who is Latino. Is this diversity or window dressing? To put the icing on the cake on the way to a concert downtown Boston featuring the O Jays, I had an opportunity to talk to another delegate from San Francisco who seemed cool. She worked on the SF DA campaign but in the same breath she thought Mayor Gavin Newsom is doing a good job. Got to the concert and once again African Americans were on stage entertaining us, The O Jays.

It is official the clock struck 12 midnight and the real deal starts. Can African Americans turn entertainment into political hob knobing on the convention floor? And where are my people I respect like Maxine Walters, Barbara Lee and David Patterson? On the first day that’s all I saw was Bill Clinton on the local Boston news? Where are other Black disabled delegates or protesters? Will the Democratic Party give a mike to the left side of their party? What is going to be talked about in the Caucuses? This morning July 26th the California Delegation will have breakfast with Nancy Pelosi. Are we going to have time to question her on her stands on many issues? Please, tell me why do we've Conventions?

Wednesday, the third day of the Democratic Convention, and what I’ve found out throughout this week so far was Conventions consist of speeches, parties and a lot of media. I thought I would hear details of Kerry's plan but I got only a general vision. Is that good enough to win my vote? In the last two days, I’ve experienced first hand this thing called the Democratic Convention. But before I go on and tell you what happened and how I felt about this Convention, let me give you some local news from mainstream news. On Saturday July 24th The New York Times Newspaper front page had an article entitled, "Bush Urges Blacks to Reconsider Allegiance to Democratic Party." Bush was actually talking to the National Urban League in Detroit, MI.. I laid out laughing from reading this article. Also in the same newspaper had a feature article on the raising star in the Democratic Party, keynote speaker, soon to be Senator of Illinois, Barack Obama. This should rise red flags about how both parties treat us, people of color, like we are toys to play with once a year. Even Obama said in the article to "don’t believe the hype, I’m only doing my job." How Ms. Clinton joked at the Women’s Caucus at the Convention on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 about how others mispronounced his name sounded offensive to me.

The days went like this: California Delegation breakfasts at
9am-10: 30am. Before breakfast, everybody has to resister and received an I.D. for entry in the Fleet Center where the "official Convention" is held. After breakfast listening to California politicians and other leaders the Caucuses meet from 10-2pm. Some times there is special meeting after the Caucuses but more likely people are getting ready for the evening speeches at the Fleet Center, downtown Boston. If you have the energy then there is parties at night with celebrities, politicians and others.

Back to the breakfast! The breakfasts had all political leaders speaking about how we need to get out the vote for Kerry & Edwards and other Democratic candidates running for the Senate and House. A couple speeches stood out for me. During these breakfasts, I noticed that California is lacking African American political leaders at least who spoke during our breakfasts. Another thing that struck me was the positive outlook on California. I understand we have to put our good foot forward but we can’t forget the struggles we have been in! Yes, a couple of our political leaders mentioned the budget crisis, our new governor and the energy crisis but it was very glossed over. The biggest shocker was when somebody form the state school board or education department got up and gave a glowing picture of California’s schools. As an activist my mind shouted "most of our school districts are so poor that the state had to bail them out like Oakland, Richmond and Compton to name a few.

The Caucuses were the best part of the Democratic Convention because in many, Latino, Elders & Veterans, Youth, GLBT and Disability because you got to hear about your issues, mingle with advocates and in some gave opportunity to ask questions to the panel. The Women & the African American Caucuses were the best in my view because of the real dynamic speakers that spoke on domestic issues and took some not a lot of questions from the floor. As a disabled advocate I attended the Disability Caucus both days, Monday and Wednesday, and I had very mix views on what I saw and experience. Let me first start out by saying it must have took a lot to organize and pull this off. As an organizer I understand all the glitches and last minute items to pull some as big as a national Caucus. So I tip my hat to the organizers.

As I left the African American Caucus on a high from recording, talking to some panelists and hearing some core issues from Black Democrats and advocates, my high crashed when nobody had a clue where the Disability Caucus was being held. After walking back and forth, I found the room. First thing I noticed the room for the Disability Caucus was a lot smaller than the others and had a lot less people. The panel consists of two people and I heard John Kerry’s voice talking about FDR’s disability and his record on disability issue like his involvement of the passing of the ADA. Kerry’s voice came out of a video about FDR’s disability. The main talk was about the Americans with Disabilities Act, the celebration of the ADA later on that day, voting accessibility and Karry’s platform in general terms on disability issues. The good thing that happened in the Disability Caucus was the open mike for our concerns which I took advantage to ask questions about Kerry’s platform on fully funding Individual Disability Education Act, the homeless, the rights of disabled prisons, the high unemployment rate among disabled people of color etc. I realized I should have brought Kerry’s plan because everything was redirected to his plan. I also notice a handful of disabled African Americans mostly women. After the Monday’s disability Caucus, there was a celebration of the birthday of the Americans with Disability Act however I didn’t have a need to celebrate.

At the Fleet Center, the speeches started at 4pm even earlier and lasted till 12, 1, and 2 in the morning. I never lasted to the end on any night. The Fleet Center looked like a place to hold big concerts. There are police, guards, helicopters and a tank surrounding and inside the entrance of the Fleet Center. Media swarm all around the Center. I had a floor pass so I was on floor most of the time interviewing, passing out my business cards and statements from some Bay Area advocates. After two hours of listening to speeches I realize almost everybody that took the stage sounded the same.
It was basically a cheering section for Karry with little on details. To tell you the truth that sums up the Convention. My head was about to explode into pieces if I heard another speaker praise Homeland Security! Check this out one day the Mayor of LA took the stage and just guest what he talked about? Public safety and increasing police presents! I had to go outside to catch my breath after that speech!

I needed some relief so I went to the Boston Social Forum and got the medicine I needed to go on with the rest of the week. I also called upon my disabled activists for relief. Tuesday July 27th a couple of Black disabled advocates and I had lunch to discuss how we should work together during and beyond the convention. Safi wa Naiobi from Oakland, CA., Keith Jones, his wife and a friend of Boston sat down to have lunch and to talk. At that moment I felt so relax until we saw Mayor Jerry Brown at a table across from us. Safi & I wanted to see how Jerry Brown would act in taking a picture with us. By the way Safi is on the Oakland’s Commission of the Disabled. A Mayor appointed position! Jerry was so rude to us by saying "hurry up, hurry up!" He didn’t even notice Safi or me. Safi & I just shook our heads. The lunch was one of the major highlights of the whole week.

The last day, Thursday July 29th, of the convention completed the circle with more speeches at breakfast, in the Caucuses and at the Fleet Center and African Americans entertaining the crowd. The window display was pretty to look at the Fleet Center but before the main man, John Kerry, was the regular delegation breakfast. Today Jessie Jackson took the stage, one of the few African Americans that spoke to us at breakfast. His speech didn’t sound like it came from an editor matter-of-fact he talked outside his boundaries by mentioning President Bush efforts of getting Africans Americans to question their loyalty to the Democratic Party. When Jackson made his way to leave a youth stuck a microphone out with some
hard hitting questions. I gave Mr. Jackson my card and asked him about his thoughts on issues facing Black disabled people. However he kept on walking. Even the Disability Cause grew on Wednesday and had some politicians and movie stars that spoke. Our little African American disabled group sat together in full force.

After speech after speech most of them about their personal stories dealing with a friend or family member who are disabled, somebody in the crowd started to fire some questions about Kerry’s platform on disability issues and wanted details. All the speakers became nervous but went on with their speeches. The facilitator shut down the lady’s questions. Then the movie stars came in to talk about their experiences with disability and Kerry’s Platform. Keith Jones sat down with Ben Affleck and talked about the inaccessibility issues in the Black disabled community in Boston. Keith made sure that accessibility at the voting polls goes deeper that just accessible equipment especially in the Black community. Another Black disabled attendee didn’t understand why we needed to hear from movie stars. A first time Convention’s Caucus attendee who is African American told me that she got to the Disability Caucus early on Wednesday so she asked if she could sit in the Asian Caucus to listen and observe until the Disability Caucus start in that same room. The lady at the door to the Asian Caucus told her no and that she needed to sit in the hall and wait for the Disability Caucus to start. It just tells you how much work we still have to do even among people of color.

I guess it was the day of stars at the Caucuses! The Disability Caucus had Ben Affleck, the Youth Caucus had P Didly and the Women Caucus has Mrs. Clinton. I know Clinton is not a movie star but America treats her like she is a movie star. Even in the July 24th issue of the New York Times it had an article on talk show host Jerry Springer who is considering running for Governor of Ohio as a Democrat. Movie stars are taking over politics in both parties! The highlight of the week, John Kerry, was making his way to the convention floor but before that in the last two days I got to hear from four of my political idols, Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee and David Patterson and Eleanor Norton. Just listening to them almost made the whole week worth it, almost!

Back on the convention floor I bumped into President of the NAACP. I gave him my business card three times but he dropped it all three times. I realized that the floor is packed but damn his reaction to me was not pleasant and I wonder what happen to his hand. Did he have a disability or did he just wanted to escape the whole encounter? On the convention floor I interviewed disabled delegates from all over and all were strong supporters of Kerry. Many talked about the lack of accessibility of the Fleet Center. Some disabled delegates got stuck in the elevator for hours and others were almost turned away because of their equipment they use to walk and get around. Some delegates hide their disability when I told them about the disability radio show that I work for. One major theme throughout all the interviews was the need to get reed of Bush.

I left before John Kerry delivered his speech. As I was getting read to pack my stuff, I heard a choir singing on the Convention floor "We Shall Overcome!" I couldn’t believe what I was hearing in a place like this. That took the cake! I shouted out loud in the Fleet Center hallway "you are capitalizing on a song that express the oppression of my ancestors in slavery, Reconstruction era, of the sixties and on and on. That song means something!" With all of my experiences at my first and probably my last political convention I come to realize that a political convention is a weeklong party, one sided speeches and window dressing! I agree we need to get Bush out of office but it should not mean we couldn’t question other candidate. From July 23rd to the 29th I have heard the same message from African & Latinos, Gays & Lesbians political leaders, movie stars, youth and disabled spokespersons that have shared the stage at the Fleet Center in Boston. Is this diversity? Yes many different people shared the stage but it sounded like everybody had the same speechwriter and editor. What happen to Free Speech? Are homelessness, racism, police brutality & Haiti bad words? They are reality!

I want to thank the California Democratic Party for opening my eyes wide open to this two party system. I want to say that some political leaders in the Democratic Party I hold closely to my heart and have restore faith in the system from Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Al Sharpton, David Patterson, Dennis Kucinich, the late Ron Brown and Paul Wellstone and a few more that keep it real and speak real and stand 24/7 with the people. These are the people that should be president. We must continue to support them and put them on our shoulders. The other thing that was special about the convention that didn't happen in the Fleet Center it happen on the streets and in the caucuses. All the people that I had a chance to meet from my disabled brothers and sisters of color struggling with racism institutionalize roadblocks, but who are beautiful with talent and ideals and radical solutions. To my walk around Jamaica Plains where I discovered a Black book store and bought the book,

The Black Timeline of Massachusetts: A History of White Supremacy in the Bay State where I found some shocking racist true stories about Boston, the home of the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

I am so glad I shared this experience with Safi wa Naiobi a talented visually impaired sister from Oakland who covered the convention for KPOO Radio and took photographs for the City of Oakland’s Art of Disability event coming up in October 2004. I want to thank Free Speech Radio and Radio 504 of San Francisco for interviewing people whom had different views of the convention. I want to thank all of you that supported my trip here! I've made great connections and new allies and with a few of my independent disabled brothers and sisters of color we've let some know that Democrats or Republicans that we will continue to push the whole political system to be diverse in not only race & sex but also in disability and more important in
Many parties!!!

Yes, right now we have only two choices and if you push us we must make a choice, but in the near future we won't and refuse to be in this situation. As I head home to the San Francisco Bay Area I still wonder why we have Conventions for any party. Just think how much money has gone into this event. How many people can afford to take a whole week off just to celebrate? All of the police, media coverage, corporations funding? I wonder if my x non-profit and other struggling non-profit had the resources that poured into this convention what could we do.

I love my activists who will never be inside or want to be inside a political Convention but continues to break down the system to restore something that our ancestors died for justice, freedom and speaking the truth.

Thank you for your support and lets make our own party, convention, system............................

One more thing! The only one who sounded like he had his own speech was Al Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich. Speaking on police brutality and homelessness etc. This made my week!

Leroy F. Moore Jr.

Live at the Democratic Convention in Boston


Post Convention Thoughts by Leroy

Poet Politician

"I’m a poet politician

No party for me

I’m not independent

Cause I’m fighting with my brothers & sisters

Cracking the capitalist & two party systems

Ending racism, sexism

And all other ism…………………."

My poem Artist/Activist(Poet Politician) sums up how I felt about the two political conventions that we witnessed this Summer as an artist\activist. The two parties that make up the US mainstream political system can learn from political poets. From Phillis Wheatley to KRS One, poets have spoken and wrote politics in a form of a poem. Many were and are activists for their people but to this day the two party system have not really taken on the messages of political poets or poets in general. Now that both of the main political parties had their national conventions, the question of a Bostonian poet, that I had a chance to hear while I was in Boston attending the Democratic National Convention, still remains. In Larry Roland’s 2001 spoken word CD, as time flows on, he has a poem entitled, WHO SPEAKS FOR ME, this poem should be the question we all reflect on now through election day 2004 and beyond.

After attending the Democratic National Convention as a first time delegate (and probably my last time) in Boston, I have to say very few who shared the stage at the Fleet Center could speak for me as a Black disabled revolutionary activist. A few came close like Al Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee and David Patterson. I guest the poet, Gil Scott-Heron, was right when he read his poem back in the 70’s, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised because at both conventions in Boston and New York the revolution that took place on the streets outside the conventions were not televised where record breaking numbers of activists showed up from across the country and even some outside of the US to practice their first amendment right, freedom of speech and freedom to assemble. However in this Patriot Act society we’re force to live in, the Bill of Rights and The US Constitution has been slain in 2001. I saw this in Boston where activists was restricted to a cage to protest and even one activist was escorted off the floor of the DNC and out of the Fleet Center. Almost the same story happened in New York at the Republican National Convention where activists couldn’t get a permit to protest and where over 11,000 activists were arrested etc..

Although the real story of Boston and New York didn’t make it in the mainstream media the people’s history in both states, way before the conventions and September 11, 2001 poets and activists has and did put what happened in their own artistic way. Some of that history was read on the 1970 album of the Last Poets with their poem entitled, New York, New York or read The Black Timeline of Massachusetts: A History of White Supremacy in the Bay State, a book I bought in the heart of Boston Black community, Jamaica Plains, MA. I also noticed that the Hip-Hop conventions and tour received very little media and political attention. Hip-Hop artists, poets and activists came together to write the book, How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office published by Soft Skull Press and what I saw this book is truly needed. These hip-hop artists/poets/avitists are following in the shoes of their elder’s collectives and movements like The Black Arts Movement, Chicano Movement and now Poetry for the People and even in some sort Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry. They are creating a social justice message in a form of popular art to be delivered and digested in the publishing and political arenas. Some candidates in the past and now used these platforms in their heyday to get their agenda out. But the question is have they, political candidates, from both parties really listened to the messages in:

On Being Brought From Africa To America by Phillis Wheatley, I Too by Langston Hughes, icon\i have a dream by a Puerto Rican Bay Area hip-hop artists\poet, Aya de Leon or Here I Am by Boston’s own Black disabled Hip-Hop artist, Fezo da MadOne.

The words and messages of these and more political poets\artists\activists have been and are way more deeper, real, powerful, concrete and provides a road map to the future compare to any speeches that took place in both political conventions this year! So really who speaks for me?

As the two candidates fight over what happened almost twenty years ago, we are heading closer to November 2nd and many are still trying to answer Larry Roland’s question. Like Fannie Lou Hammer, I also believe that we need more parties in our political system. This year and my attendance at the DNC has reinforced the dedication to the work of the late Fannie Lou Hammer, the radical life of Helen Keller and yesterday and today’s political poets like KRS One, Wanda Coleman, Piri Thomas, Los Delicados, Gwendolyn Brooks, Molotov Mouths and Po’ Poets, Roque Dalton, Roxanne Sanna Ware etc. So for November 2nd, my birthday, I will give myself a present by writing in a poet politician for President! I heard that Aya de Leon is running for President!

"Join the arts & politics campaign

Speaking truth through oral history

Poetry n politics

Poet politician at the ballot and in the community

Walking to the Capitol

We are the People

Taking our rightful sits in the US Congress"

excerpts from The Artist\ Activist by Leroy Moore Molotov Mouths: Explosive Writing publisher, Manic D Press 2003

By Leroy F. Moore Jr.


Those Darn Hurricanes!

09/24/2021 - 11:01 by Anonymous (not verified)
Original Author
Original Body

Dee’s Myths, Truths and Civil Rights and opinions

by Dee

Is anyone bothered by the 24/7 coverage of the hurricane which should’ve been named
Osama Bin Francis, and before that Osama Bin charley, and after that Osama bin Ivan,
And so on, and so on, til FEMA has spent all our money for the evacuations, and the surf
Damage, and the wind damage –that became, after all, a tropical storm for the most part-
Except in the Bahamas where FEMA doesn’t pay for any damage,

Hurricanes have been raging in Florida and the South as long as I can remember, Why NOW do they require so much help from the federal gov? Perhaps because jeb’s brother
Is in the White House and wants to help folks get a lot of money so they will think
Well of him in the November election? Scare them real good, then pay them off,

Those Darn Hurricanes. They act jus like Those Darn Terrorists; I know a lot of surfers
Who would be happy in surf that big like when they surf in surf that big in California?

And isn’t there an election coming up, and a new addition to the Patriot act, that might
Be more interesting and newsworthy?