Author Archive

DMO Resolution Supporting the LGBT Community and Celebrating Pride Month 2021

DMO Resolution Supporting the LGBT Community and Celebrating Pride Month 2021

WHEREAS, the 2015 Obergefell v Hodges Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage was a baseline for LGBT rights and not a finish line; and

WHEREAS, municipalities have often led on LGBT rights, including the prohibition of so called “conversion therapy” and establishment of anti-discrimination ordinances; and

WHEREAS, in 2017 the City of Philadelphia unveiled a new pride flag to recognize LGBT people of color, who often face unique perils as marginalized people; and

WHEREAS, the Human Rights Campaign publishes an annual Municipal Equality Index to further the work of local government in securing LGBT rights; and

WHEREAS, the first Pride was a reaction against police violence, and the LGBT community still faces heightened risk of discrimination from law enforcement and the legal system; and

WHEREAS, the “gay panic” defense for murder is still legal in 38 states; and

WHEREAS, state legislatures have introduced more than 100 anti-trans bills in 2021 alone; and

WHEREAS, these bills include bans from youth sports, prohibit using gender affirming facilities, and enact a duty for teachers to report instances of gender non-conformity, and

WHEREAS, more than half of trans teens report seriously considering suicide, and

WHEREAS, gender affirming care for trans youth dramatically reduces the risk of suicide, and

WHEREAS, the medical establishment’s consensus is that trans youth should receive gender affirming care;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT, Democratic Municipal Officials celebrates Pride Month 2021, acknowledges the work municipalities have achieved in furthering LGBT rights, and recognizes the important work that still needs to be done.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, municipalities should ban the harmful practice of so called “conversion therapy”.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, wherever possible, municipalities should pass legislation promoting gender affirming care and enable trans youth to use the spaces that correspond to their identity.

DMO President Derek Green Statement on Juneteenth

DMO President Derek Green Statement on Juneteenth

“For over 150 years, the Black community has celebrated Juneteenth as the end of chattel slavery in the United States. I thank President Biden for recognizing June 19th as a federal holiday, formally marking its significance to our nation. Local elected Democrats across the country paved the way for this holiday with their own statements commemorating Juneteenth, and I applaud my fellow DMOs for their role in gaining this recognition. 

Juneteenth is a day of Black joy. But it is also a day when we acknowledge that the end of slavery was not the end of oppression for Black Americans and other people of color. Let us use this holiday to celebrate Black emancipation, Black enfranchisement, and the ongoing work of the Black community to secure the life, liberty, and joy promised to all Americans.”

Derek Green
At-Large Councilmember, Philadelphia, PA
President, Democratic Municipal Officials

6 Things Local Elected Officials Can Do Today to Help Increase Vaccinations

Democratic Municipal Officials,

The White House has declared June a COVID vaccination Month of Action, sprinting to get more Americans vaccinated in time for July 4th. Below you can find six actions DMOs can take today to increase vaccination rates in your community.

You can also view the Biden Administration’s Fact Sheet on the Month of Action, and use the resources in the Digital Toolkit for spreading the word on social media. Be sure to tag @NationalDMO or send me an email at Nils.Robbins@NationalDMO.org so we can share your work directly with the White House.

Sincerely,

Nils Robbins
Communications and Operations Director

 

Month of Action to Increase COVID-19 Vaccinations
6 Things Local Elected Officials Can Do Today to Help Increase Vaccinations

For the month of June – from June 4 to July 4 – the “We Can Do This” campaign is launching a Month of Action to mobilize an all-of-America sprint to get more Americans vaccinated, so that more people can get the protection they need to be safe from a pandemic and get back to the things we love. You – local elected officials are key trusted messengers that know your communities better than most and are a trusted source of information about the vaccines. Take action today and help us continue to spread the word about the importance of getting vaccinated, boost vaccine confidence, and share information on how and where to get vaccinated. This document provides 6 actionable things you can do today to support the Month of Action and compliments other resources such as the Mayors Toolkit.

  1. Host a Pop-up Vaccination Clinic(s): Host a pop-up vaccination clinic in your community/district where vaccinations remain low.  The “On-Site Vaccination Clinic Toolkit” here provides information for employers, localities, and community partners on how to work directly with a national pharmacy to set up vaccination clinics.
  1. Encourage Local Employer Vaccination Efforts: Work with local employers in your community to ensure they are providing on-site vaccinations, paid time off, and incentives for workers. Research shows that incentives – such as cash rewards, prizes, discounts, or other special offers  – make it more likely a person will get vaccinated. Additionally, ensure all city/local government workers in your jurisdiction have access to on-site vaccinations and paid time off to get vaccinated and recover.
  1. Make Public Transportation to Vaccinations FreeAdvance equity and address a key barrier to vaccination by providing free, accessible public transit to vaccination sites during our National Month of Action. More than 350 transit systems across the nation are providing free transportation to vaccination sites—many using funding from the American Rescue Plan. Here you’ll find examples you can employ from hard-hit and high-risk communities across both urban and rural regions. Help ensure free public transportation in your community/district for a day, a weekend, or a week.
  1. Promote the COVID-19 College Challenge: Help recruit higher education institutions in your community/district to join the COVID College Challenge. If a college – community college, college or university – is already signed up, work with us to amplify and promote vaccination events. Colleges can sign-up up here WhiteHouse.gov/COVIDCollegeChallenge
  1. Canvass and Go Door-to-Door: Host direct, door-to-door, person-to-person canvassing efforts to sign people up for vaccination appointments, provide vaccine education, and to promote walk-up vaccinations. Talking points, flyers, scripts, and best practices are provided at https://wecandothis.hhs.gov/resources
  1. Share Resources and Messages that Build Vaccine Confidence: Amplify on your social media channels, record and post a PSA, or do local earned media events to bring attention to the importance of getting vaccinated (see next page for messages that work and FAQs). Emphasize that vaccines are available at no cost to everyone age 12 and older, regardless of immigration or insurance status. The vaccine is free, rides are free, child care is free. Plus, you can get rewards like free sports tickets and discounts at stores.

If you are interested in taking one of these 6 actions or to join the Month of Action, please email us at: COVIDIGA@who.eop.gov.

MESSAGING GUIDANCE: Messages that Work to Help Build Confidence in the Vaccines

  • Getting vaccinated gets us back to normal. Getting vaccinated is the best way to defeat this virus and get back to safely gathering with family, friends, weddings, sports, and travel.
  • The vaccine is free and available to everyone. Vaccines are available at no cost to everyone age 12 and older living in the United States, regardless of immigration or insurance status.
  • If you have questions, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider. Estimates show that 90% of doctors have gotten a shot themselves.
  • More than 170 million Americans have received a vaccine. They are protected from this deadly virus and are on the path back to normal.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine

How can I find a place to get vaccinated?

  • Visit Vaccines.gov or vacunas.gov
  • Text your ZIP Code to 438-829 to find a vaccine near you. In Spanish, text your ZIP Code to VACUNA (822-862)
  • Call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline (1-800-232-0233)

For updates and other material resources, visit https://wecandothis.hhs.gov/. Note, many places are now offering walk-in options, so an appointment may not be necessary.

What if I have to miss work?

  • Thousands of employers have answered the President’s call to offer paid time off for vaccination.
  • The IRS is providing a tax credit to small- and medium-sized employers to help them provide employees paid time off to get vaccinated and to recover if they have any side effects.
  • Ask your employer if they offer paid time off.

What if I need a ride or other help to get vaccinated?

  • Through July 4th, Uber and Lyft are now offering free rides to and from vaccination sites nationwide – just use the app.
  • Over 350 local transit agencies are offering free, accessible public transit to vaccination sites, so check with your local government to see what might be available to you.
  • Some companies are offering other resources like free child care while getting vaccinated and free rewards after you get vaccinated. Visit Vaccines.gov – Incentives to learn more.

Contact information for Local Elected Officials: COVIDIGA@who.eop.gov.

Hollies Winston Named DMO Blue Star Candidate

The Board of Directors of Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO) has named Hollies Winston a Blue Star Candidate in his race for Mayor of Brooklyn Park, MN. Born and raised in Minnesota, Winston’s campaign focuses on small business development, community safety, and engaging the full diversity of the Brooklyn Park community. Cities across America are recovering from the past four years, and this race represents our collective opportunity to move forward into security and prosperity as a united, welcoming nation. 

DMO President and Philadelphia At-large Councilman Derek Green commented on Winston’s recommendation as a Blue Star Candidate. “Hollies is running to be a true public servant. His vision for Brooklyn Park is a city where everyone has access to thriving local businesses, life-long housing solutions, and community involvement in neighborhood security. I look forward to welcoming him to the ranks of DMO.”

DMO Board Member and Minnesota State Chair Gary Hansen (Council Member, Eagan) added “Hollies Winston believes that diversity is an asset, and he will work tirelessly to create an environment that embraces our differences and works for all of us. His leadership in Brooklyn Park will serve as an example to help guide our efforts to achieve equity and inclusion.” 

Brooklyn Park shares a story with many Minnesota municipalities. Originating as a community of German and Scandinavian immigrants, it has expanded to include African Americans, Hmong, LatinX, and Native denizens. Among these is Winston’s own family, who moved to the area after the Great Migration. 

Winston has a long history of ensuring no one is left behind in Brooklyn Park. He is the Chairman and CEO of Guaranteed America, an advocacy firm where he manages a coalition of businesses that support minority owned enterprises. Winston also sits on the Minnesota Asset Building Coalitions Strategic Board, where he advocates to non-profits and elected officials for resources that support minority and small businesses.

The DMO serves to connect, engage, and empower elected officials who identify as Democrats. Democratic Municipal Officials initiated the highly selective Blue Star Candidate program to draw national attention to local Democratic candidates, in particular when such an election would shift a mayor’s seat or council majority from red to blue. These candidates have been vetted and recommended by the DMO Board of Directors.

If you would like to learn more about Hollies Winston’s campaign or contribute you can visit https://hollieswinston.org/. Winston’s supporters include ASDC President Ken Martin and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, and he has the backing of the DFL. Election Day is August 10th, so don’t wait to pitch in. 

Deborah Peoples Named DMO Blue Star Candidate

The Executive Committee of Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO) has endorsed Deborah Peoples in her race to represent Fort Worth, TX as mayor. Her opponent has been endorsed by both the outgoing Republican mayor, as well as Texas Governor Greg Abbott. This is an important election to flip Fort Worth blue after a decade of Republican control. Most importantly, this is a very winnable race for Democrats. Election Day is this Saturday, June 5th, and we here at DMO encourage you to help however you can in the next few days.

Deborah Peoples is a former AT&T executive, responsible for managing over 5,000 staff members over 22 states. As mayor, Peoples would bring her experience for managing large operations and growing businesses. She has since devoted herself more directly to working in the community, including serving as Chair of the Tarrant County Democratic Party. Her time as chair was marked by increased civic engagement and voter turnout, both essential in our work as Democrats. Her victory would secure Fort Worth its first black mayor in history, and make Fort Worth the largest southern city run by a black woman. And in the ongoing fight to turn Texas blue, Deborah Peoples would help get out the vote, and shine as an enduring reminder that Democrats can win across the state. 

The DMO serves to connect, engage, and empower elected officials who identify as Democrats throughout the US. Democratic Municipal Officials initiated the highly selective Blue Star Candidate program to draw national attention to local Democratic candidates, in particular when such an election would shift a mayor’s seat or council majority from red to blue. These candidates have been vetted and recommended by the DMO Executive Committee.

We strongly encourage you to help Deborah in the final days of her campaign. If you would like to learn more about Deborah People’s campaign or contribute you can visit https://www.deborahpeoplesformayor.com. This race has the attention of the Democratic National Committee, and we hope you can support Deborah before this Saturday. 

Treasury Guidance for Local ARP Funds

The Treasury Department has just released guidance on how local government can spend American Rescue Plan funds.

  • For an overview of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program including an expanded use of eligible uses, see the fact sheet released today. For additional details on the state, local, territorial, and Tribal government allocations, see the full list here.
  • For updates from Treasury Department Relief and Recovery Programs, sign up here.

The White House and Treasury Department will also be hosting briefing webinars today, May 10th at the following times.

4:00pm ARP State & Local Program Briefing #1

https://pitc.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_8D1GDgKYRkedj1XwsTIXzw

6:45pm ARP State & Local Program Briefing #2

https://pitc.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_dRcyIhMQS_aRwt89jTQTAQ

As always, we hope you continue to let your constituents know that President Biden, the Democrats, and their votes in 2020 brought them these resources.

Sincerely,

Nils Robbins

DMO Communications and Operations Director

FORWARDING FROM THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

– – – – – – –
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 10, 2021

Contact: Alexandra LaManna
press@treasury.gov

Treasury Launches Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to Deliver $350 Billion 

Aid to state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments will help bring back jobs, address pandemic’s economic fallout, and lay the foundation for a strong, equitable recovery 

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the launch of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, to provide $350 billion in emergency funding for state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments.  Treasury also released details on the ways funds can be used to respond to acute pandemic-response needs, fill revenue shortfalls among state and local governments, and support the communities and populations hardest-hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Eligible state, territorial, metropolitan city, county, and Tribal governments will be able to access funding directly from the Treasury Department in the coming days to assist communities as they recover from the pandemic.

“Today is a milestone in our country’s recovery from the pandemic and its adjacent economic crisis. With this funding, communities hit hard by COVID-19 will able to return to a semblance of normalcy; they’ll be able to rehire teachers, firefighters and other essential workers – and to help small businesses reopen safely,” said Secretary Janet L. Yellen.  “There are no benefits to enduring two historic economic crises in a 13-year span, except for one: We can improve our policymaking. During the Great Recession, when cities and states were facing similar revenue shortfalls, the federal government didn’t provide enough aid to close the gap. That was an error. Insufficient relief meant that cities had to slash spending, and that austerity undermined the broader recovery. With today’s announcement, we are charting a very different – and much faster – course back to prosperity.”

While the need for services provided by state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments has increased —including setting up emergency medical facilities, standing up vaccination sites, and supporting struggling small businesses—these governments have faced significant revenue shortfalls as a result of the economic fallout from the crisis. As a result, these governments have endured unprecedented strains, forcing many to make untenable choices between laying off educators, firefighters, and other frontline workers or failing to provide services that communities rely on. Since the beginning of this crisis, state and local governments have cut over 1 million jobs.

The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provide substantial flexibility for each jurisdiction to meet local needs—including support for households, small businesses, impacted industries, essential workers, and the communities hardest-hit by the crisis. Within the categories of eligible uses listed, recipients have broad flexibility to decide how best to use this funding to meet the needs of their communities. In addition to allowing for flexible spending up to the level of their revenue loss, recipients can use funds to:

  • Support public health expenditures, by – among other uses – funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare, mental health and substance misuse treatment and certain public health and safety personnel responding to the crisis;
  • Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including by rehiring public sector workers, providing aid to households facing food, housing or other financial insecurity, offering small business assistance, and extending support for industries hardest hit by the crisis
  • Aid the communities and populations hardest hit by the crisis, supporting an equitable recovery by addressing not only the immediate harms of the pandemic, but its exacerbation of longstanding public health, economic and educational disparities
  • Provide premium pay for essential workers, offering additional support to those who have borne and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service during the pandemic; and,
  • Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, improving access to clean drinking water, supporting vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and expanding access to broadband internet.

Insufficient federal aid and state and local austerity under similar fiscal pressures during the Great Recession and its aftermath undermined and slowed the nation’s broader recovery. The steps the Biden Administration has taken to aid state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments will create jobs and help fuel a strong recovery. And support for communities hardest-hit by this crisis can help undo racial inequities and other disparities that have held too many places back for too long.

For an overview of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program including an expanded use of eligible uses, see the fact sheet released today. For additional details on the state, local, territorial, and Tribal government allocations, see the full list here.

For updates from Treasury Department Relief and Recovery Programs, sign up here.

For more information, visit Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds on Treasury.gov.

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Celebrate the American Jobs Plan

Our friends at the White House are asking for your support next week during the Getting Back On Track tour. First and foremost, they are asking local elected officials to promote the American Jobs Plan. In particular, the plan provides assistance for cities to rebuild infrastructure.

We hope you can spread the word about everything the Biden Administration is doing for Americans, and especially to help our towns and cities Build Back Better.

DMO Actions

  • Publish Op-eds, issue statements, and hold events calling attention to how the American Jobs Plan will benefit your city.
  • Amplify accomplishments from the First 100 Days.
  • Amplify how the American Jobs Plan and American Family Plan will help your residents.
  • Stay on the lookout for daily messaging briefs. As always, tag @NationalDMO so we can share your posts on social media.
    • Monday Theme: Pre-K and community college. If your city has free college programs, or is developing one, let your community know!
    • Wednesday Theme: Small business and restaurant recovery. Tag DMO in a post featuring a reopening business or restaurant, especially one helped by the American Rescue Plan.
    • Thursday Theme: Infrastructure day of action. Please post a social media picture of infrastructure priority or need. The White House wants to see photos of how they can help your city rebuild.

100 Days TOPLINE POINTS:

  • In his first 100 days, President Biden acted to get America back on track by addressing the crises facing this nation: vaccinating America to beat the pandemic, delivering much needed help to American families, making transformative investments to rescue and rebuild our economy, and fundamentally showing that government can deliver for its people.
  • In these 100 days of rescue, repair, and renewal, the nation is healthier, safer, more prosperous, fairer, and more competitive.

Accomplishments (By Day 100)

  1. COVID: We administered over 200m shots in less than 100 days. More than half of U.S. adults have gotten one shot; two-thirds of all seniors fully vaccinated.   Daily deaths are now down 75% since January 20. 
  2. Checks: We delivered 160 million relief checks of $1400/person, with 85% of all Americans receiving one.
  3. Jobs:  President Biden and the Administration created more new jobs in the first 100 days than any President in history, and is the first to create more than 1 million new jobs in that timespan. Additionally, we extended – on a bipartisan basis – the loan program for Small Businesses hard hit by the pandemic and provided relief to 4 million small businesses struggling to keep their doors open. 
  4. Schools: We opened a majority of schools for K-8, as promised.
  5. ARP: We passed the American Rescue Plan (ARP), to fund vaccine deployment and economic rescue payments, which many called “the most significant legislation” in a generation.  Experts say it will cut child poverty in half by next year.
  6. Advanced Racial Equity: ARP will also significantly reduce poverty in communities of color— in the Black community by 38 percent, in the Hispanic community by 43 percent, and in AAPI communities by 23 percent. It contains the largest investment in child care since World War II, which will especially benefit women of color and delivers the largest federal investment in history for Native American programs. Our Administration has built equity into our policies across the board, from ensuring an equitable vaccine distribution to specifically initiating changes to combat housing discrimination, making historic investments in farmers of color, advancing a more equitable transportation system, and working to expand voting access.
  7. Tax Cuts:  We cut taxes for families with children, so that families – starting in July – will get a $3600 tax credit for each child under 18.
  8. Health Care: We cut premiums for those who get health coverage from the Affordable Care Act; four in five now can get plans for $10 / month.  Over 850,000 people signed up for coverage during special enrollment. 
  9. Guns:  We ordered the strongest actions on gun safety in 20 years, including the first ever regulation of so-called ghost guns.
  10. Diversity:  We have the most diverse Cabinet in history, including the first openly LGBTQ cabinet secretary, first Native American cabinet secretary, first woman Treasury Secretary, first African-American Secretary of Defense, first Latino Secretary of Health and Human Services, and first Asian American US Trade Representative.
  11. Afghanistan: President Biden ordered the end of 20-years of US military involvement in Afghanistan.
  12. Climate:  We rejoined the Paris Climate Accords and for the first time ever, the US is hosting a global climate summit for world leaders to make commitments to reduce their emissions
  13. Infrastructure:  We launched the American Jobs Plan, a once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure to make America more competitive, and help create 19 million jobs
  14. Families:  We launched the American Families Plan, which will make PreK universal, provide, paid leave, community college free, and lower the cost of child care.

 American Family Plan Resources

 

Fact Sheet Link: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/04/28/fact-sheet-the-american-families-plan/

Fact Sheet PDF: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/American-Families-Plan-Fact-Sheet-FINAL.pdf

Joint Address How to Watch Page: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/blog/2021/04/27/how-to-watch-the-livestream-of-president-bidens-address-to-the-joint-session-of-congress/

 

TALKING POINTS

 

The American Families Plan Invests in Our Kids, Families, and Economic Future

 

  • Today, President Biden is unveiling the American Families Plan to invest in our kids, our families, and our economic future – because when American families do well, our nation thrives.
  • Right now, too many Americans are struggling to meet basic needs and cover basic expenses. An economy that fails so many of us is not only unfair, it’s unsustainable.
  • The American Families Plan is a once-in-a-generation investment in the foundations of middle-class prosperity: education, health care, and child care.
  • Beyond helping American families meet the needs of today, this plan powers the innovation and growth of tomorrow through an historic expansion in access to quality education and child care.
  • The American Families Plan will make education more affordable and expand opportunity though transformational investments. It will:
    • Invest $9 billion to strengthen teacher pipelines and address shortages, increasing the number of teachers of color and supporting the growth of all teachers.
    • Increase the maximum Pell Grant award by approximately $1,400 and allow DREAMers to access the funding.
    • Lower college cost for low- and middle- income students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Minority Serving Institutions (MCIs).
    • Make two years of community college free for all Americans.
    • Provide universal access to high-quality, free Pre-K for 3- and 4- year-olds.
  • The American Families Plan will provide economic security to families – ensuring everyone has the opportunity to contribute to the economy and care for themselves and their families. It will:
    • Invest $1 billion in maternal health.
    • Expand nutrition assistance, school meal programs, and summer meal programs for children and families.
    • Provide comprehensive paid family and medical leave, allowing workers to take the time they need to care for themselves or loved ones
    • Ensure no one earning under 150% of state median income has to pay more than 7% of their income on high-quality care for children under 5.
  • The American Families Plan will expand tax credits that help workers and families – a powerful tool that can help build economic prosperity. It will:
    • Lower health care costs by making the American Rescue Plan’s health insurance premium reductions permanent, saving families an average of $50 per person per month.
    • Extend the Child Tax Credits increases in the American Rescue Plan for another five years – increasing tax credits for child under 6 from $2,000 to $3,600 and for child over 6 from $2,000 to $3,000
    • Make the Earned Income Tax Credit Expansion for Childless Workers permanent, benefitting 17 million low-wage workers, many of whom are essential and child care workers.
    • Make the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit permanent, providing up to $4,000 to cover expenses related to care for a child under age 13, 
  • The American Families Plan is an ambitious, once-in-a-generation investment to rebuild the middle class and invest in America’s future.
  • Alongside the American Families Plan, President Biden is proposing a tax reform agenda that rewards work – not wealth.
  • The agenda includes reforms to the tax code to ensure that the wealthy will play by the same rules as everyone else. The resulting revenue will pay for the American Families Plan investment in education and childcare, tax relief for American families, and reduction in child poverty.

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DMO Statement on the Conviction of George Floyd’s Killer

DMO Statement on the Conviction of George Floyd’s Killer

“The conviction of George Floyd’s murderer yesterday is the bare minimum, a single step in our ongoing work to create an America where black and brown lives matter. The past four years have laid bare a nation where acts of bigotry, large and small, still shape national policy and plunder the lives of our citizens. Racism manifests not only in opportunities denied, but in a style of policing where officers all too often respond with a finger on the trigger or a knee on the throat.

This is why I am calling for the passage of the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act. Our cities are screaming for accountability, and this bill will bring law enforcement closer in line with our American values.

  • Creation of a national standard for the operation of police departments.
  • Mandate data collection on police encounters.
  • Limit transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement.
  • Eliminate qualified immunity to allow Americans to recover damages when police violate their constitutional rights.
  • Update the standard for use of deadly force from “reasonable” to “necessary”.
  • Ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants.

As local elected officials, we work with and rely on law enforcement, but serve at the behest of our constituents. This bill will guide our police in their duties, uphold standards for accountability, and allow our police departments to regain the trust of their communities. As a nation, as leaders in our cities, it is time to stop sacrificing black and brown lives as we avoid difficult but necessary reform.”

Derek Green
Councilmember At-Large, Philadelphia, PA
DMO National President

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We need more Democratic Municipal Officials to get involved nationally and help us bring about these changes. To learn more about leadership opportunities at DMO, please contact Barbara.Moore@nationaldmo.org.

DMO Resolution in Support of Statehood for Washington, District of Columbia

DMO Resolution in Support of Statehood for Washington, District of Columbia

 

WHEREAS, the District of Columbia is the only political and geographic entity within the United States of America whose citizens bear the responsibilities of citizenship, including taxation and Selective Service registration, without sharing in the full rights and privileges of citizenship through voting representation in Congress.

WHEREAS, at more than 700,000 residents, the population of the District of Columbia is already larger than two states (Vermont and Wyoming) and comparable to that of several others including Alaska and Delaware.

WHEREAS, more than 11,000 D.C. residents currently serve in the United States armed forces, and since World War I more than 200,000 D.C. residents have served our nation in that way; and yet these citizens have no voting voice on the Congressional decisions regarding war and peace.

WHEREAS, the residents of D.C. pay more in federal income taxes than 22 states, but have no voting voice in Congressional deliberations on how their tax dollars are spent.

WHEREAS, the courts and the laws which govern local decisions affecting the residents of D.C. are controlled by Congress, but the citizens of D.C. have no voting voice in Congress.

WHEREAS, the unprecedented violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 dramatized the dangers to the residents of D.C. from having no authority over its own National Guard units in preparing for and responding to extraordinary threats to public safety.

WHEREAS, Washington D.C. is a historically Black city, and if admitted as a state would be the only plurality Black state, raising the appearance that the unique resistance to D.C. statehood is related to our shameful national history of unequal treatment of Black and other Americans of color.

WHEREAS, the elected representatives of the people of Washington D.C. have repeatedly petitioned Congress for admission as the 51st state.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Democratic Municipal Officials supports addressing this injustice of “taxation without representation” for the citizens of Washington D.C. by admitting the District of Columbia as the 51st state of the United States of America.

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that members of Democratic Municipal Officials join in this support through personal advocacy and encouraging their local jurisdictions to adopt resolutions of support for D.C. statehood.

DMO Statement on Bessemer, AL Unionization Efforts

DMO Statement on Bessemer, AL Unionization Efforts

 

Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO) strongly supports the right of all workers to organize and collectively bargain with their employers.  DMO joins other Democratic leaders across the nation in commending Amazon employees in Alabama for working to win union representation there.

“The union representation vote going on now in Bessemer, Alabama, has unusual national significance,” said DMO President Derek Green (Philadelphia, PA City Council Member).  “As we begin to emerge from the COVID pandemic, we find that rapid growth of the home deliveries industry has made it an important new frontier for the protection of workers’ health, safety, and economic security.  The strong organizing work in Bessemer also boosts hope for an improving labor climate in states that have historically not been friendly to workers’ rights.”

The DMO Alabama State Chapter chair confirmed the importance of this effort in his home community.  Bessemer City Council Member Jesse Matthews has been DMO’s “source on the ground” for developments in Alabama.  Workers at the local Amazon regional fulfillment center are voting now until March 29 on whether to approve the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) as their bargaining agent.

“It is important for our community to have workers’ voices heard in dealing with issues like workplace safety and job security.  Union representation and the collective bargaining process help ensure that concerns are addressed in ways that benefit workers, employers, and our community as a whole,” says Council Member Matthews, a key longtime DMO leader.  Council Member Matthews represents Council District 6 in the City of Bessemer, which is also the physical location of the Amazon distribution center there.

“We at DMO will continue to closely follow these historic developments in Bessemer,” said DMO Labor Council Chair Angela Rogensues (Warren, MI City Council Member).  “We wish the organizing workers there great success, and we look forward to supporting the workers and Amazon in reaching a fair and just agreement afterwards.”

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ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND, BESSEMER, AL CITY COUNCIL MEMBER JESSE MATTHEWS:
Council Member Matthews is the President Pro Tem of the Bessemer City Council, a former member of the Board of Directors of the National League of Cities, a member of the Executive Committee of the Alabama League of Municipalities, and a member of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, as well as a past Chair of the Alabama League of Municipalities.  In his professional career, Council Member Matthews is a 36-year member of IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), and is a strong supporter of workers’ rights to organize and collectively bargain.  Council Member Matthews in his role as a local elected official was invited by Amazon local representatives to hear and discuss their perspective and concerns.  He reports a cordial and frank conversation at the meeting.