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Wednesday News: Trump Surprised (WTF?) as N. Korea Threatens Summit Over Nuke Demands; “Women sweep to victory in House primaries”; Saslaw Threatens “Nuclear Option” Over Budget, Medicaid

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, May 16.

  • Henry Howell

    Lowell’s commentary speaks volumes. He is a master of irony and sarcasm. Let’s hope HBO doesn’t steal him away for Bill Mauer.

    • Ha, or maybe Bill Maher? LOL

  • Fairfax County NAACP President Kofi Annan’s Public Comment for May 15th, 2018 Board of Supervisors Meeting

    Chairman Bulova, Board of Supervisors, County Executive Hill,

    Most Fairfax County parents would be surprised to learn that there are currently no limitations on what the School Resource Officer can get involved with; and that the majority of the arrests SROs make have absolutely nothing to do with safety. Instead, most of the arrests needlessly perpetuate the school to prison pipeline for minor infractions that should be handled within the school system.

    Most parents would assume that there are checks and balances in place to protect our kids from abuses of authority. But the Memorandum of Understanding between the police and schools allows officers to operate as both administrators and as officers whenever they chose. This strips the students of rights they would otherwise have outside of the school, such as the right to not self-incriminate or the right to refuse a search.

    I spoke to a group of fifth graders last week, and even they were shocked to learn that the SRO was allowed to “monitor cultural and social influences”. With that kind of language written into the policy it’s no wonder that black and latino kids are disproportionately subject to arrest.

    We might even assume that parents reserve the right to know what the SRO is doing; or intervene on their kids’ behalf if suspected of a crime. But the policy gives parents no such rights.

    The MoUis a blank check for the police to do whatever they want, and far too many of our kids are paying dearly for this lack of transparency and accountability.

    We’re cautiously optimistic that the policy is currently being amended, but based on conversations with some county leaders over the past few months, we’re highly suspicious that the changes will be superficial and only serve to allow the police to continue the same practices. So I’m taking this opportunity to reiterate our demands:

    1. Narrow SRO scope of responsibility to only intervene in potentially life-threatening situations or serious drug offences.
    2. Prohibit SROs from flip-flopping between administrators and law enforcement officers.
    3. End racial profiling and ‘stop and frisk’ policies
    4. Empower parents to intervene on their children’s behalf.

    On the topic of transparency, it’s troubling that the NAACP was not invited to be a partner in revising the MoU. Even more troubling is that this appears to be part of a recent pattern as we were also disinvited from reviewing the request for proposal to solicit outside bids to examine the disparity in police treatment of African Americans – even though we were driving force for the study in the first place. It’s nothing short of appalling that I would have to find out through back channels today that the RFP was published on April 25th and set to close in three days. Where’s the collaboration and transparency that was promised?

    The poor manner in which this was handled only serves to reinforce our suspicion that the county is not genuinely interested in partnering with the NAACP to understand and ultimately fix this shameful disparity.

    We not only deserve a seat at the table on both of these issues, but deserve to be equal partners in an open collaborative process.

  • Audio: Sen. Minority Leader Dick Saslaw on how best to get Medicaid expansion, a budget, despite Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment’s obstinacy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMdkTPW1O4c

  • Video: Joshua Cole Endorses Edwin Santana for Congress in VA-01

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJjyS_MkujM