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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Harlem Platform Results

H4O readers--it's been quite a while since we've posted anything, but we've got some strong content coming around the corner. Our delegates Mike and Michelle are now fully on board and will be putting up more posts about their delegate experiences leading up to the convention. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, we've got a report ready on the takeaways from our Platform meeting held back on July 26th. Hat tip to our delegates and Chet(Whye) for the write-up/delivery. Here's the scoop:



H4O DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM MEETING
Collection of Community Ideas for Consideration and Input
The following bullet points represent the overall collection of observations, ideas and solutions from the various groups and individuals in attendance by open invitation of Harlem 4 Obama.
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Housing is a Human Right
Presented by Robert Robinson

United Nations Covenant I.C.E.S.C

Gentrification-Displacement-Homelessness-Criminalization

Public Housing
-Stop demolition; one for one replacement
-Stop forced labor of residents as requirement for apartments (QHWRA act 1998)
-Stop deliberate neglect; federalize P.H.A, stop privatization
Affordability
-Redefine AMI by zip code; gentrification for the rich causes homelessness
-Protect tenants not just owners
-Protection from eminent domain
-Oversight of faith based "developers"
-Plan to end homelessness
Development
-Land marking communities
-Public/Private access to waterfronts

Solutions
-30% cap on rent
-Obama to communicate with local officials in NY
-More funding/improve Sec 8, Mitchell Lama, small commercial business
-Stolen land
-League of Cities 14 points
-Appropriate adequate safe housing
-National Housing Trust Fund
-Voucher Reform



Political Conduct
Presented by Chet Whye


I. The system is broken
a. We must make the process transparent/accountable
b. We must make the process user-friendly
c. Funding- we must adapt Obama's financial model locally

II. Entitlement must end
a. Politicians decide on the whos, the whats, the wheres and the hows, they've become celebrities
b. We must
i. Run viable candidates
ii. Have regular town hall meetings
iii. Coordinate the community to call them on the carpet
iv. Be on the calendar
v. Lobby

III. Citizenship: Accountability/Access
a. People must become aware and educated on the importance of politics
b. We must hold the media accountable and use the media as a tool to hold politicians accountable
c. Only by fixing the civic/political process will people be able to move on their interests

HOW CAN I BE THE ANSWER?


Education: Revitalize
Presented by Charles Norwood

1. Education Reform
a. Reform NCLB by funding it
i. Project oriented learning (magnet, charters, portfolio evaluation) apprenticeship; life skills
ii. Peer Monitoring; improve social environment
iii. Infrastructure investments (buildings/resources)
iv. Recruit, retain, reward teachers
v. Outreach and mentoring programs

2. Addressing Dropout Rates
a. GED funding
b. Catch student tracking at middle school - high school
c. Lift HS age cap

3. Improve teacher quality
a. Continuing education for experienced teachers
b. Paid-time planning for teachers
c. Teaching teams (collaboration)

4. Education Access
a. Improve school quality, knowledge of grants, scholarships, other information, college exposure grants
b. Study exchange (abroad)
c. Integrated technology access



Economy
Presented by Erika Strand


Platform should be all-inclusive and address all groups outside of middle class

1. Employment: Create jobs so anyone who wants one can work
a. Link to needed social services and infrastructure (child care & elder care)
b. Incentives to businesses (empowerment zone)
i. New businesses (short/medium term rental subsidy or other start up credit) *possible to fold into local micro lending to support businesses conditional on local residence of owner, employees & specific community supportive hiring policies*

2. Wages: Realistic calculation of minimum wage (inflation adjusted)
3. Taxes: Less emphasis on tax-cuts, more on wages & employment (should only be short-term)
4. Protection for small businesses


Health Care -Health Care is a Human Right
Presented by Violet Moss & Laurie Wen


1. Publicly financed national health care system
a. Equitable reimbursement rates
b. Taxpayer financed system
c. Pharmaceutical access (more generics)
d. Research

2. Incentives to providers
a. Scholarships & loan forgiveness to practice in under served areas
b. Funding for nursing school scholarship

3. Medical Mal Practice Reform "Insurance company reinvestment"
a. Tax
b. Pool
c. Redirecting profits

4. Integrated Care
a. Prevention/education/access to treatment
b. Community based
c. Mental health integrated in health care delivery
d. Alternative health care

Strategies for achieving goals
-Sustained advocacy
-Hold government accountable
-Report card (first KO days, periodically)
-Coalition building
-Lobbying

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