The skanner. (Portland, Or.) 1975-2014, March 29, 2017, Page Page 2, Image 2

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    Page 2 The Skanner March 29, 2017
Challenging People to Shape
a Better Future Now
Bernie Foster
Bobbie Dore Foster
Executive Editor
Jerry Foster
Advertising Manager
Christen McCurdy
News Editor
Patricia Irvin
Graphic Designer
Melanie Sevcenko
Monica J. Foster
Seattle Office Coordinator
Susan Fried
The Skanner Newspaper, es-
tablished in October 1975, is a
weekly publication, published
every Wednesday by IMM Publi-
cations Inc.
415 N. Killingsworth St.
P.O. Box 5455
Portland, OR 97228
Telephone (503) 285-5555
Fax: (503) 285-2900
The Skanner is a member of the
National Newspaper Pub lishers
Association and West Coast Black
Pub lishers Association.
All photos submitted become
the property of The Skanner. We
are not re spon sible for lost or
damaged photos either solicited
or unsolicited.
©2017 The Skanner. All rights re served. Reproduction in
whole or in part without permission prohibited.
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On Anniversary of the VRA, the Fight Continues
Fifty-one years ago, on
March 24, 1966, the United
States Supreme Court struck
down the last poll taxes in
this country. It was a victory
for the American people and
for the case’s lead plaintiff,
Annie A. Harper, an elderly
who could not afford to pay
Virginia’s poll tax to cast her
That spring, it looked like
the United States was on its
way towards a democracy
where all voting-age Ameri-
cans would have access to the
polls. The Supreme Court’s
1966 decision to strike down
the Virginia poll tax knocked
down one of the last pillars
of the Jim Crow era. And just
the year before, in August
of 1965, Congress passed the
Voting Rights Act (VRA), our
nation’s most powerful tool
for protecting the vote.
Now, in 2017, more than 50
years later, the same racial
and economic discrimina-
tion continues to haunt our
elections. Old battles have be-
come new again. As minority
voters and low-income Amer-
icans face new barriers to
participating in our democra-
cy, the anniversary of Harper
v. Virginia Board of Elections
is less of a celebration and
more of a reminder that our
fight for voting rights is far
from over.
Terri A.
Since the Supreme Court
gutted the VRA in its 2013
Shelby v. Holder decision,
states across the country have
enacted a new set of discrim-
inatory voting restrictions:
voter ID laws. After decades
of progress, it is open season
for erecting new barriers to
The price of today’s barri-
ers to voting is just as debili-
tating and restricting as An-
nie Harper’s poll tax.
Consider the cost of today’s
voter ID laws. In my home
state of Alabama, some rural
voters have to drive over an
hour to acquire a state-issued
photo ID, which can often
mean taking time off of work.
There are also rural voters
who don’t have birth certifi-
cates or the verifying docu-
ments necessary for getting
proper identification, and
those documents cost money
More than 50 years after Congress
passed the Voting Rights Act, ra-
cial and economic discrimination
continues to haunt our elections
voting. Voter protections in
states with a history of dis-
crimination have been erased,
and as states implement voter
ID laws limiting access to the
polls, the impact of these pol-
icy changes is eerily familiar.
brought her case to the Su-
preme Court in 1966, her law-
suit asked the Court to rule on
a $1.50 poll tax charged by the
Virginia Board of Elections.
For a low-income senior
like Harper living on a fixed
income, that fee was out of
to acquire. For many voters,
the hidden costs of obtaining
a voter ID create modern bar-
riers to voting.
No democracy should ask
voters to make these sacrific-
es in order to be heard. The
impact is to deprive certain
Americans, often voters from
minority communities and
disabled voters, of a voice in
our democracy. The strength
of our democracy lies in the
ability of all its citizens to
vote. If one person’s vote is
denied, it goes to the very in-
tegrity of our democracy.
In addition to fostering a
more responsive, more di-
verse democracy, the right to
vote and engage in our elec-
tions is a right that runs to the
core of who we are as a coun-
try. It is a right embedded in
our Constitution. For me, the
right to vote is a fundamental
principle of our democracy,
and one we have a sacred ob-
ligation to protect.
That’s why I was outraged
when the Trump Administra-
tion announced recently that
it would drop its support for
a challenge to discriminato-
ry voter ID laws in Texas. For
six years, the federal govern-
ment stood side by side with
plaintiffs against Texas’ voter
ID law because it targets Af-
rican-American and Latino
voters. Federal courts have
consistently ruled that the
law is unconstitutional and
petitioned Texas to fix it, a
decision which the Justice De-
partment’s new position now
puts in jeopardy.
For those of us watching the
attack on voting rights un-
fold, we have a responsibility
to speak up and speak out.
We stand on the shoulders
of giants in the voting rights
movement and we will never
be able to repay the debt.
Read the rest of this commentary at
Mr. President, What If It Was Your Mama?
During the summer before
the election, then-presiden-
tial nominee Donald Trump,
added this message to his
speeches: “You’re living in
poverty; your schools are no
good; you have no jobs; 58
percent of your youth is un-
employed. What the hell do
you have to lose?”
It was an attempt to appeal
to Black voters.
Needless to say, this was an
unusual way of trying to ex-
pand his political base among
a constituency that had not
shown much support for the
GOP in recent years.
President Trump is per-
haps the first political candi-
date to knowingly insult the
very ones to whom he was
appealing for votes. What
also made these appeals to Af-
rican-Americans outside of
the norm, and even bizarre,
is that they were often made
before predominantly, White
After reviewing the presi-
dent’s first budget proposal,
titled “America First: A Bud-
get Blueprint to Make Amer-
ica Great Again,” his question
of “What the hell do you have
to lose?” can now be more
broadly posed beyond Afri-
can-Americans. Based on his
fiscal priorities, many Amer-
icans, including a significant
Austin R.
number of those who voted
for him, stand to lose a great
Unfortunately for some,
Hell might seem like a better
alternative than trying to sur-
Therefore, pain and hard-
ship will be felt if Congress
enacts the cuts.
Meals on Wheels delivers
food to individuals at home
who are unable to purchase
or prepare their own meals.
The name is often used ge-
nerically to refer to home-de-
livered meal programs, not all
of which are actually named
“Meals on Wheels.”
Research has shown that
home-delivered meal pro-
the states and say, ‘Look we
want to give you money for
programs that don’t work.’”
Try telling someone, who
is no longer experiencing
hunger pains due to Meals
on Wheels, that the program
does not work.
President Trump is blessed
to have never gone hungry a
day in his life.
However, I wish that he
would visit with 56-year-old
Linda Preast in Macon, Geor-
During a recent inter-
view on “CBS Evening
News,” Ms. Preast was
asked if she was sur-
prised by the spending
cuts to Meals on Wheels
being proposed by the
president.  She replied,
“Yeah, because I was told—I
was under the [impression]
that he was going to help us.”
The reporter then asked,
“What would you tell him
to convince him not to cut
the program?” Ms. Preast re-
sponded, “What if it was your
Ms. Preast, who is White,
poor and confined to a wheel-
chair due to a stroke, signed
up for Meals on Wheels two
years ago.
Based on President Trump’s fiscal pri-
orities, many Americans, including a
significant number of those who vot-
ed for him, stand to lose a great deal
vive under some of the presi-
dent’s proposed cuts.
Take, for example, the
“Meals on Wheels” Program.
The president’s budget iden-
tified steep cuts in numerous
domestic programs.
It calls for the elimination
of a key program that Meals
on Wheels groups depend on:
a $3 billion program—com-
munity development block
grants (CDBG)—that began
under the Ford administra-
tion to combat poverty by giv-
ing states and cities greater
flexibility in how to combat
grams significantly improve
diet quality, increase nutrient
intakes and improve the qual-
ity of life among recipients.
The program also reduces
government expenditures by
reducing the need of recipi-
ents to use hospitals, nursing
homes or other expensive
community-based services.
Mick Mulvaney, the new
director of the Office of Man-
agement and Budget recently
stated, “We can’t spend mon-
ey on programs just because
they sound good…to take the
federal money and give it to
Read the rest of this commentary at