Monday, August 22, 2016

MEDIA ADVISORY: POLICING STRATEGIES WORKING GROUP TO VISIT DETROIT & HOLD FIRST PRESS CONFERENCE


Washington, D.C. – Several members of the bipartisan Policing Strategies Working Group will be traveling to Detroit, Michigan to meet with local community leaders and law enforcement to discuss police accountability, aggression towards law enforcement, and public safety concerns related to these issues. Members of the working group plan to hold their first photo spray and press conference following their private roundtable with community leaders on Tuesday, August 30, 2016  beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET. Details can be found below.

WHO:              House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)
                        Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.)
                        Representative Doug Collins (R-Ga.)
                        Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas)
                        Representative David Reichert (R-Wa.)
  Representative Cedric Richmond (D-La.)
  Representative Robin Kelly (D-Ill.)
Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)

WHAT:          Photo spray immediately following the conclusion of the bipartisan Policing Strategies Working Group roundtable with community leaders. A press conference will begin shortly after the photo spray.

WHEN:          Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. Photo spray begins at 12:00 p.m. and press conference begins at 12:15 p.m. Media with video equipment can begin setup at noon during the photo spray.

WHERE:       Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse
231 West Lafayette Boulevard
Room 115
Detroit, MI 48226

RSVP:            Members of the media who wish to attend must RSVP with Jessica Collins atJessica.Collins@mail.house.gov and Shadawn Reddick-Smith at Shadawn.Reddick-Smith@mail.house.govby Friday, August 26, 2016. Members of the media who do not RSVP will not be permitted to enter the courthouse and bring media equipment.

Background on the Working Group: In July 2016, Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Ranking Member John Conyers announced the establishment of a working group to examine police accountability, aggression towards law enforcement, and public safety concerns related to these issues. The bipartisan working group is in the process of holding a series of roundtables to candidly discuss the issues fueling excessive force used by law enforcement and attacks against police officers. Read Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers’ op-ed on the working group in The Hill here.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

If Baltimore Police Can Do It To Adults, What About The Kids?

For your viewing pleasure, I have found a clip from The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, providing a whimsical take on the blatant lunacy of the Baltimore Police Department in its operations, even during a federal investigation.

For those who wish to read the actual findings report of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, just scroll down.

Either way, I wish for my audience to keep one thing in mind:  "If a police department operates in this egregious manner in dealing with its residents, what do you think it is doing to its children?

 

"...BPD uses unreasonable force against juveniles. These incidents arise from BPD’s failure to use widely-accepted tactics for communicating and interacting with youth. Instead, officers interacting with youth rely on the same aggressive tactics they use with adults, leading to unnecessary conflict. "
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Thursday, August 18, 2016

DOJ Ends Private Prisons But Not For Kids

This is wonderful.  Private prisons are to be phased out.


Now, what about juvenile residential institutions, juvenile delinquency facilities, ACF homes, foster care homes....?

What about the Religious Freedom Restoration Actors engaging in revenue maximization schemes in the "best interests of the child". who also happen to be tax exempt corporations which are layered with double iron protection from external audit, FOIA, or your basic criminal state investigation?

Privatization of mass, targeted populations to be placed in the "most-restrictive" environments began with child welfare because the chattel industry has never forgotten the child.

Selling chattel is the oldest form of survival.

It is such a shame that we may ultimately transpose this stinky, old blanket to cover our elected officials.

Justice Department says it will end use of private prisons

The Justice Department plans to end its use of private prisons after officials concluded the facilities are both less safe and less effective at providing correctional services than those run by the government.

Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced the decision on Thursday in a memo that instructs officials to either decline to renew the contracts for private prison operators when they expire or “substantially reduce” the contracts’ scope. The goal, Yates wrote, is “reducing — and ultimately ending — our use of privately operated prisons.”

“They simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and as noted in a recent report by the Department’s Office of Inspector General, they do not maintain the same level of safety and security,” Yates wrote.


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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Obama Signs Bill Removing ‘Oriental’ and ‘Negro’ From Federal Laws

Now, only if we could do this to our school textbooks and university curriculae theories because the perjpratove mentality behind these labels are still being taught in our nation's classrooms.

Let's see how long it takes the States to do the same.

Thank you, U.S. Representative Grace Meng.


Congresswoman  Grace Meng
The words “Oriental” and “Negro” will no longer be part of federal law.
President Barack Obama signed a bill Friday eliminating the offensive and outdated descriptors, after the legislation passed unanimously in the House and Senate earlier this month.
Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) sponsored the bill, which aimed to “modernize“ two references to “Orientals” and “Negros” in the U.S. Code that date to the 1970’s. The words will be replaced with “Asian Americans” and “African Americans,” respectively. 
“The term ‘Oriental’ has no place in federal law and at long last this insulting and outdated term will be gone for good,” Meng said in a statement on Friday. 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/oriental-negro-federal-law_us_574332d4e4b0613b512adf37

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An Ode To My Superfans

Behold my #Superfans !

When in the darkest of night, the last flicker of hope begins to fade,
I shall always stand by your side,
With a bucket of fuel to douse the embers,
Creating a massive firestorm,
While whispering, so sweetly in your ears those fateful words,
"I told you, so".

#Time2AuditGod

via GIPHY

Joint FBI-US Attorney Probe Of Clinton Foundation Is Underway

Multiple FBI investigations are underway involving potential corruption charges against the Clinton Foundation, according to a former senior law enforcement official. 
The investigation centers on New York City, where the Clinton Foundation has its main offices, according to the former official who has direct knowledge of the activities.
Prosecutorial support will come from various U.S. Attorneys Offices — a major departure from other centralized FBI investigations.
The New York-based probe is being led by Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Bharara’s prosecutorial aggressiveness has resulted in a large number of convictions of banks, hedge funds and Wall Street insiders.
The official said involvement of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York “would be seen by agents as a positive development as prosecutors there are generally thought to be more aggressive than the career lawyers within the DOJ.”
Bharara’s government biography notes that he, “has applied renewed focus on large-scale, sophisticated financial frauds by creating two new units – the Complex Frauds Unit and the complementary Civil Frauds Unit.
“The Civil Frauds Unit has collected close to $500 million in settlements since its inception, including multi-million dollar settlements with Deutsche Bank and CitiMortgage for faulty lending practices and other fraudulent conduct.”
Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for Bharara, said he would “decline comment.” Similarly, FBI spokeswoman Samantha Shero said, “we do not have a comment on investigative activity.”
Bharara is best known for securing convictions of prominent political figures, including former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Shiver. Silver had a seemingly intractable grip on power in the state for decades. He was convicted of accepting $4 million in exchange for helping a cancer researcher and two real estate developers.
He also secured the conviction of New York Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who was sentenced to five years in prison for corruption.
The former official said the investigation is being coordinated between bureau field offices and FBI managers at headquarters in Washington, D.C. The unusual process would ensure senior FBI supervisors, including Director James Comey, would be kept abreast of case progress and of significant developments.
The reliance on U.S. attorneys would be a significant departure from the centralized manner in which the FBI managed the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server and email addresses.
That investigation was conducted with agents at FBI headquarters, who coordinated with the Department of Justice’s National Security Division (NSD).
The Clinton email probe was considered a “small cell” investigation, with FBI agents and NSD attorneys frequently conferring. Comey short-circuited that investigation in early July by announcing that “no reasonable prosecutor” would try Clinton for the “careless” handling of classified material.
“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” he announced in a July 5 press conference.
Comey, however, wouldn’t answer questions about any ongoing FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundation.
Before a July 7 congressional hearing about his decision not to recommend prosecution of Clinton, Comey told House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, “I’m not going to comment on the existence or nonexistence of other investigations.”
“Was the Clinton Foundation tied into this investigation?” persisted Chaffetz.
“I’m not going to answer that,” Comey replied.
In its 15 years of operations, the Clinton Foundation, formally known as the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, has collected up to $2 billion from donors, according to The Washington Post. The donors include a wide range of the world’s wealthiest people: Eastern European tycoons, Arab Sheiks, African mining magnates, hedge fund billionaires and Wall Street firms.
WaPo reported that the couple brought in $3 billion, if you count all of their campaign contributions. “ The Clintons’ fundraising operation — $3 billion amassed by one couple, working in tandem for more than four decades — has no equal,” they reported as part of a wide-ranging investigation into the source of the couple’s funds.
In a related development, CNN reported Thursday that earlier this year, Justice Department officials in three different field offices “were in agreement a public corruption investigation should be launched” of Clinton Foundation activities.
The probe was sparked by a bank notifying the FBI of “suspicious activity” around a foreign donor to the Clinton Foundation, according to Pamela Brown, CNN’s Justice Department reporter.
The investigation, if launched, would have looked at conflicts of interest between requests by foreign donors and official acts by Hillary. CNN did not identify the bank or the foreign donor.
Brown reported the FBI and Justice Department officials met, and there was “disagreement” whether to launch such an investigation. In the end, the investigation was killed.
A separate investigation was approved involving Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who was a major director to the foundation for most if its existence.

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Judge Kelly Ramsey Is No Longer

It is with the greatest of joy that I announce another accomplishment of my mission...

Former State of Michigan Third Judicial Circuit Court of Wayne County Judge Kelly Ann Ramsey has lost her 2016 Primary election.
Off The Bench Forever,
Kelly Ramsey


I always keep my vows, Kelly.

The Gross Morbidity of Child Abuse Propaganda


On a side note, I just got word today that the glorious Madame Maura Corrigan has slithered away, under a rock, never to be seen or heard again in the world of child welfare or politics.

I guess today should be a celebration, but I shall never celebrate until I have successfully executed my entire mission...

Stay tuned.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

I'm On TV

Due to popular demand, I have been released from the woodshed

Yes, this is correct.  I am going public, slowly yet with grace.

Enjoy.  I will be a regular on the show.



Displaying families and childre promotion flyer.jpg

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The Age Out Drop Out: The Elected Ones and Child Welfare's Secondary Market

Detroit politicians begging child welfare fraud money
The high school dropout rate in Detroit directly coincided with the rate of child poverty in the late 1990s early 2000s.

There were no assistance programs for families in poverty once the Personal Responsibility Work Opportunity Reauthorization Act was put into effect, unless there was CPS intervention as promoted through the Adoption and Safe Families Act.

Times have changed for the better, slowly, for children in Detroit, but what about those who are now adults?

Many fell victim to human trafficking.  Many never received a basic education having
brushed with foster care, juvenile justice or basic survival of poverty.

What about the youth who have aged out of foster care to be, literally, dumped on the streets?

Some fall into the world of human trafficking, some bounce from group home to group home, most never obtain an high school education because foster care was never set up to help this population.

Now comes a wonderfully new initiative!

Yes, that is correct,  "The Elected Ones" have let, yet, another educational privatization scheme swoop in and join with the other private social investment schemes to strip away the last remaining powers of public schools.

This one is a Clinton Global Initiative.

Even though the Clinton Foundation has a stated purpose of being a Presidential library, "The Elected Ones" have open and outstretched hands waiting to be filled with tons of campaign funds and lucrative contracts.

No one will even question the legitimacy of programs because it is privatization and "The Elected Ones" are too busy with photo ops and buying new clothes.

Since "The Elected Ones" are not sophisticated enough to identify fraud, I am, once again, left to do it.

Get ready for me.


Online school gives Detroit adult dropouts diplomas


“That’s what we need to change,” Stefanski said. “That means … 80,000 people that can be in a better employment situation if they had a high school diploma.”
The program, called Detroit Collective Impact-Pathway to Education & Work, is a way for teens and adults to earn career credentials and accredited diplomas and takes a year to 18 months to complete. It was recognized in June by former President Bill Clinton and his Clinton Global Initiative, which brings together business, philanthropic, nonprofit and government leaders to develop solutions encouraging economic growth.
The Detroit Collective Impact also partners with local libraries, job-search agencies and nonprofits to make computer space and time available for students. It kicked off last year with 20 students and has a goal of 1,350 graduates.
Stefanski is the executive director of Strategic Alliances for Cengage Learning, the Boston-based educational content, technology and services company that markets the program’s technology and curriculum. Part of his job is to preach the Detroit program’s benefits to corporations, workforce agencies and others that cover the $1,300 tuition cost for students.


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My 2 Cents: Michigan Reinstatement Of Parental Rights

It seems Michigan is about to introduce in the next Legislative session, another Bill to reinstate parental rights.


Rumor has it Senator Judy Emmons will have the honor.

In 2010, the first reinstatement of parental rights bill was introduced by then Senator Martha Scott.  I spoke with her on the Bill and she had no clue on what it was.  Typical.

But then I was anonymously challenged on the legitimacy of my statement that this was the first reinstatement of parental rights state legislation.

Swiftly responding, I had to clarify by examining specific language of the 2010 Bill.

"(4) THE COURT SHALL TERMINATE THE RIGHTS OF THE MCI AND REINSTATE A PARENT'S PARENTAL RIGHTS..."

This language is omitted from the 2015 Senate Bill.

For those who claim to be so concerned about the "best interests of the child" yet, either knowingly or willingly, have miserably failed to even make a puerile attempt to grasp a rudimentary understanding the legal genesis of child welfare, and child welfare in Michigan, here are my 2 cents:

To begin, there is no legal standard of "fitness".  If a parent is determined to be "unfit" this is when the child is placed under the auspices of the state.  This issue of "fitness"  has previously been addressed in past legislation, devoid of support from the Michigan State Bar.

Then, why is MCI, once again, reinvigorated with its artificial ultra vires powers?  For those who are not familiar with this nefarious organization, deeply ensconced within the muddled quagmire of child welfare law and policy of Michigan, allow me to proudly present to you, the man, the myth, the legend, the legal guardian to more than 10,000 children, held to no legal standard, accountable to no one, ever, the Superintendent of the Michigan Children's Institute, Bill Johnson, with his successor being Bruce Hoffman.

So, how can the legal parent function in an arena with such a conflict of interest to make a recommendation to reinstate parental rights when they were the ones who fought, successfully I might add, under the Cotton rule which means that one must prove the decision to grant approval or withhold the grant of approval for adoption by the MCI Superintendent was "arbitrary and capricious", not that the denial was based upon false, non-factual evidence, or even fraud.  Seriously.

Is this not a conflict of interest considering the fact that this Bill lacks any reference to the termination of the MCI parental rights, first.

Now, I immediately have identified the major flaw of this Bill as it is referred to the Senate Committee on Families, Seniors and Human Services and not Judiciary.  Termination and Reinstatement of parental rights is a judicial determination, one which has traditionally been functioning under the legal doctrine of child welfare, "guilty until proven innocent".

Remember, there are no civil rights in child welfare.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is the only qualified venue to address the legal matters of child welfare.  Reinstatement captures issues within immigration, interstate and due process because parallel jurisprudence does not exist in dependency courts nor do civil rights in the administrative process.

It is only through judicial determination that certain funding streams are opened in child welfare.

This is Michigan's way of addressing its perversive issues with human trafficking.  The majority of individuals who are victims of human trafficking hail from the child welfare system, where the issue has been adopted by the Attorney General, another reason why the proper venue is the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Senate Committee on Families, Seniors and Human Services has historically failed, with breathtaking incompetence, to ever, address the legal deficiencies of child welfare.  Besides, the members, to my knowledge, do not have legal backgrounds and demonstrate inherent conflicts of interests, which, of course, is never publicly disclosed.

But this is the funniest part, how can you have a parent get a Central Registry Clearance when there is a jack-legged administrative review process which takes, possibly, years.  See, if there were civil rights, more intuitively, due process, in child welfare, then the sponsors of this Bill should know that an individual who is denied expungement has the constitutional right to challenge any administrative decision in a traditional court of law.

Will there be training for the judges and attorneys and if so, who is going to pay for it?

Will there be funding for court appointed attorneys representing the parents to appeal decisions if reinstatement of parental rights is not ordered or will it be back to business as usual.

Unfortunately, equal justice under the law costs lots of money.  So where are the funding mechanisms?

Medicaid.  Yes, that is correct and I am quite sure there are those who salivate at the opportunity to expand privatized child welfare services which have no oversight, whatsoever.

Why is it there is a 3 year waiting period before there is a reinstatement review?  That is just draconian and an obvious opportunity to generate cost reimbursements to these privatized organizations to keep the child in care for as long as they can be milked.  This also does not provide incentive for any agency to approve or recommend reinstatement of parental rights.

Maine has a 90 dispositional review period.  Unfortunately, Maine has not done very much implementing the new policies.

Continuing on the money aspect, I propose every child returned to their original source, (as I like to refer) should automatically have advocacy set in place so they are eligible for SSI.  California has a program because 9 times out of 10, parental rights were terminated due to some ill of poverty.

Lastly, as I end another one of my two penny pontifications on Michigan child welfare, I would like to ask a simple question:  What is a parent?  The Bill needs to be much more specific as a "parent" may not be the original guardian of the child prior to removal.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

CONYERS: Lame duck TPP vote could be disastrous for Dems—and America

By John Conyers, Jr.

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
In terms of style and substance, tenor and tone, the two parties’ conventions could not have differed more dramatically.  Whereas the Republican gathering focused on fear and division, the Democratic convention called forth hope and constructive action.   

And yet, almost paradoxically, there was a common message reverberating through the convention halls in Cleveland and Philadelphia: The system is rigged

While the causes and consequences of the public perception are many, there’s one hot-button issue in this campaign that exemplifies what people see as wrong with the system: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Negotiated in secret under the advisement of multinational corporations, the TPP gives handouts to the multinational corporate class at the expense of the middle class.  It pits workers here against those abroad, boosting profits of multinational corporations while our workers see downward pressure on wages. It allows fossil fuel corporations to sue governments in private tribunals to overturn policies that protect our families and our environment.  It gives the pharmaceutical industry monopoly protections while consumers endure skyrocketing prices for medicine.

Despite these concerns, it is an open secret that an overwhelming number of Republicans and a few of their Democratic counterparts are quietly seeking to push TPP through during the lame duck session of Congress. That period after the November elections is when legislators are least accountable.  With a lame duck vote, Members of Congress who lost their November elections would still able to throw their weight behind the extraordinarily unpopular deal. Newly-elected Members would not have a voice.  And reelected legislators would feel free to take a controversial vote that would please their corporate benefactors, confident that voter anger over their decision will subside in the two years before their next election.

In short, a lame duck consideration of the unpopular TPP would be undemocratic, and would wildly exacerbate frustrations about a rigged system.  

As a representative of one of America’s great manufacturing cities and a lifelong advocate for corporate accountability, I believe strongly that the TPP should never be approved.  But even those lawmakers and officials who support the deal should recognize that lame duck consideration of such a highly controversial deal would create a crisis of legitimacy in American politics and actually undermine trust in the system of global commerce they’re trying to support.  Finally, the specter of a lame duck TPP push could also be the campaign gift to Donald Trump that he and his donors couldn’t buy.

Opposing TPP is the right thing to do.  But it is also the politically smart thing to do.  Hillary Clinton is running for President in opposition to TPP—it is time for Democrats to unify and help her provide a clear choice for voters opposed to unfair trade rules.

I’ve known Hillary Clinton personally for four decades, and I appreciate her strong opposition to the TPP “before and after the election.”   The Hillary Clinton that I know has been a dedicated lifelong fighter for causes—including quality healthcare, environmental protection, and full employment—that are antithetical to the TPP.  In voting against the Central American Free Trade Agreement as a Senator, she demonstrated discretion on trade deals. She required Tim Kaine to make a strong statement of opposition to the TPP as a precondition for joining the Democratic ticket. Most importantly, she wants to go even further than stopping new corporate trade deals, promising the United Auto Workers that she would seek to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement as well.

Trump has managed to exploit the trade issue for political gain, as former Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell has warned, and hopes to convince voters that Hillary’s TPP opposition is insincere.  This is despite his utter unwillingness to address the hypocrisy on his side of the aisle and in his own life.  He picked one of the foremost corporate ideologues and TPP cheerleaders as his own vice presidential candidate. He’s entirely failed to address the fact that corporate trade deals rely on the overwhelming support of Congressional Republicans—who, by and large, remain wedding to their Wall Street and Big Oil contributors more than to the public interest. Trump himself, of course, personally outsourced countless jobs overseas with his own companies (and first-hand accounts indicate that he never expressed any concern about denying jobs to American workers). If Donald Trump will not sacrifice a couple dollars to make his ties in America, what makes us think he’ll make sacrifices to block Congressional Republicans on TPP?

Hillary Clinton, by contrast, has shown her strong capability to lead on trade throughout the campaign.  She's gone well beyond words, working with the foremost critics of TPP, including Sen. Sherrod Brown, labor leaders, environmental groups, and other key stakeholders fighting for fairer trade.  Trump has done the exact opposite, and will cede authority to Congressional Republicans who prioritize the pro-corporate trade agenda above all else.

It’s now up to President Obama and the very small number of pro-TPP Democrats in Congress to follow Hillary’s lead.  Allowing the possibility of a lame duck TPP vote to remain on the table wouldn’t just undermine trust in government and validate perceptions of rigged system—it could play into Donald Trump’s small and unsteady hands, with potentially disastrous consequences for the country.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Nominate Debbie Williams For The Michigan Child Welfare Advocate Of The Year

Each year, in Michigan, this little group of sanctimonious arbitrators, armed with their lust of being bestowed community recognition of their self-imposed adjudicative powers of stripping the rights of due process from "the poors"m the Foster Care Review Board has a nomination process.

Foster Care Review Board Program

Child Welfare Awards  

Each year the Foster Care Review Board provides a forum for recognition of the excellent work that is performed by child welfare professionals who work diligently to overcome systemic barriers and go above and beyond policy, court rule, and statutory standards to help ensure the safety, well being, and timely permanency for children and families served by our foster care system.  

TRANSLATION TO REALITY:  Each year the Foster Care Review Board makes no recommendations to the Michigan Attorney General's Office for suspected violations of law and policy, nor does it make recommendations of civil rights violations or fraud within its child welfare system.

The annual awards are presented to those on the “front lines” who have displayed a commitment to excellence and integrity in serving the needs of our states most vulnerable children and families.  One nominee from each of the following categories – jurist (judge or referee), foster care caseworker, lawyer-guardian ad litem (LGAL), foster parent(s), and parent attorney – will be recognized for their exemplary service to abused or neglected children in the Michigan foster care system.  All other nominees will receive a congratulatory letter from the Foster Care Review Board, informing them of their nomination and thanking them for their service.  

TRANSLATION TO REALITY:  The annual awards exclude anyone who has fought on the front lines against the nefarious indolence of administrative buffoons like Steve Yager and Bill Johnson.

Finalists are chosen by a panel of Foster Care Review Board members and award winners are chosen by a panel of child welfare professionals and advocates, including award winners from the past year.  Award recipients are recognized at the FCRB annual training conference in early November. 

So, please, if you know of someone who is doing outstanding work in any of these categories, take the time to submit a nomination. This will not only recognize their efforts, but will help to highlight to the public the important and often excellent work that is performed within our state child welfare system.

TRANSLATION TO REALITY:  In this nomination process, there are, but of course, limited categories, from which to choose.

Let us examine these categories.

Nominations for the Child Welfare Awards are accepted each year from June through mid-September.  Criteria descriptions, deadlines, and forms are available at the links below:


TRANSLATION TO REALITY:  Notice that there is no category for community advocate, family member, or even a foster child.

There is no option to nominate anyone who has made substantial efforts to end fraud, waste and abuse of Medicaid funding and the horrors of privatization.

There is not even an option for a birth parent who has successfully advocated for their own child.

Why, one may ask.  Well, it would be quite an awkward situation to acknowledge the child welfare system has flaws due to the fact the state is still under federal monitoring.

So, it is at this point I ask for everyone who cares about providing equal justice to the poor, or just to give a voice to a child who is in the foster care system screaming, silently, writhing in seering physical and emotional pain, to give recognition to the work of an individual who has dedicated her life to illuminating the injustices of foster care.

Therefore, it is with the greatest of pleasure that I nominate Debbie Williams, for her work with Families and Children's Justice.




Debbie Williams travels the country, building coalitions for the purpose of forcing "the elected ones" to understand that the time has come to open public discussions on how we treat the poor and their children who cannot afford access to justice.








To nominate Debbie Williams for the Michigan Foster Care Review Board Child Welfare Advocate of the Year, please contact:

Kathy Lohr
Administrative Assistant, Foster Care Review Board
313-972-3288

Remember, there are no civil rights in child welfare.  So, when Kathy tells you there is no category to nominate a community child welfare advocate, remember, ask her why, then let me know what she says.

Oh, and make sure you tell Jim Novell that Beverly Tran is still on a mission...

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CONYERS, WATERS, JOHNSON Lead Over 60 House Democrats in Letter Supporting CFPB Arbitration Proposal

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Members Urge Swift Action to Finalize Rule to Restore Consumers’ Rights 

WASHINGTON – 65 House Democrats, led by Reps. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Committee on the Judiciary; Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services; and Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (D-GA), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law, sent a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau expressing strong support for its proposal to limit forced arbitration in consumer contracts.

The rule would ban class-action waivers in forced arbitration agreements for financial products and services, restoring consumers’ right of action when harmed by financial institutions. In the letter to Director Richard Cordray, the Members wrote that the proposed rule “is a critical step to protect the public interest by ensuring that consumers receive redress for systemic unlawful conduct.”

Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Congress directed the CFPB to research the impact of forced arbitration clauses and promulgate a rule that would be in the public interest and for the protection of consumers. The CFPB proposed the rule in May after conducting a three-year, in-depth study on the landscape of consumer arbitrations.

“By restricting class actions and class-wide arbitration in consumer contracts, these clauses enable corporations to avoid public scrutiny by precluding access to the courts,” the letter states. “This is particularly problematic for small, diffuse misconduct that harms innumerous consumers.” The Members encouraged Director Cordray to proceed quickly on the rule “to ensure that consumers have equal protection under the law.”
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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Conyers affirms staying power with convincing win

Dean of the U.S. House of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
Detroit – U.S. Rep. John Conyers on Tuesday survived his closest election in more than 20 years and he did so with ease, defeating Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey by more than 20 percentage points in the 13th congressional district Democratic primary.

Considered the “dean of the House” as the longest continuously serving member, the 87-year-old civil rights icon has faced primary challenges in the past three election cycles, but his strong showings suggest the job may be his as long as he wants it, political experts said Wednesday.

“You’ve got a political class that lusts for that seat, but voters are clearly happy with their representation,” said Democratic political consultant Joe Disano.

Winfrey, a longtime city clerk who won more votes than Mayor Mike Duggan in her successful 2013 re-election bid, was considered a serious challenger before falling to Conyers by double digits.

Conyers defeated the Rev. Horace Sheffield III by more than 50 points in the 2014 primary after a petition signature issue that almost kept him off the ballot. In 2012, he topped his nearest primary competitor, former state Sen. Glenn Anderson of Westland, by 37 points.


The primary challenges are a recent phenomenon. State election records show Conyers went at least 14 years without competition from a fellow Democrat until the past six years.

“The results show that the only one restless for a changing of the guard is somebody who wants the job,” said political consultant Steve Hood, who worked for the Conyers campaign in 2014. “The people aren’t restless. Look at the percentage the guy won by.”

In the general election, Conyers will face Republican Jeff Gorman, whom he defeated by more than 60 points in 2014.

Winfrey argued that Conyers has begun “to diminish” and is no longer serving his constituents well as he once did.

But questions over Conyers’ mental acuity have not hindered his electability, Hood said. The congressman is likely to keep winning elections in Detroit, he said, unless he “really stumbles” and does something “really stupid” because of his age.

“I feel he’s at least as sharp as Paul Ryan is,” Hood said, referencing the Republican speaker of the U.S. House. “He’s definitely sharper than Donald Trump, and on his worst day, he was sharper than Janice Winfrey will ever be,” echoing a criticism he made about Sheffield in 2014.

State. Sen. Bert Johnson, D-Highland Park, who helped run Conyers’ re-election campaign this year and in 2014, said his age and experience – along with his status as the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee – should be considered an asset .

Johnson inadvertently ran against Conyers in 2012, entering the race before Conyers moved into the 13th District after the Republican-led state Legislature redrew Michigan’s political map.

“I got what many would consider an unlucky draw,” Johnson said. “When you’re running against John Conyers, you’re running against the United States of America.”



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