What do you do when your progressive vision loses its spotlight from the White House? - From BuzzFeed
Closing the jail became a focus in the wake of multiple groundbreaking news stories examining its conditions — and why people are there in the first place — and a concerted, ongoing grassroots opposition.
It was the kind of hyper-local-but-illustrative trip that, a year ago, might have accompanied a White House tie-in — the musician once was routinely included in White House events during the Obama presidency — or, alternatively, have been meant to put some pressure on the White House.
He spoke on a Close Rikers panel with Martin on May 8 at the New School in Manhattan, joining Martin, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and others to discuss where things stood on their effort, what would happen next, and what those in the audience — mainly younger activists — could do to make it happen.
Mark-Viverito — a liberal politician in a city where Trump got less than 20% of the vote — revels in the idea of fighting Trump: “We can’t give in on that narrative and succumb to it.” But, in practice, she pointed to the value of local efforts saying, “That’s why I believe the Close Rikers campaign is so important, and getting it done quicker [than the 10-year plan proposed currently] is even more important.” The next morning, from a suite in the Mandarin Oriental hotel overlooking Central Park, Legend spoke on the phone to Louisiana Gov.
Teaming up with lawyers in Mississippi, they filed a signifiant lawsuit against Madison County — a small county of about 100,000 people — alleging that the sheriff’s department there is engaged in a decades-old practice of unconstitutional policing aimed at making life more difficult for the 40% of the county that is black.