Senator Harry Reid

Senator Kennedy and the Ongoing Battle for Social Justice

As our nation and world mourn the loss of Senator Kennedy, I'd like to honor this true American hero's contribution to the fight for social justice issues. Many of today's articles discuss the late Senator's commitment to reforming health care, and rightly so. But we must not overlook the fact that the Lion of the Senate did not limit himself only to this cause. He dedicated his public service career to the fight against all moral and social injustices. Here is one example of his work to reform our broken immigration system--an issue that touches the very core of who we are as a nation.

In the speech that follows, Senator Kennedy reminds us that, as Americans, we are fundamentally a nation of immigrants:

We cannot turn our backs on our heritage as immigrants. Not today, not yesterday, not tomorrow. They are our past, they are our present, they are our future.



Economic Stimulus? - Reid and Byrd Unveil Economic Plan

Here's the proposed Economic Recovery Package. The overall intent to "not forget Main Street" and "create good-paying American jobs" is a noble one, I question whether this package achieves such a goal. There is a great deal of progress in the area of Energy, allocating funding for key energy initiatives of which NDN has been an advocate (see NDN's Green Project blog). However, there is no mention of International Trade or initiatives to export new technology; the section on job creation mentions infrastructure, which is an important step forward, but no mention of how to use globalization to create more high skilled, better paying jobs. I would ask why the section designed to help small businesses - by all accounts the "job creators and drivers of the economy" - only allots $275 million for microfinance and other assistance to "Main Street," while it provides $776 million for border facility construction and "other homeland security infrastructure." I hope our taxpayer dollars don't continue to go towards a border fence that has not worked instead of small and medium-sized businesses that sustain our communities. The stimulus includes $466 million for DHS to begin construction of a consolidated headquarters in Washington, D.C., as "DHS has a critical need for a permanent, unified headquarters" - maybe having everyone under one roof will help reduce the backlog in naturalization and immigration applications! THAT must have been the hold-up all this time. While the $466 million are being allocated for offices, only $100 million is going to help communities along the southwest border fight the illegal flow of guns and drugs between the U.S. and Mexico that is fueling violence along the border. Call me crazy, but I think the offices can wait in line behind the safety of border patrol and citizens on both sides of the border. The conflict on the border similarly contributes to the economic downturn in that the violence has effectively killed business and tourism that previously made border cities job creators and places that flourished with commerce and (legal) economic activity.

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