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No more business as usual. We have arrived at our Day Of Reckoning. We must ask ourselves tough questions and confront answers even when seemingly unpalatable. Can the Democratic Party still deliver? Is the alternative a tryst with the Republicans? Is it time for a “poor� peoples’ party – an effective “third force,� as Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan called for at the recent Millions More Movement gathering?

Our preference is for a third force to break the ugly monopoly currently exerted by the Democrats and Republicans—both parties take the Black electorate for granted and pervert the meaning of the word “democracy.�

Today’s question at hand is the mayoral contest between incumbent Michael Bloomberg and candidate Fernando Ferrer. Our choice is Bloomberg, who, while officially a Republican seems not to be an establishment Republican.

We would not endorse him if it meant voting under the Republican “line.� But there is an option and we urge readers to seize that opportunity—vote for Bloomberg on line “C.�

Much of the success Bloomberg enjoyed, relative to his racist predecessor Rudolph Giuliani, was because he was a political novice and didn’t know which sacred cows were untouchables. He plunged into the politics of Public Schools and gained direct mayoral control.  Social promotion in the lower grades ended, meaning teaches must now be compelled to actually educate students and prepare them to learn to read, to write, to compute and to take exams. Dropout rates remain intolerably high as does overcrowding in the schools.

The mayor, again unlike his racist predecessor, improved discourse between his office and New York’s Black populace, including with prominent Black political and religious leader. The tone he set helped improve relations between African Americans and the NY Police Department, under the respected Ray Kelley. Crime rate has dropped by over 20%; the reductions began under former mayor David Dinkins, who has yet to receive full credit. Bloomberg has involved Dinkins in many high publicity events, according him the respect he deserves and never received from belligerent Giuliani.

Unemployment rates among African Americans are unacceptably high; well over 10% and more than 50% in certain African American male age groups. The mayor attempted to bring the Olympics to New York City and to build a stadium on the West Side of Manhattan, projects which weren’t successful, but would have meant jobs. The mayor backs the Forrest City Ratner Atlantic Navy Yard development, whose developer has guaranteed substantial number of jobs for African Americans, and committed to building affordable housing. Candidate Ferrer opposed both the Olympics/West Side stadium projects and Atlantic Navy yard. At a time of such levels of unemployment, that’s like removing food from people’s tables.

Many challenges remain, compounded by the looming estimated $4.5 billion deficit in 2006. Hospitals deliver sub-standard healthcare to African Americans; neighborhoods such as Harlem are becoming priced out to its long-time historical African American residents, in the name of “gentrification.� Poverty increases while the rich become wealthier. Without a Marshall Plan-type jobs creation and skills training operation, poverty will lead to resurgence in crime rates.

Ferrer performed as best he could, given the fact that he was abandoned by the Democratic Party. Party Bigs, including Howard Dean, delivered lip service. They offered no money to enable Ferrer to remotely contest with Bloomberg’s multi-million dollar advertisement blitz. The big lesson?

The Democratic Party establishment – like the Republican establishment – take Latinos and African Americans for granted. It’s time for a Third Force.


Across the river in New Jersey, we endorse Jon Corzine for Governor.

He stands a better chance to help New Jersey shed its image of a perennially corrupt state than does his opponent Doug Forrester, whose own company remains under a cloud of controversy. Corzine would resist Bush Administration policies harmful to New Jersey such as the slashing of community development block grants for the state and Medicaid funding. Corzine also has a proposal to decrease the cost of prescription drugs for seniors. Unlike Forrester whose tax cuts would benefit wealthy New Jersey residents earning more than $200,000 Corzine’s targeted property tax relief will benefit seniors, renters and working families. The senator has backed gun control measures in Washington, including calling for the banning of .50 caliber assault rifles, while his opponent has stood against enacting the New Jersey assault weapons ban. We urge our New Jersey readers to vote for Corzine.

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