Diversity in NYC? Here's how I'll do it.

You might know my day job is in the technology industry.

It’s predominately white.

It’s predominately male.

This is not the world I envision!

Yesterday, news broke that the technology giant Google fired an employee for writing a scathing 10-page memo undermining women in the already chauvinistic sector.

“Diversity” has been the industry buzzword for decades—you just wouldn’t know it by walking through the halls of many technology companies.

You may also have heard New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been on a mission to lure more technology companies to grow the city’s version of Silicon Valley: Silicon Alley.

But sheer economic growth is not good enough for me.

And it’s not good enough for millions of people who need good paying jobs and a great work environment.

That’s why I promise this: When I’m Public Advocate, I’ll help write anti-discrimination laws and demand that technology companies that want to move to the Big Apple meet these criteria:

  1. They value workplace democracy by allowing workers to unionize
  2. They provide paid internships to people from underserved New York City neighborhoods, and
  3. They actively pursue age/gender/race/sexual orientation diversity—and it shows

 

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De Blasio recently announced a diversity requirement for arts organizations.

Don’t you wonder why that isn’t extended to every sector?

This is why I’m running. Won’t you join me?

In solidarity,
James Lane

P.S. Give our campaign for a truly inclusive and equitable New York City a boost by contributing today!

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Another police murder

The recent murder of Dwayne Jeune enrages me.

New York City police shot the Brooklyn resident who reputedly suffered from mental illness because he allegedly wielded a knife.

They shot him five times.

Let me repeat: They shot him five times.

The media are playing their part, justifying state violence. Check out the Daily News’ headline: “DERANGED knife-wielding man fatally shot by NYPD cops in Brooklyn”

Something could have been done to de-escalate the situation, right?

The fact is police kill a black person every 28 hours, according to the Malcolm X Grassroots Committee.

The powers that be are waging war against people who look like me.

That’s why I'm running for New York City Public Advocate this year.

These murders, along with the revelations of vote tampering, increasing rent and decreasing pay, plus rising homelessness, just proves New York City needs the Green Party now more than ever.

That’s why I’m reaching out to you. Please support my grassroots bid for office by making a contribution or sign up to volunteer.

This is the moment to build the Green Party as a force the corporate parties must reckon with.

Thank you for your support!

Warm regards,
James Lane

P.S. If you want to see a friend in office who will stand up when Black and Brown folks are killed, throw $25 into my hat today!

P.P.S. Contributions made by NYC residents are multiplied by 6 (six) because of the matching funds program. That means $25 will turn into $150! Contribute today!


New Greens for Radical Transformation


I can't tell you what it was like standing on stage with Persephone SJ Smith (Green Party candidate for City Council District 37) and Frank Francois (Green Party City Council candidate for District 27), together representing the Green Party at the Union Square Mayday event. We stood as strong passionate black activists taking on THE system, THE system that perpetuates slavery and violence against black and brown bodies. As Persephone stated, “We deserve better. We deserve more.” Frank aptly summed up the main issue facing us as “corrupt corporate Democrats and Republicans,” who ensure that “the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer,” and urged us to “keep fighting, keep marching.” I added something that has become almost a mantra for me these days, “Join the party.” I mean that both figuratively (out of your homes and into the streets and out of the streets into the voting booths) and literally (running for office). Our current elected officials “DO NOT represent us, DO NOT look like us, DO NOT talk like us, and definitely DO NOT know what we go through every day.”

Change doesn't come easy. Many of what we consider core workers' rights, like the 8-hour work day, the 40-hour work week, and a livable minimum wage, cost lives, activists' lives. That's not something the people in power want us to remember. With the inception of Labor Day, they have tried to co-opt the legacy of the labor movement and separate labor from activism (and the lives lost to the state in fighting for basic workers' rights) in much the same way as they have tried to co-opt Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and separate his civil rights work from his fight to end the Vietnam War and to end poverty. Why? To put it simply, so that corporations can continue to exploit workers. Corporations shamelessly seek out “welfare” while people work two and three jobs trying to avoid it because the stigma is so heavy for them. Who are we as a country that we prioritize the life and health of corporations above, way above, that of human beings? We need to take a page out of the book of our racist, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic oppressors … our corporate overlords: co-opt, tear down, and rebuild. Run for office en masse, repeal toothless, worthless legislation, and replace that with legislation that will effect REAL change, not to better the lot of corporations and their government enablers, but that of everyone else. Because, as Persephone shouted so passionately, “We deserve better. We deserve more.”

That better, that more, is what Frank, Persephone, and I will go to the mat fighting for.

 



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