cassandra_m's Latest Posts
Today, at a press conference that the public heard about maybe an hour and a half before it occurred, the Mayor and Chief Cummings announced ONE MORE Crime plan for Wilmington. It seems that not many people know what is in this plan (even City Councilpeople Sherry Dorsey and Hanifa Shabazz who endorsed it all without seeing it), and although there was some rumor that the plan would be available to the public shortly after the press conference, this plan is not on the City’s website where the public can take a look or was it provided to the Governor or the WPSSC as a courtesy. So we have a press conference that was designed to exclude as many Wilmingtonians as possible, continuing the contempt this Mayor has for the citizens of Wilmington. But here is the gist of what is supposed to be on deck:
I’ve probably undercounted the Gay Agenda wins. Still. Mr. Fink has resigned his position on the Indian River school board, surrendering to the vastly superior ground and air forces of the Gay Agenda. No word yet when the Gay Agenda will actually control the Board:
Shaun Fink, an Indian River School District school board member who spent much of the school year debating against the merits of teaching homosexual terms in the district’s middle and high school classrooms, has resigned.
“I’ve decided to resign because of acquiescence to the homosexual agenda within the district,” he said.
Finally, someone starts talking some sense about Delaware’s tax rates. Seriously, it makes no sense to raise the taxes of the people who did not gain much during the recovery (the plan to eliminate deductions) — taxes should be raised on the folks who did get the money:
Delaware’s personal income tax is the largest source of state revenue, generating $1.2 billion this year – enough to fund almost 32 percent of total state government operations.
Delaware’s top income tax rate of 6.6 percent is charged on incomes $60,000 and above.
Some lawmakers now say adding a tax bracket for wealthier Delawareans could help solve the state’s budget problems, while more fairly spreading the state’s income tax burden.
It is pretty normal to go to any Wilmington civic meeting and have at least part of that meeting focused on a discussion of improving educational opportunities for kids in the city. This is a good thing, because it is pretty clear that residents know that education is important for this kids; they know that the city is full of kids who need some additional help here and they know that it will be easier for the city to stabilize if it has great schools available to all of its kids. City Leadership from both the Administration and the City Council enthusiastically join in these discussions, carving out their own place in the Amen Corner here and showing themselves as on the same page with what their constituents want. It is a bad thing because none of these meetings is a school board meeting and I have never witnessed one of these discussions where any government official: 1) explained that the City of Wilmington has no authority over the schools in the city; 2) encouraged people to actually take all of this energy to a school board meeting where something could be done to address those concerns or 3) encouraged people to get out to vote in a school district referendum.
That’s a paraphrase of what Wilmington’s Public Safety Liaison, Mr. Douglas Iardella, told one of the attendees of tonite’s Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission. This, unfortunately, is the only thing that can explain the Administration’s continued and obvious delay in talking about implementing the recommendations of the Commission’s report. Tonight’s meeting was expected to feature Chief Bobby Cummings discussing the report’s recommendations that the WPD would implement and discuss the path forward. Many community members came out (again) to be a part of the discussion and several of Wilmington’s GA delegation came as well.
The Tuesday Town Hall meeting had a couple of handouts, apparently. I only got one that didn’t make much sense, but there was a packet that I missed that had some additional data not on my handout, ostensibly showing the percent decrease in Class A crimes in the city. One of folks attending this meeting was Clayton Stacey, a Cool Springs resident who was brutalized in a robbery about a month ago. Mr. Stacey got one of these other handouts and he took a good look at the stats presented. And then he checked the math:
The Wilmington City Council passed the budget for the next fiscal year — 7-6. Other than the 600K that Bud Freel made sure got added to deal with cameras and to be sure that the WPD could run an Academy if needed, this City Council passed a budget utterly free of any opportunity for asking for better accountability from the Williams Administration and utterly free from dealing with the big issues the city has: improved safety, accountability for programs and departments and a better reckoning of a projected surplus — $2M surplus even though this fiscal year will end with a $500K deficit.
Yesterday, Mayor Williams had his last Town Hall. I’ll say more about that in another post. But he said to WDEL yesterday:
Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams is making it clear he’s not a huge fan of the Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission.
“What’s the big deal about this crime commission?” Williams posed on WDEL’s Delaware’s Morning News.
“Everybody that put a few dollars up, talked about this crime commission being so great,” Williams said. “Where were these people when I asked them to support Wilmington many years ago?”
But when the Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission was authorized by the Governor, this is what he had to say:
“Since taking office in 2013, I have recognized the value and necessity of State assistance in fighting violent crime,” Williams said in a written statement. “I have consistently lobbied for Governor Markell and the State’s support in tackling the violent crime in Wilmington. I would like to thank the Governor and City Delegation for their steadfast support and commitment, as we work collectively on the issue of eradicating the crime and violence in our city.”
This one is tomorrow, Tuesday May 19th at P.S. duPont. Please come out to ask the Mayor about the status of implementing the Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission recommendations (some of these recommendations are largely in line with President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing report. Or just ask him about the political agendas that are somehow more proactive about the safety of Wilmingtonians than his own plan is. Handcuffs are optional for this event, but if you got ‘em, wear ‘em!
So you’ve heard me talk about the successes that Camden has had in bending the curve of their crime and violence issues — and today, President Obama travels to Camden to recommend the Camden Community Policing approach as a national model. This accompanies the release of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing report today:
The report endorsed Thomson’s view that “community policing cannot be a program, unit, strategy or tactic. It must be the core principle that lies at the foundation of a police department’s culture.
“The only way to significantly reduce fear, crime and disorder, and then sustain these gains is to leverage the greatest force multiplier: the people of the community,” Thomson testified.
It isn’t news that cities like Camden, NJ and Philadelphia, PA are reducing their violent crime statistics. I’ve been posting that news along with most of the posts I write here about the current situation in Wilmington. What these cities have done includes re-orienting themselves to data and intelligence-driven forces, able to address crime hot spots and get out in front of crime — rather than simply wait for a phone call to respond to. Heck, even the SEPTA has moved to a data-driven policing model and is clearly bending the curve on their own crime problem.
So what’s wrong with Wilmington?
Populism. That’s the word and that’s the word in the title of a piece that appeared in The Atlantic this week authored by Governor Jack Markell, called, Americans Need Jobs, Not Populism. In fairness, he may not have provided the title to this thing. But it is less an argument against populism than it is an argument for working class and middle class people to sit down and shut up about the very real squeeze we find ourselves in. It is an argument for his own political philosophy — privileging businesses over the people who are the consumers for these businesses — a philosophy that certainly wasn’t on display (IMO) when he first campaigned for Governor. In this, the Governor wants you to know that it is globalization that is the root of today’s economic issues. Which couldn’t be more wrong.
More Americans are comfortable voting for a gay person for President than an evangelical Christian. Think about that for just a minute. Seems like *somebody* took back the mantle of the Moral Majority, right? And if I’m Reince Priebus, I’m seriously worried. Because there’s a clear light at the end of the tunnel for the angry old white people strategy.
Seriously, stop the high school hallway belligerence and just fix Wilmington’s cameras.
Today, Mayor Dennis Williams and Councilman Mike Brown decided to have an argument via WDEL about the amount of money spent on the city’s cameras currently monitored (in theory) by Downtown Visions. The Mayor says that Councilman’s Brown’s figure on the amount of money spent on the cameras is wrong and Brown provides some detail showing that the number he gave was rounded, but not far off from right. Both of them highlight a few of the City’s key problems in dealing with its safety issues:
This petition at the site change.org is addressed to the Governor, AG Matt Denn, Mayor Dennis Williams and Chief Bobby Cummings to ask them to implement the Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission report and 9 other actions to help to address and reduce the violence in Wilmington. Please take a few minutes to read this over and sign it, if you can. Also forward this on to your friends and share via your FB pages or Twitter to help spread the word. Thanks!
Pope Francis is set to release his first Papal Encyclical and it will be on climate change. The Pope is recognizing that climate change is real, it is caused by humans and it needs to be addressed now. Conservatives are losing their minds — this Pope has immense moral credibility — and the Heartland Institute is so upset that they are trying to get a meeting with the Pope to make him an offer he can’t refuse, presumably. Seriously, the hubris of these people to think that a man with the world’s greatest minds at his fingertips could find the Heartland Institute’s propaganda compelling. This Pope is not a clueless American conservative.
And what the heck is going on in Rehoboth Beach? Dogfish Head Brewing and Eats has plans to revitalize their space and the zoning board in Rehoboth turned down their variance. Because they would invite too many people to that part of downtown Rehoboth, even though the plans call for fewer restaurant seats than they have now. And one of the Zoning Board members invited Dogfish Head to move to another town. That’s some economic development plan, right there.
According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center, about two-thirds of Americans know that innocent people can be killed via death penalty sentences, yet still support the death penalty: The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Mar. 25-29 among 1,500 adults, finds widespread doubts about how the death penalty is […]
It is fascinating to watch and of course Mark Halperin would be at the tip of the spear of this bullshit. According to him and his interlocutor here, Hillary Clinton is “terrified of the left”. Setting up this narrative of Clinton vs “The Left” is all about demonizing “The Left” and its ideas in a way that Halperin would never do for the Tea Party — who are demonstrably dangerous. Which might be why he feels that he can do this — there’s no downside to him for taking sides against “The Left”. He won’t be the only one, of course, but this is the first I’ve seen of this narrative in the wild this cycle.
Delaware State News reports today that there is a plan percolating in the GA to *add* three more casinos to the mix as a way to address the state’s declining revenues from the current three. Read that again — 3 casinos that are suffering from a declining market share will have 3 more casinos in state to steal their market share PLUS lose their share of out-of-state players.
From the Press Release:
Dover, DE – Recognizing the obvious void felt following the departure of former Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn who was recently sworn in as Attorney General, and his anxiety about a possible Jeff Bullock term as Governor, Governor Markell announced today he would be holding open auditions to fill the Lt. Governor vacancy. Candidates must be Delaware natives, have a 5th grade reading level or a degree from Yale Law School and children more photogenic than the officeholder.
“During his tenure as Lt. Governor, Matt spent a majority of his time at elementary schools or attending events I was ‘too busy’ to attend,” said Governor Markell. “One of his most endearing qualities was his ability to blend in with the crowd – whether it was a bunch of 3rd graders or a knitting club in Long Neck. Any respectable candidate should embody that same quality.”
Tomorrow (March 16, 2015), the first Delaware Moral Monday will take the form of a Prayer-In on East Steps of Legislative Hall in Dover. From the press release:
The issues facing our state are both deeply spiritual and social. In response to the hyper-criminalization of people of color and the evident disparities present within the state’s criminal justice system, participants will gather to pray that the God of justice would intervene on behalf of the marginalized during this legislative session. Both specific and general criminal justice concerns will be at the forefront. The repeal of the death penalty, one such matter that will be introduced in the Senate on March 18, will be advocated.
Yesterday, the NJ published a lengthy article where Wilmington’s business community officially went on the record to voice their disapproval of the Williams’ Administration’s approach to managing crime in the city. While news and complaints about the crime problem are not new, the fact that portions of Wilmington’s business community is willing to talk to journalists about their concerns is new and huge, I think. Previously, they could just reach out to the 9th floor and they usually had not just a sympathetic ear, but also an administration that at least tried to address their concerns. Not, the problem (while admittedly not that much bigger than before) is exacerbated by both the glib promises made by the Mayor and his people as well as an administration that is utterly MIA on this issue. It isn’t just that no one from the Administration will speak or even be seen to be proactive on safety issues (even the perception of safety issues), Wilmington’s business community has met with the Administration multiple times asking how they can help AND communicating that they can be counted on to support solutions. This effort has been met with silence.
We already know that a provision to roll back the Dodd-Frank provision that forbid banks from booking their deriviatives in the the parts of their business that is insured by taxpayers. They would have to keep them in the portions of their business where losses were borne entirely by the bank and their shareholders. Elizabeth Warren led what Bloomberg called The Great Swaps Rebellion during the Cromnibus negotiations. And John Carney was peeved: