I've been busy contemplating so many questions from so many of you about where do we go from here. It is clear that many understand the challenges that we now face and what is becoming even clearer is that far more who didn't vote for us are now looking to us for leadership on issues that we raised during the campaign like, for example, the bailout. I do have some concrete, solution-oriented ideas and will explore them with you in the days ahead. But I wanted to do something now that is important to all of us, because we still have one more Congressional election within our grasp.
We all know the importance of having someone of conscience in the United States Congress, someone of unbending commitment to our values and not just another representative of "business-as-usual" politics. Malik Rahim proved his mettle when we all watched in horror as events unfolded in New Orleans and the Gulf States. What a shame that African-American Hurricane Katrina survivors have had to file a discrimination lawsuit against Louisiana's Road Home program in order to earn their right of return. With Malik in Washington, our own internally displaced population can finally see justice--and not just abundant hot air--delivered from the halls of the U.S. Capitol. We need Malik now and now Malik needs us. Bill Jefferson, the incumbent, has been indicted on 16 counts of corruption charges. We need Malik in that seat! For those of you who are close to Louisiana, please consider giving Malik a weekend to knock on doors and make important voter contact in the lead-up to the December 6 Louisiana General Election. Please visit http://www.votemalik.com/ and make a contribution today!
Cynthia McKinney, former Congresswoman and Green Presidential Candidate for 2008
Here's an article on Malik:
A Conversation with Malik Rahim
BY ADAM FLEMING
Pittsburgh City Paper, November 13, 2008
Malik Rahim has been many things. He's been a Black Panther, an armed robber and a social activist. He is currently a Green Party congressional candidate in New Orleans; the election cycle for some Louisiana districts was delayed because of Hurricane Gustav. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Rahim co-founded the Common Ground Collective to provide assistance to low-income residents. This week, the Thomas Merton Center honors Rahim at its annual award dinner, on Wed., Nov. 12.
[Q] What was your reaction to Barack Obama's victory?
None, other than to say that history was made. And now it's: How we can really come up with a plan to clean our environment, and then second, do something to save our economy without just giving bailouts to the rich?
[Q] Are you upset that New Orleans wasn't mentioned during the debates?
I don't fault [Obama]. I fault our city's administration for not really pushing that we are still really in dire need of assistance. The Saints are winning and Mardi Gras was a success, then hey, you're going to have a lack of enthusiasm from any politician. It's a city that's based upon tourism, and they believe that telling the truth would be bad for tourists. [But people need] to see our school system and the deplorable situation that they're in. To see the health-care agencies, and how in dire need the city is for hospital beds. If you look at the lack of opportunity in the midst of a construction boom. The tough questions that need to be asked aren't asked.
We can't talk about just building levy walls. We've got to talk about, how can we restore our wetlands? We've got to talk about some alternatives for when we have to evacuate. We need to constantly teach and train the residents of New Orleans about disaster-preparedness. We can't go on living in New Orleans as if we're living in Arizona.
[Q] What needs to change in the reconstruction of New Orleans?
We have to move into a clear direction of hope: How can we assure people that, hey, you can come back. You will be able to rebuild. That we're not just concerned about the French Quarter or the Superdome. That every citizen in this city is important. Once we start doing this, then we will get the people's involvement. Right now, if we had just the resources that we are spending on incarcerating non-violent offenders, the Ninth Ward would be rebuilt.
[Q] Do you consider yourself a radical?