ATLANTA, Ga. – Georgians reject Miller, Bush

Thousands were expected to march here Aug. 27, in solidarity with the massive demonstrations in New York City against the Republican National Convention (RNC). In a joint press release the Georgia Coalition for Peace and Justice and the Women’s Action for a New Agenda announced that the march is aimed at the Bush administration’s war policies and charge his economic policies have deepened poverty in the state. Protests will begin in front of the offices of Georgia Senator Zell Miller, a Democrat who will address the RNC.

“Politicians like Zell Miller and George W. Bush, who callously send other people’s children to die in a war for oil and shamelessly support policies that rob children of health care and seniors of retirement security show us we are at a critical moment in our nation’s history,” said Rev. Timothy McDonald III of the Concerned Black Clergy. “It is our responsibility to defend the fundamentals of our democracy against those who are trying to hijack our government to serve the interest of a few.”

MONTPELIER, Vt. – State sues for affordable meds

The movement demanding affordable prescription drugs includes bus trips to Canada, street protests, lobbying and letter-writing campaigns and now the courtroom, as Vermont has become the first state to sue the Food and Drug Administration to force the FDA to provide affordable, life-saving medications for its residents. The state filed in federal court August 9.

Gov. Jim Douglas, a Republican, said that the state had no other choice but to sue because the FDA rejected their application for a pilot program that would have enabled Vermonters to import medications from Canada by mail.

William H. Sorrell, the state’s attorney general, said, “Vermont’s petition was carefully crafted and reasonable. I am amazed that the FDA rejected it, but I am looking forward to getting this in front of a federal judge.”

Two dozen state legislatures have passed or are considering the Canadian alternative similar to Vermont’s effort. Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said that his state would act without federal approval and save $91 million.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Black Americans look to expand representation

On Aug. 24, Alabamans went to the polls for municipal elections in all 450 towns and cities and there are a record number of African-Americans seeking the mayor’s job. Currently 12 percent, or 52, of all Black mayors in the country hold seats in Alabama. Only Mississippi, with 77, has more.

According to the National Conference of Black Mayors, of the 26 states and the District of Columbia where African-Americans sit in a city’s mayor’s office, 14 are below the Mason-Dixon line.

There is one African-American mayor each in the Alaska, Idaho and Iowa. In the industrial states, 21 cities in Illinois and 14 in Michigan have elected Black mayors. With 2,500 municipalities in Pennsylvania, only four have African-American mayors.

Compiled by Paul Kaczocha, Julia Lutsky and Denise Winebrenner Edwards.