Difference between revisions of "G.K. Butterfield"

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(Influenced by Harold Washington, Jr.)
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Prior to being elected to represent North Carolina’s First Congressional District on July 24, 2004, Congressman G.K. Butterfield enjoyed a distinguished legal career.  He worked in private practice for before serving as a state Superior Court Judge and as a North Carolina Supreme Court Justice.<ref>http://butterfield.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=31&sectiontree=2,31. official congressional bio, accessed Sep. 20, 2011]</ref>
Prior to being elected to represent North Carolina’s First Congressional District on July 24, 2004, Congressman G.K. Butterfield enjoyed a distinguished legal career.  He worked in private practice for before serving as a state Superior Court Judge and as a North Carolina Supreme Court Justice.<ref>http://butterfield.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=31&sectiontree=2,31. official congressional bio, accessed Sep. 20, 2011]</ref>
==SARN founding==
[[Theresa El-Amin]] April 2, 2012 ·
[[Southern Anti-Racist Network]] Founding Conference, June 1999 — with [[G.K. Butterfield]] and [[Brenda Howerton]] at Highlander Center.
==Green Ribbon/FRSO==
==Green Ribbon/FRSO==

Revision as of 16:22, 11 October 2019

G.K. Butterfield

G.K. Butterfield is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 1st district of North Carolina.

Currently, Congressman Butterfield sits on the powerful House Committee on Energy and Commerce Committee, where he serves as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. He also serves as a member of the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy.

Congressman Butterfield is currently serving his third term as Chief Deputy Whip after first being appointed to the Democratic leadership post in the 110th Congress.[1]


Congressman Butterfield is a lifelong member of Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church in Wilson, N.C. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and the father of two adult daughters.[2]

After graduating from Charles H. Darden High School in Wilson, Congressman Butterfield earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology from North Carolina Central University (NCCU). During his time at NCCU, Congressman Butterfield was active in organizing voter registration drives in Durham. After the enactment of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, Butterfield organized a student march from the State Capitol in Raleigh to the Wilson County Courthouse to dramatize the importance of voter registration. At the conclusion of the march, Congressman Butterfield registered to vote for the first time.

In 1965, workers at Duke University were organizing to demand improved working conditions. Congressman Butterfield, who once served as intern and orderly at Duke University Hospital, joined hospital employees in their fight for workers’ rights. The employees would eventually form the Local 77 chapter of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union.

During his junior year at NCCU, Congressman Butterfield was drafted into the United States Army and was stationed at Fort Bragg Army installation in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He was later honorably discharged from the Army and returned to NCCU to complete his undergraduate degree. Following his graduation, he attended NCCU School of Law. While in law school, Congressman Butterfield focused on learning how the law could be used to protect people’s rights as opposed to limiting them.

After completing law school, Congressman Butterfield began his distinguished legal career as a civil rights attorney. For 14 years, Butterfield practiced law across eastern North Carolina representing mostly low-income clients who needed legal services. He also focused on protecting civil rights, winning several voting rights cases that earned him the reputation of a principled litigator. Butterfield’s litigation work helped to preserve the ability of several African American communities to elect candidates of their choice to public office.[3]

Influenced by Harold Washington, Jr.

From 1971 to 1974, far leftist Harold Washington, Jr. taught criminal law and civil procedure at North Carolina Central University School of Law, which catered mostly to the state’s black population. He also commuted to Harvard to teach. While in the Boston area, he served as director of the Roxbury Defenders Program.

While at North Carolina Central University School of Law, he taught law to G.K. Butterfield, now a Democratic congressman from North Carolina, who cites him as a major influence.

“He was our friend, and we believed that he wanted us to succeed,’’ Butterfield said. “I wanted to be a civil rights lawyer, and he taught me that you need to get a basic legal education, learn excellent analytical skills, then decide which way to go.

“The first day in class, he put on his civil rights hat, explained the relationship between the movement and graduates getting an education and then never mentioned civil rights again.’’

Butterfield said Mr. Washington was also involved in the movement to shut down the North Carolina state Eugenics Board and seek reparations for its victims - poor whites and blacks - forced to undergo sterilization.[4]


Prior to being elected to represent North Carolina’s First Congressional District on July 24, 2004, Congressman G.K. Butterfield enjoyed a distinguished legal career. He worked in private practice for before serving as a state Superior Court Judge and as a North Carolina Supreme Court Justice.[5]

SARN founding

Theresa El-Amin April 2, 2012 ·


Southern Anti-Racist Network Founding Conference, June 1999 — with G.K. Butterfield and Brenda Howerton at Highlander Center.

Green Ribbon/FRSO


The Green Ribbon Campaign: Justice for Katrina & Rita Survivors was promoted by Black Left Unity, an alliance of Black Acivists, mainly associated with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and Workers World Party.

Green Ribbon Demands:

  • The Right of Return for the Black majority to New Orleans
  • Affordable housing for all – Stop the demolition of public housing Now!
  • Pass Senate Bill 1668 – The Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act of 2007: This bill currently sits in the Senate Committee of Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Contact North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole at 866-420.6083 and urge her to push for the Passage of this bill
  • Stop the police and government harassment and brutality against peaceful protests
  • Free the Jena 6!
Rough minutes of Black left call January 5, 2008
Area activities
Rocky Mt Held Vigils at city halls in Durham on 1/3 and Rocky Mt on 1/4. Passed out flyer and got people to wear Green Ribbons. Both samll, but good energy and potential for increased involvement by continued out reach to community, faith-based and labor organizations. Distributed Green Ribbons at a Kwanza event. Was a good response! Saladin talked with Congressman GK Butterfield about opposing demolition and participating in a press conference with groups in his district calling on HUD to stop the demolition of public housing, to create affordable housing and to urge the CBC to become more visible. He agreed to participate in a press conference. We will work on pulling signers on a letter to GK and other groups together before end of Jan to see about holding press conference. Wrote GK a follow up letter and asked him to endorse the Green Ribbon, wear it and promote it in the congress.

Edwards supporter

In July 2007, Black supporters of the John Edwards Presidential campaign included three congresspeople - Mel Watt (NC), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX), G.K. Butterfield (NC) - Danny Glover, and a grab bag of former state Supreme Court justices, community leaders, union activists, city council members and state legislators, including Missouri state Rep. Connie Johnson. [6]

Obama supporter

State Rep. Dan Blue, D-Wake, who, along with Congressman G.K. Butterfield, a Democrat from the 1st District, served as an unofficial state campaign chair for Obama, in 2008, predicted that he can win North Carolina in November. Butterfield was less certain, saying it'll be "hard work" and "close, but I think we can come out on top."[7]

Voted against cutting funding for ACORN

In September 2009, following the lead of their Senate colleagues, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to cut off funds to ACORN. the vote was 345-75. All of the 75 were Democrats, and included G.K. Butterfield. [8]

Congressional Black Caucus

G.K. Butterfield is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 113th Congress:[9]

In the 114th Congress Butterfield got off to an aggressive start on January 6, 2015 during his first speech as Congressional Black Caucus Chairman.

“America is not working for many African Americans and we, as the Congressional Black Caucus, have an obligation to fight harder and smarter in the next Congress to help repair the damage,” he said.[10]

"Closed door meetings"

Aimee Allison wrote February 6 2015.[11]

This week, PowerPAC+ Chair Steve Phillips is in Washington D.C. working with the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Congressman Ben Ray Lujan and Congressman G.K. Butterfield, the new chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Together we are crafting some exciting plans to address party diversity issues in 2015. Our aim is a party that effectively engages communities of color and wins elections. No more losses like in 2014.

From Politico.[12]

The party has broad room for growth. PowerPAC+, a Democratic group, released a report this year that found that less than 2 percent of the money the Democratic Party spent during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles went to firms owned by minorities — just $8.7 million of $514 million spent. The report examined expenditures from the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee...
Black lawmakers raised the issue of minority contractors with DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján on Wednesday during a closed-door meeting, and it is expected to be a topic during a Congressional Black Caucus members-only meeting Thursday with DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
More than a dozen lawmakers and political consultants interviewed said they’ve seen a noticeable difference at the DCCC since Luján was tapped to lead the House-focused campaign committee. The New Mexico Democrat railed against the lack of Latino consultants when he was in the rank and file.
The DCCC hasn’t yet inked new contracts with 2016 vendors, but Luján told lawmakers during a private meeting in Philadelphia last week that increasing the number of minority-owned firms with contracts at the committee would be a top priority ahead of the next election. There are plans to model a program off the DNC’s 2012 national political convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, which made minority contracting a high priority.
“Just beginning the second month of my first quarter here and I’m proud of the diverse staff we’re building this cycle,” Luján said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to continuing to work with my Democratic colleagues and our allies to put the majority in play in 2016 and do it with a team that truly represents the electorate...”
The contracting issue has been a thorn between the campaign committees and minority lawmakers for decades. Last May, Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), then the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said she had been urging the DCCC to improve its contracting numbers but met with resistance.
“We’ve met and repeatedly requested the DCCC’s diversity goals in writing and have yet to receive them. It is clear to me they have no desire to address this issue,” Fudge said at the time.
Rep. G.K. Butterfield, the current chairman of the CBC, praised Luján’s “vision of having a diverse DCCC.” The North Carolina Democrat added that the DCCC will build a database of minority vendors using data that the party had used in Charlotte.

"Moral Monday"

Barber and Butterfield

Congressman G.K. Butterfield joined local chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People , clergy members, and thousands of supporters on Monday, June 10 2013 during the “Moral Mondays” protest at the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh.

Butterfield said, “I’ve been deeply troubled by the severe and unilateral cuts being made by the Republican-led legislature in North Carolina. The cuts to healthcare, education, and unemployment insurance, just to name a few, disproportionately target low-income people, many of whom I represent in the U. S. House of Representatives.”

Monday’s protest included the support of dozens of religious leaders from across the state and be led by several Durham pastors including Reverend Jimmie Hawkins of Covenant Presbyterian Church, Reverend Dr. William Turner of Duke University School of Divinity, and Reverend Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove of St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church.

“This is a moment when our convictions embolden us to act and take a firm stance against misguided politics. It is during troubling times when our voices and actions are needed most. There’s a time to legislate, and

there’s a time to demonstrate. The Republican-led legislature’s attack on the disadvantaged and less fortunate cannot be allowed to continue.”

Butterfield was the first federal elected official to join the peaceful, but impactful demonstrations.

“As a participant in the 1963 March on Washington, and as a former civil rights attorney, I have seen firsthand how peaceful, civil demonstrations can affect change. Based on the turnout at the General Assembly over the past few weeks, change is already being realized. What began as a group of ten has grown to thousands of protestors standing up for what is right.

“I will join them in sending a strong message to the Republican-led state legislature: they cannot continue to ignore the concerns of the people. They cannot put politics before people. And they cannot make blind and uninformed decisions that bring dire consequences to North Carolinians.

“I believe that these demonstrations will continue until the Republican-led legislature abandons their dearth of consciousness and moves toward a more balanced agenda that reflects the needs of all its citizens.”

The Congressman also delivered remarks during the protest.[13]

The Brittany Willis murder case

Brittany Willis was a 17-year-old high-school soccer player who, according to investigators, was a victim of robbery and had been raped and shot to death on June 28, 2004. Her body was found in a field near the Brentwood Shopping Center in Wilson, North Carolina.

James Johnson, 18 at the time, and Kenneth Meeks were arrested and charged with first-degree murder and other charges in the case. Meeks later pleaded guilty to the crime.

Johnson, who has maintained his innocence in the crime, spent three years in jail under a $1 million bond awaiting trial. He was released from jail under a reduced bond in September amid a high-profile campaign by the North Carolina conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to have the case dismissed.

The NAACP has claimed racial discrimination, prosecutorial misconduct and constitutional rights violations against Johnson. It has said that Johnson should be seen as a hero who helped solve the case.

Race is not an issue, the family said, adding "nothing could be further from the truth."

The Willises said North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William J. Barber II and U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C. — who on the NAACP's behalf, requested a federal investigation into whether Johnson's constitutional rights were violated —"have injected that belief" into the case to sway public opinion.

"The NAACP's actions and the news media's bias(ed) coverage of everything they have done have resulted in this case being forced to be disposed of as quickly as possible by our elected officials," the Willis family said.

The North Carolina NAACP's attorney, Al McSurely, said he hopes the Willis family can look at the evidence and see the original charges against Johnson were a "miscarriage of justice."

"The family has suffered a tremendous loss," he said. "Everyone was led to believe by the Wilson County authorities for three years that James Johnson was involved, and I can understand their disappointment."

Butterfield's communications director, Ken Willis, denied any political influence from the congressman.

"Mr Butterfield was contacted by the NAACP to help resolve the murder charge against James Johnson," he said. "Three years is a long time to be in jail for a crime that he didn’t commit."[14]

Requests investigation

In 2008 Congressman G.K. Butterfield has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate charges of prosecutorial misconduct in the case of James Johnson, a young man jailed for more than "three years for a murder he did not commit. Johnson now faces bogus charges of being an accessory to the crime after the fact".[15]


Speaking to the House September 9, 2013, G.K. Butterfield said;[16]

Let me also recognize the important work of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, headed by my good friend Bill Lucy, who was secretary- treasurer of AFSCME for many years. And now the Reverend Terry Melvin is carrying on the work of Bill Lucy. So I thank my friends in labor and urge them to continue the great work that they are doing in this country.

Peace Pledge Coalition

In 2007 90 Members of Congress, pledged in an open letter delivered to President Bush: "We will only support appropriating funds for U.S. military operations in Iraq during Fiscal Year 2008 and beyond for the protection and safe redeployment of all our troops out of Iraq before you leave office." The letter was initiated by the Peace Pledge Coalition. The Coalition was led by Tim Carpenter, Progressive Democrats of America, Bob Fertik, Democrats.com Medea Benjamin, CodePink, Bill Fletcher, co-founder of Center for Labor Renewal David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org, Democrats.com, Progressive Democrats of America, Kevin Zeese, Voters for Peace, Democracy Rising, Brad Friedman, co-founder of Velvet Revolution, Bill Moyer, Backbone Campaign.

G.K. Butterfield signed the letter.[17][18]

"Wilmington Ten"

As a consequence of involuntary school desegregation, times were already tense in much of the South in 1968 when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered. In Wilmington, North Carolina, school desegregation involved closing Black schools, firing or transferring Black teachers, and placing Black students in previously all-White schools, which led to fights among students and subsequent arrests. There were also battles between street-patrolling Ku Klux Klan members and Black residents.

Black students boycotted Wilmington’s high schools in January 1971 as a result of mistreatment. That year, the United Church of Christ sent 24-year-old Rev. Benjamin Chavis to Wilmington to mentor the students and assist them in developing nonviolent protests and boycotts.

Soon after Chavis arrived in Wilmington, a local grocery store was firebombed. Gunshots were allegedly fired from the top of a local Black church were Chavis and the students usually met as firemen responded.

The “Wilmington Ten” – including Chavis, eight Black male high school students and one White female anti-poverty worker – were arrested, charged, and convicted of arson and in 1971. They were sentenced to a collective total of 282 years in prison, with each serving nearly a decade in jail. The youngest of group was 18 years old; the White woman, Ann Shepard, was the oldest at 35.

The legal petition to pardon all of the Ten has been pending in North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue’s Executive Clemency office since May 2012. Perdue, a Democrat, is expected to make her decision in December before she steps down.

In the six months since the pardons effort campaign publicly kicked off, support has also come from North Carolina Congressmen G.K. Butterfield, David Price and Brad Miller and the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus. The 2012 national Democratic Party platform also adopted a provision supporting the Wilmington Ten pardon effort last summer. [19]

In his letter of support to Gov. Perdue, NC Congressman G.K. Butterfield, wrote, ”As a former member of the North Carolina judiciary, and now a member of the United State House of Representatives, I have worked my entire adult life to bring equality and racial justice to my community, state and country. It is never too late to see justice fully achieved.”[20]

A. Philip Randolph Institute

The North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute is a key constituency group of the NC State AFL-CIO

On April 16, 2011, the NC APRI held its 37th Annual Awards Banquet, an important fundraising opportunity to support the Institute’s work. From NC A. Philip Randolph Institute President, Mary Montford:

This year’s 37th Annual North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute awards banquet will convene on April 16, 2011 at the Halifax Community Centre, 200 College Drive, Weldon, NC 27890. We will start at 6:30 pm and end at 9:00pm. Our keynote speaker will be U.S. Congressman G.K. Butterfield of the 1st Congressional district.
The North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute and its chapters serve as a vehicle for those committed to strengthening the cause of economic and social justice. Just as we raised our voices to demand healthcare reform, we need to raise our voices to fight for better working conditions, fair wages, and to keep the pensions that we contributed to as employees.[21]

Visiting Clayola

Speaking to the House September 9, 2013, G.K. Butterfield said;[22]

I urge my friends in labor to continue their work. It is appreciated. I recently visited the A. Philip Randolph Institute. Ms. Clayola Brown is the president. I went to their dinner just a few days ago here in Washington, and I wanted to commend them publicly for the work they are doing. I thank them for invoking the name of A. Philip Randolph who, as Mr. Jeffries said earlier, founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.

ARA endorsement, 2012

The Alliance for Retired Americans endorsed G.K. Butterfield in 2012.[23]

PDA contact

In 2013 Progressive Democrats of America assigned activists to deliver their material to almost every US Congressman and several Senators. John Paul McClelland, was assigned as contact for Rep. Butterfield. In June it was Peach McDouall. [24][25]

Celebrating Rev. William Barber's 30 Years in Activism

Five Days of Celebration for 20 years as Pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church and 30 years in Activism, started July 27, 2013, for Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Pastor Greenleaf Christian Church Disciples Of Christ, Chairperson, Rebuilding Broken Places CDC, President, NC NAACP Conference Of Branches NAACP National Board Member & Legislative Political Action Committee Chair Convener Of the Historic Thousands On Jones Street, People’s Assembly Coalition, Co-Convener, STOP the Funeral Initiative

You are Invited to Join in this Celebration

Keynote message Hilary 0. Shelton, Director to the NAACP's Washington Bureau, Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy

With remarks by G.K. Butterfield U.S. Congressional Representative North Carolina 1st Congressional District.[26]

Nelson Mandela's funeral

In December 2013, the following Democratic legislators traveled to South Africa to attended Nelson Mandela's funeral Democrats Dels. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) and Donna Christensen (V.I.); and Democratic Reps. Marcia Fudge, John Conyers (Mich.), Charles Rangel (N.Y.), John Lewis, Jim McDermott (Wash.), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Bobby Scott (Va.), Mel Watt (N.C.), Sheila Jackson-Lee (Tex.), Elijah Cummings (Md.), Gregory Meeks (N.Y.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), G.K. Butterfield (N.C.), Gene Green (Tex.), Gwen Moore (Wis.), Yvette Clarke (N.Y.), Karen Bass (Calif.), Joyce Beatty (Ohio) and Terri Sewell (Ala.).[27]

Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) moderated a plenary panel at the Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary Conference at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The panel, entitled “Our Southern Strategy: Where Do We Go from Here,” focused on the role that the South plays in changing the way that democracy applies to all citizens in the United States. The panel included fellow congressional members: G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), and Bennie Thompson (D-MS). Tougaloo College was crucial to the Civil Rights Movement, a safe haven for many activists and a gathering place for the leaders of the Movement. The panel was part of the weeklong Freedom Summer 50th anniversary intergenerational conference. Danny Glover; Julian Bond; Dick Gregory; Sherrilyn Ifill, President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense and Educational Fund; and Benjamin Jealous, former President and CEO of the NAACP, were among the participants.[28]

Durham People’s Alliance


The Durham People’s Alliance, a liberal political-action group, has announced its endorsements for the Nov. 4 2014 election, but took no stand on a proposed amendment to the state constitution. Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan was endorsed by the group, as were Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-1st) and David Price (D-4th).[29]

North Carolina Justice Center

In April 2014, Butterfield attended the North Carolina Justice Center 16th Annual Defender of Justice Awards Ceremony, where he was honored with the Legislative and Administrative Advocacy Award for his work in healthcare and poverty.[30]

Congressman G.K. Butterfield voiced strong support for unemployment benefits for laid off workers, expansion of Medicaid to cover more uninsured families, and held numerous town halls for citizens to learn about the Affordable Care Act.

Community Forum

The Farm Labor Organizing Committee, Triangle Friends of Farm Workers, and the National Farm Worker Ministry invite you to join us for this historic Community Forum with Special Guests: Ian Lavery and James Sheridan, Members of the British Parliament, and Congressman G.K. Butterfield’s District Director, Ray Rogers, discussing with an international delegation about their experiences visiting North Carolina farm workers who are organizing for better working conditions.[31]

Tobacco fields delegation

A July 2014 fact-finding delegation that included a congresswoman from Ohio and two members of the British Parliament visited North Carolina tobacco fields to examine human rights conditions.

The state AFL-CIO said the delegation that includes Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur met in Dudley. Accompanying her was Parliament members Ian Lavery and James Sheridan and a staffer Ray Rogers for North Carolina Rep. G.K. Butterfield.

They were examining human rights conditions in the supply chain of British and American tobacco manufacturers. The delegation visited labor camps both Saturday and Sunday before meeting Sunday afternoon with farm workers and their supporters at Pullen Baptist Church in Raleigh.

The visit is part of an effort by the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, which is working for farmworkers' rights to negotiate collectively without fear of retaliation.[32]


After an emotional meeting between a dozen members of the Congressional Black Caucus and activists in Ferguson, Mo., the CBC pledges action to keep the movement going.

After a dinner meeting with 10 young activists in Ferguson, Mo., members of the Congressional Black Caucus are looking for ways to empower the Ferguson activist community. Eleven members of the caucus met with the activists Jan. 17, 2015 including leaders from the Organization for Black Struggle and activists Deray McKesson and Johnetta Elzie.

“That dinner meeting was powerful. They [the members] heard it. They got an earful from those young people about how bad it is. They spoke on how they felt that the civil rights movement had failed them and talked on the abuse they are still taking from the criminal-justice system,” Rep. William Lacy Clay, Jr. (D-Mo.) told The Root days after the CBC visit to his district.

“The next step is for the Congressional Black Caucus Institute to get behind a massive effort to educate the voters of Ferguson. It’s a community of 21,000 people, 67 percent African American; we have the numbers, and the map works for them having a voice in local government,” Clay added.

Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), who attended the Ferguson dinner, stressed during an interview with The Root, “We can’t tell them what to do” but “we can help them with what they want to do.”

Members of the CBC pledged to sponsor several young activists from Ferguson for the next CBC Political and Education Leadership Institute Boot Camp. The CBC Institute, started in 2002, has an annual political-leadership boot camp that focuses on leadership development, political campaigns and issue advocacy. In July, 55 young people graduated from the boot camp. Members can sponsor boot camp students with their campaign funds.

“Rep. Joyce Beatty [D-Ohio] agreed to sponsor one of the activists who attended the dinner at the CBC Institute boot camp. We’re gonna have about 15 of these young people in our boot camp from Ferguson,” Clay said.

Clay said the dinner meeting “was very positive, and it wasn’t really slamming the police, but it’s letting them know: OK, we’re watching you. We’re gonna take direct action legislatively to correct some of these gross inequities in the administration of justice.”

CBC member Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), currently the top fundraiser of the 46-member caucus, brought a check to the dinner meeting for each City Council candidate at the gathering. A more detailed fundraising plan is being thought out.

“We have filled the candidates in those seats, and we will be going out in each of the three wards in Ferguson, educating the voters on the importance of them having a voice in their local government,” said Clay.

CBC Chairman G.K. Butterfield told The Root on the night of the State of the Union that the caucus will soon unveil a detailed criminal-justice legislative plan.


The delegation also included reps Karen Bass, D-Calif.; Andre Carson, D-Ind.; Emanuel Cleaver, D-Kansas City; Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio; Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas; Donald Payne, Jr., D-N.J.[34]

Condemning Criticism of Islam legislation

On December 17, 2015, Rep. Don Beyer, Jr. introduced legislation condemning "violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States." The legislation is based on unsourced claims that there is a "rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance," and a "disproportionate targeting" of "Muslim women who wear hijabs, headscarves, or other religious articles of clothing...because of their religious clothing, articles, or observances." The resolution, H.Res.569 - Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States [35]

The legislation was cosponsored by Rep. Michael Honda, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Joseph Crowley, Rep. Andre Carson, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Dan Kildee, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Scott Peters, Rep. Brad Ashford, Rep. Alan Grayson, Rep. Mark Takai, Rep. Brian Higgins, Rep. William Keating, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Rep. Gerry Connolly, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Cheri Bustos, Rep. John Delaney, Rep. Kathy Castor, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Michael Quigley, Rep. Elizabeth Esty, Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, Rep. Robin Kelly, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Alcee Hastings, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Frank Pallone, Rep. Jim McDermott, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Donna Edwards, Rep. Robert Brady, Rep. Frederica Wilson, Rep. Michael Doyle, Rep. Albio Sires, Rep. Suzan DelBene, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. David Loebsack, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rep. Debbie Dingell, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, Rep. John Yarmuth, Rep. Niki Tsongas, Rep. Jim Langevin, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Rep. Mark Takano, Rep. Tim Ryan, Rep. Jose Serrano, Rep. Hank Johnson, Rep. Paul Tonko, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Lois Capps, Rep. David Price, Rep. Doris Matsui, Rep. Gwen Moore, Rep. Denny Heck, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. John Carney, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Rep. John B. Larson, Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Peter Welch, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Rep. Jim Himes, Rep. Matt Cartwright.

Ride to Revive Section 5

A group of sixty community activists from Alabama went to Washington, D. C. in six vans from Sunday to Tuesday (June 24-27, 2017) to support the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA), HR 2948, introduced last week by Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell.

The bill was introduced on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Shelby vs, Holder decision, which gutted Sections 4 and 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The bill also carefully defines what constitutes a voting rights violation and which election changes must be submitted for pre-clearance. Congresswoman Terri Sewell said, “The VRAA is an advancement bill, it advances voting rights throughout the country. Under this bill, all eleven states that were part of the Confederacy, including Alabama, as well as other political subdivisions around the nation and on tribal lands would be covered and subject to the pre-clearance provisions.”

The VRAA would classify voting changes such as strict voter photo identification requirements, and voter registration requirements to be reviewed and possibly overturned if they were deemed to be more stringent than the requirements in Section 303b of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002.The VRAA, HR 2948, has 182 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. They are all Democrats. And the companion legislation S.1490 in the Senate has 46 co-sponsors, also all Democrats, so far.

On Tuesday morning, the Alabama group joined by other activists in Washington from the Rural Coalition, Food and Water Watch, National Family Farm Coalition and other groups had a rally and press conference on the Capitol grounds facing the Cannon House Office Building on Independence Avenue and First Street NE.

The rally had many chants supporting the revival of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act along with civil rights freedom songs. Several Congresspersons, including Terri Sewell, G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina, Marc Veasey of Dallas, Texas and Katherine Clark of Massachusetts addressed the rally. Congressman John Lewis drove by the rally on Independence Avenue and saluted the crowd. On Monday night, the group had a meeting at Howard University Law School, which was addressed by several civil rights veterans, including former D. C. Congressman Walter Fauntroy, Viola Bradford, who wrote for the Southern Courier newspaper in Montgomery, Antonio Harrison, a former Alabama State Senator, who lives and works in D. C. Professor Ardua of the Law School spoke on the need for reparations to address the continuing impact of slavery on Black people.

The Ride to Revive Section 5 was sponsored by the SOS Coalition for Justice and Democracy, Alabama New South Coalition and other local groups in Alabama.[36]

External links


  1. http://butterfield.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=31&sectiontree=2,31. official congressional bio, accessed Sep. 20, 2011]
  2. http://butterfield.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=31&sectiontree=2,31. official congressional bio, accessed Sep. 20, 2011]
  3. Official Congressional bio, accessed Dec. 1, 2014
  4. The Boston Globe, Harold R. Washington Jr., activist, ground-breaking Harvard professorBy Gil BlissGLOBE CORRESPONDENT SEPTEMBER 11, 2011
  5. http://butterfield.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=31&sectiontree=2,31. official congressional bio, accessed Sep. 20, 2011]
  6. St. louis American, Black folks for John boyn Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2007
  7. Obama throws down the gauntlet in N.C. By Bob Geary, June 10, 2008 Elections » The Election Page
  8. [http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/09/the_75_democrats_who_are_prose.html American Thinker, September 18, 2009 The 75 Democrats who are pro-sex slave ACORN defenders By Ethel C. Fenig]
  9. Congressional Black Caucus: Members (accessed on Feb. 24, 2011)
  10. [http://www.crewof42.com/cbc-2/butterfield-new-black-caucus-chair-talks-black-agenda-strategy/, Crew of 42, Butterfield: New Black Caucus Chair Talks Black Agenda + Strategy Posted On 10 Jan 2015]
  11. PowerPAC+Top Democratic Leadership Responds to PowerPAC+ Diversity Push Posted by Aimee Allison on February 06, 2015
  12. [https://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/democrats-diversity-minority-consultants-114934, Polotico,Minority groups: Dems still falling short in consultants' diversity Campaign arms like the DNC and DCCC ‘can’t just keep hiring friends over and over again,’ some Democrats say. By LAUREN FRENCH and ANNA PALMER 02/05/2015 ]
  13. Butterfield to Join "Moral Monday" Protests at North Carolina Legislature Jun 7, 2013
  14. Willis' Family Disappointed at Murder Case's Turn Posted December 31, 2007
  15. NAACP North carolina,Congressman Asks U.S. Justice Department to Investigate Prosecutorial Misconduct in James Johnson Case
  16. Record Volume 159, Number 117 (Monday, September 9, 2013)
  17. War Is A Crime .org, Peace Pledge Coalition
  18. [http://www.democrats.com/peace-pledge Democrats.com. Sign the Pledge for Peace petition. Bob Fertik August 19, 2007
  19. Courier, The ‘Wilmington Ten’ – Will pardons ever come? November 29, 2012
  20. The Wilmington Journal, SUPPORT SWELLS FOR WILMINGTON TEN PARDONS Posted by: Cash Michaels Posted date: May 24, 2012
  21. NC AFL-CIOPosted by Jeremy | March 18, 2011 37th Annual NC APRI Awards Banquet is April 16
  22. Record Volume 159, Number 117 (Monday, September 9, 2013)
  23. PAF
  24. PDA May 2013 Educate Congress Digest Letter drops (191 in total – 105 in April )
  25. PDA June 2013 Educate Congress Digest
  26. Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II 20th Anniversary Community Celebration Service
  27. The WaPo, Nelson Mandela memorial: Who’s in attendance, By Terri Rupar December 10, 2013
  28. EHN Press release, Norton to Moderate Plenary Panel at the Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary Conference at Tougaloo College in Mississippi, Saturday Jun 27, 2014
  29. The Herald Sun, People’s Alliance announces candidate endorsements Oct. 02, 2014 @ 05:47 PM Keith Upchurch
  30. Butterfield website Butterfield to Host Job Fair This Week During District Work Period Apr 21, 2014
  31. FarmWorker Ministry, Discussion with British Parliment Members Following Visit With Farm Workers – July 27 Posted on Monday, July 21, 2014
  32. A Visit to Tobacco Fields to Examine Human Rights Conditions Associated Press 8:38 p.m. EDT July 26, 2014
  33. [ http://www.theroot.com/articles/politics/2015/01/congressional_black_caucus_offers_training_and_support_to_ferguson_activists.html The Root, CBC Offers Training and Support to Ferguson ActivistsBY: LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE Posted: Jan. 28 2015]
  34. ST Louis Posst Dispatch, Congressional Black Caucus members to attend church services Sunday in Ferguson January 16, 2015 10:30 am • By Chuck Raasch
  35. H.Res.569 - Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States, accessed December 26, 2015
  36. [https://greenecodemocrat.com/tag/alabama-new-south-coalition/Greene County Democrat ‘Ride to Restore Section 5’ grassroots lobbyists push Voting Rights Advancement Act in Washington, D. C. Posted on June 28, 2017 by greenecodemocratcom Special to the Democrat by: John Zippert,]