Rathke: Pulling CRA’s teeth when it needs to bite harder

New Orleans  Dine’ Butler and I had just finished our presentation about the impact of predatory land installment contracts and hedge funds in the Memphis real estate market at the Hooks Institute event at the University…

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Rathke: Plundering Black Wealth with Predatory Land Installment Contracts

Columbus        An analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis on a panel with us at the Benjamin Hooks Institute at the University of Memphis listened to our remarks about the devastating impact of hedge…

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Surprising UK election outcome – people want to organize

Fort Lauderdale         The voters came out from under the rocks and jumped over the hedgerows to vote for the Conservatives behind weird and wacky Boris Johnson in the recent snap election in Britain.  Labour took a…

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Rathke: Leaving Honduras the hard way

San Pedro Sula      We had weathered another difficult annual general meeting of Honduras ACORN midway between Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula.  It was a difficult three-hour session as the leadership tried to navigate the legal requirements…

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Rathke: Are single use plastics getting a bad rap?

New York City      Once the breeze picks up between the canyons formed by New York City skyscrapers, the most common local bird that seems to be floating in the sky when you see something flutter…

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Rathke: Community reinvestment still matters, why gut it more?

New Orleans       Newsday, the big Long Island, New York newspaper, reported on a three-year investigation of real estate practices in this suburb that is well-known as one of the whitest suburbs in America.   Using a…

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Rathke: “The Organizer” Comes to Ole Miss

Oxford   Having breakfast at the University of Memphis before leaving for Oxford, Mississippi, home of the University of Mississippi, we were in a good mood after the Hooks Institute event the previous evening.  We laughed…

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Rathke: College Student GOTV Could be Key in Fight against Suppression

New Orleans      The persistent political canard has been that, sure, you can register young people, but most of them are not going to vote.  The Trump turmoil and the urgency of climate change is overturning…

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The tragedy of the UAW: When boss culture replaces member culture

Ponce, Puerto Rico     At the end of every year we are inundated with the best of this and the top ten of that in music, movies, books, sports, tech, politics, and, well, I guess, almost everywhere. …

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Rathke: If there isn’t a housing crisis, why does it feel like one?

New Orleans       Not only have I believed there is a housing crisis, but I’ve said so repeatedly and at every opportunity I’ve been given.  I’ve also argued that rents and evictions are rising at record…

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Rathke: Come on up, Mississippi – time for a new constitution!

Little Rock      On the Peoples’ Daily News that I do for the Affiliated Media Foundation Movement (AM/FM) and all of our stations, I scrounge the daily papers for factoids and news bits that might interest our…

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Rathke: Surging voter registration in the United Kingdom

New Orleans      Here’s an interesting voter registration story, but it’s not in the United States, but the United Kingdom.  I had been hearing about this phenomenon for weeks whenever I spoke with our organizers in…

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Rathke: Mass protests are back – what are we waiting for?

New Orleans       Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed?  If you can make it past the daily Trump wailing wall, there’s one report after another of protests.  Not some piddling ten- or twenty-person thing, though there’s…

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Rathke: Faking the Voter Strategy

New Orleans      Democracy is under assault everywhere it seems, and, no, I’m not just taking about the White House. Russia is busy interfering with elections in, are you ready for this, Madagascar.  How did this…

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Rathke: Liberal Affordable Housing Conundrums

New Orleans   Just maybe there is beginning to be an emerging consensus in the United States, joining many other countries around the world, that there is in fact an affordable housing crisis in the country.   Perhaps…

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Rathke: Spewing Cancer Chemicals on Louisiana’s Death Alley

New Orleans       A tip from a friend sent me to a seat on the back row of a lecture hall at the Tulane Law School to listen to a star-studded panel assembled on the topic…

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Rathke: Strong towns: Investing in old, lower-value neighborhoods, not more infrastructure

New Orleans       On the sometimes lonely march to try to advance and rebuild low-and-moderate income communities, it’s always a welcome relief to stumble on fellow travelers moving on much the same pathway.  At least that’s…

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Rathke: Have Doctors and Hospitals Joined Banks as Fraudsters?

New York City     It’s the holiday season when old time movies used to give us hope that miracles might happen.  Santa might climb down from the chimney, if you had a chimney anymore.  There were…

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Rathke, community radio: KABF Documentary is a Winner

Little Rock      JT Tarpley approached us out of the blue three years ago with a wild and crazy idea.  He wanted to make a documentary about KABF, our 100,000-watt noncommercial radio station broadcasting throughout central Arkansas. …

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Rathke: The Numbers Underneath the Art of Organizing

Quebec City    Listening to the national and office reports from the organizers ACORN Canada last evening at their Year End/ Year Begin meeting, I was making notes and trying to follow the breakthroughs on new campaigns…

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Rathke: How quickly can we get past impeachment?

New Orleans       Weather was miserable in New York as we schlepped from lower Manhattan to Newark Airport.  We prepared for the worst, but arrived early with hours to spare only to be victimized by almost…

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Rathke: The transplant system is needlessly allowing patients to die

New Orleans       There are no good ways to die, but emphysema is a tough way to go. I watched my grandfather die that way as a child.  He was weak and housebound in his last…

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Rathke: Five thousand blogs and what do you get

New Orleans       When you do something every day, rain or shine, here or abroad, every once in a while, you need to take stock, and evaluate whether a disciplined practice is a trivial habit, an…

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Rathke: New housing law in NY has impact on tenant evictions

New Orleans       The Wall Street Journal and its reporters must get a special thrill when they can score an exclusive on the New York Times on New York’s own turf.  I bet they didn’t even…

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