Daily Archives: May 13, 2016

Toward a more Progressive Senate

I welcome Chris Pearson’s entry into the race for State Senate from Chittenden County. The Progressive state rep is the Progs’ sharpest policy voice in the House, and he should be a formidable candidate for Senate.

For those just joining us, the Chittenden County district elects six Senators, and it’s usually a free ride for incumbents. This time, two of the six seats will be voluntarily vacated; David Zuckerman is running for Lite-Gov, and Helen Riehle (appointed to fill out Diane Snelling’s term) is not running for a full term.

The openings are sure to attract a strong Democratic field, while Republicans are desperately searching for someone who might retain Snelling’s position. Searching in vain, methinks.

But the race on the left will be lively. It’ll be interesting to see how Pearson will fare in fundraising — I suspect he’ll do quite well. He’ll certainly have better name recognition than the Democratic non-incumbents.

And should he win, there is the potential for a real shift in Senatorial power.

Continue reading

Advertisements

School officials backtrack on bathroom panic

Maybe the folks at Green Mountain Union High School got advance word that the Obama administration was issuing guidelines on bathroom rights (and other issues) for transgender students. That happened earlier today; yesterday, the Vermont school district reversed itself and announced that transgender male students would, in fact, be allowed to use the boys’ restrooms instead of being consigned to the closet-sized gender-neutral facilities.

The original decision had prompted a brief walkout by a couple dozen students on Monday.

A.J. Jackson is a trans student at Green Mountain Union High School. He says the student protest made a difference and now he can use the boys bathroom at the high school.

“I didn’t think we would get this far,” said Jackson.

He’s now hoping for a general review of school policies with an eye toward accommodating students of all kinds. And hey, now the district has guidelines from the state and federal governments to follow.

Continue reading

Keith Knight!!!!

Drove down to Dartmouth College today for a talk by one of my favorite comic artists, a guy who ought to be much more well-known than he is: Keith Knight, creator of three (count ‘em — three) syndicated comics. Hardest-working man in the funny papers.

Knight, for those tragically unaware, is a young black man whose work features a rich and dynamic mix of political commentary, true-life narrative, goofball humor, and a visual style that’s bursting with energy.

I first came across his original creation, The K Chronicles, in the comics pages of Seven Days. Unfortunately, a couple years ago the paper revamped its comics and dropped the strip. I don’t know if it was too black or too funny or what, but it was a great loss. Fortunately, you can find his work online and he’s published a half-dozen compilations, some of which are still in print.

The subject of his talk is a sadly recurring theme in his work: police violence against African-Americans. It was entitled “They Shoot Black People, Don’t They?” which is also the title of a published collection of his work on the subject. “I’ve been doing comics about police brutality for 20 years. I’m sick of it.”

A recent example after the jump.

Continue reading