Thursday, November 13, 2008

Malik Rahim has respect on the street, not in the media

I have written several times about Malik Rahim. Mostly, I am trying to make sure that he has the wide coverage of his campaign against Dollar Bill Jefferson in the 2nd Congressional District of Louisiana. I have encouraged people to respond with contributions. Some have. But Malik needs more to fund radio / television spots between now and December 6, when the real election takes place. Remember, this election was pushed back because Hurricane Gustave interrupted a primary runoff earlier.

Click Read more! for a report on the campaign was posted to the national committee affairs list today... and always I have a few additional comments.

By John Atkeison

Tuesday Last week the people of the USA elected a community organizer from Chicago, a Black man, to be our President. At the other end of the Mississippi River another community organizer named Malik Rahim will go before the voters in New Orleans in a Congressional election that was pushed to December 6 because of Hurricane Gustav.

If tonight’s meeting at the candidates home was any measure, it could be an unusual moment in the colorful history of Louisiana politics. (You can follow the campaign at Of the 16 people who crowded into the room, most of them were native Black New Orleanians from the West Bank and the 9th Ward. Other areas of the city were well represented, but the core were from Malik’s neighborhood base. Participants included working people and academics, church members and family members.

Everyone was enthusiastic about Malik, and there was lively discussion about a range of tactical issues. The meeting was well run and began and ended almost exactly on time, something that is not always guaranteed in a Green campaign.

The December 6th election is at the end of a tough road that leads through people’s birthday parties, barbecues and seafood boils. When the people of Orleans and Jefferson parishes go to the polls on that day, they can choose an incumbent Democrat under indictment for corrupt paractices known as – I swear- Dollar Bill Jefferson or they can go for a little-known Republican or Libertarian. Or they can vote for Malik Rahim, a well-known Green community organizer. Malik is best known for his organizing immediately after the disasters followng Hurricane Katrina, the floods, and Hurricane Rita in 2005. He established the first health clinic, and began the rebuilding of the communities right away. Through his Common Ground Collective, he has touched the lives of tens of thousands of New Orleanians. (You can read more at

But people need to know that this election has been postponed due to Hurricane Gustav, and that Malik is running. You can help! If you live in Louisiana’s Second Congressional District you can volunteer to help get the word out to your friends and their friends. If you live anywhere along the Gulf Coast, you have a stake in the election and should consider sending a contribution or coming to help inform your neighbors here. And if you live in the United States of America, you can send contributions or volunteer for the phone bank, donating those extra cell phone minutes to the cause.

Time is short and the opportunity is great. Let us hear from you.

John Atkeison
New Orleans, Louisiana

Then, it really get me riled when an AP reporter named Zinie Chen Sampson puts out a story, as she did this week, concerning Jefferson and the campaign and ignores Rahim completely. According to a copy posted to Green Change, Sampson wrote:
Meanwhile, Jefferson, 61, Louisiana’s first black congressman since Reconstruction, faces a Dec. 6 election against little-known Republican, Anh “Joseph” Cao in his New Orleans-based district. The district’s election was pushed back because of Hurricane Gustav.
That is not media bias. It is just a lazy reporter who did not do their job and no one calls them on it.

At least, I wrote to AP and chided them for their sloppy coverage along with giving some kudos to Erica Werner, who is an excellent reporter for AP. If you want to chime in, you can do so by writing their contact address.
For general questions and comments;or to contact a specific employee:
I mean, if Rahim can get on 20/20, AP should acknowledge that he exists.

Check out anything you can find about Malik. If there is any single contest that needs our care and contribution this year, it is this one.

No comments: