Kevin C. Peterson

Guest Contributor

Stories by Kevin C. Peterson

Voting reforms are long overdue

Voting reforms are long overdue

Early voting, same-day registration needed

In an era of voting rights retrenchment – where electoral freedoms are steadily eroding nationwide – Massachusetts lawmakers on Beacon Hill are on the verge of doing the unexpected: Passing an omnibus voting rights act.  The Massachusetts Senate late last week sent legislation to the House of Representatives which would, among other enabling civic measures,(...)

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Voting Rights Act debate misses larger civic opportunities

Voting Rights Act debate misses larger civic opportunities

It’s time to embrace practical voting reforms

US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts caused a civil rights brouhaha last month by citing a seeming disparity between voter registration and turnout rates among African-Americans living in Massachusetts and Mississippi.  In a case now before the court, Shelby vs. Holder, Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is at risk of being(...)

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Mixed grade for Obama’s first term

Mixed grade for Obama’s first term

Bold initiatives, but a failure to sell them

BARACK OBAMA’S FIRST TERM was marked by daunting political realities. Upon entering office, he faced an economic crisis un­matched since the Great Depression. The banking system teetered on the verge of collapse. The automobile industry in Detroit was tanking. The nation was hemorrhaging 70,000 jobs each month. Despite all this, some said there were reasons(...)

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Election laws need overhaul

Election laws need overhaul

It’s time for a comprehensive voting-reform bill

The Massachusetts Legislature recently accomplished what few believed was possible.  With a singular commitment to broadening democracy in the state, it adopted a fair and comprehensive redistricting plan.  For this achievement, members of the Legislature should be lauded.  After all, the body’s history regarding redistricting has been a troubled one — pockmarked with acts of duplicity,(...)

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Study takes measure of Boston poverty

Study takes measure of Boston poverty

Boston Foundation report tells tale of two cities

A study released last month by The Boston Foundation delivered grim news about the state of racial inequality in the Hub, depicting alarmingly high levels of poverty within black and Latino neighborhoods across the city.  The report highlights the ever widening wealth gap between the rich and the poor, which has thousands of black and(...)

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The casino misery toll

The casino misery toll

The poor and blacks will suffer most from the seductive lure of games where the house always wins

As state lawmakers move closer to cutting a deal on casino gambling in Massachusetts they should carefully ponder the human downsides as much as they consider the revenue upside. The upside, of course, is that the casinos and slot houses are projected to bring in significant tax dollars to state coffers, subsidizing state budgets in(...)

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The minority voting rights imperative

The minority voting rights imperative

An open letter to the governor on protecting minority voting rights during redistricting

Dear Governor Patrick: Few Americans are more aware than you of the salient and inherent value of the right to vote and the importance and indispensability of representative democracy.  Having once served as a civil rights lawyer for the NAACP, as chief counsel for the Department of Justice in the Civil Rights Division, and now(...)

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The state of black Boston: Not so good

The state of black Boston: Not so good

Dismal statistics don’t give big reasons to cheer

The Urban League’s “State of Black Boston” report released Monday evokes the distinctly Hobbesian perspective that for many African-Americans in the Hub conditions are “poor, nasty, brutish and short.” To be sure, the report stops way short of describing the black community as being in a “state of war of all against all,” as political theorist(...)

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