BY ALTON H. MADDOX, JR.
Doubting Thomases and Thomasinas permeate the Black landscape. The idea of a Black and Latino-led political party is novel. Blacks and Latinos are on the threshold of securing ballot status for the Freedom Party. In an organized fashion, Blacks and Latinos have never been able to exercise balance of power in New York. This could become contagious.
In the last phase of a political campaign, the focus is on “Rallying the Troops” and “Getting Out the Vote”. This means high visibility on the part of Freedom Party volunteers. These volunteers must also be mobile. Advertising for the Freedom Party must be intensified. There must be strategic logistics and the effective deployment of personnel and resources.
No political activity can occur without funding. Overall, this requires a war chest. All costs must be identified and quantified. Once these costs are totaled, revenues must be developed to match costs. This will require emergency fund-raising efforts to support any proposed, campaign activities.
Several weeks ago, I had asked Sis. Geneva Butts to ascertain the name of the printer for the Freedom Party. Supposedly, the printer gave the Freedom Party bargain basement prices. At this stage, UAM needs to employ the cheapest printer with a merchantable product.
Mobile sound systems will also need to be employed. Mobile units will need to be dispersed throughout the five boroughs, suburban communities in addition to upstate New York. This will require vehicles, sound systems, advertising, fuel and maps.
Borrowing from the Civil Rights Movement, United African Movement recognizes the need for political rallies leading up to the general election on November 2. Voters not only need to be energized but also educated to the intricacies of politricks. Changing circumstances will require fresh information.
Over the next two weeks, the invited guests will include Dick Gregory on October 20 at Elks Plaza in Brooklyn and also Mark Thompson on October 27 at Elks Plaza in Brooklyn. Through the sponsorship of UAM, the Freedom Party Express will convene a political rally at Friendship Baptist Church, 144 West 131st Street in Manhattan on Tuesday October 26 at 7:00 p.m. Dr. Joseph Bragg was the facilitator. Rev. James Kilgore is the pastor.
For the last two weeks of the gubernatorial campaign including the campaign for attorney general, there will be political rallies in Brooklyn and Manhattan. There also needs to be political rallies in Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island and lower Westchester County at the very least. Different organizations should sponsor these rallies and also feature nationally-recognized political activists as guest speakers. There must be a show of unity and equality.
November 1 is “Black Solidarity Day”. There needs to be a city-wide political rally preferably, in my opinion, near the Brooklyn Bridge or another seemingly neutral venue and reasonably accessible to most interested persons. This should be a day of celebrating African history and African culture. Dr. Carlos Russell is its architect.
A well-written and well-developed press kit should be prepared and widely-disseminated for the Black media in and about New York City. The press kit should cover all issues from soup to nuts. It should be a mini encyclopedia on New York politics. The Black media should not only be encouraged to cover the Freedom Party but also serve as a conduit for voter education. A directory of the Black media must be printed.
In addition to communications over the airwaves and in commercial print, other areas of communications must be explored including but not limited to the Internet, flyers, etc. A committee must be established to cover these areas and print these communications on the Freedom Party and voter education. A website alone is not going to serve a population which is off the information highway.
October 18 Gubernatorial Debate
Councilman Charles Barron will debate the other gubernatorial candidates on October 18. The sponsors include News 12 Networks, Newsday and Hofstra University. It will air live at 7:00 p.m. on News 12 Long Island, Westchester, Hudson Valley. The Bronx and Brooklyn and Time Warner Cable’s NY 1 and YNN (Buffalo et. al.).
Since Cuomo has a glass jaw, he will stumble out of the gate when he has to confront not only Barron but also Paladino, Kristin Davis, Jimmy McMillan, Howard Hawkins and Warren Redlich. Cuomo and The New York Times would prefer to avoid the candidates of grassroots movements like Barron and McMillan.
Supporters of the Freedom Party must use every form of communications available to publicize this event. This may be the only televised debate that will feature Councilman Barron. Every Black person in the viewing audience should be encouraged to be at home on Monday evening. The debate may also be seen on the Internet and on upstate cable companies.
On Thursday morning at about 10:00 a.m., Assemb. Inez Barron left a voice message on my home phone that five tickets for the debate were available to UAM members. About two hours later, Jitu Weusi called me on my cellphone and left a message that four debate tickets were available for UAM members. The deadline for the submission of names was 3:00 p.m. on Thursday.
When I indicated that I was unable to do justice and immediately furnish four names, Sis. Geneva Butts intervened on behalf of the leadership of the Freedom Party to ensure that the tickets would be salvaged. More than four persons deserve debate tickets. I organized the entire state. It would be shortsighted to give me only four tickets. Most assuredly, some persons received more than four tickets for simply being a member of the clique.
Acting not on my behalf, Sis. Butts arranged a deal that would extend the deadline to Saturday, October 16 at noontime. Sis. Butts has also mistakenly diminished my role in the campaign to UAM only. I could easily name ten persons who are not UAM members and live beyond New York City that would deserve debate tickets.
In fact, I called persons in Buffalo after I was belatedly notified that a few debate tickets were available to UAM members which I am supposed to share with the entire state. Some people who have benefitted from our labor are now getting amnesia. People outside of UAM also deserve debate tickets.
Because of the lateness of the hour, these persons in Buffalo had to reluctantly decline the invitation. There are more than four persons in Buffalo alone who deserve debate tickets. I have to be concerned with my reputation and my integrity. UAM was an afterthought in the issuance of debate tickets. Unfortunately, some UAM members fail to respect themselves. Nonetheless, respect is the number one issue.
During the summer with assistance from Ed Davila, three different spaces were able to be secured in Manhattan for possible rental. Manhattan was targeted since the members who were willing to work in the office nearly full-time all came from Manhattan or the Bronx. No reason existed for those persons to have to travel to Brooklyn.
The search for an office has been ongoing for more than three years. It was aggravated by the landlord, SL Green, and his brother, Mark Green, who terminated a landlord-tenant relationship which had existed for more than twenty years with Maddox as the sole tenant. Green became the landlord in 2008.
If history is our guide, it will take another sacrificial lamb to sign a lease for UAM. Harriet Tubman was a sacrificial lamb. She loved her people. Rosa Parks was a sacrificial lamb. She loved her people. Is a sacrificial lamb a current member of UAM? The mere collection of prospective rent is not going to create an office for UAM.
A sacrificial lamb must boldly step forward and hope that someone will support the effort to secure an office for UAM. Otherwise, the sacrificial lamb must bite the bullet. It simply requires one signature. Since 1988, UAM has had a sacrificial lamb who quietly signed renewal leases and went to court to defend himself against summary proceedings.
UAM will now only need half of the space that was offered to UAM on Malcolm X Blvd. and 141st Street. The larger space was necessary for a statewide party. If the Freedom Party is going to be effective, it will need a full-time office with competent personnel. An effective political party is not seasonal. It is 24×7.
Although UAM is without an office space, it has not been lacking in production. The work has continued only due to the sacrifices of Alton and Leola Maddox and Sis. Sarah Russell. No lives of any other UAM members have been sacrificed by the lack of office space. Apartments are now substituting as warehouses and offices.
Without any support from the leadership of the Freedom Party, Black elected officials or leading Blacks, UAM has filed a voting rights complaint with the U.S. Justice Department seeking its intervention in the 2010 general election in New York and demanding injunctive relief. This ballot is fundamentally flawed.
A copy of the complaint accompanies this agenda. Starting on Monday, it is critical that Mr. Eric Holder receive phone calls from us. This complaint will not be filed in the mothballs if supporters of Freedom Party make noise. It is shameful that leading Blacks are unable to connect the dots using a flawed ballot to shortchange our effort to start a political party with our political rights in general.
The failure to protest this flawed ballot handicaps the opportunity of the Freedom Party to secure 50,000 votes for its gubernatorial candidates. It does not help that computers with no paper trails are being employed in New York. This will not be the first time that whites have conspired to shortchange Black voters.
Too honest for the White Press and too black for much of today’s Black Press; bullet columnist Alton Maddox upsets the same people and status quo as he did as an uncompromising Defense Attorney, but he has yet to lie about anything. Contact him at c/o UAM P.O. BOX 35 BRONX, NY 10471