Jobs, quality of life attract diverse Las Vegas workforce

The demographics of Southern Nevada are growing increasingly young, diverse and wealthy.

“People follow the businesses, and the businesses follow the people,” said John Lettieri, co-founder and policy director at the Economic Innovation Group, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

Mia Gantt followed the the business. Gantt, a 26-year old African-American woman, moved to Las Vegas from Cleveland last August looking for job opportunities with better pay and to get away from the snow.

And Eric Rodriguez, 31, followed both. Rodriguez, a Latino, came to Las Vegas from Long Beach, California, in Feburary 2015 seeking a less competitive job market. Rodriguez joined World Financial Group in December of that year as a financial consultant and began his own insurance brokerage under the World Financial Group umbrella. So far Rodriguez has one employee with a goal of building a brokerage “as big as I possibly can.”

It’s a virtuous cycle that all states want, but only two states really have, Lettieri said: Nevada, followed by Utah.

The Innovation Group recently ranked the “dynamism” of each state, a metric showing how well-poised economies are to confront challenges and adapt to change. Nevada leads the country, showing a high rate of new business creation, a steady influx of human capital and a flexible labor market.

Immigrants mean business

“There are a couple of characteristics that make Nevada do really well,” said Steve Glickman, co-founder and executive director of the Innovation Group.

One is that Nevada has a hefty foreign-born immigrant population of 19.4 percent, ranking fifth among all states and Washington, D.C., and outscoring the nation by 6.1 percentage points.

“Immigration is highly correlated with entrepreneurship,” Glickman said, adding that foreign-born immigrants are about twice as likely to start a new company than native-born Americans.

These statistics bode well for Las Vegas’ workforce, said Jonas Peterson, CEO of the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, a private organization that works directly with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development as the clearinghouse for economic development in Southern Nevada.

Las Vegas has one of the most diverse workforce pools in the country, Peterson said.

While minorities constitute 37.7 percent of the total U.S. population nationwide, the combined minority population in Las Vegas is 54.2 percent, according to alliance data.

“This may be our single greatest workforce strength,” Peterson said of these figures in March. “Our workforce can speak the language of global companies that need customers on a 24/7 basis.”

The other characteristic that makes Nevada stand out is its rate of new businesses.

“Nevada increased its number of local businesses by 79 percent over the course of the study (1992 to 2014),” Lettieri said. “That’s just an astronomically high growth rate.”

And those businesses have become more diverse as the economy continues to branch out from gaming and tourism.

“The diversification of the types of companies in Las Vegas has created a larger workforce pool,” said Jason Bruckman, vice president of workforce recruitment in Las Vegas for national staffing company Eastridge Workforce Solutions. He has seen this data play out in the past five years, recuriting more engineers and information technology professionals into the market.

“I’ve seen the demographic trend skew to a younger workforce, and I think that will continue as we continue to further diversify.”

Working Demographic
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Lettieri described Las Vegas as a place where it’s easier to move from job to job, where it’s easier to start up companies, where there is “new and exciting things happening, and new development happening,” making Nevada successful in attracting younger and more mobile workers and their families.

Jobs, jobs — and quality of life

Jeremy Aguero, a principal at Las Vegas-based Applied Analysis, said job opportunities is the “primary motivation” for somebody relocating, and “we’re creating a large number of jobs. More so than any other place in the United States, and the outlook is for more of those jobs to be brought online.”

Quality of life is also a big draw for employee transplants.

Survey data from the alliance shows incoming workers in 2016 ranked the quality of life in Southern Nevada higher than in Southern California, Denver, Phoenix and Salt Lake City.

“A significant number of people will seek out where cost of living is lower,” Aguero said, citing utilities, housing costs and taxes. “That’s true of anyone that’s migrating.”

Nevada has a good “quality of life story,” Lettieri said, citing features such as access to the outdoors, natural resources, national parks and urban centers where young people want to live and work in.

“These are all factors that play into being able to attract the kind of demographics that boost the state’s dynamism,” Lettieri said.

Nevada remained the most dynamic state over the course of the study, including during the recession despite being one of its largest victims.

“It goes to show this momentum really carries forward and how much these basic ingredients can overcome other short term challenges, like a recession,” Lettieri said.

People retention

Only time will tell if Southern Nevada’s new out-of-state hires decide to stay here long term, which has a strong relationship with the quality of private and public amenities.

Gantt said she will probably stay in Las Vegas “for a couple of years” and then plans to move again, mostly to satiate her desire to move every few years stemming from growing up in a military family. However, Gantt said she she wouldn’t necessarily want to settle down in Las Vegas partly because of the quality of Nevada’s education and health care systems.

Rodriguez said he plans to stay in Las Vegas for at least the next 10 years but isn’t sure how the quality of Nevada’s education system and health care system will affect his decision if and when he has children.

Gantt and Rodriguez are not unique, but overall Nevada is retaining more and more of its residents.

The number of Nevada-born residents is up over 55 percent since 2005, according to data from the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, and Peterson said the number will only increase as the education and health care systems improve.

The 2017 Kids Count Data Book recently ranked Nevada 49th in the nation when it comes to education. Officials with the state Department of Education say measures passed in the 2017 legislative session will help propel the state higher on the list in the future.

Peterson said that while Nevada’s education system isn’t where it should be, high school graduation rates increased 11.4 percentage points in the past 10 years, from 63.5 percent in 2006 to 74.9 percent in 2016.

Also, 23 of Nevada’s Magnet Schools were awarded the highest national merit awards in 2016 by Magnet Schools of America.

Meanwhile, UNLV is gearing up for its first class of medical students.

Contact Nicole Raz at or 702-380-4512. Follow @JournalistNikki on Twitter.

Harlem’s Great Arts Display

On July 19th over 250 community members, cultural arbiters and friends, gathered for a special reception in honor of harlem is… Art: A Reflection of Community which explores the rich legacy of art in Harlem through revolving exhibitions by artists from Harlem and beyond. The exhibition and special reception are the result of a unique collaboration between Community Works and the Harlem Arts Alliance in association with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Columbia University. The first annual exhibit features the work of 13 visual artists across disciplines and is currently on display at the prestigious LeRoy Neiman Gallery, Dodge Hall, at Columbia University – located at 116th Street and Broadway – through August 10th.

harlem is… Art celebrates the continuing visual traditions of Harlem from the Renaissance to the Weusi artists of the Black Arts Movement of the mid-60’s thru mid-70’s to the contemporary arts movement of today. The exhibit showcases the remarkable talents of emerging and established artists of the community in an eclectic range of styles from traditional to cutting edge through collage, sculpture, mixed media, mosaic, oil and charcoal. Co-curated by Ademola Olugebefola, participating artists include: Inge Hardison, Aleathia Brown, Rodriguez Calero, Marcos Dimas, Mark Gagnon, Susan Grossman, M. Scott Johnson, Nina Olson, Ademola Olugebefola, Lynn Ruffins Cave, Reuben Sinha, Todd Stone and Grace Williams.

Barbara Horowitz, President and Founder of Community Works, said, “What an amazing eclectic mix of art works we are surrounded by, reflecting the diverse communities of Central Harlem, East Harlem, Washington Heights and beyond, with works by Harlem icons and young artists carrying on the tradition of art as a reflection of community. harlem is… Art is very special to Community Works because it is our first fine art exhibition, but it is not our last. We envision, in the coming months, a series of rotating exhibits at multiple locations.�

Beyond the diversity of the work and the array of talent, one is struck by the presence of both Master artists such as 91-year old sculptor Inge Hardison and seasoned collagist Grace Williams. Emerging voices such as sculptor M. Scott Johnson, who apprenticed with one of Zimbabwe’s foremost sculptors for three years, lend a fresh presence to the collection. The paintings are no less distinguished: From Rodriguez Calero’s haunting portraits of Black men in her pieces Urban Apocalypse and Apartheid to the humanity in Susan Grossman’s large-scale piece, Running Upriver. Alethia Brown’s Jubalee is quite simply joy-in-motion.

Marcos Dimas, Artistic Director of the East Harlem based Taller Boricua/Puerto Rican Workshop Inc. and one of its original founders, paints in the tradition of world-renowned Cuban artist Wilfredo Lam, drawing upon Africa, the Americas and Europe in his work. The influence of his artistic predecessor is apparent in the evocative Figuras de Boma.
The exhibition, like Harlem, has an infinitely global feel. Jamaican-born, Harlem-bred artist, Grace Williams says it best: “A new history is being written in Harlem. Both Harlem and the Global community are transforming at a rapid pace. Art, as always, will be at the vanguard in documenting these changing communities…â€?

“It is the role of the Harlem Arts Alliance to provide a place for its members to be showcased. This exhibition provides great exposure for all participating artists,� added Voza Rivers, Chair, of the Harlem Arts Alliance. Fittingly enough, the second exhibition in the rotating series is harlem is… Art: A Celebration of Weusi Artists saluting the 42nd Anniversary of the Weusi and featuring a collection of art from its leading artists. The exhibition will open at the Hamilton Landmark Galleries on August 16th for a one-month stay. The Weusi were a group of local artists who formed the first African-American collective to devote itself exclusively to studying African art. In 1967, members of group opened the Nyumba Ya Sanaa Gallery in Harlem as an alternative to mainstream exhibition spaces for black art. Their work served as both a bridge and a light for African-American artists seeking to explore the relationship between Africa and America through their creative work.

harlem is… Art is an important new component of harlem is…, Community Works’ landmark public art exhibition that celebrates the rich history, culture and individuals of this world-renowned community. harlem is… was created through the lens of 200 Harlem public school students who researched and documented local Harlem heroes and neighborhoods. Launched in February 2003, this celebrated multi-layered exhibition has traveled throughout Upper Manhattan. In December 2004, harlem is… embarked on a partnership with Harlem Arts Alliance and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council to present the harlem is…exhibition at major cultural, historical and faith-based institutions in Downtown Manhattan. To date, harlem is… has reached over 200,000 students and community members.

To learn more about the harlem is… Art exhibit on display through August 10th or any of Community Works’ other programs, special events and/or exhibitions; please call: (212) 459 – 1854 or visit the website: For more reports remember to click on “subscribe� on our home page or call (212) 481-7745 to get the newsstand edition of The Black Star News, the world’s favorite Pan-African news weekly.

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Prepare for a shock in the Vodacom Durban July

If the recent history of the great race is anything to go by Saturday’s Vodacom Durban July will be won by an outsider and the favourite will finish nowhere.

Anton Marcus, picture Liesl King

The average starting price of the winner in the last five years is 18-1 and during that time no favourite has even finished in the frame. But the statistics suggest it will be a straight fight between the three-year-olds and the four-year-olds – they have split the last ten runnings 50:50 with only dead-heater Pocket Power succeeding among the older horses.

Edict Of Nantes (11-2 with Betting World yesterday morning) lost his position at the head of the market during the week but, to this writer at least, he has looked the most likely winner since the Daily News when he beat Al Sahem half a length despite going wide at the turn. Don’t worry about his 13 draw. Anton Marcus is almost guaranteed to have him away smartly and slotted in a good position. The one negative is his rider’s assessment that he might be better over a more galloping course.

Al Sahem (9-2) is a significant half kilo better but his one draw is a potential nightmare that risks seeing him shuffled back and no July winner has started from such a low slot in at least the last 15 years. Also, as an SA Derby winner, he may not be suited by the muddling pace at which this race is so often run. That said, Sean Tarry is having the season of his life but so too is Brett Crawford.

The selection committee came in for criticism for including Black Arthur but the money has poured on Grant van Niekerk’s mount in the last few days. Seventh 12 months ago, his third in the Cup Trial is better than it looks on paper as he was hampered in the straight. But 5-1 looks much too short.

Marinaresco, picture Nkosi Hlophe

Fellow Justin Snaith runner It’s My Turn makes more appeal at 17-2 despite his bad draw. Rider Piere Strydom is bidding for a record fifth July win as is Marcus and Anthony Depelch whose chance on 16-1 shot Nightingale looks more of a place one than a winning one.

Ten Gun Salute (17-2) could get into the shake-up but the record of top weights suggests that 60kg is too great a cross to bear for last year’s runner-up Marinaresco (16-1). However Safe Harbour at 25-1 surely has strong claims. She has gone close in a string of Grade 1s and was running on well at the end of the Woolavington. She looks the pick of the outsiders.

History suggests that last year’s winner The Conglomerate is unlikely to repeat the performance but Joey Ramsden is more than happy with him and the 17-2 shot has come in for significant support in the last three days. Dean Kannemeyer, bidding for a fourth July win, relies on Mr Winsome but 18-1 is not overstating the horse’s chance.

Just Sensual may beat Bela-Bela (favourite in last year’s July) in the Jonsson Workwear Garden Province and Al Mariachi looks another for Crawford in the KZN Yearling Sale Million.

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Preview and form for Vodacom Durban July meeting at Greyville

Preview and form for Gold Circle’s Vodacom Durban July meeting at Greyville on Saturday. Selections by Andrew Harrison.

Race 1

Preview: Wide open. POOL PARTY has some consistent Highveld form and has gone close in some good company. She was a beaten favourite last start but can do better on the poly. SILVER CLASS came good on the poly last time out and has the benefit of a good draw. LEISURE TRIP is coming t hand again. She has shown some smart form in the Cape. ABOUND WEST has won both starts on the poly and with a claiming apprentice up from a good draw she rates a strong chance. Stable companion COSMIC BURST finished ahead of Abound West last start and must have a chance on that showing. (Andrew Harrison: 2-4-8-6).

Race 2

Preview: Wide open. HEAD HONCHO has shown up well in two local starts and makes his poly debut. He has a good draw and Marcus up so should be thereabouts. SCARRABEAST has been up against stronger at his last two. He goes well this course and distance. ARAMOUSE is no stranger to Greyville. His last win came on the Kimberley sand and that could hold him in good stead here. ARCHILLES is better than his last effort. He has gone close in useful company and another in with a winning chance in a very open affair. (Andrew Harrison: 2-4-6-8).

Race 3

Preview: CROWD PLEASER was caught on the line by Vodacom Durban July runner Elusive Silva last time out and prior to that beat July favourite Edict Of Nantes. He only got a one-pound penalty for his last win and looks the part here. ZODIAC RULER continues to flatter to deceive but his time will come and it could be here. He is smart on his day. TROPHY WIFE has been struggling for her next win but has smart form in top company. She does have a fair weight. MY WORD may prefer it a touch further but is in good form and has a light weight. (Andrew Harrison: 7-4-2-8).

Race 4

Preview: Wide open. BANNER HILL is back over what looks to be his best trip after missing out on a lace in the July. He goes well on this course and rates a strong chance. SON ON AFRICA ran a tremendous race in the T&B Derby when only going down late. He is in good form and should see out the trip. HERMOSO MUNDO was a very easy winner of the Gold Bow. He obviously enjoyed the extra and can go in again off this weight. ROCKETBALL showed signs of a return to form last time out after a spell in the wilderness. He goes this trip for the first time but has a handy weight. (Andrew Harrison: 3-6-7-8).

Race 5

Preview: Difficult. LET IT FLOW was a narrow maiden winner last start but had gone close in two previous outings. She can do better this trip. DESERT RHYTHM has good form in a tongue-tie and has won over the distance which helps. She does have a wide draw but looks capable. GREEN TOP won well on debut and looks to have more to come. Draw a concern but rates a strong chance. NEPTUNE’S RAIN has a coffin draw but has smart form over shorter. If she stays the trip she will be a big runner. (Andrew Harrison: 5-2-4-9).

Race 6

Preview: HAKEEM was a very easy maiden winner over the distance last time out and made smart improvement on a good debut effort. He has a fair draw here and is a strong contender. ANCESTRY is a smart looker and won as he liked last time out. He has done well on this course and is on the up. VARALLO has the best of the draw in pole position. He has smart sprint form to his credit and the extra will suit. TROJAN HARBOUR was an upset winner last run but enjoyed the extra after his maiden sprint win. He does have a difficult draw to overcome, one that has been the downfall of many a top horse. (6-1-11-10).

Race 7 Gr1 Vodacom Durban July


Marinaresco – small horse with a big weight. Faces a tough task

French Navy – struggling to find best form but capable on his day.

Master Sabina – twice a Summer Cup winner. Capable on his day.

Brazuca – in a tough one at these weights.

Krambambuli – good form over further. Could find this too short.

The Conglomerate – last year’s winner. Has been campaigned carefully and can win again.

Saratoga Dancer – close-up fifth last year and better in at the weights this time around.

It’s My Turn – Derby winner and to hand at the right time. Good warm-up in 1900.

Ten Gun Salute – smart winner of 1900. Big chance on that showing.

Nightingale – smart warm-up in Tibouchina but will be tested here.

Black Arthur – improving and will be at his peak. Looks well weighted.

Edict Of Nantes – stable in hot form. Won Daily News and Cape Derby. Be right there.

Al Sahem – SA Derby winner. Form hard to fault. Top runner.

Mr Winsome – game Derby win and consistent but in a tough one.

Elusive Silva – in good form. Should be thereabouts.

Pagoda – looks held at these weights but stays the trip well.

Tilbury Fort – stayed on well in 1900. Better this trip.

Safe Harbour – always game. Light weight and can feature.

Horizon – not well weighted and does look held by other three-year-olds.

Nebula – disappointing last run. Can surprise if he runs.

Preview: The weights for this year’s race go pretty much according to the handicapping structure that automatically makes this more difficult as in theory all have an equal chance. EDICT OF NANTES comes from a red-hot stable and has had the perfect build-up and along with AL SAHEM appear to be the main three-year-old protagonists. However, a sneaker could be the filly SAFE HARBOUR. She has had a busy season but never runs a bad race and has bottom weight. The older horses are well in this year so one needs to look at their individual preparations. BLACK ARTHUR and IT’S MY TURN have both been shrewdly placed to get in with the best possible weight and both have top riders. TEN GUN SALUTE is over all his problems and his smashing win in the Betting World 1900 shows that he is in the form of his life. Last year’s winner, THE CONGLOMERATE, is also relatively well in and cannot be written off. Pressed into a corner, Ten Gun Salute is taken to beat home Back Arthur from Safe Harbour, Edict Of Nantes and Al Sahem. (Andrew Harrison: 9-11-18-12)

Race 8

Preview: HORSE GUARDS has his third run after a break and has shown signs of coming to hand at his last two. He has a light weight and a plum draw. ANGEL’S POWER has some smart Highveld form and was a close-up second to the smart and consistent Romi’s Boy last time out. He has done well on the poly. At the other end of the scale, ATTENBOROUGH makes his poly debut under a big weight but tries blinkers for the first time. At best he will go close. VARBRATION has had his fair share of problems but appears to be regaining his best form. Light weight and good draw are in his favour. (Andrew Harrison: 11-5-1-12)

Race 9

Preview: THE DAZZLER came from nowhere to beat a useful field of winners when winning at long odds on debut. A repeat showing will see him close again. AL MARIACHI comes from an in-form stable and was close-up to the highly rated Sand And Sea last time out. He does have a tricky draw but looks good enough to overcome. SNIPER SHOT is much better than his last effort and he will prefer the extra from a good draw. WELL CONNECTED was an impressive winner on debut against winners but he does have a tricky draw to contend with at only his second outing. (Andrew Harrison: 8-1-7-9).

Race 10

Preview: JUST SENSUAL is a top filly and could prove too strong even for a high-class bunch of older contenders. She has a top draw and has prepped well for this race. BELA-BELA is arguably over her best trip and ran an excellent race behind Captain America in the Gold Challenge. She will be a big runner. CHEVAUCHEE has shown up well over two shorter races since arriving in KZN and looks primed for this one from a plum draw. GIMME SIX won the Daisy Fillies Guineas over course and distance and has the best of the draw which puts her in with a strong chance. (Andrew Harrison: 10-1-6-11).

Race 11

Preview: DOOSRA is showing signs of returning to his best form over what looks to be his best trip. The poly could suit. LLOYD’S LEGACY was just in need of his last start and does show some promise. He has a handy weight and looks to have a strong chance. MY PAL AL loves the poly and can do much better than his last two. BISHOP’S BOUNTY has a fair weight from a wide draw but was a beaten favourite at his last two and can make amends. (Andrew Harrison: 2-9-3-1).

Race 12

Preview: SECRET CAPTAIN and CARBON OFFSET have shown smart three-year-old form and with their light weights look to have a strong chance in this field. NEBULA is back over his best distance. He does have a tricky draw to contend with but should go well. BARITONE is starting to find his best form. He has a big weight but will go close on his best effort. (Andrew Harrison: 13-14-5-1)

Form for Gold Circle’s Vodacom Durban July meeting at Greyville on Saturday.

The 11 race broadcast commences at 7.25pm AEST on Sky Racing2 and from 10.25pm AEST on Sky Racing1. The feature R4.25, Group 1 Vodacom Durban July (2200m) is Race 7 at 0020 AEST/4.20pm ACT.

Form includes Racing And Sports complete form service, neurals, worksheet and customised form guide.

Click on the logo and select race.

Greyville finish, picture ThoroughbredNEWS

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Did Congressional Silence On Police Violence

… and Laquan McDonald  both unarmed African American males shot in the back … White supremacy. Black Americans have seen a resurgence of racism since President Barack … people. In Ferguson, besides criminalizing African-Americans, officials balanced the city’s … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News

GOP health bill: How we got into this mess

New America media

Amid all of the scoreboard coverage of the Republicans’ American Health Care Act (AHCA) — they have the Senate votes, they don’t have the votes, how many millions will be stranded without insurance — few lines of type have delved beneath the partisan debates as sharply as Christy Ford Chapin did in her New York Times op-ed June 19, headlined, “How Did Health Care Get to Be Such a Mess?.”

“The problem with American health care is not the care. It’s the insurance,” Chapin begins. Her essay comes on the eve of the GOP’s promised release of its secretive overhaul of American health care. But, while almost everyone agrees that health care in the United States is broken, neither the national media nor political leadership have added much to the public’s understanding of how basically flawed the system is, how it was destined to become so costly, while healing so few compared with health care outcomes in any other advanced economy.

Back to the future, pre-1965

Even Pulitzer Prize-winning author Paul Starr, co-editor of the progressive American Prospect magazine, was alarmed enough to warn that the Republicans’ behind-closed-doors drive to pass a bill before the July 4 break would go well beyond returning the nation to the pre-Obamacare era. Starr believes the bill could return the future back to before Medicare and especially Medicaid were passed in 1965.

Starr worries that congressional Republicans are not only acting to repeal President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), but aim to restructure Medicaid into a program with federal-budget caps so tight it would break down one of the principal Great Society health protections of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.

Medicaid and the Medicare program have been fundamental to health care in the United States since 1965. Although Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s bill is only being unveiled this week, with a vote expected as early as next Tuesday, according to various media sources, the version that the House enacted this spring would virtually eliminate Medicaid’s stature as an entitlement program.

“Entitlement?” That’s certainly a reviled locution, but despite Medicaid’s many flaws, here’s what the Republican reversal of the program would mean to millions of people ranging from low-income rural kids to Native American health care providers to seniors in nursing home dementia units.

In effect, states would get a lump sum each year for their estimated number of low-income Medicaid recipients, and individuals would get a modest tax credit, instead of ACA’s subsidized premiums. The bill tells sick or injured people, “We’re so sorry you’re ailing, but federal funding is now so short that we’ve run out of money until next year. So, we have to say no, even though the old Medicaid program said your condition would have entitled you to the care you need.”

How did we get here? Starr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Social Transformation of American Medicine,” which was just updated in a new edition, shows that unlike any other advanced economy, the United States instituted a small-business model of medicine that promised to preserve the autonomy of individual doctors — and hold government and corporate medicine at bay.

Both parties ‘stumbled’

Chapin, author of “Ensuring America’s Health: The Public Creation of the Corporate Health Care System” (Cambridge University Press, 2015), picks up from Starr. A health-policy historian at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, she writes, “Both parties have stumbled to enact comprehensive health care reform because they insist on patching up a rickety, malfunctioning model. The insurance company model drives up prices and fragments care. Rather than rejecting this jerry-built structure, the Democrats’ Obamacare legislation simply added a cracked support beam or two.”

Obamacare deserves qualified credit: 20 million Americans gained health insurance, although millions more remain unprotected. Health plans were subsidized, but even without the Supreme Court decision undercutting mandated participation by everyone, little was done to more than slow escalating costs. Medicare’s prescription-drug “donut hole” is closing, so seniors won’t fall into that gaping money crevasse, but prices of key drugs used by seniors kept rising by double digits.

So many convoluted compromises. Chapin explains that the American Medical Association, in particular, lobbied successfully to undermine effective models of care developed early in the last century in communities nationwide: “Unions, businesses, consumer cooperatives and ethnic and African American mutual aid societies had diverse ways of organizing and paying for medical care.”

As for a better way, she documents how 100 years ago, physicians established the particularly elegant model of a prepaid doctor group. Unlike today’s physician practices, this provided patients comprehensive, integrated care in one place, with treatments across medical specialties by doctors who met regularly to review treatment options for chronically ill patients and those with difficult cases.

About the only place in American medicine where that happens today is in better palliative care programs for the terminally ill.

In short, good old American know-how was working well a century ago.

Private insurance deciding your care

But in the first half of the 20th century, the AMA became powerful enough to stop President Harry Truman’s universal health care plan and other public health funding efforts until Johnson took the national helm in the wake of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. What Chapin encapsulates so clearly is the AMA’s rickety design “to keep the government out of their industry was to design a private sector model: the insurance company model.”

That model was economically dysfunctional from the start because, Chapin goes on, leading to convoluted workarounds that would eventually have insurance middlemen making medical decisions based on factors such as pre-existing conditions. The AMA’s insurance device was covering more and more people as the 1960s got underway, writes Chapin: “But private interests failed to cover a sufficient number of the elderly.”

Still, the entrenchment of so many private insurance interests was powerful. Although the medical association could not halt Johnson’s “Great Society” juggernaut, the Democratic Congress then structured the new Medicare program, Chapin wrote, “around the insurance company model.”

As for those who lack health care coverage, a decade ago President George W. Bush described (thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s previous decision) the U.S. default to necessary treatment. He stated, “The immediate goal is to make sure there are more people on private insurance plans. I mean, people have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room.”

Medicaid offers a different kind of helping hand. It also passed in 1965, although with a more conservative and racist structure as a means-tested poverty program.

Each state determines payment rates and eligibility limits, although under important but minimal federal requirements. Under the current Medicaid rules, a state can add coverage levels or benefits over the basic federal limits, but once it does, it must provide that care to anyone who qualifies.

Hence the wide disparities between, say, more generous Minnesota and impecunious Mississippi. But even within a particular state’s limits, the Medicaid program can’t simply stop providing essential treatment to someone for, say, a stroke because the government hit a budget cap.

The flaws in Obamacare, which also revamped the U.S. health care system along private insurance lines, are deep.

The Commonwealth Fund’s Sara R. Collins told PBS’s Charlie Rose (June 19) that short of a major shift to another model, such as single-payer health care, ACA is about as good a health program as a commercial insurance-based model can get, with plenty of room for bipartisan improvements. That is, the kind of bipartisan cooperation we’re not likely to see soon.

Meanwhile, the nation’s health care future is up to the U.S. Senate.

Violence is a double-edged sword

I begin this week’s column by thanking the readers and supporters of The Gantt Report. I truly appreciate your longtime and dedicated readership.

Sadly, this may be the final time The Gantt Report will appear in newspapers and media outlets that do not value what is possibly the most widely-read opinion column written by an independent Black journalist.

I also thank the media outlets for the time and space given to me to make Lucius Gantt a name that is known locally, statewide, nationally and internationally,

But times have changed. Writers and media owners cannot continue to inform and educate its readers unless we work together to sustain each other.

TGR will still appear in selected Black media sources, but not all of them. Several will receive legal notices soon to prohibit them from publishing copyrighted columns.

With that said, enjoy today’s column!

The Holy Bible says we will reap what we sow. If you plant an apple seed, you can’t expect the tree that will result from the planting will be a banana tree!

I’m so sorry, and offer my sincere condolences to all the individuals and families that have been victims of violence in recent days.

Stimulus and response
But oftentimes violent actions are followed by violent responses. In other words, life is like a double-edged sword! When you do things or say things to hurt someone, you just might hurt yourself!

When some Republican members of Congress were engaged in a peaceful practice for an upcoming annual softball game between Republicans and Democrats, a man opened fire on the group and seriously injured some Republican politicians, as well as some African-American security officers that were there to protect them.

After the despicable attack, members of both major political parties joined in saying, “When one of us is attacked, it is an attack on all of us!”

Okay. But I say an attack on anybody is an attack on everybody!

When unarmed Black motorists are shot and killed, the victims are demeaned and the perpetrators are honored and praised!

Little sympathy for us   
Everybody has sympathy for politicians that are shot. But very few people have sympathy when children and teenagers of color are shot, and African-American senior citizens are shot, tased, beaten, kicked and thrown down on concrete sidewalks!

Yes, life is like a double-edged sword.

When you go out of your way to oppose reforms in gun laws; when you take tax dollars to finance the militarization of local law enforcement; when you encourage closet Klansmen, neo-Nazis and skinheads to throw peaceful protestors out of public political events; and when you contribute to and vote for politicians that body slam reporters for merely asking a question; that violent sword can cut you, too.

Now Black people. When police, deputies and other local lawmen get your tax dollars to buy more guns, more armored vehicles, more tasers, more tear gas, more shields and build and finance more private prisons to incarcerate people for non-violent offenses, who do you think they use all that stuff on?

They use those things on you!

Hungry and angry
If crime is most rampant in Black neighborhoods, it is because that is where the disadvantaged, the jobless, the homeless, the drug-addicted, the mentally impaired, the exploited and the oppressed people live.

Money should be put in Black communities to provide alternatives for people that have fewer alternatives. A hungry man is an angry man!

Black people are hungry for food. They are also hungry for jobs, hungry for a good education, hungry for affordable health care, hungry for better opportunities, hungry for equal rights and hungry for justice.

When you plant ideas, thoughts, policies, legislation and attitudes about violence, violence can grow around you!

Life actions and behaviors are like double-edged swords that cut, stab and slash in every direction!

Buy Gantt’s latest book, “Beast Too: Dead Man Writing,” on and from bookstores everywhere. “Like” The Gantt Report page on Facebook. Contact Lucius at

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Join the New Initiative to Get “1 Million African American Youth in a Park”

Photo: Every Kid in a Park, Rock Creek Park, September 14, 2015. © National Park Service/Wikimedia Commons.

2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the National Parks and to honor it, President Obama launched the “Every Kid in a Park” initiative, making every fourth grader in the nation eligible to receive a pass good for free admission for them and their families to all of America’s federal lands and waters for a year.

As we enter a new century of National Parks, Stephen L. Hightower and The Hightower Family Foundation has taken the program a step further with its collaborative “1 Million African American Youth In A Park” program. As less than one percent of park attendees are African American the program will raise $10 million for transportation to bring families to see the natural glories of the countryside.

In a statement, Hightower explained, “As an Ohio businessman, appointed by the President of the United States to the National Park Foundation Board of Directors, I saw this as a unique opportunity to reach a new generation. I am personally taking this challenge a step further by committing to reach over one million African American youth; to expose them and to introduce them to our national wonders and historic sites.  My thoughts were that, ‘It would be a travesty not to include the African American youth and the community in this celebration.’”

The campaign kicked off at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival with a series of fundraising events held between May 17 and 19. Sponsored by Hightowers Petroleum Co, The Landau Group, World Artists United, B’s Brigs, Street Diamond Entertainment, and Teddy Winston Brand, the events included a kick-off happy hour, a film industry mixer, and a formal gala featuring a performance by the Grammy-nominated Karina Pasian, drawing more than a thousand celebrities, philanthropists, business professionals, and members of the media.

Photo: Every Kid in a Park, Rock Creek Park, September 14, 2015. © National Park Service/Wikimedia Commons.

Photo: Every Kid in a Park, Rock Creek Park, September 14, 2015. © National Park Service/Wikimedia Commons.

Hightower sees the initiative going beyond just visiting parks. In the statement, he said, “This opportunity…will expose African American youth to other aspects of the Parks, e.g. forging a stronger connection to both nature and our shared history; increased educational opportunities, including STEM and STEAM learning; and career path options.”

All monies raised through charitable giving over the three days were donated to the National Park Foundation for the direct benefit of “1 Million African American Youth In A Park.” To make a donation to “1 Million African American Youth In A Park” please visit,

Miss Rosen is a journalist covering art, photography, culture, and books. Her byline has appeared in L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Online, The Undefeated, Dazed Digital, Aperture Online, and Feature Shoot. Follow her on Twitter @Miss_Rosen.

Nina Turner: It Is Not Our Job to Fit Into the Democratic Establishment

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CM: Right. And how is that going to work? Is there sort of a blueprint for how you’re going to go forward? Is there a plan of action?

NT: We’re working on that. Now that I’m taking this on full time, those kinds of things are at top of my list. For example, building coalitions with Color of Change, which we have done some but we need to do in a deeper way. Building a strong collaboration with a group called Higher Heights for America, which is an organization that was created by two young African-American women out of New York, and their sole focus is to make sure that black women are elected from the local level all the way up to the federal level. So they’re on my list. I have certain groups on my list to go into a deeper dive, and a lot of those groups are groups of color. So you’re gonna see Our Revolution building deeper, stronger partnerships with groups that have a sole focus on people of color.

And then strengthening relationships with groups we are already involved like and Democracy for America. I am very cognizant of how people saw Senator Sanders’s campaign and how some people do believe that the progressive movement, when you say that, only means white. But I can tell you, as I travel this country, I meet everyday citizens of color everywhere who are proclaiming that they are progressives. And it’s not just millennials. I talk to boomers.

CM: What are your thoughts are on how the working class is spoken about in media and politics? I imagine that you have thoughts on how the white working class has been separated out from the black working class in Ohio.

NT: Well, across the country, yes, that definitely weighs on me because I traveled Ohio when I was running for secretary of state. Working class is working class, whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American. If you’re poor, you’re poor. So the fact that some people want to try to drive a wedge between working-class whites and working-class blacks and Hispanics and other people of color, that is a classic as old as time, as the whole divide and conquer.

What we seek to do, what I’ve always thought to do in my leadership, is to let people know that we have more in common than not. Everybody in the working class is important, whether you’re black or white and that’s what I want them to feel and know from Our Revolution. I don’t want our white working class sisters and brothers to feel as though their pain is not important because it is. But at the same time, I want my white sisters and brothers to understand that when we talk about income and wealth inequality, that disproportionately African Americans suffer a little more. That’s an honest conversation.

CM: How will Our Revolution relate to the DNC, the DCCC, the DSCC, that kind of establishment that so many activists and politicians, including you, have frequently criticized?

NT: I don’t think it is our job nor our obligation to fit in. It’s their job to fit in with us. But the overwhelming majority of registered voters in this country, I think it’s 53 percent or maybe 54 percent, identify as independent. Now, we know independents lean one way or the other but they identify as independent so that means that both political parties need to do some soul searching. I’m certainly willing to sit across the table with almost anybody if we gonna work towards the collective good, but it is not Our Revolution’s job to fit in with them.

CM: And how will Our Revolution relate to progressives within government who didn’t back Bernie, like Sherrod Brown and Tammy Baldwin, if they go on to seek reelection?

NT: If they want Our Revolution’s endorsement they will seek it like everybody else and so they gotta start with the local affiliates, and if the local affiliates say that this is the person that we want to back, then there it is. There it is.

CM: And what about the Democratic Party at large. Do you see Our Revolution working to bring some unity to factions in the party?

NT: No. Not really. I want people to be unified. I would say that the board of directors wants that too, but we’re here for a very specific purpose, and that is to help the everyday Americans in this country who feel left behind. That is what this movement is about, for people to know that the power is absolutely in their hands and we are providing the organizational structure to give the power back to the people.

CM: Will the group be endorsing non-Democrats?

NT: You know what, yes. We are open to it. And for me, I’ve also heard the senator say this lately too: Let’s put the political affiliation to the side. If there is a Republican or a Libertarian or Green Party person that believes in Medicare for all, then that’s our kind of person. If there’s somebody that believes that Citizens United needs to be overturned, that we need the 28th amendment to the Constitution that declares that money, corporate money, is not speech and that corporations should not have more speech than Mrs. Johnson down the street and Mr. Gonzalez around the corner, then that’s our kind of people.

CM: What is the issue that will be most important and central to you under your leadership? Is it gonna be health care? Is it gonna be money in politics? Wall Street? What’s most concerning to you?

NT: Health care is the most impending threat that we have now, other than the environment. But Medicare for all or universal health care is vitally important, and especially in light of what the Senate is pushing.

CM: I know it’s your first day on the job, but, I’m wondering about Our Revolution as an electoral force. Our Revolution spent $170,000 in Montana to back then-congressional candidate Rob Quist and only $900 in Kansas. So, going forward, is there a plan in terms of raising and spending money?

NT: Look, if anybody would even dare to critique the way we lost power for some Our Revolution progressives without then saying the same thing about how the establishment has lost almost 1,100 seats over a decade, then that’s some nerve.

CM: Right. But, in terms of strategy.

NT: Yeah. Absolutely. We got to. Listen, people want to win, and we’ve had some local wins. You win some, you lose some. You make investments but, yes. Absolutely. That is certainly part of our strategy and I’m gonna revisit it in a deeper way, in a way that I didn’t necessarily have the opportunity to do as a board member, but that I do have as a president, to continue to be as strategic as possible. But I’m proud of some of our wins. We had the progressive mayor win in Jackson, Chokwe Lumumba, and he ran on a solely progressive platform. And we got Khalid Kamau in Georgia, who won a City Council seat.

CM: And how about your own political aspirations? Are you done with Ohio politics? Are you taking a break? Will you go national?

NT: Well, I’m national now. Ohio is my home, always. I’m a homegirl. Ohio is my home. Ohio is my first love. In terms of my future in electoral office, we will see. Right now I am concentrating on the opportunity that I have to continue to build on the leadership of Jeff Weaver, the former president.

CM: Are you going to continue as a contributor on CNN?

NT: You know, I’m not sure yet.

CM: Bernie 2020?

NT: Oh, my goodness. You gotta ask the senator, but I hope he does, you know? I can’t give you breaking news right now, but I personally hope that he does.