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Out of my jurisdiction


The charred remains of a once sturdy house arrest my attention on my everyday commute. It was such a beautiful home but what is left now is just a shell, covered in ashes.

The story of what happened is almost unbelievable. Just around the corner from where this home is, there is a fire station. Not even a half-mile distance separates a home that nearly burned to the ground and the place that is tasked with putting out fires.  A friend of mine relayed to me that he drove by the house on fire and then passed the fire station. The inactivity at the station was alarming. And the reason why there was no response from this station was because as close as this home was, it was out of their jurisdiction.

  • Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
  • Category: Commentaries

Amendment 1 ruffles the feathers of my faith


I come from a tradition of prophetic Christianity. Within that tradition, religious extremism (or what I have come to describe as theological terrorism) has always been disturbing and counterproductive. Therefore, when I consider the impact of Amendment 1 on women’s health, I confess, the amendment ruffles the feathers of my faith.

Extreme is an understatement. Draconian is insufficient. This Amendment would limit a woman’s access to safe and compassionate abortion care, with no exemptions to save the life of the mother or even when the pregnancy has resulted from rape. There is not a faithful bone in my body that finds this amendment in alignment with religious righteousness.  

  • Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
  • Category: Commentaries

U.S. trails more than 100 countries in voter turnout


Lost in the frenzy to erect barriers to voting, including reducing the hours available for early voting and imposing strict voter ID requirements, is the embarrassing fact that the United States lags behind more than 100 countries in the percentage of registered voters who show up on Election Day.

The U.S. ranks 120th with a voter turnout rate of 66.5 percent. That’s well behind No. 1 Australia (94.5 percent) and even behind Guyana (88.5 percent), Belize (80.4 percent), Mozambique (78 percent), Honduras (72.8 percent) and Uganda (70.8 percent).

  • Written by George E. Curry-NNPA News Service
  • Category: Commentaries

Your vote is a really big deal


The mid-term elections will take place in a precious few weeks and even with my ear to the ground, I can’t hear very much. There doesn’t seem to be a buzz, urgency, or very much interest coming from our communities about the importance of, and the responsibility we have to vote and…get the vote out.

Actually, what I have noticed in many conversations is that the majority of people I talk to are not actually aware of what is at stake if we don’t go to the polls in droves this time. I sense quite a bit of apathy as so many are of the opinion that their one vote won’t count for a variety of reasons, the main one being that “the 1 percent, Koch brothers, and unlimited PAC money, even if it is dark, will prevail.”

  • Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
  • Category: Commentaries