In honor of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., his birthday, and his holiday, Carroll's guests today are Massachusetts State Representative Byron Rushing and Marsha Joyner, a frequent participant on our show. They start with a discussion of the civil rights movement, a reminder of its historical importance, and of what is relevant today.
Rushing is an advocate for homelessness, civil rights, health reform, same sex marriage, and other social issues. His philosophy is to approach all people as human beings. Representative Rushing tells us the priority in Massachusetts is to get housing first. He also makes clear, people should not be discriminated against in any civil institution. Civil rights are for all people. Representative Rushing stresses the need to know the history of all oppression - Blacks, Chinese, Native Americans, and other cultures - before we can move forward. A caller recommends reading Howard Zinn's book, A History of the United States.
Representative Rushing tells us many of the housing problems in Massachusetts started when rooming houses were lost due to gentrification, and when the deinstitutialization of mental health facilities released many patients into the general population. Additional housing was not created for those segments of the population.
Regarding housing, Carroll and Representative Rushing talk about how Massachusetts handles money it receives from HUD. As discussed on previous shows, Carroll has many questions about Hawaii's use / non-use of HUD money, particularly in how it relates to the City's proposed sale of their affordable housing units.
Carroll sent a list of questions to both Mayor Caldwell and Mr. Mark Chandler, Director CPD HUD, Honolulu. Link here to questions
we asked Mayor Caldwell, (he has not answered yet). Link here for questions we asked Mr. Chandler of HUD, as well as his answers. We think you will find the questions and answers very revealing.
Basically, we have learned the City is sitting on approximately 13 million of unspent HUD dollars that could be used to aid the homeless. Rod Tam joins Carroll the second hour to explain more about HUD and the homeless situation in Hawaii. Rod Tam would like to start an affordable housing advocate group. Call him at 216-5454 for more information.
A caller tells us how she became homeless in Hawaii. Marsha Joyner tells us about a family that is homeless after their house burned down. Another caller asks what has happened to Hawaii's melting pot and Aloha.
Tomorrow, on Monday, 1/20/14, the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade will begin at Magic Island at 9 a.m. and end with activities at Kapiolani Park. Representative Rushing and his wife, Frieda Garcia, will be Grand Marshalls for the parade. Representative Rushing was a civil rights activist, working with CORE - the Congress of Racial Equality in the 60's. He was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1982. Frieda Garcia, is Boston's South End Community Leader.