BTS 7/2/07: School Re-Segregation; Healthcare Crisis; Immigration Debate

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The Supreme Court decision on two school desegregation cases (Louisville and Seattle) on June 28 ruled that race cannot be considered in school admissions. Five of nine justices decided that the monumental 1954 Brown v. Board of Ed. decision wasn’t actually meant to ensure racial integration. 5-4, the court said that schools no longer could use race to help integrate their students. In a decision with profound implications for the nation's public schools, -- including LA Unified and its magnet program, the United States Supreme Court invalidated voluntary school desegregation plans. We talk to Nadine Cohen in Boston.

We then look at the national healthcare delivery crisis which is about to get major attention with the opening of Michael Moore’s new documentary SICKO. Jack Rasmus joins us.

And finally, the immigration bill is dead, killed in the Senate. We’ll talk to Alvaro Huerta to figure out what happened and what’s next.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Nadine Cohen is a senior attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of the Boston Bar Association, a thirty-seven year old legal organization engaged in impact litigation and the representation of victims of race and national origin discrimination in the areas of housing, employment, education, voting rights and racial violence. Nadine has directed the fair housing work of the Lawyers’ Committee and handled numerous individual and class action housing discrimination cases in federal and state courts, and before administrative agencies. In addition to her housing work, she has also taken on cases involving voting rights, education, employment, environmental justice and other civil rights cases.

2. Jack Rasmus is currently chair of the San Francisco Bay Area's National Writers Union local chapter 3, UAW 1981, AFL-CIO. Jack has worked many years both as a union organizer, business agent, local president, and labor educator, as well as a journalist, playwright, producer, and most recently book author. As a union organizer, Jack worked for the United Steelworkers, Service Employees, Hotel & Restaurant Workers and Communications Workers unions. For several years he served as a local vice-president and president with the CWA responsible for collective bargaining, arbitrations, and strike coordination and served as a delegate to national conventions and several labor councils. Jack also taught and was a director of labor studies programs in several community colleges in California. Jack has previously written The Political Economy of Wage and Price Controls. He is currently working on the non-fiction book, forthcoming in late summer 2004, entitled The War At Home: The Bush-Corporate Offensive Against American Workers and Their Unions.

3. Alvaro Huerta, Director of Communications, Education & Advocacy at CHIRLA, The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, formed in 1986 to advance the human and civil rights of immigrants and refugees in Los Angeles, promote harmonious multi-ethnic and multi-racial human relations and through coalition-building, advocacy, community education and organizing, empower immigrants and their allies to build a more just society.