She is racing to wrap up her job as a grant-writing consultant. She is racing to get her 10-year-old son logged in to start remote learning at home since a case of coronavirus shut down his school. She is racing to drive her two-year-old daughter over to grandma's house for daycare. But now on top of that, three times a week, 29-year-old Caldwell-Liddell is racing to get Detroit voters, especially the black community, to, in her words, "wake up." Four years after Donald Trump became the first Republican to win Michigan since 1988, Caldwell-Liddell is working as a one-woman canvassing machine in downtown Detroit to prevent it from happening again, fighting against what she says is an apathy within the community toward politics. Trump's Michigan victory was one of the biggest surprises of 2016. He won the state by just 10,704 votes. Wayne County, which includes Detroit, the largest Black-majority city in the country, was critical to that result. Hillary Clinton still won the county by a large margin — but she received about 76,000 fewer votes than President Barack Obama did in 2012. Visit CNN's Election Center for full coverage of the 2020 race. While Caldwell-Liddell is motivated and focused on preventing Trump's re-election, she also says, "the Democratic Party has not done a good job at all in taking care of communities like ours." And it's she clear she struggles with that burden."(Democrats) take us for granted because they know that Black women are going to help them get the big wins they need, where it matters. But they also know that they can give us the bare minimum, knowing that we aren't going to choose the other side," she said. ""It says we still got a long way to go when the backbone of the country is the most neglected piece of the country," she said.She isn't coordinating with any campaign, but she is pounding the pavement at bus stops and outside convenience stores to try to make sure Detroiters are registered to vote and are going to vote. Many of them are disillusioned by the systemic racism they see within their city, the President's response to the coronavirus pandemic that has hit minority communities hardest and the economic inequality that has persisted for decades in Detroit and is only made worse by the pandemic. "I know for a fact that if just a portion of the folks who sat home in 2016 made it to the polls, had someone to empower them to do it, that could have changed the outcome for Michigan," Caldwell-Liddell said."On countless days when I go out and canvass, I will go up and talk to someone and they'll say, 'Listen, lady, I know that what you're saying is probably right. I know that you just want me to get out and vote. But I'm sorry. I've got gotta feed my kids. I don't even have time to listen to what you're saying,'" she said. "That's a part of why I started doing this work with Mobilize Detroit…because at this point, this is our survival now. What happens politically is a part of our survival. And there's no escaping that."
Fighting against apathy
Amber Davis, 29, is one of those people who sat out the 2016 election after supporting Obama in 2012. "I didn't like Trump and I didn't like Hillary," Davis said. "I didn't really care who won that election." Davis, a part-time massage therapist and full-time student pursuing a career in IT, says she cares now. She's voting for Biden, even though she says she doesn't really like him either. "If I get Trump out of office by voting for Biden, then so be it," she said. Davis adds it is the President's handling of the pandemic that clinched her vote this time. "This coronavirus and everything that's going on, it is horrible. So he got to go."She says she is disillusioned by politics in general because she says no matter which party wins the White House, her life doesn't get any easier. "We feel like our votes don't matter. We feel like it's just a waste of time," Davis said. Caldwell-Liddell knows what it is like to not have time for politics, especially presidential politics. In just the past year, she says her family was forced out of a home they had rented for the past four years. Then the next home had plumbing issues and instead of fixing it, the landlord simply just had the water shutoff, requiring Caldwell-Liddell to take them to court to get anything fixed. In the midst of all of this, she lost her pregnancy."I ended up having a stillbirth at seven months pregnant, living in a house with no water in a city that did not care to take care of me," she said. "And things like that are allowed to happen because when folks like me are too worried about surviving to pay attention to what's happening down at City Hall."She is now turning that apathy into action. "I know that as a voter and as a Black woman, that there is a job that I have to do in order to get a representative who will come close to protecting my people in office. But I'm not necessarily excited about having another representative there who really does not inherently understand the needs of our community."Caldwell-Liddell is voting for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, spending free time that she doesn't have trying to get others in Detroit to vote for him, but she's not excited about it. This election for her is more a vote against Trump. "I don't really have many feelings towards Joe Biden one way or the other," she says. "Kamala (Harris) makes me feel a lot better than Joe, to be honest with you." She says getting Trump out of office means life or death for her community. "Donald Trump is a president that does not care about people that look like me, about people like me, in any shape or form."Sitting out any election is something 63-year-old Markita Blanchard simply does not understand. "I've always voted straight down the street," she says while sitting in her backyard filled with the plants and flowers she shows off with pride. "There is no justifiable excuse not to.""People died for that right for us to have the opportunity to vote," she added. Like Caldwell-Liddell, Blanchard has also lived in Detroit her whole life. She and her three brothers still live in the house they grew up in, now all taking care of their 93-year-old mother.Blanchard works as a janitor at a local public school. While she describes her childhood in the westside of Detroit as a "fairytale," she describes life today as a struggle. "We're not exactly living paycheck to paycheck. I consider myself living paycheck and a half to paycheck," she said. The main street in her neighborhood looks nothing like how Blanchard describes it from her childhood. A "ghost town" now sits where grocery stores, dry cleaners, Black-owned gas stations and a movie theatre once stood. This economic collapse is one reason Blanchard is voting for Biden. She says she's with him "100%," reserving more colorful language to describe Trump.
Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward rejects calls for audit of party elections
Kelli Ward on Friday rejected calls for an audit into her recent reelection as the chair of the Arizona Republican Party and other party races, arguing that the state GOP does not have the structure to review them.
Senate impeachment trial arguments to start February 9
The second Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is scheduled to begin on February 9 after Senate leaders reached a deal to push it back, giving Trump’s legal team more time to prepare and Senate Democrats a chance to consider Covid-19 legislation and to confirm President Joe Biden’s Cabinet.
‘It will be a full trial’
‘QAnon Shaman’ Jake Angeli charged over pro-Trump riots
A prominent follower of the baseless conspiracy theory QAnon has been charged over the US Capitol riots.
Jacob Anthony Chansley, known as Jake Angeli, is in custody on charges including violent entry and disorderly conduct.
Mr Chansley, who calls himself the QAnon Shaman, is allegedly the man pictured with a painted face, fur hat and horns inside Congress on Wednesday.
Donald Trump faces another impeachment charge for his role in the unrest.
Democrats accuse the president of encouraging the riots, in which five people died.
The FBI has been appealing to the public to help bring the assailants to justice.
Mr Chansley has not commented publicly on the charges.
A statement from the federal attorney for Washington DC said: “It is alleged that Chansley was identified as the man seen in media coverage who entered the Capitol building dressed in horns, a bearskin headdress, red, white and blue face paint, shirtless, and tan pants.
“This individual carried a spear, approximately 6 feet in length, with an American flag tied just below the blade.”
The statement said police had also detained a man from Florida believed to have been photographed carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern from the House of Representatives chamber.
Adam Johnson, 36, is being held on charges including one count of theft of government property and one count of violent entry.
Also among those charged is West Virginia lawmaker, Derrick Evans. He is alleged to have posted a video of himself online, standing outside the building with Trump supporters, and then going inside.
He was arrested on Friday and is also accused of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds, the Department of Justice statement said.
More than a dozen people have now been charged in offences related to the assault on the Capitol building. They include an Alabama man allegedly found with 11 Molotov cocktails near the unrest.
Mr Trump is due to leave office in 11 days. Democrats in the House of Representatives plan to introduce an article of impeachment against him on Monday, for “incitement of insurrection”.
A White House spokesperson said impeaching the president at this late stage would only further divide the country.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-55606044
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