Out of the Ferguson crisis, US News and World Report list, “5 Things Civil Rights Groups Want From Ferguson,” a number of issues which civil rights organizations hope to focus debate as events unfold in Ferguson and reverberate throughout the country.
“Activists are pointing to structures in Ferguson’s local political system that have bred distrust between residents and authorities. In addition to a mostly white police force, Ferguson’s local government is made up mostly of white politicians, despite about two-thirds of residents being black. A number of factors are believed to be contributing to this discrepancy, from the fact that local elections takes places during odd number-years when black turnout is significantly lower than for presidential and gubernatorial elections years, to the reality that many Ferguson residents do not own their homes, which often goes hand-in-hand with being registered to vote.
Additionally, a significant portion of local government’s funds come from fines, fees and traffic tickets – court fees alone make up nearly a quarter of city’s revenue – and NAACP LDF Associate Director-Counsel Janai Nelson says her group will look to see that the “funding of local government is not tied to the potential civil rights abuses of community members.”
Read the full article in US News and World Report.