Post Office Battles


Last week, House Republicans protested a proposal to name a post office in Berkeley after a former councilwoman and peace activist, Maudelle Shirek. Although most such proposals pass without comment, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) opposed the resolution, demanded an unusual roll-call vote, and rallied Republicans to shoot it down, denouncing the 94-year old Shirek as “un-American.” Chip Johnson, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, noted that it was the first such rejection in history:

Shirek’s supporters could make a pretty strong argument that she has done as much for Berkeley as Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Jay Hanna “Dizzy” Dean did for his hometown of Wiggins, Miss., or Chick Hearn did for the Los Angeles community of Encino, which honored the longtime voice of the Los Angeles Lakers with a post office in his name.

Defending his opposition to Shirek based on her “affiliation” with a Marxist library, King told the Chronicle, “I think that if Barbara Lee [a defender of Shirek’s] would read the history of Joe McCarthy she would realize that he was a hero for America.” Lee, who proposed the resolution, vowed to continue fighting for the dedication.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.