Bernie Sanders and the Congress of Racial Equality, Chicago 1961-63

“We feel it is an intolerable situation, when Negro and white students of the university cannot live together in university-owned apartments. – Bernie Sanders, January 1962.”


ernie Sanders was in his first year at the University of Chicago, 20 and with a thick New York accent, when he took to the steps of the administration building to rail against a university policy of racially segregated housing.

“We feel it is an intolerable situation, when Negro and white students of the university cannot live together in university-owned apartments,” Sanders told a crowd of about 200 students that afternoon in January 1962. Then he and a few dozen students headed to the fifth floor, where they began a 15-day sit-in outside the university president’s office, passing their time reading and eating dinners of donated cheese and salami sandwiches.

As Sanders and fellow Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton jockey for support from black and Latino voters ahead of Saturday’s South Carolina primary, much of the debate has centered around which candidate has a stronger record of fighting for minorities. The issue could be especially important in South Carolina, where black voters form a majority of the Democratic electorate. In their last primary contest, in Nevada, a large majority of blacks supported Clinton amid questions about Sanders’ early commitment to civil rights.

As a U.S. senator from Vermont, which has a tiny black population, Sanders has faced skepticism from black voters about his longstanding involvement in race relations. Earlier in the primary he tangled with Black Lives Matters protesters, who complained at the time that his message of addressing economic inequality would not always serve as an antidote to systemic racism.

But it’s clear Sanders was at least a local civil rights leader, taking action on campus and in Chicago neighborhoods at a time when such activities were primarily happening in the South, according to an Associated Press review of contemporaneous news coverage and interviews with former classmates of Sanders.

They recall a student who was serious-minded about politics, if not his studies, and inclined toward long discussions of public policy. He once wrote more than 1,500 words critical of campus rules forbidding students from having sex that filled a full page of the school newspaper.

He became active in the campus chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality after arriving in Chicago in the fall of 1961 and before the academic year ended was voted the group’s chairman. In 1963, two weeks before Martin Luther King Jr.’s march on Washington, Sanders was arrested at a demonstration against segregation in Chicago schools.

A Chicago Tribune archival photo of Bernie Sanders, then a University of Chicago student, being arrested in 1963 at a South Side racial discrimination protest. (photo: Chicago Tribune)

A Chicago Tribune archival photo of Bernie Sanders, then a University of Chicago student, being arrested in
1963 at a South Side racial discrimination protest. (photo: Chicago Tribune)

“As far as whites go, he was in the top 1/1000th of 1 percent of people who acted, took it seriously and were willing to put themselves on the line,” said Mike Parker, a former classmate who was arrested with Sanders and about 150 other protesters that day. Parker was released; Sanders and three others — described by prosecutors as having “engineered” the protests — were later fined $25 each, according to a 1964 Chicago Tribune article.

“It was just the beginning of the civil rights movement, and there were very few whites willing to stand up and take a chance, not only to speak of politics but to get arrested for it,” added Parker, now 75 and an activist in California. “He was one of the few.”

This photo of Bernie Sanders under arrest was taken taken in August 1963 near South 73rd Street and Lowe Avenue, in Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. (photo: Chicago Tribune)

This photo of Bernie Sanders under arrest was taken taken in August 1963 near South 73rd Street and
Lowe Avenue, in Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. (photo: Chicago Tribune)

Clinton took the stage in Chicago earlier this month with the mother of Sandra Bland, a black woman found dead in a Texas jail cell. Erica Garner, whose father, Eric Garner, died after police put him in a chokehold, is featured in a pro-Sanders campaign ad and stumped with him in South Carolina.

Sanders’ campaign has highlighted his civil rights activism in ads in South Carolina, just as Clinton’s campaign has highlighted her own record on the issue. Through Monday, at least one in five of Sanders’ television ads there featured a direct reference to his civil rights work or his stances on racial issues, according to data from Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group.

One features Benjamin Jealous, a former NAACP president, comparing Sanders’ work with his own parents’ activism. Sanders is someone who “came up in the Congress of Racial Equality,” Jealous says. Another ad quotes Martin Luther King Jr. and says, “Bernie Sanders. He was there when Doctor King marched on Washington.”

Scrutiny of Sanders also has increased.

Civil rights icon John Lewis, backing Clinton, appeared to question Sanders’ role, saying recently, “I never saw him.” The Georgia congressman later clarified his comments, saying he didn’t intend to doubt Sanders’ participation.

Another flap involved a photograph from the University of Chicago archive used by the Sanders campaign. The photographer, Danny Lyon, said it showed a young Sanders speaking during the 1962 sit-in. But other former classmates said the lanky guy holding court in the hallway was actually another student. That prompted criticism from some who accused Sanders of exaggerating his involvement.

Photographer Danny Lyon identifies the figure standing and speaking as Bernie Sanders. Others dispute it. Everyone agrees Sanders was there and a principal organizer of civil rights demonstrations at the University of Chicago. (photo: Danny Lyon)

Photographer Danny Lyon identifies the figure standing and speaking as Bernie Sanders.
Others dispute it. Everyone agrees Sanders was there and a principal organizer of civil rights
demonstrations at the University of Chicago. (photo: Danny Lyon)

Even classmates who don’t believe Sanders was in the photo, however, said there’s no doubt he was helping lead the event and was a fixture on campus. Bruce Stark, who was treasurer of CORE and participated in the sit-in, said his most lasting impression of Sanders was how much older he seemed.

“He never smiled,” Stark said. “He was absolutely earnest and absolutely sincere — just the way he comes across on TV.”

Sara Burnett, Associated Press


MTA pushes to finish 2nd Avenue subway by year’s end

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has decided to come up with an extra $66 million in its push to get the first phase of the Second Avenue subway opened and running on schedule by the end of this year.

The extra millions will provide longer and additional work shifts for construction workers and come from a contingency fund, which will still contain around $50 million , according to an MTA paper. The MTA Transit and Bus Committee approved the money at a meeting Monday and it was scheduled to go before the agency’s board later in the week.

“With every day’s work on the Second Avenue subway the MTA gets closer to fulfilling a promise made to New Yorkers in 1929,” said MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast. “Opening the Second Avenue subway will provide new options for our customers and relieve congestion on Lexington Avenue 4, 5 and 6 trains.”

The MTA memorandum continued: “With this enormous challenge in mind and the understanding that there needs to be a massive mobilization of employee crews and equipment over a relatively short period of time, it is financially and operationally crucial that the system be ready as planned.”

The $4.4 billion project, construction on which began in 2007, will result in the Q line running to the 63rd Street station on the Lexington line and stations at 72nd Street, 86th Street and 96th Street.

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria), long a strong supporter of the Second Avenue subway, said the extra money was good news.

“This project is incredibly important to New Yorkers as the Lexington Avenue line is currently the most congested in the nation and is in desperate need of relief. I am very much looking forward to my first ride come December 2016.”

Maloney, who has been an advocate of the new subway for 20 years, has long warned that such projects as the Second Avenue subway become vastly more expensive as they are delayed.

The Second Avenue subway is a critical part of the East Side Access plan, which will bring Long Island Rail Road riders into Grand Central. The Second Avenue subway will eventually reach Grand Central and siphon off straphangers to make room for the LIRR commuters as they travel to destinations on the East Side and elsewhere.

For New York New Jersey Rail, new KLW power

New York New Jersey Rail, LLC (NYNJR), a rail-barge short line wholly owned by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, has taken delivery on three new ultra-low-emissions SE10B diesel-electric switcher locomotives from Knoxville Locomotive Works (KLW). The contract, valued at $5.25 million, marks the first collaboration between the Port Authority and KLW.

Design, engineering and production of these 1,050-hp, single-engine locomotives originated in KLW’s manufacturing facilities in Knoxville, Tenn. They’re equipped with drive train systems patented by KLW and MTU. KLW describes them as “designed to reduce locomotive emissions and to mitigate fuel waste. These benefits are achieved without compromising reliability performance or power degradation through the deployment of enhanced electronic control systems and improved tractive effort capabilities.”

NYNJR is operating its SE10Bs at its terminals in Jersey City, N.J. and Brooklyn, N.Y., primarily for positioning railcars for cross-harbor freight operations. KLW says the locomotives, compared to the units they are replacing, will reduce emissions levels and fuel consumption by more than 90% and 60%, respectively, and significantly reduce engine noise levels.

“For Knoxville Locomotive Works, this venture underscores our long-term commitment to deliver advanced technology locomotive power to the North American and international rail markets,” said KLW Chairman Pete Claussen. “It is gratifying we can do this with a localized Tennessee work force and with a predominance of U.S. manufactured assemblies and components.”

“Our customers have consistently told us that two of the most significant challenges they currently face are increasingly stringent emissions standards and increasing fuel costs,” said MTU America Inc. Director of Industrial Sales Scott Woodruff. “Knoxville Locomotive Works has been on the leading edge of designing the best locomotive solutions to meet those challenges, and MTU is committed to helping locomotive builders like KLW deliver the cleanest, most efficient new products to their customers.”

Here’s Why Bill Gates Used to Memorize Employee License Plates

It sounds a bit controlling, but for any entrepreneur, it makes perfect sense.

At just 23 years old in 1979, Bill Gates was in charge of one of the most well-known software companies in the world. Microsoft had revenues around $2.5M per year in 1979. They employed a small, highly motivated team.

Well, most of them were highly motivated.

As Gates explained in an interview with the BBC recently, he used to memorize the license plates of his employees to know when they were arriving and when they were leaving for the day. Let’s just say he wanted to know who was committed.

As anyone who has started a company knows, when you smell an opportunity, you get a little transfixed by it. You can barely think of anything else. Microsoft would eventually build the original version of DOS and then the first version of Windows, which sold 14 million copies in its first year, according to the BBC interview.

In 1979, the opportunities to build something amazing for the business world had never quite existed before… and would never exist again.

Apple was just getting started — they incorporated in 1976 — and IBM would introduce the first personal computer in 1981. You could argue that mobile app development had similar opportunities with the launch of the iPhone and Android, but the tech market was firmly established. In many ways, mobile devices are another offshoot from the original vision Microsoft established: operating system and apps.

“I was quite fanatical about work,” Gates said in the interview. “I worked weekends, and I didn’t really believe in vacations. I had to be a little careful not to apply my standards to how hard they worked.”

I’m pretty sure I know the reason he pushed them. Gates wanted people to be as invested as he was. I imagine he had to practically beg them to stay at work and keep cranking out the code, knowing full well that the window of opportunity (excuse the pun) would exist only for a short period of time. He knew, once the window closed, another company might sweep in and steal away first-time customers.

Gates explained that he was always aggressive but never ruthless. He might have been a bit controlling, and admitted in the interview that it was probably a bit ridiculous that he was tracking employee activities (he stopped doing it as soon as the company started getting bigger), but I understand his motivation. He was hungry. He wanted everyone else to be just as hungry.

There’s nothing quite like a first-time customer for a first-time product in a product segment that has never existed before. There have been only a few over the past 40 years. Dyson made the first bagless vacuum; now you can barely find models that use a bag. Tesla made the first high-mileage electric car (the Model S goes 300 miles); now Ford and Chevy are scrambling to make a budget car that has a similar range. Uber and Airbnb invented the sharing economy, and now boast a valuation that matches up nicely with their originals visions.

The question is: What industry is next? How do you find an opportunity that is so ripe and ready for plunder that you start memorizing employee license plates? Have you found the next Microsoft-size opportunity?

CP cites growing shipper support for NS merger deal, while UPS and TTD voice objections

Canadian Pacific has received more than 80 letters from shippers in support of its proposed takeover of Norfolk Southern Corp., CP announced yesterday.

Sixty-two of the letters have been posted on the Surface Transportation Board (STB) website. The total number of letters to shippers in support of the proposed merger is now more than three for every one shipper letter in opposition, CP officials said in a prepared statement.

CP, which has made three offers to acquire NS, argues the merger would produce options for rerouting traffic around Chicago and other areas of congestion, create new and more efficient routes for rail shipments and allow the merged company to provide end-to-end service to shippers of all sizes across North America. NS has rejected all the offers.

“Change is necessary to support continued economic growth, and continued growth in the U.S. economy is dependent on North American rail service meeting current and future demand,” said CP President and Chief Operating Officer Keith Creel in the statement. “Without the ability to add infrastructure or build more track, options to increase capacity are becoming limited.”

While many shippers have indicated support for CP’s proposal, UPS — the Class Is’ largest intermodal shipper — told the STB in a Feb. 9 letter that it does not believe a CP takeover of NS would benefit intermodal shippers.

“UPS is concerned that this combination would lead to diminished rail intermodal service levels and increased costs for all segments of rail customers,” the UPS letter states. “In addition, UPS is concerned about potential industry consolidation as a reaction to an NS-CP merger, which would only further negatively impact freight-rail shippers.”

Meanwhile, another major party recently weighed in on the merger plan: the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the AFL-CIO. In a policy statement posted Feb. 21 on the TTD website, the labor group expressed “grave concerns” about the “final round of consolidation” the merger would have on the industry by “further reducing jobs, safety and service.”

Having lived through the “mega-mergers during the 1980s and 1990s that have left this country with only seven Class I freight railroads, transportation labor understands … the devastating impact these transactions can have on jobs, freight service and safety,” the statement reads.

TTD called on STB, regulators and legislators “to use their review and oversight authorities to carefully monitor CP’s actions and reject merger schemes that harm the economy and the public interest.”

Supplier Networks and Platforms in 2016

To say that the supplier network business model itself has crossed the chasm would be an understatement. For companies like Ariba/SAP, network revenue has become one of the very core components of overall growth — and the network model itself has become a key value proposition to customers, including supplier enablement, transactional connectivity and supply chain risk management. We will be talking about networks and related enabling technologies, including cloud, platform as a service (PaaS) and blockchain, with ISM at the Global Procurement Technology Summit taking place on March 14–16 in Baltimore.

Supplier network business models may continue to cause consternation in the vendor community, but fees aside, there is little else to dislike about supplier networks, at least from a procurement perspective. And as supplier networks continue to take advantage of new technologies, the models (and value proposition) continue to get broader as well. In 2016, we expect to see supplier network providers:

  • Begin to more regularly get involved in trade financing activities, including invoice discounting
  • Continue to build partnerships with card providers and payment specialists to provide increased visibility, speed and flexibility around the movement of funds from account to account, including integration with trade financing activities
  • Start to encroach on the territory of electronic data interchange (EDI) for direct materials spend and supplier connectivity, and the enablement of industry- or process-specific scenarios (e.g., VMI)
  • For areas like e-invoicing, generally blur the line between what is delivered as a network service and what is delivered as a SaaS/cloud business application
  • Embrace platform-as-a-service (PaaS) models that externalize architectures for development and integration and leverage more internally-developed and third-party apps into their offerings (for both buyers and suppliers) that range from simple plugins (e.g., for currency exchange or specific environmental compliance) to much more
  • Explore the possibility of becoming a “source of truth” for vendor master data information, allowing users to subscribe to “feeds” for continuously updated information to be fed into their own systems (beyond just speeding up initial onboarding)
  • Continue to invest in (and refine) value propositions centered on the mining of network data through new types of analytics services

Networks and platform business models are changing procurement. Join the conversation at the Spend Matters and ISM Global Procurement Technology Summit on March 14–16 in Baltimore.

Bachman, Comets handle IceCaps

The Utica Comets opened a busy stretch in their schedule with a victory.

Richard Bachman helped make it happen.

Bachman totaled 28 saves in a solid performance Friday, and the Comets dominated for a 4-1 victory over the St. John’s IceCaps in a big North Division meeting before a sold-out crowd at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.

“You always want to get (the shutout),” Bachman said. “To me, right now, with (24) games left in the season and where were at in the standings, a win is a win. That’s a pretty good start to the weekend.”

Friday’s game began a stretch in which the Comets play 16 games over the next 33 days. The schedule includes four consecutive weekends in which Utica plays three games in three days as the regular-season winds down. Eleven of the 16 games are against division teams.

“It definitely helps when you win the first night,” Comets head coach Travis Green said. “I don’t overthink it. … I take it weekend by weekend.”

Carter Bancks scored and added an assist, and Mike Zalewski, Wacey Hamilton and Chris Higgins also scored for the Comets, who are 26-18-5-3 for 60 points and have a hold on third place in the division. The win creates some separation between the Comets and the Rochester Americans, who are in fourth place in the North with 55 points, and the IceCaps, which is 23-23-7-3 for 56 points

Brandon Prust chipped in two assists for Utica, which has earned at least a point in 10 of the last 11 games. Prust has a goal and three assists in four games with Comets.

“It was a complete effort,” said Bancks, who has a career-best nine goals this season. “It is something we can build on. We obviously lost two last weekend. It’s good to get the win and get going again.”

Bud Holloway scored the lone goal for St. John’s. The IceCaps, who wrap up a six-game road trip Saturday at Syracuse, have lost four consecutive games and five of their last six. Zachary Fucale finished with 25 saves.

The Comets hit the road for two games to close out the month. The Comets play at Lehigh Valley at 7:05 p.m. today, and they close out the weekend against Hershey at 5 p.m. Sunday.

First period

The Comets got off to a quick start, grabbing a 1-0 lead less than 3 minutes into game.

Zalewski skated in unguarded and tapped in a trickling puck past Fucale from in front for his 13th goal. Ronalds Kenins also added an assist for his eighth assist in the last six games.

The Comets’ Darren Archibald and John Scott, the NHL All-Star Game MVP last month, got into a brief fight about midway through the period that excited the crowd.

Utica extended its lead to three in a well-played period for the Comets.

The Comets went up 2-0 when Hamilton, unchecked at the left corner of the crease, tapped in a pass from Prust along the backboards.

Later in the period, Bancks redirected in a pass from David Shields on an odd-man rush for a 3-0 lead.

“A three-goal lead is huge,” Bancks said. “Obviously, the reason we were up three goals is that we were doing things right.”

Bachman was solid, especially during an extended time when the Comets were whistled for back-to-back penalties midway through the period.

“Overall, we did a nice job of limiting their options,” Bachman said. “Once we killed those off, we were really on a roll.”

Third period

The IceCaps scored late on the power play when Holloway rifled one from the slot with 3:17 left to break up Bachman’s shutout.

Higgins added a shorthanded empty-netter late after the IceCaps pulled Fucale with about 2:30 left. It was Higgins’ third goal with the Comets, who are tied for the league-lead with 11 shorthanded goals.

“You can tell (Bachman) was dialed in,” Green said. “He was sharp. He made some big saves.”

NOTES: Friday’s game was the 40th consecutive sellout for the Comets. … Hamilton was injured in the second period. He did not return. Green didn’t have an update after the game. … The Comets signed Brandon Marino to a professional tryout contract Friday. The 29-year-old Marino scored once in eight games for the Comets earlier this season. He did not play Friday. … The Comets and IceCaps play three more times this season, with the next meeting March 18 at the Aud.

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