The Congressman Gregory "Community of Vision " Initiative

We are proud to announce a joint initiative with the office of Congressman Gregory Meeks Of New York that we hope represents a paradigm shift in Black politics. Congressman Gregory Meeks and are facilitating the evolution of a non-partisan political Community Of Vision (COV) - a network and forum of concerned and interested members of the Black electorate who will engage Congressman Meeks in dialogue, agenda formulation, and action steps around the issues that affect the Black community in an increasingly diverse America and economic globalization.

The community grows out of Congressman Meeks' CBC Issue Forum, " Diversifying the 21st Century America: Culturally, Politically, Financially, and Globally." The passionate and well-attended forum featured panelists, 1) Cherri Branson, Public Policy Advisor 2) Donna Brazile, Chair, Democratic National Committee's Voting Rights Institute 3) Judge Joe Brown, The Judge Joe Brown Courtroom Show 4) Darien Dash, Founder/ CEO, DME Interactive 5) Bill Fletcher, President, TransAfrica Forum 6) Donna Frisby-Greenwood, Executive Director, Inner-City Games Philadelphia, Inc. 7) Janis Kearney, Writer, Diarist, Historian for President Bill Clinton and 8) Jacqueline Daughtry-Miller, Senior Vice-president, Independence Federal Savings Bank. All of the panelists will also be participating in the initiative. Publisher, Cedric Muhammad, moderated the issue forum.

The goals of the forum are to use cutting edge communication technologies and the principles of dialogue and debate to weave together a tightly knit "constituency-at-large" that will both challenge and support Congressman Meeks, and aid him in the formulation of legislation and policy stances pertaining to issues that affect the Black electorate in the Western Hemisphere and in Africa, in the context of American diversity and the global economy. The Community will serve as an ad-hoc think tank and advisory focus group to Congressman Meeks. It is Congressman Meeks' desire that the Community tackle any and all issues that impact and affect the Black electorate and inform him of its most candid views regarding such. By weaving the community together through communications technologies, the initiative hopes to provide an example of how Black politicians and their local and national constituents and support groups can be brought together in a way that ensures access and influence for the public and efficiency and information for the lawmaker. One of the benefits of the initiative will be a better understanding and sensitivity to Congressman Meeks' responsibilities as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and as a member of such important Congressional committees like the Committee on Financial Services where Congressman Meeks further serves as a member of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, & Government Sponsored Enterprises; the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy, Technology & Economic Growth; and the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions & Consumer Credit. In addition, the community will closely monitor the New York lawmaker's duties on the Committee on International Relations and its Subcommittee on Africa, and Subcommittee on East Asia & the Pacific.

The initiative, itself, grew out of a request from one of the issue forum participants who did not want to see the dialogue and steps toward agenda-building, made that day, dissolve at the end of the CBC convention.

Throughout the forum, participants and panelists listed nearly 100 cultural, economic and political issues, policies and agenda items for immediate action and further review. Everything from Black America's campaign finance dilemma, the purpose of diversity and political coalitions, reparations, Iraq, sentencing disparities, innercity economic development, Black-owned financial institutions, trade with Africa, alienation between the Hip-Hop generation and the civil rights generation, and education issues were all discussed in the over three-hour session. The panel discussion and spirited audience question and comment session consistently challenged and critiqued the traditional paradigms of Black leadership.

Members of the Community will receive updates from both Congressman Meeks and pertaining to significant issues and points of dialogue that require further discussion, and the development of a consensus position, and all COV members will be encouraged to express their opinions, views, and analysis directly to Congressman Meeks and Publisher, Cedric Muhammad. In upcoming weeks and months, Community members will begin to dialogue with one another, the Congressman, and his staff members via a private chat room and discussion board. It is hoped that next year, the group will reconvene in Washington D.C., at the Congressional Black Caucus convention.

The core members of the initiative are all of those who were present at Congressman Meeks' CBC Issue Forum, " Diversifying the 21st Century America: Culturally, Politically, Financially, and Globally" on September 13, 2002, but the community will continue to grow and expand via the Internet as interested viewers from among the audience are welcome to participate as extended members of the community.

All that is required is an e-mail sent to us at The e-mail should include your name, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address and a list of the 5 most important issues affecting the Black electorate, in your opinion.

For further announcements and updates, please continue to visit

Tuesday, September 24, 2002