Post Office Battles

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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.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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