Letitia James, New York’s attorney general, is preparing to announce as soon as Thursday that she will run for governor, according to six Democratic leaders briefed on her plans.
Ms. James, her chief of staff and key political advisers began informing allies in the state’s labor unions and Democratic political circles in recent days that she intends to challenge Gov. Kathy Hochul in next year’s Democratic primary, and could make her plans public as early as Thursday, potentially by video.
Several of the Democrats, all of whom asked for anonymity to detail private conversations, said that the attorney general’s team was seeking commitments for early endorsements that could help build momentum for a campaign.
Ms. James’s team would not confirm early Wednesday afternoon that she intended to enter the race, but an adviser later said that a decision had been reached, ending months of deliberations.
“Attorney General Letitia James has made a decision regarding the governor’s race,” the adviser, Kimberly Peeler-Allen, said in a statement. “She will be announcing it in the coming days.”
Ms. James’s candidacy would ensure an expensive, high-profile Democratic primary that would set up a marquee test over the direction of the party in a heavily Democratic state. It will also establish a vigorously contested race that some party leaders had hoped to avoid after years of party infighting.
Ms. James, 63, would enter the primary as the most formidable challenger to Ms. Hochul, New York’s first female governor, who has taken an early lead in sparse public polling. The two were scheduled to appear on Wednesday evening at the same New York City reception for a group that supports women running for public office.
A former New York City Council member from Brooklyn, Ms. James has won citywide and statewide office and would offer voters the chance at another historic first: If elected, Ms. James could be the first Black woman ever elected governor in the United States.
As attorney general, she has won acclaim from liberals for taking on the National Rifle Association, investigating former President Donald J. Trump and overseeing the inquiry into sexual harassment claims against Andrew M. Cuomo that ultimately led to his resignation as governor. But it was not yet clear to allies or analysts how Ms. James would seek to differentiate herself politically or ideologically from Ms. Hochul.
“It’s going to be a definitive moment to have a sitting governor challenged by the current attorney general from the same party who are both history-making in their own right,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman, a Democrat from Manhattan, who cautioned he was not aware of Ms. James’s plans. “This is the beginning of understanding the differences in the candidates.”
The exact timing of Ms. James’s announcement appeared to still be up in the air on Wednesday. If she does not announce before the end of the week, her plans could collide with two major events on New York’s political calendar next week: New York City’s mayoral election and the annual conclave of the state’s Democrats in Puerto Rico.
One Democrat familiar with the attorney general’s thinking and deliberations said that Ms. James, who has considered the decision exhaustively, could still reverse course and either announce an exploratory committee for governor or that she will seek another term as attorney general rather than pursuing the top post. A late change of plans is not unprecedented in New York politics: Gov. Mario M. Cuomo famously abandoned airplanes waiting on the tarmac to whisk him to New Hampshire when he decided not to run for president in 1991.
So far this year, Jumaane D. Williams, the New York City public advocate, formed an exploratory committee last month. Another Black Brooklynite with appeal to some on the left, he could compete with Ms. James for key demographic and ideological constituencies.
Other Democrats are still considering runs, including Mayor Bill de Blasio in New York City and Representative Thomas Suozzi, an outspoken centrist from Nassau County.
Foreign-born population soars to new record under Biden; highest rate of immigrants since 1910
The U.S. has had a massive surge in immigration this year, with as many as 1.5 million newcomers and a record 46.2 million foreign-born people, according to a report for the Center for Immigration Studies.
After a deep trough last year, likely because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the travel and migration restrictions imposed to control the spread, the flow of people rebounded around the time President Biden was elected.
In numbers never seen before, they are coming legally through airports and land border crossings and illegally across the Rio Grande and remote regions of Arizona and California.
“There was pent-up demand for legal immigration, and illegal immigration has exploded in one of the greatest surges, if not the greatest, we’ve ever seen,” said Steven A. Camarota, the demographer who was the chief author of the report. “It’s driving the numbers up and up and up.”
As it stands, 14.2% of the U.S. population is foreign-born, or 1 out of every 7 people. That is the highest rate of immigrants in the population since 1910, when the number was 14.7%. At current trends, the government says, the U.S. will break that record well before the end of this decade.
Those numbers are even starker given the reversal of trends.
The data showed a drop of 1.2 million immigrants from February to September 2020, likely the result of coronavirus restrictions blocking new entrants, even as outmigration continued. That left the population of the foreign-born — the Census Bureau’s term — at 43.8 million.
It was up to 45 million by January and marched steadily to the current 46.2 million total shown for last month.
In the year after President Trump’s election, the immigrant population flattened.
Mashup: MSM worst moments of 2021
Salvation Army’s Internal Survey Suggests Only Whites Are Racist
“I Took The Salvation Army’s Internal Survey On ‘Racism’ Within The Organization. Here’s What I Discovered.”
The Salvation Army has recently come under significant fire for asking white donors to “offer a sincere apology” for racism. The nearly 150-year old organization created a curriculum entitled “Let’s Talk About Racism” and shared it with its members, along with associated DEI Trainings that cite and draw from Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi’s work. The packet argues that Christians should “stop trying to be ‘colorblind’” and that they should apologize for being “antagonistic.. to black people or the culture, values and interests of the black community.” In response, donors by the thousands have vowed not to donate until the organization reverses their stance.
The Salvation Army has denied any wrongdoing, defiantly calling the allegations that they have gone woke “false.” While they admit that the topic of race in America can be fraught with controversy, they have denied they have “gone woke.” Much of their denial centers around their claim that use of the guide was completely voluntary, and that they are not peddling critical race narratives in their organization.
I obtained a copy of The Salvation Army’s internal survey on “racism within the Salvation Army” and tested that claim.
One Salvation Army officer reached out on condition of anonymity to Color Us United, the raceblind advocacy organization which I run, to reveal an internal survey he was asked to take. It was not a voluntary survey, and was sent by the Territorial Diversity and Inclusion Secretary to every Salvation Army Officer in the US Central Territory. The purpose of the survey, according to an email from the “Territorial Racial Diversity and Inclusion Secretary,” was “to better understand perception of institutional racial bias within The Salvation Army.” The accompanying email stated that there was no “preconceived idea” with regard to whether or not racism existed in The Salvation Army, and told recipients that there were no wrong answers.
I sat down and went through the questions.
First, Questions #1, #2, and #3 asked me for my race, age, and gender. I could not skip these questions. Already, I felt uncomfortable being required to list my personal attributes. If I was an officer, I would be wondering: how could this information be used against me in the future? (They did promise anonymity in this survey.)
The survey then asks Salvationists if they agree with the following definition of racism: “Institutional racism refers to organizational or system processes, behaviors, policies, or procedures, which produce negative outcomes for nonwhites relative to those for whites.” The remaining questions in the survey are dependent upon agreeing to this definition of racism. For any Officer or Soldier who disagrees with this framing, there is no way to express any disagreement or nuance apart from plainly saying that racism does not exist.
Question #6 goes on to ask the survey taker whether they believe there is any institutional bias or racism in The Salvation Army. Question #7 says: “If you answered no to question #6, do you think others in The Salvation Army think there are racial tensions or institutional racism?” The purpose of these questions, I started to feel, was to force the survey taker to admit that The Salvation Army is institutionally racist according to their definition of racism. There is no room for any Officer to elaborate on how they disagree with the definitions, framing, or worldview informing the questions.
The final question asks: “What is the best way to address Racism in The Salvation Army?” The answer options are: “individual reconciliation,” “group reconciliation,” “addressing structures and practices that cause racism,” “all of the above,” or “other.” Note that there is no option for the survey taker to simply say that racism is not a problem in The Salvation Army. The survey (which according to the email, was “intended to go to all the officers within your division, employees, and soldiers” for the Central Territory) simply assumes that racism is present in the organization.
Going through the survey, it became apparent that the survey was attempting to lead me to making only one conclusion about The Salvation Army – that it harbored problematic racism.
This belief is one of the core tenets of critical race theory. Critical race theorists teach that racism is ubiquitous in all aspects of American life. They also teach that it works systemically; that is, by being ingrained in the systems and institutions that operate in society. Their primary evidence of the system being racist is the reality that individuals from different demographics have different life outcomes on average, without taking into account any variables that might impact said life outcomes apart from the color of their skin. All of these concepts are reflected in The Salvation Army’s survey.
Any officer who believes in individualism, colorblindness, and meritocracy will be unable to answer any of the survey questions in good faith. Any officer who believes that The Salvation Army is not a racist organization would not be able to answer these questions in good faith either. Many (if not most) Americans believe that racism is primarily an issue of individuals who harbor feelings of hate against those of other races, not a society-wide conspiracy as alleged by antiracist activists. This survey totally excludes the colorblind perspective from the conversation and forces Officers and other Salvationists into a critical race theory-informed box.