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Michael Yaki
The U.S. Congress, on the recommendation of then Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, appointed Michael Yaki to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for a 6 year term in February 2005 and to a second term in 2011.

Mr. Yaki is a former elected member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and a former senior advisor to Rep. Nancy Pelosi. In 2008, Yaki served as the National Platform Chair of Obama for America and the DNC.

Yaki runs his own government affairs consulting company, Michael Yaki Consulting. He is also the political analyst for KRON4 TV news in San Francisco, California. He is a member of the California Bar and graduated from UC Berkeley and the Yale Law School.

The views here expressed are his own, and do not reflect those of the Commission or KRON4.

Entries by Michael Yaki

The Second Civil Rights Movement

(2) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 7:51 PM

This week marks the 59th anniversary of Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat on the public bus in Montgomery, Alabama. That single, courageous act, of course, did not happen in a vacuum. Long-simmering resentment, coupled with the presence of an active African-American community and...

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Tom Perkins Needs a Serious Lesson in History -- and the American Dream

(2) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 2:25 PM

So Silicon Valley billionaire Tom Perkins is boo-hooing the perceived maltreatment treatment of the one percent of this country. In a letter this weekend to the Wall Street Journal, he bemoaned the "rising tide of hatred" against the ultra-rich, comparing it to the Nazi treatment of the Jews.

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A(nother) Bad Week for Race in America

(12) Comments | Posted July 14, 2013 | 1:47 PM

I'm not sure how much more of this I can take.

On Friday, a respected local television news team, in a rush to get an "exclusive" on the air, inexplicably became tone and culturally-deaf (in one of the most culturally diverse markets in the country) and broadcasts, in living...

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Edward Snowden: Hero to the Highest Bidder?

(9) Comments | Posted June 13, 2013 | 12:58 PM

Nothing about the Snowden Affair smells quite right. It is one thing to break the law to reveal the existence of a secret NSA surveillance program. But there was little secret about this program, since it is plainly within the language of the Protect America Act...

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San Francisco International - Harvey Milk Airport? Why Not, Indeed!

(2) Comments | Posted January 16, 2013 | 7:59 AM

Last August the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights held a hearing in Birmingham, Ala. As I disembarked the plane and took an escalator down to baggage claim, I passed one of those ubiquitous signs of greeting that airports tend to have, but what caught my eye is that...

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How to Avert Fiscal Cliff-mas: Use Speaker Powers and House Rules to Swiftly Pass Plan C

(65) Comments | Posted December 23, 2012 | 11:10 AM

As a former senior House staffer, I watch and comment on the goings-on in the Congress with a mixture of fondness, nostalgia, and nausea. And it is with mostly nausea that I watch the nation race toward the fiscal cliff because the House Republicans seems to be putting ideology above...

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Tough Gun Control Can Be Constitutional

(21) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 4:12 PM

President Obama's call to use the power of his office to prevent more tragedies like Newton from happening could be a watershed moment in American history. As he said, there are no more excuses for inaction. But the ultimate test of this -- perhaps the moment that could define his...

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Why Ed Lee Should Run for Mayor

(2) Comments | Posted July 26, 2011 | 12:14 PM

Of all the different strata of government, local is the strangest beast. Perspicacity is often less important that the perspiration of a dogged candidate. To use a baseball metaphor, municipal politics is the Single A league. There's a lot of raw talent, more than a lot of duds, a fair...

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San Francisco at 50

(10) Comments | Posted July 15, 2011 | 2:42 PM

Of course San Francisco isn't 50. Our city is either 235 years old, measured from the date of the first encampment by the Spanish in 1776 dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, or 164 years old, when the sleepy town at the tip of a peninsula known as Yerba Buena...

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Life Without Olbermann: Feeling Left Out

(7) Comments | Posted January 24, 2011 | 3:43 PM

I admit that I've been a fan of Keith Olbermann from his SportsCenter days on ESPN. I found his unique brand of sardonic humor a nice change from the rah-rah breathless blah, blah inane chat that used to typify sports shows. He helped change the way that sports was delivered,...

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Nancy Pelosi: Down, Definitely Not Out

(28) Comments | Posted November 2, 2010 | 11:33 PM

The Speaker of the House ran the Democratic Caucus with a firm hand, only to run into an electoral buzzsaw dissatisfied with the performance of a Democratic President and Congress. The Democrats lost their majority and the Speaker was faced with being reduced to Minority Leader, but rather than retire,...

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New Black Panthers: Coates' Testimony a "Bombshell" -- Of the Self-Exploding Kind

(1) Comments | Posted September 29, 2010 | 12:51 PM

There has been much ado in the right-wing press and blogosphere about the "extraordinary" allegations made by Justice Department attorney Christopher Coates last week. In testimony before the conservative-controlled U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Coates stated his belief that DoJ had a policy of using the Voting Rights Act to...

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Quran Burning: Reprehensible, but an Opportunity to Explain and Defend America

(4) Comments | Posted September 10, 2010 | 12:55 PM

Whether the obviously demented Terry Jones and his oxymoronically-named Dove World Outreach Center goes forward with his Quran burning or not -- and at this point, the confusion surrounding the situation makes it a 50/50 proposition -- the fallout from a burning has reached Defcom 5 because of the media...

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Race-baiter Glenn Beck Wants to Hijack -- I Mean "Reclaim" -- the Civil Rights Movement?

(10) Comments | Posted August 26, 2010 | 5:43 PM

I had tried to give Glenn Beck the benefit of the doubt. That the scheduling of his "rally" called "Restoring Honor" on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, on the 47th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a Dream" speech was just...

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McCollum's "Arizona" Strategy: Write a worse anti-immigrant bill for Florida

(4) Comments | Posted August 13, 2010 | 8:09 AM

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, in a calculated and desperate political move for the GOP Gubernatorial nomination, has decided to introduce an even harsher and more outrageous version of Arizona's SB 1070 anti-immigrant bill. Evidently deciding that if it worked for a politician of limited ability like Jan Brewer it...

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Jennifer Aniston, Murphy Brown and Single Motherhood: Is O'Reilly the New Quayle?

(13) Comments | Posted August 12, 2010 | 12:16 AM

What synapse snapped in the loofah-scrubbed mind of Bill O'Reilly to take to task one of America's sweethearts, Jennifer Aniston, for her simple statement in support of the possibilities of single motherhood? A statement that, reduced to its basics, acknowledges that women can choose to have babies (gasp!) without the...

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All bets off: "Star" Witness in New Black Panther Investigation Falters

(1) Comments | Posted August 4, 2010 | 8:38 AM

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights -- scratch that -- the right-wing majority of the Commission -- investigation into the so-called New Black Panther Party contretemps at the Department of Justice has hit a speed bump. Or, more aptly, given itself a self-inflicted wound. As you may know, the Commission's...

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Panthers, Sherrod, Oh My!: The GOP Race-Bait Strategy

(48) Comments | Posted July 26, 2010 | 5:37 PM

The right-wing and their Republican GOP strategist allies have never washed the taste of defeat from their mouths over their inability to whack then-candidate Obama with Rev. Wright and ACORN. Despite the flogging that both Wright and ACORN received in the media, coupled with the insinuations, innuendo, and outright lies...

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GOP and New Black Panthers: Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing

(96) Comments | Posted July 20, 2010 | 12:49 PM

If you have an unholy addiction to Fox News, you might have seen the nonstop editorializing about the Justice Department and the New Black Panther Party incident in 2008. According to Fox, the bipartisan independent U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has been investigating the allegations, lending an aura of credibility...

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The Media Needs to Fess Up to Its Mess and Its Responsibility: Time for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to Take a Look

(29) Comments | Posted March 19, 2008 | 2:13 PM

Yesterday's speech by Barack Obama was extraordinary. Yet there are those who believe it will cost Obama the presidency, if not the nomination. And if the media continues to have its way, I fear it will.

In my 20 years in political life I have never quite seen, much less...

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