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Hardy L. Brown

Black Voice News Voters Guide Recommendations for November

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By Hardy L. Brown –

Last week, I put forth a partial listing of our endorsements for office. This week we have updated that while leaving some vacant at this time. For example the governor’s position is remaining vacant because I believe Meg Whitman is afraid of the Black community and Jerry Brown is taking us for granted. They are spending millions to convince White voters but nothing to convince Blacks or Hispanics. In the latest poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports of “Likely Voters” 24% of the “initial” Black voters said they were in favor of Whitman and 68% for Brown. Of those surveyed who have not decided, 73% said they are “leaning” toward Brown and 24% toward Whitman.

While it appears as though Brown might get a majority of the vote, the vote might be down because of no outreach to motivate the Black voters. If Whitman was to outreach into the Black community, she might increase her percentage as Arnold Schwzennegar did in his re-election in 2006. The Black community is more independent and the younger population more likely to vote for the person instead of the party line. These Black voters are standing by waiting to see who wants their vote. The Black community is hurting with double digit (16%) unemployment, low performing schools, and inaccessible healthcare services. The last week church hopping and interrupting church services campaign strategy will not work any more. So my verdict is still out on which one is willing to address our specific needs as citizens of California.

If you noticed, Republican Abel Maldonado is recommended for Lieutenant Governor. That is because last year when Karen Bass, Speaker of the Assembly, needed one more vote to pass the budget, he broke with his party to support the Democrats. He risked his political career to help the state so he deserves our vote. He is not about party line politics, in my opinion, but what is best for the State of California.

BVN Voters Guide for Election 2010 (as of September 23)

US SENATE.... Barbara Boxer
GOVERNOR.... Undecided
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR.... Abel Maldonado
SECRETARY OF STATE.... Undecided
CONTROLLER.... John Chiang
TREASURER.... Bill Lockyer
ATTORNEY GENERAL.... Kamala Harris
INSURANCE COMMISSIONER.... Dave Jones
SUPERINTENDENT PUBLIC EDUCATION.... Tom Torlarkson


PROPOSITIONS

Prop 19 .... NO
Prop 20 .... NO
Prop 21 .... NO
Prop 22 .... NO
Prop 23 .... NO
Prop 24 .... YES
Prop 25 .... YES
Prop 26 .... NO
Prop 27 .... NO

RIVERSIDE COUNTY

64TH ASSEMBLY.... Jose Medina
COMMUNITY COLLEGE TRUSTEE.... Virginia Blumenthal
COMMUNITY COLLEGE TRUSTEE.... Daryl Terrell
AUDITOR.... Ivan Chand
BANNING CITY COUNCIL.... Deborah “Debbie” Franklin
MORENO VALLEY CITY COUNCIL.... Bonnie Flickinger
CORONA CITY COUNCIL.... Karen Spiegel

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY

32ND SENATE DISTRICT.... Gloria Negrete McLeod
62ND ASSEMBLY DISTRICT.... Wilmer Amina Carter
63RD ASSEMBLY DISTRICT.... Renea Wickman
2ND DISTRICT COUNTY SUPERVISOR.... Janice Rutherford
COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION AREA D.... .Corey Jackson
MAYOR FONTANA.... Acquanetta Warren
FONTANA CITY COUNCIL.... S. Michael Tahan
BOARD OF EDUCATION FONTANA.... Sophie Green
BOARD OF EDUCATION FONTANA.... Leticia Garcia
BOARD OF EDUCATION RIALTO.... Joanne Gilbert
BOARD OF EDUCATION COLTON.... Marge Mendoza-Ware
BOARD OF EDUCATION VICTOR VALLEY HIGH.... Dr. Dunee De Bruhl
BOARD OF EDUCATION VICTOR ELEMENTARY.... Michael De Bruhl
MEASURE C SAN BERNARDINO CITY.... YES

 

S.B. Councilmember McCammack agrees with Bishop Powell

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Last Monday at the San Bernardino City Council meeting during a discussion over a motion offered by Council Member Rikke Van Johnson, Wendy McCammack said I agree with the Bishop that there is duplicate service by the City attorney’s office having police detectives and code enforcement employees, which are in other departments.

This discussion came about when Johnson introduced a motion, requested by the Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches for the council to say they do not harbor the same feelings as City Attorney Jim Penman exhibited toward Pastor Ray Turner and the faith community. Bishop Powell cited the past First Nazarene Church as one of their reasons for the motion but would settle for a discussion.

According to Powell, the discussion was beneficial to them “because of McCammack’s statement of duplication of service and Tobin Brinker’s comment that we see Jim Penman as a city attorney all the time, is actually how we see a major portion of the issue.

What I would like to know is did Penman receive any kind of compensation from the city while doing personal work on his lawsuit. Did he get sick pay, vacation pay when he went to counsel with his attorney or when he filed his paperwork to the court or the time he spent during the trial? If he received any compensation during any of that work, then did he commit a fraud claiming to be a private citizen doing personal work? Does his paycheck reflect a non-payment of city funds for taking personal time off?

I don’t know what the city personnel policy is on time away from the job but the council should investigate this issue of payment with the dates in questions.

Even though the motion failed because Brinker withdrew his second, the discussion was enlightening for the citizens and I thank the clergy for bringing it to the council.

BLACK VOICE NEWS ENDORSEMENTS

(partial listing)

I have listed this week a partial listing of the candidates we are supporting for the up coming November election. We have reviewed their information and talked with many of them or their staff before we came to our decision. You will notice that we have selected a cross section of our community when it come to diversity of race, gender, age, political party and they all have one common thread of inclusion as part of their platform.

Barbara Boxer for U. S. Senator

Barbara Boxer has been a fighter and good representative for the people of California in my opinion. I say my opinion because some think she is way too liberal on some issues and while that might be so, when you compare her against her opponent, Carly Fiorina, Boxer wins my vote. In a telephone conference with Fiorina, Carly said to us, if elected I want to repeal the healthcare bill signed into law by President Barack Obama and she offered nothing in its place.

Boxer is more inclusive in her approach to providing opportunities for all citizens of this diverse state and of large and small business.

Kamala Harris for Attorney General

Kamala Harris has implemented some very promising intervention and suppression programs in San Francisco that would help us reduce the incarceration rate of our young people. She is also tough on crime and those who violate the law while being aware of the unfairness of the justice system to Blacks, Hispanics and the poor without financial resources for proper representation.

Tom Torlakson for Superintendent of Public Education

Tom Torlakson has been in the class room as a teacher and served as a legislator in Sacramento. He knows the plight of our schools and what needs to be changed in our system that is now failing so many of children.

Gloria Negrete McLeod for Senator 32nd District

Gloria Negrete McLeod has served this community well in every capacity she has been in. Her wisdom and knowledge of Sacramento is second to none and therefore she should be re-elected.

Wilmer Amina Carter for 62nd Assembly District

Wilmer Amina Carter has served us well as an effective member of the assembly over the past four years and deserves to be returned. She has been as “steady as a rock” in staying the course to our true values in dealing with some divisive issues in the legislature. She has championed the cause of better education, health care and transportation in the Inland Empire.

Renea Wickman for Assembly 63rd District

This is a Republican district that has as many crooks and turns as a sidewinder snake crawling on hot sand, reaching into two counties and every city from Rancho Cucamonga to Yucaipa in San Bernardino and then into High Grove and Moreno Valley. However the diversity of the population has changed bringing about a need for a different kind of leadership.

A leadership that is more inclusive in policies that are carried forth on behalf of its citizens. I think Wickman with her labor background and community service experience is just what the people in the 63rd need at this time.

Acquanetta Warren for Mayor of Fontana

Acquanetta Warren will bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and service to the position of mayor if elected. She has served on the council since 2002 and currently serves as Mayor ProTem. She is employed as public works director in Upland. She has served on many important commissions that provide critical services to the city and if that is not enough her political reputation reaches into Sacramento. This is required when a city the size of Fontana gets ready to do certain things, plus Fontana’s citizens need to keep that long arm reach which is a part of their history. In her bid for the assembly, Warren was on the wrong side of the illegal immigration issue but that is not enough to keep her from providing leadership to Fontana.

Fontana has come a long way from the Kaiser Steel and heavy labor union days but the healthcare workers still carry the United Steel Workers of America banner at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center on Sierra Avenue and the local school district. The community has increased its diversity and any leader must embrace a policy of inclusion and Acquanetta has demonstrated she is capable of doing.

Warren has the ability and experience to articulate the vision of the city to its people and the adjourning communities of the Inland Empire. As Fontana was recently named one of the best communities for young people. Now it is up to the voters to select Acquanetta Warren as its next mayor.

Sophia Green for Fontana School Board

Sophia Green is an educator and is now willing to share her education, experience and knowledge of the classroom with that of policy makers. Fontana has had problems with keeping superintendents in the past but that can be remedied with the proper management and temperament of cooler heads on the board. Also the issue of diversity has plagued this board since I can remember and now with Green that can be resolved quickly plus she is genuinely concerned and committed to educating all children. If the leadership is together at the board the children will fall in line, I think Green can help in that area.

Joanne Gilbert for Rialto School Board

Joanne Gilbert has served with distinction the children and citizens of Rialto and deserves re-election. There are some district employees, teachers association, dissatisfied with her because she supported past Superintendent Edna Herring’s recommendations on some issues. Being a past board member that is something that will happen from time, just like some teachers will disagree with tactics or what the leadership recommends sometimes. Gilbert needs to be reelected to the board.

Janice Rutherford for County Supervisor 2nd District

This county has been reeling and rocking from the election of corrupt supervisors with special agendas. Now we have the opportunity to send someone there to help Supervisor Josie Gonzales provide positive leadership with integrity for the county. Janice comes with year’s experience of working at the Board of Equalization with Bill Leonard and serving as a city council member in Fontana. She brings integrity and transparency with her which are two main ingredients needed on the 5th floor of the county seat.

Corey Jackson For County School Board Area D

Corey is very energetic, a well educated ball of energy with much community experience that can help develop policies to assist the superintendent in accomplishing the goals of educating all students in the county. This the largest county, land size, with many diverse issues facing the county department of education and Corey brings experience of being a student board member in Rialto and as an appointed member of student affairs by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the university council at California State San Bernardino.

Amos Isaac for Redlands School Board

Dr. Isaac has tried for many years to serve his community in the capacity of a policy maker for which I think he could make a difference. Amos has the education, community and world experience to contribute to the discussion prior to decisions being made and implemented. His low key persona gives one the impression of not being up to the task but believe me he always comes prepared to discuss his point of view.

Redlands City Council, NO on Paul Foster

While I do not offer the citizens a choice of who to vote for, I do offer you a choice of who not to vote for and that is Paul Foster. I had the unlucky opportunity of working with this man at a local hospital. One question is what is his views on diversity, inclusion and treatment of Blacks and Hispanics in the workplace? The last question is why are you seeking this office? He has a charming personality, but...

Jose Medina for Assembly 64th District

Jose has served us with distinction as a member of the Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees and would do the same in our legislative branch of government in Sacramento. He is hard working and has a collaborative and inclusive style of leadership, which means everyone, has a voice with no group being left out of the discussion. To him no child should be left behind and no business left out of public policy.

Virginia Blumenthal for Community College Trustee

Virgina has a proven track record of being a leader on the board and in the community. She is well respected in her profession where she has a very successful law firm. She has been and is an advocate for the less fortunate in our community. She continues to serve our community and community college students well.

Ivan Chand For County Auditor

Ivan Chand comes highly qualified and recommended for the position he is seeking. Outgoing Auditor Controller Robert Byrd gives Chand high praise as well as members from the county board of supervisors. His professional experience involves serving as Assistant Auditor Controller, Finance Director of Flood Control District and Chief Financial Officer of the Transportation Commission. He has a Masters of Public Administration from California State San Bernardino and Bachelor in Accounting from La Sierra University. Chand says “making integrity count” with accuracy, efficiency and collaborative efforts from everyone is one of his goals.

Deborah “Debbie” Franklin For Banning City Council

Debbie brings experiences and a commitment of community service that is genuine for the citizens of Banning. She includes all citizens in her decision making process regardless of status or lot in life which is good governance qualities. She is also a fighter of fairness and is constantly seeking outside resources to bring to her community. This community located just north of Palm Spring is fortunate to have Debbie as an advocate on the council.

Bonnie Flickinger for Moreno Valley City Council

Bonnie is a go-getter for not only Moreno Valley but the entire region of the Valley. She is a strong supporter of the March Life Care Medical Center being proposed by Don Ecker and his development corporation. Bonnie says this project will bring thousands of jobs and other business opportunities to the region and Moreno Valley in particular. Bonnie is also supportive of bringing improved services to her city and is a consistent presence at community events. I recommend that the voters return Bonnie to office so her hands on style of leadership can move the project along.

Jim Penman lost his lawsuit to God's Anointed One Pastor Turner

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Last week I wrote that City Attorney Jim Penman had a fool for a client. Well by Friday’s court appearance, his side had two attorneys representing him in court for the lawsuit. Now I don’t know why he hired the lawyers but from what I have been told it was a circus with Jim Penman, his wife Judy Penman, and City Councilmember Wendy McCammack having to constantly feed their lawyers information to present their case. It was clear from observers that Penman’s attorneys were ill prepared. Apparently they made so much noise in the courtroom the bailiff had to admonish them to keep quiet. Looking on as his supporters were former mayor Evelyn Wilcox and the city attorney’s staff, who made sure people knew they were not on the city clock.

This lawsuit came about when private citizens decided to seek a charter change to have the city attorney, treasurer and clerk position be appointed instead of by election. The citizens believe this will save the taxpayers millions plus add professionalism in our city government. When four members of the city council voted to move the charter change forward with the accepted language, Penman disagreed and elected to sue Pastor Ray Turner and others who signed the voter pamphlet that will be shared with the voters. Penman identified thirteen things he said were false and misleading, in other words, Penman was calling Turner and the rest of the group liars. Well the judge ruled in favor of Turner on ten of the items saying that Penman failed to refute the claim that there would be no savings.

Penman not only lost in court but as stipulated if he lost, he would pay court cost plus the attorney fees for Turner and the others since he brought the action.

God has a sense of humor when it comes to Penman’s loss in court to Pastor Turner and Penman’s financial support for Measure C. I warned Penman not to mess with God’s anointed ones because when you do, you lose.

James Ramos For Community College Trustee

Seldom does an elected official come along that everyone seems to enjoy their company or like the way they vote or what they represent; well James Ramos is one of them.

James was elected to the San Bernardino Community College Board of Trustees four years ago and since that time has won the respect of his colleagues becoming president of the board. James has a unifying leadership style with a vision of where he wants the college district to go.

When you hear James talk about his faith in God, Indian heritage, integrity and perseverance of his people during some hostile treatment from society, you feel his pride. And, you see how that has translated into a positive force. James gives freely of his time, talent, and resources to the community while being engaged with his own people combating unique issues facing the youth of San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

The community is fortunate to have James serve as a representative on the San Bernardino Community College Board of Trustees.

Virginia Blumenthal For Community College Trustee

The Riverside Community College System and citizens are fortunate to have a community servant and leader like Virginia Blumenthal. Her leadership in the community is about inclusion and fairness of others. Those leadership qualities have not gone unnoticed by her colleagues on the board because they elected her vice and president of the board in her first term. Usually the newcomers on the board are told to wait for the honor of leadership positions.

Virginia has a long history of honorable community service in her faith and legal profession. She has done it with compassion and empathy towards the people in the community regardless of race or status.

The community is fortunate to have Virginia serve as our representative on the Riverside Community College Board of Trustees.

Did Jim Penman Have A Fool For A Client?

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At the last San Bernardino City Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 7th, City Attorney Jim Penman, gave a vivid and detailed explanation of his department’s duties including pistol packing detectives and code enforcement employees and how they are used. Nevermind that these same functions are done by the police department and established Code Enforcement Departments. This was done in his position as legal council to the council. I highlight that because Penman addressed the council as private citizen later in the meeting under the public comment section. I believe there would be a savings to the city if these double functions were removed from his department.

I wrote in my editorial last week that Penman had made a mistake in suing Pastor Raymond Turner because Turner was one of God’s anointed servants. During yesterday’s public comment section of the council meeting, Bishop Phillip Powell of San Bernardino Christian Center, had a prepared statement read on behalf of the Inland Empire African American Clergy. Apparently the pastors had met earlier and expressed their displeasure over the lawsuit filed against their brother of the cloth, Ray Turner.

The statement delivered to the mayor and council is as follows: “Honorable Mayor Morris, and City Council I am here today representing the clergy of the African American community. We have discussed the recent action of our City Attorney to bring Rev. Turner and the others to court because they believe appointing the City Attorney, the City Clerk, and the Treasurer will save valuable dollars by appointing them to carry out the functions of their offices. By suing to take the wording out of the voter's guide sends a very chilling and disturbing message. We have a right to our opinion and Mr. Penman is trying to intimidate Rev. Turner and others who support Charter Amendment C. We don't believe his actions are the sentiment of the council but would like you to consider passing the following motion.

‘The action of the City Attorney to sue Pastor Ray Turner of Temple Missionary Baptist Church and the others does not reflect the position of the San Bernardino City Council to deny the citizens and the Black community to worship and openly express their differences with the city council.’

Black ministers are requesting this symbolic motion to show the council is not in agreement with the action taken by Penman toward the church community. His intimidation toward the church, first Rev. David Rhone of First Nazarene Church and now Pastor Turner is sending a hostile message to our churches. We don't want to think the City Council would be a party to such action. We recognize he has the right to take such action but your vote will reassure us that you do not share that same sentiment. Thank you for your consideration of this request.”

Penman of course responded and stated that he was not suing Pastor Turner, City Clerk Rachel Clark, City Treasurer David Kennedy or anyone else who signed ballot Measure C to have his position become an appointed one. By the way, Penman has added Cheryl Brown, publisher of Black Voice News and president of the local NAACP, to the lawsuit because she signed the rebuttal to refute his argument. Penman said he was suing because there will be no savings to the taxpayers if his position was appointed. I am sure one of the first things the council would do is eliminate the duplicate services of code enforcement and police from the department, thus a savings.

Now while Penman’s action toward Pastor Turner and now Publisher Brown was meant for intimidation and evil, God has used it for good by enbolding the African American community to rev-up the entire community to vote in favor of Measure C in November at the polls. The clergy is not intimidated and for sure the Black Press and NAACP are not. All of these organizations were born out of the worst conditions of racial tension this country could generate. Blacks were lifted off of their knees while praying because they were not allowed to pray at the altar of the White churches they attended. Richard Allen said never again will my people be humiliated and not allowed to pray in God’s house because of the color of their skin, thus the Black churches were born in America. The NAACP was born out of the struggle for equality in an America where non equality was and is the practice. The Black Press was born out of the need “To Plead our Own Cause” because others could not tell our story.

Our churches have been bombed, our NAACP leaders murdered and our publications under-funded but we still survive.

What I concluded from the meeting after listening to Penman was the old adage used by lawyers that describe a person who represents himself "has a fool for a client." I am not saying he is a fool but he did say he had his own detectives and code enforcement staff. He said he did not sue Turner but Turner is named in the lawsuit. He did say that he is representing himself in court because the unions are not funding his efforts. He is not against religious institutions in the city but he has taken action against Pastor David Rhone formerly of the First Nazarene Church and now Pastor Ray Turner of Temple Missionary Baptist Church. If he is not anti-religion, I don’t know what is, maybe it’s the lawyer or maybe it’s the client.

Familiar Smell of Strange Fruit in San Bernardino

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In 1939, Billie Holiday made famous a song entitled Strange Fruit that was written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish high school teacher from the Bronx in New York. He wrote this as a poem after seeing a picture of Black men swinging (lynched) from a tree in the south in the thirties. It was a common occurrence back then for Whites to use this as a way to keep Blacks from progressing in any way by promoting fear and intimidation.

Well in San Bernardino, they do not lynch you from a tree but wait for us to invest our time, talent, and money into viable projects then they put barriers in your way so the fruit of your efforts will spoil and you loseyour investment. I have witnessed this several times in the short time I have been in San Bernardino since 1960. I bring this up because the latest trick they are trying to do is with the school that bears my name, located in the Carousel Mall in downtown. Mind you the mall is almost empty now and it has struggled ever since a white haired man named Warner Hodgdon developed it with our taxpayers money. Warner got the Black community to buy into his analogy of building a wheel you must first make the hub, downtown and then go outward to the rim meaning the 6th ward. We bought into that and we are still waiting for the wheel to be finished. As a matter of fact, the hub is still trying to be finished.

The city had wanted to have a hotel downtown to attract conventions into the city. No one came forth until Herman English, a Black man, came forth and said I can build you a first rate hotel. The city agreed because the thinking of the city’s fathers was it cannot be done but as it got closer to opening day, the city started its racial political game of strange fruit. They said he needed to make some minor changes plus English needed more cash after investing over $22 million of his own money into the project. The city would not advance the additional monies unless English secured a letter of credit to insure the loan. He got the letter but the city did not keep its commitment so English lost the hotel and his investment of $22 million dollars.

The interesting thing about the hotel is the late Sister Margaret James, mother of Pastor Jim James in San Bernardino and Sam James of Riverside, led a group of us in prayer one Sunday afternoon in front of the hotel when the city was playing all of these racist political games with English.

She said to us at the time, her vision from God was that if the city did not allow English to finish the project the success of the hotel would never happen. It had been empty for years, given to a Japanese group, taken back under new ownership that would not allow Blacks to frequent the club there, and now it’s closed.

Another instance was Francis Grice and Operation Second Chance. Grice and her organization brought millions of federal dollars into the city and then she decided to build the brick building located on Highland and Western Ave. After it was completed some could not stand seeing such a nice place on the westside of San Bernardino. So the game of strange fruit started and she eventually lost the building and the city took it over. Later the city was forced to sell it to New Hope Baptist Church.

Another instance was when one of the local banks located on E Street was going under, so John Dukes, a local Black businessman, put together a group of investors that would save the bank and it would be under the ownership of African Americans. It was kept quiet until he had the reception atthe bank for all the community to see. Shortly after the reception, the strange fruit started to smell and the bank was not transferred to Dukes.

Now we have a school to educate young children that have traditionally had low test scores. Our children are the first to drop out of school, first to be sent to prison, lowest achieving when it comes to academics and yet when we say we are going to teach them ourselves, people like Warner Hodgdon are trying to prevent that from happening. I remember it was in 1972 that the local NAACP had to file a lawsuit to force integration so Black children could enjoy the comforts of a nice school campus here in the city. Wehad to fight to get parks for our children. We had to fight toget the city and other agencies to hire our children, so I guess we might as well fight now so they can get a quality education. To me his interest in the school smells like the strange fruit of San Bernardino politics and racism.

What brought this up is last week I read an email from the founder of the school that a white haired man had come to the school taking pictures of the kids without the parent’s permission. He also interrogated some of the staff memberson the school’s five year lease agreement with the owner and that he was the developer of the mall back in the late sixties and early seventies. He implied that something was wrong with the agreement for the school to be there and they might have to move. Mind you this fast talking white haired ex-felon of a man has filed bankruptcy from bad dealings throughout the county including Riverside Raceway. When he got out of prison back in the seventies he donated $50 thousand to the local United Way in a gesture to buy his way back into the good graces of the community. He later ran his wife for public office but the public said no way can we have Warner represent us plus they were not sure what he would do.

Now he, and I’m sure others, do not want us to have a place to educate our children. Well I am here to tell you that we are going to educate our children with or without your cooperation. These are our children and our taxes help build this mall plus the taxes that help keep it afloat today. To the founder and staff, I want you to remain focused on delivering a good education to those students. To the parents, keep your commitment to your children by participating in their education. To the community, keep on praying and supporting our efforts as you have done in the past. Also pray that the strange fruit smell of racial politics will soon remove itself from the air in San Bernardino.

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