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Hardy L. Brown

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving Day

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Growing up as a kid in the late 50’s on a sharecropping farm in North Carolina, Thanksgiving Day was not a big thing because I worked in the field to gather corn to take to the mill. The weather was cold but one had to do what one had to do as part of the family. I now give thanks for that experience as I sit in the comfort of a home with all of the luxuries of our modern society.

One thing that has remained constant is being a part of a loving Christian family. My mother and father were Christians as were my in-laws who believed in sharing what little they had with others who they thought had less. My parents fought hard to get food and health care services for seniors in Jones County and Cheryl’s mother fought hard for educational opportunities in Head Start Programs and her father created a business that provided jobs in Los Angeles. They taught Cheryl and I how government should work to the benefit of others especially those who cannot fend for themselves.

This is one of the reasons I am so thankful this year because Cheryl will have the opportunity to carry on that family tradition of service to others as a state legislator in Sacramento. I said when she announced her candidacy that she was not running to get a job but to help create jobs for others and that has not changed. I thank God for her and I give Him all the credit for her victory. We laid out the strategy but He delivered many financial givers that we did and many we did not know along the way with an army of volunteers.

This campaign reminded me of the time when we were members of Delmann Heights Four Square Gospel Church and we wanted to expand the church building but had no money. We had only a few members that had jobs while the other members were on some type of government assistance. I remember telling then-pastor Rev. William Dillard that this was not an undertaking we should embark on. It was not until Sister Susie Walker, the mother of the church, convinced me that with God on your side nothing is impossible.

We received the approval of the Four Square Church administration in Los Angeles and they delivered the material to our site. And like a rain cloud coming up, many people came up from the poor neighborhoods of Delmann Heights to help build the church. People I saw as poor old drunks became journey carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and dry wallers looking for something to do, giving freely of their time, skills, and talents. Many mothers in the neighborhood looking for something to do came out to prepare food and serve the workers never asking for a dime.

God was waiting on us to trust in and on Him to build the building, just like He was waiting on Cheryl to step out on faith.

Let me give you an example of what Cheryl’s campaign faced: We faced the son of a sitting incumbent congressman with name recognition; we faced insufficient funding as compared to our opponent; we faced many who did not believe she could win and told her so before and after June.

In June Cheryl came in second with 13.16% less votes than her opponent, and Walter Hawkins, Corey Jackson and myself knew she needed between 38,726 and 44,500 votes to win the general election. By November, God gave Cheryl 50,899 votes and a 12.16% win over her opponent by a 11,161-vote margin.

As in Delmann Heights, God sent a full-time volunteer campaign manager by the name of Sebastian Ridley-Thomas from the Legislative Black Caucus and a host of unsolicited volunteers from Los Angeles and Sacramento. He sent outside funds to support her bid to represent the people of this great district. He also sent volunteers from every city in the district and throughout the Inland Empire.

This is just one of many stories of our personal experiences that make me know that when God gives you something to do, you must step out on faith in order to receive his blessing. Even the night before the election God delivered our newest grandchild Carter Wilson safely into the world, three weeks early. And even though he momentarily stopped breathing and had to remain in the neonatal unit, God allowed him to join the rest of his family at home before the end of that week. You must know that regardless of the weapons of odds, fear and doubt that is formed against you, with the Lord on your side you will never lose.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving from all of us at the Black Voice News.

Councilwoman McCammack: We Live In San Bernardino

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“We live here and the majority of you don’t,” stated Council Member Wendy McCammack to some members of the Police Officers Association who had made political re-election threats to the council. The council was discussing agenda item 7-A at their last meeting, which was a request to get a cost and service proposal from the sheriff’s department on outsourcing police services.

The council did pass the request from staff, on a four-three vote after much discussion from the public, council members and San Bernardino City Attorney Jim Penman. Penman, in my opinion, did more to cast dispersion on the discussion with statements that no one in the city knew they were near bankruptcy until the interim city manager took over.

You see Penman has taken so much campaign money from police and firefighters over his 25 years as city attorney and hates to go against them in favor of the city taxpayers. Several speakers publicly said Penman was giving out false information because now retired city budget director and the retired city manager told them two years ago in a budget meeting that the city was headed toward bankruptcy if changes were not made.

My suggestion to the mayor and council members is to not let Penman be your negotiator with the sheriff’s department on this matter because he is too divisive and self-serving in his presentations. Once all the information is collected and presented to the council then he can have his non-binding legal opinion on whether the council should proceed with outsourcing public safety services.

Now as for Robert Jenkins, John Valdivia and Chas Kelley they can leave the council and go to work for the police and firefighters association. I want to remind them that it is the taxpayers of the city of San Bernardino that pay the bills for the city and not these associations. Like Wendy McCammack clearly stated “the majority of them do not live here”.

Bullying and a Dynasty Building Strategy Helped Kill The Baca Legacy

Many political organizations and groups are trying to figure out how Gloria Negrete McLeod and Cheryl Brown defeated a sitting congressman and his son on November 6th. McLeod and Brown were told by Democratic Party leaders and national, state, and local labor leaders like California Teachers Association that they could not win, but like the little train going up the hill they kept on tugging along to victory.

These two women knew something that those living outside the district did not know and that was that people were tired of being bullied by the Baca family who were trying to build a family legacy on the backs of taxpayers. People would whisper about the Baca tactics in the community but were afraid to publicly say anything about them until the “giant slayers”, as some people are labeling them, became formidable challengers in two much watched races.

Bolsters by local support, outsiders started saying “hey” Gloria and Cheryl can win this thing with a little help from us. So Gloria and Cheryl strengthened their long time relationships with local democrats, republicans, decline to state, local labor members, all faith groups, and local elected leaders who were not intimidated by Baca Sr. They were also able to get a cross section of every racial and ethnic group living in the districts, which is crucial if one wants to represent the total population.

Congratulations Assembly Speaker John Perez on being Re-elected Speaker by Unanimous Vote

Speaker John Perez is credited with helping elect 54 Democrats, which gives them 2/3rds majority in the Assembly. This is the first time since the mid 1970’s sessions that this has happened.

Now the hard work of governing must begin to lift California back to number one in education, business, job creation, health delivery organizations, and the envy of every state in the union.

It can be done with everyone working together under Speaker Perez’ leadership. Congratulations on a job well done.

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2012 Election

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President Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term as the Commander-in-Chief of this great nation, the greatest country on earth for unlimited opportunity for anyone who will work hard, get a good education, and believe in themselves.

The president’s overwhelming win should demonstrate to major party leaders that inclusivity is the winning campaign strategy of the future.

I hope that the Republican Party leadership will get the message and work with our re-elected president to solve the many problems facing our country.

The message was loud and clear. Voters sent more women to the U.S. Senate including returning California Senator, Diane Feinstein back to Washington.

Speaking of sending messages, Gloria Negrete McLeod soundly defeated seven-time incumbent congressman Joe Baca, Sr. in the 35th Congressional District.

I am also proud to say that my wife Cheryl Brown was elected in the 47th Assembly District with over 56% of the votes to win victory over Joe Baca, Jr.

Both races were single party contests and these candidates were successful because of broad base support from Democrats, Republicans, decline to state, business, public safety officers and others which is a new thing for us but beneficial to the taxpayers.

This is going to be great for the Inland region and has earned both McLeod and Brown a new title given by some in the community “the giant slayers.”

Re-districting has allowed Democrats to once again after several decades represent the Riverside area. State Senator-Elect Richard Roth and Assembly Member-Elect Jose Medina both won their bids and will be representing our region in Sacramento.

Educator and Riverside Community College Board member Mark Takano will join McLeod as part of the U.S. House of Representatives freshman class.

Rialto and Riverside will see new mayors with the election of Deborah Robertson, the first African American to be elected mayor of the City of Rialto. In Riverside, Council Member William “Rusty” Bailey will replace longtime mayor Ronald Loveridge.

James Ramos beat incumbent Neil Derry in a hotly contested race for San Bernardino County Supervisor. While longtime Riverside Supervisor Bob Buster seems to have lost to former Assembly Member Kevin Jeffries.

On the educational front, retired Chaffey College President, Gloria Macias Harrison will be the newest member of the San Bernardino Community College District Trustees. Harrison and John Longville were the two top candidates in the contest. New to elected office Dr. Denise Fleming joins veteran Tracey Vackar for Moreno Valley School Board of Trustees.

Reasons to Vote on Tuesday Nov 6th

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If you have been reading, listening, or watching anything for the past year, I’m sure you have heard that there are still people not wanting us to vote for the candidate of our choice. They are putting up roadblocks that appear reasonable to some while presenting insurmountable obstacles to others. Things like requiring state photo identification, purging voter rolls, literacy tests, providing misinformation on polling places, felon disenfranchisement and not providing the voters with all the proper information. It is all designed to give political advantage to one side or the other, so I am going to give you several reasons why I think you should VOTE.

• Voting is one way to have your voice heard.

• One vote does matter when added with others on Election Day. Plus you will be surprised to find out how many others voted the way you did and agree with you.

• Our children are depending on those of us with the right to vote to provide a better world for them.

• Voting for the people we think will represent us and our interest will help change our communities and bring prosperity to all of us and not just a few.

• Voting helps preserve our democracy allowing us to pursue those things that will bring joy to our families and neighbors through: greater business ventures, better educational opportunities, access to health care, good paying jobs, reliable retirement plans and a government that puts people first.

• Voting also gives us credibility. It says I am a part of this country and this is my way of leveling the playing field. I have just as much power as a billionaire when it comes to making my mark on the ballot because they can only mark one ballot just like me.

So exercise your right and vote before or on Tuesday November 6th. If you want to know how the Black Voice News is looking at the candidates and propositions read on: BVN 2012 Election Recommendations

Rialto School Board Member Joe Ayala Says Tribes Corrupt for Not Supporting Joe Baca Jr.

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Hardy L. BrownIt was brought to my attention by former Rialto School Board Member Walter Hawkins, that a letter circulating in the community from current Rialto School Board Member Joe Ayala questioning my wife Cheryl Brown’s campaign bid for the 47th Assembly District had made its way to the membership of WAG (Westside Action Group). This letter appears to be an attempt by Ayala to gain support from WAG, the proactive organization for African Americans that recently celebrated its 40th anniversary in San Bernardino County.

In an email directed to WAG, of which I am a member, Hawkins wrote:

From: Walter Hawkins
Date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 9:22 AM
To: westsideactiongroup@gmail.com
Subject: Ayala's poor decision – UPDATE

Looks like Joe Ayala does not want to continue serving as a member of the Rialto USD Board of Education. He is spending a lot of time trying to do the bidding of the Baca family. He jumped into the fire by letting the Baca’s talk him into writing an editorial attacking a Native American business association because they support Cheryl Brown for the AD 47 seat over Joe Baca, Jr. Ayala’s decision to blindly support Baca could be an indication that he lacks good judgment and let's emotion prevail over facts.

With a little bit of due diligence, Mr. Ayala would have found out that the mailer's content is valid. A careful analysis of the filings required by state and federal agencies indicates that the contributions to the Baca’s and to their foundation benefit the Baca family. Let's look at a couple of examples that might lead a reviewer to that conclusion:

1) Baca senior's PAC has given about $52,000 a year to Jeremy Baca to raise funds;

2) Baca senior gives Baca junior about $8,000 for junior's PACs;

3) Baca junior gets money from the Baca Foundation for working 50 hrs/wk while being a teacher & a councilman;

4) Baca senior gets a supporter to create a PAC then funds the PAC to attack his opponents. In addition to looking at the filings, Mr. Ayala could have read the articles written by journalist cited the mailers. So Joe, the ball is in the Baca’s court. If there is to be "Peace in the Valley", the Baca’s need to make the overtures instead of whining on robo calls and sacrificing their "friends."

Ayala’s issue is that The California Tribal Business Alliance PAC has decided to support Cheryl after doing their “homework” on the two candidates running for the 47th Assembly District. This PAC is an independent group and not connected to the campaign nor have they given any money to the Cheryl Brown for Assembly Committee campaign. However, they decided to share their findings from their homework assignment with the voters of the district by sending political mailers in the mail.

Ayala said in his letter he is certain of one thing and that is ”gambling and politics is a recipe for corruption” but failed to mention that the Baca family received thousands of dollars from the tribal community for years for their political campaigns and no one has ever called the tribes corrupt; nor do I believe any of them are corrupt for doing their homework on Joe Jr. and sharing it with the voters.

It’s clear from Walter Hawkins’ email to WAG that he has done his homework. It’s also clear that the tribal alliance has done their homework. Perhaps Ayala should do his homework before seeking support from WAG or any other group in the community.

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