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Hardy L. Brown

Richard Roth for Senator of the 31st District

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By Hardy L. Brown

“I believe there’s one thing our elected leaders can take from our men and women in uniform: public service needs to be about working together to get the job done. It is time to end the partisan games and focus on the critical mission for Riverside County, creating a climate for real job growth.”

This is a statement made by Richard Roth who is seeking your vote to represent the people of Riverside, Moreno Valley and Corona. Richard is a fellow Democrat and knows from his business, community service and service as chairman of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, President of the Monday Morning Group, and Riverside Community Hospital board, the needs we have and issues we face in our community. He is a retired Air Force officer with a law degree specializing in employment law. His legal training arms him with the knowledge that businesses have a right to make a profit while employees have a right to organize in the work place.

Richard’s reputation for fairness with employees has earned him the endorsement of the municipal employees association’s (AFSCME) Political & Legislative Director Willie Pelote. He has earned the endorsements of Senator Curren Price, Senator Rod Wright and the California Legislative Black Caucus, which also demonstrates the level of Richard’s commitment to diversity. Like me, they recognize that in order to reduce the 12.6% unemployment rate in our community and bring businesses with sustainable family jobs to our region, it is going to take someone like Richard working with every elected official regardless of party affiliation and local jurisdiction to make that happen. Senator Price in a written statement said: “…Roth is enthusiastically supported by the California Legislative Black Caucus because his election will advance the economic recovery of the Inland Empire where African Americans live, work and play in significant numbers."

Join me in supporting Richard Roth for Senator in the 31st District.

Another Senseless Killing Spree in America

The recent shooting and killing of 12 while wounding 58 people in Colorado by shooter James Holmes has captured the attention of America and caused many to ask the question why? How could a person do that? Where did he get that many weapons with that much ammunition to do that much damage in a few minutes time? This unbelievable incident has caused the public airwaves to be crowed with the conversation focusing on public security, mental health, and gun control.

It has also brought our attention man’s commitment to be “our brother’s keeper” in times of crisis regardless of race, gender, religion, age, politics or status in life, the things we usually get bogged down with in our intellectual entanglement of living everyday.

We need to celebrate the courage of those who tried to save others as we try and make sense of this tragic incident and work to create an environment to minimize these things from happening in the future. It is humanly impossible to prevent these types of events from ever happening because I cannot for the life of me understand why Cain killed Abel. Cain had the whole world at his fingertips so he could have just kept on farming or left home if he despised his brother so much. That murder case is still being debated by biblical scholars around the world, so when we find the answer to that one, we might have the answer to this one.

My prayers are with the families and the people of Colorado.

Joe Baca Jr.’s Past Voting Record In Sacramento Is That Of A Job Killer

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In my editorial last week, I recounted what happened at a recent local democratic central committee meeting when Joe Baca Jr. tried to intimidate me during his allotted two-minute speech, where he faced fellow 47th assembly district candidate Cheryl Brown (and in the interest of full disclosure my wife). He mistakenly attacked me because of my actions in his attempt to attack her as his opponent.

His other comments during his two-minute remarks were about his experience as a teacher, law enforcement employee, and his promise to help create jobs. Like the newsperson that I am, I decided to check out his statements. I was unable to locate his teaching credential on the State of California’s credential website. This does not mean he does not have one, but perhaps he has a special credential as a substitute teacher or a different designation. I just couldn’t find it. And while he was employed with the probation department, that lasted only for a short time. I’m sure he left for a good reason since those are such good jobs.

However, the most interesting finding to me was his actions as a 2-year legislator in Sacramento opposing legislation that would have brought jobs to our area. His record shows that in the year 2005, Joe Jr. voted against job creation bills 60% of the time and 71% of the time in 2006. He voted against manufacturing jobs 81% in 2005 and 90% against them in 2006. His voting record as a past legislator indicates Baca Jr. is a “job killer” and not a creator of jobs.

To quote Laurie Stalnaker of the Central Labor Council of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties as she addressed the San Bernardino City Council on July 2,“what we need are sustainable family jobs in our community. While I am not speaking on behalf of businesses I am addressing the issues of businesses leaving and taking jobs with them,” she concluded. Stalnaker understands that we need leadership to address this area’s high unemployment by attracting businesses with good paying jobs.

At that same meeting, Judi Penman of the San Bernardino Chamber of Commerce spoke before Stalnaker about the need of creating an atmosphere conducive to attracting businesses and seeking ways to keep businesses from leaving the city. She knows a dysfunctional government creates a climate that is detrimental to job creation and elected leaders must be able to work together in a non-threatening environment.

Now with the City of San Bernardino facing possible bankruptcy it is very critical for the citizens to look at all of those individuals seeking office for their potential to help them address this issue. We must ask ourselves who has the personal skills and background of working across political divisions and business experience to help attract and develop businesses to this area with jobs to sustain families.

An active member of the San Bernardino and Riverside Chambers of Commerce Cheryl Brown has a proven track record of helping businesses develop in San Bernardino County as both a planning commissioner for over a decade and small business owner for over three decades. As a planning commissioner for the county of San Bernardino, utilizing her training as an urban planner, Cheryl was instrumental in approving several major developments in the county including the California Speedway. And as a small business owner with offices in both San Bernardino and Riverside, Cheryl has been recognized by outside entities for her business leadership including her recent acknowledgement as an outstanding Inland Empire family business at the Spirit of the Entrepreneur program hosted by Cal State San Bernardino’s College of Business and earlier this year being honored by the Inland Empire chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners with its coveted Legacy Award.

The Inland Empire cannot afford to take a chance by reelecting a ‘job killer” to represent us in Sacramento. Our local city and county governments need someone they can count on. Someone they can talk to who understands the issues. They need someone who will properly represent them and fight for all citizens of the Inland Empire.

Whose Interest Does Baca Serve?

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By Hardy L. Brown

The moment my wife Cheryl announced her candidacy for the newly created 47th State Assembly District last year, I understood I could not be my usual candid self when it came to criticizing her opponents in my weekly editorial in this newspaper. While there were many instances that warranted criticism, my small editorial board would suggest a different course, and I was able to get through the primary election in virtual silence.

As a community newspaper publisher, I have been known to have a word or two to say when our elected officials make decisions that I believe are detrimental to the community we represent as well as words of praise when they do well. For decades I have interviewed candidates for the highest statewide offices to those running for local school boards and water boards. I am not swayed by the party affiliation, race, or gender. For 12 years I was an elected member of the San Bernardino Unified School Board of Trustees, governing one of the largest school districts in the state of California, so I understand the sense of civic duty and commitment to citizens that a person must possess to be a good elected representative. I call on that experience as part of my decision making process. I also talk to individuals who offer endorsements to learn more about the merits of the candidate.

With that said, this past weekend something happened that has caused me to lift my silence, primarily because Joe Baca Jr., the other democratic opponent in the race for the 47th, decided to attack me personally and the newspaper I own in an open meeting. I endorsed Bill Batey for Assembly and John Tavaglione for Congress, both Riverside area Republicans where my paper is headquartered, and according to Mr. Baca Jr. that angered the Democratic Speaker of the Assembly.

Now I do not recall this paper being paid for by the Democratic or Republican Party so I do not answer to any political figure, no political party, and no surrogates representing any one party. The last time I checked, none of them signed checks for my company nor do they pay any bills. In fact, they can’t even claim to advertise at any level of significance. Baca Jr’s tone was clearly one of intimidation, unfortunately a political tactic he learned from Baca Sr. who has been known to threaten anyone who doesn’t follow his wishes.

Both Bacas should understand that intimidation doesn’t work with me. Just ask George Pepper, Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. He tried the same tactics back in the 80s when I first bought the paper and worked at Kaiser Hospital in Fontana and openly advocated for good healthcare jobs for people of color – Blacks, Latinos, and Asians.

As a lifelong registered Democrat who owns the Black Voice Newspaper, I am free to endorse anyone I think will bring the best policies to our community regardless of political party, race, gender, or union membership. And in the case of Bill Batey, I have known him for years and he has been instrumental in championing policies that have brought new industries and jobs to Riverside County in his position on the March Joint Powers Commission. I also have known John Tavaglione and his family for decades and respect their multi-generational commitment to economic development and public service. I recall when the Tavaglione’s supported Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley for governor but the San Bernardino Democratic Central Committee at the time wouldn’t support him because of race. I remember clearly, the late Bob Minnick warned them that race should not be a factor in their decision, but they didn’t listen.

I see similar problems with the San Bernardino Central Committee of today and I hope the state party leaders will not join in on local political party politics. Unfortunately, it is controlled by Baca Sr. and serves his family’s interests instead of the party’s interests. Too bad there are no Bob Minnick’s to stand up and speak out now.

Are Some Still Fighting The Civil War In America Over Affordable Health and Immigration

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By Hardy L. Brown

With the way some governors and congressional people are reacting to the United States Supreme Court ruling that The Affordable Health Care Act is constitutional indicates to me that we are still fighting the Civil War in this country. Those individuals call it “Obama Care” which I read as code for race. This ruling came on the heels of an earlier decision by the same court to strike down parts of the State of Arizona’s passage of a very restrictive immigration law aimed at our Latino brothers and sisters in this country.

It has become crystal clear that most Americans have come to grips with these two issues and agree that the court was correct in both decisions. We all know that our health care delivery system is broken and must be corrected. Even those who still say that they want to repeal what the president, congress, and the court has said is legal say the system is broken and needs repairing.

We all know people who need care and cannot afford it. We all know families who have had to remove children from their health plan because of age before they are established and the child can’t get established. Your child comes out of college in their early twenties trying to get a job with benefits but those jobs have been outsourced to other countries. If Kaiser Foundation Health Plan had made us drop my son, Hardy II before he had gotten established, we would have gone to the poor house when he broke his leg and was hospitalized for a month. He had just graduated from Wilberforce University and not employed when the accident happened near Cal State University, San Bernardino. There is no way we could have covered the financial cost of his excellent care at Kaiser in Fontana.

Yet we have governors from the poorest states in the country saying they will reject the coverage for the people in their state. These states have high populations of African Americans, Latinos and people living below the poverty level and sadly do not vote in high numbers. I think these leaders need to consult with their providers of health care in their state and question the wisdom of denying health coverage to their citizens.

Regardless, the Affordable Health Care Act passed by congress and signed by President Barack Obama is the law of the land in America.

With the U. S. Supreme Court taking the thunder out of the State of Arizona’s Immigration Law in essence saying that only the federal government has the right to make and enforce immigration laws, this did not sit well with these same people.

Now I will admit something needs to be done about people coming into the country illegally, it has become a complicated problem. I know a young lady that had to be deported back to Mexico and it is a horrible thing to see that happen. She was a good college student and involved in community activities to assist children. Then there are others that work in agriculture on large farms to help harvest the food we eat, while others get legal visas and when they expire never go back home. No one political party or group of people have an answer that will satisfy everyone but we must treat every group with respect while we work toward a solution. We cannot deny our neighbors basic human rights if they are in need. We can not stop and ask people for legal papers and identification just because we suspect they are here illegally.

Yes the more things change the more they stay the same and the decisions by the United States Supreme Court and the reactions by some who vow to not abide by the law, only highlights that. They should ask themselves are they still fighting the Civil War?

Grooming Our Youth For Health Care Careers

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By Hardy L. Brown

I recently read a Sun Newspaper editorial about this effort by several local educational institutions and health care provider organizations getting together to encourage or steer students into the health care field. Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and UC Riverside School of Medicine; Cal State San Bernardino and Western University of Health Sciences and Cal Poly of Pomona and Western University are also partnering to get students to become interested in the many careers in the huge health care industry. This is one industry that will need many skilled providers as our Inland Empire population grows older and in need of better health care.

As a retiree from Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program’s, Personnel Department, a health care recruiter, and twelve-year trustee on the San Bernardino Unified School Board I know firsthand that these kinds of partnerships are necessary. They need to begin at the elementary level before limits are set in the students mind. I remember when my wife Cheryl, and the children were returning home from a doctor’s visit in the pediatric clinic at Fontana. My daughter Paulette was telling us she wanted to become a doctor. Hardy, II responded very quickly to that notion by saying girls cannot be doctors. When asked why, he had not seen any female doctors care for them and girls in his estimation could only be nurses. Hardy was four and Paulette was eight at the time and Kaiser did not have any female doctors in the pediatric department, which has since changed due to Federal Equal Opportunity Laws and Affirmation Programs which Kaiser enacted aggressively during the seventies and eighties. Paulette did not pursue a career in medicine but earned her doctorate in English at UC Riverside.

During my tenure as a school board member, I brought the idea to the board of reopening Muscott Elementary school as a health care magnet and changing the name of the school to Dr. Howard Inghram, an African American native of San Bernardino who practiced medicine for fifty years in the Inland Empire. I had Community Hospital of San Bernardino which was located across the street to adopt the school and the United Nurses Association Union of Southern California to also adopt the school.

The school boards focus was to begin at an early age to get children interested and knowledgeable about personal health issues and a career in this growing industry. Most people only think of doctors and nurses when they think of health care but there are many good paying positions in the industry and we have shortages in many. This leads to health care institutions importing workers from other countries to care for us while our own neighbors go unemployed. This never made sense to me so these partnerships are a step in the right direction. These imported workers provide good care but sometimes we have culture clashes between patient and provider not to mention labor issues where a union exists for employees. These two issues can be avoided by training our own while alleviating the high unemployment rate of our citizens.

I recall the first open house and seeing students dressed and acting as medical professionals and parents as patients getting care from students. Each classroom was recreated as a department of the hospital such as lab, pharmacy, x-ray, medical records, doctors’ office and the cafeteria. Of course as people changed in administration and boards, that focus changed but is still needed as demonstrated by these new partnerships. I would encourage every school district to enact such a focus on personal health and health careers in their district. Children learn by seeing and doing that which is relevant and believable to them. Thanks Sun for taking the time to highlight this issue of “grooming students in the health care careers” as an editorial.

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