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Hardy L. Brown

Get Out The Vote Tuesday June 5th

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Tuesday June 5th is Election Day in California and you do not want to miss out on voting for your representative. Candidates have walked neighborhoods, phoned voters, mailed material to your homes, placed ads in the newspapers, held meet and greet coffees, printed yard signs all with the objective to listen and educate you, the voter before you vote.

If you have already voted that is great but if you are one that likes to go to the polls, please do not forget to vote on Tuesday. Now if you are one of those people who think your vote will not matter, remember Gigi Hanna’s recent win by 4 votes for San Bernardino City Clerk. So you can see your vote counts.

No on Proposition 29

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By Hardy L Brown

Proposition 29 is controversial in the Black community because some say a no vote is consent towards the spread of cancer in our community. Others say a yes vote is consent to provide employment to members outside of the community with no accountability to the public. I know from personal experience that some will continue to smoke reducing food to family members with the knowledge that smoking is harmful to their health and well-being. While both sides have good arguments, as a former smoker and grower of tobacco, the best approach one might argue is to make tobacco illegal altogether. Of course I am not going to advocate that because unemployment would go up and the tax revenue would go down for our government.

The people supporting this proposition are also saying adding one dollar onto the already 87 cents tax on cigarettes will discourage smokers and will give us an additional $700 million a year for research. I have heard this all my life as a boy growing up in the tobacco country of North Carolina and as a smoker of cigarettes in a community of smokers, tobacco chewers and snuff dippers. But that didn’t stop people from using tobacco products.

One thing that is bad about this $700 million is that no one can change the law for 15 years nor would the legislature be able to change the law or have any say over how and where the money is spent. Remember what happened to First 5.

The only thing that has remained constant on both sides of these arguments is who is going to make money off of the poor people who use tobacco which is a legal product. The makers of tobacco products want to sell their products and make money while the “do gooders” want to make money to line their pockets in the name of doing a good thing. Both are targeting the same population which comprises of a disproportionate number of Black people. Neither side is providing jobs nor offering business opportunities to African Americans to make our communities healthy.

I remember when the only corporations in America that were doing business with Black people were the tobacco and spirit companies. Then along came many organizations that criticized them for doing that, but offered nothing to replace the jobs or business opportunities that would have been lost. So many people kept on smoking and drinking to hide the emptiness left from not having financial resources. Now I am not advocating that we should keep on using tobacco products but I do not think the poor users should be taxed without getting some financial benefits from the $700 million a year pot of funds that will be created. The way Prop 29 is written, the people of California might be the biggest losers with the African American community being hit the hardest.

How many Black researchers are going to be leading the research? How many law enforcement agencies are going to add diversity to their departments to keep under age Black youth from buying tobacco products? How many researchers will reach into the heart of the Black community for a serious study and preventative education programs? How many procurement opportunities will be given to the African American small business owners as they build buildings, buy office furniture, and hire employees? How many health research offices will be in our communities where our people live?

While I am in favor of finding a cure for cancer, Proposition 29 is not the way because it is misleading. I urge a NO vote on Proposition 29.

BVN Endorsements

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By Hardy L. Brown

For the first time in California voting history we will get the chance to vote for any candidate of any political party and no one knows what to expect. It is exciting to see what the voters will do as some are faced with trying to elect the right person to do the job they want done in Sacramento or Washington. They will have to decide on qualifications, leadership, accessibility and independence from lobbyist or family influence in the decision making process once the person is elected. Which candidate will help create jobs in the community as opposed to a politician looking or wanting to keep a job. Which candidate will be more inclusive of representing everyone’s needs in their district regardless of race, gender, religious beliefs or political affiliations? Which candidate will fight for what is right for the Inland Empire regardless of pressure being applied from outside forces? Which candidate will be the voice of those who have lost their voice from being unemployed, ill from age, loss of their homes, have a small business with too many regulations and no accessibility to funds for expansion?

Having said that, I am offering these individuals as my choice for you to consider in putting our community in the best position to move FORWARD.

Barack Obama for President

Dianne Feinstein for US Senator

Riverside County Bill Batey for the 61st Assembly District Unemployment is one of our area’s greatest problems and Bill Batey in my opinion is the best qualified to help focus attention on this problem. His small business ownership experience would bring new jobs to the Inland Empire. Steve Clute for 31st Senate District Steve has the experience and knows how to get things done for the voters from his years of working with former Speaker of the Assembly Willie Brown. Even out of office Steve has been active throughout the region.

John Tavaglione for 41st Congressional District My relationship of the Tavaglione family goes back to the late Tom Bradley for governor and George Brown running for congress days of active political elections. His service as a county supervisor has been outstanding and when elected will help make policies that will generate job growth to the Inland Empire.

Bob Buster for County Supervisor Bob Buster has proven his support for job growth and business development in the county of Riverside and deserves our support. Judge Craig Riemer for Superior Court Integrity is the main ingredient of being a judge and Judge Reimer has demonstrated that during his tenure on the bench. Judge Reimer’s record is beyond reproach and deserves your continued support.

Ed Adkison for Mayor of Riverside I was not going to endorse in this race because of my relationship with a few of the candidates. However, after reviewing the business plan offered by Ed and my knowledge of him as a councilman during the time of Tyisha Miller, Ed is the best choice for the city. We are in dire need of job creation and improving the access for businesses to succeed an important factor in Riverside’s growth.

San Bernardino County Cheryl Brown for 47th Assembly District Cheryl Brown has the experience and knowledge to bring people of different political persuasions together for the building of greater economic growth for the people of the Inland Empire.

Gloria Negrete McLeod for 35th Congressional District Gloria McLeod has and continues to serve the people of her current senatorial district very well. She knows how to bring people together of different diverse backgrounds which are much needed in our communities. She is smart and works tireless for her constituents. Renea Wickman for 31st Congressional District Renea has experience organizing and working with a diverse group of people from the Redlands community over the past twelve years with much success and will help unify this new district. Josie Gonzales for County Board of Supervisors

My friend Josie has surprised many people in the county who thought she was not up to providing leadership to a county with a tainted reputation. She has proven to them and others that she is a unifier of people and a stern leader while bring industry into the county. James Ramos for County Board of Supervisors

James Ramos will add a new dimension and dynamic to the board of supervisors with his experience as a Indian Tribal Leader and community college trustee. His election will also lift up the culture and contribution of Indians across the nation especially in the Inland Empire.

47th Democratic Central Committee

Lynn Lee; Marcus Houston; Lillie Houston; Sara Garcia and Michael Gomez Daly


Yes on Proposition 28

No on Proposition 29

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A Fontana Town Hall Meeting

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By Hardy Brown

I watched with great interest the town hall meeting held by Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren the other night with all of the city department heads in attendance. Also present was councilwoman Lydia Wibert. The other three council members could not be present due to the Brown Act. Mayor Warren explained the purpose and format of how the meeting should proceed with questions coming from citizens and answers being offered by the appropriate department administrator.

What impressed me most about the session was the way they treated one another as elected officials, staff, and citizens. The public brought up concerns about traffic speed, speed bumps in the streets, parking lot designs, business development, the new median design between San Bernardino Avenue and Marigold on Sierra Ave., parade route blocking unnecessary streets, bus transportation for citizens to shopping centers in Fontana and the importance of doing business in Fontana, as well as helping to develop businesses in surrounding communities that will employ citizens of Fontana.

Many of the citizens who asked questions did so respectfully and yet powerful enough to indicate the urgency of their need to staff and elected representatives. As the camera would pan the audience, I recognized many old community activists like Jerry Wiesman (Mr. Democrat), Drayman Crawford (banker and Loveland housing manager), and former Fontana Mayor David Elcherman. These individuals helped lay the foundation for Fontana to make this transition into a leadership role of today. There were others but I remember their hardwork in the community when government did not function the way it does today.

I noticed the respect that the public and elected officials interacted with the staff and vice versa. The chief of police and fire chief were relaxed in their interaction like they were neighbors instead of outsiders as in many cities. People wanted to know where and when they could get CPR training and if it was offered by the fire department. They had questions of these department leaders but they were looking for answers while acknowledging the concerns as taxpayers.

The mayor explained that while she is elected and concerned about Fontana there are some things that can only be accomplished with the help of other cities in the region like San Bernardino, Riverside, and Ontario because of population. She said large employers look at safety and the available qualified workforce in a community before they will agree to invest in a city and that is why educating our young people is crucial.

This was a textbook town hall meeting for others to follow and a teachable moment for all civic leaders.

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