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Hardy L. Brown

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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.

Elect Cheryl Brown to the 47th Assembly District

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By Hardy L. Brown

Who is Cheryl Brown? No one alive knows this person better than me. She is a fighter, an advocate for people, and provides service to all she comes in contact with. She has a deep abiding faith in God and people. Everything she takes on she commits to with passion and determination to get the job done. It was Cheryl who committed that every one of our children would graduate from high school and go on to college. It was her commitment to education that when some local school districts were confronted with racial issues over how the history of slavery was being taught in their schools, they came to her for help. Cheryl took on the task to educate classroom teachers by taking them on an annual trip of the Underground Railroad for the past 15-years. The routes traveled by the nations first Freedom Fighters -- those trapped in slavery. She understands the mission of teachers having been a substitute teacher for the San Bernardino Unified School District and a full time teacher with the School of Hope teaching children with limited physical and mental abilities.

Cheryl brought that same passion and commitment to helping the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department leadership change the image of law enforcement in the eyes of the African American and Latino communities. She helped design an outreach program that has produced many people of color seeking careers in law enforcement which is still paying dividends for current Sheriff Stan Sniff, who is supporting her candidacy. It was her desire to tell police officers 20 years ago that they were appreciated so she created her own “Take A Cop to Lunch Program” which she paid for herself. Even with that support, she would not back away from addressing the hard questions when it came to allege police abuse cases that were brought to her attention. That is what earned her the title as one of the greatest Black Newspaper Publishers in the 175-year history of African American owned newspapers in America. Cheryl is a straight shooter and that is why people in the community seek her counsel on different issues, San Bernardino County Sheriff Hoops asked her to serve on his advisory council, and the Fontana Police Officers Association has endorsed her.

She understands the challenges our families are facing as our aging population grows older and larger. When her grandmother was living in Pittsburg and needed someone to care for her, it was Cheryl who said Grandma Minter come live with us. The same is true when it came to her Aunt Aniece Lee. Like you, Cheryl believes in taking care of seniors. That is also why she appreciates healthcare workers like the SEIU home health workers who assisted. Cheryl wants to take those experiences to Sacramento so she can educate other legislators with firsthand knowledge that it is the constituents who elected them that is impacted by their decision.

As a trained and educated urban planner, she knows what policies need to be enacted so developers, local governments, and communities can thrive without endangering our natural resources like the air we breathe and the water we drink. Cheryl was the lead planner on the Fontana Speedway Project that we have in Fontana. She has worked with the trucking industry and citizens of Bloomington on traffic and noise control issues south of Interstate 10. Those are not easy problems to solve but Cheryl believes if you work hard enough with all parties a win-win solution is always possible.

could go on and on about the things she can do for the people in the 47th District. I know she wants to use her VOICE to make your VOICE heard in Sacramento so our lives can be better. Join me in electing Cheryl Brown as the 47th District Assembly Member.

Cal State University San Bernardino Invites the Public to Unveiling

Join the Black Voice Foundation at Cal State University, San Bernardino on April 27th at 2 pm as they unveil 40 years of historical newspapers from the Black Voice News which has been donated to CSUSB. The public will be able to research events covered by this weekly newspaper of the Inland Empire. President Albert Karnig will bring remarks and others will share stories and memories of this forty year time period.

Call Hardy Brown, II at 909 888-5040 to reserve seating.

Re-elect Josie Gonzales as 5th District County Supervisor

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By Hardy L. Brown

Josie Gonzales has surpassed my expectations of what one person could do as an Elected County Board of Supervisor. When you think of San Bernardino County’s image for corruption and growing tensions between race relations of Latinos and African Americans, Josie has quieted some of those fears down.

Before she was elected and taking the gavel as Chairman of the Board, we could hear everyday of another scandal erupting in the county government like a volcano spewing out hot lava. These scandals came from elected officials on the board or a high-level management staff being arrested. Chairman Gonzales buckled down to guide us through all of this uncertainty to give us confidence in our government once again. Her steady hand of justice has led to bringing those criminals to justice for the citizens of the county.

While all of that was going on, the community found issues with the allocation of grants coming from the First 5 agency as it related to race and service to children from birth to five years of age. Gonzales did not shy away from the problems but rolled up her sleeves, (so to speak) and with her vice chair Cheryl Brown, weighed in to do the heavy lifting of meeting with staff and community members. She made staff corrections, brought in a new staff, and changed policies to the satisfaction of the Commissioners and community thus restoring faith in the allocation of grants throughout the county.

If that was not enough on her plate, one elected member of congress from the area was beating the war drum of racial division between Blacks and Latinos for which Josie found distasteful and would take no part in. She withstood the darts thrown at her from some who like to bully and use strong-armed tactics to get their way. She rose above those petty political strategies and has brought us closer together as a people without denying her heritage or culture. As a matter of fact, people of different races light up when Josie enters the room, she brings joy and hope to those she touch.

One might ask how she does it. I believe it is from her deep belief in God and people. She does not mind sharing her faith while respecting your religious beliefs. She believes in the good of people until you show her another side, then she can be tough. She has a good sense of what it takes to be a good steward of the people’s money, something she learned from having her own business.

Join me in helping to re-elect Josie Gonzales to the 5th District County Board of Supervisors.

Judge Craig Riemer for Superior Court

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It was just several weeks that a conversation was taking place on elections and how we vote. In the conversation the position of judges came up and the consensus was that African Americans do not know them unless there has been a scandal, a breach of public trust, some type of unethical practice or racial bias shown in their decisions. Usually we rely on the opinion of our attorneys or Black employees who work in the legal system to give us some kind of insight into judges before we vote.

Having said that, some close personal friends from the community and legal judicial system introduced me to Judge Riemer. They spoke very highly of Judge Riemer. When you have friends like Judge Richard Fields, Judge Irma Poole Ashberry, Attorney Jack Clarke, Attorney Mary Ellen Daniels, community activists Jennifer Vaughn Blakely, Rose Mayes, Waudier Rucker Hughes, Katie Greene, Ofelia Valdez Yeager and Mayor Ron Loveridge giving me the thumbs up, it becomes easy for me to join the long list of endorsers of Judge Craig Riemer. These individuals I have known over the years and in some cases I knew their mothers, fathers and family members, so I value their opinions and include that relationship in making my decision.

Now I did do my own research on Judge Riemer’s decisions as a sitting member of the bench and none of the issues I mentioned in my opening paragraph came up so he has performed his duties with integrity and to the satisfaction of his peers. I also like the fact that he has a very extensive community service background as a boy scout leader, Sunday school teacher and leading our youth in mock trial training. Many people in our legal system forget community service as they advance in their careers.

Join the Black Voice News in supporting a man of integrity by re-electing Judge Craig Riemer to Riverside County Superior Court

Matthew Slowik and Lydia Wibert for Fontana City Council 

I have watched Fontana Council Members Matthew Slowik and Lydia Wibert conduct themselves at council meetings and they are individuals but work as a team when it comes to providing services to the citizens of Fontana which is very refreshing to see in elected officials. Maybe that is a big part in Fontana moving forward in the Inland Empire in growth of people and business development.

Matthew brings a long list of community service experience to the council and years of planning experience for his colleagues to draw on as they plan the cithy’s future. He has knowledge of education from serving on the Fontana Unified School District Bond Oversight Committee.

Wibert also brings many years of community service to the council and works very well as a team player for the citizens of Fontana. She served on the Parks and Recreation Commission for 22 years and as a police volunteer for 17 years. This experience gives her great insight on the needs of public safety employees with balance of family and youth needs in the city. She has 9 children of her own and is employed with the Fontana School District so we can understand her insight on teamwork.

Fontana is fortunate to have citizens like Matthew Slowik and Lydia Wibert, who are dedicated and committed to serve in the capacity as council member. They are great ambassadors and policy makers in performing their duties.

Re-elect Matthew Slowik and Lydia Wibert to Fontana City council

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