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Rattlesnakes Don’t Commit Suicide: Issues in 2004

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What’s out there for us in 2004?

What are some of the things we will have to contend with as we face the community and world?

We will have to contend with the uncertainty of the war in Iraq where Blacks serve at a disproportionate number than we represent in the United States. We will have to face a nation that brags of low unemployment rates while more Blacks will face rising unemployment according to the Labor department’s latest report.

We will face a national election while still remembering that all of our votes were not counted in the last presidential election. We will face an early primary election in March and then wait until November for the follow-up general election.

Speaking of elections, we face two vacancies on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors that must be filled in January through the appointment process. The responsibilities to make the appointments rest with the three remaining supervisors and the voters of the vacant districts have no voter leverage to bring on the appointing supervisors.

The person who gets appointed in the fifth district, for example, will serve out Jerry Eaves’ remaining term which ends in November. I suggest that they appoint someone who will not be seeking the position in November.

I also suggest they take the opportunity to add a diversity of race and gender to help make decisions for the largest county in the continental United States. I also suggest they appoint someone who has some knowledge of the county’s needs and can hit the seat with familiarity of county government operations.

There will be no time for acquainting the person with protocol and language of the county. I suggest that they look beyond the political party affiliations of candidates in the appointment process, especially in the fifth district.

We also face more congestion on our streets in the Inland Empire as reasonable housing costs bring more people into our communities. This will also add to already crowded classrooms in our schools.

Local school districts will be seeking passage of local bond measures to build new schools and upgrade the old ones. This will add to the shortage of credentialed staff to teach the students. This should bring greater cooperation between local governmental bodies in sharing cost and responsibility in providing services.

In 2004, I see a greater need for the Black religious leaders to project themselves into community issues that impact their members. Issues such as homelessness, single parent households, persons with aids, employment, business development, law enforcement, healthcare, education, race relations, outreach Bible studies classes, housing and access to financial institutions for starters.

I see a need for the NAACP and other organizations to increase the ink on issues that plague our community. Discrimination and racism have not taken a holiday and these poisonous snakes have not crawled into holes and died.

As my father once said “rattle snakes don’t commit suicide.” The same is true for discrimination and racism, it will not go away on its own you have to investigate complaints and take appropriate action where necessary.

There is much more facing Blacks in the year 2004 than I’ve listed above. The question is, will you roll up your sleeves and work on the issues that you are interested in and contribute to solving some of the problems?

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