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President Obama Selling Out Blacks for Union Favor

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(NNPA) Yes, this is certainly a milestone for unions. For decades they have shoved money under the noses of Black elected officials and their bidding was represented by such officials, despite the policy being against Black interests, employment, and the well being of the entire Black community. Some unions like the UAW, Steelworkers, Communication Workers, and Postal Workers have enjoyed participation of Black employees and the harmony of the Black community. However, we cannot look at this in such a collective manner; the construction unions among others have been racist, Jim Crow, and predatory on the Black working class and the Black community as a whole. They have bought off national organizations before, but never have they owned someone at the White House. JFK, Nixon, and Clinton have made deals with them but not a carte blanche takeover of the U.S. labor market. Despite the racial animist of some of these major union segments President Obama has opened all the doors to them and we, Black people, are at an incredible risk.

It’s as if President Obama is in charge of the labor movement. When his people are presented with the facts that Black employment, especially Black business, will suffer under this policy, they just don’t care. They more or less say “so what”. Black business owners and Black workers, there is a “Darth Vader” sitting in the White House and he isn’t White. Blacks are at the bottom rung of every economic statistic in our nation and he is aiming to make it worse. We have unemployment approaching 30% and he smiles as his policies aim to make it more than 50%. Don’t count on the Congressional Black Caucus to deal with him on this issue as 80% have conceded and will march behind him simply because of their allegiance to the party. Many will have their political careers spiral into oblivion during the next few election cycles, but they are willing to go down for this disgusting and treasonous cause.

An example of this cavalier attitude against Blacks and Hispanics in favor of unions was the Chicago Olympic Proposal. It was so rich in Union only projects known as Project Labor Agreements that it was clear Black and Hispanic employment would not reach 10% in the construction of the Olympics in a town that is 55% Black and Hispanic. The proposal was replete with the destruction of various Black and Hispanic neighborhoods for the sake of real estate investors and the greedy unions. It stunk and the Brazilian Olympic Committee noticed it immediately. They put out the word throughout the National Olympic Committee officials. When the competition started they couldn’t wait to disqualify the U.S. proposal because of the racial and cultural damage it would do to the city of Chicago. It was the most shameful moment for the U.S. in the history of the World Olympics.

Equally disgusting is President Obama’s Southern Strategy. Like Ronald Reagan’s strategy before him, he has decided to disregard the well being of southern Blacks and find any kind of way to let unions into the southern labor market and then allow them to work and organize political cells for his political future. Yes, the South has been mostly Right to Work states, which do not allow union only projects. Consequently, Black employment in construction is three times higher in the South than in states that allow Union Only projects. President Obama wants to destroy that so that his union cronies will be happy.

He is secretly working on major projects in the South, such as nuclear facilities, that will create many high paying jobs. As he maneuvers to make this happen, he will declare these mighty projects Union Only. Thus he would bring his union cronies from the North into the southern market and transfer his northern union workers to come and organize local union shops and help proselytize Democratic Party policies and candidates. In other words, he wants to turn the “Red States” of the South into “Blue States” for the benefit of unions and his party and to the detriment of Blacks and long–term White residents. Yes, he wants to turn the South into Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago , etc. with its sky high Black and Hispanic unemployment, but also with union largesse that feeds the pockets of his party.

America, your President is wrong on this one and it will hurt your children, grandchildren, and destroy your legacy. The time has come to say “It was nice that you are Black but destroying our economic base is not in the deal. Straighten up or check out.” I know it hurts but wrong is wrong and we must be strong enough to fight wrong whenever it comes before us and by whoever presents it. Your future depends on it.

Mr. Alford is the co-founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (r). Website: www.nationalbcc.org. Email: halford@nationalbcc.org

Clean Haiti's Water

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By Judge Greg Mathis –

Shortly after the New Year began, Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and left more than one million homeless. The promise of help came from around the world: individuals donated what they could and richer nations, including our own, pledged millions of dollars in support.

Unfortunately, a significant number of those commitments have not been met. As the anniversary of the earthquake approaches, Haiti is still a broken country. To make matters worse, the tiny nation is battling a disease outbreak that, under better conditions, would be simple to treat.

Cases of cholera began popping up in rural Haiti in early October. Cholera is a disease that causes intestinal distress in its victims: vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. These symptoms can lead to dehydration; if not treated, an infected person could die. And, that’s just what’s been happening in Haiti. To date, there have been more than 3,000 cases of the disease and more than 250 deaths.

Cholera is primarily spread through contaminated drinking water. In wealthier countries, water is treated and the bacteria that cause the disease are killed.

Haiti hasn’t had a cholera outbreak in more than 100 years; medical professionals are unsure of what brought this on. One thing is for certain: the nation’s medical system was weakened by the quake and health officials are having a hard time battling the disease.

With experts worried that the disease may soon spread to nearby Dominican Republic, it’s critical that the international pledged community makes good on its promises of support to Haiti.

Current funding for Haiti should be redirected and used to build filtration centers, so that individuals there are guaranteed clean drinking water. Additionally, money should be spent on cholera vaccines and medical outreach so that those who have not been infected don’t get infected.

While it’s important any nation in a position to do so help Haiti get back on its feet – and put the country in a position to prosper - the immediate focus should not be on rebuilding infrastruc- ture, but on preserving life.


Proposition 23 Wrong For The State Of California

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Proposition 23, the ballot measure that would suspend California’s progress toward a clean-energy economy, would be very bad news for California’s low income and minority communities. It would stifle job growth, an effect especially harsh in minority communities where unemployment is among the state’s highest. And it would stymie efforts to clean up some of the state’s most toxic facilities, areas where a disproportionate number of California’s minorities live.

If passed, Prop 23 would require the state to abandon for now its comprehensive clean air and clean energy standards that include increased renewable energy and cleaner fuel requirements, and mandatory emission reporting and fee requirements for major polluters. It would allow these programs to resume only after the state’s unemployment rate drops to 5.5% for a full year – something that’s happened just three times in 40 years.

California’s economy is recovering, but it will likely be more than a dozen years before unemployment drops that low, stifling development of clean energy technologies and setting back California’s efforts to compete with China and other states in winning our share of the new economy– years we may not have.

California’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office recently refuted the claims by Prop. 23’s backers that the clean energy law is bad for the economy. It found the economic calculations used in those claims to be “essentially useless,” and it found that suspension of the clean energy law could “dampen additional investments in clean energy technologies or in so-called ‘green jobs’ by private firms, thereby resulting in less economic activity.”

Many of the affected minority communities are located just a stone’s throw from some of the state’s most toxic energy facilities.

In all, some 63 percent of the population residing within two and a half miles of these facilities is African American, Latino or Asian/Pacific Islander. And statewide on average, 70 percent of people of color are exposed to dangerous particulate matter linked exposure to such pollution; this disparity is particularly sharp for African Americans. Partly as a result of such exposure, California’s low-income communities are facing epidemics of asthma and lung disease due to air pollution, which contributes to thousands of premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks, and thousands of trips to the hospital.

Many of these toxic facilities are operated by some of the same out-ofstate oil companies – including Valero, Tesoro and Koch Industries – that are spending millions of dollars in an attempt to pass Prop 23. In fact, 98 percent of campaign cash for Prop 23 is from the oil industry; 89 percent of it is from out-of-state.

Such communities – like Wilmington in the LA area where many of the toxic plants are located and the poverty rate is 25 percent – would benefit greatly from the solid, good-paying “green color” jobs a clean energy economy would bring.

As San Francisco State Urban Studies Professor Raquel Pinderhughes recently noted, the vast majority of green collar jobs do not require high levels of education.

In fact, clean energy businesses are one of the few bright spots in our recovering economy.

These businesses are creating many jobs that can provide pathways out of poverty for struggling families. Many of these jobs – in solar companies, energy efficiency firms, and green manufacturing – are “middle-skill” jobs. They pay well and require training and skill, but they are available to people without 4-year university degrees. Since 2005, California green jobs have grown 10 times faster than the statewide average. If we kill our state’s clean energy and clean air standards, California would lose hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investments. California would change instantly from clean energy “leader” to “laggard.” Other states would win the countless jobs and investments that California now attracts.

We know why the out of state oil companies like Prop. 23. With it in place, the Texas fox would be guarding California’s henhouse, wiping out years of progress toward a clean energy economy, good jobs and a healthier quality of life.

Aubry Stone is CEO of the California Black Chamber of Commerce.

Measure C Will Save Tax Dollars and Professionalize our City Government

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I rarely write to express my views in public and for those who know me know I reserve my opinion to face-to-face verbal debates. However, I am making this exception because of the fact I was taken to court along with Rev Raymond Turner, Rachel Mendoza-Clark (city clerk) and David Kennedy, (city treasurer) for signing the rebuttal in favor of Measure C that the voters received in the voters guide. I want to thank the four council members, Virginia Marquez, Tobin Brinker, Fred Shorett and Rikke Van Johnson, who listened to our reasoning and voted to have Measure C placed on the ballot.

I was one of the original people to talk about changing the charter because of what I witness at each meeting of the council over the past several years. I, like others, thought it was important to elect these positions.

Even with the last time there was a opportunity to change the charter, I opposed it for many of the same reasons many oppose this change, prior to then I saw no need to have these positions appointed. I changed that opinion when I concluded that structure of the city needed to be changed in order for business to thrive; political agendas were at the root cause of arguments and confusion that led to prolonged meetings with no other purpose than to control the legislative body and feed a personal ego. I suspected duplication of budgets and when I got the accurate information under the Freedom of Information Act my suspicions were confirmed to be true. The city attorney’s budget has duplicate police and code enforcement personnel as well as high administrative costs. The city attorney and council member Wendy McCammack have agreed that there is duplication of positions in the city attorney’s office.

Additionally there are no restrictions on qualifications to be city treasurer or city clerk, under the charter whoever gets the most votes (qualified or not) can run those very important departments. Thank God, we have two very competent people now but again it is the structure that needs to be changed and professionalized.

The charter change will help save the city millions of dollars and with our finances being what they are we can use all the savings we can get. One issue brought up in court that was concluded to be false is that Jim Penman wanted to protect his $200,000 salary and his $100,000 a year pension. He pointed out to the Judge and rightly so that his $100,000 pension is going to be paid to him whether or not Measure C passes. He says after 23 years he deserves the taxpayer funded retirement package.

He still claims he won the court case but he is the one on the hook to pay all of the court costs.

In addition to saving money, is the need for more professionalism in these office holder positions especially that of city attorney. To use a quote recently used by the Minister of Mining in Chile on why they were able to rescue the 33 trapped miners is “we had great professional experts, excellent people, and a united team with a single goal”. This is essential if we are to become the city we want and know we can become.

As a person of faith I was very concerned with the city attorneys’ actions toward the faith community starting with his actions at First Nazarene Church and now Pastor Raymond Turner of Temple Missionary Baptist Church.

In my rebuttal I said “The system is broken and we should stop politicians from spending almost 3 times more than other cities on bureaucratic functions like attorneys and clerks.” Join with me and vote yes on Measure C which is for CHANGING the city to a more PROFFESSIONAL way to the get legal advice, stop duplication of services and prevent non qualified persons for seeking office as city clerk or treasurer. Vote YES on Measure C.

Cheryl R. Brown
Co-Publisher, Black Voice News

IECAAC Supports Measure C For good Government

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Lord considers their threats and enables your servants to speak with much boldness, Acts 4:29

According to the Book of Acts, the servants of the Lord had to face threats from those in high places during the early stages of establishing the Christian Church. Even though it has been over two thousands years since that time, today we face threats of lawsuits against our brothers and even one of our brethren at the First Nazarene Church in the city was intimidated last year by those in high places.

This is something we cannot take lightly because if allowed to go unchallenged others might take us as easy targets to take on in the future. I am proud and happy to lead such an organization as Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches, IECAAC, where the brothers have shown courage to “speak with much boldness” in support of its members and churches in the community.

I know the difficulty of a united effort to speak out when one does not understand all of the politics of the day or the far reaching tentacles of such actions of people in high places.

I am also reminded of another scripture, Ephesians 6:12 that explain our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world in high places. Therefore we must continue to fight the good fight in a political arena for the benefit of our people to live an abundant life that has been promised them by our government.

It is my honest belief after listening to the mayor, city council and the city attorney talk about duplicate services been carried out in the city; it is in the best interest of the citizens to vote for Measure C to change the charter to have these professional positions appointed by the mayor and council.

It will “eliminate duplicate service” and “save many more taxpayers dollars” in the process. It will also put the “political power into the hands of the council” that we elect to make policy and run our government. It will allow those who wish to do business in the city to get “straight talk” from one body instead of from different elected representatives with separate political agendas.

I am recommending that all citizens support the passage of Measure C by voting YES.

Pastor Philip Powell

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