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Ethnic Business, Community Leaders Come Together to Support Clean Energy and Jobs

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State Laws AB 32, SB 535 Bring Hope to Underserved Neighborhoods

SACRAMENTO – Ethnic and diverse businesses must play a key role in the state’s efforts to fight climate change and clean the air, a broad coalition of ethnic business leaders and community advocates told legislators and the governor today. Hosted by the Asian & Pacific Legislative Caucus, Legislative Black Caucus, Latino Legislative Caucus and The Greenlining Institute, the “Good Economy Day of Action” kicked off with a morning briefing followed by meetings with key legislators and the governor’s office.

“As businesspeople, we prosper when our communities prosper,” said Azizza Goines, President and CEO of the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce. “By directing at least one quarter of cap-and-trade revenues into economically disadvantaged, highly polluted communities, SB 535 is bringing hope to long-neglected neighborhoods. This is a model that federal policymakers and other states should follow.”

To highlight the benefits of California clean energy policies, The Greenlining Institute created UpliftCA.org (English) and es.UpLiftCA.org (Spanish).

“California’s growing clean energy economy not only fights climate change, it’s already putting Californians to work in good jobs, helping California generate jobs faster than any other state,” said Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Program Manager Alvaro Sanchez. “Today over 430,000 Californians work in energy efficiency, solar power and related fields -- more Californians than in aerospace or movies, TV and radio combined. This is the economy of the future, and if we do it right, it can lift up neighborhoods and communities that have struggled with high unemployment and dirty air.”

Part of “doing it right,” participants said, must involve maintaining funding for projects covered by SB 535, which brings clean energy investments to underserved communities, and SB 1275, the Charge Ahead Initiative, which makes clean transportation affordable to low-income communities through programs like car-sharing and clean vehicle rebates. They also urged passage of the EmPower California Act, AB 865, which would level the playing field for businesses owned by women, disabled veterans, people of color and LGBTQ individuals in projects funded by the California Energy Commission.

State officials heard the message loud and clear and understood the need to strengthen efforts to increase diversity in the energy sector. "The Energy Commission understands that we must make it a priority to work with all of California's diverse communities,” said Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller. “That means not only reaching out to a more diverse population regarding energy issues, but more importantly to build California's intellectual and human capital by promoting grants and contracts to diverse businesses as well as making a conscious effort to target funding to low income communities. I am pleased to see this commitment reflected in the Energy Commission’s recently approved Diversity Policy Resolution.”

“We strongly urge legislators to support SB 865,” said Michael Chan, president of ASIAN, Inc. “Diverse small businesses are the backbone of California’s economy, and we need to make sure they get a fair shot at clean energy contracts and opportunities.”

Mark Herbert, California Project Manager for Small Business Majority, added, "We know from our scientific polling that California small business owners strongly support transitioning to a stronger clean energy economy. It's good for their bottom lines and for their communities."

“California has a lot of forward-thinking programs to bring the benefits of the clean energy economy to neighborhoods hit first and worst by pollution and poverty,” said Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Director Vien Truong. “But to make the promise real those programs must be funded and given priority.”


Zeta Phi “Skid” Rho: USC Fraternity Raises Awareness of Homelessnes

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LOS ANGELES – On April 2, 2015, USC students will make 5,000 sandwiches for the homeless and participate in activities to promote initiatives to combat chronic homelessness. The 13th Annual Zeta Phi “Skid” Rho, hosted by the multicultural fraternity, Zeta Phi Rho, partnering with food-tech startup SideChef.

This year, the purpose of the event is to mobilize the entire campus in the effort to raise awareness of homelessness on Skid Row. Since the inception of the event, much has changed but poverty, and homelessness remains an epidemic problem in Skid Row and the world at large.

Zeta Phi “Skid” Rho is the keystone philanthropy event for USC Zeta Phi Rho. The event has evolved from a few brothers of the fraternity making a handful of sandwiches to hundreds of students making thousands each year. Last year, the fraternity worked alongside the USC Special Events Committee to break the world record for “Most Sandwiches Made In One Hour” by making 17,341 sandwiches (which more than tripled the original record of 5,721).

The event will take place at Alumni Park on the USC University Park Campus from 12 to 3 p.m. Students and organizations all over campus are invited to participate. For more information on the event, visit www.sczetas.com/zeta-phi-skid-rho/.


Chuck Washington Becomes First African-American Riverside County Supervisor

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Washington, who was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown, makes history in the 125 years of Riverside County Board of Supervisors

By Corey Arvin
Staff Writer

Sitting across from Gov. Jerry Brown at the Mission Inn last month, Chuck Washington couldn’t glean where this meeting was headed. Driving home in his car, reflecting back, he “felt less optimistic.” It would be days after his discussion with Brown that the governor’s staff confirmed what Washington had hoped -- that he was Brown’s choice to fill the District 3 seat of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.

Brown’s appointment of Washington set a precedent for the region, as he is now Riverside County’s first African-American Supervisor in its 125 years of existence.

Since late last year, Washington had been in a free-for-all contest to fill the recently vacated District 3 seat for the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, previously held by now-State Senator (R-CA) Jeff Stone.

“Once Jeff got elected, it was just ‘game on’ -- everyone was trying to get the governor's attention,” he said.

Washington had been mulling whether he would run for reelection on the Temecula City Council around the time the District 3 seat was open. Running for Supervisor seemed like a natural fit to Washington. He earned a wide net of supporters in the weeks ahead, backing him for the District 3 seat, including Pechanga, the NAACP Riverside Chapter, and local Service Employees International Union (SEIU), among other key supporters.

Becoming Riverside County Supervisor isn’t the first “first” for Washington. He was also the first African-American Mayor of Temecula, serving in 2007 and 2012. Prior to resigning, he served on the Temecula City Council since 2003. Washington was a pilot for Delta Air Lines from 1987 to 2005 and 2008 to 2014. Before Temecula, he was a member of the Murrieta City Council and served once as Mayor from 1995 to 1999. Washington also served in the U.S. Navy from 1981 to 1987. He earned a Master of Public Administration degree from National University.

Washington is no stranger to regional issues, having served previously on the Western Riverside Council of Governments and the regional Economic Development Corporation.

Stone, who has known Washington for several years, was swift to support Washington on his appointment to fill his seat.

“I’m very proud of my former colleague, a well-respected elected official throughout Southwest Riverside County. I’m very proud of him being the first African-American to serve on the board of Supervisors in our 125 year history and I know that Chuck is going to do a fantastic job on behalf of the citizens of our county,” said Stone.

Washington’s previous involvement in regional issues that impact Temecula and adjacent cities attracted Washington to the District 3 seat. Washington says he discovered he genuinely enjoyed the work and viewed the Supervisor seat as an opportunity to partner with cities that need attention to important issues without disrupting their autonomy. One of his first priorities will be preserving and supporting public safety funding in his district, he said.

“A couple of cities in my district have had to cut back on staffing, had to cut back on police and fire... I need to be supportive of their communities and offer whatever assistance they need to keep crime stats down. And they are going to need some help to keep their economies growing,” said Washington.

With his recent appointment, Washington isn’t looking back. In fact, he expressed elation he would be able to continue to serve Temecula and the Southwest Region in his new role -- and he won’t be far from home.

“I have been involved in other agencies, in regional issues and found that I really enjoyed to be more involved in district. I’m going from helping a city of 106,000 people, to a district with 450,000 in a county of about 2.5 million people.”

Washington will remain appointed to the District 3 seat until 2016.

Condoleezza Rice to Keynote Royce's 7th Annual Women's Conference

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On Jan. 28, U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) announced that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will deliver the keynote address at his 7th Annual Women's Conference. The event, held in conjunction with the California State University, Fullerton's (CSUF) Philanthropic Foundation, will take place at CSUF's Titan Student Union Center (800 North State College Boulevard, Fullerton, CA 92831) on Saturday, March 28, 2015.

"Secretary Rice is an accomplished diplomat, scholar, and business leader who is often cited as a role model for women around the world. She has lived a life dedicated to public service, and I'm honored that she will keynote the Women's Conference this year," said Rep. Royce. "I look forward to joining many members of our community as we gather to learn from Secretary Rice's unique insights and life experiences."

Rice is currently a professor of Political Economy in the Graduate School of Business; the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution; and a professor of Political Science at Stanford University.

From January 2005-2009, Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States, the second woman and first African American woman to hold the post. Rice also served as President George W. Bush’s Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (National Security Advisor) from January 2001-2005, the first woman to hold the position.

Rice served as Stanford University’s Provost from 1993-1999, during which she was the institution's chief budget and academic officer. As Provost, she was responsible for a $1.5 billion annual budget and the academic program involving 1,400 faculty members and 14,000 students. In 1997, she also served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender -- Integrated Training in the Military.

From 1989 through March 1991, Rice served on President George H.W. Bush’s National Security Council staff. She served as Director; Senior Director of Soviet and East European Affairs; and, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. In 1986, while an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice also served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Women’s Conference, which Rep. Royce has hosted every year since 2009, is a half-day seminar dedicated to giving women the tools and resources necessary to enrich their lives. Past speakers include actress Kristen Bell and former eBay Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman. In addition to the keynote speech, the conference will include breakout sessions on topics suggested by past conference attendees, such as personal finance, healthy living and career advice. Specific breakout session details will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information about Rep. Royce’s annual Women’s Conference, please visit http://royce.house.gov/womensconference/ .


275,000 Students Receive Free Tickets to Academy Award®-Nominated "Selma"

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Los Angeles is one of 12 new cities to join the movement

HOLLYWOOD – Los Angeles has joined the growing movement led by African-American business leaders to raise funds for students across the country to see the Academy Award®-nominated film “SELMA,” expanding the first-of-its-kind campaign to 25 locations nationwide.

Due to the generous contributions by so many of the country’s most prominent African-American business leaders, more than 275,000 middle and high school students across the U.S. will experience the critically acclaimed film for free at participating theaters while supplies last.

The African-American business leaders contributing to the Los Angeles effort are:

Debra Martin Chase, CEO, Martin Chase Productions
Baron Davis, 2-Time NBA All-Star, Emmy nominated producer
John Green, VP and Associate General Counsel, DIRECTV
Robert Jon Hendricks, Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
T. Warren Jackson, Senior Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer, DIRECTV, and Jacqueline Phillips-Jackson, DGA Member
Debra Johnson, Chief Operating Officer, Metropolis IX
Charles King, CEO/Founder, MACRO
Mattie Lawson, President, The MML Group
Norman & Lyn Lear, The Lear Family Foundation
Duane Lyons, Partner, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
Dale Mason Cochran, President, Concourse Ventures, Inc.
Dr. Accie Mitchell and Gloria Mitchell
Tendo Nagenda, Senior Vice President, Production, The Walt Disney Studios
Dr. Bob Ross, California Endowment
Nina Shaw, Partner, Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano
Janine Sherman Barrois, Executive Producer, “Criminal Minds”

“We are proud to be a part of this extraordinary effort to bring this poignant and timeless American story to the diverse students of Los Angeles,” said Debra Martin Chase, CEO, Martin Chase Productions and T. Warren Jackson, Senior Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer, DIRECTV, who organized the efforts in Los Angeles.

“It’s important that the civil rights struggle depicted in ‘SELMA’ reach as many young people as possible so that the enduring lessons of the civil rights movement can be harnessed to inspire them to transform their lives and communities. We appreciate the support of the California Endowment, and have enlisted the Constitutional Rights Foundation to work with the schools in creating a broader educational program to insure just that,” said Jackson.

Added Martin Chase, “As a filmmaker, I recognize the transformative power of film; that’s why the overwhelming response to the ‘SELMA’ initiative here in Los Angeles and across the nation is so heartening. It’s a reminder of the importance of voting and civics engagement and demonstrates how anything can be accomplished through creativity and collective effort.”

The participating Los Angeles theaters are:

  • AMC Burbank 16 Burbank
  • AMC Del Amo 18 Torrance
  • Cinemark 18 & XD Westchester
  • Cinemark Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza 15 & Xtreme Los Angeles
  • Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26 & IMAX Long Beach
  • Pacific Lakewood 16 Lakewood
  • Pacific Winnetka 21 Chatsworth
  • Regal LA Live Stadium 14 Los Angeles

The 12 new locations joining the movement are Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Central Florida/Orlando, Connecticut, Detroit, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Montgomery, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, and St. Louis. They follow the lead of those in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Nashville, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York, Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sarasota, FL, Washington D.C. and Westchester.

“This was an important opportunity to educate our children about the heroes of the civil rights movement and keep an important legacy intact. I am proud that our community seized the moment,” said Fletcher “Flash” Wiley, Counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, who organized the efforts in Boston.

The nationwide efforts are inspired by the success of the program in New York City, in which 27 African-American business leaders created a fund for 27,000 of the city’s 7th, 8th and 9th grade students to see the film for free. Due to the overwhelming demand, the New York City effort sold out in the very first weekend and was expanded to 75,000 tickets.

Viacom’s Paramount Pictures, which is distributing “SELMA,” is coordinating the programs with participating theaters in the U.S.  For a list of participating theaters in select cities offering free admission to students during this program and for information on group sales, visit www.SelmaMovie.com/studenttickets

The students who present a current student ID or report card at the box office of any participating theater will receive free admission while tickets last.

To help get the word out about the program, tweet using the hashtag #SelmaForStudents.

Directed by DuVernay and starring David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr., “SELMA” is nominated for Academy Awards® for Best Picture and Best Original Song for “Glory” by Common & John Legend. The film earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Song for “Glory” and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director.

Paramount Pictures, Pathé, and Harpo Films present “SELMA.” Produced by Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey, the film is executive produced by Brad Pitt, Cameron McCracken, Diarmuid McKeown, Nik Bower, Ava DuVernay, Paul Garnes and Nan Morales. The film is written by Paul Webb. “SELMA” is directed by Ava DuVernay.

“SELMA” is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernay’s “SELMA” tells the story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history. The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Alessandro Nivola, Giovanni Ribisi, Common, Carmen Ejogo, Lorraine Toussaint, with Tim Roth and Oprah Winfrey as “Annie Lee Cooper.”

“SELMA” is playing in theaters nationwide. To learn more about the film, go to http://www.selmamovie.com


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