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Celebrate With Black Voice News on August 18th

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In celebration of The Black Voice News (BVN) recent 40th Anniversary, a Green Job Fair and reception announcing this year’s 2012 Community Builders will be held on August 18, 2012 from 8 am -12 pm. at the Grier Pavilion (Seventh floor) of Riverside City Hall, 3900 Main Street, Riverside.

The Green Job Fair and public forum sponsored by Riverside Public Utilities will be held from 8 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. featuring special guest panelists and the 2012 Black Voice News Community Builder reception sponsored by General Motors will begin at 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon. In past years, BVN began recognizing unsung heroes whose commitment to their community have made a difference. This event is co-sponsored by Wells Fargo and the University of California, Riverside and is the kick off for this year’s Holiday Gala on December 1, 2012. These events are free to the public. For more information on BVN celebrations, contact the office at 951.682.6070.

2012 Olympians, World, Olympic medalists headline ’12 Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions cast; tickets go on sale July 20

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INDIANAPOLIS – Members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team join 2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin and her fellow 2008 Olympic team silver medalists Chellsie Memmel, and Alicia Sacramone, in headlining the all-star cast for the Kellogg's® Tour of Gymnastics Champions, which debuts on Sept. 8 in San Jose, Calif. Tickets for the 40-city tour, which runs through Nov. 18, go on sale July 20. The Kellogg’s Tour includes stops in cities big and small across the United States, including Las Vegas, Dallas, Kansas City, Mo., Minneapolis, Louisville, Ky., Hartford, Conn., and Brooklyn, N.Y.

"As our 2012 Olympians head to London to represent their country, we are proud to announce they will be an important part of our cast for the 2012 Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions, which serves as the perfect stage for Americans to celebrate and welcome our Olympians home," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics.

2012 Olympians currently scheduled to participate in the Kellogg’s Tour are: Jake Dalton of Norman, Okla.; Gabby Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va.; Jonathan Horton of Houston; McKayla Maroney of Long Beach, Calif.; John Orozco of the Bronx, N.Y.; Aly Raisman of Needham, Mass.; Kyla Ross of Aliso Viejo, Calif.; and Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich. Beginning July 20, tickets may be purchased through all venues hosting the Tour across the country. Ticket prices range from $25-$240 and vary by market and seat location. Platinum and Gold VIP Packages are available in most markets and include special athlete access and a commemorative gift. To find the Tour stop nearest you and order tickets, please visit www.KelloggsTour.com. The complete list of athletes scheduled to perform during the Kellogg’s Tour of Champions. Due to athletes’ schedules and personal commitments, will vary from stop to stop but athletes scheduled are: Women’s Artistic Gymnasts • Rebecca Bross – Plano, Texas/WOGA. 2010 World Championships Team silver medalist; six-time World medalist • Gabby Douglas – Virginia Beach, Va./Chow’s Gymnastics. 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials champion and 2011 World Championships Team gold medalist • Brenna Dowell – Odessa, Mo./ Great American Gymnastics Express. 2010 Pan Am Championships team gold medalist • Sarah Finnegan – St. Louis, Mo./ Great American Gymnastics Express. 2012 U.S. Olympic Team replacement athlete; 2010 Pan Am Championships team gold medalist • Anna Li – Aurora, Ill./Legacy Elite Gymnastics. 2012 U.S. Olympic Team replacement athlete; 2012 U.S. uneven bars bronze medalist • Nastia Liukin – Parker, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics. 2008 Olympic all-around champion; five-time Olympic medalist • McKayla Maroney – Long Beach, Calif./All Olympia. 2012 U.S. Olympic Team member; 2011 World vault and team gold medalist • Chellsie Memmel – West Allis, Wis./M&M Gymnastics. 2008 Olympic Team silver medalist; World gold medalist in all-around, team (twice), uneven bars • Elizabeth Price – Coopersburg, Pa./ Parkettes National Gymnastics Center. 2012 U.S. Olympic Team replacement athlete; 2011 City of Jesolo Trophy team gold medalist • Aly Raisman – Needham, Mass./Brestyan’s Gymnastics. 2012 U.S. Olympic Team member; 2011 World floor floor bronze medalist and team gold medalist • Kyla Ross – Aliso Viejo, Calif./ Gym-Max. 2012 U.S. Olympic Team member; 2012 Kellogg’s Pacific Rim team gold medalist • Alicia Sacramone – Winchester, Mass./Brestyan’s American Gymnastics. 2011 World team gold medalist; 2008 Olympic team silver medalist; 10 career World medals • Sabrina Vega – Carmel, N.Y./Dynamic Gymnastics. 2011 World Championships team gold medalist • Jordyn Wieber – DeWitt, Mich./Twistars USA. 2012 U.S. Olympic Team member; 2011 World all-around and team gold medalist, balance beam bronze medalist Men’s Artistic Gymnasts • Chris Brooks – Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Academy of Gymnastics). 2012 U.S. Olympic Team replacement athlete; 2012 Kellogg’s Pacific Rim Championships all-around and team gold medalist • Alex Buscaglia – Stanford, Calif./Stanford University. 2010 Pan Am Championships Team gold medalist • Jake Dalton – Reno, Nev./University of Oklahoma. 2012 U.S. Olympic Team member; 2011 World Championships team bronze medalist • Jonathan Horton – Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Academy of Gymnastics). 2012 U.S. Olympic Team member; 2010 World all-around bronze medalist; 2008 Olympic team bronze medalist and horizontal bar silver medalist • Glen Ishino - Santa Ana, Calif./University of California-Berkeley. 2010 Pan Am Games team gold medalist • Steven Legendre – Port Jefferson, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (University of Oklahoma). 2012 U.S. Olympic Team replacement athlete; 2011 World Championships team bronze • Alex Naddour – Gilbert, Ariz./Team Hilton HHonors (USA Youth Fitness Center). 2012 U.S. Olympic Team replacement athlete; 2011 World Championships Team bronze medalist • John Orozco – Bronx, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center). 2012 U.S. Olympic Team member; 2012 U.S. all-around champion; 2011 World Championships team bronze • Paul Ruggeri - Manlius, N.Y./University of Illinois. 2011 Pan Am Games team bronze medalist and high bar champion • Brandon Wynn - Voorhees, N.J./Team Hilton HHonors (Ohio State University). 2011 Pan Am Games team bronze medalist and still rings gold medalist The Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions starts Sept. 8 in San Jose, Calif., and ends on Nov. 18 in Brooklyn.

Date City Venue Sept. 8 San Jose, Calif. HP Pavilion at San Jose Sept. 9 Ontario, Calif. Citizens Business Bank Arena Sept. 13 San Diego, Calif. Valley View Casino Center Sept. 15 Los Angeles, Calif STAPLES Center Sept. 16 Anaheim, Calif. Honda Center

Strike Enters 1st Month

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The strike started on June 25 when both sides claim negotiations broke down.

An inland area union and brewery Anheuser-Busch say they are far from the negotiating table. Months of negotiations broke down between the two sides, before Teamsters Local Union 166 and 120 Anheuser-Busch employees decided to go on strike. The brewer wants employees to switch from straight hourly pay to base pay plus commission.

Anheuser-Busch Region Vice President said in an email statement their “offer is one of the best wage and benefit packages in our industry in the Riverside area.” The statement also said “the majority of employees,” under the new payment structure earn more than before. Teamsters 166 official Mike Bergen said that is not true.

“We would end up losing money,” said Bergen. “We want a fair and equitable contract.” He said the new contract would also reduce benefits to current retirees. Anheuser-Busch said this is their final offer. The company has hired temporary workers in the meantime.

“We want to go back to work,” said 20-year-employee Ray Garon. “They’re cutting our wages pretty much... they’re trying to screw us basically.”

National Urban League: “Black Vote Critical to Obama Victory”

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President holds edge among African American voters

Chris Levister

In its report “The Hidden Swing Voters: The Impact of African Americans in 2012,” the National Urban League sends a clear message: “The Black Vote Does Matter.”

One of the nation’s oldest civil rights organizations says the number of Black voters who turn out to vote in the upcoming elections could play a huge role in several swing states. A swell of Black voters was the difference in several states in 2008, according to the report, which focused on North Carolina, Virginia and Ohio in particular. "Essentially, African American voters in a number of key states hold the key to the outcome of the 2012 election," Marc Morial, the Urban League's president, said.

According to the July 2012 report, the voter turnout rate among African Americans jumped 5 percentage points between 2004 and 2008, from 60 percent to nearly 65 percent. The 2008 election also saw 2.4 million more Black voters cast ballots than in 2004 -- more than double the pace at which the country's Black population grew.

Black voter turnout of 64.7 percent was a significant factor in Obama’s victory in 2008, and African Americans are considered solidly behind Obama now. But having achieved the milestone of electing Obama as the nation’s first Black president, Black voters may be less motivated to return to the polls in droves again, the Urban League said. Assuming no change in 2008 voting patterns, Urban League researchers said, Black turnout at about 60 percent or below could cost Obama North Carolina and make it difficult for him to win Ohio and Virginia. In addition to diminished voter enthusiasm, the still-ailing economy, persistent high unemployment among Blacks, new state voting laws and limited growth in the African American population could help discourage turnout.

“President Obama does not take a single vote or support from any community for granted and he is working to secure the same levels of support based on policies that give everyone a fair shot and the opportunity to succeed,” said Clo Ewing of the Obama campaign. She cited the payroll tax, job training, education and health care reform as areas the president has worked hard to improve. She noted that all these efforts benefit African Americans. Obama and presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney stand in a virtual dead heat in North Carolina, according to Real Clear Politics. Obama boasts a narrow, albeit widening lead in Ohio and a small, shrinking lead in Virginia.

Winning North Carolina was seen as a major and symbolic for then- Senator Obama, when he barely edged out Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to capture the state's 15 electoral votes. North Carolina had been a reliably Republican state in presidential elections since 1964 -- it had only voted for a Democrat once in three decades until Obama’s 2008 win. Virginia, which Obama also won in 2008, had not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in the last 10 elections going back to 1972. Ohio, the third state in the study and another won by Obama in 2008, is a famous bellwether of national elections. Ohio has voted for every presidential winner, except one, since 1944. The Urban League study found that Black turnout, by percentage of eligible voters, nearly reached parity with that of White voters in 2008. "In 2008, there was only a 1.8 percent difference in Black and White turnout," said Chanelle Hardy, the Urban League's policy director.

"That's just an amazingly high water mark for democracy. Armed with that information, we're in a strong position to tell each and every African American voter -- 'your vote does matter’." African-American voters are the most likely group to actually vote if they are registered, according to the study. About 93 percent of registered Blacks vote in national elections, compared to 90 percent of Whites and 84 percent of Hispanics.

But it was among younger voters that the surge of African Americans to the polls was most evident. Among voters between 18 and 44, Blacks actually outpaced Whites. For the first time in history, Whites were not the biggest proportion of an age group, Madura Wijewardena, an analyst at the Urban League said.

Morial said that given these trends, it's not a coincidence that Republican-dominated legislatures have passed voter ID laws, which require voters to provide certain forms of official ID in order to vote. "We think it has a lot to do with the fact that you had extraordinary turnout in 2008," he said.

Obama is set to address the National Urban League Conference on July 25 in New Orleans. The conference is focused on increasing employment for African-Americans, who now face a jobless rate of 13.6 percent, nearly 5 percentage points higher than the national average. The high unemployment rate has prompted African-American leaders in the past to appeal to Obama to resist making deep cuts to programs that benefit urban communities. Less than four months from Election Day, President Obama has an edge in support among women, African-Americans, Hispanics and young people, groups that could swing the race in November. He retains the power of incumbency and people generally like him. But there are growing indications that Obama's supporters aren't as enthusiastic about him as they once were, and the Democrat no longer is in a fundraising league of his own, with Republican Mitt Romney and GOP-leaning groups raking in the campaign cash. Plus, the shaky economy, which crashed in fall of 2008 and helped Obama capture the presidency, is a huge vulnerability. Come November, The National Urban League warns a sustained economic slowdown could trump all of his other advantages.

In the tradition of the Wild West the journey continues . . .

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by Lea Michelle Cash

Although there are thousands of African American cowboys who helped to shape the history of America’s West, there is no greater documented legend than William “Bill’ Pickett. Bill Pickett was born in 1870, five years after the Civil War ended. He was the second of 13 children born to former slaves. He completed the fifth grade and at the age of 10 became a cowhand. Observing the relationship between cattle and the bulldogs that were used to control them, Pickett used the bulldog’s skills as a human, and he titled the skill “Bulldoggin”. Mastering this exceptional talent of “bulldoggin” which includes, grabbing a steer by the horns, biting their upper lip, and wrestling them to the ground, history records was an amazing event to watch Pickett perform. He became known by the nicknames “The Dusty Deamon” and “The Bull dogger.” Along with other tricks and stunts, he performed “bulldoggin” at County fairs and Wild West shows.

His career spanned over 40 years as a professional cowboy and rodeo champion becoming the first black cowboy movie star. He also rode wild broncos and bulls. Bill Pickett performed all over the world even performing for the British Royal Family. There is no other cowboy like him. Often times to compete in rodeos where blacks were not allowed, to compete against whites, he would turn to his Indian ancestry (his mother being half Cherokee Indian).

Over the years, the “bulldoggin” skill that Pickett invented became known as “Steer Wrestling”. Although biting the steer’s upper lip is no longer permitted due to the ethical treatment of animals, “steer wrestling” is a major featured event at all rodeos. Pickett was inducted into the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame called the “Greatest Cowboy” of his day. It has been 28 years, the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo (BPIR) continues to create and preserve the history and contributions of African American cowboys. Lu Vason, the BPIR Founder, and President said, “The rodeo has blossomed into something larger than I ever could imagined. We are now celebrating our 28th anniversary and I remain very humble and blessed to have created an event that is family oriented, educational and entertaining at the same time.” Recently on Saturday and Sunday, July 21-22, at the City of Industry’s Expo Center, hundreds of spectators young and old gathered to watch black cowboys and cowgirls compete in eight major rodeo events labeled as “The Greatest Show on Dirt.” The events were Bare Back Ridin, Bull Doggin, Calf Ropin, Steer Undecoratin, Barrel Racin, Calf Scramblin, Relay Racin, and Bull Ridin—all absolutely spectular.

The Grand Marshall of this year’s event was famed actor and cowboy Glynn Turner, and the Co-Grand Marshall was noted actor and cowboy Reginald T. Dorsey. The coordinator for the LA area event is Margo Ledrew Wade. The Black Voice News has been a proud sponsor of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo for many years, celebrating the legacy and lives of black cowboys. The BPIR travels to several cities across the country every summer in July. For next year’s 2013 event, please go to website www.billpickettrodeo.com.

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