African American History Month unveils the Rosa Parks Statue: from 2/2013


a reminder, memory 2/6/2013 and encouragement to go to this site

This February, during African American History Month, the White House recognized several historic anniversaries including the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, 100th Birthday of Rosa Parks and 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. In that spirit we also hosted several policy discussions, recognized Champions of Change who are doing extraordinary work in education, and the President participated in the unveiling of the Rosa Parks statue at the U.S. Capitol this week.

Sincerely,
Heather Foster
Director of African American Outreach
Office of Public Engagement

President Obama Touches the Rosa Parks Statue

President Barack Obama touches the Rosa Parks statue after the unveiling during a ceremony in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Feb. 27, 2013. Helping with the unveiling, were, from left: Sheila Keys, niece of Rosa Parks; Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.; House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Assistant Democratic Leader Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.; and Elaine Eason Keys. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Policy Update: African American Healthcare Briefing

The White House Office of Public Engagement and the Department of Health & Human Services hosted a live town hall discussion on the ACA Affordable Care Act (ACA). The briefing was an interactive program with a two panel discussion and breakout session with members of African American health organizations and community leaders.

Blog Highlights

Champions of Change: African American Educational Excellence
The White House Office of Public Engagement hosted a Champions of Change event honoring leaders who have advanced educational excellence for the African American community. The Champions of Change initiative honors ordinary people who do extraordinary acts in their communities, all across the country. During the Champions of Change event, we recognized 10 individuals who have devoted their time and efforts to improve educational outcomes for African American students.

Catching Up with the Curator
The painting, completed in 1863 by William Carlton, shows a group of African American men, women and children waiting for the clock to strike midnight—the hour the Emancipation Proclamation would go into effect. Check it out, and learn why President Obama chose this painting to hang in the West Wing.

Rosa Parks has a Permanent Place in the U.S Capitol
National Statuary Hall inside the U.S Capitol was once the meeting place of the House of Representatives. Now it’s the home to a collection of statues and monuments—two form each state—representing some of the defining figures in our nation’s history. Yesterday, those sculptures were joined by that of a civil rights icon. One hundred years after she was born and 58 years after she refused to give up her seat on an Alabama city bus, Rosa Parks has a permanent place in the halls of Congress.

Get Involved

Apply for the Summer 2013 White House Internship Program
The application for the Fall 2013 White House Internship Program is now open. This hands-on program is designed to mentor and cultivate today’s young leaders, strengthen their understanding of the Executive Office of the President and engage them in public service opportunities. Learn more about the program and the application process.

The deadline to apply is April 7, 2013.

Toxic T-shirts?


ZARA is using cancer causing chemicals and polluting the world’s waters.Toxic Water in ChinaIt’s time Zara cleaned up its act. Send a message now urging it to detox by 2020!

 

For months, Greenpeace conducted research into many of the world’s top clothing brands and found disturbing news — ZARA, along with several other retailers — is polluting waters in China with hazardous chemicals.

Those chemicals then wash into our waters when we rinse our clothes. Most of the fashion industry is treating public waterways like its own private sewers.

It’s time we eliminate hormone-disrupting chemicals from the world’s waters before it’s too late. That’s why we’re challenging some of the most popular clothing brands to eliminate toxic chemicals from its process by 2020 — and we need your help.

If 40,000 of us send a message to ZARA in the next 48 hours it will encourage the company to take the pledge to detox its clothing and stop the use of hazardous chemicals.

www.greenpeaceusa.org 

Let’s face it, beautiful fashion shouldn’t cause toxic pollution. H&M and British retailer Marks & Spencer know that. These companies have committed to eliminating all toxic chemicals from its supply chains and products. But ZARA, one of the world’s biggest fast fashion retailers, remains silent.

ZARA is famously responsive to trends and keeps a close watch on buzz about its brand. If all of us can pressure the company to follow in the footsteps of those who have committed to clean up its act, this is one trend it won’t be able to ignore.

We know it’s possible to clean up the toxics, we’ve seen it happen before. Thanks to you, the detox campaign secured commitments from Puma, Adidas and other sports apparel makers to clean up their practices and detox their line by 2020. So it can be done, but we’ll need your help.

Reach out to ZARA right now with an urgent message to clean up its practices and detox today.

http://www.greenpeaceusa.org

As consumers your voice is critical to convincing ZARA and other companies to do the right thing. If the company responds the rest of the industry could follow, so it’s urgent we act now.

Thanks for your help,

John Deans
Greenpeace Toxics Campaigner

Austerity V Progressive ~~


Progressive

Progressive (Photo credit: Steve Rhodes)

Just another rant …

The Sequester, The $24Billion shutdown and ALL the NO votes against Americans in Congress, clearly based on insanity and will probably shove America into another moment of chaos … if “We the People” don’t open your eyes and make your vote count in #Midterm2014 because they matter … which was ignored

I ask you, what has a Republican done for you and yours , what are they thinking and how amusing is it that Election2012 has taught them nothing! They continue to vote against bills that could help their own constituents like Seniors, Students and the Unemployed just to name a broad group that has to include their own families or someone they know right?

However,  Republicans seem to believe and act as if they have no middle-lower or poor constituents that will feel the pain of all those NO votes …

We may never know all the reasons or facts behind our receding economy and yes; we all have to admit some housing loans were a big mistake.  We know that AIG wrapped up some products in questionable paper, put a bow on them, which blew up, and a whole lot of poo was spread through the world. I am no expert, but what part of “global economy” did the extreme right misunderstand. Republicans have made it a mission almost impossible since they first held Americans hostage and while we still need Banksters and Wall Street to take responsibility for the out of control greed that caused our financial downfall. There is still a sense that those who played with consumer money knew the government would not only pay to get them out of the ditch but the government would be held accountable and not the banks. I am convinced this was on the minds of those willing to make bets against the housing consumer since Freddie and Fannie Mae are governmental programs.

 

Good’ole Abe said…

“The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot, so well do, for themselves in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere. The desirable things, which the individuals of a people cannot, do, or cannot well do, for themselves, fall into two classes: those, which have relation to wrongs, and those, which have not. Each of these branches off into an infinite variety of subdivisions. The first that in relation to wrongs embraces all crimes, misdemeanors, and nonperformance of contracts. The other embraces all which, in its nature, and without wrong, requires combined action, as public roads and highways, public schools, charities, pauperism, orphanage, estates of the deceased, and the machinery of government itself. From this it appears that if all men were just, there still would be some, though not so much, need for government.” ~ Abe Lincoln

The fact is; being out of a job, homeless or being on food stamps is a non-partisan reality.  Yet, Republicans do not feel this way. In fact, they have yet to move on from the original stimulus bill choosing to make comments though we all saw a great number of Republicans cutting ribbons, telling their constituents they were their champions even stating President did not do his part. Honestly, the idea that Republicans state they need to be more pragmatic is laughable and as these folks continue to riff on who did what when to whom, President Obama genuinely tried to be bipartisan for the last 4yrs, but some of us feel the ultimate plan was to embarrass him … old school politics will continue to be a battle.  Putting ones Party first before the People, a practice that began in 2009 has continued into President Obama’s second term with the Party of NO not only misinforming voters but also filibustering our President’s ability to govern.

The American People are hurting. yet Boehner and his group of carpet baggers seem to agree to vote for bills privately decide to vote no to anything beforehand and continue to say no to legislation which shows just what kind of person he and his party are.

It made me sad and angry given what is going on that someone could be so cynical but it shows how Republicans see politics as a game and we Americans are the pawns

While the whole thing seems amusing, I would laugh but it hurts

Paid Sick Time Ballot Initiative​s Win Big in Tuesday’s Election


A Better Balance the work and family legal center.
Paid Sick Time Ballot Initiatives Win Big in Tuesday’s Election
On Tuesday, paid sick time was on the ballot in 4 elections, and we won all of them! Massachusetts is now the 3rd state to guarantee paid sick time statewide, which is wonderful news for the nearly 1 million workers in the state who currently lack paid sick time. Two cities in NJ, Montclair and Trenton, passed paid sick time laws, bringing the total number of cities in NJ with such laws to 8 (all passed in the last year!). And in California, voters in Oakland passed an expansive paid sick time ballot measure. We’re especially thrilled with the huge margins of support for each ballot initiative: approximately 60% of the vote in Massachusetts, 85% in Montclair, 75% in Trenton, and 81% in Oakland.
A Better Balance has provided legal research, bill drafting, and other technical support to all of these campaigns and can’t wait to build on the incredible momentum from these wins. But we couldn’t do it without such incredible supporters and campaign partners! For background and to learn more about these 4 paid sick time ballot initiatives, check out our recent blog post.
The Pregnancy Penalty: How Motherhood Drives Inequality & Poverty in New York City
In Case You Missed It
October was also an exciting and busy month for ABB’s efforts on behalf of pregnant workers.   The New York Times’ Rachel Swarns featured our client, Angelica Valencia, in “The Working Life Column,” which garnered over 800 reader comments and an offer from Angelica’s employer to reinstate her.  Our latest report—The Pregnancy Penalty: How Motherhood Drives Inequality and Poverty in New York City—was featured, along with ABB Co-President Dina Bakst and ABB Community Advocate Award recipient, Armanda Legros, on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show on MSNBC.  And our new website resource for pregnant and parenting workers was highlighted in the New York Times and Washington Post.  We’re thrilled to see the media focusing on this issue and expect the coverage to continue next month as the Supreme Court hears arguments in the case of Peggy Young v. UPS. Stay tuned!

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