Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Ferguson … justice for only some? a repost


Corinne Ball, MoveOn.org Civic Action

Many of us have wrestled with intense emotions—sadness, anger, shock, and more—as we’ve followed the ongoing situation in Ferguson, Missouri.

The police killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown has ignited weeks of demonstrations. Even though most protesters have been peaceful, police appeared armed with military-grade equipment.1 Reporters have been threatened and arrested by police while trying to report the story.2 The whole country has been watching what’s happening in Ferguson.3 

Many of us have asked: What can we do to ensure justice for Michael Brown? What is this awful situation revealing—or reminding us—about racism in America, police militarization, and the way our criminal justice system too often fails communities of color? 

Many of us have been moved to take action. Nearly 150,000 MoveOn members joined ColorOfChange.org to call on the Department of Justice to intervene in the investigation into Michael Brown’s death. That petition will be delivered next week in Washington, DC.

Tens of thousands of us added our names to MoveOn member and Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed’s petition calling for an independent prosecutor in the case. And many of us have made phone calls, joined community protests and vigils, and more.

MoveOn member and Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed delivered tens of thousands of MoveOn member signatures in St. Louis this week, and her campaign has drawn coverage from CNN to the Wall Street Journal and beyond.4

The vigils and national outcry have already had an impact in Ferguson. Attorney General Eric Holder—who came to meet with Ferguson residents in person—is overseeing a Department of Justice investigation.5 The FBI is conducting an investigation into civil rights abuses by the Ferguson police department.6 And a grand jury has been convened to determine if charges will be filed against Officer Darren Wilson.7

We still have much left to do and many complex issues to address before Ferguson—and America—can heal and move forward. There is no quick fix. But there are things we can all do right now to get involved in the push for justice.

One step you can take—if you haven’t already—is to sign Senator Nasheed’s petition calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the shooting death of Michael Brown. Faith leaders and local residents have joined Senator Nasheed in expressing serious doubts about whether the prosecutor in St. Louis County, who previously failed to charge officers for murdering two unarmed black men, will objectively investigate the officer responsible.8

There’s also a huge amount of thoughtful online commentary that’s been sparked by this tragedy. Whatever you’re reading about Ferguson now, consider passing it along to a friend to keep the conversation going. Here’s one option: This piece from MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes” puts the story in a broader perspective in a conversation with Marq Claxton, a retired New York Police Department detective, and Phillip Agnew, founder of the young activist group Dream Defenders:

Together, let’s continue to reflect, to speak out, and to take action.

Thanks for all you do.

–Corinne, Maria, Anna, Mark, and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. “A Former Marine Explains All the Weapons of War Being Used by Police in Ferguson,” The Nation, August 20, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300422&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=7

2. “6 more journalists arrested in Ferguson protests,” CNN, August 19, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300423&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=8
3. “A Movement Grows in Ferguson,” The New Yorker, August 17, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300415&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=9  4. “Concerns arise about prosecutor in Michael Brown case,” CNN, August 20, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300425&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=10“Missouri Governor Won’t Replace Prosecutor in Michael Brown Probe,” Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300426&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=115. “Jay Nixon: Missouri Highway Patrol Will Take Over Supervision Of Security In Ferguson,” Associated Press, August 14, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300416&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=126. “FBI Will Investigate Death of Black Teenager in Missouri,” The Washington Post, August 11, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300417&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=14

7. “Holder visits Ferguson as grand jury hearings begin,” Los Angeles Times, August 20, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300424&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=15


8. “Protesting the Prosecution,” Slate, August 21, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300418&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=18

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Ida B. Wells-Barnett Marched over 100yrs ago for – Women’s voting rights- Black History is American history


T437487_06 b. 7/16/1862
1913
100 years ago
Social activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett marches in Washington, D.C., with 5,000 suffragettes in a protest supporting women’s voting rights.

African American journalist and anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells (1862-1931) was born to slaves at Holly Springs, Missouri. Following the Civil War, as lynchings became prevalent, Wells traveled extensively, founding anti-lynching societies and black women’s clubs.

The 4th of July … Some independence facts


4thofJuly (1) Did you know: It was actually on July 2, 1776, that America gained its independence. So why do we celebrate on July 4?
Keep clicking to find out from Kenneth C. Davis, author of the “Don’t Know Much About” book series.

( 2) “The fact is,  John Adams wrote home to Abigail on the 3rd that this day, July 2nd will go down in history,” Davis explained on “CBS This Morning,” “We’ll celebrate it with parades and pomp and bells ringing and fireworks. And it was because Congress actually ruled it in favor of independence on July 2. But it was two days later, of course, that Congress then accepted Jefferson’s declaration, explaining the vote two days before that really got fixed in America’s imagination as our birthday. July 2nd should be Independence Day.”
(3)Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a “laptop,” a kind of writing desk that could fit on one’s lap.
(4) Did you know Thomas Jefferson changed the wording of the Declaration of Independence from “the pursuit of property” to “the pursuit of happiness”?
“Jefferson did not come up with these words out of thin air,” Davis said on “CBS This Morning.” “These were words and ideas that had been floating around for a very long time. Other people had written about things like ‘the pursuit of property.’ Jefferson, I think can say we say happily changed that to the ‘pursuit of happiness’.”

(5) John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826. Davis explained, “That may be the most extraordinary coincidence in all of history. On the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the declaration…the two giants of the declaration both died. … Jefferson died first. Adams was alive, of course, in Massachusetts. He didn’t know that Jefferson had died but said, famously, perhaps apocryphally, that ‘Jefferson still lives.’ And people took that to mean his words will live forever.”

(6) The Liberty had nothing to do with July 4th. It wasn’t called the “Liberty Bell” until the 1830s and that’s also when it got its famous crack.

(7) Only two men signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 — John Hancock (not the big signature!) and Charles Thompson, secretary of the Congress.

(8) Jefferson’s original draft was lost and the one eventually signed is the “engrossed” document and is kept at the National Archives.

(9) The printed version of the Declaration was called the Dunlap Broadside – 200 were made but only 27 are accounted for. One of these was found on the back of the picture frame at a tag sale and sold at auction for $8.14 million to television producer Norman Lear. It now travels the country to be displayed to the public.

Resource: cbsnews.com

Sarah Breedlove … Millionaire 12/23/1867


This Child of Slaves Grew Up to Become America’s First Female Millionaire

Random Celebrity Article By on October 20, 2014

 

America is considered to be the “land of opportunity”. Historically, it’s the country people have run to in order to escape persecution, poor living conditions, or lack of opportunities somewhere else. However, for the large number of African people stolen from their homes, shipped across the Atlantic, and sold into slavery, America was anything but a land of opportunity. So it’s pretty darn incredible that America’s first female self-made millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker, was the child of former slaves. Her story is one of perseverance, ingenuity, and triumph. If her amazing life doesn’t make you want to get off your butt and go make your dreams happen, than nothing will.

Madam C.J. Walker, also known as Sarah Breedlove, was born on December 23, 1867, just outside of Delta, Louisiana. She was born on the cotton plantation where her family had been enslaved. She held the distinction of being the first free-born child in the family. The youngest of five, she was the first person in her family born after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. However, by age 7, she was orphan. Both of her parents passed away within a year of each other. Their cause of death was not recorded. She was sent to live with her older sister in Mississippi, where it is believed she worked picking cotton and doing housework. Her life in Mississippi was anything but ideal, and though slavery had technically been abolished, most people in the South had yet to “get the memo”, as it were. She worked the same hours she would have worked as a slave and was paid a pittance. Then, she and her family members had to pay exorbitant fees to live in the very same shack that her sister had lived in while she was a slave. Making matters worse, was that her brother-in-law was physically abusive. Eventually, she couldn’t take it anymore. At 14, she married a man named Moses McWilliams, mostly in an effort to get away from her current living situation.

madame

The pair had a baby in 1885. Two years later, Moses passed away, and Sarah and her daughter A’Lelia moved to St. Louis to be closer to Sarah’s older brothers. Her brothers had found some success working as barbers. In St. Louis, she began working as a washerwoman. Her pay was only $1.50 per day. She used the majority of the money to pay for her daughter’s schooling, and also took whatever classes she could herself. She subsequently met and married Charles J. Walker. Mr. Walker worked in advertising and their relationship would prove to be a fortuitous one.

Due to a severe scalp condition, most likely caused by the lye-based products used to straighten her hair, Sarah Breedlove had begun to lose her hair in bunches. Whenever she had a spare moment in her kitchen, she began making her own hair care products, and experimenting with ways to treat her own scalp. A black woman named Annie Turnbo Malone heard about Sarah. Ms. Malone made and marketed her own line of African-American hair care products. She invited Sarah to come work for her as a commission agent. So Sarah, Charles, and A’Lelia relocated to Denver, Colorado and launched a hair care business under Ms. Malone. At the urging of her husband, Sarah changed her professional name to Madam C.J. Walker, and launched her business in earnest. Between her genuinely effective and well-made products and her husband’s advertising acumen, her business grew by leaps and bounds. The couple spent much of the early 1900s, traveling around selling her products all over the south. By 1908, she was able to go out on her own. She opened a factory and her own beauty school in Pittsburgh.

2

The company continued to grow, so Sarah, now Madam C.J., moved operations to Indianapolis. She began training a group of employees who were both salespeople and beauticians. Known as “Walker Agents“, these African-American entrepreneurs began selling her products all over the United States. She began sponsoring conventions, sales awards, and community events. She and her husband divorced in 1913, and rather than slowing her down, it seemed to galvanize her. She traveled to the Caribbean and Latin America, adding more and more “Walker Agents” to her roster and increasing her sales base. By this time, her daughter A’Lelia, had begun to take charge of some portions of operations. A’Lelia purchased prime real estate in Harlem and made it the new base of operations for Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing. As more responsibility was shifted to her daughter, Madam C.J. Walker began focusing on philanthropy and community improvement. She created scholarship funds, sponsored the building and maintenance of multiple homes for the elderly, donated large sums to both the NAACP and the National Conference on Lynching, and, in 1913, donated the largest amount of money by an African-American to the Indianapolis YMCA.

3

She built a home in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York sometime around 1916 or 1917, and passed away there in 1919, due to hypertension. She was 51 years old. She was the sole owner of Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing for most of its existence, and the company was worth over $1 million when she died. Additionally, she was worth close to $700,000 herself, separate from the company. That’s the equivalent of $13 million in today’s dollars. It was an astronomical amount in 1919.

At the time of her death in 1919, Madam C.J. Walker was the wealthiest African-American in the United States. She was also generally believed to the country’s first self-made female multi-millionaire. Assuming her net worth was approximately $2 million the year she died, that would be equivalent to $37 million today.

house

2

When she died, her will dictated that 2/3 of all future company profits be donated to charity from that point on. One third of her estate went to her daughter. Her home in Irvington-on-Hudson is now a registered landmark, and the arts center named after her in Indianapolis, the Walker Center, has become nationally famous.

Madam C.J. Walker, aka Sarah Breedlove, went from absolutely nothing, to wealthier than just about everyone else around her. Along the way, she made sure to give back to the community that supported her, and trained hundreds of “Walker Agents” about entrepreneurship, civic duty, and pride. She proved to an entire generation of African-Americans, many of whom had grown up enslaved, that success was possible. Historically and socially, the example she set has proven far more valuable than her millions of dollars.

Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday ~~ repost



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About Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday

About Cesar E. Chavez

About the Holiday

Get Involved

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Does Your State Participate?Tell us what is going on in your city/state to honor Cesar Chavez? Click Here

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National HolidaySend to: Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday 3325 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1208 Los Angeles, CA 90010

About Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday

Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday was established by Los Angeles volunteers who organized and led the effort in California that won Cesar Chavez Day, the first legal state holiday and day of service and learning in honor of farm worker leader Cesar E. Chavez.  The legal holiday bill introduced by then State Senator Richard Polanco (Los Angeles-D) was signed into law by then Governor Gray Davis (D) on August 18, 2000. The holiday is celebrated in California on Cesar E. Chavez’s birthday March 31st.  This marked the first time that a labor leader or Latino has been honored with a public legal holiday.

The California legal holiday set into motion a wave of initiatives resulting in optional and commemorative Cesar Chavez Days in nine additional states (Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Rhode Island.)

Cesar Chavez Day brings together hundreds of thousands who engage in celebrations, service and learning projects, and other actions that further the many causes which Cesar Chavez worked for.

The mission of Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday, a public benefit organization, is to work for national recognition of Cesar E. Chavez on his birthday March 31.  We are forming national, state and local coalitions; organizing volunteer committees; and providing education about the value to our nation of honoring Cesar E. Chavez.

Our Vision

Cesar Chavez gave our nation and each of us a unique example to live our lives by.  His selfless dedication for farm worker and worker rights, economic justice, civil rights, environmental justice, peace, nonviolence, empowerment of the poor and disenfranchised, is a monumental legacy that will inspire all and the generations to come. The winning of national recognition for Cesar Chavez with holidays, service, learning and community action events, is a fitting tribute and significant way to share his life’s work as the founder and leader of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW).

What is most important is that remembering and honoring Cesar Chavez inspires more people to become involved in the causes that continue Cesar Chavez’s extraordinary legacy.

Advisory Council

Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday extends our profound thanks to our advisors for their assistance that sheds light on our journey.

  • Jerry Acosta, Western Regional Director AFL-CIO
  • Richard Alarcon, Los Angeles City Council Member, former CA State Senator
  • Magdalena Beltran-del Olmo, Vice President of Communications, Wellness Foundation
  • Antonio Gonzalez, President, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SWVREP) & William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI)
  • Michael Jensen, Jensen Communications
  • State Senator Richard Polanco (Ret.), Chairman, California Latino Caucus Institute &author of the California holiday bill for Cesar Chavez
  • Ken Riley, Vice President, International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), Vice Pres.South Carolina AFL-CIO & President ILA Local 1422 (Charleston)
  • Ken Johnson, Southern Regional Director, AFL-CIO

Partners and Founding Sponsors

Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday wishes to thank our partners and founding sponsor organizations and individuals whose support insures our journey.

Partners

Founding Sponsors

  • International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) AFL-CIO
  • International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) Coast Committee
  • Utility Workers Union of America AFL-CIO Local 132
  • Service Employees International Union Local 535 (CA)
  • Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
  • Los Angeles City Employees Chicano Association (LACECA)
  • Royce Adams
  • Evelina Alarcon
  • Hernando Martinez
  • Dan Nemmers, Web design and development
  • Manny Rico
  • Gary Ruffner, Natl. Secretary Treasurer, UWUA

If you would like to become a partner or founding sponsor, please contact: Executive Director, Evelina Alarcon: EvelinaAlarcon@cesarchavezholiday.org

Endorsers of a Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday (Partial List)

  • AFL-CIO
  • NAACP
  • National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
  • League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
  • National Latino Congreso
  • National Education Association (NEA)
  • Sierra Club
  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
  • Communication Workers of America (CWA)
  • Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA)
  • United Farm Workers of America (UFW)
  • Farm Labor Organizing Committee AFL-CIO (FLOC)
  • Los Angeles City Council
  • Philadelphia City Council
  • Board of Education of the City of Los Angeles
  • Los Angeles County Federation of Labor (CA)
  • San Francisco Central Labor Council (CA)
  • King County Central Labor Council (WA)
  • Cesar E. Chavez Foundation
  • Dolores Huerta Foundation
  • US Senator John Edwards
  • Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
  • Pastor Warren Stewart, led state holiday effort for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Arizona
  • Carlos Santana
  • Actors– Edward James Olmos, Martin Sheen, George Lopez, Mike Farrell, Ed Begley Jr., Lupe Ontiveros, Esai Morales
  • Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU)
  • Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW)
  • Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
  • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA)
  • Pride At Work
  • and many more!

Photos of Cesar Chavez Our sincere thanks to Oscar Castillo and Bob Fitch for the use of their photos of Cesar Chavez

If you would like to become an Endorser, contact Exec. Director Evelina Alarcon at: EvelinaAlarcon@cesarchavezholiday.org