• #GardenTrustforUs Eliminating Tampa Food Deserts Through Community Gardens
    The West Tampa area is a historically African American community and is in serious need of healthy food access. The recent transformations taken place over the last 3 years have placed residents in a food desert situation. Most residents do not have access to healthy food options. According to the US Dept. of Agriculture, there are 2.3 million people who live more than 1 mile away from a grocery store and do not have access to a vehicle. Here in Tampa, the communities of West and East Tampa neighborhoods have limited access to grocery stores with affordable healthy food options. At present, there's an average of 3 miles between the closest grocery store offering fresh produce in the East & West Tampa areas, creating barriers to healthy food access for a large portion of the community members who lack reliable transportation. If the City of Tampa can allocate $4 million over the past two years to the maintenance of three public golf courses, surely they can allocate funds to provide our community's most underserved constituents access to healthy food cultivation practices, education, and consumption. A collective of community members and local organizations such as the Tampa Heritage Initiative have collaborated to build a plan to implement community garden development, education programs and food delivery within underserved areas. With the funds allocated to the Garden Trust, the City of Tampa will be providing sustainable healthy food access and practices to historically underserved communities. In this, creating part-time employment, local business partnerships and teaching opportunities for members of the Tampa Bay community. Join us in calling on Mayor Jane Castor and Councilman Guides to establish a Special District Garden Trust for the purpose of eliminating food deserts in the underserved communities of West and East Tampa. **Special districts provide specialized services to persons living within the designated geographic area and may contract to provide services outside the area. Special districts often cross the lines of towns, villages, and hamlets but less frequently cross city or county lines. --Resources-- https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/42711/12716_ap036_1_.pdf?v=41055 https://www.tampagov.net/sites/default/files/budget/files/FY2020-budget1.pdf
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  • Bring Our Voting Precinct Back
    The voting precinct in the Anderson Center, which is located on the campus of Winston-Salem State University, had been a longtime voting site prior to the 2014 election. After the Board of Elections changed to majority republican, the voting site was removed from the University. Since then, Winston-Salem State has had a continuous population increase. Freshman aren't allowed to park on campus and construction on the highway has permanently closed the interchanges with Diggs Boulevard and Vargrave Drive. This forces residents and students to take a longer route to go vote. The nearest precinct is now the Sims community center, which is on the west side of the highway. Many students do not have access to transportation to go vote. How do our representatives and the Board of Elections expect us as young black students to participate in our democracy, if there is not a polling site that is accessible to all students on the campus of Winston-Salem State University? We deserve the right to have our voices heard!
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  • #FreeBlackMamas - Justice for DV Survivor Tondalao Hall
    Tondalao Hall is a domestic violence survivor sentenced to 30 years behind bars under a "failure to protect" law. Tondalao was punished for not leaving her abuser quickly enough, before he could inflict physical abuse on their children. The abuser, Robert Braxton, was released back to the streets the day he was sentenced for child abuse, with only 8 years of probation to serve. He admitted to breaking the ribs, toe, and femurs of the two youngest children. Tondalao, the adult victim of his abuse and mother of his children, is now serving her 15th year behind bars. While we haven’t had much to celebrate in the quest for Tondalao’s freedom, this time is slightly different than others. Here’s how: 1. The Pardon and Parole board voted UNANIMOUSLY in a 5-0 vote to move her case to the next round. 2. Four out of five board members were appointed within the past year. 3. After years of organizing, District Attorney David Prater finally wrote a letter of “support" calling for Tondalao’s release. Oklahoma has the highest rate per capita of incarcerated women than any other place in the word. Hall is 1 of 28 women sentenced across 11 states under “Failure to Protect” laws who are serving more time than the abuser himself. Hall’s appeal for justice could have broader implications for the lives of women across experiences. ​Courts must not use Failure to Protect laws to further victimize survivors of domestic violence by scapegoating them for their batterers’ crimes. Failure to Protect laws must not hold domestic violence victims with children to an impossible standard of choosing between risking their lives (and their children's’ lives) and risking their freedom. After 13 years behind bars, Tondalao has served enough time for a crime she didn't commit. We must do better to protect and #FreeBlackMamas.
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  • ITS BIGGER THAN GM!!!!
    On September 15th at 11:59PM more than 45,000 United Auto Workers (UAW) in 10 states went on strike. No state feels the brunt of this more than Michigan, the American auto capital. And as we know, black union workers always end up with the shortest end of the stick. The UAW went on strike to demand that GM increase wages, offer wage progression for new hires, improve healthcare and prescription drug benefits, and provide better overall job security. GM's current CEO, Mary Barra, makes $22 million dollars a year while GM’s temporary employees who have been there more than 4 years, get paid less than $16 dollars an hour. GM's announcement on September 17th to cut the healthcare coverage of of any UAW worker on strike is just one of its latest scare tactics to prevent workers from exercising their basic human rights: demanding better pay. It is our right to protest and this problem is bigger than GM. Those workers on strike are only being paid $250 a week. No one person can live off $250 dollars a week let alone someone with a family. Stand with UAW workers in Michigan and demand that the Vice President of General Motors North America Labor Relations Scott Sandefur support the workers that supported GM during the bail out by providing healthcare coverage! Sign the petition today!
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  • We Demand Gender Neutral Bathrooms at UDC
    On Tuesday, August 27, 2019 around 2:00pm, a member of the UDC community threatened our sense of safety by vandalizing the only community gender neutral bathroom on our campus. On the A level of Building 44, adjacent to the Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Affairs, a sheet of paper intentionally obscured half of the gender neutral and accessibility restroom signage. This is a hate crime and a direct violation of Title IX. As the first LGBTQ+ student organization at the University of the District of Columbia and part of only 30% of HBCUs that have active LGBTQ+ student organizations, we The Alliance Group (T.A.G) are requesting a meeting with UDC leadership on addressing this incident and we have created a list of demands. Hate crimes targeting LGBTQ+ and Non-binary people have increased since President Donald Trump was elected in 2016. Additionally, 16 Transwomen have been murdered so far this year and all but one have been women of color. Washington D.C has the highest number of openly LGBTQ people in the nation and as the only urban, public Historically Black College in the nation, we believe we cannot sit by when incidents like this happen on our campus. We are asking for your support by signing this petition and sharing it with others. Real change happens when everyday people like you and I come together and stand up for what we believe in. Together we can reach heaps of people and help create change around this important issue of homophobia and transphobia. UPDATE: As we were preparing to send this letter, at 12pm on Wednesday, August 28, 2019, our community has been attacked again; another vandalization occurred at the same bathroom in building 44. This requires outrage and action on our leadership's behalf immediately With Love and Support, The Alliance Group (T.A.G)
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  • Police Accountability Monitoring Program & Enforcement Reform (PAMPER)
    COPWATCH AMERICA INCORPORATED HAS A PRIMARY GOAL TO MINIMIZE & ELIMINATE UNJUSTIFIED DEATHS DUE TO ILLEGAL ACTIONS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT IN AMERICA AGAINST CIVILIANS. COPWATCH AMERICA INCORPORATED USES UNITED STATES/STATE LAWS, FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT, CIVILIAN COMPLIANT REVIEW COMMITTEES, POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY MONITORING PROGRAMS, AND OTHER FORMS OF RESOURCES & ACTIONS TO ESTABLISH TRANSPARENCY & ACCOUNTABILITY IN EACH AND EVERY LAW ENFORCEMENT DEPARTMENT/AGENCY IN AMERICA.
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  • Protect Our Privacy! No More Surveillance for People in Michigan!
    The right to privacy and due process under the law belongs to everyone. Residents, technologists, organizers, activists, artists, educators and legislators are learning the implications of police use of facial recognition technologies. Inaccuracies in the technology for darker skin tones, women, and children place many Americans at risk of having their civil and human rights violated. This is a particularly troubling situation for Detroit, where the population is over 80% Black. This would be the largest experiment on Black people in the United States, in modern times. We don't deserve a justice system regulated by faulty algorithms. We don't deserve a justice system that relies on profiling, and we can’t trust a technology that has proven time and time again that it cannot be trusted. Facial surveillance technology does not keep us safe, in fact it does the opposite. Please support Senator (R) Peter Lucido's Senate Bill 342 (SB342), co-sponsored by Senator (D) Stephanie Gray Chang. The legislation would prohibit law enforcement officials from obtaining, accessing or using any facial recognition technology, along with any information gathered from such technology. Any information obtained in violation of the law would be inadmissible in court “as if the evidence, arrest warrant, or search warrant was obtained in violation of Amendment IV of the Constitution of the United States and section 11 of Article I of the state constitution of 1963.” In effect, the passage of SB342 would impose a total ban on the use of facial recognition technology by Michigan law enforcement. State Rep (D) Isaac Robinson's House Bill 4810, which would create a five-year moratorium on the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement. HB 4810 will also prevent the use of facial recognition software to obtain warrants or otherwise enforce the law. The prohibition includes footage obtained from surveillance cameras, unmanned aircraft, body cameras, and street and traffic light cameras. The bill was co-sponsored by state Reps. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) and Jewell Jones(D-Inkster). Recently, the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners tabled a vote on the use of facial recognition technology to monitor city neighborhoods but approved the use of traffic cameras with the capacity to use the technology. Detroit Police Chief Craig recently admitted to using the technology under a standard operating procedure, through their Project Green Light Program for over a year. Until recently, there had been no public discourse around DPD's use of facial recognition technology. The Detroit Police Board of Commissioners is expected to approve the use of the technology despite public opposition. Serious concerns exist regarding the use of facial recognition technology as it has been shown to misidentify African-American faces, darker skin tones, women and children. It’s time for Michigan to show the world that we respect, and will protect our right to privacy and due process under the law. Urge your legislators to support SB342 and House Bill 4810 BYP100 - Detroit Chapter Black Out Green Light Coalition Detroit Community Technology Project Detroit Digital Justice Coalition Detroit Coalition for Peace
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  • Tell Enterprise to Stand Up to Trump!
    Last week, the Trump administration announced plans for its latest attack on the migrant community -- unconstitutional ICE raids that would begin on Sunday, July 14, in at least 10 major cities across the country. Since he has taken office, Trump has enacted brutal, dehumanizing policies that have separated families at the border, prosecuted and deported people en masse and without due process, and resulted in the deaths and incarceration of adults and children in facilities that can only be described as concentration camps. These raids are part of a larger plan to follow through on one of the worst human rights abuses the United States has seen in recent memory. And Enterprise Holdings is leasing him the vans to do it. Over the course of his presidency, Trump has made it crystal clear what his intentions for migrants crossing the border are. He knows that the terror, suffering and premature death that he has inflicted on the migrant community, many of whom are Black and from majority Black countries, galvanizes and empowers his base, who see migrants as less than human and have carried out horrific acts of violence against our family members, loved ones and neighbors. In a moment when they should be taking a stance against Trump’s genocidal policies, Enterprise Holdings is planning to profit from the pain that these raids will inflict by leasing vans to the Department of Homeland Security that ICE intends to use to steal people from their homes and their families. In its Suppliers Code of Ethics, Enterprise claims that it selects “suppliers and partners who share our values and our commitment to uphold the highest standards of quality, integrity, excellence, safety, legal compliance, and respect for human rights, as well as to respect the customs and culture of the communities we serve.” How can this be when the company is willing to give I.C.E. the vehicles needed to transport people to detention camps that fundamentally violate their basic rights and dignity? Let Enterprise know that enough is enough. They have a duty to stand up for what is right. Sign now to demand that Enterprise stop doing business with the Department of Homeland Security today.
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  • Affordable Insulin NOW!
    Antavia-Lee Worsham should still be here. Instead, two years ago at the age of just 22 years old, she passed away because she could no longer afford her insulin, a medication that costs companies less than the price of a sandwich to produce. Before Antavia’s death, she was covered under her mother’s high deductible health plan, but aged off of Children with Medical Handicaps (CMH), a Government funded program secondary insurance that covered all of the medication and equipment that she needed to manage her Type I diabetes. This could at times be as costly as $1000 a month. She began borrowing insulin from her grandfather, and then her sister, before they could no longer afford to share their medication with her. It was after she started rationing her own insulin that one day she died in her home as a consequence of diabetic ketoacidosis also known as DKA. Each and every day, millions of people across the country depend on insulin to survive. While insulin has been around for decades, pharmaceutical companies are getting away with charging astronomical prices that place insulin out of reach for millions of Americans. Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi, three of the nation’s largest insulin manufacturers -- are responsible for some of the worst price gouging the industry has seen in recent times, raising their prices by 150 percent in just the last five years. In fact, they are facing a class action lawsuit right now from over 60 plaintiffs who hope the case will expose these companies’ deceptive pricing practices and corporate greed. If you've ever talked to someone who's said they have “the sugars,” then you know which community is impacted by diabetes at the most disproportionate rates. According to the U.S. Department of Health, Black American adults are 80% more likely than non-Hispanic white adults to have been diagnosed with diabetes by a physician; 3.5 times more likely to be hospitalized for lower limb amputations; and twice as likely to die from diabetes. While Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi continue to make millions of dollars in profits from arbitrary insulin prices that keep going up, it’s our aunties & uncles, our grandparents & cousins, and our brothers & sisters who are forced to make the dangerous decision to ration life-saving medication, or to go without it in the first place. Enough is enough. It is completely within these companies’ power to reduce their prices dramatically while still maintaining healthy profits. Yet, at every turn they have denied the fact that they are unnecessarily hiking their own prices, and have refused to comply with the public’s demand that they be transparent about their costs of production. That’s not business -- it’s an abuse of power that needs curbing immediately. The fight for fair, transparent pricing in the insulin industry is the fight for the dignity, health, and safety of the Black community and of our loved ones. Take action to demand that Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi be transparent about their costs of production and lower their prices now! Sign our petition and demand Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi lower the price of insulin now.
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  • De-prioritize low-level marijuana arrests in Buffalo #BuffaloLLEP
    New York state decriminalized possessing small amounts of marijuana 40 years ago, but a disproportionate number of black people continue to be arrested in Buffalo every year. The unequal enforcement is a result of the "war on drugs." Exposure to the criminal justice system has severe impacts on employment, mental health, family stability and financial security. Mayor Byron Brown has the ability to make marijuana the LLEP, or "lowest level enforcement priority" for the Buffalo Police Department. This means that instead of arresting black and brown folks for marijuana, police will be able to focus on building positive, trusting relationships with communities of color, making us all safer. On the commemorative year of decriminalization, tell Mayor Brown that you support him in LLEP (#BuffaloLLEP)!
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  • Keep Your Promises to Black Voters!
    The people of New Jersey need your help. In 2017, 94 Percent of Black voters cast their ballots for Governor Murphy. Without this support from the Black community, it is unlikely that Phil Murphy would be New Jersey’s governor—53 percent of white voters supported his opponent. But nine months into his administration, Governor Murphy has not focused on critical issues facing the 94 percent: 1) Transforming New Jersey’s youth justice system: New Jersey has a shameful system of youth incarceration in which a Black child is 30 times more likely to be incarcerated than a white child—the highest disparity in the nation. 2) Restoring the right to vote to people with criminal convictions: New Jersey denies the right to vote to nearly 100,000 people who are in prison, on parole, or on probation. Although Black people make up 15 percent of New Jersey's total population, Black residents represent over 60 percent of the people who lost the right to vote due to a criminal conviction. 3) Closing the racial wealth gap: In New Jersey, one of the wealthiest states in America, the median net worth for New Jersey’s white families is $271,402—the highest in the nation. But the median net worth for New Jersey’s Black families is just $5,900. We must ensure that Governor Murphy keeps his promises to the Black voters that put him in office.
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  • Reinstate Bishop Talbert Swan
    Bishop Swan was a strong voice of resistance against racism, white supremacy, and in justice. He was an uncompromising in challenging hypocrisy and advocating for the most vulnerable. Twitter suspended his account without notice because of the complaints of right wing racist and Trump supporting bots and trolls would choose to him of racism for his candid condemnation of bigotry. Bishop Swan had over 70,000 followers and was a leading voice of the resistance. He had a verified account and was an influencer on the social media platform.
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