• Tell KTVU to Fire Racist Editor & Create a Policy to Ensure This Never Happens Again
    On Sunday night, Nia Wilson and her sister Letifah, were traveling home from a family event when they were viciously attacked by John Lee Cowell, a 27-year-old white male with a history of violence, at the BART MacArthur Station. "I looked back and he was wiping off his knife and stood at the stairs and just looked. From then on I was caring for my sister," said Letifah as she held her sister for the last time. Nia Wilson died at the scene. Nia had just graduated from Oakland High School. Her family said she was interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice or law. She was also a lover of makeup and dance. Letifah, described her younger sibling as "the most sweetest person on the earth" and reiterated that "she didn't do nothing to nobody" to provoke the attack. The narratives that news outlets craft about black victims of crime and the incident that claimed their lives matters. We've seen this countless times before, the power that news outlets wield in portraying victims based on images they select, influences societal perception and the actual case itself. Portraying black victims of crime as "thugs" or criminals has become standard media protocol and we are sick and tired of this shameful and despicable media tactic. We will no longer accept half-hearted apologies, we demand accountability with the firing of the editor responsible for choosing to depict Nia Wilson as a "criminal" & the creation of a new policy to ensure this never happens again. Pease sign if you agree.
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  • Demand Democratic National Committee stop profiting off separating families
    In recent news, we have seen children separated from their families at the border and taken, sometimes shackled in tinted buses, to places across the country. In our own neighborhoods, Black people are whisked away in broad daylight in the back of police cars. Private prisons like GEO Group and CoreCivic have made billions separating people from their families for decades and we’re going to put a stop to it. This year, as politicians vie for elected office across the country, we remind them that we aren't asking for "change" or "hope," we are demanding ACTION; that our elected representatives put our families and safety before corporate profits. It’s time for all politicians to stop taking money from the for-profit imprisonment industry--responsible for separating families from the border, to Miami, New York, L.A, Baltimore, Detroit, and all over the country. On Sunday, July 1st, The Florida Democratic Party passed a resolution to refuse contributions from GEO Group, CoreCivic and their representative PACs and lobbyists after a months long campaign by Dream Defenders to have candidates sign a Freedom Pledge which declares candidates opposition to private prisons and immigrant detention facilities. We celebrate this win in Florida, and are now partnering with Color Of Change to make this a reality all over the country. No politician should gain political power by accepting money from companies that are responsible for separating our families.
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  • Appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the fatal shooting of Mike Brown
    My name is Lezley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer on August 9, 2014. As lawyers, scholars, and commentators around the country have noted at length, my son’s killing was not properly investigated and Michael did not get the justice he deserved. Over the course of three months, my family and I waited as the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office presented my son’s case to a grand jury before the police investigation was even over. So with less than half the evidence, the St. Louis County Prosecutor still chose to move full speed ahead and present evidence selectively designed to evade any criminal indictment of the killer of my 18-year-old son. Since then, a provocative and revealing documentary titled ‘Stranger Fruit’ made its national television debut on Starz Network. “Stranger Fruit” unveils the untold factual account about what really happened to my son and the lack of any legitimate or honest investigation performed by Bob McCulloch and St. Louis County Police Department. My legal team is now asking for Governor Parson to review the case again because of the recent revelations uncovered by the documentary “Stranger Fruit.” It reveals both questionable judgment and failure to honestly pursue justice for my son and our family. In addition to allegations of mishandling the investigation, a lawsuit was also filed by one of the grand jurors detailing challenges and exposing their experiences on the grand jury. The case has been reopened and is set to be heard soon here in Missouri. To add to the disturbing list of disclosures, Bob McCulloch made an astonishing public admission after the grand jury failed to indict. He actually admitted that he knowingly allowed witnesses that he knew were NOT telling the truth to testify before the grand jury! In this case, you don’t have to just take my word for it. These egregious revelations have now come to light and the people of St. Louis County deserve to see equitable systemic practices in the criminal justice system as much as I need to see justice for my son! To members of the public, I hope that you will consider signing this petition to re-open the local investigation of my son’s case. If you were a parent of a child who went through what Michael went through, you would never stop fighting for his justice. And you would do everything within your reach to ensure that our citizens experience fair treatment and equal justice under the law. Will you help me continue to fight for justice for my son? Together we can ensure our government reflects the accountability, integrity, and interest of the people they are in place to serve. With Love, Lezley McSpadden-Head
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  • Justice for Anthony Wall
    On May 8, a 22-year-old Mr. Anthony Wall, a Black man who is openly gay, escorted his younger sister (age 16) to the prom. Later, he took her and her friends to a local Waffle House in Warsaw, NC. After sitting down at a table that had not yet been cleared, staff members got into a heated argument with Mr. Wall and his teenage sister. According to Mr. Wall and witnesses at the scene, Waffle House employees began using offensive racial and homophobic slurs and threatened to inflict physical harm on them. They called him the N-word and f**got and one staff member went so far as to take his shirt off readying himself for a fight. The police were called and when Officer Frank Moss of the Warsaw Police Department arrived on the scene, he began choking Mr. Wall and throwing him against the window. He then violently threw Mr. Wall to the ground and placed him under arrest. The traumatic incident was captured on video with a cell phone and it has since gone viral. The video captures the officer choking and slamming Mr. Wall against the outdoor glass and then onto the pavement. During the violent exchange, Mr. Wall screamed that he could not breathe and pleaded for his safety with other officers who were on the scene. It is evident from the video footage, that because of what he had just been through, he was fearful for his physical safety and his life. When he was being handcuffed, Mr. Hall requested to be transported with any officer, but not with Officer Moss, who had just brutally assaulted him. His requests were ignored, and not only was he forced to ride with the same officer who inappropriately and unprofessionally handcuffed him, but there was an aggressive police canine accompanying them inside the vehicle. Mr. Wall has since been charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Eric Sutherland, Warsaw police chief, said that an officer can use physical force on a subject if the person is not complying. Notably, Mr. Wall was not only unarmed but the officer was more than twice his size. The Mayor of Warsaw released a three-and-a-half minute statement in support of Officer Moss, attempting to justify the treatment of Wall during the arrest. We will be closely monitoring the response from not only the Warsaw Police Department but also District Attorney Ernie Lee with the State Bureau of Investigation; the FBI; and the N.C. Department of Justice's Law Enforcement Training and Standards Commission which we understand are also investigating the incident. As a civil and human rights community, we demand answers and a thorough investigation of what has transpired and that the results of this investigation be made fully available to the public. No human being should endure the type of verbal and physical abuse that Mr. Wall experienced and any charges against him should be dropped immediately. Please join us in signing this petition to ensure justice for Anthony and Chikesia. Remember none of us are free until all of us are free!
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  • Take the Black Census Project Survey Now.
    I would like to introduce you to the Black Census Project survey (https://www.blackcensus.org/) -- an important and historic undertaking from my organization, the Black Futures Lab. Your pledge to participate in the Black Census Project survey will shape more relevant, more impactful policy for our community. Black people are often spoken for, but rarely spoken to. And, elected officials often make policies about us, without us. With your help, we would like to reach 200,000 Black people online and offline, through active outreach to members of our community who are often left out of the conversation. The Black Census Project Survey will be the largest survey of Black people done since Reconstruction. Better policies depend on honoring the full diversity of our communities, and engaging us not just during elections, but between elections as well. ABOUT US The Black Census Project is brought to you by the Black Futures Lab (founded by Alicia Garza, Black Lives Matter Global Network) in partnership with Color of Change, Socioanalytica Research, and Demos. To learn more about the Black Census Project, visit https://www.blackcensus.org/.
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  • Tell Amazon & Apple: Reject Racism and Say No to North Carolina’s Racist Attacks on Voting Rights
    Apple says, “The best way the world works is everybody in. Nobody out.” And Amazon says, “It’s not only that diversity and inclusion are good for our business. It’s more fundamental than that — it’s simply right.” But if they’re willing to move their headquarters to a state that makes a habit of discriminating against eligible Black voters, it’s clearly just a talking point. THE NCGA'S VOTER ID OBSESSION IS RACIST. Prior to 2013, North Carolina had been an example of expanding the freedom to vote. Black folks were gaining political power and increased in participation in successive election after elections. But then in 2013 as part of the "monster voter suppression law" passed by the NCGA, voter ID was required, which Black voters were least likely to have – and that's what they're trying to make part of the constitution now. That 2013 law also eliminated the first seven days of early voting - the exact period that it was used most by Black voters. It cut Sunday voting, a "souls to the polls" tradition used by Black churches to get folks to vote. It eliminated out-of-precinct voting, a rule that allowed working Black voters who couldn't get to their home precinct to at least vote in the same county. In 2014, the NC GOP even moved polling locations further away from Black neighborhoods! Making it harder for Black people to vote wasn't an accident, it was intentional. IT'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL. When a U.S. federal court struck down the voter ID law in 2016, it said: "If discriminatorily motivated, such laws are just as abhorrent, and just as unconstitutional, as laws that expressly discriminate on the basis of race...the General Assembly unconstitutionally enacted the photo ID requirement with racially discriminatory intent.” IT'S BAD BUSINESS. Apple and Amazon both articulate a belief that having a diverse set of perspectives on the team ultimately benefits their company’s ability to do business. If they are hoping to attract Black workers at their new HQs, they should pick a state that thinks their Black workforce deserves the right to vote. Millennials and Gen Z workers care about what their employers stand for and want to live in states that reflect the diversity and inclusion they value. THE BOTTOM LINE I want North Carolina to be a home for both of these wonderful companies, and in addition to taking this step, there are many ways both Amazon and Apple can show true commitment to our communities.* One way Amazon and Apple can demonstrate a real commitment to espoused values of diversity is by making it clear that they won’t move their headquarters to a state that is rapidly sliding backward on racial oppression and voting rights. In 2018, we need to demand that major companies stay on the right side of the law - and the right side of history. ABOUT WILLIAM MATTHEWS William Matthews was raised in Raleigh, NC. William is known around the world as a singer - songwriter and popular recording artist. William's passion is artistry and advocacy. He seamlessly blends music, cinematography and political messaging around themes like racism and climate change which have been highlighted by CNN & Yahoo. In his music, documentaries and podcast work on The Liturgists, William has interviewed prominent religious and thought leaders, songwriters, scientists and global political figures. You can check out his body of work at WilliamMatthewsMusic.com or follow him on Twitter at @WilliamMatt22. SOURCES https://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Published/161468.P.pdf https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/15/us/politics/voter-id-laws-supreme-court-north-carolina.html https://www.apple.com/diversity/ https://www.geekwire.com/2016/jeff-bezos-email-reaffirms-amazons-commitment-tolerance-diversity-trump-win/ https://www.fastcompany.com/3046358/millennials-have-a-different-definition-of-diversity-and-inclusion *https://medium.com/@acrecampaigns/amazons-racial-inequality-prime-fe6ba15fe2d5
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  • Stop Children from Dying During Divorce and Custody Proceedings
    A mother who is a veteran had to return home from Iraq and fight the battle for her children. The children were taken from her safe and sustainable home, and 50/50 custody order. The mother was falsely arrested. The charges where dismissed but the ramification lingered. Nine years later the mother and her children have no relationship. The children were forced to live full-time with their abusive father leaving them vulnerable to mental, physical and emotional abuse at critical developmental stages in there lives. The court's decision has traumatized the mother and placed the children in danger. As of September 24, 2018, at least 657 children have been murdered by a parent involved in a divorce, separation, custody, visitation, or child support situation in the U.S. since 2008. Abusive parents are often granted custody or unprotected parenting time by family courts—placing our nation’s children at ongoing risk. Researchers who interviewed judges and court administrators following some of these tragedies found that most believed these were isolated incidents. Needed reforms have not been implemented. Many court-related child homicides occurred after family courts granted dangerous parents access to children over the objections of a protective parent. We recognize that the women's right's movement is still a work in progress. Marginalized women face multiple oppressions, and we can only win freedom by bringing awareness on how they impact one another. The women of color need a national movement to uplift the needs of the most marginalized women and children. As women of color we need to stand for our human rights to parent the children we have in a safe and sustainable community.
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  • Tell Chancellor Blumenthal to Remember Dr. Huey P. Newton
    Watch our video for UCSC Students: https://spark.adobe.com/video/gjYVChjDJ0MvY Chancellor Blumenthal named 2018 the "Year of Alumni" to honor the legacies and accomplishments of UCSC graduates. Since January our campus has been decorated with the faces and achievements of notable UCSC alumni, but one important name is missing: Dr. Huey P. Newton. Huey Newton earned his Ph.D in History of Consciousness at UCSC in 1980, after finishing his dissertation on the repression the Black Panther Movement faced at the hands of the state. UC Santa Cruz administrators and the UC system co-opt narratives of activism and "non-traditional thinking" while intentionally erasing the intellectuals who were thinking non-traditionally. The erasure of Dr. Huey P. Newton as an academic (at the university from which he earned his Ph.D) contributes to the social perception that Black people (especially those engaged in activism) are separate from/do not have a place in academia. We are asking Chancellor Blumenthal to rethink the erasure of Dr. Newton's academic career at UCSC, by naming College 10 in his honor and to uphold College 10's mission of social justice. Renaming the college Dr. Huey P. Newton College, will serve as a permanent reminder of Huey Newton's scholarly achievements and his dedication to his community/the public good.
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  • Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey Should Resign
    Many of the families of those killed by law enforcement in Los Angeles County, Black Lives Matter, White People for Black Lives, Centro CSO, March and Rally, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Los Angeles Community Action Network, Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, California for Progress, Youth Justice Coalition, Community Coalition, and 40 additional community organizations, and hundreds of individuals – your constituents – have been rallying outside of your office since October 2017. The call to date has been for you to prosecute the police who kill our people. We have attempted to engage you in dialogue; you have refused and we are regularly met with hostility and disrespect. We are now calling on you to step down for refusing to serve “The People” whom you are duty-bound to represent. We began our current efforts by delivering a petition signed by more than 10,000 Angelenos demanding that you prosecute the police who kill our people, beginning with the five officers who were dismissed from Inglewood Police Department after killing Kisha Michael and Marquintan Sandlin while they were sleeping in their car. We then requested a community meeting with you, an invitation that you initially tentatively accepted during a December 2017 phone call and then reneged. A townhall was held, to which you were invited, but did not attend (despite confirming availability), on January 21, 2018. We have submitted hundreds of faxed, mailed, emailed, and telephone requests asking that you engage the community. You have refused. Most recently, on May 30, 2018, we attempted to deliver a letter as part of the national #RealChange campaign to pressure District Attorneys to be accountable to the people. Despite following the delivery instructions negotiated with your office, the Sheriff proceeded to lock us out of the public building that you occupy. More than 400 Los Angeles County residents have been killed by law enforcement on your watch. You have refused to file charges against a single officer, even when they have been found to have acted “out of policy” (as with Ezell Ford), are disciplined or dismissed as a result of their actions (as with Kisha Michael and Marquintan Sandlin), when there is an apparent cover up (as with Wakiesha Wilson), and/or are recommended for charges by their law enforcement units (as with Brendon Glenn). Your record is shameful and is indicative of a clear unwillingness to act on behalf of the people. Moreover, your complete unwillingness to do your job endangers the community that you are supposed to serve. For these, and many other reasons, we call on you to immediately vacate your position as District Attorney of the County of Los Angeles.
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  • Make Juneteenth An Official Pennsylvania State Holiday
    Juneteenth Is The Oldest Celebration For The Emancipation And Freedom Of Enslaved Africans in the United States. In 1865 In Galveston Texas the last remaining enslaved Africans were told of their freedom two and a half (2 ½) years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. We the members of the Juneteenth Family Of Philadelphia are asking you to sign this petition to make Juneteenth an official state holiday. HISTORY OF JUNETEENTH http://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm
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  • Mayor Jacob Frey & MPHA, Don't Auction Off Our Homes to the Highest Bidder!
    1. The Median Income for majority white families for the Twin Cities region including Minneapolis and St. Paul is $94,300 per year in 2018. 2. The median income for black Minnesotan households is just $33,436 per year in 2018. 3. The average (MPHA) public housing residents, family of four, working households earn $20,656 per year, and can only afford rent of $512 a month at 30% of their monthly income. 4. The average low-income( MPHA) public housing residents earn $14,201 per year, and can only afford rent of $355 a month at 30% of their monthly income. 5. Seniors public housing residents on social security income earn $9,000 per year, which is only $750 a month, and can only afford a rent of $225 a month at 30% of their monthly income. 6. Black and low- income families can't make enough to keep up with rising rents, and they will be forced out of Minneapolis. 7. Average rent for a 2 bedroom in Minneapolis = $1,984 If MPHA and Mayor Frey plans succeed to convert public housing to section 8 private ownership, it is no longer public, and there are no protections for the most vulnerable population of our city. Rents will increase. Investors will make millions. Residents will be displaced by private investors to convert the buildings for high end rentals for wealthier people. Low- income people's homes will be taken away anytime the buildings go up for sale or face foreclosure. Families shouldn't be forced to pick between a roof over their children's heads and food on the table for their children. Between 2000 to 2018, average income for Black Families in Minneapolis dropped by 40% while rents doubled. The vast majority of renters in Minneapolis are people of color, and 80% of public housing residents are Black. By age, majority public housing residents are seniors and children under 17. There are over 11,000 low-income Black, Black Muslim, refugee, senior, people with disabilities who will be forced out of their homes if Mayor Jacob Frey and MPHA’s plans to privatize and auction public housing are approved. We can’t let that happen. Privatizing public housing will deepen the racial and class divides already challenging Minneapolis. Flipping public housing into RAD and section 8 privately owned which will then flip to high end market-rate units hurts low-income families, but all Minneapolis families will feel the pain of less available public and income based which are the real affordable housing options. Private sector shouldn’t use our tax dollars to pad their pockets with profit. Private business and corporations always put profit over people. Private developers want to get their hands on public and low- income rental units and price them to make a windfall off wealthy families and incoming gentrifiers. The most vulnerable among us in Minneapolis – the elderly, poor, people with disabilities, low-income families -- will be displaced. Flooding our housing market with high end market-rate units will fuel gentrification, push out residents and turn Minneapolis into a city catering to the rich. Keeping public housing under public control means that people come first! Resources: https://metrocouncil.org/Communities/Services/Livable-Communities-Grants/2017-Ownership-and-Rent-Affordability-Limits.aspx https://www.hud.gov/topics/rental_assistance/phprog Rental Market Watch: Minneapolis. March 2018. Minnesota Housing Partnership. https://www.mhponline.org/images/stories/docs/research/NOAH-MPLS-final.pdf http://www.startribune.com/how-much-is-rent-for-a-2-bedroom-in-twin-cities-check-out-the-rent-chart/414996293/ https://www.dgphc.org/2018/05/10/ami-housing-deeply-unaffordable-for-low-income-families-part-2/
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  • Support Voting In Jail! Eligible voters should be able to vote.
    There are approximately 20,000 people detained in jail pre-trial in Illinois. Those who are citizens have the right to vote in elections. However, without a formal process in place, voting in jail is nearly impossible for people awaiting trial.  This bill requires county jails and election authorities to collaborate in creating a process that ensures people on pre-trial can cast their ballot during elections. In any given year, there are approximately 30,000 people who return from prison. Those who are citizens are eligible to vote in Illinois upon release. Yet many of these citizens do not register to vote because they believe that their past criminal conviction disqualifies them.  This bill requires the Illinois Department of Corrections and each county jail to provide eligible citizens released from their custody a voter registration application. There are approximately 4 million residents of Illinois who have a past felony conviction, all of whom are eligible to vote. Yet, many of these individuals are not aware of their right to vote.  This bill requires the Illinois Department of Corrections to provide citizens released from their custody detailed information about their voting rights. Chicago Votes, Illinois Justice Project, The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, ACLU, and 38 supporting organizations ask Governor Rauner to support this historic piece of legislation. www.chicagovotes.com #HB4469 #CCJVotes
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