A sign in downtown Newark, NJ today: “Thank You High School Students!”
are few things more inspiring and more powerful than a mass movement, a
truly massive movement, led by young people. And since the Parkland,
Florida shooting on Valentine’s Day, that is clearly what is emerging in
the USA around the issue of gun violence. And that movement is directly
taking on the NRA.
just come back from the impressive March For Our Lives demonstration in
Newark, NJ. Upwards of 2000 people took part, one of over 800 events
around the country.
been going to demonstrations in Newark and this area since I moved here
20 years ago, and I don’t think I saw more than a dozen people that I
knew today. Many of those present were young people, from grade school
on up. It was multi-cultural, though predominantly white, and it was
of the more creative signs included: “Vaginas have more regulation than
guns,” “My life matters” (held by a child), “You know things are messed
up when librarians are marching,” “They say the only way to stop a bad
guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun BUT that just sounds like
someone trying to sell TWO GUNS, “Did you hear about the drive-by knife
throwing or the bat massacre? The weapon matters,” “Books Not Bullets,”
and my favorite: “There should be a background check before the NRA can
buy a Senator.”
the action progressed, through its gathering and speaking and marching
and then speaking again phases, I grew more and more hopeful, sensed the
power of this movement. There was a determination, a spirit of “we’ve
had enough,” that permeated it, and for very good reasons.
Parkland shooting and, more particularly, the activist response to it
by the Parkland students which electrified the country and drew
sympathetic mass media attention—excepting Fox News and their ilk—is
like nothing I have seen in a very long time.
But can this movement defeat the NRA?
no mistake about it, that is what will determine this movement’s
success or failure. The NRA as an organization must be so seriously
weakened that it loses its power to threaten and buy politicians. Only
then will it be possible to pass the mix of national and state laws
which can dramatically reduce gun deaths and mass shootings.
wonder if, within this glorious new mass movement, there is
consideration being given to a very focused campaign on the NRA, from
calling for public resignations by individual members, to demanding
politicians refuse to accept NRA money, to demonstrations, nonviolent
sit-ins and hunger strikes at NRA offices and gun stores that sell
automatic weapons and bump stocks, and other tactics.
would expect some in this movement to counsel a less activist course of
action. That always happens in a genuinely mass movement. Some are
cautious, some are ready to storm the barricades right now, and then
there’s everything in between. The key thing in navigating that reality
is not to demonize those who, motivated by the best of intentions and
their personal experiences, have a different point of view but, instead,
find ways to be complementary. We should always be open to new, fresh
ideas. Given the state of things in the country and world, the last
thing we need is just those things that we’ve been doing for decades.
If young people continue to be in leadership to a major extent, I can’t see this happening.
political defeat of the NRA would do much more than reduce gun
violence. It would open up the possibilities for progressive legislation
and action in many areas because the politicians put into office and
controlled by the NRA are also the politicians who want to cut Medicare,
Medicaid and Social Security, continue denying the reality of dangerous
climate change, maintain and expand the US empire around the world,
oppose full equality and justice for women, people of color and LGBT
people, take a repressive view toward immigrants rights and the role of
the police, and more.
the fight to dramatically reduce gun violence, given this new,
remarkable, youth-led mass movement which is unfolding before our eyes,
could be a turning point. It deserves our thanks, and it needs our
support, right now.
The Parkland kids ‘are impatient,’ said a pastor who’s seen far too many people shot down in Chicago. ‘I love that about them.’
By Michael Daly
Anyone who knew to listen might have heard a murdered musician
playing his distinctively pulsing bass from on high as the five buses
embarked from Saint Sabina Church in Chicago for the March For Our Lives
in Washington at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
On board the second bus with a
draft of a speech he was to give at Saturday’s gathering was
19-year-old Trevon “Tre” Bosley, who had been just 8 when his remarkably
talented older brother was gunned down in a case of mistaken identity
Terrell Bosley had been a rising star in the Chicago
gospel scene nicknamed “Mr. Music” as he often played at three or more
churches on a weekend. He summoned uncommon feeling from his bass
guitar, his right hand working the frets and his left the strings, the
opposite of the usual for a righty. He would arrive two hours early to
rehearse for a service and was taking a break in the parking lot at the
Lights of Zion church when shots rang out. His girlfriend ran up to him
asking if anybody had been shot and saw blood on his shoulder. The
pastor knelt at his side, kissing him and telling him he would be all
Word reached the family home, and Tre remembers rushing to
the car with his middle brother and their parents. They arrived at the
Lights of Zion just as Terrell was being loaded into the back of an
The family followed the ambulance to Advocate Christ
Medical Center. Tre and the middle brother, Terrez, sat in a waiting
area as their mother, Pamela, and father, Tom, went in to speak with the
The following commentary was submitted by the editors of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Javon Davies is only 12, but he just finished writing his will.
He had heard about the shooting in Parkland, Florida, and about the shooting three weeks later of 17-year-old Courtlin Arrington at her high school in Birmingham, Alabama.
So when his Birmingham middle school went on lockdown, Javon thought
he might die. On loose-leaf paper, in pencil, he listed his possessions.
"I love you my whole Family you mean the most to me," Javon wrote. "You gave me the clothes on my back, you fed me, and you were always by my side."
Javon made it home that day, but too many kids do not. And many others are traumatized by school shootings. The Washington Post released a powerful report this week finding that, since Columbine, more than 187,000 students have been on campuses during a shooting at their school. The majority are children of color.
Black students are three times as likely — and Hispanic students,
nearly twice as likely — as white students to experience gun violence at
They are also more likely to attend a school with on-campus police. That does not make them safer.
School resource officers were present during four of the five worst
school shootings. The shootings happened anyway. Only one time before
this month had a school resource officer ever gunned down an active
But if on-campus police rarely deter school shootings, they do
reinforce the school-to-prison pipeline — the same pipeline that
excludes black children across the country from school at three times
the rate of their white peers, despite research showing that children of
all races misbehave at similar rates.
"If law enforcement professionals with extensive training to handle
firearms make mistakes with them," ask John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich in their report for The Washington Post, "what might go wrong if educators with far less training carry the same lethal weapon?"
Today, Parkland students will lead the March for Our Lives in Washington, DC. They're demanding that lawmakers act to end gun violence and stop the plague of mass school shootings.
But keeping students safe means more than enacting sensible
restrictions on who can own guns and how lethal those weapons can be. It
also means making sure that racial bias doesn't push students of color
into the school-to-prison pipeline — or in front of armed school
Mark Zuckerberg promises this time his company will really protect your data, after Cambridge Analytica revelations. Except Facebook just pushed legislation that does the opposite.
By Spencer Ackerman
Facebook, plunged into crisis by the Cambridge Analytica revelations,
is now scrambling to assure users – and investors – that this time,
their data really, truly is secure. And on a recent post-crisis media
blitz, founder Mark Zuckerberg has emphasized that the mass exfiltration
of scads of profiles from unsuspecting Facebook users was a vestige of a
past privacy practice, not a symptom of anything wrong with current
Yet Facebook urged Congress to pass a measure,
the CLOUD Act, that privacy advocates warn makes it easier for a foreign
government to acquire Americans’ emails, pics, videos and other online
data, and then share that with U.S. law enforcement. It also makes it
easier for those foreign governments to get the online lives of their
own citizens from the servers of companies like Facebook.
tucked the CLOUD Act into its omnibus spending bill – the measure it
passed in the wee hours of Friday morning to avert a government
shutdown. President Trump, after vacillating, signed it into law today.
Facebook's promise to take Americans' personal privacy seriously, it
and other big tech companies championed a bill that will let foreign
governments directly demand emails and other personal information from
those under protection of U.S. law, all without oversight from U.S.
courts,” Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat on the intelligence
committee, told The Daily Beast on Friday.
On March 27 at 11 a.m., NYPAAL LLC, a group of adult care home providers, will hold a rally with members, staff and supporters outside of the New York City office of Governor Andrew Cuomo, 633 3rd Avenue – between 40th and 41st Streets.
The seniors will call on Cuomo to advocate for a critical SSI increase in the New York State budget.
Many low income elderly and disabled individuals in New York live in adult care facilities, which are paid through SSI.
In the last twenty years, adult care facilities have had one rate increase in 2007. There has been no State COLA increase during this period and costs to these facilities – providing housing, care and services – have continued to go up. Legislators are currently debating including the SSI increase in this budget and negotiating with the Governor’s office.
The National Center for Disability (NCD) Report examines “Civil Death” of the rights of people with disabilities and the elderly under guardianships, calls on Department of Justice to ensure full and fair due process rights. Click here to review the report.
It is an excellent report that provides data and insights on the current state of guardianship in the U.S. It also provides a transparent view on how the system is dysfunctional, providing no assurances of upfront due process to protect the rights, dignity, and estates of targeted individuals or the downstream protections for the individual who has in effect been made a “slave” to their guardian.
Local courts where guardianships are established routinely rule on the whims of the judicial officer (judges, magistrates, hearingmasters, clerks, other lawyers, laymen) and the procedures in no way mirror established rules of civil procedure or state and federal laws. Today, if the judge is negligent to criminally complicit there is ALMOST NO REDRESS for the victim. This lack of integrity of the system has created an open door for the criminal element to set up shop with almost no risk of investigation or prosecution.
However, the NCD failed to analyze the familial funds lost to fraudulent guardianships. Per Metropolitan Life/Bloomberg $1.5 trillion passes generationally in the U.S. each year and the number is projected to rise to $2.5 trillion by 2030.
Guardianship is one of the easiest ways to redirect those assets to unintended third parties. Involuntary guardianships, proposed purely for the purpose of assuming someone else’s wealth(most often referred to as “theft”), are estimated to claim $10 billion a year in familial damages.
New York City – Jennifer Jones Austin, New York City native, nonprofit executive, and child advocate released her first book, Consider It Pure Joy, on March 1 with book signings in New York City. The signing was followed by a cross country book tour.
Starting with her healthy days just before diagnosis, Consider It Pure Joy chronicles Jones Austin’s experience with a rare form of leukemia. From the moment her family learned she had a 99 percent chance of not surviving the disease just days after diagnosis, to the nationwide search for a bone marrow donor to cure her, and the roller coaster ride of ups and downs throughout, Jones Austin’s memoir is an intimate picture of her harrowing experience. She takes readers on an arduous journey of successes and setbacks—and everything in-between—as she finds joy and peace in the midst of her suffering. Experience her race against time as she and her family implemented countless donor drives across the country looking for a bone marrow match. Evoking a strong sense of understanding and relatability, Consider It Pure Joy is a memoir readers will devour in one sitting.
A fourth-generation leader of faith and social justice, Jennifer Jones Austin is the CEO of Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA), leading poverty fighting, policy and advocacy efforts to strengthen and empower the disenfranchised and marginalized communities. She is a sought-after speaker who appears regularly on television and radio, and at community events and professional convenings. She has served on numerous boards, including the National Marrow Donor Program, the Icla da Silva Foundation, and the New York Blood Center, all of which were instrumental in her search for a bone marrow donor.
Click on the photo to increase its size.
What critics are saying:
“Consider It Pure Joy challenges and inspires. This book is a must-read!”
—Bishop William J. Barber II, Founder and National President/Senior Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach
“Consider It Pure Joy is a must-read for everyone facing a seemingly insurmountable test. This true and compelling story shows how a person can survive the highs and lows of their greatest challenge, learning to trust the process with faith, courage, and pure joy. This is a story of tenderness, transparency, tenacity, and triumph!”
—Dr. Claybon Lea, Jr., Pastor, Mount Calvary Baptist Church, Fairfield and Suisun City, CA
“Jennifer Jones Austin has given the world a gift with this beautiful, breathtakingly visceral account of what she describes as a gift: her epic battle with cancer . . . Her vivid descriptions of the journey will challenge you to stay awake to all that God dreams for your life.”
—Rev. Dr. Amy K. Butler, Senior Minister, The Riverside Church, New York, New York
For more information on Jennifer Jones Austin, the book or to schedule an event, click here.
Attorney General Jeff Session has instructed federal prosecutors to seek
the death penalty in numerous cases involving drugs, including some
trafficking offenses. It's an approach that harkens to America's failed
War on Drugs. Applying the death penalty in such cases would be not only
destructive but unconstitutional.
Click here to read the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) statement.
A New York City bill would make it
illegal for employers to demand their workers to respond to work emails
during non-work hours.
City Councilman Rafael Espinal introduced a bill Thursday
that aims to make it illegal for private employees in New York City to
be required to check and respond to their work emails or take part in
work-related electronic communications during non-work hours.
New York – Today, Congress approved the Omnibus spending bill that maintains funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 2017 levels ($8 billion). In addition, the bill includes a $700 million increase for water infrastructure projects. By agreeing to a fully-funded EPA, Congressional leaders not only rejected President Trump proposal, but also earlier versions from Senate and House leaders. Members of the New York Campaign to Save The EPA celebrated the vote, and thanked members of both the House and Senate for siding with public health and the environment. Comments on the bill: Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY) said, “A chorus of voices supporting the EPA, an agency charged with protecting our air, and water, has silenced the anti-environmental, anti-public health cacophony radiating from Washington. Our President has shown us that he cares very little for environmental protections. We applaud the staunch defenders of our health and safety in the House and Senate, including all the partners and the thousands of New Yorkers who joined the fight to the Save the EPA. Only by standing together could we have beaten back the egregious, dangerous and reckless proposed cuts coming from the Trump Administration.” Eric Weltman, a Brooklyn-based senior organizer with Food & Water Watch said, “President Trump’s cruel assault on the EPA budget would have put the lives of New Yorkers at risk. Thanks to leaders like Senator Schumer, the agency that protects clean air and water for families across the state has been spared from Trump’s budget axe. After hearing from thousands of his constituents, Senator Schumer pledged to hold the line against any cuts to the EPA budget. We are grateful for his leadership.” Jeremy Cherson, Riverkeeper advocacy coordinator said, “Today’s budget resolution that preserves the EPA’s budget and staff demonstrates that New Yorkers and Americans have no appetite for President Trump’s misguided proposals to slash the agency. Across New York and the Hudson River Estuary, the EPA plays a critical role in maintaining and improving access to clean water through grants, loans, enforcement, and technical expertise. We know that the fight to save the EPA isn’t over as new threats and riders emerge from Washington almost every day, but we will continue to speak up on behalf of our members and the Hudson River. We are especially grateful to New York Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, as well as Representatives Nita Lowey and Paul Tonko for their advocacy on behalf of the EPA and Hudson River.” Sandra Meola, communications and outreach director for NY/NJ Baykeeper said, “Since his campaign days, President Trump has been insisting that he will ‘shut down’ the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the protector of public health and our families’ rights to have clean air to breath and water to drink, swim, and fish in. We are encouraged that our elected officials in the House and Senate are defending the public’s right to these clean necessities. We also commend our elected leaders for taking our antiquated, polluting water infrastructure needs seriously by budgeting an additional $700 million for water infrastructure projects.” Brian Smith, associate executive director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment said, “Time and time again, the public has expressed overwhelming support for a strong, fully funded EPA. Clean air, clean water, and healthy communities are not partisan issues. We are grateful that Congress responded to this public demand with bipartisan support to Save the EPA.” Source: Environmental Advocates of New York
York City’s population reached a record high last year of over 8.6
million and has climbed 5.5 percent since 2010, according to a Department of City Planning analysis of new Census Bureau population estimates.
There were 8,622,698 people in the city last year, 447,565 more than were counted in the 2010 census.
demographers said the new total was the culmination of an average
annual gain not seen since the first half of the 20th century, when the
city became dominant in everything from finance to culture and
communications — and also had strong manufacturing and shipping sectors
with thousands of jobs.
J. Salvo, the chief demographer at the planning agency, said that, in
effect, New York City added as many people as in all of New Rochelle, a
city in Westchester County, each year from 2010 to 2017. The 2010 census
put New Rochelle’s total at just over 77,000. He attributed some of the
city’s jump to housing units planned before the 2010 census that were
deferred in the recession and have been completed in the last few years.
“It’s a remarkable growth story,” Dr. Salvo said.
2010 to 2017, New York City led the rest of the state in population
growth, with the Bronx emerging as the fastest-growing county in the
state. The Bronx surged 6.21 percent, with 86,052 new residents.
The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) today announced the grand opening of the CUSE Recovery Community and Outreach
Center in Syracuse, and the re-opening of the CORE Recovery Community
and Outreach Center in Rochester. The centers are operated by the Center
for Community Alternatives and offer free services and support for
people in recovery from substance use disorders. The centers are
supported by a $700,000 grant from OASAS.
“When a person struggling with addiction starts on the long road to
recovery, it is essential for them to have sufficient resources and
support, especially in the very beginning when relapse is so prevalent,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Co-Chair of the Heroin and Opioid Task Force, who attended today’s event in Rochester. “These
recovery and outreach centers are vital for individuals struggling with
drug use to help them live healthier and safer lives. Through our
significant investments to combat the opioid epidemic, we are committed
to helping individuals and their families who are impacted by this
“Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we have made significant
investments in recovery support services that are critical to people’s
success in overcoming addiction,” OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. “The centers offer a safe environment where people can get the support and resources they need to live life in recovery.”
Recovery Community and Outreach Centers are part of the Governor’s
multi-pronged approach to addressing substance use disorders in
communities across New York State. The centers promote long-term
recovery by providing professional staff, peers and volunteers to engage
and support people in recovery. Services offered at the centers include
peer support, skill building, recreation, wellness education,
employment readiness and social activities.
The recovery centers in Rochester and Syracuse will also offer people
who have been in the criminal justice system with services such as
civic restoration, a process which provides certificates of relief that
will enhance a former incarcerated person’s ability to obtain housing
The Rochester Recovery Center is located at 803 West Avenue. It is open Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m.– 9 p.m.; Tuesdays through Thursdays from 9 a.m.– 5 p.m. and Saturdays Noon – 4:00 p.m. The center was recently relocated to this newly renovated space from another location.
The Syracuse Recovery Center is located at 115 East Jefferson Street. It is open Mondays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.; Tuesdays through Thursdays 9:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m.; and Saturdays Noon – 4:00 p.m.
Senator George Amedore, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse said, “These
centers play an important role to help keep those who have struggled to
overcome addiction on the path to recovery. Strong support services are
vital as we continue our efforts to eradicate the addiction issues that
plague our communities.”
Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, Chair of the New York State Assembly Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse said,
“For New Yorkers struggling with substance use disorder, the
opportunity to take a first step into a Recovery Center could mean the
difference between life and death. No region of our state has been
spared the impact of the opioid epidemic, and expanding access to
life-saving programs is crucial. Finding a pathway out of substance use
disorder can often feel like an insurmountable task, and peer support
programming and job readiness training can be invaluable in providing
users the support and forward momentum they need."
New Yorkers struggling with an addiction,
or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling
the state’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).
Available addiction treatment including
crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence, or outpatient care can be
found using the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard at FindAddictionTreatment.ny.govor through the NYS OASAS website.
to learn more about the warning signs of addiction, review information
on how to get help, and access resources on how to facilitate
conversations with loved ones and communities about addiction. For tools
to use in talking to a young person about preventing alcohol or drug
use, visit the State’s Talk2Prevent website.
Amiri Taylor, right, and his twin brother, Rahiem, performed aboard an L train in Manhattan. The brothers, whose playlist is devoted to the Beatles, spend less time as subway buskers now that they have gotten gigs at local venues. Credit James Estrin/The New York Times
Let me first say that, unlike many of my friends on
the Left, some of them quite good friends, I fully believe that Trump and the
Trumpites colluded with the Russians to help them win the election. Indeed I have believed that that could have
been possible from the time the first rumors about the possible compact began to appear
in the summer of 2016, and certainly when David Corn's first article on the
matter, in the context of the "Steele Dossier," was published in October, 2016 .
This does not mean that I think that the Russian maneuvers in support
of Trump were the primary reason why he won and Clinton lost. In fact, shortly after the election I published
a column on The Greanville Post entitled "Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Leadership Council,
and How to Lose an Election." It happens
that I also thought that last-minute intervention of Jim Comey on the so-called
"tapes issue" (which if anything indicated a tilt, at that time at least, of
the "Deep State" towards Trump) was a major blow to her campaign. I said so in a column I published, also on The Greanville Post, in the week before
the election. Nevertheless, in the post-election
column I said that if she had run a decent campaign, she would have won anyway,
despite Comey, and (as subsequently been revealed) despite the Russians, too.
Thinking about why I was convinced
right up front that Trump was involved with some dirty-dealing or other in
relation to the 2016 election, I recalled my first awareness of what came to be
known as "Watergate." As I said in an earlier column(2015) on the "Role of Chance in History" (which
happened to be in part about how the "email issue" might come back to haunt Hillary,
should she get the Democratic nomination):
"On June 18, 1972, as I usually do to this day, I scanned
the front page of The New York Times. I
noticed a secondary lead about a break-in that had occurred at the Democratic National Committee offices in the
Watergate complex in Washington, DC. I
had known of Richard Nixon and his political thuggery since he ran his first
red- baiting campaign for Congress against
the totally unsuspecting, mild-mannered, five-term
Representative Jerry Voorhees in Southern California. 'Nixon's behind this,' I said to myself."
The National Association of Black
Journalists (NABJ) honors the legacy of NABJ Founder and former
President Les Payne - an award-winning journalist who consistently broke
barriers during his indelible career that spanned more than four
Mr. Payne died on Monday night at the age of 76.
Mr. Payne was a trailblazer in journalism,
having been a role model for many journalists who came after him. NABJ
President Sarah Glover said Payne's work was both inspiring and
"NABJ Founder and President Les Payne was a legendary journalist
whose eloquent writing brought passion and truth-telling to an industry
too often tone deaf to the issues impacting communities of color. Payne
fought to change that with NABJ's other illustrious founders," said
"Founder Payne's bold words and writings showed us why it's
important to be a present black journalist in the newsroom every day. He
was a quiet, courageous and loving leader. His legacy lives on in us."
In the San Francisco Bay Area, demand for land seems endless. Property values are sky-high, rents are backbreaking, and people just keep coming. Over 2 million more are expected to settle here by 2040. Bulldozers and backhoes reshape neighborhoods. Cranes dominate the horizon. Land, with a home or high-rise plopped atop, can build a fortune for its owner.
Today’s land rush is nothing new. For more than 200 years, there has been a run on Bay Area real estate — a relentless wave of colonization, then suburbanization and now gentrification that left the Ohlone, the Bay Area’s first people, landless.
“Nobody knew about us,” said Corrina Gould, a Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone leader and activist. “There was this process of colonization that erased the memory of us from the Bay Area.”
Gould and her partner in crime Johnella LaRose, who is Shoshone-Bannock and Carrizo, founded the Sogorea Te Land Trust in 2012 to reclaim Ohlone land in the Bay Area.
“It’s about decolonizing our own minds and taking back what is ours,” Gould said of their grassroots, woman-led organization. “We are going to be extinct if we do not take care of all of these things.”