Insight News

Apr 21st


Mexico criticizes Arizona immigrant legislation

In reference to Arizona state legislature's “Immigration; Law Enforcement; Safe Neighborhoods” (SB1070) bill, which was signed into law this week by the Governor of Arizona, Janice K. Brewer, the Government of México said it tried to communicate its concerns about the impact of such legislation, but did not receive favorable responses from Arizona.

“The Government of Mexico regrets that, despite the efforts made by Mexican federal and state authorities, the legislators that approved this bill and the Governor of Arizona did not take into account the valuable contributions of immigrants to the economy, society and culture of Arizona and the United States. The Mexican Government carried out several actions to communicate to the Government of Arizona its concerns about the possible adoption of the Law, but did not receive a favorable response.

Career fair focuses on jobs for veterans

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is sponsoring the Veterans Career Fair on May 5 to help connect military veterans looking for work and employers who are hiring.

The event celebrates Hire a Veteran Month, held each May as part of an ongoing effort to make Minnesota the most veteran-friendly state in the nation.

The Minnesota Veterans Career Fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5. It will be held at the Earle Brown Heritage Center, 6155 Earle Brown Drive, Brooklyn Center. The event will help veterans and their spouses find jobs, explore career options or attend workshops by career experts. At the same time, employers and service providers will have the opportunity to connect with job-ready veterans. In 2009, more than 80 exhibitors and 1,000 veterans attended.

A positive progress report for HREEO and Director Frias

A positive progress report for HREEO and Director Frias
St. Paul College soon will celebrate its 100 year anniversary, a fitting environment for the first annual Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Department (HREEO) Progress Report to the community and department commissioners.

On February 12, 2009, Luz Maria Frias stepped into the Directors position of the newly merged Human Rights and Equal Opportunity (HREEO) Department. On April 20, 2010 Frias delivered the Progress Report to the broad overall satisfaction of attendees to the public meeting. “I am extremely proud of the work that our employees have accomplished this past year. You’ll see that our approach has been to think creatively about addressing institutional barriers. As a result, there have been numerous staff-driven measures that have led to systemic change, ultimately benefiting our constituents in unprecedented ways,” said Frias.

Katie McWatt: principled civic leadership

Katie McWatt: principled civic leadershipOn Monday, April 26th, the Twin Cities is celebrating the life of Katie McWatt, noted advocate for civil and human rights, community empowerment and development, a meaningful education system and a just legal system. McWatt, a lifelong resident of Minnesota, died Monday after an extended illness.

Services for Katie McWatt are, 9:30-10:30 am Monday, April 26 at St. Peter Claver Church, 1060 West Central, St. Paul. Visitation Service begins at 10:30 am.  McWatt's Community Celebration follow, 2-5 pm, at Wilder Foundation, 451 Lexington Pkwy, North, St. Paul.

Doll Carter: principled civic leadership

Doll Carter: principled civic leadershipLenora “Doll” Carter, publisher of Houston Forward Times newspaper, and treasure of National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) – the Black Press of America, died early this month at her home in Houston, TX.

“I am deeply saddened at the unfortunate passing of my good friend and ‘sister in the struggle,’ Lenora “Doll” Carter,” said John B. Smith, Sr., publisher of the Atlanta Inquirer newspaper and former NNPA chairman. “Lenora championed African American achievement, overall and she personified distinctive grace, character and style as a ‘chaplain for the common good’. As treasurer of our newspaper federation, Lenora was an exemplary steward.”

Immigration reform now top priority

Immigration reform now top priority
With health care reform in the “done” column, the White House and Congress should tackle long-overdue immigration policy reform, say media, legal and community service leaders.

Joined by Cara Huang, the immigration issues expert on US Rep. Mike Honda’s (D-CA) Washington DC staff, editors and publishers of the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium engaged a leading immigration law expert, a successful naturalized immigrant businessman and a Somali elder whose community service organization provides support to immigrants from throughout Africa, in a broadcast forum on immigration policy.

Andrew Velasquez III named FEMA regional administrator

Andrew Velasquez III named FEMA regional administratorWASHINGTON - President Obama's has appointed Andrew Velasquez III as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Regional Administrator for Region V, which encompasses Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

"Regional Administrators are crucial to our ability to respond effectively to emergencies based on the needs of the communities we serve," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "Andrew Velasquez is not only an experienced emergency manager with deep roots in the region, but also a dedicated public servant. His knowledge and experience make him uniquely qualified to help lead our efforts there."

Camden scholar advocates Christian activism

Camden scholar advocates Christian activismWhat ordinarily comes to mind when one thinks of a lecture about medieval Europe is a talk a lot less relevant to present-day worldly concerns than the keynote speech recently delivered by Prof. Celia Chazelle at a conference held at University College Cork entitled “Envisioning Christ on the Cross.” Chazelle, who chairs the Department of History at The College of New Jersey, had been invited to Ireland to speak about “The Mass and the Eucharist, ‘Image’ of the Crucified Christ, in the Christianization of Early Medieval Europe.”

While the bulk of her otherwise academic address certainly explored that topic at considerable depth, she prefaced her remarks by reading a poem by her Irish-born pastor, Father Michael Doyle, about the seeming futility of the never-ending fight to eradicate the suffering evident in his midst. For 35 years now, Doyle has presided over Sacred Heart Church in Camden, the poorest city in the US, where over 90% of the population is Black and Hispanic.

Ellison receives housing leadership award

US Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) recently received the 2010 Edward W. Brooke III Housing Leadership Award from the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) for advancing the cause of affordable housing. 

Ellison was recognized for his authorship of the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 that became federal law under the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009.  According to this legislation, tenants who are current on their rent payments have the right to stay in their home that enters foreclosure for 90 days or through the end of their lease.  According to the NLIHC, 40 percent of foreclosed properties nationwide were occupied by tenants.  In Minneapolis, this rate was over 60 percent. These protections are set to expire at the end of 2012.  

Dr. Dorothy Height—Extraordinary leader, lantern, and role model

Dr. Dorothy Height—Extraordinary leader, lantern, and role model“We African American Women seldom do just what we want to do, but always what we have to do. I am grateful to have been in a time and place where I could be a part of what was needed.”

This is the quote inscribed on Dr. Dorothy Height’s Congressional Gold Medal, just one of the many dozens of awards Dr. Height received over her extraordinary life, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The brilliant Dr. Height was a lantern and role model for millions of women and a long haul social change agent blessed with uncommon commitment and talent. Her fingerprints are quietly embedded in many of the transforming events of the last seven decades as Blacks, women, and children pushed open and walked through previously closed doors of opportunity. To me she was a dearest friend, mentor, and role model, and the Children’s Defense Fund was blessed to have her serve on our board for over 30 years. When she passed away on April 20 at age 98, we all lost a treasure, a wise counselor, and a rock we could always lean against for support in tough times.

Your legal rights: Beware of tax relief scams

Your legal rights: Beware of tax relief scamsIf you have unpaid tax obligations and are looking for help to resolve them, you should be careful to avoid hiring tax relief companies that charge you money to help you but end up making a bad situation worse.

Beware of Bogus Promises to Settle Your Tax Obligations.
Some companies seek to exploit the fact that some Minnesotans are behind on their taxes. Some companies have television advertising campaigns that lure customers with claims that the companies have special expertise or knowledge that enables them to settle customers’ tax obligations for pennies on the dollar. The companies may require the consumer to pay up-front fees of $3,000 or more. Once the consumer pays the money, however, some companies fail to deliver the promised services. Some do nothing at all. Other companies will send a consumer forms to apply to the IRS for an “Offer in Compromise,” which the company knows will be rejected because of the IRS’s strict guidelines for debt forgiveness under that program (see below). The end result: the consumer is now $3,000 or more in the hole.
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