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Oct 20th

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DFL endorses Champion in District 59 convention

DFL endorses Champion in District 59 convention

59B faceoff: Cole, Dehn, Alexander

For DFL delegates of Sen. Dist. 59B (formerly 58B), convention day began at 8 a.m. and 11 hours later they were still unable to endorse a candidate for the soon-to-be vacant house seat.

The seat, currently held by Rep. Bobby Joe Champion is up for grabs as Champion is running to become the district’s state senator. He received the party’s endorsement for senate in overwhelming fashion, gaining 81-percent of the delegate votes versus his rival, Troy Parker.

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Obama’s Feed the Future initiative supports food security

WASHINGTON -The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Monday, April 2nd, that international food assistance in fiscal year 2012 will benefit more than 9.7 million people worldwide under USDA's Food for Progress and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition programs.

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Pastors aim for spiritual and political power on Easter Sunday Goal: To register a million new voters

Pastors aim for spiritual and political power on Easter Sunday Goal: To register a million new voters

(TriceEdneyWire.com) - This Sunday morning, April 8, millions of people will head to Easter services to hear the Gospel on the day that some call Resurrection Sunday. But, for many, this year will be different.

Pastors of dozens of congregations across the nation will not only preach the good news of a risen savior; but they will also call for their congregants to resurrect the movement for equality and justice in America by registering to vote. A million new voters is the goal.

"I really felt like I couldn't see or hear where the Black church was becoming engaged in the national conversation relative to the politics of America," said the Rev. Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant, pastor of the 8,000-member Empowerment Temple in Baltimore, who is leading the drive. "I couldn't hear a voice. I really felt like there was a void and our generation was really listening to hear one. And out of that I called the churches together to see what we could do collectively, realizing that there is strength in numbers."

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Demand justice Trayvon: A movement

Demand justice Trayvon: A movement

All of last week, I was in Sanford, Florida, pursuing justice for Trayvon Martin. I listened to community concerns about the Sanford Police Department, and rallied with Trayvon's parents and 30,000 others in Sanford, a town with only 50,000 residents.

As a son, father, brother and uncle, the loss of another young Black man in an avoidable, violent confrontation hit close to home. I recalled my teen and early adult years, where making it to adulthood was considered an accomplishment among my peers. I understand the fear that lies in the hearts of millions of parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles – the fear that this could happen to their loved one.

Despite the awful truth of February 26, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton have been pillars of courage. Like Mamie Till after the brutal murder of her son Emmett, Tracy and Sybrina have stood and shown the world what hate and violence have done to their child, and the nation and the world have responded. Their leadership has resulted in a global movement for justice for Trayvon and, most recently, in the appointment of a special prosecutor to review their son's case.

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Unarmed teen Trayvon Martin one of more than 400 victims of “Concealed Carry Killers” since May 2007

Unarmed teen Trayvon Martin one of more than 400 victims of “Concealed Carry Killers” since May 2007

Photo courtesy of Martin Family

Washington, DC  - U.S. Senate May Soon Consider Legislation to Allow Trayvon Martin’s Killer and Other Concealed Carry Permit Holders to Carry Their Guns Nationwide 

Washington, DC--The deadly shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman is unfortunately only one example of at least 402 victims killed in 32 states since May 2007 in incidents involving private citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns according to the March update of the Violence Policy Center's (VPC) Concealed Carry Killers on-line resource (http://www.vpc.org/ccwkillers.htm).

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NAACP cautiously pleased with Police Chief’s decision to step aside; reiterates call for arrest

NAACP cautiously pleased with Police Chief’s decision to step aside; reiterates call for arrest

Photo Credit: newsone.com
(Sanford, FL) –

Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the National NAACP said, “The NAACP’s number one concern in this case remains securing the arrest, prosecution and conviction of George Zimmerman.  We are cautiously pleased that Chief Lee has stepped aside for his failure to assure Mr. Zimmerman was arrested.   Any chief who would so allow his officers to so mishandle a situation like this has no place in law enforcement.  At the end of this investigation it will be clear that his temporary removal should be made permanent.

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Women and minorities disproportionately affected by lowered wages and job losses in so-called, “Right to Work” states

Equal rights and equal pay for women doesn’t exist in Right-to-Work Sates. Research by the Washington DC-based nonpartisan think tank, Economic Policy Institute shows a gender gap in which women’s wages are penalized further than the wage of an “average” worker. The same holds true for nonwhites.

“Basically, what it means is that money is taken from the pockets of women and people of color to an even greater extent,” says Javier Morillo-Alicea, president of SEIU Minnesota Local 26. “Additionally, the public sector is the single most important source of employment for African-Americans (21% employed in this sector according to 2010 statistics) than others,” he adds.

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NAACP religious leaders & Rev. Franklin Graham discuss potential impact of joining forces to fight injustice

Last week, members of the NAACP Religious Leaders Roundtable, the Religious Affairs Committee of the NAACP Board of Directors and other evangelicals met with Rev. Franklin Graham, President and CEO of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and President/CEO of Samaritan's Purse.  The group held the first meeting of its kind to discuss the use of faith as a political weapon and how to advance a new narrative about the meaning evangelicalism.

“This was a meaningful and productive meeting,” stated Rev. Nelson B. Rivers III, Vice President for Stakeholders relations with the NAACP.  “All parties were in agreement that it is essential to our society and our faith that we refrain from demonizing Christians and people of other faiths when they do not agree with us.  We look forward to continued discussions with Rev. Graham”

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CALL TO ACTION

CALL TO ACTION

The US Department of Justice and the FBI have opened an investigation into the "facts and circumstances" surrounding the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the Justice Department announced Monday.
“The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation,” Xochitl Hinojosa, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said in a statement. “The department also is providing assistance to and cooperating with the state officials in their investigation into the incident.”
The decision comes a week after the Florida NAACP State Conference issued a letter to the Department of Justice, requesting that it investigate the Trayvon Martin case at a federal level. A Seminole County grand jury will also investigate the Martin case.

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NAACP leaders call for justice during Monday's rally for Trayvon Martin in Sanford

(Sanford, FL) –   Monday night, representatives from the NAACP addressed gave impassioned pleas for justice as part of a town hall meeting and rally in honor of Trayvon Martin.   The town hall took place at the Sanford Civil Center as part of a special City Commission meeting to address Trayvon’s shooting last month.

“Trayvon’s family deserves answers, and his killer needs to be arrested,” stated Turner Clayton, President of the NAACP Seminole County Branch.

“Justice must prevail.”

“I am a 17-year-old Black male in high school and, in this climate, I could be the next Trayvon Martin,” stated Brendien Mitchell, President of the Florida NAACP Youth & College Division.  “We must bring an end to the attitudes and policies that allow an innocent Black teenage boy to be chased, shot and killed and his killer to remain free.”

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Nonviolent Peaceforce featured at high level briefing at the UN

Over 130 representatives of UN member States, Observers, UN officials and civil society representatives met Friday at the UN, for a high level briefing organized by the Permanent Missions of Belgium, Benin, Costa Rica and Philippines, to discuss broadening the concept of peacekeeping to include the contribution of civil society to the unarmed protection of civilians in conflict situations.

His Excellency Ambassador Libran Cabactulan, Permanent Representative of the Philippines, delivered the welcoming remarks. H.E. Ambassador Eduardo Ulibarri, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica, acted as moderator. H.E. Jan Grauls, Permanent Representative of Belgium and H.E. Ambassador Jean-Francis Zinsou, Permanent Representative of Benin summarized the discussion and delivered the closing remarks.

Mr. Tariq Al-Ansari, Deputy Chief of Staff of the President of the General Assembly opened the event with remarks on behalf of the President, Mr. Nassir Abulaziz Al-Nasser: “We all understand that UN Peacekeeping mandates have become more complex. And the protection of civilians is becoming more and more crucial to the work of our Missions.” He also affirmed: “To protect them, we need to make sure that all available resources are engaged in a combined and well-coordinated effort.”

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