Insight News

Sep 02nd


An urgent movement for justice

An urgent movement for justice(TEWire) - During the past two weeks, in response to successful grassroots campaigns, two governors have released Black Americans who had been railroaded by our nation's criminal justice system.

Together, these cases speak to the urgent need for the work the NAACP, and our allies, is doing to encourage more governors to use their clemency authority as our nation's founding fathers intended by freeing more deserving people more frequently.

Congressman Ellison Sworn in for 3rd Term, Honored to Serve Minnesota

Washington D.C. - Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-05) issued the following statement upon being sworn in for a 3rd term to represent Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives:

I am honored and grateful to be given the opportunity to represent Minnesota’s Fifth District in the U.S. House of Representatives.  While I am proud of the many accomplishments of the 111th Congress, much work remains to be done.  We must continue the progress we have made toward putting our citizens back to work.  We must continue to invest in America and rebuild our infrastructure.  We must stem the tide of foreclosures that threaten to push more working families from their homes.  This agenda will require serious effort and I stand ready to work with all of my colleagues to create jobs, boost opportunities for working families, and invest in America for long term prosperity.    

The Family Partnership merger

The Family Partnership mergerMinneapolis’ two strongest nonprofit human services, The Family Partnership (formerly Family & Children’s Service) and Reuben Lindh Family Services (RLFS), have officially merged January 1, 2011.

The new organization is called The Family Partnership. Molly Greenman is President and CEO, which was her position prior to the merger and Dianne Haulcy, Executive Director of RLFS, is its Chief Operating Officer.

This merger brings together two organizations with long and strong traditions of creating better futures for children and families living in poverty.

Census results reveal flight from cities

Black residents are increasingly departing large U.S. cities - a shift that could affect African American political power, according to data from the first results of the U.S. Census Bureau’s population census.

The population of the nation’s capital now exceeds 600,000 residents, 53 percent of whom are African American, and there has been a gain of nearly 30,000 new Washingtonians since a decade ago.  But, according to Census Bureau data released December 21 and cited by The Washington Post, much of the increase is due to an ongoing influx of Hispanics and Whites moving into the city—a change brought on by a gentrification process that has forced many African Americans out of city neighborhoods.

Immigration reform: Reflections on the DREAM act

In 1960, African American students staged instrumental sit-ins against racial segregation, igniting a movement that eventually led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In 1968, students of the Chicano movement organized protests and walkouts in response to unequal conditions in public schools and cultivated leaders who (re)inserted Mexican American perspectives into US history.

These days, hundreds of thousands of DREAMers carry on such traditions, taking risks as they fight against dehumanization and push for fair access to opportunities in the country many wish to call home.

D.C. Post Office named after Dorothy Height

President Barack Obama recently signed a bill that names the United States Postal Service office in Washington D.C. after civil rights pioneer Dorothy Height.

On Dec. 15, Obama signed into order H.R. 6118, which renames the United States Postal Service facility located on Massachusetts Avenue in northeast D.C. as the Dorothy I. Height Post Office. The bill passed the House last September and passed the Senate earlier this month.

Unions call out Pawlenty on budget ‘blame game’

Unions call out Pawlenty on budget ‘blame game’Part 1 of 2

ST. PAUL, Minn. - With a looming $6.2 billion dollar state budget deficit, outgoing Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been in the spotlight recently, blaming public employee unions for a big part of both state and national financial woes. Pawlenty has said public employees' union members are overpaid, and receive benefits he considers excessive.

Eliot Seide, executive director of AFSCME Council 5, the union that represents state workers, calls those claims myths, and counters that public employees are playing an important role in Minnesota's economic recovery.

Comcast, NBC Universal set to improve diversity recruitment

The NAACP, National Urban League, and National Action Network announced an agreement with Comcast and NBC Universal to expand current diversity initiatives intended to increase diversity in a wide range of areas including programming and employment.

The Memorandum of Understanding, filed on December 17 with the Federal Communications Commission, creates initiatives to improve diversity in the areas of corporate governance, employment/workforce recruitment and retention, procurement, programming, and philanthropy and community investments. 

Congressman Ellison: 2010 U.S. Census participation is a win for all Minnesotans

Washington D.C. - Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-05) issued the following statement following the release of the 2010 U.S. Census data:

With the release of the 2010 U.S. Census, Minnesota again tops the nation in civic engagement, making us all proud.  As with voter turnout in nearly every election, Minnesota had among the nation’s highest participation rates in the 2010 Census and Minnesotans will keep all eight of their Congressional Representatives as a result.  Census participation is critically important because it determines how federal funding is returned to taxpayers in their respective states; more than $400 billion in federal aid nationwide.  This level of civic and political engagement translates into government that works better for Minnesota.  It means better schools and roads, stronger bridges, cleaner water and safer streets. 

New tax deal expected to increase economic growth rate

The politics and fairness of the tax deal worked out between the White House and Republicans in Congress are being hotly debated in Washington. But what impact would the deal have on the economy, in Minnesota and elsewhere?

Andrew Fieldhouse studies the federal budget for the Economic Policy Institute. He says some parts of the deal will spark job growth and others will not, but one reliable model projects a large impact on the nation's economy next year.


Agriculture secretary brings hope for farmers

Agriculture secretary brings hope for farmersA message of fairness and moving forward came from Tom Vilsack, secretary for the United States Department of Agriculture, when the former governor of Iowa was speaking Tuesday to the 68th Annual Professional Agricultural Workers Conference at Tuskegee University.

His audience was a majority Black one and it wouldn’t be surprising if his remarks may have been viewed with skepticism. Vilsack admitted up front the USDA’s history in the area of civil rights was one that has to be improved upon.

Many are waiting for payments from the Pigford II lawsuit brought against the USDA by Black farmers. Some have been waiting years for their payments. In his remarks Tuesday, Dec. 7 to an audience at the Tuskegee University Chapel, Vilsack mentioned the Claims Settlement Act agreement by Congress last week that should speed up the lagging payment process.
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