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Oct 26th

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Ellison introduces Get Corporate Money Out Of Politics Constitutional Amendment

 

WASHINGTON--Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, today introduced the Get Corporate Money out of Politics Amendment to the United States Constitution. The bill reaffirms the importance of a level playing field and authorizes Congress and the States to regulate election contributions of for-profit corporations. 

Between the 2006 and 2010 elections, spending by independent groups, including corporations, quadrupled to more than $450 million. The Citizens United Supreme Court decision opened the door to unlimited independent corporate spending during elections. As a result, corporations have a stronger voice in picking our country’s leaders than ever before. 
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Hundreds of Black state lawmakers convene to pass national legislative agenda

(BLACK PR WIRE) -- More than 350 members of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) will meet in Chicago, Illinois, December 7 - 11, 2011, to learn about the nation’s best models and practices across an array of policy areas. The theme of this year’s 35th Annual Legislative Conference is “Seeing Beyond – State Leadership, National Progress.” NBCSL members will leave the conference armed with legislative ideas they can then take to their respective Capitols in the upcoming legislative sessions.

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Member of Aryan Brotherhood sentenced to 450 months in prison in connection with hate crime involving church arson and attempted murder of disabled African American in Texas

Member of Aryan Brotherhood sentenced to 450 months in prison in connection with hate crime involving church arson and attempted murder of disabled African American in Texas

WASHINGTON – Steven Scott Cantrell, 26, of Crane, Texas, was sentenced today for hate crime charges stemming from a series of racially-motivated arsons in December 2010, including the arson of a historic African-American church as part of an effort to murder a disabled African-American man, the Justice Department announced today.

Cantrell was sentenced to 450 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Robert A. Junell in Midland, Texas, after pleading guilty to damaging religious property and interfering with housing rights in violation of federal hate crime laws.  Cantrell was also ordered to pay $550,780 in restitution to the victims.

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Rita Coyle DeMeules named Supreme Court Commissioner

The Minnesota Supreme Court has appointed Rita Coyle DeMeules to succeed retiring Supreme Court Commissioner Richard Slowes. She will join the court December 12 and assume her role as Commissioner on January 12, 2011.

Coyle DeMeules has served as an Assistant Attorney General since 2006, where she represented the State of Minnesota and Minnesota agencies before state and federal trial and appellate courts.  In that position, she provided legal research, analysis, and advice to state agencies on litigation and agency policies, and served as principal attorney responsible for trials, motions, pretrial activities, and arguments before the courts. From 1990-2004, she was a partner and associate at the law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, LLP, in Minneapolis, and served as an Adjunct Professor at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul from 2004 to 2010; and from 1991 to 1993.

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Hundreds of Black state lawmakers convene to pass national legislative agenda

(BLACK PR WIRE) -- More than 350 members of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) will meet in Chicago, Illinois, December 7 - 11, 2011, to learn about the nation’s best models and practices across an array of policy areas. The theme of this year’s 35th Annual Legislative Conference is “Seeing Beyond – State Leadership, National Progress.” NBCSL members will leave the conference armed with legislative ideas they can then take to their respective Capitols in the upcoming legislative sessions.

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Naomi Tutu keynote speaker for 22nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast

Naomi Tutu keynote speaker for 22nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast

 Global human rights activist Naomi Tutu will deliver the keynote presentation sharing her passion for race and gender equality at the 22nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012.

The 2012 breakfast will include musical performances from The Steeles and Walker West Music Academy, and the presentation of the Local Legend and Emerging Legend community service awards. Tutu will be introduced by UNCF president and CEO Michael L. Lomax.

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Senator Higgins will not seek re-election

State Senator Linda Higgins, DFL-Minneapolis, announced she will not seek re-election in 2012. Sen. Higgins plans to complete her current term, which expires in January of 2013, and is looking forward to representing her constituents during the 2012 Legislative Session.

“I’ve been honored to serve the residents of North and Downtown Minneapolis for 15 years. I’m proud of what we have accomplished, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to serve our community.”
Sen. Higgins was first elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1996 and represents the residents of North Minneapolis, North Loop, and Downtown in Senate District 58. During her 15 years of service in the Senate, Sen. Higgins has held many leadership roles. She chaired the Senate’s Public Safety Budget Division from 2006 to 2010 and the State and Local Government Operations Committee from 2003 to 2006. She served as Majority Whip from 2001 to 2006. She currently is the DFL lead on the Senate’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
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Senator Higgins will not seek re-election

State Senator Linda Higgins, DFL-Minneapolis, announced she will not seek re-election in 2012. Sen. Higgins plans to complete her current term, which expires in January of 2013, and is looking forward to representing her constituents during the 2012 Legislative Session.
“I’ve been honored to serve the residents of North and Downtown Minneapolis for 15 years. I’m proud of what we have accomplished, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to serve our community.”
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Challenging disparities

At Turning Point, we speak of substance abuse and “related issues.”  Obvious ones are crime, violence and the breakdown of family and community.  Less obvious are the disparities that can result.  Our clients face these disparities on a daily basis.

Unemployment among whites is 6.6%
Unemployment among blacks is 20.4%

Average income for a white worker is $57,000
Average income for a black worker is $26,930
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ECHO Minnesota hosts “The New American Vote” panel discussion featuring community and government leaders

ECHO Minnesota hosts “The New American Vote” panel discussion featuring community and government leadersWednesday October 26th, 2011 marked the third annual panel discussion hosted by non-profit ECHO Minnesota, a well-known resource for health, safety, emergency, and civic information for immigrants, refugees, and community members. This year’s topic, “The New American Vote,” explored the current state and future political strength of new citizens. Panelists included Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Hussein Samatar, the first Somali-American ever elected to office, Ron Lezema, Co-Founder Hispanic/Latino Caucus of MN and John Keller, Executive Director of Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota.  The discussion was facilitated by award-winning television journalist Robyne Robinson. She engaged the panelists in a dynamic discussion on the necessity of involving Minnesota’s diverse communities in the democratic system.
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Gaddafi leaves behind a legacy of rage and dysfunction

Muammar Gaddafi was of a Bedouin tribe, raised in a tent near the Libyan city of Sirte, where he met his bloody demise. His end came after nine months of NATO bombing which supported a rag tag, unruly and abusive group of rebels who fanned out across Libya to challenge his authority by claiming bombed out territories and capturing cities.

Ruling the country with an iron fist for more than four decades, his cult of personality was ubiquitous as the purported face, voice and soul of Libya. He ran an oil-rich, rentier state that allowed him to spend his billions in revenues to buy loyalty, reward friends and punish foes.
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