Insight News

Sep 01st


To Be Equal: The state of Black America: Washington are you listening?

“Welcome to America in the second decade of the 21st century.  An army of long-term unemployed workers is spread across the land, the human fallout from the Great Recession and long years of misguided economic policies.”   - Bob Herbert’s final column for the New York Times

Last week, the nation’s leading historic civil rights organization, the National Urban League, came together with the nation’s leading historic Black university, Howard University, to hold the first ever State of Black America town hall meeting focusing on the jobs crisis in urban America.  The Town Hall, hosted by Howard President, Sidney Ribeau, culminated two days of meetings with Congressmen and Senators on Capitol Hill where Urban Leaguers from across the country made the case: There can be no complete economic recovery as long as already too high unemployment for African Americans continues to go up even as the overall unemployment rate gradually ticks down. 

Budget-conscious states rethink food stamp ban for drug felons

Washington, DC ( -- When the landmark welfare reform law was enacted in 1996, the political rallying cry was "ending welfare as we know it." Today, a move is underway to rescind some of the law's punitive measures, such as provisions that permit states to deny welfare benefits and food stamps to people convicted of felony drug crimes.

The largest solar thermal installation in the midwest unveiled

Mayor Chris Coleman and Congresswoman Betty McCollum, on March 18, unveiled the largest solar thermal installation in the Midwest. The project was led by District Energy St. Paul, and sits atop the Saint Paul RiverCentre.

 “This installation will stand as a visible reminder of Saint Paul’s commitment toward protecting our greatest resource—the environment. Through incredible community partnerships with organizations like the Saint Paul RiverCentre and District Energy St. Paul, the City has become a leader in sustainability, driving the national conversation on conservation as we strive to improve building efficiency, energy production and our environment throughout Saint Paul,” Coleman said.

1,000 Liberian refugees under deferred enforced departure status

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Al Franken (D-MN), and Jack Reed (D-RI), along with five other senators, have introduced legislation that would allow Liberians who have been residing in the United States legally under Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) status to apply for permanent residency.  More than 30,000 Liberians reside in Minnesota, and an estimated 1,000 are currently living under DED status as refugees from a devastating civil war in Liberia. 

New Lightweight Soft Armor Package Now in Production for the U.S. Army

New Lightweight Soft Armor Package Now in Production for the U.S. ArmyThe Afghan surge, which requires more foot patrols than were carried out in Iraq, has fueled the need to make our Soldiers more agile in their protective gear by reducing the weight of their armor systems.

Earlier this week, KDH Defense Systems, Inc. (KDH), a leading manufacturer of American-made custom body armor solutions for military, law enforcement and federal agencies, announced that the Company is in production for the U.S. Army of its new, lightweight ballistic pack, Convergence.

John Hope Bryant

John Hope BryantCivil unrest erupted in Los Angeles, California, on April 29, 1992. Four police officers were acquitted the same day, by a white jury in the majority white suburb of Simi Valley, for the beating of Rodney King after a high speed chase on Highway 212. Members of the African-American community decried the LAPD for police brutality directed towards their community, and sought justice. Riots on the streets of Los Angeles led to the death of 53 people and $1 billion in damages.

Legislative proposals jeopardize progress on transit

Several bills introduced by state legislators threaten to halt progress on key transit initiatives and stand to harm our state’s current and future economic competitiveness. It is critically important that legislative leaders hear from residents and business leaders that now is not the time to decimate well-planned efforts to expand our transportation system through strategic transit investments.  

Redistricting advisory group defines political power

In 2010, Minneapolis voters authorized the creation of new boundaries for the city’s thirteen wards and the Park Board’s six districts to a Redistricting Group made up of the Charter Commission and an appointed Advisory Group. The Charter Commission is now soliciting applications for the Advisory Group.

The application deadline to join the Redistricting Advisory Group is March 25, 2011.

Winter Parking Restrictions end in Minneapolis

Effective immediately, Minneapolis has lifted the Winter Parking Restrictions. The restrictions went into effect on Dec. 17, 2010 after snow accumulations narrowed many streets, making it difficult for fire trucks, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles to navigate in some neighborhoods. Limiting parking to one side of most neighborhood streets created more reliable access for emergency responses.

Our recent mild temperatures and sunnier days have melted snow along city streets, widening them far enough that the Fire Chief, Public Works officials, and other public safety officials have determined the restrictions can be lifted. With this melting, we are now seeing better conditions on most city streets.

Study calls civil rights commission ineffective

WASHINGTON-America’s Wire released a story last week discussing the ineffectiveness of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, with some critics contending that the once influential commission needs significant structural changes to regain its past glory.

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Kenneth J. Cooper reports that the commission has been largely ineffective in addressing civil rights issues, even with the recent addition of three Democratic members. Appointees of former President George W. Bush serve as the panel’s chairman and staff director and Bush or Republican congressional leaders chose a majority of its members.

Tribune CEO, NNPA Chair rebuke NAACP

Some Black Press members insulted by exclusion from Image Awards marketing

The NAACP has been criticized for not including Black newspapers in a recent advertising campaign.

The NAACP inserted its 42nd NAACP Image Awards Magazine in the Philadelphia Daily News, however the advertisement was not included in The Philadelphia Tribune and other markets (Los Angeles, Atlanta, Texas, New York, New Jersey and Chicago).
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