Two Ruiz-Madden bills that provide help and identity to the homeless are now law in New Jersey

homeless not hopeless
Source: helpsfhomeless.org
09 January 2017

TRENTON – Two pieces of legislation sponsored by Senator M. Teresa Ruiz and Senator Fred H. Madden focusing on helping the homeless in New Jersey received was signed into law today.

“It must be a top priority of government to protect the health, safety and welfare of our residents,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “Providing basic government documents to those without a permanent residence free of charge is the right thing to do, since these documents are vital to accessing any number of services and to obtaining housing and employment.”

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CFPB finds that two credit bureaus have been lying to you

CFPB complaints re credit unions
Source: CFPB

The Atlantic reports that two major credit bureaus have been misinforming and misleading users:

A CFPB investigation concluded that Transunion and Equifax deceived Americans about the reports they provided and the fees they charged…

In their investigation, the Bureau found that the two agencies had been misrepresenting the scores provided to consumers, telling them that the score reports they received were the same reports that lenders and businesses received, when, in fact, they were not. The investigation also found problems with the way the agencies advertised their products, using promotions that suggested that their credit reports were either free or cost only $1. According to the CFPB the agencies did not properly disclose that after a trial of seven to 30 days, individuals would be enrolled in a full-price subscription, which could total $16 or more per month. The Bureau also found Equifax to be in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which states that the agencies must provide one free report every 12 months made available at a central site. Before viewing their free report, consumers were forced to view advertisements for Equifax, which is prohibited by law.

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Trevor Noah talks about his book on growing up in apartheid South Africa and inviting Tomi Lahren to The Daily Show

Trevor Noah on The Breakfast Club
Source: The Breakfast Club via YouTube

Trevor Noah speaks on The Breakfast Club about his autobiographical book on growing up knowing his birth – as a biracial child – was a crime in apartheid South Africa … a place where his mother had to dress as his nanny in order to be able to walk down the street with him.

Noah shares his questions and opinions on Donald Trump and speaks about his decision to invite Tomi Lahren to be his guest on The Daily Show. One reason for doing it was to have the chance to be heard by her audience, who otherwise would never learn anything about him.

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Trump Day 1: hate-based attacks, pussy-grabbing, threats – documented on reporter Shaun King’s Twitter feed

Shaun King
Source: Shaun King video clip screenshot
NY Daily News reporter Shaun King is doing something very courageous and important: documenting attacks and reports of hate incidents made by Trump supporters.

"Almost all white people except for educated white women chose Donald Trump in droves &that's a problem"- @ShaunKing pic.twitter.com/1GajQn8WLV

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US depends on immigrants – pledge to join the boycott to protect their rights

Cosecha ss
Source: Cosecha youtube video

Vote YES on NJ Ballot Q#2 to protect gas tax funds from being raided like clean energy and health funds were

vote-to-repair-roads
Source: Engineer’s Labor-Employer Cooperative via nj.com

New Jersey Assemblyman Dr. Tim Eustace wants New Jersey voters to know that voting YES on Ballot Question #2 will enable extremely important protections of taxpayer dollars. Election Day this year falls on Tuesday, November 8.

Here are short and long versions of the reasons it’s important to vote YES to Q2. You already know how important it is that you go vote in the first place – right?

The short version of why YES on Q2

On the gas tax issue, Assm. Eustace comments:

The New Jersey gas tax increase of 23¢ is law – and it’s a mistake to think it will go away if people vote NO on Ballot Question #2 at the polls next Tuesday. Gov. Christie’s second-in-command discussed the ballot question in a 101.5 Radio interview, revealing that either she does not understand this law, or maybe Ms. Guadagno is hoping to draw out Republican voters who believe that the gas tax will go away if they vote no. But, this is not true.

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Government investigates vote suppression back to 2004 and presidential commission proposes protections

Presidential Commission on Elections Report 2014Cuyahoga County Board of Elections’ Deputy Director Pat McDonald offered testimony to the Presidential Commission on Elections on ways that voter registration and voting procedures could be revamped to make voting both easier and more secure. The commission’s findings on “The American Voting Experience” were presented to President Obama in 2014.

Part of a package presented to Congress on 14 December 2004 is the sworn affidavit of Sherole Eaton, a Deputy Director of the Hocking County, Ohio, Board of Elections. She describes the experience of voter machine tampering by Michael, a consulting company employee, who in 2004 entered the Board of Elections office claiming that the computers on which voting results had been stored, needed to be fixed – and proceeded to dismantle both primary and backup computers. The incident happened shortly before a planned recount was due to take place.

Obama registering voters in 1992
AP photo supplied by Obama Presidential Campaign via The Obama Diary

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2016 Voter Resources: register, get help with voting problems, check out candidates

unidos-app logo

iTunes App: #Unidosapp – The Next Generation of American Voters One-stop app for the Next Generation of American voters to connect with the issues that matter to you in the 2016 presidential election. Find out how to register, vote, and get help with all of your presidential election questions. Get it on iTunes

cada voto cuenta logo

Cada Voto Cuenta Volunteer sign-up LatinoJustice’s Nonpartisan Cada Voto Cuenta Election Monitoring Voter Protection Initiative is recruiting bilingual Spanish-speaking legal volunteers in five states.

voting assistance flyer

On Election Day, 4000 CommonCause Election Protection community and lawyer volunteers will be ready to provide on the spot assistance on Election Day to voters everywhere in the US.

Voting hotlines
866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) – English language hotline
888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682) – Spanish language hotline
888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) – Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, Tagalog
1-844-418-1682 – Arabic language hotline

Call hotline numbers to learn where to go and what you need to do in order to vote. Also, report on problems like long lines, faulty voting machines and any other obstructions you encounter while attempting to vote.

Please help spread the word about the hotlines by:

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Exposé: government assistance thief known in the 1970s as “Welfare Queen” was a white career criminal

Welfare Queen aliases
Source: Slate.com
Slate’s Executive Editor Josh Levin created a complex, in-depth multi-media story about the woman who was dubbed the “Welfare Queen” by Ronald Reagan. Mostly described by the media as a black woman, Linda Taylor was actually white and it seems she was also a kidnapper and murderer.

Ronald Reagan loved to tell stories. When he ran for president in 1976, many of Reagan’s anecdotes converged on a single point: The welfare state is broken, and I’m the man to fix it. On the trail, the Republican candidate told a tale about a fancy public housing complex with a gym and a swimming pool. There was also someone in California, he’d explain incredulously, who supported herself with food stamps while learning the art of witchcraft. And in stump speech after stump speech, Reagan regaled his supporters with the story of an Illinois woman whose feats of deception were too amazing to be believed.

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Has Sweeney convinced NJ legislators to turn their backs on giving a living wage to NJ workers any time soon?

Fight for $15 in NJ
Source: NJ Working Families
Why will New Jersey have a ballot referendum next year (aka constitutional amendment) that will allow state voters to decide whether to approve SCR1500 and increase the state’s minimum wage – but only by 62¢ in 2018 to $9 per hour and $1.00 a year after that to finally reach $15 an hour eight years from now, in 2024?

I got a slightly confusing reply from State Senator Bob Gordon to my email regarding this issue and have been checking into what his reply could mean. Here are the facts I’ve learned:

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Days after referendum is defeated Colombian citizens demonstrate and president wins Nobel Peace Prize

Colombians march for peace
Source: AFP News Agency clip via YouTube
Colombians turned out en masse to demonstrate for peace after a ballot referendum was narrowly defeated on Sunday 02 October 2016 50.2% to 49.8%. The deal would have brought to an end Colombia’s half century of civil war. Former Pres. Alvaro Uribe led the “no” vote campaign surge by stirring up support among voters for his claim that FARC opposition forces deserve neither amnesty from criminal prosecution or government support to assist with transitioning back into civil society, both of which were provided for under the terms of the peace agreement.

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If you think Israeli is worse than Turkey, Syria or Venezuela, please read this

Tiny Israel
Source: israelforever.org
By PAUL WIEDER, Associate Editor JUF News on 31 Aug 2016

Hillel C. Neuer is the executive director of UN Watch, a human rights non-governmental organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, that monitors and reports on the actions of the United Nations. Neuer, an international lawyer, diplomat, writer, and activist, was listed in the “Top 100 Most Influential Jewish People in the World,” by the Israeli newspaper, Ma’ariv. Neuer will be the keynote speaker at the Jewish Federation’s 2016 Annual Meeting, to be held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on Thursday, Sept. 15. Here are some excerpts from a recent phone interview with JUF News.

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Obama’s SBA rolls out entrepreneur training and microloans for formerly incarcerated individuals

Obama visits prison
Source: Whitehouse on Tumblr
This week, the leaders of the SBA, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and microlender Justine PETERSEN announced the formation of the Aspire Entrepreneurship Initiative, a groundbreaking new $2.1 million partnership to expand access to entrepreneurial education and microloans for formerly incarcerated individuals, with a specific focus on those who are parents. Initial rollout for the initiative is planned for Detroit, MI, Chicago, IL, Louisville, KY and St. Louis, MO.

“Entrepreneurship and small business ownership are proven paths toward wealth creation and financial independence especially for people who might otherwise feel trapped by their circumstances” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “America remains a land of opportunity, a place where we believe in second changes for those who have paid their debt to society. Entrepreneurship can be a ladder of opportunity for citizens who have paid that debt but are still struggling to find employment after incarceration. With the training and startup tools provided through this partnership, these American citizens can finally start to rebuild their lives and restore their relationships with their families and communities.”

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In Irvington & Jersey City police, fire & community join the Running Man Challenge!

Irvington Fire Fighters dancing
Source: Irvington Running Man Challenge video
Irvington’s video kicks off with a stunning vocal performance by Mayor Vaughn’s secretary and features crowd scenes of city employees rocking the beat and even breakdancing and performing acrobatic stunts.

In Jersey City’s video a police official orders officers to, “Get in there and dance. Have fun!” Even the K-9 unit obeys, dancing at the Hudson River’s edge with New York City for a backdrop. Scenes filmed around the city show its breadth of ethnic and arts diversity.

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Good reasons to release non-violent offenders after basic sentence fulfillment

Crowded Prisons, Wasted Money 75% recidivism
Source: centerforprisonreform.org
This testimony was given by a member of the Integrated Justice Alliance (IJA) to the Senate Judiciary Committee on 14 July 2016.

Chairman and Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee,

Good afternoon. My name is Anna “Cuqui” Rivera and I am here today representing the Integrated Justice Alliance (IJA). Founded in 2008, a statewide network working toward a fair, effective criminal justice system: one that promotes public safety, the restoration of individuals and families, protects and safeguards the rights of individuals in custody, promotes transparency, ensures accountability and spends taxpayer dollars wisely.

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