On May 28 students will rally for a millionaires tax to provide more school aid

On May 28 students will rally for a millionaires tax to provide more school aid #p2

Newark Mayor Baraka on the deaths of three preemie infants in University Hospital

university hospital
Speaking about the three preemie infants who recently passed away at University Hospital in Newark, Mayor Ras J. Baraka shared these comments:

“The deaths of three premature infants with an Acinetobacter bacteria and the infection of a fourth, all cared for at University Hospital, are stark reminders that an overhaul of the quality of care and the leadership of the hospital is urgently needed. The infants had a variety of other medical conditions, but the fact remains that they contracted the bacteria in the hospital’s neonatal ICU. The Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness will work collaboratively with the New Jersey State Department of Health to continue careful monitoring of the situation in that unit.

“In July, Governor Murphy acted swiftly and decisively in appointing a monitor for University Hospital. Today, more action is needed. The hospital is central to providing health care to Newark residents, and I have been very concerned about its quality of care, its leadership’s failure to live up to the Newark Agreement negotiated when the hospital was created, their insensitivity to the opinions of residents, their attempt to reduce the number of pediatric beds without consulting myself or the Governor, and the failing grade they received on their level of care from the Leapfrog Group.

“The time has come for the State of New Jersey and the Newark community to collaborate in setting a new direction for University Hospital:

The hospital needs to become more responsive to the people it serves and sensitive to their needs. This requires more community input with new leadership, including a new board with adequate representation of Newark residents and a new President/CEO with a history of sensitivity to community.
State and federal investment is needed to enable University Hospital to become the first-class teaching hospital that it was intended to be, including an overhauled emergency room, a world-class trauma center, and more outpatient clinics to meet the underserved medical needs of the people of Newark.

“In 1968, the state and federal governments negotiated a detailed pact with the people of Newark to create a top-notch medical facility with community involvement and oversight in perpetuity. On the 50th anniversary of the Newark Agreement, it’s time to keep the promise.”

Free or Discounted Rides to Polls on Election Day (Nov. 6th) by Uber & Lyft

By Olivia Rizzo of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

For some people half the battle of voting is getting to the polls, but this year voters can get some relief from a slightly unexpected source: Uber and Lyft.

Both ride share companies are offering free or discounted rides to voters on Nov. 6, and both companies are partnering with voting organizations that encourage people to register and then go out to vote.

free ride to voteAccording to Pew Research, 3 percent of registered voters who did not vote in 2016 cited “transportation problems” as the main reason they didn’t vote. Additionally, 14 percent of people cited that they were “too busy or conflicting schedule,” and “inconvenient hours or polling places,” which are issues that tend to affect low income communities.

This is why Lyft in particular said it wants to offer free rides to underserved communities.

Uber said in a press release it is partnering with When We All Vote to get people registered and with #VoteTogether and Democracy Works to offer free rides to polling places.

Uber is also sharing voter registration resources with users in the app.

In order to get a free ride to the polls on Elections Day, users will need to open the app, search for their polling place using the “get to the polls” button, and order a ride.

It appears that users will not be able to use the free ride for another location as the polling place search bar is separate from the standard location search bar.

Lyft announced its Election Day initiatives back in August, partnering with Vote.org, Turbo Vote, Nonprofit Vote, and other organizations which will distribute promo codes for 50 percent off rides to polling places. Lyft has also partnered with Vote Latino, the National Federation of the Blind, and Urban League affiliates to provide free rides to underserved communities.

Like Uber, Lyft is also encouraging its users to register to vote through the app, and partnered with When We All Vote and National Voter Registration Day to amplify their get out the vote efforts.

More information about how to get a free or discounted ride to your polling location can be found on Uber and Lyft’s websites.

In New Jersey, the deadline to register to vote was Oct. 16.

Uber’s website is www.uber.com
Lyfts’ website is www.lyft.com

Link to nj.com article

The 6th USCT at Trenton Barrack’s 3 Centuries of Black Soldiers 2018 event

Chuck at 3 Centuries

6th USCT member Ari Lopez Wei filmed this short video of the troop at the 2018 Three Centuries of Black Soldiers event at the Trenton Barracks Museum which took place the last weekend of Black History Month. It is sponsored by the museum and the 6th USCT re-enactment troop.

Gov. Murphy will provide $2.1M for free legal help for NJ immigrants in need

New Americans in NJ
Source: Immigration Council

Newark, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy has announced that he intends to allocate $2.1M to fund free legal representation for immigrants facing detention or deportation who cannot afford private attorneys. In New Jersey, the vast majority of immigrant detainees fight their deportation cases without an attorney. It is not surprising that only 14% of unrepresented detainees are successful and able to remain in the United States, given the complexities of our immigration laws and the challenges of gathering evidence while incarcerated. Individuals facing deportation have no right to appointed counsel.

“While the funding will not be enough to ensure representation for all of the approximately 2,000 immigrants currently detained in New Jersey detention facilities for civil immigration violations, it is a promising first step towards protecting the due process rights of both long-time New Jersey residents with deep ties to our communities and who have families who would be devastated by their detention and deportation, as well as recently arrived immigrants fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries,” said Nicole Miller, Legal Services Director for the American Friends Service Committee’s Immigrant Rights Program (AFSC) in Newark, NJ. “AFSC has been representing immigrant detainees for over 20 years in New Jersey and we have seen firsthand the significant impact that legal representation has on a detainee’s ability to present their case to an immigration judge. It also ensures that detainees are treated with dignity and respect as they navigate a dehumanizing immigration system that tears families and communities apart.”

“We will continue to advocate on behalf of immigrant detainees and look forward to a day where the state of New Jersey fully funds a universal representation program that provides access to counsel to all immigrants detained in New Jersey and facing deportation,” stated Chia-Chia Wang, AFSC’s Director of Organizing and Advocacy.

AFSC, the ACLU of New Jersey and the Seton Hall Law School Immigrant Rights Clinic recently issued a report entitled “The Meaning of Counsel in the Immigration System: New Jersey Case Stories”, that highlights the importance of access to counsel for detained immigrants in New Jersey by documenting the stories of eleven New Jersey immigrants detained in immigration detention centers, many of whom are AFSC clients.

The North: a new collection of interactive multimedia stories of Newark that “must be told”

The NorthAuthor of Unfinished Agenda: Urban Politics in the Era of Black Power Dr. Junius Williams introduces The North multimedia storytelling project with these words:

THESE STORIES MUST BE TOLD
Sometime ago, those of us who entered political movements for change walked on our first picket line or marched in our first demonstration. At some point we got hooked on concepts like “Freedom”, “Direct Action” and “Resistance” to get rid of Jim Crow racism. Eventually we came to learn how to spend time in jail, survive police and vigilante violence; to organize poor and working class black people; to extract perks and building blocks from federal programs and build coalitions among unpredictable community groups; to fight city hall; to negotiate agreements that produced opportunities and skill development for community development; and to manage campaigns to elect black politicians.

But then one day we looked around and realized that many of our friends (and enemies) who made that journey, or similar journeys, were no longer with us….to laugh with, relive old conquests, or just tell lies. Too many have moved to places unknown, gotten sick, or passed on to the next life.

So many of our collective stories go untold.

These stories must be told, and hence the evolution of this project entitled, The North: Civil Rights and Beyond in Urban America. read more

Julián Castro en Passaic Oct 28 para apoyar a Phil Murphy

Foto Julian Castro
Julian Castro Source: Julian Castro

El sábado 28 de octubre el líder demócrata Julián Castro viene a Passaic, New Jersey para unirse a la campaña del candidato a gobernador Phil Murphy.

Castro se desempeñó como Secretario de Vivienda de los Estados Unidos durante el mandato del Presidente Obama. La manifestación se efectuará:

El sábado 28 2017 a las 6pm
Mt. Carmel Hall
10 St. Francis Way
Passaic NJ

Castro ganó su bachillerato de la Universidad de Stanford y su doctorado de Harvard Law School en el 2000. En 2001 a la edad de 26 años Castro se convirtió en el concejal más joven en la historia de San Antonio, Tejas. Cuando lo elijieron alcalde en el año 2009 los líderes del partido Demócrata le consideraron a Castro como uno de los más prominentes líderes del partido. En 2014 se unió al gabinete del Pres. Obama.

El alcalde Héctor Lora y los líderes Demócratas del Condado de Passaic recibirán a Castro. El ingreso al evento es libre.

Sen Gill urges Secretary of State to reject Trump commission request for NJ voter data

What Trump Commission has asked for
Screenshot from report by Lauren Weinstein

Senator Nia H. Gill (D-Essex, Passaic) today called on the New Jersey Secretary of State to reject a request by President Trump’s election commission to turn over state voter data. The commission was established to investigate unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.

The commission, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and Vice Chaired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, sent letters to 50 states and the District of Columbia last week asking for information, including names, addresses, birth dates and party affiliations of registered voters in each state. It also sought felony convictions, military statuses, the last four digits of Social Security numbers and voting records dating back to 2006, according to published reports. To date, 44 states have already refused to comply, according to a story published today on CNN.com:

President Trump has made claims for months that millions of people voted illegally in the last election, without a shred of evidence. Now he is using those unfounded claims to justify the collection of personal information and voter data from all 50 states.

This request is alarming. Under no circumstance should the state of New Jersey turn over our residents’ information to this commission. I am calling on the Secretary of State to protect our state’s voter information, and refuse to comply with this illegitimate request.

No one believes this Trump-created panel is interested in protecting the right to vote. The commission was created with the goal of legitimizing Trump’s widely discredited claims of voter fraud and is headed by Kris Kobach, the politically-driven Kansas Secretary of State.

New Jersey should not contribute to the president’s effort to undermine the integrity of the election system. The Secretary of State must inform the people of New Jersey if she intends to share the personal information of the residents of the state with this illegitimate panel – silence in not an option. read more

Update from a Standing Rock volunteer after #45 orders attack on the camp

Protect the Sacred at Standing Rock
Source: hpr1.com

“Injustice Anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere.” ~ Dr. King

This is an update from a Standing Rock volunteer. It’s not pleasant.

Friends,

I have returned from Standing Rock with my mind blown, my heart broken and my spirit troubled with foreboding of a deepening tragedy. Volunteering as a legal observer with the Water Protector Legal Collective I witnessed several confrontations between Water Protectors (WP) and law enforcement: national guard, sheriffs and private security (LE).

On 1/18/17 – 1/19/17 I observed WP with their hands in the air chanting “hands up don’t shoot” being fired upon at a range of 10 to 15 feet. Tear gas canisters and rubber bullets ( rubber bullets are regular bullets covered in rubber) were used against unarmed WP who had been singing and praying. I observed national guard chasing WP off the Backwater bridge, firing at people running away. I heard people choking and gagging from tear gas. I saw access to the WP medic vehicles being blocked. I spoke with medics and WP who described bullets penetrating flesh and causing terrible injuries, including to one media person who nearly lost his finger when his camera was targeted.

I talked with a media person and was told of 4 media people on the bridge that night, 3 had their recording devices shot and the 4th, his hand. I saw a photo of a sheriff aiming a rifle directly at a media woman who was standing apart from the crowd. I heard testimony of the back of the medic pickup truck being awash in blood after evacuating wounded.

I watched, and then, inadvertently became a part of, WP being forced off the bridge by national guard who were hiding behind WP vehicles parked along the road and firing rubber bullets at fleeing people. Many people were shot in the back, the neck, the head. When LE fired at people at close range, many were shot in the genitals or in the face. I received information about DAPL security breaching the short wave radio channels of the WP with taunts such as ”come out and fight like men you faggots or we will come to Camp and fuck your women.”

There are some young warriors, who, without the support of their elders, many who want the camps cleared to mitigate the economic and social damage being suffered by the local community in having the bridge closed, have vowed to not leave the camps or to let the last section of pipeline be built.

Driving away from the area on Monday I saw a convoy of construction vehicles heading to the drill pad. Last night an indigenous website live streamed reports of drilling and construction noises coming from the drill pad.

Without the eyes of a free press these attacks and trespasses continue, with the human rights and sovereignty of indigenous peoples denied. The UN Committee on Transnational Corporations and Human Right Abuses was in Standing Rock this week to take testimony of the many transgressions against people: crop dusters spraying poison pesticides and fertilizers on the camps; hair samples indicating the presence of these chemicals; people who have been injured, beat up, arrested, strip searched; media and medics being targeted by snipers; (one medic told me he stopped wearing his Red Cross vest due to medics being targeted); praying people being attacked and the refusal of DAPL and our government to abide by the Rule of Law.

We need to stand up for our brothers and our sisters, for their way of life and, I believe, for our social contract as a democracy which is now threatened.

Please share this so word gets out what is happening, thank you.

Deborah MacKay

Hat tips to Keith D. Wright and Rachelle Brown for the share

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:

New Jersey Democrats were able to pass Bill A-15 on 23 June 2016 to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in January 2017 and continue raising it in yearly $1.25 increments until it hit $15 an hour in 2021. But Christie vetoed that bill.

State legislators could then have put this same proposal on the ballot as a referendum, letting voters decide how quickly low wage workers could be lifted out of extreme poverty. They went the ballot referendum route, but opted for a much less robust hourly pay raise proposal: and that’s how SCR1500 came into being.

Perhaps the watered down bill is the brainchild of State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester), whose (now derailed?) plans for a gubernatorial bid next year undoubtedly included courting the vote of the small business community. This community has essentially been convinced to vote against their own interests by Big Money supporters of low worker wages who have promoted a fear campaign to discourage their support for the $15/hour minimum wage.

Although small businesses are one group that stands to majorly benefit from the increased buying power that residents will be able to spend if they earn more, Big Money folk are making them believe that an alternate – and false – reality exists. That’s because the profits of Big Money-backed businesses like Walmart and the Fast Food industry will be seriously curtailed if they need to pay employees fair wages instead of setting them up to receive welfare and foodstamps to supplement starvation pay.

When worker wages are low enough to force families onto social welfare programs, taxpayers at all levels of the spectrum end up subsidizing workers’ food, shelter and medical care. Forbes reports on Walmart employees vast use of the welfare system and Bloomberg points out:

According to one study, American fast food workers receive more than $7 billion dollars in public assistance. As it turns out, McDonald’s has a “McResource” line that helps employees and their families enroll in various state and local assistance programs. It exploded into the public when a recording of the McResource line advocated that full-time employees sign up for food stamps and welfare.

Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private sector employer, is also the biggest consumer of taxpayer supported aid. According to Florida Congressman Alan Grayson, in many states, Wal-Mart employees are the largest group of Medicaid recipients. read more

NY Times reports: Cory Booker is just an image. And other reasons to dislike the guy.

Booker marketing hot pockets

Booker marketing hot pockets
Source: twitchy.com

Some of the reasons to dislike Cory Booker:

Booker was handsomely paid to go into Newark and blow it up from the inside so property values would fall and residents would be eager to sell to developers and gentrifiers for a fraction of what their properties were worth. That’s what gentrification is all about.

While Mayor Booker went around collecting over a million dollars for speeches, he managed to also push a Newark firefighter to the ground in front of a burning building … to fire a huge number of police officers and to cripple the city’s Department of Public Works so snow removal could not be performed. Interestingly enough, he concurrently waged a misleading PR campaign based around his promises to personally shovel out residents who were snowed in. The number of Newark residents Cory helped were just a handful of those needing professional snow removal.

He tried for years to sell off the Newark Watershed, which by the way is among the most beautiful sites in New Jersey, truly a state treasure … to developers, naturally.

He announced his intention to take over Sen. Lautenberg’s seat before the elderly politician was even dead.

Booker’s education support record is dismal. He accepted money from Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, but did not use it to improve public education in Newark. Booker has a long history of supporting charter schools, which are used as a wedge to destroy public education. In 2011, Booker colluded to close 10 public schools in Newark and intended to close 12 more the following year.

Bob Braun explains Booker and Zuckerberg’s connection to Foundation for Newark’s Future (FNF) and to Christie:

Foundation for Newark’s Future (FNF), that mysterious concoction of money and politics put together by former Mayor – now US Senator – Cory Booker, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and Governor – and presidential wannabe – Chris Christie. read more

NJ judge strikes deep blow to low-income tenants seeking affordable housing

Affordable-Housing-GraphicColleen O’Dea of NJ Spotlight does a great job laying out both the present significance and background story behind a State Appeals Court’s Monday July 12 ruling that relieves municipalities of the need to provide affordable housing for at least 50,000 New Jersey tenants who are seeking affordable housing today.

The logic that underpins the ruling is so convoluted as to appear arbitrary. The Appeals Court judge’s curious logic works this way: less tenants qualify for affordable housing assistance today than actually exist in the state of New Jersey because their need for affordable housing developed during a period that affordable housing was not legally mandated in the state (during the years 2000-2015).

Wow.

The Fair Share Housing Center is fighting this case on behalf of New Jersey tenants. Director Kevin Walsh points out that today, 200,000 affordable housing units are needed although the court ruling will provide for only 150,000 to be built. And to provide for future needs, a total of 350,000 units should be provided for.

Court ruling: New Jersey police must turn over dashcam video on request

Dashcams
Source: Wikipedia

The New Jersey Law Journal reports on dashcam ruling handed down 30 June 2016. It’s a win for justice and respectful police conduct:

New Jersey appeals court on June 30 ruled that police video recordings taken from dashboard cameras are documents that must be released under the state’s Open Public Records Act.

Hurrah! I’m happy with this news. NJLJ reports that court case was filed by “open-government activist John Paff.” Thanks for the great work, John.

Principal Moody suspended for letting Paterson rapper Fetty Wap film music video at East Side High

Principal Zatiti Moody
Source: Urban Renaissance Media

A Paterson principal known for his educating excellence and strict discipline enforcement has been suspended from office by the New Jersey State appointed superintendent known for his attempts to keep Paterson students from experiencing quality education. The ostensible reason for the suspension: Principal Zatiti Moody allowed music phenomenon Fetty Wap to film a music video at East Side High School which contains twerking and portrays drug use. Behaviour that – like it or not – happens to be part of the school experience for many urban students.

Never mind that the video is a social statement, that Fetty Wap is an homegrown Patersonian who overcame a physical challenge to achieve national stardom or that school kids are pleased that a music icon like Fetty maintains ties with his roots and honors his hometown youth by bringing performances to their backyard – or in this case, school.

The community members who turned out at the June 15 Board of Ed meeting to show support for Principal Moody included Fetty himself, who put in a surprise appearance.

Fetty Wap — real name Willie Maxwell — showed up an hour after the meeting started and apologized for causing any controversy by filming the video at Eastside. He then departed the room, but stopped to patiently sign autographs in the school hallway.

When asked what prompted him to show up at the meeting, he said “I had to. For Paterson.”

Students, parents and community members wore T-shirts and buttons demanding that the district “Return Principal Moody back to Eastside High School. read more

NCC’s vocational training programs in Newark are underway – apply today

OSHA training grads
Credit: Essex County

If you know someone looking for a job or seeking new skills, check out New Community Workforce Development Center’s vocational training programs in the fields of:

  • Academic Enrichment
  • Allied Health*
    (*Home Health Aide, EKG Technician, Medical Assistant, Phlebotomy Technician and Patient Care Technician)
  • Automotive
  • Building Trades/Construction
  • Culinary Arts
  • ShopRite Partners-In-Training

To apply for admission into a training program, visit the Workforce Development Center at 274 South Orange Avenue in Newark. For more information, call Workforce at 973-824-6484 and speak to Martha Davis or Rodney Brutton.