How One Homeless Teenage Mother Broke the Cycle of Poverty


Since Superstorm Sandy pounded the East Coast, New Jersey food banks are in high demand, some feeding twice as many families as before, npr.org reports. And as Thanksgiving approaches, some food banks are struggling to bring turkeys to their families’ tables.

The Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean County has distributed over 250,000 meals in the last two weeks alone, executive director Carlos Rodriguez told nj.com.

FULL STORY

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State jobless rate drops to 8.2 percent


The state unemployment rate fell in October, but largely because more people dropped out of the labor force, even as the economy added 6,700 jobs.

October’s state employment numbers offered a mixed picture Thursday of the direction of the labor market just before the holiday shopping season.

While the survey of businesses indicated steady job growth, the survey of households that’s used to measure unemployment indicated the rate fell largely because more job-seekers dropped out of the labor force rather than getting hired.

FULL STORY

Connie Rice: Advancement Project – Leadership

Advancement Project

In her legal work, Connie has led multi-racial coalitions of lawyers and clients to win more than $10 billion in damages and policy changes, through traditional class action civil rights cases redressing police misconduct, race and sex discrimination and unfair public policy in transportation, probation and public housing.

She filed a landmark case on behalf of low-income bus riders that resulted in a mandate that more than 2 billion dollars be spent to improve the bus system. Together with Co-Directors Molly Munger and Steve English, Connie launched a coalition lawsuit, Godinez v. Davis, that won approximately $1 billion for new school construction in Los Angeles and other urban areas – money previously slated for less crowded, more affluent suburban school districts.

With these funds the Los Angeles Unified School District began its nationally recognized program to build over 66 new schools since 2001.

After the court in Godinez required California to develop a new system for funding schools construction, Advancement Project was instrumental in assessing the need for adequate schools to serve all children in California and in crafting and shepherding three school construction bond initiatives that raised $25 billion for new and renovated facilities throughout the state, including $5 billion earmarked to relieve overcrowding in urban schools. This funding enabled California to build or renovate over 1 million school spaces since 2000. Connie then chaired the Independent Prop. BB Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee that monitored and evaluated how Los Angeles Unified School District used its allocation of school construction funds.

At the invitation of LAPD Chief William Bratton, Connie investigated the biggest police corruption scandal in Los Angeles history and obtained the commitment of the Chief to reform LAPD’s training and incentives system through an internal commission that she co-chairs. Connie also conducted a landmark 18-month assessment of the City of Los Angeles’ anti-gang programs and drew the blueprint to reduce gang violence through a regional, multi-jurisdictional comprehensive strategy to right the balance between suppression and prevention.

Prior to co-founding Advancement Project, Connie was Co-Director of the Los Angeles office of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, an associate at the law firm of Morrison & Foerster; and a clerk to the Honorable Damon J. Keith, judge of the United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit. Connie is a graduate of Harvard College and the New York University School of Law.

In 2006, Los Angeles Times West Magazine named Connie one of the 100 most powerful people in Southern California, and California Law Business twice been named her one of the top 10 most influential lawyers in California. Connie serves on the boards of the Public Policy Institute of California and public radio station KPCC.

Jumped In: What Gangs Taught Me About Violence, Drugs, Love

When Jorja Leap began studying Los Angeles gang violence in 2002, she encountered a myriad of proposed solutions to the seemingly intractable “gang problem” and set out to discover what was really going on. The stakes—then and now—could not be higher: a child or teenager is killed by gunfire every three hours—and homicide is the leading cause of death for African American males between the ages of fifteen and thirty-four.

In Jumped In, Leap brings us stories that reach behind the statistics and sensational media images to the real lives of those stuck in—and trying to escape— “la vida loca.” With the eye of an anthropologist and a heart full of compassion, this small, tough woman from UCLA travels some of the most violent and poverty-stricken neighborhoods, riding along in police cruisers and helicopters, and talking with murderers and drug dealers, victims and grieving mothers.

Through oral histories, personal interviews, and eyewitness accounts of current and former gang members, as well as the people who love and work alongside them, readers come to understand both the people pulled into gangs and those trying mightily to forge alternatives and help their community. In delving into the personal lives of current and former gang members, Leap aims not only to find out what leads them to crime and how to deal most effectively with gang activity, but also to hear the voices of those most often left out of the political conversation and to learn from leaders who offer a different kind of hope, through community outreach and jobs programs.

As she forges lasting friendships in this community and becomes immersed in others’ triumphs and tragedies, Leap’s personal and professional lives intersect in sometimes incendiary ways. With a husband in the Los Angeles Police Department and a daughter in adolescence, she faces plenty of family dilemmas herself. Ultimately, Jumped In is a chronicle of the unexpected lessons gang members taught her while she was busily studying them, and how they changed her forever.

Veterans Day events in and around Seattle

Source: Seattle Times

A list of selected parades, ceremonies, activities and discounts for veterans on Veterans Day 2012.

A partial list of Veterans Day events in the Greater Seattle area.

Veterans Day Parade

SAT Veterans Remembrance Ceremony, 9:45 a.m., Veterans Memorial Park, 411 E St. N.E., Auburn; parade with military flyover, honor guards, veterans units, 11 a.m. Saturday, west on Main Street from E Street Southeast to A Street Northwest, Auburn; Military Display and Exhibit Showcase, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, downtown Auburn (www.auburnwa.gov).

Seattle Veterans Museum

SAT-MON Displays to honor U.S. service members and veterans; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Monday, west side of Benaroya Hall behind the Remembrance Garden, Second Avenue between Union and University Streets, Seattle; free, donations welcome (425-949-8821 or http://www.seattleveteransmuseum.org).

Veterans Day, Museum of Flight

SUN Patriotic music, speakers, color guard, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, Museum of Flight, 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle; $9-$17, free for U.S. veterans and current military personnel (206-764-5720 or http://www.museumofflight.org).

Veterans Day, University of Washington

SUN Ceremony including recognition of Herb Bridge, first recipient of new Distinguished Alumni Veteran Award, Husky Marching Band, 11 a.m., Medal of Honor Memorial, Memorial Way; reception, 11:30 a.m., Kane Hall, University of Washington, Seattle (myuw.washington.edu/cal). Veterans Day, Woodland Park Zoo

SUN Free admission to active, veteran and retired U.S. military personnel with ID and their spouses and $5 off regular zoo admission for up to four accompanying family members, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Woodland Park Zoo, 5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle; $8.50-$11.75 (206-548-2500 or http://www.zoo.org).

Veterans Appreciation Day, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

SUN Free admission to all veterans and active U.S. military with ID, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma; $6.25-$14.50 (253-591-5337 or http://www.pdza.org).

Veterans Day, Flying Heritage Collection

SUN Free admission for veterans and active duty military, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Flying Heritage Collection, 3407 109th St. S.W., Everett; $8-$12 (flyingheritage.com).

Veterans Day Car Wash

SUN Free “Bear Essential” tunnel washes for current or former members of the military, Sunday at 42 Brown Bear Car Wash regional locations (www.brownbear.com).

Future of Flight Aviation Center honors veterans

SUN-MON Free admission to all U.S. and Canadian military veterans and active duty military with ID, including free Boeing tours on space-available basis, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., last tour at 3 p.m. Sunday-Monday, Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour, 8415 Paine Field Blvd., Mukilteo; $9-$18 (425-438-8100 or http://www.futureofflight.org).

Veterans Day Memorial Celebration

MON Flag placement at each veteran marker, volunteers needed, 7 a.m.; music, 10:30 a.m., service, 11 a.m. Monday, Evergreen Washelli, 11111 Aurora Ave. N., Seattle (206-362-5200 or http://www.washelli.com).

Veterans Day, Seattle Children’s Museum

MON Learn how veterans help keep us safe, add to community art project, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Monday, Seattle Children’s Museum, Seattle Center House, Seattle; $6.50-$7.50 (206-576-2322 or http://www.thechildrensmuseum.org).

Veterans Day Celebration, Shoreline

MON Program honoring veterans, 2 p.m. Monday, Shoreline City Hall, 17500 Midvale Ave. N., Shoreline (cityofshoreline.com).

Veterans Day Tour, Edmonds Memorial Cemetery

MON Local historians lead tour of more than 400 veterans interred dating back to the Civil War, 1 p.m. Monday, Edmonds Memorial Cemetery, 820 15th St. S.W., Edmonds; free (425-776-1543 or cemetery.edmondswa.gov).

Veterans Day, Imagine Children’s Museum

MON Activities to honor veterans, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., ROTC presentation of the colors and music, 1 p.m. Monday, 1502 Wall St., Everett; $9, free admission for veterans (425-258-1006 or http://www.imaginecm.org).

Vet Tix

ONGOING Free tickets available year around for a variety of local and national events for veterans, active military and their families, and next of kin of military members killed in action, sign up at http://www.vettix.org/signup.php.

Source: Seattle Times