employment

Building Trust Between Communities and Local Police

obama communty policing
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with elected officials, community and faith leaders, and law enforcement officials to discuss how communities and law enforcement can work together to build trust to strengthen neighborhoods across the country. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri and around the country have grabbed the attention of the nation and the world, and have highlighted the importance of strong, collaborative relationships between local police and the communities that they protect.

Today, the Administration announced new steps we’re taking to strengthen the relationships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they are obligated to protect and serve, including:

Advancing the use of body worn cameras and promoting proven community policing initiatives
Creating a new task force to promote expansion of the community-oriented policing model, which encourages strong relationships between law enforcement and the communities that they serve as a proven method of fighting crime
Reforming how the federal government equips state and local law enforcement – particularly with military-style equipment

Get more details about these new actions below.
Increasing the use of body worn cameras, and improving community policing

The President has proposed a three-year, $263 million investment package that will:

Increase police officers’ use of body worn cameras
Expand training for law enforcement agencies (LEAs)
Add more resources for police department reform
Multiply the number of cities where the Department of Justice facilitates community and local LEA engagement

Part of the proposal is a new Body Worn Camera Partnership Program, which would provide a 50 percent match to states and localities that purchase body worn cameras and requisite storage. In fact, the proposed $75 million, three-year investment could help purchase 50,000 body worn cameras.

As noted in a recent report released by Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), evidence shows that body worn cameras help strengthen accountability and transparency, and that officers and civilians both act in a more positive manner when they’re aware that a camera is present.

Building public trust while keeping crime rates down

The President is planning to create a Task Force on 21st Century Policing, chaired by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, who also serves as President of the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association; and Laurie Robinson, professor at George Mason University and former Assistant Attorney General for DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs.

The task force – which will include law enforcement representatives and community leaders, among others – has a threefold purpose:

Build on the extensive research that’s being conducted by DOJ’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
Examine how to promote effective crime reduction while building public trust
Prepare a report and recommendations within 90 days of the task force’s creation

Reforming how the federal government equips local law enforcement

In August, the President ordered a review of federal funding and programs that help equip state and local law enforcement agencies (LEAs). Over the course of the review, the White House explored whether existing federal programs:

Provide LEAs with equipment that is appropriate for what their communities need
Ensure that LEAs have adequate policies in place for use of the equipment, and that their personnel are trained and certified on how to use this equipment
Encourage LEAs to employ practices and standards that prevent misuse or abuse of this equipment

The final report, released today, finds inconsistencies in how these federal programs are structured, implemented, and audited. The report also identifies four areas of further focus that could help ensure that these programs help maximize the safety and security of both police officers and their communities:

Local community engagement
Federal coordination and oversight
Training requirements
The community-policing model

In light of this review, President Obama is planning to issue an Executive Order directing relevant agencies to work together and with law enforcement and civil rights and civil liberties organizations to develop specific recommendations within four months.

Read more The White House

employment

The California Wellness Foundation: Youth Violence Prevention

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Youth Prevention Chart

The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) has been the state’s leading philanthropy tackling the problem of youth violence in California. Their Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, launched in 1993, advanced a public health model of reform addressing two main areas: reducing firearm injury and death, and increasing state resources for youth crime and violence prevention.

Commonweal has consistently promoted the TCWF priority of increasing state resources for crime and violence prevention. Commonweal has tracked state spending for youth crime and violence prevention programs since 1997 (see chart). Commonweal also played a lead role in the creation large state revenue streams supporting youth service programs, including the Schiff-Cardenas Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act (JJCPA) which has supplied more than $1.2 billion for these programs over the last 13 years.

TCWF grantees working on firearm reduction policy were successful as well—promoting new legislative controls on automatic weapons, augmenting rules on handgun safety and encouraging local ordinances to control firearm proliferation.

Though the TCWF initiative ended in 2003, the foundation has continued to provide core support grants to help organizations to sustain the policy and safety gains realized during the Initiative. As a grantee, Commonweal provides the following services:

Advising the foundation on program and policy development
Working with state and community leaders to improve supervision and re-entry programs and strategies for juvenile offenders returning to home communities
Producing detailed analyses (digests) of legislative bills pending in each session of the California legislature, including vote status, and periodic budget reports for advocates and stakeholders
Policy advocacy to support TCWF violence prevention objectives, though a well-developed network of contacts with state and local policy leaders.

Read more FULL ARTICLE

bruce harrell, central district, ed murray, wmbe, Work, workplace

Mayor Murray signs executive order strengthening equity in city contracting

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April 8, 2014

Mayor Murray signs the WMBE Executive Order

Mayor Ed Murray today signed an executive order strengthening the city’s ongoing commitment to social equity in city contracting opportunities. The order requires departments promptly pay invoices, support businesses by providing technical assistance, and increase accountability and coordination to ensure fair and equitable treatment among all businesses competing for public works, purchasing and consulting contracts.

“A healthy and diverse business sector is essential to Seattle’s economic vitality and this executive order makes clear my commitment to creating a more welcoming environment for businesses small and large seeking work with the city,” said Murray.

“Success among women and minority-owned businesses translates to more jobs and long-term prosperity for all,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Seattle City Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee. “More than half of all new jobs are created by small business and minority-owned businesses. I applaud the Mayor’s decision to recommit our efforts on the City’s inclusionary plan and more effectively engaging with minority-owned businesses. During budget deliberations this year, departments should be prepared to report their progress on women and minority business contracting.”

The city has been successful in its efforts to ensure women and minority businesses (WMBE) are competitive when seeking public works, purchasing and contracting opportunities, with more than 16 percent of city contract dollars going to firms owned by women or people of color in 2013. The executive order moves the city beyond existing efforts to ensure a responsive, respectful and accountable environment for all businesses.

“I’m proud that on Equal Pay Day we are reaffirming our commitment to women and minority businesses,” said Councilmember Godden, chair of the Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Gender Pay Equity Committee. “We will win with women and minority business and must reduce their obstacles to their success.”

A significant new measure is a directive for the timely payment of invoices, as the city recognizes cash flow is an important element in business capacity, especially for small and WMBE-owned firms in particular. Departments are directed to re-engineer internal pay processes and practices to expedite timely invoice approval and to enforce contract provisions that require contractors promptly pay their respective small subcontractors.

“In the last decade, the city has made great strides in increasing opportunity for disadvantaged businesses to compete on a level playing field. Now I am raising the expectations,” said Murray. “A business’ ability to be competitive should not be hindered by unnecessary obstacles, such as delayed payments, excessive paperwork or inconsistent practices across departments.”

Murray is directing departments to coordinate efforts to ensure all policies, practices and processes are consistent and complementary, making it easier for WMBE firms to pursue City contracts. One example is unbundling tasks so work within a larger project can be solicited in separate components that better match capacities of smaller firms.

All firms, especially WMBE firms, will also benefit from increased outreach, training and technical assistance, such as business development and mentoring programs, to ensure firms are competitive and have resources to work effectively within city contracts. By building greater strength among the firms that bid and do business around the region, these efforts will create greater capacity for all public agencies and private contractors doing business in the area.

Additionally, city departments will create a more structured system of accountability when it comes to tracking and reporting on utilization of WMBE firms. The executive order directs departments to integrate WMBE policy priorities into their respective work programs and performance priorities, and requires a system of performance reports with measurable results to the Mayor’s Office.

To fully and effectively implement these measures, Murray directed his Office of Policy and Innovation to work with contractors, including WMBE firms, city departments and other stakeholders.

“The city cannot create and implement these measures in a vacuum. I’ll be looking to members of our local businesses, community groups, public agencies and other stakeholders for their varying perspectives, vast experience and knowledge to inform our work,” said Murray.

“Since his first day in office, Mayor Murray has taken concrete steps towards establishing a more equitable city,” said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, chair of the Transportation Committee. “Today’s announcement is further evidence of his commitment to deliver on his inaugural pledge for fairness and equality, and to address economic disparities in Seattle.”

The order builds upon Ordinance 121717, which in 2005 created Seattle Municipal Code Chapter 20.42, Equality in Contracting, to increase participation of WMBE firms in city contracts. In 2013, 16 percent of all city dollars spent on public works, purchasing and contracting went to WMBE firms.

– See more at: FULL ARTICLE

peace

Nelson Mandela International Day

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From: The United Nations

We stand here today to salute the United Nations Organization and its Member States, both singly and collectively, for joining forces with the masses of our people in a common struggle that has brought about our emancipation and pushed back the frontiers of racism.

South African President Nelson Mandela
Address to UN General Assembly
3 October 1994

The United Nations:
Partner in the Struggle against Apartheid

The elimination of South Africa’s system of legalized racial discrimination known as apartheid (“apart-ness” in the Afrikaans language of the descendants of the first Dutch settlers) was on the agenda of the United Nations from its inception. On 22 June 1946 the Indian government requested that the discriminatory treatment of Indians in the Union of South Africa be included on the agenda of the very first session of the General Assembly.

In the decades that followed the world body would contribute to the global struggle against apartheid by drawing world attention to the inhumanity of the system, legitimizing popular resistance, promoting anti-apartheid actions by governmental and non-governmental organizations, instituting an arms embargo, and supporting an oil embargo and boycotts of apartheid in many fields.

Key dates in the UN campaign against apartheid:

2 December 1950 — The General Assembly declared that “a policy of ‘racial segregation’ (apartheid) is necessarily based on doctrines of racial discrimination”. (Resolution 395(V))

1 April 1960 — The Security Council, in its first action on South Africa, adopted Resolution 134 deploring the policies and actions of the South African government in the wake of the killing of 69 peaceful African protesters in Sharpeville by the police on 21 March. The Council called upon the government to abandon its policies of apartheid and racial discrimination.

2 April 1963 — First meeting of the Special Committee on the Policies of Apartheid of the Government of the Republic of South Africa, It was later renamed the “Special Committee against Apartheid”.

7 August 1963 — The Security Council adopted Resolution 181 calling upon all States to cease the sale and shipment of arms, ammunition and military vehicles to South Africa. The arms embargo was made mandatory on 4 November 1977.

13 November 1963 — The General Assembly, in Resolution 1899 (XVIII) on the question of Namibia, urged all States to refrain from supplying petroleum to South Africa. It was the first of many efforts by the UN to enact effective oil sanctions against apartheid.

23 August-4 September 1966 — International Seminar on Apartheid, Brasilia, organised by the UN Division of Human Rights, the Special Committee against Apartheid and the government of Brazil – the first of scores of conferences and seminars on apartheid organised or co-sponsored by the United Nations.

2 December 1968 — The General Assembly requested all States and organisations “to suspend cultural, educational, sporting and other exchanges with the racist regime and with organisations or institutions in South Africa which practice apartheid.

30 November 1973 — International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid approved by the General Assembly (Resolution 3068(XXVIII)). The convention came into force on 18 July 1976.

1 January 1976 — The UN Centre Against Apartheid was established.

17 August 1984 — In Resolution 554 the Security Council declared null and void the new racist constitution of South Africa.

16-20 June 1986 — World Conference on Sanctions against Racist South Africa, organised by the United Nations in cooperation with the OAU and the Movement of Non-aligned Countries

14 December 1989 — The General Assembly adopted by consensus the “Declaration on Apartheid and its Destructive Consequences in Southern Africa,” calling for negotiations to end apartheid and establish a non-racial democracy (Resolution A/RES/S-16/1).

22 June 1990 — Nelson Mandela addressed the Special Committee against Apartheid in New York — his first appearance before the Organisation.

30 July 1992 — With political violence escalating and negotiations at risk, Nelson Mandela requested the United Nations to send observers to South Africa. On the following day the Secretary-General announced that he would send a small group of UN monitors. The United Nations Observer Mission in South Africa was established by the Security Council on 17 August 1992.

8 October 1993 — The General Assembly requested States to restore economic relations with South Africa immediately, and terminate the oil embargo when the Transitional Executive Council in South Africa became operational (Resolution 48/1).

10 May 1994 — South Africa’s first democratically elected non-racial government took office following the general elections of 26-29 April.

23 June 1994 — The General Assembly approved the credentials of the South African delegation and removed the item of apartheid from its agenda. The Security Council removed the question of South Africa from its agenda on 27 June.

3 October 1994 — The first democratically elected president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, addresses the General Assembly.

With contribution from Enuga S. Reddy, Former UN Assistant Secretary-General, Principal Secretary, UN Special Committee Against Apartheid and Director, UN Centre Against Apartheid

central district, children, education, employment, gun violence, guns, peace, schools, teens, youth violence

Stop The Violence Day

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STOP THE VIOLENCE DAY 2013

To: Local Pastors, Ministers and Clergy
From: Project FORWARD
Re: Citywide “Stop the Violence Day” in Houston

October 9, 2013

I pray this letter reaches you in the best of health and spirits. Let me first thank you for all that you do to make our community a better place. We would like to unite with you in that effort, particularly to help stop the senseless violence that appears to be getting worse every day.

In the spirit of unity and solidarity, a group of Black men and organizations have come together and declared Sunday, October 27th, “Citywide Stop the Violence/ Respect for Life Day.” It is a day of remembrance of those who have lost their lives to senseless violence and a day of support for their families. We believe that the church plays a critical role in a unified effort to eradicate the “spirit of Cain” in our community. We must come together. None of us can do it alone.

We are humbly seeking 100 pastors of 100 churches to incorporate a message of “Stop the Violence” into their sermon on the Sunday morning of October 27th. How wonderful would it be to see us as a community speaking with ONE VOICE against this violence on the same day at the same time. We have a group of committed men who have pledged to hit the streets, as well as the airwaves, to encourage as many Black men, boys and youth as we can to attend a church on that Sunday to hear the message. We will encourage single mothers, grandmothers and others to bring their young men to the various houses of worship that day to hear this special message.

Please consider joining us in this noble effort. In doing so, you will be joining thousands across the city in sending a strong message of peace in the streets. If we save ONE LIFE in the process then our work will not have been in vain. Please join us by committing to incorporate a “Stop the Violence” message into your sermon on October 27th. Please email us at info@projectforwardhouston.com to confirm your church’s participation. Thank you.

Deloyd Parker
SHAPE Community Center

Deric Muhammad
Community Activist

Loretta Brock, Coordinator
The Great Awakening 2013
(832)572-2521 Please feel free to call her for additional info.

Note: If your church or organization is interested in being a partner in “Stop the Violence Day” please email us at info@projectforward.com.

employment

Stopping The Violence: “The Interrupters”

“The Interrupters” (download this important PDF click here)

Directed by Steve James. Produced by Alex Kotlowitz and Steve James.

Every City Needs Its Heroes.

An epic tale of courage and hope, The Interrupters is a new film from Chicago-based director/producer Steve James (Oscar-nominated for Hoop Dreams) and award-winning author-turned-producer Alex Kotlowitz (There Are No Children Here), whose original article inspired the film.

Filmed out of Chicago’s Kartemquin Films, The Interrupters follows a year in the life of the city as it grapples with the plague of urban violence. At the heart of the story are Ameena Matthews, Cobe Williams and Eddie Bocanegra, each of whom has credibility on the street because of their own personal histories.

With gumption, wisdom and wit, they work to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they themselves once employed. These “Violence Interrupters” (their job title) — work for CeaseFire, a local organization whose guiding principle is that the spread of violence mimics the spread of infectious diseases, and so respond with similar treatment: go after the most infected, and stop the infection at its source.

See it this summer and fall: http://www.theinterrupters.com
To order The Interrupters on DVD or Blu-ray go to http://kartemquin.com/store

Directed and Photographed by Steve James
Produced by Alex Kotlowitz and Steve James