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

Stop The Violence Day

ProjectForward_StopTheViolence

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.

bruce harrell, central district, education, employment, homeless, mike mcginn, news, Work, workplace

Updated homeless ‘bill of rights’ passes CA legislative committee

homeless

Reposted: From The Scaramento Bee

April 23, 2013

Updated homeless ‘bill of rights’ passes CA legislative committee

An amended version of a bill that would extend new protections to California’s homeless population cleared the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Tuesday morning.

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, framed Assembly Bill 5 as an attempt to create a statewide baseline of homeless civil rights, citing a proliferation of municipal ordinances cracking down on behavior like lying or sleeping on the sidewalk as examples of the “criminalization of poor people.”

“Today numerous laws infringe on poor peoples’ ability to exist in public space, to acquire housing, employment and basic services and to equal protection under the laws,” Ammiano said at a Tuesday morning hearing.

Ammiano’s legislation faced a backlash from critics who said the bill would sanction behavior like urinating in public while exposing businesses to new litigation, undercutting the will of voters who had passed local ordinances and handcuffing city-level efforts to deal with homelessness. The California Chamber of Commerce included AB 5 on its annual list of “job killers” because it imposes “costly and unreasonable mandates on employers.”

The amendments addressed those concerns, Ammiano and supporters of the bill argued. A widely derided provision establishing “the right to engage in life sustaining activities” including “urinating” was deleted. Another amendment jettisoned language prohibiting discrimination by business establishments.

But those changes were not enough to allay the concerns of critics like the League of California Cities, which argued that the bill still imposes onerous new requirements. Lobbyist Kirstin Kolpitcke pointed to a provision requiring governments to compile statistics on arrests and citations for offenses like loitering or obstructing sidewalks.

The bill would also bar local law enforcement from applying laws governing things like eating, sitting or panhandling in public places unless the county has satisfied a set of requirements that include a relatively low unemployment rate, a short wait for public housing and readily available public assistance.

“The city does not control the county’s numbers or what they do or do not provide,” Kolpitcke said.

Concerns also remain about the cost of the bill, which requires the State Department of Public Health to fund health and hygiene centers. At the committee hearing on Tuesday, even lawmakers who voted to move the bill underscored those qualms — committee chair Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, predicted a “lively discussion” when the bill goes before the Appropriations Committee.

“While I can certainly appreciate the goal and the aspiration, we all know we simply don’t have the money to be able to provide that,” Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, said of the proposed hygiene centers.

Even should that provision be stripped from the bill, it would leave the core of the legislation intact — what Jennifer Friedenbach of the San Francisco-based Coalition on Homelessness described as “making sure homeless people have a fundamental right to rest” without facing harassment.

“That does not overturn local laws,” Friedenbach told the Bee.

PHOTO CREDIT: Advocates for the homeless rally outside the State Capitol building on Tuesday The Sacramento Bee/Jeremy B. White

Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2013/04/updated-homeless-bill-of-rights-passes-committee.html#storylink=cpy

employment

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.

employment

Mental-health advocate is also a symbol of recovery


For most of her life, Keris Myrick has struggled with mental illness. Now board president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, she’s pushing for better access to care.

For much of her life, Keris Myrick has tried to silence the voices that filled her head with suicidal thoughts and repeatedly sent her to a psychiatric hospital.

But now, Myrick, 51, who has schizo-affective disorder, is embracing one voice that has grown loud and clear — her own. And as she becomes a symbol of recovery and strength in the face of mental illness, others are listening to what she has to say.

FULL STORY