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9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance

Soup Kitchen

The date of September 11th, 2001 will be indelibly etched in the collective memory of every American. Upon learning of the devastation and the tremendous loss of lives, our nation gasped in horror at the senseless loss of life.

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, two (2) planes hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. The third plane hit the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth plane crashed in field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Almost three thousand (3,000) people perished and countless lives are forever changed.  In commenting on the horror that occurred on the morning of Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, President Bush proclaimed that, “Our nation was deeply wounded.” President Bush went on to say that, “Out of evil came good.” I wonder. Are we safer?

Here is what I know has occurred after September 11th all in the name of keeping Americans safe from further terrorist attacks: critical domestic programs that provide necessary support have been disseminated; billions of dollars have been moved from domestic programs to the defense budget line; Vice President Cheney’s company, Halliburton[i], received a no bid government contract worth billions of dollars; a nation was bombed back into the Stone Age based on the specious claim that there were “Weapons of Mass Destruction”[ii]; countless people have lost their lives fighting two wars; individual citizens rights to privacy have been severely compromised by the Patriot Act; people presumed to be terrorist were being held indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base [iii]—-that is just off the top of my head. Were these wise decisions for our nation? Do you feel safer?

Crowd NCADV

Here is how out of evil can come good: 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance

September 11 has been designated a National Day of Service and Remembrance. In response to the atrocities that were committed on Tuesday, September 10, 2001, a movement grew to have good concur with evil via provision of community service nationwide. The 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance was established into law by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009, and is consistent with President Obama’s overall call to service, United We Serve.” (Corporation for National and Community Service website).

In honor and in celebration of the almost 3000 persons that lost their lives on 9/11, please join me countless persons nationwide participating in service and remembrance activities on September 11, 2014 and thereafter—-in doing so, we can hopefully make some good come from that devastating day in American history.

Sources: Corporation for National and Community Service website. Wikipedia. MSNBC. Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art

[i] “From 1995 to 2002, Halliburton Brown & Root Services Corp was awarded at least $2.5 billion but has spent considerably less to construct and run military bases, some in secret locations, as part of the Army’s Logistics Civil Augmentation Program. This contract was a cost plus 13% contract and BRS employees were trained on how to pass GAO audits to ensure maximum profits were attained. It was also grounds for termination in the Balkans if any BRS employee spoke of Dick Cheney‘s being CEO. BRS was awarded and re-awarded contracts termed “noncompetitive” because BRS was the only company capable of pulling off the missions. DynCorp actually won the competitively let second contract, but never received any work orders in the Balkans.” (Source: Wikipedia)

“In November 2002, KBR was tasked to plan oil well firefighting in Iraq, and in February 2003 was issued a contract to conduct the work. Critics contend that it was a no-bid contract, awarded due to Dick Cheney’s position as vice president. Concern was also expressed that the contract could allow KBR to pump and distribute Iraqi oil. (Source: Wikipedia)

“On January 24, 2006, Halliburton’s subsidiary KBR (formerly Kellogg, Brown and Root) announced that it had been awarded a $385 million contingency contract by the Department of Homeland Security to build “temporary detention and processing facilities” or internment camps. (Source: Wikipedia)

“It was anticipated that Halliburton’s $2.5 billion “Restore Iraqi Oil” (RIO) contract would pay for itself as well as for reconstruction of the entire country. Plans called for more oil to be exported from Iraq‘s northern oil fields than actually occurred. Halliburton’s work on the pipeline crossing the Tigris river at Al Fatah has been called a failure. (Source: Wikipedia)

[ii] “In his final word, the CIA’s top weapons inspector in Iraq said Monday that the hunt for weapons of mass destruction has “gone as far as feasible” and has found nothing, closing an investigation into the purported programs of Saddam Hussein that were used to justify the 2003 invasion.” (Source: MSNBC, April 24, 2004)

“After more than 18 months, the WMD investigation and debriefing of the WMD-related detainees has been exhausted,” wrote Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group, in an addendum to the final report he issued last fall.” (Source: MSNBC, April 24, 2004)

[iii] “The facility was established in 2002 by the Bush Administration to hold detainees from the war in Afghanistan and later Iraq.” (Source: Wikipedia)

The Fair Minimum Wage Act and Paycheck Fairness Act Vote

Serious Computer Users

Three times the Paycheck Fairness Act was blocked in the Senate—– three times. This week, the US Senate could vote again on this piece of legislation. If you care about equal pay for equal work, please contact your US Senator and encourage her/him to pass the  Paycheck Fairness Act.

Today, our senators could vote on a series of bills that would help women and families succeed, including a minimum wage increase and the Paycheck Fairness Act. The issues of minimum wage and equal pay are inextricably linked: Two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women, and the concentration of women in low-wage jobs is one of the factors contributing to the persistent gender pay gap.

Happy Business Woman

Another thing these issues have in common: Neither of them has seen any action since 2009. That’s five years that women have been missing out on two big advances to help them lift themselves and their families to stronger economic standing. We can’t solve either of these problems in a vacuum.

The Senate needs to pass the Fair Minimum Wage Act to give minimum wage workers a long-overdue raise, and it needs to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to give employees the tools they need to uncover and challenge unlawful pay discrimination.

GA DV Conference

Your senators need to hear from you TODAY, before they vote his week – take two minutes to send a message urging them to support the Fair Minimum Wage Act and Paycheck Fairness Act.

Simply put, a lot has changed in the last five years – the economy dove into a recession, the price of milk, gas, rent, and nearly every other major expense has shot up, and a record number of women were elected to the current Congress.

Yet 2009 was the last time the federal minimum wage went up. And 2009 was the last time Congress had a substantive debate – let alone passed a bill – addressing the persistent gender wage gap. With today’s minimum wage stuck at $7.25 per hour, someone who works full time, year round, will take home less than $20,000 annually, meaning her and her family would live below the poverty line.

The situation is even worse for tipped minimum wage workers, who make $2.13 per hour. In addition to directly benefiting women and their families, increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and indexing it to inflation – as the Fair Minimum Wage Act would do – could close the gender pay gap by about 5 percent.

construction worker

That’s more than the pay gap has shrunk in over a decade! That’s more pay in the pockets of millions of women, which means more consumer spending fueling business growth and new jobs. A minimum wage increase would be a big step forward – once you add the Paycheck Fairness Act’s increased protections for workers and stronger deterrents to stop pay discrimination from happening in the first place, we’re talking about a giant leap forward for women and their families.

Your voices caused the US Senate to finally recognize the need to act, and your senators’ votes on these bills will reveal the answer to the ultimate question: Are they really listening? There’s only one way to find out:

Send a message to your senators today urging them to vote “yes” on the Fair Minimum Wage Act and Paycheck Fairness Act.

Source(s) Emily’s List. AAUW.

Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art

 

 

Mayor Garcetti Promises ‘Full Investigation’ Into Death Of 25-Year-Old Killed During Police Encounter

CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) —  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has promised a “full investigation” into the death of a 25-year-old manfatally shot during a police encounter last week.

Ezell Ford was killed August 11 in South Los Angeles after an officer-involved shooting near his home. Ford was unarmed, and according to witnesses, was face-down.

As his family continues to protest, CBS2’s Kristine Lazar reports Garcetti on Monday attempted to assure activists investigators will look thoroughly into the case.

“My thoughts are with the Ford family who are grieving. I will ensure that there is a full investigation of this incident. I understand the passion stirred within the community and fully respect the right of the people to assemble and be heard. I ask that all Angelinos to respect each other during this time through the practice of peace,” Garcetti stated.

The mayor’s remarks came as Ford’s body…

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Connecting the Dots: Building a Movement to End the Death Penalty

hispanic men

Event: Georgians For An Alternative to the Death Penalty Statewide Meeting

Date: Saturday, August 23, 2014,

Title: Connecting the Dots: Building a Movement to End the Death Penalty.

Cost: Free

Registration: On or before Thursday, August 21 at NOON.

prisoner's hands

It will be a full day of dynamic workshops; community building and visioning of GFADP’s work for the year ahead.

The agenda is as follows:

9:30-10:00-Registration and light refreshments

10:00-10:15-Welcome

10:15-11:00-Our Humanity Will Not Be Denied

Is the death penalty about revenge or control?

This interactive workshop will explore ways in which race, class, money, and power infuse the administration of the death penalty, particularly in the South. Participants will explore the connections between criminal justice policies such as stop and frisk, stand your ground, no knock warrants and the death penalty; examine the concept of otherness and its relationship to the death penalty, and will begin to discuss concrete tactics for shifting the balance of power and bringing about an end to the death penalty. Presented by Terrica Ganzy

11:00-12:00-The Death Penalty: What’s Developmental Disabilities Got to Do With It?

This workshop will provide a brief overview of the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities’ statewide Real Communities Initiative and partnership with GFADP. We will explain connections between issues impacting people with DD and the prison industrial complex, the school to prison pipeline, the death penalty and parallels between the prison system and the state DD system. Presented by Caitlin Childs, Cheri Pace and Lesa Hope

8 Inmate

12:00-12:45-Lunch

12:45-1:45-From Problems to Policy

This workshop will help you visualize how to change a problem in your community, into a policy that serves the community. Learn the steps for building and winning a campaign. Presented by Troya Sampson

2:00-3:15-Visioning for GFADP

3:15-3:30-Close out and next steps

For more information, please contact info@gfadp.org.

Courthouse

Source:

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Mothers Day 2014

 Mothers Day 2014 is fast approaching. In the United States, Mother’s Day has been celebrated on the second Sunday of May for almost eighty years. This wildly popular annual holiday seeks to recognize the positive contributions that mothers have made and continue to make in the lives of their children. Not only is Mother’s Day celebrated in the United States, it is also a national holiday in several other countries including but to limited to: Mexico, Canada, South America, Japan, and China.

Every year, children and adults in countless countries seek ways to honor their mother for giving them life, direction, hope, and love. According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother’s Day is the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant. Like dining out, the giving of cards, flowers, and other gifts are also very popular methods for honoring your mother on Mother’s Day.

An emerging trend on Mother’s Day is to give your time or financial support to nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life for indigent children, youth, and adults. In this particularly challenging financial period in our nation’s history, nonprofits are called upon to serve an ever increasing number of families in crisis. This Mother’s Day, in honor of your mother, please consider providing much needed support to nonprofits serving indigent children, youth, and families in crisis. Very Happy Mother’s Day!

Sources: Wikipedia. National Restaurant Association.

Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Foster Care Awareness Month 2014

 

smiling mother and daughter

In 1988, at the urging of Senator Strom Thurmond and the National Foster Care Association, President Bush signed a proclamation designating May as National Foster Care Awareness Month. When thinking of the month of May, for many it evokes thoughts of spring flowers, rain showers, and Mother’s Day. May and Mother’s Day also reminds some of the increasing number of children in foster care that are in need of the support of a caring adult. 

Poems - Hug

Each May, National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity to not only raise the visibility of the experiences of the children and youth in the foster care system but also the urgent need for more foster and adoptive parents. Hopefully, this month long awareness campaign encourages citizens from every walk of life to get involved with the life of a child in the foster care system. You should consider becoming a foster or adoptive parent, volunteer, or mentor to a child. Every child deserves a safe, happy, and loving family. Children and youth in the foster care system especially need nurturing adults on their side because their own families are in crisis and unable to care for them.

cute little girl continuing to paint

For information on what you can do to help the children who are waiting for a foster family contact your local state agency. To obtain information about events being held in your area during National Foster Care Awareness Month, visit National Foster Care Awareness Month website at http://www.fostcaremonth.org.

If you are considering providing a long-term home for an abused or neglected child, you may want to visit several of the adoption websites such as http://www.childwelfare.gov, http://www.adoption.com, and http://www.adoptuskids.org.

Source(s): http://www.childwelfare.gov, http://www.adoption.com, http://www.adoptuskids.org, and http://www.adoption.about.com. Photo credit Microsoft Clip Art