Forgotten Voters Step Forward to Fight Discrimination

An Invitation to all of you!

Forgotten Voters Step Forward to Fight Discrimination
Ex-Prisoners Band Together in SF’s New Civil Rights Movement
WHAT: Peace & Justice Community Summit
WHEN: Saturday, October 23, 10am-4pm
WHERE: City of Refuge Community Church,
1025 Howard Street, San Francisco
CONTACT: Linda Evans, All of Us Or None,
510-219-0297
Dorsey Nunn, All of Us Or None,
415-516-9599

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Thousands of people will be disenfranchised in this
November’s election – and thousands more face daily discrimination due to
their status as former prisoners. But at this Saturday’s Peace and Justice
Community Summit, a rare grouping of elected officials, community leaders
and formerly-incarcerated people will join to fight that discrimination, and
create a real vision for public safety in San Francisco.

The summit is sponsored by Public Defender Jeff Adachi, State Assembly
Member Mark Leno, and All of Us Or None, a grassroots civil rights movement
dedicated to building political power for people in communities devastated
by mass incarceration.

This is the first time that formerly-incarcerated people as a group will
join together in San Francisco to advance an agenda of ending post-release
discrimination and to present a vision of public safety that is based on
supporting the well-being of all members of our communities.

In this November’s election, 60% of the 5,404 people in jail, prison and/or
on parole from the county of San Francisco are not able to vote, according
to the California Department of Corrections. The remaining 40% – those in
county jail facilities – most likely won’t vote because they aren’t aware
they are eligible, according to Dorsey Nunn of All of Us or None:

“I thought that I had lost my right to vote forever because of my felony
conviction – and I have spoken with many others who believed the same,”
said Nunn. “We need to let people know the truth. The only people who are
barred from voting in California are those currently in state prisons or
completing their parole.”

Formerly-incarcerated people will also make specific demands of elected
officials and community leaders to stop the discrimination they face in
housing, employment, public assistance, parental rights, and education. “The
difficulties faced by people upon release from prison are a social, not an
individual, problem. This needs to be addressed by elected officials in
order to support healthy community reintegration and prevent recidivism,”
states Public Defender Jeff Adachi, co-sponsor of the Summit.

As State Assembly Member Mark Leno, Chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on
Public Safety, points out, “Discrimination against formerly-incarcerated
people and their exclusion from social services jeopardizes public safety
because of their difficulties surviving, living healthy and staying out of
prison. This is an issue that concerns us all.”

The public is urged to attend the San Francisco Peace and Justice Community
Summit: Saturday, October 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the City of Refuge
Community Church, 1025 Howard Street in San Francisco. Childcare and a
community lunch will be provided. This Summit is being sponsored by All of
Us or None, Sr. Ex- Offenders Program, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff
Adachi, and State Assembly Member Mark Leno.

peace with justice for all,
Abridging my civil liberties is an ‘act of terrorism’!
There’s a terrorist behind every BUSH!

john vance, editor: jvance@riseup.net
Peoples Bark News Berkeley

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Blogs: Political pundits are here

NYT has a story on the political bloggers by Matthew Klam. Just for the record, the entire text follows.

Fear and Laptops on the Campaign Trail:
Nine blocks north of Madison Square Garden, next door to
the Emerging Artists Theater, where posters
advertised ”The Gay Naked Play” (”Now With More
Nudity”), the bloggers were up and running. It was
Republican National Convention week in New York City, and
they had taken over a performance space called the Tank. A
homeless guy sat at the entrance with a bag of cans at his
feet, a crocheted cap on his head and his chin in his
hand. To reach the Tank, you had to cross a crummy little
courtyard with white plastic patio furniture and half a
motorcycle strung with lights and strewn with flowers,
beneath a plywood sign that said, ”Ronald Reagan Memorial
Fountain.”
Read More

Oprah’s Gifts: Winner takes it small

What happens when Oprah Winfrey declares free Pontiac G6 sedans as free giveaways?
comScore Networks, which tracks site traffic, reported that visits to oprah.com jumped 800 percent from Monday to Tuesday as over 600,000 people logged on after seeing ‘Oprah.’ Plus, visits to pontiac.com jumped 600 percent in the same period as over 140,000 people viewed the site.

What else happens? Pontiac gets huge advertisement base since the news appears in all national media. The return is much more than the investment of Pontiac.

What else? Oprah is the angel once again, her television program gets ratings, more and more emulate her wealth (of course, what else did you think?).

Last, but certainly not the least. The “free” sedans are not so free after all. Lucio Guerrero in Chicago Sun Times reports that each of the 276 recipients of the sedans will have to cough up over thousands of dollars in taxes. Since Pontiac paid for the local charges, the recipients have to report the cars as income once tax time comes.

American Museum finally Opens

The Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of the American Indian on the Mall in Washington finally saw light. Not just long due, but also long suppressed, the idea is a great relief in its materialized form.

What least can one afford to pay as a tribute to the peoples who were forced to convert to the Jesusland? For peoples who were perished so that the corporate American Dream can be established? A museum?

Well, it appears some talks will surely take place between intersections of minorities in this country. Hopefully it will not be played on the same cards of favoritism that strives to attract attention of the Whites.

Journalism needs Palmers and Jarretts

Chicago Defender Editorial on why Journalism needs more Palmers and Jarretts for the 21st
century:

In the last four months, the Black journalism world, and
Chicago in particular, lost two esteemed colleagues in
Vernon Jarrett and Lu Palmer. The latter died Sunday night
of pneumonia, and it was cancer that took the life of the
former in May.

What made these two men remarkable wasn’t just their
ability to take the English language and use it to effect
change in this city, nation and world, but that they had
the heart of great civil rights champions like Frederick
Douglass, A. Philip Randolph and Martin Luther King Jr.
Both men subscribed to the admonition of Douglass as he
lay dying, “Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!”

What Palmer and Jarrett understood was that wielding the
pen of a journalist or twirling the microphone was a
weapon that could not treated lightly. Instead, they made
it a point to wield their work tools to cultivate and
nurture a growing political, social and economic movement
that has produced one of the smartest, richest and most
politically connected generation this city and nation has
ever seen. They championed the causes that needed to be
discussed; held Black leadership accountable to the
masses; and wasn’t willing to back down when confronting
the white political and business establishment, even to
their personal detriment.

But what may be so sad about their deaths is that the
mission that they stood for may also die with them. Today,
the fire and passion that seemed to ooze from their bodies
is missing in most of today’s Black journalists. No longer
are Black journalists limited to honing their craft in
places like the Chicago Defender, Los Angeles Sentinel,
Houston Informer or the countless other Black newspapers
that told the stories that were ignored or marginalized in
mainstream media. Now, Black journalists flock to major
daily newspapers and magazines that 40 years ago would’ve
trashed their resumes. Listening to many of these same
journalists, it seems that they choose to cloak themselves
in objectivity and distance when discussing their roles as
journalists. Some even go as far as removing themselves
from any active participation in Black causes. While it is
absolutely
important that stories be presented with balance, fairness
and from a position of facts, that doesn’t mean a sense of
identity and purpose must also be cast aside in the name
of journalism.

Whether it is accepted or not, Black journalists must
continue to serve a vital role in ensuring that “our”
stories are treated with respect and dignity in mainstream
media, as well advocate fiercely when those they are being
ignored. If they don’t speak up and speak out, then the
likelihood that the interests of Black America being left
out is likely.

If Black journalists wish to show proper respect to the
likes of Lu Palmer and Vernon Jarrett, don’t bother with
grand speeches, scholarship funds, and memorials. Pick up
the baton they have so
gently carried and run a good race for the next generation
of crusading journalists.