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Keep the water on in BrightmoorBlack people in Brightmoor are suffering as a result of the city's decision to deny them water. Brightmoor is a Black community here in Detroit that has seen the pressure of gentrification and lack of economic support lead to longtime Black residents without secure housing. Residents in Brightmoor without secure housing prospects are only further punished when the city takes their water away. While the people of the community are forced to pay ever-rising rents, they are also being pushed out by the city who is denying them utilities they need to live.1 With thousands of residents across Detroit being denied water, we know Black communities like Brightmoor will be hit the hardest. Without water Black people in Brightmoor find themselves falling further behind the eightball as they search for jobs that can allow them to afford to live in the community they’ve known their entire lives. Water and Sewerage Director Gary Brown and Mayor Mike Duggan have the power to stop the shutoffs now. This is not the first time Detroit has caused thousands of Black people to suffer without water. Despite being told that water cutoffs are a public health risk Mayor Mike Duggan and Water and Sewage Director Gary Brown directed the city water department to shut off water for more than 76,000 people in Detroit between 2014 and 2016.2 Director Brown has gone on record as saying that no one should have their water cut off in Detroit, now Black people in Brightmoor and throughout Detroit are being threatened with just that. The city of Detroit’s water cutoff policy leaves the people of Brightmoor with few options when searching for fresh water to drink, bathe and cook. Students in households who had their water cutoff had to find a way to learn while also worrying about staying clean and avoiding the attention of their peers. People working or searching had to find a way to keep their clothes clean or risk their only option to get current on their bills and restore their water. Without access to clean and safe water, people are exposed to a greater risk of contracting Hepatitis A. Residents throughout the community rely on water from community partners, We The People and the Brightmoor Connection food pantry, putting an incredible strain on the resources needed to address other areas in dire need of help. Changing the water policy to end cutoffs would allow Black people who make-up Brightmoor and Detroit as a whole better cope with rising rent pushing people out of the only community they’ve known. Director Gary Brown and Mayor Mike Duggan can help Black people in Brightmoor and Detroit by ending the policy to deny people water service. It is the only equitable option for a city that is interested in assisting residents who have been the backbone of the city as they face growing financial pressure from gentrification. Join us in demanding that he keeps the water on in Brightmoor.
Eliminate Cholera In Haiti!Now that Donald Trump’s budget bill has passed through Congress, the Budget Appropriations Committee has a month to decide where the money will be allocated. The Budget Appropriations has a moral obligation to include $12 million towards the UN’s Haitian cholera fund. Appropriations Committee Representatives Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Hal Rogers, as key decision makers in this, should vote yes in supporting this funding and help save thousands of cholera victims in Haiti. The rest of the world is looking to the U.S. for leadership around providing aid to cholera victims in Haiti who have been unnecessarily affected by this lethal virus. Over the past seven years, hundreds of thousands of Haitians have fallen victim to cholera due to the United Nations reckless sewage disposal on their peacekeeping base in 2010. Cholera is an infectious and often fatal bacterial disease, typically contracted from infected water supplies and causing severe vomiting and diarrhea. Today, at least 10,000 Haitians have died, and over 800,000 had been sickened, after years of the U.N. denying and covering up what they did. Cholera has ruined Haiti’s poorest communities, leaving families who lost breadwinners destitute and children orphaned. The epidemic continues to ravage Haiti today and still spikes following large rainfall, such as during Hurricanes Irma and Matthew. In 2016, the then United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon finally acknowledged their responsibility in the outbreak of cholera in Haiti and issued a public apology to the Haitian people. Unfortunately, an apology will not bring 10,000 people back to us, it will not bring mothers and fathers back to the children and it certainly will not provide treatment for the thousands still suffering. Public health actors on the ground strongly believe that with enough funding, the cholera virus can be eliminated in Haiti this year but we need UN member states to step up, including the U.S. The U.N. has proposed a New Approach to Cholera in Haiti, which seeks to eliminate the virus and provide assistance for people who have been directly affected. However, only 4% of the funds have been generated to make this “New Approach” a reality. If the New Approach continues to be underfunded, there could be another outbreak of the devastating disease . The United States has an opportunity to set the tone for the rest of the world by granting money to the U.N’s fund. This money will save the lives of so many Haitians and put an end to this deadly epidemic. Please join us in this fight to eliminate cholera in Haiti.
Boycott Companies that Advertise on Fox News: Who support racism in exchange for profitAs a person of color, my life is regularly made more difficult and unpleasant due to the nature of the content propagated by Fox News. Fox News brings out the worst in people by preying on their fears and prejudices, bolstering people's preexisting stereotypes, and espousing and encouraging racist, homophobic, islamophobic, misogynistic, and ignorant behavior. I will not support any company that supports an entity such as Fox News that seems to be in direct opposition to all of my values and thinks of me--and tries to convince others to think of me--as lesser, dangerous, lazy, and unintelligent due to the color of my skin. People may think it is not worth it and they are only making their own lives harder by boycotting because so many companies advertise on Fox News and nothing will change that, but my life is already made difficult by Fox News, including all the companies that support it, so I have no problem taking it upon myself to make decisions that align with my self-interest and may be difficult. If we do nothing, what is going on in society and politics will only continue, so we might as well speak up for ourselves and hit the companies where they'll notice it: the wallets!
Keep New Orleans Water PublicPublic water systems are a cornerstone of democracy. Public water systems are a city’s most valuable infrastructure. Handing over New Orleanians’ most valuable asset to a private company is an appalling abdication of public service. There are more than 300 jobs at Seweragee and Water Board that need to be filled now. More than ever, it is clear New Orleans needs a real and urgent commitment to its public water system. We need true accountability for the management of our whole water system and our community needs jobs. Instead of focusing on solutions to strengthen and reform New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board, Mayor Landrieu is selling out New Orleanians to the bottom line of private contractors and corporations. Mayor Landrieu’s privately-contracted “Interim Emergency Management and Support Team” released an RFP on October 23rd that would privatize operations, management and multiple levels of water system positions through a public private partnership with a corporation for “up to three years.” On October 27th at a pre-bid meeting, the contractors asking about the RFP asked if their employees had to have valid Louisiana Drivers Licenses and professional certifications – they don't plan to hire locally. New Orleanians need jobs, right now! New Orleans needs an accountable, transparent, high-functioning public water system and our community needs good, local jobs. We can work together on a win-win solution. A first step is stopping Mayor Landrieu’s takeover of Sewerage and Water Board—Don't take us back to 1898.
Tell Oakland Unified: Get the Lead OutAs Black families in Flint are still recovering from years of lead exposure, recent reports have revealed lead-tainted water in another Black community -- this time at McClymonds High School in West Oakland. After news broke in August, Oakland school officials took some immediate, short-term actions to protect Black students at McClymonds, including installing filters on water fountains. But this recent incident could be the tip of the iceberg for lead-tainted water at Oakland schools, leaving more Black kids at risk for lead exposure. No child should be exposed to lead while trying to learn in the classroom. Lead is highly toxic to kids, and even small exposures can cause permanent damage to their cognitive development. That's why pediatricians across the country stress that there is NO safe level of lead for our kids. And data increasingly shows that wherever there is lead in pipes and plumbing, there is risk for contamination. It's time for Oakland Unified to adopt a strong district-wide policy that will truly protect all kids from these lead threats.
Lower Climate Carbon Levels Now to Reduce/End/Reverse Climate Heating Baking Drowning on EarthClimate heating, baking, drowning caused by skyrocketing climate carbons of fossil fuel emissions (combustion) are causing our 6th Extinction now....but we have a rare opportunity to change the course of history....to stop causing hell on earth....and to grow heaven on earth instead if we act now....if we can count more than private rates of cash and value the invaluable uncountable flows of light, energy, air, water, topsoil, green productivity also....and act now to do good, to grow good, positive outcomes: Every living cell, seed, seedling, soil, self wants to reach up toward light of our sun to grow positives, to lift life up to light, to grow heaven, laughter, vision, wisdom on earth instead.... So let's garden....and harvest free flows, blessings to lift us up.
Take It Down Now: ALL confederate statues. Rename ALL confederate streets and buildingsUpdate: October 7th, 2017 CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia— “You will not replace us” “Russia is our friend” “the South will rise again.” CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia—White supremacist Richard Spencer suddenly reappeared on Saturday night with torch-bearing supporters, two months after he organized an infamous hate march here. Spencer and his 50 or so followers gathered around a statue of Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park chanting white supremacist slogans. “They were shouting ‘You will not replace us,’ ‘Russia is our friend,’ ‘the South will rise again,’ ‘we'll be back,’” said a University of Virginia faculty member, who wished not to be named for fear of retribution. Via @thedailybeast On Saturday, August 12th, white supremacist, terrorists marched through Charlottesville, communities and the University of Virginia campus, rallying around a statue of the Confederacy and carrying torches evoking a history of violent racial terrorism. The next day in Charlottesville they murdered someone in the name of their white supremacist symbols. Protesters were rammed by a car killing someone in a terrorist attack. These symbols were not chosen randomly. Confederate monuments have been erected and remain as a direct rebuke to the recognition of the full humanity of Black people. Confederate monuments were built and given places of honor in public space as gains in this recognition have been made and it is the commitment to the reversal of this recognition of humanity that draws white nationalists to these symbols. These symbols of white supremacy have always been memorials to the cause of slavery and the denial of humanity to Black people. Now they are being weaponized to rally white supremacists. We have the power to diffuse these modern-day lynch mobs by removing these statues altogether, instead of giving white supremacists a rally point. Confederate statues and named institutions are more than mere symbols of a heritage but instead, they are an assertion of the continued imposition of white supremacy and its current political power. Terrorists in Charlottesville understood this and were willing to kill in the name of this, we must be determined to persist in the face of this white supremacist terror. Removing all Confederate statues would be one step among many in sending the message that we are no longer honoring white supremacy at a societal level. We've already many communities take the step to address these monuments in cities like Tampa and New Orleans. Join with me today and pledge to work to remove all Confederate statues or names from our community. - [ ]
Justice for Ville Platte Pedestrians"A Ville Platte man and two teenagers are recovering after all three were hit by a truck. However, they are facing charges, and the driver isn't. Police have fined the three for not wearing reflective clothing at night and charged them with obstructing a public passage." From a story by Kendria LaFleu at KATC an ABC affiliate. Twenty-one-year-old Deonte Williams, 19-year-old Cody Mayes and 17-year-old Kevin Wilson need justice. If you're a victim of a crash, you shouldn't be the one charged with a crime. The fact that they are being charged with a crime after a crash is a gross miscarriage of justice. Charges need to be dropped on the two teenagers and young man, the laws and ordinances that is allowing for charges and fines need to be struck from the books, and Ville Platte needs to actively apply for Complete Streets funding, since clearly there are serious street design issues if people are being mandated to wear reflective gear for walking. My name is Teka-Lark Lo I am an alternative transportation advocate in New York City. My focus is Complete Streets for hypersegregated communities. The Black community has historically been and continues to be home to the most hypersegregated communities in the United States. We do not have equity in many areas, including areas of active transportation, such as walking and bicycling. I am joined with longtime Ville Platte Civil Rights Activist Arthur James Sampson Jr. and the NAACP Lafayette, La Branch # 6060. We all deserve the freedom to walk and bike in our communities without fear of being run over and charged with a crime. This situation is a clear example of transportation injustice. The Ville Platte, Louisiana, Police Department (VPPD) and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) was found by the Department of Justice in December of 2016 "to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution" and instead of its politicians condemning the police and sheriff for such behavior they support and encourage it and actively use the police and sheriff for punitively enforcing mobility limiting and Civil Right violating policies, such as the walking curfew and mandating reflective clothing when walking. Regardless of where you're Black, whether it be in the metropolitan cities of Los Angeles & New York or in rural Ville Platte, Louisiana, you deserve justice. You deserve #TransportationEquity #BicycleEquity. Give Transportation Equity to Ville Platte. Help the citizens of Ville Platte walk home without fear of being run over by a truck and charged with a crime. Tell Mayor Vidrine to drop the charges against Deonte Williams, Cody Mayes, and Kevin Wilson.
Acknowledge and Expose Black History in SchoolsSchools do not go very in depth to the things that actually affect the communities we live in. Without the proper education, our generations of children will loose intelligence over time. Increasing the level of exposure for big topics like Black History will open the minds of students, enhancing their positive skill sets and outcomes. For example, when I was in my World History class at Center High School in Kansas City, Missouri, my History teacher, Mr. Chambers showed the class articles and videos and books that exposed the truth and reality of Black History. When we witness what was shown, we became more mellow, respectful, and responsible than how we were in the beginning of the year. It is very important for our students, (children, and young adults), to know about the slavery, segregation, integration, Civil Rights, police brutality, White on Black crime, and Black on Black crime throughout Black History, and everything that made up the evilness with in the Black communities over time. Doing so will give students a better understanding of what the past was like for Black, (African American), people, and why Black people protest, retaliate, and die in our communities and nation. Students must be taught the truth about all of the things that Black people have gone through and accomplished to be equal citizens of this nation, and to be treated like equal citizens of this nation. Accomplishing these goals of acknowledging and exposing Black History in schools will make a better tomorrow for everyone.
#SaveDemitriusDemitrius Manderfield is being tortured in a Michigan jail and may potentially die if he does not receive help. Demitrius is 20-years-old and is suffering from the painful and chronic illness sickle beta thalassemia. He has not been convicted of any crime, yet has been caged behind bars for three months now. To make matters worse, he’s jailed at Midland Federal Correctional Facility and they have been denying him access to proper healthcare for three months now. His judge, Judith Levy, promised that she would release him for treatment if his medical needs weren’t being met in jail. But it’s been weeks and nothing has been done. His health is steadily declining and his family desperately needs your help. Jails in the United States are known to be danger zones for people with disabilities --especially Black folks. Sandra Bland, Darren Rainey, and Ralkina Jone have all died behind bars because jail workers and jail health practitioners have no empathy for Black people who are perceived as criminals. By refusing to provide chronically ill inmates with medical treatment, jails are literally sentencing people to the death penalty before a judge has even charged them with a crime. Demitirus’ court date is in 14 days, but his mother and family worry his illness may not even allow him to live long enough to stand before Judge Levy again.
Join the Fight to End Environmental Discrimination and Air Pollution in MarylandI grew up on a farm in a rural community in Prince George’s County, Md.,that is being overwhelmed with life-threatening pollution. My community, Brandywine, is 72 percent African American. We’re battling environmental discrimination and we need your help. We have two power plants in Brandywine that spew toxins, like nitrogen oxide and ammonia, linked to asthma, heart disease and stroke. The state of Maryland has permitted three more fossil-fuel power plants in our area, which means five of the state’s 13 large power plants would be in our community or close by. The most recently permitted plant, called the Mattawoman Plant, will pollute the air near the homes of senior citizens and just down the street from our elementary school. State officials have chosen our predominantly black community as a dumping ground for toxic air pollution. The state paid no attention to the racially biased impact of these plants. The Mattawoman plant will contribute to ground-level ozone, a very harmful form of pollution linked to asthma attacks. African Americans in Maryland are nearly 2.5 times as likely as white Maryland residents to die from asthma. As president of the Brandywine TB Southern Regional Coalition, I am committed to protecting the health and quality of life of our community. Brandywine should not be the dumping ground for the stuff no one wants. Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., sacrificed so much, so that we would not be marginalized based on skin color. But Maryland officials ignored the requirement of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that any entity, public or private, that receives federal funds conduct a review before issuing a permit to pollute to ensure that the pollution will not have an unjustified, unequal impact on the basis of race. Last month, I joined with Earthjustice and the Patuxent Riverkeeper in filing a federal civil rights complaint about the Mattawoman Plant. It asks three federal government – the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Transportation, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – to investigate and remedy these civil rights violations. But state officials have the power to do the right thing now. Tell Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan that the state must reconsider its decision to permit the Mattwoman Plant and that it must protect the civil rights of all Maryland residents! The fight for racial equality—as the Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted in recent years--is far from complete. Join us in calling on Maryland officials to ensure our civil rights are protected by ending environmental discrimination now!
STOP UCSF FROM CLOSING NEW GENERATION CLINICWe are asking that members of the San Francisco community and people nationwide to stand with us to save the last full-service reproductive health clinic serving poor Black and Latino youth in San Francisco. After 45 years of serving vulnerable youth, on March 1 the University of California San Francisco gave swift & abrupt notice to staff at New Generation Health Clinic that its doors will close in 30 days due to budget cuts. There was no plan to replace the New Generation clinic; instead the “solution” was to redirect the patients to existing hospitals and clinics. The thousands of young people who rely on the clinic's services were not consulted about this plan. Thanks to efforts lead by 3rd Street Youth Center & Clinic, concerned educators and parents, and most importantly, directly impacted young people from the city-- as of March 17th, USCF announced that they would delay the closure of the clinic to July 31st. After the 31st, they plan to work with the Department of Public Health to "ensure continuity of care for patients." They refuse to commit to keeping New Generation open, citing its " lack of financial sustainability." Meanwhile, UCSF has publicly announced plans to spend $600 million on building brand new facilities alone in the next 3 years, this plan included the new $240 million complex in Mission Bay-- the neighborhood where New Generation Health Clinic is located. Clearly, a lack of funds is not the issue here. The University of California San Francisco constantly emphasizes their commitment to addressing health disparities and making equity a priority. Now is their chance to stand by their word. New Generation is a safe haven in a city where navigating and accessing the health care system is nearly impossible. For young people who are victims of rape and unwanted pregnancy- San Francisco General Hospital is just not an option. Survivors of rape need a place where they feel safe and where youth are welcomed, not criminalized. If UCSF succeeds in their plans to close New Generation, there will be a much higher price to pay. The message the city of San Francisco and the University of California San Francisco are sending is blatant: money matters, not Black and Brown lives. Please sign and share the petition to help us keep New Generation Health Clinic open. For too many, this is a matter of life or death.