• Bring Back Supper & Sports For Oakland Students!
    Despite community demands to make cuts at the top and keep cuts away from students, OUSD made cuts closest to the kids. Now 3,000 low-income kids will lose daily meals and 500 kids will lose sports programs. When studies clearly show that: kids who are hungry struggle to learn, kids need safe places to go after-school, and sports can provide pathways to academic success for underserved kids. To protect our most vulnerable children, we demand the Board and the Superintendent: 1. Immediately Reinstate Funding to bring back the Free Supper program and the ten Oakland Athletic League sports programs 2. Adopt the following Student Equity Criteria: ● No cuts to direct services to kids in classrooms or on campus that are core to kids’ ability to learn and succeed in school. ● No cuts that disproportionately harm students with highest-need by conducting an impact assessment for any proposed cuts. Moving forward, in order to resolve our budget crisis AND protect our students, we need a new public budget process and stronger community oversight to ensure the hard decisions required (to shift significant resources out of Central Office to schools) can be made. What the first round of budget cuts has shown is, that without greater community control over resources in the district and a collective vision for equity - the students most in need will have their supports cut first. HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW! ● SIGN and SHARE this petition tinyurl.com/reversecutstokids ● EMAIL Board members to Bring Back Supper and Sports for all Oakland Kids! tinyurl.com/emailousdboard ● ATTEND the Board Fiscal Vitality Ctte meetings from now through December to protect the highest need students in any future cuts (the board will make up to $60M in cuts over the next two years)! The Justice for Oakland Students Coalition (J4OS) is a group of deeply concerned students, parents/families, teacher allies, and community organizations who came together around four pillars that center students with highest need – so all kids can learn and succeed! 1) Shift money from Central Office directly to schools; 2) Stop the proliferation of charter schools and re-invest in making all in-district schools excellent; 3) Divest from school police and reinvest in a culture of restorative justice, real school safety and inclusion; and 3) Honor the principles of equity, meaningful engagement of students and parents, democratic decision-making and shared governance.
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  • Reinstate Bishop Talbert Swan
    Bishop Swan was a strong voice of resistance against racism, white supremacy, and in justice. He was an uncompromising in challenging hypocrisy and advocating for the most vulnerable. Twitter suspended his account without notice because of the complaints of right wing racist and Trump supporting bots and trolls would choose to him of racism for his candid condemnation of bigotry. Bishop Swan had over 70,000 followers and was a leading voice of the resistance. He had a verified account and was an influencer on the social media platform.
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  • SB10 is not REAL bail reform. Tell Gov. Jerry Brown: Veto SB10.
    California Bail Reform has been hijacked and we must stop a dangerous bill. Last year, thousands of people stood up to demand real bail reform in California by supporting Senate Bill 10, a bill that Senator Bob Hertzberg championed. But this week, Senator Hertzberg is rushing a completely gutted version of SB 10 to a vote on the CA assembly floor, and it's bad. After nearly 2 years of advocacy and grassroots groups fighting for real bail reform, Senator Hertzberg has yielded to pressure from California’s Judicial Council introducing new language that will lead to more people locked up and entrenched racial bias in CA’s pretrial system. Yes, that Judicial Council. The very same council that had that horrific Black-face, incarceration-themed office party last year. This new bill places all the power in their hands. In a bait and switch, the CA Judicial Council and Probation Department urged Senator Hertzberg to gut the bill and introduce a new scheme. SB 10 now replaces money bail with a system that makes it easier to incarcerate legally innocent people. This is not at all the bail reform our communities deserve and have long fought for. We want to end the predatory money bail industry, but not like this. This new SB 10 will completely derail any progress in the fight to truly end pretrial injustice in the state of California and will have national ramifications. We don’t need legislation that uses a different mechanism to keep communities of color incarcerated -- we need real reform. Our fight must grow louder and stronger.
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  • Tell U.S. Attorney Berman - Drop the Charges Against Therese Patricia Okoumou!
    I, the undersigned, am aware that Therèse Patricia Okoumou was found guilty at her trial on December 17th of three federal misdemeanors: trespassing, disorderly conduct and interference with government agency functions. Despite the real prospect of spending 18 months in prison, “We stand on the right side of history. I am not discouraged,” Patricia said after being sentenced. Our Lady Liberty remains steadfast in her mission to continue campaigning against the immoral and inhumane family separation policies of the Trump administration. Since Patricia's trial, new information has revealed that the extent of the Trump Administration's outrageous “zero tolerance” policy, which it has consistently LIED to the court and the American people about, is even worse than previously known. The federal government has ripped apart tender-aged children from nursing mothers. It has flown thousands of young children across the country away from their families and placed them in cages. Some of The Children are being forcibly drugged and others sexually molested in internment camps. There have been deaths of asylum seekers, as young as 7 years old, under the care and custody of border patrol agents and Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). As part of our basic right to protest, outlined in the constitution, Patricia climbed the Statue of Liberty to increase awareness of this injustice, and I stand in solidarity with her! When we fell low as a country, Patricia went as high as she could to raise consciousness about these atrocities.
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  • Demand Democratic National Committee stop profiting off separating families
    In recent news, we have seen children separated from their families at the border and taken, sometimes shackled in tinted buses, to places across the country. In our own neighborhoods, Black people are whisked away in broad daylight in the back of police cars. Private prisons like GEO Group and CoreCivic have made billions separating people from their families for decades and we’re going to put a stop to it. This year, as politicians vie for elected office across the country, we remind them that we aren't asking for "change" or "hope," we are demanding ACTION; that our elected representatives put our families and safety before corporate profits. It’s time for all politicians to stop taking money from the for-profit imprisonment industry--responsible for separating families from the border, to Miami, New York, L.A, Baltimore, Detroit, and all over the country. On Sunday, July 1st, The Florida Democratic Party passed a resolution to refuse contributions from GEO Group, CoreCivic and their representative PACs and lobbyists after a months long campaign by Dream Defenders to have candidates sign a Freedom Pledge which declares candidates opposition to private prisons and immigrant detention facilities. We celebrate this win in Florida, and are now partnering with Color Of Change to make this a reality all over the country. No politician should gain political power by accepting money from companies that are responsible for separating our families.
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  • Take the Black Census Project Survey Now.
    I would like to introduce you to the Black Census Project survey (https://www.blackcensus.org/) -- an important and historic undertaking from my organization, the Black Futures Lab. Your pledge to participate in the Black Census Project survey will shape more relevant, more impactful policy for our community. Black people are often spoken for, but rarely spoken to. And, elected officials often make policies about us, without us. With your help, we would like to reach 200,000 Black people online and offline, through active outreach to members of our community who are often left out of the conversation. The Black Census Project Survey will be the largest survey of Black people done since Reconstruction. Better policies depend on honoring the full diversity of our communities, and engaging us not just during elections, but between elections as well. ABOUT US The Black Census Project is brought to you by the Black Futures Lab (founded by Alicia Garza, Black Lives Matter Global Network) in partnership with Color of Change, Socioanalytica Research, and Demos. To learn more about the Black Census Project, visit https://www.blackcensus.org/.
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  • Tell Amazon & Apple: Reject Racism and Say No to North Carolina’s Racist Attacks on Voting Rights
    Apple says, “The best way the world works is everybody in. Nobody out.” And Amazon says, “It’s not only that diversity and inclusion are good for our business. It’s more fundamental than that — it’s simply right.” But if they’re willing to move their headquarters to a state that makes a habit of discriminating against eligible Black voters, it’s clearly just a talking point. THE NCGA'S VOTER ID OBSESSION IS RACIST. Prior to 2013, North Carolina had been an example of expanding the freedom to vote. Black folks were gaining political power and increased in participation in successive election after elections. But then in 2013 as part of the "monster voter suppression law" passed by the NCGA, voter ID was required, which Black voters were least likely to have – and that's what they're trying to make part of the constitution now. That 2013 law also eliminated the first seven days of early voting - the exact period that it was used most by Black voters. It cut Sunday voting, a "souls to the polls" tradition used by Black churches to get folks to vote. It eliminated out-of-precinct voting, a rule that allowed working Black voters who couldn't get to their home precinct to at least vote in the same county. In 2014, the NC GOP even moved polling locations further away from Black neighborhoods! Making it harder for Black people to vote wasn't an accident, it was intentional. IT'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL. When a U.S. federal court struck down the voter ID law in 2016, it said: "If discriminatorily motivated, such laws are just as abhorrent, and just as unconstitutional, as laws that expressly discriminate on the basis of race...the General Assembly unconstitutionally enacted the photo ID requirement with racially discriminatory intent.” IT'S BAD BUSINESS. Apple and Amazon both articulate a belief that having a diverse set of perspectives on the team ultimately benefits their company’s ability to do business. If they are hoping to attract Black workers at their new HQs, they should pick a state that thinks their Black workforce deserves the right to vote. Millennials and Gen Z workers care about what their employers stand for and want to live in states that reflect the diversity and inclusion they value. THE BOTTOM LINE I want North Carolina to be a home for both of these wonderful companies, and in addition to taking this step, there are many ways both Amazon and Apple can show true commitment to our communities.* One way Amazon and Apple can demonstrate a real commitment to espoused values of diversity is by making it clear that they won’t move their headquarters to a state that is rapidly sliding backward on racial oppression and voting rights. In 2018, we need to demand that major companies stay on the right side of the law - and the right side of history. ABOUT WILLIAM MATTHEWS William Matthews was raised in Raleigh, NC. William is known around the world as a singer - songwriter and popular recording artist. William's passion is artistry and advocacy. He seamlessly blends music, cinematography and political messaging around themes like racism and climate change which have been highlighted by CNN & Yahoo. In his music, documentaries and podcast work on The Liturgists, William has interviewed prominent religious and thought leaders, songwriters, scientists and global political figures. You can check out his body of work at WilliamMatthewsMusic.com or follow him on Twitter at @WilliamMatt22. SOURCES https://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Published/161468.P.pdf https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/15/us/politics/voter-id-laws-supreme-court-north-carolina.html https://www.apple.com/diversity/ https://www.geekwire.com/2016/jeff-bezos-email-reaffirms-amazons-commitment-tolerance-diversity-trump-win/ https://www.fastcompany.com/3046358/millennials-have-a-different-definition-of-diversity-and-inclusion *https://medium.com/@acrecampaigns/amazons-racial-inequality-prime-fe6ba15fe2d5
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  • Stop Children from Dying During Divorce and Custody Proceedings
    A mother who is a veteran had to return home from Iraq and fight the battle for her children. The children were taken from her safe and sustainable home, and 50/50 custody order. The mother was falsely arrested. The charges where dismissed but the ramification lingered. Nine years later the mother and her children have no relationship. The children were forced to live full-time with their abusive father leaving them vulnerable to mental, physical and emotional abuse at critical developmental stages in there lives. The court's decision has traumatized the mother and placed the children in danger. As of September 24, 2018, at least 657 children have been murdered by a parent involved in a divorce, separation, custody, visitation, or child support situation in the U.S. since 2008. Abusive parents are often granted custody or unprotected parenting time by family courts—placing our nation’s children at ongoing risk. Researchers who interviewed judges and court administrators following some of these tragedies found that most believed these were isolated incidents. Needed reforms have not been implemented. Many court-related child homicides occurred after family courts granted dangerous parents access to children over the objections of a protective parent. We recognize that the women's right's movement is still a work in progress. Marginalized women face multiple oppressions, and we can only win freedom by bringing awareness on how they impact one another. The women of color need a national movement to uplift the needs of the most marginalized women and children. As women of color we need to stand for our human rights to parent the children we have in a safe and sustainable community.
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  • Tell Chancellor Blumenthal to Remember Dr. Huey P. Newton
    Watch our video for UCSC Students: https://spark.adobe.com/video/gjYVChjDJ0MvY Chancellor Blumenthal named 2018 the "Year of Alumni" to honor the legacies and accomplishments of UCSC graduates. Since January our campus has been decorated with the faces and achievements of notable UCSC alumni, but one important name is missing: Dr. Huey P. Newton. Huey Newton earned his Ph.D in History of Consciousness at UCSC in 1980, after finishing his dissertation on the repression the Black Panther Movement faced at the hands of the state. UC Santa Cruz administrators and the UC system co-opt narratives of activism and "non-traditional thinking" while intentionally erasing the intellectuals who were thinking non-traditionally. The erasure of Dr. Huey P. Newton as an academic (at the university from which he earned his Ph.D) contributes to the social perception that Black people (especially those engaged in activism) are separate from/do not have a place in academia. We are asking Chancellor Blumenthal to rethink the erasure of Dr. Newton's academic career at UCSC, by naming College 10 in his honor and to uphold College 10's mission of social justice. Renaming the college Dr. Huey P. Newton College, will serve as a permanent reminder of Huey Newton's scholarly achievements and his dedication to his community/the public good.
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  • Make Juneteenth An Official Pennsylvania State Holiday
    Juneteenth Is The Oldest Celebration For The Emancipation And Freedom Of Enslaved Africans in the United States. In 1865 In Galveston Texas the last remaining enslaved Africans were told of their freedom two and a half (2 ½) years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. We the members of the Juneteenth Family Of Philadelphia are asking you to sign this petition to make Juneteenth an official state holiday. HISTORY OF JUNETEENTH http://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm
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  • Sheriff Clarke's Racism and Hate Has No Place in New York State
    We are disgusted and outraged to learn that David Clarke, the highly controversial former Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin from 2002 to 2017 will be the keynote speaker at your May 9th, 2018 at an event being hosted by the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police at the Capital Center in Albany, NY. According to the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police website, Sheriff Clarke speech topics include, “the preparedness of law enforcement in political protests and riots, and the impact of criminal justice reform in an era that has seen the rise of domestic political extremism including from groups such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter.” David Clarke completely ignores the reality that the perpetrators of violent extremism in the United States include white supremacists; anti-government groups; groups with extreme views on abortion and federal ownership of public lands. Most of the terrorist attacks carried out in the United States are committed by white, far-right violent extremists. According to the United States General Accounting Office (GAO), there were 85 violent extremist attacks in the fifteen years following 9/11. Sixty-two of these were by far right extremists. None were by Black Lives Matter because Black Lives Matter is not an extremist or violent organization. Clarke’s focus on Black Lives Matter is dangerously misplaced. It is part of a false narrative that people who protest against police killings of unarmed black people are a threat. New York’s Chiefs of Police should be meeting to discuss how to lessen hostility between police and communities of color. Instead, by inviting Clarke, NYSCOP is inflaming tensions between police and communities and encouraging more hostility by police forces. Sheriff’s Clarke’s divisive and extreme racist rhetoric and actions are offensive and morally reprehensible. His extreme prejudiced views are not only unwelcome in New York, they pose a danger to New York residents by misinforming law enforcement of the real threats to our society. Community groups and political leaders in New York are actively working to end mass incarceration by exposing the injustices and inequities in our criminal justice system. Sheriff Clarke on the other hand, talks about the “myth” of mass incarceration and he advocates for harsher sentencing for small amounts of drug sales. While he was Sheriff in Wisconsin he cut all programs like GED in his jails. New York’s law enforcement leaders should not be taking directives from Clarke’s reckless beliefs.
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  • Sign Onto The People's Budget: Break The Cages, Fund The People
    On May 1st, at 5pm at City Hall, The Philadelphia Coalition for a Just District Attorney is gathering our movement under a call to end mass incarceration and reinvest in the communities most affected. For too long, “tough on crime” policies have deliberately targeted our black, brown, and working class communities -- ICE is tearing apart families, our youth are being criminalized in school and treated as adults by our overzealous criminal justice system, and the legal system's reliance on cash bail continues to overcrowd our prisons, keeping the House of Correction facility open despite its notoriety for its decrepit conditions. While District Attorney Larry Krasner has made significant progress in his mandate to challenge mass incarceration, our coalition recognizes there are other political actors who hold the power to divest from prisons and invest in people. In the upcoming months, the School District of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Police and Prison Departments, and the First Judicial District will be presenting their fiscal year budgets to City Council for approval. On May 1st, both the Police and Prison Department will be presenting their budgets. We need Philadelphia City Council to support a "People's Budget" and use these hearings to advocate for increased funding for our public school system and decreased spending on incarceration.
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