From April 2008

Obama's Nation

 By Post Staff   

Untitled-1.jpgBarack Obama called for  sweeping social and political  reforms as part of a movement  “from the bottom up” during  a speech to thousands of supporters in downtown Oakland  on March 17. “The country calls us, history beckons us… there’s a better future for America,” said  Obama, as he was greeted by  supporters who waved signs  bearing his name.

The  civil  rights  struggle  and voting rights movement  for  women  proved  ordinary  people “can make change…  we can speak with a million  voices,” said Obama. Oakland Mayor Ronald V.  Dellums introduced Obama  and also called for an end to  the war in Iraq. The former state legislator and civil rights attorney  hopes to become the first Black  President of the United States.  Polls show the Illinois Senator  is closing the gap on frontrunner New York Senator and former First Lady Hillary Rodham  Clinton. Read more

Presidential Candidate Clinton Tackles “Black” Issues

By Conway Jones

CobbClinton.jpgSan Francisco – U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) met with Bay Area African-American ministers and community leaders last Friday at the African American Art and Culture Complex. The Democratic presidential candidate discussed her programs to deal with problems facing African Americans, particularly children and youth violence.
She also touched on the senseless murder of Chauncey Bailey, Editor of the Post Newspapers. Senator Clinton’s Bay Area visit followed her appearance the day before in Las Vegas, Nevada. There, she addressed the National Association of Presidential Candidate Clinton Tackles “Black” Issues Black Journalists, where she discussed, “a crisis of the 1.4 million young men of color between 16 and 24 without jobs and out of work, and too often without hope.” She continued that theme in her talks in San Francisco. Senator Clinton’s comments were direct and showed her depth of understanding of all issues raised by this group. She dispelled any misconception that she doesn’t understand what Americans face daily, or that she lacks the courage to be President. Clinton invoked the killing of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey. The former First Lady said she deplored the violence that resulted killing “an investigative journalist doing his job. Read more

African Villagers Connect to the Internet

Nokia Siemens Networks has added Internet access capability to its Village Connection, combining technology with business model innovation to create a self-sustaining model for rural access in emerging markets.
The Village Connection with Internet Kiosk, with services similar to those available to Internet café customers in urban areas, will enable people in remote villages to access the Internet.
The Internet Kiosk provides a holistic solution which brings voice, SMS, and Internet access to rural locations untouched by the power of the Internet and mobile communication.
The challenge of affordability is addressed by combining technology with business model innovation. Read more

Forest City Honors Mack

mackrings.jpg2008 State Basketball Champions, McClymonds Aaron James, Ashytin Lowe, Emmanuel Johnson, Frank Otis; Middle – Damario Sims, Damon Powell, Barry Bell, Quincy Hill; Bottom – William Cherry, Christopher Jackson, Solomon Wiseman and Coach Dwight Nathaniel. Photos by Gene Hazzard.

Forest City Enterprises, developer of the Uptown project in downtown Oakland, has committed to sponsoring championship rings to honor the first ever state title won by McClymonds High School boys’ basketball team, capping off an undefeated season.
At this event, Forest City Enterprises presented its gift, to underwrite the cost of commemorative rings, for the McClymond?s basketball team. “The impressive generosity displayed by Forest City Enterprises underscores the great promise of public-private partnerships in building a brighter future for our children and city,” stated Vincent Matthews, State Administrator of the Oakland Unified School District . Read more

PG&E Recognized As the Corporation of the Year

PGE.jpgPacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer William “Bill” Harper (second from right) is pictured following PG&E’s selection as Corporation of the Year Award during the recent Northern California Supplier Development Council’s (NCSDC) 30th Annual Awards Gala. The NCSDC also presented its Minority Business Enterprise Advocate of the Year Award to Tanya Nixon (first from left), PG&E senior supplier diversity consultant. Tita Gray (third from left), manager at PG&E’s supplier diversity department, received the NCSDC’s Corporate Coordinator of the Year Award. Also joining the celebration is Carl Banks (second from left), Chairman of the NCSDC’s Minority Business Input Committee.

What Would Isaiah Do? (About Reverend Wright)

kaplan.jpgBy Rebecca Kaplan

So many mainstream media commentators seem outraged, shocked, and frankly confused about how to understand the sermons of Reverend Jeremiah Wright.  They feel they must denounce them, or distance themselves, or call them hostile.  I wonder to whom they are comparing him.  Do they feel his approach is “inappropriate” compared to other powerful spiritual leaders?  What would Isaiah, for example, do, or say, in this situation?  It would be:
“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the LORD hath spoken: Children I have reared, and brought up, and they have rebelled against me.  … Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that deal corruptly; they have forsaken the LORD, they have contemned the Holy One of Israel, they are turned away backward. On what part will ye yet be stricken, seeing ye stray away more and more? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.  Your country is desolate; your cities are burned with fire; your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by floods.”
Isaiah 1:  2-8. Read more

College Students Protest Budget Cuts

The leadership of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges (SSCCC), California State Student Association (CSSA) and University of California Student Association (UCSA) have come together in a historic coalition, called Students for California’s Future and announced that Monday, April 21, 2008 will be a Day of Action across California with major marches being planned at the State Capitol and downtown Los Angeles.
Over 3.2 million students at the California Community Colleges (CCC), California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) systems are represented with the unification of these organizations because “all would be adversely affected by $1 billion dollars in cuts to higher education,” said Frank Fernandez, SSCCC President. Read more

Turner, Methodists and Lutherans to Raise $200 Million to Fight Malaria

Ted Turner, who once called Christianity a “religion for losers,” has announced he is joining forces with the United Methodist Church and the Lutheran World Relief to try to raise $200 million to fight malaria in Africa,.
Turner, a billionaire media mogul, is chairman of the United Nations Foundation, created in 1998 when the CNN founder pledged $1 billion to the United Nations.
Turner said his alliance with the two churches would enable the initiative to reach out to their combined 25 million members to raise a targeted $200 million. The money would be used to strengthen individual and church health systems in African countries. Read more

Eastern Star, PHRA Honors Women

eastern-star.jpgHonorees, sitting,  left to right, front, are: Lois Moore, Rev. Linda Walton, Terry McDowell, Audree V. Jones-Taylor, Jean White Patrick, Grand Worthy Matron, Euradee Maybuce, Senior Past Grand Worthy Matron/Advisor, Claudia Killingsworth, Ida Weldington, Doris Bumpers and Mary Ezell wallace. Standing behind Jean White Patrick is Bertha M. Paul, Chairperson and Sharon Wysinger, Co-Chair at her right.

Jean White Patrick, Grand Worthy Matron of the Golden State Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, Prince Hall Rite of Adoption, State of California, has scheduled a special luncheon program to honor Bay Area Christian Women. This special event will be held Saturday, April 19, 2008 at the Santa Clara Marriott Hotel, 2700 Mission College Blvd., Santa Clara, CA, beginning at 12:00 noon.
A “Meet and Greet” was held January 12, 2008 at the Countryard Marriott in Oakland.  The Grand Worthy Matron, the Special Project Committee, and the Honorees enjoyed meaningful dialogue and a delicious breakfast.  The Special Project Committee’s theme: ”Life is fragile,…Honoring Christian women Who Handle It With Prayer.” The tribute will recognize contributions of these women toward the well being of their communities.  The Honorees are: Vickia Brinkley, Doris Bumpers, Bobbie Carrington, Lois Freeman, Claudia Killingsworth, Terry McDowell, Lois Moore, Audree V. Jones-Taylor, Mary Ezell Wallace, and Rev Linda Walton. Read more

Kappa Alpha Psi’s 125,000 In Service To Honor King

king.jpgKappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., one of the oldest historically Black Greek letter organizations in the United States, honored the life and legacy of civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by calling its thousands of members and supporters to continue King’s enormous work by committing to an aggressive nationwide call to service.
In encouraging its more than 125,000 members to serve in the country’s greater good, Grand Polemarch Dwayne M. Murray said, “Martin Luther King, Jr. outlined a dream that is a blueprint to a higher calling, one that requires each of us to see our hopes embedded within the aspirations of the least of us. There is no greater way to live up to King’s legacy than through providing service to others.”

150th Anniversary of 1858 Black Exodus

Almost entire Black population of San Francisco moved to Canada.  Historical Society to commemorate Exodus with series of events

By Wade Woods

Mifflin-Gibbs.jpgThe San Francisco African American Historical & Cultural Society in collaboration with representatives of the African American Art and Cultural complex, the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, the University of  San Francisco, the Port of San Francisco, the San Francisco National Historical Park and the San Francisco Unified School District, will host various activities during the week of April 20, 2008 to commemorate the 1858 Exodus of more than 800 African Americans from San Francisco to the British Crown Colony of Vancouver Island.
The story back of this migration is one of discrimination and legal strangulation which made California Virtually a slave state.  In 1852 the California legislature passed a fugitive slave act which stated that in no trial or hearing under this act shall the testimony of such alleged fugitives be admitted in evidence.” Hence any freed Negro accused of being a slave could not give evidence on his own behalf. To his was added a statute making all persons of Negro blood wear collars around their necks and this collar was fastened with a tag which had to be renewed annually.  Aroused and angered at this added humiliation Blacks from all over California assembled in San Francisco. Read more

New Book on 1980’s Drug Game in San Francisco

Review By Majeid Crawford

DerrickONeal.jpgAuthor Derrick O’Neal was a bad boy in his younger days, a former drug dealer and street hustler.
He has changed his life and now speaks to kids by encouraging and helping them get their act together.
But in the 1980’s, when guns, drugs and murder flooded our streets, nobody living in the hood was able to escape it completely.
“The Game is Ova”  a creatively written book based on the author’s real life experiences portrays through graphic depiction the “greed”, “death” and “lust” that led to a multi-million dollar drug operation in the Bay.
Like your favorite book that you can’t put down, this one leaves you wanting more.  “A must-read for parents, teachers, mentors, coaches, substance abuse programs and child welfares advocates of both young men and women. “From Risk to Resilience”, Derrick O’Neal breaks down.  He now teaches skills to young people that include the ability to problem solve, develop a sense of identity and hope. Read more

Faces around The Bay: Mark Williams

Mark-Williams.jpgMark Williams is a renown musician – plays the double and electric bass.  We stopped in at the Palace Hotel recently and caught his show!  Born in San Francisco, he attended Balboa and the S.F. Conservatory.  You can hear him perform with a jazz group at The Garden Court in the Palace, every Sunday morning except holidays.
Williams spoke of playing with Calvin Simmons, and training with Ortiz Walton,” one of the first African Americans to play in any major symphony”  ( the Boston Symphony). It was under Walton that he began to play the string bass, while at the Community Music Center in S.F. He later toured, recorded and performed with such as Trombonist Julian Preister and Trumpet player Eddie Henderson, both originally of Herbie Hancock’s sextet, the Grateful Dead’s, Jeff Chienti and the list goes on and on.
His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Williams sold insurance for Golden Gate for 36 years. He remembers, “That was one of the few insurance companies that would sell to blacks.”
Williams enjoys a successful career with a wide array of musical genres: jazz, classical, Latin, avant-garde, hip hop, blues, and world music.

Photo and text by Barbara Fluhrer.

Faces Around The Bay: Linda Jefferson

Linda-Jefferson.jpgLinda Jefferson enjoys cruising Berkeley’s Telegraph street scene on weekends.  She thinks, “The cultural exchange is awesome; it looks like the 60s: different age groups, crafts, music.  I love it.”
Born in Washington D.C., Jefferson holds a BA in Psychology and Communication Studies, and an AA in Electronic Engineering.   She got a graduation certificate in paralegal studies, came to S.F. to do paid legal for several firms, but decided, “It’s no fun to work around lawyers unless you are a lawyer.”
Jefferson is going to school in Pleasanton and selling real estate with Prudential California Realty in Alameda.  She has a son, Shema Curtis Jefferson.

Photo and text by Barbara Fluhrer.

Emotional Clinton Recalls King Assasination

By David Saltonstall
Daily News

Her voice quavering, Hillary Clinton spoke from the same church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. announced 40 years ago – on the night before he was killed – that he’d been to the mountaintop and seen the glory.
Recalling hearing of King’s assassination, Clinton, in college at the time, said: “I walked into my dorm room and took my book bag and hurled it across the room.”
Her voice breaking, she told the crowd at Memphis’ Mason Temple, “It felt like everything had been shattered, and we’d never be able to put the pieces together again.”
It was one of several poignant moments as the candidates for President – black and white, Democrat and Republican, male and female – sought to embrace the legacy of King on the 40th anniversary of the civil rights leader’s death.
Republican John McCain laid a wreath at the Lorraine hotel in Memphis, where King was gunned down, then pointedly expressed remorse for having voted against making MLK’s birthday a national holiday in 1983. Read more

Nursing Assistant Students Have Cause to Celebrate

Nursing.jpgOne hundred percent of the graduating class of the Certified Nursing Assistant training program at Oakland Adult and Career Education passed the state certification test. Here the students are standing with instructors in front of their school site, located at Edward Shands Adult School, 2455 Church St. in Oakland.

By Ken Epstein

Students at an Oakland Certified Nursing Assistant training program have earned two good reasons to celebrate – the first s a few weeks ago when they graduated from the program and now this week after learning that they all had passed the state certification examination.
“This group of 20 students was especially serious, positive and hardworking – they did a great job,” said Maryellen Wolfe, Coordinator of the Certified Nurse Assistant/Home Health Aide program at Oakland Adult and Career Education.
The training program, which is publicly funded and part of the Oakland Unified School District, has been in existence for nearly 30 years, Wolfe said. Compared with private programs, its costs are among the lowest and yet have among the highest pass rates on the state certification exam.
“Of the five graduating classes we’ve had so far this year, three of them have had 100 percent of the students pass,” she said. “Overall this year, we have had a 97 percent pass rate.”
The 10-week program trains students to work in entry-level positions in the health care industry. They learn to take vital signs, to make beds and bathing, as well as how to work with the elderly. Read more

Scelestine Langston, 100

“Queen Mother of Harriet Tubman Terrace”

Stick.jpgFriends and family gathered recently to salute Scelestine Langston, the Matriarch of the Langston Family.
Born the oldest of three children, Ms. Scelestine “Stick” Conway- Langston is the oldest of three children born to Louis and Orelia Jenkins on March 8, 1908 in Jeanerette, Louisiana.  In 1965 Rev. and Mrs. Langston moved to San Francisco.
Surrounded by loving  friends – her remaining eight children : five in-laws, twenty grandchildren, and thirteen great grandchildren, Scelestine Langston attributes her good health and sound mind to hard work and her life in the church.
And she says with decisiveness, “Don’t smoke or drink, and be kind to everyone!”


Selma Taylor Named to Union Bank Board

Selma-Taylor.jpgSelma Taylor, executive director of California Resources and Training in Oakland, has been named to Union Bank of California’s Community Advisory Board, which helps the bank identify the financial needs of low-income and underserved communities.
The 10-person board helps guide the bank’s community reinvestment activities in affordable housing, small business and economic development, consumer loans and services, charitable gifts, and other community enterprises. Their collaboration helps ensure the success of the company’s Ten Year Community Reinvestment Act Commitment, a pledge to provide financial support in the form of loans and grants to improve California’s communities. Each board member serves a three-year term. Read more

Rental Housing Remains Out of Reach

Renters must now earn $17.32 an hour

The National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) says a worker must earn at least $17.32 to afford a modest two bedroom home. The report, titled Out of Reach, stated the average wage for all workers is $16.00 and the estimated wage for the average renter is just $13.94.
The national Housing Wage is up from $16.31 since last year and is and is nearly 36% higher than the comparable number for 2000.
A full-time (40 hours a week/52 weeks a year) minimum wage worker still cannot afford even a one-bedroom apartment in any jurisdiction in the country at the Fair Market Rent, despite the $5.85 minimum wage increase last year. Read more

Labor Celebrates Waste Contract for 500 Workers

Group looks ahead to June 30th when contracts expire for 50,000

Labor3.jpgDarrell Steinberg, President Pro Tem of the California Senate, joined more than 650 labor and community leaders at the annual AFl-CIO Alameda Labor Council dinner to honor the 500 trash collectors who endured the four-week lockout last July. With ceremonial picket signs in tow, they announced that Waste Management finally signed a contract after eight months, and looked ahead to June 30th, when contracts will expire for 50,000 workers throughout Alameda County.
At the event, leaders, led by Mayor Ron Dellums, pointed out that though trash collectors went back to work on July 29, 2007 and restored public service, they worked in good faith for eight more months. A five-year agreement was finally signed on March 18th, 2008 and stipulated that the company cannot lock out workers, nor can the union go on strike. Both sides have committed to binding arbitration in the event of future disputes. Waste Management will continue to cover full health insurance premiums, including potential annual increases of 12 percent, and workers will receive roughly 5 percent pay increases. Read more

Landmines: A Terrible Thing to Place

Augusta Urica won the Miss Landmine Survivor competition last week in Luanda, Angola, and she now realizes that though she was maimed from a buried remnant of war her loss would become a beauty mark for International Landmines Awareness Day, which was celebrated on the same day as the pageant.
Even though Urica lost part of her leg when she stepped on a device, but she doesn’t feel her life will become a waste.
She along eighteen women maimed by landmines participated in the event to raise the awareness of the threat posed by mines. They wore their artificial limbs, posed in gowns and swimsuits and proudly stood to alert the world that more than 8 million landmines remained buried in Angola.
The two-decade civil war in Angola ended six years ago but the unexploded landmines claim an average of one a day.
Angola’s de-mining commission organized the beauty pageant to raise the awareness of the lingering landmine danger to life and limb. Go to on the internet to meet the 18 contestants.
The U.N. estimates that 6 million landmines are still scattered around Angola.
The battle against landmines is being won, with some countries already achieving mine-free status. But victory will depend on the unflagging commitment of the governments of those countries where mines still exist and on the sustained support of the international community, according to Max Gaylard, director of the United Nations Mine Action Service. Read more

Lee Stands Alone

A vote is a terrible thing to waste on war

Barbara-Lee.jpgCongresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) walked into the halls of Congress on Sept. 14, 2001 amidst a raucous and emotional search for answers, and offered these words that would come to define her political legacy:
“Let us not become the evil that we deplore. Violence begets violence, and we don’t want that to happen. That kills people.”
Then, Lee did what no one in the House had the courage to do: vote against a resolution, on a vote of 420-1, which gave President Bush the authority to use necessary force against terrorism. Her lone vote against granting a blank check to wage war against Iraq would catapult her into the American consciousness.
Now, five years after Bush’s failed “shock and awe” war effort, Lee’s lone vote has catapulted her as the most fervent critic of the US’s “illegal occupation,” which has crippled the nation’s economy.
Since her vote, nearly a majority of her colleagues have joined her in calling for a safe redeployment of American troops in Iraq. Read more

Oakland’s Credit Ratings Upgraded Under Dellums

National credit rating agency, Standard & Poor’s, has raised the city of Oakland’s credit rating. Standard & Poor’s raised its rating from “A+” to “AA-“ on the city’s general obligation bonds and from “A” to “A+” on Oakland’s existing pension obligation debt. According to their ratings report, “Standard & Poor’s ratings and rating actions reflect the culmination of a consistent track record of strong financial performance by the city that is buttressed by a variety of excellent practices, including an emphasis on the maintenance of healthy general fund reserves. Moreover, cash flows and liquidity levels, the latter of which has followed an increasing trend in recent years, are closely monitored and managed throughout the fiscal year.”
Dellums-mug.jpg“This acknowledgment on the part of this national credit agency is more evidence of the city of  Oakland’s commitment to putting ourselves in the best position to serve our citizens,” said Mayor Ron Dellums. “Both our present and future economic success is dependent on city staff and department heads making responsible financial decisions that are consistent with the needs and limited budget of our city.”
According to Standard & Poor’s Financial Management Assessment, Oakland’s management practices were rated “strong,” indicating practices that are “strong, well embedded and likely sustainable”. In their assessment, Standard & Poor’s found that “despite grappling with a revenue shortfall in the current fiscal year, city finances are fundamentally sound with good reserve and liquidity levels, due, in large part, to good management practices and policies.”
Deborah-Edgerly.jpg“We are pleased that our sound financial practices and solid performance have earned Oakland these important credit rating increases,” said city Administrator Deborah Edgerly. “Achieving upgraded credit ratings is particularly significant given the tight credit climate nationwide.”
Two other major, national credit rating agencies, FitchRatings and Moody’s Investor Service affirmed their ratings on the city’s debt. FitchRatings affirmed an “A” rating to the city’s refunding revenue bonds and pension obligation bonds and “A+” rating to the city’s general obligation bonds. Fitch cited the city’s “consistently strong financial position, with above-average unreserved general fund balances, and its good fiscal management, including adherence to many conservative financial management policies”.
Moody’s affirmed its rating of A1 on the city’s general obligation bonds and A2 on its revenue refunding bonds. Moody’s noted that “Oakland’s $36 billion tax base is exceptionally large for the rating level and continues to undergo sound growth rates despite a notable slowing in the housing market.” Moody’s further noted that despite softness in the real estate market and potential State budget cuts, “… the city is preparing to manage through upcoming challenges and is taking action to promote fiscal stability.”

Realtor Donna Thevnin Focuses on Clients

Donna-Thevnin.jpgDonna Thevnin graduated from Long Island University with an MBA in Finance and began her career in Accounting and Finance.
In 2001, she had developed a passion for real estate by buying and selling homes on a personal level.
In 2007 she decided to become a REALTOR® with Prudential California Realty, so she could focus her time on clients.
Donna’s  desire to help people has given her an opportunity to use her innovative and creative talents to help buyers and sellers achieve their Real Estate objectives.
She is committed to providing the highest level of service, so that you will refer your friends, family and co-workers to her.  She spends 100% of her time focusing on her client goals and building life time relationships with everyone. Read more

Charleston Pierce Hopes to Be Leukemia and Lymphoma Man of the Year

Hopes to Raise $100,000 by May 30

By Wade Woods

Charleston Pierce has been nominated for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Award. By accepting this nomination on March 6th , Pierce is engaged in a 9-week fundraising campaign to raise funds for the society.  His  goal is to raise $100,000 by the Society’s May 30th Grand Finale, a lavish black tie event at San Francisco’s Palace Hotel.
CharlestonPierce.jpgPierce says “he accepted this nomination because it is my way of contributing to the fight against blood cancers and helping to improve the quality of life of the patients and their families”. Pierce continued “ You might ask why is this fight so important to me? When I was approached to participate, I was Immediately on board. My mother lost her courageous battle to Leukemia in 1999. A dear friend of mine also battled Leukemia. Fortunately, she is in remission. Their brave fight against this disease has inspired me to contribute to this great cause. I want future patients to be able to benefit from patient services that were offered to my mother and my friend during this difficult time. I appreciate how valuable these services and support are in finding strength to battle whatever odds are against you. All human life is precious and we should all be passionate towards finding a cure.” Read more