From January 2012

Leno’s Single-Payer Health Bill Clears Committee

Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco),

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved the California Universal Health Care Act, authored by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), guaranteeing all Californians comprehensive, universal health care while reducing the state’s ballooning health care costs and improving the quality of care and delivery of health services statewide.
The legislation passed the committee with a 6-2 vote.
California currently spends about $200 billion annually on a fragmented, inefficient health care system that wastes 30 percent of every dollar on administration, according to Leno. Under Senate Bill 810, that wasteful spending is eliminated. The bill redirects the funds Californians already spend on health care to allow comprehensive coverage. The state would save $8 billion in the first year under this single-payer plan, he says.
“California is being overrun by out-of-control health care costs, which have a significant impact on families, businesses and the state budget,” said Leno. “Health care premiums in the last few years have grown five times faster than our economy. Consequently, fewer employers are providing health benefits to their employees, and those workers who are fortunate enough to receive coverage are paying higher premiums for diminishing services. By guaranteeing universal access for all Californians, our single-payer plan will reduce the health care burdens that are hurting families and our state’s economy.”
SB 810 creates a private-public partnership to provide every California resident medical, dental, vision, hospitalization and prescription drug benefits and allows patients to choose their own doctors and hospitals. This single payer, “Medicare for All,” type of program works by pooling together the money that government, employers and individuals already spend on health care and putting it to better use by cutting out the for-profit middle man.
“SB 810 is the only proposed solution to the continuing patient care crisis that guarantees healthcare for all Californians and controls costs while eliminating the denials of care and restrictions of provider choice imposed by private insurance companies,” said DeAnn McEwen, a registered nurse at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and co-president of the California Nurses Association. CNA is one of the co-sponsors of SB 810.

Brea Hammonds, Proud O’Dowd High Achiever

California’s Pre-Teen Queen, Warriors Jr. Jam Squad and Cheerleader to Graduate “louder”


By Paul Cobb
Part 1

From left to right: Top - Brea Nicole Hammonds, Golden State Warriors Jr. Jammers 2007-2008; Middle row - Jr. Dragon cheerleader and varsity cheerleaders, Bishop ODowd Varsity cheerleader Team; Bottom - New Style Mother Lode-Diamond Dance Team.

Brea Nicole Hammonds, a senior at Bishop O’Dowd High School who maintains a 3.0(+) grade point average, is an Ambassador, high achiever and a cheerleader for her school.
She was singled out by several African American elected officials as a student with a bright future and an educational role model to be honored during Black History month.
“Brea Hammonds combines educational excellence with volunteer service. She represents the hope for our future,” said Marlon McWilson, member of the Alameda County Board of Education.
She puts grades, homework and class attendance at the top of her busy schedule, but she finds time to serve as Captain of the Varsity Cheer Squad, perform in the theatre program and is an active member of both The Sisters of Success and the executive council of The Black Student Union.
At the tender age of 11 she ran for the title of Miss Pre-Teen American Coed Pageant. Showing an early instinct for diplomacy and leadership, she waged her own campaign to get support from her family, friends, both Mayors Jerry Brown and Ron Dellums, councilmembers Desley Brooks, Larry Reid and Henry Chang. She boldly sought the support of   Oakland Police Officer’s Association President Robert Valladon and Public Information Officer Roland Holmgren.
Of course, Brea was crowned Queen and represented both Oakland and the State.
 As a child prodigy, Brea began piano at 3, appeared in Operas at 7 before her first hip hop dance lesson at New Style Mother Lode at age 8 under the direction of Corey Action and Teela Shine. Eventually she became a member of The Warriors Jr. Jam squad that dances at half time for the Golden State Warriors.
Proud of her achievement, Brea points to her team’s WE BELIEVE!!! wall poster.
 It’s a slogan that keeps her constantly focused.
The Bishop O’Dowd drama department, the Bay Area’s leaders under the direction of Trina Oliver, won the Ohlone Theatre competition and is currently ranked #1. The cheerleading team, which is under the direction of Mama Green and Coach Shaunice Kelly, has started a new program to work with younger girls, called Jr. Dragons. Brea’s team will also compete in a National Cheerleading competition in March.
 After her graduation Brea plans to attend college and major in Drama and Entertainment Law.
She plans to combine her acting and legal careers so she can manage and control her own finances, while helping others. Brea said her “Bishop O’Dowd family and community has played a huge role in developing me, especially with the requirement that we complete a Peace and Justice course.”
She said, “The class was an eye opener.”
As Brea prepares for Black History Month activities, she thanks her family and school for helping her see the need to live in a just society.
“To bring our society to a better place, we all must work for a change,” says Brea.
 (Next: Brea Hammonds, a member of the Post 100% Club).

County Launches New Stroke Response System

Contra Costa County has launched a new coordinated stroke system that links patients to medical providers trained to identify and treat strokes. The county is the 11th jurisdiction in the state to establish this life-saving approach.
It is estimated that nearly 1,000 people experience a stroke each year in Contra Costa. From 2005 to 2007, stroke was the county’s third killer.
The new system, administered by Contra Costa Emergency Medical Services, creates a stroke care team that starts with a 911 emergency call, rapidly linking callers to emergency care providers who are trained to identify stroke victims and transport them to a stroke-certified hospital.  
There are seven certified hospitals in the county, including Doctors Medical Center and Kaiser Hospital in West County.
As with a heart attack, time is of the essence when treating strokes.  Medical experts often talk about a four-hour window when treatment can save lives and reduce brain damage. The new system is designed to greatly increase the number of stroke patients treated within this window.
For more information on the new stroke system check the Emergency Medical Services website at, or call 925-646-4690.

Law Would Deny Unemployment Benefits Without a GED

Some unemployed Americans could find it harder to draw jobless benefits under a bill that passed recently in the House of Representatives.
Beneficiaries without a high school degree or GED would have to work toward that diploma to get unemployment aid. The bill would allow states to require drug testing as a condition of eligibility.
And the bill would reduce the maximum number of weeks for getting benefits, dropping from 99 weeks in high unemployment states like Ohio to 59 weeks.
This would push 3.3 million people off unemployment benefits nationwide, 74,335 of them in Ohio, say congressional Democrats who OPPOSE the measures.
The bill was promoted as a way to extend this year’s 2 percent payroll tax holiday and ensure that some jobless benefits continued. It included a proposal by Wadsworth Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci to redirect some unemployment compensation to employers if they hire and train someone who has lost a job.

Dream Awards Honor W.A. and Dorothy Williams

By Kia

From left to right: Lloyd Madden, President of the Black American Political Action Committee, Dorothy Williams and W. A. Williams. Photo by Michele Jackson.

Richmond residents Dorothy and W.A. Williams received the 2012 Dream Award at El Cerrito’s 23rd Annual March and Rally on Jan.16 commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The couple were honored for their longtime civic involvement in the West County community and for their tenacity—having transcended discrimination to realize precedent-setting career accomplishments.
“Each year, the Dream Award is given to recognize unsung heroes in the community,” said Patricia Durham, coordinator of the El Cerrito event.
Natives of Mississippi and married for 51 years, the couple migrated to California after W.A. completed his military service.
W.A. attended San Francisco State for his graduate studies and later worked for the Richmond Unified School District, retiring after 25 years. He made history as the first African-American to teach in the Hearing Impaired Department.
As someone who grew up in the South where he experienced stark racial segregation, he was inspired to join the NAACP and later became the President of the Richmond Branch. W.A. continues to be actively involved in the community as a businessman, member of the Contra Costa Election Advisory Committee, officer in the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization and member of St. Peter CME Church for 42 years.
Dorothy attended Tuskegee University School of Nursing and received her certification as a Registered Nurse Anesthetist at Grace/Wayne School of Anesthesiology in Detroit. She completed graduate work in Health and Hospital administration at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.
Dorothy became in 1958 the first African- American to be hired as an Anesthesia staff member at Outer Drive Hospital in Ecorse, Michigan.  She was the first African- American to join the professional staff of the Anesthesia Department at the Geary Street Kaiser Permanente Hospital in San Francisco and retired from Kaiser Hospital Oakland after 30 years.
Dorothy has been a member of St. Peter CME Church for 44 years. While serving as president of the Naomi’s Circle Missionary Society (an auxiliary of St. Peter CME Church), she was approached by Judge Charles Wilson, who shared his vision for an event that uplifted the legacy of Dr. King within the community.  As a result, she organized the first-ever March and Rally honoring Dr. King in 1990.  Since then, the event has evolved into El Cerrito’s annual event honoring Dr. King.
Dorothy is a Diamond Life Member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Life member of the NAACP and Life member of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW. She is active in the local chapter of the Tuskegee Alumni Council, where she has served as president.
The Williams have two children, Gayle N. Williams, Esq., and Dr. Kevin T. Williams and two grandchildren, Diamond and Anthony.
Kia Croom is a contributing writer for the Richmond Post.

McGlothern Temple Church Celebrates Mother Williams

By Kia Croom,
Contributing Writer

Mother Victoria Williams. Photo by Alicia Jackson.

McGlothern Temple Church of God in Christ in Richmond is celebrating Mother Victoria Williams, a licensed Missionary and member of the church since 1972.
Mother Williams is known as someone with a heart for service and has served in a variety of capacities including Mission as president, where she is responsible for coordinating, preparing and serving 175-225 meals on Fridays to needy people in North Richmond.
She ensures that each person who comes to eat has staple food to take home. During the holiday season, she arranged for food baskets to be distributed to needy community members.
Mother Williams, a resident of Hercules, was born in Mississippi and grew up in Louisiana.
McGlothern Temple Church of God in Christ is located at 1443 Filbert S. in Richmond. For information call (510)  232-2055.

Richmond Neighborhoods Walk in King’s Legacy

By Kia Croom,
Contributing Writer

Front Row left to right: Coach Keith, Ken Nelson, Annie King, Jerrold Hatchett, LaTressa Alford, Virgil Weeks, Lynn Sims, Tetteh Kisseh, Consuelo Nunez; Middle Row: Richmond Street Patrol Officers, Richmond Rocket Team; Back Row: Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, Bea Roberson, Henry Washington, Cedrick Winston, Kim Graves, Eddie Morris, Douglas Mc Coy, Antwon Cloird, Albert Lee, Eddie Morris Rick Fortenberry, Dewanda Joseph, Cedrick Winson, Supervisor John Gioia, Congressman George Miller . Photo by Joe L. Fisher, BAPAC and collage by Adam L. Turner.

Over 150 public officials, faith leaders and residents of the Iron Triangle, Shields-Reid and Parchester Village neighborhoods marched Jan. 14 under the banner “Marching for Change” to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Walkers lined up at the Nevin Community Center in Richmond. Others caravanned in vehicles. The group made its way from the Nevin Center onto Fred Jackson Way in North Richmond where they met up with residents of the Parchester Village Neighborhood. From there the group continued to the Shields-Reid Community Center.
As they marched, they sang, “We Shall Overcome” and  “Victory is Mine,” their voices reverberating in the neighborhoods.
Onlookers watched the marchers from their windows, open doors and front yards. Many onlookers tipped their hats and saluted marchers as they passed by. Others joined the procession, uncertain of its final destination but still in support of the cause.
 “This is my city. This is where it all started,” said Marcel, a long-time resident of North Richmond. “This is real positive.”
At the corner of Fred Jackson Parkway and Chelsea Avenue, the procession stopped and held a moment of silence in memory of the late Fred Jackson, an esteemed community activist who died last year.
Afterwards, Supervisor John Gioia and Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin spoke. The program ended at the Shields-Reid Community Center with a program featuring presentations and performances by community members, civic and faith leaders.
Event organizers, Otheree Christian,  Marena Brown and Goretha Johnson are planning another march in  April.

Martin’s 83rd

A day before the observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day, park rangers placed wreaths at the Washington memorial honoring the civil rights leader, honoring his 83rd birthday Sunday.
Members of King’s family stood beside the  30-foot statue of him as crowds sang “Happy Birthday” at a ceremony.
“We’re celebrating the best of what we are, but also what we must become, knowing that we’ve not arrived there yet,” Martin Luther King III said.

Muhammad’s 70th

Muhammad Ali turned 70 on Tuesday, but the celebration took place over the weekend.
On Sunday, friends and family gathered at the first of five scheduled parties that are taking place in the next couple months. This party was also a fundraiser for the Ali Center, a cultural and educational center in Louisville, Ali’s hometown.
Guests  included boxing great Lennox Lewis, trainer Angelo Dundee and the three U.S. hikers that were imprisoned in Iran and recently released. Ali was one of the people lobbying for their release and is a prominent Muslim.
“He’s glad he’s here to turn 70, but he wants to be reassured he doesn’t look 70,” his wife Lonnie said.

Michelle’s 48th

First Lady Michelle Obama celebrated her 48th birthday Jan. 17 with her husband and close friends at BLT Steak in Washington, D.C., just blocks from the White House.
The dinner continues a birthday tradition. In years past, the first lady has celebrated at some of D.C.’s finest restaurants, including Wolfgang Puck’s The Source and Restaurant Nora.
The president, who is two years older than Mrs. Obama, joked about his wife’s age. “When we first married, it was a little controversial that she was 20 years younger than me, but now it seems to have worked out O.K.,” the president quipped.

Labor Federation Gives Hancock 100% Rating

State Senator Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) received a perfect score on issues relating to workers’ rights and worker protection issues from the California Labor Federation, based on her votes on 33 bills that that were important to organized labor during 2011.
“We salute Senator Hancock’s unwavering commitment to the California labor movement’s agenda of creating better jobs, stronger communities and greater opportunity for workers,” said Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski.
 “It is very important to me to insure that high quality jobs for working people are protected in our community,” said Hancock. “When Wall Street and the banks gambled with the U.S. economy and lost, it was working people who suffered – and continue to suffer – the terrible consequences”.

Women in the Faith Sistahs’ Conference in Berkeley

Rev. Donna Allen

“Moving Ahead in 2012: Pressing Toward the Goal” is the theme of the Second Annual Women in The Faith Sistahs’ Conference, sponsored by St. Paul AME Church in Berkeley, which starts Saturday, Jan. 21 with a prayer breakfast and ends Tuesday, Jan. 24.  
Rev. Donna Allen, Pastor of New Revelation Community Church in Oakland, will speak at the Prayer and Community Awards Breakfast at 9 a.m. at the Shattuck Plaza Hotel in Berkeley.  Tickets are $50 each.
Rev. Dr. DeLishia Boykin, Pastor of Grant AME Church in New Jersey, will preach the 9:30 a.m. Sunday Worship Service at St. Paul AME. Monday, Jan. 23, and Tuesday, Jan 24. Rev. Ann Jefferson, Pastor of Worship and Liturgy at City of Refuge United Church of Christ in San Francisco on Tuesday will lead spiritual self-reflection at 6 p.m., followed by Rev. Dr. DeLishia Boykin, who will lead a revival at 7 p.m.
St. Paul AME Church is located at 2024 Ashby Ave., across from Ashby BART station.   The pastor is Rev. Leslie R. White, and the Conference Chair is the Rev. Sandra Smith Blair.
For information, call (510) 848-2050.

Exhibit Marvin X Opens in Berkeley

Left to right: Marlene, Ramal, Jordan, James, Marvin, Jahkyl, Tee-Tee, Shanika, Julian, Janye, Aries.

Exhibit Marvin X opened Jan. 13, with a visit by students from Berkeley High (B-Tech).
Students said they enjoyed the exhibit, hosted by Marvin X’s student writers, Aries Jordan and Toya Carter. Accompanying the students was math teacher Ramal Lamar, a student of Marvin X’s Academy of da Corner, who is also a graduate student in Math at Cal State Eastbay. The Master Poet narrated his exhibit. Aries Jordan and Toya Carter read from his selected writings.
This is a rare opportunity to view the archives of an internationally known poet called “USA’s Rumi,” who was one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement, the most radical artistic and literary movement in American history.
Marvin X was associated with the Black Panthers, the Nation of Islam, the Black Student movement and Black Studies. The author of 30 books, his early writings appeared in major Black radical publications during the 60s, including Soulbook, Black Dialogue, Black Theatre, Journal of Black Poetry, Negro Digest/Black World, Black Scholar and Muhammad Speaks.
He occasionally writes in the Oakland Post newspaper and maintains several blogs on the Internet.  His archives were acquired by the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley.
Exhibit Marvin X features the writer’s personal archives and will be shown at Black Bird Press Publishing House, 1222 Dwight Way in Berkeley.
The exhibit is open by appointment during January and officially opens in February on Saturday evenings 7 p.m.-10 p.m., reservations only, space limited. The cost of admission is $20, seniors and students $10, no one turned away for lack of funds. Call (510) 575-2225 for reservations. Group rates available for schools, colleges and organizations.

Forum Looks at Impact of Quan Recall

Martin G. Reynolds

A public forum to discuss the issues, rules and risks surrounding the efforts to recall Mayor Jean Quan will be held Jan. 25, 6 to 8 p.m. at Nile Hall, 668 13th St. in Preservation Park. The event is free and open to the public, although seating is limited and on a first come, first served basis.
There are two recall petitions seeking to oust Quan. One petition, backed by two separate recall groups, is being circulated by unpaid volunteers. A second petition, which still has not been certified by the city to begin gathering signatures, was drafted by a group led by former mayoral candidate and businessman Greg Harland.
Panel speakers include Max Neiman, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley, Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker, Corey D. Cook, associated professor, Department of Politics at the University of San Francisco, Evelyn Hsu, senior director for programs for the Maynard Institute and Cecily Burt, investigative reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Martin G. Reynolds, senior editor for community engagement for the Bay Area News Group, will moderate the discussion.
The event is presented by the Oakland Tribune, League of Women Voters of Oakland, Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and the Laney Tower.

$100,000 Grant for Youth Jobs in Jeopardy

By Ken A. Epstein

William “Bill “Patterson

While $100,000 may seem like a small amount of money in the realm of city and state budgets, those funds could mean a job, an opportunity for something better, for some young people who have caught very few breaks in life.
Yet time is running out for the City of Oakland to make use of a $100,000 grant it received last June from the state to pay for jobs for 20 young people who have run afoul of the juvenile justice system.
The money could be lost if it not distributed to youth agencies and spent by the end of June.  The City’s administrative overhead has already reduced the grant to $87,800.
The grant is open to five agencies that are already youth providers for these kinds of funds. Agencies that wish to receive the money must put up some matching funds.
Before the money can be spent, the provider’s contracts must be approved at a meeting of the Youth Council, which recommends final action to the Oakland Workforce Investment Board (WIB).
The failure of the city to act for seven months to create job opportunities for youth was criticized at Wednesday’s meeting of the WIB Youth Council.
“The whole thing stinks to high heaven. We’re just rubber-stamping this,” said Benjamin Bowser, member of the Youth Council, who was angry that the grant proposal came to the youth council at the last minute.
“Everything is an emergency. What can the Youth Council do if it doesn’t have meetings, and things are not put before it?” asked William “Bill “Patterson, Oakland WIB member and board member of the Oakland NAACP, speaking after the meeting.
“Young people need this money. We have so many people who  have returned from jail who need to be helped,” Patterson said. “That grant, like a lot of other money for jobs, has not been distributed.”

Giants Stun Niners in NFC Championship

San Francisco, CA – Sometimes the best games end tragically.  It’s been a decade since the Forty-Niners played in the NFC Championship game and today they faced off in a rematch with the New York Giants.

 The last time these two teams met was during the regular season and the Giants lost 27-20.  San Francisco rallied late in the fourth quarter when Justin Smith deflected Eli Manning’s pass on fourth down to seal the victory. Read more

Governor’s Budget Hurts the Most Vulnerable, Say County Officials

Alameda County officials are concerned that Governor Brown’s latest budget proposal –containing deep cuts to welfare, health care, childcare and in-home care programs – will disproportionately impact the community’s most  vulnerable residents.
 While crediting the Governor with offering a balanced approach of voter-approved tax increases and program cuts to close the State’s $9.2 billion shortfall through FY 2012-13, Alameda County Administrator Susan S. Muranishi said the County has faced deficits totaling more than $465 million over the past three years – shortfalls resulting in part from State cuts to local government funding.
“Years of challenges to the State’s financial health have meant services critical to our most vulnerable populations have been pared to the bone,’’ Muranishi said.  “It is therefore quite disheartening to learn that 2012 brings yet another round of bad news for people suffering most during these tough economic times, including families and children.’’
• Brown’s budget plan calls for $4.2 billion in spending cuts this year, with an additional round of “trigger” cuts should his $6.9 billion tax initiative fail at the ballot box in November.  Cuts proposed in the Governor’s plan include human services reductions that would impact thousands of low-income Alameda County residents.  These include:Deep cuts to the CalWORKs welfare-to-work program that would strip benefits from people who cannot find adequate work after two years, rather than four, and a 20 percent reduction in monthly benefits paid to families with children
• A reduction of almost 40 percent to child care subsidies for low-income families.
• Cuts to the State’s In-Home Support Services, including elimination of funding for disabled, frail and elderly recipients living with other people, along with a 20 percent across-the-board reduction enacted last year that has been blocked by the courts.
• Reductions totaling $842 million in the Medi-Cal program that would be obtained by moving all recipients into managed care.
• Eliminating the Healthy Families program that provides health insurance to children in low-income families.  These children would be moved to the more restrictive Medi-Cal program.
The budget proposal also calls for eventually eliminating  California’s youth prison system, beginning in January 2013 when the State would stop taking new wards into its custody.  Counties would begin taking responsibility for these higher-risk juvenile offenders.
 “It is clear that the difficult economy has placed all levels of government in a difficult bind, eroding public resources at a time when there is an increased need for vital services,’’ said Keith Carson, Vice President of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

Abyssinian Baptist Holds Gospel Bowl

By DeeDee Scott

Dr. Kevin D. Barnes, Sr., Pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church (ABC), started the year on Jan 2 by hosting the 14th Annual Gospel Bowl in Oakland.
This year’s event was held in memory of the late Pastor A.L.Cobbs, Sr., of Harmony Baptist Church.
Eight Bay Area Pastors preached the Gospel to a packed house of 550 parishioners. Pastor Charles Hopkins of Grace Baptist Church opened day the day, followed by Pastor Todd Wheelock of Antioch Church, Pastor Larry Brice of People’s Baptist Church, Pastor Leon McDaniels of Paradise Baptist Church, Pastor A.L.Cobbs, Jr. of Providence Baptist Church, Pastor Johnny Leggett of Bethany Baptist Church and Bishop Keith L. Clark of Word Assembly Church.  Pastor Elliott Ivey of Pleasant New Beginnings Baptist Church brought the day to an end.
“It was an amazing day from start to finish – several community members came together in the name of our Lord for praise and worship,” Pastor Barnes said,
Abyssinian Men’s Ministry parked cars in the parking lot on 33rd and 34th streets. Guests’ children played in ABC Kids Place that was supervised by the ABC Children’s Ministry, and a light lunch was served by ABC Culinary Ministry.
Pastor Barnes’ organization, Successfully Raising Young Black Men, Inc. was the primary sponsor of the event.
CDs of the Gospel Bowl are available for  $8, and DVDs for $10 can be purchased at Abyssinian Baptist Church, 528 33rd St. in Oakland. Or order by phone at (510) 653-0315.

Lake Merritt United Methodist Receives Grant for Food Pantry

KTC Foundation is providing a grant to Lake Merritt United Methodist Church in Oakland to purchase shelving, carts, containers and a bar code system for the church’s food pantry.
The project, which started as a soup kitchen, has grown into a community program that 1,600 individuals rely on each month to meet their food needs.  The bar code system in particular will allow the church to register clients who regularly use the pantry and subsequently provide a system to track the growing needs of the community.
“Lake Merritt (United Methodist) is located in an area where approximately 21 percent of residents earn incomes below the poverty level and another 9 percent earn incomes that are 50 percent below the poverty level,” said Ginny Clunan, program coordinator for KTC.
“We know that our donation will provide the fuel Lake Merritt needs to continue making an impact in the fight against hunger in Alameda County.”
In addition to serving the community, the food pantry also assists Alameda County families through a partnership with a La Escuelita, a local elementary school. For the past 10 years, the church has provided 30 bags of food each week for the school to distribute to students whose families are in greatest need.
KTC Foundation is funded by DaVita, Inc. – a provider of kidney cares services – and its CEO Kent Thiry and his wife, Denise O’Leary. KTC donates money to non-profit groups to fund projects that leave a lasting impression on the community.

Rev. Matthews to be Installed at First Union Missionary

Reverend Dwight Edward Caruthers Matthews will be installed Sunday, Jan. 22, as the fifth Senior Pastor to lead the First Union Missionary Baptist Church in San Francisco.
Rev. Matthews has been ministering  for 28 years and was Senior Pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church until November 2011, when he accepted the calling of First Union Missionary Baptist Church, located at 1001 Webster St.
Born in Dawson, TX, he was the eldest of 8 children.  He was raised by his grandparents, attended local schools in Dawson and went to college in Navarro, TX, where he played football.  Rev. Matthews continued his studies in Dallas, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies and Philosophy at Bishop College.
Rev. Matthews is married to Dr. Artricia O. Matthews and has one daughter and one grandson.

“In the Name of Love” Musical Tribute to Dr. King

Living Jazz, (formerly Rhythmic Concepts, Inc.) will present “In the Name of Love”, the 10th annual tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., on Sunday, Jan. 15, 7 the Paramount Theatre in Oakland.
Headliner Mavis Staples was a part of the legendary group the Staple Singers.  During the 1960’s, a decade before they became known on the pop and R&B charts with such hits as “Respect Yourself”,  “I’ll Take you There”, and “Let’s Do It Again”, the Staple Singers were a family gospel quartet that mixed protest songs into their performances.  
In the Sixties after hearing Martin Luther King preach in Montgomery, Alabama, the group decided to devote as much time as possible to the civil rights movement. Often singing before Dr. King would speak, they marched with him in Georgia, Arkansas and Mississippi.  
Mavis Staples began writing “freedom songs” for the group to perform, including “Freedom Highway” and “Why Am I Treated so Bad”, which was the civil rights leader’s favorite. In the Seventies the Staples Singers began to have a string of Pop and R&B hits.
Also on the lineup is the group Poplyfe, who is a leader among the new generation of gifted musicians and artists emerging from Oakland. They are ready to carry on the Bay Area’s history of delivering new styles of music and artistry to the entertainment industry.
The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir consists of 55 singers and 4 musicians, representing a multi-racial, multi-cultural, interfaith community of diversity.
Founded in 1996 in San Francisco, Youth Speaks is the leading nonprofit presenter of Spoken Word performance, education, and youth development programs in the country.
All  told, Youth Speaks works with 45,000 teens per year in the Bay Area alone, and has helped create partner programs in 47 cities across the United States.
 The Oakland Children’s Community Choir is a music education project offered  completely free of charge by Living Jazz to Oakland elementary schools with little or no access to the arts.
Over 275 children from Glenview and Cleveland elementary schools participated this season in a four-month music education and performance project under the Musical Direction of Melanie DeMore and accompanist Ben Heveroh. These schools were selected because of the diversity of their students and the lack of funding for cultural programming.
The event will also feature historic footage of Dr. King. Congresswoman Barbara Lee will present the annual Oakland Humanitarian Award.
“In the Name of Love” takes place Sunday at 7 p.m., at the Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway in Oakland. For more information and tickets, visit,

Lee Supports Anti-Drug Campaign

From left to right: New Bridge Foundation Board member Steve Brooks, CEO Kosta Markakis, Congresswoman Barbara Lee., and New Bridge Foundation Administrator Abby Medcalf, tour the New Bridge Foundation facilities in Berkeley. Photo by Adam L. Turner.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee has joined with New Bridge Foundation to encourage family members of substance abusers to encourage their loved ones to seek drug treatment.  
The slogan of the campaign is:  “Save a life; Save a family; Save our community,” in recognition of the well-known relationship between drug abuse and personal and family dysfunction, as well as community breakdown.
“There’s a crisis going on,” Lee said. “Children are dying in the streets because of the drug situation. We’ve had several toddlers shot and killed in the East Bay in the past few months.”
Lee applauded New Bridge’s efforts to be a part of the solution. The foundation, established in 1968, serves over 2,000 individuals annually in both residential and outpatient programs, offering adult detox, outpatient and residential services.   
The program also serves students at secondary campuses in the East Bay.
New Bridge has services for homeless and disenfranchised individuals from Berkeley, Oakland and all of Alameda County.  The program also serves clients who work for major public and private sector employers, unions and branches of the U.S. military.
Special training sessions are being scheduled to help professionals and others learn how to encourage drug abusers to commit to going into treatment.   A free training session will take place 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 18, at Allen Temple Baptist Church, 8500 International Blvd., in Oakland.  For information call: (510) 526-6200.

Nursing Assistants Are Heart of Personalized Care

By David

Oakland’s Skilled Nursing Facilities (Nursing Homes) continue to play a crucial role in the delivery of local healthcare services.  
In fact, those over the age of 70 have a good chance of experiencing a nursing home firsthand. But their stay is likely to be a short one.  The rehabilitation and nursing care helps most patients get back on their feet and into the community within 30 days.  
Oftentimes, the difference between a dreadful stay in a nursing home and a wonderful stay depends on an employee who does not immediately come to mind – the certified nursing assistant (C.N.A.).
During a visit to a nursing facility, pay attention to the C.N.As. These caregivers deliver the majority of hands-on care in skilled nursing facilities.  Most are masters at their skilled trade.
 Compassionate and strong, the very best deliver “person-centered care.”  They tune in to the daily pleasures of the elders they serve.  And as a result, they just do not only give care, they give life.
Windsor of Oakland is a skilled nursing facility that practices consistent assignment C.N.As.
  That means each one of the elder patients is primarily served by three C.N.A.s five days a week, 24 hours per day.  
These three C.N.A.’s are consistently relieved on their days off by three other C.N.A.s.  This staffing model allows these six C.N.A.s to really get to know the individual patients. Staffing in this way facilitates compassionate, individualized care. Loved   ones and family members of elders in skilled nursing facilities can also help to promote person-centered care.  They can bring in photographs and educate the C.N.A.s about their patient’s life before entering the nursing home.  
Taking the time to tell them about a patient’s loved ones life will provide the C.N.A.s with a deeper perspective leading to more respectful care.  Also, the C.N.A.s really appreciate when visitors notice and compliment them for their efforts.
Windsor Healthcare Center of Oakland is located at 2919 Fruitvale Ave.  For information call 510) 261-8564.
David Farrell, MSW, is a  Regional Director of Operations for Windsor Healthcare Center of Oakland.

Rev. Joseph Lee Johnson, 93

Rev. Joseph Lee Johnson, a pioneer in the Bay Area religious community for over  65 years, died Jan. 9 at the age of 93. He served for over 41 years as pastor of Elisabeth Missionary Baptist Church in Richmond.
Born Sept. 3, 1918, in Shreveport, Louisiana, Rev. Johnson was well known as someone who affected many lives in the community, political arena and among pastors and churches as a whole.
Services for Rev. Johnson will be held, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 11 a.m., at Elisabeth Missionary Baptist Church, 520 Bissell Ave., Richmond.  
Rev. Johnson’s body will lie in state at the Elisabeth Missionary Baptist Church on Tuesday, January 17, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  He is survived by  his wife of 74 years, Mrs. Ida Mae Johnson, and the entire Elisabeth Missionary Baptist Church Family.  

Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Installs Pastor Kamal Hassan

Reverend Kamal Hassan and his wife Makini Hassan.

Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church, which has served the Richmond community for 40 years, will install Reverend Kamal Hassan as Pastor and Teaching Elder on Sunday, Jan. 22, at 3 p.m. in the church sanctuary located at 2621 Shane Drive.  Members of Presbyterian churches throughout the Bay Area will participate in the service.
Rev. Hassan has served as the Designated Pastor of Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church since 2008 and looks forward to the opportunity to make a positive impact on the community. “I strongly feel that God called me to ministry for a time such as this, ” he said, adding that he believes the church, “must be involved in the lives of the people and community where it is located, and it must be engaged in the social, political, economic, and cultural lives of people in a way that reveals God’s will for all humanity.”
 Sojourner Truth Church held its first worship service in 1972 at Fairmede Elementary School in the Hilltop community of Richmond.  The church is named after Sojourner Truth, a strong and exceptional Black woman who refused to separate faith from action, believed in the salvation of the soul and fought for the freedom of all God’s people.
 “The church must be engaged in efforts to mend the tear in our social fabric that has caused so many of us to focus solely on our individual needs and ignore the sufferings of others, ” said Rev. Hassan.
 Although Sojourner Truth is his first call as a Presbyterian pastor, Rev. Hassan has more than 20 years of experience as a religious worker and more than 10 years as an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a preacher and Christian educator whose message is rooted in the African American prophetic tradition.
He is also a community organizer who has worked for decades in low-wealth communities of color for social justice. Under his leadership Sojourner Truth has produced  its first website and now has 10,000 Twitter followers, a vibrant Bible study, a revitalized prayer ministry, and has increased its profile in the community by hosting many events.
Rev. Hassan received his AA degree in radio broadcasting from Los Angeles City College, his BA in history from California State University Los Angeles, and a Master of Divinity degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary.
 He is married to Makini Hassan, executive director of the Marin City Housing Development Corporations (MCCDC), where she leads employment and training programs, affordable housing initiatives and small business development.
 Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church holds regular services  on Sundays at 11 a.m.  They have many ministries and programs. For information visit