From October 2012

Richard Raya – The Progressive Future of Oakland

Richard Raya

By Walter Riley

Oakland civil rights attorney

In this City Council race, we have an opportunity to elect Richard Raya, a candidate for City Council in District 1, who is progressive like us, but also represents everything our generation has fought for.

The son of farm workers, Raya overcame all odds to go to UC Berkeley, graduate with a Masters Degree and become an expert at making local government work.  I believe Raya’s life experience, his 15-year career of success in local government and his vision for Oakland, makes him the most compelling candidate to represent District 1.

He holds our values and he has actually experienced poverty, racial discrimination, homelessness and the other ills that we progressives seek to cure. Raya would also be the first person of color to represent North Oakland in my lifetime—and perhaps ever.

Raya embodies all that I have worked for in my fight for civil rights. He has successfully mediated between the same groups we need to bring together in Oakland—helping community, labor, and business join forces in 2006 to pass a $20 billion school bond. He is also the only candidate in District 1 with experience balancing a large government budget: As budget director of the Alameda County Public Health Department, he oversaw a $120 million budget and 600 employees and found ways to save $6 million every year in tough economic times, allowing the county to maintain vital health services.

Raya’s campaign motto says he “Loves this town.” I believe it. His vision for a safer, more prosperous city is one all of us can rally around. His support for CeaseFire—a proven violence reduction strategy that has worked in cities from Baltimore to Los Angeles—reflects a deep understanding of how a community can join hands to face our challenges together.  Raya’s experience shows what our progressive community is capable of. Our hard-won efforts over the years have helped put him in a position to succeed: Now is the time to stand behind leaders like Richard Raya as they move ahead to lead our city.

Richard Raya – The Progressive Future of Oakland

By Walter Riley
Oakland civil rights attorney

In this City Council race, we have an opportunity to elect Richard Raya, a candidate for City Council in
District 1, who is progressive like us, but also represents everything our generation has fought for.

The son of farm workers, Raya overcame all odds to go to UC Berkeley, graduate with a Masters Degree
and become an expert at making local government work.

I believe Raya’s life experience, his 15-year career of success in local government and his vision for
Oakland, makes him the most compelling candidate to represent District 1.

He holds our values and he has actually experienced poverty, racial discrimination, homelessness and
the other ills that we progressives seek to cure. Raya would also be the first person of color to represent
North Oakland in my lifetime—and perhaps ever.

Raya embodies all that I have worked for in my fight for civil rights. He has successfully mediated
between the same groups we need to bring together in Oakland—helping community, labor, and
business join forces in 2006 to pass a $20 billion school bond. He is also the only candidate in District 1
with experience balancing a large government budget: As budget director of the Alameda County Public
Health Department, he oversaw a $120 million budget and 600 employees and found ways to save $6
million every year in tough economic times, allowing the county to maintain vital health services.

Raya’s campaign motto says he “Loves this town.” I believe it. His vision for a safer, more prosperous
city is one all of us can rally around. His support for CeaseFire—a proven violence reduction strategy
that has worked in cities from Baltimore to Los Angeles—reflects a deep understanding of how a
community can join hands to face our challenges together.

Raya’s experience shows what our progressive community is capable of. Our hard-won efforts over the
years have helped put him in a position to succeed: Now is the time to stand behind leaders like Richard
Raya as they move ahead to lead our city.

They did it again! The Giants Win the World Series

By: Malaika Bobino

Detroit, MI – It’s been an incredible year.  The San Francisco Giants are once again the World Series Champions.  This is the second time the team has won the pennant in three years.  They swept the Detroit Tigers 4-3 for the win.

A completely disappointing performance by the Tigers who could not muster one win in the series.  Going into extra innings in the final game, it became a desperate situation for both teams.

“I think when you look at this club, the terms ‘teamwork’, ‘team play’, ‘play as a team’ used loosely, but these guys truly did,” said manager Bruce Bochy.  “They set aside their own agenda and asked what’s best for the club.”

Again, with their backs against the wall, San Francisco prevailed.  Going into the tenth tied 3-3, pinch-hitter Ryan Theriot who has contributed every time he has come to bat, did not disappoint.

Theriot leadoff the inning with with a single to right field.  Brandon Crawford out on a sacrifice bunt moved Ryan to second.  Angel Pagan, struck swinging which brought Marco Scutaro to the plate with two outs.

“What Scutaro did all season for us was unbelievable,” pitcher Matt Cain said.  “But really, I don’t think a lot of guys saw what Theriot did on the bench for us.  As a teammate, in the clubhouse, he was such a tremendous asset for us.  That’s not easy, to play every day and then go to not playing at all.”

Ryan singled on a line drive to center field to score Theriot.  Pablo Sandoval reached first on a fielder’s choice,  but Marco was out at third to end the frame.  This was Detroit’s only chance for a win and to avoid a sweep.

That opportunity never came, closer Sergio Romo struck out the side to begin the celebration.  Miguel Cabrera, the Triple Crown winner and top American League Most Valuable player candidate hit a two-run homer in the third inning.  But in the end, he struck out swinging.

“They played better baseball when it counted, that’s what it’s about,” said pitcher Justin Verlander.  “We were playing great baseball up until this point and just couldn’t really sustain it for these last four games.  Not to say that we didn’t give a heck of an effort.”

Unlike the 2010 World Champs, this 2012 team was different in many ways.  As described by Bochy and players who were on both the 2010 and 2012 rosters.  This years team was a more serious group compared to the frat boys two years ago.

The additions of NCLS MVP Marco Scutaro, Hunter Pence and Angel Pagan proved worthy in the end.  The Tigers fell flat against a team that had faced ups and downs throughout the season.  The Giants never doubted themselves and always believed this was their time to shine.

They head home for the city of San Francisco to honor them with a parade that will bring millions out from all over the Bay Area.

Resident Council Meeting Challenges Residents

Top row from left: Isaiah Wallace, Ed Griffin, Lewis Jordan. Second row: Marianne Lim, June Miyake, Marcella Brown, Daesean, Bernadette Stuart. Bottom photo: AWRC barbeque luncheon at the 200 Lot in Marin City (Photos by Godfrey Lee)

By Godfrey Lee

The Agency Wide Resident Council  (AWRC) gave a barbeque luncheon for the community on Tuesday, Oct. 16 to celebrate the grand opening of council’s new office in Marin City.
The office space, located at 263 Drake Ave., is next to the Phoenix Project and will serve the Golden Gate Village Committee and public housing in Marin City.
Long-time community representative and AWRC Vice President Isaiah Wallace launched the Golden Gate Village Committee and requested office space from Marin Housing Authority. He strongly felt his neighborhood committee needed an office for people to meet, express their ideas, speak out about their concerns and create positive change.
“This can give a voice to AWRC. We can all get together and fight to make Marin City a better, safer, and more beautiful community,” said Wallace during the luncheon.
Elections are also being held for AWRC officers, including the positions of president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and community outreach coordinator.
Ed Griffin, interim executive director of Marin Housing Authority (MHA), encouraged everyone to take ownership of the community. “A few months back, we had a couple of shootings down here that were extremely scary for the individuals inside the units. It probably not the only time there are shootings – there is crime in every neighborhood. But this is your neighborhood,” he said.
“We can be mentors and can take the lead with young people and know what is going on,” said Griffin. “We need to develop the community to where we want it to be in terms of job opportunities. All of those things require all of us to be on board.”
He also urged families and mentors to control youth who become involved in violence and drug use. “You do everything you can to stop them,” Griffin said.
Lewis Jordan, new executive director of MHA, introduced himself to the audience and asked what the community can do to help young people find jobs.
“Not just temporary jobs but ones that are sustainable, can pay enough to take care of their family and can make the young men really feel like men,” he said.
“This can help them push away all of the bad alternatives out there, those things that are not right. Not all of our young people are doing those things. But there should be a greater commitment from the community to make sure opportunities are available for young people,” said Jordan.

Nave Victorious in Final Fight of Career

Top photo from left: Paul Nave, Justin Danforth. Bottom photo: Homer Hall (Nave’s trainer), Paul Nave, and Robert Duncan. (Photos by Godfrey Lee)

By Godfrey Lee

Paul Nave, “The Marin Assassin,” ended his boxing career with a victory against Justin Danforth of Milwaukee, winning a unanimous decision with scores of 80-72 and 79-73 from the judges.
The fight took place Friday night, Oct. 19 in Albert Park Field in San Rafael. Under the bright lights, the main event did not start until about 10:3 p.m. But the night was not cold for the fans who supported and cheered Nave as he won the twentieth boxing match of his career.
During the eight-round fight, both Nave and Danforth slipped several times. But Nave seemed to have more stamina than Danforth. Both fighters became more aggressive as the fight progressed.
In the fifth round, Nave threw a right cross that staggered Danforth, whose right eye began to swell and ear started to bleed.
In the undercard bout 1, David Lopez of San Francisco defeated Rudy Macedo of Novato after three rounds in a close win of 29-28. This was Macedo’s first fight as an amateur in a pro card.
In bout 2, Aldwayne Simpson of Richmond won a unanimous decision over Jovanni Rubio of Santa Rosa.
In bout 3, Marquita Lee of Novato defeated Lisa Lewis of Fresno. After her defeat, Lewis suffered an asthma attack and was taken to the hospital. The attack was not serious, but the medical emergency delayed the remaining bouts.
In the fourth and final undercard bout, Laura Deanovic of San Francisco defeated Claudia Amaro of Fresno.
The after fight party was held at Il Davide Restaurant, three blocks away from Albert Park Field on A Street in San Rafael.

San Leandro Seminar for First Time Homebuyers

The City of San Leandro is sponsoring a free homebuyer education seminar, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 3 at San Leandro’s City Hall, 835 14th St.
The recent elimination of redevelopment agencies in California has taken a toll on home ownership programs in the Bay Area.  In spite of funding reductions, the San Leandro is continuing to provide assistance to first time homebuyers.
Available services include free homebuyer education and counseling, down payment assistance programs from State or other public agencies and accessing below market rate homes.
The ability to combine these resources and services can provide a first time homebuyer an important edge to enter into the highly complex housing market.
Topics covered at the seminar will include preparing to become a homeowner; the process of purchasing and financing a home; programs, resources, and services available to assist first time homebuyers; and helpful purchase strategies for buying in today’s market.
A reservation is required and can be made at www.myhomegateway.com.  For more information about the seminar, call (888) 572-1222 x102.

Medicare Open Enrollment

For information about options available during Medicare’s open enrollment period, staff from Legal Assistance for Seniors (LAS) will present an overview of the program, including benefits, eligibility, costs and enrollment.
Learn about Medi-Cal and Medicare Savings Programs, and Medicare Part D, the Prescription Drug Plan.
The free community education program will be held from 9:30 am. To 11 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13 at the San Leandro Senior Community Center, 13909 East 14th St.
After the presentation, counselors will be available for individual consultations to help people enroll in Part D plans and answer questions concerning Medicare coverage.
Schedule an individual consultation appointment when registering for the presentation.  Call (510) 577-3462 for further information, and refer to course #27764.
Register at Customer Service locations at San Leandro Senior Community Center, City Hall South Offices or Marina Community Center or online at www.sanleandrorec.org (for a small convenience fee).

National and World Affairs Forum

Members of the public are invited to participate in Engage in discussions of topics of interest in today’s world.
The moderated discussions will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the San Leandro Senior Community Center,13909 East 14th St. in San Leandro. Forum topics include: “The Media: Its Role in the Presidential Election” on Nov. 16, and “How Do Supreme Court Decisions Affect our Lives?” on Thursday, Jan. 24.
Admission is $1 per session for San Leandro residents, $3 per session for non-residents. Pre-registration is required and attendees must be 50+ to register.
Call (510) 577-3462 for further information. Register is available at customer service locations at San Leandro Senior Community Center, City Hall South Offices or Marina Community Center or online at www.sanleandrorec.org (for a small convenience fee).

“Fun with Fresh Flowers” Fall Classes

Learn the basic principles of floral design and easy ways to arrange fresh flowers. Create wonderful floral arrangements you could give away as a gift for special occasions, or simply enjoy yourself at home.
Beginners and students with prior floral arrangement experience ages 50+ are welcome.  Bring your own scissors and/or flower cutters to class if you have them.
The classes will be held: Friday, Oct, 26 – Harvest Celebration Floral Arrangement; Friday, Nov. 16 – Thanksgiving Floral Arrangement; Thursday, Dec. 6 – Holiday Floral Arrangement
Classes meet from 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the San Leandro Senior Community Center, 13909 East 14th St. The cost is $6 per class for San Leandro residents and $8 per class for non-resident. An additional $14 materials fee for each class is due at registration.
For information, call (510) 577-3462.  Registration is available at the Senior Community Center, Marina Community Center or City Hall South Offices or online at sanleandrorec.org for a small convenience fee.

San Leandro 50-Acre Shoreline Project Moves Ahead

San Leandro Shoreline Development Conceptual Master Plan, October 2012.

After four years of planning in partnership with the City of San Leandro and a group of citizen volunteers, Cal-Coast Development is readying a project submittal for a 50-acre mixed-use development along the San Francisco Bay in San Leandro.
“The Shoreline Development has the potential to transform the large and vacant asphalt parking lots next to the boat harbor in the Marina into a high-quality dining and commercial area with walk and bike paths for the public,” said Mayor Stephen Cassidy.
“Thanks to the work of an incredibly dedicated group of citizens, we have developed a vision of this site for San Leandrans and visitors to our community to enjoy for decades.”
The project is slated to include a 200-room hotel and conference facility, new restaurants, up to 250,000 square feet of office space, a community building, and 188 residential units in a variety of configurations.
The development includes a small boat launch ramp and aquatic center to promote hand powered watercraft as well as a waterfront promenade with pedestrian piers, bike lanes and new park space.
The development was designed to complement other public amenities at the shoreline including the Monarch Bay championship golf course, Marina Park, and popular par course.
Horatio’s, owned by Restaurants Unlimited, and The Marina Inn, a privately owned and operated hotel, are incorporated into the master plan. The City plans to retain ownership of the land and negotiate a long-term ground lease with Cal-Coast.
A 30-plus member Citizens Advisory Committee was formed in 2008 to help shape the vision for this project. The group has been meeting regularly with City staff and Cal-Coast to develop a Conceptual Master Plan for the site.
“Although a great deal of work remains to be done, we have reached a significant milestone in the process,” stated Cal-Coast president Ed Miller. “A waterfront site like this one – with access to transportation infrastructure, fiber optic broadband, and incredible natural amenities – makes the challenging process worthwhile.”
The next step for the project will be the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report, which is expected to take roughly 18 months
Construction is tentatively expected to begin in 2016.

Celebration of Hyers Sisters at MoAD

Hyers Sisters

Susheel Bibbs

Filmmaker Susheel Bibbs will introduce the history making Hyers Sisters to San Francisco audiences in “An Offering in Word and Song:  The Hyers Sisters – Voices for Freedom,” at 2 p.m. on Nov. 4 at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.
In 1871 Anna and Emma Hyers of Sacramento became the first African-American women to win nationwide acclaim as operatic touring artists.
Later they became the first to hire African American leading players in landmark musicals told from the African American perspective, the first to create an African-American musical, and the first to integrate casting on the mainstream American music-theater stage.
“Amazing,” said Dr. Bibbs, “ and they did it all in a time of intense oppression and ridicule of Black people.”
In this program Bibbs, who is also an award-winning soprano and author, will tell the Hyers’ story based on her own research and enhanced by musical selections on video, visuals, and her own performance of spirituals in the traditional style.
“The Hyers’ story has a message for today, and I’m honored to make it known,” said Bibbs.
The Museum of the African Diaspora is located at 685 Mission St. in San Francisco Attendance is included in the price of museum admission: $10 general, $5 seniors and students.
For information go to www.mepleasant.com

Opponents United Against Olague

Christina Olague

Thea Selby

London Breed

By Lee Hubbard

The race for District 5 in San Francisco is heating up, with some of Christina Olague’s opponents are beginning to say, “Anybody but Olague.”
As the supervisor appointed by Mayor Ed Lee, she has been viewed by many as the frontrunner in the race from the start, with the support of the mayor and former Mayor Willie Brown.
This backing however, has caused some concerns in District 5 –Lower Pacific Heights, Haight Ashbury, Fillmore, Western Addition and Japan Town –where there are those who feel the district’s political independence is threatened.
“I don’t think she makes good decisions as a supervisor,” said Thea Selby, a small business owner and a candidate in the race. “She has too many competing interests to cover, from Mayor Lee to Rose Pak. She is also not knowledgeable on the issues, and she is really new to the area.”
“There are some candidates who will not represent all of the district and to me, that is Olague,” said London Breed, the head of the African American Cultural Center who is also a candidate in the race.
Olague, however, emphasizes she is an independent voice.
“I see myself as a progressive leader,” she said.
She points to her political break with the mayor when she voted against his attempt to remove Ross Mirkirami as the San Francisco Sheriff after he pled to domestic battery against his wife.
“This is not an issue of domestic violence, though we have to take that issue seriously,” said Olague.  “This is about the power of the mayor and official misconduct. And I don’t think (Mirkarimi’s) actions rose to that level.”
She said she voted to keep Mirkarimi in office because she felt the mayor overstepped his boundaries.
Shelby argues Olague’s vote was a political decision in a district where Mirkarimi had been a supervisor and remains very popular.

Reinstated Mirkarimi Registers Prisoners to Vote

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi

Back on the job, Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has begun registering prisoners to vote.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, it has already registered about 400 inmates as of last Friday.
The Sheriff’s Department Prisoner Legal Services program and the Department of Elections have made San Francisco number one in voter registration in the state, registering thousands of inmates in the last five elections, according to Mirkarimi.
“We are committed to breaking down the barriers to anyone who wants to exercise their right to vote,” he said in a statement. “We believe that facilitating a person’s right to vote engenders a sense of responsibility and inclusion.”
Last Monday was his first full day on the job following a 10-month battle to remain sheriff in the wake of a domestic abuse case.
However, some of Mirkarimi’s opponents are considering a recall, though Mayor Ed Lee has refused to take a position on the possibility of such a campaign.
“I’m not going to comment on recall,” he said. That’s a political thing. People want to talk about it, they can talk about it. I have to run city government.”

City Wins $25,000 Grant for Richmond High Writing Program

Mayor Gayle McLaughlin

Cities of Service announced this week it has awarded Richmond a $25,000 grant to expand WriterCoach Connection, a service initiative designed to address the student achievement gap.
Richmond is one of 18 U.S. cities to be awarded a grant to support mayors who are using volunteers in a strategic way to address priority problems in their communities.
“I am deeply committed to growing the service movement in our city,” said Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin.  “This grant award will support our efforts to both engage volunteers in a meaningful way and enhance the learning experience for our high school students with one-on-one individualized assistance.”
Richmond’s grant from Cities of Service will  support recruiting and training 130 community volunteers to serve as writing coaches at Richmond High School.  Coaches will work one-on-one with 120 to150 students to develop students’ writing and critical thinking skills.
The city has teamed with Community Alliance for Learning to implement this education initiative. “We are pleased to partner in this Cities of Service initiative with the City of Richmond, the first municipality to offer this kind of collaboration to help us bring crucial writing support to public-school classrooms,”  said Robert Menzimer, executive director, Community Alliance for Learning.

Ritterman Says Measure N Foes Don’t Think for Themselves

Joe Fisher BAPAC, Treasurer

By Joe Fisher
BAPAC,
Treasurer

Supporters of Measure N, the regressive  “soda tax” on the November ballot that would raise grocery bills in Richmond, are now going as far as accusing their opponents of not being able to think for themselves and having been bought off by the soft drink industry.
The charge most recently was leveled last Friday by Richmond City Councilman Jeff Ritterman during a debate on KQED public radio’s public affairs call-in program “Forum” — and it is being met by calls that Ritterman apologize and retract the statements.
“This is a typical tactic of Councilman Ritterman and his allies,” said Lloyd Madden, president of the Black American Political Action Committee (BAPAC) of Contra Costa County.
“If you disagree with them, they will attempt to discredit you by challenging your motivation and your capacity for independent thought,” said Madden.
Measure N, which Ritterman says is intended to reduce soda consumption and raise money for anti-obesity efforts, is actually a new license business tax.  It would require local markets, restaurants and food vendors to pay to the city a fee of a penny per ounce on the sale of any beverage sweetened with any amount of added sugar of any kind, without exception.
It is anticipated that Measure N will raise grocery bills when businesses are forced to pass along the cost of the tax to consumers.  It also is expected to hurt these local businesses when customers who can go elsewhere to shop and to dine to avoid Measure N price hikes.
Additionally, the $3 million a year that Measure N would raise—coming directly out of the pocketbooks of Richmond residents—would be placed directly into the city’s general fund and could be used by the politicians behind the tax for any lawful municipal purpose.
Not a penny is specifically for recreation, nutrition education and other anti-obesity programs and efforts.
On Friday, during the radio debate, No on Measure campaign spokesman Chuck Finnie argued that the regressive nature of the tax, its likely economic effects and the fact that the measure amounts to a blank check for Councilman Ritterman and his council allies, was the reason thousands of Richmond residents and numerous local businesses, community leaders and civic organizations, from the Chamber of Commerce to the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, are on record as opposing Measure N.
In response, Councilman Ritterman attempted to discredit the NAACP of Richmond and other opponents by suggesting they have been bought off and couldn’t or wouldn’t have otherwise arrived at their positions or gotten involved.
“Without big soda’s money,” said Ritterman, “there is no organized opposition.”  With respect to the NAACP Richmond branch, he accused the organization of being “influenced by political football,” meaning its stance against Measure N isn’t based on an honest view of the measure’s flaws and isn’t based on what the organization thinks is best for the community.
Ritterman also went on to suggest that African American political activists who oppose the tax and who have been hired to serve as consultants to the No on Measure N campaign are somehow discredited.
“I’m pleased with the fact that BAPAC have helped No on N create employment in Richmond,” Madden added.
“Councilman Ritterman and his allies would be well served spending more time focused on job creation in our city rather than coming up with regressive new taxes and trying to discredit people who don’t agree with them.”

BAPAC Announces Endorsements

Lloyd Madden, president of Contra Costa County BAPAC.

Congress: George Miller

US Senator: Dianne Feinstein

City Council: Gary Bell

BART Board: Maria Alegria

 

 

 

 

 

City Council: Nat Bates

By Kia
Croom

In what is widely viewed as a pivotal national, statewide and local election, the Black American Political Action Committee (BAPAC) is announcing its endorsements and voter-assistance for anyone needing help getting to the polls.
“Our message is that we need to encourage our country to move forward by re-electing President Barack Obama, but it doesn’t stop there,” said Lloyd Madden, president of Contra Costa County BAPAC.
“It is important that individuals vote for state and local measures and candidates, too, not just in the presidential contest, because these contests will directly impact our community, the kinds of schools we provide, the cost of living for our families and the direction of our local government,”

Madden said.
When you vote by mail or on Nov. 6, BAPAC recommends:President: Barack Obama; Measure N beverage tax: No; Richmond City Council:  Nat Bates, Gary Bell, Bea Roberson; US Senator: Dianne Feinstein;
Congress: George Miller; BART Board: Maria Alegria; WCCUSD Board of Education: Robert Stoddiford and Randall Enos; Measure A for Contra Costa College: Yes; Measure E for better school facilities: Yes; Measure G for better school funding: Yes.
For a ride to the polls or for information, call (510) 307-5580.

 

Billboards Come Down Following Voter Suppression Protests

Anti-voter fraud billboards in Ohio and Wisconsin are in the process of being removed due to complaints about voter suppression.
A total of 140 billboards were determined to be in violation of the sign company’s policy mandating that political-themed advertisements must not be posted by anonymous customers.
The billboards depicted a large judge’s gavel image and the test, “Voter Fraud is a Felony.” The signs in Wisconsin and Ohio also noted the punishments for engaging in such crimes.
Critics of the political advertisements reportedly feel that the signs were intended as a form of voter suppression and were allegedly placed primarily in minority communities.
“The billboard is nothing but a symbol of pure, unadulterated voter suppression to target an African American community,” said Ohio State Senator Nina Turner.
Clear Channel Outdoor has declined to name the customer who rented the billboard space, but did note that is was a private family foundation.
Crews began taking down 60 signs in the Columbus and Cleveland areas in Ohio on Monday. A total of 85 signs in Milwaukee are also coming down this week.
The billboard company decided to hang 10 signs in the Cleveland area, which read, “Voting is a Right. Not a Crime!” as an alleged response to the outcry about the voter fraud advertisements.
Cleveland City Councilwoman, Phyllis Cleveland, was one of the most outspoken opponents to the signs, which she claims related to voter suppression. Although the signs will soon be gone, the Ohio politician still wants to know who ordered the advertisement, according to the Huffington Post.

Dr. Herbert Guice Christian Academy Hosts Gospel Benefit Concert, Oct. 27

Dr. Herbert Guice Christian Academy Board of Directors.Seated from left to right: Brenda Gamble, Rev. Frank Darby, Gail Johnson Murphy; Standing: Stella Daniels, Mildred Williams, Mary Hardy, Barbara Elmore Lane, Tremaine Moore, Juanita Ambers, Neola Crosby. Not Pictured: Helen Getridge, Melvin Gillette. Photo by Stephen V. Brooks Photography, svbrooksphoto@aol.com

The Dr. Herbert Guice Christian Academy   will begin its 15th anniversary celebration with a Benefit Gospel Concert featuring the Northern California Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America and other guest artists, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 27, at the school, located at 6925 International Blvd. in Oakland.
A tour of the academy  will take place at 3:30 p.m.
The academy opened its doors to receive its first students on Sept. 15, 1997.  This school was the fulfillment of a dream realized by the late Dr. Herbert Guice, former pastor of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.
The academy serves students from pre-kindergarten through 6th grade.  The school received accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, receiving the highest rating possible.
The academy offers a state-approved academic curriculum and enrichment courses in Spanish, computer science and music.
For ticket information and information concerning enrollment at the academy, call (510) 729-0330.  Visit the website at www.guiceacademy.org

Russell Means, 72, Indian Movement Activist

Russell Means

Russell Means, the Oglala Sioux activist who revived indigenous pride as a leader of the American Indian Movement and appeared in Hollywood movies later in life, has died.
He was 72.
Means died early Monday at his ranch in Porcupine, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The cause of death was esophageal cancer.
“Our dad and hus¬band now walks among our ances¬tors,” a fam¬ily state¬ment said.
Russell Charles Means was born on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota on Nov. 10, 1939, and raised in Oakland, where his parents moved during World War II.
Means rose to national prominence as the first national director of the American Indian Movement, staging a number of high-profile protests in the 1960s and early 1970s that called attention to the conditions facing Native Americans. Among their actions, the group took over Mount Rushmore and occupied the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C.
But AIM’s best-known and most controversial action occurred on Feb. 27, 1973, when Means and his group of 200 Oglala Lakota followers took control of the South Dakota town of Wounded Knee to demonstrate against the U.S. government’s failure to honor its treaties with various Indian tribes.
An armed standoff with federal authorities ensued that saw an exchange gunfire, costing the lives of two activists and one FBI agent.
Means later faced assault and conspiracy charges that were dismissed by a judge for prosecutorial misconduct.
Means made his big-screen debut as chief Chingachgook opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in 1992’s “The Last of the Mohicans.” Two years later, he appeared in Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers,” following up with roles as Jim Thorpe in “Windrunner: A Spirited Journey” and Sitting Bull in “Buffalo Girls.”

“What is Africa to Me?”

Clinton teaching math at Latrikunda School, Gambia.

Clinton living at the level of the people in a Gambian compound.

By Clinton Etheridge

I joined Peace Corps Gambia and went to Africa in search of my Blackness.
I was born in 1947 and grew up in Harlem in the 1950s, coming of age during the civil rights movement.
My mother and father hailed from North Carolina, which I visited in the 1950s.  I experienced Jim Crow up close and personal in the segregated restrooms of the Chesapeake Bay ferry and the segregated balcony of the Plymouth movie theater in my mother’s hometown.
Although dehumanizing, experiencing the Plymouth Theater and the Chesapeake Bay ferry did not kill me.  These acts of segregation were not violent like the beating of the Freedom Riders in 1961 or the murder of Medgar Evers in 1963.
But the Jim Crow segregation I did experience strengthened my Black identity and helped me better understand the civil rights movement.
In 1965, I went to Swarthmore College outside of Philadelphia and became a founding father of the Swarthmore Afro-American Students Society (SASS).  Like so many young Blacks of our generation, we in SASS were “Black and proud”—and fascinated with Africa.  We sought to identify with Africa by wearing our hair in afros and dressing in dashikis.
Although a shy unlikely leader, I became SASS chairman my senior year at Swarthmore and led the Black students in the weeklong non-violent occupation of the admissions office in January 1969 in support of greater Black enrollment.  Unfortunately, the president of Swarthmore died of a heart attack during our non-violent demonstration.
His death became one of the most traumatic and controversial events in the 20th Century history of Swarthmore College.  However, I was able to graduate from Swarthmore in June 1969—but had no idea of future plans.
I taught math for a year at Mercer County Community College in Trenton, New Jersey following my graduation from Swarthmore.  But Africa pulled at my heartstrings.
So I joined Peace Corps Gambia from 1970-1972.  At that stage of my life, if I hadn’t joined Peace Corps Gambia I probably would have gone to Africa some way, somehow – if only for a short visit.  But for two years, I saw Africa from the bottom up, serving and giving back as a teacher and living at the level of the people in a Gambian compound as a Peace Corps volunteer.
But most importantly, I was able to formulate my own answer to the critical question posed by Harlem Renaissance poet Countee Cullen about Black American identity: “What is Africa to me?”
What is Africa to me;
Copper sun or scarlet sea,
Jungle star or jungle track,
Strong bronzed men, or regal black
Women from whose loins I sprang
When the birds of Eden sang?
One three centuries removed
From the scenes his fathers loved,
Spicy grove, cinnamon tree,
What is Africa to me?
—Countee Cullen (1903-1946) Harlem Renaissance poet

George McGovern, 90, Ran for President in 1972

George McGovern

By David Browne,
Rolling Stone

George McGovern, longtime anti-war congressman from South Dakota who notoriously suffered a devastating loss to Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential campaign, died at the age of 90.
With his focus on peace and world hunger, McGovern was one of the leading liberal voices of his era – and the repercussions of his unsuccessful campaign for the White House were felt for decades to come.
Although he had been a Senator and Representative in his home state and had worked for John F. Kennedy’s administration, McGovern was largely unknown by the time of the Democratic primaries in early 1972.
Described by the New York Times as “a baldish former minister and rural radical,” McGovern was a modest, low-key and reflective man, the antithesis of the savvy politician. “Above everything else,” he said at one early campaign stop, “the citizens of this land are concerned about a restoration of credibility in the political life of their country.”
By 1972, that image – and his longtime opposition to the Vietnam War, starting in 1963 – connected with parts of the electorate who were tired of the war and the much-loathed Nixon.
McGovern quickly gained traction in his party and became the Democratic Party’s nominee that summer – only to suffer a series of setbacks that resulted in one of the biggest losses in U.S. presidential history.
“The ‘72 campaign was the high point in youthful idealism and citizen grass-roots action,” he told Rolling Stone magazine in 1987. “I don’t think it has been that strong since.”
Born and raised in South Dakota, he was the son of a former pro baseball player who became a Baptist minister. He served in the Air Force during World War II.
Afterward, he turned to religion (he was briefly a minister in the late ‘40s), college, and teaching. He ran for a seat in the House of Representatives in 1956 and won, serving two terms before serving as a special assistant in Kennedy’s administration.
After the 1972 loss, McGovern returned to the Senate until 1980.
Some of his most important work was in the realm of world hunger. Clinton appointed McGovern his ambassador to the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization and, as a result, awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000.
Post publisher Paul Cobb, a former national staff member and speechwriter for Senator McGovern, said “McGovern championed the causes, concerns and issues of Black advancement. He exhibited more courage than any other politician in congress.”
Cobb, who also served as national co-director of the voter registration and ‘get-out-the-vote’ campaign for McGovern, shared an office with Ann Wexler in the Watergate Building. After the ill-fated break-in, that occurred on the same floor, he said McGovern quipped that the burglars bypassed his office because the FBI already had better files on the Black community.”

McClymonds Warriors Pride Day

McClymonds students and alumni celebrated Warrior Pride Day of their Homecoming Week on Wednesday, Oct. 24, with educational sessions on sports legacies and the historic background of the school and West Oakland. Students learned the story of the Black migration to West Oakland and talked to former Mack athletes, including Olympian gold medalist Jim Hines. From left to right: Mack alumni Brian McGhee, Jim Hines, former McClymonds coach Bill Patterson and Mack alumni Shomari Carter.  Inset:  Relonda McGhee, head of the student body leadership and social worker with Alternatives in Action at McClymonds, organized the Homecoming Week event. Photos by Ashley Chambers.

Colin Powell’s For President Obama Again

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell (left) and President Barack Obama.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed President Barack Obama for a second term after the third presidential debate.
“You know, I voted for him in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012, and I’ll be voting for he and Vice President Joe Biden next month,” he said on CBS’ “This Morning.”
Asked whether it was an endorsement, he said, “Yes.”
Powell praised the president’s handling of the economy and ending of the Iraq War.
“I think we ought to keep on the track we are on,” he said.
Powell said he had the “utmost respect” for Mitt Romney but criticized his tax plan.
He said Romney’s foreign policy was a “moving target.” “One day he has a certain strong view about staying in Afghanistan, but then on Monday night he agrees with the withdrawal. Same thing in Iraq. On every issue that was discussed on Monday night, Gov. Romney agreed with the president with some nuances. But this is quite a different set of foreign policy views than he had earlier in the campaign.”
Powell, a Republican who served in President George W. Bush’s first term, backed Obama in 2008. He was frequently mentioned as a potential Republican challenger against Bill Clinton in 1996, but decided against it.

Police Report in Blueford Shooting Raises Questions, Says Attorney

Attorney Walter Riley

Alan Blueford

Miguel Masso,OPD                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

By Ken A. Epstein

A local criminal attorney is raising questions after examining the police report in the shooting death of Alan Blueford by Oakland Police Officer Miguel Masso.
Meanwhile, Alameda County prosecutors last week released a report saying the police officer acted in self-defense and will face no criminal charges.
The partial police report was released two weeks ago, five months after the 18-year-old high school student was killed.
“It should not have taken the months it has already taken and continues to take,” said Walter Riley, a criminal defense and police misconduct attorney in Oakland since 1984.
“There were a finite number of witnesses available in the case,” he said. “The policeman who did the shooting and his partner, and the officers who arrived at the scene subsequently are all identifiable and accessible.”
The report that was released is missing the “shooter’s statement and the statement of his partner,” as well as crime scene photos and the ownership history of the gun that was found at the scene, Riley said.
A single thumbprint was found on the gun magazine, which is alleged to be Blueford’s, ”(But) we don’t have any further information,” Riley said, about the points of similarity that would indicate the likelihood the thumb print belonged to Blueford.
Nor is there information whether other fingerprints or DNA evidence were found on the weapon.
“There was no gun fight,” Riley continued.  “Witnesses say he was shot while he was on the ground. He clearly did not fire a gun. It is disputed by family and some witnesses that he had a gun at any time.”
A witness reported, Riley said, that he heard Blueford speaking while on the ground. “He said he heard Alan say, ‘I didn’t do anything.’ That’s inconsistent with a dying person having a gun, but it is consistent with a dying person not threatening a police officer with a gun,” Riley said.
The Alameda County prosecutors 18-page says Officer  Masso shot Blueford three times in the chest and left shoulder after the fleeing teenager pointed a loaded semiautomatic pistol at him.
“Officer Masso actually and reasonably believed that his life was in danger after he had made eye contact with Mr. Blueford and that if he did not shoot, he would be killed,” the report said.
The report quoted Masso as saying he “went into survival mode.”
In an angry written response to the report, the Justice 4 Alan Blueford Coalition this week said “(It) reveals a high level of bias and a shamefully inadequate demonstration of investigative methodology,” citing only witness statements that agree with the police version of the event.
The released Oakland police reports on the killing of Alan Blueford can be found at  www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/10/04/18723068.php#18723083

Paul Mooney’s Take on the Elections

Paul Mooney

By Lee Hubbard

Satirical comedian Paul Mooney will talk about the political landscape and the presidential election from his perspective in a  “Town hall Meeting” at the Berkeley Black Repertory Theatre, Nov. 1 through Nov. 5.
“Paul is one of the great comedians of our time,” said Sean Scott, director of the theater. “He is going to talk about the election, where we stand and where we can possibly go.”
Born in Louisiana and raised in Oakland, Mooney  came to comedic fame as a writer for Richard Pryor. He has written for Redd Foxx and the TV shows Good Times, the Richard Pryor Show, In Living Color and the Dave Chappelle Show.
The author of the 2010 book, “Black is the New White,” he has acted in films such as “Which Way is up,” “Bustin’ Loose,” “Hollywood Shuffle” and “The Buddy Holly Story.”
But it is in his political  satire of Black life that Mooney has made a name for himself over the past 20 years, attacking racism and any topic imaginable.
With the election in the balance, Mooney will lend his brand of humor to the politics of the election and all of the figures associated with it.  Topics will include Obama’s birth certificate, Romnesia, the debates, 47 percent, binders full of women, voter suppression, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan.
“This will be a wake-up call for anyone who is on the political fence,” said Scott.
Show times are 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. nightly with an early show on Sunday, Nov. 4. Tickets range from $20 to $90, which includes dinner and champagne.
For tickets call the Black Rep at (510) 652-2120 or go to www.brownpapertickets.com. The theater is located at 3201 Adeline St. in Berkeley.