Newseum Honors First African American Woman To Cover White House

By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Contributor

On Friday, Sept. 21, a new sculpture of Alice Allison Dunnigan, the first African American woman to receive press credentials to cover the White House and Congress, is scheduled to go on display at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

At the unveiling of the sculpture, featured guests are expected to tell the story of this pioneering journalist who rose to the top of her profession despite racist policies that segregated Black journalists and sexist attitudes that severely limited opportunities for women in the industry.

“Alice Dunnigan endured poverty, segregation and sexism and she fought to fulfill her dream of becoming a journalist,” designer Lauren Bohn wrote on Twitter.

“Alice’s story should give hope to anyone who has ever doubted his or her ability to make it through tough times or, much more painfully, his or her own worth,” said political analyst Jordyn Holman.

Denver, Colo., Mayor Michael B. Hancock said the tribute is long overdue.

“Alice Dunnigan was a barrier breaker for women and people of color to reach higher heights in journalism,” Hancock said.

The announcement by the Newseum comes as current CNN White House Correspondent April Ryan – who’s also African-American – revealed she has hired a bodyguard because of the intimidation and threats she’s received covering the president and his administration.

Ryan, who has earned recognition for her fearless reporting on the White House, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Dunnigan, who began her journalism career in Kentucky before moving to Washington, D.C., was a pioneering journalist who rose to the top of her profession despite racist policies that segregated black journalists and sexist attitudes that severely limited opportunities for women in a male-dominated workplace.

The life-sized bronze sculpture was created by Kentucky sculptor Amanda Matthews and is being cast at the Prometheus Foundry in Lexington, Ky., Newseum officials said in a press release.

During World War II, Dunnigan moved to Washington, D. C. to work at the War Labor Board. After the war ended, Dunnigan went to work for the Associated Negro Press and became the head of that organization’s Washington Bureau on Jan. 1, 1947, a job she held for 14 years supplying stories to 112 African American newspapers across the United States.

Dunnigan was the first African American woman accredited to report on the White House, covering presidential press conferences.

She also became the first African American woman to gain press credentials to report on Congress, the State Department and the Supreme Court. She also made history by being the first African American woman on a presidential tour when she went on the whistle-stop tour with President Truman, according to the Newseum.

Throughout Dunnigan’s career, she battled the rampant racism and sexism that dominated the mostly white and male professions of journalism and politics. She once famously stated, “Race and sex were twin strikes against me. I’m not sure which was the hardest to break down.”

In 2015, the Newseum hosted a program about Dunnigan, “Inside Media: Alice Dunnigan, Pioneer of the National Black Press.”

The program featured Carol McCabe Booker, who edited and annotated a new edition of Dunnigan’s autobiography, “Alone Atop the Hill.”

The sculpture will be on display at the Newseum through Dec. 16, 2018. It will then be taken to Dunnigan’s hometown of Russellville, Ky., and installed on the grounds of the West Kentucky African American Heritage Center as part of a park dedicated to the civil rights movement.

“At a time of growing racial divide courtesy of the Trump administration, this is a very welcomed development,” said journalist James Kosur.

“Alice Allison Dunnigan deserves this honor – she was a true pioneer in journalism for women and the African American community,” Kosur said.

Labor Day Ox Roast

SEPTEMBER

Saturday, September 1 — Friday, September 7

Yard Sale

There will be a yard sale this weekend at 8612 Porter Central Rd., Sunbury.

Right Back at You

Saturday, September 1, 2 p.m. Renowned boomerang expert Chet Snouffer will pay a visit to the farm and teach us how to properly throw a boomerang, fly a kite and other fun tricks. Free, all ages. Gallant Farm, 2150 Buttermilk Hill Road, Delaware.

The World of Butterflies

Sunday, September 2, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Join Chris Kline of the Butterfly Ridge Butterfly Conservation Center as he shares his knowledge and passion for butterflies. Crafts and refreshments will be available. Free, all ages. Shale Hollow Park, 6320 Artesian Run, Lewis Center.

Morrow County Fair

The Morrow County Fair is August 27 to Sept. 3 at 195 South Main Street, Mount Gilead. The headliner is country singer Colt Ford from 5 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 2. For more information, visit http://www.morrowcountyfair.org/

Sunbury Lions Ox Roast

Great food, lots of arts, crafts & flea market vendors! (Monday, 9/3/18 – Labor Day, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunbury Square) http://www.sunburybigwalnutchamber.com/events/details/the-sunbury-lions-ox-roast-3875

Culvert Work

The Delaware County Engineer’s office will be closing River Road between David Road and Byers Road for a culvert replacement Tuesday, September 4 and will reopen on Thursday, September 6. There will also be culvert replacements in Morrow County at SR 95 and Township Road 60 September 4-October 19.

‘Celebrate School Spirit’

Main Street Delaware’s Sept. 7 First Friday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. September celebration will feature the Delaware debut of the Ohio Wesleyan University Marching Bishops and on-stage performances by students from schools throughout the city and county, along with a concert by central Ohio’s Jimmy’s Last Chance rock band. Delaware-area cheerleaders and mascots also are invited to help add to the fun. In addition, everyone is encouraged to wear their favorite school colors to the first-time event, and local educators are invited to stop by a Teacher Appreciation Tent for special recognition and treats.

Sagan Speaker

The Sagan National Colloquium presents Sharif Bey, Ph.D., a ceramicist and associate professor of art at Syracuse University, who will discuss his work as an artist, educator, and art-teacher mentor. He will speak at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 in Benes Room B of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware. Bey’s ceramic/mixed-media artworks examine traditional and contemporary notions of function, ritual, and identity, and his current research explores the identity and political agency of African-American artists. Admission is free. Learn more about Bey at www.sharifbeyceramics.com and more about the colloquium at www.owu.edu.snc.

September First Friday

Building Business over Breakfast guest speaker will be new member Snowpaw Solutions speaking about cyber awareness. Bring your questions! Light breakfast provided! (Friday, 9/7/18, 7:30-9 a.m. in Chamber meeting room, 39 E. Granville on Sunbury Square). Visit link below for more info & to register.

http://www.sunburybigwalnutchamber.com/events/details/first-friday-building-business-over-breakfast-3873

Star Gazing

Sept. 7, 14, 21, and 28 at 8 p.m. Friday evening programs at Ohio Wesleyan’s Perkins Observatory, 3199 Columbus Pike (U.S. 23), Delaware. Content varies based on sky conditions but may include a planetarium show, observatory tours, and stargazing with the 32-inch Schottland Telescope. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Reserve tickets by calling (740) 363-1257. Learn more at www.owu.edu/perkins.

Deer Haven Park Bioblitz

Join us as scientist and the public work together to survey every type of organism we can find in the park within a 24-hour period. Come help us compile the list, or just come to see what we find. Friday, September 7, noon-9 p.m. and Saturday, September 8, 8 a.m.-noon. Deer Haven Park, 4183 Liberty Road, Delaware. For a full schedule of events, visit preservationparks.com and click on the program calendar.

Saturday, September 8 — Friday, September 14

Fallen Heroes

The 13th Annual Gold Star Family Reception. Join us during our 9/11 Commemoration Honoring the Ohio Fallen Heroes in Sunbury, starting with the private Gold Star Family Luncheon. Registration is 1:45-2:30 p.m., with the Luncheon starting at 2:30 p.m. and ending at 4 p.m. The public ceremony will start at 4:30 p.m. at the Memorial.

If you are a Gold Star Family and you have not received your invitation to the Luncheon, please contact us at OFHMcontact@gmail.com.

Grandparents, Kids

SourcePoint will host its annual Grandparents Day celebration Saturday, Sept. 8, from 8:30 a.m. to noon. This event, presented by ClearCaptions, takes place at 800 Cheshire Road, Delaware, and is free for Delaware County grandparents and their grandchildren. This year’s theme, “Know Your Roots,” explores past, present, and future through a variety of fun activities, including a fossil dig game, tin can phones, paper airplane launch, sock hop cakewalks, time capsule creation, interactive displays from the Delaware County Historical Society and Preservation Parks, and more. The event is sponsored by Country Club Rehabilitation Campus and Ohio Living Sarah Moore. To register for the event, go to MySourcePoint.org/EC or call 740-363-6677.

Sewing Academy

The Sagan National Colloquium presents Sara Trail, founder and executive director of the California-based Social Justice Sewing Academy, which empowers young people to use sewing and quilting to express themselves and create opportunities for growth and change. She will speak at 1 p.m. Sept. 8 in the Bayley Room on the second floor of Beeghly Library, 43 Rowland Ave., Delaware, where an SJSA quilt exhibition is on exhibit now through Sept. 21. Trail’s presentation will be followed by a hands-on workshop from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Bayley Room. Pre-registration is required for the workshop and is limited to 25 people. Cost for the workshop is $10 for adults, free for students. To register, call (740) 368-3606, email ramuseum@owu.edu, or visit www.owu.edu/snc. Learn more about SJSA at www.sjsacademy.com.

Cover up and Clean Up

Learn about some cover crops that can be sown in the fall garden and get some tips on preparing the garden for winter. Sunday, September 9, 10 a.m. at Gallant Farm, 2150 Buttermilk Hill Road, Delaware. Free, all ages.

Story Time in the Park

Join staff from the Delaware County District Library as they read about apples and pumpkins, then take part in an activity or craft. A short nature walk will be offered afterward. Monday, September 10, 10 a.m. in Deer Haven Park, 4183 Liberty Road, Delaware. Free, ages 0-5 with an adult.

Business Won!

Tuesday, 9/11/18, 7:45-9 a.m. in the chamber meeting room, 39 East Granville, Sunbury Square. Come & grow your business with a dynamic group of like-minded professionals. Great networking opportunity! Click on link below for further info and to register.

http://www.sunburybigwalnutchamber.com/events/details/business-won-08-14-2018-3038

Criminal Justice

The Sagan National Colloquium presents Laurie Jo Reynolds, M.F.A., of the University of Illinois at Chicago, discussing “We Shouldn’t Have Criminal Justice Policies We Are Afraid to Talk About” on Sept. 11. At 4:15 p.m., Reynolds will present a public lecture; at 5:15 p.m., she will participate in an RSVP-required talk-back and dinner. Both events will be held in Benes Room B of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware. An assistant professor of social justice in UIC’s School of Art and Art History, Reynolds uses artistic and cultural approaches to consider unintended consequences of public registration and notification laws, and related restrictions, and how they represent a missed opportunity for both prevention and justice. To RSVP for the free dinner and talk-back, presented in collaboration with the Ohio Wesleyan Department of Philosophy, email professor Shari Stone-Mediatore, Ph.D., at ssstonem@owu.edu. Learn more about Reynolds at http://artandarthistory.uic.edu/profile/laurie-jo-reynolds and more about the colloquium at www.owu.edu/snc.

Film Festival

OWU’s Hispanic Film Festival kicks off this fall with a screening and discussion of “The Liberator,” at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 11 in Room 312 of the R.W. Corns Building, 78 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. The most expensive Latin American film ever produced, “The Liberator” is a riveting portrayal of Simón Bolívar, who led Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Peru, and Ecuador toward independence. Portrayed by Edgar Ramírez, Bolívar fought over 100 battles against the Spanish Empire. (Rated R, Spanish with English subtitles.) The festival is co-sponsored by Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Modern Foreign Languages, Film Studies Program, Latin American Studies Program, Global Studies Institute, and VIVA Latinx student organization. Admission is free. For more information, contact faculty member Eva Paris at eeparish@owu.edu.

Saturday, September 15 — Friday, September 21

SJN Scramble

St. John Neumann’s 6th annual community golf scramble! Boxed lunch from Subway of Sunbury, goodie bag with 2 drink tickets, 18 holes with a cart, catered dinner by Texas Roadhouse with keg beer! (Saturday, 9/15/18, Tablerock Golf Club, 3005 Wilson Rd., Centerburg, OH 43011, 2 p.m. shotgun start) Click on link below for all the details and link to register.

http://www.sunburybigwalnutchamber.com/events/details/st-john-neumann-s-6th-annual-community-golf-scramble-3882

Box fans wanted

Delaware County EMA in partnership with People In Need, INC (PIN) of Delaware County will be collecting new box fans. All fans collected will go to Delaware County residents that are served by People in Need. Fan donations will be accepted at Delaware County EMS stations, all fire departments within the county, all Delaware County District Library branches, and the PIN office located at 138 Johnson Drive, Delaware. The fan drive runs until Sept. 15 or until cooler weather prevails.

2018 Delaware County Fair

Harness racing, rides, concerts, games, great food, family fun! This year’s fair is Saturday Sept. 15-22 at Delaware County Fairgrounds, 236 Pennsylvania Avenue, Delaware. Hours are 8 a.m.-10 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.delawarecountyfair.com/

Spider Thieves

OWU’s Hispanic Film Festival presents a screening and discussion of “Spider Thieves,” at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 18 in Room 312 of the R.W. Corns Building, 78 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. Three teenage girls from a Santiago shanty town set in motion a plan to climb buildings and plunder expensive apartments. All they want is to have the cool and trendy stuff they see advertised in TV commercials and department stores. Word spreads and soon enough they became the notorious “spider thieves.” (Spanish with English subtitles.) The festival is co-sponsored by Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Modern Foreign Languages, Film Studies Program, Latin American Studies Program, Global Studies Institute, and VIVA Latinx student organization. Admission is free. For more information, contact faculty member Eva Paris at eeparish@owu.edu.

14th Amendment talk

Michael Les Benedict, Ph.D., an expert on U.S. Legal and Constitutional History and the Civil War and Reconstruction, delivers the 2018 Richard W. Smith Lecture in Civil War History: “The Transformative 14th Amendment: The Constitutional Amendment that Reshaped America.” Benedict will speak at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20 in Benes Rooms A and B of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware. A retired professor from The Ohio State University, Benedict has published numerous books on legal developments during and following the Civil War, including “The Blessings of Liberty: A Concise History of the Constitution of the United States” and “Sources in American Constitutional History.” The annual Smith Lecture is sponsored by the Ohio Wesleyan Department of History. Admission is free. Learn more at www.owu.edu/history.

Two workshops

The Sagan National Colloquium presents Black Quantum Futurism (BQF) Collective of Philadelphia, hosting two workshops on “Alternative Temporalities and Quantum Event Mapping.” The workshops will be held at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sept. 21 in the Ross Art Museum, 60 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. BQF Collective is a collaboration between musician and poet Camae Ayewa and public interest attorney, author, and Afrofuturist Rasheedah Phillips. Learn more at www.blackquantumfuturism.com. The workshops will explore linear time constructs in contrast to indigenous African and Afro-diasporic traditions of space, time, and the future. Capacity is limited to 15 people per 90-minute session, with the 1 p.m. session reserved for the Ohio Wesleyan campus community. The events are free. To register, call (740) 368-3606, email ramuseum@owu.edu, or visit www.owu.edu/snc.

Saturday, September 22 — Friday, September 28

Artistic Youth

“We Hold These Truths: Artistic Voices of Youth,” an exhibition of quilts by the California-based Social Justice Sewing Academy (SJSA) that seek to inform, educate, and inspire truth-telling, is on view now through Sept. 25 in Gallery 2001 inside Ohio Wesleyan’s Beeghly Library, 43 Rowland Ave., Delaware. The young artists represent the “resilience, brilliance, and existence of promising individuals who are most at-risk.” Presented as part of the 2018-2019 Sagan National Colloquium*, the exhibit will include a free presentation by Sara Trail, SJSA’s founder and executive director, at 1 p.m. Sept. 8 in the Bayley Room, on the library’s second floor. Her presentation will be followed by a hands-on workshop from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Pre-registration is required for the workshop, with attendance limited to 25 participants. The workshop is $10 for adults, free for students. Call (740) 368-3606 to register. Gallery 2001’s hours coincide with Beeghly Library hours, available online at www.owu.edu/library. Learn more about the Social Justice Sewing Academy at www.sjsacademy.com and more about OWU’s Sagan National Colloquium at www.owu.edu/snc.

New Scenes

“New Scenes” featuring promising Ohio Wesleyan newcomers in scenes staged by the directing class, takes place at 8 p.m. Sept. 22 on the Main Stage inside Chappelear Drama Center, 45 Rowland Ave., Delaware. May contain adult themes and language. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.owu.edu/TheatreAndDance.

Poster presentations

The Patricia Belt Conrades Summer Science Research Symposium, featuring poster presentations by students who participated in Ohio Wesleyan’s 10-week Summer Science Research Program. The students will be on hand to discuss their original research at noon Sept. 24. The event will be held in the atrium of Schimmel/Conrades Science Center, 90 S. Henry St., Delaware. Admission is free. Learn more at www.owu.edu/ssrp.

Herbst to speak

The Sagan National Colloquium presents Robby Herbst, an interdisciplinary artist and critical writer, discussing how politics, language, and ideology are manifested in bodies as expression, movement, history, and action. On Sept. 26 at 4:15 p.m., he will speak at the Ross Art Museum, 60 S. Sandusky St., Delaware, where his work will be on display from Aug. 22 through Oct. 7 as part of the larger “What We Make” exhibit. On Sept. 27 at 7 p.m., he will host an “I+We” workshop, an experimental and participatory (political) movement exploration that borrows techniques from dance, social sculpture, and New Games to explore collective identity, play, and movement. Capacity is limited to 20 people for the workshop, which will be held at the Ross. Both events are free. To register, call (740) 368-3606, email ramuseum@owu.edu, or visit www.owu.edu/snc. Learn more about the Los Angeles-based artist at http://cargocollective.com/robbyherbst.

Saturday, September 29 — Friday, October 6

Sunbury Lions Present

29th Annual Sunbury Cruise In September 30, 2018. Registration 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Registration Fee $15. Awards: BEST OF SHOW, CAR, TRUCK, STREET ROD, ORIGINAL UNRESTORED. Judges FAVORITE 70. Class for 2000 newer. Events Church Service 10 a.m. Door Prizes, 50/50 Drawing, DJ-Hyper Sounds, Craft Vendors. Contact Information: Donna Evans, 160 Bent Tree Rd. Sunbury Ohio 43074. Phone 740-815-7115. Email: memadonna9@yahoo.com.

Building business over breakfast!

Financial Literacy: Key Topics to Achieve and Maintain Financial Health will be presented by Michelle Kuhtenia, CPA and Owner, ClearGuide Financial and Tax Services. (Friday, 10/5/18, chamber meeting room, 39 E. Granville St., Sunbury, OH, 7;30-9 a.m.) Click on link below for further info & to register.

http://www.sunburybigwalnutchamber.com/events/details/building-business-over-breakfast-financial-literacy-key-topics-to-achieve-and-maintain-financial-health-3880

OCTOBER

Saturday, October 7 — Friday, October 12

What We Make

“What We Make,” an exhibit drawing upon “socially and politically engaged art practices to consider how we build communities that are capable of working together across difference,” concludes Oct. 7 at the Richard M. Ross Art Museum, 60 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. In addition to traditional media, the exhibit will incorporate sound and video, and selections from the Interference Archive. “What We Make” is being exhibited as part of the 2018-2019 Sagan National Colloquium*, and audiences are invited to sign up for related public workshops at www.owu.edu/snc. The exhibit’s artist list includes Doug Ashford, Robby Herbst, Tomashi Jackson, Christine Sun-Kim, Anna Teresa Fernandez, and 2013 OWU alumnus Andrew Wilson. Curated by Erin Fletcher, museum director, and Ashley Biser, Ph.D., associate professor of politics and government, the exhibition will feature a curator-led tour at 4 p.m. Aug.23 followed by a public reception from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. During the academic year, the Ross is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is handicap-accessible and admission is always free. Call (740) 368-3606 or visit www.owu.edu/ross for more information.

Booathon

Walk in costume to support Big Walnut Friends Who Share from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7. The Booathon 3- or 5-k walk starts at the shelter behind General Rosecrans Elementary, 301 South Miller Drive, Sunbury. Celebration also from 1-4 p.m. at BWFWS new home Sunbury United Methodist Church, 100 West Cherry Street, lower level. Free food, kids games, balloons, face painting, entertainment and tours of BWFWS.

The increased need for free food, clothing, furniture, fall backpacks for schoolchildren and Christmas food and gifts for the under-served required Big Walnut Friends Who Stare to move to a bigger location. We need your contributions to support this huge community effort.

Walkers find sponsors to raise funds and canned donations to help those in need at BWFWS. To participate, copy forms from our website bigwalnutfriendswhoshare.org or pick up at your local church. Bring forms with you to Booathon or sign up at the event. For more information, call Joyce Bourgault at 614-778-0153.

Saturday, October 7 — Friday, October 12

Sunbury Farmers’ Market

Please plan to join us for the 14th annual Sunbury Farmers’ Market on the scenic Sunbury Square each Saturday, beginning May 19th and running through October 13th, 2018, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. until noon at Scenic Sunbury Square! This season’s market is sponsored by Lee Wrangler Outlet at Tanger & The Middlefield Bank in Sunbury. Vendors will be with us to offer home-grown and hand-made items for your shopping pleasure.

Saturday, October 13 — Friday, October 19

Sunbury Farmers’ Market

Please plan to join us for the 14th annual Sunbury Farmers’ Market on the scenic Sunbury Square each Saturday, beginning May 19th and running through October 13th, 2018, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. until noon at Scenic Sunbury Square! This season’s market is sponsored by Lee Wrangler Outlet at Tanger & The Middlefield Bank in Sunbury. Vendors will be with us to offer home-grown and hand-made items for your shopping pleasure.

October Quarterly Breakfast @ Northstar!

Representatives regarding the Sunbury Charter issue will be on hand to speak as well as other candidates running in the General Election to be held on November 6, 2018. (Friday, 10/19/18, 7:30-9 a.m. @ Northstar Golf Club, 1150 Wilson Rd., Sunbury, OH 43074) Click on the link below for more info on the charter issue & to register.

http://www.sunburybigwalnutchamber.com/events/details/october-quarterly-membership-breakfast-northstar-3892

Saturday, October 20 — Friday, October 26

Community Bonfire

The Powell Police Department and Liberty Township Fire Department are hosting the annual Community Bonfire from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 in Village Green Park, located at 47 Hall Street, Powell. Guests will enjoy free hot dogs, apple cider, doughnut holes and marshmallows to roast over one of the fires. Parking is at City of Powell Municipal Building Parking Lot or public parking spaces in downtown Powell. Thank you to our community partners Mount Carmel Health, Technicare, Comfort Xpress LLC, KEMBA Financial Credit Union,Giant Eagle, Amber Elizabeth Photography, Portrait and Lifestyle Photographer, Living Hope Church, Powell Sertoma Club, Olentangy Rotary Club and the Powell Kiwanis Club for making this event possible.

Saturday, October 27 — Friday, November 2

Carloads of Candy

Join us for the annual Candy by the Carload event from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 in the Municipal Building Parking Lot, located at 47 Hall Street, Powell. The parking lot will be transformed into a trick-or-treater’s treasure chest as local businesses and organizations set up booths and car trunks filled with candy, toys and other Halloween goodies.

Parking is at Public spaces in downtown Powell or in the south grassy lot of Village Green Park. Thank you to our community partners Mount Carmel Health, Technicare,Comfort Xpress LLC, KEMBA Financial Credit Union, Giant Eagle and Amber Elizabeth Photography, Portrait and Lifestyle Photographer for making this event possible.

Dinosaurs return to Zoo

Dinosaur Island to open May 19 at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Visitors will feel they’re traveling back in time—65 million years—on a prehistoric adventure that features more than 20 life-sized, animatronic dinosaurs throughout the Australia and the Islands region of the Zoo. Made of steel with a urethane waterproof skin, the dinosaurs have eyes that shift and blink, tails that move, mouths that make noises, and electronic “brains” that activates and controls their movements and sounds. The result is a thrilling experience that is sure to delight visitors of all ages! Starting May 19 and running through Oct. 28, guests will have the chance to enjoy this expedition by foot path or boat ride. A special admission ticket is required for the boat ride and is not included with Zoo admission. For more information about the Zoo’s summer happenings, please visit www.columbuszoo.org.

Uptown Westerville Farmers’ Market

Home grown. Home made. All Ohio. Starting Wednesday, from May to October, the Uptown Westerville Farmers’ Market opens for business Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the corner of 62 N. State and E. Home Streets in Uptown Westerville. Browse. Visit. Taste. Shop. Enjoy. See you at the market.

NOVEMBER

Saturday, November 3 — Friday, November 9

Saturday, November 10 — Friday, November 16

Powell Veterans Memorial

Honor our veterans during the City’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 12 at the Greater Powell Veterans Memorial in Village Green Park, located at 47 Hall Street. The program will feature a keynote speaker, music and more. A complimentary luncheon will be held in the Powell Municipal Building East Room for all veterans and military personnel as well as their family members and friends. In the event of inclement weather, the program will be moved inside to the Municipal Building Council Chambers. Parking at Municipal Building Parking Lot or public spaces in downtown Powell.

Blue Light

Now through Nov. 15 – “Blue Light,” featuring photographs of landmarks, landscapes, and locations that reflect the world travels of professional photographer and Ohio Wesleyan alumnus Stephen Donaldson, in the Mowry Alumni Gallery inside Mowry Alumni Center, 16 Rowland Ave., Delaware. Donaldson, Class of 1983, is the author of three published books of photography: “The Berkshires,” “Barns of the Berkshires,” and “Along Route 7: A Journey Through Western New England.” Learn more at www.sgdphoto.com. Mowry Alumni Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday when OWU’s administrative offices are open. Admission is free. Learn more at www.owu.edu/ross.

Saturday, November 17 — Friday, November 23

Saturday, November 24 — Friday, November 30

DECEMBER

Saturday, December 1 — Friday, December 7

Tree Lighting in Village Green

The City of Powell is hosting the annual Holidays in Powell event from 2-5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 in the Municipal Building Council Chambers & East Room, 47 Hall Street.

Admission to the event is free and includes crafts, story time with the Delaware County District Library, a special animal visitor from the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium (2:30-3:30 p.m.) and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Guests must in line by 5 p.m. to visit with Santa Claus. Join Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and Mayor Brian Lorenz at 6 p.m. in Village Green Park as they illuminate the City’s Christmas Tree.

Activities: Ornaments – Powell Kiwanis Club; Complimentary Hot Chocolate & Coffee – Olentangy Rotary Club; Story time with the Powell Library – Delaware County District Library; Special Animal Visitor – Columbus Zoo & Aquarium; Craft – Living Hope Church; Letters to Santa Claus – Powell Parks & Recreation; Caroling & Music – Village Academy.

Parking at City of Powell Municipal Building Lot (47 Hall Street) or Downtown Powell Public Parking Spaces. Thank you to our community partners Mount Carmel Health, Technicare, Comfort Xpress LLC, Recreations Outlet, Goldfish Swim School, Auto Assets, KEMBA Financial Credit Union, Giant Eagle and Amber Elizabeth Photography for making this event possible.

Saturday, December 8 — Friday, December 14

Saturday, December 15 — Friday, December 21

Saturday, December 22 — Friday, December 28

Community euchre game

Last Saturday of each month at Condit Presbyterian Church, 15102 Hartford Road, Sunbury. Beginners are welcome. http://www.sunburybigwalnutchamber.com/events/details/community-euchre-game-3358

Saturday, December 29 — Friday, January 4, 2019

Weekly community lunch

St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Sunbury invites all those in the community to join attend a weekly community lunch every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. in the lower level of the Parish Office, Rooms 4 & 5. This is a time for fellowship, to get to know neighbors, and to enjoy a delicious lunch. There is no charge – all are welcome. St. John Neumann is located at 9633 E. State Route 37 in Sunbury. Please contact the Parish Office with any questions, 740-965-1358.

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.



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RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

African American Judge Honored by LA County Deputy Probation Officers Union

(L-R) Commissioner Robert Totten, Judge John C. Lawson and Hans Liang, Councilmember, Monterey Park and Deputy Probation Officer.

Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) — Our communities owe so much to the dedicated officers of the Probation Department, a hard-working and vital component of public safety whose life-changing efforts have not received the level of recognition they deserve. However, with those achievements in mind, on last Friday, the Los Angeles County Deputy Probation Officers Union, AFSCME Local 685, hosted the organizations’ 15th Annual Scholarship and Awards Banquet. The union presented scholarship awards to youth and honored outstanding Probation Officers. Hopefully, other organizations as well as the general public will follow AFSCME’s model to show that we value the heartfelt contributions of the men and women in the Los Angeles County probation department.

The Master of Ceremonies for this event was Monterey Park City Councilmember and Local 685 First Vice President Hans Liang. Liang clearly expressed Local 685’s gratitude stating, “This year, we are boldly declaring that, as a community, we are highlighting probation officers as the heart of Los Angeles County. Together, we are honoring the values and qualities of success in our profession. We are also proud to honor educators, health care workers, fire fighters, law enforcement officers, and all those who keep our community safe.”

The partnership between probation officers and judicial officials is an important one in keeping our communities safe, The Los Angeles County Probation Officers Union, AFSCME Local 685 recently awarded The Honorable John C. Lawson II who is the current Supervising Judge of the Juvenile Delinquency Courts for Los Angeles County, has been awarded its Leadership Award.

Judge Lawson spent 19-years in the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office. Throughout his career, he has been committed to the accountability and rehabilitation of at-risk youth, He worked with the Long Beach School District to launch the Superior Court Teen Court program at Cabrillo High School. He participates in the Long Beach Gang Reduction, Intervention, and Prevention Project (LB GRIP). This program is a collaboration with the city, community based programs, law enforcement and schools to provide life skills development and counseling for at-risk youth and adults. Judge Lawson’s chamber door is always open to speak to young people and he routinely goes to schools to talk about the court system and making the right choices in life.

Deputy Probation Officer James Blanton explained, “One morning when I came to work, I noticed that one of my young charges was in tears, so I sat with him to see how I could help him. He began to tell me about his younger brother Jaylen’s rare form of bone cancer, which was terminal that was the cause of his distress. I decided to petition the court so that he could visit his brother. Granting him the chance to see Jaylen, helped to transform the young man in our camp into a different person. He began to talk about the responsibilities he now felt for his family and discussed ways of helping his mother.” These kinds of actions demonstrate the caring and thoughtfulness that the officers in our probation department have for the communities they serve.

Deputy Probation Officer Claire Roberson-Brown has been recognized by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for her activism with at-risk youth. For years DPO Roberson- Brown has been a Probation Officer advocating with various Board of Supervisors Deputies, promoting the good work of the Los Angeles County Probation staff. It was not until she met with the Supervisor Hilda Solis’ Children’s Deputy and forged a relation that her work came to the attention of Supervisor Solis. The Children’s Deputy came to the 2017 College Summit event and reported back to Supervisor Solis. Supervisor Hilda Solis then agreed to be the keynote speaker at the 2018 College Summit. At that event she praised the efforts of the probation staff and awarded several youth, with a Commendation signed by all five Board of Supervisors. DPO Claire Roberson-Brown has truly been a model probation officer and an inspiration to her peers.

Deputy Probation Officer Tiffany Esqueda, was a part of a program entitled “Shop with A Cop,” for ten years. This program was created for youth in the West Covina area who were disadvantage during the holiday season. The program consisted of taking selected youth to the local Target store in the community and spending $500.00 to buy things that they needed and a few items that they wanted, giving them a nice holiday like other kids in their age group. After going shopping, we would take the selected youth and volunteers to the Red Robin Restaurant where they also enjoyed a free lunch. School Base. Currently she is a staff assistant in the child trafficking unit. She has been previously recognized for her outstanding work.

Deputy Probation Officer Maryam Munir-Morris was raised in a union household, her grandfather was an executive board member of the United Rubber Worker, Local 44. Before her work with the County Probation Department, Maryam served as the chief shop steward for the National Association of Letter Carriers Angel City branch NO. 24. Where she worked for 10 years as a letter carrier. So when she joined the ranks of Los Angeles County Probation, she also became active in the Probation Officers Union, AFSCME Local 685. Deputy Probation Officer Munir-Morris also wanted to become the best steward not just in mere words, but in practice, representing and defending the interests of workers for the Probation Department. Deputy Probation Officer Munir-Morris also has a Master Degree in criminal Justice. This is meant to keep abreast of new laws and regulation pertaining to the county department.

Deputy Probation Officer Richard Bachofner became a member of the L.A. County Probation Department family in 1998. He entered the Special Enforce Operations unit, the probation armed division in the middle of his probation career. In 2013, he completed a firearms instructor course in Fresno, CA. with the Fresno County Sheriff Department. Since 2013 he has been one of two Range/Firearms instructors in the history of the Department. He is currently responsible for teaching monthly firearms training for approximately one hundred armed Probation officers.

2018 is a pivotal year for peace officers, as we face escalating danger in our public safety work. It is our profound hope that the efforts of these extraordinary Probation Officers to secure calm in our communities receive greater recognition from the public which they serve so devotedly.

For more details about the Los Angeles County Deputy Probation Officers Union, AFSCME Local 685, visit www.afscmelocal685.com

Joe Neguse on His Parents’ Refugee Story and Making History in Congress

Joe Neguse is in a tricky position. As the Democratic nominee for Congress in the 2nd District, which includes Boulder and is currently represented by gubernatorial hopeful Jared Polis, pretty much the only way he can lose is if a bizarrely specific virus kills every progressive voter before November.

But in the extended interview below, Neguse, who is being challenged by Republican Peter Yu, Libertarian Roger Barris and independent Nick Thomas, doesn’t slip into cockiness for a single nanosecond. Instead, he regularly emphasizes his dedication to take nothing for granted and work as hard as he possibly can throughout the campaign — and to continue doing so for the next two years in Washington, D.C. if he emerges triumphant.

The conversation begins with Neguse talking about his parents, who came to America as refugees shortly before he was born. He then discusses his time at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he served as co-student body president under the school’s tri-executive system — a breeding ground for future politicians, including state representative Leslie Herod and state senator Steve Fenberg. But he doesn’t give CU Boulder a free pass related to a proposal floated in April about cutting back the student government’s power and responsibility — an approach that appears to have been shelved following protests and widespread condemnation.

Neguse also discusses his co-founding of New Era Colorado, an advocacy organization for young voters, his failed 2014 campaign for Colorado Secretary of State and what he learned from falling short, and the issues he’s identified as his top priorities: policies to protect the environment, universal health care and a woman’s right to choose and immigration reform. In addition, he supports a so-called clean version of the DREAM Act, which would protect participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program without approving actions viewed by critics as anti-immigrant, including millions for the Mexican border wall touted by President Donald Trump.

Near the end of the chat, Neguse addresses the fact that if he is elected, he’ll be the first African-American member of Congress from Colorado since the establishment of the state in 1876. It’s the kind of history almost certain to be made a few months from now — not that Neguse would admit anything of the sort.

Here’s what he had to say.

Joe Neguse with wife Andrea and a friend.

Joe Neguse with wife Andrea and a friend.

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Westword: How do you introduce yourself to the voters in your district?

Joe Neguse: I describe myself as a Coloradan — as somebody who cares deeply about our state, someone who considers himself incredibly lucky and fortunate to have grown up here and who had the opportunity to build a life here, and someone who cares deeply that we’re working collectively to try and solve some of the public-policy challenges that we face.

Tell me a little bit about your family.

My parents came here from East Africa — from a small country called Eritrea. They came as refugees many years ago, over 35 years ago. I was actually born in Bakersfield, California, and we moved to Colorado when I was six. We lived in Aurora for a brief time, and then in Littleton, Highlands Ranch. I’ve spent the majority of my life here in Colorado. I went to school up at CU Boulder, where I was a tri-executive, then went to law school and represented the 2nd District for six years as a regent. I met my wife in Boulder County and I’ve lived there since 2002. So I consider myself a Coloradan, having lived here since I was six. But my story is in many ways an immigrant’s story, like many Coloradans.

That’s a large motivation why I decided to get involved in public service. At a very early age, I was taught by my parents that it was important to pay it forward. As I mentioned, we were incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to live our dreams in the United States. In many ways, we lived the American dream in many senses of that phrase. Given my parents’ background, it was very clear to me the importance of the opportunities and freedoms that we have in this country that don’t exist in a lot of places in the world. Our shared experiences and my experience as a first-generation American are things that motivated me all my life to be involved in public service.
How formative an experience was it for you serving as a tri-executive at the University of Colorado Boulder? And what was your response to the administration’s announcement several months ago that it wanted to take away much of the power and responsibility from the student government — a plan that appears to at least be temporarily on hold right now?

With respect to the first part of your question, it was an incredibly formative experience serving as a tri-executive on two fronts. One, the student government at the University of Colorado Boulder has an incredible amount of responsibility when it comes to self-governance and overseeing the cost centers at the university — the recreation center and so forth. And there’s also the ability to make significant change. So I learned as a by-product of my student activism and my time in student government the power of collectively working toward a common goal, which is something we did for a number of important policy goals while I was there — and we really focused on trying to increase funding for public higher education. As you know, our public higher education system in Colorado is one of the lowest-funded in the United States. It consistently ranks 48th, 49th in the country. So that experience was very formative.

Joe Neguse and State Representative Leslie Herod both served in student government at the University of Colorado Boulder.EXPAND

Joe Neguse and State Representative Leslie Herod both served in student government at the University of Colorado Boulder.

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Second is the people you meet — the friendships you develop and the ability to work with really talented and passionate people who are dedicated to improving the general welfare of their community. Think about people like Leslie Herod, who is now a state representative and a very close friend of mine, and Steve Fenberg, who is one of my closest friends — I was a groomsman at his wedding — and is now a state senator in Boulder. So there were a number of different people I was very lucky to have met through student government and was lucky enough to work with — and I’m hoping to continue working with them if I’m lucky enough to be the next congressman in the 2nd District.

In regard to what happened earlier this year, I haven’t checked in as to what the current status is, but I was deeply disappointed, as were many former student leaders, and of course the current student leaders also. Fundamentally, from my perspective, the students there are asked to pay a significant amount in student fees, and it’s incumbent upon the administration to respect the shared governance model that has existed on the campus for several decades and enables students to work together collectively and collaboratively to best decide how to allocate those fees. Ultimately, I think that’s important. So I was very concerned and disappointed about the actions that were taken earlier this year, and I was heartened to see that those actions were at least temporarily put on hold, and perhaps permanently. Given the volume of feedback the administration received, I would hope they would go back to the drawing board, meet with the student leaders there and come to a constructive resolution. I would hope that’s the approach they would take.

You also co-founded New Era Colorado. How did that organization fit in with the philosophy you just described?

The premise behind New Era Colorado was fairly straightforward. It was an effort to try to get young people more engaged. That meant registering young voters at the ballot box, so that they understood the power they have to really shape their future, and talking to them about the issues that most impact them as young people — myself included, of course. When we created New Era, I was 22, 23 years old, as was Senator Fenberg. It was important to talk to folks about student debt, for example, and talk about climate change, which is an existential threat in my view, and something that young people in particular care deeply about. And we tried to make it easier for young people to take part in the process. That meant advocating for legislation at the state level for online voting registration, which was successfully enacted about eight years ago, and peer registration for sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds. I was proud to be a part of helping push that across the finish line and testify in support of it back in 2012, 2013. That’s another example of a way we could remove some barriers and better encourage young people to get involved in the political process — because we know when more people participate, we have a better outcome.

That is part and parcel of my run for Congress. At 34 years old, I would be one of the youngest members of Congress if elected, and it’s important that young folks, millennials, have a seat at the table. At the end of the day, our fight to make sure they had that seat of the table was a big part of why we created New Era Colorado, and it’s a big part of why I’m running for Congress.

Joe Neguse speaking at a recent campaign event.

Joe Neguse speaking at a recent campaign event.

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After your service on the CU Board of Regents, you ran unsuccessfully for Colorado Secretary of State in 2014. What did you learn about politics and campaigning during that effort?

There are a lot of things I learned during that campaign. I spent eighteen months traveling the state, visiting every county and every corner of the state, visiting with every type of person, and I found that we are much more similar than we are different. By that, I mean when you visit folks from different communities across the state that superficially one might suspect would have different concerns or different priorities, you find fairly quickly that people generally care about the same things.

As I traveled the state, that was something that became very apparent to me, and it’s important to remember right now given the toxicity of our political environment — the vitriol and the divisiveness. It’s an important point, and it’s a point that shouldn’t be lost on our policy makers. As a general matter, folks care about being able to afford to live in the communities they call home, they care about being able to send their kids to a great college, or being able to afford to send their kids to a quality neighborhood school, or being able to afford good-quality health insurance, and being able to afford a quality of life here in our state.

It might sound clichéd, but that really was my takeaway from so many meetings and community visits in so many different corners of our state.

On your campaign website, the first thing you mention among key issues is the importance of ensuring that your constituents have the right to breathe clean air and drink clean water. How endangered is that right, in your view, and what can you do as a member of Congress to protect that right?

That right is significantly endangered by the actions of the Trump administration and by the Republicans in Congress. And you see this on a number of different levels. You see it with the Department of Interior, with Secretary [Ryan] Zinke working to sell off our public lands — and over 52 percent of the 2nd District is federal public land. Think of treasured places like Rocky Mountain National Park. So it’s incumbent to have a congressperson who’s going to fight tooth and nail to protect those public lands against an administration that is working assiduously to open up these lands to the highest bidders for oil and gas development and so forth. You see it in an EPA that, in addition to being incompetent and lacking any real ethics at all, has worked to undermine virtually every single protection or safeguard enacted during the prior eight years of the Obama administration. You see this with a Congress in gridlock and how it refuses to do anything of note with respect to combating climate change.

From my perspective, there’s a lot we can do. We need to be in the Democratic majority, and I’ll certainly be working to hopefully earn the votes of the folks in the 2nd Congressional District, as well as working to help elect other Democrats so that we can obtain the majority. And when we do, we’ll hopefully have a mandate to help solve this existential threat of climate change.

Joe Neguse with young supporters at the Colorado State Capitol.

Joe Neguse with young supporters at the Colorado State Capitol.

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As a practical matter, there are a number of legislative solutions — everything from eliminating subsidies for oil and gas development within our tax code to increasing our investments in renewable energy, reversing the phase-out of the production tax credit and investment tax credit for solar and for wind, and pricing carbon — and there are a variety of legislative vehicles that have been proposed around the right fit for that. I believe we need to enact legislation at the federal level that prices carbon, that takes into account the social cost of the massive oil and gas development that’s happening in our country. And then, of course, there’s another bill that would ban all oil and gas development on federal public lands, which is something I would co-sponsor at the federal level. So there’s a lot to do, a lot to accomplish, and I’m very, very eager to take on that task.

You also talk about the importance of maintaining high-quality health care. Do you see that effort becoming more difficult?

Yes. When I visit with folks across the district, which I’ve been doing for the better part of the past year and a half, one thing is clear: Folks are incredibly concerned about their ability to afford quality health care. A family shouldn’t have to choose between paying their mortgage and taking their children to the doctor. Families shouldn’t have to go bankrupt if a loved one gets sick.

From my perspective, the solution is universal health care. There’s an improved and expanded Medicare-for-all package pending in the Congress that a decade ago had two co-sponsors, and now it has more than 140 co-sponsors. The momentum is on our side, and I think that if we work hard enough and build a broad coalition, we can accomplish it at the federal level and guarantee that every single person in our country receives a baseline level of health care. And we should fight for that not just on moral grounds, but on economic grounds. In the current system, we spend more per capita related to our GDP on health care than any other country in the Western world: Canada, Australia, various countries in Europe. We also have poor health outcomes on a number of different statistical fronts. You look at infant mortality rates as one example, or maternal mortality rates compared to those countries that have some form of universal health care.

This is something I’m passionate about. It feeds into my approach to public policy, which is trying to expand opportunities for Coloradans and Americans and not restricting opportunities. You see a lot of the opposite at the federal level in regard to what they’re doing to undermine the Affordable Care Act and trying to restrict people’s access to health care they can afford. You see it with respect to the environment, as we talked about previously, and in respect to their work to try to restrict our ability to enjoy the public lands that we’re so lucky to have. Across the board, it dovetails with what I’d like to see enacted into law.

You’ve also advocated on behalf of the Each Woman Act of 2017 and a clean DREAM Act. Why are those important priorities for you?

With respect to a clean DREAM Act, as you can probably surmise, immigration is an issue I care deeply about given my background as a son of refugees. We must, as a country, have an immigration policy that’s humane, and right now, we have an administration that lacks any empathy for folks who are trying to rebuild their shattered lives. To me, it’s just not consistent with who we are as Americans. So from my perspective, we need comprehensive immigration reform and a clean DREAM Act that recognizes the folks who are here in our country who know no other home. I’ve met multiple Dreamers. I’ve had an incredible opportunity to meet them and hear their stories, and I feel that right now, what this administration is doing on immigration is unconscionable on a number of different levels: with respect to what’s happening to Dreamers, with respect to babies being torn away from their parents on our southern border. This is not reflective of who we are as Americans or Coloradans, and it’s important this fall for voters to stand up and state the same by voting for a Democratic majority in each house of Congress.

Joe Neguse with Dreamer and Westword profile subject Marco Dorado.

In regard to the Each Woman Act, I’m proud to be a pro-choice candidate and someone who firmly believes that we should be fighting to make sure women have the right to make their own health decisions and have that protected. That’s what the Each Woman Act seeks to codify at the federal level. I’m proud to have been endorsed by Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice — not just in this race, but in all my races for public office.

In Boulder, running as a Democrat is generally considered a done deal: You’re going to win. How do you avoid complacency? And does your experience in 2014 help you do that?

We certainly aren’t taking anything for granted. My view is, whoever is fortunate enough to represent the 2nd Congressional District in the United States Congress has to come to that position with humility and with the recognition that they’re there to represent to the best of their ability each and every voter and citizen in the 2nd District. To me, that means working incredibly hard over the course of this campaign to earn each and every vote, and listening to folks about the issues they care about — their concerns and their priorities, which would of course inform my judgement with respect to my own priorities in the Congress. We’ve been in this campaign the longest. We announced last June, so we’ve been at it about fourteen months, and we’ve been traveling the district, as you can see by some of our Facebook posts. We recently went on a district tour and visited twenty cities in two weeks: Eagle-Vail, Frisco, Loveland, Berthoud, Fort Collins, Broomfield, Morrison, Nederland, Genesee. We’re very, very adamant that it’s important for us to talk to folks and be able to convey our vision to what we believe we should collectively be working on, and then letting the voters make the choice.

If you’re elected, you would add diversity to Colorado’s congressional representation. Is that something important to you?

I think it’s important. As you know, Colorado, which has been a state for 142 years, has never elected a black person to the Congress. We have no people of color in our nine-person congressional delegation. So having representation on the federal level for underserved communities is certainly important in my view, and I think the view of many Coloradans. But at the end of the day, my vision and the vision I’d like to accomplish and put into action if I’m elected into Congress recognizes the goal of trying to achieve the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people.

Of course it is important, and it would certainly make history if we’re successful. But from my vantage point, I really am focused on trying to do the best we can to solve a lot of public-policy challenges folks are experiencing.

Is democratic socialism dead already? Mainstream media seems to think so

The insurgent left wing of the Democratic Party, sometimes self-identified as democratic socialists and exemplified by rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and associated with groups like Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution, the Justice Democrats and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), took some losses in primaries on August 7. These included high-profile candidates like Abdul El-Sayed, a candidate for Michigan governor and Brent Welder in Kansas’s 2nd district, along with losses by Cori Bush in Missouri’s 1st district. Following the losses, corporate media outlets were quick to declare the Democratic left wing dead in the water:

  • “Bernie and His Army Are Losing 2018” (Politico, 8/8/18)
  • “Down Goes Socialism” (Politico, 8/8/18)
  • “Democratic Party’s Liberal Insurgency Hits a Wall in Midwest Primaries” (Washington Post, 8/8/18)
  • “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Movement Failed to Deliver Any Stunners Tuesday Night” (CNN, 8/8/18)
  • “The Far Left Is Losing” (US News & World Report, 8/8/18)
  • “Most Candidates Backed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders Falter” (Wall Street Journal, 8/8/18)
  • “Socialist Pin-Up Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Sees Four Candidates FAIL in Tuesday Primary Contests, With One Coming in Fourth Out of Five” (Daily Mail, 8/8/18)
  • “Socialist Torchbearers Flame Out in Key Races, Despite Blitz by Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez” (Fox News, 8/8/18)
  • “If Democrats Embrace Socialism to Get Away From Donald Trump, They Can Kiss the Midterms Goodbye” (USA Today, 8/22/18)
  • “Why ‘Medicare for All’ Is Playing Poorly in Democratic Primaries” (Politico, 8/21/18)

US News: The Far Left Is Losing

Despite these eager obituaries, there were also plenty of wins for insurgent Democrats on Aug. 7. Democratic socialist and Our Revolution candidate Rashida Tlaib won her primary for the House seat in Michigan’s 13th district; since she is running unopposed in the general election, she will become the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress. James Thompson also won the Democratic nomination in Kansas’ 4th district, and will face Ron Estes in a tough race in a deep-red district. Sarah Smith came in second in Washington’s 9th district top-two primary, and will face incumbent Democrat Adam Smith in the general election. Progressive candidates also earned big wins in a number of state and local races, and Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure to overturn the state’s anti-union right-to-work laws.

More wins for left-leaning candidates came the following week on Aug. 14. Somali refugee Ilhan Omar, who won her primary in Minnesota’s 5th district, will join Rashida Tlaib to become the first Muslim women to be elected to Congress. Randy Bryce won his primary to run for Paul Ryan’s soon-to-be-vacant seat in Wisconsin’s 1st district. Progressive Jahana Hayes won against Mary Glassman (who was surprisingly supported by a local Our Revolution chapter) in Connecticut’s 5th district, and will likely become the state’s first female African-American Democrat in Congress. Sanders-endorsee Christine Hallquist won the gubernatorial primary in Vermont, becoming the first trans woman nominated for a major political office.

There were losses as well as wins in the Aug. 14 primary, like Kaniela Saito Ing in Hawaii’s 11th district. Yet the major wins made the premature obituaries of Sanders’s candidates look like wishful reporting.

Many of the articles downplaying the viability of insurgent candidates point out that their victories tend to happen in safe Democratic seats. But progressive insurgent candidates usually forgo corporate funding and often fight uphill battles against opponents funded by the Democratic National Committee and deep-pocketed corporate PACs. Some candidates have even been openly suppressed by the Democratic Party. Given this political terrain, it’s perhaps unsurprising that candidates endorsed by the Democratic Party and other establishment groups, like EMILY’s List, have on average been more successful than candidates backed by more iconoclastic organizations.

CBS: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez becomes the Sarah Palin of the Left

Looking at the actual mix of success and failure by insurgent Democrats, it’s hard not to conclude that they have received inordinately skeptical treatment by corporate media, particularly receiving much more negative press than the 2010 Tea Party insurgency in the Republican Party, which Sanders’ movement has often been compared to. CBS News (8/13/18) even called Ocasio-Cortez the “Sarah Palin of the left.”

But rather than comparing coverage of the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party to that given the successful but heavily astroturfed Tea Party, a more apt contrast might be to the way media have dealt with the large-scale electoral failures of the establishment wing of the Democratic Party. The Obama-led Democratic Party leadership has been largely spared media scrutiny of its electoral record, despite losing more offices in Obama’s two terms than any president since Eisenhower, including 69 House seats, 14 Senate seats and nine governorships, not to mention losing a whopping 968 state legislature seats, the most of any two-term president. Many pundits in the corporate media actually rushed to defend Obama’s tenure, insisting that it’s normal for two-term presidents to lose governorships and congressional seats for their party – which is true, though Obama set records for such losses.

When one takes a historical look at socialism in the United States, Sanders’ insurgency seems to be doing remarkably well: The previous high point of socialism in the United States was perhaps the early 20th century, when the U.S. elected two Socialist Party members to Congress in 1910 and 1917, and socialist Eugene V. Debs garnered 6 percent of the popular vote in the 1912 presidential election. In the wake of the Red Scare crackdowns that followed both world wars, the U.S. socialist movement hardly sniffed political power during the Cold War, and has been pretty much nonexistent on the national level over the past 30 years, save Bernie Sanders and former DSA vice chair Rep. Ron Dellums, who represented Berkeley, California, in the House of Representatives from 1971 to 1998.

Even if today’s socialist wing of the Democratic Party hasn’t won every underdog primary race against better-funded centrist opponents, it is apparent that progressives are winning the battle of ideas within the party. Policies such as Medicare for All, free college, student loan forgiveness and job guarantees, all formerly considered radical positions, are now expected to be litmus tests in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries. Even more importantly, they are becoming quite popular with voters: A recent Reuters poll showed that Medicare for All has support from 70 percent of the U.S. electorate, including 52 percent of Republicans, while another 60 percent of the electorate supports free college tuition.

Support for democratic socialism in general is on the rise as well. A recent Gallup poll revealed that 57 percent of Democrats have a positive view of socialism, compared to 47 percent who view capitalism favorably; socialism gets the approval of a majority of millennial voters. It’s not necessarily clear what “socialism” means to those who like it, with possibilities ranging from New Deal–style social programs to worker-controlled production. Still, it’s safe to say that a majority of Democratic voters want an anti-corporate party that represents the interests of the working class and minorities against the rich, despite whatever the media say about the electoral success or failure of the politicians that embody such policies.

NYT: Democratic Socialism Is Dem Doom

With this recent ideological shift, the specter of a socialist bogeyman has jolted the media into crisis-management mode. Conservative news stations like Fox News scream on the daily about how scary democratic socialism is, while print outlets continue to churn out anti-socialist hit pieces:

  • “Democratic Socialism Is Dem Doom” (New York Times, 7/6/18)
  • “Venezuela’s Inflation Will Hit 1 Million Percent. Thanks, Socialism.” (Washington Post, 7/27/18)
  • “Democrats Embracing Socialism Is Dangerous for America” (The Hill, 8/12/18)
  • “Bernie Sanders and the Misery of Socialism” (Wall Street Journal, 6/25/18)
  • “Sorry, Democratic Socialists — You’re Still Pushing Poison” (New York Post, 8/5/18)
  • “They Call Themselves Socialists, but They Don’t Know the Meaning of the Word” (Miami Herald, 7/26/18)
  • “It’s the Spoiled Children of America Who Are Drawn to Socialism” (Chicago Tribune7/26/18)
  • “Democratic Socialism Threatens Minorities” (The Atlantic, 8/9/18)
  • “Democratic Socialism: Who Knew That ‘Free’ Could Cost So Much?” (Investor’s Business Daily, 8/8/18)
  • “Socialism Returns: An Old Adversary” (Commentary8/14/18)
  • “Democratic Socialism Breaks the Bank” (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 8/16/18)

The most common argument in these pieces is to yell that the U.S. can’t afford social programs like Medicare for All or free college, evidenced by pieces such as “Democrats’ ‘Socialism’ Will Bury Us in Debt We Won’t Be Able to Get Out From Under” (MarketWatch, 7/11/18). For her part, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded to such critiques by calling out the hypocrisy of whining about costs for universal health care in a CNN interview (8/9/18): “When it comes to bills for tax cuts and unlimited war, we seem to invent that money very easily.”

CNN: Factcheck: The True Cost of 'Medicare for All'

Yet CNN’s coverage of her comments parroted the same old line: that Medicare for All would cost an eye-popping $37 trillion, at least according to research by the Koch brothers–funded Mercatus Center. However, like most outlets afraid of big spending that doesn’t involve tax cuts for billionaires or bloated military budgets, CNN failed to even mention that the $37 trillion figure is the cost estimate for Medicare for All over a 10-year period, and that this figure is actually $2 trillion less than projected US healthcare costs under the current system over the same period (FAIR.org, 7/31/18).

READ MORE: America is married to the mob: But now the crime boss in the White House is feeling the heat

Of course, this isn’t the first time Sanders or his socialist allies have received irrational opposition from corporate media. As FAIR’s Adam Johnson (3/8/16) reported during the 2016 presidential primaries, the Washington Post at one point ran 16 negative articles about Sanders in a 16-hour period. Sanders’ plans for Medicare for All have also been subject to disingenuous and incorrect “fact checks” by outlets like CNN and the Washington Post. During her primary run against high-ranking New York Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley, Ocasio-Cortez at first received barely a peep in the mainstream press, but after her surprise victory she was subject to endless profiles and a flurry of attacks by the media, and is now being subjected to demands for public debates from hyper-sensitive right-wing pundits.

Michelle Goldberg of the New York Times (8/9/18), perhaps the only person in the right-leaning Times op-ed lineup who could be considered sympathetic to Sanders’ politics, noted that while insurgent candidates might not have won every primary, the left wing of the Democratic party was nonetheless winning hard-fought victories on the strength of its ideology and electoral pragmatism. Whether left-leaning Democrats fall flat in the midterms or not, their ideas have persuaded America that socialism is a legitimate and popular political movement, and will likely be a strong voting bloc in the next Congress. Whether corporate media choose to acknowledge its relevance or continue fear-mongering remains to be seen.

A Glimpse Into the Next Generation of Austin Hip-Hop A Glimpse Into the Next Generation of Austin Hip-Hop

Teeta, Kenny Gee, and Quin NFN (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

You’re not old enough to buy alcohol, and don’t have enough Hawaiian shirts or blond streaks to attend UT frat parties. You listen to Kendrick and Killer Mike, and (think) you can pull off RompHims and man purses, Chinese topknots, and velvet dresses. You’re too white for black kids and too black for Austin’s vast majority, although you can be any color and hunger for beats.

One day, you click on a Facebook event from a fellow student’s Twitter blast: “MUD DJ set. East or North Austin locale.”

Ultimate democratizer, the internet leads you to a mostly black and brown party where everybody can quote the latest Kanye album and too many Supreme-clad bodies sweat it out to a vaguely personalized RapCaviar DJ set. The patchouli-and-Badu infrastructure names – MUD, Human Influence, Raw Paw – commingle with the lean-laced Gucci Mane ones for the MCs: Kenny Gee, Quin NFN, Teeta, etc.

Many clubs are wary of an underage crowd, especially those sporting chains and wife beaters. One hip-hop pop-up showcased recently at a dubious strip mall in what had almost certainly been a strip club before the roving party moved to an East Austin house. A greasy stand in the back sold 40s and fried chicken.

Younger rappers don’t need venues, bookers, promoters, and they no longer hold down day jobs while waiting on agents. They have SoundCloud and Instagram to sell tickets, after all.

Renting a warehouse or makeshift art gallery is cheap, no liquor license necessary, but such a mixed crowd hyped on late-night testosterone and 808s often ends in bruises and sirens. House parties have the advantage of drawing a more diverse after-hours audience. Button-downs and grills alike flock to wherever has liquor and weed when the club closes.

For the better part of the last decade, Austin hip-hop has bred a raw potpourri of talent, a large pool both benefiting from the local scene’s DIY accessibility and hamstrung by the lack of its larger industry infrastructure (revisit “Hip-Hop on the Verge,” Jan. 16, 2015). From best to worst, one and all jumped through the same hoops (booking, management, radio) behind big-league intentions with the same few promoters and label reps working toward the same shared goal: A record deal no matter how small.

Now, for a whole new generation of truly homegrown ATX rappers, those hoops and hurdles are quickly vanishing.

Lone Wolf Pack

When Leon O’Neal, aka premier hip-hop DJ Hella Yella, hollered at shawties during Huston-Tillotson B-ball games, you the networker had to actually hand the man at the wheels your cassette. Stumbling on to the art of spinning in 2004 as a fill-in at a game and now mixing for 102.3 The Beat while also holding down a residency at Rio, the San Antonio-born O’Neal took home Club DJ of the Year honors in 2010 from both the Austin-American Statesman and the Chronicle. A fervent promoter of homegrown hip-hop via the nationally syndicated radio station, he hosts morning segment Austin Music Mondays wherein he interviews up-and-coming Austin rappers.

“Back then, you were able to network and cross-promote,” says O’Neal. “Now it’s the internet. The younger artists don’t care about how things used to be done.”

In the Nineties and early Aughts, Austin artists and management networked in the same small circles, bumping Saturday night gigs at historic East Austin institution the Victory Grill and buying promoters shots of Hennessy. Hip-hop emerged from the P. Diddy shiny suits era, and the Dirty South rode full-force into the mainstream out of New Orleans and Atlanta on the fledgling trap wheels of Lil Wayne and T.I. The Texas state capital, with its mostly syndicated radio and punk aesthetic, proved unprepared.

“We never had the infrastructure for hip-hop the way Houston or Dallas did,” states O’Neal.

Eventually, Dirty Wormz and League of Extraordinary Gz cracked the I-35 wall between ironic cowboy boots and Wu-Tang logos (see “You Can’t Bury Me,” June 8, 2012), and current Austin institution Riders Against the Storm not only became the first hip-hop act voted Austin Band of the Year in the Chronicle‘s 2014 Austin Music Poll, they went on to three-peat. Nevertheless, the live music capital still reserves its boners for live percussion.

“People don’t understand how hard it was for the people before us, for us, and even the younger people,” notes RAS co-front MC Qi Dada, née Ghislaine Mahone. “That needs to be celebrated. A lot of the rappers who were doing it before us were showmen. They had bands, but doors were closed to them.

“Austin was, and is still a very segregated city when it comes to black art.”

Be that as it may, Austin remains a city of youth, and hip-hop maintains as the young people’s soundtrack. Rap rules as the most streamed genre in America. Everything bounces on a boom bap.

Quick to form loosely knit Wu-Tang-style collectives, the League of Extraordinary Gz, founded in 2009, rap/rock blend Dirty Wormz, and more recently Team Next dispersed into solo and small-band acts. Even the Southern battle rap scene, which used to be headquartered in Austin, is now disbanded. In their stead rises a lone wolf mentality.

Why? Partly because fanbases have become not purely physical. Groups used to coalesce out of necessity; the more rappers, the more tickets they combined to sell. Personal branding now readily available on the internet, tickets can be clicked on far beyond what a lone rapper once had at their disposal.

As such, middlemen can now be cut out, a crucial step in smaller scenes like Austin. Younger rappers don’t need venues, bookers, promoters, and they no longer hold down day jobs while waiting on agents. They have SoundCloud and Instagram to sell tickets, after all.

“Kids these days can do their own thing thanks to the internet,” says Easy Lee of Third Root (re-read “Trill Pedagogy,” Feb. 2). “They don’t have to wait.”

RAS’s Qi Dada is dubious, though supportive, of the longevity of this trend.

“An online following doesn’t necessarily translate to having a career or supporting yourself as an artist,” she shrugs.

Beyond SoundCloud Rap

Over a decade after O’Neal began spinning, Kenneth Jackson threw his first paid house party and quit his day job at a summer camp. Known by his alias Kenny Gee, he grew up in a concrete duplex on the Eastside. The self-styled fashion killa, who unofficially reps local vintage store Monkies, has transcended SoundCloud rap as a premier millennial word syndicate.

“I’m a trendsetter, a leader,” boasts Jackson, who plays mostly a solo game other than teaming up with his half-brother and using Facebook as a press agent. “I’ve been able to live off my music.”

Behind crucial endorsements from local concert promotions biggie ScoreMore, now of Clear Channel conglomerate LiveNation, Jackson capitalized on teenage lust for club environs and grew his warehouse events to a full-blown fanbase. Paying tribute to his native roots in music videos and lyrics, and rapping about his come-up over gyrating behinds at Austin skating rink Playland, he even wields a social media catchphrase frequented in his music: “Ya Feel Me?” SoundCloud tracks from the homegrown spitter vary from 3,000 to 137,000 streams, so he recently ventured to L.A. to take meetings.

This streamlined pace finds even younger Austin rappers accelerating in their own lane.

Quin NFN (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Austin remains a city of youth, and hip-hop remains the young people’s soundtrack. Rap rules as the most streamed genre in America. Everything bounces on a boom bap.

Seventeen-year-old Quinlan McAfee, who raps as Quin NFN, grew up listening to Jackson and put his career on the fast track with a string of rapid-fire trap singles that regularly garner tens of thousands of streams. The high school dropout rhymes with a vicious, foaming-at-the-mouth swagger that slams harder than Bobby Shmurda’s jail bars and blew SoundCloud plays through the roof. Born and raised in East Austin, McAfee says he was weaned on Amy’s Ice Creams and Lil Wayne.

“Kenny Gee inspired me to do my own thing and pursue music full-time,” murmurs McAfee sheepishly, underlining the fact that his tough-talking rap persona pivots 180 degrees from an otherwise shy teenager. “I just like how he plays with words.” As a viral rapper paired with responsible management – young enough to still get an “X” on his hand at the club but with a voice that carries weight in many senses – McAfee supports himself through performance fees and features. That’s admittedly easier as a young adult with no mortgage. Former manager Donny “Ca$h” Shorts, who saw beyond the chain link fence of “Game Plan Pt 2” into a voice so raw it almost hurts, helped steer McAfee’s almost 200,000 YouTube views into sold-out parties and South by Southwest showcases.

Perhaps no artist embodies the evolution of Austin rap more than Teeta, né Terell Anthony Jackson (no relation to Kenny Gee). Part of A$AP Mob-like collective Team Next, Teeta’s friendly, gold-decked smile remains as recognizable as his eclectic entourage. His first trap beats and Southern cliches were brushed aside by mainstream media, but the 28-year-old continues to hone his craft and polish his strand of “new age pretty boy trap.”

“We came straight from the ground level up,” he says. “We didn’t have a whole bunch of money, just consistency. After you hammer at it for so long, people have to pay attention.”

Since 2012, the dreadlocked Austinite has hosted warehouse parties and dive bar gigs such as the aforementioned strip club showcase, pursuing music full-time since 2016 and graduating to larger shows at Empire. He’s seen the scene grow up and his music with it, evolving from smaller shows of drunk college students, day-one townies, and off-duty strippers, to opening for established artists such as Smokepurpp. His transition from a collaborative music scene, networking within a small orbit of Austin events, to focusing on a solo career and more concentrated self-development is a hallmark of recent artists.

“Austin hip-hop is changing. The reason you wanted to write this article is because you feel it changing. We’re establishing a blueprint,” he states unequivocally.

The Blueprint

Paradoxically to the scene’s lone wolf trend, its nascent master plan currently trends toward infrastructure development and managerial guidance for next-gen MCs.

Public relations specialist Reno Dudley, who manages local R&B soulstress Alesia Lani (see “Meet the Women of Austin R&B,” Sept. 22, 2017), views Teeta’s popularity as symptomatic of a rising urban center. The Southeast Austin native, who snagged a business degree in Chicago, notes “the scene is growing up.” Homegrown artists such as Teeta and Kydd Jones are networking up a storm, and the genre’s growth in popularity (and gentrification) means a metropolis of hungry yuppies waits for their live music capital experience to be translated over trap snares.

Teeta (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

“When a lot of the older cats were first starting out, we didn’t have people who could take us to certain circles like Kenny Gee could,” says Dudley. “There’s more people that you can reach out to now.”

Along with the talent, the business end is maturing too.

“I’m starting to see more actual managers, not just rappers that are like, ‘Hey, I’m gonna be a manager just because my homeboy’s part of a clique,” adds Dudley.

The PR maven is perhaps the symbol of professionalism in beat world, instantly recognizable as a tall, late-20s gentleman who wears an impeccably tailored suit to every event even if most of the audience is swilling beers in tank tops. For Dudley, whose suit is apparently heat proof, he and other Cap City managers are inclined toward professionalism because the internet affords their clients plenty of opportunity to screw up.

“You’re not just managing your artists for interviews and stuff,” he offers. “You’re managing them day-to-day, because with social media and the internet it’s a 24/7 job. It’s like having really grown children.”

Despite growing tangles of professional connections, such as the Bishops’ former manager being an intern for ScoreMore (but ScoreMore not managing them), Teeta’s manager Anthony Lindsay of one-man Wane Management describes Austin hip-hop as nuclear units.

“There’s a big divide that’s going on,” he proclaims in a slight Midwestern accent. “These last few years, who’s poppin’ in the city? Magna Carda, the Bishops, Quin – but they’re all in different circles with their own management.”

Rather than working with larger rap collectives of 10 people or more such as the League of Extraordinary Gz or chasing record deals, managers now focus on fewer, more exclusive clients. Lindsay is one of the new school, moving to Austin from Wisconsin in 2014 after studying graphic design and getting his foot in the water throwing musical events at the UT co-op. Like Dudley, Lindsay’s in his late-20s, harbors an outside point of view, and is eager to see Austin hip-hop grow up.

“It’s the transition between Austin being a giant art class, where there’s so much talent but little viable economic infrastructure, to becoming an actual industry.”

Mrs. President

In 2028, Austin traffic will snarl with self-driving cars. More thirtysomethings will have roommates thanks to high rents. Perhaps Oprah Winfrey will be president.

By then, Kenny Gee will own his own club, YaFeelMe, maybe a string of them, and Quin’s mixtapes will have ushered in a new wave of viral rappers on HipHopDX. Austin rap will sound like further ATX climbers like Harry Edohoukwa, with his melodic rhythms, or Tank Washington’s updated street boom bap, and the Bishops’ ethereal LSD hymns.

Kenny Gee (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

According to KUTX The Breaks co-host Confucius Jones (see “Playback” Aug. 31), a third-generation River City native, Austin rap might still not have achieved a definitive sound.

“Austin’s a city that’s weird,” he says. “So our music is just going to be weird. There’s no one sound. I hope we never get a sound.”

But we will get a system. Art class is over, galleries are closing in, and agents are starting to wear suits. Record label gatekeepers can’t beat Instagram branding and SoundCloud fame, and trying to slide mixtapes to DJs will just garner a confused look since none will own CD players.

“In 10 years we’ll have big-league infrastructure,” says Dudley. “There’s a whole movement going on and it’s beautiful.”

A version of this article appeared in print on August 31, 2018 with the headline: M.A.A.D. City

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

California Is Now Inches Away From Restoring Net Neutrality

Graphic: Getty

After months of grueling committee proceedings, the California State Assembly on Thursday passed Senate Bill 822, all but ensuring that residents will soon enjoy the strongest net neutrality protections in the country.

“Today’s vote is a huge win for Californians everywhere,” State Senator Scott Wiener, the bill’s principal author, told Gizmodo.

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Having been amended considerably, S.B. 822 will now return to the Senate, where it is expected to pass for a second time before being sent to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for his signature or veto. While its evolvement into state law is not yet a complete lock, Thursday’s penultimate vote was undoubtedly the bill’s biggest hurdle to overcome, handing the Golden State’s net neutrality supporters a decisive and long-awaited victory.

Introduced on the floor by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, chairman of the Communications and Conveyance Committee, S.B. 822 passed in a 58-17 vote, to the emphatic objections of several of the body’s Republican members.

“This is essential to our democracy,” said Santiago, adding that S.B. 822 would enact the strongest protections in the nation, while restoring “the core protections lost when Trump’s FCC removed the net neutrality rules.”

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“Net neutrality is not about a free and open internet,” argued Republican Travis Allen, an assemblyman who stood opposed to the bill. “Net neutrality is about government censorship and regulation,” he said, continuing by arguing, bafflingly, that net neutrality would leave consumers unable to watch Netflix because their neighbors are downloading porn.

“Net neutrality is a violation of your first amendment rights,” continued Allen, “but beyond all that, it’s just a bad idea.”

S.B. 822 is widely considered to be the “gold standard” of state-level net neutrality laws. If it becomes law, it will set the bar precisely where digital rights activists want it, establishing a benchmark by which the efforts other states rebelling against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be judged. Despite net neutrality’s irrefutable popularity among Americans, S.B. 822 was—and continues to be—fiercely and stealthily opposed by the industry it seeks to rein in, unshackled this year by the Trump administration and its anti-regulatory blindfire.

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S.B. 822 will effectively reinstate, at least for California residents, the Title II-type protections repealed by the FCC’s Republican majority. It will outlaw attempts by internet service providers to discriminate against websites and services by blocking or throttling internet traffic, and prohibit companies such AT&T and Comcast from charging subscribers new fees to have select apps or services load properly.

The bill also prohibits ISPs from charging app and content providers exorbitant fees to reach end users and enjoins them from congesting internet traffic to exact unreasonable payments from companies that interlink with the ISP networks to connect consumers with other parts of the web.

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What’s more, it bans the use of zero-rating schemes designed solely to financially benefit broadband providers—a practice whereby ISPs incentivize the exclusive use of apps and services they own by excluding them from ISP-created data limits.

“An open internet has been a crucial place for California’s Black artists, entrepreneurs, and activists to create freely, without needing the approval of traditional media gatekeepers and without fear that their work will be shutdown by an ISP eager to overcharge or censor content,” said Brandi Collins, senior campaign director for Color of Change. “With SB 822, we can use the full potential of the internet to organize for political power, fight injustice, build our businesses and express our joy and creativity.”

As Wiener’s bill began to gain momentum, lobbyists working on behalf of Comcast, Verizon, and other major providers resorted to disinformation. A deceptive robocall campaign in California misled residents by claiming that S.B. 822 would “increase your cellphone bill by $30 a month and slow down your data.” That message echoed Twitter ads paid for by a so-called “technology advocacy coalition” known as CalInnovates, which counts among its partners AT&T.

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The astroturf campaign generated by a host of shadowy political groups is working to cast S.B. 822 as an “internet tax.” But in reality, it is the ISPs themselves threatening to hike costs in reaction to the bill, as it would ban certain coercive tactics, such as congesting online traffic, which broadband companies appeared eager to use in the wake of the FCC repeal to boost their profits margins.

In June, Weiner’s bill was set to be combined with a second bill, S.B. 460, introduced by a fellow State Senator Kevin de León. The process, known as contingent enactment, meant that either both bills had to pass in the legislature or neither would. Whereas S.B. 822 contained a virtual facsimile of the 2015 Open Internet Order repealed by the FCC in December, León’s bill would require state agencies to only do business with companies that respect net neutrality principles. Before the Assembly vote, however, the amendments joining the two bills were stripped, allowing S.B. 822 to advance alone.

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“The core premise of net neutrality is that we get to decide where we go on the internet, as opposed to telecom and cable companies telling us where to go,” said Wiener, touting a “broad and diverse coalition” of advocates supporting the bill against the incursion of powerful industry lobbyists.

“We have one final vote left to go,” he said, “to get the strongest net neutrality protections in the nation passed out of the legislature and onto the governor’s desk.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Florida does it again

August 30 at 5:14 PM

Florida, you have done it again.

The nation’s biggest swing state has given us many suspenseful elections. This year, its gubernatorial race will also provide something of a political laboratory experiment.

Both parties are testing the proposition that, at a time of intense polarization, the old assumptions of what constitutes electability — blandness, caution, middle-ground policies — no longer apply.

In Tuesday’s primary, Republicans, as expected, picked Rep. Ron DeSantis, a candidate so much in the thrall of President Trump that one of his campaign ads featured him reading “The Art of the Deal” to his infant son. His victory had been pretty much a foregone conclusion after Trump endorsed him over Adam Putnam, a Florida political star who has been presumed to be a future governor practically since he was in the playpen.

The big surprise was on the Democratic side. A party that has lost five straight gubernatorial elections upset expectations by rejecting establishment favorite Gwen Graham, a centrist ex-congresswoman who is the daughter of a former governor and senator, in favor of Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.

Gillum supports single-payer health care, wants to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and has regularly called for Trump’s impeachment. He also collected what amounted to a liberal trifecta: an endorsement from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and financing from billionaires Tom Steyer and George Soros.

This is a titanic clash of ideologies, the high-contrast choice that both the left and the right have been wanting.

Florida is not the only place where this sort of tug of war is playing out. Just across the state line in deep-red Georgia, there is another lively gubernatorial race pitting unabashedly liberal Democrat Stacey Abrams, vying to become the first African American female governor in the nation’s history, against Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Trump clone who boasted in a campaign ad that he owns a truck “just in case I need to round up criminal illegals.”

But the outcome in the Sunshine State will be viewed as the far more significant signpost, given its outsize role in presidential politics. In 2016, Trump won Florida and its 29 electoral votes by only 1.3 percentage points.

A Gillum victory in November would help make the case that the Democrats’ best hope for winning in 2020 is with a steadfastly liberal candidate running full speed against everything Trump represents; for Republicans, a win by DeSantis would be seen as a sign that the Trump brand is not as fragile as the president’s national approval ratings would suggest.

These hot takes, however, ignore the other big reality of Florida politics: More than a quarter of its 13 million registered voters have declared themselves as having no party affiliation.

Because Florida primaries are closed, none of them voted Tuesday. Given such a stark choice in November, it remains to be seen how they will go. University of Florida professor Michael McDonald, who directs a project compiling national election statistics, noted that the state’s unaffiliated voters tend to be younger and Hispanic, which means Gillum starts with “a relative comparative advantage.”

The only thing that is clear about this matchup is that the next nine weeks are going to be ugly.

On his first day as the Republican nominee, DeSantis told Fox News — whose studios have been his de facto campaign headquarters — that Florida should not “monkey this up,” a toxic choice of words to use against an African American opponent. The foghorn was so clear, even Fox News had to issue a statement saying the network does not “condone this language.”

DeSantis refused to apologize, insisting he “didn’t say anything about race.”

This kind of Trumpian race-baiting, if it continues, will surely turn off suburban voters.

But there are other attacks that may stick. Republicans have moved in quickly to attach the “socialist” label to Gillum, and they are also certain to focus on an FBI corruption investigation of Tallahassee city contractors. The mayor says he has been advised he is not a focus of the investigation, but the inquiry could involve some who were close advisers.

The Democrats’ big hope is that with Gillum at the top of their ticket, they can change the face of the electorate, making it a closer reflection of a growing and diverse state.

Gillum has the potential to draw voters, particularly nonwhites and young people, who typically sit out midterm elections. Their off-year absence is a major reason Democrats have come up short time and time again in the state, despite the fact they have nearly a quarter-million more registered voters than the Republicans do.

It is a huge, risky bet. But if Gillum can pull this off, Democrats on the road to 2020 will hear the message: The passing lane is on your left.

Florida faces a titanic clash of ideologies

August 30 at 5:14 PM

Florida, you have done it again.

The nation’s biggest swing state has given us many suspenseful elections. This year, its gubernatorial race will also provide something of a political laboratory experiment.

Both parties are testing the proposition that, at a time of intense polarization, the old assumptions of what constitutes electability — blandness, caution, middle-ground policies — no longer apply.

In Tuesday’s primary, Republicans, as expected, picked Rep. Ron DeSantis, a candidate so much in the thrall of President Trump that one of his campaign ads featured him reading “The Art of the Deal” to his infant son. His victory had been pretty much a foregone conclusion after Trump endorsed him over Adam Putnam, a Florida political star who has been presumed to be a future governor practically since he was in the playpen.

The big surprise was on the Democratic side. A party that has lost five straight gubernatorial elections upset expectations by rejecting establishment favorite Gwen Graham, a centrist ex-congresswoman who is the daughter of a former governor and senator, in favor of Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.

Gillum supports single-payer health care, wants to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and has regularly called for Trump’s impeachment. He also collected what amounted to a liberal trifecta: an endorsement from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and financing from billionaires Tom Steyer and George Soros.

This is a titanic clash of ideologies, the high-contrast choice that both the left and the right have been wanting.

Florida is not the only place where this sort of tug of war is playing out. Just across the state line in deep-red Georgia, there is another lively gubernatorial race pitting unabashedly liberal Democrat Stacey Abrams, vying to become the first African American female governor in the nation’s history, against Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Trump clone who boasted in a campaign ad that he owns a truck “just in case I need to round up criminal illegals.”

But the outcome in the Sunshine State will be viewed as the far more significant signpost, given its outsize role in presidential politics. In 2016, Trump won Florida and its 29 electoral votes by only 1.3 percentage points.

A Gillum victory in November would help make the case that the Democrats’ best hope for winning in 2020 is with a steadfastly liberal candidate running full speed against everything Trump represents; for Republicans, a win by DeSantis would be seen as a sign that the Trump brand is not as fragile as the president’s national approval ratings would suggest.

These hot takes, however, ignore the other big reality of Florida politics: More than a quarter of its 13 million registered voters have declared themselves as having no party affiliation.

Because Florida primaries are closed, none of them voted Tuesday. Given such a stark choice in November, it remains to be seen how they will go. University of Florida professor Michael McDonald, who directs a project compiling national election statistics, noted that the state’s unaffiliated voters tend to be younger and Hispanic, which means Gillum starts with “a relative comparative advantage.”

The only thing that is clear about this matchup is that the next nine weeks are going to be ugly.

On his first day as the Republican nominee, DeSantis told Fox News — whose studios have been his de facto campaign headquarters — that Florida should not “monkey this up,” a toxic choice of words to use against an African American opponent. The foghorn was so clear, even Fox News had to issue a statement saying the network does not “condone this language.”

DeSantis refused to apologize, insisting he “didn’t say anything about race.”

This kind of Trumpian race-baiting, if it continues, will surely turn off suburban voters.

But there are other attacks that may stick. Republicans have moved in quickly to attach the “socialist” label to Gillum, and they are also certain to focus on an FBI corruption investigation of Tallahassee city contractors. The mayor says he has been advised he is not a focus of the investigation, but the inquiry could involve some who were close advisers.

The Democrats’ big hope is that with Gillum at the top of their ticket, they can change the face of the electorate, making it a closer reflection of a growing and diverse state.

Gillum has the potential to draw voters, particularly nonwhites and young people, who typically sit out midterm elections. Their off-year absence is a major reason Democrats have come up short time and time again in the state, despite the fact they have nearly a quarter-million more registered voters than the Republicans do.

It is a huge, risky bet. But if Gillum can pull this off, Democrats on the road to 2020 will hear the message: The passing lane is on your left.

What’s Andrew Gillum’s path to victory? A veteran of Florida politics explains.


Andrew Gillum (Steve Cannon/AP)
Opinion writer

August 30 at 4:18 PM

Andrew Gillum’s theory is that he can win the Florida gubernatorial race by turning out the “largely black voters, brown voters, younger voters and poor voters” who make up the Democratic base in the large, diverse and always-brutally-contested swing state of Florida.

Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, is an African American with a working-class background who is campaigning on Medicare for All, a $15-per-hour minimum wage, abolishing the chief federal immigration enforcement agency in its current form and corporate tax hikes to fund education.

Perhaps on the strength of his theory, Democrats nominated Gillum this week, having seen moderate Democrats such as Alex Sink lose to Republican Gov. Rick Scott by barely more than a point in 2010, and Charlie Crist lose to Scott by a similarly tight margin in 2014.

Barack Obama won Florida in 2008 and 2012, but Hillary Clinton lost it to Donald Trump in 2016. Gillum faces one of the Trumpiest candidates in the country, Rep. Ron DeSantis.

How can Gillum take the path that Obama took — but in another midterm election? I spoke to Steve Schale, a Democratic strategist who worked on Obama’s and Crist’s races. A transcript of our conversation, lightly edited and condensed for space and clarity, follows.

*********************************************************

THE PLUM LINE: What’s Gillum’s theory?

STEVE SCHALE: Rick Scott outspent Alex Sink and Charlie Crist by 3-to-1 in two of the most Republican years in history. That being said, 2018 is a very different environment. Florida is a very evenly divided state. Gillum’s argument for getting to 50-plus-1 is through motivating young people of color and disaffected progressive whites, combined with the suburban white women who are voting Democratic in recent special elections.

PLUM LINE: Who are these voters and where are they?

SCHALE: One group that drops off in nonpresidential years is younger Puerto Rican Democrats in Orlando — Orange County, and Osceola County next door. If he can move 20,000, 30,000, 40,000 more voters there, it’s a significant change in a state decided by one point.

Look at huge population centers like Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Or Jacksonville — Duval County. If you look at how Gillum did in the primary, there’s reason to be optimistic that he can make the margin in a place like Duval — with higher African American turnout — look a lot more like it did for Clinton and Obama than it did for the last Democratic gubernatorial nominees.

PLUM LINE: In geographic and demographic detail, what’s Gillum’s path?

SCHALE: Florida is like a scale. You take your democratic counties down south and your Republican counties up north, and balance them on the fulcrum of the I-4 corridor, right now the scale is pretty evenly balanced. Republicans win their markets by about the same margins as Democrats win theirs, and we fight it out over the I-4 corridor — the Tampa and Orlando media markets.

People who live in Tampa tend to come from places like Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana — a lot of suburban white voters and moderate Midwestern swing voters. Orlando tends to have people who come from Puerto Rico, or your typical conservative retiree from anywhere. Parties spend in Tampa (25 percent of the statewide vote) because there are a ton of swing voters, and in Orlando (21 percent of the statewide vote) to turn out their bases.

What Andrew potentially does is get African American, Hispanic and disaffected young progressive turnout in South Florida to increase, tipping the scale, just like in 2012 and 2008.

PLUM LINE: What does he need to do in the I-4 corridor?

SCHALE: Look at how Obama won in 2012 and how Clinton lost in 2016. Obama kept a lot of those suburban, exurban counties around Tampa and Orlando. He won counties that Clinton lost or kept the margins so Republican wins weren’t significant. Gillum needs the base counties to look better than they looked for Crist, but he also needs the suburban counties around I-4 to look more like they did for Obama than for Clinton.

PLUM LINE: Republicans will racialize this. What’s the danger that poses in terms of juiced-up Republican turnout in northern Florida and a failure by Gillum in suburban swing I-4 areas?

SCHALE: North Florida is pretty much maxed out. Trump didn’t win the Panhandle by much more than Mitt Romney did. Trump really won those suburban and exurban I-4 counties by large margins. DeSantis will try to replicate that.

But some voters in those communities can be motivated by Andrew. And scaring people over race to win is really risky. You will see significantly higher African American turnout. And the suburban white women who have helped Democrats win all over the country — I’m not sure you’re going to move a suburban mom with three kids in South Tampa by using race.

PLUM LINE: How does Gillum hit Obama’s targets in suburban I-4 territory? Some have suggested that his agenda of Medicare for All, the $15-per-hour minimum wage and so forth could potentially cost him in the suburbs.

SCHALE: Because the state is more diverse today than in 2008 or 2012, he doesn’t have to exactly hit the Obama targets. In a lot of these communities, access to affordable health care and economic opportunities are serious concerns. Gillum will be able to speak quite well to that. And he just has to win enough of these voters.

Republicans also didn’t help themselves by nominating Ron DeSantis. The types of people who live in these sort of center-right counties have been rejecting Trump in election after election since 2016.

I won’t say Gillum will win today — but he’s in a good position.