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No BLM Chapter? No Problem! BLM March In Dubuque

Keeping the resistance alive!

The Chumph bigots would like you to believe that the issues BLM is talking about only concern black folks…They’re Wrong.

Peaceful Black Lives Matter march held in Dubuque

People concerned for the equality of African-Americans take part in a Black Lives Matter rally in Dubuque.

“A lot of people here feel that there is a problem with racism and divide,” said Jill Garcia who helped organize the event.

There’s no official Black Lives Matter chapter in Dubuque, however, this didn’t stop people from all backgrounds marching peacefully together. “It’s important because just to recognize black lives matter, because all lives are supposed to matter,” said Howard Lee III, of the Dubuque Branch NAACP.

This particular march is unique to Dubuque. “The great part about this is that there’s a lot more white individuals here than black individuals,” Lee said.

About 100 demonstrators walking down South Grandview Avenue then gathering at Rockdale Park speaking out about different issues, taking a stand against racism, police brutality and inequality.

One of them, Steven Meier, who admits he was part Dubuque’s racial problems in the late 80s and early 90s. “As a young impressionable man, I really started to feel hatred towards people who didn’t look like me,” said Meier.

But with time and wisdom, he’s now here to make amends. “If we ever wanna see the change and love that we need in this world, it starts by letting people know that we support black lives,” he added.

These Dubuquers say it’s about making the community inclusive for all.

In opposition, an All Live Matter march was also scheduled for the same time and location, however, none of those protesters were noticeable.

At the march, people also wrote notes regarding changes they’d like made to certain policies. Those will be submitted to President-elect Donald Trump and members of Congress.

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Massive Fire Prompts Evacuation of Entire City in Canada

A huge wildfire in Alberta, Canada has forced the evacuation of 80,000 residents.

Back in 2005, I lost a home to fire….A total loss. It was devastating to myself and the family. So I can really sympathize with the poor folks in Fort McMurray, even though I’ve never been there, or to that part of Canada. Sad…

The fire apparently has reached some homes and businesses. Her a Super 8 Motel and a Gas Station are destroyed…

The latest report from the Fire Chief –

 

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2016 in General

 

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Tamir Rice Murder and Cover up Cost Cleveland Taxpayers $6 Million

Despite crooked DA’s running fake Grand Juries, the Civil Courts have become another issue for cities insistent on protecting murderous Cops. While Cleveland hasn’t quite caught up with Chicago on the taxpayer burden for bad policing, there may be no shortage of cases entering the docket.

I am thinking that one of these cities needs to be hit for about $50 million before any serious effort at reform will come about.

Tamir Rice

City of Cleveland to pay $6 million to Tamir Rice’s family to settle lawsuit

The city of Cleveland has agreed to pay Tamir Rice’s family $6 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed over the boy’s November 2014 shooting death by city police.

The settlement, announced Monday, does not resolve all of the lingering legal issues surrounding the 12-year-old’s killing. However, it is a sign that both the city and the boy’s family did not want to endure what could be tension-filled and expensive litigation process that could last years.

The settlement was revealed via a court filing from U.S. District Judge Dan Polster, who presided over settlement talks.

Tamir Rice’s estate will receive $5.5 million, Samaria Rice, the boy’s mother, and his sister Tajai Rice will each receive $250,000. Neither the city, officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback nor dispatchers involved will admit to any wrongdoing. The city will pay $3 million this year and $3 million in 2017.

(You can read the court filing here or at the bottom of this story.)

The settlement must be approved by a Cuyahoga County Probate Court judge before it is final.

The amount the family will receive is in line with amounts paid in other high profile police use-of-force cases nationally in the past year. For example, the city of Chicago in 2015 paid $5 million to the family of Laquan McDonald before a lawsuit was even filed over his police shooting death.

And the city of Baltimore agreed to pay $6.4 million to the family of Freddie Gray, whose neck was broken in a police van in April 2015.

Attorneys representing the Rice family say that while the settlement is “historic in financial terms, no amount of money can adequately compensate for the loss of a life.”

The statement continues, “in a situation such as this, there is no such thing as closure or justice. Nothing will bring Tamir back. His unnecessary and premature death leaves a gaping hole for those who  knew and loved him that can never be filled.” …More Here

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Cleveland Sues Tamir Rice Family for Ambulance Bill

The victims get a bill from the city whose police murdered their son!

The Thug in this case is the City of Cleveland

‘Insult to Homicide’: Cleveland Sues Tamir Rice’s Family for Ambulance Fees

The city has filed a suit demanding $500 in payment for emergency treatment for the boy after a police officer fatally shot him.

What’s more outrageous than having a police officer shoot an unarmed 12-year-old, failing to provide medical care, keeping his family forcibly from the scene, and then declining to indict the officer for the death? In most cases, little. But the city of Cleveland has found a way: It is suing Tamir Rice’s family for not paying the ambulance bill after a Cleveland cop shot and killed the boy in November 2014.

As the Scene reports, Cleveland has filed a claim in probate court, seeking $500 from Rice’s estate to pay for emergency medical services rendered after Officer Timothy Loehmann fatally shot the boy. The charge is especially galling because Loehmann and another officer apparently had no training or equipment to provide aid to Rice after they shot him. They did nothing for four minutes until an FBI agent who happened to be nearby took over.

“The callousness, insensitivity, and poor judgment required for the city to send a bill—its own police officers having slain 12-year-old Tamir—is breathtaking,” Subodh Chandra, a Rice family attorney, said in a statement. “This adds insult to homicide.”

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2016 in American Genocide, BlackLivesMatter

 

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Oklahoma Cop Convicted of Rapes of Black Women

In something of a surprise, Daniel Holtzclaw, former OKC Cop was convicted of at least some of the counts against him…

Former Oklahoma police officer found guilty of multiple rapes

It is unclear whether the counts will run concurrently or sequentially from the video.

A former Oklahoma City police officer has been convicted of sexually assaulting women he preyed upon in a low-income neighborhood he patrolled.

A jury convicted Daniel Holtzclaw of four charges of first-degree rape and 14 other counts. He sobbed while hearing the verdicts Thursday on his 29th birthday. He could spend the rest of his life in prison, based on the jury’s recommendation he serve 263 years.

The mother of his youngest accuser, who was 17, said the case should demonstrate the problem of sexual misconduct by officers isn’t limited to one police department.

“It’s a problem for the nation,” the mother told The Associated Press...Read Further Details Here

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Poverty in America… No Longer an Urban Thing.

A Brookings infographic on the reasons for rising poverty in the Suburbs.

The rest of this study can be found here.

One of the popular beliefs of the American ignorati (AKA conservatives, and their racist co-conspirators) is that poverty in America is confined to the “ghetto”. Not really surprising that they should be so far out of step with reality, when much of their belief system is based on a book written by Patrick Moynahan over half a century ago about conditions in the mid 1960’s.

With the collapse of American manufacturing, and it’s relocation to China – urban areas have undergone wholesale change as people have moved out to find jobs. This has resulted in a reversal of the “Great Migration” of the 1920’s and 30’s, where black folks moved wholesale out of the South to the North urban centers for better jobs building Fords and Chryslers. The segregation of the time stratifying the neighborhoods into urban clusters.

Creating a very convenient Pinata for the racist right.

Unfortunately for the right’s favorite talking point, twin forces are conspiring to destroy the urban ghetto. Gentrification, and the residents desire to seek employment. Tashwaniankia has moved to the ‘burbs!

Suburbs and the New American Poverty

More people with low incomes now live outside of cities, and some areas are ill-equipped to deal with the influx of the poor.

NORCROSS, Ga.—Every weekday around 3:15 p.m., a big, yellow school bus stops on Pelican Drive outside Norcross Extended Stay, near the intersection with Best Friend Drive.

Dozens of children file out, carrying their heavy backpacks away from the Wendy’s and the AutoZone, towards the cluster of aging three-story yellow buildings where they live. Some are met by waiting parents, others trek by themselves to the shabby motel rooms, marching past broken-down cars, their tires flat, scattered around the parking lot, and discarded mattresses piled next to some of the residences.

That families are living in extended-stay motels like this one may seem surprising in a town like Norcross, founded in 1870 and named one of the best places to livein Georgia by Movoto, a real estate blog, last year. Gwinnett County, where Norcross is located, is, in parts, a collection of well-off towns like Duluth, home to NeNe Leaks, of Real Housewives of Atlanta fame. Its unemployment rate is just 5.7 percent and one of its schools, the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology, was recently named one of the best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

But the suburbs of Atlanta no longer hold just the promise of good schools, clean streets, and whitewashed homes with manicured lawns proudly displaying American flags. They are increasingly home to the very poor, who find themselves stranded in suburbs without the kind of transit or assistance that they might once have found in cities’ urban cores. They are stuck in places like Norcross Extended Stay, that see the same type of crime that families might have once seen in metro Atlanta. (A few years back, the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department had to order 20 sex offenders to leave the motel, because it was located near a public pool.)

Joanna Watkins stays at home with her grandkids in one of the tiny rooms in Norcross Extended Stay while her daughter borrows her car to work as a waitress nearby. On the day I met them, Watkins’ granddaughters lounged on the motel’s polyester, flowered bedspreads watching TV while Watkins peered nervously out of the motel room’s first-floor window.

“We don’t let the kids go outside,” Watkins told me, explaining that the family is looking for something better. She moved from Texas in September to help out with childcare, but with her daughter’s low wages, they’re still looking for a more suitable place to live.Fully 88 percent of Atlanta’s poor live in the suburbs, according to Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, by Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube of the Brookings Institution. Between 2000 and 2011, Atlanta’s suburban poor population grew by 159 percent, while the city’s poor population remained essentially flat.

 It’s not just Atlanta—across much of the country, poverty is increasingly a problem found in the suburbs. The number of poor in the suburbs surpassed the number of poor in the cities in the 2000s, and by 2011, almost 16.4 million suburban residents lived below the poverty line, according to Kneebone and Berube.

 

Poor Residents in Cities and Suburbs, 1970-2012

The fact that more poor people live in the suburbs doesn’t have to be a bad thing, Kneebone told me. If low-income residents have access to good job opportunities, affordable housing, low crime rates, and good schools, then the suburbs can provide a path out of poverty.

But poverty has increased so quickly in some suburbs that these areas are ill-equipped to deal with it, she said.

“Many of these communities lack the infrastructure, safety-net supports, and resources to address the needs of a growing poor population, which can make it that much harder for poor residents to connect to the kinds of opportunities that can help them get out of poverty in the long run,” she said.

The problem speaks to a different kind of erosion of the American Dream, in which families strive to get to the much-vaunted suburbs, only to find out there’s nothing for them there. And as suburbs see more and more poverty, they become the same traps that impoverished, urban neighborhoods once were, where someone born there has few chances to improve his economic standing.

There are more tangible problems that arise when poverty grows in the suburbs. Often, government structures change more slowly than the population at large, and residents find themselves represented—and policed—by people who don’t understand their needs or concerns. The unrest in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb, over the past year, reflects this conflict.

Suburbs also have less transit than urban areas, making it difficult for low-income residents to get to jobs or buy groceries. And social services have been slow to follow the poor to the suburbs, so many suburban poor find themselves isolated and without a safety net, hidden from those who might be able to help.

 This all became extremely clear to the Reverend Harriet Bradley, who lives in an extended-stay motel in Gwinnett County, where a neon sign advertises rooms for $169 a week. She has no car, and depends on public transit to get around. It can take her three hours to get to church some days, and the public transit in the county doesn’t run on the weekends.

She says she was called by God to talk to other public-transit riders about the need to expand the bus system, and recently decided to attend a public hearing of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners to ask them to divert more support to public transit in the county. After two long bus rides, she waited through hours of dull zoning appeals and then, right before the meeting ended, was given a few minutes to speak.

The crowd was diverse, but the commissioners were all white. Over the last decade, Gwinnett has become the most racially-diverse county in Atlanta. Between the 2000 and 2010 census, the county’s African American populationadded 112,000 residents, growing 143 percent, while the county’s Asian population doubled, adding 43,000 residents. The white population grew by a mere 1,680 residents. Still, the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners is all white, as is the county school board, and all of the judges elected to county’s state and superior courts.

Bradley, who is African American, cleared her throat and stood in front of a round table of white elected officials and staff, and asked for more transit funding.”The bus schedules don’t start early or run late enough,” she said. “I’ve often heard people around me say, ‘They don’t realize that I can’t get to work.'”

A person without a car who wanted to attend that very meeting would not have been able to get home afterward because the bus doesn’t run late enough, she said (she’d arranged for a ride home). Gwinnett County residents without cars can’t get jobs at the mall or local warehouses, or at Atlanta’s airport south of the city—the busiest airport in the world—because the buses don’t allow them to get to work on time.

 “Many people have had to turn down jobs because they couldn’t get there,” she said, ending her speech.

Afterwards, she spoke individually to a few commissioners but felt mostly ignored. “The commissioners—they don’t really want public transportation out here,” she told me afterwards. “They wouldn’t use it anyway.” (…More…)

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The Last Colony (Washington, DC) Vows to Ignore Shutdown

Washington DC is unique among all principalities in the United States in that Congress – specifically the House – must approve all spending for the city. This means, if there is a Government shutdown the non-emergency city services would be shut down as well. This is particularly galling to DC Residents as it is their tax money paid to the city which operates the government, not Federal monies as is not uncommon in the rest of the country. So Congress has the authority to tell the DC Government how to spend it’s own tax money…

This has led to any umber of disasters as the Republican Congress has forced the city to adopt their confederate policies, such as school vouchers and limits on health care.

The Libraries are toast, too!

So…What happens if there is a shutdown in DC?

1. Parks, museums, and the Zoo closed: All Smithsonian museums, federal monuments, the National Zoo, and public facilities in National Parks like Rock Creek Park would be closed. Because tourists probably won’t realize it in advance, they’ll probably flood downtown Starbuckses and Potbellies with bored out-of-towners.

2. Libraries and recreation centers dark: All D.C. libraries and recreation centers will be closed, giving kids fewer places to hang out after school, which means who knows what kinds of trouble.

3. Department of Public Works off duty: Trash collection would be suspended for a week, as well as street sweeping, which this time of year means some very clogged drains.

4. Circulator offline: While the Metro would stay open and WMATA buses would keep running, D.C.’s super-convenient Circulator buses would have to stay in the garage.

5. Permit offices and the DMV shut: The Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs are closed, meaning even longer lines for licenses, permits, and car registrations when the shutdown eventually ends.

6. No parking enforcement: Okay, you probably don’t mind that so much, but it does cost the city money and could lead to shortfalls down the road.

7. University of the District of Columbia shuttered: You might not be the one with your academic year interrupted, but at least sympathize with the poor students who’ll likely have to make up the class time later.

8. Potential loss of city equipment and buildings: The city has a master lease on pieces of equipment like traffic lights, computers, and public safety vehicles, as well as a contractual agreement to use facilities like the Unified Communications Center, which controls all the city’s emergency systems — as long as payments are made on time. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton warns that they could be repossessed if the city lacks the budget authority to do so. And in any case, ongoing worries about the city’s ability to use its own money could make it more expensive to borrow, which the city has to do every year for capital expenditures.

Yeah…This stops, too!

Mayor Gray designates all of District government ‘essential’ to avoid shutdown

Mayor Vincent C. Gray moved Wednesday to designate the entirety of the District government as “essential to the protection of public safety, health, and property,” in a bid to allow city services to continue during a federal shutdown.

Gray announced his position in a letter to the federal Office of Management and Budget, which is handling preparations for a shutdown that could take place if congressional leaders fail to reach an accord by Oct. 1.

“I am writing to inform you that I have determined that all operations of the government of the District of Columbia are ‘excepted’ activities essential to the protection of public safety, health, and property and therefore will continue to be performed during a lapse in appropriations,” the mayor wrote to budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

Gray’s posture is unprecedented for the District government, whose budget comes largely from locally raised taxes and is set by locally elected officials but is ultimately appropriated by Congress. During past shutdowns, in keeping with federal guidance, the city has designated public safety and some other crucial functions as exempt from shutdown but curtailed many city services, including libraries, recreation centers and trash pickup.

The letter comes a day after Gray and D.C. Council members openly debated ways to defy the federal shutdown and keep the city government operating.

On the good side – these guys are out of work!

It is unclear how President Obama’s budget office will respond to Gray’s broad definition of “essential.” Requests for comment made to the agency Tuesday and Wednesday have gone unreturned.

In a statement issued with the letter, Gray said it is “ridiculous” that the District “cannot spend its residents’ own local tax dollars to provide them the services they’ve paid for without Congressional approval.”

“Congress can’t even get its own fiscal house in order; they should be taking lessons from us rather than imposing needless suffering on us,” he said. “I will not allow the safety and well-being of District residents to be compromised by Congress’s dysfunction.”

 

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