Politics

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By Nusayba Hammad, Communications Director,
US Campaign for Palestinian Rights

(nusayba@uscpr.org)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an act unprecedented in recent history, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) has formally withdrawn her sponsorship of S.720, the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act.”
Senator Gillibrand’s withdrawal comes after pressure from constituents who repeatedly questioned her support for the bill at recent town halls in New York City, concerned about its threat to the civil liberties of Americans and to the grassroots boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights... Read our latest issue Here.

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Washington, D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton speaks outside of the U.S. Capitol during a joint press conference between NNPA and NAHP. NNPA President Benjamin Chavis, Denise Rolark Barnes, the chair of the NNPA (wearing all Black) and Martha Montoya, the president of the NAHP (2nd from right), also delivered remarks. (Freddie Allen/AMG/NNPA)

By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Contributor

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is set to begin work on a report detailing advertising spending by federal agencies – particularly as it pertains to Black and Latino media companies.
“After several senators joined our request, including Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Shumer, GAO sent us an update in February saying that the request would take about six months of work,” said Benjamin Fritsch, a spokesman for Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).
Norton first called for the report during a press conference with National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) members and representatives of the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP).
The GAO is a government agency that provides auditing, evaluation, and investigative services for Congress... Read our latest issue Here.

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By Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas)
During the month of May, we recognized Mental Health Month, and raised awareness for the millions of Americans living with a mental health condition.
Since one in five adults, or approximately 43.8 million people, will experience mental illness during their lifetime, it is safe to say that everyone is affected by this issue.
Approximately 20.2 million adults in the United States experience a substance use disorder each year, and 50 percent of them have a co-occurring mental illness... Read Jun. 16, 2017's Issue Here.

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By Martha Nailah

TAMPA BAY/ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The month of Ramadan this year saw the fruits of a relationship nurtured over a year with the Hon. Rick Kriseman, Mayor of St. Petersburg, and The Tampa Bay Area Muslim Association, chaired by Abdul Karim Ali.
The first objective in initiating a relationship with the mayor and his staff over a year ago was to have a community-wide IFTAR to be held at the historic Coliseum, Wed., June 14, at 7 p.m. (Muslim calendar - RAMADAN 19, 1438 AH).
This relationship includes Muslims of diverse backgrounds developing intra-relation of the Muslim body of The Tampa Bay Area.  This included Masjid Sunnah, St. Petersburg Islamic Center, Ministry of Askia Muhammad Aquil, Masjid of Sarasota, the Nation of Islam and many more of the Muslim Faith composite... Read Jun. 16, 2017's Issue Here.

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President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts or eliminates federal funding for Meals on Wheels, Pell Grants and Community Development Block Grants. Photo taken during a speech at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the National Harbor in Prince George’s County, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)

By Lauren Victoria Burke
NNPA Newswire Contributor

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, titled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” targets a number of programs for severe cuts or outright elimination—programs that often help poor, working-class and Black families.
The budget plans to cut almost $4 billion in Pell Grants. More then half of African American college students receive Pell Grant awards each year.

Trump's budget also eliminates Meals on Wheels, a program that delivers roughly 218 million meals to the poor and elderly each year, according to a Meals on Wheels fact sheet. Minorities account for nearly 30 percent of seniors that receive home-delivered meals.

Trump's budget includes $1.5 billion to build a wall along the southern border of the United States. Despite Trump’s “America First” rhetoric, there’s no specific allocation to solve the lead water crisis in Flint, Michigan, a $150 million fix, based on some estimates.

"We can't spend money on programs just, because they sound good. Meals on Wheels sounds great," said Mick Mulvaney, Trump's budget director, during a press briefing at the White House in March. Mulvaney suggested that Meals on Wheels, and other programs that offer free meals to students at school, were ineffective... Read Apr. 14, 2017's Issue Here.

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President Donald Trump meets with the presidents and chancellors from the nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities. (Lauren Victoria Burke/NNPA)


President Donald Trump meets with the presidents and chancellors from the nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities. (Lauren Victoria Burke/NNPA)

By Lauren Victoria Burke
NNPA Newswire Contributor

President Trump signed an executive order to focus more attention on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) on Tues., Feb. 28, 2017.
Although HBCUs comprise just three percent of higher education institutions in the U.S., “HBCUs contributed 19 percent of the nearly 9 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in science and engineering awarded to Blacks in 2010,” according to American Institutes for Research (AIR).
AIR also reported that “By 2010, approximately 33 percent of all Black students who earned bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and statistics attended HBCUs, and HBCUs produced nearly 37 percent of all Black undergraduates who received bachelor’s degrees in the physical sciences.”...Read Mar. 10, 2017's Issue Here.

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Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), chairman of the CBC, has formed an alliance with past NNPA Chairman Danny J. Bakewell Sr. and NNPA President Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. to ensure that Black media plays a role in sharing important news about government with the communities that they serve.

Newly Elected Chair Vows To Make Inclusion of the Black Press a Key Component in Preserving Rights of African Americans

By Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.
Executive Editor
Los Angeles Sentinel

Congressman Cedric Richmond has been a congressman in New Orleans for the past six years. During his tenure, he has experienced some of the best and worst times in the country and has had a front row seat for all of the action.

Now, the 43-year-old congressman has taken on a new challenge as the newly-elected chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), one of the most powerful coalitions in the nation.

When asked why he decided to take on this role the congressman explained: “I have always been interested in serving as Chair of the Caucus, but over the Thanksgiving holiday, I began to contemplate what life was going to look like in the new environment of the Trump Administration and realized that the CBC was going to have to take the lead roll in ensuring African Americans have a loud and active voice.”

The congressman felt he was up to the challenge, and in November, his colleagues in the House of Representatives and in the United States Senate elected him to serve as chairman of the caucus.

Richmond knows that the next two years are going to be crucial and that the only way things are going to get accomplished for African Americans and other disenfranchised communities, is if the leadership and members of the caucus have strategic thinking, strategic planning and strategic execution.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi asked that all Democrats defer to senior members in crucial leadership roles. Congressman Richmond didn’t see this request as a deterrent from running to lead the CBC and ultimately becoming chairman... Read Feb. 24, 2017's Issue Here.

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By Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr.

CHICAGO, Ill. – President Trump is pushing alternative facts again and chasing mil- lions and millions of ghosts. There is no discernible evidence of vote fraud in the 2016 election as the president claims without a shred of proof. There is, however, substantial evidence of voter suppression. That is the real threat to our democracy.
Last year’s election was the first in 50 years without the full protection of the Vot- ing Rights Act of 1965 and Jefferson Davis Democrats turned into today’s Republi- cans took full advantage of it... Read Feb. 24, 2017's Issue Here.

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By Hamid Saahir

Washington, D.C. - With the media whirlwind around the anti-Muslim sentiment that has spread across our nation during the current presidential campaign. There has been a search for a voice that is contrary to the sound of bigotry that has come from the likes of Donald Trump, Ben Carson and other Republican Presidential candidates.

On Wednesday, December 16th Democratic Party Presidential Candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders participated in a town hall discussion led by Imam Talib Shareef at Masjid Muhammad, The Nation’s Mosque in Washington, DC. The town hall served as a forum to dispel the anti-Muslim rhetoric that has led to an uptick in attacks on Muslims in the United States and protests against mosques including a failed attempt of a protest at Masjid Muhammad in October of this year. Participating in the discussion was Congressman Keith Ellison – Democrat from Minnesota and is one of two Muslims serving in the House of Representatives, Reverend Reginald Green Interim Pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church and original Freedom Rider, Rabbi Batya Steinlauf of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and first Muslim chaplain for the United States Army, Chaplain Abdul-Rasheed Muhammad.

Sanders who is Jewish while participating in the interfaith dialogue asked if we should come together or should we allow demagogues to divide us. “It is time to say enough is enough. It is time to end religious bigotry. It is time to build a nation in which we all stand together; Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist all religions. And work to create a nation that benefits all of us.” Said Sanders, as he gave his remarks during the round table that lasted about 30 minutes.

Other Democratic Presidential Candidates Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley have visited Muslim communities in the recent weeks following the attacks in Paris, France. The Muslim community looks forward to continuing the conversation around the country on these topics that matter deeply to many.

 

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By Shahid Abdul-Karim, New Haven Register

In an effort to discuss ways to curb the nation’s gun violence epidemic, faith leaders, gun violence survivors, elected officials and community activist gathered recently at the Washington National Cathedral for a “United to Stop Gun Violence” forum.

The goal was to show religious solidarity among faith communities and to hear stories from families affected by gun violence as well as to meet policy makers committed to enacting commonsense gun safety measures, according to a release by the cathedral.

Among those who attended and gave remarks were U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Christopher Murphy, both D-Conn., and U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5, who have been pushing for stricter federal background legislation.

“Before (Dylann) Roof viciously took the lives of nine innocent churchgoers, he was able to legally purchase a gun because of a glaring loophole in our background check system,” Blumenthal said in a statement to the Register, referring to the June Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shootings in South Carolina.

“Under current law, firearm sales move forward if background checks aren’t completed in 72 hours — a dangerous loophole that has allowed over (15,000) ineligible buyers to purchase a gun,” he said. “The inconvenience of waiting for a background check to complete is minor compared to the reprehensible harm that is done when dangerous people have access to weapons.”

According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence website, firearm homicide is the second-leading cause of death for people ages 1-19 in the United States.

On average, 31 Americans are murdered with guns every day and 151 are treated for a gun assault in an emergency room, the website said.

“A few weeks after the shooting in Newtown, both Senator Blumenthal and I went to the North End of Hartford to convene a meeting of community groups there to talk about the epidemic of gun violence that had plagued that community for decades,” said Murphy in his remarks Tuesday.

“There was anger in that room — loud visceral anger, that was hard to know what to do with, as we were still grieving in the aftermath of Newtown,” he said.

“The anger was real, because people there didn’t understand why it took this tragedy in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, for their state, for their country, for the world to wake up to what had been the simple pitter-pat of regular, almost daily and nightly gun violence in that neighborhood.”

But Murphy said the collective response over time in the state over the unfairness of tragedies being ignored comparatively, dissipated.

“And it was months after that meeting that the families of Newtown were marching arm-in-arm with the families of Hartford, Bridgeport, and New Haven through the streets of that neighborhood in the North End of Hartford — collectively demanding change.”

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Politics

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By Nusayba Hammad, Communications Director, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (nusayba@uscpr.org) WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an act unprecedented in recent history, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand...
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