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Obamacare the Hot Topic at Pumps, Pearls & Politics Forum Nov. 5

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Miami, FL – October 30, 2017 – The Fifth Annual Pumps, Pearls & Politics presented by the Connection Committee of the Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority switches its signature event to a community conversation format with the hot topic of Obamacare taking center stage.

In an increasingly polarized political environment, health care reform has been caught in the cross fire of the partisan struggle, making it difficult to separate fact from fiction. Special guest, health-care attorney and author Daniel E. Dawes, will present the truth on the secret backstory of the Affordable Care Act, shedding light on the creation and implementation of the greatest and most sweeping equalizer in the history of American health care. His eye-opening and authoritative narrative written from an insider’s perspective, 150 Years of ObamaCare, debunks contemporary understandings of health care reform. It also provides a comprehensive and unprecedented review of the health equity movement and the little-known leadership efforts that were crucial to passing public policies and laws reforming mental health, minority health, and universal health.

If You Go:
What: Pumps, Pearls & Politics 2017: The Truth About the Affordable Care Act
When: Sunday, November 5, 2017, 4:00 PM
Where: Allen Chapel AME Church, 1201 NW 111 Street, Miami, Florida 33167
Admission: FREE (Register at http://pumpspearlspolitics2017.eventbrite.com.)

For more information email Natasha Hines, Connection Chair at pumpspearlspolitics@gmail.com.


Florida to Launch Online Voter Registration October 1

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The Florida Department of State is scheduled to launch its new online voter registration website on Sunday, October 1, 2017. According to state officials, RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov, offers Florida residents another way to register to vote or update an existing registration. The website is touted as convenient, secure and easy-to-use. The website will go live as directed by the Florida Legislature in Section 97.0525 Florida Statutes.

In 2015, Governor Rick Scott signed into law a bill directing the department to implement online voter registration on October 1, 2017. Florida joins 35 other states and the District of Columbia that have online voter registration available to their residents.

Any Florida resident who is eligible to vote or is already registered to vote in Florida can use RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov to submit an application, update an existing registration or prefill an application form to print and deliver to a Supervisor of Elections office.

Contrary to current voter registration procedure, users will need a Florida driver license or state identification (ID) card and the last four digits of their social security number to register online. Currently, only one of the three is required to register to vote. Once an individual’s identity is verified and the application is deemed complete, a voter information card is issued by the local Supervisor of Elections office.

Investigations confirming Russian attempts to hack America’s elections have heightened concerns regarding potential manipulation of registration and voting data.
RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov proclaims multiple safeguards in place to verify and protect a person’s identity and personal information, including a state-of-the-art firewall, data encryption, captcha boxes, session time-out after inactivity and the use of multi-screens. The website requires information that only the person seeking to register or change an existing registration should know, such as the issue date of their Florida driver license or state ID card, their Florida driver license or state ID card number and the last four digits of their social security number. All of this information is verified in real-time in order for a person to complete the application process online. If the information cannot be verified, a person is not able to move forward with submitting the application electronically. Additionally, there is no retention of data within the RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov website because it is securely transmitted to an internal system.

RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is offered in English and Spanish, is accessible for persons with disabilities and is mobile-friendly.

If you choose to use this new system, feel free to share your experience at vbyers@bloggingblackmiami.com. What’s most important is that you get out and vote. 

 

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@vanessawbyers

 

 


Are you BeefNMiami? Join the #WeBeefN Movement!

 

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A sense of community is missing in our neighborhoods and positive circulating economics is at the core. Be a part of the solution by changing behaviors. One Dollar, One person, One purchase at a time. B.E.E.F. (“Black Each and Every Friday”) addresses a needed change in behavior in the Black community. Starting with just one day a week support, build and invest in your community. There are quality products and services that exist in the black community that need and want your support. Visionaries in Jacksonville, Atlanta and Chicago have already started shifting the paradigm their communities. Join the #BeefN movement Miami. Make every Friday, Black Friday! 

Each and Every Friday - patronize a black business or service, then share the experience with friends, family and on social media. Use the following hashtags #BEEF #WeBeefN  #WeBeefNMiami #WeBeefNMIA or add to it the city you are reppin'.

 

#buyblack #blackeconomics #blackowned #blackunity #blacklove #changethegame #capitalism #blackpower #blacklivesmatter #blackdollarsmatter #Miami #MIA #Jax #ATL #CHI #shopblack #TGIF #motivation #inspiration #changetheworld #blackbusinessmatters 

 


Memorial Day: Remembering the first South Florida soldier killed by anti-US insurgents in Iraq - Sgt. Edmond L. "Dakie" Randle

Sgt. Edmond L. Randle
On Jan. 17, 2004, Sgt. Edmond L. Randle, Jr. of Miami Gardens became the first documented South Florida soldier to be killed by anti-US insurgents in Iraq.
Today is Memorial Day. It is the day we honor those that have given their lives in military service to this country. It is not just a day off from work or school or a day to have a barbecue with family and friends; it is a day to celebrate men and women such as Sgt. Edmond L. Randle, Jr., known by family and friends as Dakie.
 
On Jan. 17, 2004, Sgt. Edmond L. Randle, Jr. of Miami Gardens became the first documented South Florida soldier to be killed by anti-US insurgents in Iraq. Randle was one of three soldiers who died that day when their vehicle was struck by a homemade explosive device near Baghdad. I recall sitting through Dakie's funeral at Ebenezer Baptist Church, in Miami, listening to the FAMU Band play and the moving tributes to him by friends and military officials. I'd known Dakie's parents from high school; his dad and I were classmates at Miami Central and later at Florida A&M.
 
Dakie attended American Senior High for part of his high school years but continued the family tradition by graduating from Miami Central Senior High. Like his Dad, Dakie was a standout musician in the Marching Rockets at Miami Central and continued at Florida A&M University where he earned a music scholarship and was a section leader in the famous Marching 100. Because he wanted to be a pharmacist, Dakie gave up his music scholarship and volunteered for the Army which would help fund his educational plans. He was the type of young man not celebrated enough, in life, in this community.
 
The war in Iraq takes on a different meaning when you actually know a soldier that was killed. Like Sgt. Edmond L. “Dakie” Randle, many other lives have been lost and are being lost in service to this country. On Veteran's Day, I honor several men and women I know, living and deceased, who have served and are serving this country. Dakie, however, is the only soldier I know personally that died in military service. I have remembered him each Memorial Day since his death, that is the least I can do.
 
If you have loved ones who died while serving this country, take a moment to thank them, feel free to leave their names in the comments section. For all of our fallen heroes, known and unknown, thank you, you are not forgotten.
 

 

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 @vanessawbyers

 

#MemorialDay2016 #NeverForget

  


Voters Face Challenges at Polls During March 15 Primary Election

 As Polls Close in North Carolina, Illinois, Florida, Ohio and Missouri, Election Protection Received Over 2,100 Calls

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WINSTON-SALEM, NC - CIRCA 2015: A mural in Winston-Salem honors the history of the Civil Rights movement. With 'voting rights' being debated nationally, the mural has taken on renewed significance.  
Credit: MC Lewis / Shutterstock.com

 

Washington, D.C. – The nationwide nonpartisan Election Protection voter hotline, 866-OUR-VOTE received more 2,100 calls as voters in five states headed to the polls during March 15 presidential preference primaries as of 6 p.m. EDT. The hotline received a steady stream of calls throughout the day with voters seeking information and requesting assistance on a range of issues that resulted from poll worker misinformation, voter ID requirement implementation, long lines and last minute polling place changes.

“The hundreds of calls to 866-OUR-VOTE make clear that voters still continue to face barriers when seeking to exercise the right to vote,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “The nature and sheer volume of complaints received from states such as North Carolina, Illinois and Florida demonstrate that much work remains to be done to improve access to the ballot box across our country."

Throughout the day, the majority of the calls came from North Carolina where the state’s restrictive voter ID law was in effect for the first time.

In North Carolina:  

Eligible voter encounters problem with voter ID requirement: 

A voter in Wake County only had a temporary driver’s license for today’s election. The poll worker at her polling location said she would have to cast a provisional ballot and it should count according to the state’s “reasonable impediment” law, but because the voter was not confident that her ballot would be counted, she returned home to get her passport which is a valid form of ID.  The voter has voted in the same precinct and polling location for the last 20 years and never had a problem casting a ballot.

 

Long-time voter not on voter roll at polling place where she has voted for last 30 years:

A woman in Durham County went to her polling place where she has voted for the past 30 years, but a poll worker could not find her on the voter rolls. After searching the voter rolls several times and then asking the chief judge for help, the poll worker offered the voter a provisional ballot. The voter did not want to vote provisionally and went to the Board of Elections where she waited in line for another 45 minutes before she was able to cast a regular ballot. Upon contacting Election Protection, a volunteer was also able to verify her voter registration status and noted that she has voted in 62 previous elections. The voter indicated she was concerned for other voters who may not have had the time or resources to follow up in the way she did to ensure that they cast a ballot that counts.

Election Protection Helps 93-Year-Old Voter to Cast a Ballot:

A 93-year-old voter was initially denied a ballot after attempting to vote with an expired ID. Both a Democracy NC poll monitor and Election Protection hotline volunteer informed her of her right to vote with the ID.  Armed with this information, she went back to the polling place, informed the poll workers that she should be allowed to vote with an expired ID (as she is over the age of 70), and was allowed to cast her vote.

No notification of last minute polling place location:

At North Carolina Central University the polling place was moved from the student union to the law school. This change was not reflected on the Durham County Board of Elections website for most of the day, and no signs were present indicating the change and directing voters to the new location. An Election Protection volunteer created a sign to inform voters of the move and redirected over 100 people to the new polling location.  Many of the voters were elderly and had trouble getting across campus, which included a steep hill. As of 4:15 p.m. EDT today, several hours after the opening of the polls, the Durham County Board of Elections appeared to have updated their website.

Lines Over an Hour Long in Wilmington:

Long lines were reported at the VFW polling location in Wilmington where voters were waiting over an hour to vote, many of whom were elderly. An Election Protection volunteer encouraged voters to stay in line but counted at least 17 people who left the polling location without casting a ballot.

In Florida: 

Malfunctioning electronic poll book issues:

In Orange County, a voter called 866-OUR-VOTE to report that the electronic poll books used to look up voters were malfunctioning, causing delays in checking in voters as they arrived at the polling site. The problem resulted in a long line and although the voter was able to wait and vote, the voter reported that other voters left the line and polling place without voting.

Long Lines Impact Elderly Voters:

Another voter in Volusia County called 866-OUR-VOTE to report long lines at his polling location. Voters were forced to wait at least an hour, including many senior citizens who left because they could not stand and wait that long. Election Protection reported the issue to the county board of elections.

In Illinois:

Voter Denied Opportunity to Register to Vote at Polling Site in Accordance with Law: 

Despite the fact that Election Day Registration should be available to voters at all polling locations in counties with a population of over 100,000, a McHenry County voter who needed to register reported that the supervisor at his polling location directed him to another location but did not provide the address. The Illinois State Board Elections in Chicago confirmed that McHenry County should have Election Day Registration at all polling places allowing voters to register at the polling site. McHenry County officials were called numerous times but were not reachable to address the issue.


17-Year-Old Eligible to Vote Turned Away at the Polls:

In Chicago, a 17-year-old voter who will turn 18 next week reported that she tried to register at her polling location, but the electronic form would not allow her to register because she is 17. The voter was not offered a provisional ballot and left the polling location without casting a ballot. The Chicago Board of Elections reported that her ballot would have been counted.


Election Protection Helps Student Voters at Wheaton College:

A student went to vote at a polling location near Wheaton College and was turned away by a poll worker. The voter had his student ID and driver’s license, but the poll worker incorrectly informed the voter that college students need to provide another form of ID with the college’s mailing address. Election Protection contacted a deputy registrar with the DuPage County Election Commission, who informed the poll worker that college students are allowed to vote in this election with a driver's license and a student ID. The student returned to the polling location and was able to vote but noted 15 to 20 of his fellow students had left the polling location without voting.

 


Racist signs on display at Fort Lauderdale business

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

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Check out the news reported by Ch. 10’s Bob Norman regarding racist memorabilia on the walls at Sal’s Towing in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Norman goes on to state that Sal’s Towing is contracted by the City of Fort Lauderdale and other governmental entities.

It’s interesting to note that a black male former employee reported the racist memorabilia and even was subjected to racial slurs. Another black male employee initially defended the business, go figure. Why anyone would allow themselves to be subjected to such treatment in this day and age is downright sad. It’s 2016, and this level of discrimination still exists. Some white people don’t believe it or don’t want to believe it or are in denial. Some black people don’t believe it or don’t want to believe it or are in denial.

As expected, after denying being racist, the owner, Sal Belasai, eventually indicated the signs would be removed. That’s a step in the right direction but is removing the signs is supposed to make everything alright? I don’t think so. Sal’s supporters defend him by citing his service to the community. Really? I don’t think so.

Sal’s accuser has also been targeted. He was arrested for violently abusing a girlfriend. That still doesn’t change the fact that the racist signs were posted in Sal's place of business. Stay focused.

I have a couple of questions. How long has the memorabilia been on display at Sal’s? How many people, black and white, have seen it and done nothing about it? This is the sad reality of post-racial America.

By the way, Sal indicated the memorabilia is black history, in a way he’s correct. Check out this video on the history of the term ‘gator bait’. Get a better understanding why everyone should be mortified and disgusted these signs would be on display in a place of business in the United States.

 

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 @vbyers

 

 

#racism #thestruggleisreal #gatorbait #blackhistory

 


TONIGHT: Important Miami Town Hall Meeting on Girls of Color and School Resource Officers

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A critical town hall meeting will be held this evening regarding the treatment of girls of color by school resource officers (SROs). Too many of us have already forgotten the shocking video of SRO Ben Fields body-slamming a black female student to the floor at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, SC last year.  Incidents such as this happen to Black girls and Latinas more than many of us realize. We focus on boys but let’s not forget the girls. Don’t miss this important conversation with Dr. Monique W. Morris, educator and author of PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools.

Monique Morris PUSHOUT
Monique W. Morris, EdD

 

 

This activity is presented by the Georgetown University Center on Poverty and Inequality and the National Black Women's Justice Institute. Parents, students, teachers, school resource officers and other interested individuals are encouraged to attend. Click here to RSVP.

 


The Miami people don't see [Parental Advisory]

Raw. Explicit language. Real. Powerful. Covers a lot of subjects. The Field: Miami. The Miami people don't see. 

 

 

 

 

Related Link: 

You’ll Never Look At Miami The Same After Worldstar’s New ‘Field’ Documentary


HEALTHY START COALITION OF MIAMI-DADE combats LOCAL INFANT MORTALITY RATE INCREASE WITH Community Health Fair

- National Infant Mortality Awareness Month event to be held Saturday, September 17th -

MIAMI – Despite a statewide decrease in deaths among children younger than one year old, the infant mortality rate in Miami-Dade County has creeped upward, especially in black and Hispanic communities.  Aimed at reversing this alarming increase, Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade (HSCMD) will host The Community Health & Education Fair. The event takes place Saturday, September 17, 2011 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Betty T. Ferguson Community Center, 3000 N.W. 199TH Street, in Miami Gardens, FL. The fair will equip women with intensive education and tools as they learn to care for themselves, infants and toddlers up to age five. A special program will begin at 11 a.m., when elected officials and community leaders will pledge commitment to supporting HSCMD’s services for local mothers and children.

Continue reading "HEALTHY START COALITION OF MIAMI-DADE combats LOCAL INFANT MORTALITY RATE INCREASE WITH Community Health Fair" »


Remember last year's Senate Bill 6? It's back!!!

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Special Message from CIVIC Concern

SB 736 -- This year's version of SB 6

A modified version of last year's SB 6, this legislation is another misguided effort at reform.  It would require 50% of teachers' annual evaluations to be based on their students' standardized tests scores, making Florida the first state in the nation to tie teacher pay, retention, and even certification so closely to students' scores on standardized tests. This experiment will lead to our classrooms becoming little more than test-prep centers where our children aren't taught to think, just to pass a test. Click here to learn all about the details of the legislation in this CIVIC article.

Last year, thousands of parents, teachers and other Floridians joined together in opposition to this proposal, leading to the veto of the bill.  More than 30,000 people signed CIVIC's letter to state officials in just a matter of weeks.  It will take an even louder public outcry to stop it this year.  Please sign this letter opposing SB 736. 
Share it with your friends via email and Facebook.  Let's see if this time we can reach 100,000.

 

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Photo: Courtesy of Alina Diaz