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August 2014



Hello, Miami-Dade County! It's Tuesday, August 26, 2014, Primary Election Day. The polls are open from 7AM until 7PM. There are several races to be voted on to determine who will represent you or who will move on in the election cycle. Depending on your municipality, there are also important questions about how your tax dollars should be spent. EVERY election is important and conventional wisdom predicts that a low number of voters will again decide important issues for everyone. 

There are 1.2 million voters in Miami-Dade County less than 20% are expected to vote. That's just sad. Now we are not referring to folks who are not registered, these are the pitiful numbers based on folks already on the books. You've heard the slogans before that encourage folks to get out and vote. Too many have succumbed to the belief that their vote doesn't matter. If there is anyone in your household that this is a registered voter, do everything legally possible to get them to the polls TODAY. Thank you!

Remember, take ID with you that has your photo and your signature. It could be one ID or two different pieces of identification that provide that information. If there is an issue about your eligibility, request a provisional ballot. You will have to provide the necessary information later but at least your vote will count. Be sure to get specific instructions and the name of the person assisting you. If you are in line to vote at 7PM, do not leave. The precinct will not close until everyone who is in line at 7PM gets the opportunity to vote.

We get the government that we elect. The fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO has put the spotlight on what happens when people do not vote and actively engage in politics in their community. Your vote matters. 





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

TODAY is the LAST day for Early Voting!


Here are the locations for early voting in Miami-Dade County. Several churches are rallying voters via "Souls to the Polls". The polls close at 4pm today. Election Day is Tuesday, August 26. 

Early Voting Locations

  • Aventura Government Center **New Location**
    19200 West Country Club Drive
  • City of Miami - City Hall
    3500 Pan American Drive
    Entrance is located at the northeast side of the building.
    ADA entrance is through the front door of City Hall
  • Coral Gables Library
    3443 Segovia Street
  • Coral Reef Library
    9211 SW 152nd Street
  • Elections Department
    2700 NW 87th Avenue
  • Homestead Community Center (William F. "Bill" Dickinson Community Center) **New Location**
    1601 N. Krome Avenue
  • John F. Kennedy Library
    190 West 49th Street, Hialeah
  • Kendall Branch Library
    9100 SW 97th Avenue
  • Lemon City Library - Reading Room
    430 NE 61st Street
  • Miami Beach City Hall - City Center Training Room, 3rd Floor **New Location**
    1755 Meridian Avenue
  • Miami Lakes Community Center (Mary Collins) **New Location**
    15151 NW 82nd Avenue
  • Model City Library at the Caleb Center
    2211 NW 54th Street
  • North Dade Regional Library
    2455 NW 183rd Street
  • North Miami Public Library
    835 NE 132nd Street
  • North Shore Branch Library - Program Room
    7501 Collins Avenue
  • South Dade Regional Library
    10750 SW 211th Street
  • Stephen P. Clark Government Center - Lobby
    111 NW 1st Street
  • West Dade Regional Library
    9445 SW 24th Street
  • West Flagler Branch Library
    5050 West Flagler Street
  • West Kendall Regional Library
    10201 Hammocks Boulevard

Miami Central football coach receives racist letter from Hoover High fan [Parental Advisory]

The Miami Central Rockets and their fans traveling to the football game against the Hoover (AL) Bucs received racist taunts.

This is the latest foolishness to remind black people that the more things change, the more they remain the same in the eyes of some people in these United States of America.

Miami Central High School Head Football Coach Roland Smith received a letter from a Hoover High School fan advising the Miami Central fans to take their chicken bones back to Miami and to pickup their red cups that they use to drink Kool-Aid and liquor after the Bucs whip the Rockets asses. Of course the fan's taunting would not be complete without dropping the N-bomb also.

Miami Central is scheduled to play Hoover High School in Hoover, AL tomorrow, August 23rd, 2014 @ Noon EST/11AM CST. The matchup will be broadcast on ESPN. The Hoover Bucs are a top-ranked team so this should be a great game.

Hopefully, this incident as well as the turmoil in Ferguson, MO are teachable moments for individuals that work closely with black high school football players. Many of these athletes will be presented with the opportunity to play for PWIs that might lead them to the financial wealth of professional sports. If they are blessed to enjoy that experience, it is incumbent upon them to use their opportunity and access for community-building purposes.

To be clear, there is no reason to believe that the letter from the Bucs fan is reflective of the feelings of most of the folks at Hoover high School. The Rockets will use it as motivation to victory. Let's Go, Rockets!



The Vereen Report: Judicial Candidates Recommendations

The Vereen Report is a guide for selecting judicial candidates to vote for in the 2014 Primary Election in Miami-Dade County. The Vereen Report is created by criminal and civil rights attorney Rod Vereen / Law Office of Rod Vereen and Associates.

Please exercise your right to vote by one of 3 methods:

1. Absentee Ballot

2. Early voting - 8/19-8/22 11AM-7PM, 8/23-8/24 8AM-4PM.

3. Election Day - 8/26 7AM-7PM

Your vote really does count!



Youth and Mothers Arrested at U.S. Justice Department Office in Miami


Leaders from the Miami Workers Center joined black and brown youth to demand U.S. Attorney Wilfredo Ferred an end to Police Violence

Miami, FL - Yesterday, leaders from the Miami Workers Center joined the Dream Defenders, Power U and other community organizations to demand that U.S. Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer responds to the killings of black and brown youth and men by Police, such as Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; John Crawford in Denton, Ohio; Eric Garner in New York City; and Ezell Ford in Los Angeles.

The groups were specially seeking justice for the case of 18-year-old graffiti artist Israel "Reefa" Hernandez, who was tasered to death by Miami Beach Police Officer Jorge Mercado. One year later, Officer Mercado has not been charged with the teen’s murder.

After over an hour of demanding a meeting with the U.S. Attorney, Miami Police closed the building and arrested approximately 8 community leaders who decided to stay until their demands where heard. Marcia Olivo, a mother of 2 and organizer for the Miami Workers Center, was among the group arrested.

"We’re the voice of the mothers in our community who live in constant fear of not seen their children comeback. " said Marcia Olivo prior to the arrest. "We will continue to hold our hands up and demand justice until those who have sworn to protect and defend us, stop killing our children."

Message from the NAACP on the fatal shooting of Michael Brown


By now we've all seen the shocking, horrifying images and videos of the Ferguson and St. Louis County police department responses over the death of Michael Brown. It is clear they are more interested in intimidation than pursuing justice and the truth.

But our work to discover the truth about Michael Brown's death continues unabated. Our hearts ache for the Brown family, and our anger, sadness, and frustration drive us forward to ensure a full, unrestricted, unencumbered investigation by the FBI is performed, and justice is served.

If you're like me and you can't let the shooting of another young, unarmed black man by police go unanswered, here's what you can do to help right now:

If you have information on the Michael Brown shooting, share it here.

We are united with one voice in support of justice in this case, and we will not allow Michael Brown's death to be swept under the rug.

There is a disturbing lack of action and answers about the circumstances of the shooting, and we're doing something about it. The NAACP petitioned the FBI to take the case, and they are now on the ground. We are providing a safe outlet for people with information on the case to come forward and be heard.

Stay up to date on our work on the ground.

We're working with the St. Louis County and city branches, the Missouri Youth and College Division, and the Missouri State Conference of the NAACP to get answers to some serious questions: Why was Michael Brown shot in the first place? Why has the response to potential witnesses dragged on, while the response to community gatherings has been so swift and intimidating? Stay up to date by visiting our "Justice for Michael Brown" page.

Share our "I support justice for Michael" graphic on social media.

Continue spreading the word that we are united with one voice in support of justice in this case, and we will not allow Michael Brown's death to be swept under the rug. Every tweet, Facebook share, and conversation moves us a step closer to justice. We're honored to have your support and help.

Thank you,

Cornell William Brooks
President and CEO


The Delta Foundation Selects Project Director For New Teacher Efficacy Program


WASHINGTON, Aug. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Delta Research and Educational Foundation (DREF) has selected Dr. Johni Cruse-Craig to lead The Delta Teacher Efficacy Campaign, the recently launched educational initiative that focuses on teacher effectiveness and student achievement. The Georgia middle school science teacher with extensive experience in leadership development is charged with directing the three-year, national program.


The Delta Teacher Efficacy Campaign, a collaborative between DREF and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is underwritten by a matching grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to DREF. "The collaboration between DREF and the Sorority emanates from our joint commitment to ensure that all students are educated in a manner that prepares them to enter and excel in college and ultimately create a thriving life and career for themselves," said Alison J. Harmon, Ed.D., president, DREF Board of Directors.

"Dr. Cruse-Craig brings a wealth of vital experience, theoretical and tactical to the Delta Teacher Efficacy Campaign. Our program aims to increase student achievement through effective teaching. She has the expertise to direct our program to successfully achieve its goal of realizing effective teaching and student academic success," said Patricia Watkins Lattimore, DREF chief executive officer.

Throughout her 17-year career as an educator, Dr. Cruse-Craig has held key roles including service as a middle school science and mathematics teacher in Georgia and North Carolina schools, Race to the Top Teacher Effectiveness Facilitator, curriculum and instruction specialist, assessment, data analysis leader, process improvement and performance engagement leader.

Most recently, she served as Science Department Chair and Grade Level Science Lead Teacher for the DeKalb County School District. She increased the number of students meeting the expectations in the science department and successfully established instructional direction by analyzing and prioritizing student achievement data.

Dr. Cruse-Craig remarked, "My passion runs deep and is like a consuming fire that radiates and transfers into my every thought… I am humbly grateful to serve in such a capacity, as this is a calling and not a job."

In 2011, Dr. Cruse-Craig earned a doctorate degree in educational leadership and instruction from Argosy University in Atlanta, GA, a master's degree in middle grades mathematics and science from Brenau University, Gainesville, GA. and began her undergraduate studies at Shaw University, Raleigh, NC. For more details, visit


Howard University students in solidarity with protesters in Ferguson

Sometimes those of us of a certain age think young black people don't get it. We see their sagging pants and overly tatted up bodies and think our future as a race has gone to hell in a hand basket. Then some of us realize we focus too much on the negative representations of our youth. There are young people who care...who actually get it. They listen to jazz and classical music as well as that profanity-laced trash calling itself hip-hop but that's another story for another time.

My god-niece, Dominique Diggs, a senior at Howard University, posted this photo of Howard students assuming the position reportedly taken by Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO before he was fatally shot by a police officer. Brown's death has resulted in several days of protest and violence. Brown's parents have called for the violence and looting to stop as it dishonors their son's memory. These Howard students found a way to send a powerful message of support for justice for Michael Brown and against police brutality. Please make this photo go viral.

Howard students protest
Howard University students stand in solidarity with protesters in Ferguson, MO against police brutality and for justice for Michael Brown. #DontShoot #JusticeForMikeBrown


Here's what Dominique posted on Facebook: 

My beloved University is my heart. I cannot express enough how much Howard University does for me -- especially in times like this. We, as an historically black institution geared towards educating people of color in multiple subjects & social responsibilities rise in solidarity with the town of Ferguson, Missouri. The Ferguson Police Department are doing their best to silence our people but the protests are still going. All black life matters, we will not stand by & allow for our young black men to be hunted by these American terrorists. ALL BLACK LIFE MATTERS -- SAVE OUR BOYS.
Let me just add that the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO; Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY; Oscar Grant in Oakland, CA and Travis McNeil right here in Miami, FL should never be forgotten. They were all unarmed young black males killed by police --- people who have sworn to protect and to serve the community. Does that mean all cops are bad? No. Does that mean we should excuse the murders commited by civilians? No. We should be mad as hell but let's not allow anyone to try to diminish and/or deflect from either situation.
I'm also proud that my godniece loves her school. It's not Florida A&M but we won't rehash family disagreements. I worry that so many black children will get lost in this world that still tries to convince them that they are less than their non-black counterparts or makes them feel isolated and unwanted at predominantly white institutions. I want all children to grow up to be proud of their natural selves. Regardless of ethnicity; skin color; color of eyes; hair texture; sexual preference; height, weight; etc. The fact that these Howard students get it and expressed themselves in such a peaceful and powerful manner gives me hope and reassurance that our little black children will not be completely lost in this very imperfect world we have left them.
Power to the People!