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COMMENTARY: Preventing the Fall of America

NNPA NEWSWIRE — There is a movement afoot to turn back the clock and to undo all our social gains. If it were not for the internet and the rising tide of social consciousness, we would repeat the history of so many civilizations before us that fell from within.

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By Dr. John E. Warren, Publisher, The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint

As we have celebrated the birthday and contribution of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one has to be concerned about the America that has inherited his dream.

There is a movement afoot to turn back the clock and to undo all our social gains. If it were not for the internet and the rising tide of social consciousness, we would repeat the history of so many civilizations before us that fell from within. If we allow the government shutdown to continue, we will accelerate the collapse from within.

Consider the hundreds of thousands of people now missing their second paycheck, those responsible for our nation’s security, like the Coast Guard and TSA, working without a paycheck.

Food inspectors and those who inspect our airlines working without pay; national parks closed, contractors who perform vital services — out of work and without means of collecting back pay because of the nature of their contracts — and air traffic controllers, who, like so many Americans, are staying on the job out of commitment to this great nation, in spite of the financial hardships.

Consider the mortgages, rents, loans and car payments not being made with no requirement for landlords and banks to understand and extend grace periods for repayment. The 38 million persons receiving food stamps who are at risk of no food while many good-hearted Americans are creating food pantries to help their neighbors.

The homeless, once marked by many, are now on the verge of having company as thousands of persons could lose their federal housing assistance for rents. And now we see that even FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation within the Department of Justice) employees are at risk to lose their health insurance coverage if payments are not restored soon.

The issue is bigger than “A Wall” and President Trump should be tried for treason and breach of his duties as President of the United States. He took an oath to Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States and, in doing so, the American people. His actions on the government shutdown have done more to support Russia and our “enemies, foreign and domestic” than pushing the button on his nuclear briefcase.

The chaos he and those members of the U.S. Senate who have supported him have created by doing nothing, has caused greater harm to our global standing than the threat of an outright attack. The actions of the President and the Republican Senate that stand with him have sent a global alarm to our enemies that we are now weak and disorganized. Such a position invites military conflicts.

We as a nation must not only pray that God will once again forgive our sins and heal the land, even as Dr. King prayed so often, but we must also move to pressure those Republican members of the United States Senate standing with Trump to either join the number necessary to override a Trump veto and a Mitch McConnell block vote in the Senate to end the shutdown, or have them face recall or impeachment for malfeasance in office or trial for high crimes.

Eleven to thirteen Republican senators joining with the Democrats can pass the bill, which both houses agreed to before Christmas, and override a Trump Veto. The very existence of this nation rests on such actions.

Already, over 7 million people have signed petitions calling for the impeachment of Donald Trump. America no longer has the luxury of waiting for the Mueller Report.

We must reach out to our friends, relatives and neighbors in every state in which a Republican Senator supporting Trump’s shutdown is seated and demand that he or she (the U.S. Senator standing with Trump on this shutdown) either break away and vote to reopen government or resign. The issue is greater than our differences and “The Wall.” The Democrats in the House and Senate should “Stand Their Ground.”

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Fighting an Unjust System, The Bail Project Helps People Get Out of Jail and Reunites Families

In addition to posting bail at no cost to the person or their family, The Bail Project works to connect its clients to social services and community resources based on an individual’s identified needs, including substance use treatment, mental health support, stable housing and employment.

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Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.
Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.

Hundreds of thousands of individuals locked up in jails almost daily — many find it challenging to pay bail

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

As public support for criminal justice reform continues to build — and as the pandemic raises the stakes higher — advocates remain adamant that it’s more important than ever that the facts are straight, and everyone understands the bigger picture.

“The U.S. doesn’t have one ‘criminal justice system;’ instead, we have thousands of federal, state, local, and tribal systems,” Wendy Sawyer and Peter Wagner found in a study released by the nonprofit Prison Policy Initiative.

Together, these systems hold almost 2 million people in 1,566 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 2,850 local jails, 1,510 juvenile correctional facilities, 186 immigration detention facilities, and 82 Indian country jails, as well as in military prisons, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the U.S. territories,” the study authors said in a press release.

With hundreds of thousands of individuals locked up in jails almost daily, many find it challenging to pay bail.

Recognizing America’s ongoing mass incarceration problem and the difficulties families have in bailing out their loved ones, a new organization began in 2018 to offer some relief.

The Bail Project, a nationwide charitable fund for pretrial defendants, started with a vision of combating mass incarceration by disrupting the money bail system.

Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.

“We have a mission of doing exactly what we hope our criminal system would do: protect the presumption of innocence, reunite families, and challenge a system that we know can criminalize poverty,” Johnson stated.

“Our mission is to end cash bail and create a more just, equitable, and humane pretrial system,” she insisted.

Johnson said The Bronx Freedom Fund, at the time a new revolving bail fund that launched in New York, planted the seed for The Bail Project more than a decade ago.

“Because bail is returned at the end of a case, we can build a sustainable revolving fund where philanthropic dollars can be used several times per year, maximizing the impact of every contribution,” Johnson stated.

In addition to posting bail at no cost to the person or their family, The Bail Project works to connect its clients to social services and community resources based on an individual’s identified needs, including substance use treatment, mental health support, stable housing and employment.

Johnson noted that officials created cash bail to incentivize people to return to court.

Instead, she said, judges routinely set cash bail well beyond most people’s ability to afford it, resulting in thousands of legally innocent people incarcerated while they await court dates.

According to The Bail Project, Black Americans are disproportionately impacted by cash bail, and of all Black Americans in jail in the U.S., nearly half are from southern prisons.

“There is no way to do the work of advancing pretrial reform without addressing the harmful effects of cash bail in the South,” said Robin Steinberg, Founder, and CEO of The Bail Project.

“Cash bail fuels racial and economic disparities in our legal system, and we look forward to supporting the community in Greenville as we work to eliminate cash bail and put ourselves out of business.”

Since its launch, The Bail Project has stationed teams in more than 25 cities, posting bail for more than 18,000 people nationwide.

Johnson said the organization uses its national revolving bail fund, powered by individual donations, to pay bail.

The Bail Project has spent over $47 million on bail.

“When we post bail for a person, we post the full cash amount at court,” Johnson stated.

“Upon resolution of the case, the money returns to whoever posted. So, if I posted $5,000 to bail someone out, we then help the person get back to court and resolve the case,” she continued.

“The money then comes back to us, and we can use that money to help someone else. So, we recycle that.”

Johnson said eliminating cash bail and the need for bail funds remains the goal.

“It’s the just thing to do. It restores the presumption of innocence, and it restores families,” Johnson asserted.

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PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina

NNPA NEWSWIRE — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan will be joined by significant figures from the civil rights and environmental justice movements, including Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and other participants from the original Warren County protests for the event.
The post PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Administrator to honor legacy of environmental justice and civil rights at event in Warren County, site of protests that launched the movement 40 years ago

WASHINGTON (September 22, 2022) – On Saturday, September 24, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan will travel to Warren County, North Carolina to deliver remarks on EPA’s environmental justice and civil rights priorities and the progress we’ve achieved since the first protest and march that launched the movement 40 years ago this week. Administrator Regan will make a significant announcement on President Biden’s commitment to elevate environmental justice and civil rights enforcement at EPA and across the federal government and ensure the work to support our most vulnerable communities continues for years to come.

Administrator Regan will be joined by significant figures from the civil rights and environmental justice movements, including participants from the original Warren County protests for the event.

Who:
EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan
Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)
Environmental Justice and Civil Rights Leaders
Warren County residents and community leaders
Additional stakeholders

What: Remarks on EPA environmental justice and civil rights priorities and honoring the legacy of the environmental justice and civil rights movement
When: Saturday, September 24, 2022,
Doors Open: 11:30 AM ET
Program: 12:45 PM ET
;
Where: Warren County Courthouse
109 S Main Street
Warrenton, NC 27589
Livestream: A livestream of this event will be available at epa.gov/live.

The post PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane

Join Al McFarlane (Host), Brenda Lyle-Gray (Co-Host) and Special Guest Co-Host Diana Hawkins, Executive Director for …
The post September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Join Al McFarlane (Host), Brenda Lyle-Gray (Co-Host) and Special Guest Co-Host Diana Hawkins, Executive Director for …

The post September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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