Beyond the Rhetoric
By Harry C. Alford & Kay DeBow
When we were growing up the mail service was something, we could take for granted. As the American population grew and towns became cities and worldwide business was linked and business came at the “speed of thought,” the demands for punctuality and accuracy became oh so important. Most business is done by mail. But as business speed becomes more and more important alternatives are being created to meet the new demand. Federal Express, Amazon, UPS, DHL, emailing, etc. are becoming a growing alternative to “snail mail.”
A typical letter carrier is only human and that means there are flaws that makes certainty or accuracy not necessarily an automatic function. Carriers make mistakes and when they do our business may suffer. Checks get “lost” in the mail. A letter may come within two days or it may take five days depending on the human factor in the process.
Our latest relocation has made us familiar with the current state of our postal service. We moved from northwest Washington, DC to downtown. Online we put in a change of address notice and a request to forward all mail to the new address. Judging from previous moves we thought that would be a simple process. But “No More!” It now takes a letter to be forwarded across town average of 14 – 25 days. There is a certain percentage that will become “lost” never to be seen again. Since our move we have “lost” significant checks, credit cards, billings and other important business matters.
What happened to the efficiency? The instructions on forwarding our mail says that if we don’t receive the forwarding mail within 10 days we should call and voice a complaint. Patiently, we waited 20 days before doing that. We were ensured that it will be corrected within 24 hours. However, it was never corrected in fact, it became worse, so we placed another complaint. After waiting an hour plus on another phone call, they gave us another case number and assured us that the situation will be changed. Not true! We are in the last week of January and mail that is postmarked in early December is just now reaching us. We had an important legal document become lost in the forwarding and had to spend an amount of money to have it resent.
One time about a year ago, we went out of town and our security guard told our letter carrier to just leave the mail in the box and we would pick it up at the end of the week. The carrier refused and proclaimed that it was a “vacation hold” and that we would have to come to the postal center to sign a return status and receive the collected mail. OK, we thought we could simply drive to the post office down the street and sign off and get our mail back to routine status. But no!!!! We came to find out that the “postal center” was not the neighborhood post office but a huge warehouse on the Maryland border about an hour away. We had to drive over there and arrive before 8:00AM to sign the form and get our mail. What a waste of time and inconvenience!
Such is our current United States Postal Service. It doesn’t help to complain as the postal workers’ union will protect those carriers and preserve their inefficiencies. Each year we see the same news on television: USPS loses billions of dollars due to inefficiency and waste. Meanwhile, FEDEX, UPS, Amazon, etc. are racking up billions of dollars in profit and their stock continues to sore high.
There is no doubt in our minds that the time has come to privatize our postal service. President Trump has that on his “To Do List” but we want to speed that process up. Our postal system should be regionalized and competitive with alternative ways of delivery. It probably will not cost us any more than the pricing today. Cost should be on a measurable rate: the more you mail; the more you pay. Various companies should compete for your choice in mail service and the markets should drive their worth and value.
We don’t want to lose any more mail which means money, business performance and anxiety. We envision a new postal service or services that are accountable to the public and its investors. Private corporations will beat government in performance every time. Our mail is no exception. It is Neanderthal to think that the way we did something decades ago should remain the same.
Come and join us in this movement. It is time to privatize our postal system!!!
Mr. Alford is the Co-Founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce ®. Ms. DeBow is the Co-Founder, Executive Vice President of the Chamber. Website: www.nationalbcc.org Emails: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Black Woman to Lead United States Park Police
Chief Smith’s experience serving in leadership roles in every U.S. Park Police field office has provided her with an unmatched foundation to lead the diverse agency,” said Flynn, who oversees law enforcement programs at USPP.
Pamela A. Smith, a 23-year veteran of the United States Park Police, will lead the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency.
Smith, who became the first African American woman to lead the 230-year-old agency, immediately remarked that she would establish a body-worn camera program for USPP within 90 days.
The program will initially begin in San Francisco and be implemented across the country by the end of the year, Smith said.
“Body-worn cameras are good for the public and good for our officers, which is why I am prioritizing implementing a body-worn camera program within my first 90 days,” Smith offered in a statement.
“This is one of the many steps we must take to continue to build trust and credibility with the public we have been entrusted to serve.”
Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and graduated from the FBI National Academy. She is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
During her law enforcement career, the proud Zeta Phi Beta Sorority sister has served as a patrol officer, field training officer, canine handler, and academy instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
According to a news release, Smith also served as executive lieutenant to the chief of police, assistant commander of the San Francisco Field Office, commander of the New York Field Office, acting deputy chief of the Homeland Security Division, and deputy chief for the Field Operations Division.
Smith was the first woman to lead the New York Field Office as its Major.
At the USPP, she will lead a 560-member workforce that protects the public, parks, and the nation’s most iconic landmarks in Wash., D.C., New York City, and San Francisco metropolitan areas.
“Chief Smith’s commitment to policing as public service and her willingness to listen and collaborate make her the right person to lead the U.S. Park Police at this pivotal moment in our country,” Shawn Benge, deputy director exercising the delegated authority of the NPS director, noted in a statement.
“Over the coming months, the leadership of the National Park Service will explore opportunities with Chief Smith designed to strengthen our organization’s commitment to transparency. Her personal and professional experience make her acutely aware of and ready to meet the challenges and responsibilities that face U.S. Park Police and law enforcement agencies across the nation.”
Jennifer Flynn, the associate director for Visitor Resource Protection at the National Park Service added that she’s looking forward to Smith’s leadership.
“Chief Smith’s experience serving in leadership roles in every U.S. Park Police field office has provided her with an unmatched foundation to lead the diverse agency,” said Flynn, who oversees law enforcement programs at USPP.
“As federal law enforcement officers, the U.S. Park Police officers have a new opportunity each day to give their best to the American people. Chief Smith exemplifies that approach as a colleague and mentor, and she will be instrumental in refining and shaping the future of the organization,” Flynn said.
Smith declared that she would lead by example and expects all officers to display integrity.
“I have dedicated my career to the professionalism of law enforcement, and it is my highest honor and privilege to serve as chief of police,” Chief Smith declared. “Today’s officers face many challenges, and I firmly believe challenges present opportunities. I look forward to leading this exemplary team as we carry out our mission with honesty and integrity.”
Children’s Defense Fund: State of America’s Children Reveals that 71 Percent of Children of Color Live in Poverty
“While we reported on the 73 million children in the U.S. in 2019, which is 22 percent of the nation’s population, we also note that 2020 was the first year in American history that a majority of children are projected to be children of color,” said the Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, the president and CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund.
Part One of an ongoing series on this impactful and informative report.
By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
The child population in America is the most diverse in history, but children remain the poorest age group in the country with youth of color suffering the highest poverty rates.
The comprehensive report is eye-opening.
It highlights how children remain the poorest age group in America, with children of color and young children suffering the highest poverty rates. For instance, of the more than 10.5 million poverty-stricken children in America in 2019, approximately 71 percent were those of color.
The stunning exposé revealed that income and wealth inequality are growing and harming children in low-income, Black and Brown families.
While the share of all wealth held by the top one percent of Americans grew from 30 percent to 37 percent, the share held by the bottom 90 percent fell from 33 percent to 23 percent between 1989 and 2019.
Today, a member of the top 10 percent of income earners makes about 39 times as much as the average earner in the bottom 90 percent.
The median family income of White households with children ($95,700) was more than double that of Black ($43,900), and Hispanic households with children ($52,300).
Further, the report noted that the lack of affordable housing and federal rental assistance leaves millions of children homeless or at risk of homelessness.
More than 1.5 million children enrolled in public schools experienced homelessness during the 2017-2018 school year, and 74 percent of unhoused students during the 2017-2018 school year were living temporarily with family or friends.
Millions of children live in food-insecure households, lacking reliable access to safe, sufficient, and nutritious food, and more than 1 in 7 children – 10.7 million – were food insecure, meaning they lived in households where not everyone had enough to eat.
Black and Hispanic children were twice as likely to live in food-insecure households as White children.
The report further found that America’s schools have continued to slip backwards into patterns of deep racial and socioeconomic segregation, perpetuating achievement gaps.
For instance, during the 2017-2018 public school year, 19 percent of Black, 21 percent of Hispanic, and more than 26 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native school students did not graduate on time compared with only 11 percent of White students.
More than 77 percent of Hispanic and more than 79 percent of Black fourth and eighth grade public school students were not proficient in reading or math in 2019, compared with less than 60 percent of White students.
“We find that in the course of the last year, we’ve come to the point where our conversations about child well-being and our dialogue and reckoning around racial justice has really met a point of intersection, and so we must consider child well-being in every conversation about racial justice and quite frankly you can only sustainably speak of racial justice if we’re talking about the state of our children,” Dr. Wilson observed.
Some more of the startling statistics found in the report include:
- A White public school student is suspended every six seconds, while students of color and non-White students are suspended every two seconds.
- Conditions leading to a person dropping out of high school occur with white students every 19 seconds, while it occurs every nine seconds for non-White and students of color.
- A White child is arrested every 1 minute and 12 seconds, while students of color and non-whites are arrested every 45 seconds.
- A White student in public school is corporally punished every two minutes, while students of color and non-Whites face such action every 49 seconds.
Dr. Wilson asserted that federal spending “reflects the nation’s skewed priorities.”
In the report, he notes that children are not receiving the investment they need to thrive, and despite making up such a large portion of the population, less than 7.5 percent of federal spending went towards children in fiscal year 2020.
Despite Congress raising statutory caps on discretionary spending in fiscal years 2018 to 2020, children did not receive their fair share of those increases and children’s share of total federal spending has continued to decline.
“Children continue to be the poorest segment of the population,” Dr. Wilson demanded. “We are headed into a dark place as it relates to poverty and inequity on the American landscape because our children become the canary in the coal mine.”
Dr. Wilson did note that the Children’s Defense Fund is pleased about President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which, among other things, makes it easier for parents to keep their jobs and provides a lifeline for disadvantaged children.
The $1.9 trillion plan not only contained $1,400 checks for individuals, it includes monthly allowances and other elements to help reduce child poverty.
The President’s plan expands home visitation programs that help at-risk parents from pregnancy through early childhood and is presents universal access to top-notch pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds.
“The American Rescue Plan carried significant and powerful anti-poverty messages that will have remarkable benefits on the lives of children in America over the course of the next two years,” Dr. Wilson declared.
“The Children’s Defense Fund was quick to applaud the efforts of the President. We have worked with partners, including leading a child poverty coalition, to advance the ideas of that investment,” he continued.
“Most notably, the expansion of the child tax credit which has the impact of reducing poverty, lifting more than 50 percent of African American children out of poverty, 81 percent of Indigenous children, 45 percent of Hispanic children. It’s not only good policy, but it’s specifically good policy for Black and Brown children.”
She Bought Freedom for Herself and Other Slaves Today a Park is Named in Her Honor
Alethia Browning Tanner saved enough money to purchase her freedom in 1810. “The total amount, thought to have been paid in installments, was $1,400. In 1810, $1,400 was a significant amount; about the equivalent of three years’ earnings for an average skilled tradesperson,” attucksadams.com researchers surmised.
In her early years, Alethia Browning Tanner sold vegetables in a produce stall near President’s Square – now known as Lafayette Square – in what is now Northwest Washington, D.C.
According to the D.C. Genealogy Research, Resources, and Records, Tanner bought her freedom in 1810 and later purchased several relatives’ release.
She was the first woman on the Roll of Members of the Union Bethel AME Church (now Metropolitan AME Church on M Street), and Turner owned land and a store at 14th and H Streets, which she left to her nephews – one of whom later sold the property for $100,000.
Named in her honor, the Alethia Tanner Park is located at 227 Harry Thomas Way in Northeast DC.
The park sits near the corner of Harry Thomas Way and Q Street and is accessible by foot or bike via the Metropolitan Branch Trail, just north of the Florida Ave entrances.
“The first Council legislative meeting of Black History Month, the Council took a second and final vote on naming the new park for Alethia Tanner, an amazing woman who is more than worthy of this long-delayed recognition,” Ward 5 Councilman Kenyan McDuffie said in 2020 ahead of the park’s naming ceremony.
“[Her upbringing] itself would be a remarkable legacy, but Ms. Tanner was also active in founding and supporting many educational, religious, and civic institutions,” McDuffie remarked.
“She contributed funds to start the first school for free Black children in Washington, the Bell School. Feeling unwelcome at her predominately segregated church, she & other church members founded the Israel Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. When the church fell on hard times and was sold at auction by creditors, she and her family stepped in and repurchased the church.”
Born in 1781 on a plantation owned by Tobias and Mary Belt in Prince George’s County, Maryland, historians noted that Tanner had two sisters, Sophia Bell and Laurena Cook.
“Mary Belt’s will stipulated that Laurena be sent to live with a sibling of Rachel Pratt’s while Sophia and Alethia were to stay at the Chelsea Plantation.”
Tanner sold vegetables at the well-known market just north of the White House in Presidents Park. It is possible – and probable – she met Thomas Jefferson there as he was known to frequent the vegetable markets there along with other prominent early Washingtonians, according to historians at attacksadams.com.
“There are also White House records suggesting she worked for Thomas Jefferson in some capacity, likely doing various housework tasks,” the researchers determined.
Tanner saved enough money to purchase her freedom in 1810. “The total amount, thought to have been paid in installments, was $1,400. In 1810, $1,400 was a significant amount; about the equivalent of three years’ earnings for an average skilled tradesperson,” attucksadams.com researchers surmised.
“Self-emancipation was not an option for all enslaved peoples, but both Alethia and her sister Sophia were able to accomplish this, almost entirely through selling vegetables at the market,” the researchers continued.
“Alethia Tanner moved to D.C. and became one of a significant and growing number of free Black people in the District. In 1800, 793 free Black people were living in D.C.
By 1810, there were 2,549, and by 1860, 11,131 free Black people lived in D.C., more than the number of enslaved peoples.”
Historians wrote that beginning at about 15 years after securing her manumission, Alethia Tanner worked to purchase the freedom of more than 20 of her relatives and neighbors, mostly the family of her older sister Laurana including Laurana herself, her children, and her grandchildren.
All in all, Tanner would have paid the Pratt family well over $5,000. All accomplished with proceeds from her own vegetable market business, they concluded.
“Alethia Tanner, it’s an amazing story of resilience, hard work, and perseverance,” D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation Director Delano Hunter said at the park’s dedication.
“I just learned about this history through this, so it shows how when you name a park, you really educate people on the historical significance.”
SEARCH POST NEWS GROUP
CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST
WORK FROM HOME
Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540
Urban One Honors 2021: “Women Leading the Change”
ILWU leads May Day Protest down Market Street in San Francisco
Why Promoting Private Sector Investment in Electronic Vehicle Charging Market is Key
TownConnect Initiative Wish Program Downpayment Assistance
Oakland Program Distributes $500 to Families of Color
In a Letter to Voters, Rep. Barbara Lee Reflects on Pres. Biden’s First 100 Days
Chauvin Is Guilty. Our Work Is Cut Out for Us.
Oakland Post: April 21-27, 2021
Oakland Post: April 14-20, 2021
Oakland Post: April 7-13, 2021
Oakland Post: March 31- April 6, 2021
Oakland Post: March 24 – 30, 2021
Rev. Dr. Robert Lacy, Founder of St. Andrew Missionary Baptist Church, Dies at 88
State Overseers Want to Continue Closing Oakland Schools
‘You Know Who to Vote For’ Martin Luther King’s Voting Message 56 Years Ago Today
Music Spotlight with LaToya London
#FIYAH! LIVESTREAM — U.S. Surgeon General: ‘The Debate is Over — We All Should Be Wearing Face Coverings to Prevent Spread of COVID-19’
Georgia Man Ahmaud Arbery, Shot and Killed — Jogging While Black
Shooting Death in Georgia of Ahmaud Arbery is Defined as a “Modern Day Lynching”
The Chicago Defender Debuts “Stay Strong Chicago” Video
Rep. Jim Clyburn Will Lead House Oversight Committee on Coronavirus
Digital Issues3 weeks ago
Oakland Post: April 21-27, 2021
Digital Issues4 weeks ago
Oakland Post: April 14-20, 2021
Bay Area4 weeks ago
A Deep East Oakland Based Grocery Coop is Opening
Community2 weeks ago
Edna Lewis: Humanizing the Black Chef
Activism3 weeks ago
Oakland Mural- Zero Hunger
Community3 weeks ago
Post Salon Investigates School District’s State Overseers
Bay Area2 weeks ago
Vallejo Police Chief Issues Statement After Chauvin Verdict
Bay Area3 weeks ago
East Oakland Stadium Alliance Update