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OP-ED: Instead of Racial Profiling, City Needs Jobs and Family Support Services



A report released last week by the Oakland Police Department showed that African Americans were greatly overrepresented among people stopped by OPD from April through November 2013.

Although only 28 percent of Oakland’s population, African Americans were 62 percent of those stopped and 76 percent of those searched.

Among those stopped, Oakland police searched 42 percent of African Americans, 27 percent of Hispanics, and 17 percent of Asians and whites. However, those searches resulted in almost identical recovery rates of firearms, other weapons or drugs – 25 to 28 percent for each group.

Although African Americans were far more likely to be stopped and searched by Oakland police than other people, they were no more likely to be carrying contraband.

Surprisingly, Interim Police Chief Sean Whent defended the disparities, claiming that OPD was focusing on “the people committing the most crime.”

Chief Whent’s comment is confusing. His statistics show that when searches made incident to an arrest are excluded, 78 percent of the people stopped and searched had not committed any crime.

The futility of most OPD searches is consistent with the department’s record of solving crimes, just 30 percent of murder cases and smaller percentages of robberies, burglaries, and other crimes.

And when police search 2762 African Americans during an eight-month period without finding any contraband, it is not surprising that many people in the Black community are afraid and distrustful of the OPD.

S.F. Chronicle columnist Chip Johnson jumped to the chief’s defense, defending racial profiling by attempting to demonstrate that African Americans committed over 80 percent of the violent crimes in Oakland.

Johnson claims, “African Americans comprised 83 percent of the 12,161 suspects in last year’s homicides, attempted homicides, robberies, assaults with firearms and assaults with weapons other than firearms.”

But OPD’s reported crime statistics show a total of 7387 offenses in the categories mentioned by Johnson and do not include data on the races of the subjects.

Suggesting that police are justified in linking crime with race leads our society down a dangerous road. Oakland’s Black community includes over 100,000 people, and no one claims that more than a few percent commit violent crimes.

Racial profiling and strategies such as gang injunctions or youth curfews victimize entire populations and do little to solve crime. What’s more – they can lead to unnecessary use of force and even death. Eighteen-year-old Alan Blueford was profiled in this manner and ended up being shot to death.

Oakland needs a new approach. The strategy of “getting tough on crime” has tripled the number of state prisoners in the last 30 years but has not made our communities safer.

We need a comprehensive strategy that includes decentralizing and refocusing the police department to increase its ability to identify and arrest those who commit violent crime.

Department and city leadership must put a stop to police practices that alienate the department from the community and cost Oakland millions annually for judgments and settlements in police abuse cases.

Rather than focus on the race or ethnicity of those accused of committing crimes, we should be asking: “What percentage of those arrested are chronically unemployed? Failed to finish high school? Spent time in foster homes? Were victims of parental abuse? Grew up in homes with substance abuse?”

Once we answer those questions, we can identify those young people and others who are at risk of becoming involved in criminal activities and intervene.

We can direct city resources to provide the support that they, their families, and their communities need to help them overcome barriers to leading successful, productive lives.

Investments in counseling, mentorship programs, early childhood education, after-school programs, and job creation will help cure the problems that lead to criminal behavior and create a safer Oakland for everyone.

Dan Siegel is an Oakland civil rights attorney and a candidate for mayor.

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How to Use Credit Wisely

(NewsUSA) – As the holiday season approaches, more people are out shopping, searching crowded stores and online promotions for the best discounts, and using their credit cards to pay for it all. But beware the financial dangers of credit use — how you pay for these deals could safeguard your budget or lead to debt. […]
The post How to Use Credit Wisely first appeared on BlackPressUSA.




A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can help you guard against costly credit mistakes, paving the way for a financially sound festive season and beyond. Learn more about how to use credit in a way that works for you with the insights below.

Choose Your Credit Card Wisely

Whether you’re shopping for holiday gifts or purchasing necessities like groceries, the credit card you use can make a big difference. There are several factors to consider:

  • Interest Rates. Rates generally run from 21-33%. The standard bank card charges at the low end of the range, and retailer credit cards (those typically with the store’s name on them) charge as much as 33%.
  • Cash Back. Among the best deals are bank cards that offer cash back ranging from 1-4% of your purchase.
  • Rewards Points. Some cards have rewards programs where you earn points that you can redeem for products or services. They may seem attractive but are worthwhile only if you’re actually interested in the rewards offered.
  • Cash Discounts. While retailer credit cards have the highest rates, some offer big cash discounts at the point of purchase. That may be the only time they’re worth using.

Improving Your Credit Score

Boosting your credit score can help you qualify for the lowest available interest rates on auto loans, personal loans and mortgages. If you can, pay the full balance when your credit card bill arrives. But most importantly, never miss a payment. Paying on time not only avoids late fees, but also is a key factor in improving your credit score. The easy way to ensure timely payment is to set up automatic online payments.

A CFP® professional can help you develop other strategies to save money while improving your credit profile, including the following:

Establishing Credit

Lenders offer credit to people with a long and reliable credit history. Most young adults don’t have one. There are various ways to obtain credit, but steer clear of debit cards that claim they can help you build a credit history. When you consider the costs and requirements, they’re usually no bargain. You have better and cheaper options for establishing credit. Here are three of them:

  • Get a secured credit card.
  • If you have a student loan, make sure you’re up-to-date with payments.
  • If you pay rent, ask your landlord to report your on-time payments to the credit bureaus.

The choices we make in managing credit can have a lasting impact on our financial journey. As you navigate the complex credit landscape, remember that CFP® professionals can offer tailored guidance for your unique circumstances. Whether it’s identifying strategic debt payments, exploring balance transfer options or establishing credit responsibly, a CFP® professional can provide a roadmap for achieving your financial goals. Find a CFP® professional today.

The post How to Use Credit Wisely first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Oakland Post: Week of November 22 – 28, 2023

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of November 22 – 28, 2023



The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of November 22 - 28, 2023

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Acura ZDX Type S features

LA Auto Show was the venus for the Acura ZDX Type S details.
The post Acura ZDX Type S features first appeared on BlackPressUSA.



LA Auto Show was the venus for the Acura ZDX Type S details.

The post Acura ZDX Type S features first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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