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PRESS ROOM: World of Opportunity Kickoff Set for June 19 at the CrossPlex

THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES — The World Games 2021 will kick off its World of Opportunity program on Wednesday, June 19 at the Birmingham Crossplex. The program helps connect certified, diverse businesses to compete for opportunities with The World Games 2021

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By The Birmingham Times

The World Games 2021 will kick off its World of Opportunity program on Wednesday, June 19 at the Birmingham Crossplex.

The program helps connect certified, diverse businesses to compete for opportunities with The World Games 2021

The kickoff will feature Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin; DJ Mackovets, CEO of The World Games 2021; Jonathan Porter, Chairman of The World Games 2021; Marcus Lundy, Co-Chair, World of Opportunity program and Glenda Thomas, Co-Chair, World of Opportunity program.

The event will begin at 8 a.m. with breakfast and networking provided by Mixtroz and the program begins at 9 a.m with a welcome by Jonathan Porter, Chairman of The World Games 2021.

The program will also mark the official launch of the World of Opportunity supplier database, providing attendees the first opportunity to register for future business opportunities with The World Games 2021.

In addition to launching the supplier diversity database, a number of supplier diversity experts will be on hand and businesses are invited to register in the system onsite. Local business owners can RSVP for the event at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/world-of-opportunity-kickoff-presented-by-the-world-games-2021-tickets-62528076159

The morning will also include a panel discussion – “Creating a Legacy with Diverse Suppliers” – with Chincie Mouton, Vice President of Community Engagement & Projects, Atlanta Host Committee; Glenda Thomas, Co-chair, World of Opportunity program; Tene Dolphin, Deputy Directory for Business Diversity & Opportunity, City of Birmingham and moderator Darlene Wilson, Managing Principal, Relay Accounting Management.

This article originally appeared in The Birmingham Times

Activism

Bay Area Officials Condemn Texas Abortion Restrictions, U.S. Supreme Court Ruling

Bay Area and state officials lambasted both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas state government after the high court declined to approve an emergency petition to stop a Texas law banning abortions six weeks or more after conception.

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Law Books/Clarisse Meyer Via Unsplash

Bay Area and state officials lambasted both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas state government after the high court declined to approve an emergency petition to stop a Texas law banning abortions six weeks or more after conception.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the law, Senate Bill 8, in May, but it went into effect September 1 at 12:01 a.m. local time.
Late that night, the court issued a 5-4 ruling, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court’s three liberal justices in the minority, declining to rule on the petition, which was filed by Texas abortion clinics.
The court could still strike the law down in the coming days as unconstitutional, but abortion rights activists expressed skepticism that the court would do so after letting the law go into effect in the first place.
The law effectively overwrites the precedent set in 1973 by the court’s ruling in the case of Roe v. Wade by preventing pregnant people from seeking an abortion after their sixth week of pregnancy, a time when many people are not yet even aware that they are pregnant.
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, called SB 8 “one of the most severe attacks on reproductive rights” in U.S. history.
“SB 8 is an appalling violation of human rights and reproductive rights, and will put the health of millions of people in jeopardy, especially for low-income people and people of color,” Lee said in a statement.
SB 8 does not make exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest and allows people to sue doctors, medical staff and even a patient’s ride to a medical clinic if they suspect the patient has had an abortion after six weeks.
Plaintiffs also are not required to show damages or have a connection to the patient to file a lawsuit under SB 8, and are entitled to $10,000 and their legal fees if a judge rules in their favor.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, said the law constructed a “vigilante bounty system” that could keep people from seeking reproductive health care of any kind.
“This provision is a cynical, backdoor attempt by partisan lawmakers to evade the Constitution and the law to destroy not only a woman’s right to health care but potentially any right or protection that partisan lawmakers target,” Pelosi said in a statement.
Vice President Kamala Harris echoed that sentiment.
“This decision is not the last word on Roe v. Wade, and we will not stand by and allow our nation to go back to the days of back-alley abortions,” Harris said in a statement. “We will not abide by cash incentives for virtual vigilantes and intimidation for patients.”
Jodi Hicks, the CEO and president of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, argued in a statement that the Supreme Court’s decision will inevitably lead to other states passing their own abortion restrictions.
Nearly a dozen states have already passed so-called “abortion trigger laws” that would fully outlaw the practice in the first and second trimesters as soon as Roe v. Wade is overturned.
“The inaction by the Supreme Court on a blatantly unconstitutional ban has taken away a crucial right to millions of people in Texas and without a doubt threatens their ability to make decisions about their body, their lives, and their futures,” Hicks said.
On September 2, Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives will formally take up legislation to codify abortion rights in federal law instead of relying on the court decision alone.
However, that bill, the Women’s Health Protection Act, is unlikely to find enough support in the U.S. Senate to reach President Joe Biden’s desk for a signature.
Biden said in a statement on September 1 that SB 8 “blatantly violates” the decision in Roe v. Wade and pledged to defend abortion rights across the country, but did not elaborate on what that might entail.
California Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, argued in a Twitter post that the purpose of SB 8 is clear: “to intimidate women (and) providers.”
“It cannot stand,” she said.

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Bay Area

PG&E Continues to See Scams on the Rise in Bay Area

With utility scams continuing to peak during the current pandemic, PG&E urges customers to be vigilant and to know what steps to take to prevent themselves or their families from falling victim.

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PG&E Truck/Photo courtesy of PG&E

Courtesy of PG&E

With utility scams continuing to peak during the current pandemic, PG&E urges customers to be vigilant and to know what steps to take to prevent themselves or their families from falling victim.

Throughout the pandemic, scammers have become increasingly deceptive and have increased calls, texts, emails, and in-person tactics. They are contacting electric and gas customers asking for immediate payment to avoid service disconnection. These impostors can be convincing and often target those who are most vulnerable, including senior citizens, those with limited English proficiency and low-income communities. 

There have been more than 2,700 attempted scams reported to PG&E’s customer service line since June 2021, and the most common scam is a demand of immediate payment via a pre-paid debit card to avoid shutoff. 

Cities with the highest rates of reports are San Francisco (214), Santa Rosa (152), Bakersfield (133) and Fresno (100). Unfortunately, this number only represents reported scams.

However, with the right information, customers can learn to detect and report these predatory scams.

“Remember, PG&E will never ask for your financial information over the phone or via email. If you receive a call or email that demands immediate payment, please call our customer service line or visit PGE.com to access your account details,” said Matt Foley, PG&E senior corporate security specialist.

PG&E will never contact a customer for the first time within one hour of a service disconnection and will never ask customers to make payments with a pre-paid debit card, gift card, any form of cryptocurrency, or third-party digital payment mobile applications. Here are some steps customers can take to protect themselves and their families against being victimized:

Some steps people can take to protect themselves:

  • Visit PGE.com and register for My Account. Signing in will provide instant access to balance information, payment history and other account details and will provide a first line of defense against scammers.
  • If a customer receives a call from someone requesting immediate payment, they can log in to My Account to confirm whether their account is in good standing.
  • Customers can also call PG&E Customer Service at 800-743-5000 if they think that they are being targeted by a scam.
  • As an added layer of protection, customers can designate family members or another trusted individual to speak on their behalf to PG&E call center representatives.
  • To designate an individual to speak to PG&E on your behalf, contact 800-743-5000.

Signs of a potential scam:

  • Threat to disconnect: Scammers may aggressively demand immediate payment for an alleged past due bill. If this occurs, customers should hang up the phone, delete the email, or shut the door. Customers with delinquent accounts receive an advance disconnection notification, typically by mail and included with their regular monthly bill.
  • Request for immediate payment or a prepaid card: Scammers may instruct the customer to purchase a prepaid card then call them back supposedly to make a bill payment. PG&E reminds customers that they should never purchase a prepaid card to avoid service disconnection or shutoff.
  • Refund or rebate offers: Scammers may say that your utility company overbilled you and owes you a refund, or that you are entitled to a rebate. Again, customers should immediately hang up and call PG&E Customer Service to confirm details.
  • “Spoofing” Authentic Numbers: Scammers are now able to create authentic looking 800 numbers which appear on your phone display. The numbers don’t lead back to PG&E if called back, however, so if you have doubts or have seen any of the above warning signs of a scam, hang up and call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. 

For more information about scams, visit www.pge.com and www.utilitiesunited.org.

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Advice

Know Your Zone

New Evacuation System for Alameda County

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Benjamin Sow/Unsplash

Alameda County has launched a new evacuation software system, Zonehaven, to provide neighborhood-level evacuation orders in the event of an emergency such as a wildfire. Under this system, all parts of Alameda are divided into zones to improve evacuation management. The website, which is compatible with computers, smart phones, and laptops, provides real-time data in the event of an emergency such as traffic conditions, weather, and incident location.

Know Your Zone before the next emergency – look up your zone number and memorize it. Be sure to bookmark the webpage for quick access to the site.

community.zonehaven.com

For more details, watch the Know Your Zone PSA HERE. This is a new tool that will complement existing emergency notifications, including AC Alert and Nixle. If you have not already, sign up for AC Alerts at acalert.org.

Become a Peer Counselor

In this online learning event, participants will learn how to develop therapeutic skills ‘just by listening and being kind.” There is the opportunity to practice skills needed to be present for others experiencing difficulties in life, work, home, school, or community.

It will take place on Wednesday, August 25, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The session will be presented by Briana Moore of the Ahbedelight Education and Consulting Symposiums.

Being present requires the ability to listen for and be mindful of the other person or group. Participants will explore active listening skills, learn new creative tools, and develop an understanding of how stress and chronic stress can cause harm to the body, mind, and spirit. Register by August 23, 2021. REGISTER HERE

If you can’t attend on August 25, but would like to receive a link to a recording and resources, CLICK HERE.

Serve Your Community

Supervisor Carson needs District 5 Representatives in the following boards and commissions:

  • Alameda County Fair Association Board of Directors (1)
  • Public Health Commission (1)
  • Parks, Recreation & Historical Commission (1)
  • Consumer Affairs Commission (1)
  • Veterans Affairs Commission (1)

This is an opportunity to serve your community and represent District 5! Please note the eligibility requirements and commitments associated with each position.

For more information and to apply, visit the Boards and Commissions site: https://acgov.org/bc/

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