Connect with us

Community

Year of the History-Makers

MINNESOTA SPOKESMAN-RECORDER — 2018 proved to be the year of history-makers for African Americans across the country, and Minnesota, in particular.

Published

on

By Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

2018 proved to be the year of history-makers for African Americans across the country, and Minnesota, in particular. From landmark elections and groundbreaking appointments to Hall of Famers and historical institutions, the MSR was on the frontlines covering Black Minnesota as it positioned itself for sweeping change.

Political firsts

While politicians across the country aimed for blue and red to color the 2018 midterm elections, it was a decidedly Black wave that will impact the 2019 landscape.

And Black voters showed up and showed out across the country, even helping to push historically red states and seats closer towards the blue line.

The election was full of historic wins, especially right here in Minnesota.

Among the political firsts, Keith Ellison took home the prize as the first African American elected attorney general or any statewide office in Minnesota. Winning Ellison’s former seat, Ilhan Omar is set to be the first-ever Somali American to serve in Congress.

Medaria Arradondo, Minneapolis’ first Black chief of police, was appointed to serve his first full term in 2019. And, let’s not forget Melvin Carter III who kicked off his historic term in January as St. Paul’s first-ever Black mayor.

There was also an increase in Black representation and wins across all levels, from city councils to school boards, as well as beyond the Twin Cities. Angela Conley is the first Black person to be elected to serve on the Hennepin County board of commissioners. After an appointment by outgoing Gov. Mark Dayton, Judge Juanita Freeman will be the first Black district judge to serve in Washington County. And Mike Elliott will be the first Liberian American to serve as mayor of Brooklyn Center.

History makers

This year’s history-makers also include longtime teacher Tonyus Chavers, who played on one of the eight original Women’s Professional Basketball League teams. She was inducted into its Hall of Fame as a “Trailblazer of the Game.”

Brittany Baker, graduated as St. Paul’s first Black woman firefighter in 10 years; Nerita Hughes became North Hennepin Technical College first African American dean, and the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery was the first of its kind to open its doors in the Twin Cities this past September.

While it wasn’t necessarily history-making, Minnesota did show a marked increase in diversity while hosting this year’s Super Bowl as compared to when it last hosted in 1992.

Buried history

In the midst of highlighting our communities, the MSR even unearthed Black history at Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery,  Minneapolis’ oldest cemetery, which holds the remains of John W. Cheatham, the first African American firefighter in Minneapolis; Morgan Jones, a former slave of a Virginia tobacco field who moved to Minnesota after gaining his freedom; and William C. Goodridge, who was born slave in 1806, freed by age 16 and started his first business — a barbershop — at 18 years old.

A look to the future

While all of these firsts signal a welcome wave of change in Minnesota, our communities still face persistent racial disparities, which led to the Twin Cities being named the fourth worst place to live in the country. But, leaders are poised and hopeful for change.

“We’ve got strong leadership at the director levels of all of these critical areas, [from] social work to human services to health to public safety,” said Alex Tittle, Hennepin County Disparity Reduction Director. “This next group of commissioners, new leadership, attorney general, Chief Rondo — you’ve got a ton of people who are at the table who are focused and cognizant of the issues and they’re smart enough and they’re in leadership positions.

“If we can’t deal with this right now with who we’ve got in place, shame on us. The World, the county, the community is depending us to do it right, [and] we’re positioned to do it.”

This article originally appeared in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.

Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activism

Ask County Supervisors Not to Spend Millions in Tax Dollars on Oakland A’s Real Estate Deal

Please attend the meeting Tuesday, October 26 and express your opinion; call or e-mail your supervisor and Keith Carson, president of the Board of Supervisors, through his chief of staff Amy Shrago at (510) 272-6685 or Amy.Shrago@acgov.org

Published

on

A rendering of the proposed new A’s ballpark at the Howard Terminal site, surrounded by port cranes and warehouses. Image courtesy of MANICA Architecture.

The East Oakland Stadium Alliance (EOSA) and other groups are asking local residents to attend and speak at next week’s Alameda County Board of Supervisors meeting to oppose a proposal to spend county residents’ tax dollars to pay for the Oakland A’s massive multi-billion-dollar real estate deal at Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland. 

Please attend the meeting Tuesday, October 26 and express your opinion; call or e-mail your supervisor and Keith Carson, president of the Board of Supervisors, through his chief of staff Amy Shrago at (510) 272-6685 or Amy.Shrago@acgov.org

The Stadium Alliance urges community members to “let (the supervisors) know that Alameda County residents don’t want our tax dollars to pay for a private luxury development. This proposal does not include privately funded community benefits and would harm our region’s economic engine – the port- putting tens of thousands of good-paying jobs at risk.”

 

“The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.”

Continue Reading

Community

Marin County Sheriff Sued for Illegally Sharing Drivers’ License Plate Data

This practice has violated two California laws, endangers the safety and privacy of local immigrant communities, and facilitates location tracking by police.

Published

on

An example of ALPRs (www.pasadenanow.org)

Marin County Sheriff Robert Doyle has been sued for illegally sharing millions of local drivers’ license plates and location data, captured by a network of cameras his office uses, with hundreds of federal and out-of-state agencies, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), over a dozen other federal law enforcement agencies, and more than 400 out-of-state law enforcement agencies.

This practice has violated two California laws, endangers the safety and privacy of local immigrant communities, and facilitates location tracking by police.

The suit seeks to end the sheriff’s illegal practice of giving hundreds of agencies outside California access to a database of license plate scans used to identify and track people, revealing where they live and work, when they visit friends or drop their kids at school, and when they attend religious services or protests.

The lawsuit was filed in Marin County Superior Court by the ACLU Foundations of Northern California, Southern California, and San Diego and Imperial Counties, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and attorney Michael T. Risher representing community activists Lisa Bennett, Cesar S. Lagleva, and Tara Evans, who are longtime Marin community members.

License plate scans occur through Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs): high-speed cameras mounted in a fixed location or atop police cars moving through the community that automatically capture all license plates that come into view, recording the exact location, date, and time that the vehicle passes by.

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office scans tens of thousands of license plates each month with its ALPR system. That sensitive personal information, which includes photographs of the vehicle and sometimes its driver and passengers, is stored in a database.

The sheriff permits hundreds of out-of-state agencies and several federal entities, including the Department of Homeland Security, to run queries of a license plate against information the sheriff has collected. The agencies are also able to compare their own bulk lists of vehicle license plates of interest, known as “hot lists,” against the ALPR information collected by the sheriff’s office. 

“In the hands of police, the use of ALPR technology is a threat to privacy and civil liberties, especially for immigrants. Federal immigration agencies routinely access and use ALPR information to locate, detain, and deport immigrants. The sheriff’s own records show that Sheriff Doyle is sharing ALPR information with two of the most rogue agencies in the federal government: ICE and CBP,” said Vasudha Talla, immigrants’ rights program director at the ACLU Foundation of Northern California. “Police should not be purchasing surveillance technology, let alone facilitating the deportation and incarceration of our immigrant communities.”

California’s S.B. 34, enacted in 2015, bars this practice. The law requires agencies that use ALPR technology to implement policies to protect privacy and civil liberties, and specifically prohibits police from sharing ALPR data with entities outside of California. 

The sheriff also violates the California Values Act (S.B. 54), also known as California’s “sanctuary” law. Enacted in 2018, the law limits the use of local resources to assist federal immigration enforcement.

“The information unveiled through this lawsuit shows that the freedoms that people think they possess in Marin County are a mirage: people cannot move about freely without being surveilled,” said Bennett. “Our county sheriff, who has sworn to uphold the law, is in fact violating it by sharing peoples’ private information with outside agencies. This has especially alarming implications for immigrants and people of color: two communities that are traditionally the targets of excessive policing, surveillance, and separation from loved ones and community through incarceration or deportation.”

The Marin County Post’s coverage of local news in Marin County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

Continue Reading

Community

The 157th Session of the AME Church’s California Annual Conference: Not Just Business as Usual

For the 157th time in history, the African Methodist Episcopal Church in California met to report at the call of their bishop, the Right Reverend Clement W. Fugh, which, for the first time was held both on-line and in person from Bethel AME Church at 916 Laguna St. in San Francisco. 

Published

on

Bishop Clement W. Fugh, Presiding Prelate of the 5th Episcopal District, ready for the 157th Session of the California Annual Conference

For the 157th time in history, the African Methodist Episcopal Church in California met to report at the call of their bishop, the Right Reverend Clement W. Fugh, which, for the first time was held both on-line and in person from Bethel AME Church at 916 Laguna St. in San Francisco. 

The renowned presiding elders, Rev. Dr. Harold R. Mayberry and Rev. Dr. Vernon S. Burroughs, middle managers of this portion of Bishop Fugh’s charge, shared the accounts of their respective territories at the AME Church’s California Annual Conference via prerecorded videos at the meeting hosted by Churches of the Sacramento Valley. 

The lead congregation from the valley was Murph-Emmanuel A.M.E. Church in North Highlands, CA, which is pastored by Rev. Dr. Carieta Cain Grizzell, whose spouse Rev. Martin Grizzell is also known for his past ministry in the Bay Area. The venue church is served by the pastoral team of Rev. Robert R. Shaw and his partner, Assistant Pastor, Rev. Ann Champion Shaw. Murph-Emmanuel and Bethel A.M.E. Church were acclaimed by Bishop Fugh for their cooperation in this session of the California Annual Conference.  

Bethel A.M.E San Francisco looked like a television set had grown into the sanctuary, complete with multiple lights and cameras. There was a technical team (in person and on-line) primarily made up of young adult members of AME churches under the purview of the bishop. The meeting was a clear, joint effort of both clergy and lay people, more than in past years. Though the California Annual Conference has long made a point of including non-cleric church members, young and old, the COVID-19 pandemic circumstances have clearly advanced the Conference’s inclusivity.  

“The Word of God is Colorblind,” said Bishop Fugh during the retirement portion of the Annual Conference which honored the retirement of the host pastor. The diversity within churches of the California Annual Conference was on display at this 157th session of this historic meeting and it was clear that the leadership encourages the welcoming of all who would like to join with the church. 

There was an apparent focus on meeting safely, with limitations on those allowed to join in person. Attestations related to COVID-19 were required of registrants and a screening process was administered at the venue. The bishop commended the venue leadership and church for the dignity that was maintained during the process. 

Registration for Zoom attendance was also a painless process and open to whomever desired to attend the Webinar. The conference was accessible on Facebook as well as YouTube. The bishop also encouraged churches to make attendance as safe as possible while keeping the process simple and focusing on a quality worship experience. Bishop Fugh set a goal for represented churches to reopen their sanctuaries by the first Sunday of November. 

This session of the California Annual Conference carried with it the long-standing traditions of the first Christian denomination founded in response to social injustice over 200 years ago. The ministries reported primarily using pre-recorded videos this year as it all followed through decently and in order. Indeed, there was a genuine spirit of love during the conference.

Continue Reading

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

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

Facebook

Trending