Tuesday, July 14, 2020

U.S. Conference of Mayors expresses support for reparations

Last month at the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ (USCM) 88th Annual Meeting, the Conference’s Executive Committee unanimously passed a resolution in support of the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act (H.R. 40/S. 1083), introduced by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX). It was one of the first acts of the USCM under new President and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. The mayor has pledged to put forward an ambitious agenda entitled American Breakthrough, and this reparations legislation is an important building block of that effort.
President Fischer recently sent a letter to Sen. Booker and Rep. Jackson Lee, reiterating support for the bill and talking about the importance of breaking down systemic barriers to justice and equality. In the letter, President Fischer writes:
“We recognize and support your legislation as a concrete first step in our larger reckoning as a nation, and a next step to guide the actions of both federal and local leaders who have promised to do better by our Black residents.
“Our support of your bicameral legislation is not just an endorsement – it is a resolution. We have resolved to do better for our Black residents by promoting equal rights and opportunity through the implementation of policy reforms at the local level, as well as through our advocacy for action at the federal level.
“This year, the nation’s mayors will work diligently on a national platform known as an American Breakthrough, which will be informed by mayor-led work groups on critical interconnected challenges: Police Reform and Racial Justice; Guiding the COVID-19 Response and Health Equity; Eliminating Poverty; Dismantling Systemic Racism; and Supporting Equitable Economic Recovery. We are committed to doing our role in local government to disrupt systemic racism, which inhibits the realization of a nation of liberty, prosperity, and justice for all.”
The full letter can be found here.

Louisville Metro Council to vote on issuing subpoenas in its investigation of Breonna Taylor shooting

Louisville – The Government Oversight and Audit Committee (GOA) filed an Order to officially launch the Investigation into the action and inaction of the Fischer Administration regarding the death of Breonna Taylor, the death of David McAtee, and related protests in Louisville Metro. The Order will be considered during the next regular meeting of the Committee on Tuesday, July 14th at 5pm.
The Order is sponsored by Chair Brent Ackerson (D-26) and Vice Chair Anthony Piagentini (R-19).
The Order lays out the reasons for the investigation, the scope, the statutory authority of the Committee governing the proceedings, and requirement of a report of their findings at the conclusion of the Investigation.
Specifically, the Investigation will look into:
  • the action and inaction of Louisville Metro Government leading up to the death of Breonna Taylor in her home on March 13th;
  • identifying, requesting, and publishing relevant documents to the deaths of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee;
  • identifying any shortcomings in training policies, or control systems, that led to the execution of a no-knock warrant at a residence in the middle of the night;
  • identifying any errors or omissions in following procedures, best practices, or follow-up decisions after the death 0f Breonna Taylor and David McAtee;
  • exploring the action and inaction of the administration in the ongoing responses to protests that took place following the deaths of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee;
  • interviewing persons and obtaining relevant information related to the aforementioned concerns.
Section Three of the Order reiterates the Committee’s authority to issue subpoenas in this Investigation pursuant to Kentucky Revised Statutes and Metro Council Rules.
The Committee plans to vote on and authorize the first subpoenas in this investigation following passage of the Order Tuesday afternoon. Former LMPD Chief Steve Conrad and current Chief Robert Schroeder will be the recipients considered at the meeting.
The Order, as filed, is attached just follow the link below.

Monday, July 13, 2020


Tallahassee, Florida -July 13, 2020 – Princell Hair joins The Black News Channel (BNC) as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the nation’s first and only 24-hour news network culturally specific to the diverse views of the Black community, it was announced today by Chairman and interim CEO, J.C. Watts. With the announcement of a new CEO, Watts will return to his role as Chairman. Hair’s appointment is effective immediately.
Hair brings a unique background in diverse platforms including general management, experience leading a national news network, a regional sports business and several local television news departments. He has reimagined programming lineups in his career discovering new, engaging talent, enhancing linear audience reach and vastly growing digital user engagement.
Hair grew up in South Florida and started his career there in local news and rose to Vice President of News for the CBS Television Stations group, before becoming the first and only African-American to lead CNN-US as Executive Vice President and General Manager, achieving major ratings growth during key news events including the Democratic and Republican National Conventions plus CNN’s Election Night in America 2004. He joined Comcast in 2008 supervising news operations and talent for the Comcast regional sports networks. In 2012, Hair was named Senior Vice President of News and Talent for the NBC Sports Group. He was promoted in 2016 to Senior Vice President and General Manager of NBC Sports Boston, leading the regional sports network to audience growth across all platforms as well as generating several of the network’s most profitable years in its history.
“Princell’s experience as a news and sports executive is unmatched for its breadth and success. As a programmer he will bring energy and fresh thinking to the Black News Channel,” said BNC Chairman, J.C. Watts. “We are delighted to welcome him and excited to see him build on the foundation we have laid with the launch of the Black News Channel.”
“I am grateful to Chairman Watts and the Board of Directors for this opportunity,” said Hair. “I’m thrilled to return to daily newsgathering and compelling storytelling at the only 24-hour
cable news channel aimed specifically at African Americans and other people of color, as the world responds to a pandemic, systemic racism and an economic crisis, all of which disproportionately impact the Black audience. I’m equally excited to join and support the talented team of journalists and staff across BNC’s platforms as the high stakes 2020 Presidential Race enters the red zone.”
Hair received his Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from Florida International University in Miami, Florida. He is a member of National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA).

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Ayanna Pressley to Betsy DeVos: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA 7th District) took to Twitter to respond to remarks Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made in an interview on CNN’s "State of The Union" early Sunday. During her appearance, she reiterated her call for schools to resume in-person classes in the fall and pushed back on social distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommending children’s time meeting in groups be limited to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Pressley’s response:

@BetsyDeVosED you have no plan. Teachers, kids and parents are fearing for their lives. You point to a private sector that has put profits over people and claimed the lives of thousands of essential workers. I wouldn’t trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child.

15-Year Old Opens Black-Owned Cupcake Shop During Pandemic

Meet Layla Wallace, a 15-year old teen baker and entrepreneur from Michigan, who is making boss moves with the launch of her new cupcake shop called Layla's Cool Pops. Her storefront is located in downtown Kalamazoo and is the result of what started years ago as an economics project in her 4th-grade class.

In 2015, Layla started baking delicious sweet treats such as cupcakes, brownies, cookies, cake pops, and more. She has been specializing in special orders and catering events. Now, despite the pandemic, she pushed through with the opening of her first storefront, making sure preventive measures are in place.

"I think that some people think that my work ethic would be different because I'm younger, so I have to prove them wrong by working really hard," Layla said in a statement. "I still get scared of talking with people, so I'm warming up to talking with people and I still do school so it's kinda hard."

Moreover, through Layla's Cool Pops, she aims to support her Sweets4Homeless initiative, a non-profit which purchases homes for homeless families and provide financial support to other community organizations that help eliminate homelessness.

For more information about Layla's Cool Pops, visit LaylasCoolPops.com