Archive for May, 2012

Pollster: Democrats Should Bait GOP on Latino Issues

Thursday, May 31st, 2012


(PBS) With polls showing two-thirds of Latino voters supporting President Barack Obama for re-election, the Republican Party faces an uphill battle to capture the Hispanic electorate in November. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll released last week shows that less than a third of Latinos, 27 percent, are planning to back the presumptive GOP nominee, Mitt Romney.

The Democrats have been leading the way in reaching out to this growing group of voters, set to make up around 10 percent of the electorate at the end of this year. Mr. Obama has already spent $1 million on Spanish-language media over the last couple of weeks in states with growing Latino populations such as Florida, Colorado and Nevada. On the other hand, the Romney campaign has only just made its first Hispanic media buy, bringing the presumed GOP nominee's Spanish-language media investments to $13,000.

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Asian American Honor Student At Texas High School, Jailed For Missing School

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

(Huffington Post) Diane Tran, a 17-year-old honor student in Texas, was forced to spend the night in jail last week after missing too many classes, KHOU-11's Sherry Williams reports.

The Willis High School junior, who helps support two siblings, has both a full time and part-time job. She said that she's often too tired to go to school.

"She goes from job to job from school," Devin Hill, one of Tran's classmates, told KHOU-11. "She stays up until 7:00 in the morning doing her homework."

In an interview with KHOU-11, Tran said she takes AP Spanish, college level algebra and dual credit English and history courses. Her parents divorced and no longer live near her, so she lives with the family that owns the wedding venue where she works on weekends.

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Oakland Schools Report Shows Black Male Students At High Risk Of Dropping Out

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012


(Huffington Post) High rates of chronic absence, suspension and poor academic performance signal that more than half of African American male students in the Oakland Unified School District are at risk of dropping out, according to new research.

The Urban Strategies Council, an Oakland-based community advocacy organization, found significant disparities between African American boys and their peers: Fifty-five percent of black boys in the 2010-11 school year were falling off course from graduation or were at risk of doing so, compared with 37.5 percent of students overall in the district.

From kindergarten through 12th grade, researchers found that black boys struggled with regular attendance and suspensions and scoring proficiently on standardized tests or maintaining grades above a C average – warning signs that they might drop out.

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After Trayvon Martin: Is It Time to End Racial Profiling?

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

(Daily Beast) In his first State of the Union address, George W. Bush took aim at the practice of racial profiling, proclaiming that “we will end it in America.”



Then came 9/11.

“I think we were on the verge of passing it 10 years ago and the attack on our country put the legislation on hold,” says Sen. Ben Cardin. But another, more recent tragedy may have changed the political atmosphere.

“We thought last year the climate was right to get the support necessary to pass this along, and the Trayvon Martin case brought this legislation to better focus,” Cardin says. The Maryland Democrat has sponsored the End Racial Profiling Act, which would prohibit law enforcement from using race or religion as a basis for search, seizure, or arrest for a half-dozen years. Seizing on momentum generated by the killing of 17-year-old Martin in February, Cardin has gained the support of 12 Democratic cosponsors, including Sen. John Kerry, and the Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing on the measure.

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Asian Americans and HIV/AIDS – Twenty Years Later and Still Fighting Invisibility

Saturday, May 26th, 2012


(Huffington Post) I recall stepping into a large auditorium. It was the first time that I had entered such a multi-racial gathering around the issue of AIDS and HIV. The opportunity to address such an audience was both scary and electrifying. I knew the challenges I had faced in trying to serve Asian-American clients in the early days of the epidemic. I can still hear their stories of feeling invisible, ashamed, and confused. But at that moment, it was time to connect that set of experiences with other communities and build a movement for prevention, care, mutual support, and treatment.

That was November 1990. It was a time when many HIV- and AIDS-serving and advocacy organizations in ethnic minority communities were just forming. Organizations such as the Asian & Pacific Islander (API) Wellness Center — now a community institution and founder of National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day — were just coming together. At the same time, the Gay API community was organizing, raising awareness amongst APIs generally, and trying to counter their invisibility in the mainstream arena.

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Latino analysts dubious of Rubio’s potential benefit for Romney

Friday, May 25th, 2012

(Los Angeles Times) Handsome, youthful, Cuban American and Republican, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has been mentioned repeatedly as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney — in part because of hopes that the presence of the first Latino on a major national ticket would draw that key voting group Romney's way.

But outside of his enormously important home state, the prospect for that sort of boost seems less than likely.

Some voters would probably be attracted by the idea of a Latino, any Latino, being that close to theWhite House. (Others, particularly Democrats and left-leaning independents, might never consider a vote for the GOP ticket.)

One complication is internal rivalries amid the diverse group of 22 million potential voters that, for demographic purposes, is treated as one unified electoral bloc.

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This Brooklyn Assemblyman Is The Next Barack Obama

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

(Business Insider) They may share a birthday, but don't tell Hakeem Jeffries he's anything like Barack Obama. “Other than the fact that we were both born on August 4, it’s not clear to me that there’s much of a professional resemblance,” he says.

Nonetheless, the The Washington Post seems to think so. The burgeoning Brooklyn assemblyman has his eyes set on the U.S. Capitol, and if expert observers are any indication, he will be his district's next Congressman.

With Ed Towns (D) retiring, and a black nationalist city councilman as his opponent, the prospects for Jeffries' congressional bid seem promising. This is especially true in the wake of the recent incorporation of white, conservative Brooklyn neighborhoods into his district.

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Diverse appointments to California superior, appeals courts

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012


(San Francisco Chronicle) Gov. Jerry Brown appointed a former State Bar leader to a judgeship in Contra Costa County on Friday. He also nominated a former San Francisco school board attorney as the first Latino on the state appeals court in San Jose, and chose a Los Angeles prosecutor as California's first Muslim judge.

The appointees are:

– Judy Johnson, 63, of Rodeo to the Contra Costa County Superior Court. Johnson was the State Bar's executive director from 2000 to 2011 and its chief trial counsel from 1994 to 2000 after 17 years as a prosecutor in San Francisco.

– Miguel Marquez, 45, of San Jose to the Sixth District Court of Appeal in San Jose. Marquez has been county counsel for Santa Clara County since 2009 and previously served as general counsel for the San Francisco Unified School District and a deputy city attorney in San Francisco.



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New generation are challenging some African American in Congress

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012


( For two decades, Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson has been an outspoken voice for Democrats in her signature bright blazer and multicolored scarf.

Now the first black woman to represent North Texas in Congress faces serious opposition in the May 29th, 2012 primary election, and the effort to unseat her is just one of several challenges against some of the longest-serving black members of Congress.

Eva Jones, owner of a barbeque restaurant who was chairwoman of Johnson's first House campaign in 1992 said, "I will always be ever more grateful for the trails that she has blazed. But there has come a time where we need new leadership, like in any business, like with anything."

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Protest erupts after all-white jury acquits ex-Houston cop over teen’s beating

Monday, May 21st, 2012

(MSNBC) The day after an all-white jury acquitted a former Houston police officer for his role in the beating of a 15-year-old African American burglary suspect, community activists rallied a crowd of at least 200 people on the courthouse steps to protest.


Andrew Blomberg was acquitted by a jury in Houston on Wednesday in the alleged beating and stomping of Chad Holley two years ago.

The verdict was criticized by the Houston Police Department on Thursday.

"I understand the jury's verdict, I just have to respectfully disagree," Police Chief Charles McClelland said, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Protesters carrying signs with slogans like, "No justice, no peace. Stop the racist police," and "Justice for Trayvon Martin" circled in front of the Harris County Courthouse and a phalanx of media cameras.

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