Newswire : Diverse rural farmer and community groups praise bipartisan Senate Agriculture Committee Farm Bill

Two national organizations representing thousands of rural farmers and communities today commended the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 released by the Senate Agriculture Committee on Friday. The Rural Coalition and National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) applaud the Committee, Chairman Pat Roberts, and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow for the bipartisan bill. While the bill stops short of fundamental changes to provide a fair price to all producers, it contains important provisions to address the dairy crisis; protects and expands equity for tribal, historically underserved, veteran, and beginning farmers and ranchers; and preserves the integrity of nutrition programs. The bill also makes two critical updates to farm credit programs to benefit family farmers.

At a moment when dairy farmers are receiving prices as low as 30 percent below the cost of production, the Senate farm bill takes an important first step towards improving those prices for by establishing a Class 1 Fluid Milk donation program. The program will provide $5 billion per year to reimburse dairy farmers who make donations to non-profit feeding programs.

Wisconsin dairy farmer and NFFC board president Jim Goodman noted, “The inclusion of a fluid milk donation program in the Senate farm bill will help two groups of people in need: dairy farmers who have been trying to survive on milk prices that are well below cost of production and people who cannot afford to put food on the table. Many people struggling with food insecurity are working, many are children – and some are farmers themselves. The dairy donation program will provide significant relief to all of these populations.”

Two credit provisions in the Senate bill will bring further relief to farmers facing today’s credit crisis. The provisions offer new favorable loan servicing options to help farm families preserve farmland and avoid foreclosure, as well as expanding eligibility for emergency loans following a catastrophe such as a drought or flood.

“NFFC and Rural Coalition have fought for equitable farm credit since our work on the 1987 Agricultural Credit Act, which slowed the 1980s farm crisis,” said Savonala Horne, Executive Director of the North Carolina Association of Black Farmers Land Loss Prevention Project, a board member of both organizations. “These critical but common sense changes to the law will keep more family farmers on the land through the challenges rural America is again facing today.”

The bill also strengthens equity for tribal farmers and food systems and invests in programs supporting the nation’s historically underserved, veteran and young farmers and ranchers. It is notable for measures to strengthen and fund programs to assist small farmers and grow local food and farm systems. Among these is the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (OASDVFR), which has struggled for funding since it was first authorized in 1990, and since military veteran farmers and ranchers were added in 2014. The Senate bill links OASDVFR with the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program and strengthens and provides permanent authority to both programs. Under the new bill, the programs would equally share permanent direct funding of $50 million.

“We have been working hard for decades to bring equity to the farm bill in terms of treatment for Black farmers and other farmers of color to build cooperatives and to uplift low-wealth communities. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 addresses continuing inequities and supports the quality hands-on assistance needed to make sure the 2018 farm bill reaches everyone,” said Rural Coalition Chairperson John Zippert, based in rural Alabama.

Rural Coalition and NFFC further commend Senators Roberts and Stabenow for a farm bill package that, unlike its counterpart in the House of Representatives, takes a strong bipartisan stance on ensuring food access for all communities, by retaining funding and authority for the crucial Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It also increases support for the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives program and related initiative to strengthen local food systems.

For additional commentary and analysis on the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, visit www.nffc.net and https://www.ruralco.org/.

The Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural is an alliance of farmers, farmworkers, indigenous, migrant, and working people from the United States, Mexico, Canada, and beyond working together toward a new society that values unity, hope, people, and land.

NFFC unites and strengthens the voices and actions of its diverse grassroots member organizations in 30 states to demand viable livelihoods for family farmers, safe and healthy food for everyone, and economically and environmentally sound rural communities.

Greene County Deltas observe World Aids Day; Commission Chairperson signs Proclamation

 

Observing the signing of the World Aids Day Proclamation for Greene County by Commission Chairperson Tennyson Smith are L to R seated: Nancy Cole and Isaac Atkins. Standing L to R: Johnni Strode Morning, Andrea Perry, Alfretta Crawford and Carol P. Zippert.

The Greene County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., in conjunction with the Greene County Commission, observed World Aids Day in Greene County, December 1, 2018. In its meeting held Monday, November 26, 2018, the Commission approved the proposed proclamation and proclaimed Dec. 1 as World Aids Day. The official signing was held Friday, November 30, 2018. World Aids Day began 30 years ago on December 1, 1988, when the world health ministers called for a spirit of social tolerance and greater awareness of HIV Internationally. World Aids Day continues to be an important way to celebrate the extraordinary advances we have made in the battle against HIV and to remind Greene County residents and people everywhere that HIV has not gone away. In keeping with the 2018 World Aids Day theme Know Your Status members of the Greene County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. encourage those living with HIV to ensure that they are linked to quality care and prevention services.

Newswire:  Global Citizens Fest honors Mandela legacy amidst huge crowd of Beyonce fans

Dec. 3, 2018 (GIN) – A massive turnout of die-hard fans of superstars Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z filled every available square inch of the Johannesburg FNB stadium for the closing night of the Global Citizen Festival organized to honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela and raise $1 billion to address poverty, food security, global health and other social issues. Beyonce and Jay-Z were the headline act for the standing room only closing affair that featured a 90 minute performance with the popular superstars that included a rendition of her 2008 single “Halo” accompanied by a South African choir. Those watching the show online, which also included appearances by Oprah Winfrey, Usher, Trevor Noah and Naomi Campbell, were only allowed to see 25 minutes of the two hour-plus set which caused bitter complaints across social media. Among the highlights of the free-ticketed event was a promise by billionaire Patrice Motsepe to give $250 million to support farming and agriculture in South Africa. Other major partners include Johnson & Johnson, Cisco, Nedbank, Vodacom, Big Concerts, House of Mandela, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Goalkeepers, Eldridge Industries, and Associate Partner, HP. “Global Citizens have generated commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $37.9 billion that are set to affect the lives of more than 2.25 billion people. This year alone Global Citizens have secured 29 commitments totaling over $2.9 billion that are set to affect the lives of more than 501 million people by 2030,” organizers reported. As the exhausted fans left the stadium, however, joy turned to horror as the perimeter of the area was at a standstill with major traffic congestion, lack of public transportation and an absence of security, allowing robberies, violence and complete disorder to flourish. Much of this was documented on social media. Concert-goer and witness Catherine Constantinides, director of the Miss Earth SA program, said “it was more than mugging and taking phones”. “You prayed with your life not to be stabbed, punched or brutally attacked, all of which I witnessed,” she wrote on her verified Twitter account. The charity event also left a worrying question to be answered. Who would administer the giant sums promised – the government or the donors? An answer to that question should be forthcoming.

Newswire:  U.S. Senate’s only Black Republican blocks Tom Farr from becoming a Federal judge

 By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Correspondent

Senator Tim Scott

On November 29, the U.S. Senate’s only African American Republican Senator, Tim Scott, announced he would oppose the nomination of Thomas Farr to a lifetime appointment to the federal bench. Scott’s blockbuster decision ended the chance of Farr’s nomination being confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Scott cited, “lingering concerns” on “issues that could affect [Farr’s] decision-making process as a federal judge.” “This week, a Department of Justice memo written under President George H.W. Bush was released that shed new light on Mr. Farr’s activities. This, in turn, created more concerns. Weighing these important factors, this afternoon I concluded that I could not support Mr. Farr’s nomination,” said Scott. The decision marked the second time Scott has blocked a Trump nominee to the federal bench. “Thomas Farr was the most polarizing, dangerous and biased nominee that we have seen put forth by President Trump. We applaud Senator Tim Scott for exercising independence in the examination of Farr’s disturbing record; a record influenced by the modern white supremacist machine that former North Carolina senator Jesse Helms pioneered, and one that demonstrated bias and a commitment to defending voter suppression efforts at every turn,” stated Kristen Clarke, President of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “Farr was the primary coordinator of the 1984 ‘ballot security’ program conducted by the 1984 Helms for Senate Committee. He coordinated several ‘ballot security’ activities in 1984, including a postcard mailing to voters in predominantly black precincts which was designed to serve as a basis to challenge voters on election day. Footnote 7, DOJ Memo, June 19, 1991. This revelation is singularly disqualifying,” wrote NAACP President Derrick Johnson. Sen. Scott’s decision was a dramatic one. A day before on November 28, he was nowhere to be found shortly before a vote to continue debate on the Farr nomination. Other Senators, as well as reporters, searched for Scott near the Senate floor before that procedural vote. Many assumed his support of moving the debate to a final vote meant he would support Farr’s nomination. That assumption was incorrect. Sen. Scott was joined by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in wondering out loud about whether Farr should be on the federal bench. But Sen. Scott was the only one to announce he would vote against Farr on the floor.

Newswire:  Indictments and trials finally come in police shootings of Blacks, minorities

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent @StacyBrownMedia

Amber Geiger and Botham Jean

Recent indictments and convictions suggest a swinging pendulum, and at least some cracks in the “Blue Wall” that all too often conspires to hide details and protect officers guilty of unjust shootings of African Americans and others. Prosecutors in Chicago have won an indictment, alleging that three Windy City police officers conspired to protect a fellow officer after he fatally shot a Black teenager, Laquand McDonald, in 2014. The officers did so in spite of available videotaped evidence of the shooting, prosecutors said. McDonald, who was 17, was armed with a knife when he was shot 16 times. In Dallas, Texas, an officer was indicted last week on murder charges, nearly three months after she shot and killed an unarmed Black man whose apartment she said she entered by mistake, believing it to be her own. Also, in the last week, four Missouri police officers were indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with the assault of a fellow officer who was working undercover. Officers Dustin Boone, Randy Hays and Christopher Myers of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, are accused of beating the undercover officer with a riot baton and tampering with witnesses to cover up the incident. Myers was also charged with destroying evidence and Officer Bailey Colletta was indicted on a charge of providing false statements to a federal grand jury in connection with the incident. According to CNN, the indictment details text messages between Myers and Boone in which they talk about how much fun it will be to beat “the hell out of these s**theads once the sun goes down and no one can tell us” apart. In Chicago, prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes said in her opening statement that defendants David March, Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney offered accounts of the deadly incident that conflicted with the video evidence. The defendants have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice. The bench trial is expected to run into next week, according to Reuters. Earlier, a jury found former Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is white, guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting of McDonald. What all of trials instances shares in common beyond the fact that officers are involved, and face prosecution, is that the perpetrators were white officers and the victims are all black males, and with the exception of McDonald, were unarmed when they were injured or killed. “For all the sacrifices and headaches of covering the murder trial of Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke, it was worth it. Finally seeing a police officer led out of the courtroom left me speechless,” said Erick Johnson, who covered that trial for the Chicago Crusader. “Dressed in a black suit, he looked as if he was going to his own funeral. Only I, and a handful of Black clergy and activists in the courtroom were not mourning,” Johnson said, noting that “Silently, we were rejoicing.” The conviction, which led to Van Dyke being marched out of the court in handcuffs, was a day many Blacks in Chicago never thought they would see, said Johnson, who sat in the front row reserved for media and just yards away from Van Dyke. “A white police officer found guilty of killing Laquan McDonald, a Black teenager, and locked up immediately after his historic conviction. For Black Chicago, it was the trial of the century, a moment they had been waiting for a long time,” he said. “For this Black journalist, it was history unfolding before my very eyes. It was a story that changed Chicago forever and the climatic ending was about to take place in courtroom 500.” Meanwhile in Dallas, Amber Guyger told fellow officers that she opened fire when Botham Jean appeared in the darkness. Jean, a 26-year-old native of the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia, attended college in Arkansas and had been working in Dallas for accounting and consulting firm PwC. Jean’s relatives joined the district attorney for the announcement of murder charges against the disgraced officer. “I truly believe that she inflicted tremendous evil on my son,” Jean’s mother, Allison said after the announcement of the charges, according to ABC News. “He didn’t deserve it. He was seated in his own apartment.” Guyger was arrested on a manslaughter charge three days after the Sept. 6 shooting, prompting criticism that the original charge was too lenient. But Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said at the time that the grand jury could upgrade the charge, which it did last week. “When you look at the facts of this case, we thought that it was murder all along,” Johnson said. After finishing her shift, Guyger told investigators, she returned home in uniform and parked on the fourth floor of her apartment complex’s garage, rather than the third floor, where her unit was located, according to an affidavit prepared by the Texas Rangers. She said she got to what she thought was her apartment — Jean’s was directly above hers — and found the door ajar. She opened it to find a figure standing in the darkness. She said she pulled her gun and fired twice after the person ignored her commands. “The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) for decades has chronicled racially-motivated police murders and brutality against Black America,” said NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. “The recent indictments and sentencing of perpetrator police officers across the nation is long overdue. The NNPA will continue to demand an end to these systematic deadly actions and policies,” Chavis said. An analysis by the Associated Press also marked the latest developments in the national conversation on issues of law enforcement and race. A slew of law enforcement officers have faced charges for the shooting deaths of Black people. They include Guyger, Van Dyke, Stockley, and Robert Bates, a white Tulsa, Oklahoma, volunteer sheriff’s deputy who was sentenced in 2016 to four years in prison for second-degree manslaughter in the April 2015 death of Eric Harris, 44, who was unarmed and restrained.

Newswire:  Two Black men elected to top leadership positions in Congress

By Frederick H. Lowe, BlackmansStreet.Today

 

James Clyburn and Hakeem Jeffries

For the first time ever, two African Americans will hold top leadership positions at the same time in Congress, U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, recently announced. U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, was elected chair of the Democratic Caucus, and Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, was elected Majority Whip, the third most-powerful party member. Clyburn also is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Rep. Jeffries defeated Rep. Barbara Lee for this position by a vote of 123-113, which surprised some Congressional observers. Fellow California Rep. Jackie Speier indicated she believed that ageism and sexism played a role in Barbara Lee’s defeat. Saying members should have the “courage” to vote in a public way in House leadership races. Currently, the votes are taken by secret ballot. “There’s this game that some of my colleagues play where they say one thing to one member and then say something else to another member,” Speier said. Many viewed the defeat of Lee over Jeffries as a triumph of monied interests over progressive values. Though Tom Watson, founder of CauseWired, pointed out on Twitter that Jeffries voting record is just as progressive as Lee’s. In a gracious statement, Congresswoman Lee said, “I want to congratulate Congressman Hakeem Jeffries on a hard-fought race. I look forward to working with him to advance a progressive, inclusive agenda for the American people. While I didn’t win today, I hope my candidacy will inspire other women, and women of color in particular, to run for elected office and seek leadership positions. Our Caucus can only succeed when every voice is represented in leadership. “When the Congressional Black Caucus was founded in 1971, I know our 13 founding members dreamed of the day we would have more than one member in our ranks competing for top leadership positions in Congress. Today is that day, and I know they are proud,” Richmond said. The majority whip is a member of the dominant political party whose job is to keep voting members in line with the party’s ideology and goals. The majority whip ensures attendance at all important votes and legislative sessions. The 78-year-old Clyburn, who represents South Carolina’s 6th District, has been a member of Congress since 1993. Clyburn, who also was majority whip from 2007 to 2011, has been criticized for accepting millions of dollars from the pharmaceutical industry over the past decade. Clyburn has received more money from drug maker PACs over the past decade than any other member of Congress—more than $1.09 million. During the 2018 election cycle, Clyburn received at least $170,000. In 2013, he was the featured speaker at a conference hosted by PhRMA, the industry’s leading trade group, according to Kaiser Health News. The conference was held at the James E. Clyburn Research Center at the Medical University of South Carolina, a hub of biopharmaceutical research. Kaiser Health News reported that voters complained about soaring prescription drug prices during the 2018 election campaign, and Democrats claimed they would do something about them in the next Congress. Nancy Pelosi, the incoming House Majority Leader, has received nearly $193,000 from drug maker PACs (political action committees). And Pelosi’s number two, U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, has accepted $1.02 million from drug maker PACs since 2007. Hoyer received $128,000 from drug maker PACS during the recent election cycle. Prescription drug expenditures are nearly 20 percent of health care costs, and prescription spending is growing faster than any other part of the health care dollar. Spending on prescription drugs increased 13.1 percent in 2014—the largest annual increase since 2003. This uptick was largely driven by an unprecedented 30.9 percent increase in spending on specialty medications. In 2015, spending rose another 12.2 percent, according to theCampaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing. The chair of the Democratic Caucus makes sure party members achieve a consensus and achieve their goals. The 48-year-old Jefferies has been a member of Congress since 2013. He represents the 8th Congressional District, which includes Brooklyn and Queens, New York.

Newswire :  Rep. Karen Bass of California will lead the largest Congressional Black Caucus in history

 By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor

 

 Representative Karen Bass (D-CA)

On November 27 during a long day of selecting who will lead Democrats in the for U.S. House for the next two years, members of the Congressional Black Caucus selected California Congresswoman Karen Bass to be the next Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. For the next two years, the CBC will be 55 members, the largest in history. Bass told NNPA after the vote that she wants to elevate individual members of the Caucus during her tenure. “One of my most significant goals I believe is to try to elevate the unbelievable accomplishments of individual members of the Congressional Black Caucus that I believe have not really received the attention and the acknowledgement that they deserve — that’s my agenda,” Bass told NNPA. The CBC will have more power within the Democratic Caucus in the U.S. House with five full chairmanships of top committees and also two members of the CBC, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), in leadership positions. Bass will be the 26th chair of the CBC, and the eighth woman to hold the position. Bass, 65, is a popular member of the CBC. She once served as the 67th Speaker of the California Assembly from 2008–2010 and is known for being tough and savvy. “From her days in the California General Assembly where she became the first African-American woman in U.S. history to lead a state legislative body, to her work in Congress to address both domestic and international issues affecting people of African descent, Congresswoman Bass has demonstrated tried and true leadership,” said outgoing CBC Chair Cedric Richmond. “From fighting for criminal justice reform and child welfare to affordable health care and a stronger economy for all, Karen has devoted her life to serving California families and African-American communities across the country. Karen is a proven leader who never backs down and always stands up for the values of inclusion and opportunity for all,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez in a statement after Bass was elected. Also elected were: Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH), 1st Vice Chair; Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), 2nd Vice Chair; Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA), Secretary; Congressman Donald McEachin (D-VA), Whip; and Congressman-elect Steven Horsford (D-NV), Parliamentarian.

Commission commits $126,000 for new equipment; Chairman makes committee assignments

County personnel view demonstration model of excavator equipment approved by Commission.

The Greene County Commission met in a specially called meeting, Monday, November 26, 2018 to handle some business matters that were not dealt with at the re-organizational meeting the prior week. The commissioners approved a request by County Engineer, Willie Branch, to purchase a mini excavator with mulcher attachment at a cost of approximately $126,000. According to Mr. Branch, this will replace the county’s Boom Mower. Branch indicated that he expects the equipment to arrive by the first of the year. Commission Chairperson, Tennyson Smith, issued committee assignments for each commissioner: Commissioner Lester Brown will chair the Education Committee; Commissioner Corey Cockrell will chair the Highway/Solid Waste Committee; Commissioner Roshanda Summerville will chair the Personnel Committee; Commissioner Allen Turner, Jr. will chair the Industry and Public Health Committee; and Commissioner Smith will chair the Finance/Public Safety Committee. In other business the Commission acted on the following: * Approved letter of support for Greene County Industrial Authority. * Approved Proclamation for World Aids Day, Dec. 1, 2018 for the Greene County * Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. * Approved replacement of HVAC unit at Activity Center ( Extension offices). * Approved ABC License for Tobacco Permit for Dollar General store in Clinton, AL. * Approved Dec. 31, 2018 as an additional county holiday for this year. * Approved 2019 county holiday schedule. * Approved Ratification of Chairman’s actions regarding resolution for Alabama Workers’ Compensation Self Insurers Fund. * Approved following employee travel request: Licensing Clerk to attend Licensing Conference in Prattville, Jan.16-17, 2019; CFO to attend Annual Governmental & Accounting Forum, Dec. 6-7, 2018 in Hoover, AL; CFO to attend Continuing Education in Bessemer, Dec. 11-12, 2018; H.R. Personnel to attend Legislative Conference, Dec. 4-6, 2018 in Montgomery; Board of Registrars to attend Registrar’s Conference Nov. 16 in Montgomery. The meeting was officially adjourned.

Bingo gaming distributes $367,605 for month of October

 

Shown above: Boligee Councilperson Ernestine Wade; County CFO Paula Bird; Forkland Clerk Kinya Turner; Bingo Clerk Minnie Byrd; Greene County Health System CEO Dr. Marcia Pugh; Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison; Mayor of Union James Gaines; Greene County Superintendent Dr. James Carter, Sr., Representing the City of Eutaw Ruth Thomas and Bingo Clerk Emma Jackson

On Friday, November 16, 2018, Greene County Sheriff Department reported a total distribution of $367,605 for the month of October from the five licensed gaming operations in the county. The recipients of the monthly distributions from bingo gaming designated by Sheriff Benison in his Bingo Rules and Regulations include the Greene County Commission, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System). The following assessments are for the month of September 2018. Greenetrack, Inc. gave a total of $60,000 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500. Green Charity (Center for Rural Family Development) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, the Greene County Health System, $7,500.

Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, Greene County Health System, $7,500. River’s Edge (NNL – Next Level Leaders and TCCTP – Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $73,275 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, and the Greene County Health System, $13,275. Palace (Tommy Summerville Police Support League) gave a total of $99,330 to the following: Greene County Commission, $4,620; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $36,960; City of Eutaw, $27,720; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $4,620; Greene County Board of Education, $4,620 and the Greene County Health System, $11,550.

Greene County Deltas provide Thanksgiving dinner for local family

On Tuesday, November 20, 2018, the Greene County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. provided a Thanksgiving dinner for the family of Alecia Jackson shown receiving the dinner with her grandchildren Armani Price 5 and Amavrion Price, 8. Mrs. Loydleetta Wabbington, who serves as Co-Chairperson of the Courtesy Committee of the DST Greene County Chapter presented the dinner. Isaac Atkins is DST Greene County Alumnae Chapter President. Mrs. Jackson would like to thank the chapter for providing Thanksgiving dinner.

Newswire :  East Africans score victory for Minneapolis’ Amazon warehouse packing workers

 

Somali women protest Amazon

Nov. 26, 2018 (GIN) – Somali women packers for the giant Amazon distribution center in Minneapolis are fired up and refusing to speed up the production line, becoming the first known group to defy Amazon management and bring them to the bargaining table. “Nobody would assume a Muslim worker with limited language skills in the middle of Minnesota could be a leader in a viable fight against one of the biggest employers in the world and bring them to the table,” said Abdirahman Muse, executive director of Awood, the Somali word for “power.” But when a worker lost her job, unable to meet crushing demands to pack more and faster when she had just finished 18 days of fasting over Ramadan, frustration was shared throughout the plant. “The new managers are like military — they don’t give you respect,” said Amazon worker Safia Ahmed Ibrahim who once worked for the U.S. and U.N. aid groups before fleeing from Somalia to a refugee camp in Ethiopia. “I worked hard and I was employee of the month,” she said with pride. But after returning from breast cancer treatment, a new manager scolded her for working slowly, seeing her only as a worker who, on one particular day, was slow. Hibaq Mohamed said Amazon let her take paid breaks to pray, as required by state law, but her managers made her keep up with the quota. Sixty percent of Amazon’s 3,000 workers in the region are East African, Awood estimates, but only one manager speaks Somali. Amazon disputes that number, saying there are a lot fewer East Africans, and four area managers who speak Somali. Amazon has now agreed to require a general manager and a Somali-speaking manager to agree on any firings related to productivity, to respond to individual complaints within five days and meet with workers quarterly, according to the New York Times. But a group of about 40 workers say this isn’t enough. Their main concern — the pace at which they are expected to work — from 160 items an hour to 230 – wasn’t addressed. They voted to stage a large protest and walkout on Dec. 14, in the middle of the holiday season. “We are not asking them to cater to East African workers,” said Awood director Muse. “We are just asking them to treat workers humanely.” A petition to Amazon to restore Safio Barrow’s job can be found on www.awoodcenter.org