Annual Industry Appreciation luncheon provides information on workforce training and the 2020 Census

Kinya Isaac standing speaking about Census 2020 and Scarlet Pearce, Demoplis Career Center seated both spoke at GCIDA Annual Business and Industry Appreciation Luncheon.

The Greene County Industrial Development Authority (GCIDA) held its Annual Business and Industry Appreciation luncheon, last Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at Ruby’s Restaurant in Eutaw.
Phillis Belcher, GCIDA Executive Director said, “We hold this annual event to honor our existing industries and major employers in Greene County. The GCIDA sees its mission as serving existing business to improve their operations and helping to attract and develop new industries and businesses to start operations in our area.”
The crowd of about 40 people heard from two valuable luncheon speakers who brought relevant information on topics of interest to business and community leaders.Scarlet Pearce of the Demopolis Career Center, which is part of the national and state Department of Labor, spoke of opportunities provided by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the nation’s workforce training legislation.
“Employers can seeking on-the-job training support, workforce training positions, apprenticeship opportunities by contacting the Alabama Career Center. We are in Workforce Region 3, which covers much of the Alabama Black Belt area. We have a budget of $6 million dollars annually for workforce development initiatives,” said Pearce.
“People looking for work or education and training to upgrade their work skills should visit the Career Center at 1074 Bailey Drive in Demopolis, Alabama, to get information, advice and assistance in seeking employment,” said Pearce.
Kinya Isaac, regional representative for the 2020 U. S. Census in Greene, Sumter and Pickens counties, spoke about the upcoming U. S. Census to be held 0n April 1, 2020. “We need to be sure to count every single person in the Census. The population count by the Census will determine allocation of many Federal and state resources. The Census will also be used to reapportion voters in Congressional and Legislative Districts for the coming decade. Alabama could possibly loose one of its seven Congressional seats if all the people are not counted in this upcoming Census,” said Isaac.
Issac pointed out that sections of Greene County are shown on the Census map as having an under-count in the 2010 Census. “We need to be sure to count everyone, especially people who live in these areas for the 2020 Census. Any assistance that businesses and industries can provide would help Greene County overall,” said Isaac.
Danny Cooper, Chair of the GCIDA thanked people for attending the luncheon and encouraged them to seek assistance from the GCIDA when they needed help in starting or expanding their businesses. The GCIDA office is located on the Thomas Gilmore Courthouse Square, in a building across from City Hall. The phone number is 205-372-9769.

Newswire : Harriet movie features a model of courage for today

By Dr. Barbara Reynolds

Poster of Harriet movie


(TriceEdneyWire.com) – For a nation built on truth, abolitionist, freedom fighter, ex-slave Harriet Tubman should have the acclaim of a Paul Revere, or Patrick Henry whose courageous lines “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” guided the American Revolution.
Tubman, whose battle cry was to ‘’live free or die” and revolt, guided another revolution. It was to end slavery which changed the color, content and character of America today.
Finally, through the newly released epic movie Harriet, this revolutionary warrior,born into slavery in 1822 in Dorchester County, Md., has emerged from the back alley of history to take her rightful place as a larger than life action figure, a true American hero. Unlike the heroes spun from Marvel comic strips or the Terminator franchise, Harriet Tubman is not, fake, fantasy or make believe although her expansive accomplishments are more real than can
be imagined.
Don’t think you are going to see the serene, sedate elderly Harriet of our textbooks. This is the Harriet of her youth, jaunting up rocky cliffs, jumping off bridges and even shooting a White slave owner with her pistol.
Through the skillful talent of British-born actress, Cynthia Erivo, the film – to be released Nov. 1 – features Tubman not only as yesterday’s heroine, but as a model of courage for today. Risking certain death if captured, often with a pistol in her waistband, she escaped from bondage on Maryland’s Eastern shore and returned often in disguise to rescue more than 70 family and fellow slaves. She became a leader in the anti-slavery Underground Railroad, the women’s suffrage movement in her long standing struggle against systemic gender and racial inequality.
During the Civil War, she served as a nurse, scout and spy for the Union army and became the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war guiding the raid at Combahee Ferry, which liberated more than 700 slaves. Unfortunately her heroism did not guard her from racism as she was originally denied the pension benefits granted to White soldiers.
In heart-aching detail the movie does not sanitize the horror of slavery; nor does it gloss over the power of God in her life. Scenes of blood-soaked whips, scarred backs of enslaved men and women, screaming children torn from their families to be sold by Whites trading them as if they were dispensing sows from a pig pen – It’s all there. But there is another story that shines through, one of Black love, Black loyalty and a determination of the enslaved to live free or die and the eventual embrace of the long awaited freedom. It’s all there.
In the movie, we see Harriet after learning she is to be sold South, which rumors say is more brutal than the plantations on Maryland’s Eastern shore, leave her family and the love of her life, her husband John Tubman, traveling 100 miles alone to freedom in Philadelphia through the aid of the Underground Railroad.
Though the term railroad might prompt visions of nice cushy seats, this railroad Harriet traveled was a harsh pathway through snake-filled marshes, woods, and deep rivers. Often, the flight of this woman known to some as the SHEMOSES was made even more treacherous as armed posses with baying hounds chased her to collect the rewards for her capture. But they never caught her. She once boasted that her railroad never ran off track and she never lost a passenger.
In the movie she declared she had only the North Star and we see her on her knees looking up to the heavens in deep communication with the God she depended upon to shield her from her enemies.
My favorite scene is when the only choice for a band of freeing slaves was to either turn back or cross a treacherous river. While her family cowered, frozen on the riverbank for fear of following her and drowning, she lifted her pistol above her head wading in the deep water as she prayed aloud. Slowly the waters receded; as her feet touched dry land her family members jumped in and crossed over as well.
The two -hour epic directed by filmmaker Kasi Lemmons who also wrote and directed Eve’s Bayou, sends the audience away with an inspirational song, entitled, “Stand up”, co-written by Joshuah Campbell and the film’s leading lady Erivo.
The song sets just the right tone for Harriet enthusiasts to continue
celebrating Harriet. President Obama had selected her to become the first person of color to be represented on any of the nation’s currency, replacing Andrew Jackson on the new $20 bill. Not surprisingly in June 2019 the Trump administration has delayed the launch.
Nevertheless, in Maryland Harriet enthusiasts have other ways to celebrate her. Painted on the side wall of the Harriet Tubman Museum & Education Center in downtown Cambridge, Maryland—just a few miles from where Tubman grew up, is a 14’ X 28’ mural featuring Tubman offering an outstretched hand.
In March 2017, the Maryland Park Service and Maryland government opened the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park & Visitor Center in the heart of the Choptank River Region where Harriet grew up. It’s a 17-acre facility that has already been visited by nearly 200,000 guests from all 50 states and over 60 countries. In her honor the Service has also established the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Auburn, NY.
Tubman is the only U.S. woman to be honored by the Service with two
parks.

Newswire: Stephen Miller, White House adviser on immigration policy, sent racist and white supremacist emails, once served as communications director for Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions

By: Asawin Suebsaeng, White House Reporter for The Daily Beast


The Southern Poverty Law Center’s blog Hatewatch, recently exposed a trove of leaked emails showing how Stephen Miller spent years peddling vile white nationalist conspiracies and spreading xenophobic propaganda to justify violent immigration policy.
In these emails, Miller trafficked stories from white nationalist websites promoting violent conspiracy theories, including everything from eugenics to “white genocide.” He panicked about confederate monuments being taken down in the wake of Dylann Roof’s murderous rampage killing nine parishoners in the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. And he praised a racist immigration plan from 1924 that was backed by Adolf Hitler.
Stephen Miller is the mastermind of Donald Trump’s policy of family separation. As the architect of Donald Trump’s immigration policy, Miller built a system to keep people who do not look like him out of the U.S.
President Donald Trump’s senior policy adviser didn’t need any reassurances from his boss or his colleagues that his job was safe. Practically everyone in the building already knew it. “Stephen is not going anywhere,” a senior White House official said on Tuesday afternoon, shortly after the story started going viral. “The president has his back.”
Since then, six other senior Trump administration officials with knowledge of Miller’s standing with the president and top staffers have all individually told The Daily Beast that the story did not endanger Miller’s position, or change Trump’s favorable view of him. Two of them literally laughed at the mere suggestion that the Hatewatch exposé could have toppled or hobbled the top Trump adviser.
Katie McHugh, a disgraced former Breitbart staffer who provided Hatewatch with the trove of emails, told the blog that Miller had personally flagged for her in July 2015 an American Renaissance “article about crime statistics and race.” American Renaissance is a white-supremacist website beloved by fascists and alt-right adherents. McHugh added, “I responded in the affirmative because I had read it. Many of us [on the far-right] had read it. I remember being struck by the way he called it ‘AmRen,’ the nickname.”
The Hatewatch story—and a follow-up, published last week—may have depicted, in graphic detail, the depths of Miller’s racist intellectual pedigree. The leaked emails between Miller and the pro-Trump website Breitbart show just how aggressively he was using his former position—while working in the office of then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)—to promote the genre of extremist, far-right agitprop that Team Trump will sometimes officially disavow. Still, the extent of Miller’s views and xenophobia have been on full public display for years now. Just look at his record and trail of policymaking in the Trump era.
Since 2015, Miller has been instrumental in the honing of Trump’s anti-immigration fervor and racist rhetoric into actual policy. In the summer of that year, Trump’s presidential campaign put out a much-touted immigration policy “white paper,” which was released after receiving months of criticism that the campaign was all bluster and hadn’t detailed any real policies. As The Daily Beast previously reported, Miller was the principal author behind the white paper—even though he hadn’t formally joined the campaign yet.
In the years since, Miller has been a main driver, if not the architect, behind some of President Trump’s most brutal policies and proposals, including the “Muslim ban” and the separation of immigrant families. Miller routinely advocates for dramatically cutting legal immigration, as well as imposing lower and lower caps on the number of refugees Washington will allow into the country.
He pushed for a purge of top administration officials and fellow immigration hawks deemed insufficiently hardline. And toward the end of Trump’s first year in office, Miller successfully operated behind the scenes to kill a deal that the president had tentatively struck with Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill to shield DREAMers from deportation.
In his past, working as a communications staffer for Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, he was widely known as a prominent source, ideological fellow traveler, and—as some would joke—“assignment editor” for conservative media outlets opposing the Obama-era momentum toward bipartisan immigration reform. The Obama years, of course, closed out without the passage of a comprehensive immigration reform law, in large part due to politicians, operatives, and activists like Miller.
Several Democratic leaders, Senators and House members have called for Stephen Miller’s resignation or dismissal for his openly racist comments and problematic advice on immigration policies.
Progressive organizations in Alabama are planning to confront former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, now that he is running to reclaim his Senate seat, for employing Stephen Miller and recommending him for service in the Trump White House.

Newswire: ‘Big John’ Williams, Lowndes County Sheriff, shot to death by white police officer’s son, while responding to a community disturbance

Reports from: the Grio and AL.com


Sheriff ‘Big John’ Williams of Lowndes County, Alabama


A white teen is in custody following the death of popular Black Alabama sheriff, who was killed in the line of duty on Saturday night in Hayneville, Alabama, the county seat of Lowndes County, Alabama.
“He was a wonderful man,” ALEA Trooper Sgt. Steve Jarrett said during a Saturday night press conference. “Everybody in law enforcement knew him. If you ever met him, you’d never forget him. He worked 24/7 and was an outstanding sheriff.”
ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor also spoke to the media calling Williams, “a man you’ll ever find. He always had a kind word for everyone,” Wade said. “It’s just heartbreaking.”
Following a three-hour manhunt, 18-year-old William Chase Johnson returned to the scene to surrender to police. AL reports that Johnson is from Montgomery and the son of a law enforcement officer; he also has a criminal history that includes his August charge for being in possession of brass knuckles and being a minor in possession of alcohol. Those charges were later dismissed.
Law enforcement, court and even state officials mourned the loss of Williams, including Alabama Governor Kay Ivey who took to Twitter to express her condolences.
“I’m saddened to hear about Sheriff ‘Big John’ Williams, who was tragically killed this evening in the line of duty. Through his service to our country in the USMC and his many years working in law enforcement, he dedicated his life to keeping other people safe,’’ she wrote. “He will be remembered as a consummate professional and pillar of his community. I offer my prayers and deepest sympathies to his family and the men and women of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department.”
According to AL, Williams was also known as the officer that arrested Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H Rap Brown during his time as a leader in the Black Power Movement of the 1960s, in 2000. Al-Amin was later convicted in the fatal shooting death of an Atlanta police officer.

Zippert & Cockrell elected Board President and Vice President ; Greene County Schools – two on failing list; System earns C grade

Dr. Carol P. Zippert President and Kashaya Cockrell Vice President of the Greene County School Board

At its monthly meeting, November 18, 2019, the Greene County Board of Education conducted its annual re-organization and selected Dr. Carol P. Zippert as Board President. Ms. Kashaya Cockrell was selected as Vice President. Zippert was the only nominee for President. Kashaya Cockrell and William Morgan were nominated for Vice President, however, Morgan withdrew his name. The elected officers serve a one year term, but may be eligible for re-election. The superintendent serves as the official secretary for the school board. Board Attorney Hank Sanders presided over the election process.
In his report to the board, Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones presented the school system’s scores from the process mandated by the Alabama Accountability Act, originally passed by the state legislature in 2013.
Although the Greene County School system earned an overall C (70%) grade on the state’s report card, two schools still remain on the state’s “failing” school list, Robert Brown Middle School and Greene County High School.
Eutaw Primary School received a score of 85 which is two points above the previous year’s score. Greene High County School received a score of 68, which is nine points above the previous year’s score, and has demonstrated considerable improvement. Robert Brown Middle School received a score or 61, which is 5 points below the previous year’s score.
According to the Alabama Accountability Act (AAA), amended, Failing Schools include those whose test scores were in the bottom 6% in the previous year. Students are tested in reading and math in grades 3-8 and 10 with the Aspire Assessment and the Alabama Alternate Assessment. By state law today, the failing list is a competition, pitting public schools against one another to stay off of the bottom. That means, by law, there will always be dozens of “failing” public schools across Alabama.
Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones explained that there are several factors which are considered in evaluating a particular school. These include the state’s standardized assessment scores; student attendance; graduation rate and academic growth. He stated that while the AAA “failing” list is based solely on test scores, the report card grade considers other factors like academic growth, the percentage of students missing more than 15 days of school, and measures of college and career readiness among others.
See following chart:
Schools with a Grade 12
Academic Achievement – 20%; Academic Growth – 25%; Graduation Rate – 30%; College and Career Readiness – 10%; Progress in English Language Proficiency – 5%; Chronic Absenteeism – 10%;
Schools without a Grade 12
Academic Achievement – 40%; Academic Growth – 40%; Progress in English Language Proficiency – 5%; Chronic Absenteeism – 15%;
As a component of his report, Dr. Jones introduced a presentation by Todd Smith of Schneider Electric in which Smith gave an overview of a Capital Recovery & Reinvestment Program for Greene County Schools. The company has conducted a series of surveys to determine where, with particular innovative upgrades and repairs in the areas of energy uses, telecommunications and related capital improvements, the school system would save over $100,000 annually. The district-wide improvements would include replacing large HVAC equipment; upgrade all interior and exterior lights to LED technology; district-wide building automation system; smart metering to provide real time energy data; and centralized web-enabled irrigation system at the high school.
This was a first preliminary presentation by Schneider Electric and no decision was made by the board.
The board acted on the following personnel items recommended by the superintendent.
Approved the resignation of William Wilkins, Bus Driver, Department of Transportation, effective October 24, 2019.
Approved the retirement Regina Harmon, Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School, effective October 1, 2019.
Approved the Catastrophic Leave request of Josef Stancer, Band Director, Greene County High School, effective November 8, 2019.
•Approved the Supplemental pay raise, Ms. Vanessa Bryant, Football and Basketball Cheerleader Sponsor, Robert Brown Middle School.
The board approved the following administrative items recommended by the superintendent:
Field trip Eutaw Primary School to attend Tennessee Aquarium and I-Max Theatre in Chattanooga Tennessee, April 17, 2020.
Contract between Greene County Board and File Wave (USA) Software Support.
ADS Security contract for update camera’s at Bus Shop.
Contract between Robert Brown Middle School and West Central Officials Association of Livingston Alabama.
Contract between Greene County High School and West Central Officials Association of Livingston Alabama.

Sheriff Benison awards additional $72,000 in bingo funds to Greene County Health System

Sheriff Joe Benison symbolically presents envelop with check to John Zippert, Chair of the GCHS Board, on October 23, 2019, at the monthly bingo fund distribution ceremony, while actual funds were delivered to GCHS on November 12, 2019

Dr. Marcia Pugh, CEO and Administrator of the Greene County Health System reported that she received a check for $72,000 from Sheriff Joe Benison. This check represents an additional distribution of funds paid to the Sheriff by electronic bingo operators for the month of October 2019.
Sheriff Benison said, “ I know that the Greene County Health System is in dire need of additional funds to serve the health needs of Greene County residents. I am awarding these funds and looking into finding other resources from electronic bingo for health care.”
Dr. Pugh said, “We are grateful and thankful for these additional funds. We will use them immediately to update our computer network and systems, help to move the CT scanner from an outside mobile unit into the hospital imaging center and to pay some of our outstanding bills.”
The Sheriff of Greene County is designated as the regulator of electronic bingo in Alabama Constitutional Amendment 743, which governs the establishment, operation and regulation of electronic bingo in Greene County.
In October 2017, Sheriff Benison amended the bingo operating rules to provide $25 per bingo machine, per month, for payment to the Greene County Health System for support of health care for Greene County residents.
The assessment for the healthcare system is in addition to the $200 month license fee for each bingo machine operated by bingo charities and organizations in the county.
The Sheriff distributes these license fees to county agencies, including his own bingo operations office, the Board of Education, municipalities and the GCHS for healthcare. Since November 2017, the GCHS has received $45,000 per month toward general operating support, which has helped to cover operating deficits and allow the hospital, nursing home and affiliated services to remain open and operating to serve the people of Greene County.
“We have recently received additional funds and donations from churches and community organizations to help improve our facilities and supplies at the hospital, nursing home and physicians clinic. These additional funds from bingo will help us to continue to upgrade and improve our healthcare services,” said Dr. Pugh.

Newswire: ‘Fishrot files’ reveal costly web of bribes from Iceland to Namibia

Namibian fish processing

Nov. 18, 2019 (GIN) – The stench of fish rot is wafting over Namibia. It’s taken down two Namibian ministers and leaves an Icelandic fisheries minister in the hot seat.
“A coterie of well-heeled vampires is sucking our fishing sector dry!” protested the local Namibian newspaper as news of the corrupt trading of valuable fishing quotas came to light.
Corruption in Namibia’s fishing industry is bleeding this income spinner nearly dry. Ever greater amounts of loot are being diverted into private hands and in the current case, as much as $500 million ($34 million U.S.) in kickbacks was described as the tip of an iceberg.
As global fish stocks decline, Africa’s coastal waters are becoming more and more sought after by international trawler fleets. Namibia’s resource-rich fisheries are particularly prized.
An investigation into the so-called Fishrot Files – the under-the-table sale of fishing rights between 2011 and 2018 – was launched by Wikileaks which obtained some 30,000 internal documents from a whistleblower within SAMHERJI, a multinational fishing company based in Iceland. The leaked records exposed corrupt schemes by the company to gain access to Namibia’s rich fishing grounds off the African country’s shores.
The captured e-mails, internal reports, spreadsheets, presentations and photos exposed how the company spent millions of dollars in pay-offs to senior Namibian officials and politicians in order to ensure growing and continued access to the country’s resources.
Also exposed were lofty promises by SAMHERJI to build infrastructure in Namibia and create jobs. On the contrary, the company used its international corporate structure to transfer proceeds from the operations straight out of the country.
Meanwhile, to add fish oil to the fire, fishing quotas worth N$150 million ($10 million US) donated by Namibia to the Angolan government were allegedly hijacked by Namibian politicians and their cronies in both countries who resold the quotas to international fishing companies at market rates.
If the national interest is to be served, a major overhaul of the regulatory process in the fishing industry should be a matter of urgency, read one editorial.
And because so much of the apparent thefts occurred in state-owned enterprises, the government was urged to immediately scrap the so-called Namibianization program in fisheries. “It is nothing more than a ruse perpetuated under the guise of black economic empowerment,” critics wrote in The Namibian.
“We trust that politicians, many of who are themselves beneficiaries of this rigged system, will act in the best interest of the most needy Namibians and change the industry regulations for the better.”
A second tranche of documents could be released in the next 2-3 weeks when Al-Jazeera and other media partners publish their findings.

Newswire: Housing discrimination complaints reach a 24-year high as HUD rolls back fair housing rules

By Charlene Crowell

U.S. housing complaints


(TriceEdneyWire.com) – As a candidate, President Donald Trump promised if elected that deregulation of the federal government would be an administration priority. Soon after taking the oath of office, he issued an executive order requiring that all departments and agencies to eliminate two existing regulations for every one new regulation proposed. In some cases, rules that were adopted prior to his term office but had not yet taken effect were either suspended or delayed.
For example, the long-awaited payday rule at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was one important consumer protection that was delayed. Similarly, at the Department of Education, two rules providing protections for student loans were also delayed. More recently, this column shared how Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson claimed that regulation was the reason for homelessness, not affordable housing.
Now new research by the National Fair Housing Alliance finds that as fair lending laws have not been aggressively enforced, a corresponding rise in hate crimes and fair housing complaints have emerged.
Defending Against Unprecedented Attacks on Fair Housing: 2019 Fair Housing Trends Report, recently released by the DC-based National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), tallied 31,202 discriminatory housing complaints filed in just one year – 2018. Moreover, this data point is the highest number ever reported since the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) began collecting data 24 years ago. America’s hate crimes jumped 14.7% last year as well.
Even when it comes to enforcing and defending legal breaches, NFHA’s report documents how few government offices are upholding laws. Some 75% of last year’s fair housing complaints were pursued by private, nonprofit organizations across the country. Only 25% of such cases were the result of combined government actions by state, local and federal agencies.
“All the tools and resources we have been afforded by the passage of our Fair Housing Act and fair lending laws are either under attack or being gutted,” noted Lisa Rice, President and CEO of NFHA. “[W]e must concern ourselves with policies pushed by our federal, state, and local governments that are steeped in hatred and designed to inflict pain.”
Instead of strengthening federal fair housing guarantees, HUD is a prime example of how regulations are trying to reverse decades of progress. One particular HUD rule, disparate impact, is at severe risk. This long-standing legal tool has helped root out discriminatory practices and policies in both housing and lending. In 2013 and under the Obama Administration, HUD set up safeguards that assured consumers could pursue related claims while businesses were protected against claims without merit.
With disparate impact, both community banks and FDIC-insured institutions have achieved net growth profits. The rule has proven to create lending that is fairer and profits that investors desire.
Even a 2015 landmark fair housing case that made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court upheld disparate impact as a cognizable claim under the Fair Housing Act. In Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., the nation’s highest court found the disparate impact rule to be an important fair housing tool to move towards a more integrated society.
So why would Secretary Carson try to roll back a rule that should be settled law?
In joint comments filed by the Center for Responsible Lending, Self-Help Credit Union, and Self-Help Federal Credit Union, the organizations advised Secretary Carson.
“Instead of creating barriers for claimants, HUD should honor its mission and work to ensure that African-American, Latino, and other communities harmed by housing and lending discrimination have every tool to stop it so that all Americans have an opportunity to thrive,” wrote the organizations.
For the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc., the Rainbow Push Coalition, and scores of other local, state and regional faith members, HUD was reminded of the immorality of its proposed rule.
“Everyday Americans are now struggling to keep and/or find homes they can afford,” wrote the clergy. “As housing prices rise faster than incomes, an increasing number of people grapple with challenges of how hard it is to keep their loved ones safe. When the additional and illegal burden of housing discrimination emerges, the lives of many people worsen.”
Here’s hoping that within government there are still public servants that support improving peoples’ lives.

Newswire: Elijah Cummings’ widow has announced that she will run to succeed him

by BlackmansStreet.Today


Maya Rockeymoore Cummings with Elijah Cummings


Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, widow of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, has announced that she is running to succeed him, adding to an expected crowded field of candidates.
The 48-year-old Rockeymoore Cummings announced her candidacy yesterday to serve out the remainder of her late husband’s term representing Maryland’s 7thCongressional District.
Mr. Cummings was chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which was playing a key role in the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Mr. Cummings was re-elected to office in 2018, winning 76.4 percent of the vote. Voters first elected him to office in 1996, when he succeeded former U.S. Rep. Kweisi Mfume who resigned from Congress to become national president of the NAACP.
Rockeymoore Cummings told MSNBC that she and her husband had discussed the possibility of her succeeding him as his health declined. Elijah Cummings died October 17, 2019.
Rockeymoore Cummings, who resigned as chair of Maryland Democratic Party to run for her husband’s old seat, will possibly face as many as six other candidates in the primary. A date for the primary has not been scheduled.
Rockeymoore Cummings also faces a serious health issue. She told the Baltimore Sun that she will undergo on Friday a preventive double mastectomy because breast cancer has claimed the lives of too many of the women in her family.

Newswire : Alabama state school board member Ella Bell has died

By Trisha Powell Crain | tcrain@al.com

Ella Bell


Alabama state school board member Ella Bell died Sunday, November 3, after an illness, a state board of education official confirmed.
“I’ll be in prayer for the family of State Board of Education member, Ella Bell,” Gov. Kay Ivey said. “We shared a passion for the children of our state. She was an ardent champion of her district and will be missed. May the Lord be with her family and friends during this time.”
Felicia Lucky, President of the Black Belt Community Foundation says,”We mourn the loss of Ella Bell. She was a tireless warrior and advocate for children and the education they deserve during her many years of service on the Alabama Board of Education. Representing District 5, she became a champion of the Alabama Black Belt.
“For many years, Ms. Bell provided invaluable service and leadership in her role as a member of the BBCF Board of Directors. We are deeply grateful for all her contributions and we will m iss her wit, pluck and tireless dedication to the cause of fair and equitable accdess to quality education, especially for those in the Alabama Black Belt.”
The Black Belt Community Foundation family mourns the lBell represented District 5, which covers west and southwestern areas of Alabama, including most of the Black Belt counties. Bell, a Democrat, was first elected in 2000 and was serving her fifth term as a member of the Alabama Board of Education. The Montgomery Advertiser reported Bell ran for mayor of Montgomery in 2015. “The driving force behind my run for mayor is that I’ve lived here,” Bell said of her reason for running, the newspaper reported.
Alabama State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey confirmed Bell died Sunday morning. “The Alabama State Department of Education is shocked and saddened by the passing of an education icon,” Mackey said in a statement. “Mrs. Ella Bell dedicated her life to the betterment of the students of Alabama. Her tenacity and steadfast resolve in fighting for equity for all students will be her legacy always. Her presence on the Alabama State Board of Education will be sorely missed.”
Bell was known for her provocative statements at the board table, often pointing out racial disparities in student outcomes, unequal access to educational opportunities based on wealth, and asking for help and resources for students in her district.
Board member Stephanie Bell was first elected in 1995 and served with Ella Bell the entire time Bell was on the board. “Ella referred to us as “The Bell Sisters,” something I will always treasure. Heaven has gained an angel who sincerely cared about those she served,” Stephanie Bell said Sunday.
“I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to serve on the state Board of Education with my dear friend and sister in Christ, Ella Bell,” Stephanie Bell said. “Our conversations always included updates on family members before focusing on the latest concerns regarding children, parents, and educators in her beloved District 5. Ella was extremely close to her sister and immensely proud of her son, daughter, and grandson. She often shared special stories about her precious Mother.”
State school board member Dr. Cynthia McCarty, R-Jacksonville, said Ella Bell’s heart “was always for children and especially for those who had the least advantages. She stood up for those less able to take care and fight for themselves. I have a tremendous amount of respect for her, and I will miss her.”
Ella Bell was in attendance at the Oct. 10 state board meeting, where she dressed in red alongside advocates and fellow board members in celebration of Dyslexia Awareness month.
Bell completed her Master’s degree as Alabama State University in 1974 and her Bachelor’s degree at Tuskegee University in 1969. She completed coursework toward a doctorate in education leadership at the University of Alabama.