Newswire: San Francisco board open to reparations with $5 Million payouts

By The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Payments of $5 million to every eligible Black adult, the elimination of personal debt and tax burdens, guaranteed annual incomes of at least $97,000 for 250 years and homes in San Francisco for just $1 a family.
These were some of the more than 100 recommendations made by a city-appointed reparations committee tasked with the thorny question of how to atone for centuries of slavery and systemic racism. And the San Francisco Board of Supervisors hearing the report for the first time Tuesday voiced enthusiastic support for the ideas listed, with some saying money should not stop the city from doing the right thing.
Several supervisors said they were surprised to hear pushback from politically liberal San Franciscans apparently unaware that the legacy of slavery and racist policies continues to keep Black Americans on the bottom rungs of health, education and economic prosperity, and overrepresented in prisons and homeless populations.

“Those of my constituents who lost their minds about this proposal, it’s not something we’re doing or we would do for other people. It’s something we would do for our future, for everybody’s collective future,” said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, whose district includes the heavily LGBTQ Castro neighborhood.
The draft reparations plan, released in December, is unmatched nationwide in its specificity and breadth. The committee hasn’t done an analysis of the cost of the proposals, but critics have slammed the plan as financially and politically impossible. An estimate from Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, which leans conservative, has said it would cost each non-Black family in the city at least $600,000.
Tuesday’s unanimous expressions of support for reparations by the board do not mean all the recommendations will ultimately be adopted, as the body can vote to approve, reject or change any or all of them. A final committee report is due in June.
Some supervisors have said previously that the city can’t afford any major reparations payments right now given its deep deficit amid a tech industry downturn.
Tinisch Hollins, vice-chair of the African American Reparations Advisory Committee, alluded to those comments, and several people who lined up to speak reminded the board they would be watching closely what the supervisors do next.
“I don’t need to impress upon you the fact that we are setting a national precedent here in San Francisco,” Hollins said. “What we are asking for and what we’re demanding for is a real commitment to what we need to move things forward.”
The idea of paying compensation for slavery has gained traction across cities and universities. In 2020, California became the first state to form a reparations task force and is still struggling to put a price tag on what is owed.
The idea has not been taken up at the federal level.
In San Francisco, Black residents once made up more than 13% of the city’s population, but more than 50 years later, they account for less than 6% of the city’s residents — and 38% of its homeless population. The Fillmore District once thrived with Black-owned night clubs and shops until government redevelopment in the 1960s forced out residents.
Fewer than 50,000 Black people still live in the city, and it’s not clear how many would be eligible. Possible criteria include having lived in the city during certain time periods and descending from someone “incarcerated for the failed War on Drugs.”
Critics say the payouts make no sense in a state and city that never enslaved Black people. Opponents generally say taxpayers who were never slave owners should not have to pay money to people who were not enslaved.
Advocates say that view ignores a wealth of data and historical evidence showing that long after U.S. slavery officially ended in 1865, government policies and practices worked to imprison Black people at higher rates, deny access to home and business loans and restrict where they could work and live.
Justin Hansford, a professor at Howard University School of Law, says no municipal reparations plan will have enough money to right the wrongs of slavery, but he appreciates any attempts to “genuinely, legitimately, authentically” make things right. And that includes cash, he said.
“If you’re going to try to say you’re sorry, you have to speak in the language that people understand, and money is that language,” he said.
John Dennis, chair of the San Francisco Republican Party, does not support reparations although he says he’d support a serious conversation on the topic. He doesn’t consider the board’s discussion of $5 million payments to be one.
“This conversation we’re having in San Francisco is completely unserious. They just threw a number up, there’s no analysis,” Dennis said. “It seems ridiculous, and it also seems that this is the one city where it could possibly pass.”
The board created the 15-member reparations committee in late 2020, months after California Gov. Gavin Newsom approved a statewide task force amid national turmoil after a white Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, a Black man.
The committee continues to deliberate recommendations, including monetary compensation, and its report is due to the Legislature on July 1. At that point it will be up to lawmakers to draft and pass legislation.
The state panel made the controversial decision in March to limit reparations to descendants of Black people who were in the country in the 19th century. Some reparations advocates said that approach does take into account the harms that Black immigrants suffer.
Under San Francisco’s draft recommendation, a person would have to be at least 18 years old and have identified as “Black/African American” in public documents for at least 10 years. Eligible people must also meet two of eight other criteria, though the list may change.
Those criteria include being born in or migrating to San Francisco between 1940 and 1996 and living in the city for least 13 years; being displaced from the city by urban renewal between 1954 and 1973, or the descendant of someone who was; attending the city’s public schools before they were fully desegregated; or being a descendant of an enslaved person.
The Chicago suburb of Evanston became the first U.S. city to fund reparations. The city gave money to qualifying people for home repairs, down payments 3. and interest or late penalties due on property. In December, the Boston City Council approved of a reparations study task force.

Newswire: Researchers find Obamacare has significantly reduced racial disparities in health care access, especially in states that expanded Medicaid

Poor People’s Campaign holds rally for Medicaid Expansion at the steps of the Alabama State Capital on March 11, 2023  and  Pictured : President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act in 2010

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Former President Barack Obama’s signature piece of legislation has proved the gift that’s kept on giving for Black and Brown communities in America.
Since its passage in 2010, the Affordable Care Act – better known as Obamacare – has helped cut the U.S. uninsured rate nearly in half while significantly reducing racial and ethnic disparities in both insurance coverage and access to care – particularly in states that expanded their Medicaid programs, according to a new report issued by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit that promotes a high-performing healthcare system.
Obamacare has reduced racial and ethnic disparities in both insurance coverage and access to care — particularly in states that expanded their Medicaid programs, the report’s authors noted.
Alabama is one of eleven states, most in the South, that have not expanded Medicaid since it was available in 2013. North Carolina recently approved the expansion of Medicaid to serve over 350,000 low income working people in that state.
While much of that progress occurred between 2013 and 2016, federal data show that more than 5 million people gained coverage between 2020 and early 2022, driving the uninsured rate down to a historic low of 8 percent.
Researchers found that insurance coverage rates improved for Black, Hispanic, and white adults between 2013 and 2021.
The coverage gap between Black and white adults dropped from 9.9 to 5.3 percentage points, while the gap between Hispanic and white adults dropped from 25.7 to 16.3 points.
Additionally, uninsured rates for adults in all three groups improved during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, a finding that held true in states that had expanded Medicaid and those that had not.
The report further noted that Black and Hispanic adults experienced larger gains in Medicaid and individual market coverage than white adults between 2019 and 2021.
Between 2013 and 2021, states that expanded Medicaid eligibility had higher rates of insurance coverage and health care access, with smaller disparities between racial/ethnic groups and larger improvements, than states that didn’t expand Medicaid.

Obamacare attempted to improve coverage rates in several ways, including by allowing states to expand Medicaid eligibility to everyone below 138 percent of the federal poverty level (in 2023, $20,120 for an individual and $41,400 for a family of four), funded nearly fully by the federal government; and by subsidizing and regulating coverage purchased through the individual market.
According to the report, uninsured rates for adults in each of the three racial/ethnic groups fell after the coverage expansions went into effect in 2014, and Black and Hispanic residents reported the largest gains.
Uninsured rates for Hispanic adults fell by 15.7 percentage points between 2013 and 2021. Also, the Black adult uninsured rate dropped by 10.9 points, and the white uninsured rate declined by 6.3 points.
“These gains reduced coverage disparities considerably,” the authors determined.
The gap between white and Black adults has dropped from 9.9 percentage points to 5.3 points, and the gap for Hispanic adults has declined from 25.7 to 16.3 points.
While the largest coverage gains occurred from 2013 to 2016, adult uninsured rates for these three groups, and for the nation overall, dropped again between 2019 and 2021, as new federal policies aimed at boosting coverage took effect.
“In fact,,” the researchers wrote, “they reached historic lows, despite modest declines in employer-based coverage from pandemic-related job losses.”
They concluded that Obamacare “has been a powerful force for racial equity in health and health care over the past decade.”
“The expansion in access to affordable coverage has served as the backbone for this progress, helping to remove financial barriers and increase access to primary care clinics and other providers where people can get the care, they need to stay healthy,” the authors wrote.


As of March 14, 2023, at 10:00 AM
(According to Alabama Political Reporter)

Alabama had 1,646,423 confirmed cases of coronavirus,
(1,890) more than last report, with 21,091 deaths (59) more
than last report.

Greene County had 2,313 confirmed cases, 4 more cases than last report, with 54 deaths

Sumter Co. had 3,182 cases with 55 deaths

Hale Co. had 5,734 cases with 110 deaths

Note: Greene County Physicians Clinic has testing and vaccination for COVID-19; including the new bivalent booster for Omicron variants.
Call for appointments at 205/372-3388, Ext. 142;
ages 5 and up.

County Commission and Greene Entertainment Inc still working on lease agreement agreement

The Greene County Commission met in regular session, Monday, March 13, 2023 with all commissioners in attendance.
Prior to action on the agenda items, Commissioner Garria Spencer moved to amend the agenda, however, his motion failed since there was a motion on the floor to adopt the agenda as presented. Commissioner Tennyson Smith moved and Commissioner Roshanda Summerville seconded. That motion to adopt the agenda as presented passed.
It was later learned that Commissioner Spencer’s amendment concerned the lease agreement between the county and Greene Entertainment Inc. The County Commission approved the original lease agreement at its February meeting, but the officials of Greene Entertainment Inc had concerns with a component of the agreement and had not signed the document. The commission took no further action in this regard at the meeting, however, following adjournment, seemingly, informal discussions continued.
The commission acted on the following agenda items:
* Approved replacing the roof at the public library.
* Approved advertising for a clerk for the Probate Judge’s office.
* Tabled the appointment to the IDA Board for District 1.
* Approved allowing the engineer to sell three dump trucks.
* Approved travel for the engineer and assistant engineer for class in Alexander City.
Approved amending the contract for closure of the landfill to include bonding for the contractor not to exceed $20,000, authorizing necessary signatures. The amendment also indicated the removal of taxes not applicable to the county, generating a saving of approximately $17,000.
CFO Macaroy Underwood presented the financial report indicating the following bank balances as of February 23, 2023. Citizen Trust Bank – 5,448,624.44 of which $3,385,804.55 is restricted; Merchants & Farmers Bank – $6,513,733.82 of which $3,127,929.27 is restricted; Bond Funds Investment – $877,979.73; Accounts payable including payroll transfer and fiduciary – $651,795.36; Electronic claims paid – $84,708.23. Underwood reported that in the General Fund Budget Recap, 66% of funds remained.
The commission approved the finance report, then realized that the payment of claims was not listed on the agenda.  County Attorney Mark Parnell advised the commission to reconsider action on the finance report. A new motion was offered to accept the finance report including payment of claims. The motion carried.

Black Women in Political Office in Greene County

Mary E. Sanders was the First Black Female Deputy in Greene County, AL.
Mrs. Queen Ester Crawford was the first Black woman elected to the Greene County Board of Education.
Mrs. Mary McShan Snoddy, Greene County Circuit Clerk, 1977-1989
Judge Earlean Isaac is first Black Woman Probate Judge in Greene County and in Alabama

Mary E. Sanders was the First Black Female Deputy in Greene County, AL. Deputy Sanders served as deputy sheriff under the leadership of Sheriff Thomas Gilmore from 1971-1983.

Mrs. Queen Ester Crawford was the first Black woman elected to the Greene County Board of Education. She served two six-year terms beginning in 1978. Prior to her graduation from Alabama State College (University) in 1950, with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in English, Mrs. Crawford taught in the Birmingham City School system from 1935 to 1937. She later earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Livingston University (UWA). She also served as team leader for the Teacher Corps Program at Livingston.
During her educational tenure in Greene County, she was a life member of the National Education Association, the first woman president of the Greene County Education Association and a member of the National Association of Elementary School Principals.
In her 32 years in the Greene County School System, she held the positions of teacher and principal at the following schools: Mt. Hebron, Riverside, Mt Maria and Pleasant Valley School. Mrs. Crawford retired as principal of Birdine Jr. High School in 1976.
Mrs. Crawford served the county in various other capacities including Chairperson of the Housing Authority of Greene County Board, and board member of West Alabama Mental Health Center. She was a member of Mt. Olive Baptist Church and the Oak Hill Star Chapter Number 736 Order of Eastern Star. She had one daughter and three grandsons.

Mrs. Mary McShan Snoddy served two terms as the second Black woman Circuit Clerk of Greene County Alabama from 1977 to 1989. In 1976 Mrs. Snoddy ran for the office of circuit clerk on the Democrat ticket defeating incumbent Mrs. Wadine Williams, who ran for re-election on the National Democrat Party of Alabama (NDPA) ticket. Prior to serving as Circuit Clerk, Mrs. Snoddy held the position of Deputy Director of Community Action Agency of Greene County in the early 1970’s.She served as Greene County Jail administrator from 2003 to 2010. She returned to the Circuit Clerk’s office as Court Specialist in 2012.
Mrs. Snoddy, a native of Greene County, is a 1970 graduate of the former Carver High School in Eutaw. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Miles College, Birmingham, in 1975. She has three children and is a member of Mt. Sinai United Methodist Church, Mantua, serving as financial secretary.

Judge Earlean Isaac was the first Black woman Probate Judge elected in Greene County and in the State of Alabama. Elected countywide in 1988, she held that office from 1989 to 2018. Prior to her 1988 election, Mrs. Isaac served as Probate Clerk, under Judge William M. Branch from 1971 to 1989. She credits that service time and experience as the most essential preparation she could have received to launch her as Probate Judge.
Judge Isaac is a 1968 graduate of the former Greene County Training School, Boligee, Alabama. She is a member of Lloyd Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Forkland, Alabama. She is married to Johnny Lovell Isaac. They have three children, five grandchildren and one great granddaughter.

Newswire: Racist attacks and ‘fake facts’ on videos spark African migrants flight from Tunisia

African migrants leaving Tunisia


Mar. 13, 2023 (GIN) – A campaign targeting Black migrants in the north African nation of Tunisia has escalated with misleading videos on social media. The African Union has responded – cancelling a major conference on illicit financial flows due to take place in in Tunisia this month.
The misleading videos repeated remarks by President Kais Saied who called migration a “plot” to change the country’s profile from Black to Arab.
But according to Reality Check and BBC Monitoring, nearly all the videos that claim to show African migrants in Tunisia were actually filmed elsewhere.
One of the videos, with millions of views reads, in Arabic: “Tunisia under occupation.” Another says “Tunisia has become the kingdom of Africans.” While the video purports to be filmed in Tunisia, a Senegalese flag can be seen and the language heard in Wolof, a Senegalese language.
There are an estimated 20,000 sub-Saharan migrants in Tunisia, which has a population of 12 million.
Tunisian rights researcher Kenza ben Azouz told the BBC: “This is not a matter of legality or illegality. It’s about being Black in this country”. Black Tunisians, who make up around 10-15% of the country’s population, suffer discrimination because of the color of their skin, she said. 
Hundreds of people have protested In Tunis to denounce Saied’s speech, accusing him of racist comments against refugees while Ivory Coast, Mali and Guinea have begun repatriating their citizens from Tunisia.
Tunisia has rejected responsibility for the racial violence, saying it only sought to ensure “laws of the land are respected to avoid spreading chaos”.
According to Lawyers Without Borders, an advocacy group, approximately 800 sub-Saharan Africans have been arrested. Others have been evicted from homes they had rented, or have lost their jobs.

Newswire: Statement from the National Bankers Association on Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank

Citizens Trust Bank Branch in Eutaw, AL

Today, National Bankers Association (NBA) President & CEO Nicole Elam Esq. and Chairman Robert James II released the following statement regarding Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank.
“In light of recent industry events, the National Bankers Association wants to assure consumers that your money is safe with minority banks. Minority depository institutions are very different from both SVB and Signature Bank which had high concentrations in crypto deposits and volatile venture capital. Minority banks are not exposed to riskier asset classes and have the capital and strong liquidity to best serve consumers and small businesses. If you’re looking for a place to bring your deposits and have greater impact, bring your deposits to minority banks” said Nicole Elam, President and CEO of the National Bankers Association.
“The Biden-Harris Administration, FDIC, and Federal Reserve worked hard this weekend to make sure that these bank failures are the exception, not the rule, and that all Americans can continue to have confidence in our banking system. I also applaud bipartisan leaders in Congress for keeping stakeholders informed about how hard- earned deposits are being kept safe.” said Robert James, II, Chairman of the National Bankers Association, President & CEO, Carver Financial Corporation
The National Bankers Association is the nation’s leading trade association for the country’s minority depository institutions (MDIs). MDIs have always focused on safety and soundness as a part of our conservative, relationship- based business model. We continue to monitor SVB’s impact on large corporate deposit concentrations, fintech, tech companies, and larger financial institutions that have partnerships with MDIs or who have made investments in MDIs.
MDIs are in the strongest position ever to support their customers and here’s why:
Traditional Banking Model with Diverse & Secure Assets: MDIs are diversified in terms of their assets, predominately focused on well-collateralized loans, and are not exposed to riskier asset classes. Unlike both SVB and Signature Bank, MDIs have very limited exposure to the venture capital industry and crypto.
Well-Capitalized and Strong Liquidity: MDIs are in the strongest position ever. The sector is exceptionally well capitalized, enjoys substantial liquidity overall, and has grown by 33% over the last three years in total assets. Nearly $4 billion in new, permanent capital has flowed to MDIs and currently, the median MDI common equity ratio is 16.4% versus 14.8% for non-MDIs.
Positioned for Impact: 77% of MDI branches are in areas with a higher average share of minorities compared to 31% for all FDIC-insured depository institutions. According to a Dallas Fed Study in 2022, MDIs originate almost 40% of their mortgages to minority borrowers, versus only 10% by other banks. Additionally, MDIs originate 30% of small business loans to low- to moderate-income communities in comparison to 20% at community banks and 24% at large banks. Customer deposits are not only extremely safe in an MDI but are far more likely to have a positive impact in the community.

Newswire: Here’s how the White House says President Biden’s budget advances equity

President Biden and Vice President Harris

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

President Joe Biden unveiled a $6.8 trillion budget plan that includes aiding several social programs, raising taxes on the wealthy, and decreasing the country’s debt by $3 trillion over the next decade.
While the plan has little chance of passing through the GOP-led House, the President doubled-down on a previous executive order that directs the federal government to advance an ambitious equity and racial justice agenda.
Biden reminded lawmakers that his administration has made significant progress advancing equity across the federal government, including by releasing a second executive order last month that strengthens the government’s ability to create opportunities for communities and populations that have been historically underserved, and one that “continues to build an America in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.”

Advance Maternal Health and Health Equity

The Budget includes $471 million to support implementation of the White House Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates and address persistent disparities; expand maternal health initiatives in rural communities; implement implicit bias training for healthcare providers; create pregnancy medical home demonstration projects; and address the highest rates of perinatal health disparities, including by supporting the perinatal health workforce.
In addition, the Budget requires all States to provide continuous Medicaid coverage for 12 months postpartum, eliminating gaps in health insurance at a critical time.
The budget expands access to quality, affordable health care by investing $150 billion over 10 years to improve and expand Medicaid home and community-based services, such as personal care services, which would allow older Americans and individuals with disabilities to remain in their homes and stay active in their communities as well as improve the quality of jobs for home care workers.
To bolster the health care workforce, the budget provides a total of $966 million in 2024 to expand the National Health Service Corps, which provides loan repayment and scholarships to healthcare professionals in exchange for practicing in underserved areas, and a total of $350 million to expand programs that train and support the nursing workforce.
Additionally, the budget supports survivors of domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence by significantly increasing support and protect survivors of gender-based violence, including $519 million for the Family Violence Prevention and Services (FVPSA) program to support domestic violence survivors—double the 2023 enacted level.
The President also wants to guarantee adequate and stable funding for HIS.
The budget requests an additional $3 billion in 2024 for a total of $8.1 billion in discretionary resources, and proposes all IHS resources as mandatory beginning in 2025.
Housing Support and Development

Biden also proposes to provide $90 million to support State and local fair housing enforcement organizations and to further education, outreach, and training on rights and responsibilities under Federal fair housing laws.
The budget also invests in HUD staff and technical assistance to affirmatively further fair housing and reduce barriers that restrict housing and neighborhood choice.
The White House said the budget would expand access to affordable rent through the Housing Choice Voucher Program, which currently provides 2.3 million low-income families with rental assistance to obtain housing in the private market.
Biden wants to provide $32.7 billion, an increase of $2.4 billion over the 2023 enacted level, to maintain services for all currently assisted families and—together with HCV program reserves—to expand assistance to an additional 180,000 households, particularly those who are experiencing homelessness or fleeing domestic violence.
To further ensure that more households have access to safe and affordable housing, the budget provides $9 billion in mandatory funding to establish a housing voucher program for all 20,000-youth aging out of foster care annually; and provides $13 billion to incrementally expand rental assistance for 450,000 extremely low-income veteran families, paving a path to guaranteed assistance for all who have served the nation and are in need.
To prevent and reduce homelessness, the budget provides $3.7 billion, an increase of $116 million over the 2023 enacted level, for HUD Homeless Assistance Grants to meet renewal needs and expand assistance to approximately 25,000 additional households, including survivors of domestic violence and homeless youth.
The budget also seeks to prevent evictions by making the legal process during eviction proceedings fairer, and mitigate future housing instability, and providing $3 billion in mandatory spending for competitive grants to promote and solidify state and local efforts to reform eviction policies by providing access to legal counsel, emergency rental assistance, and other forms of rent relief.
Also, to help ensure that every student receives a high-quality education, the Budget provides $20.5 billion for Title I, which would continue historic progress in increasing Title I funding over the past two years.
Title I provides critical funding to 90 percent of school districts across the nation, helping them to provide students in low-income communities the academic opportunities and support they need to succeed.
The administration said every child with a disability should have access to the high-quality early intervention, special education services, and personnel needed to thrive in school and graduate ready for college or a career.
The budget invests $16.8 billion in Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) grants to support special education and related services for more than seven million students with disabilities in grades Pre-K through 12, an increase of $2.1 billion above the 2023 enacted level.
Information for this report was provided by the White House.

Newswire: USDA announces next steps in providing financial assistance to borrowers who have faced discrimination

Washington, March 1, 2023 (Press Release No. 45.23) – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the first steps in its process for providing financial assistance to farmers, ranchers or forest landowners who have previously suffered discrimination with respect to USDA farm lending programs. In addition, USDA set a target of distributing the allocated funds, which were authorized by the Inflation Reduction Act, out to borrowers by the end of 2023. This process has been carefully designed in accordance with the IRA, the Federal Acquisition Regulation, and significant stakeholder input.
Specifically, Section 22007 of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), signed into law by President Biden in August 2022, directs USDA to provide financial assistance to producers who have experienced discrimination in USDA’s farm lending programs and has appropriated $2.2 billion for this program. Under the law, the Secretary of Agriculture is responsible for administering the assistance through qualified nongovernmental entities under standards set by USDA.
“These funds are yet another stepping stone in the long march towards justice and an inclusive, equitable USDA. Through this program and a neutral, comprehensive financial assistance process, USDA will acknowledge wrongs of the past and open up avenues that provide farmers, ranchers and forest landowners who have experienced discrimination by USDA the opportunity to be heard,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
“In providing this financial assistance, our goal is to make sure eligible people have adequate, understandable information about what is available to them, how to apply, and what to expect from USDA at each step. As we work to make all our programs more equitable, accessible and accountable, we are applying these same principles to make sure all Americans know how to engage with USDA’s services so we can prevent more inequities and build new levels of trust with the People’s Department going forward.”
Following President Biden signing the IRA, USDA took immediate steps to convene listening sessions and seek public comments about the design of the program to make sure farmers, advocates, academics, legislators, tribal governments, and other experts were heard.
Now, in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, the Department will soon issue contracts to nongovernmental program administrators, as the IRA specifies, that will coordinate the delivery of a national program of financial assistance to impacted farmers, ranchers or forest landowners. The vendors will include a national administrator to oversee the program and four regional hubs that will be set up to solicit and process applications efficiently. Vendors for the four regional hubs are encouraged to partner with organizations with experience in agriculture and specifically organizations that work with and represent underserved producers and have a relationship with USDA.
Organizations such as existing USDA cooperators that are interested in serving as partners to the regional hubs vendors should send an email to by March 17, 2023 to have the name and contact information of their organization added to a list of interested potential partner organizations that will be made available to all regional hub interested vendors.
In addition to a national administrator and regional hubs, USDA will partner with community-based organizations across the country with experience in agriculture and reach into underserved communities. Building on work underway with existing cooperators and grantees through NIFA, FSA, NRCS and OPPE, these organizations will conduct outreach and ensure potential applicants are informed about the program and have the opportunity to apply. Organizations that would like to serve as cooperators should express their interest through an email to by March 31, 2023.
The Department anticipates final selection of the vendors managing the program to occur by late Spring 2023. As soon as the national administrator, regional hubs, and cooperators are selected and prepared to begin the application process, USDA will work with them to disseminate specific details concerning the application period, with the goal of having payments made by the end of 2023.
The Department will also reach out to trusted cooperators that can further assist eligible farmers, ranchers, or forest landowners nearer to their locations. These trusted cooperators will be drawn from those with long-standing experience in agriculture technical assistance, outreach, and support for the farming community.
By taking these important steps to fulfill the mandates of Section 22007, USDA hopes to recognize and acknowledge the discrimination suffered by individuals, take steps to rebuild trust with communities, and create a better and stronger U.S. agriculture that is more diverse and resilient. This is one piece of a much broader effort at USDA to improve equity and access and eliminate barriers to its programs for underserved individuals and communities. More information about this work can be accessed at, where USDA will continue to share updates on its progress.


As of March 7, 2023, at 10:00 AM
(According to Alabama Political Reporter)

Alabama had 1,644,533 confirmed cases of coronavirus,
(2,471) more than last report, with 21,032 deaths (31) more
than last report.

Greene County had 2,309 confirmed cases, 7 more cases than last report, with 54 deaths

Sumter Co. had 3,176 cases with 55 deaths

Hale Co. had 5,728 cases with 110 deaths

Note: Greene County Physicians Clinic has testing and vaccination for COVID-19; including the new bivalent booster for Omicron variants.
Call for appointments at 205/372-3388, Ext. 142;
ages 5 and up.