June 27, 2013

LAWT News Service

 

Kevin Johnson, Mayor of Sacramento, is pleased to an­nounce that he was elected Presi­dent of the National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM) for the coming year. Mayor Johnson and eleven fellow mayors were unanimously elected at the 39th Annual NCBM conference in Atlanta, Georgia from May 29 to June 2, 2013 under the theme "Restore, Rebuild, Renew: Leaving No City Behind."

As President, Mayor Johnson will set the organization's agenda, appoint committee and task force chairs, and serve as national spokesman for the nation's 650 Black mayors representing some 48 million U.S. citizens.

"I am honored to assume this new position with the National Conference of Black Mayors," said Johnson.  "NCBM has a rich 40 year history that is important to preserve and build on. The organization has faced some challenges, but we are going to address each one head on with the appropriate corrective and rehabilitative action required. I have no doubt that the new officers of the organization will restore it to preeminence and serve as an important voice on the national stage."

The election of new leadership led by Mayor Kevin Johnson marks the beginning of a new chapter for the organization as a leading voice for African Americans across the country.

Elected in November 2008, Kevin Johnson is the 55th mayor of Sacramento and the first African American to serve in this office. He was reelected in 2012 to a second term. He previously served as NCBM's First Vice President and Executive Board Member (April 9, 2011 to Present); and NCBM's Chair, Task Force of the Education Committee.  Johnson also serves as 2nd Vice President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and is slated to become President in June 2014.  Mayor Johnson succeeds The Honorable Robert L. Bowser, the 12th Mayor of East Orange, New Jersey.

About NCBM:

The National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM) represents more than 650 African American Mayors across the United States; collectively its membership represents over 48 million citizens. NCBM is a leader in the redevelopment of our most vulnerable communities and works towards the empowerment of leadership on the local level. Founded in 1974 with the mission to enhance the executive management capacity of its member mayors, NCBM articulates public policy positions and serves as a clearinghouse of information pertinent to municipal development and financing.  NCBM provides technical and management assistance through cutting-edge research, best practices and partnerships that enable its mayors to challenge and overcome grappling issues that erode the vitality and sustainability of our nation's cities.

You can follow the Mayor on twitter @kj_Mayorjohnson

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June 27, 2013

LAWT News Service

 

Following a major remodeling, Council President Herb Wesson was on hand to launch the celebration of the re-opening of the Ralphs Baldwin Hills Supermarket.  Also attending the celebration was Congresswoman Maxine Waters and over 200 community residents.

The $18 million in renovations included a 21,000 square-foot expansion, bringing the total size of the market to 60,000 square feet.  The major remodeling will accommodate a wider range of fresh, organic and natural meats, produce and seafood.

“Having quality grocery options in our community is important and I want to express my appreciation to Ralphs for this important commitment and investment in my Council District,” said Wesson.  “Not only will this expanded market create more jobs, it will also encourage healthy living by providing a more fresh and organic food options.  Everyone will reap the benefits.”

Based upon shopper’s requests and input, the remodeled and expanded store offers a full range of products and services, including a bakery with freshly baked breads and desserts, a full-service delicatessen and a floral department with blooming fresh flowers and plants.

The store will be served by a free shuttle that will run throughout the neighborhood, to and from the store on a regular basis.

The remodeled Baldwin Hills store employs approximately 150 full-time and part-time associates, including more than 40 newly hired associates from the surrounding community.

The celebration also included Ralphs’ presentation of a special donation of $7,500 to be shared by Dorsey High School, Audubon Middle School, and Baldwin Hills Elementary School.

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June 20, 2013

LAWT News Service

 

Sacramento — Water District Directors has been signed by Governor Brown.  It is the first bill from freshman Assembly­member and Majority Whip Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) to be signed into law and goes into effect January 1, 2014.

“I appreciate Governor Brown’s support for this good government measure and applaud the overwhelming bi-partisan support for the bill shown by my colleagues in both the Assembly and the Senate,” stated Assemblymember Holden. Holden’s bill to standardize the start date of newly elected municipal directors.  “This bill will ensure water districts are able to move swiftly between terms and critical business is not delayed unnecessarily.”

AB 72 is a good government measure designed to limit the lame-duck term for outgoing municipal water district directors and permit water districts to proceed to new business in a timelier manner.

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June 20, 2013

LAWT News Service

 

Sacramento – The Legisla­ture has voted to increase basic CalWORKs grants by 5%, reversing a trend of annual cuts in aid to California’s neediest families since 2007 which Assemblymember Holly J. Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), primary advocate for the increase, had argued was pushing too many children into deep poverty with irreversible impacts.

“This is a measured first step in our effort to reduce poverty in California, and it comes at the expense of no other program,” said Assemblywoman Mitchell, whose district includes low-income areas in south Los Angeles. “If you care at all about freeing children from the strangling yoke of poverty, this vote was the opportunity to join the freedom march.”

While supporting Governor Brown’s proposal to spend extra budget dollars on K-12 education in low-performing schools, Mitchell, who chairs the Budget Subcommit­tee on Health and Human Services, argued for targeting state aid to meet other basic needs of children. Four out of five CalWORKs beneficiaries are children, yet the basic benefit equals only 39% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), despite the fact that 50% of FPL is the “deep poverty” threshold associated with life-long adversity. Initially seeking a 12% CalWORKs raise, Mitchell, welcomed the 5% increase approved in AB 85 as part of the final compromise on the 2013-14 budget adopted June 15.

“The maximum benefit for which a CalWORKs family can qualify now is $7,600 for up to two years – less than half of the Federal Poverty Level at $19,000,” the Assemblywoman pointed out. “Chil­dren can’t come to school ready to learn when their minimal needs go unmet, and most students in the state’s low-performing schools are poor. Poverty is toxic to our kids.”

 AB 85 was one of several recommendations put forth by the Assemblywoman to increase support for families struggling with deep poverty. Dubbed the “Mitchell Plan” by advocates for needy families (see attachment), other elements of the plan, advanced by the Budget Subcommittee, were improved welfare to work and homeless assistance services, childcare subsidies, and an increase in the allowed value of vehicles owned by CalWORKs’ recipients.         

AB 85 and the other budget bills now proceed to the Governor for signature.

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June 20, 2013

LAWT News Service

 

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) released the following statement in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights activist Medgar Evers, who was 37 years old when he was killed by a sniper’s bullet on June 12, 1963:

“Today marks 50 years since the assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers. The horror of Mr. Evers’ untimely death made national news, galvanized the nation and pushed the Civil Rights Movement forward.

“After being named the NAACP’s first Field Secretary for Mississippi in 1954, Mr. Evers spearheaded local efforts to enact social change. In the particularly oppressive racial climate of Mississippi, Mr. Evers organized boycotts of businesses that denied services to African-Americans, set up new chapters of the NAACP and led voter registration drives. His murder was a loss to his family, the state of Mississippi and to the entire nation.

“I was pleased to join my dear friend, and his widow Myrlie Evers-Williams, former President Bill Clinton, and many others last Wednesday at a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate his life and legacy. Although his life was cut short, it was clear to all that Mr. Evers did not die in vain. Today, Myrlie works to continue her husband’s legacy through the Medgar & Myrlie Evers Institute.

“I thank Medgar Evers for his courage, dedication and resolve in the face of virulent racism. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that ‘before the victory of justice is a reality that some may even face physical death.’ To no one is this quote more applicable than to Medgar Evers, whose death compelled this nation forward on its march towards justice and equality for all citizens.”

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