SACRAMENTO, CA – Mayor Kevin M. Johnson today became the 72nd President of The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) at a gavel passing ceremony in Sacramento on Wednesday, April 16th. This special inauguration was scheduled because the former President of USCM, Mesa, AZ Mayor Scott Smith announced his candidacy for the office of Governor of Arizona; and local law in Mesa dictated that Mayor Smith vacate his seat as mayor for his gubernatorial run. Mayor Johnson, who previously served as the Vice-President of USCM, will serve the balance of Mayor Smith’s presidential term, which would have ended in June 2014, in addition to a full one-year term as President of the organization until June 2015. As President, Mayor Johnson will preside over all official meetings, develop and advocate for the bipartisan agenda adopted by the nation's mayors, appoint committee and task force chairs to serve in the leadership of the organization, as well as serve as the organization's national and global spokesperson.
(Washington, DC) – The NAACP released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Michigan’s ban on affirmative action. In a recent 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court overturned a lower court and ruled that Michigan’s Proposal 2 -- a 2006 ballot initiative that led to a state constitutional ban on race-conscious college admissions policies in Michigan – is indeed constitutional. The ruling specifically prohibits students from lobbying universities to consider race as one of many factors in admissions.
This week the Campaign to Defeat Voter Suppression will reach an audience critical to its success. The 2014 Black Summit of the Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials will host a panel presentation by leaders representing organizations that are a part of an evolving dynamic network to defend citizens’ right to vote. The audience will include social and political activist from around the state. To help create a more understandable context of our panel discussions, I’m going to refer to earlier information and references that I used to help explain voter suppression and to help readers know it when they see it. I will also highlight new evolving suppression strategies that are being enacted in other states because some of them will surely be coming to the North Carolina General Assembly.
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Nearly 100 people in the last five years have been murdered by active users of the leading racist website, Stormfront, according to a report released today by the SPLC’s Intelligence Project. Registered Stormfront users have been disproportionately responsible for some of the most lethal hate crimes and mass killings since the web forum became the first hate site on the Internet in 1995, a month before the Oklahoma City bombing. The report found that hate killings by Stormfront members began to accelerate rapidly in early 2009, when Barack Obama took office as the nation’s first black president.
Many of our readers are well aware of our coverage of the serious threat of voter suppression to our communities. I’ve written weekly columns on this subject since November 2013. Since August I've tried to educate our readers and myself and to remain abreast of developments around our state and the nation. The May Primaries will be the first statewide election held since the enactment of the Voter Suppression Act, also known as the Voter Information Verification Act. One of the more important things that needs volunteers and your immediate attention, is the “Vote Defender Election Protection Training Spring 2014.”