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Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Written by Peter Grear

With this article we will start detailing the ingredients of a revisable action plan that needs comments and revisions as we move toward the Tuesday, November 4, 2014 General Election.  

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Las Vegas Comedian James Bean's Candid Account Of His Struggle With Suicide

Las Vegas Comedian James Bean's Candid Account Of His Struggle With Suicide

WHEN THE HUMOR IS GONE

James Bean has shown insight and understanding of the darkest moments of many people’s lives as well as ideas on how one could begin to create a life worth living even out of the depths of despair.” -– Rhonda Duncombe, LMFT, LADC

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Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Written by Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I confess that I’m amazed. The Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of North Carolina announced last week that they have launched theNorth Carolina Black Advisory Board (BRAB) 

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Tips for Managing Stress in Your Life

Tips for Managing Stress in Your Life

Written by State Point

Stress is not only unpleasant; it can be overwhelming, ultimately preventing you from solving the problems that caused the stress in the first place. But getting focused can help you feel happier and be more successful professionally, financially and in your relationships, say experts.

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Voter Suppression: Defeating it requires two massive efforts

Voter Suppression: Defeating it requires two massive efforts

Written by Peter Grear

For black voters, Benjamin Jealous expressed what I believe to be the critical message for black voters when he said that the best way to overcome massive voter suppression is through a massive wave of voter registration.  Thankfully, the NAACP is putting this theory into action through the Youth Organizing…

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Black Women are Taking Care of Business

Black Women are Taking Care of Business

Written by Freddie Allen

Instead of breaking the glass ceiling, Black women have increasingly started making their own. According to the Center for American Progress, an independent, nonpartisan progressive institute, Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the country.

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Voter Suppression: Is it partisan?

Voter Suppression: Is it partisan?

Written by Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I’ve been doing commentaries on our Campaign to Defeat Voter Suppression since November, 2013.  Because the right to vote is fundamental to our democracy, I’ve tried to promote a non-partisan theory of voter enfranchisement. 

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Why vote? ALEC and the Doctrine of Exclusion

Why vote? ALEC and the Doctrine of Exclusion

By Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: Frequently, in going forward it is imperative to examine your history.  In 1638 the Maryland Colony issued a public edict encouraging the separation of the races that became the public policy of America. 

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Download Greater Diversity News Digital PDF Edition for FREE

Download Greater Diversity News Digital PDF Edition for FREE

FREE Full PDF Edition includes stories not featured on the website

The FREE Full PDF Edition includes stories not featured on the website. No paper, no hasel, read on your laptop or mobile devices. 

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Studying the Suburbs

Written by Featured Organization on 22 May 2009.

SUBURBS, URBAN, MIGRATION, NEIGHBORHOODSWith over half the Canadian population now living in the suburbs, Dalhousie University Architecture and Planning professor Dr. Jill Grant says it’s an obvious time to study this increasingly popular living option – one that remains a bane to planners and urbanists. Are people drawn to the concept of perfectly matching houses throughout a neighbourhood, the “little boxes” as the famous song goes, or is it the slightly sterile lack of urban energy often associated, fairly or not, with life in the ‘burbs? More likely it’s a desire for living space that feels shiny, new and most of all, roomy, that one is increasingly hard-pressed to find in the downtown core of most Canadian cities. As costs associated with living in an urban environment continue to rise more and more Canadians are pushing outward toward these ready-made neighbourhoods-in-a-box. Grant will study the communities we know so well from television shows like “Desperate Housewives” or “Weeds” in her research project, “Trends in residential environments: Planning and inhabiting the suburbs”, which recently received just over $101,000 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Standard Research Grants program.

So, what are the impacts of such an “outward” migration? Grant has a number of queries about such effects on our communities. “The suburbs and the core are affected by the same kinds of pressures and processes, but in different ways,” she says. “Since ownership of the car became quite common, living in the suburbs or in the countryside and commuting to the city has been easy. Developers looking for places to build new commercial spaces looked to the periphery to find relatively inexpensive land that would accessible to those in cars. Consequently, people and commerce drained from downtown.”

And the fate of our nation’s downtowns is directly tied to the trends in the Wisteria Lanes across the country, though it isn’t all in the direction of more or better ‘burbs. “In recent years we see new attitudes about downtown that are renewing interest in living, working, and shopping downtown,” Grant notes. “Developers are reacting to that with new projects downtown. At the same time, development trends in the suburbs are changing somewhat - lots are getting smaller, homes are getting closer to the street; some suburbs are developing a bit of an urban feel.”

Grant further suggests the suburban life may be getting a bit of a re-think. “In many cities the costs (in time and money) of commuting are getting so high that people are rethinking suburban life,” she suggests. “We're seeing more interest in rapid transit because people want to reduce their commuting time. But rapid transit is expensive in cities that sprawl too much. The current fiscal crisis is slowing down the development a bit, but it probably won't stop suburban development. In the larger cities we are seeing suburban-urban nodes developing: ‘town centres’ that increase densities and mix uses outside of the major urban cores. That is increasing the numbers of people working outside the city cores, so it may affect commuting times and patterns.”

Grant, who has been studying trends in planning for residential development planning in Canada and around the world since 1999, will use her newest study to fill gaps in existing intelligence including learning more about the perspectives of residents of the region’s suburbs. She will talk to the denizens of the cozy hamlets themselves and will try to determine why they chose to live in their communities of choice.

So park the minivan in the two-car garage, roll out the barbeque, put the dog in the house and give some thought to why you may have chosen to embrace your inner suburbanite. Those thoughts may just end up going a long way toward answering the big questions dogging planners everywhere…

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