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INNER-CITY NEWS July 27, 2016 - August 02, 2016 THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

Financial Justice a Key Focus at 2016 NAACP Convention Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. charters mentoring group for young males New Haven, Bridgeport

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THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

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“Calhoun” Becomes “Hopper” THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

by LUCY GELLMAN

NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT

Following protests over its namesake’s role in promoting slavery in the 19th century South, Yale’s residential Calhoun College has been renamed Hopper College, after a pioneering female mathematician. The Yale Corporation voted to make the change Saturday after months of protest over the residential college being named after John C. Calhoun. The new name honors Grace Murray Hopper, a computer scientist, engineer and naval officer who graduated with both a master’s and doctoral degree from Yale in the 1930s three decades before the university’s undergraduate college became coeducational. As a former U.S. senator, Calhoun served as a leading voice for slavery and against abolition. The residential college had been named after him since 1933, when Yale was seeking to woo more white Southerners to apply. When Yale decided to reach out to more black students decades later, the name became less of an attraction — and to some students, an insult. When the Yale Corporation voted on the issue last year, it had decided to retain the Calhoun name. Then last summer, an African-American Yale cafeteria worker, Corey Menafee, smashed a glass panel depicting slaves carrying bales of cotton and was arrested by Yale police on a felony charge. This time around, said Yale President Peter Salovey, the legacy of racism was too much for the university to ignore. “It is now clear to me, too, that the name of Calhoun College must change,” said Salovey Saturday. “Yale has changed magnificently over the past 300 years and will continue to evolve long after our time; today we have the opportunity to move the university forward in a way that reinforces our mission and core values.” He also noted that symbols of Calhoun and his legacy will remain on campus for the foreseeable future.  “In making this change, we must be vigilant not to erase the past,” he said. “To that end, we will not remove symbols of Calhoun from elsewhere on our campus, and we will develop a plan to memorialize the fact that Calhoun was a residential college name for 86 years. Furthermore, alumni of the college may continue to

LUCY GELLMAN PHOTO

Protesters arrested in one last action before the renaming.

Hutchins.

Activist Barbara Fair after the arrests.

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associate themselves with the name Calhoun College or they may choose to claim Grace Hopper College as their own.” Reached for comment about the specifics of the vote, External Communications Director Karen Peart responded that “details of this and all corporation matters are confidential, but I can tell you that there was strong support for this decision.” Read an article with the full backstory here. The decision followed a final “Change The Name” rally Friday afternoon at which four protesters were arrested on misdemeanor charges. As news of the renaming reached those activists Saturday afternoon, it was met with excitement. “I’m feeling really ecstatic. The community spoke and Yale listened,” said Kica Matos, a longtime activist with Unidad Latina en Acción and the Center for Community Change. “No longer will this city or the university be affiliated with the nation’s most ardent proponent of slavery ... Not only did they change the name but they named the college after a women with an incredible record of achievement. What more could you ask for?” “So many are responsible for ending this injustice,” she added. “For many years, students led the efforts. Then Corey Menafee stepped up and in doing so, encouraged the broader community to get involved. The collective efforts of this city— students, community leaders, faculty, local advocacy organizations and faith based groups led to this glorious outcome.  Hopper College - how sweet the sound!” An earlier version of this story follows: Before Renaming, Four Arrests On the eve of Yale Corporation’s vote on whether to change the name of Calhoun College, one final “change the name” rally ended in four arrests . The rally took place Friday afternoon outside of Calhoun College, a Yale undergraduate residence located at the corner of Elm and College Streets downtown. Gathering at the college’s gated entrance, about 45 protesters made their way to the New Haven Green, escorted by members of the New Haven Police Department. There, group members began their protest with rallying cries led by Jesús Morales Sanchez, an advocate with Unidad Latina en

Acción (ULA). “Hey hey! Ho ho! Calhoun College has to go!” he shouted. “Calhoun lives in racist shame / Change the name.” Many people raised signs that read “Change the Name,” “Away with Racism,” and “Black Lives Matter.” Greeted by cheers, New Haven activist and philanthropist Wendy Hamilton read a letter from cafeteria worker Corey Menafee, who expressed support for the protesters and pledged that “rest assured I am with you in spirit.” ULA Founder John Lugo identified the Calhoun name as a force working to foster the subjugation “of brown and black people” in the city. Holding the microphone close to his mouth, soft-spoken activist Justin Farmer proclaimed that “this is our moment,” and said that “I would prefer not having to face” the name of Calhoun College as a young black man in the city. Activist Kica Matos then stepped forward to address the group. “Martin Luther King Jr. said noncooperation with evil is a moral obligation,” she said. “For nearly 100 years, Yale has infected this city by attaching John Calhoun’s name to New Haven and to Yale University.” “When Yale Corporation votes to change the name, it will be because of the courage of workers like Corey Menafee, who through a tremendous act of bravery this summer smashed a racist windowpane and brought town and gown together,” she continued. “When we win, it will be because of the courage of faith-based leaders, community leaders and residents of the city of New Haven.” She added that there would be an act of civil disobedience ending in arrest, and urged protesters to “stand with us in solidarity” as it took place. She also said that those who were going to be arrested were doing so in compliance with the New Haven Police Department. With that, she and three protesters wearing arm bandannas marched into the middle of Elm Street, holding an orange “Change the Name” banner that has become a part of the Friday afternoon rallies. Behind them, two volunteers lowered a tarp. The protesters sat down and lifted the banner to their chins. One pumped his fist. Traffic began to back up on Elm Street. Drivers honked their horns,

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THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

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Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. charters mentoring group for young males

The Delta Iota Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. launched its Sigma Beta Club mentoring program recently with an induction ceremony held at Lincoln Bassett School, New Haven. Seven young men were inducted: Sterling McDowellHagans, Michael McCutchen, Shawn Pierce, Durenzo Richardson, John Thomas Sayles, III, Stephen T. Stanley, II and Maurice Washington, Jr. The National Sigma Beta Club (NBSC) is a male youth mentoring program of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity developed in 1950. The NSBC’s main objective is to mentor primarily African American and other minority males between 8 to 18 years old, and help them develop wholesome values, leadership skills and social and cultural awareness. The local chapter includes boys from the greater New Haven area. “We are excited and proud to charter this New Haven chapter of the National Sigma Beta Club – the first chapter in Connecticut,” said

Newly inducted charter members of the Sigma Beta Club with members of the Delta Iota Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Photo Credit: Ibraheem Adebanjo

Donald McAulay, Sr., President, Delta Iota Sigma Chapter. “We are looking forward to working with these young men and growing the chapter to include more members in the years to come.” Sigma Beta Club members will meet regularly outside of the school environment to plan and participate in service projects, such as community clean-ups and assistance to the elderly.

The students will also explore opportunities for higher education. Additionally, membership in the NBSC provides members the opportunity to meet with the college students and professional men of Phi Beta Sigma. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C., January 9, 1914, by three African-American male students who desired to

organize a Greek letter fraternity that would exemplify the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship, and service. For more information on the NSBC, visit www.sigmabetaclub. org. Contact Information: Donald McAulay, Sr. President Delta Iota Chapter - Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. 860-2873831

$30M “Tech Hub” Quest Sparks Transit, Flex-Space Calls by BETSY KIM

NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT

To truly develop an innovative “creative economy,” New Haven needs better public transportation, both in town and to major airports; flexible startup work spaces; and a wider net of people participating. Those suggestions were offered at an Elm City Innovation Collaborative (ECIC) Open House on Monday night, which drew about 50 people to a session at Gateway Community College. New Haven is one of 12 Connecticut cities which won planning grants from the CTNext’s Innovation Places Program. This allows the city to compete for $30 million in funding to be disbursed over the next five years as implementation grants and for designation as a CTNext’s Innovation Place. This title would also help with applications for other future economic development grants or even for brownfield remediation, according to Michael Harris, Mayor Toni Harp’s legislative liaison. Monday night’s session was part of the information-gathering phase of putting together an application for

BETSY KIM PHOTO Sri

Muthu: “Don’t compete with Boston.”

the $30 million. The names of cities like Woodstock, Davos, San Francisco, and San Jose conjure up strong feelings said Sri Muthu, who recently joined the ECIC steering committee. “They need a way to brand New Haven beyond New Haven as just a town. When I say New Haven, innovation is not the first thing that comes to your head. So, how do we change the dynamic to say, ‘Oh, wow! That is the place to be’?” asked Muthu. “You don’t try to compete with Boston or New York. That’s a big mistake. The smarter thing is to ask

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what are our key strengths. What makes someone choose to live in New Haven?” Muthu continued, “Is it quality of life? Is it good schools or access to nature? We should highlight what’s valuable about New Haven.” State Sens. Martin Looney and John Fonfara developed the CTNext’s Innovation Program with the goal of creating hubs of innovation focused on technology and biotech economies. The money will not be used to launch individual businesses with venture capital or traditional financing. Instead, fhe CTNext’s grant supports innovation

ecosystems. For example, the money could go to public space improvements, office space, lab space, and talent pipelines (people training in coding). The grant will advance ways of making the city more attractive to tech workers and investments. The $30 million will be generated through the sale of state bonds. Formed in response to the CTNext’s program, the ECIC is a multi-party consortium with government employees and people working in the private sector. Slate Ballard, founder of the co-working space The Grove, chairs ECIC with 10 co-chairs, two from each of the five committees: bioscience, digital divide, digital tech, educational institutions, incubator spaces. J.R. Logan, chief maker at Make Haven, co-chairs the incubator spaces committee. He and Virginia Kozlowski, CEO of EDC New Haven, agreed that the evening was not just about getting a grant but about working together and creating a greater sense of community. The Open House sought people’s Can’t on page


THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

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I Am Not Your Negro

Oscar-Nominated Documentary Inspired by James Baldwin’s Unfinished Manuscript

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Film Review by Kam Williams When novelist/social critic James Baldwin passed away in 1987, he left behind an unfinished opus entitled “Remember This House.” The 30-page manuscript assessed the plight of African-Americans in the United States while specifically reflecting upon the assassinations of three civil rights icons: Malcolm X, Medgar Evers and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. With I Am Not Your Negro, director Raoul Peck (Lumumba) fleshes out Baldwin’s musings, cinematically, into a searing indictment of the United States as an unapologetically-racist nation. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, the movie has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary category. The focus of the film never strays far from Baldwin, nimbly alternating between archival footage of the fiery figure challenging the status quo and Jackson’s readings from “Remember This House” and his other writings. Again and again, we hear him question the depth of the country’s commitment to reverse the damage inflicted

upon the black community by generations of slavery, lynchings and Jim Crow segregation. For example, he asserts that most Caucasians are perfectly comfortable relegating AfricanAmericans to a second-class status. He even goes so far as to refer to them as morally-blind monsters for seeing blacks as sub-human. Until that attitude is eradicated, whites will never recognize that “I am flesh of their flesh.” Baldwin concludes that “The story of the Negro in America is the story of America.” Therefore, with black and white fates inextricably linked, “It’s not a question of what happens to the Negro. The real question is what is going to happen to this country.” Given the precarious state of race relations, the late visionary’s prescient insights perhaps prove more timely, posthumously, than in their own day. Excellent (4 stars) Rated PG-13 for profanity, mature themes, violent images and brief nudity` Running time: 95 minutes Distributor: Magnolia Pictures

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Four Arrested In Pipeline Protest THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

by LUCY GELLMAN NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT

Four protesters chained themselves together to block TD Bank’s doors at rush hour Tuesday and spread a Valentine’s Day message: If you love the environment, take your money elsewhere. The demonstration took place beginning at 4:20 p.m. outside of TD Bank on Chapel Street downtown. It was part of a larger protest for which 50 or so New Haveners showed up, voicing their support for water protectors at North Dakota’s Standing Rock reservation a day after a federal judge denied a stay request from Native American Tribes trying to halt construction of the $3.7 billion, 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline. This marks the latest of the local protesters’ divestment-geared efforts, which have included downtown rallies each month since October. Chanting “Water is life! Water is life!” and “Can’t drink oil/ Keep it in the soil!” protesters gathered outside of the bank branch, urging its parent corporation, TD Securities, to pull its $365 million investment from the pipeline project. As several people streamed onto Chapel with homemade signs, they made way for a sort of human contraption: four protesters, accented with pink heart-shaped signs, who had chained themselves together. As the four came closer to the bank’s doors, they displayed their mode of connection: chains between their hands and wrists, covered with PVC-like piping and duct tape to approximate the shape of a pipeline binding them together. Smiling, members of the group veteran New Haven peace activists Melinda Tuhus, Victorya McEvoy, Mark Colville, and a fourth person who declined to give his name — sat on the wet sidewalk directly outside the bank, scooting back against the glass doors in the afternoon chill. “I’m comfortable here!” joked Tuhus, who remained relatively mum as a customer then opened the door on her back, stepping over her arm-pipe to get back onto the street. As he left, Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA) organizer John Lugo joined the group briefly, helping them chain the front doors of the bank.  On the other side of Chapel Street, police had begun to gather, watching the protesters from the New Haven Green and the corner of College

LUCY GELLMAN PHOTO

Lt. Sharp and McEvoy share good vibes after her arrest.

The chain gang.

Courtney Gordon lifts up a flag representing the Cherokee Nation, of which she is a member.

and Chapel streets. They crossed the street and looked on from the intersection of College and Chapel closest to the bank, waiting to see if the protesters would get up. From inside the bank’s lobby, an

employee (who would not talk to protesters or the press) held a phone to his ear, motioning outside. Another held out his phone, as if taking a photo or video. An officer approached the door and

7

removed the chain, allowing the protesters to stay until further notice. As police spoke to each other, members of the group explained that they hoped to accomplish two goals: to get the bank to divest from the pipeline, and to compel current customers to join credit unions if it refuses to do so. As they chanted and spoke, an officer stopped the flow of traffic on College Street and got use a microphone to offer three warnings to protesters in English and Spanish. Move, he said, or get arrested. A police van had by then moved onto College Street, its doors flung open. The four did not move. As an officer issued the third warning, protesters began shouting over them, several lifting flags representing Native American tribes as they chanted. One, Edgar Sandoval, moved in closer to the protesters as if to protect them. He eyed officers who were preparing to move in. A final warning was issued. Within seconds, officers lifted protesters still chained together up off of the sidewalk. Ushering free-standing protesters away, the officers moved the four to the College Street side of the bank, where they placed them on the ground and began to ask for identification. Lt. Herb Sharp, the top patrol supervisor at the New Haven police department, directed the operation, turning a flurry of activity into an orderly police ballet. While four officers collected information from

the group, a cadre of others formed a semi-circle around them, ordering reporters to stay at a distance. The bulk of protesters outside of the bank continued to chant, lining the sidewalk as a few tried to glimpse at the cohort that had been arrested. McEvoy motioned to Attorney Patricia Kane, whom Sharp let though. Outside of the bank’s front doors, 350 Connecticut‘s Ben Martin lifted a megaphone to his lips, and kept the protest going. Back with the four protesters, police maintained their semi-circle as Sharp spoke quietly to each of them about options, arrests, potential charges. Sharp charged the quartet with disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer, both misdemeanors. Attorney Kane who has publicly criticized how state police handled a Feb. 4 protest in New Haven praised Sharp’s work Tuesday. She called it “a first-class operation in dealing with an act of civil disobedience” and said she “found his professionalism most encouraging.” After 20 minutes and a court summons, the four were free to go. Walking down College Street towards Crown and literally into the sunset Colville said he viewed the action as a form of love for other people. “For Valentine’s Day!” he said. Meanwhile, other protesters remained at the bank until close to 6 p.m. Police kept a block of Chapel Street closed across from the Green, forcing CT Transit buses to alter their route in jammed rush-hour traffic. Returning to the corner with her arms unchained and unencumbered, McEvoy waved to the police and thanked them then gave Sharp a squeeze on his shoulder. It was Valentine’s Day, after all. Revived Project The Dakota Access Pipeline is an underground oil pipeline backed by Dakota Access, LLC that will run, if completed, from North Dakota to southern Illinois. That path includes stretches beneath the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, as well as clean water sources and burial grounds around the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. For a map of conflicts across its 1,172 miles, The company building the pipeline says that it is thoroughly monitored and shipping crude underground is far safer than doing so by rail, trucks, or in ships. Protesters and Con’t on page 10


THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

AMR: What Ambulance Emergency? State police are investigating what happened after that blocking of the the highway. After protesters moved off state property up to Chapel Street, state police pursued the organizer and arrested him with the help of pepper spray and police canines. One of the dogs ended up attacking three cops. City officials, including the police chief and the mayor, have since questioned whether state police

by PAUL BASS

NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT

It turns out that protesters blocking a state highway may not have prevented an ambulance crew from getting a “critically ill” patient to the hospital, after all at least as the ambulance company tells it. The state police are sticking by the allegation that such an incident occurred. That allegation has emerged as a central talking point amid debate over protest tactics and police response to a demonstration staged Saturday in downtown New Haven by people opposed to President Donald Trump’s executive orders limiting immigration and travel to the U.S. At one point protesters blocked the Route 34 Connector, in the path to Yale-New Haven Hospital. State police, after arresting a protest organizer on charges including incitement to riot, stated that the Route 34 demonstrators had “obstructed an ambulance carrying a critically ill patient. Due to this delay ambulance personnel were required to perform an emergency medical procedure in the ambulance instead of at the hospital.” Asked at the time by the Independent for more details on the matter and whether the patient in the ambulance was OK, a state police spokeswoman responded, “Contact the hospital.” A hospital spokesman said he did not have information. On Tuesday, a spokesperson for American Medical Response said the company knew of no such emergency procedure being undertaken in one of its ambulances at the scene Saturday. “Nothing happened. Really, nothing happened,” said the spokesman, Jim McManus. Asked where the story may have originated, he responded, “I don’t know.” He issued this written statement on behalf of AMR: “On Saturday, during the protest in New Haven, we worked closely with law enforcement officials who kept us well informed of the protest and specific areas that were congested. With police assistance, we were able to route our ambulances away from difficult intersections and did not experience any AMR ambulances being blocked as a result. We are unsure if other ambulance companies had difficulty with the protest.” Told of the AMR response,

made people less safe, rather than safer, by using pepper spray and police canines in a chaotic crowd to pursue the arrest of a nonviolent person on a nonviolent charge. An attorney present to represent protesters called it “a police riot.” The state police are also reviewing why one of their canines attacked three cops, biting two of them and ripping the clothing of a third.

Con’t from page 5

Flex-Space Calls

EINO SIERPE PHOTO

State police on Chapel Street Saturday.

EINO SIERPE PHOTO

Demonstrators at Saturday’s protest.

EINO SIERPE PHOTO

John Lugo, foreground, leading Saturday’s march.

Christine Plourde of the state police legal affairs unit stuck by the original story. She said a charge nurse at Yale-New Haven a front-line care manager contacted the state police at some point after demonstrators assembled on Route 34 around 4:30 and formed a line blocking traffic toward the hospital. She told the state police about the critically ill patient stuck

there. She said she can’t reveal the nature of the critical illness because of privacy rules. Plourde said the incident did involve an AMR ambulance. Asked why the company is saying otherwise, she responded, “Maybe they don’t want to be involved. I don’t know.” That was one of several controversial moments at Saturday’s demonstration.

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perspectives on challenges, opportunities and trends. Fortyfive institutions, businesses and collaboratives were represented in the planning group. The organizers posted boards with questions about the critical factors in creating an innovative, entrepreneurial city. Participants provided their input, often by adhering red dots to select answers to questions. Ethan Rodriguez-Torrent started Escape New Haven, where small teams of people are “locked” in rooms and solve puzzles to escape within an hour. He came to the ECIC event due to his interest in meeting designers and engineers and learning about entrepreneurial endeavors. “The city government needs to be more responsive and supportive of new businesses and people who are trying to start out in the area. It’s very difficult to navigate new businesses, to navigate the regulatory environment here,” he said. Muthu graduated from Yale School of Management in 2016. He started a digital incubator, Heath Venture, which launches healthcare startups in 120 days. His company provides funding, development resources, product management resources, marketing and sales. He is working with the medical director of the Yale Child Study Center Outpatient Clinic, David Grodberg, whose business MindNest Health connects parents to behavioral healthcare for children. “It is the first New Havenbased company to be selected by Google Startup Grind. We’re one of the finalists, so we’re flying out

to San Francisco, next week,” said Muthu. With his experience, Muthu noted New Haven has a lack of flexible space for tech companies to grow, and scarce short-term rental space. He said startups need very little space to begin with but tend to grow very fast or shut down. So no startup wants to sign a threeyear lease, but most real estate people would not offer anything less than a year. It is hard for startups to commit to that kind of up front cost. He also noted that academic communities are a core asset in New Haven but wondered how they can get more involved outside of academia. He noted that as a Yale student he had access to facilities that were not available to people outside of the university. Muthu suggested making the Yale Enterprise Institute available to people outside of Yale. He noted time-consuming transportation to other cities’ airports are a valid concern which could be easily resolved with buses. “I think there are issues the city needs to confront related to space. There are clearly some issues around space, connectedness, transportation and feeling like a community. … Some of these issues need to be addressed,” said Kevin Hively, a consultant with Ninigret Partners. His team will gather the input from the committee and the public feedback to prepare the city’s application for a technical review on March 1, and the final submission on April 1. The city expects to learn the results of its grant application in June.


THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

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THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

Cig Tax Hike Splits City Legislators by LUCY GELLMAN NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT

Hartford Pat Dillon smokes, but she doesn’t mind paying 45 cents more tax per pack to help solve Connecticut’s budget deficit. Robyn Porter doesn’t smoke but many of her constituents do, and she doesn’t want to “punish” them. The two New Haven state representatives offered those takes Wednesday after Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed proposed a $40.6 billion two-year budget that included raising the taxes on a pack of cigarettes by 45 cents, to bring the total cost to $4.35. That’s on par with prices in New York, to which state budget chief Ben Barnes pointed as a standard of comparison. The proposal split New Haven’s legislative delegation, which often votes unanimously or nearunanimously at the Capitol. The butt-tax hike would help close an estimated $1.5 billion projected deficit in next year’s budget. Barnes estimated the tax hike would bring would add $59.8 million to state coffers. (Total revenue from cigarette Con’t from page 7

Pipeline Protest

environmentalists have disagreed, citing concerns of contaminated drinking water and disrupting historic burial grounds. Protests at Standing Rock stretch back to late April of 2016, when Native American tribes voiced near-unanimous opposition to the pipeline’s construction. New Haveners became involved in protests months later, in mid-October of last year. By then, protests had erupted on the national level to put pressure on the outgoing Obama administration to stop construction of the pipeline. That ended temporarily on Dec. 4 of last year, the outgoing Obama administration announced that it would not grant the final easement to the pipeline. Then in late January, just four days after his inauguration, President Donald Trump reinstated construction of both the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, adding a directive to halt environmental reviews that the Obama administration had ordered. On Monday Feb. 13, a judge backed that directive, ruling against Native American tribes.

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LUCY GELLMAN PHOTO

Porter, Winfield at the Capitol Wednesday.

taxes would total a projected $413.9 million up from $373.5 million in 2015-16 and a projected $371.1 million in 2016-17. ) The tax does not include synthetic smoking products like vapes and e-cigarettes, despite their fastgrowing popularity among young adults. Malloy is seeking bigger savings from labor savings and a new state-run Municipal Accountability Review Board. But a higher “sin tax” , he and Barnes wrote in the budget plan, would not just help bring in needed money. It could help cut down tobacco-related disease, which currently kills more people across the country than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, accidents, murders and suicides combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). (Malloy rejected a cigarette tax hike in 2014 when he was running for reelection and declaring he wouldn’t raise any taxes.) The problem, argued Rep. Porter, whose district includes New Haven’s Newhallville neighborhood, is that it can also end up punishing poor people for their patterns of addiction without offering alternative treatment programs or therapies, like smoking cessation counseling. Lower-income people smoke at disproportionately higher rates. Bad For The Poor? “We cannot continue to balance this budget on on the backs of poor people,” Porter said after Malloy concluded a budget address to legislators in the House of Representatives. “I don’t favor regressive taxes because they tax poor people. We have money in the state that we’re not going after, so why this? We did this last year, and

still came back with a deficit. What are we going to say when we do it again and come back with a deficit?” New Haven State Rep. Juan Candelaria agreed. “In the last budget they proposed an increase and I fought to lower it. I’ll fight again,” he said. “Although smoking is harmful, it’s a choice. I’m a smoker; I know the consequences. It’s my choice. Why should I pay an additional tax? We cannot continue to tax smokers who are making that choice. It’s the same population— working individuals, low-income families “ “Let’s talk about more progressive policies that will bring revenue to the state of Connecticut,” he said, referencing his proposed bill 6961 granting tax relief to corporate businesses that would create jobs in the state, and proposed legalization of marijuana. “We’d be balancing and generating revenue from a different source. That’s what we need to be thinking about.” New Haven State Sen. Gary Winfield and State Rep. Roland Lemar struck a similar, if slightly more ambivalent, tone. “I’m not sure about the cigarette tax yet,” Winfield said. “Sin taxes in general that are regressive are seen as less egregious than a regressive tax which is not a sin tax, but I will await arguments.” He added, however, that “the effect is penalizing poor people whether that is the intention or not.” Lemar agreed. “The health care costs of addiction are extraordinary, so we’ll try to balance the regressivity of the tax with the potential benefit we would receive,” he said. He added that he had hoped the budget would consider taxing the ultra wealthy instead.  Con’t on page 16


THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

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THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

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The Honorable Denise L. Nappier, Treasurer of the State of Connecticut, on behalf of the University of Connecticut, announces the sale of UConn General Obligation Bonds. The Bonds are being issued pursuant to the UConn 2000 Act, which provides for a $4.6 billion, 29-year program to renew, rebuild and enhance the University’s campuses. UConn is a public instrumentality and agency of the State of Connecticut. Retail Order Period* Monday, January 9, 2017 and Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

From New Haven To Turkey, With Layers by PAUL BASS

NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT

As she mourned her adopted country’s turn away from a world humanitarian crisis, Vietnamese refugee Trinh Truony found a reason to maintain hope — with the help of eight stuffed suitcases from New Haven. She and her classmate Hacibey Catalbasoglu delivered 200 winter coats, plus sweaters and boots, to Syrians living in a Turkish refugee camp after fleeing their country’s civil war. Now they’re back studying at Yale — and just getting started harnessing citizen power to counteract new efforts by the U.S. government — and others around the world — to close doors and hearts to millions fleeing mass slaughter. Truony, whose grandfather spent nine years in a Vietnamese reeducation camp for having provided intelligence to the U.S. during the war there, came to this country at 3 years old with her family. She dedicated much of her adolescence to helping other families looking to escape similar circumstances for a new life. She was outraged at last week’s order by President Donald Trump indefinitely barring Syrians from entering the country and temporarily suspending travel here from seven Muslim nations. The world declares “never again” in response to humanitarian crises, she observed after they stand by and watch them occur. “When,” she asked, “are we going to say that actually mean it?” Volunteers United The humanitarian trip to Turkey grew out of the efforts of two young people with foreign roots to “actually mean it.” It began with a conversation Catalbasoglu had with a friend he met last summer at Maison Mathis restaurant on Elm Street. Catalbasoglu grew up in New Haven, the son of a Turkish immigrant, Kadir Catalbasoglu, who owns Brick Oven Pizza on Elm Street. A woman from Turkey named Fatmanur Aydin got to know Kadir when she was studying in a summer Yale program and visiting the restaurant. Hacibey, who attends Yale, was in D.C. for the summer interning for U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy. During a visit back home, Kadir put his son in touch with Fatmanur; the two met at Maison Mathis and became friends.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The Catalbasoglu sibs and Truony with Syrian refugee children in Turkey.

“Obviously I am Turkish. I haven’t been to connected to my culture. I wanted to learn more about what is happening in Turkey,” he said. He also thought about his fortune, having grown up here. “You feel responsible in a way” for those less

fortunate abroad, he said. “Why am lucky enough not to be in their situation? How can I help to change this?” Fatmanur told Hacibey about a program she runs in Turkey called Volunteers United. It teaches the

Turkish language to Syrian refugee women. Hacibey asked how people at Yale could help. She told him the organization has enough money. But it could use warm winter clothing. Hacibey knew whom to ask to help him organize a drive: Truong,

who is active in refugee-assistance organizations on campus. Truong came to New Haven in part to do that work. She grew up in Utica, N.Y., which, like New Haven, has a reputation for welcoming newcomers. The city has resettled 16,000 refugees in recent years, she said. Her friends in school came from Burma, South Sudan, Bosnia. She knew why refugees come here, what they fled. Her grandfather “was starved, tortured, beaten” in his years in the reeducation camp, she said. Her mother’s education ended after elementary school. They made a new life here. Truong felt a calling to give back, to work with the resettlement groups in her town. Meanwhile, she did well enough in school that she got to choose among colleges like Princeton, Columbia, and Dartmouth. She said “a main reason” she chose Yale over the others was the work being done here by groups like Integrated Refugee & Immigration Services (IRIS) to welcome refugees. At Yale, Truong said, “people have extra clothing. You accumulate stuff you don’t want anymore.” She and Hacibey led a drive to collect all those coats and sweaters and boots.

Judge Extends Halt To Refugee Deportations

Yale law students Thursday claimed another victory in the fight against the Trump administration’s ban on Muslim refugees. A federal judge in the Eastern District of New York extended an order Thursday that will continue to protect immigrants facing deportation because of an executive order signed by President Donald Trump. Trump’s executive order effectively barred Muslim refugees from entering the country. But last Saturday a judge ordered a stop to the deportations. The latest ruling keeps the original order in effect through at least Feb. 21, 2017. A lawsuit was filed successfully Saturday by the Worker & Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic (WIRAC) at Yale Law School and other civil rights groups to stop the deportations. “The law is the law, and the court confirmed today that no one is above it – not even the president himself,” Susanna Evarts, law student intern at the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services

JOSEPH MEYERS PHOTO

work Saturday night.

Willem Bloom, Richard Zacharias, Zachary Manfredi, & Susanna Evarts, and Professor Muneer Ahmad at

Organization (LSO) at Yale Law School, said in a press release. “We are pleased that the order remains in place until February 21 and expect full compliance from the government.” The Office of the New York State Attorney General joined the case Thursday, agreeing that the ban violated constitutional and statutory

13

rights, according to the press release. “We are heartened by the show of support from the State of New York and those who are following this case around the country,” Natalia Nazarewicz, law student intern at LSO, said in the release. “The people are speaking loud and clear in demanding that this discriminatory ban end.”

The case is co-counseled by the Worker & Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center, the International Refugee Assistance Project, and Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.


THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

New Day Beckons At Beechwood Gardens by PAUL BASS

NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT

Longtime tenants at New Haven’s rundown Beechwood Gardens complex will soon have newly renovated apartments if they can remain there. That’s the conundrum behind a readyto-begin $8 million overhaul of the cluster of 82 townhouse apartments on the block bordered by Whalley Avenue and Pendleton, Eldert and Hubinger Streets. It reflects a broader challenge in efforts to preserve and improve affordable housing in New Haven: How do you make sure existing tenants get to remain? Tensions over the plan boiled to the surface Wednesday night when three dozen anxious tenants met with complex owners VestA Corporation at the nearby Community Action Agency headquarters on Whalley. “Your concern is not the residents,” Shavon Gales, a 32-year Yale custodian and single mother of two who grew up at Beechwood and now faces possible eviction, told VestA Vice-President Chuck Moran. “Your concern is the money.” “If my concern was about the money,” Moran responded, “we would have taken this property to market rate.” “I don’t need you to blow wind in my face,” Gales told him. “I have lost a ton of money” at Beechwood, Moran said. Now both Moran’s company and tenants some of the tenants, at least have a shot at a better deal. With some tricky shortterm terrain to navigate. Keeping New Haven Affordable Motives aside, Moran’s company is not just modernizing an apartment complex. With government help, it has tapped into an effort to preserve affordable housing in a gentrifying city. VestA took over Beechwood Gardens three years ago following the death of the previous landlord, Wendell Harp. VestA has since planned to upgrade the apartments, from installing new kitchens and heating systems to floors and fixtures. Meanwhile, the company discovered last year that it lacked records for tens of thousands of dollars of rent payments and utility payments. Plus tenants were living in units for which there weren’t leases on file. It turned out that tenants had made most of those payments, often with money orders, and a VestA employee was allegedly stealing rent money and some of the utility payments. She has since been dismissed, and the company made a complaint to the city cops, who had detectives on site this week taking affidavits from tenants. VestA at first agreed to cover all the old unpaid utility payments through 2015; then the city’s neighborhoods agency, at the urging of New Haven Legal Assistance Association, convinced VestA to forgive

PAUL BASS PHOTO

Johnson at tenants meeting: “Leaving is a great loss.”

Moran addresses tenants Wednesday night.

the old payments through 2016. Moran said his company took a six-figure loss on the episode. It is getting something in return — millions of dollars of guaranteed rental payments from the government. VestA originally sought money from the state’s Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) for the complete renovation. CHFA already financed work at Beechwood in return for rents to remain affordable (in most cases $675 a month for two-bedroom apartments) for low- to moderate-income tenants. Then came the debacle across town at Church Street South, the 301-unit complex across from the train station, where living conditions deteriorated so badly that tenants are all being relocated and the buildings are coming down. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) subsidized the rents of all the tenants there under the Section 8 program. As part of a

complex negotiation among legal aid, the city, and Church Street South’s owner, all tenants got approval to bring their rent vouchers to new landlords elsewhere, and HUD agreed to switch many of the “project-based” Section 8 approvals — tied to apartments, rather than tenants — to other locations in town. Legal aid and the city wanted that to happen in order to guarantee that apartments remain affordable even after subsidized tenants leave them. So the hunt has been on for local landlords willing to take those projectbased subsidies. VestA agreed to convert all 82 units at Beechwood to Section 8 project-based subsidies. It also agreed to allow former Church Street South tenants to move into the 8-10 currently vacant units at Beechwood once they’re renovated. With the guarantee of those subsidized rents, Moran said, VestA can obtain a big enough mortgage that will, along

14

with long-income housing tax credits, pay for the renovation job. The work is scheduled to begin this summer and last a year, Moran told the tenants Wednesday night. “You’re getting all new insides” kitchens, bathroom fixtures, light fixtures, heating systems, floors, windows, paint, he promised. And, he promised, no one has to move. However, he acknowledged that a small group of tenants who earn too much to qualify for Section 8 subsidies may want or need to move, because they’ll have to pay market-rate rents. Who’ll Stay? There are two catches. One: Rents will rise for everyone, including subsidized tenants. Rents remained artificially low, even for subsidized apartments, because Beechwood was so rundown, Moran said. But now VestA qualifies for higher rents for Beechwood that reflect the costs of creating and maintaining better-quality apartments. After the renovations, the entire apartment complex will fall under the Section 8 program. Tenants who qualify for Section 8 subsidies — and that’s almost all of them — will pay 30 percent of their income on rent, which in many if not most cases will come out to more than $675 a month. Moran noted that they will still be paying the same or less than they’d pay elsewhere. (Section 8 currently allows However — catch number two — some tenants (not the majority) earn too much money to qualify for Section 8 subsidies. So they’ll pay market rates, which these days is $1,033 for a onebedroom apartment, $1,260 for a twobedroom, $1,619 for a three-bedroom.

To qualify for Section 8, tenants must earn no more than 80 percent of the area’s median income, currently $82,700 for a family of four. VestA is offering those tenants up to $1,500 to help with moving out if they need or intend to leave. But they have to let VestA know by April 1, he said, by which time the money set aside is projected to run out. That has caused confusion among the tenants, who charge that the company has poorly communicated the complicated details to them. Tenants showed up Wednesday night fearful they’re getting kicked out of the complex, or unclear about how to decide if they should leave. Only a “handful” maybe up to 10 households fall under the category of tenants who earn too much to continue having subsidized units, VestA officials said. Kimberly Johnson is one of those handful. She tore into Moran at the meeting. A blue-collar worker at Yale, she pays about $800 a month for her twobedroom at Beechwood. (She pays more than others because she has a garage.) She’s not ready to start paying around $1,300 a month for the same apartment. She criticized VestA for sending a notice she understood to mean she needs to be out by April 1 (the deadline for qualifying for VestA’s offer of $1,500 in moving help), then seeming to say something else. Moran insisted he and his staff have been consistent and clear in communicating with tenants. “I’ve been here 15 years,” Johnson said later. “I’ve been an excellent tenant,” fixing appliances and making other repairs without notifying management for help. “Leaving is a great loss to me.” But she feels she has no choice. She’s hoping to turn the change into an opportunity: “It’s time to consider buying a house.” Gales has fewer options. Money’s tight: She fell behind rent in December when her car broke and one of her two sons needed a root canal. VestA immediately hit her with eviction papers. She considered that cruel. Moran responded that after forgiving years of debts from tenants on utility bills, the company is insisting on prompt rent payments in order to keep finances in order. “We have gone a long, long way,” Moran said. “All we’re asking people to do is pay the rent. Nothing more.” The company served five tenants eviction papers recently. Gales worked out a repayment plan. Despite the turmoil over the changes at Beechwood, she wants to stay. She grew up there, and returned as an adult. She remembered a place where “I had to respect my next-door neighbor. I had to hide if I were doing something wrong.” Con’t on page 10


THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

Laundromats: New Haven’s Next Museums? by LUCY GELLMAN NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT

Artist Titus Kaphar has an idea for New Haven’s next artistic venture: laundromats. No really, laundromats. With art on the walls, engaging patrons as they cue up for another spin cycle. Inspired partly by The Laundromat Project and partly by his own experience on the periphery of art museums, the New Haven based artist presented that idea Tuesday afternoon at the New Haven Free Public Library (NHFPL). He and around 20 others met there for a Connecticut “Office of the Arts Roundtable Discussion” hosted by the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). Focused specifically on the department’s READI (relevance, equity, accessibility, diversity and inclusion) initiative, the roundtable marked the first of three sessions exploring diversity, workplace development, and trauma and healing in the arts. All three, which will take place across the state this year, are funded by the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA). Huddling together as the snow fell

LUCY GELLMAN PHOTO

Kaphar at Tuesday’s conclave.

outside, attendees focused on where they saw inequity playing out in their workplaces, attempting to provide realistic and timely solutions. Facilitator Linda Yancey pushed the group for implementable ideas for making the arts more accessible.

Enter laundromats. Kaphar’s suggestion met with a smattering of laughter, and then unanimous approval and enthusiasm at the end of the day — provided a glimpse into the few low-cost, concrete, and readily/READIly implementable

solutions that the afternoon produced. Urging fellow attendees to look into The Laundromat Project, which places community artists and educators in laundromats in New York, Kaphar explained how he envisions the program evolving in Connecticut. “I’m thinking about all of the places that art could be,” he said. “We really need to think about the places that exist in our community that we don’t think of as artistic spaces, as for the arts.” Laundromats were some of the first among them. For him, it’s a nod to both his approach — heavy on community engagement — and upbringing. Growing up, Kaphar’s mom had three jobs, and little time to ferry him to art museums and cultural venues in his native Michigan. The family also didn’t have a washer or dryer in its home. So as a boy, he ended up spending a lot of time in laundromats. They were, he discovered, pretty boring places. If they had been teeming with art and art made by people in his community especially the experience could have been transformative and magical, he said. Attendees jumped on the idea,

citing examples that could work in Connecticut. Smith floated a community-oriented ArtMobile similar to Boston’s “Studio on Wheels,” filled with making materials, artists’ tools, and a resident artist to give lessons and demonstrations. Taking a page from controversial Metropolitan Opera Director Peter Geld, Adams asked what it would take for arts institutions—and churches, and schools—to partner with the Met and screen performances for free. Office of the Arts Director of Culture Kristina Newman-Scott suggested that artists partner with barbershops and nail salons in their neighborhood, much like New York’s Barbershop Books initiative already has. Others tried to envision accessibility on a more civic level. Arts in Public Spaces Program Specialist Tamara Dimitri suggested a program placing artists in water treatment plants. Brian Cyr, director of instrumental music for the Meridan Public Schools, went a step further. “What about the DMV?” tossed out Cyr. “Nobody wants to go there.”

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THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

Image Awards, Grammys & BAFTAs Recap by Kam Williams

Con’t from page

Cig Tax Hike Splits City Legislators Good For Everyone? Other New Haven lawmakers praised the proposal because of its impact on ion public health and cardiovascular risk. According to studies by the Connecticut Tobacco and Health Trust Fund and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, 13.5 percent of Connecticut adults (18 and over), and 10.6 percent of high school students smoked cigarettes in 2015. That’s already down from 15.4 percent for adults in 2014. In the view of Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, that number—which still results in 4,900 deaths per year—could be even lower. “I fully support the increase,” he said. “Every time it [the tax] goes up, we see a decline in smokers.” When asked about its possible effect on the poor, Looney responded that his focus is on the governor’s proposed cut to the Earned Income Tax Credit program, which exempts wages of lower-income earners from taxes. Looney originally authored the law that created that program and has fought to increase the credit in recent years. He said it’s more important to preserve that credit. “We have to raise taxes somewhere, and that seems enough of a reason” for the cigarette tax hike, he said. State Rep. Dillon echoed his statement, emphasizing potential impact on youth. The American Cancer Society estimates that “2,100 children (under 18) become new daily smokers each year” in Connecticut. “Did I propose that [tobacco tax]? Because I should have,” she said, noting her own proposal to tax sugar-sweetened beverages. “It creates an extra barrier for young people, and reduces their activity [with tobacco]. They might not even start.” “It’s absolutely regressive,” Dillon acknowledged. “But the strongest defense I can find [for the proposal] is that it delays, or stops, tobacco use for young people.” A study released on youth consumption habits from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids shows use plummeting as the national average price of a pack inched toward $6 in 2015. Several tobacco companies themselves, also quoted in the study, have pointed to raising tobacco taxes as the largest deterrent in purchasing their products. Dillon added that her own habits—

Awards Season Heats Up over Busy Weekend Big Winners: Black-ish, Adele and La-La Land The NAACP, Grammys and British Academy Awards were all handed out this weekend. The festivities kicked off with the Image Awards, a Friday and Saturday event with only the second night being televised. The sitcom Black-ish (6) took home the most TV trophies, Beyonce (5) garnered the most in music for her concept album, “Lemonade,” while the gay empowerment drama Moonlight (4) landed the most among the movie entrants. On Sunday, Adele (5) dominated the Grammys, winning for Album (“25), Record, Song (“Hello”) and Solo Performance of the Year. In the process, she beat out Beyonce’, who only prevailed in the Music Video and Urban Contemporary categories. Meanwhile, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts was staging its award ceremony across the pond. La La Land (5) continued its victory tour, adding notches to its belt in the Best Picture, Actress (Emma Stone), Director (Damien Chazelle), Original Music and Cinematography categories. Factoring in the results of these three shows, it’s hard to say which film has the best chance to give La La a run for its money at the Oscars. Moonlight has certainly received the second most accolades on the awards circuit, although box-office favorite Hidden Figures has been building momentum. And you can’t count out Fences, between the highly-lauded performances of co-stars Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, and the pressure being put on the Academy to be more ethnically inclusive after snubbing minorities entirely a couple years in a row. The Oscars will air live on ABC-TV on Sunday, February 26th at 8:30 pm ET and will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

16

she stopped smoking regularly years ago but “still binges” from time to time, particularly close to the end of legislative session—“have absolutely nothing to do with” how she feels about the tax. “And why should they?” she said. Convening unofficially in the hallway after the meeting, New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and mayoral Chief of Staff Tomas Reyes said said the proposed increase would help reduce tobacco use. “Personally, I support raising taxes on cigarettes,” said Reyes, whose wife is in recovery after lung surgery. “But we ought to use some of the money in our communities. Cessation and mental health carethey are connected. So if we have an additional $60 million [in revenue], some of that needs to go to” health care efforts. The state hasn’t always done that. A report titled “Broken Promises to Our Children” from Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids suggests that Connecticut is on track to “collect $519.7 million in revenue this year from the major settlement against tobacco companies, but will spend none of it on tobacco prevention programs.” That means it now ranks 50th out of 50 in preventative funding measures, down from 38th last year. Meanwhile the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC), which leads a smoking cessation and prevention program and is a leader in research, is on the budgetary chopping block again this year. “The thing about this tax is that there’s a huge public health component. We know smoking leads to heart disease,” said Harp, calling herself “neutral” on the issue but noting the deleterious role of tobacco on cardiovascular health. (According to the American College of Cardiology, quitting smoking helps women cut their rate of heart attack by an almost immediate 50 percent). “One of the things that we are trying to do in New Haven is help people that are trying to get treatment for addiction.” “Every single year they try and cut the CMHC and every single year the new haven delegation must use its political clout to keep it in the budget,” Harp added. Following is a status report on bills of particular interest to


THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

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RP inner city news jan.qxp_Layout 1 1/27/17 4:23 PM Page 1

THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

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THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

On National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Time to Address Stigma By Angelo C. Louw, NNPA Newswire Guest Columnist

Those of us working in HIV prevention have always believed that the spread of the virus was largely due to stigma around sex and sexuality, and that the only time we’d see any sort of progress in the fight against the epidemic, was when society started engaging on the matter more openly. But, it wasn’t until the 2009 report on the correlation between the spread of HIV and stigma in the Dominican Republic that we could claim it as a fact. The implications of this report illustrated how social attitudes create an environment that propels the spread of HIV. Researchers found that stigma affected treatment toward people living with HIV; this has consequences for access to sexual health services and the way they are administered by health professionals, or, in some cases, denied. Researchers also found that stigma consequently affected at-risk individuals’ willingness to seek HIVrelated services, including testing. Stigma, therefore, helps to drive the spread of this virus. This is evident when observing the prevalence of HIV among African-American women in the United States (U.S.). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of all women diagnosed with HIV in 2014, most new infections were attributed to heterosexual sex and an estimated 62 percent of women diagnosed were African-American. CDC attributes this trend to the fact that “the greater number of people living with HIV (prevalence) in African-American and Hispanic/ Latino communities and the fact that people tend to have sex with partners of the same race/ethnicity.” New

Angelo Louw says that stigma helps to drive the spread of HIV in the Black community. infections among injectable drug users, both men and women, were relatively low. This implies that, somewhere along the line, the men these women are having heterosexual sex with are also having unprotected sex with other men; because, if prevalence among African-Americans increases the risk of HIV among Black women, and Black men who sleep with men remain most affected by the virus, then one can assume that some heterosexual men are also sleeping with other men. While the LGBTQ community has made massive legal strides in the U.S., in recent years, religious condemnation of same-sex relationships remains widespread. Religion continues to be a cornerstone in the the African American community; it played a significant role in the liberation of Black people. Faith-based leaders often site the spread of HIV among the greater African-American population to support anti-gay rhetoric. Misinformation breeds stigma, creating an environment where people are afraid to engage the

matter beyond the pulpit. The fact of the matter is, according to a 2005 study, sex with a partner who had a history of incarceration was a key driver of HIV infections among newly diagnosed African-American women. Infection among inmates in prisons is more than five times greater than the rate among people who are not incarcerated, according to the CDC. Yet, HIV-prevention interventions in prisons are limited to testing and treatment. Those of us who believe that stigma around sex and sexuality drive the spread of HIV are right; that’s what the facts show. Even with facts staring us in the face, we continue to let hysterics dictate our response to the pandemic. February 7 is National Black HIV/ AIDS Awareness Day. Angelo C Louw is the Advocacy Officer at Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII) and former HIV prevention campaigner at loveLife, South Africa’s largest youth HIV intervention. He is currently a Fulbright/Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow based at the University of Maryland. He writes in his personal capacity.

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Con’t from page 4

some sticking their heads out of car windows. The four looked on, chanting “change the name!” Others who had come out to the rally cheered them from both sides of College Street, some standing on snowbanks when the sidewalk became too full. From behind the four protesters on Elm Street, an officer picked up his car radio and issued three warnings, in both English and Spanish. The protesters didn’t move. A group of officers moved in to arrest them. In all, all four two men and two women were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, which is considered a misdemeanor in the state of Connecticut. After being processed at New Haven’s police station on 1 Union Ave., all were released on Friday evening. For their charges, they will be expected to appear in court and may have to pay a fine. The Backstory Friday’s protest followed almost two years of debate about whether Yale University should remove the name of John C. Calhoun, a prominent southern advocate of slavery, from one of its residential colleges. In August 2015, Yale President Peter Salovey and Dean Jonathan Holloway opened a conversation on renaming on the heels of a mass shooting of black congregants by a white supremacist at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. Salovey announced in April 2016 that Calhoun would retain the name. While the title of “master” which had also been up for debate was removed at that time, he said that keeping the Calhoun name marked a teachable moment, from which administrators and professors could draw when talking to students and colleagues. The decision seemed like it would stick, for a while. Then in June, an

African-American Yale cafeteria worker, Corey Menafee, smashed a glass panel depicting slaves carrying bales of cotton and was arrested by Yale police on a felony charge. The first report of that arrest came a month later; it was followed by nationwide condemnation, with hundreds turning out to protest and urge Yale to drop felony charges against him. Calling the case “regrettable,” the university ultimately rehired Menafee. The activists also called for reopening the Calhoun-renaming debate. Salovey in August reopened the renaming discussion. This time, the debate drew attention from both Yale students and New Haveners. As protesters including activist Kica Matos instituted a weekly “Change the Name” rally downtown, Salovey announced the creation of a new Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming. The committee included Yale faculty, alumni, staff and students who could, through their professional expertise and community input, “guide Yale in decisions about whether to remove a historical name from a building or other prominent structure or space on campus.” Last December the committee released a report giving a scholarly basis for renaming the college without actually recommending whether to rename it. Salovey then established a task force to make a recommendation on which the Yale Corporation would ultimately vote. That group comprises G. Leonard Baker ’64 (Calhoun College); John Lewis Gaddis, the Robert A. Lovett Professor of Military and Naval History; and Jacqueline Goldsby, professor of English, African American Studies, and American Studies and chair of the Department of African American Studies. As of Feb. 2, that task force had recommended changing the name, according to an article in the Yale Daily News.


THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

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THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

Urban Trauma Expanded: The Intersect Between Immigration and Trauma Maysa Akbar, PhD, ABPP. CEO Integrated Wellness Group Immigration issues in this country have been a topic of debate for decades. Who belongs here and under what circumstances is a controversial topic of conversation. Dialogue related to immigration is now ranking high among other provocative debates that you stay away from (politics, religion). Nonetheless, it is important to use the principles of urban trauma, to understand the framework and impact that the immigration process has on people of color and refugees. We do this by first understanding history. History tells us that the first group of people indigenous to the US were the Native Americans. By force European settlers (immigrants) took hold of Native land and claimed

it their own. Between the 17th and 19th century, the largest group of immigrants came from Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe. Initially, as indentured servants, not slaves. By the late 20th century there was an influx of Asian and Latin American migration patterns into the United States. In recent decades, there are many that have sought refugee status to enter into the United States which adds to the immigrant diversity in this country. America has become the home place for immigrants to resettle because its brutal history was built on that notion. However, the arrival to the United States, particularly if done so without legal status can be quite traumatizing. I once encountered a woman who shared her “immigration story” (some of the details will be changed to protect her anonymity). Julie was from one of the countries in Latin America. She used a smuggler migrant also called “Cayotaje” to get her across the border. In her journey to the US, she decided to leave her children in

her country of origin. Julie knew it was too risky to bring them along, so they stayed with her mother and other family members. She gathered all of the money she saved for years to pay the Cayotaje their asking price. She understood the risk of entering the US in this manner, but in her mind the alternative of staying in her country was worse. As her story unfolded, she shared that she walked for miles, was in a dark van for miles, crossed rivers and other masses of water for what seemed like miles. Along the way, some of the others who shared this arduous journey with her did not make it. Tears rolled, the pain in her soul was observable, as she continued on. With every breath, she quivered recalling those horrific days, and in particular the moment she described her sexual assault. Julie was raped repeatedly, often gang raped. No one to help her, rescue her, and all for the sake of a “better life.” As she finished her story, glazed over after the sobering reality that she had just shared one of

the most horrific instances in her life; shame, humiliation, fear, and sadness washing over her, it was clear that she once again reflected on the thought of whether it was all worth it? The importance of this story is to highlight that “freedom” to enter into this country, in particular for people of color is rarely ever free. Whether refugee or willfully undocumented, there is a price that many have paid by the deeply distressing and disturbing experiences they have endured. This trauma is rarely ever addressed. It goes unnoticed and untreated. Now add to their existing trauma the reality of persecution. For this reason, immigrant trauma looks and feels very similar to urban trauma. For instance, both groups witness community violence and are often marginalized because of the color of their skin, religious beliefs, and poverty status. Policies that are enforced by the US government often cause a re-traumatization effect. Both groups begin to experience paranoid

thoughts, hypervigilance, shock, denial, confusion, irritability, mood swings, hopelessness, sadness, and a host of physical symptoms that are often mistaken for other medical conditions. The important message here is two-fold. One, to help those that are struggling with their immigration status to understand the reality of their fear and where it comes from. You are not making this up. If you are able to relate to these experiences seek help from a mental health professional. Often times you will not be able to do it alone. Get connected to agencies such as JUNTA or IRIS who are advocates for immigration services and reform; and find a culturally competent therapist who can help you work through your trauma. Second, for immigrant allies, know the signs and be the liaison to encourage seeking therapy, connecting to advocacy groups, and sharing knowledge related to the US immigration system.

Barbara Reynold’s Coretta Scott King Memoir Is a Must Read By Julianne Malveaux, NNPA Newswire Columnist Every day that he holds the presidency, Donald Trump does something outrageous. He blusters, he just plain lies, and he bullies. He pushes his decisions, his executive orders, down the throats of a Congress that he dominates. Why not let the democratic process work and let them vote to build a wall and pay for it, instead of insisting, by executive order, that the wall will be built. In just one short week as President, he has demeaned our democracy and our voters, caused international turmoil, and more. But he is doing exactly what he said he would do. We’ve been here before. Remember Ronald Reagan, the President who cut school lunches and declared ketchup a vegetable? Remember warmonger George W. Bush? Remember Richard Nixon and his coldness toward Coretta Scott King? Remember history!

Journalist Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds offers us the opportunity to remember history in the Coretta Scott King memoir, “My Life, My Love, My Legacy.” Reynolds took copious notes and made extensive recordings in the decades that she worked and travelled with Coretta Scott King, and she has turned them into a memoir. Completed in 2007, it has taken a decade for the book to be published, largely because of complications with the King estate. But Reynolds chooses not to talk about the complications, instead choosing to talk about the many ways her life was enriched and enhanced by her association with Mrs. King. She also chooses to illuminate the leadership roles that Mrs. King embraced, both while her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was living, and after his death. The book is a great and inspirational read, especially now, when so many have despaired at the irrational-seeming leadership of Donald Trump. It is a reminder that it took 15 years of persistence to establish the King holiday that we now all take for granted. It is easy to forget that Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.) introduced the King holiday

legislation in 1968, just days after Dr. King’s assassination. He introduced it again and again, year after year. According to Coretta Scott King, the bill was rejected more than 70 times. But she, and Conyers, persisted in their efforts to create a national holiday. Coretta Scott King met with the reformed segregationist Senator Robert Byrd. She says she would have been “anxious” to meet with a man who filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Bill, but was assured that his views had changed. Indeed, Byrd supported the effort to establish the King holiday, but through a rules change, a twothirds vote was needed to establish a holiday instead of a simple majority. In 1979, the bill lost by a mere five votes. Agitation continued after this loss. A petition drive yielded six million signatures. Stevie Wonder released his “Happy Birthday” song that advocated for a King holiday. Senator Jesse Helms opposed the holiday, introducing a 300-page document that detailed King’s “Communist activities.” Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan was so outraged by the document that he threw it to the ground, describing it as a “packet of filth.”

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On October 19, 1983, the Senate passed King holiday legislation 78-22, following a House vote of 338-90. President Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law on November 3, 1983, establishing the King holiday on the third Monday of January, beginning in 1986. Of course, some states dragged their feet. Arizona did not acknowledge the holiday until the NFL moved a Super Bowl in protest in 1992. South Carolina waited until 2000 to acknowledge the holiday. We often see Coretta Scott King as a stoic, dignified lady, and a graceful partner to civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King. This memoir shows her from another perspective, as a leader in her own right, as a dedicated pacifist, as a persistent adherent to principles of nonviolence, as a gritty fighter for her husband’s legacy through the holiday and the establishment of the King Center. We also see her as a mother, and can read her assessment of her children, their strengths and their challenges. While I had the privilege to be in Mrs. King’s company on many occasions, and to speak with her personally and at length more than once, this book

adds a depth to my knowledge of her and makes me wish I’d had the opportunity to know the side of her that laughed with Betty Shabazz and Myrlie Evers (I laughed with both of those women, but never Coretta), enjoyed opera, and let her hair down. As we attempt to develop the “fight back” plan for the outrageousness of the Trump presidency, it is useful to consider the women on whose shoulders we stand – Fannie Lou Hamer, Ida B. Wells, Shirley Chisholm and so many others. And it is useful to remember the grit and grace of Coretta Scott King, the power and passion in her persistence. For me, this book put steel in my spine. The Trump years will be a long four years, but imagine waiting 17 years to establish a King holiday that is now so widely celebrated! Julianne Malveaux is an author, economist and Founder of Economic Education. Her latest book “Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy” is available to order at www. juliannemalveaux.com at Amazon. com. Follow Dr. Malveaux on Twitter @drjlastword.


THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

Woman Who Falsely Accused Emmett Till Will Avoid Prosecution By Erick Johnson, The Chicago Crusader/NNPA He’s been dead for more than 60 years. Buried with Emmett Till was the truth to what led to brutal murder in 1955. But the latest development in the case is not going well the Till’s relatives in Chicago, the murder boy’s hometown, where schools and streets are named after him. A new book about the murder is out and the woman whose accusations led to the brutal killing of the 14-year-old confessed that her story was a lie. Like Till’s killers, Carolyn Bryant Donham will not be brought to justice or face any charges for perjury. Till’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, never found justice for her son before she died in 2003. Now, the last surviving figure in one of the most shocking murder cases from the Jim Crow era will mostly likely go unpunished. Legal analysts say the case involving Donham is too old to prosecute, and Till’s killers have been dead for a long time. Till was a fun-loving teenager who lived in Chicago’s predominately Black Woodlawn neighborhood for years before he made a fateful trip to Mississippi at a time when many Blacks were being lynched and terrorized in the Deep South. Till and his mother are buried in Chicago’s Burr Oak Cemetery. Decades after he was buried, the teenager’s grave continues to draw more visitors than any other resting place in the cemetery on the city’s South Side. Now, Till’s murder case is back in the national spotlight with a new book where Donham recants her story after more than 60 years of silence since Till was brutally killed by two White men in Money, Miss. In the book, “The Blood of Emmett Till,” Donham said she lied during the criminal trial before her husband, Roy Bryant, and J.W. Milam

were acquitted after proceedings that lasted just over an hour. For decades, Donham remained silent as millions of Americans were led to believe that Till whistled at her, grabbed her and verbally accosted her, before the two men kidnapped him in the pre-dawn hours of August 26, 1955. The two murdered Till during a brutal beating that severely disfigured Till’s face and body. They shot him in the head before throwing his body in the Tallahatchie River. Days later, Till’s body was found with a large cotton gin fan tied around him with barb wire. Mississippi officials urged Till’s mother to keep his body shut tight in the casket, but Till-Mobley defied the orders. Pictures of Till’s face in Ebony, Jet and other newspapers horrified the nation and the world.

At an open-casket funeral at the Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ in Bronzeville, Till’s mother wanted to show what the men had done to her son. Black historians say Till’s murder led Rosa Parks to refuse to give up her bus seat in a historic act that sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Civil Rights Movement. The Emmett Till murder case continues to burn with interest today and is the subject of many books and documentaries. However, this latest book on Till’s murder is drawing significant interest because it involves an elusive White woman who has broken her silence after avoiding the press and Till’s relatives for more than 60 years. In 2004, the late “60 Minutes” correspondent Ed Bradley located Donham at her home in Greenville,

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Miss. His cameraman captured her on video, but the journalists were chased away from the property after Donham’s son arrived. “The Blood of Emmett Till” is already drawing rave reviews from readers who have received an early copy of the book. Written by Duke University scholar, Timothy B. Tyson, the book also chronicles the life of Donham, who is twice divorced and married three times. The book also answers a question about the Till murder case that many Blacks knew for years: that Till did not flirt with Donham. On “CBS This Morning,” Tyson said he was connected to Donham after her daughter-in-law called him and told him that she liked his previous book, “Blood Done Sign My Name.” At the time, Donham was writing her memoir, which she said won’t be made public until 2036. “The Blood of Emmett Till,” which had a limited pre-release to selected news outlets, includes graphic details of the murder and the events surrounding the aftermath of Till’s murder. The book also includes the intense racial and social climate of Blacks living in Money, Miss. However, the part of the book that’s stirring the most interest is Donham and the place where Till’s fate began: the Bryant grocery store, an infamous, crumbling landmark that was once located on a flourishing street in Money. The store was owned by Donham’s first husband. During the trial, Donham claimed Till whistled at her at when she came out of the store where Till and boys played on the steps. On the witness stand, Donham claimed Emmett grabbed and asked her, “How about a date, baby?” She also said Till

had made verbal and physical advances towards her. But in the book, which hit stores January 31, Donham said that part wasn’t true, according to excerpts published in the magazine, “Vanity Fair.” Donham also said in the book that she “felt tender sorrow” and admitted “nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him.” Some relatives who spoke to The Chicago Crusader aren’t happy with Donham. Some are angry that Donham not only lied, but waited 60 years to tell the truth. Others are angry that Tyson, the author, waited 10 years to come forward with Donham’s confession. Some say they won’t buy the book. In an interview with The Crusader, one of Till’s cousins, Airicka GordonTaylor, who lives in Chicago, said she learned about Donham on Jauary 27, after a friend from Los Angeles called her about the “Vanity Fair” article on the magazine’s website. “I was lying in the bed and wasn’t feeling well when she called,” said Gordon-Taylor, who marked the 60th anniversary death of Till last year with a ceremony at Burr Oak Cemetery where he is buried. “I said what? I was surprised when I saw this all of a sudden.” Like many Blacks, Gordon-Taylor said she had always known that Donham’s accusations were false, but she grew particularly upset when Donham compared the grief of losing one of her son’s to that of Till-Mobley’s grief over her murdered child. “There’s no comparison. Her husband brutally killed my cousin,” GordonTaylor said. Another cousin of Till, Wheeler Parker, 77, was with the teenager when he was kidnapped from a bedroom of his uncle’s home in Money. Parker said Donham’s confession brings some closure to Till’s death. “I was pleased with her confession, but a lot of family members are upset,” he said. “But a lot of people are going to see Emmett the way I wanted them to see him for 60 years. This brings a lot of closure for me.” Parker plans to release a book that will detail his own personal account of Till’s story, titled “A Few Days and Full of Trouble.” Parker hopes to release the book in March. As for Donham, she has nothing to worry about, despite her confession. In 2007, a grand jury decided not to indict Donham in the murder after an 8,000page inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The U.S. Justice Department began an investigation into the Emmett Till lynching in 2004, Emmett’s body was exhumed for an autopsy, and the FBI rediscovered the long-missing trial transcript.


THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017 Con’t from page 14

New Day Beckons

Despite changes in management, the community remains that kind of place, she said. “The community made me what I am today,” she said. “The essence of the community is what I wanted my children to have.” Gales, a 32-year-old single mom, said she earns $36,000 a year as a custodial worker at Yale-New Haven Hospital. The new deal works out well for lowerincome tenants like Sandra Showers. At the meeting’s start, she sought reassurance about where she’ll have to move within the complex when renovations start. VestA plans to renovate a cluster of apartments at a time, moving those apartments’ occupants to other units within the complex. The tenants will then have the choice of remaining in the new unit or returning to their old one, fixed up, Moran promised. “I don’t want to move into someone else’s mess. ‘Cause I’m not nasty!” Showers told Moran. Moran reassured her that tenants will move into temporary units that either have been renovated or are in good shape, with cable hooked up. “Wow!” Showers responded. A former certified nurse assistant, Showers is now on disability, and has had to contribute only $97 a month toward her subsidized rent, she said. Next Moves VestA will have crucial details available within the next week for all tenants, Moran promised: precisely how many earn above the HUD minimum to qualify for Section 8, and the projected new rents next year once renovations are completed (based on current Section 8 income guidelines, which change over time). Tenants will then need to decide if they can afford the new rents, and, crucially, whether they’d find comparable or lower rents elsewhere. After the meeting, New Haven Legal Assistance attorney Amy Marx buttonholed Moran. She has represented some tenants during the fracas over the unpaid and disappearing old bills. She is also representing tenants facing eviction. She pushed Moran to provide firmer numbers for the tenants. And she pushed for management to “understand the traumatic impact” that sudden spikes in rent of hundreds of dollars a month no matter how fairly arrived at can prove for low-income and working families on tight budgets. She said the company should offer more than $1,500 to move, for instance; she suggested offering money to cover the security deposit and first month’s rent on a new place. Overhauling a housing development to make it better and more stable necessarily involves disrupting real people’s lives. How disruptive that proves, and how fair, will be the challenge for VestA, government officials monitoring them, the tenants,

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THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

CONGRESSMAN CEDRIC RICHMOND BRINGS BOLD NEW LEADERSHIP TO CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS

Newly Elected Chair Vows To Make Inclusion of The Black Press and Key Component in Preserving the Rights of African Americans by Danny J. Bakewell, NNPA Chairman Emeritus Congressman Cedric Richmond has been a Congressman in New Orleans for the past 6 years.  During his tenure he has experienced some of the best and worst times in the country and has had a front run seat for all of the action.  Now the 43 year old congressman has taken on a new challenge as the newly elected chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus one of the most powerful coalitions in the nation.   When asked why he decided to take on this role the congressman explained “I have always been interested in serving as Chair of the Caucus but over the Thanksgiving Holiday I began to contemplate what life was going to look like in the new environment of the Trump Administration and realized that the CBC was going to have to take the lead roll in insuring African Americans have a loud and active voice”.  The congressman felt he was up to the challenge and in November his colleagues in congress and in the senate voted him as the Chairman of the caucus.   Cedric Richmond knows that the next 2 years are going to be crucial and the only way things are going to get accomplished for African Americans and other disenfranchised

they receive via the Black Press”. “Now that we no longer have a President (Obama) who can or is willing to call a press conference and get information out to our people we must be strategic in working with the Black Press to get our information and our story to the people.  Congressman Richmond understand the power and role the federal government plays in supporting all media, and he feels that supporting the Black Press is a key tool in insuring that the African American Community is not ignored in this process.  “The Federal Government Is the largest advertiser in the country and for us to ignore, not support or cripple our Black Newspapers would be a travesty.  If we don’t advertise in the Black Press we are missing and not taking advantage of a way to communicate to the millions of African Americans throughout the country.  We cannot allow the Black Press to go away or be weakened and I am committed to working with Danny Sr and the NNPA to get the Federal Government more active in Photo: Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA) advertising in Black Newspapers. communities is if  the leadership from him running and ultimately   Diversity is a word that in today’s and members of the caucus have becoming chairman.  “The CBC political climate is thrown around strategic thinking, strategic planning has never been an organization in almost every government and and strategic execution. lead or deferred to by seniority corporate office, but rarely have   House Democratic Leader Nancy and I believed I was best suited to we seen African Americans benefit Pelosi asked that all Democrats defer take on this roll”.  Stated the 3 term from the roles or discussions about to Sr. members in crucial leadership congressional leader and obviously, diversity.  Chairman Richmond rolls.  Congressman Richmond his colleagues agreed. intends to hold everyone accountable didn’t see this request as a deterrent   As part of Congressman to making sure African Americans Richmond’s leadership he has are part of this diversity discussion.  vowed to support the Black Press “Just as we discuss and take diversity and Black Media throughout very seriously within the house in the country.  He has formed an regards to employment we must also alliance with Past NNPA Chairman lobby for diversity in advertising Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. and NNPA and take that just as seriously”. President Benjamin Chavis to   Chairman Richmond is not stopping insure that African American at the Black Press in moving forward media is included and plays and the agenda of the CBC.  He recently active role in getting the message met with the national leaders of of what is going on in the national most of the major African American government to the communities that Civil Rights Organizations and they they serve.  Congressman Richmond have agreed to meet regularly to is a supporter of the Black Press organize and function in unison to and when asked why he feels it is move forward the Black Agenda.  necessary to take on this challenge “I have also reached out to the the congressman had this to say.  leaders of the major civil rights “Black Media and particularly the organizations across the country and Black Press play and extraordinary we have agreed to meet regularly roll in getting our message out to our and work together to sustain the and communities, print media especially uphold the things that are important plays an important roll because the in sustaining a quality of life for Black Press is highly regarded within African Americans.  We have been our communities and people have a through tough times before and this greater trust on the information that is no different”

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When asked what is the agenda for his CBC administration the Chairman was not shy about what he intends to fight for and get done over the next two years.  He said the goals of his administration are not much different than the agenda that the CBC has been fighting for since it’s inception. • Restore the Voting Rights Act •Create more economic opportunities for African Americans •Fight for raising the minimum wage - We cannot allow these tax cuts for business to be on the backs of poor people •We cannot not let this administration strip away the safety net which provides services and support for many of the people residing in our communities.  Chairman Richmond knows that raising the minimum wage is essential to creating a stronger foundation for families.  “We want to work and find ways to preserve the family unit.  We must fight for real criminal justice reform so that people are actually given a 2nd chance and have real opportunities for employment so that they can live productive lives and create more stable family environments” •We cannot allow for injustice to occur as it relates to the Family Care Act (ObamaCare).  20/30 million people rely on this program to provide quality healthcare • Right now we have a number of single parent households lead mainly by women who make 60 cents on the dollar in comparison to a man • Then we blast the teachers for not providing a quality education to the children.  Well how can a child get the support they need at home if the mother is working two jobs.  She can’t help him with his homework, she can help him study for exams or make sure that he starts and ends each day with a good healthy meal. • The income of parents plays a vital role in the well being and cause and effect of the family unit.   Congressman Cedric Richmond knows that the CBC will continue to fight for the same things we have been fighting for since our inception in 1971.  “Unfortunately, it appears that President Trump does not take these things seriously so we must fight harder and not to allow the progress we have made go backwards and continue to make strides in moving our community forward.”


THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

Africa Not Holding Its Breath For Trump on Trade By Grant Clark, Urban News Service

After a two-year election campaign and weeks into his presidency, Africans still have no idea how Donald J. Trump plans to deal with this continent of 54 nations. Since the launch of his political career, Trump has barely mentioned Africa, home to six of the 12 fastest-growing economies in the world, let alone share insight into his foreign policy thinking. All Africans, and anyone interested in U.S.-Africa relations, have got to go on are a few disparaging tweets, posted in the years before his run for office. In one 2015 tweet, he called South Africa, the continent’s economic powerhouse, a “total and very dangerous mess”. In another, he said: “every penny of the $7 billion going to Africa as per Obama will be stolen.” Officially, the response to Trump’s presidency by African leaders has been muted. But when two African countries were recently included in the executive order banning travel to the U.S. from six predominately Muslim countries, the outgoing head of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana DlaminiZuma, lashed out, saying “The very country to whom our people were taken as slaves during the transatlantic slave trade, has now decided to ban refugees from some of our countries.” On social media and privately, many Africans regard Trump’s tone and his silence on Africa as part of a general negative attitude towards their continent. “When you watch the news in African countries, people are alarmed by what they see coming from the White House,” said Kwaku Nuamah, a lecturer at American University’s School of International Service in Washington. But given America’s track record on African trade and investment, some in African business circles say they are neither surprised nor alarmed by the absence of any foreign policy direction on Africa. “Many people were expecting closer relations [with the U.S.] while Obama was in there but that didn’t happen,” said Kebour Ghenna, director of the Ethiopia-based Pan-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a body representing African business. “And they don’t expect that to change with Trump,” Ghenna said. Nuamah agrees. “Expectations are very low. Whatever [Trump] does will exceed expectations,” he said. The three previous U.S. administrations all had high-profile programs aimed at boosting aid, trade and investment in Africa. In 2000, President Bill Clinton enacted the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), which

enabled qualified African nations to grow exports by allowing dutyfree access to American markets. President George Bush introduced the President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief (PEPFAR), providing billions of dollars in aid to fight the continent’s HIV/Aids pandemic. President Obama maintained both those initiatives and launched a few of his own, in historic fashion. In his second term, he announced a $45 billion energy project seeking to electrify 60 million African homes and businesses as well as other efforts to promote Americans doing business in Africa. Obama went on to become the first American president to host a U.SAfrica Summit with African heads of state at the White House in 2014, intended to strengthen relations. Yet his efforts paled in comparison to those of another foreign power deeply engaged with Africa: China. It was a disappointment for some in a president with personal ties to the motherland. China surpassed the U.S. as Africa’s biggest trading partner in 2009. SinoAfrican trade has grown in leaps and bounds since, rising to $210 billion in 2013 – more than double that of the U.S-Africa trade in goods that year. America’s trade with African nations, on the other hand, dropped from $125 billion in 2011 to $99 billion the following year to $85 billion in 2013, according to Washington-based think tank, the Brookings Institution. Last year, Obama announced that U.S direct investment in Africa had risen 70 percent during his presidency. But it still lagged behind China. At an annual China-Africa Summit in South Africa in 2015, China pledged to invest another $60 billion in loans and investments into African development. The main sectors benefiting were transportation, such as rail and road infrastructure development, energy and mining. Meanwhile, Trump has all but declared a trade war with China. Should he fulfill campaign promises, they could include officially labeling China a currency manipulator and bringing trade cases against China in the U.S. and with the World Trade Organization (WTO). Whether Trump will decide to take his fight to the Chinese on African soil is anyone’s guess, although some analysts suggest that his “America First” outlook suggests a dialing back of American engagement on the global stage. But challenging China as a competitor for economic dominance in Africa is a battle the U.S. is unlikely to win, Ghenna said. “There is already a momentum with China that is difficult to restrain.”

SAT • FEB 18 • 2PM & 7PM XLCenter.com

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THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

Town of Bloomfield Assistant Assessor $37.01 hourly

Housing Authority of the City of New Haven Invitation for Bids

For details and how to apply, go to www.bloomfieldct.org. Pre-employment drug testing. AA/EOE

New Haven Section 3, DAS certified MBE & WBE subcontractors wanted Encore Fire Protection is looking for Section 3, DAS certified MBE & WBE subcontractors to install a fire sprinkler/suppression system. All interested bidders, companies and employees are to be licensed in the State of Connecticut, Bonded and Insured. Work duties will include all tasks required for proper fire sprinkler system installation per approved plans. Construction experience is a must. All F2 licensed mechanics are responsible to arrive to the job site on time, have a minimum of OSHA 10 training and possess approved personal protection equipment. You will also participate in daily, weekly and monthly progress reports. If interested, please contact encorefire110@gmail.com. Construction oriented company seeking full-time Accounting/Administrative Assistant to answer phones, schedule sales appts, filing, typing & other general office duties. Will also have accounting responsibilities-data entry, sales order billing, and processing A/P transactions, supporting our over-the-counter sales person, the controller & CFO. Min 5 yrs. Related experience, excellent written & verbal skills, ability to multitask, knowledge of basic accounting principles, excellent computer skills (5+ yrs. Experience) with Excel & Word, accounting software knowledge a plus. $31,200 annual salary-negotiable based on experience & qualifications. AA/EOE Email resume to mmunzner@atlasoutdoor.com

Interior and Exterior Door Installation and Repair The Housing Authority of the City of New Haven d/b/a Elm City Communities is currently seeking Bids for Interior and Exterior Door Installation and Repair. A complete copy of the requirement may be obtained from Elm City’s Vendor Collaboration Portal https:// newhavenhousing.cobblestonesystems.com/gateway beginning on Monday, February 13, 2017 at 3:00 PM

KMK Insulation Inc. 1907 Hartford Turnpike North Haven, CT 06473

Mechanical Insulator

Insulation Company offering good pay and benefits. Please forward resume via REGULAR MAIL only. This company is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer Bridge Repair Crew –

must have reliable transportation and be willing to travel statewide, Operator, Driver, Laborer, M/F, 5-15 years Heavy Highway Exp, OSHA 10, Immediate Opening 860-664-8042, Fax 860-664-9175michelle@ occllc.com EOE, AA, Females and Minorities encouraged to apply

Elm City Communities Request for Proposals Unarmed Security Guards Housing Authority City of New Haven d/b/a Elm city Communities is currently seeking Proposals for Unarmed Security Guards. A complete copy of the requirement may be obtained from Elm City’s Vendor Collaboration Portal https://newhavenhousing.cobblestonesystems.com/ gateway beginning on Monday February 13, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Cheshire Housing Authority 50 Rumberg Road Cheshire, CT 06410

Pre Applications for waiting list at Section 8 Elderly Complex called Beachport will be accepted February 1, 2017, 10:00 am to May 1, 2017, 4:30 pm. To qualify you must be either 62 years old or disabled with a maximum gross annual income of 30,650 (one person), 35,000 (two people). Interested parties may pick up a pre-application at 50 Rumberg Road or call to have one mailed. Completed applications must be returned NO LATER than 4:30pm, May 1, 2017. For more information call 203-272-7511.

The Housing Authority of the City of Norwalk, CT is seeking bids for Comprehensive Multi-Functional Copier, Printing System & Service. Bidding documents can be viewed and printed at www.norwalkha.org under the business tab, RFPs/RFQs. Norwalk Housing Authority is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Curtis O. Law, Executive Director 26

Construction oriented company seeking fulltime Accounting/Administrative Assistant to answer phones, schedule sales appts, filing, typing & other general office duties. Will also have accounting responsibilities-data entry, sales order billing, and processing A/P transactions, supporting our overthe-counter sales person, the controller & CFO. Min 5 yrs. Related experience, excellent written & verbal skills, ability to multitask, knowledge of basic accounting principles, excellent computer skills (5+ yrs. Experience) with Excel & Word, accounting software knowledge a plus. $31,200 annual salary-negotiable based on experience & qualifications. AA/EOE Email resume to mmunzner@atlasoutdoor.com ELECTRIC UTILITY ELECTRICIAN Electric utility is seeking a highly skilled maintenance electrician with extensive substation experience to maintain and repair transmission and distribution class switchgear, bus-work, lightning arrestors, protective relays, insulators, switches power transformers, data circuits, controls and other related components. Must be a high school/trade school graduate and have 4 years’ experience in the maintenance and operation of electric utility substations and/or utility grade protection and control systems. Completion of a recognized four (4) year maintenance electrician apprenticeship program may substitute for the experience requirement. Two (2) years of college-level education or advanced training in related field may substitute for two (2) years of the experience requirement. Must possess a valid motor vehicle operator’s license issued by the State of Connecticut and be able to obtain with 6 months of hire a valid Protective Switching and Tagging Procedure certification from CONVEX or other approved agency. Wage rate: $35.43 to $39.08 hourly plus an excellent fringe benefit package. Closing date will be February 17, 2017. Apply: Personnel Department, Town of Wallingford, 45 South Main Street, Wallingford, CT 06492. (203) 294-2080 /


THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

POLICE OFFICER Competitive examinations will be held for the position of Police Officer in the Guilford, Hamden, North Haven, Orange, Seymour, Torrington and West Haven Police Departments. Initial examination phases will be physical performance, written, and oral. Candidates may apply online at www. policeapp.com. Application deadline is March 8, 2017. ALL DEPARTMENTS PARTICIPATING IN THIS RECRUITMENT DRIVE

ARE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYERS.

The Housing Authority of the City of Norwalk, CT is seeking proposals for FINANCIAL ADVISORY SERVICES. RFP documents can be viewed and printed at www.norwalkha.org under the business tab, RFPs/RFQs. Norwalk Housing Authority is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Curtis O. Law, Executive Director

The Housing Authority of the City of Norwalk, CT is seeking proposals for MIXED-FINANCE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT LEGAL CONSULTING SERVICES. RFP documents can be viewed and printed at www.norwalkha.org under the business tab, RFPs/RFQs. Norwalk Housing Authority is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Curtis O. Law, Executive Director

Elm City Communities Request for Proposals Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) ProjectBased Assistance Program to Support the Development of Affordable Housing Housing Authority City of New Haven d/b/a Elm city Communities is currently seeking Proposals for Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Project- Based Assistance Program to Support the Development of Affordable Housing. A complete copy of the requirement may be obtained from Elm City’s Vendor Collaboration Portal https://newhavenhousing. cobblestonesystems.com/gateway beginning on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 3:00PM.

INVITATION TO BID

Northeast Building Group is accepting bids from qualified Minority/Female Business Enterprises for an upcoming project “REVITALIZATION OF THE OAK TERRACE HOUSING COMPLEX” located at 53 Conrad Street, Naugatuck, CT. Bids will be accepted by mail, fax, or email until 5:00PM on January 31, 2017, after which the bids will be privately opened. The project entails renovation of 188 housing units in 39 buildings. Trades include: site work, paving, utilities, abatement, rough carpentry, architectural woodwork, doors, frames and hardware, drywall, tiling, resilient flooring and base, painting, toilet accessories, appliances, window treatments, residential casework, plumbing, HVAC and electrical. Interested Connecticut DAScertified MBEs, DBEs, and WBEs are encouraged to submit bids and may contact Tim Burke by phone at 203-678-4030 or email at tburke@truebluecos.com to obtain plans and specifications. Bids received after 5:00PM on January 31, 2017 will be disqualified. Northeast Building Group is an is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer, 98 S. Turnpike Road, Suite F, Wallingford, CT 06492. Tel: 203-6784030 Fax: 203-678-4136.

Bridge Repair Crew – must have reliable transportation and be willing to travel statewide, Operator, Driver, Laborer, M/F, 5-15 years Heavy Highway Exp, OSHA 10, Immediate Opening 860-6648042, Fax 860-664-9175michelle@occllc.com EOE, AA, Females and Minorities encouraged to apply

SHOP EQUIPMENT MANAGER HEAVY AND HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION COMPANY

Immediate opening for Highly Organized, Self Motivated, Multitask Shop Manager

Skills & Duties required: • Five Years Experience in Overseeing Shop Maintenance • Strong Mechanical Knowledge of Heavy & Highway Equipment • Manage, Plan, Direct & Motivate Mechanics Day to Day Activities • Implement All Aspects of Equipment Repair Including: Managing Vendors, Procurement of Parts & Supplies , • Develop Reports to Forecast, Track & Budget All Equipment Expenses • Ensure Equipment Compliance with All Federal & State Regulations • Assist Field Operators w Trouble Shooting & Emergency Repairs • Competent w Microsoft Word, EXCEL, MANAGER PLUS and Timberline Software Equal Opportunity Employer Minority and female candidates are highly encouraged to apply Apply: Garrity Asphalt Reclaiming 22 Peters Rd Bloomfield, CT 06002 Phone: 860-243-2300 Fax 860-243-3100

\Send resumes & salary requirements to:

Email: garrity.careers@garrityasphalt.com

The Housing Authority of the City of Bristol Request for Proposals Interior Painting Services The Housing Authority City of Bristol (BHA) is seeking proposals for Vacant / Occupied Apartment Painting Services from qualified vendors for work throughout the Agency. Bidder Information packets can be obtained by contacting Carl Johnson, Director of Capital Funds at 860-585-2028 or cjohnson@bristolhousing.org beginning Wednesday, December 28, 2016 through Friday, January 13, 2017. A nonmandatory pre-bid meeting will be held Friday, January 13, 2017, 2:00pm at 164 Jerome Avenue, Bristol Connecticut.

All proposals should be clearly marked “RFP- Interior Painting”, submitted to Mitzy Rowe, CEO, The Housing Authority City of Bristol, 164 Jerome Avenue, Bristol, CT 06010, no later than 4:00 p.m., Friday January 20, 2017 at the office of the Bristol Housing Authority in a sealed envelope with one original and 3 copies, each clearly identified as Proposal for Interior Painting Services. An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Contractor

Account Clerk-Payables: The Town of East Haven is currently accepting applications to participate in the examination for Account Clerk-Payables. The current vacancy is in the Finance Department of the Board of Education but this list may be used to fill other Account Clerk positions within the Town of East Haven. The starting hourly rate is $18.78/hour, 37.5 hours per week. Candidate must possess a High School Diploma or equivalent and an Associate’s Degree in Accounting or equivalent experience, and a minimum of 3 years’ experience in accounts payable and a thorough working knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel. Applications are available from The Civil Service Office, 250 Main Street, East Haven, CT or at http://www. townofeasthavenct.org/civiltest.shtml and must be returned by January 24, 2017. The Town of East Haven is committed to building a workforce of diverse individuals. Minorities, Females, Handicapped and Veterans are encouraged to apply. 27


THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

LEGAL NOTICE The Bristol Housing Authority is developing its 2017-2021 Agency Plans in compliance with the HUD Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998. It is available for review at the Authority’s office located at 164 Jerome Ave., Bristol, CT. The Authority’s hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Tuesday 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Thursday 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. In addition, a Public Hearing will be held on February 16, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. at Gaylord Towers Community Hall located at 55 Gaylord Street, Bristol, CT. Public comments will be received no later than February 27, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. EOE

Grants Administration

Program Planning Administrator-Seeking a highly qualified professional to administer, manages, and oversees the Town’s Grants and Economic Development Programs. Serves as a representative on various intergovernmental and interagency organizations. The minimum qualifications: Bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university in government or public administration plus three years (3) of progressively responsible public administration and at least two years (2) of grant writing experience or an equivalent combination of education and qualifying experience substituting on a year-for-year basis. $77,695-$99,410 plus an excellent fringe benefit package. Apply to: Personnel Department, Town of Wallingford, 45 South Main Street, Wallingford, CT 06492. Closing date will be December 15, 2016. EOE.

ELECTRICIANS

Semac Electric is seeking Electricians (CT Licensed Journeymen & Foremen, E1 and E2) to join our team for medium & large commercial construction projects thru out the State of CT: Hartford, Fairfield & New Haven Counties. We have excellent wages and benefits. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applications available at our main office at 45 Peter Court, New Britain, CT or send resume to P.O. Box 638, New Britain, CT 06050 or via fax to 860-229-0406 or email: careers@ semacelectric.com

Mechanical Insulator

Insulation Company offering good pay and benefits. Please forward resume to P.O. Box 475, North Haven, CT 06473 This company is an APPRENTICE

Telecommunications Company looking for apprentice to learn indoor and outdoor low voltage cable installation, aerial bucket work, messenger and lashing; manhole and underground installation. Good salary with benefits. Fax resume to 860-6432124 or mail to Fibre Optic Plus, 302 Adams Street, Manchester, CT 06042. Attn: Greg Brown AA/EEO Employer AFFIRMATIVE ACTION / EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER

The Housing Authority of the City of Norwalk, CT

The Housing Authority of the City of Bridgeport

Invitation for Bid (IFB) Trumbull Gardens – Building 10 & 11 Roof Replacement Solicitation Number: 075-PD-17-S The Housing Authority of the City of Bridgeport d/b/a Park City Communities (PCC) is requesting sealed bids for the replacement of roofs at Trumbull Gardens building 10 & 11. A complete set of the plans and technical specifications will be available on February 15, 2017. To obtain a copy of the solicitation you must send your request to bids@parkcitycommunities.org, please reference solicitation number and title on the subject line. A pre-bid conference will be held at 150 Highland Ave, Bridgeport, CT 06604 on March 1, 2017 @ 2:00 p.m. Although attendance is not mandatory, submitting a bid for the project without attending conference is not in the best interest of the Offeror. Additional questions should be emailed only to bids@parkcitycommunities.org no later than March 10, 2017 @ 2:00 p.m. Answers to all the questions will be posted on PCC’s Website: www. parkcitycommunities.org. All bids must be received by mailed or hand delivered by March 21, 2017 @ 2:00 PM, to Ms. Caroline Sanchez, Contract Specialist, 150 Highland Ave, Bridgeport, CT 06604, at which time and place all bids will be publicly opened and read aloud. No bids will be accepted after the designated time.

CONTRACTOR OPPORTUNITY - BRIDGEPORT

Construction Resources, Inc., an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer, seeks certified MBE/WBE/SBE Subcontractors and/or suppliers and local business enterprises to bid applicable sections of work/equipment/supplies for the following construction project: Project known as South End Commons - Demolition of existing properties and new construction of eight (8) residential two-family dwellings and site improvements located on Columbia Street and Johnson Street in Bridgeport, CT. Bid Date and Time: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 by 12:00 noon. Electronic Plans and specifications can be obtained at no charge by contacting Mark Rubins at Construction Resources Farmington office at (860) 678-0663 or by email to mark@corebuilds.com.

Electrical Apprentice Maintenance Electrician - The Town of Wallingford Public Utilities, Electric Division is seeking an individual to perform maintenance and installation of electrical equipment such as but not limited to maintaining and repairing high and low voltage equipment. Position requires completion of high school, technical high school or trade school plus two (2) years’ experience in electrical maintenance or construction OR an equivalent combination of education and qualifying experience substituting on a year-for-year basis. Must possess and maintain a valid State of Connecticut motor vehicle operator’s license. Wages: $24.63– $32.77 hourly and an excellent fringe benefit package. Apply to: Personnel Department, Town of Wallingford, 45 South Main Street, Wallingford, CT 06492. Fax #: (203) 294-2084. The closing date will be the date the 75th application or resume is received or January 30, 2017 whichever occurs first. EOE.

Common Ground High School Seeks Curriculum Development Consultant Common Ground High School is seeking an experienced, creative professional who can work with teachers, school leaders, students, families, and community partners to strengthen our curriculum and classroom teaching — ensuring it is driven by standards, rooted in our local community and unique site, culturally relevant and inclusive, contributing to social justice, and pushing students towards both environmental leadership and college success. For a complete job description and compensation information, please visit http:// commongroundct.org/2017/01/common-ground-seeks-curriculum-development-consultant

is seeking bids for Janitorial Services. Bidding documents can be viewed and printed at www. norwalkha.org under the business tab, RFPs/ RFQs. Norwalk Housing Authority is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Curtis O. Law, Executive Director

Responsible for leadership, management & maintenance of plant infrastructure and all related/associated equipment. 5 plus years supervisory experience. Email: Info@redtechllc.com, Fax: 860-218-2433, RED Technologies, LLC is an EOE.

ELECTRICIANS

Class A CDL Driver with 3 years min. exp. HAZMAT Endorsed. (Tractor/Triaxle/Roll-off) Some overnights may be required. FAX resumes to RED Technologies, at 860.342-1042;

Semac Electric is seeking Electricians (CT Licensed Journeymen & Foremen, E1 and E2) to join our team for medium & large commercial construction projects thru out the State of CT: Hartford, Fairfield & New Haven Counties. We have excellent wages and benefits. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applications available at our main office at 45 Peter Court, New Britain, CT or send resume to

Facilities Manager – Portland, CT:

Class A Driver Email: HR@redtechllc.com Mail or in person: 173 Pickering Street, Portland, CT 06480.

RED Technologies, LLC is An EOE.


THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

Blacks Will Account for Nearly 18 percent of U.S. Population by 2060 By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Contributor

Each year, the Census Bureau recognizes Black History Month by releasing up-to-date statistics that reveal the total Black population, the number of Black-owned businesses and even how many AfricanAmerican military members are serving the country. Currently, the Black population stands at 46.3 million, up about 1.3 percent from the previous year. The Census Bureau identifies individuals as Black, even if they list Black and another race on the survey. Census officials project that the Black population will increase to 74.5 million by July 1, 2060 and, on that date, African-Americans will account for 17.9 percent of the nation’s total population. The estimated number of Blackowned employer firms was 108,473 in 2014, according to the Census Bureau. Additionally, there’s an estimated 31,216 Black-owned health care and social assistance firms, the largest sector of Blackowned businesses. The health care and social assistance sector is followed by professional, scientific and technical support (15,078) and administrative, support, waste management and remediation services (9,644). The building on South Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Ill., that housed one of the most famous Blackowned firms in the world, Johnson Publishing Company (JPC), is now being considered for landmark status. JPC gave the world two pillars of Black media, EBONY and JET magazines. “As we celebrate Black History Month, it is the perfect time to honor this building that stands tall as a decades-long epicenter of Black history and culture,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This designation will cement this building’s status as a landmark that is not just part of the legacy of the city of Chicago, but the history of our nation.” Linda Johnson Rice, chairperson of Johnson Publishing Company and daughter of the company’s founder John H. Johnson, said she’s honored that the building is being considered for landmark status. “My father started Johnson Publishing Company to inform, empower and uplift the African American community,” said Rice in the statement released by the city of Chicago. “With my mother, Eunice

by his side, they built an iconic brand. I am thrilled that the building that housed our company for so many years is being considered for landmark status. Johnson continued: “It is a true testament to the hard work of my parents and all the people who called Johnson Publishing Company home for decades. I am grateful to Mayor Emanuel and Alderman King for supporting this effort.” Census officials also noted the contributions of African-Americans in the military. The latest figures show that 2.2 million Black military veterans reside in the United States. Education has also improved among African-Americans with the Census Bureau reporting that 87 percent of the Black population age 25 and over has at least a high school diploma, more than 20 percent hold a bachelor’s degree and 1.9 million have attained advanced degrees. Currently, nearly three million African-Americans are enrolled in an undergraduate college. Educators said the results are encouraging and the change that’s making a difference is at the middle and high school levels. “Gone are the days when we take a 9th grade class and plug them all into those beginning courses,” Sue Chittim, the principal of Annapolis High School in Md., told the Capital Gazette. “We take our time to make sure there’s a readiness level and they’re taking classes of interest.” Civil rights activist Carl Snowden said the graduation numbers for African-Americans are encouraging, but he is concerned about other indicators of success, such as test scores.

“I would be thrilled if the achievement gap was closing at the same rate, which it’s not,” he said. Further Census statistics indicate that the annual median household income for African-Americans is $36,544, compared to the $55,775 of the rest of the country. More than 25 percent of the Black population lives below the poverty level, while the national average is 14.7 percent. The percentage of the civilian employed Black population age 16 and older who worked in management, business, science and arts occupations stood at 28.7

percent, while the total civilian employed population who worked in these occupations was 37.1 percent. Closing these gaps would be a tremendous challenge even in a reasonable political environment, Congressman Cedric Richmond, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), wrote in an editorial. The current political climate is anything, but reasonable, Richmond said. “The battles fought and won by Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, and Martin Luther King Jr. are being waged again

today,” said Richmond. “An unjust criminal justice system continues to decimate African-American families and communities.” Richmond continued: “Schools in many parts of the country look as though Brown v. Board of Education never happened. The right to vote is in greater peril than it has been in over 50 years. Needless to say, the work ahead of us is as important as it has been at any point in our history.” For more than 45 years, the Black Caucus, known as the “Conscience of the Congress,” has worked to improve conditions for AfricanAmericans across the country. Richmond said that the CBC would continue to push for the restoration of the Voting Rights Act and work to end discriminatory voting practices. “We will continue to lead efforts to reform our nation’s broken criminal justice system and promote community-centered policing,” said Richmond. “We will work to create educational opportunities and equity, ensure programs are in place for job and career training, and strengthen Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” Richmond added: “This moment, like many others before it, will require us all to remain active and engaged, if we hope to reach new heights in this struggle.”

Questions about your bill? Yale New Haven Hospital is pleased to offer patients and their families financial counseling regarding their hospital bills or the availability of financial assistance, including free care funds. By appointment, patients can speak one-on-one with a financial counselor during regular business hours. For your convenience, extended hours are available once a month. Date: Tuesday, February 21 Time: 5 - 7 pm Location: Children’s Hospital, 1 Park St., 1st Floor, Admitting Parking available (handicapped accessible) An appointment is necessary. Please call 203-688-2046. Spanish-speaking counselors available.

10652 (06/16)

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THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

Janet Uthman Works to Expand Comcast’s Diversity Efforts in the Black Community By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Contributor In 2016, Janet Uthman was named to Ebony magazine’s Power 100, a distinction handed out to such notable African-American achievers as the Obamas, Lonnie Bunch, Melissa Harris-Perry and John Legend. Other publications have featured her as a “mover and shaker” and now Uthman, a former corporate marketing director at BET, has transitioned smoothly into a new role at Comcast, as the division vice president of Inclusion and Multicultural Marketing. “As the head of Inclusion and Multicultural Marketing for Comcast’s Northeast Division, I am responsible for overseeing the planning and execution of diversity and inclusion efforts, as well as multicultural marketing strategies across the division,” said Uthman, who joined Comcast in 2008, as region director of product management. Uthman’s division is spread across 14 states including Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. She holds a master’s degree in business administration in marketing from the University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from University of California, Berkeley and previously served as

region sales director for the Disney Channel. Prior to taking over her current role in October 2015, Uthman worked as vice president of Marketing and Sales at Comcast, where she gained a reputation for crafting competitive strategy and successfully building top performing sales teams, while delivering best in class results. “This past year, I helped assemble a group of leaders across the Division who are committed to being champions of diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our business,” said Uthman. “Together, we have continued to build on our initiatives to ensure all 22,000 of our employees across the division have an equal opportunity to succeed at Comcast and reflect the diverse communities in which we live and serve.” The company’s Beltway Region Black Employee Network has also proven successful. The Beltway Region, which includes the Washington, D.C. area, kicked off the Black Employee Network Employee Resource Group (ERG) last March to champion growth, development and opportunity for individuals of color, Uthman said. “Understanding the importance of employee resource groups, the region also recently launched the Veterans Network, Women’s Network and Young Professionals Network, and is looking to include others,” said Uthman. “In addition to networking, these groups provide peer-to-peer mentoring, help drive business initiatives, as well as improve community relations, as

several members are involved in local organizations around the Greater Washington, D.C. area.” Uthman has also been busy offering guidance on programming and product enhancements that appeal to multicultural audiences, and looking for opportunities to meet with customers at various local events, recognizing that not all customer segments can be addressed with one general marketing message. “We continuously look to create culturally relevant marketing ads, as well as expand our programming content to appeal to African-American and multicultural audiences,” Uthman said. “We recently added the Impact Network, ASPiRE and REVOLT to our channel lineup, as well as distributed an RFP to add two additional AfricanAmerican majority owned networks by January 2019.” Uthman continued: “We have also enhanced our products and services to make it easier for our viewers to find African American programming, including adding Black TV & Film, MLK Day and Black History Month folders to Xfinity On Demand.” With respect to its engagement in local events, Comcast’s goal is to make authentic connections by supporting causes important to the communities it serves, she said. In 2016, Comcast’s Beltway Region supported the Lake Arbor Jazz Festival in Prince George’s County, the Washington Informer Spelling Bee, Howard University Charter Day, Radio One Prayer Breakfast; the company also held a special viewing party for the NAACP Image Awards

in partnership with TV One. Comcast has also supported the African-American Festival in Baltimore and the Capital Jazz Festival in Columbia, Md. Further, “Comcast Cares Day,” a celebration of the company’s yearround commitment to service, has grown to become the nation’s largest, single-day corporate volunteer event. In 2016, more than 100,000 volunteers improved more than 900 parks, schools, beaches, senior centers and other vital community sites in 21 countries during the 15th anniversary of Comcast Cares Day. In September 2016, the cable giant joined the YMCA of the USA in Philadelphia to announce a comprehensive $15.3 million partnership that combines the YMCA’s commitment to strengthening communities and improving the lives of children and families and the transformative potential of Comcast’s Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive internet adoption program, to help prepare the next generation for the future. “We value our partnership with Washington, D.C. leaders and organizations to close the digital divide,” said Uthman. “We offer the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program, Internet Essentials, which provides low-cost broadband service for $9.95 a month, digital literacy training and discounted computers for low-income families.” Uthman shared that Comcast announced last summer that the program’s eligibility standards would

expand to households receiving HUDhousing assistance, including public housing, Housing Choice Voucher, and Multifamily programs. “This announcement means even more individuals, including seniors, veterans and adults without children, are now eligible to apply for the program,” said Uthman. In five years, the Internet Essentials program has connected more than 750,000 low-income families – or more than three million Americans – to the Internet at home. Uthman said her work remains cut out for her, but she’s up to the challenge. Her drive has already been acknowledged as she was named to Ebony magazine’s Power 100. “It was a tremendous honor to be named alongside such luminaries. I was literally speechless when I heard the news,” Uthman said. “Ebony magazine was a huge part of my life growing up, as it was one of the few places to see positive portrayals of African-American people in the media at that time.” While honors and accolades are welcome, Uthman said she’s most passionate about her job and what it entails. “I love having the opportunity to build on and create new initiatives to ensure all our employees across the Northeast Division have an equal opportunity to succeed in the organization,” Uthman said. “I also enjoy partnering with our corporate team to create strategies to attract and retain multicultural consumers. This role is the perfect combination of my passion and my purpose.”

Trump's minion prepares to gut consumer watchdog By Jesse Jackson

“Personnel is policy,” says Gary Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs recently named to head President Trump’s National Economic Council. He got that right, and every working family should shudder that Trump — after railing against the corruptions of Goldman Sachs and other big banks in the campaign — has put six former Goldman Sachs bankers at the head of his economic team. Their first priority is to roll back bank regulation, and, as Gary Cohn told the Wall Street Journal, one of their first targets is to disembowel

the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP). The CFPB was created in the Dodd-Frank banking reforms passed after the excesses of the banks helped blow up the economy. Led by Elizabeth Warren (then a Harvard Law professor, now a U.S. senator), consumer and civil rights groups pushed for it against the full force of the banking lobby. The agency’s sole mission is to protect consumers against the scams and schemes of fraudulent banks and lenders. Led by Richard Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general and treasurer, it has been a stunning success, recovering nearly $12 billion for 27 million consumers from the lenders who cheated or defrauded them. The CFPB is the champion of what Trump calls the forgotten working families of America. It has protected veterans and military families,

recovering $100 million from lenders who preyed on them. It recovered over $480 million for students who were deceived by for-profit chains peddling fraudulent products. It has moved against the payday lenders that gouge low-wage workers. It is about to issue rules prohibiting payday loans with interest of 300 percent or more — literally immoral loans that earn the Bible’s condemnation of usury. Seniors are often targets of financial frauds. Last year, a survey showed that nearly one in five citizens 65 and older had been “taken advantage of financially.” The CFPB has worked actively to shield them from deceptive practices. The big banks hate the CFPB and its investigations into their policies and practices. The agency has recovered more than $1.5 billion for consumers bilked by credit card companies. For

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the first time, with the CFPB working people have a cop on the financial beat. At its head, Cordray has earned widespread applause. Consumer groups hail how he’s made the CFPB transparent and responsive. Civil rights groups applaud the progress he’s forced on diversity in hiring and services. He’s gone after lenders and others for charging people of color more for mortgages, auto loans and credit cards. The CFPB has recouped over $400 million in payments and credits to more than 500,000 consumers who experienced discrimination. Now Cohn suggests he plans to weaken the CFPB by firing Cordray. Fire him? He should give him a medal. Under the law, Cordray has been appointed for a term that ends in 2018 and can only be fired for cause. To fire him, Cohn will have to violate

that law. Trump has given his economic policy over to the big bankers. They are gearing up for another predators’ ball. The first regulation Cohn wants to reverse is the “fiduciary rule,” which requires investment advisers to put client’s interests first when they deal with retirement accounts. Banks don’t like the rule because it prohibits investment advisers from peddling products that line their pockets at their clients’ expense. One thing is clear. If Trump’s bankers can get rid of Cordray and geld the CFPB, millions of Americans will lose billions to the tricks and traps of the banks and lenders. Cohn has made Trump’s intentions clear. Now we have to rise up and demand that Congress protect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from Trump’s Goldman Sachs marauders.


THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

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THE INNER-CITY NEWS February 15, 2017 - February 21, 2017

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