Protecting American Consumers

10/17/2014

Chip and Pin Credit Cards - Buy Secure

October 17, 2014

Remarks by the President on Protecting American Consumers

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Washington, D.C.

12:00 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! (Applause.) Hello. Good job, everybody. Everybody, please have a seat. Well, it is good to be back at CFPB.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Woo!

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, this is an enthusiastic and rowdy crowd, this group. (Laughter.) That’s what happens when you do good things — you feel good. And this group is doing great work.

I want to thank your director, Rich Cordray, for hosting me here today, and I want to thank all of you for doing a great job in looking out for the financial security of all Americans.

Now, obviously, right now the news is dominated by Ebola, and we’ve got an all-hands-on-deck approach across government to make sure that we are keeping the American people safe. But even as we meet that particular challenge, it’s also important that we don’t lose sight of the other challenges that we face as a nation, especially the challenge of making sure that our economy works for every single American. And that includes the challenge that brings me here today: protecting Americans from financial fraud and identity theft.

As President, I believe that America is stronger when our middle class can count on things like affordable health insurance, and Medicare and Social Security, where there are rules to protect our kids from dirty air or dirty water; rules to protect consumers from being taken advantage of. And I know you agree, those of you at CFPB, because that’s your mission.

And that’s why part of the financial reform that we passed in the wake of the worse financial crisis since the Great Depression was the creation of this agency, to make sure that we are looking at every aspect of the financial system and ensuring that the American people have the basic protections that they should be able to count on. You have one mission: You’re a watchdog for consumers to make sure that the American people have somebody who’s got their backs.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/10/17/remarks-president-protecting-american-consumers

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October 17, 2014

FACT SHEET: Safeguarding Consumers’ Financial Security

Today, the President is signing a new Executive Order directing the government to lead by example in securing transactions and sensitive data. The new BuySecure Initiative will provide consumers with more tools to secure their financial future by assisting victims of identity theft, improving the Government’s payment security as a customer and a provider, and accelerating the transition to stronger security technologies and the development of next-generation payment security tools.

During remarks at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the President will highlight steps by his Administration and the private sector to improve security. With over 100 million Americans falling victim to data breaches over the last year, and millions suffering from credit card fraud and identity crimes, there is a need to act — and to move our economy toward stronger, more secure technologies that better secure transactions and safeguard sensitive data.

While there is no silver bullet to guarantee data security, the President is signing an Executive Order to implement enhanced security measures, including securing credit, debit, and other payment cards with microchips in lieu of basic magnetic strips, and PINs, such as those standard on consumer ATM cards. He is calling on all stakeholders to join the Administration and a number of major corporations in driving the economy toward more secure standards to safeguard consumer finances and reduce their chances of becoming victims of identity theft — America’s fastest-growing crime.

Finally today, the President will announce the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection later this year to promote partnership and innovation. The Summit will bring together major stakeholders on consumer financial protection issues to discuss how all members of our financial system can work together to further protect American consumers and their financial data, now and in the future.

The President will also renew his call to Congress to enact overdue cybersecurity legislation that will help protect Americans — particularly by clarifying companies’ obligations when sensitive data is breached.

Leading by Example: Securing Payments Across the Economy

Federal Efforts to Transition to More Secure Payment Systems: Today, the Federal Government is making an enterprise-wide transition to more secure credit, debit, and other payment cards, as well as the retail payment terminals at government locations like the passport office, VA canteens, and national parks. These new systems will, at a minimum, meet the global security standard of more secure microchips to store card numbers instead of unencrypted magnetic strips, and secure PIN functionality, like the kind featured on most ATM cards. The goal is not just to ensure the security of doing retail business with the government, but also, through this increased demand, to help drive the market towards swifter adoption of stronger security standards. Institutions like the United States Postal Service have already made this transition across tens of thousands of retail facilities across the country.

* Making Chip and PIN Cards the Standard for the Federal Government: These “chip and PIN” cards, which have cut down on payment fraud considerably in other countries, will become the standard for Federal Government programs like SmartPay® and Direct Express®. We are working with these programs to ensure that we begin a replacement program on January 1, 2015, and will, within the calendar year, issue over one million new, more secure government payment cards.

* Updating to Chip and PIN Card Terminals in Federal Agencies Processing Consumer Sales: Every Federal agency processing consumer sales will actively replace any prior-generation card retail payment card terminals to those with new chip and PIN security features under a plan issued by Department of the Treasury, which establishes requirements that federal agencies must follow when receiving credit and debit card payments when using Treasury’s collection system.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/10/17/fact-sheet-safeguarding-consumers-financial-security

The World Fact Book

The World Fact Book

Traveling Abroad? Consider a Chip-and-PIN Credit Card

Foreign countries have different cultures, different customs, different languages – and, to top it all off, some countries have different styles of credit cards.

Rather than using the familiar cards, which feature a magnetic strip at the top of the card, several countries have transitioned to “chip-and-PIN” credit cards, better for consumer safety. While some foreign vendors will continue to accept your traditional magnetic strip cards, some may not.

So, what’s the difference?

Chip-and-PIN cards are embedded with a computer chip that contains the information that would normally be contained in the strip along the top of the card. In addition to this chip system, users are required to enter in a PIN code, much like as would be required for a debit card.

The cards offer greater consumer protection, as it is harder to clone the payment information when a chip is being used, thus reducing identity theft. In France, chip-and-PIN cards have been responsible for a 50 percent reduction in payment fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The cards are increasingly being made available for U.S. residents, and before traveling, officials suggest you check with your credit card company to see whether chip-and-PIN cards are available. If not, they suggest that you carry a little extra cash, in case foreign vendors refuse to accept your current credit card.

Learn more about using chip-and-PIN cards on European travel.

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* International Travel Tips

Traveler’s Checklist – Bureau of Consular Affairs

Country Information – Bureau of Consular Affairs

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Helping Long-Term Unemployed Americans To Get Back to Work

10/15/2014

What You Need to Know: Our Push To Get Long-Term Unemployed Americans Back to Work

Tanya Somanader October 15, 2014 09:37 AM EDT

(EXCERPTS)

Thanks to the grit and resilience of American workers and business owners, our economy is getting stronger every day. Over the last 55 months, we’ve added 10.3 million jobs — the longest streak of private-sector job growth on record — and the number of job openings rose to its highest level in more than 13 years. We’ve put more people back to work than Japan, Europe, and every other advanced economy combined and the unemployment rate is falling at a faster pace than predicted.

Unemployment 2008- Sept 2014

But one of the greatest challenges from the recession was the rise in long-term unemployment. The Great Recession left too many Americans out of a job through no fault of their own and many continue to search for work. Our strong economic growth is beginning to help.

Since December 2013, the number of long-term unemployed has fallen by 900,000, accounting for about 90 percent of the total drop in unemployment in the past 10 months.

Unemployment Aug 2014

But there is much more work to do, because — despite this progress — the long-term unemployment rate is at twice its typical level. So who exactly are the long-term unemployed, what are the challenges they face in finding work, and what is President Obama doing to help put people back to work? Here are a few answers to important questions about long-term unemployment in America:

1. How long do you actually have to be unemployed to be considered “long-term unemployed”?

2. Who are the people who are facing long-term unemployment?

3. Why is it so hard for long-term unemployed Americans to find work compared to those who are only unemployed for the short-term?

Click here to see a full list of participating businesses and to learn more about how we’re working with them to put people back to work. 

For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/10/15/what-you-need-know-our-push-get-long-term-unemployed-americans-back-work

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October 15, 2014

FACT SHEET: Getting Long-Term Unemployed Americans Back to Work

In January, President Obama issued a three-part call to action – to employers, to communities across the country, and to federal agencies – to help Americans who are ready to work find jobs, and to help more of the long-term unemployed get back to work. That included unveiling a set of “best practices” being taken by leading employers – including over 80 of the nation’s largest companies – around recruiting and hiring the long-term unemployed, to remove some of the barriers that make it harder for them to navigate the hiring process.

Today, building on the President’s call to action, the White House is providing an update on progress since January and additional steps—taken in conjunction with businesses, non-profit leaders, governors and mayors and federal agencies—to help ensure that Americans still looking for work have a fair shot, and American businesses benefit as a result.

Since December, the long-term unemployment rate has fallen from 2.5 percent to 1.9 percent. The number of long-term unemployed – those unemployed more than 6 months – has fallen by 900,000. This decline accounts for around 90 percent of the total drop in unemployment in the past 10 months. But there is still work left to do. As more jobs are created, it is critical that Americans with skills, experience, and a desire to work have every opportunity to get back to work to maximize the full potential of our talent pool.

Today, the White House is announcing:

* $170 Million in DOL Grants to Support Partnerships that Connect the Long-Term Unemployed to Work. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez is announcing 23 grants from the Department of Labor’s H-1B funds – totaling $170 million – for programs in 20 states and Puerto Rico to help the long-term unemployed return to the workforce. Grants were awarded to partnerships between non-profits, local government, and employers to train and match long-term unemployed job seekers for in-demand jobs.

* Progress on Business Efforts to Improve Recruiting and Hiring of Long-Term Unemployed. In January, the Administration announced a call to action for businesses to adopt best practices for hiring the long term unemployed and over 300 businesses – including 80 of the nation’s largest companies – announced they were adopting these best practices for hiring and recruiting the long-term unemployed to ensure that these candidates receive a fair shot during the hiring process. Today, the Vice President, the Director of the National Economic Council, and the Secretary of Labor are meeting with the Chief Human Resource Officers of many of these leading companies who have found innovative ways to better integrate applications from the long-term unemployed into their hiring process. Deloitte Consulting and Rockefeller Foundation are also releasing handbooks, created in consultation with HR departments in many companies, which can be used by employers and long-term unemployed job seekers to return a greater number of people to the workforce.

* Ensuring Federal Hiring Process Gives Long-Term Unemployed Job Applicants a Fair Shot. Following up on a Presidential Memorandum issued in January, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing guidance to Federal agencies to ensure that individuals who are unemployed or have faced financial difficulties because of circumstances like job loss receive fair treatment and consideration for employment by Federal agencies.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/10/15/fact-sheet-getting-long-term-unemployed-americans-back-work

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White House, companies look for ways to hire long-term unemployed

10/15/14 Roberta Rampton – Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Vice President Joe Biden will meet with human resource officers from major U.S. companies at the White House on Wednesday to discuss changes to hiring practices aimed at improving employment prospects for people who have been out of work for a while.

Officials from companies such as Citigroup, CVS Caremark, Boeing and Dow Chemical will talk about steps they have taken when they meet with Biden, Labor Secretary Tom Perez, and Jeff Zients, head of President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council, the White House said.

Perez also will announce $170 million in 23 grants to help train people from the ranks of the long-term unemployed and match them with jobs.

Zients told reporters that qualified people who have a gap on their resume can face “significant artificial barriers” with certain screening practices used to sort through resumes.

“It’s a vicious cycle, as the long-term unemployed are less likely to be offered a job even when they have the exact same resume and qualifications as other applicants,” Zients said on a conference call.

Earlier this year, about 300 companies agreed to tweak their screening, advertising, interviewing and training practices so that candidates who had been out of work for months were not automatically excluded from opportunities.

For example, the White House said Frontier Communications hired more than 250 people from the ranks of the long-term unemployed since January – representing about 20 percent of the company’s hires – because it stopped using resume screens.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/white-house-companies-look-ways-hire-long-term-041305989–finance.html;_ylt=AwrSyCTkdz5UdyYA4EDQtDMD

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$150M available to states to implement or expand
job-driven training programs for laid-off workers

4/28/14 dol.gov

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of up to $150 million in funding through a new Job-Driven National Emergency Grant program to train workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own for jobs in high-demand industries.

These investments will help create or expand employer partnerships that provide opportunities for on-the-job training, Registered Apprenticeships or other occupational training that results in an industry-recognized credential. Funding will also be used to provide services, such as coaching, counseling and direct job placement, that help connect laid-off workers, including the long-term unemployed, with available jobs. Focusing funding on proven, job-driven training strategies is a key component of the Obama administration’s agenda to connect ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs.

“Helping workers acquire the skills that employers say they need is a key way the Labor Department fulfills the president’s vision of opportunity for all,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “These grants will provide states with critical funding to implement and expand proven strategies so that workers can secure a foothold in the middle class and businesses can grow.”

In addition to expanding work-based learning strategies — which recent studies show increase employment and earnings outcomes — grantees will also develop strong partnerships between workforce and industry organizations and align services with other federal, state or local programs, such as Unemployment Insurance, Workforce Investment Act, and Trade Adjustment Assistance programs. Funds may also be used to implement innovative approaches, such as:

* ob coaching, navigation and job-matching models that help dislocated workers, particularly the long-term unemployed, receive the specialized services they need to rapidly re-enter the workforce;

* using technology and social media to recruit participants, improve job search tools, provide distance learning opportunities, and effectively collect and disseminate labor market information;

* specialized services for laid-off workers, such as financial counseling and one-on-one coaching; and

* developing employer outcome measures to track employer satisfaction and success.

Up to $150 million in grants ranging from $500,000 to $6 million are being made available to states, territories and federally-recognized tribes through the Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Worker National Reserve fund. Applications must be received by May 27 to be considered.

For more: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/ETA20140714.htm

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Helping the Long-Term Unemployed Get Back to Work

Gene Sperling and Valerie Jarrett February 10, 2014 11:29 AM EDT

In this year’s State of the Union address, President Obama called attention to a stubborn legacy of the Great Recession that remains despite the progress we have made in creating new jobs: a historically high number of Americans who are ready and eager to work, but have found themselves among the ranks of the long-term unemployed.

Although many of these Americans could help employers fill their hiring needs if given the chance, they often face particular barriers in getting back to work. Research shows that the long-term unemployed are frequently overlooked and sometimes excluded from job opportunities – one study found that candidates who had been out of work eight months were called back for interviews only about half as often as candidates who had been out of work one month, even with an otherwise identical résumé.

“I’ve heard from too many of these folks,” President Obama told a group of CEOs and business leaders the week of his State of the Union address. “They fill out 100 applications, 200 applications. They’re sending out résumés, still finding time to volunteer in their community, or helping out at church. Sometimes they have more experience and education and skill than newly unemployed Americans.”

“They just need that chance,” he said.

President Obama has made clear that there are actions that we need to take together with Congress – from extending emergency unemployment insurance to investing in areas like infrastructure and manufacturing that would strengthen demand now – to help the long-term unemployed get back to work. But the President is also committed to taking steps in partnership with businesses, non-profits, mayors, and governors and anyone else ready to address this challenge. That’s why he came together with CEOs of leading companies who announced they were signing onto new best practices for hiring and recruiting the long-term unemployed, designed to ensure the long-term unemployed receive a fair shot in the hiring and recruiting process. These best practices include:

* Ensuring advertising does not discourage or discriminate against the unemployed
* Reviewing screening and other recruiting procedures so that they do not intentionally or inadvertently disadvantage individuals based solely on their unemployment status
* Using recruitment practices that cast a broad net and encourage all qualified candidates to apply
* Sharing best practices for success in hiring the long-term unemployed within their companies and across their supply chains and the greater business community

More than 300 companies have signed onto these best practices – including 80 of the nation’s largest businesses, 20 of whom are members of the Fortune 50. To ensure that the federal government leads by example, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum that will ensure federal hiring does not put the unemployed at a disadvantage in the hiring process. And he announced that the Department of Labor would use $150 million in existing resources to support “Ready to Work” Partnerships between employers, non-profit organizations, and America’s public workforce system that will provide more of the long-term unemployed individuals with services and training that can help connect them to middle and high-skill jobs.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/02/10/helping-long-term-unemployed-get-back-work

2014 SOTU calls for action on increasing jobs

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National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights – 35th Anniversary

10/13/2014
1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian & Gay Rights

1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian & Gay Rights

The National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights was a large political rally that took place in Washington, D.C. on October 14, 1979. The first such march on Washington, it drew between 75,000 and 125,000 gay men, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people and straight allies to demand equal civil rights and urge the passage of protective civil rights legislation.

History and Planning

The first major attempt at organizing a national gay and lesbian march on Washington occurred Thanksgiving Weekend 1973 in Urbana-ChampaignIllinois. The National Gay Mobilizing Committee for a March on Washington (NGMC), organized by Jeff Graubart, attempted to coordinate a coalition of extant LGBT organizations to plan a March on Washington. Early efforts were met with resistance from local and national LGBT organizations, and plans for a march were ultimately postponed.

The next organization attempt was to occur in Minneapolis the weekend of November 17–19, 1978. A steering committee was created to prepare for the Minneapolis conference, and it identified a primary goal of the march as transforming the gay movement from local to national. However, the committee was dissolved in October 1978 due to internal dissent. Harvey Milk, who had been on the Minneapolis steering committee, took up the reins to continue march organization, and had secured support from local DC groups who had previously dissented before he was assassinated by Dan White. Milk’s assassination served as a catalyst and a touchstone for organizers, who next planned a conference in Philadelphia February 23–25, 1979. One male and one female delegate was invited from known lesbian and gay organizations, and the attendees set forth to address three primary questions. First, whether or not a march should take place. Second, what the organizational structure of the march should be. And third, the platform of the march. An initial debate between marching in 1979 and 1980 sprung up, but 1979 was settled upon as it fell on the ten-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Once these issues were settled and issues of female and minority representation were handled, the conference set forth five demands that would serve as the platform for the march. The participants chose to focus on single-issue politics so as not to dilute the message of a united lesbian and gay community. The final organizational push occurred at a conference at the University of Houston campus July 6–8, 1979.

The National Steering Committee, with mandated gender parity and 25% representation of People of Color, was selected by community meetings throughout the country. Policy/Overview and Administrative Committees were established to guide the work and decisions between Steering Committee meetings. The National Office was set up in New York City with Joyce Hunter and Steven Ault as National Coordinators.

Platform

The Five Demands, as drafted by Joe Smenyak and amended by the conference delegates were as follows:

  • Pass a comprehensive lesbian/gay rights bill in Congress
  • Issue a presidential executive order banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in the federal government, the military, and federally contracted private employment
  • Repeal all anti-lesbian/gay laws
  • End discrimination in lesbian-mother and gay-father custody cases
  • Protect lesbian and gay youth from any laws which are used to discriminate, oppress, and/or harass them in their homes, schools, jobs, and social environments

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_March_on_Washington_for_Lesbian_and_Gay_Rights

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US LGBT Rights Timeline 1903-2014

ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™

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 White House – LGBT

 LGBT Democrats Facebook

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Indigenous Peoples’ Day

10/12/2014

Native Alaskan head wareNative Hawaiian War HelmetNative American indian head ware

Indigenous Peoples’ Day (also known as Native American Day) is a holiday celebrated in various localities in the United States, begun as a counter-celebration to Columbus Day. The purpose of the day is to promote Native American culture and commemorate the history of Native American peoples. The celebration began in Berkeley, California, and Denver, Colorado, as an alternative to Columbus Day, which is listed as a federal holiday in the United States but is not observed as a state holiday in every state. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is usually held on the second Monday of October, coinciding with federal observance of Columbus Day.

The idea of replacing Columbus Day with a day celebrating the indigenous people of North America first arose in 1977 from the International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas, sponsored by the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1990, at the First Continental Conference on 500 Years of Indian Resistance in Quito, Ecuador, in July 1990, representatives of Indian groups throughout the Americas agreed that they would mark 1992, the 500th anniversary of the first of the voyages of Christopher Columbus, as a day to promote “continental unity” and “liberation”.

After the conference, attendees from Northern California organized to plan protests against the “Quincentennial Jubilee” that had been organized by the United States Congress for the San Francisco Bay Area on Columbus Day, 1992 to include, among other things, sailing replicas of Columbus’ ships under the Golden Gate Bridge and reenacting their “discovery” of America. The delegates formed the Bay Area Indian Alliance, and in turn, the “Resistance 500″ task force, which advocated the notion that Columbus was responsible for genocide of Indian people.

In 1992 the group convinced the city council of Berkeley, California, to declare October 12, a “Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People”, and 1992 the “Year of Indigenous People”, and to implement related programs in schools, libraries, and museums. The city symbolically renamed Columbus Day to “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” beginning in 1992 to protest the historical conquest of North America by Europeans, and to call attention to the demise of Native American people and culture through disease, warfare, massacre, and forced assimilation. Performances were scheduled that day for Get Lost (Again) Columbus, an opera by a Native-American composer. Berkeley has celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day ever since. Beginning in 1993, Berkeley has held an annual pow wow and festival on the day.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_People%27s_Day

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List of Prominent Native Americans of the United States 

List of Prominent Native Hawaiians

Trace Indian Ancestry

Tribal Leaders Directory

Native American Tribes A-Z

 National Museum of the American Indian

US Department of the Interior: Indian Affairs

US Govt & Indigenous Peoples Timeline 1819-2014  – ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™

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Indigenous Peoples’ Day
October 13, 2014

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San Gabriel Mountains National Monument – Dedication

10/09/2014
President Obama signs the proclamation designating the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

President Obama signs the proclamation designating the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

The San Gabriel Mountains are a mountain range located in northern Los Angeles County and western San Bernardino County, California, United States. The mountain range lies between the Los Angeles Basin and the Mojave Desert, with Interstate 5 to the west and Interstate 15 to the east. This Transverse Range lies in, and is surrounded by, the Angeles National Forest, with the San Andreas Fault as the northern border of the range. The highest peak in the range is Mount San Antonio, commonly referred to as Mt. Baldy.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Gabriel_Mountains

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San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Frequently Asked Questions

Potential San Gabriel Mountains National Monument:

Why do the San Gabriel Mountains need additional protection?

The San Gabriel Mountains attract over 3 million visitors a year. What many people don’t realize is just how much strain this area is under to keep up with the growing demand for outdoor space and recreation. The Los Angeles area is one of the most park poor regions of the country. As a result, the mountains are one of few places Angelenos can enjoy the outdoors, but they are under immense stress from overuse.

There is persistent trash, graffiti, safety hazards, and few visitor facilities and services in the Mountains. These conditions increase fire dangers, decrease water quality, and threaten the diverse ecology and other features that make these mountains unique in the world.

How did the idea for a national monument come about?

The need for a national monument designation is an extension of ongoing conversations over the past decade on how to protect, preserve, and enhance the San Gabriel Mountains. The many public meetings, town halls, and stakeholder roundtables over the last ten years have laid the foundation for today’s effort to achieve a national monument.

For over a decade, constituents and stakeholders in the Los Angeles area have called for increased protection of local natural resources, as well as greater community engagement with the outdoors. The National Park Service (NPS) conducted a Special Resource Study over a ten year period and recommended additional protections for the Mountains as a National Recreation Area (NRA). Rep. Chu then introduced H.R. 4858, the San Gabriel National Recreation Area Act. However, residents continue to demand tangible change. In response, Rep. Chu reached out to President Obama to help make the community’s priorities a reality at long last.

For more: http://chu.house.gov/sites/chu.house.gov/files/documents/SGNM_FAQs.pdf

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San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Will Protect Clean Water
Improve Healthy Outdoor Recreation in Nation’s Largest Urban Backyard

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A diverse partnership of cities, residents and organizations applaud the announcement that President Barack Obama will designate a San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. The San Gabriel Mountains, north of Los Angeles within the Angeles National Forest, provide one-third of the region’s clean water supply and 70 percent of the region’s open space.

“For more than a decade, community support has steadily grown for the permanent protection of the San Gabriel Mountains,” said Andre Quintero, Mayor of El Monte, located in the San Gabriel Valley. “On behalf of San Gabriel Valley residents, I want to thank Congresswoman Judy Chu and the California delegation, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and President Obama for working with our communities to make that vision a reality.”

For more: http://www.sangabrielmountains.org/home/san_gabriel_mountains_national_monument_will_protect_clean_water_and

san gabriel monument

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 National Monuments Designated by President Obama

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Friday, October 10, 2014
President Obama signs a proclamation establishing the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

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Underground Railroad

10/08/2014
Huntoon-Van Rensalier Underground Railroad Project, Paterson, New Jersey

Huntoon-Van Rensalier Underground Railroad Project, Paterson, New Jersey

The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century slaves of African descent in the United States to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists, both black and white, free and enslaved, who aided the fugitives. Various other routes led to Mexico or overseas. While an “Underground Railroad” running south toward Florida, then a Spanish possession, existed from the late 17th century until shortly after the American Revolution,  the network now generally known as the Underground Railroad was formed in the early 19th century, and reached its height between 1850 and 1860. One estimate suggests that by 1850, 100,000 slaves had escaped via the “Railroad”.

British North America (present-day Canada), where slavery was prohibited, was a popular destination, as its long border gave many points of access. More than 30,000 people were said to have escaped there via the network during its 20-year peak period, although U.S. Census figures account for only 6,000.Some fugitives’ stories are documented in The Underground Railroad by William Still.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_railroad .

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Aboard the Underground Railroad A National Register Travel Itinerary – nps.gov

The Underground Railroad refers to the effort–sometimes spontaneous, sometimes highly organized–to assist persons held in bondage in North America to escape from slavery. Historic places along the Underground Railroad are testament of African American capabilities. The network provided an opportunity for sympathetic white Americans to play a role in resisting slavery, and brought together, however uneasily at times, men and women of both races to begin to set aside assumptions about the other race and to work together on issues of mutual concern. At the most dramatic level, the Underground Railroad provided stories of guided escapes from the South, rescues of arrested fugitives in the North, complex communication systems, and individual acts of bravery and suffering in the quest for freedom for all.

For more: http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/underground/ .

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US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1863-1963 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1964-2009 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

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Triple Evils of POVERTY, RACISM and MILITARISM

10/05/2014
Dr Martin Luther King, Jr accepts the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize

Dr Martin Luther King, Jr accepts the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize

On October 14, 1964, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr delivered his acceptance speech for the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence where he mentioned the triple evils.

TRIPLE EVILS

The Triple Evils of POVERTY, RACISM and MILITARISM are forms of violence that exist in a vicious cycle. They are interrelated, all-inclusive, and stand as barriers to our living in the Beloved Community. When we work to remedy one evil, we affect all evils. To work against the Triple Evils, you must develop a nonviolent frame of mind as described in the “Six Principles of Nonviolence” and use the Kingian model for social action outlined in the “Six Steps for Nonviolent Social Change.” Some contemporary examples of the Triple Evils are listed next to each item:

  • Poverty – unemployment, homelessness, hunger, malnutrition, illiteracy, infant mortality, slums…
  • Racism – prejudice, apartheid, ethnic conflict, anti-Semitism, sexism, colonialism, homophobia, ageism, discrimination against disabled groups, stereotypes…
  • Militarism – war, imperialism, domestic violence, rape, terrorism, human trafficking, media violence, drugs, child abuse, violent crime…

.For more: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-philosophy<

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Dr Martin Luther King, Jr’s  acceptance speech for the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize 

. US Honors Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 20, 2014 1:45 PM Meredith BuelChris Simkins – VOAnews
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The nation’s attention began to focus on the civil rights movement in the mid-1950s when a young black preacher, Martin Luther King, Jr., led the successful drive to desegregate public buses in Montgomery, Ala. King organized non-violent protests against southern segregation, the struggle for black equality and voting rights. On January 20, 2014, Americans pay tribute to King’s efforts.
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Televised footage of violence against civil rights demonstrators sparked a wave of sympathetic public opinion. “He taught us that our job was to redeem the soul of America from the triple evils of racism, war and poverty,” said Andrew Young, a civil rights activist who was a close friend of King. By August 1963 the push for equality had grown significantly and 250,000 participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
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