Fred W. Ross, Civil Rights Activist

08/21/2014
April 1968 - Civil Rights Activist Fred-Ross speaks at a United Farm Workers meeting

April 1968 – Civil Rights Activist Fred-Ross speaks at a United Farm Workers meeting

HONORING FRED ROSS SR.: WITH CESAR CHAVEZ, HE FORMED THE UFW

June 17, 2014 By Peter Dreier and Manuel Pastor – San Jose Mercury News

The California Hall of Fame honors trailblazers who embody the Golden State’s innovative spirit. Previous inductees include Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, Barbra Streisand and Magic Johnson.

This year’s list included a much less familiar name: Fred Ross Sr.

Ross (1910-1992) had an enormous impact on reshaping California from the bottom up. He was a community organizer in San Jose when he became the lesser known partner, with Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, in building the United Farm Workers union. Chavez called Ross his hero.

Born in San Francisco and raised in Los Angeles, Ross attended the University of Southern California intending to become a teacher. Instead, the upheavals of the Depression led him to seek more direct ways to challenge injustice.

He organized Dust Bowlers and migrant farmworkers, and eventually became manager of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Arvin Migratory Labor Camp — the same camp John Steinbeck visited to write “The Grapes of Wrath.”

The only manager of California’s 29 camps who challenged the practice of racial segregation of whites and Mexicans, Ross later went on to work with the War Relocation Authority to help thousands of imprisoned Japanese-Americans get jobs and housing.

After the war, Ross spearheaded Civic Unity Leagues in California’s conservative Citrus Belt, bringing Mexican- and black Americans together to battle segregation. In Orange County, parents organized by Ross won a landmark lawsuit (Mendez v. Westminster School District) that paved the way for the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education desegregation decision in 1954.

In the late 1940s, Ross began working in California’s Latino barrios to build chapters of the Community Service Organization, an influential civil rights group that challenged police brutality, fought discrimination and expanded political participation.

In 1952, while Ross was building the San Jose CSO chapter, a nurse told him about a young Navy veteran named Cesar Chavez.

A resident of the neighborhood then known as Sal Si Puedes (now Mayfair), Chavez at first avoided Ross, thinking he was just a white sociologist curious about barrio dwellers’ exotic habits. But he finally agreed to meet with Ross, and Chavez recalled that “as time went on, Fred became sort of my hero. I saw him organize and I wanted to learn.”

So Ross trained Chavez (who became CSO’s statewide director) as well as a young teacher named Dolores Huerta, and Gilbert Padilla, a spotter in a dry cleaning establishment. In the 1960s, this trio joined forces to build the United Farm Workers union, as depicted in the recent Hollywood film “Cesar Chavez,” with Ross played by Mark Moses.

In his 15 years with the UFW, Ross trained 2,000 organizers who led strikes and consumer boycotts leading to the 1975 California Agricultural Labor Relations Act.

In the 1980s, Ross joined his son, Fred Ross Jr., at Neighbor to Neighbor to train local organizers to challenge U.S. policy in Central America.

Ross Sr. once said, “A good organizer is a social arsonist — one who goes around setting people on fire.” He listened to people and helped them channel their anger into the building of powerful and constructive grass-roots organizations.

For more: http://www.californiamuseum.org/museum-news/honoring-fred-ross-sr-cesar-chavez-he-formed-ufw

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

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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~ Sign the petition for a Presidential Medal of Freedom for Fred Ross, Sr.  ~

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Women’s Equality Day 2014 – 19th Amendment

08/17/2014

The  Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution prohibits each state and the federal government from denying any citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s sex. It was ratified on August 18, 1920.

” The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

The National Association of Women Business Owners

Founded in 1975, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) is the unified voice of America’s more than 10 million women-owned businesses representing the fastest growing segment of the economy.

NAWBO is the only dues-based organization representing the interests of all women entrepreneurs across all industries; and boasts over 5000 members and 60 chapters across the country. With far-reaching clout and impact, NAWBO is a one-stop resource to propelling women business owners into greater economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide.

The organization prides itself on being a global beacon for influence, ingenuity and action and is uniquely positioned to provide incisive commentary on issues of importance to women business owners. Everything NAWBO undertakes leverages the unique attributes that women business owners bring to the table and is designed to illuminate, transform – and ultimately harness – the nation’s wide-ranging community of entrepreneurial women into an ever-more-influential voice and increasingly dynamic leadership roles.

For more: http://www.nawbo.org/section_2.cfm

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US Women’s Rights Movement Timeline 1848 – 2009 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)


Shooting of Michael Brown

08/14/2014

Riot police stand guard as demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 13, 2014. Police in Ferguson fired several rounds of tear gas to disperse protesters late on Wednesday, on the fourth night of demonstrations over the fatal shooting last weekend of an unarmed black teenager Brown, 18, by a police officer on Saturday after what police said was a struggle with a gun in a police car. A witness in the case told local media that Brown had raised his arms to police to show that he was unarmed before being killed. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Riot police stand guard as demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 13, 2014. Police in Ferguson fired several rounds of tear gas to disperse protesters late on Wednesday, on the fourth night of demonstrations over the fatal shooting last weekend of an unarmed black teenager Brown, 18, by a police officer on Saturday after what police said was a struggle with a gun in a police car. A witness in the case told local media that Brown had raised his arms to police to show that he was unarmed before being killed. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Shooting of Michael Brown

The shooting of Michael Brown occurred on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, United States. Brown was an unarmed, 18-year-old African-American male, killed after being shot multiple times by an unnamed Ferguson police officer. The incident sparked protests and acts of vandalism in the St. Louis suburb, as well as national calls for an investigation.

Brown, who had recently graduated from high school, was days away from starting college and had no criminal record.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened a civil rights investigation of the shooting on August 11, and the next day U.S. President Barack Obama issued a statement expressing condolences to Brown’s family, also committing federal resources to conduct an investigation.

Overview
On Saturday, August 9, at around 2:00 p.m., Michael Brown, 18, and Dorian Johnson, 22, both African American men, were walking to Brown’s grandmother’s house.  A Ferguson police officer drove up to them and ordered them to move off the street and onto the sidewalk. An altercation ensued, and a gun within the police officer’s vehicle was fired, after which Brown and Johnson began to flee. The officer left his vehicle and pursued them, then fired an unspecified number of shots, fatally wounding Brown. Brown died approximately 35 feet (11 m) from the police cruiser. Johnson was not injured.

Investigations
On August 10, Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, announced that their department would be in charge of the investigation, after receiving a request from Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson to investigate the shooting. When the investigation is complete, the St. Louis County police will turn over the case to St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch, who will determine whether or not charges need to be filed.

The Ferguson Police department declined to name the officer involved in the shooting, citing concerns for his safety and refused to commit to a deadline for releasing a full autopsy report. On August 11, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened a parallel civil rights investigation into the incident, and Attorney General Eric Holder instructed the Justice Department staff to monitor the developments.

According to the spokeswoman for the FBI’s St. Louis field office, the protests and riots played no role in the FBI’s decision to investigate.

Protests
On August 10, a day of vigils began peacefully, but some crowd members started to behave in an unruly manner after the candlelight vigil. Local police stations assembled approximately 150 officers in riot gear. The crowd then began looting businesses, vandalizing vehicles and confronting police who sought to block off access to several areas of the city. At least 12 businesses were looted or vandalized, a gas station was set on fire, leading to over 30 arrests. Many windows were broken and several nearby businesses closed on Monday. The people arrested face charges of assault, burglary and theft. Police used a variety of equipment, including riot gear and helicopters, to disperse the crowd by 2 a.m. Two police officers suffered minor injuries during the events.

On August 11, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a crowd at the shell of the QuikTrip convenience store burnt out the night before. According to reports, gunshots were fired in Ferguson and five people were arrested. Wome protesters allegedly threw rocks at police. The police responded by firing tear gas and bean bag rounds upon those protesting, including State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal. Between August 12 and 13, police officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets at lines of protesters and reporters. At least seven protesters were arrested on the evening of August 12 and 13, after police told protesters to “‘go home’ or face arrest.” CNN cameras filmed an officer addressing a group of protestors by saying “Bring it, you fucking animals, bring it.” According to The Washington Post, the Ferguson Police Department “bears little demographic resemblance” to the mostly African-American community, which already harbored “suspicions of the law enforcement agency” preceding Brown’s shooting. An annual report last year by the office of Missouri’s attorney general concluded that Ferguson police were “twice as likely to arrest African Americans during traffic stops as they were whites.”

On August 12, several hundred protestors gathered in Clayton, the county seat, seeking criminal prosecution of the officer involved in the shooting. Protestors in Ferguson carried signs and many held their hands in the air while shouting “don’t shoot”. According to police, some protestors threw bottles at the officers, prompting the use of tear gas to disperse the crowd. The following day, a heavily-armed SWAT team of around 70 officers arrived at a protest demanding that protesters disperse. On the night of August 13, police used smoke bombs, flash grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas to disperse the crowd. Video footage of the events recorded by KARG Argus Radio shows Ferguson Police firing tear gas into a residential neighborhood and ordering the journalist to cease recording.

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

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President Obama Issues a Statement on the Death of Michael Brown

David Hudson August 12, 2014 05:02 PM EDT

 

This afternoon, President Obama issued a statement on the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was fatally shot on Saturday by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri:

 

The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time. As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed. I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.

 

READ MORE: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/08/12/president-obama-issues-statement-death-michael-brown

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August 14, 2014

President Obama Statement on Displaced Iraqis and Shooting in Ferguson, Missouri
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

(Excerpts)

I want to address something that’s been in the news over the last couple of days and that’s the situation in Ferguson, Missouri. I know that many Americans have been deeply disturbed by the images we’ve seen in the heartland of our country, as police have clashed with people protesting. Today, I’d like us all to take a step back and think about how we’re going to be moving forward.

This morning, I received a thorough update on the situation from Attorney General Eric Holder, who has been following it and been in communication with his team. I’ve already tasked the Department of Justice and the FBI to independently investigate the death of Michael Brown, along with local officials on the ground.

The Department of Justice is also consulting with local authorities about ways that they can maintain public safety without restricting the right of peaceful protest and while avoiding unnecessary escalation. I made clear to the Attorney General that we should do what is necessary to help determine exactly what happened, and to see that justice is done.

I also just spoke with Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri. I expressed my concern over the violent turn that events have taken on the ground, and underscored that now is the time for all of us to reflect on what’s happened, and to find a way to come together going forward. He is going to be traveling to Ferguson. He is a good man and a fine governor, and I’m confident that, working together, he is going to be able to communicate his desire to make sure that justice is done and his desire to make sure that public safety is maintained in an appropriate way.

Of course, it’s important to remember how this started. We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in heartbreaking and tragic circumstances. He was 18 years old. His family will never hold Michael in their arms again. And when something like this happens, the local authorities –- including the police -– have a responsibility to be open and transparent about how they are investigating that death, and how they are protecting the people in their communities.

There is never an excuse for violence against police, or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting. There’s also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests, or to throw protestors in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights. And here, in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground. Put simply, we all need to hold ourselves to a high standard, particularly those of us in positions of authority.

I know that emotions are raw right now in Ferguson and there are certainly passionate differences about what has happened.  There are going to be different accounts of how this tragedy occurred.  There are going to be differences in terms of what needs to happen going forward.  That’s part of our democracy.  But let’s remember that we’re all part of one American family.  We are united in common values, and that includes belief in equality under the law; a basic respect for public order and the right to peaceful public protest; a reverence for the dignity of every single man, woman and child among us; and the need for accountability when it comes to our government.

So now is the time for healing.  Now is the time for peace and calm on the streets of Ferguson.  Now is the time for an open and transparent process to see that justice is done.  And I’ve asked that the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney on the scene continue to work with local officials to move that process forward.  They will be reporting to me in the coming days about what’s being done to make sure that happens.

Thanks very much, everybody.

END
12:58 P.M. EDT

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Thursday, August 14, 2014 doj.gov

 

Statement by Attorney General Eric Holder on Latest Developments in Ferguson, Missouri

 

Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement Thursday following his meeting earlier today with President Obama to discuss the latest developments in Ferguson, Missouri:

 

“This morning, I met with President Obama to discuss the events in Ferguson, Missouri. Like the President, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of Michael Brown. While his death has understandably caused heartache within the community, it is clear that the scenes playing out in the streets of Ferguson over the last several nights cannot continue.

 

“For one thing, while the vast majority of protests have been peaceful, acts of violence by members of the public cannot be condoned. Looting and willful efforts to antagonize law enforcement officers who are genuinely trying to protect the public do nothing to remember the young man who has died. Such conduct is unacceptable and must be unequivocally condemned.

 

“By the same token, the law enforcement response to these demonstrations must seek to reduce tensions, not heighten them. Those who peacefully gather to express sympathy for the family of Michael Brown must have their rights respected at all times. And journalists must not be harassed or prevented from covering a story that needs to be told.

 

“At a time when we must seek to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the local community, I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message. At my direction, Department officials have conveyed these concerns to local authorities. Also at my direction, the Department is offering – through our COPS office and Office of Justice Programs – technical assistance to local authorities in order to help conduct crowd control and maintain public safety without relying on unnecessarily extreme displays of force. The local authorities in Missouri have accepted this offer of assistance as of this afternoon.

 

For more: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/August/14-ag-854.html

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The mayhem in Ferguson, Missouri, will be arriving shortly on Capitol Hill.

A House Democrat from Georgia plans to introduce the first piece of legislation responding to the shooting in the suburb of St. Louis that would focus on stopping a program providing machine guns and free military equipment to local law enforcement.

Rep. Hank Johnson sent a “Dear Colleague” letter Thursday morning alerting lawmakers that he is putting forward the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act. The action comes in the wake of a policeman shooting an unarmed black man that has created an increasingly tense relationship between the police and the city’s largely African-American population. The response of local police, including the use of tear gas on protesters, has been criticized as overly aggressive.

“Our main streets should be a place for business, families, and relaxation, not tanks and M16s,” Johnson wrote. “Unfortunately, due to a Department of Defense (DOD) Program that transfers surplus DOD equipment to state and local law enforcement, our local police are quickly beginning to resemble paramilitary forces.”

Further, Johnson said the legislation would “end the free transfers of certain aggressive military equipment to local law enforcement and ensure that all equipment can be accounted for.

Johnson’s legislation is focused on a Pentagon surplus program that has allowed cities across the nation to acquire military equipment. like mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles.

The Friends Committee on National Legislation and the American Civil Liberties Union endorse the legislation.

 

Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to pass the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act!!

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Social Security and Marriage Equality (SAME) Act of 2014

08/12/2014

Patty Murray & lgbt-veterans

“Equal protection under the law is a fundamental right in our country. No one should suffer discrimination because of their race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Whether applying for a job, finding a home, eating in a restaurant, serving in our military, or attending school, we must ensure that all citizens are treated fairly and equally.”

To learn more about Senator Patty Murray’s priorities for the LGBT community

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Murray bill would force Social Security to pay same-sex spouses survivor benefits

A year after Supreme Court decision, some couples still denied benefits

5/8/14 By Liz Goodwin and Olivier Knox – Yahoo News

Nearly a year ago, the nation’s highest court told the federal government that it could no longer withhold marriage benefits from tens of thousands of same-sex married couples.

But that landmark Supreme Court decision made little difference in the lives of gay couples who live in the 33 states that ban same-sex marriage.

Midori Fujii and Kristie Kay Brittain got married in California, then returned to Indiana, which bans gay marriage. When Brittain died of ovarian cancer in 2011, Fujii found out that she would not be eligible to receive her wife’s Social Security survivor benefits.

For months, the Social Security Administration has put survivor benefit applications from same-sex spouses who live in states that don’t recognize gay marriage on hold. That’s because a portion of the decades-old law says that for a spouse to be eligible for benefits, his or her marriage must be recognized in the state where the couple currently resides.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., hopes to change that with a bill she’s introducing Wednesday called the Social Security and Marriage Equality (SAME) Act of 2014, Yahoo News has learned. The measure would amend the Social Security Act to grant survivor benefits to any individual legally married anywhere in the United States, regardless of whether he or she lives in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage.

It would also declare individuals who were legally married in another country eligible for Social Security survivor benefits, according to a summary of the legislation provided by her office.

“Your zip code should not determine whether or not your family will have the means to survive after the death of a spouse,” Murray said in a statement. “While I believe the Social Security Administration can, and should, resolve this inconsistency through administrative action, the SAME Act would provide a road map to ensure equality under our federal laws do not end at state lines.”

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/murray-bill-would-force-social-security-to-pay-same-sex-spouses-survivor-benefits-220923730.html


SS 45th Annv

Social Security Act of 1935

The Social Security Act, Pub.L. 74–271, 49 Stat. 620, enacted August 14, 1935, now codified as 42 U.S.C. ch. 7, was a social welfare legislative act which created the Social Security system in the United States.

Overview
The Social Security Act was drafted during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term by the President’s Committee on Economic Security, under Frances Perkins, and passed by Congress as part of the Second New Deal. The act was an attempt to limit what was seen as dangers in the modern American life, including old age, poverty, unemployment, and the burdens of widows and fatherless children. By signing this act on August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt became the first president to advocate federal assistance for the elderly.

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

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Social Security Timeline: http://www.ssa.gov/history/1930.html

 

Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to TELL THEM TO GIVE THE LGBT COMMUNITY EQUAL BENEFITS!!

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American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978

08/10/2014

American Indian Religious Freedom Act

The American Indian Religious Freedom Act, Public Law No. 95-341, 92 Stat. 469 (Aug. 11, 1978) (commonly abbreviated to AIRFA), codified at 42 U.S.C. § 1996, is a United States federal law, enacted by joint resolution of the Congress in 1978. It was enacted to protect and preserve the traditional religious rights and cultural practices of American IndiansEskimosAleuts, and Native Hawaiians. These rights include, but are not limited to, access of sacred sites, freedom to worship through ceremonial and traditional rights and use and possession of objects considered sacred.

The Act required policies of all governmental agencies to eliminate interference with the free exercise of Native American religion, based on the First Amendment, and to accommodate access to and use of religious sites to the extent that the use is practicable and is not inconsistent with an agency’s essential functions. It also acknowledges the prior violation of that right.

Passage

Due to the complex nature of American Indian religious beliefs, American Indian religions have often been at odds with existing federal laws and government policies. There have been three general areas of conflict. Firstly, American Indians did not have access to a number of sacred places that were used in religious ceremonies. Native American religious practices often came into conflict with the idea that American public lands exist for the use and benefit of the American people. The results of the passage of the Indian Removal Act and the General Allotment Act were the displacement of hundreds of tribes, including the Five Civilized Tribes of the southeastern United States, and the forced assimilation of Native American families into agricultural settler societies.

The second conflict was the possession of ceremonial items that are restricted by United States Law, such as eagle feathers or bones (a protected species) or peyote. The conflict lies in the fact that items such as peyote are integral parts of ceremonies practiced by members of churches such as the Native American Church. The use of eagle bones in ceremony has been brought up in any case involving Indian claims on hunting and fishing rights allowed for tribal member to hunt for eagles.

The third general area of conflict was an issue of interference. Sacred ceremonies were sometimes subject to interference from overzealous officials or curious onlookers.

The act itself was more a policy statement, and it acknowledged prior infringement on the right of freedom of religion for American Indians by denying them their First Amendment right of “free exercise” of religion. President Jimmy Carter said, in a statement about the AIRFA, a very similar thing:

In the past, Government agencies and departments have on occasion denied Native Americans access to particular sites and interfered with religious practices and customs where such use conflicted with Federal regulations. In many instances, the Federal officials responsible for the enforcement of these regulations were unaware of the nature of traditional native religious practices and, consequently, of the degree to which their agencies interfered with such practices.

This legislation seeks to remedy this situation.

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

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Obama Proclaims Río Grande del Norte a National Monument, Significant Site for Natives

3/26/13 indiancountrytodaymedianetwork

Yesterday, March 25, by proclamation, President Obama established Río Grande del Norte as a National Monument. The announcement of a national monument designation has come in response to considerable input from the community including local businesses, sportsmen, elected officials, Latino organizations, Native American tribes and nearly the entire New Mexico congressional delegation.

The Río Grande del Norte National Monument will boost economic growth in northern New Mexico while permanently protecting the heritage,  water and approximately 240,000 acres of natural areas and wildlife habitat in the region.

Hispano leaders and organizations, small business owners and the Taos and Mora Valley Chambers of Commerce, sportsmen and ranchers, Native American Pueblos and elected officials, and conservation organizations have come together to thank President Obama for protecting Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.

“I applaud President Obama protecting Rio Grande del Norte National Monument because many of the wildlife species that live in that corridor come in and out of this area.  Left unprotected, there may be very few animals available that the Native American people of Taos Pueblo depend on for food, clothing and shelter,” says Benito Sandoval, Taos Pueblo War Chief.

For more: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/03/26/obama-proclaims-rio-grande-del-norte-national-monument-significant-site-natives-148361

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Securing Indigenous Rights to Sacred Places With the UN Declaration

5/16/12 Karla E. General – indiancountrytodaymedianetwork

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples presents a new opportunity and a new kind of legal authority that could help Native peoples to secure rights to sacred places, and to preserve and protect cultural, religious, and spiritual practices.

The Declaration recognizes and affirms the rights of indigenous peoples to their cultural, religious, and spiritual practices, to have private access to sacred sites (Arts. 12(1), 11(1)), as well as to maintain and strengthen their spiritual relationship with their traditionally held lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources (Art. 25). With the Declaration, Native peoples have rights acknowledged by the international community of nations, including rights to sacred places both within existing reservation or territorial boundaries and beyond.

As rights-holders, Native nations and individuals have the right to cultural, religious, and spiritual practices. As duty-bearer, the U.S. has the responsibility to prevent infringement of these rights.

For more:  http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/05/16/securing-indigenous-rights-sacred-places-un-declaration
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US Govt & Indigenous Peoples Timeline 1819-2014 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)
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Voting Rights Act of 1965 – Now Weaker due to Supreme Court 2013 Ruling

08/07/2014

Bruised and weary, the Voting Rights Act celebrates its 49th birthday

Forty-nine years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act of 1965, taking an enormous step toward protecting the right to vote for all Americans.Decades of concerted effort on the part of state and local officials to disenfranchise African Americans through the use of poll taxes, literacy tests and sheer intimidation had inspired little action from Congress.

But the momentum created by the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as the horrified reaction to violence inflicted upon voting-rights protesters marching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in March 1965, drove federal legislators to craft a response.

The resulting legislation, signed into law at the Capitol with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks and other civil-rights leaders looking on, has stood firmly for nearly half a century.

Among other measures, the VRA outlawed literacy tests and empowered the U.S. Department of Justice to challenge the use of poll taxes in state and local elections. Passage of the 24th Amendment in 1964 already barred the use of poll taxes in national elections.

Section 2 is largely a restatement of the 15th Amendment, prohibiting any voting rules or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race or color. Amendments to the VRA in 1975 extended its protections to members of a language minority group, such as speakers of Spanish or Native American languages.

Moreover, thanks to another round of amendments in 1982, citizens today who challenge voting regulations under Section 2 need only prove that, in the “totality of the circumstance of the local electoral process,” the rules have merely the effect of abridging the right to vote.

In crafting the original VRA, Congress also provided for special intervention in jurisdictions where racial discrimination is believed to be greatest. Under Section 5, those parts of the country identified by a formula established in Section 4 must obtain “pre-clearance” from the DOJ or the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia before making any changes to its voting laws.

In Shelby County v. Holder (2013), however, the Supreme Court struck down the Section 4 formula, leaving Section 5 intact but requiring legislators to redraw its coverage before further enforcement. Since the ruling, several amendments have been proposed but Congress has thus far declined to act.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/bruised-weary-voting-rights-act-celebrates-49th-birthday-094610138.html;_ylt=AwrTWfylBORThjUAvXfQtDMD

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Supreme Court’s ruling on Shelby County v. Holder (2013) made the Voters Rights WEAKER

2014 Ballots has 50 Restrictive Voter Rights Bills

11 States have introduced voter ID legislation since Supreme Court ruling for  Shelby County v. Holder in 2013


2014 NC Voter Suppression Laws2014 OH & WI Restrictive Voter Laws

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Where Tuesday’s Voting Rights Act ruling matters, in one map

June 25, 2013 at 11:37 By Dylan Matthews – washingtonpost

Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which outlines how the government is to determine which states, counties, towns, and other jurisdictions have to have their voting laws “precleared” by the Justice Department, is unconstitutional. But which jurisdictions currently face preclearance, and, barring Congressional action, are now freed from that requirement?

6:25:13 Supreme Court ruled that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional

For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/25/where-tuesdays-voting-rights-act-ruling-matters-in-one-map/

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Holder to black leaders: ‘Sacred’ right to vote under attack

5/30/12 11:28 AM EDT By JOSEPH WILLIAMS – POLITICO

Attorney General Eric Holder told a council of African American church leaders Wednesday that the “sacred” right to vote is under assault nationwide, with federal lawsuits and at least a dozen state laws that could weaken — or block — minority access to the ballot box this fall.

Forty-seven years after President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, “overt and subtle forms of discrimination still exists,” Holder said in a speech before the Council of Black Churches. The twin factors of lingering bias and systematic assaults from the right, he said, means that “for the first time in our [lifetimes], we are failing to live up to one of our most noble ideals” – the right to equal access to the vote.

The brief speech was a call to arms for the black church, which since the days of the civil rights movement has been active in fighting for equal voting right for minorities. Holder, who was warmly received by the audience, told them his office is “aggressively” taking on the task of protecting that right, including challenging several state lawsuits that would overturn key provisions of the Voting Rights Act involving redistricting in Southern states and strict new voter I’d laws that could keep minorities, the elderly and young people of all races from casting ballots in the 2012 election – which analysts expect will be decided by a narrow margin.

Ensuring that everyone who is qualified can vote “is one of our highest priorities,” Holder told the council, adding that during his watch the Justice Department has taken on more than 100 cases involving voting within the past year, “a record number.” Since President Bush re-authorized the Section 5 provision of the Voting Rights Act, which requires some Southern states to get federal approval before making broad changes to laws involving voting, “it has consistently come under attack by those who say it is no longer needed.”

Holder also rejected conservatives’ contention that making it easier to vote invites fraud, a key argument in calling for tougher voter I’d laws. Recalling that protesters and faith leaders faced violence and death to gain that right during the 1960s civil rights movement, Holder called on black churches to mobilize as an ally of the Justice Department, informing the larger community and pushing back against restrictive proposals.

“We have to honor the generations that took extraordinary risks” to guarantee equal access to the polls, Holder said. The nation has made tremendous progress, he added, but “this fight must go on.”

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Tribal leaders welcome Holder’s voting access plan

Tuesday, 10 June 2014 15:28 by RACHEL D’ORO, Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday his office will consult with tribes across the country to develop ways to increase voting access for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Holder said the goal is to require state and local election officials to place at least one polling site in a location chosen by tribal governments in parts of the nation that include tribal lands. Barriers to voting, he said, include English-only ballots and inaccessible polling places.

In Alaska, for example, the village of Kasigluk is separated into two parts by a river with no bridge. On election day, people on one side have just a few hours to vote before a ballot machine is taken by boat to the other side. Several other Alaska villages have been designated as permanent absentee voting areas, which is something allowed by regulation, according to Gail Fenumiai, director of the state Division of Elections.

In Montana, a voting rights lawsuit is pending from tribal members on the Crow, Northern Cheyenne and Fort Belknap reservations. They want county officials to set up satellite voting offices to make up for the long distances they must travel to reach courthouses for early voting or late registration.

“These conditions are not only unacceptable, they’re outrageous,” Holder said. “As a nation, we cannot — and we will not — simply stand by as the voices of Native Americans are shut out of the democratic process.”

After consulting with tribal leaders, his office will seek to work with Congress on a potential legislative proposal, Holder said.

For more: http://www.nativetimes.com/index.php/news/politics/10019-tribal-leaders-welcome-holder-s-voting-access-plan


The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C.§§19731973aa-6) is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S.

Echoing the language of the 15th Amendment, the Act prohibits states from imposing any “voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure … to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.”Specifically Congress intended the Act to outlaw the practice of requiring otherwise qualified voters to pass literacy tests in order to register to vote, a principal means by which Southern states had prevented African-Americans from exercising the franchise. The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat, who had earlier signed the landmark; Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.

Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_Rights_Act

History of Federal Voting Rights Laws

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“The 1965 Voting Rights Act, one of the most historic and groundbreaking pieces of legislation in our nation’s history. For those who marched bravely; who worked tirelessly; who shed their blood and gave their lives in the pursuit of freedom for every American, the Act served as the culmination of decades of work to fulfill America’s promise. And for the members of the Moses Generation – including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, who stood alongside President Johnson when he signed the bill into law – it was an affirmation that although the arc of the moral universe may be long, it bends toward justice.

The Voting Rights Act guaranteed African Americans the right to vote at a time when thousands were being disenfranchised across the country. It extended the protection of our Constitution to every citizen regardless of race or religion; color or creed. And in the 45 years since it was passed, the Act has been reaffirmed four times – each one a reminder that we must remain vigilant in guaranteeing access to the ballot box.

As we pause to reflect on the anniversary of that historic moment, I encourage every American to honor the legacy of the brave men and women who came before us – from the foot soldiers to the Freedom Riders – by exercising the rights they fought so hard to guarantee. And together let us recommit ourselves, in ways large and small, to continuing their journey to promote equality and perfect our union.”‘

President Barack Obama – August 06, 2010

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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 ™)


Social Security Amendments of 1965 Established Medicare & Medicaid

07/29/2014

socialsecurity

The Social Security Amendments of 1965Pub.L. 89–97, 79 Stat. 286, enacted July 30, 1965, was legislation in the United States whose most important provisions resulted in creation of two programs: Medicare and Medicaid. The legislation initially provided federal health insurance for the elderly (over 65) and for poor families.

History

Many politicians were involved in drafting the final bill that was introduced to the United States Congress in March 1965. On July 30, 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson (D) signed the bill into law.

The concept of national health insurance began in the early 20th century in the United States and then came to prominence during the Truman administration. Between 1958 and 1964, controversy grew and a bill was drafted. The signing of the act, as part of Johnson’s Great Society, began an era with a greater emphasis on public health issues. Medicare and Medicaid became the United States’ first public health insurance programs. The legislation was vigorously opposed by the American Medical Association until it had been enacted, following which the AMA cooperated in its implementation.

In 1912 Theodore Roosevelt included social insurance for sickness in the platform of his Progressive Party (United States, 1912). Around 1915 the group American Association for Labor Legislation attempted to introduce a medical insurance bill to some state legislatures. These attempts were not successful, and as a result controversy about national insurance came about. National groups supporting the idea of government health insurance included the AFL-CIO, the American Nurses AssociationNational Association of Social Workers, and the Socialist Party USA. The most prominent opponent of national medical insurance was the American Medical Association (AMA); others included the American Hospital Association, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Life Insurance Association of People.

Previous administrations

In 1935, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) signed the Social Security Act, medical benefits were left out of the bill. The committee that Roosevelt appointed to study issues related to Social Security wanted to include health insurance in the bill. However, the committee was concerned that amending the bill to include health insurance would kill the entire bill. Harry Truman took on the idea of national medical care and tried to integrate it into his Fair Deal program. Truman’s attempts were also unsuccessful, though during his presidency the fight for national medical care became specific to the aged population.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_Act_of_1965

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On the Horizon: The 2015 White House Conference on Aging

Cecilia Muñoz July 29, 2014 01:25 PM EDT

Today at the White House, I was delighted to host a roundtable discussion with leaders from across the aging community who came together to discuss the White House Conference on Aging, which will take place in 2015 – the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security.

Just yesterday, the Medicare Trustees released their annual report finding that, since their report last year, the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended by four additional years to 2030. When this Administration first took office, the Trust Fund was projected to go bankrupt more than a dozen years sooner, in 2017. The Trustees also project that – for the second year in a row – Part B premiums will not increase, allowing seniors to keep more of their Social Security cost-of-living increase.

Thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act, we have improved the affordability of the program, while at the same time helping Medicare work better for seniors. For example, we are closing the prescription drug coverage gap or “donut hole” to make medications more affordable for Medicare beneficiaries. Just today, we learned that 8.2 million seniors and people with disabilities saved $11.5 billion since 2010 – over $1,000 on average for people hitting the donut hole. Additionally, Medicare now provides coverage without cost-sharing for many preventive benefits to help keep older Americans healthy. The Affordable Care Act also responds to older Americans’ desire to remain independent in their communities by creating incentives for states to provide the services and supports that help people remain at home as they age.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/29/horizon-2015-white-house-conference-aging

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Social Security Timeline: http://www.ssa.gov/history/1930.html

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Learn more about Social Security: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/

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