Thursday, September 18, 2014

DNC Ad Uses President Obama to Rally Black Voters

President Obama is featured in a new ad for the Democratic National Committee, the first in a $1 million campaign to turn out young, minority and female voters in the midterm elections.

The radio ad titled “Obstruction” released Monday laments the opposition Obama has faced from congressional Republicans. It is aimed at black voters and will run on African American radio stations nationwide.

No Democratic President in U.S history has faced the level of obstruction from the Republicans that Barack Obama has. It’s critical that we continue to fight for change and vote on Nov. 4,” the narrator says.

Obama then outlines his vision for an economy where “hard work pays off.” The radio spot features excerpts from a speech, where the president touts higher wages, affordable health insurance and decent health benefits.

Read full article on TheHill.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Does Anyone Care About the Alarming College Dropout Rate for Black Men?

The federal government should require all colleges to create early-alert systems that flag students with low test scores, missing assignments, or spotty attendance. That would be one way, according to a report released on Tuesday, to curb the alarming number of minority men who drop out of college. [SOURCE]

The report, "Advancing the Success of Boys and Men of Color in Education," is the result of brainstorming by diversity researchers at seven higher-education institutions. It is aimed at building on the momentum of My Brother's Keeper, the Obama administration's effort to improve education and career outcomes for young minority men.

Black men lag behind their peers in other races when it comes to graduating from both two- and four-year colleges, according to federal statistics that track their completion through 2009 and 2012, respectively. Only a third of black male students graduated from four-year colleges within six years, compared with 45 percent of Hispanic men, 57 percent of white men, and 64 percent of Asian men.

For two-year colleges, the percentages who received a certificate or degree or who transferred to a four-year college over six years were 32 for black, 30 for Latino, 40 for white, and 43 for Asian men. But minority men aren't the only ones who would benefit from the changes the group is proposing.

The report makes 11 policy recommendations aimed at better preparing and tracking students as they progress from pre-school through 12th grade. In addition, it offers four that specifically relate to higher education.

Read the full Black Star Journal article.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Al Sharpton Delivers Powerful Eulogy at Michael Brown's Funeral

I've always had mixed feelings about Rev. Al Sharpton. However, I have to admit that his commitment to the empowerment of the Black community is evident from his long years and persistence. He has a daily radio show, a daily television show, runs the National Action Network and such.

The family of Michael Brown asked him to give a 'national eulogy' as part of the young man's funeral yesterday in Ferguson, MO.

Did you see it?

What are your thoughts about the clarion call made by Al Sharpton at the funeral of slain teenager, Michael Brown?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Setting the Record Straight on Voter ID Laws

Republicans across the country have been pushing voter ID laws claiming that they would make voting more secure. But the truth is, all they do is make voting more difficult while doing nothing to improve the integrity of our elections. In fact, the problem they say they are trying to fix – voter impersonation – is incredibly rare with a recent analysis revealing only 31 credible instances since the year 2000. These laws are part of a cynical GOP strategy to keep people from the ballot box. Today’s Republican Party is so out of touch with the American people that they know their best path to victory is if fewer voices are heard, if fewer Americans exercise one of their most basic constitutional rights.

'Villagers' know that our country is stronger when more voices are heard. Don't we want to live in a country committed to expanding rights not taking them away – we want to empower people, to break down barriers and to expand opportunity for all Americans. And one of the best ways to do that is to make sure they have all the facts. So take a look at this video to learn the truth about some of the most common GOP myths on voter ID laws.

The current unrest in Ferguson, Missouri is a clear example of the truism, 'Elections Have Consequences'. The Black community in that city had single-digit turnout to vote ... and as a result the town's political power structure doesn't have many Black participants.

We need to vote! Can you make the commitment to vote this year?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ohio's Ballot Woes Could Delay Election Results for Weeks

According to the folks at, Pollsters and pundits have trained their eyes on Ohio, where President Obama maintains a narrow lead over Mitt Romney just days before the election. According to exit polls, Obama’s lead is even stronger among early voters. But several recent developments threaten to disenfranchise many of these voters and plunge Ohio into a bureaucratic nightmare on election night.

The Columbus Dispatch reported on Thursday that a data-sharing glitch and mistakes by election officials have caused thousands of absentee ballot requests to be rejected. While Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted maintains that this was a computer error, the Northeast Ohio Voter Advocates found an abnormally high rate of rejected absentee ballot requests in Cuyahoga County, a Democratic stronghold that includes Cleveland. The Cuyahoga Board of Elections determined that 865 ballot requests had been erroneously thrown out.

If these voters try to cast their vote in person, they will likely be forced to use a provisional ballot, as the absentee ballot error has thrown their registration status into question. At least 4,500 registered voters across the state will be left waiting for their absentee ballots, while as many as 6,000 provisional ballots cast by registered voters could be tossed out. The provisional ballots that do not get thrown out won’t be counted until November 17, according to state law, further dragging out the confusion.

This absentee ballot fiasco is just the latest in Ohio’s dysfunctional election saga. On Wednesday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed Husted to discount ballots cast by people directed to the wrong polling station by a pollworker — one of the most common errors that led to thousands of votes getting thrown out in Ohio’s dysfunctional 2004 presidential election.
Husted became a national symbol of voter suppression after he banned early voting on nights and weekends, and attempted to defy a court order that restored early voting on the last three days before the election. Read more at

Justice Department to Monitor Polls in 23 States on Election Day

The Justice Department announced today that its Civil Rights Division plans to deploy more than 780federal observers and department personnel to 51 jurisdictions in 23 states for the Nov. 6, 2012, general election.

Although state and local governments have primary responsibility for administering elections, the Civil Rights Division is charged with enforcing the federal voting rights laws that protect the rights of all citizens to access the ballot on Election Day. 
In the days leading up to and throughout Election Day, Civil Rights Division staff members will be available by telephone to receive complaints related to possible violations of the federal voting rights laws (toll free 1-800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767 or TTY 1-877-267-8971). In addition, individuals may also report such complaints by fax to 202-307-3961, by email to and by a complaint form on the department’s website: 
Allegations of election fraud are handled by the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country and the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. Complaints may be directed to any of the local U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the local FBI offices or the Public Integrity Section at 202-514-1412.

Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the department has regularly sent observers and monitors around the country to protect the rights of voters. The Voting Rights Act prohibits discrimination in the election process on the basis of race, color or membership in a minority language group. In addition, theact requires certain covered jurisdictions to provide language assistance during the election process. Under the Voting Rights Act, the department is authorized to ask the Office of Personnel Management to send federal observers to areas that have been certified for coverage by a federal court or the attorney general. The department also may send its own staff to monitor elections in other jurisdictions.

On Election Day, federal observers will monitor polling place activities in 17 jurisdictions:
  • Russell County, Ala.;
  • Maricopa County, Ariz.;
  • Alameda County, Calif.;
  • Riverside County, Calif.;
  • Randolph County , G a.;
  • East Carroll Parish, La.;
  • Panola County, Miss.;
  • Colfax County, Neb.;
  • Sandoval County, N.M.;
  • Orange County, N.Y.;
  • Cuyahoga County, Ohio;
  • Lorain County, Ohio;
  • Williamsburg County, S.C.;
  • Shannon County ; S.D.;
  • Dallas County, Texas;
  • Fort Bend County, Texas; and
  • Jefferson County, Texas.
Justice Department personnel will monitor the election in an additional 34 jurisdictions:
  • Mobile County, Ala. ;
  • Pima County, Ariz.;
  • Arapahoe County, Colo.;
  • Denver;
  • Duval County, Fla.;
  • Hendry County , Fl a.;
  • Hillsborough County, Fla.;
  • Lee County, Fla.;
  • Miami-Dade County, Fla.;
  • Orange County, Fla.;
  • Osceola County, Fla.;
  • Chicago & Cook County, Ill.;
  • LaPorte County, Ind.;
  • Finney County, Kan.;
  • Detroit & Hamtramck, Mich.;
  • Alamance County, N.C.;
  • Wake County, N.C.;
  • Bernalillo County, N.M.;
  • Cibola County, N.M.;
  • Queens County, N.Y.;
  • Franklin County, Ohio;
  • Hamilton County, Ohio;
  • Allegheny County, Pa.;
  • Chester County, Pa.;
  • Delaware County, Pa.;
  • Lehigh County, Pa.;
  • Philadelphia ;
  • Richland County, S.C.;
  • Davidson County, Tenn.;
  • Shelby County , Tenn. ;
  • Harris County, Texas; and
  • Milwaukee
The observers and department personnel will gather information on, among other things, whether voters are subject to different voting qualifications or procedures on the basis of race, color, or membership in a language minority group; whether jurisdictions are complying with the minority language provisions of the Voting Rights Act; whether jurisdictions permit voters to receive assistance by a person of his or her choice if the voter is blind, has a disability, or is unable to read or write; whether jurisdictions allow voters with disabilities to cast a private and independent ballot; whether jurisdictions comply with the voter registration list requirements of the National Voter Registration Act; and whether jurisdictions comply with the provisional ballot requirements of the Help America Vote Act. Toassist in these inquiries, the department has deployed observers and monitors who speak Spanish and a variety of Asian and Native American languages. Both the federal observers and department personnel will coordinate monitoring activities, and department attorneys maintain contact with local election officials.

Last month, the Justice Department announced efforts to ensure that all qualified voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots and have their votes counted free of discrimination, intimidation or fraud in the election process. More information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting and election-related laws is available on the Civil Rights Division’s website at