WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2011 • VOL. 14, NO. 38 •FREE
• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •
DeKalb residents help to bring cleanwater to remote Haitian villages
by Nigel Roberts
lthough water coversnearly three-quarters of our planet, fresh water represents just 2.5 percentof it. And according to the NationalGeographic Society, only 1 percent of that fresh water is easily accessible.Water scarcity is becoming such aserious problem—especially in un-derdeveloped countries with growing populations, that the World EconomicForum predicts a 40 percent globalshortfall by 2030.Access to fresh water is alreadyat crisis level in Haiti. For severalyears, Food For the Poor, an interde-nominational Christian relief agency,has organized missions to address the problem in the impoverished Carib- bean nation.Two DeKalb residents,
, trav-eled with the organization Dec. 6 – 9to facilitate projects in remote com-munities in desperate need of clean,safe drinking water.Buckley, who lives in Decatur, isa veteran of these missions. He wentto Jamaica eight years ago on hisfirst Food For the Poor mission. Hissecond trip was to Haiti, a countrythat he developed a keen interest in because “the need is great.” Sincethen, he has made regular trips toHaiti every year.For almost a decade, Buckley, acivil rights and employment attorney,has spearheaded fund-raising cam- paigns to drill and install wells withthe assistance of Food For the Poor.His efforts led to the construction of more than 100 artesian wells through-out Haiti, with each well providingaccess to fresh water for about 5,000 people.The December mission was Mc-Calla’s second trip to Haiti. McCalla,an attorney residing in Avondale Es-tates, said she felt an urgency to helpthe Haitian people.“I’ve traveled in Europe, Africa,South America and North America, but I’ve never seen anything likethe poverty I’ve seen in Haiti,” sheemphasized.The people of Haiti, the poor-est in the Western hemisphere, havemyriad needs that range from foodand shelter to medical care. Why thefocus on water? “Water is importantto life,” McCalla stressed. “Try goinga day without clean water—just one.”“We all have a human right toclean water,” Buckley insisted. “It isthe most fundamental human right;without it, we cannot enjoy our other human rights.”Buckley said Haitians (mainlywomen and children) often have towalk long distances to obtain clean
Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
State’s Black Democratsfght againstredrawndistricts
by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comCracked, stacked and packed.Those are terms used todescribe the redrawing of legislative districts to mini-mize minority voting power.And that’s what minoritylawmakers in Georgia sayhas happened with recentlydrawn state Senate, stateHouse and Congressionalmaps.“That’s the ultimate power grab in the Gen-eral Assembly,” said Sen.
(D-10),chairman of the GeorgiaLegislative Black Caucus.“The Voting Rights Act isdesigned to prevent thisfrom happening.”Cracking is when avoter group is split betweenseveral districts to restrict itfrom having a majority votein any one district. Packingrefers to grouping like-minded voters in a district tolimit their effect on multipledistricts. In stacking, a largegroup of minorities is placedin a district with a larger majority group.Districts are redrawn ev-ery 10 years based on popu-lation changes detailed bythe U.S. Census. In August,the Republican-controlledGeneral Assembly passedmaps with redrawn districtsthat Democrats said wereracially gerrymandered toreduce the minority vote.Passed in 1965, the Vot-ing Rights Act requires theU.S. Department of Justiceto preapprove changes madeto election procedures,including the altering of districts, in states with a his-tory of racial discrimination.Georgia is one of nine statesthat are required to have preclearance.
See Caucus on Page 15ASee Water on Page 15A
Amanda Farahany, left to right, Sheryl McCalla, and Edward Buckly at a water pump in Leogane, Haiti. Photo provided