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vol. 6 no.


1 | feb 25rochester ny - mar 3 | 2013 feb 25 - mar 3 2013

From Information to Understanding


Is New Yorks $7.25 per hour minimum wage

2 | feb 25 - mar 3 | 2013

In This Issue:
vol. 6 no. 11
1 | febrochester ny 18 - 24 | 2013 february 18 - 24 2013


From Information to Understanding


Is New Yorks $7.25 per hour minimum wage

How far have we come. Time: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m Location: 1 Lomb Memorial Drive Keynote speaker: Rev. Dr. Marvin McMickle, President, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School Tickets: $75 general; $50 students. Can be purchased from the City Bureau of Youth Services, 2nd floor of Sibley Bldg., 25 Franklin St., or City Hall Room 202A. 23 11th Annual Black Heritage Gala Time: 6:00 p.m. Location: Rochester Plaza - 70 State St. Tickets: $50 per person, can be purchased from the City Bureau of Youth Services, 2nd floor of Sibley Bldg., 25 Franklin St., or City Hall Room 202A. For more information about the Heritage Gala, call 428-9857 or visit 24 Baobab Community Dialogue Time: 7:00pm Location: 728 University Avenue Profiled: Race in Civic Circles 25 WXXI African-American Educational Awareness Film Time: 7:00pm Location: The Little Theater The Powerbroker: Whitney Youngs Fight for Civil Rights 28 150 Video Premier Time: 6:00pm Location: 8 Manhattan Square Drive Contact: 585-428-9857. FREE event.

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19 Black Heritage Story Telling Time: 1:00 p.m. Location: Ryan Community Center 530 Webster Ave. Featuring local storytellers


Dave McCleary Pauline McCleary Gary McLendon Catie Fiscus Lisa Dumas Delani Weaver Sharese Hardaway

busInEss MAnAgEr cOPy EdItOr


Pg 8 - 9

Is New Yorks $7.25 an hour minimum wage unlivable? Pg 4 - 5

Rochester Mayor not happy with decision to move MCC to Kodak site School 19 gets therapy dog to help reach students ALex White announces run for Mayor Wheeler Coleman named Chief Information Officer for Excellus Bluecross Blueshield Democrats propose gun ban in Monroe County offices

22 Gospel Fridays Time: 12:30pm - 1:00 p.m Location: City Hall Atrium - 30 Church St. Visit our Gospel Fridays page to view video samples from previous years Schedule: Feb. 1: Tina Jackson; Immaculate Conception Choir. Feb. 8: Mt. Olivet Baptist Church Choir . Feb. 15: School of the Arts Choir. Feb. 22: Charlie Wells and the Original Voices of Clouds 22 - 24 Special Olympics New York State Winter Games Time: 8:00pm Location: Riverside Convention Center Over 650 athletes and coaches from across the state will participate in the 2013 State Winter Games, featuring Floor Hockey at the Riverside Convention Center, Figure Skating and Speed Skating at Genesee Valley Ice Rink, Nordic Skiing at Bristol Mountain, Snowshoeing and Alpine Skiing at Swain Mountain. Join us for the 2013 State Winter Games! All events are free and open to the public. Winter Games is one of three annual state games and more than 3,500 total competitions held each year throughout New York. Nearly 850 athletes and coaches will be joining us from around the state. Recurring daily. For more information on volunteering email or call 1-800-836-6976. Register via Online 22 Black Heritage Conference 150 Years Since the Emancipation Proclamation:

Art dIrEctOr


EdItOrIAL AssIstAnt
Claribel Oliveras


Dave McCleary Lucy Smith-Fulmore Temple Boggs, Jr. Todd Elliott

PHOtOgrAPHy cOLuMnIsts


Pg 6

NY Health Chief: Longer gasdrilling study needed


Pg 12 - 13

For many, Black History not enough from Obama Administration Civil rights leader applaud Obamas new initiatives

Gloria Winston Al-Sarag C. Michael Tillman Rev. Michael Vaughn Vincent Felder Diane Watkins Mike Dulaney Davy Vara Ayesha Kreutz


Pg 14-15

For Zions sake, I will not keep quiet...Isaiah 62:1 by Gloria Winston al-saraG Rochester Police try everything to win communitys trust and respect by davy vara Through the Lens of RCTV: July 64, fifty years later by carvon eison

Minority Reporter, Inc. is a family of publications and other media formats committed to fostering self awareness, building community and empowering people of color to reach their greatest potential. Further, Minority Reporter, Inc. seeks to present a balanced view of relevant issues, utilizing its resources to build bridges among diverse populations; taking them from information to understanding. Minority Reporter reserves the right to edit or reject content submitted. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. Minority Reporter does not assume responsibility concerning advertisers, their positions, practices, services or products; nor does the publication of advertisements constitute or imply endorsement. Minority Reporter invites news and story suggestions from readers. Deadline for all copy is Tuesday at noon. Call 585-301-4199 or email


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3 | feb 25 - mar 3 | 2013


Second Chance by Willie a. price

As a small child I grew up with a very religious grandmother and great grandmother. Spending time with my grandmother, youd hear her saying things like, God is always listening to your prayers, so be careful what you pray for. One of her favorite sayings was: He may not come when you want him, but hes always on time. If you call and trust in him, he will come and protect you! During those youthful years, I spent some summers in the south with my great grandmother. She was just as heavy with her hand as she was with her religion. So, when we got into trouble she would first lay that hand on you and then back it up with sayings like. You better thank God for keeping me from killing you, because he just gave you a second chance. Then she would break into a shout! My God is a God of second chances! On January 10, all of these sayings never seemed to be more true to me. I had a fire at a rental property on the East side. I could not get workers, so I took it upon myself to do the work myself on that warm 50 degree day. It took me almost three hours to start, because I didnt have any help, and something kept telling me not to get up there. So, finally I started the work, and while moving the ladder across the roof it disconnected from the roof and slid off the roof. I began flipping and grabbing for anything as I rolled down the roof to the edge. As I hit the edge of the roof, I went over the edge head first toward the concrete driveway. I began to go over the edge, and called out, God, please dont let me hit my head! Suddenly, I heard a voice call out to me. Then it felt like someone was holding me, and the next thing I knew, I had landed feet first. I broke a bone in my right foot and totally shattered my left ankle. As I lay on the ground, and in the ambulance and on the hospital bed, sharing my testimony about the voice and what it said and did, no one could believe that I had survived. Not the people seeing me fall, not the firemen or the ambulance personnel and especially not the doctors and nurses at the hospital. The doctors went as far to say I should be dead or totally paralyzed. People whom I didnt know were coming to my hospital room stating that I was being talked about around the hospital and that I was sharing a testimony, and they were asking to hear it. The next day they put a screw in my left foot and sent me home for a week to prepare for the ankle surgery. One week later I returned for the ankle surgery. Before the doctor took me in to operate, I asked him. How long would it be before I could start trying to train for track again? He responded. You will never run again. We are hoping that you will be able to stand by June or July and in August, we will send you to therapy to learn how to walk again. I then told him I wasnt accepting that because I had to run again, and I began to pray. I also prayed about not wanting to take pain medication. What was the outcome? I never took one pain pill the entire time from the first day until today. I began walking in March, two months after my surgery. I began running in June at Johnnie B. Wiley stadium. I have been on the Insanity Workout program for more than 12 weeks, since November. When I walked into the hospital for my March doctors appointment, the intern ran out of the room to inform the doctor that I had just walked in for my appointment. The doctor came in and said: What are you doing walking? How are you walking? I responded, Doc, you are the Doctor, but God is the Healer! I am a living testimony. When you call Him, He comes, and He truly is a God of second chances! Willie A. Price, PO Box 603, Buffalo, NY 14215 716-316-7776

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4 | feb 25 - mar 3 | 2013

Rochester Mayor not Happy with Decision to Move MCC to Kodak Site
Republican lawmakers of the Monroe County legislature voted Tuesday giving Monroe Community College (MCC) the go-ahead to purchase a former Kodak site downtown on State Street; but some including Rochester Mayor Thomas Richards are not cheering this decision. Richards said he believes more time and public debate should have been allowed before making a decision. The public did not get a chance to participate in this decision and I fear taxpayers will be left to pay a bill they can ill afford, Richards said. The new State Street site is expected to cost the county $72-million to build. But, just last week Gilbert Winn, Managing Principal of Winncompanies, and owner of the Sibley Building which currently houses MCCs downtown campus made an offer to MCC officials he says would have saved them $18-million dollars. Winn, Friday, February 4, unveiled an impressive new building and a list of its benefits including a dedicated entrance for MCC with everything updated, expanded classrooms, and accessible parking, all at a price he guarantees at $57-million. But MCC officials said the Kodak site was better suited for a campus of the future. It is unfortunate that the Republican caucus of the Monroe County Legislature opted not to take the time to adequately study and address the myriad of questions surrounding the purchase and the operation of the old Kodak site for use by MCC. Richards said in a statement to media. I want to say here-and-now, that the cost to purchase and renovate the Kodak space is just one concern as there is an alternative that is $18 million cheaper. Richards supports the Winn proposal. Citing the operating costs of the Kodak site and how the costs would be funded, he said the college is buying twice the amount of space they need. They are also purchasing an entire heating and cooling plant - not just for their space - but for the entire Kodak Tower complex. MCC will now have to find a way to operate the plant and become a small utility company and not just a college. Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature also voted against the legislation and sought to delay the vote for several months. We want nothing more than to see MCC succeed. As County Legislators, we also have a responsibility to ensure local taxpayer dollars are protected, said Democratic Leader Carrie M. Andrews (D-Rochester). Before voting to approve this purchase, we need to see that the state has contributed its share of $36 million for this project. The State Legislature still has to vote to approve $24 million of that funding and given the states fiscal challenges, we need to make sure were not purchasing a building without the funding to renovate it. Richards says he has a list of unanswered questions. The hard part to understand is that there is no rush needed here. MCC has a new five-year lease at Sibley and there is no one beating a path to purchase the Kodak site.


School 19 Gets Therapy Dog to Help Reach Students

In collaboration with National Education for Assistance Dog Services, a non-profit organization for therapeutic services dogs, School No. 19 has now added Blaze, a Labrador retriever, to its staff of full-time employees. Blaze, who was named by the Worcester Massachusetts Fire Department, just arrived from the NEADS organization and is already visiting various classrooms, the school said. Certified school psychologist, Angela Mullally, is leading the effort to establish an animal-assisted therapy program for students at the school. Mullally currently works with students diagnosed with severe emotional disabilities, which she says also includes challenges in building and maintaining social relationships. We have a high concentration of Special Education students in our building, so its difficult to find new and innovative ways to address the needs were seeing here in the building, said Mullally. After some of the reading Ive done on therapeutic animals, I thought that would be a good way to reach those kids. According to a press release from the City School District, research showed that therapy dogs reduce stress, anxiety, fear, depression, and aggression in people. They also seem to help increase self-esteem, selfconcept, social skills, positive behavior, and physical activity. We just got started last Thursday, Mullally said. Were not doing a lot of therapeutic work yet, but right now were laying the groundwork and hes being very well received. She plans to use Blaze to work with children by teaching them how to be patient and compassionate, as well as by teaching them how to care for an animal, the District said.



5 | feb 25 - mar 3 | 2013

Alex White Announces Run for Mayor

Local businessman Alex White announced Monday that he will run for Mayor as a candidate seeking an endorsement from the Green Party. At a press conference on the steps of city hall, White cited ongoing problems that have been left unresolved by city government such as crime, vacant lots and empty office space, declining graduation rates, poverty and overspending as the reasons that motivated him to join the race. There are almost 4000 vacant houses in our neighborhoods and almost 2 million square feet of empty office space in the center of our city, he said. Crime is rampant on our streets, and many in our community do not trust the police to handle this. Less than 50 percent of our most precious commodity, our youth, are graduating high school. Poverty is two and a half times the national average and our city runs a 30 million dollar deficit every year. Whites announcement follows just after Mayor Tom Richards, a Democrat, announced last week he will be running for re-election this year, as well as city council president Lovely Warrens statement that she is


also considering her options to run. After decades of struggle we need new solutions that work, he said. It is time to build a government that can implement real sustainable solutions. In the special election for mayor in 2011, White ran on the Green Party ticket winning nine percent of the vote. A Green Party spokesperson said they currently have several candidates seeking endorsement for various races and will soon be starting the interview process.

Wheeler Coleman Named Chief Information Officer for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
Rochester, NY Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has appointed Wheeler G. Coleman to be senior vice president and chief information officer for the nonprofit health insurer and its parent organization, The Lifetime Healthcare Companies. Coleman has nearly 30 years of experience in information technology with Health Care Service Corp. (HCSC), where he led the consolidation and optimization of multiple information technology platforms and was responsible for IT strategy, enterprise architecture, technology standards, IT portfolio investments, resource and vendor management, the IT budget and merger/acquisition integration. Information technology is critically important to our success, and Wheeler is the right person in the right position, said Christopher Booth, CEO of The Lifetime Healthcare Companies. Coleman, who will begin his new position Feb. 4, will report directly to Barry Thornton, Senior Vice President of Customer Satisfaction and Business Technology. Wheeler has significant experience in leading an organization through changes in people, process and systems, said Thornton. Im very

Alex White

excited about his addition to our company and team. Coleman earned an MBA from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor of Science degree in applied data processing from Northern Illinois University. He and his wife, Sharon Johnson Coleman, have two children.

Democrats Propose Gun Ban in Monroe County Offices

Monroe County Democrats introduced legislation Monday to restrict gun owners from bringing concealed weapons into county office buildings. Under current policy, anyone with a concealed carry permit is legally allowed to bring a gun into any county owned or leased property. Carrie Andrews, D - Rochester, the Democratic leader who sponsored the legislation, said, Given the prevalence of gun violence in our country today, it is unreasonable that people can walk into a government building with a gun. Certainly even responsible gun owners understand why guns are not permitted in federal buildings, courthouses, and other municipal properties, it should be no different for county buildings. Andrews pointed out that school buildings and Rochester City Hall are two municipal buildings where guns are banned. There really is no need to bring a gun into the County Office Building. We have armed deputies here who are authorized and trained to protect both our employees and the public; we dont need extra guns floating around, added Glenn Gamble, D-Rochester, a co-sponsor of the legislation. The bill would exempt law enforcement personnel from the prohibition. The Shooters Committee on Education Committee is in opposition to the bill, however. According to reports, County Legislature does not have the authority to regulate handguns in any way, SCOPE said. In addition, Monroe County Republican Majority Leader Anthony Daniele stated, As with all proposed legislation, we will consider this action. However, it is worth noting that Monroe County has had an effective weapons prohibition in County buildings in place since 1991. Nonetheless, stated Andrews, the current prohibition applies to everyone except for people with concealed carry permits. I believe its unnecessary to allow people to carry a weapon into a county building and its time to update the law to eliminate that exception, she said. Andrews also stated that the county certainly has the right to prohibit guns or other deadly weapons in buildings it owns or leases and that the law does not violate anyones Second Amendment rights. The proposal is now being considered by Legislature president Jeff Adair who will assign it to a committee. If it passes at the next committee meeting, the bill would then be up for a final vote on April 9.


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6 | feb 25 - mar 3 | 2013

NY health chief: Longer gas-drilling study needed

By MARY ESCH Associated Press ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Environmental groups praised state regulators for delaying a decision on shale gas development until a more in-depth health study is finished, but landowners eager to reap profits from their mineral resources were frustrated at another delay in a rulemaking process that has kept drilling on hold for 4 1/2 years. ``Were glad to hear that theyre not putting an artificial deadline on completion of the regulations, and giving the scientists time to do the science, said Deborah Goldberg, an attorney for Earthjustice. Nick Schoonover, a landowner in southern New York who organized a coalition of landowners five years ago to pursue gas leases, said Tuesday the delay is ``irresponsible. Thats all there is to it. The Department of Environmental Conservation had faced a deadline Wednesday to complete its comprehensive environmental impact study of drilling for gas using high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. impacts of drinking water, as well as other areas such as air quality and community impacts. ``Commissioner Shah is correct that the state needs to take the time to do a comprehensive study of the health effects of fracking to protect the public health, said biologist Sandra Steingraber, a leader of the anti-fracking movement. ``We are confident that such a review will show that the costs of fracking in terms of public health are unacceptable. A coalition of landowners is considering a lawsuit over the states repeated delays in completing regulations and issuing drilling permits. ``Were incredibly disappointed that our state could not get this done, said Scott Kurkoski, a lawyer representing a large coalition of landowners in the southern part of New York near the Pennsylvania border where gas drilling is most likely to start. ``Weve been at this for 4 1/2 years. Ohio was able to accomplish their revision to regulations in eight months. Karen Moreau, executive director of the New York State Petroleum Council, said industry best practices and state regulations ``have proven effective in the safe use of the hydraulic fracturing process for more than 60 years and in over a million wells. Shah noted several studies that have been initiated or published by the scientific community: an EPA study on potential impacts of fracking activities on drinking water, due to be completed in 2014; a Geisinger Health Systems study in Pennsylvania, which is analyzing health records in areas where shale gas is being developed; and a study recently announced by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in collaboration with scientists from Columbia, Johns Hopkins and the University of North Carolina. ``As we have been reviewing the scope of these studies, I have determined _ and prudence dictates _ that the DOH Public Health Review will require additional time to complete based on the complexity of the issues, Shah said. He said he and his team will be in Pennsylvania and Washington in coming days for briefings on the studies. He said he has also extended the terms of outside researchers assisting in his review.


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DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said Tuesday that the deadline will be missed, meaning regulations due to be released Feb. 27 will be delayed. Martens said he expected Health Commissioner Nirav Shahs review to be done in a few weeks. But Martens said issuing of permits for shale gas drilling could begin even while regulations are being finished, if the Health Departments review finds the Environmental Conservation Departments impact study adequately addresses health concerns. But if the Department of Health review ``finds that there is a public health concern that has not been assessed in the (environmental impact study) or properly mitigated, we would not proceed, as I have stated in the past, Martens said. Goldberg said it would be illegal for the state to issue permits before the regulations were finished. ``If they try to proceed without rules, well be suing them in court, she said. Shah said he needed more time to review recent studies. He said his review focuses in particular on the relationship of fracking to the health

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7 | feb 25 - mar 3 | 2013

8 | feb 25 - mar 3 | 2013


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Workers who make low wages making hotel beds, ringing up groceries, delivering pizza and tending tables in New York say the proposed hike in the states minimum wage wont erase all their financial worries. But it will help. The priority for that extra 20 dollars month would be probably something other than macaroni and cheese and chicken all the time, said Myrna Capaldi, a single mother in Kingston who makes $8.59 an hour working with Head Start families. Lawmakers in Albany are considering a proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to increase the state minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.75 an hour in July. Assembly Democrats proposed making it $9 an hour after President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address this week proposed hiking the federal minimum wage, also $7.25 an hour, to $9 in stages by the end of 2015. Cuomo has described the current minimum Capaldi. And to pull up to the gas pump and the price of gas has yet again gone up but your hourly salary has not. About 5 percent of hourly wage earners in New York state make the minimum or below (like workers who receive tips), according to federal figures. The proposed hike would also directly affect workers making more than minimum but less than $8.75. Those 747,000 workers make up 9 percent of the states work force, according to an analysis by the labor-backed Fiscal Policy Institute. Who are those workers? wage, which works out to about $15,000 a year for full-time work, as unlivable. Many people making the minimum or a little above it agree. Its pretty difficult to put bread on the table and make sure I have enough gas to get to work, said Opponents of a wage hike note that many are teens with part-time jobs still living at home. But the FPI analysis says more than eight in 10 of the people making $8.75 or less in New York are at least 20 years old. Most are women and almost half these low-wage earners work at least 35 hours a week. In the Bronx a borough with a persistently high poverty rate a state-high 12.5 percent of workers make $8.75 or less an hour, according to the FPI analysis. A number of largely rural upstate counties like Montgomery, Steuben and Essex, also had high rates. Whether rural or urban, people on the low end of the wage scale tell similar stories of never having enough money to keep up. In Queens, Kassandra Guzman, an 18-year-old high school student, works seven days a week and said she still has trouble saving for college after helping her parents pay their bills. Capaldi, who is raising a teen makes a lot of macaroni and shops at Goodwill on Wednesdays, which are half-price days.

Is New Yorks $7.25 per hour minimum wage

Cuomo has described the current minimum wage, which works out to about $15,000 a year for full-time work, as unlivable.

9 | feb 25 - mar 3 | 2013


Its really hard, sometimes we dont even make rent until two weeks after its due, said 20-yearold Joselyn Flower, who lives in the Ithaca area. Flower is an $8-an hour hotel housekeeper who went on maternity leave after she and her partner had a daughter a month ago. He makes $8 an hour, too. They all live in a one-bedroom apartment. The extra $1.50 an hour for minimum wage earners could gross an extra $60 a week for full-timers. How much more people making slightly over would reap depend on whether their employer raises them to the new minimum. It wouldnt buy much, but I would feel the difference, said Brandon Montes, a senior at Fordham University who holds down two lower-wage jobs. Its expensive to live in New York and every little bit helps.

Flower said: Its not going to make it easy, but it certainly will make it a lot less hard. Opponents of the hike, including some business interests, say the increase would actually hurt those lower-wage workers who would get laid off by employers unable to afford suddenly higher payroll costs. Economists have debated that point for years. Opponents point to a peer-reviewed study last year that concluded New Yorks minimum wage increase from $5.15 to $6.75 over two years beginning in 2004 coincided with a roughly 20 percent drop in employment for less-skilled, less-educated 16- to 29-year-olds. The evidence is mixed, said Matthew Freedman, an assistant professor at Cornell Universitys Department of Labor Economics. And if there are negative effects, he added, a hike in the wage does not seem to be as vicious a job destroyer as some fear.

Its not going to make it easy, but it certainly will make it a lot less hard.
-- joselyn floWer

A Project of American Anthropological Association. Funded by Ford Foundation & National Science Foundation

It wouldnt buy much, but I would feel the difference

-- brandon montes
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Black History MontH FaMily Day Join Us at tHe MeMorial art Gallery sUnDay, FeBrUary 24, 2013 noon - 5 pM
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11 | feb 25 - mar 3 | 2013

RENOVATIONS TO SCHOOL NO. 45, AT 1445 CLIFFORD AVENUE, AND CENTRAL OFFICE, AT 131 WEST BROAD STREET, ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, CASH CAPITAL 2012-13: ELECTRICAL WORK. Sealed bids will be received by the Purchasing Agent, Central Administrative Offices, 131 West Broad Street, Rochester, New York, 14614, to 2:30 P.M., March 12, 2013, for the project as listed above, at which time and place said bids will be publicly opened and read. Sets of contract documents and official bid forms may be examined at the Department of Educational Facilities, Rochester City School District, 835 Hudson Avenue, Bldg. #3, Rochester, New York, 14621, and may be obtained upon presentation of a one hundred dollar ($100.00) check deposit for each set, made payable to the Board of Education. Deposit will be refunded upon return of plans and specifications in good condition on or before the date set for such return by the Department. For addition information, please contact the Design Group at (585) 336-4010 or e-mail: GARY B. SMITH DIRECTOR OF PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY

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12 | feb 25 - mar 3 | 2013


For Many, Black History Not Enough from Obama Administration

By Jacquelyn Williams and Bianca Brown ( As millions prepared to watch President Obamas State of the Union Address on Tuesday, interviews in recent weeks reveal that the historical significance of the first Black President has given way to a string of high expectations. The thrill is gone, said 32-year-old postal worker Keith Reid of Landover, Md. We need to move away from our fixation on the history President Obama made by becoming our first Black president and focus more on his execution of the platform he ran on. Expectations have risen for President Obama as he enters his second term in office, with many supporters seeking solutions to unresolved issues. This weeks State of the Union Address was expected to lay out President Obamas economic plan. But supporters and critics alike are looking for significant change as the unemployment statistics of his most loyal constituents - African-Americans - remain in double digits. President Obama has done a lot for the economy but I think he needs to focus more on struggling communities that were suffering long before and well after the recession, said 27-year-old banker Stacy Warner of Los Angeles. Anticipation is especially high because many political observers argued that the President was limited in his first term for fear of losing his re-election bid. Hes done a phenomenal job so far, but now that he does not have to worry about getting [re-elected], I want him to be a little tougher on issues that he feels strongly about, like automatic gun restrictions, said 24-year-old fourth grade teacher Josephine Brown of Palo Alto, Calif. The gun control issue has landed squarely in the laps of the White House and Congress since the Dec. 17 mass killings of 20 first graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The debate now rages between some, like Brown, who want major gun restrictions and others who want more controls on the people who are allowed to buy them. Either strategy raises a question about how to end gun violence that has raged in inner city neighborhoods for decades. Im hoping to see him reduce the number of assault weapons available on the streets, said Pastor Byron Craig of Macedonia Baptist Church in Norristown, Pa. Some civil rights leaders, including Marc Morial, president/CEO of the National Urban League, say fighting gun violence alone wont help city streets. Like Morial, many believe the socio-economic atmosphere of poor communities must also be strengthened along with any form of gun control including, jobs, housing and education. I would really love to see Barack Obama focus on education reform, said Ndidi Obasi, a sophomore in media studies and production at Temple University in Philadelphia. He often speaks about working hard to make sure that our children have a better future, but that future starts now in the classroom. Its insane to think that in 2013 our zip codes still determine whether or not we get a good education. The second inauguration of President Obama was filled with references to the historic anniversaries in 2013, including the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. But, there was no direct reference to the modern day racial disparities endured by African-Americans. This was a disappointment to some. By no means is the President weak. But theres time when the bulldog in you needs to come out in order for things to get done especially when dealing with those who aspire to hold you back, expressed 81-year-old Korean War veteran Wendell Merritt. There are other issues that are not as prominent as race, gun violence and education. But they are equally important, points out Norristown, Pa. resident, James Brown. I would like to see President Obama do something about the environment, says Brown. If we keep digging it up and poisoning the earth, the soil wont be able to produce crops and I want to stop breathing polluted air. At the beginning of President Obamas first term he pushed one of the hardest hitting attacks on air pollution in US history using his executive powers. This legislation would have brought carbon dioxide limits to power plants, imposed new fuel efficiency laws for cars and put billions of dollars into clean energy projects. But, in 2012 the Republican controlled House of Representatives passed the Stop the War on Coal Act, affectively reversing President Obamas efforts. Randall Dottin, a New York film maker, says he would like to see him work on energy again. But Dottins reason has little to do with air pollution. Coming up with ways to harness the new opportunities for energy will create jobs, which I think is obviously incredibly important to the economy, he said. That is the recurring issue, an economy that has left many with a feeling of hopelessness that they least expected under a Black president. All I want is for Obama to be a little more vocal, explained Judy Butler, a retired 64-year-old of Washington, D.C. He has to speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves. Though the nation is led by the President, the First Lady also plays a major roll in the White House. Dorothy Wilson, a retired resident of Prince Georges County, Md., is First Lady Michelle Obamas next move. Im excited to see what Michelle Obama has in store this term also. She did a good job at creating awareness to obesity and supporting the troops, Wilson said. Vietnam War veteran Michael Lyes also applauded the First Ladys support of the troops and is also comforted by the Presidents promise to bring home the troops from Afghanistan. I almost jumped for joy when Obama talked about ending war. It is something so traumatizing to be put in the front line of war, its time to come home, said Lyes, who was tearful after explaining his war experience. In a nation overrun with controversial issues, all of which appear to be priorities, there are some who simply want to see the President succeed in being a good family man. Even though I dont agree with many of his policies, I do think he is a good father and a good person, said Shannon Gibson. I would like to see him continue his devotion to his family in his second term. Writer Mignon Hemsley contributed to this article.


13 | feb 25 - mar 3 | 2013

Civil Rights Leaders Applaud Obamas New Initiatives
By Hazel Trice Edney ( - Two Weeks ago, a group of civil rights leaders, led by National Urban League President Marc Morial, threw down the gauntlet, strongly urging President Obama to address the jobs crisis and economics in Americas urban communities. Gauging applause following Obamas Feb. 12 State of the Union address, he is at least beginning to meet the demand. We applaud President Obama for making clear his focus on job creation and preparing our youth for success in college, work and life as the keys to economic prosperity for our communities and country. We echo his call for swift passage of the American Jobs Act, which we believe will level the playing field for many Americans who have yet to benefit from the economic recovery, said Morial in a statement immediately following the speech. NAACP President Ben Jealous agreed. The President knocked it out of the park, he said in an interview. The President understands that persistent poverty and violence are connected. This was a response to our call for clear and real solutions to the jobs crisis thats been plaguing our community. His first State of the Union speech in his second term, the president was pressured by high expectations. With Americas gun violence suddenly spreading from the inner cities into the suburbs with a rash of mass shootings, his challenged was in part to speak to them both with equal compassion. However, an even greater challenge was to address the clearly different causes of the violence one being the economic crisis in Black communities that the civil rights leaders have highlighted. Tonight, lets also recognize that there are communities in this country where no matter how hard you work, it is virtually impossible to get ahead. Factory towns decimated from years of plants packing up. Inescapable pockets of poverty, urban and rural, where young adults are still fighting for their first job. America is not a place where the chance of birth or circumstance should decide our destiny. And thats why we need to build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for all who are willing to climb them, Obama said in the speech, marked by repeated applause. He continued, Lets offer incentives to companies that hire Americans whove got what it takes to fill that job opening, but have been out of work so long that no one will give them a chance anymore. Lets put people back to work rebuilding vacant homes in run-down neighborhoods. And this year, my administration will begin to partner with 20 of the hardest-hit towns in America to get these communities back on their feet. Well work with local leaders to target resources at public safety, and education, and housing. Most recently, Chicago has become the central point of media attention on gun violence because of the killing of 15-year-old Inaugural majorette, Hadiya Pendleton, whose parents were guests at the State of the Union. They were guests of First Lady Michelle Obama, who had attended Hadiyas funeral. After the speech, the President also went to Chicago, speaking at Hyde Park Career Academy near the site of Hadiyas murder. Theres no more important ingredient for success, nothing that would be more important for us reducing violence than strong, stable families -- which means we should do more to promote marriage and encourage fatherhood, he said, in a deeply personal address. Dont get me wrong. As the son of a single mom, who gave everything she had to raise me with the help of my grandparents, I turned out okay, he said. So weve got single moms out here, theyre heroic in what theyre doing and we are so proud of them. But at the same time, I wish I had had a father who was around and involved. In the speech that was punctuated by light laughter and applause, the President also underscored some of proposals from the State of the Union such as improvements on public safety, education and housing as well as raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour. The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., who, the week before the State of the Union, called for President Obama to Come home, said he is also pleased with the headway the Obama administration is making in addressing urban crime and poverty. The point is that Chicago exposes the complexities of the urban crisis, which requires some plan for reconstruction because its been so destroyed, Rev. Jackson said in an interview. The issue in Sandy Hook was guns in the hands of a wild man and the gun culture for sport. In Chicago, like Baltimore, like Memphis, like New Orleans its drugs in, guns in, jobs out, houses foreclosed, driving poverty and 4050 percent unemployment. Thats a different combination. Jackson said he agrees with the Presidents ideas on background checks and mental health checks before the purchase of handguns. But theres much more need in Black communities, he said. Urban America requires something far more massive than the lack of guns. He proposes a reconstruction bank with trillions of dollars to rebuild communities. You cannot bring the communities back. You cannot revive the communities on the banks that destroyed them for greed and profit. You need a reconstruction bank. Regardless of what the proposals are, most will need to pass a bitter and divided Congress. In that regard, U. S. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) encouraged the partisanship to end for the sake of a new beginning. Forty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood at the Lincoln Memorial and proclaimed We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. Tonight President Obama stood in the well of the U.S. House of Representatives, and echoed Dr. Kings sentiment. He took up the mantle of Dr. King in declaring, It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf

National Urban League President Marc Morial of the many, and not just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation of ours, Clyburn said in a statement. I applaud his vision, and I look forward to working with the President and my colleagues in Congress to get our country on a path of opportunity through economic development, job creation and investing in education, infrastructure and innovation to move our country forward. For too long, we have been hearing why it cant be done. President Obama reminded us tonight that it can be done, we just have to have the political will to do it.

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14 | feb 25 - mar 3 | 2013

For those of you sitting around waiting for a revolution perhaps you need to know you are in the middle of one. Thanks to Christopher Dorner, former GLORIA WINSTON AL-SARAG Los Angeles Police Department officer some of the injustices that have occurred within the law enforcement community are about to be corrected. If you have not had your head in the sand then you know by now that Christopher Dorner, an alleged killer is being sought in connection with the murder of two civilians, and one police officer. The events that have transpired since -Sunday, February 3 appeared to escalate on Thursday, February 7, 2013. My intent is not to revisit information that is available everywhere you look. My intent is to discuss how a man who is accused of murdering innocent people by some becomes a folk hero to others. I have monitored and read with great interest over 50 Facebook pages, alone, that have been created either by Christopher Dorner, his supporters, and in very few cases his haters. I have calculated thousands of supporters and those who choose to like him. My first reaction was that law enforcement will never capture this man. He has too may people willing to hide him and support him. Many are unafraid to state why. Their tone is not new, their concerns either. Enough is enough. Law enforcement in most major cities in the U.S. has had their share of complaints, charges of corruption, brutality and racism. For years I supported the concerns of leadership like Rev. Raymond Graves and others, who tried to keep in the forefront the concerns of the Rochester Police Department. After digesting Christopher Dorners Manifesto a six-page letter he wrote and published online in an attempt to clear his name I became closer to understanding the events we are now witnessing. When I discovered one of the victims allegedly murdered by him was the daughter of the former LAPD policemen now turned lawyer who represented him in a failed attempt to appeal his case; my mind quickly revisited the local events that led up to the killing of Alicia McCuller, the incarceration of Michael Florence, and the Rufus Fairwell case. Somewhere there is a scripture that speaks to a child paying for the sins of the father. I dont know this to be the case, or if any of what I am sharing to be fact, but it sure is plenty of food for thought. Nothing is new. Christopher Dorner to me is no more than the re-incarnated spirit of Huey P. Newton co-founder of the Black Panther Party or American Indians Russell Means and Dennis Banks just to mention a few I find to be true modern day revolutionaries. Those familiar with history may recall how Russell and Dennis held the federal government at bay for 72 days, refusing to surrender. Any revolution that is successful is led only by those unafraid to die for what they believe in. That fact alone I am confident has the LAPD concerned about who and what they are dealing with. Not only have they trained Christopher Dorner, he states emphatically he plans to use everything they taught him against them. Sounds like a modern day Spook Who Sat By The Door, (a 1973 film which satirizes the civil rights struggle in the United States of the late 1960 and attempts to focus on the issue of black militancy). Christopher Dorner is considered a hero to many. Some are playfully calling him Rambo, the Dark Knight and other pet names that suggest they would join his army if he was recruiting. Historically, unrest has spawned civil wars.

The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of Minority Reporter.

The Revolution is Computerized on Social Networks

Christopher Dorner has touched some mighty big nerves, and exposed the raw pain that exists in those who have bad experiences or treated unjustly by law enforcement. Most people dont have the means, the courage or the vehicle by which they even feel comfortable complaining. We all know that complaining could easily constitute harassment against you or your family. Just ask Davy Vara, a consistent advocate who shines a spotlight on any appearance of injustice by law enforcement. Fear silences man, but someone like Christopher Dorner has seemingly put in place a legitimate forum by which much stands to be corrected. And I suspect some wrongs will be righted above and beyond the confines of the LAPD. I understand Christopher Dorner. I personally know how it feels when folks lie on you to get you removed from their presence, when you dont support their agenda. Even though I was trained effectively to handle firearms as a Black Panther, my Christian values tend to kick in when pushed to consider taking someone elses life. But, when folks reach out to destroy your life and hurt your family, to me, it is only human nature to want to strike back. Some liars truly need to be more than thankful that God keeps his hand on me. Christopher Dorner said in a note to Anderson Cooper, he did not lie. Christopher Dorner in response to those who question his alleged killing of innocent folks, clearly states sometimes you have to close some eyes to open others. As callous as it may sound, the truth is revolutions seldom occur without blood shed. Jesus bled for all of us. Does this mean I condone what he has done, if in fact he killed anyone? No, but I do understand what is driving him. To me regardless of how the media tries to make him look like a mad man, I aint buying it. Christopher appears to have been planning and strategically calculating his every move. It appears he has been working the plan since 2008, including the false trail he left by a truck he set afire leading folks to search a mountain in the cold for him all night while he may have been in Mexico. He does not come across like some of the lunatics who have barged up into schools killing innocent children and in theaters and just opened fire. I dont perceive him to be suicidal or think he will turn a gun on himself. He is truly a home grown terrorist, a warrior on a mission. He has vowed to clear the only thing a man truly possesses in this world and that is his name. I believe him. His court case has already been revisited and the flaws have been highlighted in the media. God only knows how this will end. But, I suspect when and before it ends, revolution will have prevailed in the law enforcement arena, nation wide. He has put the fear of God in the LAPD and at least 40 offices he named as target in his manifesto. The $1 million reward recently posted suggests to me he will never make it to court, if captured. I am personally suspect of the way the criteria for the reward is worded. The offer is contingent on his arrest and conviction. So in fact, if one of his supporters decides to collect, and if he is killed at anytime before he gets to court, that reward will never be paid. Charlie Sheen and Rev. Jesse Jackson, among others, know it and have reached out to Christopher attempting to get him to surrender. They both personally know the harm that lies can do to someones life. It is unfortunate it is taking all of this for a man to clear his name just because others allegedly used him as a pawn in their game of deceit, corruption and injustice. The revolution is computerized on social networks, and this movement is ironically being led by Christopher Jordan Dorner, a former cop.
---------------------------------Gloria Winston Al-Sarag is a Community Activist, Writer, Communicator, Political Activist. She is a native Rochesterian and has been involved with numerous community orgainzations in Rochester. Contact Gloria at:

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15 | feb 25 - mar 3 | 2013

R o c h e s t e r s Police Chief J a m e s Sheppard, and Mayor Thomas Richards, have spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on billboards DAVY VARA reading Weve Got your Back! and On the Same Team. These billboards were plastered throughout mostly African-American and Latino neighborhoods in an attempt to buy the communitys respect. When it did not work they tried something else. They came up with Fish with a Cop and several Rochester police officers went fishing with kids in the dirty Genesee River. When it did not work they tried something else. They came up with Skate with a Cop and several Rochester police officers went skateboarding and BMX bikeriding with kids at an indoor skate park. When it did not work they had an idea. They thought... Hey, lets take a few select kids (black and Latino) shopping at Eastview Mall, with funds donated by the community, so officers wont have to spend their own money! The way the RPD looked at it, it would make for great news, having officers taking inner-city minority kids to the mall. But again, that did not work. Chief Shepard then turned to social media. He used Twitter to hold Twitter Town Hall sessions with community

The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of Minority Reporter.

Rochester Police Try Everything to Win Communitys Trust and Respect

members once a week for one hour in January. Despite Rochesters mainstream, corporate-run, cop-loving news media spinning stories that the Twitter Town Halls were successful, they werent. In fact, the response was not what Chief Sheppard hoped for. So, you guessed it, Chief Sheppard desperate to try anything and everything to erase a long history of misconduct, corruption, racial profiling, abuse and killing of AfricanAmericans and Latinos by the RPD has once again teamed up with Mayor Richards. Drum roll, please. ... Shoptalk is the name of Chief Sheppards latest, desperate move. In this one Sheppard and Richards went to a Monroe Avenue barber shop to have conversations with young men in the community and give them a chance to voice their opinions on an open forum. Too bad that for the most part, Rochesters African-American and Latino community are too spineless, afraid and complacent, to have shown up to that barber shop and call the sellout chief and the millionaire mayor out. Too bad theres no unity in the AfricanAmerican and Latino community. And too bad that minorities in Rochester continue to allow Rochester police to profile, abuse and kill our own people, and are then so gullible they play into Chief Sheppards and Mayor Richards game the game where Sheppard, himself a black man, and a millionaire white mayor, pretend to care about minorities in Rochester.

Through the Lens of RCTV: July 64, Fifty Years Later

Although July 2014 seems a long way off, its a pivotal point in Rochesters history. It marks the 50th Anniversary of what has b e c o m e known as the Rochester Riots of July 64. to understand where we are today, so that we can never again be accused, as Constance Mitchell asserts in July 64, of having our head[s] in the sand. Where do police/community relations stand today? Have they improved? Could one incident torch any groundwork that has been laid toward a more harmonious, less distrustful relationship between the police and local residents? Is the low graduation rate among Rochesters black and Latin male population symptomatic of deeper issues that need to be addressed, and if so, what are they? What is the role of the church today in sustaining the spirituality of the community and guiding people toward peaceful change? In the past five years, the entire nation has experienced a deeply troubled economic climate. How have economic conditions affected Rochesters African-American Citizens in comparison with other populations within the city? In the past fifty years, downtown Rochester has changed dramatically. Center city was hit by a downturn as retail moved to the suburbs. Todays business development organizations are working to restore Center City to its former viability. How has the shift toward the suburbs affected the black community? Have housing conditions improved, or are black residents stranded in decaying corners of our community? How have race relations changed? Using Minister Franklin Florences words from July 64, is there still a current of quiet rage running deep within the community? Between now and July 2014, ImageWordSound and RCTV will collaborate on exploring these issues through interviews with city leaders such as Mayor Thomas Richards, Police Chief James Sheppard, Rochester City School District Superintendant Dr. Boltan Vargas and others whose perspectives are important on these issues. In an upcoming series, RCTV will explore how todays environment is affecting a whole socio-economic class and these discussions will be televised. If you are a Rochester resident and you have a unique perspective to share on the contemporary issues mentioned above, or if you have a previously undisclosed story, perspective or memory of what happened during those three days of July 64, I invite you to contact me. Please call my office at RCTV and leave a short message about what you would like to discuss on my voicemail at 325-1238, ext. 211. Carvin Eison General Manager RCTV15


During that three-day orgy of anger, the pent-up frustration and disillusionment within Rochesters black community erupted in violence that destroyed neighborhoods throughout the 3rd and 7th wards, further eroded relations between police and the citys black residents, racked up arrest records, injured many and left some for dead. For the first time during the era of civil rights, the National Guard was called out to quell violence in a northern city. Suddenly, Rochesters long-simmering racial tensions could no longer be ignored. The film July 64, a documentary by ImageWordSound, explores this disturbing time through interviews with many city leaders in charge at the time, and through historic film footage and photos. As we approach the 50th Anniversary of July 64, the time is ripe to re-visit the issues that caused a sore to fester and explode within our community

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16 | feb 25 - mar 3 | 2013