Connecticut – Decriminalize Pot

The Connecticut General Assembly should follow Massachusetts’ lead and change possession of less than one ounce of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor to an infraction. Gov. M. Jodi Rell is looking for substantive ways to save money. Here is one. (The Day)

See related:

Drug War


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Working to end race and class drug war injustice, Efficacy is a non profit
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The Topsail Voice newspaper is once again trying to create a smoke screen at the 12th hour to hide the facts and sway public opinion, so that the public-at-large and the Commissioners are lulled into believing that everything is fine.

We have a Black President and the race issues are behind us, we have enough racial diversity in administrative positions in Pender County. Even the most conservative supporters of The Topsail Voice and other newspapers, know that this is not the case. (Wilmington Journal)


Leaders from the fields of politics, academia and civil rights paid glowing tribute Wednesday to noted historian Dr. John Hope Franklin, who died yesterday at the age of 94.

The Duke University professor emeritus was heralded not only for his keen insight into the tortured history of American race relations, but his cutting edge scholarship and bold academic leadership. (Wilmington Journal)


We don’t know why Col. Fred Aikens (US Army ret.) was abruptly fired after just one day from his position with Sen. Kay Hagan’s office, primarily because the Guilford County Democrat isn’t speaking.

We understand why the first-term US senator is not telling the press. As much as we feel we deserve to know everything, no one wants his/her boss or former boss yapping to the media about why he/she was fired. (Wilmington Journal)

Tarboro NC – Viola Harris District 2 County Commissioner Host Meeting

Finally an elected official did what so many elected officials say they are going to do when they are running for election. It was past time. My schedule did not allow me to attend this meeting. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

Around 35 residents and several local officials attended County Commissioner Viola Harris’s forum Thursday night at the Edgecombe County Administration Building in Tarboro. (Daily Southerner)

Durham NC – Reception in Honor of Striking IAMAW Workers

Reception in Honor of Striking IAMAW Workers

Workers in Moncure have been on strike for almost 8 months. Help them out!

Host: Labor Caucus of the North Carolina Young Democrats
Type: CausesFundraiser
Network: Global
Date: Sunday, April 5, 2009
Time: 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Location: Home of Valerie Johnson
Street: 2905 Alderman Lane
City/Town: Durham, NC
View Map,+Durham,+NCGoogle,+Durham,+NCMicrosoft,+Durham,+NCYahoo
Phone: 9194144481


Join us at a reception in honor of the striking IAMAW Workers in Moncure. They have been on strike for almost 8 months over deplorable working conditions.

This reception will be open to all who can come, we ask that if you are able to please send a check or bring one with you. If you are unable to give (I know times are tough) you are still welcome to join us to honor the heroic efforts these workers are making. We are working on pulling together some special guests, but I can promise that some members of the Union will be on hand to explain their struggle.

Make checks out to IAMAW Local Lodge W369. You can send them to the YDNC Labor Caucus at 220 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603. We will be continuously fundraising for these workers until and past this event. We have already raised over $600 and are looking to be able to say that the Young Democrats were able to give significant aid to these workers. There is also talk of organizing a canned food drive, so please stay tuned and get involved.

For more information, read the following articles:,0,4686470.story?page=1

Wilson NC – About 200 People Attended The Forum On The President’s Stimulus Plan

The forum was well attended today at the Wilson OIC. The Agenda was as follows:

Presiding –  Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield

Welcome  – Howard Jones CEO and Founder, Wilson OIC, Inc.

Congressman GK Butterfield – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

Dempsey Benton, Director, Governor’s Office of Economic Recovery and Investment

Rep. Joe Tolson, Chair North Carolina House Select Committee on Economic Recovery

Senator A.B. Swindell North Carolina Legislative Budget Process and Status

Questions and Answers

Greeting/Comments from North Carolina Legislative Delegation for Wilson, Edgecombe, Nash and Halifax Counties

Special Announcement from Mr. Reginald Speight, CEO Martin County Community Action, Inc.

Closing Remarks – Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield

Sponsored by: Representatives Jean Farmer-Butterfield, Angela Bryant, Lucy Allen, Joe Tolson and Randy Stewart, and Senators Clark Jenkins, Ed Jones, and A.B. Swindell

Special Acknowledgment to the Wilson OIC for the use of their facitility and accomodations


Discussion on President Barack Obama’s Economic Recovery Plan


Photos – (100 Total)

Wilson NC – A Discussion on the President’s Stimulus Plan featuring Congressman G. K. Butterfield on Friday



CONGRESSMAN G.K. BUTTERFIELD and MR. DEMPSEY BENTON Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Recovery and Investment

Sponsored by representatives:


Jean Farmer-Butterfield, Angela Bryant,

Lucy Allen, Joe Tolson and Randy Stewart


Clark Jenkins, Ed Jones and A.B. Swindell

Friday, MARCH 27, 2009 4:00 pm – 6:00 PM

Wilson OIC Facility 801 Reid Street, East Wilson, NC 27893


To rsvp, contact: Ruth Merkle, Legislative Assistant

Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield

919-733-5898 (RALEIGH OFFICE)

Or any of the above legislators

All non-profit groups and the public are invited and encouraged to attend!




In the Christian Bible, there is a verse, describing a forerunner, which simply says “There was a man named John.” We have now learned that a man named John Hope Franklin, who has been a gift to the entire world, a forerunner in the struggle for freedom, has now slipped gracefully into the hands of God. We, who knew Dr. Franklin, referred to him with the greatest respect because of the truth he told about our history which continually gave us hope that if we own the past we could correct our tomorrows.

Dr Franklin never relented in telling the whole truth about our journey from slavery to freedom, the ugliness of racism and social exclusion, the power of his people who not only endured but also fought against it and the promise of a new day. By always telling the truth to America and the world about history, he seared our conscience in such a way that constantly made it uncomfortable to accept the status quo. He reminded us that we must do more than merely apologize for the pain of the past but we must make amends that are tangible and rooted in a commitment to change.

This man named John was a scholar and prophetic voice for the world. The longevity of his life is in some way symbolic of the lengths he went to tell the story of his people and to always inspire truth, love and hope. May he rest now in peace and may we live and move forward in the paths he has laid down.

Watch Video Interviews Dr. Franklin Gave to the NC NAACP in 2007.

For more information, contact:
Rev. William J. Barber, II, President, 919-394-8137
Ms. Amina Turner, Executive Director, 919-682-4700.

Wilson NC – Citizens raise heat against NCEMPA

Officials representing eastern North Carolina’s municipal power companies dealt with another round of complaints from angry customers Wednesday.

About a dozen people from Citizens for Fair Utilities came to the N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency’s board meeting to protest the high cost of their power bills this winter. (Wilson Times)

Speaking Truth To Power – NO WIN, NO WAY – Will the NAACP Prevail? by William Reed Columnist

“They say” the foreclosure mess “was caused by government meddling in the business affairs of private banks which forced them to loan to unqualified minority home buyers”.  Watch the nation’s cable networks and they’ll have you believing that the mortgage debacle is the fault of dark-skinned people from the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) who got mortgages they couldn’t afford to pay.

But, what if it turns out that the blacks could’ve afforded the properties, only that the banks charged them as if they couldn’t?  The NAACP has filed class action suits against Wells Fargo, based in San Francisco, and Illinois-based HSBC alleging that the banks used institutionalized, systematic racism against African Americans”.  Their evidence shows black home owners were 30 percent likelier to have been issued a higher interest rate than white borrowers with the same credit qualifications.

The NAACP’s litigation against racism in the financial industry began in 2007.  The NAACP has filed discrimination lawsuits against Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and General Electric Co.’s subprime lending unit, WMC Mortgage.  The suits cite studies that document discrimination; including a 2006 report by the Center for Responsible Lending that found black people were 31 to 34 percent more likely to receive higher-rate subprime loans. The suit claims the banks violated the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Civil Rights Act.  “These banks have a pattern of charging black people more, even though they have good credit, good assets and good incomes,” said NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous.

Wells Fargo and HSBC each have categorically denied the allegations.  The TV pundits aren’t in much of a mood for “this kind of nonsense” either.  “Sometimes I think the NAACP stands for the National Association for the Advancement of Colossal Paranoia” said a guy on the “fair and balanced” network.  They sneer at the class action and say “blacks are playing the race card” and “maybe they would have got a better deal at the Maxine Waters Bank and Loan”.

Even when the evidence is clear that black home buyers were given the short shift, there’s shared silence on the subject.  In the age of Obama, many ungrateful African-Americans are ambivalent toward the NAACP.  Black borrowers are 3.3 times as likely as white borrows to be in foreclosure, but such black and NAACP grievances get little respect or air time.  The guys and girls on TV continually illustrate bias against the NAACP, with some labeling the class action lawsuits “a fishing expedition”.  Ironically, many blacks whom the NAACP helped get to middle class statuses; now are likely to be in league with the TV pundits’ rhetoric and during their time around company water coolers, they too lambaste the organization.

Wells Fargo’s spokesman said the NAACP’s allegations are “totally unfounded and reckless” and that “we are proud of our lengthy record leading the industry in responsible lending practices and support of communities we serve.”  NAACP President Jealous says the discrimination is real and needs to be addressed.  Jealous says “What we want is transparency and for them to fix the problem.”  Critics of the NAACP say the suits “presuppose that certain groups of people are children and can’t make proper decisions.  So even if one does have an unethical Wells Fargo mortgage person, if you are borrowing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, you need to do some diligence and shop that rate around.”

Are African Americans routinely given “the financial shuffle”?  The NAACP needs to get its swagger back and these banks’ misdeeds may help it.  The NAACP contention that during the housing boom, lenders created financial incentives for loan officers and brokers to sell mortgages with higher interest rates and fees than were merited; and coupled that with hefty penalties for borrowers who paid off their loans early.  These loans, disproportionately to black buyers, were then sold at a higher profit in secondary financial markets where they were traded as fodder for mortgage-backed securities.

Sadly, few on either side of America’s racial divide say the NAACP will prevail – what say you?

(William Reed –

Rocky Mount NC – Council looks at rental codes

City leaders will look at putting an inspection system into place for rental properties in Rocky Mount to better track rental properties and enforce housing codes.

During a Committee of the Whole meeting, members of the Rocky Mount City Council agreed Monday afternoon to further investigate the pros and cons of a rental unit inspection program. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

Rocky Mount NC – Feds help city target repeat gun offenders

Rocky Mount police and federal prosecutors declared it “harvest season” for indicting repeat offenders who commit firearm violations in the city.

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Rocky Mount police, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina gathered to brief media on “Operation Disarm.” (Rocky Mount Telegram)

Wilson NC – Group airs grievances with costs of utilities

WILSON — A group of Rocky Mount residents spoke Wednesday to members of the N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency Board of Commissioners, seeking answers to the agency’s high wholesale electric rates. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

See related:

Electric Rates Cause A Stir – WITN TV


Citizens Addresses NCEMPA Commission Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wilson NC – Citizens From the East Addresses NC Eastern Municipal Power Agency Commission Today in Wilson NC

Today I attended my first (NCEMPA) NC Eastern Municpal Power Agency Commission meeting in Wilson NC. The meeting was very interesting and well organized.

There were 4 speakers George Fisher (Rocky Mount), Thomas Joyner (Nashville), Jessie Frazier (Rocky Mount), and James Smith (Washington). They all did a great job.

You will be able to see the entire NCEMPA meeting on the DCN TV later tonight. When the link below is blue it will be available.

Go to  Citizens For Fair Utilities to see George Fisher’s presentation and the questions that were turned in.

See related:

Electric Rates Cause A Stir – WITN TV


Citizens Addresses NCEMPA Commission Wednesday, March 25, 2009