At the specific urging of the NC NAACP and other leaders, Gov. Beverly Perdue has ordered, through Executive Order No. 13 titled ”Support for Historically Underutilized Businesses,” that ”Each executive branch agency should strive to increase the total amount of goods and services acquired by it from HUB (historically underutilized businesses) firms, whether directly as principal contractors or indirectly as subcontractors, or otherwise.” (The Wilmington Journal)

Rocky Mount NC – Coalition holds forum on taxes, state budget

A coalition of nonprofit organizations that made headlines this week after lobbying for state tax increases is hosting a community forum tonight in Rocky Mount.

More than 80 nonprofit groups forming Together NC held a news conference Tuesday outside the N.C. Legislative Building urging legislators not to simply cut their way through the recession to a balanced budget, but to instead address revenues. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

Raleigh NC – ElectriCities Hires Graham Edwards as CEO

Damn here we go. This guy will make more than the former CEO. More money, mo money. Wow this is too interesting. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

We reported on this last week when we mentioned it regarding our video on the NCEMPA Board Meeting.  Edwards base salary will be  $535,000 a year plus benefit package (including severance).  Edwards worked at Midwest ISO until his retirement.  He retired to South Carolina.  Edwards starts June 22nd. (Citizens For Fair Utilities)

See related:

New ElectriCities CEO makes $100K more

Washington DC – Butterfield Pushes for Consumer Protection Boost

U.S. Representative G. K. Butterfield

1st District of North Carolina

For Release:  Immediate

Date:  June 3, 2009

Contact:  Ken Willis
Phone:  (202) 225-3101

Butterfield Pushes for Consumer Protection Boost

Free Credit Scores for Consumers Affected by Personal Data Breaches

Washington, D.C. – Congressman G. K. Butterfield is working to ensure that victims of personal data privacy breaches are not only provided with free credit reports, but also with the affected consumer’s credit score.

Butterfield raised the issue up today during the House Subcommittee on Trade and Consumer Protection’s debate and markup of the Data Accountability and Trust Act. The bill, which was approved unanimously by the subcommittee, would require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to further develop security policies and procedures for businesses that store sensitive personal data such as names, social security numbers, dates of birth and credit card numbers.

The bill would also direct the FTC to establish a standard method for destroying obsolete non-electronic data, and would also require credit-reporting agencies to submit their security policies and security breach notification procedure to the FTC.

According to a Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, nearly 261 million records have been breached since 2005.

Butterfield said that under the bill, any person whose personal data is compromised would be entitled to receive a free credit report from a credit-reporting agency. While that would help, Butterfield said it is also important for these people to also receive a copy of their credit score.

“A credit score can help provide a much clearer picture about where you stand,” Butterfield said. “And when your personal information has been compromised, it’s only fair that you should have as clear and complete a picture as possible.”

During debate, Butterfield offered and immediately withdrew an amendment that would require free credit scores in the hopes that language can be worked out and included in bill when it is debated and marked up by the full House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Subcommittee Chairman Bobby Rush assured Butterfield he would work with him to include this requirement.

Speaking Truth to Power – END OF GM, OR A NEW BEGINNING? by William Reed Columnist

Chevrolet-Saturn of Harlem Inc. was the first filing of the day General Motors sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and recorded the nation’s fourth largest bankruptcy.  As of June 1, 2009, “What’s good for GM is definitely good for American taxpayers”.  American taxpayers’ $50 billion investment now totals a 60 percent stake in GM, while the union, its creditors and federal and provincial governments in Canada own the remainder of the auto company.

In its past 100 years of operations, what’s been good for GM has been good for Black Americans as well.  From its early times, GM helped build Black America’s middle class.   GM was a beacon in the industrial north from the 1930s until the 1950s when hundreds of thousands of Blacks migrated out of the rural South following their dreams of a better life through jobs in the auto industry.   From the Great Depression to the riots of the 1960’s, GM was a major propeller for Black growth.

In 1971, Dr. Leon H. Sullivan became the first African American appointed to the Board of Directors of a Fortune 500 company with a seat on GM’s board.  That appointment caused President Lyndon B. Johnson to say, "Now what’s good for General Motors really is good for America".  An impetus to LBJ’s Great Society initiatives, Sullivan’s election was widely regarded as an important test of the idea that a Black presence in the corporation’s board room could make a giant corporation more sensitive to the needs of minorities.  Rev. Sullivan helped GM set a trend opening occupational, educational, and economic opportunities for African Americans.  The “Sullivan Principles” are etched in corporate annals as codes of corporate social responsibility conduct.

It was GM that provided buses to transport people to the Poor Peoples’ March on Washington.  Since the early 1970s, well ahead of other companies, General Motors has gone the extra mile to make sure the American dream was achievable for all Americans.  Under the guidance of Sullivan, in 1972 GM became the first auto company to launch minority dealer and minority supplier initiatives.  It spent $2.5 billion with people of color and women-owned suppliers in the US, and had full-time management focused on supplier diversity.

When he died in 2001, Rev. Sullivan would have never considered that GM would have to file for bankruptcy.  During these hard times, it’s important to note that every General Motors car coming off an American assembly line in recent years had something in it made by minorities.  Black Americans particularly should recognize the role GM has played in the economic development of communities over the years. It employed ordinary Black men and women who paid mortgages, put kids through college, and helped anchor our communities. Sullivan got Blacks into GM’s business mix: advertisements in black publications; opening an account in each of the nation’s black-owned banks; and placement of billion of dollars with black underwriters for insurance on its buildings.

Battered by almost $88 billion of losses since 2004, the auto giant went to its knees.  In order for GM to survive, Blacks, and all Americans should consider GM’s impact in our communities, past and future, and know that we are stakeholders in the company.  With sufficient customer and investor support GM can get back on its feet and its stock price back into the $30s or 40s.  Then, the US government sells the stock it holds and keeps the money which is payback for the loans/bailouts.

In the next few months, GM should emerge from bankruptcy as a reasonable competitor.  The new company will shed plants, dealerships, debt and other liabilities it can no longer afford.  Emerging out of bankruptcy will be a "new GM," made up of four brands that GM will keep in the U.S. market — Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick.  GM should reap what it’s sowed.  Blacks’ reciprocity should put them among the first throng of loyal American customers rejecting foreign vehicles.  Blacks should be advancing our own interests by showing up at GM showrooms in Harlem and elsewhere and “Buying American”.

(William Reed – http://www.BlackPressInternational.com)

Tarboro NC – Topics vary at E. Tarboro public forum

I attended the meeting and found it to be quite interesting. I want to commend Greg Higgs for having continuous meetings in the area. The only problem I had was the meeting was too long and sometimes got out of control. It was too much information for one night. I trust that the next meeting will be shorter and cover less topics.

I was excited to see so many concerned citizens packed in the Oakland house meeting room and I hope the citizens stay involved. It is going to take community meetings like that to bring about change. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

A parent was upset with the schools. A man told about jobs available in neighboring Roberson County. An elected official told about her plans to help ex-offenders. The police promised to protect and serve. And the recreation director said programs would be provided but volunteers were needed to coach and youth needed to participate. (Daily Southerner)