Archive for Pete White

We Dream A World: The 2025 Vision For Black Men And Boys

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 16, 2010 by Cangress

We Dream A World: The 2025 Vision For Black Men And Boys [click link to read entire report]

LA CAN, as part of the National 2025 Campaign, is proud to present, “We Dream A World: The 2025 Vision For Black Men And Boys.” The report is the culmination of hours of community engagement, planning, research, and documentation. The report serves as national “call-to-action” while local efforts continue to blossom.

Stay tuned, much more is headed your way.

New Report Presents Path to Closing Disparities for Black Males in U.S.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2010 by Cangress

For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 9, 2010

Contact: Jenice R. Robinson, 202.906.8007 NATIONAL or Pete White, 213.434.1594 LOCAL

 

New Report Presents Path to Closing Disparities for Black Males in U.S.
By 2025, A Black Boy’s World Should Look Different

(Washington, D.C.) – The 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys, a broad coalition of national and local organizations, today has released a new report with recommendations aimed at drastically altering life outcomes for black men and boys. We Dream A World: The 2025 Vision for Black Men and Boys identifies concrete policy solutions to close educational achievement gaps, ensure workforce success, reduce health disparities, improve conditions for low-income fathers and improve the overall well being of black men, their families, and communities.

 

“It’s old hat to talk about how too many of our young black men don’t live up to their potential,” said Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt, We Dream A World author and senior policy analyst at the Center for the Law and Social Policy (CLASP). “The state of black men in the United States calls for bold and immediate action. The status quo won’t do. We need fresh ideas, political will at all levels, and a clear vision forward to ensure that we don’t lose yet another generation of young black men who could contribute to the economic and social well-being of our country.”

The We Dream A World vision is the culmination of five years of research and dialogue aimed at taking a candid look at outcomes and conditions for black men and boys and what it will take to improve their lives. The project was established after a series of meetings between 120 participants from 22 national organizations led to the formation of the 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys. The campaign’s vision is grand. It wants to ensure that by the time black boys born in 2007 turn 18 (in 2025), the nation’s policies and social mores will have changed drastically enough that collectively they will fare far better than today’s young black men.

 

“This report effectively creates a platform and plan of action to respond to a national crisis facing America’s Black Men and Boys. Moreover, it also creates the impetus to organize our communities and demand immediate attention,” says Pete White of Los Angeles Community Action Network and the Los Angeles Black Men & Boys Coalition.

 

Currently, less than half of black male students graduate from high school on time and only 11 percent complete a bachelor’s degree. In June of this year, the unemployment rate for black men was 17.4 percent – nearly double the rate for their white counterparts. And among black males with a bachelor’s degree, only 43 percent have a job that pays at least $14.51 per hour, or enough to put them significantly above the federal poverty level if they have to support a family of four.

 

We Dream A World’s strategy focuses on five areas: education; employment and wealth; health; fatherhood and families; and justice, rights, responsibilities and opportunities.

 

On January 12, 2011, CLASP and the 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys will convene a meeting of national advocates and organizations to advance the vision and policy solutions presented in the We Dream A World report.

 

Read the full report at http://www.clasp.org/admin/site/documents/files/2025BMBfulldoc.pdf.

 

###

 

The 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys is a national collaborative effort of several organizations and individuals. The mission of the 2025 Campaign is to collaboratively develop and implement an initiative for the educational, social, emotional, physical, spiritual, political and economic development and empowerment of black men and boys in the United States. The Campaign is currently housed at the Twenty-First Century Foundation (21CF).  Visit http://2025bmb.org/index2.php for more information.

CLASP develops and advocates for policies at the federal, state and local levels that improve the lives of low income people. We focus on policies that strengthen families and create pathways to education and work. Through careful research and analysis and effective advocacy, we develop and promote new ideas, mobilize others, and directly assist governments and advocates to put in place successful strategies that deliver results that matter to people across America. Visit www.clasp.org for more information.

Racial Profiling: Much More Than A Phenomenon

Posted in grassroots policy, LAPD, legal, organizing, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 23, 2010 by Cangress

LAPD: BIASED POLICING UPDATE, QUARTERLY REPORT, 4TH QUARTER 2009

“For purposes of clarity, data in this report is for calendar year 2009. In summary, statistical trends in biased policing investigations remain relatively unchanged. Biased policing continues to be a male white and Hispanic versus male African American phenomenon.”

BPC_10-0079 [click link to read quarterly report]

phenomenons:

a rare or significant fact or event b plural phenomenons :

an exceptional, unusual, or abnormal person, thing, or occurrence

–Merriam – Webster

The LAPD and many of its media allies have launched a vigilant publicity campaign to fix its image as a corrupt, racist, abusive and murderous institution.  As part of that campaign there was an all-out effort to rename things that were considered “hot button” issues, such as racial profiling now termed “biased policing”.  Over the past several years there has been a retrenchment of the LAPD policing themselves, with the full support of the civilian oversight committee, while in the throes of a Department of Justice Consent Decree attempting to undo that culture. Unbelievable but true.

The LAPD wanted nothing more than to end the Department of Justice’s consent decree–nobody wants strangers looking through their perpetual dirty laundry. In political circles the consent decree stained the image of a “transformed” LAPD.  However, that transformation is usually sold by placing the unapologetic racist Chief Gates on one end of the spectrum and the slick presentation of Chief Bratton as dedicated to community policing and building bridges with communities of color. But under either of these bookends, and those in between, there is a noxious mix of powerful peace officer unions, over-cooked crime stats, fear mongering, intense racial profiling, campaign contributions and political aspirations. All the more reason to get the feds out of their business quickly.

The community of Los Angeles, particularly Black and Brown communities, measures the supposed transformation in an altogether different way.  First, if you were to ask the average person in the neighborhood about the purported transformation you would most likely be laughed at and run out of the community. In our communities, unarmed people continue to be shot and killed; police brutality continues; racial profiling is a cultural norm; and the LAPD are still in the business of policing themselves. So you can only guess how the community feels about the self-reported transformation of the LAPD into this new color-blind institution.

The consent decree forced a number of reforms and successfully put in place safeguards to reduce evidence theft, rings of rogue cops running criminal enterprises, financial disclosure as an early warning system and a number of other things.  However, there was simply not any substantial effort or progress in stopping racial profiling. Year after year we were promised in-car cameras, only to hear later that technology or financial constraint would not allow it. Reports and investigation of misconduct complaints continued to favor officers with the lion’s share of complaints recorded as “unfounded.”

In reality it is not an easy task to reverse a violent and racist culture, fraught with civil liberties violations, that is constantly reinforced by training, hiring practices, indoctrination, and “head in the sand” tactics to absolve responsibility.  So instead of stopping racial profiling, or at least documenting any real progress, the LAPD Police Commission, led by Civil Rights Leader John Mack, and Chief Bratton just renamed it.

Last year, racial profiling in Los Angeles was removed as a category of complaint and replaced by the all-encompassing term Biased Policing. With that bit of word-smithing, racial profiling was removed as an issue for LAPD and its oversight Commission and the LAPD could tell a new story to the Department of Justice and the general public.   And tell a new story is exactly what they did.  That is, until somebody forgot to turn off that damn tape recorder and captured officers complaining about not being able to do their job WITHOUT racial profiling. LA Times November 14 2010 Justice Department warns LA to take a tougher stance on racial profiling ..

Hot Off the Press: Community Connection #38

Posted in community connection, grassroots policy, health access, housing victories, human & civil rights, LAPD, legal, organizing, Uncategorized, united nations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2010 by Cangress

community connect 38new layout final

[click on link above to read CC #38]

In this issue you will join residents as they go “trick or treating” at Mayor Villaraigosa’s mansion, which of course is owned by the public. Also, you can read about the Housing Authority’s latest attempts to silence the voices of public housing tenants who are opposing HACLA’s Annual Plan. You will join the Community Connection in Brazil for the Homeless World Cup as our correspondent covers the games and thriving social movements. As always you will find these stories and many more in your Community Connection.

Press Release: Downtown Residents and Faith-Based Groups Protest Increasing Criminalization and Harassment, Human Rights Abuses, and Four Years of Financial Waste

Posted in civil rights, education, food access, grassroots policy, health access, human & civil rights, LAPD, legal, organizing, Uncategorized, united nations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2010 by Cangress

September 29, 2010

Contact: Pete White

Los Angeles

Community Action Network

(213) 228-0024 Ext. 201

Downtown Residents and Faith-Based Groups Protest Increasing Criminalization and Harassment, Human Rights Abuses, and Four Years of Financial Waste

On Thursday, September 30th, Skid Row residents and faith-based supporters took action all day long to highlight both long-standing and new tactics of criminalization of homelessness and poverty.

Last week, Mayor Villaraigosa touted his purported efforts to end homelessness in Los Angeles by holding a dog and pony show at the New Genesis project in downtown LA.  Yet he failed to acknowledge that his permanent supportive housing program hasn’t funded any new units in more than a year while at the same time the Mayor has refused to end his expensive, failed policing initiative on Skid Row, which has already cost local taxpayers hundreds of millions.

There has been no relationship between crime rates and police resources on Skid Row, where in 2006 former Chief Bratton added 50 extra uniformed officers and as many undercover cops to police a 50-square-block area that’s home to only 15,000 people, most of them poor and black.

Recently, Chief Beck and Councilmember Perry escalated Safer Cities policing to a new low, establishing new “criminals” in faith-based groups distributing free food and other basic necessities in Skid Row.  After more than 35,000 arrests and tens of thousands of citations under Safer Cities, LAPD is not just targeting poor and homeless people but also the people that provide much needed relief to them.

And now this model will be exported — this devastating enforcement strategy was just unveiled last week as a solution for homelessness in Venice.  Criminalization does not end homelessness or poverty – it only exacerbates it.


LA CAN Moderates “Zoning In On Healthy Food Townhall Meeting”

Posted in food access, grassroots policy, health access, human & civil rights, organizing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2010 by Cangress

–Los Angeles, CA

It is no mystery that built environments in low-income communities reflect an “anything goes” mentality. What else could explain the vast numbers of auto repair shops, chrome plating businesses, chemical plants, liquor stores, motels & hotels, and of course fast food restaurants–fast food restaurants that far outnumber establishments that provide fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and  produce.

Community Health Councils [CHC] has a long history of fighting to make L.A. a healthy place for all Angelenos regardless of  socio-economic status. From health care access to encouraging full-service supermarkets to invest in poor communities CHC has been leading the charge. So it was not a mystery when they pushed for and secured an Interim Control Ordinance [ICO] temporarily  restricting the development of new stand alone fast food restaurants in L.A.s poorest communities. That ICO is set to expire in late September 2010 and a permanent ordinance/plan has yet to be created.

Why is this important?

The levels of food related illness in poor communities is grossly disproportionate to those levels found in more affluent areas. Hypertension, diabetes, and obesity is but a few examples of illnesses that are impacting our families, children and adults alike, and leading to costly medical bills and oftentimes premature death.  These facts alone create the moral and financial imperative to ensure a permanent ordinance is created ASAP.

The town-hall, held at Second African Methodist Episcopal Church, was attended by many residents concerned about their unhealthy  food  environment. Also in attendance, however, was Council-member Bernard Parks, Marie Rumsey, representing Council-member Jan Perry, as well as representatives from the public health and planning departments.

Pete White, LA CAN, facilitates a spirited question and answer period

The town-hall meeting was moderated by LA CANs, Pete White, who gently prodded presenters to share with attendees what was needed to make a permanent ordinance an immediate reality. At one point Council-member Parks shared that in South Los Angeles planning that customarily happens every year in other communities happens every couple of decades in South Los Angeles. That of course left one question, “where have you been in correcting this obvious problem?”

Residents stayed long into the night to plan the next course of action. Organized into 5-workgroups residents developed community-based action plans that would be used to galvanize recruitment efforts and secure a long overdue ordinance that will protect the health of our community.

Stay Posted!

President Obama Signs “The Fair Sentencing Act”

Posted in anti-violence, civic participation, civil rights, food access, grassroots policy, health access, human & civil rights, LAPD, legal, organizing, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2010 by Cangress

President Obama signs Historic Legislation: The Fair Sentencing Act

Indeed, as detailed in our May 2008 report, Targeting Blacks: Drug Law Enforcement and Race in the United States, blacks and whites engage in drug offenses—possession and sales—at roughly comparable rates. But because black drug offenders are the principal targets in the “war on drugs,” the burden of drug arrests and incarceration falls disproportionately on black men and women, their families and neighborhoods. The human as well as social, economic and political toll is as incalculable as it is unjust.

–Human Rights Watch, “Decades of Disparity: Drug Arrests and Race in the United States”

The “War on Drugs,” which more appropriately should be considered a war against the civil and human rights of the Black community, has lost the full potential of one of its mightiest weapons—the disproportionate targeting, prosecution, and imprisonment of Black drug users.  President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, passed by both the House and Senate with bi-partisan support, and severely reduces the disparity of prison sentences faced by Black people charged with drug crimes and begins to reverse the crash course our communities has been on for decades.  Reduce but not eradicate.

Since the 1980’s mandatory-minimum sentencing guidelines, used primarily to penalize Black users, have openly discriminated against African Americans. From 1999 through 2007, 80% percent or more of all drug arrests were for possession rather than sales (Human Rights Watch). Ignoring FBI data, which clearly illustrated users and not dealers were being netted, Administration after Administration continued to pursue their failed War on Drugs. It needs to be mentioned that the biggest boost of “war on drugs” funding was appropriated during the Clinton Era.

A key piece of the failed and discriminatory War on Drugs is the discrepancy known as the 100-1 ratio which sentenced a person in possession of just five grams of rock cocaine [the form of cocaine most prevalent in Black communities] to five years in prison on the first offense. However, a person needed to be in possession of no less than 500 grams of powder cocaine [the form not readily available in Black communities] to receive the same sentence.

The Fair Sentencing Act lessens the ratio, or racist application, by 82% thus changing the 100-1 disparity to an 18-1 ratio.

African Americans across the nation know all too well the impacts of the proliferation of crack cocaine on their families, communities, and overall health. However, just as devastating as the drug itself has been the mass incarceration of wholesale numbers of Black men, and more recently Black women, and the irreparable damage it has caused them.

As Pete White with the Los Angeles Community Action Network, a member organization of the National 2025 Campaign puts it, “ Mass incarceration has not only removed us from our communities, but it has also stripped us of all potential leaving us stranded in a desert of inequity.”

Make no mistake: what’s left of the War on Drugs is still very powerful and damaging to Black communities.

But today, President Obama has reduced the discriminatory sentencing power that has been used to destroy of our communities.  This is a significant victory, yet there remains much work to be done to achieve equity.

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