Friday, June 26, 2015

Annie's List: Candidate 101 Training for Women to Run for Office

Are you a woman and have you ever thought about running for an office or leadership position?

Consider getting training as a potential candidate this cycle or in the future. Or please do your part in distributing this widely to make sure we have candidates who are advocates represented to achieve equality for women.

The Candidate 101 Trainings is a great place to begin if you are considering a run for office some day. 
Here is a little more information about the trainings :

The program is tailored for progressive women who are considering a run for elective office at any level. The trainings are full-day, in-depth workshops exploring the building blocks of campaign communication, fundraising, planning, media relations and grassroots activism needed to run a professional, competitive campaign. 

Since the program’s inception in 2006, Annie’s List political staff has trained thousands of women to run for offices up and down the ballot, many of whom have gone on to seek office in the Texas Legislature and at the county level across the state.

Register or read more by clicking the links below:

July 11 – San Antonio
July 25 – RGV/McAllen
August 15 – El Paso
August 22 – Dallas
September 19 – Corpus Christi
December 12 – Statewide in Austin

The Vision of Annie's List:
To achieve equality for women by changing the face of power in Texas politics.

Annie’s List promotes an agenda that:
  • Provides affordable and accessible health care for all Texas families
  • Creates equitable wages and working conditions for women
  • Prevents violence against women and children and assists those who do become victims
  • Supports quality public education for all children
  • Protects reproductive rights for women

Supreme Court Upholds Key Tool to Combat Housing Discrimination

The Texas NAACP applauds the decision of the United States Supreme Court to permit disparate impact theories to prove violations of the Fair Housing Law. The decision re-affirmed a federal law passed in 1968 to combat housing discrimination by holding that the law allows not only claims for intentional discrimination but also, claims that cover practices that have a discriminatory effect, even if they were not motivated by an intent to discriminate.

Owners, lenders and others covered by the law know how difficult it is for individual property owners to successfully litigate cases because of the individual expense and there are simply not enough lawyers available to handle all of the cases on an individual or group basis. This ruling makes such litigation much more likely to be successful in the future.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the Justice Department will make use of this ruling in the future.

"Bolstered by this important ruling, the Department of Justice will continue to vigorously enforce the Fair Housing Act with every tool at its disposal - including challenges based on unfair and unacceptable discriminatory effects," she said in a statement.

"Housing is the most critical foundation for individuals and families seeking reassurances that the American Dream is within reach for everyone no matter what they happen to look like or wherever they live," said Sherrilyn Ifill, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund president and director-counsel, in a statement. "Housing also represents opportunity and mobility and the Court's ruling keeps the original spirit of fair housing guarantees intact. Today's ruling signals a continuing commitment to equality will benefit future generations to come."

In addition, it permits the attacking of racially neutral criteria that are used by those covered by the law such as owners and lenders. Frequently there is evidence that neutral criteria has a disparate impact on minorities seeking homes or residences. This means that such facially neutral criteria must be justified as necessary before they can properly be used. This is a great victory.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Longview NAACP 2015 Scholarship Gala

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Longview NAACP 2015 Scholarship Gala is scheduled for Friday, July 17th at the Summit Club in Longview, Texas. 

We are pleased to present the most prolific investigative reporter of our time in civil rights reconciliation, Jerry Mitchell of the Clarion-Ledger.  The Hall Brothers  will perform and award recipients present will be honored.


Or tickets are on sale now at the following locations:

We would love to have you join us. For more information, contact us:, or by phone: 430-558-8142.

Texas NAACP To Kickoff America’s Journey For Justice

The following notice is from the Texas State Conference of NAACP Units

We in Texas are proud to support and be part of the Journey for Justice. This journey is an effort to achieve what for so long has been denied us--to simply be considered as full fledged American citizens throughout our nation and reclaim the Voting Rights that have been needlessly and wrongfully taken away.

This week marks the 150th anniversary of word of the Emancipation reaching Texas, but sadly we suffer invidious racial discrimination in Texas in education, criminal justice, voting rights, access to capital and many other areas of our lives. In Texas we have needed to become involved in 4 separate lawsuits since 2011 to simply seek the Voting Rights we should be guaranteed. It is time to move forward and change this for good.

Read more and get involved.

We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1963, from his jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama

Vigil Held for Victims of Charleston Church Shooting

Photo Credit:
Vigils were held this week for the victims of the recent shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, in memory of the nine people killed Wednesday night at a historic black church in Charleston.

Dylann Roof, 21, is accused of fatally shooting nine people during a Bible study at The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in Charleston on Wednesday night, ripping out a piece of South Carolina's civic heart and adding to the ever-growing list of America's racial casualties.

Police captured Roof in Shelby, North Carolina, after a motorist spotted him at a traffic light on her way to work. His apprehension ended an intense, hours-long manhunt.  He was charged with nine counts of murder and one charge of weapon possession during the commission of a violent crime.

The victims included a state senator who doubled as the church's minister, three other pastors, a regional library manager, a high school coach and speech therapist, a government administrator, a college enrollment counselor and a recent college graduate — six women and three men who felt called to open their church to all.

President Barack Obama called the tragedy yet another example of damage wreaked in America by guns.  View statement published in video by PBS NewsHour.

Relatives of victims of the Emanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, attended a bond hearing for confessed gunman Dylann Roof, where CNN captured their remarks that reflected their faith in words of forgiveness.

“We are the family that love built,” said Bethane Middleton-Brown, the sister of the Rev. Depayne Middleton, 49 years old, who was one of the nine people killed in Wednesday’s mass church shooting in Charleston. “We have no room for hate, so we have to forgive,” she said. View Video.
NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks said "there is no greater coward than a criminal who enters a house of God and slaughters innocent people." Others bemoaned the loss to a church that has served as a bastion of black power for 200 years, despite efforts by white supremacists to wipe it out.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Juneteenth Events kick off this week in Longview Area

Graphic Credit:
A two-weekend Juneteenth celebration begins June 19 in Longview with a night of jazz, continues with daylong events June 20, and is capped with a rip-roaring rodeo June 27.

Juneteenth, or June 19, is a celebration marking the day in 1865 when slaves in Texas learned that the Civil War had ended and slavery had been abolished. The news — delivered in Galveston by Union soldiers — came 2 1/2 years after President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, issued in 1862 and becoming the law of the land Jan. 1, 1863.

Longview NAACP President Branden Johnson said the day helps the community remember the many contributions black people have made in building this country into what it is today.

"Having a day set aside like Juneteenth is important to celebrate the moment in history when a people learned that they were finally free," he said. "Everyone doesn't always agree on how we should celebrate — and that's fine — the point is that we're celebrating a cause that all Americans should celebrate: freedom."

Read President Obama's Statement Marking Juneteenth in Wake of Charleston ShootingTIME‎ - A century and a half later, Americans still recognize this occasion, Juneteenth, as a symbolic ...
Longview Metro Chamber of Commerce presented an Art In The Evening fundraiser at 7 p.m. June 19 at The Summit Club, with live music provided by the Alter Ego Jazz Band. Tickets are $35, with tables sponsorships available for $400.

Then, on June 20, everyone is welcome to a free day of fun and entertainment at Broughton Recreation Center. Juneteenth festivities include a parade, games, food as well as various vendors and activities.

Lineup for the parade begins at 9 a.m. along the Interstate 20 Access Road. The parade will make its way north on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Broughton Recreation Center.

Any vehicle is eligible to join and people with horses are invited to have them bring up the rear. Vehicle owners are asked to add a banner indicating the club or entity each represents.

The celebration continues the following weekend when the Real Cowboy Association presents the 22nd annual Juneteenth Black Rodeo at 7:30 p.m. June 27 at the Longview Fairgrounds Rodeo Arena.

It's a rodeo event for the entire family, and it will feature black cowboys and cowgirls competing in women's barrel racing, calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping, junior barrel racing, breakaway, lady steer un-decorating, bullriding, wild horse relay races, and professional rodeo entertainers.

The Real Cowboy Association accepts monetary donations to assist individuals and organizations, with educational scholarships to be used for continuing education.

Advance tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Cavender's in Longview and Tyler. Tickets at the gate are $15 each.

Juneteenth events, if you go

Juneteenth Art In The Evening
  • When: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. today
  • Where: The Summit Club, 3700 Judson Road in Longview
  • Cost: Tickets cost $35 and tables cost $400
  • Information: (903) 241-2517
Gill community Juneteenth Celebration
  • When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today
  • Where: Sabine Farm Historical Site, U.S. 59 South and FM 1186 in Harrison County
  • Cost: Free
Longview Juneteenth Celebration
  • When: Beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday
  • Where: Broughton Park, 801 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Longview
  • Cost: Free
Kilgore Juneteenth Fun Fest & Parade
  • When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
  • Where: Downtown Kilgore
  • Cost: Free
Marshall Juneteenth Celebration
  • When: Activities start at 9 a.m. Saturday
  • Where: Downtown Marshall
  • Cost: Free
Tyler Juneteenth Celebration
  • When: Saturday; parade at 10 a.m.; car show at 4:30 p.m.; music festival at 6:30 p.m.
  • Where: Downtown Tyler near the Smith County Courthouse
  • Cost: Most activities are free to attend; music festival is $35 at the gate or $25 in advance
Juneteenth Black Rodeo
  • When: 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. June 27
  • Where: Longview Fairgrounds Rodeo Arena, 100 Grand Blvd., Longview
  • Cost: $15
  • Information: (903) 753-3165
Read more - Longview News Journal article by Matthew Prosser

Supreme Court Rules Texas Can BAN Confederate License Plates

In a case fraught with racial overtones, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday backed Texas' refusal to issue license plates with the Confederate battle flag, a decision that was watched closely in Southern states where the Civil War still can arouse strong feelings.  

Such plates, Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote for the majority, are the government's speech and are thus immune from First Amendment attacks.  Read more at Longview News Journal website article by Lauren McGaughyand Kevin Diaz.

According to the Texas Tribune,  a 5-4 ruling released Thursday morning indicated that the court ruled that messages on license plates constitute "government speech," as the state of Texas had maintained in court filings and oral arguments.
"A person who displays a message on a Texas license plate likely intends to convey to the public that the State has endorsed that message," Justice Stephen Breyer wrote. "If not, the individual could simply display the message in question in larger letters on a bumper sticker right next to the plate."
The four justices who joined Breyer in the majority were Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.   
The Sons of Confederate Veterans applied in 2009 for a specialty license plate bearing the group’s logo, which features the flag of the Confederate States of America. Proceeds from the proposed plates would have raised money to place markers on the graves of Confederate soldiers and create monuments for Confederate heroes.
The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles denied the application after a number of groups including the Texas NAACP called the proposed plates offensive.   Read more at Texas Tribune article by Aman Batheja.