Op-Led: Si Votamos, Ganamos

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

“Latinos for Republicans – it’s like roaches for raid.” – John Leguizamo

We are the new America.

We are what tomorrow looks like.

Nothing can stop us but ourselves.

We are the proverbial 800-pound-gorilla in the room, the demographic time bomb.

Tick, tick, tick…

Jay-Z famously said “men lie, women lie, numbers don’t” and the numbers – just like Shakira’s hips, really don’t lie. According to Voto Latino, “1 of 6 Americans is now Latino and it won’t be long before we’re the majority in many states.” We are the fastest growing voter group. There are now millions more Latino voters than in 2016. That is a whole lot of Latinos.

Don’t forget spending power either: Marketing analysis firm Nielsen put it this way, “Hispanics have the greatest purchasing power of any U.S. ethnic group and taken together will soon represent the world’s ninth largest economy.” You heard that correct, ‘ninth largest economy’ Díos mio!

That means something only if we make it mean something. Voting is how me make it mean something. Voting is the icing on the cake. It is how we take our numerical and spending strength and give it wings. How we have our say. A massive voter turnout on November 3 means that we have taken our destiny in our own hands and tomorrow won’t be like today and it damn sure won’t be like yesterday. It means we can secure our future and the future of our children and ultimately the future of this country.

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Op-Led: Uptown Love in the Time of Coronavirus – Defund the Police not the Post Office

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

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Before there was even a thought of such a thing as the United States, there was a Post Office. In fact, founding father, Benjamin Franklin was the joint postmaster general for the British colonies until 1774 when he was dismissed from his post because of his pro-independence proclivities. On July 26, 1775, almost a full year before the United States proclaimed its independence, the Second Continental Congress appointed Ben Franklin the first Postmaster General of what would become known as the United States Postal Service.

That is how far back this thing goes. The Post Office is in many ways a foundational aspect of a functioning democracy. It connected the country and help to cohere and cement our fledging system of government. The Post Office has since its inception held a special place in the American Experiment. That was until Tyrant Trump came to power. The Orange Menace has now set his sights and his immense power as the President of the United States on hobbling this important American institution.

What we see transpiring before our eyes is textbook authoritarianism. Said Tyrant appoints a lackey to destroy the organization from the top. Lackey institutes a proverbial purge of top officials as well as instituting measures that dull the effectiveness of the Post Office. Postal delays, only days away from this existential election, have become part of our new reality. Why, you may ask, is the President doing his darndest to obliterate this crucial American resource?

Well, the Tyrant has realized that unless he steals another election, this will be the end of his unjust usurpation of America’s highest office. Trump may be an imbecile, but he can certainly sense that the end is near, and he may wind up in a jail cell like his former buddy Jeffrey Epstein. Being that we are still in the throes of this pandemic due to the fecklessness of Trump, the Post Office was perfectly positioned to play a crucial role in the most important election ever.

We stand on the precipice. We must remember that this is not normal. That this great country cannot withstand another term of Tyrant Trump. The only way we can end our long national nightmare is with a Blue Tsunami this November. Let’s commit to do everything in our power to make that Blue Tsunami a reality or all will be lost not just the Post Office.

Pa’Lante Siempre Pa’Lante!

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Rezoning opponents appeal court decision | Manhattan Times

By Gregg McQueen

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Community stakeholders have filed a motion to appeal a July decision by the New York State Supreme Court that would uphold the city’s plan to rezone Inwood.

The appeal is being filed with the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.

In a 5-0 ruling issued on July 23, a panel of Supreme Court Appellate Division judges reversed an earlier decision by Justice Verna Saunders to invalidate the city’s rezoning plan.

Advocacy group Northern Manhattan Is Not For Sale and other individual plaintiffs had sued to block the rezoning, approved by the City Council in 2018, contending that the city failed to properly study the impact on residents of color and minority-owned businesses, as well as other consequences.

“This application presents legal questions made more critical by our national conversation about racial equity and justice,” said Michael Sussman, attorney for the plaintiffs. “If our institutions do not analyze how their proposed major policy decisions will affect people of color, then how can we move toward racial justice? Refusing to study potential and likely impacts is tantamount to benign neglect and is wholly unacceptable. We also believe it is not contemplated by the laws which require review of major projects before they are approved.”

“In its defense arguments, the city said it is not required to review every adverse effect of rezonings, so they didn’t study them. They’re basically saying they don’t care,” said Cheryl Pahaham, Co-Chair of Inwood Legal Action, a constituent group of the Northern Manhattan Is Not For Sale coalition.

The city must reply to the motion by August 31.

Read more: Rezoning opponents appeal court decision | Manhattan Times

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Only Days to Go | Bronx Free Press

Time is running out for the count.

With just over a month to go before the last day – September 30th – for households to self-respond online, by phone or by mail, the U.S. Census Bureau has begun following up with households nationwide that have not yet responded to the Census.

The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years.

The goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone who lives in the United States on April 1, 2020 (Census Day). Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and inform how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers annually for the next 10 years.

Based on the current self-response rate of 63.3%, the Census Bureau estimates it will need to visit about 56 million addresses to collect responses in person. Up to 500,000 census takers across the country will go door to door to assist people in responding to the 2020 Census.

Read more: Only Days to Go | Bronx Free Press

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Op-Led: Uptown Love in the Time of Coronavirus – Here Comes Kamala

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

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We have a VP, thank God almighty, we have a VP. Kamala Harris is once again making history. When she was chosen as Biden’s VP pick, she became the first Black woman on a major ticket ever. Activist Shaun King referred to her as the most progressive VP nominee in American history. If Trump and company don’t succeed in stealing the election and she is elected this November, Harris would be the first woman and first Black Vice President in history. Not to mention that it could set her up for a historic Presidential run in 2024 or 2028.

Kamala Harris is only the second Black woman to be elected to the Senate. Prior to that she was the first Black person and the first woman to serve as California Attorney General. Oh, did I forget? She was also the San Francisco District Attorney, the first woman elected to that role.

In many ways, Kamala Harris makes perfect sense as VP. She is eloquent, erudite and effective. Kamala, Miss Harris if you’re nasty, gets ish done. Period! My forever President, Barack Obama, said Joe Biden “nailed this decision.” This is a big deal. While she was the obvious choice and not shocking in any way, I didn’t realize what a relief it would be to finally have her as the nominee.

We can now focus on dethroning the tyrant. Like Kamala Harris said during one of the Democratic Presidential debates “we have a criminal living in the White House.” It is time to clean house. Like I have said before, only a Blue Tsunami will do this year. Kamala Harris helps in that regard.

Biden was not my first, second or third choice for President. I was 100% in the tank for Bernie. I feel, and I still feel, that Bernie has been right on so many issues for so long. Universal healthcare, free college tuition, the incompatibility between income inequality and democracy. The pandemic has only confirmed the correctness of his analysis. But alas, he is not the candidate.

While I am still skeptical of Biden’s chances of defeating the tyrant, I must admit that Biden/Harris has a nice ring to it. I am also super looking forward to watching Harris absolutely demolish Pence in the Vice-Presidential debates. Pence don’t want none of that smoke. Neither does the GOP or Tyrant Trump for that matter. Watch out world, here comes Kamala!

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Harlem Week Festival goes virtual | Manhattan Times

By Gregg McQueen

The world’s longest week is coming to a screen near you.

The annual Harlem Week Festival won’t be stopped by the coronavirus, but it will take on a very different look in 2020.

Now in its 46th year, the festival will be held virtually for the first time in its history.

This year’s programming will be streamed online between August 16 and 23.

Sponsored by the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, the festival serves as a celebration of Harlem’s culture scene.

Held amid a global pandemic and a national push to end systemic racism, the 2020 festival will use the theme “Movement of the People” and feature community building initiatives around racial justice, education, economic empowerment and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color.

Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce President Lloyd Williams said the events of 2020 are “unlike anything we have ever seen.”

Read more: Harlem Week Festival goes virtual | Manhattan Times

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