2023 Civics Edition
February 21, 2023
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A View From the Ground

News and information about politics, government, civic participation and engagement from URL Media's network of Black and Brown publishers.
A group of protestors holding up their fists and a sign with the question when does the/our American dream begin.

Credit: Alex Brandon for the Associated Press

Calif.’s modern-day Freedmen’s Bureau essential for compensating descendants of enslaved people: Recently, the California Task Force to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African Americans held a two-day meeting at San Diego State University to discuss the pretext for proposing a modern-day Freedmen's Bureau, reports Black Voice News. Members of the task force shared that the proposed CAFAA, or California American Freedmen Affairs Agency, will be necessary to address specific atrocities that have "snowballed over generations" in California. 

“The purpose of this new agency would be to identify how past state-sanctioned atrocities have perpetuated and created new iterations of these badges and incidences of chattel slavery,” said Kamilah V. Moore, Task Force Chairperson. Read more to learn how this task force is committed to helping Black Californians seek reparations.

ICYDK: On March 18, 1865, the Freedmen's Bureau was established to protect the interests of formerly enslaved Americans.

+: Calif. Reparations: Interim report and recommendations

How Fla.’s Haitian legislators fought against new relocation law: Before Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a state law to relocate immigrants arriving or living in Florida to other states, two Haitian American legislators led the Democratic effort to block the legislation citing its inhumane language and questioning its implementation. Both Representatives of District 105, Marie Woodson, and Representative of District 108 Dotie Joseph condemned the bill. During the floor debate that day, they also urged their colleagues to vote against the bill. “As a Haitian American, I owe it to Haitians and other asylum seekers to stand up no matter what and share my story and advocate for them," Woodson told the Haitian Times. Read the full story and listen to their speeches.

How to get remote working right
Sponsored by McKinsey & Company

How to get remote working right: Having the option of working from home two days per week is as valuable as an 8 percent pay increase. For a deep dive into remote work and what practices can make working from home more effective going forward, listen here.

Driver’s Licenses for All bill heads to Minn. Senate for a vote today: Minnesota's Driver's Licenses for All bill, which lets non citizen immigrants obtain driver's licenses, is up for a vote in the state's Senate today. Despite years of discussion and setbacks, the bill resurfaced in 2023 when newly elected and re-elected Democrats took control of the House, Senate and governor's office. Sahan Journal reports that Gov. Tim Walz said he plans to sign Driver's Licenses For All into law if it reaches his desk. Read more about this developing story.  

+: New program aims to increase Black homeownership in Twin Cities area

Birthing health: In the U.S., immigrant women face significant barriers to obtaining prenatal and postpartum care, regardless of their citizenship status. palabra. reports that non citizen immigrant persons lack access to prenatal and postpartum care in more than 20 states; this lack of quality care threatens the well-being and livelihood of immigrant women. Read the full story.
The truth behind ‘Deputy Gangs’ inside the LA Sheriff’s Office: On the latest episode of Our Body Politic (OBP), host Farai Chideya talks to award-winning reporter Cerise Castle about her investigative series on the history of ‘deputy gangs.’ Following that interview, Karen Attiah, Washington Post columnist and show contributor, leads OBP's weekly roundtable ‘Sippin' The Political Tea' about taking time to recharge and unplug from social media. She is joined by Morra Aarons-Mele, host of The Anxious Achiever podcast, and author Isa Watson. 🎧 Listen to the full episode.

CW: Descriptions of police violence

NCAI praises Biden’s executive order that addresses racial inequity: Last Thursday, President Joe Biden signed a new executive order addressing racial inequity in underserved communities. In a statement to Native News Online the next day, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) praised the order and emphasized its willingness to continue working with the Biden administration and Congress to bring about change for Indigenous people. 

“The President’s decision to sign the Executive Order to Strengthen Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Across the Federal Government builds upon a number of initiatives in recent years to help improve Native peoples’ access to the programs, opportunities, and services that many take for granted,” said NCAI President Fawn Sharp (Quinault Indian Nation). Read more to learn about the new executive order.

What to know about rent stabilized housing in New York City: Felipe De La Hoz, Epicenter-NYC's civics reporter, encourages all current New York renters to request their unit's rent history and stabilization status using a new tool from the housing nonprofit JustFix. In any case, it's free, and you should always exercise your rights, he says. Yet there's another reason why now might be a good time to check: recent data from the nonprofit shows that landlords are failing to register their rent-stabilized apartments in potential violation of the law. Read more to learn what else the data shows

ICYDK: The Underground Railroad of Queens: In partnership with the Underground Railroad Consortium of New York State, Epicenter-NYC will extend a tour of the Bowne House led by one of the museum educators on Feb. 26 from 11-12:30 ET p.m. The Bowne House is one of the few accessible abolition landmarks in NYC and also serves as a research library for that history.

The event is free for Epicenter-NYC members and $25 for non-members. Get your ticket here.

Last chance to enter your 2022 work into the 15th Annual Shorty Awards!

For 15 years, the Shorty Awards have been celebrating excellence and advancing the craft of digital storytelling, by recognizing the work of top brands, publishers, agencies, non-profits and creators globally. Share your work with a prestigious and diverse jury of industry leaders, and share the stage with previous winners such as Disney, Lego, Chipotle, McCann, Edelman, Digitas, WHO and Duolingo, as well as influential individuals such as Lizzo, Trevor Noah, Malala, Bill Nye and Lady Gaga. Enter Now »

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