President Obama Keeps on Keepin On

Valjeanne —

I just finished delivering my first State of the Union, and I wanted to send you a quick note.

We face big and difficult challenges. Change on the scale we seek does not come easily. But I will never accept second place for the United States of America.

That is why I called for a robust jobs bill without delay. It’s why I proposed a small businesses tax credit, new investments in infrastructure, and pushed for climate legislation to create a clean energy economy.

It’s why we’re taking on big banks, reforming Wall Street, revitalizing our education system, increasing transparency — and finishing the job on health insurance reform.

It’s why I need your help — because I am determined to fight to defend the middle class, and special interest lobbyists will go all out to fight us.

Help me show that the American people are ready to join this fight for the middle class — add your name to a letter to Congress today:

We have finished a difficult year. We have come through a difficult decade. But we don’t quit. I don’t quit.

Let’s seize this moment — to start anew, to carry the dream forward, and to strengthen our union once more.

President Barack Obama

Gang Violence and the Color of Change

Dear Friends,

Gangs have plagued Black communities across the country for decades, but we’ve seen few large-scale efforts that go to the root of the problem. Thanks to Congressman Bobby Scott of Virginia, that could change. Now he needs our support.

The Youth PROMISE Act, Scott’s bill, focuses on giving young people real alternatives to gangs, instead of locking them up and throwing them into a system that often turns them into hardened criminals.

The bill has some support in Congress, but a strong show of support from everyday people like us will help make sure that it passes. That’s why I’ve joined in asking my senators and representative to support the Youth PROMISE Act. Will you? It only takes a few seconds:

It’s clear that the current national strategy to combat gang participation isn’t working.[1] Every day more young people are thrown into jail instead of being given opportunities to turn their lives around. It does very little to solve the problem of gangs, and it compounds the hopelessness that leads to participation in gangs in the first place.

The Youth PROMISE (Prison Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support and Education) Act would change this by providing young people with critical support and opportunities to succeed so they’ll see that they have options that don’t involve joining a gang.

The Youth PROMISE Act would give communities greater access to a range of youth intervention methods with a record of success — like mentoring and after-school programs — and let those communities decide which practices are best suited for their specific needs. It would give communities funding to hire police officers specially trained to deal with youth. And it would provide crucial mental health services to young people who need them.[2]

By signing on in support, you’ll join dozens of national civic groups, religious denominations, justice organizations, and political leaders who realize that the kind of change offered by the Youth PROMISE Act is long overdue. Even law enforcement officials are coming to the conclusion that we can’t simply arrest our way out of this problem.[3]

Now it’s our turn. Please join me by telling your representative and senators to give our youth the support they need to succeed. And when you do, please ask your friends and family to do the same.

Thank you.

Do Your Thang President Obama: We got your back!

shared by a Brother from my favorite site:

Mitt Romney: Chairman, CEO, and sole shareholder—but not responsible?
Watch the video

A Short List of Pres. Obama’s Accomplishments“There are those on both the Right and Left who assail President Obama for not doing enough as President (or for some on the Right, for doing too much). Some have stated that he has not kept his campaign promises, others say that he has compromised himself and his principles in far too many cases.

Presented for your review, here is just a fraction of items from the list at of campaign promises kept by Pres. Obama. I recommend visiting their site to review the complete 7 page list, it is impressive :


No. 4: Extend child tax credits and marriage-penalty fixes
No. 16: Increase minority access to capital
No. 33: Establish a credit card bill of rights
No. 36: Expand loan programs for small businesses
No. 37: Extend the Bush tax cuts for lower incomes
No. 38: Extend the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 (couples) or $200,000 (single)
No. 48: Close the “doughnut hole” in Medicare prescription drug plan
No. 51: Require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions
No. 53: Give tax credits to those who need help to pay health premiums…”
Read the rest at Planet POV

Color of Change/Oscar Grant

Dear Valjeanne,

Your voice is making a real difference in the Oscar Grant case.1

Last week, ColorOfChange members here in the Bay Area confronted the Alameda County District Attorney with stacks of more than 20,000 petitions demanding that he explain why he hasn’t arrested Tony Pirone, the officer who punched Grant in the face moments before the murder. Most of the local media covered our event, shining a spotlight on the DA and feeding a public conversation about his handling of the case.2,3

This was just the latest push for justice in the Oscar Grant case by ColorOfChange members:

* In January, almost 25,000 of you called on California Attorney General Jerry Brown and the US Department of Justice to get involved when it seemed the District Attorney had no plans to arrest Grant’s killer, Johannes Mehserle. When the DA finally arrested Mehserle, he admitted that public pressure was a factor.

* After Mehserle’s arrest, about 15,000 of you signed a pledge to stay vigilant throughout the case and to work to improve accountability and transparency for police in California and nationwide.

Next, we plan to ask Attorney General Jerry Brown to explain why he removed the observer he’d placed in the District Attorney’s office4, given that Orloff still appears to be asleep at the wheel.5

Thanks for staying involved. Together, we’re holding law enforcement officials accountable and sending a strong message that the public won’t stand for anything less than a thorough, aggressive prosecution of police abuses. If we want to see justice for Oscar Grant and his family, we’ll need to keep it up, because this fight is far from over.

Thanks and Peace,

— James, Gabriel, Clarissa, William, Dani and the rest of the team
February 18th, 2009

1. “Justice for Oscar Grant? It’s up to Jerry Brown” Huffington Post, 1-13-09

2. “Thousands sign petition to file charges against second cop in BART shooting, KTVU-TV, 2-10-09

3. “Activists want more BART officers charged,” KGO-TV, 2-10-09

4. “Brown pushes D.A. to act swiftly in BART case,” San Francisco Chronicle, 1-11-09

5. “It’s time to confront District Attorney Tom Orloff on his handling of the Oscar Grant case,” firedoglake, 2-09-09