Monday, December 27, 2010

Remembering 2010

PRESIDENT'S CORNER

Norris McDonald

2010 was a very interesting year.  But aren't they all?  This one though, had some very interesting moments.

January included my participation in the Black Enterprise Energy Forum.  EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson could not attend because she was attending the funeral of Vice President Joe Biden's mother.  Deputy Associate EPA Administrator Stephanie Owens substituted for her.

In February, I presented testimony at the EPA Ozone hearing. I also met with the White House Office of Management and Budget on the fly ash issue.

In April, I presented testimony at the EPA hearing on on natural gas hydraulic fracturing.  I also traveled to South Africa from April 4-April13. I attended a White House Great Outdoors Conference at the U.S. Department of the Interior.  President Obama spoke at the conference.  I participated in an environmental justice listening session sponsored by EPA and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

In May, I was a panelist at the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) annual conference in Columbus, Ohio.  I met Exelon CEO John Rowe and discussed the future of nuclear energy with him.  I presented a statement at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) public meeting in Buchanan, New York on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the license renewal for the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.  I present a statement at President Obama's Blue Ribbon Commission on Nuclear Power. I presented a presentation entitled, "Converting CO2 into Fuel" at the Environmental Justice in America 2010 Conference.

In June, I met with Florizelle Liser, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President.

In July, I gave a statement at the New York Department of Environmental Conservation Cooling Tower Hearing in Buchanan, New York.

In August, I presented a statement at the EPA fly ash hearing. I presented testimony before the National Commission on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

In September, I visited Port Gibson, Mississippi on the 1st scoping visit for the biomass-to-energy project.  I presented at statement at the EPA greenhouse gas hearing. 

In October, I visited Port Gibson, Mississippi on the 2nd scoping visit for the biomass-to-energy project.

In November, I visited Santa Catalina Island no the 1st scoping visit for a biomass-to-energy project.  I participate as a panelist at the National Black Chamber of Commerce Fall Summit.  We celebrated the Center's 25th anniversary on November 20th.

In December, I visited Port Gibson, Mississippi on the 3rd scoping visit for the biomass-to-energy project.  I participated in a Green DMV home weatherization project in Alexandria, Virginia.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Income Disparities In Asthma Burden and Care In California"

According to a new report by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research entitled, "Income Disparities In Asthma Burden and Care In California," asthma is increasing in California. Between 2001 and 2007, the prevalence of asthma increased significantly and by 2007 nearly five million Californians had been diagnosed with this chronic condition. Although asthma occurs among Californians at all socio-economic levels, it disproportionately affects low-income Californians, who miss more days of work and school, are more likely to have frequent asthma symptoms, and are more likely to go to the emergency department or be hospitalized for asthma care.
Key findings of this report include:

Asthma is widespread and increasing in California

• Lifetime asthma prevalence has increased from 11.3% to 13% between 2001 and 2007 among California adults.
• Current asthma prevalence varies considerably by county, ranging from 6% in San Francisco County to 12.9% in Fresno County (among Californians age 1 and over).
 • Lake, Tehama/Glenn/Colusa, Sutter, Yuba, Contra Costa, Solano, Sacramento, Fresno, Kern, Merced,
Madera and San Bernardino counties all had current asthma rates significantly higher than that of the state.

Asthma disproportionately affects vulnerable Californians

• 8.7% of Californians with incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) have current asthma, compared to 7.8% of those with incomes at or above 400% FPL.
• 31.9% of low-income California adults with current asthma experience asthma symptoms at least once a week compared to just 19.3% of their higher-income counterparts.
• Low-income Californians with current asthma are more likely to be children and people of color.

Asthma impacts productivity of low-income Californians

• Low-income children with current asthma miss more than twice as many days of school due to asthma as higher-income children (2.8 vs. 1.3 days).
• Low-income adults with current asthma miss three times as many work days as higher-income adults (2.2 vs. 0.6 days).

Emergency department visits and hospitalizations due to asthma are higher among low-income Californians

• Among families with incomes below 200% FPL, 18.8% of adults and 23.9% of children went to an emergency department or urgent care facility in the past year because of their asthma, compared with just 8.8% and 12.5% of their more affluent counterparts, respectively.
• Hospitalization rates among low-income Californians with current asthma were more than five times higher than the rates among their high income counterparts (6.5% vs. 1% for adults and 5.8% vs. 1.1% for children).

Low-income Californians with asthma are more likely to be uninsured and lack access to appropriate asthma care

• 22.1% of low-income California adults and children with current asthma were uninsured all or part of the past year compared with 4.4% of higher-income Californians.

• Low-income California adults and children with current asthma are less likely to get an asthma management plan than higher-income Californians.
• Low-income Californians are more likely to have no usual source of care and have difficulty understanding their doctor.

Low-income Californians are more likely to encounter risk factors for asthma exacerbation

• Rates of exposure to second-hand smoke are more than three times as high among low-income Californians with current asthma compared to their higher-income counterparts (13.5% vs. 4%).

(UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Executive Summary)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Environmental Justice: A Conference Is NOT Making History

PRESIDENT'S CORNER

By Norris McDonald

Over about the past two decades, holding environmental justice conferences have been repeatedly described as historic.  I submit that holding a meeting, forum or conference is not making history.  It is holding a meeting, forum or conference.  On any given day in our nation's capital, there are hundreds of meetings, forums and conferences going on.  History is made when Congress passes a law, the president signs a bill into law or the Supreme Court makes a ruling.  The product of Washington, D.C. is the meeting. So although a meeting, forum or conference includes one of the three actions by one of our branches of government, it is not making history. So can we please stop describing virtually every environmental justice conference as somehow 'making history.' I submit that making history, in an environmental justice context, is passing legislation, preventing a minority community from being polluted, cleaning a site that threatens a community or relocating a community out of a toxic area.

Thankfully, the Environmental Justice in America Conference has not described itself as making history in each of its past four years.  It has provided a venue to address national environmental justice issues on an annual basis.  In essence, this private sector initiative has accomplished standardizing the process for addressing the issue.  The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) also provides a government platform for addressing EJ issues.  Another government platform is the Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice.  It is designed to coordinate the federal government response to environmental justice.  There are many entities addressing environmental justice, but there has been very little actual accomplishment, besides meetings, on the ground.

At the recent White House environmental justice conference, activists expressed frustration with the lack of 'on the ground' progress related to environmental justice.    However, without a national environmental justice law, Executive Branch agencies, the Presidential Executive Order on Environmental Justice (12898) and Title 6 complaints are woefully inadequate in addressing environmental injustice.  AAEA is promoting the Environmental Justice Act of 2011 to address these inadequacies.

There is still much work to be done in addressing environmental justice issues.  I hope we can get more actual results 'on the ground' and maybe that will move us beyond considering conferences as making history.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sarah Palin and Environmental Justice

What is Sarah Palin's position on environmental justice?  She does not currently have a 'position' on the issue. So we can only speculate based on her current political philosophy and her positions on other environmental issues.

She is a self reliance Tea Party conservative and she will probably recommend some sort of private sector accomodation between affected communities and the industries identified as their polluters.  She will also make a cold political calculation as to whether she can flank President Obama on this issue (since it involves minorities and low-income people).  Of course, the easy path would be to take the 'low-income' route.  That way the racial component could be removed.  She has to think that she cannot compete with President Obama on the minority front.  We keep hope alive that she would compete though.  Nothing like good old American competition to get results.  Or she could do what some others do and go the Native American route. Or, the Eskimo route might be amenable to her.

But does she believe there is disparate environmental impacts based on race?  That is the core of the environmental justice issue.  And does she believe government has a role in addressing the disparity?  The White House had an environmental justice forum last week and activists participated from all over the country.  However, without a national environmental justice law, Executive Branch agencies, the Presidential Executive Order on Environmental Justice (12898) and Title 6 complaints are woefully inadequate in addressing environmental injustice.  AAEA is promoting the Environmental Justice Act of 2011 to address these inadequacies.  We welcome the support of President Obama and Sarah Palin.

Governor Palin has some things in common with the environmental justice movement.  Both oppose Cap and Trade.  AAEA supports Cap & Trade and is one of the only entitites that has been consistently supportive of the program.  Palin is tough on Big Oil.  The EJ community would agree.  Palin supports alternative energy production (though she promotes all forms of domestic energy production).  That is clearly a position that is consistent with the EJ community.  Palin's family values could lead her to address the disproportionate asthma rates in minority communities. Her support of nuclear power and hybrid electric vehicles are complementary to mitigating smog.  It might not be a bad idea to lure more minorities to Alaska. There is a lot of land and resources up there and many opportunities.  We hope Sarah Palin will take up environmental justice as a cause.

Give us a call Governor Palin.  Todd Palin can give us a call too.  We would be very happy to discuss this issue with you.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Michael Blake

Michael Blake, 27, is the Associate Director, White House Office of Public Engagement & Deputy Associate Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.


Michael Blake
Blake worked on the Obama for America campaign, first as Deputy Political Director and Constituency Outreach Director in Iowa and as Deputy Director and Political Director in Michigan. Prior to that, Blake was the Director of External Affairs for the Michigan House of Representatives serving in Michigan Speaker of the House Andy Dillon's cabinet. Before that appointment, Blake successfully co-organized three state house campaigns in the 2006 election cycle.

Blake is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism from Northwestern University. He is also an alumnus of the Yes We Can political training program in Washington, D.C. He started his political career as an assistant for Illinois State Senator Jeff Schoenberg. (The White House)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

First White House Environmental Justice Forum

Environmental Leaders, Cabinet Secretaries to Participate

On December 15, Obama administration officials will convene the first-ever White House Forum on Environmental Justice. Environmental leaders from across the country will attend the day-long forum featuring EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

This forum will focus on the Obama administration’s commitment to ensuring that overburdened and low-income communities have the opportunity to enjoy the health and economic benefits of a clean environment. The event will bring together environmental justice and community leaders, cabinet members, and senior officials from federal, state, local and tribal governments for a discussion on creating a healthy and sustainable environment for all Americans.

Administrator Jackson also will host an online question-and-answer session to engage with the public on the subject of environmental justice. The White House forum and the question-and-answer session will be streamed live at http://www.whitehouse.gov/live.

Information on the forum agenda is below.

WHO: Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;

Eric Holder, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice;

Ken Salazar, Secretary, U.S. Department of Interior;

Hilda Solis, Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor;

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services;

Steven Chu, Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy

Janet Napolitano, Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

WHAT: White House Forum on Environmental Justice

WHEN: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. (EST)

WHERE: South Court Auditorium, Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20500

Questions will be taken from viewers at http://apps.facebook.com/whitehouselive

AGENDA

10:00 a.m. Opening Plenary Session Lisa Jackson, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency

10:20 a.m. Green Jobs, Clean Energy Session featuring opening remarks by Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor and Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy

11:40 a.m. Legal Framework for Advancing Environmental Justice Session, featuring opening remarks by Eric Holder. U.S. Attorney General

1:50 p.m. Healthy Communities and Place-based Initiatives Session, featuring opening remarks by Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services

3:15 p.m. Climate Adaptation Session, featuring opening remarks by Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior and Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security

4:25 p.m. Closing Session

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

President Obama Signs Claims Resolution Act of 2010

Bill Provides Billion Dollars for Discrimination Against Black Farmers

Signing Ceremony at the White House
South Court Auditorium
5:34 P.M. EST

Remarks by the President at Bill Signing For The Claims Resolution Act

FULL TEST

Excerpts
First, for many years African American farmers claimed they were discriminated against when they applied for federal farm loans -- making it more difficult for them to stay in business and maintain their farms. In 1999, a process was established to settle these claims. But the settlement was implemented poorly and tens of thousands of African American families who filed paperwork after the deadline were denied their chance to make their case.

And that’s why, as senator, I introduced legislation to provide these farmers the right to have their claims heard. That’s why I’m proud that Democrats and Republicans have come together to lay this case to rest. And that’s why I’m proud that Secretary Vilsack and everybody at the Department of Agriculture are continuing to address claims of past discrimination by other farmers throughout our country.

I want to thank once again all those members of Congress. We got a lot of members here -- the Congressional Black Caucus, who I know worked the Pigford issue tirelessly. We’ve got, as I said, Democrats and Republicans who were supportive of this issue for so long. This is one of those issues where you don't always get political credit, but it’s just the right thing to do. And I couldn’t be prouder of you.
President Barack Obama joined by Members of Congress
 and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar,
 and Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.,
signs the Claims Resolution Act Bill of 2010
 in the South Court Auditorium of the White House Dec. 8, 2010.
 (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

House Passes Claims Settlement Act of 2010

Senate Approves Settlement For Black Farmers

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Darryl Fears: Environment Reporter for The Washington Post

Darryl Fears is reporting on environmental issues for The Washington Post newspaper. Congratulations Mr. Fears.  We are sure you will bring an interesting perspective to environmental reporting.  He is covering the Chesapeake Bay and has published several articles.  We are delighted that the newspaper for our nation's capital is giving this veteran reporter an opportunity to branch out.  We are also delighted that they did not limit him to the designated area for blacks working on environmental and energy issues: weatherization.

Mr. Fears got our attention with his excellent coverage of Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and her No Fear Act saga.  He also did an excellent job in chronicling the final days of Damu Smith, a legend in the environmental justice movement who died of colon cancer in 2006.  We noted during these episodes that these vitally important environmental issues and people would not have received coverage in The Washington Post if Mr. Fears had not stepped up to the plate.  Environmental reporters for The Washington Post simply did not cover environmental issues that involved Black people.  Of course, with the election of President Obama and with Lisa P. Jackson as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Post environmental reporters were forced to start including blacks in their coverage.

Darryl Fears
Darryl Fears covers affordable housing and poverty for The Washington Post. He previously worked on the national desk, covering race, diversity, immigration, politics and criminal justice policy, and helped launch the "Being a Black Man" series.

Before arriving at The Post, Fears worked for the Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Journal Constitution and Detroit Free Press. He is a graduate of Howard University.  (The Washington Post, DC Wire)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

EPA Fines Waste Management $300,000

Kettleman Hills Landfill in Kettleman City Has Been Controversial For Years

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has fined landfill operator Chemical Waste Management, a subsidiary of Waste Management, $300,000 for allowing cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to leach into the soil. Residents have complained that birth defects have been caused by toxic chemicals from the landfill.  State health officials recently released a report that concluded the birth defects did not come from exposure to chemicals from the landfill.

The EPA fine does not confirm the health effects that residents claim caused the birth defects, but fined the company due to the contamination of the soil.

House Passes Claims Settleman Act of 2010

John Boyd
The House passed the Claims Settlement Act of 2010 today by a vote of 256-152. The legislation includes a $4.6 billion settlement in the Pigford-Cobell lawsuits. Companion legislation passed the Senate on November 19. President Obama will sign the bill into law. Black farmers will receive $1.15 billion to settle discrimination claims against the Agriculture Department. The bill also included $3.4 billion for American Indians who said the Interior Department had swindled them out of royalties since the 19th century. The bill now goes to the House.  John Boyd, president of the National Black Farmers Association, has been a tireless advocate for passage of the legislation.

Statement by President Obama on House Passage of the Claims Settlement Act of 2010
"I am pleased that today, the House has joined the Senate in passing the Claims Settlement Act of 2010. This important legislation will fund the agreements reached in the Pigford II lawsuit, brought by African American farmers, and the Cobell lawsuit, brought by Native Americans over the management of Indian trust accounts and resources. I want to thank Attorney General Holder and Secretaries Salazar and Vilsack for all their work to reach this outcome, and I applaud Congress for acting in a bipartisan fashion to bring this painful chapter in our nation’s history to a close.

"This bill also provides funding for settlements reached in four separate water rights suits brought by Native American tribes, and it represents a significant step forward in addressing the water needs of Indian Country. Yet, while today’s vote demonstrates important progress, we must remember that much work remains to be done. And my Administration will continue our efforts to resolve claims of past discrimination made by women and Hispanic farmers and others in a fair and timely manner."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Karen Bowlding: New Blog and New Book


Karen Bowlding is a freelance writer and editor providing professional custom service to small businesses, authors and individuals. Her Debatable Matters Blog is for 'honest Christian debate on today's matters.'

She has published two books:

1) "Say No! With A Smile"

2) "Living In Autumn While Preparing For Spring: The Journey Towards Marriage.

Karen Bowlding says:
“I love editing. I’m a researcher. My passion is to see people grow. I take pleasure in working with a raw document and then after hard work seeing the result. My mind constantly runs with ideas to better a project. As long as I’m in His will at this time, I will continue to help others get their work done.”
The books are available on Karen Bowlding's Website.

In "Say No! With A Smile," Mrs. Bowlding writes:
Too many women, including the author, don’t sit still, Women are constantly doing things for other people… listening to folks problems; taking on other people’s burdens; driving someone somewhere; loaning out money to people they know can’t afford to give it back; and being places she doesn’t want to be.

Bowlding says, "Saying no with a smile is an internal, not an outward expression. It is not a grin or smirk on your face when you decline an offer, but a private high-five because you were able to say no without self-reproach. It is contentment within yourself at your ability to overcome by saying what you truly feel; being pleased in your spirit."

The book will give readers information on when to say no, how to say it, and do it without feeling guilty. The book also provides tips on what to do with the “free” time once someone learns the art of saying no. Bowlding wrote the book to help her deal with her own issues, and hopes that she will help other women grow into saner, and less harried women.
At present she, her husband Andre and young daughter reside in Maryland. Education: Springfield College, BS; University of Maryland University College, MS.

Friday, November 26, 2010

California Health Officials Deny Dump Causes Defects

According to a 16- page draft report released Monday, the California State Department of Public Health has have ruled out a toxic waste dump as the cause of severe birth defects including heart problems and facial deformities in the impoverished Central California farming community of Kettleman City.  The community is just off Interstate 5 between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

State Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Public Health investigators were still unsure why 11 babies were born with physical deformities in Kettleman City between September 2007 and March 2010. Three of the babies died. Tests of water, air and soil; analysis of pesticides; and interviews with six of the affected families did not suggest a common cause for the health problems.

Residents believe the medical problems are linked to the nearby Waste Management Inc. hazardous waste facility, the largest landfill of its kind west of Louisiana and the only one in California licensed to accept cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.

Health investigators analyzed the state's registry for the rates of birth defects from 1987 to 2008 and reviewed case histories of the 11 babies born with major defects, including cleft palates and lips. Although more children were born with birth defects in 2008 and 2009 than would be expected for a population of Kettleman City's size, investigators found no clear trend that could be explained by exposure to environmental pollution.  An examination of cancer rates for the census tract that includes Kettleman City found five cancer cases diagnosed among children younger than 15 during a 12-year period, two more than would be expected. Most of the childhood cancers were acute lymphocytic leukemia and all occurred in areas of the census tract outside of Kettleman City.

The state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is recommending several steps to address dangerous chemicals detected in the community's water system. It is being recommended that state regulatory agencies investigate benzene emissions at a treatment unit at a Kettleman City drinking water well and levels of lead detected in the local elementary school's wells. It is also being recommended that the city reduce arsenic levels in local drinking water either through improved treatment or development of a new source of water.

Waste Management has requested permits to expand the facility. State officials said a final decision on whether to grant the request will not be made until after completion of a final report on the investigation into the birth defects later this year. (L.A. Times, 11/23/2010)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Juliet Eilperin Publishes Environmental Justice Story

The title shows that Juliet has come a long way.  And we think we had something to do with that by publicly criticizing her.  We had to point out that The Washington Post environmental reporter Juliet Eilperin avoided quoting Black people.  But once Barack Obama was elected president and Lisa Jackson was appointed as EPA administrator, she had no choice but to quote Blacks on environmental policy.  We chuckled at her being forced to quote Black people. 

And we know that she saw our criticism of her. Aren't the internet and blogs great.  For the longest time we had no recourse but to sit back and take it while people like Ms. Eilperin refused to get our message out.

But now she has published her first environmental justice article: "Environmental Justice Issues Take Center Stage."  Glory hallelujah.  Free at last.  Free at last.  Thank God Almighty, Juliet Eilperin is free at last.

We recognize and applaud progress.  One more such article and we are going to take down all of our blog articles criticizing Ms. Eilperin about excluding Blacks. 

The article addresses the fly ash issue. (Wash Post, 11/21/2010)

Juliet Eilperin Compelled To Quote A Black Person

Juliet Eilperin Finally Writes About A Black Person

Juliet Eilperin Continues Excluding Blacks When She Can

-------------------------------------------------------------
AAEA Articles on Fly Ash

House Hearing on Kingston, Tennessee Coal Ash Spill

TVA Must Cease Shipments of Fly Ash Immediately

Majority Black Uniontown Gets Tennessee Toxic Fly Ash

Will EPA & OMB Ignore & Abuse Blacks With Fly Ash

High Speed Rail: Economic Environmental Injustice in California

The $43 billion California High Speed Rail Project is the largest construction project in the United States.  It is also one of the few Federal subsidized programs of this nature that has no provisions to include minorities and women.   

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), Federal Rail Administration (FRA) awarded California a $2.25 billion grant for the State’s High Speed Rail Project through President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). While the grant is great for California, it appears to have little benefits for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) including small businesses. The benefits of the Stimulus grant will be minimal to communities of color since the inclusion of minority and women owned
businesses is less than 1% of this Federalized project.

Title VI, 42, United States Code § 2000d et seq, was enacted as part of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.  Simple justice requires that public funds, to which all taxpayers of all races [colors, and national origins] contribute, not be spent in any fashion which encourages, entrenches, subsidizes or results in racial [color or national origin] discrimination.  As a recipient of USDOT federally assisted funds, California has several disparity studies that provide the evidence of disparity and inference of discrimination of DBEs and minority and women-owned (MBE/WBE) firms on USDOT federally assisted projects.

The FRA is under the authority of USDOT, the $2.25 billion grant to California is federal financial assistance and as such FRA and its funding source is required to comply with Title VI. The FRA does not have statutory authority for a DBE program, however; they have established a statement to “encourage” contractors to utilize DBEs on FRA funded contracts. California has the evidence that without a formal DBE program that includes race-conscious measures (individual DBE contract goals on contracts) the “encouragement” to engage DBEs on the contract will result in no DBE participation.


Rendering from the California High-Speed Rail Authority
 and Newlands & Company Inc.
When California recipients of USDOT funds suspended their DBE race-conscious program while disparity studies were completed, each recipient “encouraged” prime contractors to voluntarily utilize DBEs on their bids. The result was a “nose-dive” of DBE participation. A good example of the “nose-dive” result is the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). Caltrans, who has an aggressive DBE Program, suspended its DBE race-conscious program and “encouraged” prime contractors to meet the overall 10.5% DBE goal. In 2004, prior to suspending the DBE raceconscious program, Caltrans was attaining 10% DBE participation. Immediately after suspending the race-conscious program and enacting race-neutral measures, the DBE Program participation “nose-dived” to less than 3% DBE participation with African American firms obtaining nothing. This same result is evidenced for FTA and FAA recipients in California. That is what “encourage” does when no formal goals and requirements are placed on federally assisted contracts.

USDOT cannot ignore the evidence as presented in the recent and current California disparity studies. USDOT cannot ignore its authority to pursue a “Presidential Executive Order” to establish emergency regulations to incorporate the existing 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 26 (49CFRPart 26) onto FRA funded contracts. USDOT cannot ignore Title VI and Simple Justice in its requirement to at a minimum establish a policy in the interim of formal regulations to require DBE participation in FRA funded projects.

OBJECTIVE

• The High-Speed Rail Project (HSRP) in California must be brought under the U.S. DOT-DBE Program with specific, significant achievable goals (such as DOT DBE goal of 13.5% in California). The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and 49 CFR Part 26 states that a recipient of federally assisted USDOT funds must implement a DBE Program with a minimum goal of 10 percent and a higher goal where there is evidence for such a goal. California has a minimum DBE
goal of 13.5%.

• The High-Speed Rail Project (HSRP) in California must establish firm, fixed goals
(not an aspirational goal as currently exists) for small business participation. The HSRP must set a firm 25% Goal for small businesses and a 5% Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise goal for all California funded HSRP activities.

BACKGROUND: The High-Speed Rail system in California will be the first of its kind in the United States and the largest public works project in the nation. It is also the largest environmental review in U.S. history according to California High-Speed Rail Authority Chairman Curt Pringle. The 800 mile project, expected to begin revenue service in 2020 will, connect Sacramento at the northern part of California, through the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area, to Central California at Fresno, Bakersfield, south to The Inland Empire, Greater Los Angeles area and then on to San Diego at the southern tip of the State.

The Phase One section from San Francisco to Anaheim is scheduled to begin initial revenue service in 2020. The cost of the system is $45 Billion, estimated by the Authority as of 2009. (Source: APAC Paper)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

African American Women Environmentalists

Michelle Tingling-Clemmons
Lisa Gaffney
Arnita Hannon
Kathy Blagburn
Karen Blagburn
Muriel Jabbar
Harolyn Jabbar
Samara Swanston
Marsha Coleman-Adebayo
Morning Sunday
Sonja Ebron
Adaora Lathan
Connie Tucker
Peggy Shepard
Dr. Mildred McClain
Dr. Beverly Wright
Vernice Miller-Travis
Deeohn Ferris
Dorceta E. Taylor
Michelle DePass
Delmetria Millener
Majora Carter
Sandrea O'Dette McDonald
Naomi Davis
Lisa P. Jackson

If we missed you, please leave a Comment so that we can add you to the list.

African American Environmentalist Association: 25th Anniversary

PRESIDENT'S CORNER

By Norris McDonald

Today is our 25th anniversary.  We were incorporated on November 20, 1985.  The African American Environmentalist Association (AAEA) is the outreach arm of the Center for Environment, Commerce & Energy (Center).

You can see a listing of many of our activities during that time at our original website, which we converted to Multiply when the original Msn Groups platform ended).  There is more activity information at our History page. My career has been very satisfying.  From my beginning in the Fall of 1979 at the Environmental Policy Center (now Friends of the Earth) until today, the adventure has been incredible.  I started out in the Washington, D.C.-based environmental movement.  Jimmy Carter was president and was just finishing a rough 4-year run.  I shook his hand at the Democratic National Convention in New York in 1980 not knowing that Washington was about to get a completely new makeover.  The Reagan era was interesting and quite the challenge for the environmental movement.  I still remember his 'no standard standard' for appliance efficiency standards.  I also remember the Air Florida crash and the Metro subway accident on the day that I was walking back from the U.S. Department of Energy after testifying on appliance standards.

Well, without sounding like the old guy in the room sharing old war time stories that nobody really wants to hear, the situation today is as exciting as ever.  We are embarking on trying to build biomass power plants in Mississippi, California and in Kenya.  The adventure continues and I am having more fun than ever.  Our team is lean and mean and green. 

I have kept the AAEA small on purpose and will continue to do so.  I almost died from respiratory failure in 1991 and 1996 (intubated for 4 days in ICU each time).  After getting divorced and full custody of my son when he was 2 years old, I decided that I wanted to stick around to see my son grow up.  But I also wanted to continue with my entrepreneurial environmentalism.  So keeping it small worked.  Although I still struggle with a chronic acute asthma that could kill me any day, my son is now 18 and I am still 'doing my green thing.'  Life is good.  Hey, and we just opened a new Center Hollywood blog this week (Also see AAEA Hollywood).  Oh, and if you're feeling generous, feel free to click on our Donation button on our sites.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Senate Approves $1.15 Billion Settlement For Black Farmers

John Boyd
 The Senate has approved $1.15 billion to settle discrimination claims brought by black farmers against the Agriculture Department.  John Boyd, president of the National Black Farmers Association, lobbied continuously to get the legislation passed out of the Senate. The bill also included $3.4 billion for American Indians who said the Interior Department had swindled them out of royalties since the 19th century. The bill now goes to the House.

The legislation, approved by unanimous consent, also includes a one-year extension of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and several American Indian water rights settlements sought by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.).

To pay for the entire measure, money would be diverted from a surplus in nutrition programs for women and children and by extending customs user fees.

Statement by the President on Senate Passage of the Claims Settlement Act of 2010
"I applaud the Senate for passing the Claims Settlement Act of 2010, which will at long last provide funding for the agreements reached in the Pigford II lawsuit, brought by African American farmers, and the Cobell lawsuit, brought by Native Americans over the management of Indian trust accounts and resources. I particularly want to thank Attorney General Holder and Secretaries Salazar and Vilsack for their continued work to achieve this outcome. I urge the House to move forward with this legislation as they did earlier this year, and I look forward to signing it into law.

This bill also includes settlements for four separate water rights suits made by Native American tribes. I support these settlements and my Administration is committed to addressing the water needs of tribal communities. While these legislative achievements reflect important progress, they also serve to remind us that much work remains to be done. That is why my Administration also continues to work to resolve claims of past discrimination made by women and Hispanic farmers against the USDA."
(USA Today, 11/19/2010)

Emanuel Cleaver: Chairman, Congressinoal Black Caucus

Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) has been unanimously elected as the new Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). He succeeds Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA).

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II is currently serving his third term representing the Fifth District of Missouri in the House of Representatives and sits on the Financial Services Committee and Homeland Security Committee.  He was a member of Speaker Pelosi's Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

According to a statement in The Washington Post:
Among Cleaver's priorities will be turning the attention of the caucus to environmental and energy policy - which would allow its members to work with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department on developing green jobs in their districts, many of which face high unemployment rates.
We would like to suggest that the CBC expand its focus to include all energy sources.  AAEA President Norris McDonald wrote the energy and natural resources sections of the CBC Alternative Budget Recommendations in the early 1980's.  Blacks do not own any of the energy infrastructure and resources in the United States.

Emanuel Cleaver
 He was born in Waxahachie, Texas, grew up in public housing and graduated high school in Wichita Falls, Texas. Congressman Cleaver went on to attend Prairie View A & M University, earning a B.S. in Sociology.

In 1974, he began his pastoral career at St. James United Methodist Church with a membership of 47. Today, St. James has a membership of 2,800.

In 1979 Cleaver was elected to the City Council of Kansas City. After three terms, he ran for and was elected to the office of Mayor, where he made history as the first African American to hold the City’s highest office.

Congressman Cleaver and his wife, Dianne, have been married for more than thirty years, where they have made Kansas City their home. They have four grown children and three grandchildren. (House)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

EPA Appoints Mayor Heather McTeer Hudson Chair of LGAC

Heather McTeer Hudson
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has appointed Mayor Heather McTeer Hudson of Greenville, Miss., to chair EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC). LGAC is an independent committee of elected and appointed officials to advise the agency on a broad range of environmental issues effecting communities across the country.

EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee met on Nov. 17-18, 2010, to provide advice on how best to advance the administrator’s seven priorities. EPA, states, tribes and local governments share the responsibility for environmental and human health protection, and EPA seeks to strengthen these partnerships to find innovative solutions to the challenges of climate change, cleaning our air, protecting our waters, and cleaning our communities.

Heather McTeer Hudson was born and raised in Greenville, Mississippi, She was elected Mayor of the City of Greenville in 2003 and re-elected for a second term in 2007. She serves as the 1st African-American and 1st female to serve in this position. Heather Hudson received her formative education from Greenville’s T.L. Weston High School and left Mississippi only to attend college. A 1998 graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, Mayor Hudson received her B.A. in Sociology and went on to earn her a Juris Doctorate at New Orleans’ Tulane Law School. As a three year member of McTeer & Associates Law firm, where she practiced law, she was well versed in the corporate political arena. Today, Mayor Hudson still practices in her own firm, the McTeer-Hudson Firm, PLLC. (EPA, City of Greenville, Mississippi)

More information

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Trice Edney News Wire

Please RSVP to rsvp@triceedneywire.com

EPA Identifies Areas Violating Lead Standards

Reducing Lead Emissions Will Improve Public Health, Especially For Children

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that 16 areas across the country are not meeting the agency’s national air quality standards for lead. These areas, located in 11 states, were designated as “nonattainment” because their 2007 to 2009 air quality monitoring data showed that they did not meet the agency’s health-based standards. Exposure to lead may impair a child’s IQ, learning capabilities and behavior.

Areas designated today as not meeting the standard will need to develop and implement plans to reduce pollution to meet the lead standards. Nonattainment areas must meet the standards by Dec. 31, 2015. No areas in Indian Country are being designated as nonattainment.

EPA will designate areas as meeting or not meeting the standards in two rounds. In the first round announced today, EPA is designating areas that do not meet the standards based on air quality monitoring data from the existing lead monitoring network. In October 2011, EPA will use data from new monitors to complete a second round of designations that will classify the remaining areas in attainment, unclassifiable or nonattainment.

In October 2008, EPA strengthened the nation’s air quality standards for lead tenfold to 0.15 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air. The agency also finalized requirements for new monitors to be located near large sources of lead emissions. EPA has data from existing monitors indicating violations of the standards, and is currently collecting data from new monitors that began operation in January 2010.

Lead emitted into the air can be inhaled or can be ingested after it settles. Ingestion is the primary route of human exposure. Children are the most susceptible because they are more likely to ingest lead and their bodies are developing rapidly. There is no known safe level of lead in the body.

National average concentrations of lead in the air have dropped almost 92 percent nationwide since 1980, largely the result of the agency's phase-out of lead in gasoline. Lead in the air comes from a variety of sources, including smelters, iron and steel foundries and general aviation gasoline.

More information on the designations

AAEA Participates in NBCC Fall Conference in Los Angeles


Harry Alford, Maurice Stone, Norris McDonald
AAEA participated in the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) Annual Fall Summit at the Westin Hotel in Los Angeles, California on November 11-13, 2010.  AAEA President Norris McDonald also gave a presentation at the conference that included a description of the current energy projects that we are pursuing.  McDonald gave the presentation with National Clean Fuels representative Maurice Stone.  Mr. Stone is also Chairman of the NBCC Energy Committee. 


Norris McDonald, Maurice Stone
 The NBCC conference includes sessions on Procurement [Charles DeBow], Black Church Chambers [Pastor Walter August & Deacon Leon Jenkins], Kenya Opportunities [Ambassador Elkanah Odembo], Regulatory Challenges [Bill Kovacs-SVP Environment-U.S. Chamber of Commerce], Green Jobs-Green Contracts [Carletta Waddler & Randall Gilliland], Capital Access-Green Projects [Zazell Dudley-Louisiana State Black Chamber of Commerce & Kyle Walton-Strategic Development Solutions], Black Student Union Projects [Gadise Regassa & Brandon Bouldin-UCSB] and presentation by former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Chairman, Our America Initiative. 


Walter August, Kay DeBow, Norris McDonald
 The conference opened on Thursday with a reception where an address was delivered by Timothy Simon, Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission. The Friday Luncheon keynote was delover by the Honorable Hector Barreto, President, The Lation Coalition and former SBA administrator.  AAEA's McDonald also participated in the Saturday Strategizing with California Chapters session.  McDonald then visited a pollution site in Watts that AAEA is considering to redevelop as a Brownsfield site.

Maurice Stone, Kenyan Ambassador Elkanah Odembo, Norris McDonald

AAEA Scopes Potential Brownfields Site in Watts


AAEA President Norris McDonald visited a toxic waste lot in Watts that could be a Brownfield redevelopment project. AAEA is examining the feasibility of having the site remediated and redeveloped as a retail facility.  McDonald visited the toxic lot with a local activist who prefers to remain anonymous on Saturday, November 13, 2010.

A health risk assessment, Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment and Phase II Site characterization Report have already been conducted for the site.  The site is located at the corner of 103rd Street and Wilmington Avenue and the Florenth Griffith School (formerly the 102nd Street School) is across the street from this abandoned waste lot.  The lot is covered with asphalt.

Though the gasoline tanks were removed in 1976, there was no soil cleanup.  The lot was later used for other commercial activities including a Church's Fried Chicken, which was constructed on the site in 1983. It was destroyed during the riots of 1992.  Most of the time since it became a gasoline station, the ground has been covered with asphalt or buildings.

Vapor samples revealed that total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) and benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX) were found in the probes placed in areas near the petroleum underground storage tanks, the southern dispenser unit, and associated pipeline.  Soil borings revealed the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) [Dichloroethane, naphthalene and methylnaphthalene]. TPH was also detected in the soil borings.  Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes were found in soil samples.   The identifified chemicals are volatile (have a tendency to become a gas) and can rise through the soil column and be released to the air.

AAEA agrees with the conclusion of the California Department of Health Services Environmental Health Investigations Branch, that: "Before a structure is place on the former gasoline station property, there should be an evaluation of the potential build-up of the volatile organic chemicals from the subsurface soil."  AAEA recommends remediation of the site and for it to be redeveloped as a Brownfield site.

Source: California Department of Health Services Environmental Health Investigations Branch

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Allen B. West & Timothy E. Scott

Will They Join The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)?

Allen B. West
Allen B. West is U.S. Representative-elect for Florida's 22nd congressional district. He is a retired United States Army Lieutenant Colonel elected to represent Florida's 22nd district in Congress in the 2010 Congressional elections. He will be the first black Republican Congressman from Florida since a former slave served in the 1870's.  He served in Iraq and as a civilian adviser in Afghanistan.

Allen West was born in Atlanta, Georgia.  Allen's father served in World War II. Allen is the third of four generations in his family to serve in the military. West is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and obtained his master's degree in political science at Kansas State University. He also holds a Master of Military Arts and Sciences from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff Officer College in political theory and military history and operations.

West resides in Florida with wife Angela, daughters Aubrey and Austen and son Larry. (Wiki)

Timothy E. Scott

Timothy E. Scott is the Republican Congressman-elect for the First Congressional District and will be the first African-American Republican in the state to serve South Carolina in Congress since the 1860-70's.

Timothy Scott was born September 19, 1965 in Charleston, South Carolina) is a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives and  He was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives for District 117 in 2008.

Scott owns an insurance agency and he is also a partner in Pathway Real Estate Group, LLC. Scott earned a degree in Political Science from Charleston Southern University in 1998. (Wiki)

Proposition 23 Defeated - Global Warming Law Safe in Cali

California voters defeated Proposition 23 by a wide enough margin. The measure sought to suspend California's landmark climate change bill, known as AB 32, until the state's 12.4 percent unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters. Advocates with the Yes on 23 campaign argued that the law's strict regulations on greenhouse gas emissions place too high a burden on the state's struggling manufacturing base and would lead to even greater job losses.

AAEA opposed Proposition 23 and joined with a large coalition of environmental groups to defeat it.  (Mercury News, 11/2/2010)

Pop and Politics with Farai Chideya

Live Event: Pop and Politics with Farai Chideya
Date: Wednesday November 3, 2010
Time: Today 10:00AM EDT


Monday, November 01, 2010

National Black Chamber of Commerce Annual Fall Summit

November 11-13, 2010
Westin - LAX
Los Angeles, California

Agenda:
Thursday, November 11

7:00PM – 9:00PM Network Reception

7:40 Welcome Address by Timothy Simon, Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission

Friday, November 12

8:55AM Invocation - Larry Ivory, Chaplain, President, Illinois Black Chamber

9:00AM Chamber Best Practices - Sherrie Gilchrist, NBCC Chair

10:00AM NBCC Procurement Portal - Charles DeBow, Director of Special Projects, NBCC

The NBCC new web procurement portal is ready for roll out. It will give their members every bid the federal government and 37 states have to offer on an ongoing basis. History for RFP’s, winning bids, upcoming expirations, etc. will be available and it will make you competitive like never before. Board member Nathaniel Rido has tested it on his business and gives it his seal of approval.

10:30AM Black Church Chambers - Pastor Walter August, Bethels Family Senior Pastor & Deacon Leon Jenkins, Director of Black Chamber of Bethels

NBCC will present their new Church Chamber program which will empower our larger churches in assembling the business base of their members and developing them into community pillars of entrepreneurship and jobs. NBCC will unveil two programs we are assembling in Miami and Houston that can be emulated throughout the nation.

11:00AM Kenya Opportunities - His Excellency Ambassador Elkanah Odembo, Kenyan Ambassador to the US

NBCC is excited about the new Kenya 2030 initiative. The Honorable Elkanah Odembo, Ambassador of Kenya, will be speaking about the aggressive approach this vibrant nation is taking to develop a new Middle Class by the year 2030. Infrastructure, energy, capacity building will be the leading areas and entrepreneurs from America are invited to evaluate the opportunities.

11:30AM Regulatory Challenges - Bill Kovacs, Director, Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs Division, US Chamber of Commerce

12:15PM Lunch with Keynote: Honorable Hector Barreto, President, The Latino Coalition

Field Hearings Update: Anthony Robinson, President, MBELDEF

1:45PM Green Jobs, Green Contracts - Sustainable Training Services - Moderator: Aneil Kumar Presenters: Carletta Waddler and Randall Gilliland

What green and sustainability mean to your business and green jobs and the green career path. LEED, GPI and other certifications are now being required of our business owners. How do you get certified? How much is the training? Are there grants? How much business is out there? These and many questions impose a dilemma on the typical small business. We have gone out and found the answers and made the partnerships. At the Summit NBCC will give a two hour presentation on how this works and how to get your training funded and your certifications active.

3:00PM Capital Access / Green Projects - Zezell Dudley, Louisiana State Black Chamber of Commerce

First Bottom Line: Provide market-rate private equity returns to its investors.

Second Bottom Line: Invest in real estate projects or businesses located in predominantly low-income communities in order to create jobs and economic opportunities.

Third Bottom Line: Support environmentally friendly and sustainable green buildings or activities.

3:45PM Black Student Unions Project - Gadise Regassa and Brandon Bouldin – UCSB

The partnership between the NBCC and Black Student Unions located on campuses throughout the nation is being solidified. You will hear a dynamic presentation by the California network (UCSB Campus) on how NBCC will work together for increasing economic empowerment in our communities and building a breeding ground for entrepreneurs and leaders.

4:30PM Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Chairman, Our America Initiative

5:30PM Los Angeles On Your Own

Saturday, November 13

9:00AM NBCC Board Meeting (Election of 2011 Chair) – Invited guests only

11:00AM Strategizing with California Chapters - Fred Jordan, NBCC Board Member and Former Chairman

Menu Items: TBD

Summit Registration and Sponsorship Information

Hotel Information:

The Westin Los Angeles Airport
5400 W Century Blvd
Los Angeles, California 90045

Map to Hotel

Reservations:

Click here to Make Reservation Online

For Reservations via telephone call: (310) 216-5858

Singles/Doubles - $105.00 + Tax
Triples - $115.00 + Tax
Quads - $125.00 + Tax

Rooms at the Executive Level are $10 than prices listed above. In addition, Suites are available at $199.00 + Tax per night.

Rooms must be booked before 5 p.m. Thursday October 21, 2010 to secure this rate.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Richard Newsom - VP Operations - Shell

Online discussion with Mr. Newsom on "Beyond the Oil Spill" and implications for continued exploration on November 3, 2010

Richard Newsom. left, is currently the Vice President of Operations Services and Project Support for Shell's Exploration and Production (E&P) Deepwater Division. In this assignment, Mr. Newsom is responsible for Operations Excellence, Readiness and Skillpool Development for Shell's Deepwater Operations personnel; Regional Logistics (aviation, marine, road transport, terminals); Engineering Projects implementation; and Maintenance and Integrity, which includes asset reliability. Previously Mr. Newsom served in the capacities of Production Surveillance Manager (Deepwater Gulf of Mexico) and Strategy and Economics Manager for Shell's Americas Region.

Prior to joining Shell in 2007, Mr. Newsom worked for 7 years with ConocoPhillips, 14 years for the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) and for 2 years for Tenneco Oil Company. Mr. Newsom's career includes experiences on a variety of oil and gas assignments covering North and South America, the North Sea, Russia and Southeast Asia. His responsibilities have included: Asset Management, Exploration Evaluation, Business Development, Strategic Planning, Mergers and Acquisitions and a variety of engineering assignments.

Mr. Newsom holds a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA in Management from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). (Wash Post)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Janet Rolle - Executive VP & CMO of BET Networks

Janet Rolle is currently Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of BET Networks. Before joining BET Networks in 2007, Ms. Rolle was Vice President and General Manager of AOL's affinity websites, AOL Black Voices and the 10 websites in AOL Women & Lifestyle category.

Ms. Rolle was previously Vice President, Programming Enterprises and Business Development at MTV Networks, responsible for growing revenue at VH1 and Country Music Television. Ms. Rolle began her career at Home Box Office (HBO), holding positions including Special Assistant to the Chairman, and Director of Marketing and New Media, for the video division of HBO.

Ms. Rollee holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University and a B.A. from the State University of New York, Purchase. (Forbes)

Monday, October 18, 2010

People of Color Inventors & Inventions Museum

People of Color' exhibit opens at Gateway Mall (5156 - 1 Norwood Ave., Jacksonville, FL)

Ernestine Johnson gathered about 1,500 items for a black history collection.

For 15 years, she has collected photos, posters and memorabilia about black history.


Wanting to share her passion for the past, she would set up tables wherever someone provided space so she could put her collection on display.  But as the collection grew - she estimates she now has 1,500 items - operating it as a traveling museum became increasingly difficult.  The exhibit was provided with free space in the Gateway Mall to permanently house her collection. Johnson opened the doors to assorted visitors, including representatives from the Duval County school system.

The project is being cosponsored by the African Scientific Institute.  The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. Admission will be free, but donations will be welcomed.  (The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville.com, July 1, 2010)

Support AAEA Kenya Office - 3 Proposals/General Support

Boaz Adhengo, left, is working very hard to address environmental issues in Kenya.  The AAEA Kenya Office needs your help to assure that we can accomplish our environmental mission in Kenya.  Help today. Give a small or large general support donation or support one of the proposals below.

Click on the Donate button and donate.

Education & Environment Proposal

The purpose of the project is:

1. To support civil society organizations in the rural areas and the Government of Kenya to participate meaningfully in the climate change debates at the international level, including Conferences of Parties (COP).
2. To strengthen the civil society to campaign for good policies that are designed to help Kenya’s poor to adapt to climate change
3. To re-examine the present critique of the economic development as a main source of environmental crises;
4. To explore the thought and representations of crisis awareness of rural Kenya, especially on ecological aspects;
5. To determine the ways in which mitigation ideas of the relationship between humanity, nature and science provide a starting point for a renewal of environmental ethics and for rethinking ideas of sustainability

Medical Advisory Support Services for the Maringo Community in Kenya

Objectives of the Project:

The objective of this project is therefore to organize a medical seminar that will be delivered freely to a target group. It is planned that this medical seminar will follow up with arranging for the implementation of a medical camp where minor illnesses could be treated and sensitization on key medical issues can be addressed. The main beneficiaries will be the youth and parents of Maringo village who have greater trust on ‘Mwarubaini for its popularity on having a capability to treat forty diseases as confirmed by herbal doctors.

Increased Access For Women in Kenya

Objective of the Project:

Access to education for girls remains a challe
nge in Kuria district due to poverty, retrogressive cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and a general negative attitude towards educating girls. It is important that these causes are addressed to ensure gender equity in education. This program works towards eliminating the root causes of inequalities in access to education.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kendrick Meek, Environmentalists & the 2010 Election

PRESIDENT'S CORNER

By Norris McDonald

Kendrick Meek
Environmentalists are dissing Congressman Kendrick Meek.  Big time.  The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) should take note that as they have been the highest voting caucus in Congress for the past 40 years, mainstream environmentalists will betray them in an opportunistic heartbeat.  Exhibits A, B & C are Robert Kennedy, Jr., Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters, respectively.

Kennedy endorsed Republican Crist, the Sierra Club endorsed Meek AND Crist (in essence a Crist endorsement, so Meek rejected the Sierra Club endorsement), and  LCV 'virtually' endorsed Crist.  They might grow a pair and actually come right out and endorse Crist before the election.  Although Crist has been good on a couple of environmental issues, Meek has a 100 percent voting record with the national League of Conservation Voters. Jeez. Meek has also consistently opposed expanded offshore oil drilling (AAEA has been consistent in opposing expanded offshore drilling too).

Charlie Crist
Robert Kennedy, Jr. endorsed Charlie Crist at a press conference in Florida.  Wow.  He basically flipped Meek off with a brush off the shoulders.  Said he couldn't win so 'there.'  Tony Massaro, LCV’s senior vice president for political affairs, told POLITICO that Crist is “absolutely an option,” explaining, “He’s been a leader on Everglades.  Though LCV hedged their bet, like the Sierra Club by not 'going RFK, Jr.'

Are you paying attention CBC? 

Meek's rejection of the Sierra Club's spineless dual endorsement showed real class.  And principle.  Meek is a stand up guy.  State tropper stock.   How can Kennedy, LCV and the Sierra Club back Crist when Meek would have a real shot if CRIST did not muddy the waters by polluting the general election by running as an independent because he knew he could not win his own party's nomination?  Do these environementalists have no shame?  No honor? No loyalty?  Evidently not.  I just hope that Kendrick Meek has a very long memory.  I hope the CBC does too.