Saturday, April 28, 2018

Brown University to Present 'Race, Memory and Memorialization'

 Acclaimed Author and Journalist Herb Boyd
Will Broach the Subject in a Special Address

In the wake of Charlottesville, communities across the nation are reevaluating memorials and the history that they represent. On the occasion of the its fifth anniversary, the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University (CSSJ) will be organizing the conference: Race, Memory, and Memorialization. 

This conference, taking place May 4 through May 5, will examine the activism behind the Southern Freedom Movement and critically question the way the Civil Rights Movement has been represented through memorials and exhibitions.  

Click here for additional information and to RSVP. 

Source: Brown University

Cop Killer Herman Bell Released From Prison After 44 Years

PBA Statements Following the Release of Herman Bell

This video was published on YouTube on April 27. 

Source: PBA

Pain and Terror: America Remembers Its Past

This report was published on YouTube on April 26. 

More than 4,400 enslaved black men, women and children were lynched by white mobs between 1877 and 1950. As America’s first memorial and museum dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people opens in Montgomery, Alabama, Guardian US chief reporter Ed Pilkington meets founder and racial justice lawyer Bryan Stevenson. 

Source: The Guardian

Karen Korematsu: 'My Father Resisted Japanese Internment. Trump’s Travel Ban is Just as Unfair'

Source: Democracy Now!

Confederate Monuments Are Going Down. Lynching Memorials Are Going Up.

The following was submitted by the editorial staff of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)

The markers are about the size of a man. The color of bricks made from Alabama’s red clay, they hang from the roof, one for every county in America where a person was lynched.

Appearing first at eye level, the markers read like headstones. But as the floor descends, they hang ever more ominously overhead, until visitors are forced to crane their necks — like the spectators who once gawked at the mutilated bodies of the black men and women who had been hung.

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the nation’s first major memorial to the victims of lynching during the era of Jim Crow, opened this week in Montgomery, Alabama. It’s intended to help our country confront the racial atrocities of the past so that we can begin the path toward reconciliation.

The memorial is the culmination of years of research by our friends at the Equal Justice Initiative, (EJI) a legal aid organization that fights for racial justice. Its researchers pored through countless archives to document the extent of a racist terror campaign that lasted for some 70 years and, for a period of three decades, averaged two or three lynchings a week.

EJI founder Bryan Stevenson and his staff identified 4,400 victims of lynching, and paid tribute in the memorial to the thousands more whose names will never be known.

“There was a very deliberate effort to cover the truth about lynching,” said NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill from the stage this week at EJI’s two-day Peace and Justice Summit. Ifill continued:

There was a compact within the white community not to talk about it. In black communities, you didn’t talk about it because of fear. The black community had to fight to keep the story alive, but we didn’t have video. You can’t unsee Walter Scott running, getting shot in the back. You can’t unsee Eric Garner getting choked to death. Gaslighting that we didn’t see what we saw undermined the black community, but now, we can see.

Near the memorial, EJI’s companion Legacy Museum tells more of the story. Situated along Montgomery’s historic riverfront, it sits just a block from what once was one of the largest slave markets in the country and on the site of a warehouse where slaves were imprisoned as they were bought and sold. The museum connects the past of white supremacy, enslavement and lynching to the racial injustice and police brutality we still see today.

For the writer and scholar Jelani Cobb, the present is intimately related to that past:

For the work we do in the present, it seems possible to see the fingerprints of those lynchings with Stephon Clark, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland losing their lives at the hands of the police in a way they shouldn’t. Lynching and mob violence, the roots of it go deeper than the roots of the country itself. Slavery’s roots outsource violence to the community, to reinforce the place of black people in this country. The implications of that steady drip of terrorism over those years, the nadir after slavery, the institution of Jim Crow, sharecropping, the revocation of the right to vote, they produced a new form of slavery. But I also think of these as Ida B. Wells years, years when W.E.B. DuBois produced some of his best work, years when black fraternities and sororities were launching their vision of social justice. That’s why it’s important to understand EJI in that — the nadir — the point when our greatest heroes and challengers have done their most important work.

We’re incredibly proud of our neighbors at EJI for their work in raising the National Memorial for Peace and Justice on a six-acre site overlooking the Alabama Capitol.

As Michelle Alexander said at the summit this week, “What’s happening is the birth of a new nation, a time in our history when Confederate monuments are going down and memorials like this are going up.”

Thanks to the EJI staff’s dogged pursuit of the truth, we’re able to honor here the victims of lynching in the city we share with them:

Ike Cook, 08/10/1890
Oliver Jackson, 03/29/1894
Robert Williams, 02/15/1896
John Dell, 10/07/1910
Harry Russell, 08/18/1915
Kit Jackson, 08/18/1915
Miles Phifer, 09/29/1919
Robert Croskey, 09/29/1919
John Temple, 09/30/1919
Wilbur Smith, 03/11/1920
Grant Cole, 12/16/1925
Otis Parham, 06/17/1934

Friday, April 27, 2018

President Trump and Chancellor Merkel Joint News Conference

President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a joint news conference at the White House where they answered questions on the historic talks between North and South Korea, trade relations with Europe and the Iran nuclear deal. He told reporters that Iran “will not be doing nuclear weapons” but didn’t go any further to say whether he’ll pull out the nuclear deal. He also said that he “may go” to the U.S. embassy opening in Jerusalem.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

House Rejects Resolution to Investigate Chaplain's Dismissal

Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley introduces a privileged resolution of the House to establish a select committee to investigate Speaker Paul Ryan's decision to dismiss the chamber's chaplain. Rev. Patrick Conroy, who was appointed in May 2011 by Speaker John Boehner is the first Jesuit and only the second Catholic appointed to serve in the position. He will step down in May. The resolution was later tabled by the full House. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Secretary of State Pompeo NATO News Conference

 Click here for video.

The Search for a Veterans Affairs Secretary

Military Times Capitol Hill Bureau Chief Leo Shane talked about what’s facing the Trump administration as it searches for a candidate to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Click here for video. 

Sources: C-SPAN and Military Times 

Bill Cosby Is Found Guilty of Sexual Assault. Will R. Kelly Be Next?

Maybe the answer to how we solve a problem like Cosby, and in turn R. Kelly, is that we stop allowing black men who abuse the black community to thrive.

By Ira Madison III

Three years ago, 35 women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault appeared on the cover of New York magazine. It had been decades longer for many of the women who came forward to say they were drugged and raped by the once-beloved sitcom star. And it was only now, this week, that they received any type of justice.

A jury Thursday found Cosby guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, home back in 2005. He now faces up to 30 years in prison.

The verdict stripped away the last remnants of The Cosby Show’s Cliff Huxtable—a façade that always had its shortcomings. The show presented a pristine image of an upwardly mobile black family, but rarely showed the working class black family members that real-life upper class black families are never too far removed from. It was also dripping with respectability politics—a flaw that became clearer in the mid-2000s when Cosby delivered his infamous “pound cake” speech.

As described by The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer, “Given at a 2004 NAACP event commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the decision striking down segregated public schools, Cosby mixed a familiar message of black empowerment with a palpable disgust for what he described as black lower-class norms and behavior.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Daily Beast

SPLC Settlement to End Mississippi Debtors' Prison

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has reached a settlement with the city of Corinth, Mississippi, to shut down its modern-day debtors’ prison. The city has agreed to stop jailing low-income defendants who can’t pay a fine or money bail for minor offenses. It will release most people appearing in city court on their own recognizance and will allow defendants unable to pay their fines in full a choice between a $25 monthly payment plan or community service.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: SPLC

Florida Groups Unite, Ramp Up Focus on Puerto Ricans, a Pivotal Voting Bloc

by Carmen Sesin

MIAMI, Fla. — In December, Sheraly González, 29, arrived in Orlando from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria left her 8-year-old son, who has ADHD, without therapy for months.

“He was regressing in Puerto Rico,” she said.

Rebuilding their lives in Florida made González nervous, anxious, and even depressed. But life has begun to normalize. Her husband found a job in Disney World and their two children have enrolled in schools.

The family is still living in a hotel room provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). They have not been able to muster up enough money to cover the security deposit as well as first and last month rents required for most apartments.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

House Intelligence Committee Releases Full Report on Russia Investigation

by Mike Memoli

WASHINGTON — The House Intelligence Committee on Friday released the final full report on its controversial investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, detailing work that led Republicans to conclude there was no evidence of collusion with the Trump campaign.

Democrats on the committee said the final 250-page document only shows the lengths to which GOP leaders went to shield President Donald Trump and his top allies from scrutiny, and used their own rebuttal to introduce to the public new information about repeated Russian efforts to establish contact with key Trump campaign officials and Trump himself.

And they say Republicans refused to press key witnesses for further testimony or documentation that might have further established the Trump campaign’s complicity in an effort to tilt the election against Hillary Clinton.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

How Bernie Sanders Uses Social Media to Reach a Larger Audience

Source: CBS News

Concerns Grow Over Foreign Influence in Bosnia

Source: euronews.

Turkey Dismisses Call for Greek Soldiers to Be Released from Detention

Source: euronews.

California Prepares for the 'Big One' (FRANCE 24 English Special Report)

Is Peace on the Horizon Between North and South Korea?

Central American Migrants in Mexico Hoping to Cross Border to US

Conference in Paris Held on Combatting Terror Financing

UN Calls for De-escalation at Gaza-Israel Border

Why Armenians Have Been Protesting Against the Republican Party

Mayor de Blasio Presents Fiscal Year 2019 Executive Budget

This video was published on YouTube on April 26. 

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

City Scoop: Fair Student Funding, Central Park Car Free, MTA City's Detailed Contribution

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Over $2 Million in Funding to Be Awarded to Help New York Farms

Nearly $2.2 million will be awarded to 34 farms across the state through the Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program. Launched by the Governor in 2015, the program helps farms reduce their operational impact on the environment and better prepare for and recover after extreme weather events. Through three rounds of funding to date, the state has provided $5.1 million to 40 total projects, assisting nearly 70 farms.

"Extreme weather can take a toll on our farms, and with unpredictable storms on the rise across the state, this funding is critical in helping New York farmers invest in preventative and resilient infrastructure," said Governor Andrew Cuomo. "These investments will allow our agriculture businesses to fight back against climate change, reduce the environmental footprint of their operations, and support our efforts to create a stronger, more sustainable Empire State."

Awarded projects in the Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes, Central New York, North Country, Western New York, and Southern Tier regions focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and promoting energy savings and soil health. They also increase irrigation capacity and emphasize water management to mitigate the effects of periods of drought on crops and livestock, as well as heavy rainfall and flooding.

County Soil and Water Conservation Districts were awarded grants on behalf of farmers in one of the following project categories: agricultural waste storage cover and flare, on-farm water management, and soil health systems.

Click here for the full announcement. 

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Afro.Germany: Being Black and German

This video was published on YouTube on March 29, 2017.

Black and German: news anchor Jana Pareigis has spent her entire life being asked about her skin color. What is it like to be black in Germany? What needs to change?

Source: DW Documentary

Travel Ban Blocks U.S. Citizen From Bringing Yemeni Daughter with Cerebral Palsy to U.S. For Care

Source: Democracy Now!

Bill Cosby Found Guilty in Sexual Assault Retrial

In a retrial, Bill Cosby has been convicted of drugging and molesting a woman. The panel of seven men and five women deliberated for about 14 hours at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. The 80-year-old comedian was accused of drugging and violating Canadian Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

Source: CBC News 

UCCA: Remembering Chornobyl 32 Years On

The following statement was issued today by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA).

New York – Thirty-two years ago, the worst nuclear disaster in history resulted from the ruthless exploitation of Ukraine and its people by an imperialistic Russian regime that continuously manifests a callous disregard for human life. Releasing 400 times more radioactive material than the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, the explosion in the early morning hours of April 26, 1986, caused irreparable harm to Ukraine and its people.

The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the largest representation of Ukrainians in America, commemorates this tragedy annually, offering our prayers for all the victims killed by this tragedy and all those who continue to suffer from its effects.  This year, we once again call upon the international community to join UCCA in ensuring that the ongoing needs of the victims are never forgotten. In light of Russia’s continued and blatant disregard for humanity, as evidenced by the consequences of their illegal occupation of Crimea and their ongoing aggression in Eastern Ukraine, we will continue our call for justice in the name of the Kremlin’s victims.

The explosion that occurred in the fourth reactor of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant took place just 64 miles north of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. It was only after radiation levels set off alarms at a nuclear power plant in Sweden two days later, that the Soviet authorities issued any acknowledgement of the disaster. The totalitarian communist regime, however, refused to provide any concrete details in an attempt to conceal the explosion’s magnitude. In its blatant disregard for human life, Moscow allowed thousands of innocent Ukrainians, including schoolchildren, oblivious to the dangers emanating from Chornobyl, to participate in the planned May Day parade five days following the explosion. The terrible impact of the Chornobyl disaster is still felt to this day, with adverse effects on the health of many people, not to mention the ecological and economic strains on the Ukrainian nation.

On this 32nd commemoration of that terrible tragedy at Chornobyl, let us never forget this crime against humanity that forever changed Ukraine and the world.  

Video source: UATV English

Cynthia Nixon's Buffalo Press Conference (Full Video)

Cynthia Nixon made her first trip to Buffalo on April 25 as a candidate for New York governor.

Source: WKBW TV - Buffalo, New York

Senate Confirms C.I.A. Chief Mike Pompeo to Be Secretary of State

By Gardiner Harris and Thomas Kaplan

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday easily confirmed Mike Pompeo as the nation’s 70th secretary of state, elevating the current C.I.A. director and an outspoken foreign policy hawk to be the nation’s top diplomat.

In the end, the 57-to-42 tally lacked the drama of other nail-biting confirmation votes in the Trump era. Earlier this week, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, the nominee’s main Republican antagonist, bowed to pressure from President Trump to drop his objections. Ultimately, seven members of the Senate Democratic caucus — five of whom face re-election this year in states that Mr. Trump won in 2016 — joined a united Republican conference to support Mr. Pompeo’s confirmation.

Click here for the full article. 

Statement from The President 

I am pleased with the Senate’s confirmation of Mike Pompeo to serve as our country’s top diplomat. Having a patriot of Mike’s immense talent, energy, and intellect leading the Department of State will be an incredible asset for our country at this critical time in history. He will always put the interests of America first. He has my trust. He has my support. Today, he has my congratulations on becoming America’s 70th Secretary of State.

Sources: The New York Times and The White House Press Office 

President Trump Remarks on Wounded Warrior Ride

Click here for video. 

Source: C-SPAN

House Speaker Ryan Holds Press Briefing

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) fields questions on a range of issues, including allegations against EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson, who has withdrawn from consideration as secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN 

Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Bill to Protect Mueller

by Mike Memoli and Frank Thorp V

WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to advance legislation designed to make it more difficult for any president to dismiss a special counsel, a signal to President Donald Trump amid Robert Mueller's ongoing Russia probe.

Four Republicans, including committee chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, voted with all 10 of the panel's Democrats to send the bill to the Senate floor. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he won't allow the full chamber to vote on it, saying in an interview last week, "We’ll not be having this on the floor of the Senate."

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News

Dr. Ronny Jackson Withdraws as VA Secretary Nominee

Source: CBS News

Secretly Taped Audio Shows Democratic Leader Pressuring Candidate to Drop Out of Race

Source: CBS News

HUD Proposes Rent Increases for Americans on Housing Assistance

Source: CBS News

North and South Korea Gear Up for Historic Summit

Source: CBS News

Is GDP the Best Way to Measure an Economy?

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Daniela Vega Blazes a Trail for Transgender Rights

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Goma Families Terrorised by Wave of Child Abductions

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Eye on Africa: South African Unions Strike Over Proposed Minimum Wage

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Top Trump Fundraiser Caught Working for Assad Ally

He’s reportedly ‘closer to the president than perhaps any other lobbyist in town.’ So why is Brian Ballard taking cash from a member of Assad’s inner circle?

By Betsy Woodruff and Adam Rawnsley

Brian Ballard, viewed by some as the lobbyist closest to President Donald Trump, is working for an ally of Syria’s brutal dictator, Bashar al-Assad.

Ballard’s firm, Ballard Partners, disclosed on March 15 that it has taken on a Dubai-based trading company called ASM International General Trading LLC as a client. A Daily Beast analysis of open source materials—including website registration information, leaked offshore investment documents, and résumé sites—indicates that ASM International General Trading is affiliated with a member of Syria’s wealthy Foz family of international businessmen, which reportedly has close links to the Assad regime.

Reached for comment, Ballard told The Daily Beast his firm will cut ties with the company if it has links to Assad.

“We’re going to do more due diligence,” Ballard said. “We’re not the CIA, but if it were to turn out that there was any connection at all, we would withdraw from our representation of the Dubai trading company.”

Ballard’s firm also represents an anti-Assad group, according to disclosure filings.

“We also represent a group of Syrian-American doctors and others who want a Syria free of Assad, which we fully support,” Ballard added. “We’ve lobbied for that and we’ve never lobbied anything but that, and never been asked to, out of fairness to the trading company.”

Representatives for the Foz family did not respond to requests for comment.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Daily Beast

'I'm Shocked, Shocked (About the Libby Commutation), Not'

 I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby

Introduction: This is the first in an occasional series that I will be running of columns that I published both on OpEdNews and other sites, that bear relevance to current events. There will be very slight, if any, editing, and contemporaneous notes in [ ]. I wrote this one, in 2007, on the commutation by Pres. George W. Bush of the sentence that Scooter Libby received for lying and obstruction of Justice in the Valerie Plame case. The whole episode is, of course, now receiving wide publicity because President Trump has chosen to issue a full pardon to Libby. One still wonders if Libby was taking the fall for a higher-up (guess who?) just as any of the Trump lower-downs might, or might not, take the fall for him. This column was originally published on the old BuzzFlash, on July 10, 2007  

In the famous Humphrey Bogart/Ingrid Bergman movie Casablanca, the character Captain Renault of the French police is famously played by Claude Rains. Upon walking into Rick's (the Humphrey Bogart character) bar near the beginning of the movie, he famously says: "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here!" And so, the reaction among many on all sides of the political spectrum to the Libby commutation has been: "shocked, shocked" to find that it has happened.

How could Bush do this? After all, he has always been so strict on the question of commutations, and pardons too. It is so obviously political, or a payback, or a payoff, or a cover-up, or a bone for his "conservative" base, or he is reaching out at least halfway to Sean Hannity (who is saying that well, it's OK, but now Bush should really go and do the right [in both senses, I guess] thing and pardon the guy." [Oh my! Hannity was involved in that one, too!]) Yes, it is obviously most of those things and probably all of them.

For example, on July 3, the well-known journalist and author Robert Parry said: "President Bush's decision to spare Scooter Libby from jail time represents the final step in a cover-up that began four years ago when Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top officials launched a campaign to discredit an American citizen for daring to question Bush's case for war in Iraq. . . . That criminal act was followed by lies to the public and an organized cover-up. By commuting Libby's sentence, Bush now has made sure that Libby will keep his mouth shut and that the full story will never be told."

Former Congresswoman and key Watergate impeachment protagonist Elizabeth Holtzman said: "The commutation undoes the simple application of justice. It's just one more example of how this administration believes that the president and his team can violate the law with impunity." 

Click here for the full article. 


'Future Hope' Column: Singing for Our Future in Cuomo’s Space

By Ted Glick 

“No revolutionary movement is complete without its poetical expression. If such a movement has caught hold of the imagination of the masses they will seek a vent in song for the aspirations, the fears and the hopes, the loves and the hatreds engendered by the struggle. Until the movement is marked by the joyous, defiant, singing of revolutionary songs, it lacks one of the most distinctive marks of a popular revolutionary movement, it is the dogma of a few, and not the faith of the multitude." 

        - James Connolly, Irish Republican and socialist, leader of the 1916 Easter uprising in Dublin

Yes, it was great that the upwards-of-2000 people who marched and rallied on a Monday in Albany, NY two days ago were a multi-cultural mix, one of the stronger mixes of cultures that I’ve seen at climate actions.

Yes, it was very good that the coalition which organized the action,, found a way to organize both a permitted march and rally and a significant nonviolent civil disobedience action. The cd action disrupted business-as-usual in the Governor’s office building, the Statehouse, for several hours and led to 56 arrests.

Yes, it was positive that Cuomo-challenger Cynthia Nixon was there with the rest of us, lending her fast-growing, Bernie-like campaign energy to the cuomowalkthetalk demands: stop all fracking infrastructure, move to 100% renewable energy and make corporate polluters pay.

And yes, it was encouraging to see the intergenerational mix, from very young kids up to grey-haired grandmothers and grandfathers.

But what I really liked the most, and which is very important going forward, was the joyous, loud, beautiful-sounding singing during the civil disobedience action, as we gathered in a big circle in a room, “The War Room,” on the same floor as the Governor’s office, and then as we sat in a nearby hallway in a very big oval-like circle, lifting our voices as if the future depended upon it.

Some of the singing was spontaneous, but a lot of it was led by Luke Nephew of the Peace Poets, throwing his body and soul into his song-leading as he moved rhythmically up and down within our oval.

There were new songs created specifically for this event, short on words and relatively simple in melody to make it easier for everyone to join in. 

Click here for the full article. 


Happening in Harlem: 'Jewel's Catch One' Screenings

Join ImageNation and its partners for a limited theatrical release of ARRAY Films latest release, "Jewel's Catch One" a documentary film from Director C. Fitz. 

Narrated by CCH Pounder, "Jewel's Catch One", is a lush visual and musical journey highlighted by exclusive interviews with Sharon Stone, Thelma Houston, Evelyn "Champagne" King, Madonna, Sandra Bernhard, Thea Austin, Jenifer Lewis, Representative Maxine Waters and Bonnie Pointer.

ARRAY, Ava DuVernay's distribution company, narrates this historically important film rich with music from the last forty years. 

Click on the flier to increase its size.

One of the original safe spaces for disenfranchised communities, The Catch also served as a refuge for many during the AIDS crisis. As her club grew to become known as the unofficial "Studio 54 of the West Coast," Jewel became a national model for how to fight discrimination and serve the less fortunate as she fought tirelessly against racism, homophobia and hate for over four decades.

Jewel built organizations such as The Minority AIDS Project nd Rue's House, the first shelter for women with AIDS and their children, and later in life started her own non-profit health clinic next door to the club called, The Village Health Foundation, wher she still works today. #legacy

The event will be hosted by Bonnie Harrison, Founder and CEO of SITIS Inc

Click here for additional information. 

Source: ImageNation 

PERB Announces Conference to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Taylor Law

The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) today announced a two-day conference to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Taylor Law, the law that grants public employees in New York State the right to collectively bargain with their employers while prohibiting strikes. 

Held in partnership with the School of Industrial Relations at Cornell University and the New York State Bar Association, the conference will showcase the Taylor Law’s substantial influence on public sector labor relations over the past half century. The conference will be held from May 10 to 11, 2018, at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Albany, New York.

The 50th anniversary conference will feature presentations by practitioners and scholars to illustrate the Taylor Law’s significant contributions to New York State public sector labor-management relations, examine and assess areas where the Law’s effectiveness has evolved, and document and analyze emerging and alternative legal and public policy models and frameworks. To register for the conference, visit

“The conference could not be more timely in view of the recent amendments to the Taylor Law, which seek to stabilize collective bargaining in the wake of an anticipated ruling by the Supreme Court in Janus v. AFSCME,” PERB Chair John Wirenius said. “We are excited about the wide range of panelists and speakers who will participate in this conference and exchange views on how to meet the challenges confronting both management and labor, as the Taylor Law and PERB enter their second half-century.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed landmark legislation to strengthen the rights of working men and women in New York State, increasing access to and protecting union membership in New York’s public-sector workplaces in anticipation of the pending Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court case.

The conference will include a plenary session discussing the potential legal and legislative ramifications of Janus v. AFSCME, along with keynote addresses from Professor Harry Katz of Cornell University and Professor Cynthia Estlund of the New York University School of Law.

Other plenary sessions will include:
the Taylor Law in Context: National and International Comparisons; a discussion with Former PERB Chairs reflecting on their time at PERB and the meaning of the Taylor Law; and the Taylor Law and Impasse Procedure:  Creative Resolution Despite Protraction

To view the full conference agenda, including information on presenters, click here

Passed by the New York State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Nelson Rockefeller, the Taylor Law became effective September 1, 1967, and served as one of the first comprehensive labor relations laws for public employees in the nation, guaranteeing the right of public employees to union representation and collective bargaining - whether employed by the State, or by counties, cities, towns, villages, school districts, public authorities or certain special service districts.

Additional information on the Taylor Law, the Public Employment Relations Board, and the 50th anniversary of the Taylor Law can be found on the PERB website at

Source: PERB

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Senate Confirms LGBTQ-Rights Opponent to Judgeship

by Brooke Sopelsa

The Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm Kyle Duncan to serve on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which covers Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. While several Republicans and conservatives applauded Duncan, a lawyer nominated by Presidential Donald Trump, a number of Democrats and liberal advocacy groups slammed him as “unfit” and “extreme."

Democrats questioned whether Duncan could be an impartial arbitrator given the cases he had worked on, which include defending a North Carolina voter ID law, fighting a contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act and defending Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

A Little Reminder for the TODAY Show....from 'The G-Man'

You know what they say about karma, right? Right!?

Macron in Washington: Can He Change Trump's Foreign Policy?

Source: FRANCE 24 English

White House Press Briefing

Source: The White House