Presumed Guilty

December 16, 2013 Front Page No Comments

presumed guilty Hello, my name is Richard  Leckie and I am a person  with a felony record living  in the  United States of  America. Those very  words can describe a few  things. It can define  policies that have disproportionately affected African American males for more than  a generation. It can illustrate the lingering effects of Jim Crow Laws on the Black  community as a whole.

According to a recent article posted on MSNBC online, over 5 million individuals are  barred from voting due to criminal records. That’s three times the margin of victory  from the last house midterm elections. This becomes extremely significant when you look at the recent government shutdown. It shows just how important it is to elect officials who actually have their constituents best interest in mind.

The League of Young Voters has been working feverishly to address this issue. Felon disenfranchisement has hampered our efforts to engage some members of the community in the democratic process guaranteed in our U.S. Constitution. These laws hinder the growth and re-integration of citizens with criminal records.

Join the League of Young Voters’ fight to bring lawmakers and individuals with prior felony convictions to the table to fight together to repeal these laws.

Visit and like Facebook page for Ex-Felons who exercise their right to VOTE

 

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Get Up, Get Out, Get Something

October 11, 2013 Front Page No Comments

by Casey Thomas

There was a popular rap group by the name of Outkast, known by its two members Andre 3000 and Big Boi,  that transformed hiphop music in the 90’s. Many credit the ATL artists with bringing Southern hiphop music into the mainstream. Outkast rapped about a variety of topics such as growing up in Atlanta and serious  issues that were important to Black America during this time period. One of their most acclaimed songs “Git Up, Git Out,” spread quickly in popularity across the country and still holds klout today.

The song was about growing into adulthood after graduating from high school and not just sitting around in  ‘your Momma’s living room all day’. They inspired their fans to go off to college or get a job so that  young brothers would be able to have their own place and take care of their own responsibilities.

I write about this because we are seeing across America, especially in southern states, an effort to undo the progress that has been made over the past half-century. Many of the gains from home ownership to wealth-building to voting and human rights are being destroyed at the state level.

We can sit back and allow this to be done or we can do like the song said: get up, get out and get something! Keep reading to find out how you can help…

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The League of Young Voters Take on Gun Violence in Milwaukee with its 9th Annual Put the Guns Down Festival

August 20, 2013 Front Page No Comments

On Sunday, September 1, 2013, the Wisconsin chapter of the League of Young Voters will hold its annual “Put the Guns Down Festival” at King Park (1531 W Vliet Avenue).

With 23 shootings in Milwaukee in the first week in August, the League is organizing to decrease gun violence in the city. The event will welcome residents of the city of Milwaukee to attend a day of family-friendly fun with local artists, food, recreation area for kids to play and PEACE.

“We are bringing hope back to our communities while providing free food, school supplies, and an amazing performance and video shoot by Milwaukee’s own Ray Nitti,” executive director, Rob “Biko” Baker said.

In addition to Ray Nitti, Former Bucks cheerleader, Destiny Love will teach attendees choreographed steps to be featured in the remix to Ray Nitti’s hit song “Lights Down Low.”

The day will kick off with a parade at 11:00 a.m., followed by the main festival from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m.. After the main festival, Ray Nitti, will perform and shoot the video for his hit song “Lights Down Low” and the festival will conclude with a dance party.

Put the Guns Down Festival Poster

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Beyond the Verdict: What Black America Must Do Now

By Casey Thomas

I’m not a writer, I just have something to say. Unfortunately, a few weekends ago, I was speechless and stunned by the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. After hearing the makeup of the jury and the remarks of juror B-37, I should not have been. Like most of those in black America, I went through a grieving process as I questioned the thought process of this jury. The jury was made up of all women, in which five of the six were white women who share more of life experiences with George Zimmerman than Trayvon Martin.

It was obvious from her comments that she lived in a different reality from Trayvon Martin. From the affectionate way in which she referred to George Zimmerman as “George,” to the way that she referred to Trayvon Martin as “that boy.” When she shared in her interview that five out of the six jurors believed that Zimmerman was the person yelling for help on the 911 call, I knew that he would probably get off.

I believe it lifted the spirits of black Americans throughout the country to see President Barack Obama, step to the podium at his press briefing and share before the nation he how knows what it feels like to be racially profiled. How as recently as nine years ago, even though he was chair of the Harvard Law Review, an Illinois State Senator, and a well-respected leader in the Chicago community, he had people follow him as he went into a department store. He eloquently stated that Trayvon Martin could have been him 35 years ago, and how it was important for us as a nation to check our personal biases. The fact that now is the time to create opportunities of success for young black boys and men, and how we need to look in the mirror and address black-on-black crime.

These remarks came on the eve of the call for rallies in over 100 cities throughout the United States by the National Action Network (NAN), led by the Rev. Al Sharpton. Here in Dallas, the Rev. Dr. Frederick Haynes, III, Pastor of Friendship West Baptist Church and head of Dallas NAN called a rally at Dallas City Hall to address issues that affect black men beyond the verdict in the trial.

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