Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
Assemblymember Steven Bradford recently shepherded Assembly Bill 1384 through the Assembly Appropriations Committee and onto the Assembly floor. If the bill is approved by the full assembly, as well as by the Senate, it will empower state officials to expunge misdemeanor convictions, as they see fit. “California spends more money on prisons than it does on higher education, and that must change,” Assemblymember Bradford said. “The state’s large prison population and high recidivism rate puts a significant financial burden on the state. With our current budget crisis, we need to find ways to save money. Being smart on crime is one way to do that. It is just good public policy to provide prior offenders with an opportunity to find employment, so they can be productive tax-paying citizens.”
On May 26, South Florida will host the inaugural Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) “Distinguished Young Leader” Awards. This event will be held at the Epic Hotel in Biscayne Bay and feature a dinner and cocktail reception. The “Distinguished Young Leader” awards is part of TMCF’s regional “Award of Excellence” program, which honors deserving individuals across the country. Honorees are chosen based on their proven leadership, community involvement, professional and civic excellence, as well as their contributions to education and diversity.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit recently ruled in favor of a class of more than 6,000 qualified African American firefighter applicants who were unfairly denied the opportunity to work for the Chicago Fire Department. Last spring, after more than a decade of litigation, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. (LDF) won a unanimous victory for the African American firefighter applicants in the Supreme Court. Between 1996 and 2002, Chicago hired more than 1,000 firefighters using the results of a test that unjustifiably excluded qualified African American applicants. Although the city knew this from the outset, it used the test results for the next six years to hire eleven disproportionately White firefighter classes.