1 Newsletter of Alexandria, VA Branch #7043 Spring 2009 Newsletter of Alexandria, VA Branch #7043 But the portions of the act that deal with election districts have proven more confusing and controversial. In 1982, Congress revised the The U. S. Supreme Court limited the reach of law to say states may not deprive minority voters the Voting Rights Act on March 8, ruling that of the opportunity to “elect representatives of there is no duty to draw voting districts that will elect black candidates in areas where blacks are Until today, there has been a dispute over In a 5-4 decision, the court said officials need not consider race when drawing districts for state lawmakers may not divide up a solidly minority legislatures, county boards, city councils and community and thereby deprive black or Latino school districts, so long as blacks do not make up voters of electing the “representative of their a voting majority in a particular area.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, speaking for At the same time, however, the law does not the court, said the law can “hasten the waning of require officials to try to create a “cross-over racism in American politics” by making race less district,” where a sizable minority population and of factor in drawing electoral districts.
some whites would likely elect a black candidate, “cross-over district” in North Carolina where an area that had a 39% black population elected a challenged the “cross-over district” in the black representative to the state’s General southeastern part of the state because it combined voters from two counties. The North Carolina State lawmakers believed the Voting Rights Supreme Court agreed with the challengers and Act required them to draw districts that would said state law forbid breaking up counties.
give black candidates a realistic chance of In their appeal, North Carolina lawmakers said they were following the mandate of the But in the court’s opinion, the court said they had misread the law. It said the law applies The Supreme Court disagreed and affirmed “only when a geographically compact group of the state court ruling. Chief Justice John G. minority voters cold form a majority in a single- Roberts Jr. And Justices Antonio Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. Joined The decision arose under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the landmark law that made voting In dissent, Justice David H. Souter said the rights a reality for blacks in the south. Until ruling takes a step backward because it will passage of the act, states and counties had used discourage “minority-opportunity districts” in schemes to bar blacks from registering and which blacks or Latinos can win with the support 2 Newsletter of Alexandria, VA Branch #7043 Spring 2009 challenging the Section 5 preclearance provision Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said the ruling “dealt a of the Act. The Petitioner sought to end its serious blow to the progress of the civil rights responsibility for having its voting changes movement” by limiting the application of the reviewed (through what is termed a “bailout”) and, more importantly, to have this core provision declared unconstitutional. Last spring, argument in a closely watched challenge to the U.S. District Court for the District of another part of the Voting Rights Act which Columbia unequivocally rejected the Petitioner’s requires Southern officials to obtain the claims that it was exempt from the preclearance permission of the Justice Department before provision, and concluded that Section 5 is making changes in their election rules. The court will also decide whether Congress exceeded its authority in 2006 by extending the restrictions Each time the court has reviewed the law since it was first passed 44 years ago, it has NAACP gives General Assembly an “F” for agreed with Congress that the restrictions are failing to deal with significant issues during the session that ended Feb 28. Salim Khalfani, Executive Director of Virginia State Conference and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDEF), joined by NAACP, decried the legislature for rejecting bills to permit the early voting which is common on Education Fund (MALDEF), Texas RioGrande 32 states and criticized the General Assembly for Legal Aid, and People for the American Way, rejecting strong legislation that would require filed a brief in Northwest Austin Municipal private citizens selling weapons at gun shows to Utility District Number One v. Holder, urging conduct background checks on buyers as licensed the Supreme Court to reject a constitutional challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act As for payday lenders and their sky-high interest rates, he lamented that Virginia continues Section 5, regarded by many as the heart of to roll out the welcome mat. Mr. Khalfani the Voting Rights Act, both blocks and deters recalled the hard work that went into passing a discriminatory voting changes in a select number reform law last year to restrict such loans. But of jurisdictions around the country. Specifically, he noted that it took until Jan. 1 for the law to go Section 5 requires jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination in voting to submit new proposed voting changes to the Department of Justice or to the D.C. District Court for pre-approval. After careful review of an expansive record, Congress concluded that the Section 5 preclearance provision is still necessary to prevent minority citizens from being deprived of Assistance from the branch was requested in the right to fully participate in our democracy. the following matters: man charged with assault on police officer and DUI; an inmate stating he bipartisan support, Congress voted to reauthorize was assaulted; a black Muslim refused Islamic diet while in detention center; child suspended at school; help with a complaint made by employee Days after the reauthorization, the Petitioner of Virginia Department of Health Professions; (a small Austin-based utility district) filed suit man contesting a failure to appear court cost; 3 Newsletter of Alexandria, VA Branch #7043 Spring 2009allege discrimination in mortgage foreclosure, said Dr. Jack Jacoub, a medial oncologist at Fountain Valley. Prostate cancer is the second- before the deadline, Alicia Hughes and Rich leading cause of cancer deaths among men, Williamson filed to run as Independents in the behind lung cancer, with 186,000 new cases May 5 City Council election broadening the race for six Council seats. Hughes, who works at the Finasteride is used in low doses under the band U.S. Patent and Trade Office as a pharmaceutical name Propecia as an anti-balding drug and under and biotechnology patent examiner, is a federal worker and is barred from endorsing a political shrinking enlarged prostate glands. The drug interferes with the production of male hormones, Williamson is a senior project manager at the starving the tumors of fuel they need to grow. Pentagon specializing in business process engineering and system architecture.
dutasteride, or Avodart, is thought to be even May 5 ballot: Mayor Bill Euille will run more potent and is undergoing clinical trials for unopposed. Incumbents - Rob Krupicka (D), Tim Lovain (D), Vice Mayor Del Pepper (D), Paul Smedberg (D) and Justin Wilson (D). AFFAIRS: Military Officers Association of Challengers: Phil Cefaratti (R), Kerry Donley America (MOAA’s) Career Fair, April 28 at the (D), Frank Fannon (R), Alicia Hughes (I), and Washington, D.C. open to all active and former May 5 School Board ballot: candidates for District A are Helen Morris, Mimi Carter, Bill Campbell, and incumbents Scott Newsham and www.moaa/org/careerfair If you are unable to Sheryl Gorsuch. Other candidates are Yvonne Folkers, Arthur Peabody, Ronnie Campbell and [email protected] with “career fair resume” in the subject line, so it can be included on a George Mason University School of Public Policy gave a briefing at the branch’s general outlined key details of a $75 billion housing membership meeting on Mar 4. He summarized rescue plan expected to help as many as 9 million the 2008 presidential election and explained how his office checks to see the level of racism.
details, borrowers who want to qualify for the Howard, Esq. attended a school superintendent loan modification plan will have to provide proof of financial need and payment ability, including an affidavit of financial hardship, their most recent tax return and two pay stubs. The program concerned enough about the risk of prostate will apply to loans made on or before Jan. 1, cancer to undergo annual PSA screening should 2009 and modifications will be allowed only consider taking the drug finasteride daily to once. Those with first mortgages of more than reduce their risk of developing the disease, said $729,750 do not qualify. Homeowners with a Dr. Barnett S. Kramer of the National Institutes solid payment history on mortgages held or of Health. The most likely initial candidates to owned by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will be take the drug would be men who are African eligible to refinance into more affordable terms. American or who have a father or brother with the disease, factors which sharply increase risk, refinance even if they have less than 20% equity 4 Newsletter of Alexandria, VA Branch #7043 Spring 2009in their homes. An appraisal may be necessary. The program will end in 2010. Lenders and Cultural Festival, City Hall Market Square. Membership and voter registration table set-up.
Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce creates Speaker: Rev. Joseph Lowery, co-founder with opportunities for business and entrepreneurs to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of Southern Christian build networks, obtain practical professional development, and gain the skills to strategically grow their companies. Address: P O Box 6265, Alexandria, VA 22306 703-879-2770/FAX 703- Executive Committee at 6:30 p.m. and Regular Membership Meeting at 7:30 p.m., Charles Houston Recreation Center, 901 Wythe Street, James W. Cisco, passed away Mar 21 at the Alexandria Hospital. He was the husband of Madelene W. Cisco, father of Dr. Michele Cisco Titi, grandfather of O. Lysette and Bangon J. K. Titi. He mentored young people, served on city boards and commissions and was a supporter of many charities. He was a life member of the NAACP and served on its Executive Committee. Service was held at Alfred Street Baptist Church on Mar 27. Interment in Quantico National Cemetery on Apr 1.
May 5 - Election of City Council and School Jun 9 - Primary election - Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Virginia House of Delegates, Commonwealth’s Attorney, and Sheriff [if called by the political party committee]. Candidates for Governor are Democrats former Del. Brian J. Moran, D-Alexandria, Terry McAuliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, and Republican Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell July 11-16, National Convention, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY. “We are One Hundred!” includes NAACP Centennial Gala July 14-15, NAACP Diversity Job Fair, New


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