WCP Story of the Week

THE WESTCHESTER COUNTY PRESS

The Westchester County Press is a weekly newspaper publishing positive stories about our community.

This week's stories...

New Kwanzaa Stamp Available

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Postal Service continues to celebrate Kwanzaa, which honors the values and beliefs around African American heritage, by dedicating a new Kwanzaa stamp today. News of this Forever stamp is being shared with hashtag #KwanzaaStamps. “This new Kwanzaa stamp captures the essence of the African American cultural celebration. The stamp depicts the profile of a reflective woman with a kinara, or candleholder, with seven lit candles in front of her,” said USPS Regional Processing Operations Eastern Vice President Dane Coleman, the dedicating official. “The stamp, which was hand-sketched and digitally colored, evokes a sense of inner peace with its cool tones and vibrant desi

2020 Census Update: Early Voting and Response Rates

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. With early voting occurring in more than 40 states across the U.S.A, more than 20 million voters have already cast their ballots. For New Yorkers, in-person early voting will begin on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 and run through Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. The Westchester County Board of Elections is encouraging early voting at 17 locations, in-person or by absentee ballot. Before heading to an early voting site, confirm you are registered to vote by visiting http:voterlookup.elections.ny.gov. Once confirmed, find a site and its operating hours by visiting https://citizenparticipation.westchestergov. com/voting/early-voting-2020. If you plan to vote with a

The Perfect Storm for Disaster – COVID, Winter, and Economic Slowdown

On October 2, the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued the last unemployment report we will see until after the election. Based on this report, Congress and the Senate must pass the HEROES Act that would give individuals, cities, and states much-needed relief from the corona recession, which continues. Some would say we don’t need those funds because we are in the middle of an economic recovery, but winter is coming. COVID is currently unchecked in ten states and close to containment in only four – Alaska, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and Vermont. With more people gathering inside during the winter, we are likely to see more COVID cases. We are not prepared. There seems to have been

Confirmation of Barrett will Mark the Point of No Return for Independence of Federal Courts

“The Supreme Court doesn’t have an army, and it has no power of the purse. Its power comes from the fact that the public accepts its decisions, even when it disagrees with them. The Supreme Court has of course always been a political institution, but if it’s going to retain its public legitimacy it can’t be seen as simply another wing of partisan politics. Supreme Court nominations have become far too politicized, but packing the Supreme Court weeks before a presidential election is different in kind. It’s not simply another stress test for our institutions — there’s a real risk it will break them. That is genuinely scary — not just for the Supreme Court, but for the basic functioning of our

Civil Rights Groups Oppose Fasttracked U. S. Supreme Court Nominee

October 16, 2020) -- One of the most consequential decisions that presidents make are lifetime federal judicial appointments at every level: circuit, appellate and the U.S. Supreme Court. The independent federal judiciary is charged with ensuring that the nation’s courts are fair to all people. Even the phrase “equal justice under law” is carved in the stone façade of the Supreme Court building. A recent American Bar Association blog states, “For the nation to continue to have trust in the integrity and independence of the federal judiciary, the process that places judges on the bench must be viewed as fair, unhurried and unbiased.” But for Black America and other communities of color, throu

DEADLY SERIOUS

Black folks’ struggle to exist in America is no game. It is deadly serious. The bloody opposition to our survival in this white dominated society is a daunting challenge for all people of color. Since arriving in the Americas as captive and enslaved human chattel, Black folk have suffered every conceivable deprivation of human rights, including rape and murder. Our entire history is ingrained with resistance to being ground into the dust by white supremacy. It is important to remember that the sons and daughters of Africa are not the only people to suffer so. The people of the First Nations who inhabited this land before European invaders stumbled upon it were slaughtered in countless number

It’s Up to Us to Defend the Black Vote

Just weeks before Election Day, with millions of people voting already, the Black vote is being attacked from every angle. After the Supreme Court’s conservatives gutted important parts of the Voting Rights Act a few years ago, many states controlled by right-wing Republicans went wild imposing restrictions on voter registration and voting. This year, they’re completely out of control. Massively funded right-wing extremists are using threats and lawsuits against state and local officials to force purges of lists of eligible voters. The Trump campaign is trying to enlist an “army” of poll watchers to intimidate voters. With millions more Americans expected to vote by mail, Trump’s man in char

The Youth Shelter Program of Westchester Welcomes Bakari Sellers as Keynote Speaker

MOUNT VERNON, NY -- The Youth Shelter Program of Westchester is proud to announce An Evening with Bakari Sellers. Bakari T. Sellers is an American attorney, political commentator, former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives and author. Mr. Sellers is a CNN Contributor and has appeared on shows such as the HBO series, Real Time with Bill Maher. He is sought after for his passionate political and social commentary and analysis informed by first-hand experience. The Youth Shelter Program of Westchester invites the public to attend this virtual fundraiser on Thursday, October 29 at 6:00 pm. The virtual event will feature a Q&A with Bakari and a video of a discussion between Bak

Monsters Are Scary, So Are Brilliant Black Women.

I was frightened of monsters when I was a child. Not so sure why, but my brother, who loved to plague me, used to tell me they were lurking under my bed. I shook, and I shivered, and I cried for fear that one of those dreaded monsters would rise from under the bed to strangle me. I don’t know what got me over my fear of monsters. Perhaps I realized that my brother got perverse pleasure by mocking me. In any case, one day, he told me that there was a monster under my bed, and I laughed in his face. And the monster myth lost its hold on me. I got over my fear of monsters, but Donald John Trump is holding on to his fear of his. His demons are brilliant Black women, like Congresswomen Maxine Wat

Trump Turns His Back on Struggling Americans, Small Businesses, State and Local Governments

“Today’s failure to deliver badly needed fiscal assistance to cities of all shapes and sizes is going to amount to increased job losses, decreased public safety and a greatly impaired economic recovery. Cities across the country have been struggling with budget shortfalls for months as a direct result of the pandemic, and hundreds of bipartisan mayors have been echoing the call to congressional and administration leaders for an economic lifeline in the form of immediate flexible fiscal relief. The victims of today’s failure will be the American people – residents in cities across the country – led by Republicans, Independents and Democrats – who will see critical services further reduced or

Budgeting Our Way to the Poor House – A Mount Vernon Specialty

Part 4 of a 5-Part Series on the Lack of Accountability in Government in Mount Vernon By Former Mayor André Wallace It’s budget season again. Time for your elected leaders to put on their annual “theatre of the absurd” to try to explain to you why they can’t live within their means (again), why expenses are out of control (again), why nothing can get done in the City (again), and most importantly, why they need more of your money this year to do as little or even less than they did last year (again). There will be a lot of finger pointing at the Comptroller, past administrations, the County, the State, and current events: everyone and everything but the current administration. You’re not

2020 Census Update: The Great Debate and Response Rates

Over 57 million people tuned in for the 2020 Vice Presidential Debate with U.S. Senator Kamala Harris and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, on Wednesday, Oct. 7. Sitting at desks with clear plexiglass dividers and appropriately social-distanced, the candidates’ performance was demonstrably civil in comparison to the first, and possibly only, 2020 U.S. Presidential Debate. Candidate Kamala Harris, the junior U.S. Senator from California, was born on October 20, 1964. She joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. before graduating from Howard University with a Bachelor’s degree in political science and economics. In 1989, she graduated from the Hastings College of the Law at the University of Ca

City of Peekskill Launches Microenterprise Assistance Program Grant Funding for Small Businesses

Peekskill, N.Y. – The City of Peekskill is pleased to announce their Microenterprise Assistance Program, which provides grant funding to eligible entrepreneurial, emerging, and existing businesses, is currently accepting applications. The program is open to both start-up and existing businesses with five or fewer employees that have plans to locate in or expand within Peekskill. Applications are due by November 6, 2020. The Microenterprise Assistance Program is a federally funded program administered by the City of Peekskill Department of Planning and Development. Made possible through a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant from the New York State Office of Homes and Community Renewal,

Relief for Public Transit Also Protects the Thousands of Manufacturing Jobs that Keep the Trains

Riding the subway here in New York City right now is a little like riding a ghost train. There are few riders, almost all wearing masks, separated by empty seats. It’s a far cry from last February when New Yorkers crammed into packed subway cars as usual. The same is true on public transit around the country. Tragically, the same way COVID-19 cases swept from big cities out to small towns and rural communities, the dire financial straits of big-city mass transit is about to infect businesses across the country. Public transportation systems throughout the county are reeling from the financial ravages of low ridership these past eight months. Already, the ripple effects are starting to be fel

Elect Public Officials Who Are Committed to StopPolice Killings

Millions of Americans have turned out in big cities and small towns to protest the killings of unarmed civilians—often Black people—at the hands of law enforcement. If we want our demands for justice and accountability to lead to real policy change, we need to build on that activism by electing public officials with the commitment to reform law enforcement and the courage to act when police abuse the power of their badge. In presidential election years, most of the energy and focus goes to the top of the ticket. And that’s essential this year. But we can’t ignore the fact that we have been through a spring and summer of traumatizing televised murders of Black people. We are still learning th

Community Engagement Is Necessary to Guide Greenburgh Central School District’s Future

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: As the parent of a child in the Greenburgh Central School District, I am deeply troubled by the Board of Education’s recent determination to not renew Superintendent Dr. Tahira Dupree Chase’s contract, expiring in June 2021. A leadership change is a great loss to the students and a waste of taxpayer money. The future direction and leadership of our district should be a thoughtful, unrushed process that engages all community members, including the many involved and invested district parents. Under Dr. Chase’s tenure over the past five years, the district has made enormous strides. Today, GCSD is one of only nine districts nation-wide that has an International Baccalaurea

Girls of Color are being Disenfranchised by the Juvenile Justice System

The number of girls of color in the Juvenile Justice system has reached such an alarming level that it qualifies as a public health issue, due to the trauma suffered by the girls. For years, this public health crisis confronting our community has been documented in articles, research studies, and high-profile cases highlighting not only the disproportionate number of young girls of color in the juvenile justice system, particularly black and Latina, but also the lasting stigma that is imputed to the girls. In my experience as Family Court Judge for over 15 years, and prior to that as an attorney representing children in Family Court cases, it is troubling that despite the research urging us

Wealth gap costs over last two decades: $2.7 trillion in Black income, $16 trillion to U.S. Economy

America’s persistent racial income and wealth gaps are the result of four intertwined factors: housing, education, business ownership and access to credit. Closing these gaps would facilitate inter-generational wealth creation for Black America and also expand the nation’s economy by $5 trillion over the next five years. These findings come from an extensive report newly-released by a major bank. According to Closing the Racial Inequality Gaps: the Economic Costs of Black Inequality in the U.S., published by Citi Global Perspective and Solutions, centuries of bias and institutionalized segregation have generated grave societal and economic losses that reverberate throughout America. Had thes

BROKEN FAITH

Black people occupy a place between hope and despair. We hope our nation will keep its promises – that all people are created equal, that justice is both blind and fair, that truth matters, that there is integrity. We struggle against the imperfections, the racism that is baked in the cake called the United States. We fight to rectify historical wrongs, we pass laws to soften the sting of predatory capitalism. But we despair when we continue to see police killings of unarmed Black people when we tolerate a “leader” who would prefer a lie to the truth when more than 200,000 have died from COVID, and the “leader” won’t bother to wear a mask. No wonder that Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palme

Campaign’s “Deterrence” Strategy Should Motivate Every Black American To Vote In Defiance

“Yet the harsh fact is that in many places in this country men and women are kept from voting simply because they are Negroes. Every device of which human ingenuity is capable has been used to deny this right. The Negro citizen may go to register only to be told that the day is wrong, or the hour is late, or the official in charge is absent. And if he persists, and if he manages to present himself to the registrar, he may be disqualified because he did not spell out his middle name or because he abbreviated a word on the application. And if he manages to fill out an application, he is given a test. The registrar is the sole judge of whether he passes this test. He may be asked to recite the

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