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Thursday
Jul 24th

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Obama Administration launches teacher-led national conversation

The Obama Administration’s 2013 proposed budget includes a new $5 billion competitive program to challenge states and districts to work with teachers, unions, colleges of education and other stakeholders to comprehensively reform the field of teaching.  The proposal touches on every phase of teaching from training and tenure to compensation and career opportunities.

Wednesday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan held a town hall meeting with teachers to launch the RESPECT Project, a national conversation led by active classroom teachers working temporarily for the Department to help inform the administration’s proposal and the broader effort to reform teaching.  RESPECT is an acronym that stands for Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching.
 

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Challenge campaign insults, slurs not Obama

Challenge campaign insults, slurs not Obama

Republican Gov. Jan Brewer insults the president with a finger-wagging tarmac rant in Arizona. As a result, sales of her book soar.

American presidents have always been fair game for public criticism. But isn’t it past time that we challenge the campaign of insult, racial slur and utter disrespect that has been unleashed on Barack Obama?

Consider just the Republican presidential contenders. The campaign started with Donald Trump’s ugly nonsense about Obama’s birth certificate, suggesting that he was un-American. Newt Gingrich devoted a book, To Save America, to denouncing Obama’s “secular socialist machine that represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany.”

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Governor Dayton names Mayor Rybak Co-Chair of LGA Advisory Group

Mayors to recommend solutions for tax reform

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton announced this week that he has named Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak a co-chair of the Tax Reform Advisory Group for Local Government Aid (LGA). This advisory group will review and discuss major policy issues related to Local Government Aid, specifically on how to best pay for local services while holding local property taxes down. The work of this advisory group will directly support Governor Dayton’s comprehensive tax reform proposal, which will be presented to the 2013 legislature

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Ellison to fight efforts to take away right to vote for Minnesotans

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said efforts by Minnesota’s Republican legislators would take our country backwards after the Minnesota State Senate held a hearing about a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2012 ballot to require voters to present identification at the ballot box:

“Since our founding, America has been on a path towards greater enfranchisement, not disenfranchisement. It took a Civil War and three constitutional amendments to guarantee voting rights regardless of ‘race, color, or previous condition of servitude.’ Still, half of our citizenry was left out of our democracy until the 19th  Amendment guaranteed women the right to vote. And even then, it took the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to finally prohibit any prerequisite to voting,” Ellison said in a statement to the press.

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Ellison: Stop voter ID

Shortly before the 2012 presidential elections, the Minnesota Republican legislature is introducing a bill that would amend the state’s constitution to require Minnesotans to show a driver’s photo ID, state issued photo ID, or tribal issued ID to be instantly scanned to determine voting eligibility and precinct accuracy.

But opponents of the proposed legislation say the Voter ID Amendment would further disenfranchise elderly, disabled, young, and minority voters.  The Voter ID Amendment completely disenfranchises American troops; under the proposed amendment, military IDs would not be accepted at voting polls, thus creating the oxymoron that those defending American’s constitutional right are themselves unable to vote.  The proposed Amendment would also end absentee voting and same day voter registration.
   

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Creating jobs to take top priority this year


After four long years of economic difficulty there is one thing we can all agree upon:  Minnesota needs jobs.  As we begin the new legislative session, creating jobs and getting people back to work will take top priority.

Governor Dayton and DFL legislative leaders recently laid out a plan that involves smart, targeted strategies that will bring about new hiring and get tens of thousands of Minnesotans back to work.  This new job growth plan focuses on things that have been proven to work:  providing businesses with new incentives to create jobs, improving workforce development and training, and investing in Minnesota’s infrastructure.

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The real meaning of “self-deportation”

The real meaning of “self-deportation”

 The term “self-deportation” has found its way into the GOP presidential primary race, with candidate Mitt Romney outlining a vague immigration platform which includes "self-deportation," or the idea that unauthorized immigrants will voluntarily choose to leave the U.S. if life here is made unbearable enough. While "self-deportation" may be a new idea to some, those who monitor immigration policy understand that it is code for “attrition through enforcement” - a plan pursued by extremist immigration-control organizations in Congress and state houses across the nation.  

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The real ingredients in class warfare

The real ingredients in class warfare

Mitt Romney’s tax and budget plans assault low- and moderate-income families, especially people of color

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney constantly accuses President Barack Obama of fomenting “class warfare” and stoking “envy” among the have-nots for the wealth of the “haves.” Without a doubt, class warfare is afoot in our nation, but it is Romney’s own tax and budget plans that will further divide our nation because of his assault on poor and middle-class Americans alike.

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Panelists further focus on digital media at NNPA Mid-Winter Conference

Panelists further focus on digital media at NNPA Mid-Winter Conference

The National Newspaper Publishers Association held yet another successful Mid-Winter Conference this past week in New Orleans, LA, offering several workshops on digital media for the member papers.

Francis Page, Jr., the chair of the Digital and Social Media Committee for the NNPA, spearheaded a day of panels to further educate publishers on the advantages of a strong digital and social media presence.

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U.S. Postal Service's Black Heritage Forever Stamp salutes legend

U.S. Postal Service's Black Heritage Forever Stamp salutes legend

 

One of the nation's highest honors today was presented to pioneering entrepreneur and publisher John H. Johnson who was commemorated on this year's Black Heritage Forever Stamp by the United States Postal Service.

Johnson, the founder of Johnson Publishing Company of Chicago, which publishes Ebony and Jet magazines, is the 35th honoree in the Black Heritage stamp series. The Postal Service has recognized the achievements of prominent African Americans through the Black Heritage series since 1978. Past honorees have included Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, and Barbara Jordan.

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Obama’s blueprint for keeping college affordable for all American

 “Of course, it’s not enough for us to increase student aid… States also need to do their part, by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets.  And colleges and universities have to do their part by working to keep costs down.- President Barack Obama - State of the Union, January 24, 2012

In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values. As an important part of keeping the American promise alive, the President called for a comprehensive approach to tackling rising college costs.  In today’s global economy, a college education is no longer just a privilege for some, but rather a prerequisite for all.  To reach a national goal of leading the world with the highest share of college graduates by 2020, we must make college more affordable.

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