February , 2019

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Archive for April 24th, 2013

Ohio swears in first African-American County Treasurer

Posted by Newsroom On April - 24 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS


Cleveland, OH (BlackNews.com) — In an unprecedented move, Ohio swore in its first African-American County Treasurer. Mark A. Parks Jr. took the oath of office on March 27th, 2013, from Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald before a group of 11 council members and community supporters.

“Mark continually demonstrates his value to county government with his wide ranging experience and effective management in a variety of areas. His experience, professionalism and knowledge in financial management are a true asset for Cuyahoga County and its citizens. He is one of our very best,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.

Parks served as the interim Cuyahoga County Treasurer since mid-December, 2012. His appointment began one month prior to him taking the oath. He is the first African-American county Treasurer in any county in Ohio. His responsibilities include managing the billion dollar investment portfolio for Cuyahoga County, collecting its property taxes and distributing funds to municipalities.

Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge said that it is outstanding that Cuyahoga County is leading the state in diversity and inclusion. “Mr. Parks is well-qualified and will do a great job. I hope it will set the stage for the country to follow the lead of Cuyahoga County,” continued Fudge.

For more than two years, Parks was the Council President for Orange Village and has served as Chairman of the finance committee for more than six years. He also served as the Director of special projects. He counted among his duties: assisting the Chief Fiscal Officer and serving as Controller for the fiscal office.

“Of course it’s satisfying to make history,” offered Parks, “but even more satisfying is knowing that County Executive FitzGerald made his decision solely on me being the best qualified for the position. I am really looking forward to making the Cuyahoga County Treasurer’s Office a model for all others to emulate.”

Parks received the Dr. David C. Sweet, Distinguished Elected Official award in 2010 from the Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University for his commitment to regionalism.

“Mark has the training, experience, and drive to get the job done as the County Treasurer,” said Cuyahoga County Deputy Chief of Staff Operations, Sharon Cole. “Now that he has been appointed, he will simply continue the great work he has been doing for the residents of Cuyahoga County.”

A Certified Public Accountant, Parks received a BA in Accounting from Baldwin-Wallace University and a Masters in Business Administration from The University of Phoenix. He is a member of the regional advisory committee for Ohio Auditor David Yost, the endowment fund committee of Lander Circle Kiwanis, the Cuyahoga County Transition Committee, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the Shaw High School Alumni Association.

He has served on several boards including Continue Life, Inc., the National Black MBA Association and Community United Headstart.

“I am excited about the opportunity for him,” said Congresswoman Fudge about Parks’ appointment. “I know he will be excellent. It is well deserved.”

Parks and wife Connie have two sons, Mark III., and Charles.

Photo Caption: Mark A. Parks Jr.


W.K. Kellogg Foundation Conference urges Americans to heal racial wounds and work together toward an equitable future

Posted by Newsroom On April - 24 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS


Will take “sustained, hard work” says keynote Michelle Alexander


ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) opened its four-day 2013 America Healing conference with a rousing appearance by civil rights lawyer and advocate Michelle Alexander, who decried the mass incarceration of people of color as intolerable.

Alexander, an associate professor of law at The Ohio State University, is the author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” a book that WKKF president and CEO Sterling Speirn called “a bold and searing argument” about incarceration in the U.S.

Alexander began by laying out the argument that systemic failures in the justice system have resulted in mass incarceration that disproportionately affects poor people of color. She warned participants not to see the election of our nation’s first African American president as proof of a post-racial society. Rather, she encouraged attendees to “awaken from our collective slumber,” and create not only a civil rights movement, but a human rights movement, dedicated to abolishing the system of mass incarceration.

“We’ve got to admit out loud that we as a nation have managed to recreate a caste system, and we have to be willing to tell this truth in our schools… in our churches… in our neighborhoods… in prison and outside of prison. We have to be willing to tell these truths so that a great awakening can occur,” Alexander said.

In the rousing conclusion to her talk, she added, “I hope that we will keep in mind that all of these rules, policies, laws and practices rest upon one core belief, and it is the same core belief that sustained Jim Crow. It is the belief that some of us are not worthy of genuine care and concern, and if we effectively challenge that belief, this whole system begins to fall.” This belief is racism.

Alexander’s words spurred conversation throughout the crowd, building enthusiasm going into the conference, which reconvenes today for a day focused on remembrance and healing. Speirn, as well as Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy and Joe Stewart, a member of the WKKF board of trustees, had welcomed attendees to the conference. The speakers emphasized that while disparities still exist in American society, racial healing is helping diverse neighbors bridge their differences and work together to strengthen their community.

More than 500 national and community-level leaders, community-based organization and civil rights groups gathered at the conference for a collaborative process aimed at healing the wounds of racism and addressing conscious and unconscious bias. Entitled “Reclaiming the Narrative,” the convening will engage participants in conversations on eliminating barriers to opportunities, especially for vulnerable children. Stewart energized the audience with his welcome address.

“We believe, as all of you believe…We dream, as all of you dream…that America can heal, and America will heal, and that America must heal and we together share a commitment to the healing process,” Stewart said.

“Our message this evening is as it was with our founder, that we are deeply committed to the health, happiness and well-being of children, and even more, we are particularly committed to the plight of our most vulnerable children,” said Stewart, adding that the conference participants are united in seeking a society “in which all children thrive, a society where equal opportunity is no longer a hollow promise but a living reality.”

Earlier in the evening, Mayor Bellamy and Patty Grant, of the Cherokee Preservation Council, talked about the healing process and what can be achieved by working together.

Mayor Bellamy said her city had experienced a high dropout rate among high school students, especially African American youths. Working with the community, she established an internship program for youths leading to a more than 30 percent reduction in the city’s dropout rate.

Grant, of the Cherokee Preservation Council, recited the long history of racism that the Cherokee nation has suffered through the centuries. “These difficult experiences have made each one of us stronger” said Grant, “to achieve our goal of helping America heal, to gain strength and prosperity through racial equality we must have a unified vision and effort and maintain this commitment to sticking with this vision until it is achieved.”  

Gail Christopher, WKKF vice president-program strategy, said that there is an urgency to presenting the complete narrative on race, particularly in telling the positive stories of people working together.

“As we continue to hear stories about inequity, especially among people of color and the myth that we are a post-racial society, there’s an urgency to address the overarching narratives that misinform our collective understanding,” she said. “This convening brings together hundreds of individuals dedicated to making life better for vulnerable children. Together, we hope to ensure that future generations of Americans can grow up in a thriving and inclusive democracy we must put these issues of inequity in front of us now so that we can move beyond them together.”

This conference is part of the foundation’s America Healinginitiative, which provides grants for organizations to address structural bias and facilitate racial healing in communities.

The conference is taking place at the Grove Park Inn, 290 Macon Avenue, Asheville, NC 28804. 

For more information about America Healing, visit www.AmericaHealing.org.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation 

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create the conditions where vulnerable children can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.

Jailed mother’s Immigration fight exposes dubious Arizona felony charges

Posted by Newsroom On April - 24 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Jailed Mother's Immigration Fight Exposes Dubious Arizona Felony Charges

New America Media

By Valeria Fernandez


PHOENIX, Ariz. — Luz Ruiz Rascón is a determined woman, the kind who can hold back her tears while she talks about one of the most difficult choices she’s had to make: to stay in jail and fight for her innocence.

Her son’s leukemia diagnosis was one of the biggest challenges for her entire family, up until she was arrested eight months ago at her workplace and incarcerated.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office accused her of several counts of identity theft and forgery for allegedly working with false documents. But Rascón, an undocumented immigrant, claims she’s never provided false paperwork.

Her case exposes the situation of hundreds of undocumented workers in Arizona who could face charges that would deny them a path to citizenship under immigration reform.

Proposed Reforms and the ‘Gang of Eight’

Proposed reforms would force the deportation of those with a record showing a felony or three misdemeanors. Immigrant advocates believe authorities are inflating minor charges for otherwise law-abiding immigrants to unfairly drive them out of the United States.

In Washington, D.C., a bipartisan group of senators called the “Gang of Eight” introduced an immigration reform package that has renewed hope for many but according to immigration experts will leave people like Luz outside. Conservative members of the bipartisan group are now calling for even tougher restrictions in the wake of last week’s Boston bombing.

The proposed “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act” would grant a work permit to undocumented immigrants provided that they don’t have a criminal record.

In most of these cases, undocumented immigrants such as Rascón, age 38, take a guilty plea for the felony identity theft charge so they can be released from jail. Many don’t know the dire consequences that decision will have for them.

But not Rascón. She decided to take her case all the way to trial, if necessary, and has already spent eight months in jail. Her trial is set to begin on May 3. By a state law, known as Proposition 100, undocumented immigrants with serious charges–in her case six felony counts–don’t have a right to bail.

“I had my moments of frustration, desperation,” said Rascón in an interview in Spanish at Estrella jail, the Maricopa County facility that houses women.

Prosecutors have offered her a guilty plea to a lower-level felony, but this is considered under immigration law a crime of “moral turpitude,” which would make her deportable.

Delia Salvatierra took on Rascón’s case almost eight months ago, and decided to defend her pro bono. She had a stake in her fight too.

In recent years she started getting more and more cases where immigrants had a specific type of identity theft felony charge on their record that would make them deportable in the eyes of an immigration judge.

When she met Rascón she advised her that taking the plea could not only mean her automatic deportation but also hurt her changes to be eligible for immigration reform.

Staying in jail since her arrest last Aug. 9 hasn’t been easy for Rascón. She and four co-workers were caught in an immigration raid of her employer by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, under Sheriff Joe Arpaio. In jail, she found, there is no privacy, and there are frequent lock ups that require her to spend the entire day in her bed.

Maricopa County Jails have been scrutinized by the federal government resulting from a recent lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ). The suit contends that some Latino inmates are discriminated against due to their inability to speak English.

DOJ also alleges that in some instances the Sheriff’s immigration raids have discriminated against Latino workers.

This is one reason Salvatierra believes the federal government could provide an exception to these Arizona workers if immigration reform passes.

‘My Children Are Above Everything’

Rascón has had her moments of doubt. “I say, ‘I’ll leave if they don’t want me in this country, nevermind,’” she admitted. “But at the same time, I say, ‘No, no, no.’ I can’t throw away 20 years of my life here.

She took a job at the GNC vitamin supply company 11 years ago, eventually being put in charge of packaging the product for shipping. She starting her shift at 5 a.m., and usually worked eight to 10 hours at the $14-an-hour job. “It was a heavy job, but I liked it,” she said.

Mainly, she said, “My children are above anything. They are the ones that move me to wait and keep fighting.”

Her children, Irving and Litzzy–both U.S. citizens–visit their mother in jail as much as twice a week.

Irving, 18, drives his younger sister to school every morning, after his dad is long gone to work as a day laborer. Irving goes to a community college in the evening to study computer science.

“I know I’m my mother’s son,” he said, alluding to her care when he was diagnosed with leukemia. He’s proud of her choice to fight the charges in jail.

Rascón is concerned about making sure that Irving takes care of his health.

“Sometimes I don’t want them to come and see me,” she said in Spanish. “It is sad to see them and watch them walk away, and then wait for another visit.”

County Attorney Won’t Change Plea Offers

Since 2008, Arpaio’s office has conducted worksite raids under a state civil law aimed at cracking down on unlawful employers. But the Sheriff focused on arresting workers on felony charges of identity theft.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery asserts this charge is not immigration related but responds to an effort to fight the high volume of identity-theft crimes committed in the state.

Rascón’s attorney, Salvatierra, counters, “I don’t believe they’ve committed the kind of offense that requires nine or 10 months in pretrial incarceration.”

Montgomery said his agency won’t modify the type of pleas he offers to people arrested in the raids. “We’re going to handle these cases the way we handle every other case, and I’m not going to pick out one group of people for special treatment. I’m not supposed to do that. That’s actually unconstitutional,” he stated in an interview.

The county attorney has come under fire by several pro-immigrant groups for claiming to support comprehensive immigration reform while continuing to prosecute undocumented workers on charges of identity theft.

“I feel he’s really after our folks and to me it’s not really a criminal act–although the state has made it that,” said Rosie Lopez, founder of the Hispanic Community Forum. “These people are hard working people, they’re honest. They’ve never done anything wrong, and this is simply because they wanted to feed their families.”

Montgomery joined the Real Arizona Coalition, a bipartisan group including businesses, religious leaders and others to craft a platform for immigration reform that was released last December.

The platform, called the Solution to Federal Immigration Reform (SANE), recommends that undocumented immigrants have a path to citizenship provided that they don’t have a criminal record “other than individual identity violations.”

During a public panel at Arizona State University (ASU) last week, civil rights attorney Daniel Ortega recognized people with this type of charge won’t be able to be part of immigration reform unless groups lobby on their behalf.

Montgomery, who was on the panel, said he has “already provided all the support that I can” by contributing ideas for the SANE platform as far as who should qualify.

He said that his stance on the platform was that you “may necessarily have to look at exempting employment-related offenses to encourage enough people to come forward and make it worthwhile.”

Salvatierra, Rascón’s attorney, said she was encouraged that there was more dialogue with the county attorney’s office and that he came out in support of comprehensive immigration reform.

She noted that prosecutors have a choice. For instance, they could offer a plea of solicitation of taking the identity of another, or solicitation to commit forgery.

“The Supreme Court is saying that you can take [immigration consequences] into consideration,” she said, when it comes to offering a plea.

She cited a 2010, U.S. Supreme Court decision, Padilla v. Kentucky, which determined that immigrants facing criminal charges have a right to be told of the immigration consequences if they decide to accept a plea.

The decision also says, “… informed consideration of possible deportation can only benefit both the State and noncitizen defendants during the plea-bargaining process. By bringing deportation consequences into this process, the defense and prosecution may well be able to reach agreements that better satisfy the interests of both parties.”

A Narrow Chance

Nationally groups like the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) have the joined CAMBIO campaign – to lobby for comprehensive immigration reform that would include, among many issues, due process for undocumented immigrants.

They advocate for immigration judges to be allowed to take into consideration different factors before deporting someone who has a crime on his or her record.

But the current proposal from the congressional “Gang of Eight” offers little flexibility when it comes to being inclusive of people who might not have spent a day in jail, said Kamal Essaheb, an immigration attorney at NILC.

“DREAMers” (undocumented youth brought to the U.S. in childhood) would have a faster path to a green card under the current proposal. But they also would be subject to the same type of criminal barriers, Essaheb added.

“We’re going to fight to make sure as many people as possible are included,” he said.

Essaheb said it was true that the eight senators included provisions to exclude barring people with a crime on their record in connection with state immigration laws, such as Arizona’s SB 1070.

But he said it is likely that wouldn’t extend to other enforcement, such as the case of people charged with identity theft.

Essaheb said that the lack of federal immigration reform has led to a proliferation of state laws that would exclude people depending on where they live.

“We don’t want Sheriff Arpaio deciding who should get legalized or who shouldn’t,” he said. “We want to make legalization accessible regardless of where you are or whether you live in a state that heavily criminalizes undocumented immigrants because of discriminatory policies.”

DSimon: Flood Dangers Not Over Yet

Posted by Newsroom On April - 24 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CARBONDALE, IL – As chair of an Illinois River conservation council, Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon encouraged residents along the Illinois River to remain vigilant and take precautions as flood waters continue to rise over the coming days.

“While the northern portion of the Illinois River starts to recede, areas downstream of La Salle-Peru have not yet crested and could see the river raise another four to seven feet in the coming days,” said Simon, who chairs the Illinois River Coordinating Council. “I will continue to work with state, local and disaster relief officials to provide aid to these vulnerable communities.”

At present, the Illinois River is projected to crest at 29.4 feet early Wednesday morning in Peoria, about a half-inch higher than the previous record. Flood stage for the Illinois River in Peoria is 18 feet. Farther downstream, the river is projected to crest at 29.5 feet in Beardstown on Thursday morning, where the flood stage is at 14 feet.

As flood waters continue to rise, Simon reminded families to exercise caution and avoid driving through flood waters. Residents can monitor flood levels, find updates on road conditions and search for nearby shelters at www.ready.illinois.gov. To donate to the recovery effort or learn about volunteer opportunities, visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

“With more rain coming down last night and today, flooding throughout central and southern Illinois will get worse before it gets better,” Simon said.

Governor Quinn has declared 44 counties as state disaster areas. Counties included in the state disaster declaration are Adams, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Cook, DeKalb, Douglas, DuPage, Fulton, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Morgan, Ogle, Peoria, Pike, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Scott, Stark, Tazewell, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago and Woodford.

Lt. Governor Simon and the Illinois River Coordinating Council work with state and federal agencies and local communities to raise awareness of and address watershed issues along the Illinois River. The Council assisted volunteer efforts and agency responses to the 2011 Mississippi River flood in Southern Illinois.

Some believe that while living in this world they are the author and finisher of their fate, but the true landlord is coming for an inspection of His purchased property!

Posted by Newsroom On April - 24 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

By Rev. Harold E. Bailey

President of Probation Challenge, Inc. and the PCC Broadcast Network


Whose earth, planet or orbit are we living on? Did we make ourselves? Are we here by happenstance? Are we here to rob, steal, kill and destroy one another?

Though some tend to believe that this earthly house belongs to them … this is not our world, but rather by the making of God, who has allowed us to enter into ‘His Gates’ and into ‘His Courts’ with thanksgiving and praise! God admonishes us to realize that He has made us and not we ourselves! We are not of our own, however, this sinful earthly-body was paid for with a price… a precious price which was paid in full for us on Mount Calvary!

We must be careful how we treat or mistreat this temple (body), for the landlord of this structure … who loves us and is faithful to forgive… is ever watching us.

God, the landlord, author and finisher of our fate, has given us rules and regulations, which is the written word of God, and are set-forth in the scriptures. And just as God has temporally given to us earthly goods – He is coming to take back that which was merely placed on loan to us! Did we put holes in His temple-walls (body), abuse the interior and exterior housing? Our bodies are the temples of God. The question becomes, are we defiling His temple? Let us not forget that we can’t paint or decorate over the damage that has been done to the temple of God unless it is via repentance with the Landlord, who is faithful to forgive. We then wash and paint over our sins with the blood of Christ. The stains and damages are washed away – gone! Our sins upon forgiveness are then thrown into the sea of forgetfulness – never to rise against us in this world nor the next!

Youth and elders alike must understand that all the evils perpetrated on this planet earth, along with those inflicted needless upon others, will soon have to face accountability for their actions while in the landlord’s earthly-house.

An important biblical fact to remember is that this earthly house which is presently leaning will one day decay and prayerfully there will be another house eternal in the heaven not made with corruptions of any sort.

I suggest that those who subscribe to the use of guns for the purpose of destroying others to be on alert, for you must answer to the landlord for your seeking to destroy the property that doesn’t belong to you.

Remember, it is God who has made us, and it is God who gives eternal life.

Rev. Harold E. Bailey is the president of Probation Challenge, Inc. at: www.ProbationChallenge.org – The Truth Network.,

Weekly column to Copyline Magazine

NESBE Small Business Expo coming to Anaheim, California on April 27th

Posted by Newsroom On April - 24 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS


Rene Reyes, a leading Afro-Latino business development coach, professional speaker and entertainer is bringing N.E.S.B.E. to Southern California


Anaheim, CA (BlackNews.com) — The National Entrepreneur and Small Business Expo (NESBE) is making its annual appearance in Southern California on April 27, 2013. NESBE was created and founded by Rene Reyes of Rene Reyes International from the vision of wanting to provide thriving and aspiring entrepreneurs a professional platform of skilled, successful and approachable speakers, coaches and business owners. In addition to the amazing speaking/coaching by Rene Reyes herself, she and her skilled staff literally have hand selected each person on this ticket for how she values them as a leader in their industry, and for what she knows their talent will add invaluably to this event!

Those who know Rene Reyes are just as excited as she is about this event because they know the success is a guarantee! And, those who are taking the chance to get to know Rene will soon discover why her events are regarded as the best professional events in the country! Everything will be first class, from the venue to the speaker’s presentations, to the coaching sessions to the testimonial interviews.

NESBE speakers come from various walks of life. Each speaker is also an entrepreneur and/or small business owner, with experience and great strategies to offer every patron! Featured speakers include: Therese Skelly, Lynda Ross Vega, Dr. Letitia Wright, Michele Broad, Dalia Hayon, Jonathan Bender, Ricardo Vega, Dr. Gary M. Jordan, Raquel (Raqc) Cordova, and Rene Reyes herself!

The knowledge between the speakers on the NESBE ticket would typically cost thousands of dollars on an individual coaching basis. However, their newest generous sponsors – AVT Technologies (www.avt.com) and the Marriott Chain (www.marriott.com) — have afforded them a great opportunity to offer tickets at a great value price, which can be purchased for $25. Interested ones can also join the Rene Reyes VIP Guest List and add their name for free admission! To qualify for the cash business grants or an internship, you must be present.

For more details about the NESBE Small Business Expo, visit www.nesbe.net

Community Child Care Council of Alameda County 40th Anniversary Celebration benefits Children & Family Programs

Posted by Newsroom On April - 24 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS


SAN FRANCISCO/OAKLAND BAY AREA: The Community Child Care Council (4C’s) of Alameda County is excited to announce that on Saturday, May 4, 2013, it will host a 40th Anniversary Gala to benefit children and family programs in Alameda County. The organization has selected Oakland’s delightfully picturesque Chabot Space & Science Center as the venue for the black-tie affair. The evening will include an exciting live auction and raffles, in addition to dinner and dancing.


Also, during the fundraising event, 4C’s will present awards to three (3) outstanding individuals and an organization in recognition of their exceptional commitment to children and families. The special honorees are Michael A. LeNoir, M.D., President-elect, National Medical Association; George Halvorson, President & CEO, Kaiser Permanente; Kristina Adams, President-elect, California Child Development Administrators Association; and the Golden State Warriors Community Foundation.







Renee Herzfeld
Exec. Director,
4C’s of Alameda County


Enlarge photo 13

Michael A. LeNoir, M.D.
Nat’l Medical Assoc.


George Halvorson
President & CEO,
Kaiser Permanente


Kristina Adams
CA Child Development Administrators Assoc.


4C’s Executive Director, Renee S. Herzfeld said, “This 40th anniversary fundraiser will provide resources, which will enable 4C’s to continuing building a health community thru providing child care referrals, education, nutrition services and qualified child care payment assistance.  Our goal for the future is to raise funds so that 4C’s can be innovative in creating and delivering exemplary family support programs that enrich our diverse community.”


Gala chair, attorney Shonda Mosby agrees,”4C’s is about fostering healthy and fit children, stronger families and empowered child care providers. We look forward to celebrating 40 years of service while recognizing the outstanding contributions of our amazing and most deserving honorees.”


Oakland Raiders team physician and surgeon, Dr. Warren J. Strudwick, will be the evening host and auctioneer.  Executive Chef Reign Free’s Red Door Catering Company will provide an amazing menu for guest dining.  The gala’s official wine sponsor, Mark Blanchard, owner/vintner of Blanchard Family Wines, said he is delighted to support 4C’s in its efforts to strengthen programs for families and children.  Blanchard Family Wines is a small boutique winery in Sonoma County and was founded by two brothers with a shared passion for artisan wines.


Among the amazing items to be auctioned will be a private dinner for 10 prepared in the home of the successful bidder, featuring culinary creations by Chef Raymond Nottie (corporate chef for Goggle, Facebook and PeopleSoft); paired with a delightful blending of wines from the Blanchard Family Winery. The winning bidder will also receive sport game tickets coupled with limousine service to and from the game.



Community Child Care Council (4C’s) of Alameda County


40th Anniversary Celebration & Benefit Gala


Saturday, May 4, 2013

5:30 p.m. VIP Reception & Photo Opts (Invitation Only)

6:00 p.m. Main Reception

7:00 p.m. Dining, Program and Award Presentations

8:30 p.m. Live Auction, Raffles and Dancing


Chabot Space & Science Center
1000 Skyline Boulevard, Oakland, CA 94619


$100/$150 per person; sponsorships available – $600 to $15,000
Program book advertisements – $150 to $600, subject to ad size
Order online or download/print/mail order form


About Community Child Care Council (4C’s) of Alameda County:

4C’s is a private, non-profit family resource agency providing services that benefit children, families, and the professional child care community in Alameda County, CA since 1972. It provides access to affordable, quality child care by connecting families and providers to a wide network of community partners, child focused resources, and financial assistance programs.


4C’s offers an extensive database of state licensed child care providers, payment assistance programs, child health and nutrition education, and a staff of specialists who speak multiple languages. The organization’s child care information and referral services are free to all parents, regardless of income.



The following participants are immediately available for pre-event interviews:

  Renee Herzfeld, Executive Director, Community Child Care Council

 – Shonda Mosby, Esq., 4C’s Immediate Past Board President

 – Michael A. LeNoir, M.D., President-elect, National Medical Association

   Kristina Adams, President-elect, California Child Development Administrators Association


To arrange interviews, contact:

Toni Beckham | 209-832-8020 / 408-499-3664 c | Toni@PRetCetera.com or

Stalfana Bello, Program & Event Manager | 510-562-5560 | BHPUBREL@aol.com


EDM Producer/DJ, Harmonic Heroes, announces ground-breaking debut EP

Posted by Newsroom On April - 24 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Calling on many years of formal classical and jazz training, Texas-based Harmonic Heroes adds an organic twist to traditional Progressive House music. With their first EP due for release on June 13th via Morphic Records, the EDM scene welcomes this industry newcomer with gusto


Dallas, TX – While most EDM pioneers ground their roots firmly in the genre, Texas-based Producer and DJ, Harmonic Heroes, credit their bold and unique sound to years of formal classical and jazz training. With this experience putting an organic spin on Progressive House music, the Harmonic Heroes sound is unlike anything currently on the market.

With their growing following demanding an official release, Harmonic Heroes is today delighted to announce the launch of their debut EP on June 13th.

In a partnership with Morphic Records, ‘One 3’ boasts three tracks of melodic electronic dance music with the unique incorporation of guitar and highly-rhythmic percussion.

Credited for making a unique mark on the industry, fans are expected to flock in their droves to pick up a digital copy of the EP in just a few weeks.

“The sound we create takes its cue from formal music training and eclectic musical influences. The result pays homage to all of the great hallmarks of electronic dance music, while tipping a melodic hat to more traditional musical structure,” says the Harmonic Heroes.

Continuing, “Our record company admit that the EDM scene could use more guitar and percussion influence, so we’re delighted to be turning the industry on its head by fusing both cutting-edge and age-old influences. It’s certainly a different sound that is resonating with fans around the world.”

Harmonic Heroes also presents a fortnightly podcast, consisting of a one-hour DJ mix as well as show and track announcements. Titled ‘RGDM – Really Good Dance Music’, the show is available from iTunes as well as other online broadcast partners.


Harmonic Heroes is an EDM Producer/DJ specializing in Progressive House music.

State Senator Collins and the Chicago Football Classic welcome Simeon Wolverines, Jabari Parker to Springfield

Posted by Newsroom On April - 24 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) was honored to host the Simeon Career Academy Wolverines on their visit to the Capitol today, this time as state champions for the fourth consecutive year.

“This is a team that has overcome many obstacles and withstood tremendous pressure to prevail with a brand of basketball that values skill over showmanship and teamwork over star power,” Collins said. “With seven state championships — six in the past eight years — the Wolverines have more than established their legacy as one of the greatest teams in state history.”

Among the visiting players receiving the Senate’s congratulations was Simeon’s nationally ranked forward Jabari Parker. The All-American McDonald’s Player of the Year and the first ever two-time recipient of the Illinois Mr. Basketball Award, Parker will attend and play for Duke University in the fall.

“Jabari is a scholar, athlete and role model,” Collins said. “After suffering an injury and enduring months on the sidelines, he got back in shape, worked harder than ever and through his faith and sheer determination earned back his reputation for excellence and helped his team to victory.”

Other team leaders include Kendrick Nunn, four-time All-State and All-City Champion who has been selected to play in the American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk Championships next month and is headed to the University of Illinois; Kendall Pollard, 35th ranked small forward in the country who will play for the Dayton Flyers and Jaylon Tate, point guard, who will also attend the University of Illinois.

“Thank you, young men, for standing strong for all the young people who look to you as examples of what an athlete can be,” Collins said.

Collins also recognized Coach Robert Smith and Chicago Football Classic’s Larry Huggins and Timothy and Everett Rand, who were proud to sponsor the Wolverines’ trip to the Capitol for Senate recognition. The Chicago Football Classic is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to encouraging African American youth to achieve their personal best in school and beyond.

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