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Letter to the Editor: She questions benefits of loyalty to Democrats…

DemocraticLogoBy Audrey Thompson

In 1964  President Johnson, a Democrat,  received 94 percent of the Black vote and since then no Republican presidential candidate has gotten more than 15 percent of the Black vote. Today, in the new Millennium, our vote is the most reliable block of votes for the Democratic Party from local elections to the Presidential elections. We are not new Democrats, but for almost 100 years, not 45 years since the voting rights act was passed and not even since President Barack Obama was first elected, but for almost 100 years, we have been the most reliable block of voters for the Democratic Party. No other group can boast the same.

Yet, all other groups get support, money and their voices heard by the Democrats. For me, I think I have seniority! My people have been their most reliable block of voters for almost a Century. Time vested in this Democratic Party with blood, sweat and tears and nobody else can say the same. It’s so bad, you can count on one hand how many African American’s are on staff for the California Democratic Party, it’s bad, it’s real bad!

We still have the highest unemployment rate, the highest incarceration rate and the highest school suspension rate. In fact, we have the highest of all the bad things and the lowest of all the good things. The Democratic Party does not support our agendas and they don’t support our candidates. If we continue to vote for the Democrats blindly they will never respect us nor give us a thing. This election look closely at the candidate, don’t vote blindly!  Please don’t go for the okeedoke again, stop voting on a promise! As the late comedian Joan Rivers used to say, “Can we talk?”

 

ENHANCED EBOLA SCREENING TO START AT FIVE U.S. AIRPORTS

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs & Border Protection (CBP) this week will begin new layers of entry screening at five U.S. airports that receive over 94 percent of travelers from the Ebola-affected nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

New York’s JFK International Airport will begin the new screening on Saturday.  In the 12 months ending July 2014, JFK received nearly half of travelers from the three West African nations. The enhanced entry screening at Washington-Dulles, Newark, Chicago-O’Hare, and Atlanta international airports will be implemented next week.

“We work to continuously increase the safety of Americans,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We believe these new measures will further protect the health of Americans, understanding that nothing we can do will get us to absolute zero risk until we end the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.”

“CBP personnel will continue to observe all travelers entering the United States for general overt signs of illnesses at all U.S. ports of entry and these expanded screening measures will provide an additional layer of protection to help ensure the risk of Ebola in the United States is minimized,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. “CBP, working closely with CDC, will continue to assess the risk of the spread of Ebola into the United States, and take additional measures, as necessary, to protect the American people.”

CDC is sending additional staff to each of the five airports. After passport review:

  • Travelers from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone will be escorted by CBP to an area of the airport set aside for screening.
  • Trained CBP staff will observe them for signs of illness, ask them a series of health and exposure questions and provide health information for Ebola and reminders to monitor themselves for symptoms. Trained medical staff will take their temperature with a non-contact thermometer.
  • If the travelers have fever, symptoms or the health questionnaire reveals possible Ebola exposure, they will be evaluated by a CDC quarantine station public health officer. The public health officer will again take a temperature reading and make a public health assessment. Travelers, who after this assessment, are determined to require further evaluation or monitoring will be referred to the appropriate public health authority.
  • Travelers from these countries who have neither symptoms/fever nor a known history of exposure will receive health information for self-monitoring.

Entry screening is part of a layered process that includes exit screening and standard public health practices such as patient isolation and contact tracing in countries with Ebola outbreaks.  Successful containment of the recent Ebola outbreak in Nigeria demonstrates the effectiveness of this approach.

These measures complement the exit screening protocols that have already been implemented in the affected West African countries, and CDC experts have worked closely with local authorities to implement these measures. Since the beginning of August, CDC has been working with airlines, airports, ministries of health, and other partners to provide technical assistance for the development of exit screening and travel restrictions in countries affected by Ebola. This includes:

  • Assessing the capacity to conduct exit screening at international airports;
  • Assisting countries with procuring supplies needed to conduct exit screening;
  • Supporting with development of exit screening protocols;
  • Developing tools such as posters, screening forms, and job-aids; and
  • Training staff on exit screening protocols and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)

Today, all outbound passengers are screened for Ebola symptoms in the affected countries. Such primary exit screening involves travelers responding to a travel health questionnaire, being visually assessed for potential illness, and having their body temperature measured.  In the last two months since exit screening began in the three countries, of 36,000 people screened, 77 people were denied boarding a flight because of the health screening process. None of the 77 passengers were diagnosed with Ebola and many were diagnosed as ill with malaria, a disease common in West Africa, transmitted by mosquitoes and not contagious from one person to another.

Exit screening at airports in countries affected by Ebola remains the principal means of keeping travelers from spreading Ebola to other nations.  All three of these nations have asked for, and continue to receive, CDC assistance in strengthening exit screening.

 

 

 

 

Dirty Politics Within The City, Again!

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On  Monday, October 13 at 9:30 a.m., community activists and concerned residences, led by Kim Carter, of Time for Change Foundation, will be holding a Press Conference on the steps of City Hall, to bring national attention to the back door politics of our new city leaders.  This comes on the heels of yet another scandal like the City’s bankruptcy.  Recently, during an open competitive process, a bid competition set up by the City for the purpose of community development, after receiving the highest score in that competition, the City Council final approval was placed on the agenda only to be pulled off, not once but twice!  One would think that with a “Review Committee” and the published results of that competition showing the winner (pgs. 14-16) (pgs. 370-372) that the City would honor their commitment!  But, NO!  If you don’t like the winner, you can change the rules?  The message this sends is “San Bernardino is not open for business!”  Or is it only for a chosen few?  Don’t enter the competition because it won’t work, a handshake won’t work, only back door politics work.  Are we there again?  Did we not just vote in a new regime to move our City in a new direction?

We are in a period of rebuilding our city.  No entity will be willing to come to San Bernardino to invest if the City does not hold to the competition process.  As all citizens are aware, we are supposed to be living in a free market society without the back door politics that plagued the City for the last 15 years and led to bankruptcy. This is not good for the citizens of our City or the future of our children, and we won’t stand for it.  This is the scandalous politics that we said would be long gone.  We voted in new people for an open, transparent and accountable City Council.  We stood for change and the voters’ voices were heard; we have new leadership and a new Council, yet the same only dirty politics. They are letting all businesses know that we don’t have a new regime; we are reminded of the old antics.  Has the new City Council been infiltrated or did we vote in new people who write rules and then change the game when they don’t like the result?  We live in a democratic society, a free market society with open competition.  When someone wins fair and square, there should be no rebuttals.

How can you ask people to vote for you during reelection time when you are sitting in the seat and not living up to the promises of openness, transparency and accountability?  How can you ask the citizens to trust the City to vote yes on Q when we can’t trust the results of Q; when the City takes money from agreements and then reneges?  If the City was truly moving forward, the transparency and accountability would be obvious.  Instead, what we have here smells like a rat!  According to Kim Carter: “I’m not a sore loser, because I was the winner.  This is not about me, this is about the process which is supposed to be open and transparent…a healthy competition.  Is any business safe to come here and enter a competition only to be awarded but not rewarded?”   It’s obvious the game is rigged when the rules change once the winner has been declared.  We are also seeing that the City is attempting to reward contracts following secretive RFPs which only has one person in the race.  There is a motion on the City Council agenda for October 20th to award an out of town agency … a $200,000 contract … in which there was only one agency in the race.  Hear me clearly … no competition = agency gets awarded contract … However, a healthy competition = winner gets shafted.

It is a rigged game when the rules change if the winner isn’t what … liked?  the right color? the right gender?
the right political party?  in the right family?   As an African American entrepreneur, I have to wonder, is this discrimination or just the City changing the game when they don’t like the winner?  The government is supposed to be open, transparent and accountable.  Has there been some Brown Act violations?  To not honor the process which is clearly laid out sends the wrong signal to people outside and inside San Bernardino.  Where is the accountability?  Where is the transparency?  Where is this new leadership?