Vol. 38 No. 16 • The Washington Sun • January 17, 2013
President Obama Unveils Gun-Law Changes
(UPI) — U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday announced 23 executive actions to stem gun violence and called on Congress to take action.
Obama said it would sign the executive orders giving police, schools and mental health professionals the tools necessary to reduce gun violence and called on Congress to strengthen background checks to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them.
“There is no reason we should not do this,” he said.
Obama also called for a ban on assault weapons and limit to 10-round magazines.
President Barack Obama’s gun-law plan includes expanded background checks and bans on assault weapons and high-capacity clips, the White House said.
“The president has made clear that he intends to take a comprehensive approach,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said ahead of Obama’s Wednesday announcement of the most sweeping proposed changes to gun laws in nearly two decades.
Obama “has also made clear that there are specific legislative actions that he will continue to call on Congress to take, including the assault-weapons ban, including a measure to ban high-capacity magazine clips, including an effort to close the very big loopholes in the background-check system in our country,” Carney said.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, who developed the administration’s proposals, were to unveil the package at the White House at 11:55 a.m., the White House said.
They were to be accompanied by children who wrote to Obama after last month’s Sandy Hook Elementary school mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., the White House said.
The children and their parents were invited to Washington to attend the announcement.
Obama “will broadly address the steps forward that he believes we need to take as a nation to try to reduce the scourge of gun violence in this country,” Carney said, without offering details.
The Wall Street Journal said Obama’s proposals were expected to include actions the president could take through his executive powers, such as more aggressive prosecution of people who try to buy firearms illegally.
The Washington Post said the actions would also include enhanced federal research on gun violence and an updated U.S. database to track guns, criminals and people with mental illnesses.
A school-safety initiative was expected to include increasing federal funding for police officers at schools, the Post said.
Obama is also likely to propose ideas that haven’t been widely discussed in public, the Journal said. Those include encouraging target shooters to lock up their guns at target ranges rather than take them home, where they may be more likely to fall into the wrong hands, the Journal said.
Presidential Inaugural Committee Announces Speakers And Performers for National Day of Service Summit
Chelsea Clinton Named Honorary Chair of the National Day of Service for Presidential Inaugural
The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) announced the speakers and performers who will kick off the 57th Presidential Inauguration at the Service Summit on the National Mall as part of President Obama’s National Day of Service. Speaking and performing at the Service Summit will be National Day of Service Honorary Chair Chelsea Clinton, PIC Co-Chair Eva Longoria, singer-songwriter Ben Folds, Iraq war veteran and Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, American Heart Association spokesperson and television personality Star Jones, actress Angela Bassett, gospel singer Yolanda Adams, U.S. Rep and Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, and the Washington Children’s Choir. The event will be emceed by 94.7 Fresh FM host Tommy McFly.
Each speaker will highlight one of seven themes of service: community resilience, economic development, education, environment, faith, health, and veterans and military families.
The public can sign up for the Service Summit on the National Mall at http://www.2013pic.org/service/dc. Nearly 100 service organizations will be on hand conducting service projects and training citizens to serve in their communities throughout the coming year. Volunteers can paint a portable mural for a D.C.-area school with Greater DC Cares or work with faith-based organizations to craft cards for hospitalized and foster care children. The Red Cross will offer CPR and AED training, and First Book will fill backpacks with new books for children in need. With a series of hands-on activities, Share Our Strength will teach ways to select healthy foods on a budget. Roots and Shoots will have kid-friendly crafts that make use of recycled materials to protect migratory birds and the American Legion will be working with volunteers to make “Valentines for Vets.
“We could not be more excited that so many distinguished Americans are answering the President and Vice President’s call to serve,” said PIC spokeswoman Addie Whisenant. “The service fair on the National Mall will undoubtedly capture the spirit of shared commitment and ongoing service so important to President Obama, Vice President Biden and their families.”
In response to a call to action from President Obama, thousands of Americans across the country are rolling up their sleeves and getting involved in the National Day of Service to strengthen their communities and honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In 2009, President Obama and the First Lady started the tradition of holding a National Day of Service the weekend before the swearing-in. President Obama has always believed that everyone has something they can contribute to their community, and that America works best when neighbors help neighbors.
More information on the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee and the National Day of Service can be found at www.2013pic.org and on Twitter @obamainaugural. The official hashtag of the National Day of Service is #iserve.
Beyoncé to Sing National Anthem at Inauguration
The 16-time Grammy winner will be accompanied by The President’s Own U.S. Marine Band. Other performers include Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor
Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor will perform at the inauguration, on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Jan. 21.
Beyoncé will sing the National Anthem, Kelly Clarkson will perform “My Country Tis of Thee,” and James Taylor will sing “America the Beautiful.”
“When we work with guest artists we coordinate with them and their music directors to get a sense of what they are hoping for in their presentation, and what’s their best key,” Col. Michael J. Colburn, director of The President’s Own, said.
U.S. Marine Band Staff Sergeant Ryan Nowlin is arranging the selections to be sung by Beyoncé and Kelly Clarkson, with Marine Band accompaniment, Colburn said.
President Obama was involved in the selection of participants in the Inaugural program, including the musical performers. “Their music is often at the heart of the American story and speaks to folks across the country,” Obama said.
Other ceremonial participants include author, civil rights and political activist Myrlie Evers-Williams, who will give the invocation; Richard Blanco, who will serve as the Inaugural poet; and Rev. Luis Leon, who ministers at St. John’s Episcopal Church, the parish near the White House Obama most frequently attends with his family, who will deliver the Benediction.
Metro Plans for Inauguration Day
Metro is preparing to be the transportation mode of choice for hundreds of thousands of visitors on Inauguration Day 2013.
On Inauguration Day:
Metrorail will open at 4 a.m. and close at 2 a.m.
Metrorail will provide 17 consecutive hours of rush-hour service — from 4 a.m. until 9 p.m. Peak fares will be in effect during that time.
Normal weekday parking rates will apply at Metrorail parking facilities. Parking fees will be charged as you exit the garage and may be paid by SmarTrip® or credit card.
Metrobus will operate weekday rush hour service in the morning, followed by an early rush hour in the afternoon. Many routes will operate on detours due to Inaugural events.
MetroAccess will operate identical hours to Metrorail and Metrobus. MetroAccess customers are encouraged to plan extra time due to increased traffic throughout the service area.
Additional information will be posted on this page as Inaugural event schedules and service plans are finalized.
Inaugural Activities – Schedule of Official Inaugural Events
The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) released an updated schedule of official events for the second Inaugural of President Obama and Vice President Biden.
Please note that the schedule below includes all official Inaugural events planned as of January 15, 2013. All media wishing to cover official events that are open to media coverage will be required to show PIC-provided media credentials; the deadline to apply for credentials has passed. Media credentials are non-transferable. For more information on media coverage of events, visit: http://www.2013pic.org/press.
“This Inauguration is about bringing Americans together to celebrate our shared purpose,” said David Cusack, Executive Director of the PIC. “The schedule of official public events will allow Americans across the country to participate in the celebration.”
SATURDAY, JANUARY 19
National Day of Service Summit on the National Mall
Location: The National Mall
Start Event: 9:30 AM ET
The First and Second families are issuing a call to action for all Americans to join together in service to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As part of the 57th Presidential Inauguration, the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) is encouraging all Americans to participate in a National Day of Service on Saturday, January 1 – a tradition started by the Obamas at their first Inaugural four years ago.
As part of this Day of Service, the Inaugural Committee will host a Service Summit on the National Mall, and is planning service events in all 50 states. In addition to the Service Summit, on Saturday the President, Vice President, and their families will also participate in service events in Washington DC.
Kids’ Inaugural Concert
Location: Washington Convention Center
Start Time: 6:00 PM ET
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will host the Kids’ Inaugural for America’s children and families as part of their ongoing commitment to military families. The concert continues a tradition they started in 2009 that builds on initiatives like Joining Forces by honoring and celebrating the service and sacrifice of our U.S. military as part of official Inaugural activities.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 20
Vice President Biden’s Official Swearing-In
Location: Naval Observatory
Start Time: 8:15 AM ET
Coverage: White House Pooled Press
President Obama’s Official Swearing-In
Location: White House – Blue Room
Start Time: 11:55 AM ET
Historically, Inaugural Ceremonies are not held on a Sunday because Courts and other public institutions are not open. This year, in accordance with the requirements of the United States Constitution, President Obama and Vice President Biden will officially be sworn-in on Sunday, January 20, 2013.
MONDAY, JANUARY 21
Ceremonial Swearing-In Ceremony
Location: Capitol Hill
Start Time: 11:30 AM ET
On Monday, the President and Vice President will be sworn in the traditional ceremonial swearing in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol that is open to the public. Note: Per tradition, the event is hosted by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies and media credentials for this event are issued by the Senate Media Galleries.
Location: Viewing stands and bleachers are lined along Pennsylvania Avenue
Estimated Start Time: 2:35 PM ET
President Obama, Vice President Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden will participate in the Inaugural Parade following the public swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol. This year’s parade features participants, floats and vehicles representing more than 58 groups.
The Commander in Chief’s Inaugural Ball
Location: Washington Convention Center
Doors open: 6:00 PM
As he did at his first Inauguration in 2009, President Obama will host the Commander-in-Chief’s Ball to honor America’s brave service members and their families, a tradition started by President George W. Bush in 2005. Active duty and reserve military, Medal of Honor recipients, and wounded warriors and their spouses will attend. Troops from around the world will also be able to join the celebration virtually.
The Inaugural Ball
Location: Washington Convention Center – Halls A, B and C
Doors open: 6:30 PM
Location: Washington Convention Center – Halls D and E
Doors open: 7:00 PM
Americans across the country are invited to share in the celebration at The Inaugural Ball, a unified celebration for all Americans that will span every hall in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 22
National Prayer Service
Location: Washington National Cathedral
Start Time: 10:30 AM ET
President Obama, Vice President Biden, and their spouses will attend a prayer service on Tuesday morning.
Historic Bibles Selected for Swearing-In Ceremonies
The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) announced the Bibles that President Obama and Vice President Biden will use at their swearing-in ceremonies on Sunday, January 20, and Monday, January 21.
On Sunday, January 20, President Obama will take the oath of office using the Robinson Family Bible. On Monday, January 21, the President will take the oath of office using two Bibles: the Bible used by President Lincoln at his first Inauguration, which the President used in 2009, and a Bible used by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“President Obama is honored to use these Bibles at the swearing-in ceremonies,” said Steve Kerrigan, President and CEO of the PIC. “On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, this historic moment is a reflection of the extraordinary progress we’ve made as a nation.”
Though there is no constitutional requirement for the use of a Bible during the swearing-in, Presidents have traditionally used Bibles for the ceremony, choosing a volume with personal or historical significance. In 2009, President Obama became the first President sworn in using the Lincoln Bible since its initial use in 1861.
The Robinson Family Bible was selected specifically for the occasion. The bible was a gift from the First Lady’s father, Fraser Robinson III, to his mother, LaVaughn Delores Robinson on Mother’s Day in 1958. Mrs. Robinson was the first African-American woman manager of a Moody Bible Institute’s bookstore and she used the Bible regularly.
The Lincoln Bible is part of the collections of the Library of Congress and was originally purchased by William Thomas Carroll, Clerk of the Supreme Court, for use during Lincoln’s swearing-in ceremony on March 4, 1861. The Bible itself is bound in burgundy velvet with a gold-washed white metal rim around the three outside edges of both covers, and all of its edges are heavily gilded.
The King Bible was Dr. King’s “traveling bible.” An avid reader who was constantly on the road, Dr. King typically traveled with a selection of books that included this Bible. It was used for inspiration and preparing sermons and speeches, including during Dr. King’s time as pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
“We know our father would be deeply moved to see President Obama take the Oath of Office using his bible,” Dr. King’s children said today. “His ‘traveling bible’ inspired him as he fought for freedom, justice and equality, and we hope it can be a source of strength for the President as he begins his second term. With the Inauguration less than two weeks away, we join Americans across the country in embracing this opportunity to celebrate how far we have come, honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. through service, and rededicate ourselves to the work ahead.”
Members of the King family will also join Americans across the country to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King by participating in National Day of Service events on Saturday, January 19. Additionally, a float in the Inaugural parade will commemorate Dr. King’s enduring legacy.
On Sunday and Monday, Vice President Biden will be sworn in using the Biden Family Bible, which is five inches thick, has a Celtic cross on the cover and has been in the Biden family since 1893. He used it every time he was sworn in as a US Senator and when he was sworn in as Vice President in 2009. His son Beau used it when he was sworn in as Delaware’s attorney general.
“For decades, the Vice President’s bible has been part of our country’s history,” Kerrigan said. “It will continue to serve not just the Biden family, but the American people as well.”
Lineup for Kids’ Inaugural and Inaugural Balls
Events will feature a diverse group of top celebrity musical guests
The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) announced today the initial talent lineup for the Kids’ Inaugural concert on Saturday, January 19 and the official Inaugural balls on Monday, January 21. The events will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and will highlight the Obama and Biden families’ support for our military service men and women.
The events will include appearances by Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley, Far East Movement, fun., members of the cast of Glee, John Legend, Katy Perry, Marc Anthony, Mindless Behavior, Nick Cannon, Smokey Robinson, Soul Children of Chicago, Stevie Wonder, and Usher. Additional performers will be announced in the coming days.
“We are honored and excited to have such a diverse, talented group of musical guests joining Americans from across the country to celebrate the 57th Inauguration,” said Steve Kerrigan, President and CEO of the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
On Saturday, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will host the Kids’ Inaugural for America’s children and families as part of their ongoing commitment to our military families. The concert continues a tradition they started in 2009 that builds on initiatives like Joining Forces by honoring and celebrating the service and sacrifice of our U.S. military as part of official Inaugural activities.
On Monday, the PIC will host two official Inaugural balls. The Commander-in-Chief’s Ball for members of the U.S. military, including active duty and reserve service men and women, Medal of Honor recipients, and wounded warriors and their spouses, among others, will continue a tradition started by President George W. Bush in 2005. The 2013 Commander-in-Chief’s Ball will have a significantly larger footprint than that of 2009, nearly doubling in size, and tickets for invited military guests will be provided free of charge by the PIC.
Also on Monday, Americans from across the country will be invited to share in a unified celebration at The Inaugural Ball, which brings members of the public together with grassroots volunteers, local community leaders and supporters, various organizations, and local and state elected leaders. The Inaugural Ball will use every Hall in the Convention Center, and together with the Commander-in-Chief’s Ball, the same space where six Inaugural balls were held in 2009 will be used.
In addition to today’s news, PIC previously announced Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson, and James Taylor will perform at the Inauguration ceremony on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 21.
The Home of the First President Holds Special Inauguration Activities
George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, offers special activities in honor of the 44th presidential inauguration. From January 18 through January 21, children are invited to participate in a “George Washington Presidential Scavenger Hunt”! Explore Washington’s Estate looking for clues that will lead to a special prize (while supplies last). Mount Vernon will give the 44th visitor through the gate a special gift from January 18 through January 21.
While at Mount Vernon, take the oath of office! View a replica of the first presidential inauguration with a life-size figure of Washington taking the oath of office. Visitors have a chance to “step into Washington’s shoes” by placing their hand on a reproduction of the Bible upon which Washington took the oath of office. Visitors recite the presidential oath and, upon completion, lift their hand to hear the roar of a cheering crowd!
Visitors of all ages can experience a unique piece of history now on display in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum – George Washington’s annotated copy of the Acts of Congress. This rare volume garnered world-wide attention this summer when it was offered for sale and broke auction world records for an American historical document. The remarkably well-preserved book includes Washington’s copy of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and other legislation passed by the first session of Congress, complete with his personal annotations. The Acts of Congress will remain on display through February 18, 2013.
All of activities are included in Estate admission: adults, $17; children ages 6-11, $8; and children under 5 are free. Please visit MountVernon.org for more information and to plan a visit.
The “2013 Heroes Red, White & Blue Inaugural Concert Ball”
Presented By Citizens Helping Heroes and Honoring America’s Military
Rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd headline the “2013 Heroes Red, White & Blue Inaugural Concert Ball” honoring America’s Military Heroes in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2013. The invitation-only event is sponsored by Citizens Helping Heroes, DOG TAGS, a program of the Washington Humane Society, and Green Beret Foundation.
Honorary co-hosts include Speaker John Boehner, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon, Chairman Spencer Bachus and Chairman Bill Shuster. Esteemed guests include members from TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), the Warrior Transition Brigade from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the Tuskegee Airmen.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Remembering the Dreamer
But let judgment roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. Amos 5:24
Dr. Alveda C. King
Daughter of the late slain civil rights activist Rev. A. D. King and Niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Founder of King for America, Inc
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. quoted this powerful scripture in his famous I HAVE A DREAM speech. He believed God’s Word. He took his Bible, the one President Obama will place his hand upon next week, very seriously; so seriously that he repeatedly risked his life to proclaim its message of love for God and love for neighbor.
Uncle M.L., like everyone, was far from perfect, but he loved the Lord. It was God’s Word that he used to unite a movement and change our nation.
Uncle M.L. was born on January 15, 1929. In remembering him today, I can tell you that he was a kind and gentle man who was used as a strong prophet of God.
Many people called him the “Black Moses,” and the “Modern Day Apostle of Love.” He was a Baptist preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ who was also called to lead the 20th Century Civil Rights Movement.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. loved Jesus and preached his Word. His sermons such as Rediscovering Lost Values and The Death of Evil on the Seashore reflect his devotion to the Lord and his obedience to God’s call. The themes of his teachings are strongly reflective of the need of God’s love, human repentance and forgiveness.
Dr. King was a family man. As one whose bloodline includes ancestors who were not only powerful Gospel preachers, but ex-slaves, Irish sharecroppers, educators, musicians, entrepreneurs and civil rights leaders, we can understand and appreciate how God called Dr. King as a modern day Moses and gave him a prophetic DREAM to help to set the captives free.
He and my father, Rev. A. D. King, are brothers, fallen soldiers of the 20th Century Civil Rights Movement who now reside in Heaven. Many people don’t even know that Martin had a brother and a sister. He was a beloved uncle and family member.
The year 2013 will mark several significant landmark anniversaries including 150 years since the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, 100 years since the formation of the Federal Reserve System, 50 years since the MLK ‘I HAVE A DREAM SPEECH’, and the 40th year landmine Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in America. This will surely be a year of transition and there is a need for a deep spiritual awakening. In fact it’s time for America to wake up before the dream becomes a nightmare.
Thank God that Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream. Happy Birthday
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church to Host W.E.B DuBois Distinguished Book Award Winner Answering the Knock at Midnight: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy in the Contemporary Black Church
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is pleased to host local political scientist, Dr. Tamelyn Tucker-Worgs, for its Martin Luther King, Jr. Program. Tucker-Worgs, will deliver an address titled, Answering the Knock at Midnight: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy in the Contemporary Black Church. In addition to contextualizing Martin Luther King’s challenge to the Black Church to “answer the knock at midnight” and progressively engage in public life, Tucker-Worgs will discuss faith-based community development in today’s churches—where it works, where it fails, and how gender plays a role.
Angela Wright, vestry member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and co-chair of the program, is looking forward to this event. “Dr. Tucker-Worgs research in the area of how African-American churches serve as agents of change and respond to societal needs is worth taking a timeout to listen and reflect on during the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, because she is helping us to understand and connect to the innovators that are worth emulating. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is particularly excited about her visit, because she may help us find new ways to build on our current work and be more impactful during our 140th Anniversary Year.”
The St. Luke’s Episcopal Church of Washington, D.C. was organized by the Reverend Alexander Crummell in 1873 as the first independent black Episcopal church in Washington. Throughout 2013, the church and its supporters have planned numerous events to celebrate the 140 years as an important part of the Episcopal faith in the District of Columbia. To acknowledge their sustained vitality, the church chose the theme “Foundation for Growth,” intending for the year to be filled with a number of innovative programs sponsored by Rev. Ray Massenburg and members of the St. Luke’s congregation. Wright notes, “We are excited to have Dr. Tucker-Worgs share her insights and to challenge us to think and act in new ways as a church community. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church has a history of achievement within the District of Columbia, but our congregation doesn’t plan to rest on its laurels, but plan to build on the foundation established by Reverend Alexander Crummell to do more.”
Tucker-Worgs is a Political Science Professor at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland and the author of the award winning book, The Black Megachurch: Theology, Gender, and the Politics of Public Engagement. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Program will be held on January 20, 2012 at 1 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church located at 1514 15th Street, NW Washington, DC. For more information on the program, please visit http://stlukemlkprogram.eventbrite.com. More information on St. Luke’s Episcopal Church can be learned by visiting: http://www.stlukesdc.org/
DPR Announces Closure Schedules for Inauguration Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day
All DPR Centers, Aquatic Facilities and Offices will be Closed on Sunday, January 20 & Monday, January 21
The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) announced that all DPR Centers, Aquatic Facilities and Administrative Offices will be closed on Monday, January 21, in observance of the Presidential Inauguration (observed) and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
All Aquatic Facilities will be closed on Sunday, January 20, 2013 in observance of the Presidential Inauguration.
Grass fields have closed for the season and they will remain closed.
No permits have been issued for January 20 or January 21.
All other fields, courts, playgrounds and parks will remain open for free use/play on Sunday, January 20th and Monday, January 21st in observance of the holidays.
Due to Inauguration activities within select DPR Recreation Centers, gymnasiums in the following sites will be closed and unavailable to the public on Friday, January 18 and Saturday, January 20. All activities normally scheduled for the gymnasiums will be cancelled.
Kennedy Recreation Center : 1401 7th St., NW (Ward 6)
King Greenleaf Recreation Center : 201 N St., SW (Ward 6)
Sherwood Recreation Center : 640 10th St., NE (Ward 6)
Turkey Thicket Recreation Center : 1100 Michigan Ave., NE (Ward 5)
These sites will have a delayed opening on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 1 pm.
Navy Vice Admiral Michelle Howard to Receive the NAACP Chairman’s Award at the 44th Image Awards
First African American Woman to Command a Navy Ship Serves as Inspiration to the Next Generation
United States Navy Vice Admiral Michelle Janine Howard will receive the NAACP Chairman’s Award during the 44th NAACP Image Awards, broadcast live on Friday, February 1st (8:00-10:00 PM EST) on NBC.
The Chairman’s Award, chosen by NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock, is bestowed in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service. Past honorees include TV One Founder and President Cathy Hughes, US. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin, Tyler Perry, Former Vice President Al Gore and Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai, Aretha Franklin, Bono, then-Senator Barack Obama, The Dave Matthews Band, and Danny Glover.
“Vice Admiral Howard is an inspiration for me and women of color across our country,” stated Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors. “Her service and achievements as a top-ranking officer in the U.S. Navy have paved the way for girls and young women to know their dreams can become their reality.”
“I am sincerely touched and honored that the NAACP would choose to recognize me with the Chairman’s Award,” stated Vice Admiral Howard. “I have been privileged to serve with our Nation’s sons and daughters who remain my greatest inspiration. NAACP Image Awards remind us that even when we can’t find role models who look like us, television and the movies allow us to dream and believe that anything is possible. From belief comes faith and from faith the possibilities become real.”
Howard, who currently serves as deputy commander for the US Fleet Forces Command, is a 1978 graduate of Gateway High School in Aurora, Colorado. In 1982, she graduated from the United States Naval Academy and in 1998 from the Army’s Command and General Staff with a Masters in Military Arts and Sciences. Howard’s initial sea tours were aboard USS Hunley and USS Lexington. In 1990, she reported to USS Mount Hood as chief engineer and served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. By July 1992, Howard had assumed duties as first lieutenant on board the USS Flint.
Over the next several years, Howard continued to gain experience and take on leadership roles, and, in January 1996, she became the executive officer of USS Tortuga and deployed to the Adriatic in support of Operation Joint Endeavor, a peacekeeping effort in the former Republic of Yugoslavia. On March 12, 1999, Howard became the first African American woman to command a ship in the U.S. Navy.
From May 2004 to September 2005, Howard was the commander of Amphibious Squadron Seven. Deploying with Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 5, operations included tsunami relief efforts in Indonesia and maritime security operations in the North Arabian Gulf.
Vice Admiral Howard is the recipient of several awards for her service. While serving on board Lexington, she received the secretary of the Navy/Navy League Captain Winifred Collins award in May 1987. Howard is also the recipient of the 2008 Women of Color Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Career Achievement Award, the 2009 Dominion Power Strong Men and Women Excellence in Leadership Award, and the 2011 USO Military Woman of the Year.
The NAACP Image Awards is the premier multicultural awards show. It celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film, and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.
Event sponsors include FedEx, AARP, UAW/Chrysler, Wells Fargo, Ford Motor Company, Anheuser Busch, Hyundai Motors, AT&T, Southwest Airlines and Walgreens.
For all information and latest news, please visit the official NAACP Image Awards website at http://www.naacpimageawards.net.
National Urban League’s Morial to Address U.S. Conference of Mayors on Jobs, Guns and Sensible Budget Policy
National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial will address the U.S. Conference of Mayors at a special forum during the group’s Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Jan. 19.
“I stand with the Conference as it convenes to urge Congressional leaders and Administration officials to push for a balanced approach to deficit reduction and sequestration cuts,” Morial said. “Just as we at the National Urban League have done, the Conference has declared the unemployment crisis a top priority for federal action.”
The National Urban League earlier this month announced, Jobs Rebuild America, a historic initiative that includes a series of public and private investments totaling more than $70 million over the next five years. Existing programs will be augmented and new programs created, reaching thousands of job-seekers, youth and entrepreneurs, and putting urban America back to work. The second component of the initiative is an aggressive grassroots advocacy campaign focused on federal legislative action to create permanent pathways to employment for at-risk teenagers and young adults.
Morial, the former Mayor of New Orleans, served as President of the U.S.
Conference of Mayors in 2001 and 2002. Joining him for the special lunchtime forum, ” Making Cities Stronger Through More Efficient Benefits,” are Lisa Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, and Stephen K. Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, S.C.
More than 270 mayors are expected to attend the meeting, which also will address gun control and school safety, Hurricane Sandy response, immigration,and the threat to tax exempt municipal bonds.
U.S. Transportation Announces $7 Million for Transit Workforce Development Grants to Boost Training, Employment Opportunities
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently announced that 17 organizations in 12 states will receive a share of $7 million from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Innovative Transit Workforce Development Program. The grants help local public transit agencies, institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes train a future generation of transit professionals, with particular emphasis on promoting training opportunities in emerging technologies and encouraging young people to pursue careers in public transportation.
“A well-educated workforce is vital to ensuring that our nation’s economy continues to grow and that the transportation industry has qualified individuals to keep our transit systems competitive,” said Secretary LaHood. “This program provides training that reflects the Obama Administration’s commitment to helping American’s find good jobs.”
A table listing projects selected for funding in Fiscal Year 2012 is available here.
Secretary LaHood made today’s announcement at the Booker T. Washington Public Charter School for Technical Arts in Washington, D.C., where he highlighted a $795,334 workforce grant awarded to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). This grant will be used to provide military veterans and high school students with skills training and assistance to help them transition into WMATA’s Bus Maintenance Apprenticeship programs. Participants will receive mechanical, electrical and electronics training to successfully join WMATA’s work force. LaHood was joined by FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, and other local officials.
“The United States has invested billions of dollars to strengthen public transportation around the country in recent years,” said Administrator Rogoff. “Right here in D.C., this program will enable talented young adults and military veterans to seize the opportunity to learn new skills and embark on successful career building, managing, operating, and maintaining Metro and other growing transit systems.”
Other projects funded by the grants focus on helping transit workers master hybrid and electric vehicle technologies, intelligent transportation systems, and computer-aided dispatch systems. Many projects also reach out to underserved communities and showcase innovative methods for inspiring youths to pursue careers in public transportation. FTA received a total of 64 eligible applications seeking more than $30 million in funds for the FY 2012 program.
In FY 2011, FTA provided $3 million for 12 transit workforce training programs that are showing great promise. For example, through Denver Regional Transportation District’s “Workforce Initiative Now” program, roughly 280 college-aged teens and adults have been trained and/or hired to work on local transportation construction projects.
Under the new surface transportation law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), FTA is authorized to establish a competitive grant program to address the staffing needs of public transportation providers, advance maintenance-related training for alternative and energy-efficient vehicles and facilities, target areas with high rates of unemployment, and address current and projected workforce shortages in technical areas.
Wells Fargo Donates $3 Million to UNCF, Investing in America’s Future Leaders
– Donation extends commitment to help students graduate –
UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization, announced today that Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets, will expand their relationship with UNCF by investing $3 million to help more African American students attend and graduate from college. Wells Fargo presented UNCF with a check in conjunction with the taping of the 34th edition of UNCF An Evening of Stars®, UNCF’s annual television special, which took place in Pasadena, Calif.
Wells Fargo will invest $1 million annually in UNCF during the next three years to help students earn college degrees and get an education before college that prepares them for college coursework and college success. The Wells Fargo investment will target UNCF initiatives that include:
- Helping to tell a national audience about the importance of college education, college readiness, and the achievements of UNCF and its students, through Wells Fargo’s sponsorship of UNCF An Evening of Stars®, a two-hour, nationally televised musical variety special that spotlights some of the biggest names in entertainment and UNCF student success stories;
- Helping middle-school, high school and college students and their families plan for college and learn about financial responsibility and management through the UNCF Empower Me Tour Presented by Wells Fargo, a free, traveling college- and career-readiness road show hosted by celebrities;
- Providing financial aid to students attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) under the UNCF-administered Wells Fargo Scholarship Program; and
- Supporting the more than 57,000 students who attend UNCF member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) through Wells Fargo’s sponsorship of the UNCF “A Mind Is…” Gala.
“UNCF is grateful for Wells Fargo’s investment in better futures for African American students,” said UNCF President and CEO Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D. “By investing in UNCF, Wells Fargo is making a major contribution to helping students earn college degrees and to making the case for the right of every student to a college-ready high school education.”
“At Wells Fargo we’re committed to education and economic empowerment,” said Gigi Dixon, senior vice president, director of National Partnerships for Wells Fargo. “We also believe access to high-quality, affordable education is an important way we can help our communities become economically self-sufficient. We’re proud of our relationship with UNCF and the opportunities it creates for low-income and underrepresented students to attend and graduate from college – one of the single most important things they can do for their professional and financial success.”
(UPI) — The troubled U.S. Postal Service has reached its own debt ceiling and will go out of business this year unless Congress rescues it, the inspector general said.
The service — one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the Constitution — has reached its $15 billion credit limit with the U.S. Treasury and has effectively run out of money, said Williams, whose job is to prevent fraud, waste and program abuse and promote USPS efficiency.
“This is the year that they borrowed so much that they can’t borrow anymore,” he told the newspaper.
The post office bailout would not require taxpayer dollars, Williams said, but rather congressional intervention to reduce USPS pension payments, which are about $5.5 billion a year.
The post office has paid some $330 billion for benefits, but the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which manages civil service in the federal government, recently told Williams the USPS would need an additional $64 billion to satisfy legal requirements.
U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Ruth Goldway told The Guardian the pension payments, which the postal service had to go into debt to pay, are largely responsible for the service’s dire financial condition.
“They wouldn’t be in the situation they’re in without having borrowed all this money,” she said.
She noted with irony USPS pension payments go to the Treasury, which has been lending the service money to make the payments — so for the past five years the USPS has been borrowing from the Treasury to pay the Treasury.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has suggested USPS employees be required to pay into their health and life insurance benefits, like other federal workers.
The USPS lost about $16 billion last year and about $41 billion in the past five years, the Postal Regulatory Commission says.
The price of a first-class stamp goes up a penny to 46 cents Jan. 27.