21/05/14 Black Culture , Black News , featured , ybw #

Black Church Being Demolished to Make Way for Soccer Field

Black Church Being Demolished to Make Way for Soccer Field

Orlando church.jpg

For over a year, leaders at a black owned church have negotiated with the city of Orlando over the sale of their church, but now those talks have broken down and the city is suing in order to force the church to sell.

The city needs the land where Faith Deliverance Temple sits so that it can build a $115 million dollar soccer stadium

Orlando Sentinel‘s Mark Schlueb reports that the church’s owners had initially been offered $1 million dollars, double the appraised value of the church, but refused. The city eventually increased its offer to $4 million dollars, but the family that owns the church turned it down. The owners reduced their bid from $35 million dollars to $15 million.

City Attorney Mayanne Downs says the city is willing to pay the church much more than the appraised value, but  the church owner’s asking prices is just too high.

“We’ve got a duty to safeguard the assets of the city,” Downs told the Orlando Sentinel. “While we were certainly willing to pay the Williams family a substantial amount of money — much more than the property is worth by any estimate — there comes a point where we have to go to court.”

Now a judge will decide if the church property can be taken by the city using eminent domain. If the judge finds that building a soccer stadium is a legitimate public use, then the church owners will lose. If that happens, then the next step is to determine the fair market value of the property, which is much less than the $4 million offered by the city.



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21/05/14 Black News , Black Politics , featured , ybw #

John Lewis Opposes Confederate Sympathizer Nominated to Judiciary by Obama

John Lewis Opposes Confederate Sympathizer Nominated to Judiciary by Obama

Congressman John Lewis is one of the last living icons from the civil rights movement and on Monday, Lewisjohn lewis2 announced his opposition to President Obama’s conservative judicial nominee.

Obama’s nominee, Michael Boggs, a social conservative, is opposed to gay rights and abortion rights. Boggs is also a Confederate sympathizer who voted to keep the Confederate insignia on the Georgia state flag while he was a Georgia legislator.

Lewis says Boggs “is in direct opposition to everything I have stood for during my career.” Boggs is so right wing that he went so far as to support legislation requiring that abortion doctors post their names online as well as the number of abortions they’d performed.

John Lewis on Monday said his life’s work is in direct opposition to Boggs, who President Obama has nominated for a lifetime post on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

“I have worked tirelessly to rid Georgia, the South, and this nation from the stain of racial discrimination in any form, including the display of Confederate emblems in the Georgia state flag,” he said. “I am not about to change that position now.”

Lewis had remained quiet as of late, leading some to believe that he may’ve changed his initial position on the Boggs nomination, but his statement on Monday made clear that he is still opposed to Boggs.

Even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is opposing the Boggs nomination, as are members of the Congressional Black Caucus, leading many to wonder why the Obama administration went so far out on a limb to support a conservative nominee.



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20/05/14 Black Culture , Black News , featured , ybw #

Start-Up Seeks to Replace FICO Score With Earning Potential

Start-Up Seeks to Replace FICO Score With Earning Potential

Anyone who has ever been plagued by bad credit knows the desperation associated with being judged by one’s pastcreditscore hardships and mistakes. One Harvard Business School graduate seeks to change all that by giving borrowers loans based on their future earning potential as opposed their FICO score.

Louis Beryl tried to get a loan to pay for business school tuition, but even though he had previously worked on Wall Street and had good credit, he couldn’t get a loan. The rejection gave him the idea of founding a start-up called Earnest, which hopes to give people loans based on their earning potential as opposed to their credit score. Beryl’s company has raised $15 million dollars so far.

“The credit system looks at so few things,” said Beryl, 33, told the Wall Street Journal. “For people that are just starting off, and haven’t built up that history, it’s very hard to get started. They’re either being overcharged or they’re being denied.”

During the application process Earnest asks potential borrowers about their education, salary, job, and other questions which help determine a person’s earning potential. The company also derives data from online profiles like LinkedIn, then runs the information through an algorithm which determines how likely a borrower is to repay the loan.

Two other companies, LendingClub and Prosper, also use new technology to help offer loans to people who don’t qualify for traditional loans.

Earnest has given out thousands of dollars in loans to residents in Massachusetts and Florida and will soon open up to residents of New York, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Utah.


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20/05/14 Black Media , Black News , Race & Racism , ybw #

NYT: Black Women Have Seen No Improvement in Their Employment Rate During Recovery

NYT: Black Women Have Seen No Improvement in Their Employment Rate During Recovery
NYT graphic

Photo Credit: New York Times

If an economic recovery is to be deemed successful, it is reasonable to assume that it shouldn’t leave out entire demographics. However, an article in the New York Times reaches the conclusion that although many at the economic top tier are doing much better, the current recovery is leaving behind core groups of the Democratic base.

For example, although the unemployment rate is down for women, NYT notes that “the number of women employed compared with the total female population is 55.2 percent, actually worse than it was in October 2010.”

And this isn’t just the case for women:

Blacks, whose support for Mr. Obama has been unwavering, have seen their unemployment rate drop from 15.7 percent at the last midterms to 11.6 percent, still high but a considerable improvement. But the rate at which they are employed has barely moved, to 53.8 percent of the black population from 52.4. Black women have seen no improvement in their employment rate.

Blacks also aren’t seeing an improvement in overall incomes:

Income for households in the exact middle of the income distribution declined 4.26 percent from 2009 to 2012, the last year for which data is available. For white households, mean income declined by 2.2 percent. For black homes, the decline was 4.5 percent; for Hispanics, 4.2 percent.

Voters earning less than $30,000 overwhelmingly supported Obama over Romney in the 2012 election, but it is the wealthy in this country who are benefiting the most from the economic recovery, watching their pre-tax income increase over 30 percent during the recovery.


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19/05/14 Black Crime & Incarceration , Black News , featured , ybw #

Detroit Police Chief Craig Now an NRA Hero for Telling Residents to Arm Themselves

Detroit Police Chief Craig Now an NRA Hero for Telling Residents to Arm Themselves

Detroit Police Chief James Craig

Detroit Police Chief James Craig gained a rather unusual ally when he encouraged homeowners to arm themselves as a way of guarding against crime. The comments earned Craig much esteem by gun rights advocates and even got him on the cover of the National Rifle Association’s magazine.

In the article titled “A Show of Courage in Detroit” Craig explains why he supports homeowners arming themselves and what impact it has had on the city. The Detroit Free Press reports that Craig credited declining crime rates with citizens arming themselves.

“This is not about inciting vigilantism, because in my view when you talk about vigilantism, you’re talking about someone who has made a decision to do law enforcement’s job — go out and enforce the law,” Craig is quoted as saying in the NRA article. “This is not that at all. This is about self-defense, protection, an imminent threat to life, very different response.”

Chief Craig told a crowd last year that he was almost carjacked while driving a police car.

Appearing at an anti-carjacking event, Craig admitted that he’d almost been carjacked while driving a police car with lights.

“There are certain cars each suspect tends to (be attracted) to, and I guess they liked my police car — a police car with lights,” Craig said, according to The Detroit News. “And one suspect jumped out and began running toward the passenger side of my vehicle … As soon as I saw the suspect running to my car, I accelerated out of harm’s way.”


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