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Who Was Cesar Chavez?

Cesar Chavez, 1927-1933, was a Mexican-American famous for his role as a union leader, labor organizer and Latin-American civil rights activist. In 1962, he found the National Farm Worker Association. After a successful strike with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee against California grape growers, the two unions merged to form the United Farm Workers. Chavez believed in peaceful protests and nonviolent methods to influence change such as boycotts, marches, and hunger strikes. Through his efforts, he was able to improve conditions for farm workers in California, Texas, Arizona and Florida (despite friction with the famous Teamster union).

Chavez was born in Yuma, Arizona to immigrant parents but moved to California with his family in 1939. With this family, he traveled up and down the coast working in fields under terrible conditions such as delipidates migrant camps, corrupt labor contractors, poor wages for hard labor as well as racism. He became active in other labor organizations but resigned to focus on developing his own labor union for farm workers. In September 1965, when the National Farm Worker Association joined a strike initiated by Filipino farm workers in Delano’s grape fields, Chavez became a household name. He organized a march on Sacremento in 1966 and brought the harsh conditions of the farm worker into the limelight.

He was also noted for his hunger fasts that he used to prove that non-violent protects can be effective. He organized a huge fast in 1988 to protect the suffering for farm workers and their children, ignorance of farm workers rights and the use of pesticides. Chavez fasted for 36 days, Reverend Jesse Jackson started where Chavez left fasting for an additional three days. The fast was passed to other religious and celebrity figures including Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Whoopi Goldberg, Kerry Kennedy, Carly Simon and Danny Glover.

Chavez died in his sleep on April 23, 1993.

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Celebrity Suicide

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, after the two back to back celebrity suicide deaths this past week, suicide hotline numbers have jumped up a total of 25%. Because celebrities are always in the limelight, people often feel a connection to a celebrity even if they have never met. When a celebrity dies, society as a whole feels a collective loss and the news of a celebrity death prompts people to seek help. Over the past few years there have been a lot of celebrity suicides:

  • L’Wren Scott – On March 17, 2014 the fashion designer and was found dead in her New York apartment.  She committed suicide by hanging her self.
  • Mark Salling – In January 2018, the former Glee star was found dead in a tree in the Angeles Forest area. He died of asphyxia by hanging himself.
  • Robin Williams – On August 11, 2014, the comedian died of asphyxiation by hanging himself from the doorknob in his bedroom.
  • Chris Cornell – In 2017, the rock star was found dead in his hotel room also had hung himself after taking a lethal dose of benzo, barbiturates, and amphetamine.
  • Chester Bennington – Another celebrity who was found hanging in his home in California.
  • Tony Scott – In 2012, this director jumped off a Los Angeles County bridge to his death. Anti-depressants and sleeping aids were found in his body.
  • Jonathan Brandis – In 2003, this up and coming star committed suicide by hanging himself in the hallway of his Los Angeles apartment building.

The list continues on and on. What is interesting is that most celebrities kill themselves by hanging.

If you or someone you know is an emotional distress or suicidal, please call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

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Cuba: Marriage Equality

As the daughter of a communist party chief, not a birth injury attorney, Mariela Castro, whose father is Raul Castro (and the niece of Fidel Castro), is just the advocate the LGBTQ community needs in Cuba. For most of the 20th century, communist parties have been proponents of the LGBTQ community and have been the earliest advocates of their rights. Therefore, it’s about time that Cuba updates their laws to include gay marriage as constitutional. As one of the leading gay rights activist in Cuba, Mariela plans to draft charters and create amendments to Cuba’s 1976 constitution this summer.

Homosexuality was not always celebrated in Cuba especially before their revolution. Many men were targeted with harassment and faced criminal charges for homosexuality. After the revolution, many homosexuals fled to Miami to escape persecution. Some were forced to work in camps during the UMAP program. However, by the late 1980s and the early 90s, the attitude toward homosexuals changed with even the country’s leader Fidel Castro urging Cubans to be more accepting of homosexuals as it was a natural tendency that should be respected.

Mariela has had other successes while being a gay rights activist in Cuba. In 2005, she proposed a law that allowed transgender people to receive sexual reassignment surgery and change their legal gender. This proposal became law three years later in 2008 and now transgender people can become their true gender free of charge. If anyone can get a law to pass to allow same-sex marriage in Cuba, it’s her.

 

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Hollywood’s Accountability Revolution

For decades, Hollywood has been a place where people go to chase their dreams and make it to the silver screen. Unfortunately, because people are so desperate to make it in Hollywood, there has been a creepy underbelly of Hollywood behavior preying on vulnerable actors, producers, writers, and everyone in between.

Allegations of sexual assault in Hollywood have come up every now and again, but after the stunning (in both number and detail) accusations against Harvey Weinstein, victims of sexual assault throughout Hollywood have been given a platform to speak out against their predators.

It seems like every day we are hearing stories about another powerful person in Hollywood abusing that power – from Kevin Spacey to George Takei to Louis C.K.; celebrities we once viewed as relatable and lovable are now finally showing their true colors. Thanks to the bravery of the people willing to come out, we are getting a better picture as to the huge issues present in Hollywood, and how we might be able to fix them going forward.

For the longest time, people in power were able to leverage situations like auditions and closed-door meetings to assault aspiring actors, models, and other Hollywood employees. Even prominent actors, and strong male actors like Terry Crews, were not immune to the receiving end of inappropriate actions from Hollywood executives.

Now that everyone’s story is public, we can create safer situations for people in Hollywood who are just trying to do their jobs. If we are able to get the offenders out of positions of power (and hopefully out of Hollywood altogether), and change the system so that offenders are penalized instead of protected, we can make Hollywood the dream work location that we currently envision it as.

As activists in Los Angeles, it is our job to help the rights of all of Los Angeles’ oppressed. Even if they work in the film industry, and even if they are rich and famous, we owe it to all victims of sexual harassment in Hollywood to change the industry in every way possible to keep more people safe. Let’s keep those in power accountable for their actions.

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The Biggest Civil Rights Cases In The United States

Many of the rights that we have today were won through the courts. A number of major civil rights gains happened because of court decisions. Below, you’ll find information on some of the biggest civil rights cases in the United States, which have had a lasting influence on every city in the country, from Palm Beach to Seattle.

Brown vs. The Board of Education

In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation was legal in the controversial Plessy vs. Ferguson ruling. That ruling was overturned in 1954. The Supreme Court ruled that it was illegal to segregate public schools.

At the time, many schools in the United States were heavily segregated. Because of this decision, many students had to change schools. It was difficult for many students to attend the schools they were assigned to; in spite of the court’s decision, protestors fought back against black students attending traditionally white schools. However, civil rights workers worked to ensure that students were able to get the education that they were entitled to.

Shelley vs. Kraemer

In the 1940s, it was difficult for many minorities to purchase or rent property. Many people were turned down when they put in an offer on a home or applied to rent an apartment. In 1948, the Shelley vs. Kraemer case declared that it was illegal to enforce covenants that kept people of a certain race from renting or owning property.

This effects of this decision were limited; the Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. vs. The United States case in 1964 argued that hotel owners should be able to choose their tenants. However, the court determined that hotels did not have the right to restrict guests based on race.

Loving vs. Virginia

Interracial marriage was legal in parts of the United States for a long time. While interracial relationships still existed, a number of these relationships were conducted in secrecy.

After the Supreme Court heard the Loving vs. Virginia case in 1967, prohibitions against interracial marriage were declared to be unconstitutional. At the time, there were still 16 states that had laws against interracial marriage on the books, including Virginia. Thanks to this decision, those states had to revise their laws.

Many people fought hard for the rights that we have today. Civil rights are something that a number of people take for granted. It’s important to familiarize yourself with some of the biggest civil rights cases in United States history. Looking at the decisions of the past can help us to fight for a better future.

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Civil Rights Activism In Los Angeles

Los Angeles has always been a center of civil rights activism. From the Watts riots, to Rodney King, to Black Lives Matter, Los Angeles is a great place to be if you are interested in civil rights. Lost Angeles has a large black population and many black residents feel left out of the prosperity that they see all around them.

This feeling of being left out leads to many sorts of social problems and the pockets of lower income black neighborhoods have often fallen into disrepair and the unemployment rate is often high in these neighborhoods as well. There is often a lot of unrest and unhappiness in these neighborhoods.

There is institutional racism as well. The police are often antagonistic towards members of the black community and members of the community feel oppressed. Civil rights leaders in Los Angeles are helping to right the wrongs in the black community and hold police and government accountable to the problems that are happening in Los Angeles.

People are dying and they don’t need to be. The Watts riots started to bring the nation’s attention to the problems that were happening in the black community. The issue really exploded during the Rodney King riots. The Rodney King riots showed how deeply divided the police and the black community were. The entire nation could see it.

The Rodney King riots caused over a billion dollars worth of property damage and over 60 people were killed during the riots. The riots brought lots of positive changes to Los Angeles Police Department and the police made lots of reforms to the department. Civil rights leaders are working hard to bring change to Los Angeles and help people in disadvantaged communities rise up so they can move up the economic ladder.

Civil rights leaders in Los Angeles are constantly lobbying for change and coming up with innovative programs to help the black community in many ways. Leaders are coming up with educational programs, outreach programs that connect people in the black community to medical and legal help, and programs to help members of the black community own their own homes.

There are plenty of legal programs that are designed to help incarcerated black youth challenge their legal issues and help them with rehabilitation when they get out of prison. Los Angeles has plenty of civil rights leaders that are helping their community in many ways.

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ACTIVISM BY THE DOZEN

It has been made pretty clear over the last decade that activism is making a very prominent comeback in American society.

As it was a prominent means of expressing dissatisfaction with the political landscape in the 1960s and 1970s, I guess we could say that what is retro is now becoming trendy.  Marches in various cities to protest or speak out in support of some group of victims or oppressed individuals has been a hallmark of American life (consider how the Revolutionary War started – by people who felt “oppressed” by the King), and now with our population perhaps even more splintered into varying factions of grievance, the activism has been more apparent and more specialized than ever before.

But the word activism or activist has come to mean only those who protest in the streets when actually there are many ways that we can be activists. Activism, as it is described denotatively, is about taking an opinion or stance and being active in expressing that opinion or rallying others to your side – virtually anything more than just voting in an election. Here are 12 types of activism that most of us do when we care passionately about a cause or issue.

  1. Pro bono – This is known as volunteerism, where we spend our time working for free for our favorite political party, political candidate, charity, non-profit or other organization because we believe in the mission or platform.
  2. Grow grass – This is activism that can be called “grassroots,” where a person gathers like-minded people together with a unifying message and gets them all doing the same things for the same cause. Also called “community organizing.” For better or worse.
  3. Written word – Write articles for major blog sites, write letters to the editor and/or letters to elected representatives expressing your support for either side of an issue or piece of legislation that matters to you.
  4. Handshake – This is called direct lobbying, where you get a meeting with an elected official and discussed your most important issue(s) with him or her on a personal, one-to-one basis.
  5. Holding court – O f course, there is always litigation, taking someone to court to draw attention to your cause.
  6. Money walks – If you don’t like what a company is doing, execute a boycott and don’t spend money at that establishment until the policy changes. (Think about Target and what happened there since implementing a policy allowing men and women to use the same bathroom.)
  7. Money talks – This can be called “purchasing ordinance,” where a government agency or legislative body is led to impose heavy regulatory burdens with the intent of crippling or shutting down a business or industry. (Think about the damage to the coal industry by federal regulations, and perhaps why there are few casinos in America.)
  8. Ethos – Is a company acting ethically in a way that you like and want to support? Invest in that company, and divest yourself of any companies that do not act ethically. Ethical investing can make a huge impact on bottom lines.
  9. Chokepoint – A country is going rogue and doing things that challenge national security? Impose economic sanctions, either against the general economy of that country, or targeted sanctions against political and/or military leadership and other key officials.
  10. March – Ah, the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble in full display. The key word is “peaceably.” Grab signs and banners and take a walk down a sidewalk or street, expressing your support or protest.
  11. Resist – This can be a march, but it’s mainly some level of civil disobedience, such as a sit-in in front or inside of a business, disrupting business; or it can be blocking traffic by sitting in front of trucks or cars, or marching in a public park without a permit.
  12. Chaos – This is the ultimate of lawlessness, also called rioting. This is about confronting police, destroying property and acting in a way that goes against all standards of maturity, decency, and civility, not to mention discourse. But it does get your cause on television, so there’s that.

With all these ways to be an activist, you can pick a cause and find the “right” way to take action (or multiple ways) so that your stance gets across in the most impactful way to as many people as possible who need to hear your message. Numbers bring change, so your name will create a bigger number.

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The Cities With The Lowest Crime Rates

Today we will talk about some cities with the lowest crime rates. We will also shed some light on why these cities have such a low rate of crime. The first city on our list of cities with the lowest crime rates is Lewisboro, New York. The city of Lewisboro has a population of nearly 13,000 and is the number one safest city in the United States. With only two crimes reported within the last two years (and they were not violent crimes), it’s safe to say that residents can feel good about the security of this area. Members of the town have credited the dedicated police force and various New York Attorney practices for their hard work in keeping the town free of criminal activity.

The next city on our list is Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Oak Ridge is a great city with lots to offer. Containing a population of about 30,000 people, this is a great place to consider living in if you have been thinking about relocating.

Another great city to be recognized on our list today is Wayland, Massachusetts. With a population of nearly 14,000 people, this is considered the number three safest city in the United States.

The fourth city located in the United States when it comes to the lowest crime rate is Shoreview, Minnesota. This city has a population of 26,475 and makes great strides to keep crime low in the city. They work hard to educate their people and reduce crime by helping residents to understand it.

Fifth on our list today is Washington Township, New Jersey. With a population of about 18,745, this city works to reduce crime by also reducing the cost of health care. The have set in place programs that allow people to get a free eye, blood pressure, and diabetes screening. This has shown to reduce the overall crime rate, as healthy people are happy people.

In conclusion, if you are thinking of relocating due to the crime rate in the area you live in, we highly suggest you take these top five cities into consideration. With a lower crime rate, you can sleep easy knowing the likelihood of bad things happening is much lower. All of the cities listed above have made great efforts to keep the crime rate down and keep the citizens happy. By doing this they increase the rate of people moving to the cities and increase the city’s revenue as well. This means better jobs and social programs for the citizens who live there.

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What You Should Know About Internet Activism

When people are part of a group related to activism, they typically have a goal of getting a group project accomplished. Activism can be related to environmentalism, gun control, and the Internet. In fact, Internet activism is becoming much more popular. It is called online organizing or digital campaigning. It is a way of using podcasts, emails, and social media websites in order to convey the message of certain groups and movements. This can also be used for fundraising purposes as they are trying to generate cash flow in order to keep promoting their agenda. The Internet is a great way to approach millions of people, especially through social media, and this is where you will find a great deal of Internet activism.

Why Is It Necessary?

Activism using the Internet is something that needs to exist. It has to do with how everyone is socially connected. The advent of Facebook has made it possible for over 2 billion people to connect together, and it provides a great way for people to spread their message. Even if you only send out 100 friend requests a day, you would end up with several followers of your Facebook page. They would then send that out to people that they know, and this would create a viral effect, helping to spread your message. The same type of activity using Google for advertising, or placing ads in classified newspapers nationwide, would be cost prohibitive. That’s why social media is an excellent platform for any type of activist, and is the basis for what we call Internet activism.

Will This Continue To Grow?

As long as there are groups of people that need to convey a message, and they want to do so in the fastest and most economical manner, this type of activism will continue on. It is actually not a particular type of activism, but is representative of a way activists can express themselves, get their message out, and find followers. Even if you have never joined a group before, or following a movement, you will likely find several that you can learn more about on social media and even the search results. The Internet is simply the best way for activists to get their message out there, and it will continue to grow larger as more people go online. Now that you have a basic understanding of what this is, you may want to consider becoming an activist with the many different groups on the web.

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What Is Environmental Activism All About?

There are many people in the world today that are concerned about the environment. They are willing to realize that there are certain signs which indicate that humans are causing many of our problems. Therefore, they are focused on avoiding certain types of energy such as the use of coal, gasoline, and transitioning toward electricity generated from the sun. They are also focused on windmills that can generate a substantial amount of power, ways that do not harm the environment in any way. However, appreciating the environment, and making choices for yourself, is sometimes not enough. People will often become an activist in order to push things forward to make changes that must occur. Environmental activism is simply the sum total of those that are environmentalists that work together worldwide to help save our environment. Even something like gun control and ownership can fall into environmental activism if it pertains to how these guns are used on wild game and long term care planningMany of the movements are very coordinated, utilizing the latest scientific studies in order to clearly show what is wrong, and how to fix these problems.

Why Are They So Adamant In Their Purpose?

There seem to be two sets of people that form the majority of those that have opinions on the environment. There are those that actually believe that the changes in the environment are simply cyclical, and they have been happening for ages. Essentially, they do not believe that mankind is responsible in any way for the environmental problems that we have. They seem to be oblivious to the fact that the polarized ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, the coral reefs are dying, and a multitude of other issues that clearly show that these abrupt changes are not normal. In fact, they will ignore scientific evidence which shows that gradual changes are constant, and that spikes such as those we are experiencing are not the norm. That is why people that believe human beings are to blame for many of the global problems that we are facing because they are actually looking at scientific data, and the world around us, and realizing that we all need to make a significant change.

How Can You Become Environmental Activist?

There are many groups that are located worldwide where you can join like-minded people. If you believe that you need to do your part to spread the word about how mankind needs to make changes that can reduce our carbon emissions into the atmosphere which is causing the greenhouse effect, and a number of other issues, you can find groups that you can join. Regardless of where you live, you should be able to locate a couple different groups, one of which will be to your liking. If you really want to do your part in helping to save the environment because you believe you can make a difference, you should certainly consider learning more about environmental activism.

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