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A Mother's Worry

I am the mother of two Black boys.  As any mother would, I worry about my children every day—that I might have to rush one of them to the hospital with a broken bone, that they might experience bullying, or that they might one day have to feel the sting of heartbreak.  I suspect Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, worried about some of these things too.  But she should never have had to worry that a police officer—whose job it is to uphold the law—might have killed her unarmed son.

In case any of you have been living under a rock, last August Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.  Michael had been staying with his grandmother all summer, and was walking back to her house with a friend when they encountered Officer Wilson.  Conflicting reports suggest that there was a scuffle between Michael and the officer, but we know for sure that Michael was unarmed when he was shot dead in the street. 

Last night, a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Wilson.  He will face no charges for killing Michael Brown just days before Michael’s parents were planning to drop him off at college.

Healthy German Apple Cake Recipe

Recipe

Kids crave sweets all the time especially in the winter. But in all honesty, in my house, the adults crave it just as much as the kids. As the days get shorter, and colder, our natural instincts kick in: eat more carbs and pack on more fat so you can survive the long cold winter (there are actually studies showing we crave more carbohydrates in the winter). Unfortunately, our genetic makeup has not yet caught up with the fact that the grocery store around the corner will have all the food we could possibly need and much more all winter long.

The sweet cravings do not get any better while watching TV or after listening to coworkers explain in great detail how wonderfully gooey their double fudge chocolate chip cookie tasted. And, having the kids beg for more marshmellows in their hot chocolate... well, that just increases the sweet cravings! 

What can you do when the sweet cravings come on?

Bake this delicious healthy German Apple Cake!

BREAKING - No indictment. Enough is enough.

Take Action!

It’s time to make our voices heard to end racial profiling and to advance police reform.Enough is enough.

*Sign our open letter here: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/justicemikebrownforward/?source=blog

Just last Thursday, days before a grand jury failed to indict the killer of 18-year-old Michael Brown and just 6 miles from my home, unarmed Akai Gurley was shot and killed without warning by the New York Police Department. The officer who shot Akai told police officials that he was “nervous." Akai’s 2-year-old daughter will never see her father again, and neither will his family.

How far would you go to protect your family?

I now understand the idea of parents being willing to do “anything” for their children. Sometimes you have to fight to protect your family--- at the voting booth, in a courtroom or even in your own community.
 
In February of 2013, I served as the Field Organizer in Winston Salem to defeat Amendment One in North Carolina. For 3 months, I worked 12-14 hours a day, 7 days a week. It felt like a personal attack on LGBT families. It felt like an attack on my family. After all, I had also tirelessly worked in my former home state of Florida to defeat a similar amendment in 2008. My wife and I moved to NC in 2011, happy to be migrating to a state known for more diversity and equality than most southern states. After both amendments passed I kept thinking---- the Constitution was supposed to PROTECT our rights, not take them away!
 
In March of 2013, I found out I was pregnant. We were elated, but also nervous because we knew having a baby in NC would not afford our family equal rights (even though we were legally married since June of 2008 in California.). Once again, we had to fight. I researched laws in the surrounding area.

President Obama Acts to Right Wrongs That Affront Our Ideals

I was at a rally in front of the White House on Friday organized by Casa de Maryland in which we chanted "We've got your back!" As a mom and grandma, I believe it's really important to support the President's actions to give temporary legal status to parents of citizen or legal resident children.  This action will keep parents and children together.  I hope you'll join in showing your support by sending emails to the President and your Rep and Senators, by clicking here:  http://org.salsalabs.com/o/125/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=1... We have to show how many people believe the President is doing the right thing, and that Congress should hurry up and do its job.  Here's something that ran in The Huffington Post blog  on November 21:

After the Election: Organize, Mobilize, Agitate…then Vote.

This post, authored by Florida State Senator Dwight Bullard, originally appeared on TalkPoverty.org. State Senator Dwight Bullard urges Americans to continue the fight for policies that support working families.TalkPoverty.org is dedicated to demonstrating that we know how to dramatically reduce poverty; we just need to build the political will. Make sure to like TalkPoverty on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

65 Hours a Week and No Benefits

This post, authored by Virgil Pack, originally appeared on TalkPoverty.org. Many, like Virgil, work 65 hours a week and still do not have benefits, leading to higher economic insecurity.TalkPoverty.org is dedicated to demonstrating that we know how to dramatically reduce poverty; we just need to build the political will. Make sure to like TalkPoverty on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Good morning, my name is Virgil Pack, I’m 45-years-old and I live in Richmond, Virginia. I’m a father of two kids—a daughter and a son. My daughter’s name is Ashleigh, she’s 21 and attending UDC in her junior year. My son’s name is Sean, he’s 13 and lives in Albany, NY.

Will Louisville Be Next to Raise the Minimum Wage?

This post, authored by Councilwoman Scott, originally appeared on TalkPoverty.org. A minimum wage increase will help families gain economic security, ensuring minimum wage is no longer a poverty wage. TalkPoverty.org is dedicated to demonstrating that we know how to dramatically reduce poverty; we just need to build the political will. Make sure to like TalkPoverty on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

One of the Most Important Civil and Human Rights Battles of Our Time

This post, authored by Jonathan Rapping, originally appeared on TalkPoverty.org. Mass incarceration and resulting criminal records undermine family economic security. TalkPoverty.org is dedicated to demonstrating that we know how to dramatically reduce poverty; we just need to build the political will. Make sure to like TalkPoverty on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Criminal justice systems across the country have come to accept, and perpetuate, a shameful standard of justice for poor people.  The basic humanity of the indigent accused is too often denied, and the democratic necessity of access to effective counsel is too often ignored.

Gideon’s Promise is a movement of hundreds of public defenders nationwide who are working together to change this unacceptable status quo.

Support Walmart Workers

Walmart. On one hand we have the Walton family—Walmart’s owners. With almost $150 billion in wealth, they are the richest family in the nation. On the other hand, we have Walmart workers, most of whom work for less than $25,000 a year. Most are women. And this Thanksgiving, more than 1 million of them have to go to work instead of spending the full day with their families. The following day—Black Friday—thousands of Walmart workers and community allies will be striking and protesting all over the country, calling on Walmart to end retaliation for workers who speak out for better working conditions and pay.

I stand with the Walmart workers. Let me count just some of the reasons why:

  1. For the workers and their families struggling with low pay, insufficient hours and unpredictable schedules that make it impossible to arrange basics like child care and doctors’ visits.

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