Share your opinion today. Vote November 4th.

Share your opinion today. Vote November 4th.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

NYC Votes

In the election on November 4th, New Yorkers will head to the polls to shape the future of our city and our state. In addition to the candidates on the ballot, voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on three state proposals. 

NYC Votes invites you to share your statement on any of these proposals for inclusion in our non-partisan, online Voter Guide.

Do it today! The deadline to submit your 200-word statement is September 24th. Please read the instructions below before submitting your statement(s). 

The proposals on the Nov. 4, 2014 ballot in New York are:

  1. Revising State’s Redistricting Procedure:
    • The proposed amendment to sections 4 and 5 and addition of new section 5-b to Article 3 of the State Constitution revises the redistricting procedure for state legislative and congressional districts. The proposed amendment establishes an independent redistricting commission every 10 years beginning in 2020, with two members appointed by each of the four legislative leaders and two members selected by the eight legislative appointees; prohibits legislators and other elected officials from serving as commissioners; establishes principles to be used in creating districts; requires the commission to hold public hearings on proposed redistricting plans; subjects the commission’s redistricting plan to legislative enactment; provides that the legislature may only amend the redistricting plan according to the established principles if the commission’s plan is rejected twice by the legislature; provides for expedited court review of a challenged redistricting plan; and provides for funding and bipartisan staff to work for the commission. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?
  2. Permitting Electronic Distribution of State Legislative Bills:
    • The proposed amendment to section 14 of Article 3 of the State Constitution would allow electronic distribution of a state legislative bill to satisfy the constitutional requirement that a bill be printed and on the desks of state legislators at least three days before the Legislature votes on it. It would establish the following requirements for electronic distribution: first, legislators must be able to review the electronically-sent bill at their desks; second, legislators must be able to print the bill if they choose; and third, the bill cannot be changed electronically without leaving a record of the changes. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?
  3. The Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014:
    • The Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014, as set forth in section one of part B of chapter 56 of the laws of 2014, authorizes the sale of state bonds of up to two billion dollars ($2,000,000,000) to provide access to classroom technology and high-speed internet connectivity to equalize opportunities for children to learn, to add classroom space to expand high-quality pre-kindergarten programs, to replace classroom trailers with permanent instructional space, and to install high-tech smart security features in schools. Shall the Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014 be approved?

For more information on the proposals, visit the CFB’s website or read the full abstracts published by the NYS Board of Elections.

Email your “pro” or “con” statement(s) to by Wednesday, September 24, 2014. Make sure to follow these simple instructions:

  • Address only one ballot proposal in your statement (you may submit separately on each proposal).
  • Clearly advocate a yes or no vote on that proposal.
  • Include your full name (and your organization name, if you are submitting on behalf of an organization).
  • Limit your statement to 200 words or less.

You may also fax your pro/con statement to (212) 409-1705, Attn: Ballot Proposals, or mail it to the CFB at 100 Church Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10007, Attn: Ballot Proposals.

Late submissions will not be accepted. The CFB reserves the right to edit or exclude statements that do not meet our criteria and follow the instructions above.

- See more at:

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Grand Jury Delays Decision On Whether Or Not To Indict Darren Wilson


darren wilson

A grand jury has until January 7 to decide whether or not to bring criminal charges against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson,  who shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown to death on August 9, reports

St. Louis County Circuit Judge Carolyn Whittington extended the usual four month period, which expired last week, and now the grand jury has an additional 60 days to make a decision.

“She extended it to the full amount allowed by law,” said Court Administrator Paul Fox said.

Read more below:

The panel is hearing evidence in the Michael Brown case exclusively, and can meet whenever it needs to, Fox said.

The grand jury is 12 people selected from the standard jury pool to meet in secret, usually weekly, to hear evidence and decide whether criminal charges are warranted. It takes nine votes to issue an indictment, which sends a defendant to a public trial.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch can bypass a grand jury and take a case to trial by filing a complaint that goes first to a preliminary hearing, a public proceeding in which a judge decides if there should be a trial. Often, his office files a charge first and then obtains an indictment to replace it, avoiding the preliminary hearing.

McCulloch chose to take the full investigation of Wilson’s use of deadly force to the grand jury. He announced weeks ago that he would present all the evidence gathered, leaving to grand jurors the decision of what to do.

As previously reported by NewsOne, Wilson shot Brown at least six times, including twice in the head.

According to the autopsy, the six shots produced numerous wounds with some of the bullets entering and exiting several times, including one that left at least five different wounds.

Wilson was not identified immediately and once he was, police revealed that he had been allowed to leave town.

Grand Jury Delays Decision On Whether Or Not To Indict Darren Wilson
NewsOne Staff
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 03:32:52 GMT

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Silver Alert – Henry Branch M/B/77 (CW)

Silver Alert issued 8/31/14 at 12:02 PM. NYPD has issued a Silver Alert for the disappearance of Henry Branch, a 77 year old black male with Alzheimer’s. He is described as being 6’2″ tall and 180 lbs. with salt and pepper hair. He was last seen in the area of 130th Avenue and Guy R. Brewer Boulevard in Queens on 8/30 at 10:00 AM, wearing a beige shirt, black pants, and white sneakers. Mr. Branch is believed to be driving a 2012 Nissan Maxima with the license plate CTR7587. A photo is attached. If you see Mr. Branch, call 9-1-1.

The sender included the following attachment:

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Check out @NotifyNYC’s Tweet:

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Overgrown lot at 125th St. in Harlem may be ready for build  – NY Daily News

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Exploding the ‘Post Racial’ America Myth

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Race Matters: Should Black People Boycott Ridley Scott’s All-White Egyptian Film ‘Exodus’?

Race Matters: Should Black People Boycott Ridley Scott’s All-White Egyptian Film ‘Exodus’?


A film set in Africa with no Black main cast…hmm…

Is Ridley Scott’s “Exodus” Film Racist?

By now you’ve probably heard about Ridley Scott’s film adaptation of the Biblical Moses story, “Exodus.” But you may not have noticed the way in which Hollywood has gone out of its way to dip this fully-African tale into a cinematic vat of Whitenicious.

Peep what one writer has to say about this film’s casting and not-so-thinly-veiled attempt to weave white heroic-ism into an exclusively-African tale. Via

I went to see Get On Up and there was a preview for Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods And Kings movie about Moses’ story in the Bible. The first thing I noticed was that all the main characters are White. Moses is White. The Pharaoh is White. Tuya is super White and Joshua is Jesse Pinkman. Not only are these characters who are supposed to be Africans White, they’re not even remotely tan. They’re pearly White. Christian Bale is Moses, a former slave in Egypt who was using SPF infinity sunscreen because he’s still Gotham City White. You can convince me that a guy can shake a staff and make it rain locusts but I refuse to believe someone who grew up in Egypt in the sun doesn’t have a tan at least. But this is all Hollywood stuff, right? White guys are always cast in these roles and we’re all here to throw praise on a cast full of White guys no matter where or when they live. It would have been annoying enough if Scott stopped there. But look at the rest of the cast:


Not only are all the main characters White, but the servants, thieves and assassins are played by Africans. Guys. This is racist. Ridley Scott is one of those guys who’s apparently hellbent on historical accuracy but doesn’t care enough to cast a person of color as Moses or a damn African queen while simultaneously filling out the rest of the movie with Black servants and thieves. I could even accept him going the Louis CK route of “the best actor gets the job regardless of if race makes sense” and casting Merly Streep as Tuya, Guillermo Del Toro as Moses and Choi Min-Sik as Moses for all I care. But to make the main characters White and everyone else African is cinematic colonialism. It’s creating a piece of historical “art” that carries on oppressive imagery that’s helped shackle entire countries and corners of the world.

I’m so damn sick of Hollywood and its acceptance of these oppressive images. If studies have shown the way that perpetual violence in movies begets violence in America, then what about perpetual maintenance of the White savior standing over the ethnic servant/villain/imbecile? What damage is this creating for the American psyche? How am I supposed to feel when all the messiahs, last samurais, African kings and saviors are White?

Yikes. Did Hollywood think casting Black people in a film about African people set in Africa would make the picture too “race-themed?” What do you think? Will you go see this film?

Race Matters: Should Black People Boycott Ridley Scott’s All-White Egyptian Film ‘Exodus’?
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 02:47:50 GMT

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