Annual Homeless Stand Down offers services to homeless, veterans

By Everything Cenla staff

The 7th annual Homeless Stand Down was held today with “much success,” said Rena Powell, Health Care for Homeless Veterans coordinator for the Veterans .

The annual event was held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, Sept. 23, at the Bolton Avenue Community Center.

“It was excellent. We had higher attendance this year and about 60 booths,” Powell said.

The idea behind the event, Powell said, is to gather service agencies in one place in order to increase the community’s awareness of the services provided to the homeless, veterans and displaced persons.

The Alexandria VA Medical Center (VAMC), in conjunction with the city of Alexandria and Central Louisiana Homeless Coalition, will sponsor the 7th annual ‘Homeless Stand Down’ from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23, at the Bolton Avenue Community Center, 315 Bolton Avenue in Alexandria.

Green erases black and white

By Sherri L. Jackson
Publisher of The Light and EverythingCenla.com

In the African-American church tradition there’s a simple phrase that is used when one is lost for words or emotionally caught up in the atmosphere. Here it is, “If I can’t say a word, I’ll just wave my hand.”

Since the exchange between Tony Brown of Eyes Open With Tony Brown Productions and Lisa Harris of the City of Alexandria, I’ve been waving my hand. Now that my hand is down and I’ve come to myself, I’ve got much to say about Harris’ apparent disregard of the media which serves the black community.

In full disclosure, I am an African-American woman who publishes The Light, which is predominately distributed in Cenla’s black commuities, but has a heavy online and print readership in the mainstream community.

Yes, it it true that the mainstream media, particularly The Town Talk and KALB, has a wider viewing audience primarily because of its resources. Still, I want Harris, an African-American woman, to know that the readers and listeners of The Light, The Alexandria News Weekly, Eyes Open With Tony Brown, KAYT, KTTP and others should not be taken lightly.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Brown spoke of the city’s lack of advertising in the media that serves the black community in August when the city held its makeup concert with Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. Harris admitted she didn’t send advertising dollars to the black media because she was looking to get “the best bang for the buck” in her advertising dollars.”

Harris went on to say that race is not a factor when she decides where to spend the taxpayers’ dollars. In fact, she said, “I’m here to do a job and do the best I can. I am not a racist, have never been and never will be.”

In response to Harris’ statement about not looking at color, Brown responded, “Well, you should.”

I agree with Brown’s response in that Harris should look at color when deciding how to spend her advertising dollars. Yet, I believe the color is not white or black. The color is green.

The color of money takes away white, black, brown, red and yellow. Green is the color of good business sense. As it relates to “Que’in Too” and the Maze concert, if green was the dominant color, advertising dollars should have been spent in the media that would have brought Maze’s fans to the concert. Those dollars should have been spent in The Light, Alexandria News Weekly, Eyes Open With Tony Brown, KAYT, KTTP and others that have a heavy concentration of readers and listeners who were more than likely going to attend the concert. I will bet my bottom dollar that most people in the white community were not going to see or listen to Maze.

If it’s true that Harris’ mandate was to spend money in Lake Charles, Lafayette, Shreveport or Monroe, there were still opportunities to spend use the color green. There are successful media companies with a heavy concentration of black listeners and readers in those communities. In Lake Charles, there is the Gumbo Media Network. In Shreveport, there is the Shreveport Sun. In Monroe, there is the Monroe Dispatch. Certainly, there is a multitude of radio stations that could have been used.

With all that I’ve said, I must say that it’s not smart business to disregard the power of the media that serves the black community. It is the black media that covers the black community when the mainstream community wouldn’t think about coming to the countless family reunions, church picnics,  and other events that showcase the black community in a positive light.

While I’m on that page, I must also say to those in the black communities, when using the color green it makes no sense to spend all of your advertising dollars in the mainstream media and come to us with free announcements. Let’s face it, those who are more than likely to attend your church functions, will see it and hear it from the black media rather than in the mainstream media.

Afterall, it was publications such as the Chicago Defender and Louisiana Weekly that carried the torch for equal, justice and equality for all. These media companies and others have the same mission today.

Just think, if we have the power to keep people away from an event as it was stated in the meeting, we certainly would have the power to bring people to the event.

Cenla NAACP hosts rally that seeks to unite community

By EverythingCenla staff

The Central Louisiana NAACP will host a “Invest in Unity Rally” at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10,  at Peabody Magnet High School.

“We are calling the citizens and communities to walk in unity, stand up for unity, work together, pray together and pull together for the good and health of the people and the community,” said the Rev. Ameal Jones Sr.

Jones is the pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church and is serving as the local president of the civil rights organization.

“We challenge you to make a serious deposit and invest in unity. Do not let this October 2010 election divide us and we fall again for a mouth full of political cotton candy,” Jones said. “Do not become a puppet nor a muppet who is dangled and manipulated by the philosophy of Willie Lynch. The forces that seek to conquer or souls, crush us and extinguish the light of hope are far greater. These forces and powers manifest themselves in poverty, disease, broken families, fatherlessness, disrespect, drugs, violence, joblessness, mass unemployment, miseducation, incarceration, racism, homelessness and moral devastion.”

“Do not let people who look like us betray us and divide us,” Jones said.

In addition to entertainment, the rally will include a political forum that will include the City of Alexandria mayoral and council candidates.

Jones said the NAACP hopes to accomplish the following and among others:

  • Demonstrate unity by walking together
  • Bring community leaders and activists together to discuss community issues and solutions
  • Develop advocates who work on behalf of “the least of the these”
  • Increase the membership of Central Louisiana NAACP

LaPine Chapter wins big at international conference

Submitted

The LaPine Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (“IAAP”) came away from the 2010 IAAP International Education Forum and Annual Meeting in Boston with seven awards in two categories:  Chapter of Excellence and Member of Excellence.

To receive the Chapter of Excellence, a chapter must meet 14 of 19 criteria set by IAAP that relate to education, participation, managing chapter business correctly, disseminating information and chapter growth.  This is the second year LaPine has received the award.

Also, the chapter had six members recognized for achieving the Member of Excellence.  They were Kimberly D. Boyd, CPS/CAP; Flora S. Keys; Shelley D. Malone, CPS/CAP; Frances T. Morrison, CAP; Cindy P. Rine, CPS/CAP and Deborah F. Watson, CPS.

To earn the ranking of Member of Excellence, individuals must meet eight out of 11 criteria.  The criteria for a member relates to those areas as listed above for the chapter, but on an individual level.  Examples include holding positions of leadership, participation and attendance at the chapter, division or international levels, and working toward certifications.

The LaPine Chapter was represented at the meeting by president Flora Keys, vice president Shelley Malone and member Mary Kee.

The mission of the LaPine Chapter is to enhance the success of career‐minded administrative professionals by providing opportunities for growth through education, community building and leadership development.

The LaPine Chapter conducts its regular meetings on the third Wednesday of the month, usually during the lunch hour, which feature guest speakers on a variety of educational and informative topics.  The group also hosts special events for the community such as a professional development seminar, recognition for Administrative Professionals in April and Bosses’ Day in October.

For meeting details, contact Frances Morrison at (318) 484-7695 or frances.morrison@cleco.com.

District 26 Rep. Herbert Dixon named to national office

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Herbert B. Dixon. who represents District 26 in the Louisiana Legislature,  has been named Vice Chair of the National Council of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) Labor and Economic Development Committee. Massachusetts Senator and NCSL President Richard T. Moore made the appointment.

“I am honored to represent the interests of the state legislatures in the continuing debate over the changing state-federal relationship,” Rep. Dixon said about his new appointment.

The Labor and Economic Development Committee is one of 12 standing committees on the National Conference of State Legislatures. The standing committees are responsible for developing policies that guide NCSL’s activities on Capitol Hill and within the administration.

“Rep. Dixon brings a great deal of knowledge and experience to the table,” said Senator Richard Moore. “I am pleased that he has accepted the appointment and I look forward to his valuable contributions to state public policy over the next year.”

NCSL has just completed an active year in representing the interests of states in Washington, D.C. including work on the extension of an enhanced Federal Medicaid match, health care reform, financial services reform, transportation finance reauthorization, and electronic commerce, among other issues.

The National Conference of State Legislatures is the bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. NCSL provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the states in the American federal system.

Food Bank of Cenla to observe Hunger Action Month in September

The Food Bank of Central Louisiana is part of a national movement to raise awareness and take action to fight hunger in America.

September is Hunger Action Month.  The Food Bank of Central Louisiana, a member of the Feeding America network, is joining with our partner hunger relief agencies to ask all Americans to pledge to fight domestic hunger.

The Food Bank of Central Louisiana is working to engage citizens to take action through the 30 Ways in 30 Days campaign.  Hunger Action Month comes alive in a personal way when individuals are invited to define their way to help. Each daily ‘way’ is easy, doable, and impactful. The thirty days of activities for Hunger Action Month, range from changing your Facebook status to finding out how to support the Food Bank of Central Louisiana.

Nationwide, more than 49 million Americans suffer from food insecurity.  But hunger’s impact is felt by many more than the millions living with food insecurity:  hunger impacts child development, health and wellness, education and workforce development – our general welfare as a nation.  It is also an issue right here in our community – and at the local level, the Food Bank of Central Louisiana works to combat hunger and aid the hungry right here in our community.   Each month the Food Bank of Central Louisiana serves more than 22,400 people.

Throughout September, there will be opportunities to get involved.  These opportunities will range from social media initiatives to events, family activity suggestions, and ways to volunteer or support the work the Food Bank of Central Louisiana does every day.

“You’ll be hard pressed to find a community in the United States that is immune from hunger,” says Jayne Wright-Velez, executive director of the Food Bank. “One in six Americans is unsure from where their next meal will come. Our participation in Hunger Action Month, along with nearly 200 Feeding America food banks, is a call to all Americans to get involved locally to alleviate hunger right in your hometown.”

To learn more about Hunger Action Month, 30 Ways in 30 Days, and the work that the Food Bank of Central Louisiana and Feeding America do all year long, visit our website at http://www.fbcenla.org.

Cleco names new president, COO

Cleco announced that George Bausewine, senior vice president of corporate services, has been named president and chief operating officer of Cleco Power effective Aug. 7, 2010.

With 24 years of experience at Cleco Corp. and Cleco Power, Bausewine has served in a number of roles including vice president of regulatory and rates and vice president of strategic and regulatory affairs. He has served as senior vice president of corporate services since May 2005.

“George has the experience and the skill set to ensure Cleco Power runs smoothly,” said Michael Madison, president and CEO of Cleco Corp.

Keith Crump and Bill Fontenot, group vice presidents of Cleco Power, will report to Bausewine. Dilek Samil, the former president and COO of Cleco Power, left the company effective May 23, 2010.

Bausewine holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL, and a master’s degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.