Unused, unneeded and expired prescription drugs to be collected Saturday, Sept. 25

By Everything Cenla staff

The Alexandria Area Four Safe Streets/Community Program will collect unused, unneeded and expired prescription drug medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Martin Community Center, 2301 Mill St.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Program  is in collaboration with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

For more information, call Pamela Marshall, Safe Streets liaison, at (318) 473-1132.

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.

Dropping out of the race would show real leadership

By Leonard Ford
Columnist, The Light

It is no secret that I’ve been hoping and praying that at least one or more of the four blacks vying for the mayor’s seat in the City of Alexandria would gracefully drop out of the race.

So far it’s only a wish, but I remain hopeful that Von Jennings, Roosevelt Johnson, the Rev. Joseph Franklin or Jay Johnson would see the light for the good of Alexandria’s mankind.

It appears my hopes may be dwindling as time is almost near and each candidate is putting out signs, circulating printed materials, participating in forums, launching Web sites and staging fundraisers. I fear no one will throw in the towel and call it quits.

However, just in case one or two heeds my call in order to give the best qualified candidate among them a chance to defeat Jacques Roy, I have developed the perfect statement to use in announcing to the public reasons for getting out of the race.

Here is that statement:

“After much thoughtful consideration and discussion with my family, friends, and supporters, I am here today to tell you that I have officially withdrawn my candidacy for mayor of Alexandria, but I have done so with great regret.  As much as I would like to lead the progress of Alexandria over the next four years, and as I strongly as I believe  I have the qualifications, experience, vision, and  ideas to govern this city, it is apparent  with three other black candidates in the race that I have little or no chance of  being elected mayor. I’ve come to realize that I will not be able to get, especially with the others (blacks) in this race, a majority of black votes to win outright or even reach a runoff if one is needed. This is a hard fact that I couldn’t just ignore. As much as I want Alexandria to have a black mayor, and as much as I want to be that black mayor, I can honestly say here and now that both will not happen in this current race due to four of us being on the ballot. I know that electing someone as mayor should be based upon their qualifications and experience rather than their skin color, but there is nothing wrong with wishing that a city with almost a 52 percent black population  have a black mayor.”

“Making this decision was not an easy one, but it was the right thing for me to do at this time.  Doing so does not make me weak, does not mean that I didn’t have faith in myself to win, and doesn’t mean that I didn’t have faith in you to vote for me. I may be dropping out of this race, but I plan to make it my business over these next four years to be in the know about all aspects of city business, and to do what I can for the betterment of Alexandria. Thank you.”

Of course, I’m being facetious, but having four black candidates in this mayoral race is nothing to joke about. It is a serious matter. It is serious enough that we all are going to have to look deep inside of us, do some soul searching, and decide on (not based on our friendship, church loyalty, family connections, or any other mutual relationship that we may have with each of the four black candidates) one specific black candidate who we know is the best qualified and experienced among the four, and who we know has the personality to get along with everyone both black and white.

It’s time for us to stop being the “people who can’t get their act together” when it comes to electing a mayor of Alexandria.  We weren’t together in 2006,  and we’re damn sure  not together now.  It’s the same old same old, and by now, you think we would have gotten a little smarter in figuring out that four black people running for the same office would split the black vote.

We can’t be this ignorant in the 21st century, can we? From the looks of things, we are and will continue to be until black people get it through their thick heads that we are only robbing ourselves the opportunity of ever having a black mayor.

Yes, I would like for this mayoral campaign to produce a black mayor, but most importantly than that, I implore each and every one of you to get out on Election Day and vote. Please, please, get out and do your civic duty on Oct.  2, 2010.

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

Mother, daughter accused of stabbing mother’s boyfriend

By Everything Cenla staff

A mother and her daughter were arrested Saturday and are accused of stabbing the mother’s boyfriend after she saw him with other women, according to the Alexandria Police.

Alice Davis, 49, 120 Sunset, and her daughter Carnquitta Davis, 21, 3103 Monroe St., were arrested shortly after midnight Sunday, Aug. 29.  Davis’ boyfriend accuses the women of jumping and stabbing him after an argument about the boyfriend being with other women.

The boyfriend accuses Alice Davis of leaving their home irate and returning with her daughter.  They allegedly used a knife to stab him in the left arm and right side.

The victim was treated at Rapides Regional Medical Center. The women were booked into the Rapides Parish Jail each on a charge of aggravated battery.

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.