January 16, 2020
The Los Angeles Sentinel does not take endorsing a candidate lightly, our staff and/or editorial board have spent numerous hours looking over candidates, questioning positions and policies over the years and trying to determine who is ultimately in the best interest overall of our community.
The Los Angeles Sentinel Proudly Endorses Herb Wesson for Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors – District 2
As Herb says himself: He is running for County Supervisor to build a greater Los Angeles for our children and grandchildren – a Los Angeles where housing is affordable, our youth have the tools they need to succeed and we are able to spend more time with our families and less time sitting in traffic.
Together, we can tackle the biggest issues facing our community today. I will take the lessons I’ve learned as Speaker of the State Assembly and President of the Los Angeles City Council to make Los Angeles an even better place to live, work and raise a family.
The Los Angeles Sentinel Proudly Endorses Jackie Lacey for Los Angeles County District Attorney
Jackie Lacey is the first woman and first African-American to serve as Los Angeles County District Attorney since the office was established in 1850.
District Attorney Lacey’s top priority is keeping the streets of Los Angeles County safe from violent and dangerous criminals. She is committed to safeguarding our children from human sex traffickers, our seniors from financial elder abuse and our communities from environmental crimes that threaten our health and our livelihood.
January 16, 2020
By Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr.
The work accomplished in the fight for civil rights justice and equality by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., lifts us all. We owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. King for his endeavors and the sacrifices he made in leading the movement that so many have benefitted from over the decades.
Dr. King showed how political engagement and coalition building help establish positive movements. He gave us the road map on how civil disobedience can highlight injustice in the law. These tools remain the most effective ways to raise your voice when confronting racism and discrimination.
This is especially true today as we see an increase in attempts to suppress the black vote across the country using Jim Crow era-type laws. As a community, we must continue to live in the memory of Dr. King and advance his legacy by taking on the fight for fairness and equity under the law.
As a member of a family involved in the earliest days of the civil rights struggle – my uncle, Jefferson Thomas, was one of the “Little Rock Nine” students who faced violent mobs as they fought to integrate an all-white high school in Arkansas in 1957 – I am keen on the fact that civil rights violations continue to this day. The struggle has not ended.
This MLK Day, I will join thousands in celebration of Dr. King’s birthday and legacy at the 35th Annual MLK Kingdom Day Parade on Monday, January 20. More importantly, we will gather to remind ourselves that as beneficiaries of the positive changes the civil rights movement has produced we are obligated to advance the cause to further support future generations of African Americans and other communities of color.
We must continue to fight until we all share in the constitutional rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - equally.
Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. has represented the constituents of California’s 59th Assembly District (So. LA area) in the State Legislature since 2012. Chair of the Public Safety Committee and the Select Committee on Ending the School to Prison Pipeline, Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer is a fierce proponent of second-chances and fairness within the law.
A champion of minority, social justice and civil rights causes, Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer has authored and had legislation signed into law related to ending discrimination in housing, providing mental health grants and supportive services to schools and expanding opportunities and growth to small and start-up businesses.
January 16, 2020
By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Correspondent
As we enter into a new year, it’s important that we do not forget the December 20th indictment and pending trial of Aaron Dean, a former Forth Worth, Texas police officer, on murder charges in the shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson, an African American woman and Xavier University graduate.
Atatiana was fatally shot by Dean on October 12 while in her home and playing video games with her young nephew. Her violent death deserves justice. If convicted, Dean could face a life sentence for his crime.
Jefferson, 28, and her 8-year-old nephew were inside the home late at night when a neighbor noticed a door ajar and called a non-emergency number to ask the police to perform a welfare check.
Dean, 35, and a partner arrived at Jefferson’s home, startling the aspiring doctor and her nephew. When Jefferson peaked through the window to see what was causing the commotion outside of her house, Dean opened fire.
The officer resigned from the department within hours of the shooting and was arrested on murder charges two days later.
“While Atatiana’s family is relieved, they are cautiously optimistic that a conviction and appropriate sentence will come in the near future,” Jefferson family attorney, S. Lee Merritt, stated in a news release.
“This is a huge first step in the long road for this family,” Merritt stated.
Attorneys for Dean declined to comment.
Jefferson, a 2014 Xavier University biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry, was contemplating becoming a doctor.
The shooting came only days before a jury convicted a white former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger for the murder of Botham Jean, a black man who worked in accounting and auditing for the powerhouse firm of Price Waterhouse Coopers.
Guyger received a controversial 10-year sentence in prison for her crime.
“I cannot make sense of why she had to lose her life,” Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus stated during an October news conference announcing Dean’s arrest.
Dean was released on $200,000 bond, and his police union vowed to support his defense financially.
Kraus has stated that he would also refer the case to the FBI so that the agency could review federal civil rights charges against Dean.
“Nobody looked at this video and said there’s any doubt that this officer acted inappropriately,” Forth Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus noted. “I was going to fire [Dean] even before he quit. We had already taken his badge and weapon. There were violations in his use of force, and he didn’t follow de-escalation protocols. His conduct was unprofessional. There are times for officers to act as warriors and defenders, and there are times for them to act as public servants and humble servants.”
January 16, 2020
By Alexandria Jaffe
Democrat Cory Booker dropped out of the presidential race Monday, ending a campaign whose message of unity and love failed to resonate in a political era marked by chaos and anxiety.
His departure now leaves a field that was once the most diverse in history with just one remaining African American candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
Since launching his campaign last February, Booker, a U.S. senator from New Jersey, struggled to raise the type of money required to support a White House bid. He was at the back of the pack in most surveys and failed to meet the polling requirements needed to participate in Tuesday’s debate. Booker also missed last month’s debate and exits the race polling in low single digits in the early primary states and nationwide.
In an email to supporters, Booker said that he “got into this race to win” and that his failure to make the debates prevented him from raising raise the money required for victory.
“Our campaign has reached the point where we need more money to scale up and continue building a campaign that can win -- money we don’t have, and money that is harder to raise because I won’t be on the next debate stage and because the urgent business of impeachment will rightly be keeping me in Washington,” he said.
Booker had warned that the looming impeachment trial of President Donald Trump would deal a “big, big blow” to his campaign by pulling him away from Iowa in the final weeks before the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses. He hinted at the challenges facing his campaign last week in an interview on The Associated Press’ “Ground Game” podcast.
“If we can’t raise more money in this final stretch, we won’t be able to do the things that other campaigns with more money can do to show presence,” he said.
More on Election 2020:
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• Wisconsin judge orders up to 209K voter names be deleted
In his email to supporters, Booker pledged to do “everything in my power to elect the eventual Democratic nominee for president,” though his campaign says he has no immediate plans to endorse a candidate in the primary.
It’s a humbling finish for someone who was once lauded by Oprah Winfrey as the “rock star mayor” who helped lead the renewal of Newark, New Jersey. During his seven years in City Hall, Booker was known for his headline-grabbing feats of local do-goodery, including running into a burning building to save a woman, and his early fluency with social media, which brought him 1.4 million followers on Twitter when the platform was little used in politics. His rhetorical skills and Ivy League background often brought comparisons to President Barack Obama, and he’d been discussed as a potential presidential contender since his arrival in the Senate in 2013.
Now, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has mastered the art of the selfie on social media. Another former mayor, Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, is seen as the freshest face in the field. Former Vice President Joe Biden has built a strong base of support with black voters. And Booker’s message of hope and love seemed to fall flat during an era characterized perhaps most strongly by Democratic fury over the actions of the Trump administration.
An early focus on building out a strong and seasoned campaign operation in Iowa and South Carolina may have hampered his campaign in the long run, as the resources he spent early on staff there left him working with a tight budget in the later stages of the primary, when many of his opponents were going on air with television ads. That meant that even later in the campaign, after he had collected some of the top endorsements in Iowa and visited South Carolina almost more than any other candidate, a significant portion of the electorate in both states either said they were unfamiliar with his campaign or viewed him unfavorably.
On the stump, Booker emphasized his Midwestern connections — often referencing the nearly 80 family members he has still living in Iowa when he campaigned there — and delivered an exhortation to voters to use “radical love” to overcome what he considered Trump’s hate. But he rarely drew a contrast with his opponents on the trail, even when asked directly, and even some of Booker’s supporters worried his message on Trump wasn’t sharp enough to go up against a Republican president known for dragging his opponents into the mud.
Booker struggled to land on a message that would resonate with voters. He’s long been seen as a progressive Democrat in the Senate, pushing for criminal justice reform and marijuana legalization. And on the campaign trail, he proposed establishing a $1,000 savings account for every child born in the U.S. to help close the racial wealth gap.
He was among the first candidates to release a gun control plan, and at the time it was the most ambitious in the field, as it included a gun licensing program that would have been seen as political suicide just a decade before. He also released an early criminal justice reform plan that focused heavily on addressing sentencing disparities for drug crimes.
But he also sought to frame himself as an uplifting, unifying figure who emphasized his bipartisan work record. That didn’t land in a Democratic primary that has often rewarded candidates who promised voters they were tough-minded fighters who could take on Trump.
Booker’s seat is up for a vote this year, and he will run for reelection to the Senate. A handful of candidates has launched campaigns for the seat, but Booker is expected to have an easy path to reelection.
Booker’s exit from the presidential race further narrows the once two dozen-strong field, which now stands at 12 candidates.