August 12, 2021
Antonio Ray Harvey
California Black Media
A broad coalition of California women are banding together to support Gov. Gavin Newsom as he fights to fend off a recall effort by the Republicans that could mar his legacy and throw him out of office in a little over a month.
Members of the group, dubbing itself, Women Against the Recall (WAR), say they are not going to allow Gov. Gavin Newsom to be overthrown in the special election scheduled for Sept. 14. California U.S. Congresswomen Karen Bass (D-CA-13) and Barbara Lee (D-CA-37), who are both supporting WAR, joined a press conference on Aug. 9 to make the case for Newsom.
Aimee Allison, founder of She the People, an Oakland-based political advocacy group, hosted the briefing.
“We are all against the Republican-led recall because we know that the health of our children, neighbors, and communities depend on Gov. Newsom’s continued leadership,” Lee said at the onset of the virtual event hosted by WAR. “Congresswoman Bass and I decided that any successful, political event must have women on the front lines, especially women of color.”
The women of WAR come from diverse backgrounds and bring their support for Newsom from different regions of the state. But, organizers say, they remain united by a common goal: to mobilize a statewide grassroots movement that defeats the recall effort.
More than 1,000 women, representing themselves or different organizations across the state, signed a letter composed by WAR opposing the recall. Over the next few weeks, WAR’s leaders say their group will focus on providing voter education and conducting get-out-the-vote campaigns.
Newsom, who participated in the WAR event, said that he was “humbled” by the support from the 70 different groups that signed on to the letter. He told attendees that “our values and the things we hold dear” are at stake in the recall election.
“The one thing that sticks out in particular as a list of grievances who inspired this, was our support (Democratic Party) for diverse communities,” Newsom said. “Our support for immigrants, our support for doing more and being better. It’s about each and every one of us.”
WAR volunteers say, in their upcoming messaging campaigns, they will explain to Californians what recall election is and why, in their opinion, there is a movement to recall Gov. Newsom two years after he was elected to the highest office in the state.
Many Democrats are blaming Republicans for the attempt to recall Newsom, citing the state’s progressive politics and trailblazing steps it has taken to foster inclusion and address longstanding inequalities suffered by ethnic and racial minorities.
Republican candidates vying to unseat Newsom include former Olympian, Caitlyn Jenner, former San Diego Mayor, Kevin Faulconer, conservative talk radio host Larry Elder, Assemblymember Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin), former United States Congressman Doug Ose, and the 2018 GOP gubernatorial nominee John Cox.
“Lacking any crimes or accusations of impropriety, (the members of the Republican party) are trying to punish the Governor for following the advice of scientists to promote mask-wearing and social distancing,” WAR said in a written statement.
WAR continued, “(But) let’s be honest, though, this recall campaign is not about the Governor’s handling of COVID, it’s about an anti-democratic, political attack launched by the Republican Party who is exploiting the fear and pain of the COVID pandemic to claw back power after being rejected by the American people in the 2020 election.”
The California election will determine Newsom’s fate in less than 35 days and could potentially select a new governor on the same day from a list of 46 candidates.
“Those who think this thing is not close, I’d hate to disabuse you … it is,” Newsom said during the virtual function lasting about two hours.
During a news conference last week, California Secretary of State Shirley Weber said the ballot will ask two questions: Do the voters want to recall Newsom, and if so, who do they want to replace the governor.
If 50% or more of the ballots are no votes, Weber said, Newsom stays on as governor. If 50% or more say yes, then he is recalled.
WAR fears a lot is at stake. The group’s leaders say they dread what could happen if the next governor of the state is a Republican.
“Although we began as a nationwide ‘Secure the Seat’ effort to build partners and allies to support increased representation of Black women in the US Senate, we quickly realized this would not be possible without ensuring we have a Democratic governor in California,” WAR pointed out in a statement to the media. “If we lose California, we could potentially lose our majority in the Senate if anything happened to either of our Senators.”
August 12, 2021
By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
A United Nations panel on the climate released a scathing report on Monday, August 9, about a manufactured atmospheric crisis that has jeopardized the world’s future.
“It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean, and land,” stated the authors of the report the “AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change.”
“Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and biosphere have occurred, concluded the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN’s body for assessing the science related to climate change.
Two hundred and thirty-four authors from 66 countries analyzed more than 14,000 scientific reports about climate change for the report, which officials will present during climate talks later this year.
The report came as the Biden-Harris administration announced three pre-disaster funding opportunities to help states and communities prepare for significant disasters they said are costing lives and livelihoods and devastating local communities and businesses.
Administration officials said the programs would allow communities to apply for nearly $5 billion to increase their preparedness in advance of climate-related extreme weather events and other disasters and improve their ability to recover after these events.
They include $1 billion in funding for the administration’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program for Fiscal Year 2021.
This program provides grants to states, local communities, tribes, and territories to proactively reduce their vulnerability to natural hazard events before they occur and make themselves and the nation more resilient.
The money also includes $3.46 billion in funding for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).
The 59 states, tribes, and territories that received a major disaster declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible to receive 4 percent of the disaster costs.
That figure relates to mandates to invest in mitigation projects that will help better prepare and protect communities from natural disasters and the impacts of climate change.
Finally, $160 million in funding is earmarked for the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant program for the Fiscal Year 2021 to reduce or eliminate the risks of repetitive flood damage to homes and buildings insured by the National Flood Insurance Program.
Still, the United Nation’s report counts as a stunning rebuke of ignorance toward global warming.
The report from the United Nations researchers noted that warming temperatures continue to drive more extreme events in every part of the world, which is in danger of experiencing more heatwaves, longer warm seasons, and shorter cold seasons.
If temperatures increase an average of 2 degrees, the researchers found that will threaten human health and agricultural systems.
The study concluded that the average global temperatures had increased as much as 1.3 degrees Celsius, and “some recent hot extremes over the past decade would have been extremely unlikely to occur without human influence on the climate system.”
Regardless of any preventative measures, the researchers found that global surface temperatures will continue to increase until 2050.
Without a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the world will exceed 1.5 degrees of warming in 20 years.
Immediate, rapid, and large-scale reductions must occur, the panel wrote.
“Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe,” the report’s authors stated.
“Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones, and their attribution to human influence, has strengthened.”
Former Vice President Al Gore, long an environmental advocate, said climate action must occur immediately.
“We cannot rely on vague pledges with distant deadlines,” the Democrat asserted. “We need concrete plans to phase out fossil fuels in the near term. As the scientists at the IPCC make clear, there is no time left to waste.”
August 12, 2021
By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Amid an ugly sexual misconduct scandal, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned on Tuesday, August 10.
“I’m a New Yorker, born and bred. I’m a fighter, and my instinct is to fight through this controversy because I truly believe it is politically motivated, I believe it is unfair, and it is untruthful.
I believe it demonizes behavior that is unsustainable for society,” a defiant Cuomo remarked.
“New York tough means New York loving, and I love New York, and I love you. So I would never want to be unhelpful in any way,” he asserted.
The now-former governor must deal with the fallout from accusations made by several women who said he behaved inappropriately.
After a state’s attorney general office investigation found that Cuomo betrayed his position by forcibly kissing and touching women and making lewd propositions, New York lawmakers began looking at impeaching the governor.
The attorney general’s findings concluded that Cuomo “sexually harassed multiple women and violated state law.”
Cuomo continues to deny the allegations but said he had apologized to those he “truly offended” on Tuesday.
“I take full responsibility for my actions … I’ve been too familiar with people,” Cuomo insisted.
He restated that he has hugged and kiss many people – both men and women – but only in a casual manner.
“I have done it all my life. It’s who I have been since I can remember,” Cuomo asserted.
“In my mind, I have never crossed the line with anyone, but I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn. There are generational and cultural shifts that I just didn’t fully appreciate – and I should have. No excuses.”
August 12, 2021
By Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.
“What I want most is justice for my mother, and to continue her legacy,” stated Trevon Avan, the son of Michelle Avan, the Bank of America executive who was tragically murdered in her home last week. Her death sent shock waves throughout the community and her family and friends have vowed to continue her legacy of good deeds for the betterment of the community and those less fortunate.
People close to her say Michelle Annette Avan was a loving mother, grandmother and friend to all who knew her. She was recently promoted to senior vice president, Head of Global Women’s and Under-represented Talent Strategy and served on the Global Human Resources leadership team (see Sentinel article on 6/24/2021), and was dedicated personally in her role with the bank in developing talent and uplifting those in the community, supporting them in reaching their highest levels of achievement.
The consensus echoes a similar praise of Avan; she was much more than just a rising star in the banking industry, this determined leader utilized her role and the resources within the bank to uplift an entire community, helping break down the barriers that have traditionally been denied to women and people of color. Avan was a woman of service and had recently been nominated to serve on the board of the Los Angeles Urban League. She previously served as a board member for the USC Black Alumni Association, as well as the Centre Theater Group, and the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute (IBWPPI).
According to Tracy Mitchell, every year, without fail, Avan spearheaded her team of employees at Bank of America to purchase backpacks and fill them with school supplies out of their own pockets for the annual Mothers In Action’s Annual Back to School Healthfair & Supply Giveaway. “This year was no different. Special thanks to Michelle Avan and the employees at Bank of America. May her beautiful, giving soul rest in peace. Her living was not in vain. She spread her love, kindness and infectious smiles with everyone she met. Prayers of peace and comfort for her family, friends and co-workers, said Mitchell, president of Mothers in Action.
“‘I’m Ready ... I love you,’ were Michelle’s last words to me on Monday, July 26, the day before I left for Ghana, Africa. We ended the 90-minute call with such joy. It was different from our previous call a few weeks before when she was grieving the death of her beloved father. She was ready for her fresh start, her new way forward. I believed her. I had come to know her over the eight years of our working together and being in service together. We were thinking partners. Michelle never missed an opportunity to tell the world about our special relationship. Now, it is my turn. Keeping her legacy and dreams alive has moved to the top of my list,” stated Barbara Perkins, co-founder and president of IBWPPI.
On Monday August 9, 2021, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon filed first degree murder and residential burglary charges against Anthony Duwayne Turner. District Attorney Gascon said in a statement, “Ms. Avan was a leader in our community and this senseless act of violence has resulted in a significant loss to us all.”
Turner, also a Bank of America executive, was arrested as a suspect in connection with the slaying Avan, a prominent executive at Bank of America who was a champion in helping people of color seek careers in the financial services industry.
Family members became concerned of Avan’s welfare when she could not be reached over a lengthy period. A family member found Avan (48) dead and brutally beaten on Thursday morning at her home and immediately contacted authorities.
LAPD detectives arrested Anthony Duane Turner on Thursday afternoon, within hours of Avan being found dead near his home in Westchester on suspicion of murdering her.
Turner was booked and was being held at LAPD’s Valley Jail Section according to booking records and bail has been set at $2,000,000. Turner pleaded “Not Guilty” at his arraignment hearing on Monday.
With well over 50 friends and family members in attendance, including her son and daughter at Monday’s hearing, family members were outraged when Turner’s attorney described him as “a pillar of the community and deserved to be released on bail.” As of Sentinel press time, Turner is still in police custody.
“We are devastated,” Bank of America said in a statement. “Michelle was a valued member of our company for more than 20 years and will be greatly missed. We extend our deepest sympathies to her family.”
Keisha Nix, who started her career along with Avan over twenty years ago at Merrill Lynch and who was one of her closest friends stated, “Michelle was a bright light. She was one of the most humble C-Suite executives we have ever seen. She didn’t ask you or expect you to do anything she wasn’t willing to do herself. She led by example.
Her legacy will live on through her family and all of the seeds she planted in our community.”
In 2019, Avan was the recipient of the Los Angeles Sentinel’s Corporate Leadership Award as one of the most Powerful and Influential Black Women Leaders in Los Angeles. The award recognized her for her leadership and commitment to the community as well as her work to mentor youth, particularly Black women and girls.
The Avan family has not released information regarding her “Celebration of Life” event but did confirm that the family is planning to host a celebration in Los Angeles, but is also planning to host a celebration in Miami, Florida, where Avan was born and still has a large contingency of family, friends and loved ones.
Further information will be posted to www.lasentinel.net as more information becomes available.