Welcome

Welcome
John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Your mistakes do not define you



This is my daily practice and I want to share it with you, maybe it will help.

From the moment your eyes first open in the morning say this “Thank you” and with those two simple words your day will begin with thankfulness. For the remainder of the day make every effort to build your life on doing what you love and from that building block happiness will grow. As you work towards that goal let these words be your manta “I have chosen to live a life of passion and I will allow that choice to direct my life” Remember that during the course of this day you have a choice on how to act or react, always elect to be kind.


Sculpture this and Sculpture that

Multiverse, the largest and most complex light sculpture created by American artist Leo Villareal, may be experienced by visitors as they pass through the Concourse walkway between the East and West Buildings of the National Gallery of Art. The work features approximately 41,000 computer-programmed LED (light-emitting diode) nodes that run through channels along the 200-foot-long space. Development of this LED project began in 2005, and installation took place between September and December 2008.
Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

















HERE'S PLEASANT POEM FOR YOU TO ENJOY................

When I Heard at the Close of the Day
BY WALT WHITMAN

When I heard at the close of the day how my name had been receiv’d with plaudits in the capitol, still it was not a happy night for me that follow’d,
And else when I carous’d, or when my plans were accomplish’d, still I was not happy,
But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health, refresh’d, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn,
When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and disappear in the morning light,
When I wander’d alone over the beach, and undressing bathed, laughing with the cool waters, and saw the sun rise,
And when I thought how my dear friend my lover was on his way coming, O then I was happy,
O then each breath tasted sweeter, and all that day my food nourish’d me more, and the beautiful day pass’d well,
And the next came with equal joy, and with the next at evening came my friend,
And that night while all was still I heard the waters roll slowly continually up the shores,
I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands as directed to me whispering to congratulate me,
For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night,
In the stillness in the autumn moonbeams his face was inclined toward me,
And his arm lay lightly around my breast – and that night I was happy.

Walt Whitman


HERE'S SOME NICE ART FOR YOU TO LOOK AT....ENJOY!


Young Woman Walking by the Field, Henri Martin


WHY THE WORLD NEEDS EDITORS.....................



THE ART OF PULP

Halo in Brass, 1950 - Illustration by Mike Ludlow.

THE ART OF WAR...............................





IT'S ALMOST HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Photographs I’ve taken


I saw in their eyes something I was to see over and over in every part of the nation- a burning desire to go, to move, to get under way, anyplace, away from any Here. They spoke quietly of how they wanted to go someday, to move about, free and unanchored, not toward something but away from something. I saw this look and heard this yearning everywhere in every states I visited. Nearly every American hungers to move. Whitman


I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found. John Steinbeck



I tramp a perpetual journey. Whitman


Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process; a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brassbound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality on the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the-glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”  John Steinbeck in Travels with Charlie.



I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it
should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank
or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work,
or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his
boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat
deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the
hatter singing as he stands,
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his
way in the morning, or at noon intermission
or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the
young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or
washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to
none else,
The day what belongs to the day — at night the
party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious
songs.    
                 Whitman



In long-range planning for a trip, I think there is a private conviction that it won’t happen. As the day approached, my warm bed and comfortable house grew increasingly desirable…To give these up for three months for the terrors of the uncomfortable and unknowns seemed crazy. I didn’t want to go. Something had to happen to forbid my going, but it didn’t.  John Steinbeck Travels with Charlie


The American bards shall be marked for generosity and affection and for encouraging competitors… . The great poets are also to be known by the absence in them of tricks and by the justification of perfect personal candor… . How beautiful is candor! All faults may be forgiven of him who has perfect candor.  Whitman


The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.  Whitman



When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by the mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age.  In my middle age I was assured that the greater age would calm my fever… nothing has worked… I fear the disease is incurable.   John Steinbeck Travels with Charlie

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island.
From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.
                                                                Woody Guthrie





GOOD WORDS TO HAVE………………..
 Xeric   \ZEER-ik\ characterized by, relating to, or requiring only a small amount of moisture. By the late 1800s, botanists were using the terms xerophyte and xerophytic for plants that were well adapted for survival in dry environments. But some felt the need for a more generic word that included both animals and plants. In 1926 a group proposed using xeric (derived from xēros, the Greek word for "dry") as a more generalized term for either flora or fauna. They further suggested that "xerophytic … be entirely abandoned as useless and misleading." Not everyone liked the idea. In fact, the Ecological Society of America stated that xeric was "not desirable," preferring terms such as arid. Others declared that xeric should refer only to habitats, not to organisms. Scientists used it anyway, and by the 1940s xeric was well documented in scientific literature.




NYCPlaywrights October 10, 2015
Nancy_GMAIL


*** PLAYWRIGHTS OPPORTUNITIES ***

The Great Gay Play and Musical Contest seeks to develop the highest quality work with LGBT characters or themes. We seek material that is innovative and groundbreaking, and that deals with LGBT history, or issues of importance to the community. While we do appreciate the traditional well made play with LGBT themes, we like hearing fresh stories told in new ways. and we hope to begin relationships with writers looking to engage in that work.
***
The Gallery Players in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York, is seeking plays for its 19th Annual Black Box New Play Festival to be held in June, 2016. Each play selected will be given a black box production at Gallery Players and will be performed in a festival format with non-equity actors. Playwrights must be available for rehearsals and use this as an opportunity to continue work on their play.
***
San Francisco Theater Pub is pleased to announce that our popular PINT-SIZED PLAYS event will be returning for a sixth year but first, right now, we are accepting script submissions from playwrights for THE MORRISSEY PLAYS.
Disappointed? That’s fine. MORRISSEY doesn’t need your love. Yours, or anybody else’s.
Conceived by head writer/director Stuart Bousel (from an idea by Nirmala Nataraj), THE MORRISSEY PLAYS is an evening of short plays that take place in a bar and involve people drinking heavily and talking about MORRISSEY, and/or living the way MORRISSEY would want them to live, if he wanted anything from anybody. Which he doesn’t. The 2016 MORRISSEY PLAYS will happen January 18, 19, 25, and 26 at PianoFight in downtown San Francisco.Because PianoFight is where Theater Pub performs and because January is the saddest month of the year.
*** FOR MORE INFORMATION on these and other opportunities see the web site athttp://www.nycplaywrights.org ***


Who Thinks It’s OK To ‘Improve’ Playwrights’ Work?
Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida is back in rehearsal with their production of Brian Friel’s Philadelphia, Here I Come!, to restore the script as the fine Irish dramatist wrote it. Their production, which should have been in performance now, had eliminated characters and removed intermissions, among other “improvements.” Frankly, they’re lucky to even have a second shot at it. They could have lost the rights to the show altogether.

Jay Handelman in the Herald Tribune reported on the situation and reading his article in full, it comes clear that this isn’t some isolated incident for the Asolo.
Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald] Edwards said Friel’s agent heard about the changes and was most concerned about the removal of the intermissions. “We asked if they would come down and see what Frank had done, which we thought was beautiful, but they decided not to.”
The theater has experimented with new approaches to older plays with some success in the past. Two years ago, for example, the theater played around with Leah Napolin’s play “Yentl,” keeping most of the script but adding in original songs by composer Jill Sobule, performed by actors doubling as musicians on stage.
More…
http://www.hesherman.com/2014/01/22/who-thinks-its-ok-to-improve-playwrights-work/

***
Beyond the “Dead Playwright” Approach
I like working with dead playwrights,” a director once told a colleague whose play he was directing. The implication was clear: shut up and get out of my rehearsal; your job is done and now let me do mine.
Reinventing plays as a director is obviously a valid form of artistic expression. How many Shakespeare adaptations in all sorts of settings have we seen, from Joe Papp’s Naked Hamlet to the Reduced Shakespeare Company production of The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr? And living playwrights adapt “dead playwrights” all the time too: Luis Alfaro’s brilliant Oedipus el Rey and Electricidad or Tanya Saracho’s El Nogalar based on Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard come to mind.
More…
http://www.tcgcircle.org/2013/07/beyond-the-dead-playwright-approach/

***
Bogus Trend Story of the Week: Playwrights Working for TV
The Wall Street Journal discovers a zillion playwrights writing for television!

The Wall Street Journal takes bogus trend story of the week honors with its Feb. 26 piece "The Teleplay's the Thing: A Growing Number of Top Playwrights Are Migrating to TV." After noting in the fifth paragraph that playwrights such as David Mamet and Theresa Rebeck "have found a second home on TV before," the Journal makes this sweeping statement:

But some in the TV world say that the traffic [of writers] from stage to TV has never been heavier than it is now—a result, in part, of the rise of more cable shows with literary aspirations and a TV marketplace that puts a premium on writers with original voices.
The mysterious source, Some in the TV World,is never actually quoted. Nor does the Journal ever offer a census over the decades of playwrights who have become tele-playwrights. It merely names a bunch of playwrights working in television—Keith Huff, Warren Leight, Marsha Norman, Jon Robin Baitz, Tracy Letts, Lucy Prebble, in addition to Mamet and Rebeck—and presents shaky anecdotal evidence. For instance, the Journal finds it significant that the majority of writers working on HBO's In Treatment are playwrights, that AMC's Breaking Bad employs two playwrights, and that one-third of the 200 applicants for writing slots on a new FX network drama were playwrights. They were expecting maybe plumbers?
More…
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/press_box/2010/03/bogus_trend_story_of_the_week_playwrights_working_for_tv.html

***
The Road to Broadway, and Why It’s Harder for Playwrights than Actors
 A lot has been made in the theatre community about the hardships of being an actor aspiring to make his or her Broadway debut. We've heard all the talk about the highly-competitive auditions, the working as a waiter or waitress while waiting for that big break, and all they've done before to get to this point. However, it is not actors that have the most difficult time making it to Broadway, but the younger generation of playwrights – the prime artists who create new theatre for new generations – that are most likely to never see the fulfillment of their dreams of Broadway glory. In fact, the Broadway competition among those vying for success as an actor is nothing compared to the competition among playwrights.
 This is not to downplay the challenges of making it to Broadway as an actor. Anyone who knows anything about Broadway theatre knows that only a select few individuals that audition get lucky enough to showcase their talents as a performer on a Broadway stage, while thousands more go on to have their lifelong dreams crushed. But when thinking about the ratio of shows that are playing on Broadway – or anywhere else, for that matter – as opposed to the actors that are needed to make that show a reality, it is clear that – as hard as it may be for aspiring Broadway actors – there is actually more demand for actors than there are for new shows.
 It doesn't help the newest generation of playwrights when a fair portion of the shows that are on Broadway right now and have been over the past five years have been revivals of past Broadway musicals, such as Les Miserables, Annie and Pippin. This is in addition to a good portion of other shows that have been open for several years and show no signs of closing at any point in the near future, such as The Lion King or The Phantom of the Opera. While many of these shows are widely considered to be classics, the fact that producers keep going back to these same shows is reflective of a major issue facing many playwrights today. While actors will continue to find work regardless of what shows are being produced, the opportunities available to playwrights become increasingly limited when there is a lack of demand for new works, and this is especially true for playwrights wanting to see their work staged on Broadway.
 More…
http://www.onstageblog.com/columns/2015/5/12/9zziq0bqmaycxjw8vcpxtk6jwzyx2i
*
Directing the New Play: Some Tips on Working with Playwrights
 Directing a new work for the stage can be an exciting, interesting, and overwhelming experience. There are specific challenges that come with the new play process that simply are not associated with established works. The fact is the first time a play is being produced those involved in the process are defining the playwright’s script through each of their efforts associated with that production.
 That means that every person involved, actors, designers, director and others, carry a wealth of responsibility in creating the first live performances of that show. Here are some tips that will help directors (and others) as they approach putting a new play on the boards for the very first time.
 What’s the Play About?
 Of course, one of the primary jobs of any theatre artist, including the director, is to determine what the premise, theme, or focus of the play is. That’s one thing when a play has a production history, as there’s a lot of information around about the play due to previous productions. Also, if a play has been given a first-class production, as an example on Broadway or the West End, then many of the problems have been worked out.
 More…
http://broadwayeducators.com/?p=1775

***
You Wrote a Play, But Now What?
 Will was one of those dream authors: he submitted an immaculate manuscript, quietly corrected my editing lapses, and indulged me when I challenged him to reduce Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to a haiku. (I would share it with you, but it contains a plot spoiler.)
 A couple of times recently I was invited by playwright or director friends to attend staged readings of drafts of new plays. Both times, the audience was made up mainly of actors and writers, and afterward there was a rather intense postmortem, with a moderator guiding the criticism while the author listened and squirmed. I was curious about the process and thought you might be, too, so I asked Will to talk about it.
 Carol: Have staged readings always been a part of play development? This seems so different from the process of developing a novel or short story.
 Will: I’ve been writing plays for about 30 years, and readings and discussions of the script have always been part of the development process. Dramatic Writer's Companion Unlike fiction, a play consists of much more than the words that the playwright puts into the script. Before the play can be fully realized in front of an audience, actors will bring their insights and emotional life to the characters, designers will flesh out the many different physical elements of the story, and ideally the director will work to keep all of these different talents in balance with the playwright’s vision. Because so much else is involved, most playwrights invite others to help them understand the full dimensions of the work underway. As others respond, feedback begins to flow and, for the playwright, this can be both a good thing and a bad thing.
 More…
http://www.subversivecopyeditor.com/my_weblog/you-wrote-a-play-but-now-what.html
 ***
Should a playwright have the final say over a production?
 Last week I went to a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at London's St James theatre. It was by no means great, but it was high-spirited fun with a contemporary setting. Staged at lunchtime, the performance was only around 50 minutes long; it probably included about a third of Shakespeare's script.
 Shortened versions of classic plays – some excluding entire scenes and characters – are often the norm rather than the exception on our stages, particularly with Shakespeare. There are Hamlets without Fortinbras; Macbeths in which the Porter has gone missing; Romeos and Juliets with no apothecary bemoaning his poverty. Lines of text are frequently excised to aid clarity and flow – and cut running times.
 Does this lead to outrage that authorial intent has been trashed? Of course not. No one is messing with the plays in the manner of Nahum Tate, whose 1681 version of King Lear dominated the British stage for more than 150 years. Tate's version omitted the Fool, and saw Lear restored to the throne in time to see Cordelia marry Edgar and live happily ever after. In any case, with some Shakespeare plays we are still disputing the text as much as the authorship – and, of course, the playwright is not on hand to make any kind of complaint.
 Unlike the Australian playwright Lachlan Philpott. On the opening night of Philpott's new play, Alienation, which is based on interviews with people who believe they have been abducted by aliens, the writer removed his name from the production and put a note on every seat in the auditorium that declared: "this production does not reflect my original scripted or communicated intentions as the playwright." On Friday, Perth Theatre Company issued its own statement in response, saying that it "strongly disagrees and is disappointed with these statements and considers them to be inaccurate and unwarranted." Ouch.
 More…
http://www.theguardian.com/stage/theatreblog/2013/jul/25/playwright-final-say-theatre-production

***
I Hit Hamlet
Behind the scenes at a Broadway fiasco.
 …Nicol was sensational. In a luxuriant wig and sculpted black tunic and tights, he was utterly persuasive as a dashing, brutally comic Barrymore. He commanded the stage, and seemed to be having the time of his life. He was possessed by Barrymore, both in the play’s more burlesque moments and in his speeches from “Hamlet,” which he delivered with eloquence and simplicity, as a lesson for Andrew and the rest of us. It was too good to last.
 After the first few shows, Nicol embarked on a self-destructive binge. He repeatedly propositioned the stage manager, and when she resisted his groping advances he called the management and demanded that she be fired. This didn’t happen, but the atmosphere backstage became poisonous. The cast posed for a raft of promotional photographs, and Nicol tried to block the release of any pictures in which he appeared with another actor. Then he began murmuring directions, while onstage, to other cast members: “Is that what you’re doing?,” “God, that’s awful,” and worse. During scenes in which the script called for him to hover, as a ghost, and eavesdrop on the action, he would leave the stage. He gradually and deliberately alienated almost everyone, until the production became a war zone. One night, I stopped by his dressing room to make a final attempt to repair our relationship. When I entered, he took a wobbly swing at me, aimed at my head and connecting with my shoulder. I was more surprised than hurt; it was like being assaulted by a sleeping bag. Further revisions to the script became impossible.
 More…
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/12/24/i-hit-hamlet



DON'T YOU JUST LOVE POP ART?
From the Hirshorn  Museum, Washington DC
  
 





HERE'S MY LATEST BOOK.....




The Valley Lives
Reviewed by  Marion Marchetto, author of The Bridgewater Chronicles on October 15, 2015

Short Stores from a Small Town is set in The Valley (known to outsiders as The Lower Naugatuck Valley) in Connecticut. While the short stories are contemporary they provide insight into the timeless qualities of an Industrial Era community and the values and morals of the people who live there. Some are first or second generation Americans, some are transplants, yet each takes on the mantle of Valleyite and wears it proudly. It isn't easy for an author to take the reader on a journey down memory lane and involve the reader in the life stories of a group of seemingly unrelated characters. I say seemingly because by book's end the reader will realize that he/she has done more than meet a group of loosely related characters.
We meet all of the characters during a one-day time period as each of them finds their way to the Valley Diner on a rainy autumn day. From our first meeting with Angel, the educationally challenged man who opens and closes the diner, to our farewell for the day to the young waitress whose smile hides her despair we meet a cross section of the Valley population. Rich, poor, ambitious, and not so ambitious, each life proves that there is more to it beneath the surface. And the one thing that binds these lives together is The Valley itself. Not so much a place (or a memory) but an almost palpable living thing that becomes a part of its inhabitants.
Let me be the first the congratulate author John William Tuohy on a job well done. He has evoked the heart of The Valley and in doing so brought to life the fabric that Valleyites wear as a mantle of pride. While set in a specific region of the country, the stories that unfold within the pages of this slim volume are similar to those that live in many a small town from coast to coast.


About this book by John Tuohy...................
This is a book of short stories taken from the things I saw and heard in my childhood in the factory town of Ansonia in southwestern Connecticut.

Most of these stories, or as true as I recall them because I witnessed these events many years ago through the eyes of child and are retold to you now with the pen and hindsight of an older man. The only exception is the story Beat Time which is based on the disappearance of Beat poet Lew Welch. Decades before I knew who Welch was, I was told that he had made his from California to New Haven, Connecticut, where was an alcoholic living in a mission. The notion fascinated me and I filed it away but never forgot it.     

The collected stories are loosely modeled around Joyce’s novel, Dubliners (I also borrowed from the novels character and place names. Ivy Day, my character in “Local Orphan is Hero” is also the name of chapter in Dubliners, etc.) and like Joyce I wanted to write about my people, the people I knew as a child, the working class in small town America and I wanted to give a complete view of them as well. As a result the stories are about the divorced, Gays, black people, the working poor, the middle class, the lost and the found, the contented and the discontented.

Conversely many of the stories in this book are about starting life over again as a result of suicide (The Hanging Party, Small Town Tragedy, Beat Time) or from a near death experience (Anna Bell Lee and the Charge of the Light Brigade, A Brief Summer) and natural occurring death. (The Best Laid Plans, The Winter Years, Balanced and Serene)

With the exception of Jesus Loves Shaqunda, in each story there is a rebirth from the death. (Shaqunda is reported as having died of pneumonia in The Winter Years)
Sal, the desperate and depressed divorcee in Things Change, changes his life in Lunch Hour when asks the waitress for a date and she accepts. (Which we learn in Closing Time, the last story in the book) In The Arranged Time, Thisby is given the option of change and whether she takes it or, we don’t know. The death of Greta’s husband in A Matter of Time has led her to the diner and into the waiting arms of the outgoing and loveable Gabe.

Although the book is based on three sets of time (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and the diner is opened in the early morning and closed at night, time stands still inside the Diner. The hour on the big clock on the wall never changes time and much like my memories of that place, everything remains the same.

http://www.amazon.com/Short-Stories-Small-William-Tuohy/dp/1517270456/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444164878&sr=1-1&keywords=short+stories+from+a+small+town




In 1962, six year old John Tuohy, his two brothers and two sisters entered Connecticut’s foster care system and were promptly split apart. Over the next ten years, John would live in more than ten foster homes, group homes and state schools, from his native Waterbury to Ansonia, New Haven, West Haven, Deep River and Hartford. In the end, a decade later, the state returned him to the same home and the same parents they had taken him from. As tragic as is funny compelling story will make you cry and laugh as you journey with this child to overcome the obstacles of the foster care system and find his dreams.
http://www.amazon.com/No-Time-Say-Goodbye-Memoir/dp/0692361294/
http://amemoirofalifeinfostercare.blogspot.com/
http://www.amazon.com/No-Time-Say-Goodbye-Memoir/dp/


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John William Tuohy is a writer who lives in Washington DC. He holds an MFA in writing from Lindenwood University. He is the author of numerous non-fiction on the history of organized crime including the ground break biography of bootlegger Roger Tuohy "When Capone's Mob Murdered Touhy" and "Guns and Glamour: A History of Organized Crime in Chicago."
His non-fiction crime short stories have appeared in The New Criminologist, American Mafia and other publications. John won the City of Chicago's Celtic Playfest for his work The Hannigan's of Beverly, and his short story fiction work, Karma Finds Franny Glass, appeared in AdmitTwo Magazine in October of 2008.
His play, Cyberdate.Com, was chosen for a public performance at the Actors Chapel in Manhattan in February of 2007 as part of the groups Reading Series for New York project. In June of 2008, the play won the Virginia Theater of The First Amendment Award for best new play.
Contact John:
MYWRITERSSITE.BLOGSPOT.COM
JWTUOHY95@GMAIL.COM





RIGHT TO KNOW ACT
Legislation to Prevent Discriminatory & Abusive Policing and
Improve Communication & Accountability Between NYPD and New Yorkers
About the Legislation 
The Right To Know Act is a legislative package that aims to protect the civil and human rights of New Yorkers while promoting communication, transparency and accountability in everyday interactions between the NYPD and the public.  New Yorkers want to live in a safe city where the police treat all residents with dignity and respect, and where police are not considered to be above the law.
The Right To Know Act includes the following legislation:
 Requiring NYPD officers to identify themselves (Intro 182)
New Yorkers should have the right to know the identity of police officers that interact with them, and the reason for law enforcement activity that prompts those interactions.  Intro 182 would:
•           Require officers to identify themselves and provide the officer's name, rank, command and a phone number for the Civilian Complaint Review Board at the end of police encounters that do not result in an arrest or summons.
•           Require officers to provide the specific reason for their law enforcement activity (e.g. vehicle search, stop-and-frisk)
All too often, New Yorkers have no idea why they’re being questioned, stopped or searched by a police officer.  NYPD policy already requires that officers provide their name, rank, shield number and command when asked.  However, in many instances, officers do not identify themselves to members of the public and many individuals report fear of asking for the identity of an officer for fear of retaliation.  Research suggests that in the absence of anonymity, officers are less likely to engage in abusive or discourteous behavior. New Yorkers should have the right to know the identity of police officers that interact with them.
 Similar laws exist in other jurisdictions and the U.S. Department of Justice has made adoption of similar policies a requirement in consent decrees entered into with the City of New Orleans and the Puerto Rico Police Department.
 Protecting New Yorkers against unconstitutional searches (Intro 541)
New Yorkers should have the right to know that under the US constitution, searches without any legal basis (such as probable cause or a warrant) do not have to be agreed to, and they should have the assurance that this right will be respected and upheld by police. Intro 541 would:
•           End the practice of the NYPD deceiving New Yorkers into consenting to unnecessary and unjustified searches
•           Require officers to explain that a person has the right to refuse a search when there is no legal justification for a search
•           Require officers to obtain objective proof that an individual gave informed and voluntary consent to a search, when there is no legal justification for the search
NYPD officers routinely conduct searches without legal justification other than an individual’s assumed “consent”.  Too often, that is achieved by misleading New Yorkers into giving “consent” by simply ordering them to empty their pockets or open up their bags, without informing them that they do not have to agree. Most New Yorkers are unaware that they have the right to refuse such “consent” searches when the officer has no warrant, probable cause to believe they committed a crime, or other legal justification. The rights of New Yorkers to provide informed and voluntary consent to searches, and to decline such consent when there is no legal justification, should be protected.
 Similar laws exist in other jurisdictions and the U.S. Department of Justice has made adoption of similar policies a requirement in consent decrees entered into with the City of New Orleans and the Puerto Rico Police Department. Some states have banned consent searches altogether due to their racially discriminatory impact.

PEOPLE TAKING PICTURES OF PEOPLE: WASHINGTON DC








Nevada Supreme Court Considers Bail Alternatives
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A committee in Nevada's Supreme Court is considering an alternative to bail for jailed people awaiting trial.
The Nevada Appeal reports (http://bit.ly/1Osj2dp) the U.S. District Court in Alabama and the Department of Justice have recently questioned the legality of a system that releases only suspects who can afford to post bail.
Nevada Chief Justice Jim Hardesty says an initial survey found most courts in the state do not use risk assessment tools, which are used in Colorado courts, among others.
Hardesty said these systems have helped reduce the number of people who fail to appear for court dates after posting bail. He says the goal is to find a non-biased assessment method.
The committee's next meeting is set for Nov. 5.
Information from: Nevada Appeal, http://www.nevadaappeal.com



WE NEED PAID FAMILY LEAVE FOR AMERICANS
 
When child care trumps rent, women must make tough financial choices
 October 11, 2015
Payton Davis
Deseret News
 Families in many states are forking over more money to their babysitters than landlords.
 And if you thought the cost of college was pricey, in some places, child care costs soar above that too, according to a research paper from the Economic Policy Institute.
 Fortune reported EPI's paper found "that caretaking costs have become so exorbitant that in most parts of the U.S., families spend more on child care than they do on rent" — that includes babysitting, nannies and out-of-home day care centers.
 Although the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises that affordable child care shouldn't account for more than 10 percent of a family's budget, Fortune noted costs in that area can "eat up" more than 30 percent. Considering child care costs have risen 168 percent over the last 25 years and that the average amount spent yearly is $18,000, the expense forces parents to make career decisions, switching jobs or leaving the workforce.
 For women, a full-time job is even a poor economic decision taking into account the cost of child care, according to Slate.
 These mothers have to consider tough financial choices: Working during their children's early years might not make sense with soaring babysitting costs, but if mothers hope to work again eventually, a woman's earnings decrease 10 percent by every two years she doesn't work, Slate reported.
 Making income inequality a "system" rather than trend, EPI's findings extend well beyond the home.
 "Expensive child care doesn't just keep women out of the workforce and hamper their autonomy — it sets off a ripple effect that sustains a system of income inequality, making both child-rearing and working outside the home privileges of the rich," Slate's piece read.
 EPI's researchers wrote because child care consumes a bigger portion of family budgets, "funding high-quality child care services should be a paramount concern for governments, business leaders and families alike."
 Presidential hopefuls are touting solutions, according to The Washington Post.
 The Post reported Hillary Clinton has called for more government money to fund public child care programs, and Sen. Bernie Sanders supports universal preschools and paid family leave. To the right, Marco Rubio proposed a tax break for companies that give employees paid leave.
 CBS News cited another interesting finding in the EPI's paper: In 33 states and the District of Columbia, child care costs more than college tuition.
 Young parents focus on "the cost of sending their children to college, but many may not be prepared for the financial stress of five years of providing care before their child enrolls in kindergarten," according to CBS News. Unlike planning for college, families don't have 18 years to plan for infant care.
 The Huffington Post noted young children reap numerous benefits from "high-quality early childhood care and education," making finding a solution more crucial.
 Patricia Cole, director of government relations for Zero to Three, told The Huffington Post that day care "is not just a place where children can go so parents can work, but it is important for the brain development of children."
 "Infancy and early childhood are when brain development is most rapid," Cole said.

Washington, D.C., could become best place in US to have a baby, get sick, or have parents
By Aaron C. Davis
Washington Post

Washington, D.C., would become the most generous place in the country for a worker to take time off after giving birth or to care for a dying parent under a measure supported by a majority of the D.C. Council.
Under the legislation, almost every part-time and full-time employee in the nation's capital would be entitled to 16 weeks of paid family leave to bond with an infant or an adopted child, recover from an illness, recuperate from a military deployment or tend to an ill family member.
The broad new worker benefit, enthusiastically supported by the Obama administration, would be paid from a fund created by a new tax on D.C. employers. The benefit would dwarf family-leave assistance in all 50 states and would also mark a step toward benefits offered by most European countries, where parents can take as much as a year of paid time off following the birth of a child.
The measure also could soon mark a rare legislative victory in Washington for President Barack Obama -- not on Capitol Hill, but down Pennsylvania Avenue inside city hall.
The administration has spent years watching its ideas to address rising income inequality fall flat in Congress amid partisan gridlock. The proposed measure amounts to a new strategy in executive branch workarounds: using local law to forge a policy bulkhead for bigger changes nationally. Supporters said the bill would help to address the widening gap between rich and poor by helping families take time off when they otherwise couldn't make ends meet.
"The Obama administration has realized the action is on the state and local level, and they gave us the money to model how this could actually work," said D.C. Council member Elissa Silverman, independent, one of the lead supporters of the measure. "We now have a national platform and a great opportunity with this legislation to show how it can be done."
The measure is the first major legislative product to flow from a grant program that U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez has openly advertised as an end run on a Republican-controlled Congress, which, when it comes to worker compensation, has declined to take up the issue of a stagnated federal minimum wage.
"The United States is one of the few countries on Earth without national paid leave. Fortunately, we have seen remarkable progress ... where innovative state and local officials are designing paid-leave policies that work for their citizens," Perez said last week in a statement.
The D.C. Chamber of Commerce on Monday pushed back against the proposal, saying in a letter to the council that the business community has not been privy to the Department of Labor-funded research used to develop the legislation. The group warned that an entirely employer-funded family leave program "would be unprecedented and make the District of Columbia dangerously uncompetitive."
But an increasingly liberal D.C. Council has pushed the issue to the forefront and with greater force than even some Obama administration officials expected.
The D.C. legislation would more than double the length of any paid-leave program in the country. Only three states have enacted such laws over the past 10 years. Currently, the maximum benefit is six weeks of partial paid leave in New Jersey and California.
The District would offer 16 weeks and unprecedented coverage for workers' salaries and hourly wages: 100 percent of pay for those making up to $52,000 a year.
Employees who earn more than that would be eligible for $1,000 a week plus 50 percent of their additional income, up to a maximum of $3,000 per week.
Almost all D.C. employees would be eligible. The only ones excluded would be residents of Maryland and Virginia who work for the federal government, because the city could not compel it to participate. District employees of the federal government and federal contractors could opt into the system and pay a small fee to participate.
The plan would be paid for with a first-of-its-kind new levy on D.C. employers, akin to a state unemployment insurance pool.
Every D.C. employer would be required to pay into the fund on a sliding scale. Law firms, lobbying groups and others with the District's highest-paid workers would pay the equivalent of 1 percent of the salaries of employees who earn above $150,000, or about $1,500 annually per worker.
On the low end, employers of minimum wage workers, who now earn $10.50 per hour, would have to contribute 0.6 percent of each worker's pay, or about $131 per employee per year.
"It's a very cost-effective program, it doesn't require a lot of money to provide a whole lot of benefit," said Jeffrey Hayes, study director for the Institute for Women's Policy Research, the D.C. nonprofit that the District hired with its $96,000 Labor Department grant to model the plan.
Hayes used a series of sophisticated simulations to help determine how the District could afford to offer paid family leave for nearly all workers -- full-time and part-time, and especially low-income workers.
Silverman and council member David Grosso, independent, who pushed the measure for months behind the scenes, recently attended a symposium led by the Labor Department where the District's efforts were lauded for helping to "push the needle" on family leave law.
At the symposium, Perez announced the Obama administration would triple its grants for similar work, to a total of $2 million. It is behind efforts in 12 states and local governments nationwide to spur family leave laws.
Grosso last month took the plan before dozens of members of the local Chamber of Commerce and argued that it would make D.C. employers more competitive regionally because it would create loyalty to the District, compared with Maryland and Virginia, which have no statewide paid-family-leave programs. A handful of businesses have signed on in support, while others have said the plan would create burdens on companies to find temporary help if the paid leave entices more employees to utilize family leave already allowed under federal law.
But Grosso's pitch to colleagues has primarily been focused on the bill as a partial solution to growing wage disparities. He has argued that family leave should not become the domain of the wealthy.
"The fact of the matter is, if you're making less than $1,000 a week, you can't make ends meet on a fraction of your pay. You can't afford to take that leave," said Grosso, chairman of the council's education committee.
He pointed to research that men who care for their children as infants are more likely to be a bigger part of their kids' lives later on.
"In this country, we really don't reward strong families the way we should," Grosso said. Like most other council sponsors of the bill, he does not have any children but said he and his mother had to stagger shifts years ago to care for a terminally ill grandmother.



On World Day against Death Penalty, UN says practice deters neither drug crimes nor abuse
10 October 2015 – The death penalty does not deter drug crimes, nor does it protect people from drug abuse, said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, reiterating the world body's ongoing call to abolish the practice altogether, while emphasizing that if used, that it be applied only to the crime of intentional killing.
“Curbing drug crimes is far more a matter of reforming justice systems and investing in prevention through the public health system, including access to treatment,” declared Mr. Ban in his message for the World Day Against the Death Penalty, marked each year on 10 October.
He notes that seven decades ago, only 14 countries had abolished the death penalty. Today, 82 per cent have either introduced moratoria by law or in practice, or have abolished the death penalty. This year's observance of the World Day against the Death Penalty draws attention to this progress and focuses on the death penalty and drug crimes.
“International law limits the application of the death penalty to the 'most serious crimes.' This means that it should only – if at all – be applied to the crime of intentional killing,” said the Secretary-General.
Indeed, he said, UN human rights bodies have repeatedly stressed that the use of the death penalty for drug-related crimes does not meet this threshold. The International Narcotics Control Board and other drug control bodies have encouraged States that impose the death penalty to abolish it for drug crimes, added the UN chief.
“I urge all States and individuals to join the United Nations as we continue to advocate for an end to the imposition of the death penalty,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, UN human rights experts have noted that around 1,000 executions for drug crimes take place worldwide every year.
Against that background, two UN Special Rapporteurs have underscored that “the imposition of death sentences and executions for drug offences significantly increases the number of persons around the world caught in a system of punishment that is incompatible with fundamental tenets of human rights.”
According to the experts, more than 30 States have legal provisions providing the death penalty for drug-related crimes and in some of them, such cases make up a significant proportion of the total number of executions carried out.
In his comments, Cristof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions said that in many States where the death penalty is used for drug-related offences, there is not a system of fair trial.
“The World Day […] provides an opportunity to reflect on another year in which the number of States that have completely moved away from capital punishment has increased,” Mr. Heyns said. “However, it also prompts scrutiny of the extent to which a small minority of States violate international law by imposing the death penalty for drug offences.”
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights prohibits the imposition of the death penalty for any but the 'most serious' crimes. Drug offences, according to the Covenant, cannot meet this threshold, comparing to the crimes involving international killing, which is the 'most serious.'
“Certain States that persistently and openly flout this international standard are also acting contrary to an emerging customary norm that the imposition and enforcement of the death penalty, in breach of those standards, is a violation per se of the prohibition of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,” said Juan E. Méndez, Special Rapporteur on torture.
Concerned that some global efforts to combat drug crime would inadvertently be contributing to unlawful executions, Mr. Heyns urged abolitionist States to ensure that they are not complicit in the use of the death penalty in other States under any circumstances.
Meanwhile, he stressed to international agencies and States providing bilateral technical assistance to combat drug crime that, they “must ensure that the programmes to which they contribute do not ultimately result in violations of the right to life.”
“We are looking forward to the time when it will no longer be necessary to have a special day on the death penalty; a time when all states have left this form of punishment behind them,” the Special Rapporteurs reaffirmed in their statement.



IF INDUSTRY WON’T ACT RESPONSIBLE, THEN IMPOSE A SUGAR TAX




Study Reveals Preliminary Benefits of Berkeley’s Soda Tax
The study suggests the tax may have a meaningful impact on consumer behavior
By Olivia Giordano, Editor
Consumers in Berkeley, California pay about 70 percent of the new soda tax, while retailers bear the remaining 30 percent.
It is a well-known fact that sugary beverages have a variety of adverse effects on human health. For years, public health advocates around the country have pushed for a tax on sugary beverages, citing the role of empty calories in the aggravation of the obesity epidemic among other diseases. Other countries concerned about rising rates of obesity, such as Mexico, have implemented their own nationwide soda taxes with success. But consumers and members of the beverage industry have, time and time again, barred the soda tax from coming to fruition in the United States. Many began to turn to alternative public health measures, but one city persisted. As a result, Berkeley, California became the first in the nation to enforce a soda tax.
Last year, a grass roots coalition funded byBloomberg Philanthropiesconvinced 76 percent of voters to support the soda tax. It was passed in November 2014 and was put into effect in March. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley released a newstudy Wednesday assessing the efficacy of the tax in its first few months implementation. Though preliminary, the results are very promising. From March through June, sodaprices in Berkeley increased seven-tenths of a cent per ounce more than in other cities. This means that consumers bear 70 percent of the extra cost from the 1-cent-per-ounce tax. For all other sugary beverages, retailers are passing off just under 50 percent of the cost.
Their findings provide evidence that consumers are truly seeing and feeling the extra cost of buying sugary drinks. If Mexico is any example, Berkeley’s tax will continue to have a significant impact on consumer behavior. A study conducted by the Mexican National Institute of Public Health found that purchases of sugary beverages in Mexico dropped six percent on average in the soda tax’s first year. Although soda taxes remain a controversial issue, the Berkeley tax is an important step towards reducing the consumption of these beverages. If Berkeley sees a downward trend in soda consumption in the next year, as was the case in Mexico, other American cities may be inclined to follow their lead.

When soda companies target minorities, is it exploitation?
By Marion Nestle October 10
Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from “Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning)” (Oxford University Press, 2015), edited for length.
In 2013, the Hispanic Institute issued a report about how sugary drinks affect the health of its community. The institute, based in Washington, urged its constituents to stop collaborating with soda companies. Its report called the community to action: “The negative effects of sugary drinks, other bad food choices and lack of regular exercise on the health of the fastest-growing group in America will continue until Hispanics use their considerable political clout to influence public policymaking and their economic strength to influence purveyors of those products.”
In an interview, institute president Gus West said, “Of course, we’re responsible for what we eat and drink . . . but we’re also subject to the effects of massive advertising and misleading promotional campaigns — especially on our children and the poor.” Community organizations, he said, need “to walk away from funding by the processed-food and big sugary-drink companies.” Hispanic organizations “broke with tobacco companies” in the 1990s, he said, and now need to do the same with soda companies.
Obesity changes the game. It forces Hispanic and African Americans to reexamine their relationships with soda companies. Some members of these communities once viewed this targeted marketing as a testament to their rising economic and social status within American society. While some continue to prize the efforts of soda companies to advertise in their publications and support their organizations, the rising prevalence of obesity in their communities led others to view such relationships as exploitative. To some community leaders, soda companies echo the actions of tobacco companies in the ways they market to groups most vulnerable to the harm caused by their products.
Soda companies have an exceptionally complicated relationship to racial and ethnic minorities in the United States.
Within these diverse communities, those most likely to benefit from soda industry marketing and philanthropy are usually those least likely to bear the burdens of soda-related health problems. The unequal distribution of costs and benefits in part explains why some prominent minority organizations support the industry in its opposition to public health measures such as soda taxes or size caps. In this context, the Hispanic Institute’s call to action broke new ground.
African and Hispanic Americans drink more sodas and — no surprise — display a higher prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes than their white counterparts. Although 55 percent of whites say they routinely drink regular (sugar-sweetened) sodas, nearly 70 percent of African and Hispanic Americans report doing so, and these groups generally drink less diet soda. When asked, they say that their soda-drinking habits are strongly influenced by television advertising, especially when commercials feature celebrities of their own race or ethnicity.
African and Hispanic Americans (particularly Mexican Americans) also display a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity than their white counterparts. Obesity is a principal risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and you might guess that its prevalence is higher among African Americans and Hispanics than in whites. You would be right. Its prevalence is nearly twice as high.
 The pre-obesity era
From the time sodas were invented in the late 1800s until the mid-20th century, the American population was racially segregated, and so were soda fountains. Once sodas were sold in bottles, however, anyone could buy them.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Pepsi began selling its 12-ounce soda for the same nickel as a 6.5-ounce Coke, a strategy designed to appeal to the poor. When Walter Mack took over Pepsi in 1938, he deliberately set out to make Pepsi more widely available to the “Negro market.” Pepsi recruited African American interns during World War II and, most remarkably, opened integrated canteens overseas, at a time when U.S. military services were firmly segregated. After the war, Pepsi hired an Urban League staff member and allowed him to recruit a small staff of African American marketers to promote the drink at churches, schools and sports events, and to place ads in African American publications featuring African American celebrities. In some circles, Pepsi became known as the drink for African Americans, whereas Coca-Cola remained the elite drink for whites.
Although based in the South — and perhaps because it was based in the overtly segregated South — Coca-Cola did nothing special to appeal to African Americans until after World War II. Coke placed its first ad in African American newspapers in 1951 and soon began supporting community organizations such as the NAACP. In Coca-Cola’s version of this history, the company never discriminated against African Americans: “From the turn of the century to the mid-1950s the promise of a ‘nickel Coke’ made the product widely available to Americans of all means, with no barriers of race or class.... As early as 1914, there is documentation showing that Coca-Cola was being served in African American–owned soda fountains.” Perhaps, but those fountains were segregated.
During the late 1940s and early 1950s, African American professionals began to advocate for more access to sodas, more advertising in African American publications and more inclusion in the soda corporate world. They organized boycotts to induce Coca-Cola to hire African American salesmen. When the Supreme Court desegregated schools in 1954, Southern Coke bottlers who were serving on White Citizens Councils vowed to close the schools rather than integrate them. This created a dilemma: If Coca-Cola forged relationships with African Americans — who made up 30 percent of the Southern market for its products — it might alienate its white customers.
Moss Kendrix, an African American public relations specialist, offered the company a way out: Advertise directly to the community. “Profits to the Coca-Cola Company and its bottlers would be immeasurable,” Kendrix wrote. “In addition to capitalizing on the current Negro market, the project would embrace a type of public relations involving youth which should tend to cultivate future markets.” Coca-Cola hired Kendrix as a roving ambassador. He induced the company to place separate-but-equal ads featuring prominent African American athletes. It did so, but only in African American publications.
This project paved the way for soda companies’ responses to the civil rights movement. It was not an accident that the movement began in earnest in 1960 when four African American college students sat down at a Woolworth soda fountain in Greensboro, N.C. The refusal to serve them Cokes was a powerful symbol of injustice — the denial of their ability to fully access the American way of life. Atlanta, Coca-Cola’s hometown, desegregated lunch counters the following year.
When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, Coca-Cola’s president, Paul Austin, led the way in convincing other white businessmen to support a local celebration dinner. Reportedly, Austin said that “It is embarrassing for Coca-Cola to be located in a city that refuses to honor its Nobel Prize winner.”
 But when the company did not respond to employment demands, King urged his followers to boycott. In Memphis, the night before he was assassinated, he said, “We are asking you tonight to go out and tell your neighbors not to buy Coca-Cola.”
Coke’s response was to increase philanthropic contributions to the community. The company made donations to historically black colleges, the NAACP and other civil rights groups. It began hiring African Americans into the lower ranks of its workers. By the early 1980s, African American employees constituted 24 percent of Coke’s workforce — but included only one executive, Carl Ware, a vice president of “special markets.”
Coke’s discriminatory hiring policies became the target of the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) campaign, which called for a month-long “don’t choke on Coke” boycott, politely framed as a “withdrawal of enthusiasm.” Coke eventually agreed to the campaign’s terms. It appointed 20 African American wholesalers, made loans to African American entrepreneurs in the beverage industry, agreed to increase its advertising in African American publications and committed to doing business with banks owned by African Americans.
The company also began working on its relationship to the rapidly expanding Hispanic community. It hired Ogilvy and Mather, an advertising and public relations firm, to conduct a survey of Hispanic attitudes and concerns. In 1984, backed by a $10 million investment, the company hired Hispanic advertising firms, executives, sales and marketing representatives; established partnerships with Hispanic banks and vendors; and set up an education fund for Hispanic students in key cities.
By the early 1990s, Pepsi and Coke were fighting for market share among minority groups. In a 1992 Associated Press article, the head of Coca-Cola USA, M. Douglas Ivester, said: “Our strategy is very simple, and it’s to lead in the ethnic activities of America, to increase our coverage in ethnic stores — for example, in the inner city — and to leverage the brand strength that we already have with Hispanics and with African-Americans.” Some minority groups welcomed the attention. “We favor companies diversifying their strategies and including a more balanced picture of [what] their consumer market is, rather than just picturing white families,” said Earl Shinhoster, Southeast director of the NAACP. The contradictions inherent in such marketing were already well understood by advertising executives: “If you don’t market to minority groups, you can be accused of not caring about them,” said Paul Counsell, head of the Milwaukee-based Cramer-Krasselt. “If you do market to them, you can be accused of exploiting them.”
But well into the 1990s, Coca-Cola was still dealing with serious racial problems within the company. After the Labor Department found numerous violations of federal anti-discrimination laws; it asked Coke to fix the problems. In 1999, current and former employees organized the Committee for Corporate Justice; its class-action suit involved 2,200 plaintiffs who demanded compensation for systematic discrimination. The suit was settled in mediation in 2000 for $192.5 million. In 2012, 16 African American and Hispanic production workers in Coke bottling plants in New York City alleged in a suit that the company forced them to work in “a cesspool of racial discrimination.”
Pepsi, based in the North, has a somewhat better employment history, but not by much. In 2012, the Minneapolis office of the Equal Opportunity Commission fined PepsiCo more than $3 million to resolve findings of nationwide hiring discrimination against black employees.
The post-obesity era
PepsiCo is one of the 50 leading advertisers in Hispanic media, spending $33.6 million on that market alone in 2013. Soda companies target Hispanic children through advertisements on Spanish-language television that feature soccer and Spanish-speaking celebrities. Hispanic children also see soda advertisements on English-language television, but more soda advertising is aimed at them than at non-Hispanic children.
The same is true of advertising aimed at African American children. As a result, African American children visit soda Web sites more than do white children and see more soda commercials on television and elsewhere. As for minority adults, soda companies reach them through advertisements and sponsored events featuring athletes and celebrities, and through music concerts, cultural festivals, dance competitions and business and professional conferences.
Soda companies also produce posters and publications aimed at promoting cultural values. Because these activities are typically sponsored by foundations established by Coca-Cola or PepsiCo, they appear as philanthropy. But the line between philanthropy and marketing is blurred. Both aim to promote brand loyalty and increase soda sales.
Soda companies explicitly use philanthropy to forge relationships with African and Hispanic American community groups. As part of the 2000 lawsuit settlement, Coca-Cola committed $50 million to support minority organizations and causes. Today it is difficult to imagine an African or Hispanic American organization or event that is not sponsored by Coke, Pepsi or the American Beverage Association.
In 2012, Pepsi gave $100,000 to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, half for scholarships for journalism students. Pepsi announced the gift as part of La Promesa, a corporate social responsibility campaign focusing on “Latino empowerment and the issues that matter most to Hispanics.” In 2013, the United Negro College Fund gave its president’s award to Ingrid Saunders Jones, the African American Coca-Cola executive responsible for much corporate giving to minority groups. When she retired as chair of the National Council of Negro Women, the Coca-Cola Foundation surprised her with a $1 million gift to this group.
Under such circumstances, recipient journalists and community groups can hardly be expected to write stories or make statements criticizing soda companies for producing drinks that contribute to poor health in their communities.
Obesity, however, makes such sponsorship appear less favorable. In 2013, for example, Yale alumni protested PepsiCo’s sponsorship of a speech to be given by the first Supreme Court justice of Hispanic origin, Sonia Sotomayor.
Another example involves singer Beyoncé. As the most famous supporter of First Lady Michele Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, she has come under fire for her appearances in Pepsi commercials. In 2012, she accepted a $50 million, multiyear deal with Pepsi that put her face on soda cans. Although the Pepsi deal put her in conflict with the goals of Let’s Move! and prompted calls for her to be “disinvited” from singing the national anthem at President Obama’s inauguration, the White House continued to work with her.
As soda companies compete more intensely for the minority market, they sometimes end up taking risks that get them in trouble. Pepsi, for example, recruited two rap musicians, Tyler the Creator and Lil Wayne, to make edgy Mountain Dew commercials that would “go viral.” Objections that the commercials used vulgar, sexist and racist language and images forced the company to withdraw them.
Despite these problems, the advertising industry rationalizes such marketing as a sensible and meritorious business strategy. David Morse, the author of a book about how to market to race, ethnicity and sexual orientation, argues that such market segmentation builds brand loyalty: “Hispanics and African Americans are much less interested in diet products,” he writes. “Sugary drinks — often the sweeter, the better — do well with them . ... As a multicultural marketer, I applaud the leadership of the soft-drink industry in recognizing the changing face of America.”
Advertising Age urges marketers to sponsor emerging Hispanic musicians who can easily relate to speakers of both Spanish and English and connect with a broader range of Latino customers.
The condescension and cynicism involved in targeting minority groups at high risk of obesity does make some marketers uncomfortable. In his 2012 interview about the karmic debt owed for selling Coca-Cola, former marketing executive Todd Putman explained: “It was just a fact that Hispanics and African Americans have a higher per capita consumption of sugar-based soft drinks than white Americans. We knew that if we got more products into those environments those segments would drink more.”
A dilemma for advocates
Decades of philanthropy have convinced many — but by no means all — African and Hispanic American groups that soda companies have their interests at heart and that efforts to tax sodas or cap soda sizes are modern-day manifestations of elitist white supremacy. These opinions leave advocates for minority health, who may view marketing targeted to minority groups as inherently racist and exploitative, with few options.
If the disproportionate share of health burdens borne by minority groups is to be reduced, these advocates must fight to help members of their communities recognize the connection between these burdens and consumption of heavily marketed junk foods and sodas. Advocates must find ways to empower their communities to understand how soda company philanthropy and marketing are inextricably linked to business objectives.
One way to reveal the primacy of business motives might be to suggest to soda companies that their grants to minority groups come with no strings attached: no press releases, no logos and no in-kind contributions. Groups negotiating for soda industry funding might ask that all donations be anonymous, and take note of the response.

Nestle, professor of nutrition and sociology at New York University, is the author of several books about food policy, including “What to Eat,” “Why Calories Count,” “Food Politics” and “Eat Drink Vote.”

ALBUM ART



I LOVE BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS FROM FILM


Amazingly, we have a photograph of a man who crossed the Delaware with George Washington. This is Conrad Heyer, born in 1749 and photographed in 1852 at age 103. He served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, crossed the Delaware with Washington in December 1776, and fought in several major battles. The Maine Historical Society says that this makes him the earliest-born human being ever to be photographed. 

Mary and I down town this past week


THE BEAT POETS
Beat poetry evolved during the 1940s in both New York City and on the west coast, although San Francisco became the heart of the movement in the early 1950s. The end of World War II left poets like Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Gregory Corso questioning mainstream politics and culture.

 A Brief Guide to the Beat Poets | Academy of American Poets https://www.poets.org/poetsorg











REFORMING OUR POLICE BECAUSE THEY HAVE BECOME A LEADING NATIONAL SOCIAL PROBLEM






DON'T YOU WANT TO SEE THE ENTIRE WORLD?
 I DO
Bled, Slovenia (by mariusz kluzniak)

Bolwoningen s-Hertogenbosch Netherlands

Bonifacio, Corsica, France



BOOKS FROM LITCHFIELD LITERARY BOOKS.
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON AND AT ALL BARNES AND NOBLE STORES













































































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