By Gloria Dulan-Wilson ~

  Just to catch you up on what's going on, today is Tuesday,  September 18, 2012 in New York City:  President Barack Obama is in New York at a gala fundraiser hosted by Beyonce` and Jay-Z; the UN is in session in New York.  The President was on David Letterman for the entire hour of the show (those lucky guests, I know they were thrilled out of their minds); and though we were threatened by a tornado, and two car jackings, New Yorkers pretty much took it all in stride.

However, yours truly is in a serious time crunch - my favorite kind of time crunch, of course - one of having so much to do in so little time.  On Saturday, the 15, I accompanied Harlem 4 Obama to Philadelphia to do door to door campaigning, to make sure the Black community in particular, and Philadelphians in general, were registered to vote.  I don't think the President has any thing to worry about when it comes to support from Philly.  This is probably the 4th or 5th time that Chet Whye had gathered Harlemites at the ungodly hour of 8:00 am (I'm a night person) to travel down to Philly to join with the locals in getting the message up.

The reception in Philly has always been a warm one, however, this past Saturday, as a result of the convention, Philly was "fired up and ready to go."  Everywhere people saw Obama buttons, the reception was enthusiastic and supportive.  By the way, in case there is someone in your sphere of influence who does not know this, October 9 is the absolute last day to register to vote.  Get your recalcitrants out and walk them through it.  Hand deliver the form to the board of elections.  You, by now, are aware that the rep-ugh-blicans are leaving no stone unturned in their bag of dirty tricks.  The votes you save will be ours - or your own.

Speaking of the DNC, I can hardly believe that two weeks have already gone by on roller blades.  It seemed like only yesterday I was agonizing over whether all my credentials were in order; whether I would have a place to stay, and what exactly to expect in Charlotte, NC. (I drove down with a friend in much the same kind of weather conditions we experienced today - heavy downpour, which cause our trip to be three hours longer than we originally planned).

Believe it or not, I'm probably one of the few non-Caribbean New Yorkers who has no deep familial roots in North or South Carolina.  And anyone who knows New York knows there is an umbilical cord that runs from there to here; one that will never be cut. However I was totally surprised at how many New Yorkers had repatriated to Charlotte, and have been doing so for quite some time. 

In terms of the DNC, it was one event or forum after another.  And there were so many proud moments in Charlotte, starting with the fact that – unlike the rep-ugh-blicans – everybody was up beat, positive, friendly, and empowered. The police and security came together from all over the United States – Los Angeles, Atlanta, Connecticut, New Jersey, Philadelphia – to help out.  They may not have known a lot about the city, but they rolled up their sleeves to make sure everyone received help and information.

Of course, New York and California had the two largest attendees, but people from all over the US, some of whom had come to the convention for the first time in their lives, were there to make sure the President knew they supported him; along with a fair amount of celebrities as well - who took the time out to show their involvement and support for President Obama. 

The inspiring speech by President Clinton who nominated President Obama as the Democratic Party candidate for president has now been heard by millions, but should be taught in every school, civics class, and reprinted and studied.  He was brilliant!  As was First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. 

The stellar events of the DNC makes the upcoming Congressional Black Caucus even more  important.  Becauseut this time it's all about us, Black people in the US, Africa, the Caribbean (wherever we are) - elected officials, community advocates and leaders, business owners coming together to deal with issues that are of relevant to our needs – and, yes, to show support for President Barack Obama, in what has to be the most pivotal year for the Caucus ever!!.

Though the calendar says the caucus starts on the 19th, truthfully, several events have already been held, beginning with Sunday, September 16.  Those inside the beltway, no doubt, have had an opportunity to participate in those programs.

But for the rest of us, an intense  four days of meetings, forums, seminars, speeches, and setting the priorities for the coming year will commence on September 19, and adjourn on September 22.  And the top of the list will be to make sure that President Barack Obama is re-elected for four more years, while at the same time making sure those who are incumbents in their own cities or states retain their positions; while at the same time increasing the number of Black elected officials - especially in Congress and the Senate.

That's a pretty tall order.  There's a lot at stake.  There is absolutely no time for fence sitting; wavering, pointing fingers of blame.  It's all about solidarity, unity, focus on the goals and the job ahead.  If we have not solidified our bases, this is the time to do it.  This is the time to hunker down and secure our communities.  We cannot allow ourselves to be suckered into losing heart at this pivotal moment.

But wait, I was going to hold this until the end of this article, but I can't:  The big high point of the caucus this year is FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA WILL BE THE FIRST FIRST LADY EVER TO GIVE A KEYNOTE SPEECH AT THE CAUCUS PHOENIX AWARD DINNER!!

Both she and President Barack Obama will attend the dinner/gala, which is the culminating highpoint of the weekend, on Saturday, September 22.  They will both address the participants.  It's the first time ever.

Over the course of his tenure, former President Bill Clinton attended every dinner every year, staying for the entire program.  And every year since his election, President Obama has attended the dinner - of course, prior to that, he also attended as the Senator from Illinois. 

First Lady Michelle Obama is much loved and respected in her own right.  Her stirring speech at the DNC allowed so many to actually hear her for the first time.  Those of you who are not attending the dinner in person may be able to watch it on C-Span; or catch it later online. 

The theme of this year's caucus is: INSPIRING LEADERS/BUILDING GENERATIONS.  This is the 42nd year of the Caucus.  Many who will attend this year weren't even born when it started; or they were too young to understand the relevance.

The immortal actor and activist, Ossie Davis talked about the mission of the Caucus, when said, "It's not the man, it's the plan."  It's been the mission of the caucus to lay out an agenda for Black empowerment since its inception.

The interesting issue for me, a journalist, writer, and activist in my own right, is why too few schools and educational institutions (HBCU'a) don't take advantage of this event to bring their students to learn about their elected officials, and perhaps have a forum or two of their own. 

While not exhaustive, these are some of the key programs, forums and issues that will be addressed at the Caucus over the next few days:

Sept. 21, 2012, 10 a.m: 
Creative Economy: Driving Urban Revitalization Through Innovation"  From expressive murals to independent fashion designers, creativity is fueling urban revitalization and revolutionizing our lifestyles. This forum, with Honorary Host Rep. Hansen Clarke of Michigan, discusses how innovative small businesses are building more vibrant and sustainable communities byforming a creative economy.

Sept. 21, 2012
Health Braintrust-- Protecting the Affordable Care Act--But, We Are Not There Yet!
Navigating the Stony Road Ahead Together. Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen, Congressman Bobby Scott, 9 am - 4:30 pm/EST,Key speakers and Topics for this year include: Bullying, Youth Violence and Suicide: Public Health Challenges Threatening the Nation's Future Leaders; Chronic Diseases and Health Equity Nearly a Decade After the Institute of Medicine Unequal Treatment Report; Minority Health Impact of the United States Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations: The Importance of Cancer Prevention, Screen and Early Detection to Health Equity Efforts; Supreme Court Ruling on Affordable Care Act and Why We Must Save Medicaid; 
Health Braintrust Luncheon and Awards Ceremony, moderated by Bev Smith of the Bev Smith Show, http://www.bevsmithtalks.com/ Congresswoman Christensen will present Awards to outstanding individuals in Leadership, Advocacy and Journalism.

9/21/12n9:00AM-5:00 pm
"Africa Rising: A Continent of Opportunity" Representative Karen Bass and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation  panel discussions with leading international policymakers and experts, cultural performances, and complimentary lunch & breakfast.
Presenters Include:
Africa's Growing Economies Makhtar Diop, VP for Africa, World Bank 
Tebelelo Seretse, Ambassador of Botswana to the U.S.
Jay Ireland, President & CEO, GE Africa 
Rosa Whitaker, President & CEO, The Whitaker Group  
Health Investments for Africa's Future
Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director United Nations World Food Programme
Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Minister of Health, Rwanda 
Dr. Peter Ngatia, Director of Capacity Building
African Medical & Research Foundation (AMREF) 
Honorable Barbara Lee, Member of Congress, CA-9
Lola Adesioy, Writer & Broadcaster
Emerging Threats to Political Stability
Ambassador Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Elmira Woods, Co-Director of Foreign Policy in Focus
Institute for Policy Studies
Dr. Clarence Lusane, Professor, American University
As a member of the media, part of my role over these past 30 years (yes it's been that long) is to cover the issues that are of importance to us that may or may not have hit the headlines of the meanstream press.  There are some 70 events over the next four days.  There's a lot of work and research that goes into them.  In fact, it would make quite a curriculum for someone who wanted to specialize in things Black - oh, wait a minute, that would be me.

Some of the issues include:  Disenfranchisement, relevancy of educational programs, entrepreneurial opportunities vs. just a job; alternative health programs for chronic problems, etc.  I will be the one conducting interviews on the fly, catching the special moments; and keeping you apprised the progress being made in your behalf. 

This Caucus will be the launchpad for an intensified push to make sure going forward there will never be another opportunity for the rep-ugh-blicans to threaten our right to vote, our civil liberties, our health, our employment, our right to an affordable home; our right to decent education.  There's a lot riding on this caucus.  Those of you who are the constituents of the CBCF members make sure you keep track of what is going on; they will need your support now, more than ever before.  They are up against a majority  in Congress who would just as soon see you back to the bad old days of segregation and jim crow.

Those of you who don't have Black elected officials in your districts, start working now on electing them in the future (or throw your own hat in the ring- not to run against another Black incumbent, but to expand the ranks) - 2014 is coming, and we will definitely need to not only hold the line, but increase the numbers.  Especially if you're in a red state or a battleground state (Pennsylvania, Jersey, Oklahoma (red), Florida).

Also keep in mind that, though the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Weekend last four days, there are 361 more where they are absolutely going to need your support.

Stay Blessed &
Gloria Dulan-Wilson

From: gloria WILSON <geemomadee


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