The National Black Church Initiative Urges Supreme Court To Consider Walmart Class Action Gender Discrimination Suit

The Wire

Rev. Anthony Evans

Rev. Anthony Evans

The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a faith-based coalition of 34,000 churches comprised of 15 denominations and 15.7 million African Americans, strongly supports the class action lawsuit brought forth by female Walmart employees.  This case represents the largest class action gender lawsuit in history and highlights Walmart’s systemic discriminatory practices.

Lawyers for women suing the nation’s largest retailer built their case on affidavits from more than 100 workers and a statistical model showing that, while women make up 80% of the company’s hourly workers, they account for only 30% of its managers. They allege pay discrepancies, unequal promotion policies and a male-dominated management.  NBCI abhors discrimination in any form and stands by these women to seek justice.

As a national organization committed to eradicating racial disparities, we reached out to Walmart to create a strategic partnership.  As a corporate giant, Walmart has the resources and scope to enact real change nationwide and we were eager to enact programming to benefit African Americans.

Unfortunately, we came to discover that Walmart’s priority was to brutally crush competition and exploit their workers, especially minority women.  We refuse to partner with an organization whose commitment to their employees and the community is so easily broken – Walmart should be forced to adhere to the standards that we as Americans deserve.

Rev. Evans, President of NBCI says, “Walmart has proven to be a company resistant to innovation within its workforce and community.  Their primary motivation is profit – at any cost.  They undermine small businesses while maximizing their own profit margins.  Despite the fact that their profit margins are wide – they are unwilling to compensate their employees fairly.  The Church is appalled that Walmart would make its profits on the backs of women and children by systematically underpaying them – degrading their human spirit.”

NBCI urges the Supreme Court to uphold the rights of these women – women who in an effort to support themselves and their families have been subjected to discrimination and exploitation.  We will fight to achieve justice and hold Walmart accountable for its actions.

About NBCI
The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) is a coalition of 34,000 African American and Latino churches working to eradicate racial disparities in healthcare, technology, education, housing, and the environment. NBCI’s mission is to provide critical wellness information to all of its members, congregants, churches and the public.

The National Black Church Initiative’s methodology is utilizing faith and sound health science. The National Black Church Initiative’s purpose is to partner with major organizations and officials whose main mission is to reduce racial disparities in the variety of areas cited above. NBCI offers faith-based, out-of-the-box and cutting edge solutions to stubborn economic and social issues. NBCI’s programs are governed by credible statistical analysis, science based strategies and techniques, and methods that work.  Visit our website at www.naltblackchurch.com.

forplai By Lamman Rucker Natural Bath and Body Care Line Launches with New Website

Dallas South Wire

forplaiTV and film star Lamman Rucker and Koffee and Kompany of Dallas, Texas, have announced the official launch of forplai, the actor’s signature bath and body care line for women, men and couples. The new line features four alluring scents personally selected by Lamman Rucker as a soft yet subtle introduction to intimacy while encouraging a meaningful and daily connection between the mind, body and spirit. Forplai is now available for purchase exclusively on its new website at www.forplai.com.

Forplai is the culmination of a two year journey by Co-Owners and Co-Creators Lamman Rucker and Thai Morrison, Founder of Koffee and Kompany, after they discovered their mutual interest in natural approaches to health and wellness. The result is an innovative paraben-free, color-free, and vegan friendly product line that reflects every facet of Rucker’s sexy, stylish and sophisticated persona.  Each distinct scent will feature a body butter, body scrub and body mist.

lamman-rucker-2Created with exquisite blends of quality ingredients such as avocado oil, walnut shells, mango butter, watermelon seed oil combined with delicate hints of chocolate, caramel, floral and more, forplai products are designed to exfoliate, moisturize and condition the skin. Morrison states, “What makes forplai and other Koffee and Kompany treats so appealing are the exceptional elements and edible-smelling scents that make you desirable.”

The first products to be released from the line are Passion and Purity with the remaining two scents of Peace and Power to debut in 2011. The names of each scent are attention-grabbing affirmations also chosen by Rucker to remind us, with each application, of our inner power, beauty and strength.

“I wanted to create a line for women and men alike that would encourage them to embrace the harmony and divine balance of sensuality and spirituality within all of us,” said Rucker.  “Forplai is an opportunity to not only smell good and feel good, but to also take time to connect with the heavens above and the God in you.”

Photo Credits:
Lamman Rucker: Becky Thurner
forplai by Lamman Rucker Passion and Purity Products: T. Corey Spencer

Remarks of United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk at The United Negro College Fund

From the Office of the United States Trade Representative

“Thank you all for having me here today. Thank you to Michael Sorrell for that introduction and for his work at Paul Quinn College, and my thanks as well to Michael Lomax for his incredible dedication as President of the UNCF.

As United States Trade Representative, I spend my time working to tear down barriers to trade and open new markets to American goods, services, and intellectual property.

Just last week I traveled to Singapore for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and then to Beijing for meetings with Chinese leaders. I joined the President in pursuing increased economic engagement across the Pacific, creating new opportunities for Americans to do business with some of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Because we know that when Americans do business with the world, that can generate jobs here at home.

We are laying a strong foundation for trade, but the world is changing rapidly, and the expertise necessary to succeed is changing with it. For America to compete in the global economy, American workers need to have the skills to meet the ever-changing needs of the world’s population.

Whether it’s developing new energy resources or marketing new health care solutions, today’s problems require inventive answers. And the competitive edge will go to whichever country develops forward-looking products and ideas. In today’s world, it’s not enough just to have the best minds – to be competitive in the global economy we need the best-educated minds.

Take a look at the educational advances of the 20th century: from free public schooling to the GI bill, America opened the doors of learning wider to each successive generation. And each new class of graduates built new businesses, invented new tools, and helped to make America a world leader in manufacturing, commerce, and trade.

President Obama knows that our economic future hinges on how we educate our students today. And he is committed to helping every American student receive a quality education. Because the bottom line is, diplomas and degrees are still the tickets to success.

That’s true for individuals, and it’s also true for countries. The nations with the best talent have an advantage in the global marketplace, and that advantage shows up in the numbers. According to one of the most respected studies of student performance worldwide, countries like Canada and Korea are doing a better job of equipping their students to meet the needs of the 21st century. And the gap between the best educated nations and American students is estimated to cost the United States more than a trillion dollars a year.

So President Obama has issued a call to action. He knows that we must equip students with more than just the basics – in today’s economy, they need advanced knowledge. And that means a college education.

To that end, the President has set an ambitious goal. He wants the United States to produce a higher percentage of college graduates than any other country in the world by the end of the next decade.

Right now, only about 40% of Americans hold a college degree. To reach President Obama’s goal, we need to help millions more students graduate from college. That won’t be easy. To succeed, we need partners like the UNCF – organizations with the resources and the drive to help students navigate the challenges of higher education. The effects of education are so dramatic, we simply can’t afford not to educate a single child.

That fact has not changed in 200 years. We all recognize the wisdom of an education, but somehow, we are still aren’t getting the job done. Too many of our students aren’t even making it through high school, much less going to college. They are falling behind and dropping out. In some schools, less than half of the African-American students who enter as freshman will graduate as seniors. We have to do more to get these kids through school.

And we can’t stop at their high school graduation. The unemployment rate for individuals with a bachelor’s degree is half that for those with only a high-school diploma. College-educated workers aren’t just more likely to find a job; they’re more likely to hold higher-paying, higher-quality jobs.

That’s why organizations like UNCF are so critical. Historically black colleges and universities have been a path to higher paying jobs and better lives for generations of young students.

Both of my parents attended a historically black university. Their education was the foundation of my family’s success, and the starting point of everything I have achieved. Even today, historically black colleges and universities grant about one in every five degrees handed to an African-American student.

We need to support their work, and I know you are. Your focus on increasing graduation rates and closing the achievement gap is paving the way for their success. That is good for minority students, and it’s good for all of America. Closing the racial achievement gap between white and minority students could increase this country’s productivity by hundreds of billions of dollars and vastly increase the pool of trained minds available to American businesses.

Employers will pay a premium for skilled, educated workers who can better help them to succeed. And when American companies outshine their competitors in the global marketplace, that creates additional jobs and opportunities here at home.

Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside of America. Our future is going to depend upon our ability to sell our goods, services, and intellectual property to those customers. And we’re going to have to compete for their business. Because countries around the world have set their sights on global consumers.

Nations on the cutting edge of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship – in other words, nations with a highly educated, highly skilled work force – will be the world’s export leaders.

With that urgency in mind, President Obama devoted $100 billion in stimulus funds to education, including $31 billion dedicated to improving college access. That money is the single biggest investment in student aid since the GI bill. And it is an investment for a more prosperous future.

Next year, students will have access to billions of dollars in new grants, loans, and assistance. It is estimated that more than 14 million students will use this assistance to pay for college. And as this organization knows, even a little money can go a long way toward helping a college student earn their cap and gown.

President Obama is also supporting new efforts to ensure that students who start college actually finish. Right now, almost half of all college freshmen fail to earn a degree within six years. For poor and minority students, that percentage is even higher.

When we arm students with the knowledge to succeed, that enriches us all. Every degree conferred enhances America’s prospects for the future. President Obama has said that our commitment to education, “will determine not just whether our children have the chance to fulfill their God-given potential…but whether we as a nation will remain, in the 21st century, the kind of global economic leader that we were in the 20th.”

Now, we have a lot of work to do, but we’re certainly not starting from scratch. Historically black colleges and universities like your members have educated premier minds from Thurgood Marshall and Langston Hughes to Spike Lee and Barbara Jordan. And American universities across the board are among the best in the world.

That educational excellence has paid dividends to us all. According to World Bank data, America’s per capita income is over 40 percent higher than the average in other high income countries around the world. In part, that difference can be attributed to a long-time focus on. And it shows the vast promise of renewing and reinvigorating that focus.

It will take all of us doing everything we can do. The first building on Paul Quinn College’s campus was constructed through a “ten cents a brick” campaign; little by little, the community gave what they could toward the dream of an education. And in 1944, Dr. Frederick Patterson, President of Tuskegee University, brought the UNCF into existence through an “appeal to the national conscience.”

Our nation needs to train every American mind to take advantage of the incredible opportunities that exist in the 21st century. We need to help today’s students dream big, and then we need to give them the tools to realize their dreams. Because America needs their dreams, their skills, their inventions, and their innovations to continue to thrive in the global economy. And we need a strong and healthy UNCF to help them along the way.

Thank you all for your work on behalf of America’s college students. I look forward to hearing more from all of you about how we can work together to help the next generation succeed.”

RNC Statement on General Motors Financial Report

WASHINGTON – Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele released the following statement today:

“Today’s release of General Motors’ financial results is further proof that President Obama’s economic experiments are wrong for America. Sadly, GM has not only failed to turn a profit since the president poured $50 billion of the taxpayers’ dollars into GM’s bankruptcy restructuring, but it has actually lost $1.2 billion. As the “Cash for Clunkers” program clearly demonstrated, government interference in private industry doesn’t help the companies involved and ends up greatly costing the American taxpayer.

And now the president, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid are trying to do the same thing to our health care system, which would put the government in charge of 1/6 of our economy. President Obama and Congressional Democrats believe increased spending and massive government regulation in private enterprise are best for the economy. Clearly they’re wrong.”

Southwest Center Mall is sold.

By Shawn Williams – Dallas South News Editor

DSC00179

In a community meeting at the atrium of Southwest Center Mall on Monday night, the public was informed that after months in foreclosure, Southwest Center Mall has a new owner.  When Councilman Tennell Atkins and Mayor Tom Leppert opened the meeting of 150 plus citizens, they did so knowing that there would be blowback from the deal that they were about to announce.

A representative from Madison Realty Capital, who had held the mall since it went into foreclosure, announced that they had formed a partnership with City View Commercial, who bought the inline properties at Southwest Center last Friday.  That means they have control of all the non big box stores (stores inside the mall that are not Sears, JC Penny, Burlington, Dillards, or Macy’s).

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SWC Mall Store Display

Jack Friedler was there representing City View but the name that was on everyone’s lips was Jimmy Jazz.  City View is the real estate arm for the more than 80 U.S. retail stores that sell the Jimmy Jazz lines.

About a month ago, word surfaced that an “urban retailer” had gotten in line to purchase the mall formally known as Red Bird.  Ms. Edna Pemberton and other community leaders were uneasy about what they felt was a slight.

Mall advocates felt slighted for two reasons.  First they felt they were doing everything they could to keep the mall from becoming a swap meet and the perception was that if the mall was purchased by an “urban retailer” then “Southwest Center Flea Market” could be the next step.  Secondly, they (community leaders) were working with David Bell of Bell Industry who told him that he had put $15 million of earnest dollars (more on that later) down on the property, and Bell’s group never heard anything from anyone.

Jack Friedler (L)

Jack Friedler (L)

So Monday night the group felt it was more of the same as they listened to Mr. Friedler makes his pitch.  One of the first questions from the audience was what type of stores the Jimmy Jazz group had in their other properties.  The first word out of his mouth was “sneakers” closely followed by “men’s suits” (I wonder if they have five buttons or six).  Friedler said the best way to find out about their merchandise is to go to their website, so I did.  Their main brands are:

  • Akademics
  • Black Label
  • New Era
  • Essentials
  • The North Face
  • LRG
  • Coogi
  • Apple Bottoms
  • Lacoste
  • Baby Phat

Now, these are not cheapo brands, but it’s not the type of retailers envisioned by potential shoppers who currently travel to North Park, The Parks, and Uptown Village. They’re not going there for the aforementioned brands, although their kids might be.

There were a lot of pointed questions for the Mayor, Atkins, and Friedler. Friedler just got in the mix recently, so it’s understandable that he wouldn’t have many answers.  But Leppert and Atkins didn’t have much to say other than the city doesn’t own the property and has no authority on who buys it.  They asked the public to support Southwest Center Mall in hopes that it may one day become the retail destination that is so desperately desired.

So the people were there to talk about the mall, and for the most part folks were allowed to get their questions out in the open, even if they (we) didn’t get any answers.  The City Manager and Fire Chief were also at the meeting.  Mayor Leppert broke the meeting off in sections (Parks, Code Enforcement, etc.) in case citizens have specific questions, but 3/4 of the people met the Mayor, Atkins and Friedler in front of the old Dillard’s for more follow up.

Mayor Tom Leppert and Councilman Tennell Atkins

Mayor Tom Leppert and Councilman Tennell Atkins

For the second time, they were asked about the rumored $15 million deal that was on the table before Jimmy Jazz came along.  The representative from Madison Realty Capital said there was never a deal on the table and they these were just rumors.  But David Bell had told a group meeting at Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s office last month that he had put $15 million down, which gained he a lot of support from tenants and community advocates.

Leppert and Atkins reiterated the fact that the city didn’t own the building and that this was a private matter.  And yet the city has been intimately involved in everything that has to do with the mall. Remember the $120,000 ULI Study?  City officials were also part of a 5 o’clock meeting with interested parties (including David Bell) before the meeting 6:30 p.m. meeting that the rest of us attended.

So rather than speculating, I walked over to David Bell (of Bell Industry) who sat quietly through the entire meeting and asked him again whether he put $15 million down on the Southwest Center Mall property.  He reaffirmed that he had made the offer and said that his offer was acknowledged in the closed door meeting before the meeting.

There is a WHOLE lot more story left to be told, including the fact that there is a contract on the Dillard’s, for which we were told on Monday would be a “Family Entertainment Center.”  At the same time the Jimmy Jazz rumors started the same groups claimed that the Dillard’s was slated to become a “Latin Night Club.”  I have yet to confirm this.

Anyway, stay tuned, this should be interesting.

Southern Dallas Left in the Dark on Main Post Office decision

From DallasSouthNews.org

Last night I moderated a Town Hall meeting hosted by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson at Dallas City Hall regarding an Area Mail Processing (AMP) Feasibility Study conducted by the United States Post Office.  AMP Studies are taking place all across the country.

Tim Vierling, Dallas Sr. Plant Manager, gave a presentation, and then took questions from the audience as well as myself.  Also involved in the conversation were Mayor Tom Leppert and State Senator Royce West.

Senator West had some very pointed comments for Mr. Vierling and the Post Office, including the fact that his office had contacted USPS about this matter at least twice without a response.  He also referenced a previous AMP study done either late ‘06 or early ‘07.

This latest AMP study apparently concludes that the Post Office will save $9.2 million annually by consolidating mail processing operations in Dallas with those at the North Texas facility located in Coppell.  I say apparently because no one outside of the Postal Service has seen this study.  Most of the savings will come from eliminating 117 jobs.

The first document on the USPS website regarding the AMP is a brief dated March 24, 2009 which says the following regarding the study:

If the feasibility study supports the business case for consolidation, we will hold a public meeting to allow members of the community to ask questions and provide feedback. We will address these questions or concerns at the public meeting.  The public’s input will be considered in any final determination.

By June 17, 2009, the Post Office had seen enough information to determine that consolidation was necessary.   A public meeting was called for July 1st at Mountain View College and the following highlights of the study we have not seen were released in a brief.

1.    Business Case:

Proposed annual savings in the AMP feasibility study is approximately $9.2 million.

2.    Postal Employees:

Due to the consolidation, a net decrease of approximately 117 positions is projected.  All reassignments will be made in accordance with collective bargaining agreements.

3.    Local Customer Considerations:

Services that are currently available from the Dallas facility will continue to be available to customers.

•    Collection box pick-up times will not change as a result of the AMP.
•    Retail services will remain the same.
•    Business mail acceptance will remain the same.
•    A local postmark will be available for stamped First-Class Mail.
•    Delivery of mail to residences and businesses will not change as a result of the AMP.

4.    Commercial Mailers:

•    Mailers who presort mail will continue to receive applicable postage discounts.
•    Mailers who drop ship mailings will continue to deposit them at the Dallas facility.

So a public meeting was called, but the public wasn’t aware.  Mr. Vierling siad that the post office’s position was that they had done everything necessary to publicize the meeting, including sending notices to media outlets and government officials.  He then admitted that Senator West’s office was left off that list and was not contacted.

I can say that Dallas South was not contacted about this public meeting either. The organization that has access to every home, business, and place of worship in America couldn’t drop a half sheet announcement in the mailbox?  That doesn’t make sense.

A recap of the July 1 meeting on the Postal Service Website says that 267 people were in attendance including a staffer from Congresswoman Johnson’s office Channel 33 KDAF.  It also lists the number of questions and comments from the meeting by category which lists “Lack of Public Input” as the most frequent topic.

I found out about the AMP Study on July 10th like most people who have expressed concerns in the days sense, receiving an email which contained a statement from Larry Walker, President of the Local American Postal Workers Union.  That’s when the public actually became involved and started to understand that the Post Office was not closing, though major changes were slated for Dallas Main.

It is clear after Monday’s town hall that the public in general and Southern Dallas specifically were not made aware of this “proposed” change.  According to reports, most of the 267 people present at the July 1st meeting at Mountain View were postal workers.

The decision seems to be already made and while there have been meetings held there is no exchange of ideas.  On Monday Mr. Vierling gave us the post office’s position, but never acknowledged the most pressing concern, which was what happens with the 117 employees who would be affected by this move.

One thing I learned about from Monday’s meeting was the concept of “stand by” rooms.  Apparently post office employees are asked to go into these “stand by” rooms whenever there is not enough work for them to do.

Questions from the audience suggested that postal workers are being paid to read magazines and do crossword puzzle in these rooms while others on the floor are being paid overtime.  Another question suggested that managers are asked not to use the workers in these rooms for performance or disciplinary reasons.  Mr. Vierling said that this is not the case.

Congresswoman Johnson is scheduled to meet with Mr. Vierling on Wednesday to tour the facilities for herself and understand why the North Texas (Coppell) facility was selected over Dallas. Hopefully she will get more answers, but one thing is clear: residents were not properly informed about this process and have not had a chance to properly give their input.

Robert Wilonsky is a fellow Laura Miller defender regarding Cowboys Stadium in Arlington

On Saturday morning I was driving about town and by reflex, flipped the tuner over to Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket.  I was listening to the conclusion of the weekend show “The Ender” and noticed that Danny Balis had The Great Robert Wilonsky filling in for his normal partner Dave Lane.

As the show was coming to a close, the subject turned to politics and the name Laura Miller came up.  Danny made the comment that Laura Miller’s lasting legacy is allowing Cowboys Stadium to get away from Fair Park and be built in Arlington.

Big Bob Wilonsky  immediately stopped Dan Paul in has tracks and uncomfortably (just as it is for me) defended Miller, or at least the perception that the Cowboys are in Arlington because of her.  Wilonsky said he felt the Cowboys had no real thoughts of moving to Dallas and gave the city and county an unrealistic deadline to decide on what would eventually be a $1.15 billion stadium.

Two and a half years ago I wrote a post titled Blame Lincoln (not Miller) for Cotton Bowl Move.  In the post, I detailed why I felt that Laura Miller got a bad rap for the fact that the Cowboys and the Cotton Bowl Bowl Classic are both in Arlington rather than Dallas.  Here are a few points from the post:

  • Arlington will finance the new Cowboys stadium the same way that they paid for The Ballpark in Arlington: with a 1¢ sales tax. Many local cities offer citizens public transit with their penny, Arlington builds stadiums…
  • Arlington, Texas (the country’s 50th most populous city) is the largest city in the U.S. that does not offer its citizens public transportation. In May of 2002, Arlington residents voted against the creation of the Arlington Transit Authority, and effectively voted yes to the new Cowboys project.
  • DART operations are funded by a one-cent sales tax levied by member cities on all retail transactions.  So cities like Irving, Richardson, Plano, and of course Dallas, were effectively out of the running on the new stadium from the start.
  • Does anyone really believe Irving would have let the Cowboys walk away if there was ANYTHING they could have done about it?  Give me DART rail over Cowboy Land any day of the week.

I thought we’d gotten past all of this until I saw Jean Jacques Taylor’s column last week titled “Cowboys Stadium Would Look Even Nicer in Dallas.”  In the column Taylor made his feelings on the matter quite clear:

For now, I’m still mad about the stupid decisions made by former mayor Laura Miller and Margaret Kelleher at the County Commissioner’s office to keep the stadium out of Dallas.  There was never ever a legitimate reason for not letting Dallas voters decide whether they wanted to fund the stadium….

I’ve never been to a stadium that has the wow factor of this place – and I’m not one who gets all fired up over new stadiums. Most of them are nice, but not enough to awe me.

This place does.

I was not surprised that Taylor was wowed by the new Cowboys Stadium.  I expect to be equally wowed  when I get my first look at the stadium in a few of weeks.  In college my friends called me “stadium jock” because I could give the name and capacity of every NFL and most college stadiums.  I get fired up for stadiums new and old.

But I was surprised that Taylor’s column easily dismissed the whole things as political jealousy and “Arlington taxpayers (spending) more than $300 million on the stadium.”  That just doesn’t tell the story.

When I try to articulate the factors, as Wilonsky did on Saturday, people generally lose interest real quick. Suggesting that Dallas, Irving, and Arlington (and Ft. Worth for that matter) have a choice between mass transit and the Cowboys doesn’t sound nearly as exciting as saying Laura Miller had it out for Jerry Jones.

Being in the position of defending Miller is not an easy one, but the truth is the truth.  While there are many ways for municipalities to fund the building of a stadium, none of them are as quick or as painless as raising the money through sales tax.

Unlike JJT, I moved on long ago once I realized that it was never realistic to think that the Cowboys would land in Dallas.  Mr. Jones knew that, but he also knew he had to give Dallas a shot.

Miller’s problem with the stadium was the same as most of her struggles as mayor, coming across as a killjoy and unwilling to work with the business community (aka rich people).  The fact of the matter is she was right in her position on the stadium, just not in how she articulated it.

Cowboys Stadium (gulp) is exactly where it belongs, in Arlington, Texas.  When the Super Bowl comes to town every city, town and outpost will benefit.  As a member of the Super Bowl Host Committee I would be expected to say that but it’s true.  In Dallas we will have a host of great Super Bowl related events, just not the game.

I hope I don’t have to revisit this at Dallas South, but this is one of those line in the sand issues for me.  If I find that I have to defend our former mayor again, at least I know Robert Wilonsky has my back.

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson writes Inspector General of the United States regarding proposed changes at Dallas Main Post Office

Here are the contents of a letter written by U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson to David C. Williams, Inspector General, United States Postal Service – Office of Inspector General.  I actually retyped it (tech issues on my part), so any typos or mistakes are mine.

The letter is dated July 23, 2009 and expresses Congresswoman Johnson’s concern about reports that all or part of mail operations at Dallas’ Main Post Office will be transferred to Coppell.

Dear Mr. Williams:

My constituents have serious concerns about the proposed changes to the Dallas, TX Processing and Distribution Center.  The recommendations in the recently conducted Area Mail Processing study would transfer outgoing mail and processing operations and approximately 117 employees from Dallas to the North Texas P&DC in Coppell.  These changes have the potential to significantly affect both postal employees and local customer service.  As such, I am formally requesting that the Office of the Inspector General perform an independent review of the postal service’s plan to consolidate these operations.

The Office of Inspector General is pivotal in maintaining the accountability and integrity of post office operations.  An independent review by your office will ensure  that postal employees are not unnecessarily transferred and that service is not disrupted.  The audit should review cost savings, efficiency methods, employee changes, and customer service implications.  Additionally, it is my request that the audit also examine the current AMP study in relation to public announcements, input meetings, and public transparency.

It is my hope that an independent review will help to determine whether or not the proposed consolidation changes will save money for the postal service, while also maintaining quality of service for residents.   Should you have any questions or comments, please contact Trisha Raines of my staff at (email address) or (phone number).

Sincerely,


Eddie Bernice Johnson

Member of Congress

Ford Exec Earl Lucas visiting Dallas with 2010 Ford Taurus: 5 Places he should go while in town

I’ve been asked to serve as an official host* for Ford Executive Earl Lucas, exterior design manager for the 2010 Ford Taurus, when he’s in Dallas this Thursday July 23.

EARL LUCAS

Lucas grew up in Dallas, attending Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet High School that also launched recording artists Erykah Badu and Norah Jones.  This is part of an effort by Ford Executives to hit the road this summer to introduce people around the country to the new 2010 Taurus and its story.

While in town, Lucas will drive the Taurus to various locations around Dallas, some of which will be suggested by Dallas South and the Dallas South Family.  So here are a few places I think Mr. Lucas should visit while in town.  Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comment section.

SOUTH DALLAS CULTURAL CENTER –  3400 S. Fitzhugh Ave. DALLAS

There’s no doubt the Taurus should make it’s way to South Dallas, home of historic Fair Park.  The South Dallas Cultural Center is an Afro-centric venue that provides instruction and enrichment in the performing, literary, media, and visual arts.  Auto design has a component of visuals arts to it.

The center’s activities spotlight works that explore contemporary issues facing the African world community – especially those that strive to educate audiences about the interrelatedness of people of color.  Throughout the summer, the center has held classes in a number of areas -from literacy to dance- to benefit members of the South Dallas community.

SOUTHSIDE ON LAMAR – 1409 S. Lamar, DALLAS

There are a number of reasons to visit Southside on Lamar, but none more compelling than the story of Jan Gore.  Ms. Gore, owner and operator of Texas Caribbean Foods at Southside, has been driving a Ford Taurus for 16 years.  She currently drives a 2001 model and says she hopes that her next vehicle will be a Taurus as well.

At Southside Mr. Lucas could catch lunch at Texas Caribbean Foods, a cup of coffee next door at Opening Bell, and meet some of the interesting folks that live and work in the historic Sears Building.

BISHOP ARTS DISTRICT – Bishop & Davis, DALLAS

The Bishop Arts District is home to over 50 local merchants, restaurants, boutiques, and services.  A visit to Bishop will allow Mr. Lucas to check out local artists in one of the area’s galleries, catch a snack a local eatery, or  pick up souvenirs for his trip home.

EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON’S OFFICE - 3102 Maple Ave, DALLAS, Suite 600

With all the hearings on Capitol Hill regarding the auto industry, it would be good if the folks at Representative Johnson’s office had a chance to see what the future has in store for American cars.

Congresswoman Johnson is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.  The committee has jurisdiction over U.S. roads and the safety thereof.  A first hand look at one of the new vehicles using those roads sounds like a good thing.

University of North Texas at Dallas, 7300 Houston School Road, DALLAS

The University of North Texas Dallas Campus became a stand-alone institution this summer after Gov. Rick Perry signed Senate Bill (SB) 629.  That means Dallas will no longer be the largest city in America without a public institution of higher learning.

Mr. Lucas should drive out to the campus for three reasons.  First, because of the young (and not so young) minds in the academic setting that could benefit from meeting a native Dallasite who has accomplished so much.  Secondly, it’s a beautiful part of Dallas with a great view of downtown.  And finally, after attaining their degrees, these students will be in the market for a new vehicle to drive back and forth to work.

So there are my thoughts.  What does the rest of the family think?

*Dallas South New Media has been retained to share information regarding the local social media scene for this event.