Newark Mayor Baraka on the deaths of three preemie infants in University Hospital

university hospital
Speaking about the three preemie infants who recently passed away at University Hospital in Newark, Mayor Ras J. Baraka shared these comments:

“The deaths of three premature infants with an Acinetobacter bacteria and the infection of a fourth, all cared for at University Hospital, are stark reminders that an overhaul of the quality of care and the leadership of the hospital is urgently needed. The infants had a variety of other medical conditions, but the fact remains that they contracted the bacteria in the hospital’s neonatal ICU. The Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness will work collaboratively with the New Jersey State Department of Health to continue careful monitoring of the situation in that unit. read more

Días de enfermedad pagados han llegado a New Jersey

Paid sick leave workers
A partir del 29 de octubre 2018, casi todos los trabajadores de Nueva Jersey tendrán derecho a ganar días de enfermedad pagados.

• Usted acumula horas de permiso de ausencia laboral debido a enfermedad a una tasa de 1 hora por cada 30 horas trabajadas, hasta un máximo de 40 horas de permiso por año calendario.
-Usted comienza a acumular días de permiso de ausencia laboral debido a enfermedad a partir del 29 de octubre de 2018 o de su primer día de empleo, lo que ocurra más tarde.

• Usted puede usar la ley para tomarse un tiempo libre en el trabajo para una visita al médico, para recuperarse de una enfermedad física o mental (para usted o un miembro de su familia), recuperarse de la violencia doméstica o sexual, para asistir a una conferencia de padres y maestros, o si se está cerrando una escuela o lugar de trabajo debido a una emergencia de salud pública. read more

Free or Discounted Rides to Polls on Election Day (Nov. 6th) by Uber & Lyft

By Olivia Rizzo of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

For some people half the battle of voting is getting to the polls, but this year voters can get some relief from a slightly unexpected source: Uber and Lyft.

Both ride share companies are offering free or discounted rides to voters on Nov. 6, and both companies are partnering with voting organizations that encourage people to register and then go out to vote.

free ride to voteAccording to Pew Research, 3 percent of registered voters who did not vote in 2016 cited “transportation problems” as the main reason they didn’t vote. Additionally, 14 percent of people cited that they were “too busy or conflicting schedule,” and “inconvenient hours or polling places,” which are issues that tend to affect low income communities. read more

Know your voter rights – and where to get help if your vote is challenged

Several states are holding local elections today. It’s important to know what your voter rights are and where to seek help if you feel that anyone has blocked you from exercising your Constitutional right to vote.

A good place to turn for information about your rights is the League of Women Voters. If you have questions about voting issues call their voting rights hotline website Vote411.org. Visit the website or

Call one of these national hotlines:
1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
1-844-418-1682 (Arabic) read more

The 6th USCT at Trenton Barrack’s 3 Centuries of Black Soldiers 2018 event

Chuck at 3 Centuries


6th USCT member Ari Lopez Wei filmed this short video of the troop at the 2018 Three Centuries of Black Soldiers event at the Trenton Barracks Museum which took place the last weekend of Black History Month. It is sponsored by the museum and the 6th USCT re-enactment troop.

Chef Mama Wei cooks Mu Shu Pork

Mama Wei's mu shu pork
Chef Mama Wei’s Mu Shu Pork via @lalwei

Ari put together this 23 second video of me cooking Mu Shu Pork. Made me look like I know what I’m doing.

Inspiring messages of strength and hope in music videos by First Nation youth

Many Paths
Source: Many Paths … “The place where I was born is perfect”

Worth music video group shot
Source: Worth music video
Adams Lake (all girl) Indian Band’s “Worthy” carries a message of hope for youth:

The light will glow and inspire your journey … when you get a little older everything will be all right… you are worthy, you are worthy

Many Paths music video
Source: Many Paths music video
“Many Paths” with Kawacatoose First Nation youth

I’m going to keep my head up and make better decisions. You have to walk in my shoes to understand my position … If there’s one thing that a native people lack, the love and care – so unfair as I’m looking back … We walk the land of many paths, a narrow road that will lead us back to a life that we had … read more

You’re not ready to know all that Google and Facebook know about us

What Google & FB have on you ss
Source: Dylan Curran’s article on The Guardian
It’s awe-inspiring and terrifying to know how much Google and Facebook know about us: where we go, what time we go to the gym, what you’ve searched, what searches you’ve deleted, what apps you use, what you and your friends talk about, and more. Dylan Curran, writing in The Guardian, says,

They can access your webcam and microphone
The data they collect includes tracking where you are, what applications you have installed, when you use them, what you use them for, access to your webcam and microphone at any time, your contacts, your emails, your calendar, your call history, the messages you send and receive, the files you download, the games you play, your photos and videos, your music, your search history, your browsing history, even what radio stations you listen to. read more

On the topic of Philly’s Cheesesteaks – and a list of best places to buy

Corleones cheesteak
Foto: Corleone’s
So, I collected this list of Philly cheesesteak restaurant reviews in 2016 from a Facebook thread, but didn’t record whose thread. I need to share it, for the couple of real gems in the list and because Ari and Jorge Ivan are in Philly today, contemplating cheesesteaks. If you’ve got a favorite spot to add, share it!

Here’s what I concluded after reading through the comments:

  • Pats, Geno’s and Tony Luke’s are tourist places. Steve’s is another non-traditional spot but it gets banging reviews.
  • The consensus among Philly natives is that Papi stores make the best cheesesteaks – and they only cost $5-10
  • If you pay more than $10 for a cheesesteak you’re getting ripped off

This is my favorite comment 🙂 :

Vernon King: Foh dh. Who n the hell will pay beam dub on chessesteak with sesame seed long roll. When u could go to the Papi store & Get it for $4.00 or $4.50. I can buy new pair of J`s or Some Polo shirt. No State/City can make better chessesteak than ppl who was born/raised n Philadelphia,Pennsylvania hand down. read more

Bernie Sanders will hold Town Hall on inequality with Elizabeth Warren & Michael Moore

inequality town hall 180319
Photo: PBS
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced Thursday that on March 19 he will host Inequality in America: A National Town Hall on Facebook Live focused on inequality in the United States in partnership with The Guardian, NowThis, The Young Turks and Act.tv.

Sanders, along with filmmaker Michel Moore, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, economist Darrick Hamilton and other experts, will discuss poverty in America, the 40-year decline of the middle class, the growing power of corporate interests and how we an economy that works for all Americans. read more

Gov. Murphy will provide $2.1M for free legal help for NJ immigrants in need

New Americans in NJ
Source: Immigration Council
Newark, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy has announced that he intends to allocate $2.1M to fund free legal representation for immigrants facing detention or deportation who cannot afford private attorneys. In New Jersey, the vast majority of immigrant detainees fight their deportation cases without an attorney. It is not surprising that only 14% of unrepresented detainees are successful and able to remain in the United States, given the complexities of our immigration laws and the challenges of gathering evidence while incarcerated. Individuals facing deportation have no right to appointed counsel. read more

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Trump attacked workers’ pay and rights in 2017. Here are the worst violations.

McDonalds NYC demo
McDonalds NYC Demonstration for workers rights & fair pay Source: IUF.org

The focus of the Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) report issued on January 12, 2018 is in its name: Ten actions that hurt workers during Trump’s first year: How Trump and Congress further rigged the economy in favor of the wealthy

See the article for facts about how workers are affected by each action on this list:

McDonalds NYC demo
McDonalds NYC Demonstration for workers rights & fair pay Source: IUF.org

  • Enacting tax cuts that overwhelmingly favor the wealthy over the average worker
  • Taking billions out of workers’ pockets by weakening or abandoning regulations that protect their pay
  • Blocking workers from access to the courts by allowing mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts
  • Pushing immigration policies that hurt all workers
  • Rolling back regulations that protect worker pay and safety
  • Stacking the Federal Reserve Board with candidates friendlier to Wall Street than to working families
  • Ensuring Wall Street can pocket more of workers’ retirement savings
  • Stacking the Supreme Court against workers by appointing Neil Gorsuch
  • Trying to take affordable health care away from millions of working people
  • Undercutting key worker protection agencies by nominating anti-worker leaders
  • read more

    If you want a different kind of new year, be a new you

    Happy New Me 2018 graphic
    Image from a Foztee sweatshirt
    Sam Soto and I loved Corey Teague’s 2018 New Year message so much we translated it to Spanish. Corey is keeping it real – and we can all benefit by following suit.

    Now we have reached the part of the show where everyone begins talking about who they plan to “cut off” and how they plan to be “new” and how everything will just be different. Look out, here comes a reality check: unless you don’t wake up tomorrow, it’ll be Monday. That’s it, Monday. And then, there will be Tuesday, Wednesday, so on and so forth. Nothing out of the ordinary will happen UNLESS you do something unordinary to provoke an unordinary event to occur. Remember, NOTHING FROM NOTHING LEAVES NOTHING. You must be willing to do something in order to get something. That’s how life works. This attitude that life owes you something must die within you before you can begin mentally preparing yourself to receive something. What have you done lately for someone other than yourself? If you have to take longer than 30 seconds to answer then you’re living in a vacuum. It’s time to step out and live in 2018. If not, this new year will begin and end just like every other year. read more