Sunday, January 16, 2011

We're Still Here

We're still championing change and collecting empirical data while educating communities about their civic responsibilities. We've been on other channels and we will return to this station soon to provide "a lil paint where there ain't" about the conversations that will shape the future of our country.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

We Have A Country


"What we now want is a country—a free country—a country not saddened by the footprints of a single slave... WE want a country, and are fighting for a country, where social intercourse and commercial relations shall neither be embarrassed nor embittered by the imperious exactions of an insolent [greedy] oligarchy."


- Federick Douglass, New York Tribune, January 14, 1864






Our pursuit to create "a lil bit of change” is based upon the belief that the real metamorphosis of a community begins at the core of the people making changes in their lives. Change has always been here and now we're coming of age to embody and conduct it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Change Agents of the Year

In the words of one of generation's most notable quotables "Change clothes and go". And that is exactly what brother and sister Lorielle and Brandon Broussard did this year. Featured on the January cover of Black Enterprise, these entrepreneurial siblings are the creators and owners of the clothing campaign "Barack the Vote". "Oh, I have seen that," you say. Well, of course you have. Worn by both young and old and every age in between, Barack the Vote tee shirts and hoodies were the most recognizable support along the campaign trail this year. By creating these walking billboards, the Broussards were able to influence the election results while collecting "a lil bit of change" for themselves.

Recently, we sat down with Lorielle to get some insight on how she became our Change Agent of the Year.

If you were to describe your craft to a room full of people who knew nothing about you, what would you tell them?
I'm a fashion designer. If they need a little more than that, my brother and I started the company that made the Barack the Vote paraphernalia (T's and hoodies) during the 2008 presidential election.

Why did you decide upon this medium as your form of expression?

It was almost a no brainer for me to decide upon this medium to express ourselves. I've always been in the fashion/entertainment industry since I was in college. We (my brother and I) just thought the more that Barack Obama's name is seen and heard then people will ask questions and want to know who he was and what he was about...what is his stance on the major issues in today's society. So, we figured that with our t-shirts that people would be walking billboards for our next President of the United States.

What is Change and are people ready for it to affect them directly?

Something that I always say is that the only thing that is constant is Change. Change is what we need in the country right now and that is Barack Obama, it's young people really caring about what's happening in the world today, and it's what we're doing right now, changing the way people in America think about politics, race relations, everything. People are definitely ready for it to affect them directly, I know I am. Matter of fact, it already has affected me.

What has been the best response to your brand of Change so far?

The best response to our brand of change has been being recognized by my peers, parents, strangers, and President-Elect Barack Obama that we really did make a difference in this election and in history. That is the best reward, after Barack Obama being elected President, that we could have received.

What is the title of the book about your life?

Qreative Jeanius

Where can people interested in you find your work find you and how can they support you?
Anyone that is interested in my work can check it out at www.barackthevote.com
Support us by buying some gear, support the cause!!!

Coming soon www.YOTOWN.com

Why does everybody need A Lil Bit of Change?

Everybody needs a lil bit of change because it's healthy and it's the only thing that is constant!!!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Soapbox Sunday: Obama Mis-Steps or Congress Out-Of-Step


Our good friend Barely Partisan decided to help us start the new year with a bang. As usual, his insight from atop the Hill provides us with a lil bit of perspective on what's being talked about in the cloakrooms at the Capitol. We now yield the floor to the distinguished gentleman from the Beltway.


The United States is engaged in two wars, the Middle East is embroiled in a conflict that is as traditional as it is alarming, and our economy is not getting any better soon. However, our news media this week dedicated a disproportionate amount of time to concocting a story: President-elect Obama's 2009 mis-steps. The real spotlight should have been on Congress.

While it is true that the working conditions of the Obama team have changed, they have adapted rather well to Washington so far. With a hefty dose of hubris, which is forgivable given the margin of victory, they have crafted a star studded cabinet. In the last few days, we have seen the media turn too much attention towards embellishing the few perceived mis-steps the Obamians have made. Let's take a look, because it is not the Obamians who are at fault.

First, Barack Obama won with a larger margin than President Clinton... ever did. It was an Electoral College landslide that showed his coattails in every state besides Tennessee, yet he still wants Republican support for his economic stimulus. Trust me, he does not need it, and Republicans are frankly flattered he is still offering tax cuts. He spent the last two months calling them individually and wooing them; now he is going to ask for their votes and ideas. While that sounds like a campaign promise fulfilled, we see now that Democrats miss his attention. They want the Obama stimulus to be theirs, and now they want to amend it, tinker with the tax cut, and frankly slow down the process. Bottom-line: he ran, he won, and now they need to get in line. Sure Congress is a co-equal branch of government, but that is only really true when the President and the Congress are from different parties. It is likely that congressional Democrats will cause the President-elect more heartburn than will the loyal opposition as we get started. That's not his mis-step, that's House Speaker Nancy Pelosi losing a grip on her gavel and Sen. Reid just being himself.

Next, if there was a story, it was the withdrawal of Governor Richardson from Secretary of Commerce contention because of a grand jury investigation. Sure, he should have known we would all find out about this earlier, but neither was he was not forthcoming nor did the Obamians do their homework. So, he pulled his nomination, turning a molehill into a mountain. However, I am almost glad he did. He was overqualified to head the Commerce Department anyway. If he was the "one" all Latinos wanted to have a hefty role in the new Administration, they should all be clamoring. (How can you tell if a government post is important? Name people that had the job before. How many secretaries of commerce can you name? Slim pickings after Ron Brown, right? Maybe that post isn't so important, right? OK.) However, instead of more attention given to the governor, he became a cog in the perceived Obama unwinding wheel this week. This time, the media just chasing the wrong story.

Last but not least, Obamians want Leon Penetta to head the CIA. Good for them; when you win an election, you get to decide who works for you. The Senate gets to advise and consent. However, incoming Select Intelligence Committee chairwoman Diane Feinstein made a media event of the fact that she was not consulted. Fine. Even if no one called her, does she want to tell the media that? Why didn't she just call the Obamians to express her outrage? Attention. It wasn't that the former congressman and Clinton White House chief of staff isn't qualified. So, instead of waiting on her turn to give consent at the confirmation hearings, she takes her case to the media. Embarassing the man whom will become her president and painting a bleaker picture of herself, Sen. Feinstein added to the media frenzy that the President-elect is stumbling at the start.

There are lots of legitimate stories that the media could focus on in this process, but it just seems like they are hell-bent on reaching for stories that are shallow. The Obamians are going to get their economic plan because he has the mandate, and congressional Dems would be stupid to allow the Republicans to deliver the President-elect the votes while they struggle to handle the change they asked for. Richardson will probably be indicted sometime in the distant future, but that is not the story. The story was that Labor and Commerce was all a loyal constituency received for delivering the election. If Latino voters ever wake up to realize that, then the Obama electoral victory map will become a dinosaur. The problems with the Penetta appointment are contrived, and in the future Sen. Feinstein should use the phone not a press release. The real attention should be paid to the unfair grilling that Attorney General designate Eric Holder will receive next week. So, while there are stories out there, to say that the President-elect is fumbling early is not one. To say that congressional Democrats are victims of their own success (that they received only as Obama carried them) is really the way of looking at it. In the long run, they will only hurt themselves: no one can hurt a Democrat like a Democrat.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Don't Change the Channel: The Year in Review

We are multimedia historians, documenting and sharing change as it happens with the world at large. We were there ... and so were you. From the announcement of Barack Obama's candidacy in Springfield, IL our agents were on the ground and we were only a click away from experiencing that moment through their eyes to spearheading fundraising initiatives in New York City for the Quarterly Reporting Deadline, which reached across the country to our peers working in Los Angeles or studying in Tennessee. ALBC stitched a quilt of all the memories of people involved in various facets of the Presidential Election on both the micro and macro levels by facilitating conversations and preserving emotions in photographs, videos, and personal essays. We are collecting the artifacts of our generation, a generation that will never forget the events of 2008, The Generation of Change. ALBC knows that the election of Barack Obama is not the culmination of Change, but it is the beginning, and we are the stewards who will ensure the preservation of the legacy this Change has provided.


























The Possible Dream from George Twopointoh on Vimeo.





Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Change The Way We Converse


...and we ain't talking bout the Chuck Taylors on your feet. Last night, James Andrew (BKA "The Key Influencer") and Hill Harper hosted a web chat on Harper's social media network forrealsolutions.com. What was unique about this conversation was the interactivity of the chat as participants phoned in, typed in the chat rooms, and sent updates via twitter - all in the name of social change. A single mother from Atlanta phoned in with her concerns about having men around her young daughter. Hill Harper responded to the caller's concerns by telling her that "...not every man is a predator to your daughter. If you sequester her away from men, the only relationship she knows with men will be sexual and that is dangerous." Meanwhile, people in the chat room shared links and programs for her to look into, including the blogger from whataboutourdaughters.com


One of my mentors, Dr. Walter E. Fluker, talked frequently about what Howard Thurman termed the "Beloved Community," often prompting discussions about the condition of the modern "Black Community" and the way it has changed post integration? I believe I stumbled upon a glimpse of what our community will look like in the future. We are a community of concerned individuals, of all races, who refuse to see any of its members suffer a social, economic, educational or political death.

IndieBusiness: Question: So is owning a business a civil right issue? If blacks are hardest hit by economic downturns, isn't business ownership essential as opposed to just a good option? I think so. Others?


Wealth_Builder: @IndieBusiness..business ownership is going to be essential for blacks, as in my opinion, we are experiencing the disappearance of the middle class.

The conversation spanned the spectrum from economics to entertainment, but two words were consistently tossed around: "Grassroots" and "Social Media". There is no doubt that the marriage of technology with the grassroots and social media movements will result in a formidable change for all. Be a part of the conversation and help facilitate the change.

For more information, check out these links:




Friday, December 19, 2008

Swagger Like O


Nobody on the corner got swagger like Obama (PERIOD). It was even evident in a series of college photos recently published by TIME magazine. Young men, step your game up - we are in the sunrise of a new era. If you thought your throwback and fitted cap was gonna take you into the realm of Manhood, you may want to rethink that. Even Jay Z and Kanye West are attempting to redefine the mold of 'Swaggerdom' in recent months, complete with the nappy fro, but what Obama has in common with our pop icons is something internal so it doesn't matter how you dress it up or down, true character shines through.

Some people confuse talent, whether it be of the artistic, political, business, or intellectual acumen as character. Character is something much stronger than talent and swagger combined. Many American Presidents have spoken of the value of character. Woodrow Wilson once said:

"If you will think about what you ought to do for other people, your character will take care of itself. Character is a by-product, and any man who devotes himself to its cultivation in his own case will become a selfish prig."
Ralph Waldo Emerson offered this insightful gem (maybe at Walden Pond while he was mentoring Henry David Thoreau):

"The true test of civilization is not the census, nor the size of cities, nor the crops - no, but the kind of man the country turns out."
So even in this period of economic peril, America has the ability to churn out something that will last longer than any industry bail-out or political term. We are presented with another unique opportunity in history, much like the 60s with icons like Kennedy and King, where we can create a generation of men and women whose character will be strong enough to stand the test of time and that will become our nation's greatest resource.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Should the CBC Change Colors?


"...there has been an unofficial Congressional White Caucus for over 200 years, and now it's our turn to say who can join 'the club.' ...we are concerned with the needs and concerns of the black population, and we will not allow white America to infringe on those objectives."

-Rep. William Clay, Jr. (D-MO) January 2007

The above quote was Rep. Clay's response to White Rep. Steve Cohen's (D-TN) attempt to join the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). Almost two years later, a Republican Vietnamese-American, Joesph Cao defeated incumbent William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson by 3% to be elected as the US rep. for Louisiana's 2nd Congressional District - a district that is mainly comprised of Black constituents. Leutisha Stills of Jack and Jill Politics posed the question: Should non-Black representatives who represent African-American constituents " join or engage in the caucus that would educate them about the needs of their district and allow them to effectively represent their district?"


ALBC poses the following as our response: Is the CBC's purpose to be a coalition for general black issues or are they a coalition focused on issues inherent to black constituents?

The Congressional Black Caucus's Mission Statement reads as follows, "Our mission is to advance the global black community by developing leaders, informing policy and educating the public." If the mission statement is taken at face value, the answer to our question would be that the CBC is a coalition for general black issues. With this understanding, our stance would be no, the CBC should not be integrated.

However, when a closer look is taken at the means by which the CBC says it will achieve it's mission, which includes: "Facilitating the exchange of ideas and information to address critical issues affecting [Black] communities," then the CBC is operating as a coalition focused on issues inherent to Black constituents. The issues that Black communities face do not change based upon the race of the elected officials serving those communities and it could possibly be a disservice to such communities if their representatives are not educated on the issues from the "inside" of the CBC.

Perhaps, as Kweisi Mfume, National President of the NAACP suggested in a Baltimore Sun article published today, the ways by which the CBC will achieve it's mission will change under the Obama presidency because "...the CBC [is] now faced with the welcome prospect of a White House that's less of an adversary and more of a partner,"and the inclusion of non-Blacks in the CBC will not thwart the mission of the caucus.

In practice, to add non-Blacks contradicts the mission as CBC members have upheld it in the past and it potentially dilutes the potency of the coalition as a voting block in congress; this is because if Cao is granted membership as a Vietnamese rep from Louisiana, not only is he a Republican but he also has a lot of Vietnamese constituents whom may not be affected in the same way by legislation/law as Blacks, making him more prone than any other member of the CBC to not vote with the group. The legitimacy of the CBC is that they consistently stick together on major issues with close votes.




Monday, December 15, 2008

Barack and the Bar

How about starting your Monday off with some good news. Here's a nice find from past Change Agent Jovian Zayne

Pt. 128 of why I love this President. He gives me Youtubes, email's me, and by sheer viritue of his election, dictates the need for emergency legislation that will allow any District establishment with a liquor license, including resturants and nightclubs, to serve drinks until 5 a.m. and serve food 24 hours from January 17th until the morning after the historic swearing-in on the 20th.

Man, I really can't wait until he legalizes teleportation.
-Jovian Zayne


District Raises a Glass to History

Council Lengthens Bar Hours During Inaugural Period

By David Nakamura
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 3, 2008; Page B01

In the mood to celebrate President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration at a D.C. bar? For four days in January, they'll be open 24 hours a day. Under emergency legislation approved by the D.C. Council yesterday, any District establishment with a liquor license, including restaurants and nightclubs, will be allowed to serve alcohol until 5 a.m. -- three hours later than usual -- and serve food round-the-clock from Jan. 17 until the morning after Obama's swearing-in on Jan. 20.

The bill, an idea of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, was introduced by council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), who represents the nightlife-heavy neighborhoods of Adams Morgan and Mount Pleasant.

The council approved the bill, 9 to 4, with Graham voting against it after the measure, which originally excluded nightclubs at Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's request, was revised on the dais to include them. Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), Carol Schwartz (R-At Large) and Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) also voted against the bill.

With large crowds expected to come to Washington for the inauguration, the city must be able to meet their entertainment demands, Graham had said while introducing the measure. But Mendelson, chairman of the council's Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary, countered, warning of increased crime, violence and drunken driving.

"I know a lot of people are excited about the inauguration, and I share that excitement," Mendelson said. "But there are very few people I know of out partying at 5 in the morning or 4 in the morning who aren't getting drunk. I think there are going to be consequences to that from a public safety and public order point of view. It's not a good policy to be supporting."

In an ordinary week, bars and nightclubs can serve alcohol until 2 a.m. weekdays and until 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The only day the city regularly extends drinking hours is Jan. 1, when bars can serve alcohol until 4 a.m.

The legislation quickly drew the ire of civic leaders, who complained that the council did not seek public input.

"I see the potential for why you'd want to do it, in terms of this being a historic election, but to just throw this down on neighborhoods?" said Bryan Weaver, head of the Adams Morgan advisory neighborhood commission. "To have 3 1/2 days of 24-hour service without any input from the community -- there's going to be hell to pay from a lot of neighborhood associations."

But Andrew J. Kline, general counsel for the restaurant association, said Obama's inauguration is a once-in-a-lifetime event worthy of special rules. He said spontaneous celebrations broke out on city streets until the early morning after Obama won the general election Nov. 4.

Kline said it was important for the council to pass the legislation quickly because bars and restaurants are booking private parties for the week.

"It makes sense to have places for people to go when they're in a celebratory mood," Kline said. "It's just a few days. All of us are going to be somewhat inconvenienced, but that's outweighed by a wonderful historic event."

The move is not without precedent in other cities. During the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., this summer, eight bars and restaurants were allowed to remain open two extra hours, until 4 a.m.

Whether the D.C. law will require other agencies to alter their plans remains uncertain. Metro said it would extend service hours on Inauguration Day, from 4 a.m. Jan 20 to 2 a.m. Jan. 21. Otherwise, the transit authority will run regular service, closing at midnight weekdays and 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Graham, a member of the Metro board, said the agency is working on a plan to further extend hours of service.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Soapbox Sunday: Keep your feet on the floor!!!

A shoe, seriously, a shoe? Nah, that's not cool at all. And he missed...twice. When I was a kid and I used to rough house with my friends, my mom would always say, "keep your feet to yourself." Punch, tussle, whatever just don't kick or spit. This makes "That One" seem like a compliment.

I'll refrain from saying how I think he should be punished, which should indicate how severely barbaric I believe it should be. Love him or hate him, President Bush is still the President of OUR United States. Effectively, he threw his shoe at US(A) by aiming at the President. Pardon our French, but ALBC is pissed!

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A History of Change