port of harlem magazine

December 24, 2009 - January 7, 2010

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2009 Ends With Tolerance and Inclusion

Breaking from eight years of George W. Bush rule, 2009 brought more evidence that the era of intolerance and exclusion is also coming to an end in the land of the free. President Obama is expected to sign a spending bill that emancipates several longstanding restraints on how Washington, District of Columbia can spend federal money. The measure ends three restrictions –supported by Republicans, but unpopular among local residents:

  • a needle-exchange program
  • medical marijuana use
  • local government-funded abortion (to provide economically challenged women the same access to abortions that most women legally enjoy)

ron simmons"Needle-exchange programs significantly reduce HIVinfection among intravenous drug users (IDU) and their sexual partners,” says Ron Simmons, President/CEO of Us Helping Us. “This has been proven in cities like New York City and Baltimore that implemented needle-exchange programs years ago,” he continued.

Simmons adds that needle-exchange programs donotalter the number of people becoming drug addicts, but can become a vehicle to help them end their addiction. “The key is have a needle-exchange program linked to substance abuse treatment programs so that addicts who seek or are recruited to exchange dirty needles for clean ones can also get substance abuse treatment on demand.” says Simmons.

The District also has plans to extend the privileges and protection of marriage to same-sex couples. Unlike any other jurisdiction in the United States, all District laws are subject to federal approval; therefore, marriage equality laws cannot become law until after a 30-day congressional review. The Democratic-controlled Congress is expected to let the District rule itself on this issue, too.

“My parents know a little something about marriage equality,” said DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, when signing the marriage bill. (Fenty’s father is of African descent. His mother is of European descent.) “They married almost 40 years ago and in a country at the time where every jurisdiction didn’t agree that an interracial couple should be married. Had they not been able to, I would not be standing here as mayor of the District of Columbia right now.”

Also, despite Republican opposition, the federal government also cleared the path toward health care reform. The bill sets health care as a right and not a privilege.  However, the House bill would cover 96 percent of legal residents, while the Senate covers 94 percent.


Photo: Ron Simmons, President/CEO of Us Helping Us.

How to Celebrate Kwanzaa

The United Black Community (UBC), a coalition of progressive individuals and originations in the Pan-African Community, produced the following videos on YouTube:

Kwanzaa in D.C. - Brooklyn Saturday, December 26

51st Annual Celebration Performance of the African Heritage Dancers and Drummers
ARC Recreation Center
Mississippi and Southern Avenue
Washington, D.C.
7:30p, Free

Keeping Kwanzaa in The Tradition
Boys & Girls High School
1700 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY
5pm - Potluck, 7p - Entertainment, Free

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Help Wanted

The United States Census Bureau
The Census Bureau seeks crew leaders, assistant crew leaders, enumerators (data collectors), office clerks and recruiting assistants. For more information call 866-861-2010.

U.S. Senate Placement Office
The Placement Office assists senators and senate committees with filling entry-level through professional staff vacancies by providing resumes of qualified candidates. The Office is nonpartisan and administered by the United States Senate Office of the Sergeant at Arms.

St. Timothy Episcopal
Seeks Music Director / Organist - part time weekly rehearsals playing and directing choir for one service each Sunday. 3601 Alabama Avenue, SE 202-582-7740

Kennedy Center

Festival Assistant, International Programming
Salary: $30,000 - $33,000 / Yearly

This position provides administrative and logistical support to the Festival Manager and the Office of International Programming to support planning and implementation of international festivals that take place at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

To Apply: Apply with cover letter indicating job title, current resume, and salary requirements. Due to volume, telephone inquiries cannot be accepted. Qualified minorities and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
Closing Date: 12/29/2009

Summer Reading - Children

charile gibson abc

“People seem to want to hear news presented according to their own beliefs, and I don’t understand that.”

- Charlie Gibson, who just retired as anchor of World News Tonight (ABC News).

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Ann Morgan Wins
You Can, Too!

Ann Morgan clicked a link and sent us an e-mail indicating that she wanted to see In the Red and Brown Water at Studio Theater. Morgan was the 7th entry that we received and we randomly chose entry number 7.

Now, be the 7th person with the correct answer to the question below.

Click the question below to send us an e-mail with the correct answer:

On what day does the production open at Studio Theater?

Inner Light Ministries will start Watch Night Service Thursday, December 31 at 10:30p until Midnight at its new home: 1912 Q Street, SE, in Washington. For more information call 202. 544.2777. 

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