Misinformation at work! Columbia company hired to influence US politics, but by whom?

There is a new most likely Republican sheriff in town. A group of young Republicans who met during their work at Republican National Committee got together to create the Independent Journal Review, which is owned by https://imge.com/.

IMGE is a marketing company that provides: “Fresh concepts. Unparalleled execution.” The company provides digital marketing campaigns to troubled companies as for instance Boing, burdened by the shut down of an entire division of planes, due to their lack of quality control. The Republican Governors Association who is suffering from the many problems they have had thanks to being paid off by the Russian Sponsored NRA. John James for Senator campaign who lost against Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. The also market on behalf of “Winning for Women.” A non-profit group that seems to be designed to sway the wives of Republican men to vote against their own interests and cruel policies like “Childen in Cages” camouflaged as security. Free Market concepts like eliminating Roe vs Wade, women’s right over their own bodies.

When receiving a facebook post from IJR it was impressive how well edited the newsclip were. I was struck by the partisanship, strung together to cause malaise in potential American voters. The company owned and operated by highly committed Republicans offers IJR red and strangely IJR blue. When reviewing the clips from that point of view it becomes apparent that the blue and the red posts have the same goal. Increasing partisanship, creating uncertainty and strife.


This post is design to turn off African Americans and get them to dislike Biden. And, at the same time have regular Republicans feel terrible about “African Americans.” Goal? Causing strife.


I look at life from both sides now, from here and there…

It would be great if it was genuinely bi-partisan content. Unfortunately it seems designed to increase the separation between different factions in the US – following the strategy of causing hate and deepening divides to serve the small hardcore, rightwing racist misogynists. The only group of people who are fond of the current POTUS.

US Political News made in Colombia, South America, masquerading as an Alexandria, VA based company.
Is it designed for people who want to learn what they already prefer?

It is interesting that the company pretends to be pro democracy but uses the Russian style Kompromat techniques to influence people.

Are we still living in a merit based society?

San Francisco culture of mutual support helped create great opportunities for entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams.

Since before the formation of this country by great men like Benjamin Franklin one of the best parts of living on this continent is that everyone has a chance to create the life they want to have. Benjamin Franklin is a great example of someone who grew up in a modest home, ventured out on his own to become a very wealthy world leader. Self-educated Abe Lincoln is another example of a young half orphan who made his own way in the world, reaching great achievements as a lawyer and US president. Andrew Carnegie was born into a Scottish weaver’s family that shared a one room house with their neighbors. Yet, later in the US he became synonymous with the Gilded Age. John D. Rockefeller who as the son of a con man and a very religious mother started out as a bookkeeper built one of the greatest wealth an American family ever enjoyed. He is quoted as saying: “The growth of a large business is merely a survival of the fittest”. Even though he was a very tough and sometimes ruthless competitor he ended up donating more than $500 million to various philanthropic causes. Back in his days this was quite a lot of money.

In recent history we have Steve Jobs, the son of a Syrian refugee, was adopted and started his career in the warehouse. Ray Kroc started as an ambulance driver at 15 years old and later started McDonald’s corporation, considered one of the fastest growing companies. Sarah Breedlove, later known by one of her married names Madam C. J. Walker’s parents and siblings were slaves, yet she became the first known African American female Millionaire. Andy Grove spent part of his childhood in a Nazi concentration camp and came to the US penniless when he had to flee Hungary from Soviet Oppression at age 20. Later he became associated with the success of Intel, a company he led to international success as its CEO. Arthur Rock’s dad had a candy store and Arthur’s education was possible thanks to the G.I. bill. Arthur Rock founded one of the first investment firms in Silicon Valley, called Davis & Rock. He is considered one of the founders of Silicon Valley. Eric Hippeau received a wonderful education in France and chose to come to the US to achieve his fame and fortune. He came to the US as an ad sales manager for IDG, before becoming publisher of PC Magazine, CEO of Ziff-Davis, Softbank, and now runs a very successful venture firm, Lerer Hippeau.

In the US if you work hard and smart you can succeed. Yes, it is quite clear that in most cases being well educated or rather being able to educate yourself and re-educate yourself is a prerequisite for success. And yes, it possible to reach amazing success in the United States, regardless of background and family ties.

Is it easier to achieve success when you have a loving and supportive family that can afford to pay for a great education and make wonderful introductions? Of course, it is. Is it harder for children who have to overcome the long-term physiological and psychological challenges of ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences)? Yes, it is harder. However, it is possible. This is what is unique about the USA. Many businesses in the US are merit based, especially in California.

When communities, business leaders, and educational institutions come together to focus on helping kids become successful adults, entire cities and villages thrive. Providing education that provides students with the life-long ability to learn may be one of the top gifts we can give our local communities. Most thriving towns have benevolent leaders who care about all its inhabitants. Why not bring the leaders in your community together to facilitate a local plan to create a thriving and high-quality place to live and grow up in. Amazing success will be up to the individual, luck, hard work, lots of studying, and the willingness to put in the necessary effort. There are no shortcuts to wealth, short of inheriting it. And as every successful business leader knows making the first money is easier than to hold on to the money and growing the business. This takes management skills, knowledge, competitiveness and most importantly content and satisfied customers.

It is best if we remind ourselves and future generations that only because someone else inherited their wealth, doesn’t make them the only ones who can thrive. With a strong desire to succeed, great networking skills, and the willingness to learn, the road to success is open to everyone in the USA. For self-made people there are no short cuts to success. It takes work and diligence, and the willingness to try over and over until the necessary skills are perfected.

In China during the Han Dynasty in the 6th century BC, when Confucius has a strong impact on culture the society was merit-based. Education became the key for social mobility back then in China. Europe opened its mind to become a merit-based society in the 17th Century and is still waffling about it. The US is the only country that was founded on the principles of being merit based. The West Coast naturally has embraced being merit-based since it was founded by people from all walks of life who were seeking fame and fortune in the 19th century during the gold rush era. Life in the Wild West required that towns people were there for each other and pool resources. This spirit of collaboration has survived in California. This is the reason why living is pleasant and easy. There is a “live and let live” attitude, and openness to new and different ways of looking at things, and the willingness to create teams, tribes, mutually beneficial groups, and everyone who is a good fit and is willing to contribute to the overall good is welcome.

Towns who are willing to support their neighbors’ kids thrive more than towns who live in brutally hierarchical ways without caring about each other. Businesses that receive help from financiers are able to afford an educated workforce. These businesses thrive easier. Invest in educating all kids, invest in your towns future. The investment in lifting the overall level of education of a town pays off within 10 to 15 years. It cannot be accomplished within a quarter. However, if you don’t invest in your city, you wil lend up with a ghost town suffering from unhappy, often drugged and depressed workforce who doesn’t work effectively, nor purchase anything. Every town has a chance to adopt these logical and simple principles if leaders choose to come together for the benefit of the entire population. Check out Oakland, CA it is now safer than Kansas City!

Mesmerica feels uplifting

The show is designed to literally play with your emotions in an uplifting way. It works. The music immediately puts you into spa mode. The body relaxes as if you are having a hot rock treatment, with a body scrub, and your favorite full body massage.

The video provides uplifting messages about relaxation, forgiveness, togetherness and they are intermingled with the sounds of gongs that bring back memories of fabulous mediation sessions. Instant relaxation.

James Hood has perfected his musical genius. He is still able to make you feel your own feelings, like he did back when he played with the Pretenders. Since then he became one of the founding musicians of the world music genre. He perfected his art with a two-decades-plus run as a visionary ambient/electronica composer and performer. His sonic incense “Ceremony” and Pure Ceremony reached #1 on World and New Age charts in US and Canada.  

Mesamerica is an instant classic that will be celebrated for many years to come. It represents a trend that will certainly swell as more people become aware of the soothing and healing effect it has – literally – on the body by encouraging the release of endorphins, seratonin, and other happy hormones. Mesamerica is there to reboot your body and soul and it has a long lasting effect.

It was produced by Poseidon Music who report: “The show is now running simultaneously in 12 North American cities, selling out 9/10 shows. 40,000 tickets and counting.”

And then there is the art and the production of this master piece. The art is world class.

The most spectacular thing about this experience to me is the art by Tatiana Plakhova. It is mesmerizing on this little video. Just imagine it or watch it in a setting that allows you to see a large dome of into which the video will draw you travel as you experience the cosmic journey with surround sound.

Tatiana Plakhova describes her art as infographics, which makes sense. She transmits so much more than just a pretty pictures. Her art communicates – it is the art of the future, now.

“The main idea is to show a new way of “infographic” drawings. Because everything we see is biological, mathematical or geological information. It can also be cultural patterns or any other thing. Complexity Graphics works are based on mathematical simplicity and harmony. I would describe them as infographic abstracts. This mathematical style helps me to illustrate everything from biological cell to the space and meditative worlds. That’s why I admire by math, because it’s everywhere and nowhere” 
Tatiana Plakhova

We will try to find out more information behind the many amazing people behind this new form of entertainment that is certainly here to stay. Stay tuned!

Is it wise for those benefitting from the economy to allow the middle and lower middle class to shrink?

We believe in the American philosophy that free markets help each person rise to the best possible economic achievement for themselves. We are all in favor of a thriving economy.

The economy is thriving particularly well for the top 25% of the American population.  Around the world poverty is at a 100-year low.  According to Politifacts.com who compared World Bank statistics and other studies: “By World Bank figures, Smith actually understated the reduction. We’ve cut extreme poverty by 58 percent using the 2008 definition of extreme poverty, and 74.1 percent by the 2015 definition.”

Many business leaders plan to stay with a company only for a few years and therefore the long term stability of their companies is less important than the managers ability to cash out. If the economy shrinks, employees are upset, the companies are vulnerable to foreign or even domestic competition, it does not affect the manager personally as quickly, as it affects the rest of the economy.

Why might we encourage business leaders to watch the American, European, and Japanese middle-class standards of living?  After all ever more people from the upper middle class are thriving. There are 7.1 million households in this country that have investable assets of $1 million or more. So why be concerned about the middle and lower-income brackets of the middle class?

What does income inequality even mean?

A recent study by the Fed reported in the Wall Street Journal stated that 25% of working individuals say they have no retirement savings at all, and 44% worried that their saving isn’t on track. Among younger workers, aged 18 to 29, 42% have nothing set aside, and only 26% believe they are adequately prepared for retirement. Even more disturbing 40% of Americans said they don’t have enough cash on hand to cover an unexpected $400 expense and 17% reported they did not have sufficient funds to meet their current obligations. This indicates that 57% lived either beyond their means or they did not earn enough. With the unemployment rate solidly below 4% it is most likely the later.

San Francisco has the highest median income in the country. It is reportedly at $110,816.  This sounds great until you realize that how many people are not participating in driving the median income up to these wonderful levels, however they still have to pay the same for housing. The average cost for a 1-bed room apartment is $3,391.12 per month and naturally the rent or mortage for a dwelling fit for a family is even more. This spells trouble for employees who are not in managerial positions, particularly since Numbeo suggests that it takes $4,106.34 for living expenses for a family with 4 members before the rent. Add some student loan payments, the need to save money to take care of their kids the dream of maybe buying a house and it starts to look dismal for those who earn their living as teachers, truck drivers or service personal. This is when reality shows that a shrinking middle and lower-part of the middle class indeed will not foster the consumerism that Westerners have enjoyed for the past 70 years.

When the US economy is turned and/or allowed to be turned into a “third world economy,” the US will become a third world country.

7.1 Millions of extremely wealthy end up living in a country surrounded by 315.9 Million people, some of whom can’t afford to save $400 for their next emergency. Currently more than 50% of the US population earns less than $50,000. In many cases much less 20.3% of US households or every 5th household earned less than $25K per per year. For millennials the outlook explains why they prefer experiences instead of accumulating products. 58% of 35-yr-olds earn less than $50,000 per year and 81% of 25-yr-olds earn less than $50,000 per year. They barely can afford rent. Yes, many move to places that have more affordable homes, however their salaries may drop drop relative to the price of housing.

Yes, there are a few “Unicorns,” companies that make more money than ever. Apple is slated to become the first $1 Trillion dollar company. However the US economy is reliant on small businesses. There are 28,000,000 small businesses in the US and only 18,500 large companies. One half of the US economy is based on and relies on small business. Small businesses are the first to suffer when the middle class erodes. In the 70s 1 out of 5 small businesses folded in the first year. Today 50% of small businesses fail often due to lack of earnings. When the expendable income for so many Americans gets eroded due to the lack of “living wages” the US will turn into a third-world country. Currently in San Francisco and Marin County 1 in 5 is in need of food assistance, and 1 in 4 is at risk of going hungry, according to the San Francisco Foodbank. California is the tenth most affluent State in the US with the nearly 900,000 millionnaires.

While business leaders are not immediately and personally affected by the ever lower standard of living of 70% of Americans, shrinking Americans expendable income to Zero is not healthy for the overall economy, as sales for anything that is not a necessity will suffer and this is already happening. Retail is down, housing size is shrinking , large houses stay unoccupied due to the fact that more than 1/2 of households can’t afford the mortgages.

Deloitte just releases their 2019 report is based on the views of 13,416 millennials questioned across 42 countries and 3,009 Gen Zs from 10 countries. While this does not provide a statistically correct sample for each country, it does give us a bit of an idea that could be considered a possible trend. The news is somewhat positive. 60% of the Millennials surveyed were confident that they could reach their own goals if they applied themselves. This could mean they are optimistic, or it could mean that they blame themselves for not being as successful as they wished they were.

Board of Directors may do well to start thinking a bit longer term. If a company doesn’t have a long range vision like most Chinese and European companies do, the US economy may be structurally damaged in ways that will affect its investors and business leaders.

Fortunately there are great examples of how communities can come together to make sure all the boats are lifted. Check out the articles about how Oakland, a city that was beleaguered by inequality problems, pulled together to lift the city out of poverty. It takes vision and it takes the will of those who have the power to effect change.

Cha, cha, cha, changes… so timely. Thx David Bowie!

Ch Ch Ch Changes

Low Down, ooh, still don’t know what I was waiting for…
and my time was running wild, a million dead-end streets and
Everytime I thought I got it made, the taste was not so sweet…
So I turned myself to face me, but I never caught a glimpse,
of how the others must see the faker,
I’m much too fast to take that test.

Ch Ch Ch Changes turn and face the strange ch ch changes
Don’t wanna be a richer man
Ch Ch Ch Changes turn and face the strange ch ch changes
Just gonna have to be a different man
time may change me, but I can’t trace time

Ooh yeah

I watch the ripples change their size but never leave the stream of warm impermanence
and so the days float through my eyes, but the days still seem the same
and these children that you spit on as the try to change their world
they are immune to your consultations
they are quite aware of what they are going through

Ch Ch Ch Changes turn and face the strange ch ch changes
don’t tell them to grow up and out of it

Ch Ch Ch Changes turn and face the strange ch ch changes
you’ve left us up to our neck in it
Time may change me but you can’t trace time
strange fascination fascinating me
Ah, changes are taking the pace I’m going through

Ch Ch Ch Changes turn and face the strange ch ch changes
ooh, look out you rock ‘n rollers
Ch Ch Ch Changes turn and face the strange ch ch changes
pretty soon you’re gonna get older
Time may change me, but I can’t trace time.
I’ve said that time may change me,
but I can’t trace time.

David Bowie performs Changes

Rock ‘n Rollers pretty soon you will get older

Boomers and Generation X is older now and here we are with global warming, the world in upheaval and a shrinking replacement generation which may have trouble taking care of themselves, their student loans, their kids, and especially the bulging and self-entitled older generation. As David Bowie tried to explain many decades ago:

“Time may change me, but I can’t trace time. Gonna have to be a different man. We never saw the fakers.”

Great song and timely lyrics. Families that pull together will make it through the next 50 years. David Bowie called it. And here we are and it will be fine especially for those who stop judging and instead support each other at a local basis.

Why foster self respect for boys and men?

The media is not really helping in promoting positive role models for boys.

Many men feel they are judged as cruel or mean. Why?

The general media often portrays men as cruel, insensitive brutes who only think about themselves and don’t respect women and children. While this improves reader and viewership for the general media, it does not foster self-respect among our young men and older men.

We need to take this outcry seriously because men are genuinely under severe stress. 129 suicides per happen each day and there are 3600 suicide attempts each day. It is the 10th highest cause of death in the US now. We need to help men cope to feel protected and worthy, even if they prefer not to engage in the horrible behaviors that are often highlighted. Of course, white men can’t be protected instead of everyone else, but they need to be protected alongside everyone else.

These days the suicide rate among white men is at an all-time high and it is growing rapidly. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention found in 2017:

  • The age-adjusted suicide rate in 2017 was 14.0 per 100,000 individuals.
  • The rate of suicide is highest in middle-age white men in particular.
  • In 2017, men died by suicide 3.54x more often than women.
  • On average, there are 129 suicides per day.
  • White males accounted for 69.67% of suicide deaths in 2017.
  • In 2017, firearms accounted for 50.57% of all suicide deaths.

The general media eager to sell subscriptions is focused on highlighting men who beat up women, defraud companies, cheats on their wives or girlfriends, and recently they are assisting politicians with exceedingly harmful policies. Devastating the environment, cutting sick people off medical care, engage in racist insults and killings, and commit fraud, abuse workers, and worse. White men are portrayed as self-serving, prejudiced, greedy, selfish and mean. This is most likely an important reason why men, especially young men and men in their old age feel disillusioned, unwanted and unloved.

Some old and even younger white men are causing this reputation

These Alabama men have decided that men have the right to impregnate women against their will, rape them and these rapists are rewarded by the state of Alabama forcing the raped women to carry the rapists’ children for nine to ten months against their will.

The lack of positive role models in the media is hurtful to men.

The current president lies consistently, is needy and greedy and often behaves rudely and has no respect for anyone but those who are willing to act out his will without question regardless how self-damaging it may be for their own lives.

The president thinks it is a show of strength if he reneges on promises made to partner countries, praises mass murdering dictators, pays shut up money to tricksters to silence prostitutes with whom he had affairs during his current wife’s pregnancy. He is proud that he shut these cheaters up in order to win the presidential election that he may have lost if the truth would have come to light before the electorate chose him as president against the will of the majority of American voters.

Is this what manhood is all about for all men? Of course not, however it is no surprise that so many white men and boys feel lost. If men live up to the general media’s “ideals” they are creepy, and if they are not willing to engage in these abhorrent and mean behaviors, they are called weak. Many choose death at alarmingly growing rates.

As a society we have a choice. We can choose to highlight and praise good men and restore the good name of men in general by focusing on genuinely great men and leaders.

Artist Highlight – Estaire Godinez

When I first met Estaire Godinez I was completely in awe of her grace. She is a genuinely graceful and stunningly beautiful women. It seemed that every time she spoke she reintroduced the concept of “Lady” to the world.

Estaire Godinez is also an international sensation. As a vocalist she seduces the audiences with her smokey voice that is clear and comes with a full range. A rare pleasure. She is reminiscent of each Blossom Dearie, Montserrat Caballé, and Billy Holiday. In short, her voice is unique and amazing. Her intonation and range of voice is perfect for ballads that make you sad, happy, or glad, for pop songs, for classical music, and especially for the bossa nova. This Maestra is clearly influenced by the many Boston’s Berkelee School of Music classes she internalized. She also trained privately with the celebrated Congero Giovanni Hidalgo.

Estaire Godinez, Besame Mucho from her latest Album “Estaire Godinez, This Time…”

Estaire Godinez “Live at the Dakota”

Her debut release “Live at the Dakota” published by Under the Radar Music Group, established Estaire Godinez as a singer and bandleader. This productive woman worked on her first album while traveling on tour world wide with the legendary George Benson. Peter Schimke (piano/keyboards), Eric Leeds (sax) Mike Scott (guitar), Stokely Williams (drums) and Serge Akou (bass). Mutually appreciative of her talents, their instruments weave effortlessly in and around her conga beats, creating a hypnotic fusion of jazz, pop and Brazilian/Afro- Cuban. They all plan with seductive ease, exchanging musical flirtations with airtight execution.

Estaire Godinez, “Live at the Dakota” at The Dakota Jazz Club in Minnesota.

Estaire Godinez, recording artists and live performer

She contributed her experiences as a performer in over sixty album recordings working with Prince, Coke Escovedo, Brothers Johnson, George Benson, Larry Graham and Norman Brown, the legendary composer Leon Ware, Rolando Morales, and many others. Estaire Godinez has a huge stage present. She is a sought to appear in live performances and performed with the Manakato Symphony as their featured vocalist, singing an aria and her original; the orchestral arrangements were done by her dear friend Pepper Williams. She appeared on stage alongside Peter Tosh, Actor/musician, Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, Bow-Wow-wow, Duncan Du, Javier Ruibal, and pop star Joaquin Sabina. In Europe, as the lead in the popular Madrid-based all-original pop-rock mainstays, Estaire Godinez and the Face Band.

Estaire Godinez has appeared in, sang for many films and advertisements. She also is a published author of The Yelva which was turned into a feature film. She was chosen to adapt the book for the screen. Estaire Godinez is a standing member at the commercials and film, including a movie produced by and starring Benjamin Bratt. She starred in the film and sang on the movie score.

Early on in her entertainment career, Estaire Godinez was dancer and one of the Bay Area’s co-founders of the unique dance troupe called Bachanal, an Afro Cuban/Haitian dance troupe comprised of some of the best dancers in the City, led by their fearless leader Gloria Toolsie from New York. Bachanal was one of the first of its kind in the Bay Area to perform with such a large ensemble and costumes.

Estaire Godinez, singer, composer, lyricist, congera, published author and film maker.

Estaire grew up around music with her 8 siblings. Her mother, a housewife, has a beautiful soprano voice and her father sang in a Baritone voice. Her parents immigrated to the US and settled in Oakland, where Estaire was born. Oakland is the most ethnically mixed city in the US and as a result Estaire grew up enjoying every type of musical style. Mexican Trios, Smooth Jazz, Pop, Rock, Big Band Jazz, Bossa Nova, Native American Music, Soul Music, Brazilian and African sounds. from Mexico well she grew up listening to Trios, and All styles of music coming from the influences of her older siblings. She plays frequently with brothers Salvador and Carlos both prominent musicians and song writers.

When asking Estaire Godinez for a quote about recent project she explains: “Estaire is also a published author, a book she published in 2015 titled THE YELVA (to which she has also wrote the screenplay adaptation for a feature film. Along with her published book she also has a short story and two books finished which she intends to publish. She stays true to her first love which is music. She is working on the music for her third album with Peter Schimke; this one will be released in 2019. This one will be dedicated to the musical stylings of Latin Jazz. “

Rolando Morales is joined by Estaire Godinez at Havana's in Walnut Creek on May 31st, 2019
Rolando Morales is joined by Estaire Godinez at Havana’s in Walnut Creek on May 31st, 2019

Estaire Godinez is currently working on a new film project. However, you can catch her on May 31, 2019 at Havana’s in Walnut Creek where she joins her good friend, vocalist and Guitarist Rolando Morales.

Estaire Godinez, this accomplished all around artist, dancer, singer, congera, performer, recording artist, actress, author and film maker brings grace and overall quality to everything she creates. Her bio reads: “Whether swing or Samba, backbeats or Bossa Nova, Godinez has always been fascinated by the push and pull of different rhythmic styles, mirroring her musical diversity, she is multilingual (Spanish, Portuguese, English) and has lived and performed throughout the world.

Stay tuned. This year Estaire Godinez plans to finish her third collaboration together with Peter Schimke. She is publishing her book, and adapting it to a movie script. In Maui, Hawai, she owns a company with her sister, where they will sell their art work and Jewelry, and offer Estaire Godinez’ music and books. Visit her own website to learn more.

Today Oakland is a model city that has pulled together to create a new future for all its citizens. Part 4

Jonah Melvon & Adesha will join the Art & Soul Festival this year. The most ethnically diverse fun festival on the West Coast. Great music, great food, great art and good vibes.

The citizens were ready for the change. It started to gentrify without pushing out locals. The East Bay Times reports that the Fruitvale district is a great example that this is possible: “Schildt said it’s possible to invest in a community without causing displacement — particularly if it’s public investment or community-driven. Oakland’s Fruitvale Village is held up as a national model. As Scott Morris reports, the mixed-use development near Fruitvale BART improved the socio-economic well-being of residents in the immediate neighborhood and preserved the area’s racial and ethnic diversity.”

Today 38% of people in Oakland hold secondary degrees, crime is down to the same level as San Francisco, aside of Long Beach California it is the most racially mixed town in the world. When researching the most crime ridden towns in the US no California town made it into the top 30 most dangerous towns in the US. Niche voted Oakland as the 26th best US city to live in.

How did Oakland do it? This is the story that Oakland born and raised artists “Jonah Melvon featuring Adesha” wish to tell. Their song 1099 available on Spotify tells the story of how cities need to pull together to become whole again. Jonah Melvon works closely with business leaders and educational and community outreach organizations to bring about a spirit of “togetherness, love, peace and understanding.” Adesha works with the Boys and Girls Club as a Community Relations Manager. They have lived the story and they want to help cities around the world to help create living conditions that are pleasing for all ethnic groups. It can be done! Oakland is proof that it can be done.

Jonah Melvon believes, as his lyrics explain, that we all need to support local businesses, make education available and accessable to everyone who wishes to improve their lifestyle and take part of a thriving economy. In Oakland, Peralta Colleges came together to provide educational access to everyone at affordable rates. Businesses cleaned up neighborhoods and provide access to comfortable yet affordable housing. Charities pitched in with Kindergardens and Schools. When all people, regardless of ethnic background join forces to create a nice place to live, with compassionate support for those least among us, and businesses create access to well paying jobs through education, mentorships, classes cities can be reclaimed. Today WeWorks, General Assembly, Kickstart Coding, App Academy, Springboard, help young and mature people find ways to succeed.

Most importantly the soul based neighborhood spirit that teaches belief in each of our ability to participate in a thriving economy creates a new mindset. Love is the answer. Diversity is beautiful. By opening people’s minds through the Peralta Study Abroad Programs and by offering genuine assistance the East Bay and especially Oakland are becoming a thriving metropolis again. http://web.peralta.edu/foundation/scholarships-and-grants/

This program is immensely successful and has brought peace and prosperity through education to Oakland. The Peralta Study Abroad program brings students from around the world together and allows them to see the world, broadening their horizons while boosting their confidence.

We can do anything, when we work together. When political leaders, business leaders, eduational leaders, and religious leaders come together with the single purpose to lift up everyone of its citizens success is within reach.

Since 2010 Oakland is a new shining star showing its can do spirit. Now, Jonah Melvon and Adesha want to share how it happened. They want to bring the knowledge that celebration of life, work, and family can bring amazing results and lead to a thriving, safe town. They are supported by Drew Gephart, International Services Manager at the Peralta College Group of fine educational institutions. This group of Junior Colleges serve as feeder schools to UC Hayward, UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. All we have to do is believe and then act on our beliefs.

“Mabagwe—a Tribute to Los Mayores” nominated for the Cubadisco Award

Michael Spiro on Facebook: “I am usually very hesitant to post things on Facebook about my accomplishments. It always seems a little self-serving. But in this case, I can’t help it. Jose Luis Seluma and I are very honored and proud to have been nominated for a Cubadisco award (the Cuban “Grammies”) in the “Tradicion Afro-Cubana” category for our CD, “Mabagwe—a Tribute to Los Mayores” .

It is hard for us to imagine that we could even be considered in the same group of artists as “Los Munequitos de Matanzas” and “Ochareo”. It is almost embarrassing for us, since Los Munequitos have always been, and will always be our idols. And so for once the cliché is true—just to be nominated in the same category is the honor of a lifetime. 

We must of course thank our multi-talented producer, Jesus Diaz, and all the great artists who recorded with us—Lali, El Gato Gatell, Fito Reinoso, Colin Douglas, Genesies Reinoso, Beatriz Godinez, Jesus Gonzalez, Ivan Camblor, and El Rubio, Jason McGuire.

Obviously Seluma and I couldn’t be at the nominating ceremony in La Habana, so we don’t yet have our plaque—As soon as we can get a photo, we’ll share it with you!”

Michael Spiro knows how to surround himself and inspire the world’s best musicians.

Michael Spiro writes, performs, and produces critically acclaimed instructional books and DVDs on percussion, and he launched two ground-breaking educational websites which offer complete instruction on Cuban and Brazilian percussion over the internet: CongaMasterClass.com and SambaMasterClass.com. Michael Spiro continues to be in demand as a guest artist at universities worldwide, and is a frequent presenter at national and statewide conventions of the Percussive Arts Society. 

He regularly performs with the reknowned percussionist Karl Perazzo, Wayne Wallace,

“BÁKINI En el Nuevo Mundo” (produced with Joe Galvin) had an official release date of September 21st, 2017. Previously he participated in these Grammy Nominated projects:

2017 – Michael Spiro and Wayne Wallace, Patois Records

2015 – The Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet, Patois Records

2014 – The Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet, Patois Records

2012 – John Santos and Grupo Folklorico Kindembo, Machete Records

2010 – The Wayne Wallace Jazz Quintet, Patois Records

2008 – John Santos and Grupo Folklorico Kindembo, Machete Records

2003 – Mark Levine and the Latin Tinge, Left Coast Clave Records (producer and artist)

1996 – Changuito/Patato Valdez/Orestes Vilato, Round World Records

1989 – Mark Murphy/Viva Brasil, Muse Records


Jerry Brown leads Oakland and slowly the city changes to make Equality possible – Part 3

Oakland was named the most ethnically and economically diverse city

Oakland is the most diverse city in the country and the world.

Even before the city “hit bottom” Jerry Brown and business leaders stepped up to create a plan to fix the city. After a six year out of public service Brown returned to public life, serving as Mayor of Oakland (1999–2007). It took a lot of work to attract new investments. The police corruption that plagued cities all across California had to be dealt with.

A group of four corrupt police officers called “The Rough Riders” finally were dealt with after outrage grew too much that the city kept settling law suits to sweep the offences under the table. The clashes between the racially white police and the largely ethnic population caused much dissatisfaction and distortions about the way Oakland was perceived. Politico reported in their March/April issue of 2015: “Oakland’s cops, a legal advocate for victims of police abuse said at the time, might just be “the worst department in the country. Officer-involved shootings were frequent, and often fatal.” In continued: “Complaints of beatings, shakedowns and unwarranted arrests were rampant and cost the city dearly. All told, from 2001 to 2011, Oakland paid some $57 million for claims, lawsuits and settlements involving alleged misconduct by the Oakland Police Department—not just the largest sum paid by any municipality in California, but more than double what San Francisco, with roughly twice the population, paid in the same time frame. The police force seemed broken, brutal beyond repair.”

Accusations of corruption in Oakland were rampant in 2005 the FBI investigated Perata. The East Bay Times reported: Records show Perata’s son’s and daughter’s businesses have been paid at least $750,000 since 1999 by political committees under his direct control, even as Nick Perata and his businesses have been involved in real estate rentals and sales with his father. Also, Perata’s consulting business brought in more than $100,000 in 2003, and between $10,000 and $100,000 in each of the four years before that; his bigger clients during those years included his son’s business as well as two belonging to Staples. The case was stopped by Schwarzenegger’s call for a special election.

The citizens were ready for the change. It started to gentrify without pushing out locals. The East Bay Times reports that the Fruitvale district is a great example that this is possible: “Schildt said it’s possible to invest in a community without causing displacement — particularly if it’s public investment or community-driven. Oakland’s Fruitvale Village is held up as a national model. As Scott Morris reports, the mixed-use development near Fruitvale BART improved the socio-economic well-being of residents in the immediate neighborhood and preserved the area’s racial and ethnic diversity.”

Education in Trouble

Even in 2009 SF Gate reported that Schwarzenegger decided to California ranks 47th in per-pupil spending, according to “Quality Counts,” a report issued Tuesday from Education Week, a national newspaper specializing in public schools. It showed that while the national average is $9,963 per pupil, California spends $7,571, according to the report. Vermont spends the most, with $15,139. Utah spends the least, with just $5,964 per pupil.

Around the state, school administrators have begun looking at how many employees they can lay off next year and which programs they can cancel.

Equality is making comeback and business leaders join in to make it happen – Part 2

Oakland went through a period of decline during in the mid 20th century


Then came the 50s, 60s, and 70s which were a very tough time for Oakland. The city became every more dangerous, crime-ridden, and unlivable. First West Oakland was destroyed by the Nimitz Freeway and the Cypress Viaduct. Many homes and businesses were destroyed creating a period of poverty for West Oakland. Then in the 1960 West Oakland suffered from the construction of BART and the Main Post Office Building on 7th Street. Again local businesses suffered, more jobs and entire neighborhoods were replaced.

Oakland become the home of the motorcycle gang the “Hell’s Angels” named after Howard Hughes movie, and eventually grew ever more corrupt and crime ridden. Eventually it became the market place of Fred Mitchell who ran a crime symposium changing Oakland into a hotbed for the sale of Crack Cocaine, a very harmful substance that ruined many people’s lives. Additionally, the crime wave sent a lot of middle class inhabitants packing and many of the people who remained lost business. They eventually were unable to keep buildings, street, school and the city services in good repair. Crime attracted more crime and the lack of policing opened the door for more crime.

By the end of the 70s crime was twice as high in Oakland than it was in San Francisco. Most of the Police Officers were white, frightened and entitled. As a result police brutality created ever more problems. This in turn brought impoverished communities together to forge alliances such as the Black Power Movement to help each other by “policing the police.” They created kindergardens and food pantries for the poor, but grew ever more militaristic. Unfortunately, this turned the city into a gang run town, the Symbionese Liberation Army, the Crips and the Bloods, the People and the Folk, the 35th Street Gang, Norteños, Border Brothers and Sureños.

From the 1980s to 2000 Oakland suffered from a Crack epidemic that is now rivaled by the Opioid Crisis

By 2010 it was estimated that Oakland’s population of gang members had grown to over 10,000 members. The situation of both, the crime level, corruption and problems with the police became untenable.


Even in 2009 SF Gate reported that Schwarzenegger decided to California ranks 47th in per-pupil spending, according to “Quality Counts,” a report issued Tuesday from Education Week, a national newspaper specializing in public schools. It showed that while the national average is $9,963 per pupil, California spends only $7,571 per pupil and three times that much on prisoners. Vermont spends the most, with $15,139. Utah spends the least, with just $5,964 per pupil.

Around the state, school administrators have begun looking at how many employees they can lay off next year and which programs they can cancel. Then citizens, business leaders, charities, and religious groups decided to get involved.

Equality is making a comeback and business leaders are joining in. Your town can succeed as well. Part 1

Oakland was a thriving town about 100 years ago. It went through many phases and now once again is a thriving town.

Oakland might be a poster child for our future.

Oakland had a most impressive long history as a thriving industrial center.

Oakland was first incorporated as a town in 1852. It had always been a popular place for thousands of years before by the Muwekna Ohlone who were part of the original Californians the Miwoks who spent winters near Temescal Creek and Lake Merritt for thousands of years. In 1772 the Spaniards occupied the land in the name of their king. Peralta, a Spanish soldier was deeded 44 thousand acres by the Spanish crown and his deed was confirmed when Mexico declared their independence. The land was divided up by his 4 sons. As much of California this region was covered by Oak trees and this is how it eventually got its name. During the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in the mid 19th century during the gold rush Mexico gave up the land to the US. Ever more and more squatters ignored the land ownership and a team of Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo roving soldiers led by three men from nearby San Francisco established “Contra Costa.”

In 1853 John Coffee “Jack” Hays took up residence while he served as the sheriff in San Francisco. On March 25, 1854, Oakland was once again incorporated as the City of Oakland with Carpentier one of the San Francisco war lords as the Mayor. However he was quite corrupt and was quickly voted out of office and replaced by Charles Campbell as Mayor on March 5, 1855. Thanks to the fact that the several railroads ended up in Oakland it quickly became a major industrial hub. In 1868, the Central Pacific ended at the Port of Oakland. The Long Wharf also served as the terminus for the Transcontinental Railroad and the Southern Pacific, which was localed initially at  16th Street Station located at 16th and Wood.

In 1902 a deep channel was created for large ships and this is how Alameda become an Island separated from the mainland. Due to the earthquake and subsequent fires in San Francisco in 1906 the population doubled. This is when Mayor Frank Kanning Mott launched the “Beautiful City project” establishing the many parks, lakes and oak rimmed boulevards the city enjoys to this day. In 1914 he founded the Oakland Civic Auditorium which cost $1.4 Million dollars. It was used briefly as a hospital during the 1918 flue epidemic. Oakland was one of the most wonderful places to live and jobs were plentiful. Employers included General Motors, Chevrolet, Chrysler, and several other major auto companies.

Motorama “Dream Car” by Chevrolet 1954

The city also housed companies such as Kaiser, Bechtel, Phelan, Dreyer’s, Rocky Road Icecream, Western Union, Del Monte, and too many others to mention here. The high employment rate and associated growth of a strong middle class allowed Oakland to fashion itself into a world class city with the Golden State Theatre, Fox, Blumenfeld, Orpheum, Turner & Dahnken, the Grand Lake and the Paramount among others. By 1949 Oakland had a seating capacity of over 43 thousand theatre goers. Theatres came and went including the Hippodrome, Lurie, Premier and Roosevelt. Thanks to the start of commercial aviation Amelia Earhart , the Alameda Navel Air Station, and the 1930’s Howard Hughes’ movie the “Hell’s Angels” Oakland was one of the romanticized the epicenter of the West Coast.

Rolando Morales May 2019 Calendar

Rolando Morales is joined by Estaire Godinez at Havana's in Walnut Creek on May 31st, 2019
Mother's Day Sunday, May 12th, with Rolando Morales in Danville
Mother’s Day Sunday, May 12th, with Rolando Morales in Danville

April 30, 2019

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo, mi Gente!

On Sunday, Mexico and much of the U.S. celebrates Cinco de Mayo, when in 1862 some 4,000 Mexican soldiers obliterated a highly experienced French Army and traitorous Mexican forces of 8,000 in Puebla, just 100 miles east of Mexico City. 

Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew, Emperor Napoleon III, had embarked upon a very aggressive foreign policy claiming territories in Algeria, Indochina, Lebanon and more with an army that had not been defeated in 50 years, including the Crimean War.  He detested the United States and had designs on ruling over a new empire in neighboring Mexico.  The French feared no one, including the U.S. which was embroiled in its own Civil War.  (The French were also positioning themselves to provide arms to the Confederate Rebels.)   And so with the finest modern equipment and up to date fashion (they were French after all), they invaded Mexico.    

They got more than they bargained for in Puebla.  Instead of being showered with flowers by the conservative clerical town, they were out-maneuvered by General Porfirio Diaz’ men.  The French shot off half their ammunition in less than two hours.  The battles ended with much of the French cavalry killed or wounded, chased on horseback through rain and mud, and with many dodging stampeding cattle and Indians armed only with machetes.

The French tried again over a year later.  This time, the Union forces were rushed to the border after their victory over the Confederates to assist the Mexicanos in expelling the French.  Perhaps this is one reason why thousands of Mexicanos crossed the border after Pearl Harbor to join the U.S. armed forces.  And why so many again flooded American consulates with phone calls during the Persian Gulf War trying to enlist to fight for America.

This little history lesson is something to think about when we witness the thousands of Latin American families risking their lives today to seek help in our country, only to confront oppressive executive orders that separate their family members and penalize them at their most dire time of need.  The ideals of freedom, liberty and upholding the fundamental values of human dignity should be celebrated in this country and shared by us all.  Ajua!

Something tells me not many people will be thinking about this during my big Cinco de Mayo weekend of double-header gigs.  And that’s fine!  We’re out to have fun!  

I haven’t played at Maria, Maria in over 4 months, but I’ll be there at Maria, Maria in Danville on Saturday May 4 from 12-3pm, where I’ll be kicking off the festivities out on the patio for revelers enjoying tequila, margaritas, comida Mexicana and my tailored repertoire.  And I follow that the same night with an appearance at the Walnut Creek Marriott from 6-9pm.  Details below.

Then on Cinco de Mayo, Sunday May 5th, I continue at Maria, Maria in Danville on the patio again from Noon to 3pm.  Lot’s of fun to be had there!  And the same night, I shoot across the pond to the Tavern on 4th in San Rafael, the newly renovated and shiny new watering hole and live music venue for some Latin sounds, drinks and dancing.  I played there last year for this event and they invited me back, so all you North Bay fans, come out and join me!  Details below. 

There’s much more below, including my classic Trio debuting on Friday May 17 at Havana’s in Walnut Creek!  This will be special.  Danilo Paíz on Latin percussion and voice; David Belove on bass; and Yours Truly on guitar, guitar synth and vocals.  This will be the first time we’re playing publicly in the East Bay in many years, so don’t miss it!

There’s plenty more in your new calendar, including a Mother’s Day appearance, so check it out and make your reservations.  

Ciao and see you at the show!



Rolando Morales on Saturday, May 11, at the Marriott in Walnut Creek
Rolando Morales on Saturday, May 11, at the Marriott in Walnut Creek

Friday May 3, Barone’s Restaurant, 475 St. John St., Pleasanton CA, approx 7:30-10:30pm.  Rolando returns to one of Pleasanton’s premiere dining establishments.  Enjoy exquisite meals and service, libations and Rolando’s vast repertoire in the lively Cocktail Lounge.   See www.baronespleasanton.com, (925) 426-0987.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Maria Maria in Danville with Rolando Morales

Saturday May 4, Maria, Maria Cantina Cinco de Mayo Event, 710 Camino Ramon Road, Danville CA, 12-3pm.  Santana’s Danville restaurant kicks off their big Cinco de Mayo Weekend Party featuring live music through the weekend.  After 4 months away, Rolando kicks it off on the Patio on solo guitar and voice from 12-3pm, while you enjoy your cervezas, margaritas and comida Mexicana.  Then dance through the night to a fun party band indoors while the food and libations flow.   (925) 820-2366,  www.mariamariarestaurants.com.

Saturday May 4, Walnut Creek Marriott, Lobby Lounge & Bar, 2355 North Main Street, Walnut Creek, 6-9pm.  Rolando returns to this redesigned East Bay hotel and gathering spot in the newly renovated lounge in the shadow of Mount Diablo, where you can enjoy your favorite cocktail, fine wines and a lovely full menu.  Enjoy a sophisticated environment with an international clientele and great acoustics, perfect for Rolando’s vast repertoire on solo guitar and voice and your wonderful night out.  Reservations: (925) 934-2000, https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/oakwc-walnut-creek-marriott/.

Sunday May 5, Maria, Maria Cantina Cinco de Mayo Event, 710 Camino Ramon Road, Danville CA, 12-3pm.  Santana’s Danville restaurant wraps up their big Cinco de Mayo Weekend Party featuring live music through the weekend.  Rolando kicks it off on the Patio on solo guitar and voice from 12-3pm, while you enjoy your cervezas, margaritas and comida Mexicana.    (925) 820-2366,  www.mariamariarestaurants.com.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Maria Maria in Danville with Rolando Morales

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at The Tavern on Fourth with Rolando Morales

Sunday May 5, The Tavern on Fourth, 711 4th Street, San Rafael, 7-9:30pm.  After last year’s hit Cinco de Mayo debut at this newly renovated North Bay bar, Rolando was invited back to to bring some Latin sabor to the strip in San Rafael.  Craft and classic cocktails, 18 Nor Cal draught beers and more.  This is a special invite to you North Bay friends: Let’s pack the place!  (415) 454-4044,  www.thetavernonfourth.com.  

Saturday May 11, Walnut Creek Marriott, Lobby Lounge & Bar, 2355 North Main Street, Walnut Creek, 6-9pm.  Rolando returns to this newly renovated lounge in the shadow of Mount Diablo, where you can enjoy your favorite cocktail, fine wines and a lovely full menu.  Enjoy a sophisticated environment with an international clientele and great acoustics, perfect for Rolando’s vast repertoire on solo guitar and voice and your great night out.  Reservations: (925) 934-2000, https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/oakwc-walnut-creek-marriott/.

David Belove will join up with Rolando Morales and Danilo Paiz, May 17 2019

Sunday May 12, Maria, Maria Cantina Mother’s Day Brunch, 710 Camino Ramon Road, Danville CA, 12-3pm.  Give your mom a special treat and bring her to Santana’s Danville restaurant.  Brunch, mimosas and Rolando’s broad repertoire out on the Patio on solo guitar and voice.  Speaking of roses, bring her here and you’ll be smelling like one.  Be sure to make reservations!  (925) 820-2366,  www.mariamariarestaurants.com

David Belove will join up with Rolando Morales and Danilo Paiz, May 17 2019

Friday May 17, Havana Cuban Cuisine, 1516 Bonanza St., Walnut Creek, approx 9-11:30pm. The Rolando Morales Trio finally comes to the East Bay!  The classic version of this exciting trio makes its debut at this fine Cuban restaurant and live music venue.  Tonight will feature for the first time in years, the powerful Latin percussionist-vocalist from Nicaragua who played with Ruben Blades and Dizzy Gillespie, Danilo Paíz; the rock-solid bassist who played with Pete Escovedo and Tito Puente, the great David Belove; and on guitar, guitar synth and voice, Rolando Morales.  This is a rare treat, first time publicly in the East Bay.  You won’t believe what just three guys can create!  Reserve early.  It’ll fill up.   www.havanarestaurant.net,   (925) 939-4555.

Friday May 31, Havana Cuban Cuisine, 1516 Bonanza St., Walnut Creek, approx 9-11:30pm. Rolando returns for this special series of duet engagements at this fine Cuban restaurant and live music venue.  Tonight will feature the charismatic Latin percussionist-vocalist who played with George Benson and Prince, the entertaining Estaire Godinez; and on guitar, vocals and his pedal board of magic, Rolando Morales.  Together they create a unique musical alchemy, so don’t miss it!   www.havanarestaurant.net,   (925) 939-4555.


If you would like to order a CD, read on.  If you’d like to order our CD “Rolando Y Qué?!”, you can pick it up at my website, the gigs or by mail.  They’re $15.00 at the gigs, or $17.00 by mail to cover postage and handling. TO ORDER THE NEWEST CD “ROLANDO, Y QUÉ?!” by mail: Send a check or money order payable to Rolando Morales for $17.00 for the CD and postage to Rolando Morales, 9028 Burr Street, Oakland, CA 94605. and I’ll send it to you.  Let me know if you’d like .it signed.

TO ORDER THE ORIGINAL “PASSPORT: 10th ANNIVERSARY EDITION” CD by mail, send $17.00 to the same address as above. Be sure to include your return address.


All other shows are private. Why not hire Rolando for your own private event? He’s available for corporate shows, weddings, parties, concerts and festivals. The Rolando Morales Group is available as sextet, quintet, quartet, trio and duo depending on your entertainment needs and budget.

This email was sent to you for Rolando Morales: RMG, 9028 Burr Street, Oakland, CA 94605

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100 Year Celebration of the ACLU – now more important than ever.

Join Jonah Melvon featuring Adesha on Saturday March 30 to celebrate the 100 Year ACLU anniversary at Jack London Square at 3:30pm

“Jonah Melvon featuring Adesha”

March 28, 2019

Join us to celebrate Year 100 of the ACLU at Jack London Square this Saturday, March 30, 2019, at 3:30pm with a concert by Jonah Melvon featuring Adesha

March 29, 2019, Jack London Square, Oakland, CA, at 3:30 pm Jonah Melvon featuring Adesha will perform to celebrate the ACLU 100 Years celebration, which will go on the entire weekend. See entire line up here.

This weekend’s Bay Area Celebration is part of a national tour. https://www.aclu100.org/aclu-100-experience/ which was started at SXSW. With celebrations in Phoenix, and Los Angeles. The key focus this year is to encourage everyone to join the effort to remind US citizens and voters that “Voting is a Right, not Privilege.” The Gerry Mandering and Voter Suppression have affected the countries leadership in a way that the majority of the voters are not heard:

Voting rights have come under attack across the country.  States have passed laws that have made it harder for people of color, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities to cast a ballot. Experience an interactive exhibit about the many barriers erected throughout American history to prevent people from voting.

Learn how you can help ensure that everyone has the ability to exercise their right to vote.

There are many other ways to give. You may designate your support for the ACLU of Northern California (not tax-deductible) or the ACLU Foundation of Northern California (tax-deductible):

  • Honor a friend’s birthday, wedding, or graduation with a special gift
  • Celebrate the life of a loved one with a memorial gift
  • Make a gift of stock
  • Leave a legacy. Make a planned gift to keep the ACLU strong after your lifetime.

If you are interested in making a gift to support LGB T rights by giving a gift to the FrontLine Fund, please contact us. For assistance, please contact the Development Department at giving@aclunc.org or (415) 621-2493.

Networks with Bay Area and California Non-Profits

We are honored to collaborate with these non profits that make positive changes happen:

  • Ella Baker Center for HumanRights
  • Heyday Books Initiate
  • Justice League of Women Voters
  • BOSS: helping the homeless, poor, and disabled people achieve health and self-sufficiency
  • ACILEP network for immigrant rights
  • Youth Speaks
  • Oakland Public Library
  • Secure Justice
  • Design Action
  • Planting Justice
  • ARC: The Anti Recidivism Coalition
  • TGI Justice Project for transgender freedom and survival
  • ACCESS Women’s Health Justice

It takes a village to raise a child and a community to shape and strengthen a city. The Oakland, CA is known to have a population of which 38% hold secondary degrees. This is largely due to the effective education successes, strong family support, and a community that believes that everyone is created equally and should be treated as such under the law. Naturally, we need to reinforce these values on a daily basis to continue our history of civil rights successes.

Our History

The ACLU-NC was alone in standing with Fred Korematsu and against the forced detention of Japanese-Americans during WWII, in a case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. We dared to oppose obscenity laws in the prim 1950s, defending Lawrence Ferlinghetti for selling Howl, the groundbreaking book of poetry, in his San Francisco City Lights bookstore. In the years after 9/11, the ACLU pushed back on a wave of bigotry and fear mongering to protect the civil rights of Muslims and people of Middle Eastern and South Asian decent. In recent years, as discrimination has shifted to target Latinos and others perceived as “foreign,” the ACLU has stamped out anti-immigrant laws around the country and challenged unlawful policing in immigrant communities in California. We may be best known for litigation, but through our history the ACLU-NC has been powered by the passion of our activists. The organization was forged through the courage of trade workers and labor organizers in the 1930s. We aided the growing civil rights movements of the 1960s, providing legal protection to campaigns by African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans, as well as anti-war protestors and LGBT activists. Over the decades, battles have been fought and won by ACLU activists in fifteen chapters across Northern California and student groups on California’s university campuses, from the activists who launched the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley in 1964 to the UC Davis students who endured pepper spray while exercising their free speech rights in 2011.

The ACLU of Northern California is one of the largest ACLU affiliates in the nation with nearly 170,000 members. We have a critical role to play. We must use our decades of experience in impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and fearless organizing to fight these un-American policies and protect our most cherished rights and freedoms. We are the resistance. Join us.

Did you know that prisoners get paid only $1.45 per day to put their life on the one fighting fires?
Maybe they are in jail because they could not afford their bail, like wealthy citizens. Equity for all!

About us and how to get in touch for further conversations, interviews, etc.:

The ACLU of Northern California is an enduring guardian of justice, fairness, equality, and freedom, working to protect and advance civil liberties for all Californians. To learn more about the ACLU in Northern California please contact Carmen King at 415.621.2493 | cking@aclunc.org

To learn more about Jonah Melvon and the Rainwater Project, please visit his website at https://www.jonahmelvon.com/

See you at the show! To set up an appointment or for request for additional materials with the label, college, get photos, video links, or more please text Edie Okamoto, Media Relations, 
at 510-693-0166 or facebook or linked in

You may also mail a check to our office at:

ACLU Foundation of Northern California
Attn: Development Department
39 Drumm Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

About the Rainwater Project

You can hear the music on Spotify or purchase them on Amazon.

Please join our list of sponsors who like you believe that education is the answer to a higher standard of living for all.

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