POLICY AND PUBLIC INTEREST
Peter Duncan 11, Nov 6 mins
6 mins
The Ritz Herald
U.S. Representative for Illinois's 1st congressional district Bobby Lee Rush
The following is a letter from U.S. Congressman Bobby Rush supporting the breakup of Comcast:

Mr. Brian Roberts. Chief Executive Officer. Comcast Corporation. 1701 John F. Kennedy Boulevard Philadelphia, PA 19103-2838.

Dear Mr. Roberts:

I am dismayed that Comcast is attempting to undo the United States’ oldest civil rights statute the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (hereafter, the Act) and, specifically, Section 1 (as updated at 42 U.S.C. *1981) — which has been the bedrock civil rights law for more than 150 years, by asserting that a person who was denied the right to a contract must prove that race was “but for” the cause of such denial, an impossible standard to meet. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 guarantees all persons, regardless of race, an equal right “to make and enforce contracts.” In pursuing this case to the Supreme Court of the United States (hereafter, Supreme Court), Comcast is putting corporate profits ahead of public interest, and is employing a scorched earth policy to defend a corporate business decision.

It is well established in cannons of law that the intent of the authors of the Act was to protect freed slaves from the actions of those determined to harm them. Sadly, some 150 years later there remain strong elements of oppression committed to excluding African-Americans from the bounty of the U.S. economy. By almost every measure, the need to fight against active discrimination is obvious and ongoing.

As I write this letter, I am moved by the fact that Senator Lyman Trumbull, from my home state of Illinois, was the lead sponsor of this Act. At a time when it was desperately needed, he stepped forward and provided aid to the oppressed. As he eloquently and succinctly stated, “Congress is bound to see that freedom…

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Boeing Statement On Lion Air Flight 610 Investigation Final Report
The Ritz Herald

Boeing (NYSE: BA) issued the following statement regarding the release today of the final investigation report of Lion Air Flight 610 by Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT):

“On behalf of everyone at Boeing, I want to convey our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of those who…

Three In Five U.S. Employees Have Experienced Or Witnessed Discrimination Based On Age, Race, Gender Or LGBTQ Identity At Work
The Ritz Herald

Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job and recruiting sites, today released its 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Study in the U.S., UK, France, and Germany. As part of the study, a new Glassdoor survey1, conducted online by The Harris Poll among over 1,100 U.S. employees,…

Georgia Health Care Task Force Looks at Saving More Than a Billion Dollars
The Ritz Herald

Strongside Solutions, a Georgia-based healthcare cost management consulting firm, was honored to present to Lt. Geoff Governor Duncan’s Task Force on Healthcare Access and Cost on Wednesday.

Lt. Governor Duncan formed the Task Force to pinpoint improvements that can be made to tackle the cost and access burdens to healthcare…

Breast Cancer Activists Arrested In Havana Hours Before Awareness Event
The Ritz Herald

Since last Friday, October 4, in Havana, with the support of ADN Cuba and other civil society actors, a discussion of awareness for the month of the Fight against Breast Cancer began. Under the slogan ‘Don’t let fear stop you. Wake up your courage.’

Both male and female independent activists…

Maryland, America Lose a Moral Leader with Death of Elijah E. Cummings (1951-2019)
The Ritz Herald

U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, an orator of booming voice, a lawmaker of impeccable integrity and a visionary of the potential for all Americans, leaves with his passing a legacy of moral leadership.

Mr. Cummings, son of a sharecropper, served as chairman of the powerful House Committee on Oversight…

2 mins
CREDIT: Pablo Martinez Monsivais
The Ritz Herald
The poll of 600 registered voters shows Hispanics overall have an unfavorable opinion of Trump, with 48 percent disapproving of his job performance

U.S. President Donald Trump’s approval ratings are underwater among Hispanics in Florida, where he trails by large margins in head-to-head matchups with top Democratic presidential contenders, according to a statewide survey of voters conducted by the Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI) in Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business.

The poll of 600 registered voters shows Hispanics overall have an unfavorable opinion of Trump, with 48 percent disapproving of his job performance, while 31 percent approve, and 22 percent are undecided. Trump’s approval is underwater with Puerto Ricans at 64 percent disapproval and 19 percent approval. However, those from Mexico are split, with 43 percent disapproval and 38 percent approval. Cubans provided a bright spot for Trump, with 47 percent approval and 28 percent disapproval.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis fared well with Hispanics, who gave him 36 percent approval for the job he is doing, with 23 percent disapproval and 34 percent undecided.

In a hypothetical Republican primary, 77 percent would vote for Trump, 12 percent for former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, 7 percent for former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and 5 percent for former South Carolina Gov. and…

9 mins
Casey Otto Haubelt greets the world after he was delivered by cesarean section last June at the Texas Children’s Hospital Pavilion for Women in Houston. Credit: Lynsey Addario
The Ritz Herald
U.S. Preterm birth rate rises for 4th year in a row, rates worsening in 30 states. New expanded report examines state of maternal and infant health in states and cities across the country; outlines actions needed to improve health outcomes for moms and babies

March of Dimes, the nation’s leader in the fight for the health of all moms and babies, issued the 2019 March of Dimes Report Card that for the first time reveals the nation’s current state of maternal and infant health. This new Report Card provides a more comprehensive view of the health of moms and babies—as their health is deeply intertwined—across the country, for major cities, each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. overall.

The Report Card shows that for the fourth year in a row, more babies in the U.S. (approximately one in 10) were born too soon. With the rate of preterm birth increasing from 9.63 percent in 2015 to 10.02 percent in 2018, the nation once again earned a “C” grade. Besides the increasing rates of preterm birth, each year, more than 22,000 babies die in the U.S. before their first birthday—that is two babies every hour. The rates of maternal death and severe pregnancy complications also are unacceptably high. The U.S. is among the most dangerous developed nations in which to give birth.

“Every American should be alarmed about the state of maternal and infant health in this country…

Governor Gavin Newsom Signs Bipartisan Bill To Extend Funding For Emergency Air Medical Services
The Ritz Herald

Governor Gavin Newsom has signed legislation that ensures Californians are not left without emergency air medical services when a state funding source sunsets in December. The Governor’s action will fund air ambulances by an additional six months, giving the Legislature and his office more time to work on a…

Former Georgia House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams to deliver speech on voter suppression at National Press Club Headliners Luncheon Nov. 15
The Ritz Herald

Former Georgia House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams will deliver a major speech on voter suppression one year after her narrow defeat in Georgia’s gubernatorial race, at a National Press Club Headliners Luncheon on Friday, November 15.

In the immediate aftermath of her hotly contested defeat to Republican (and Georgia’s then-secretary…

Members of Congress, Corporate Executives and Leaders in Higher Ed Are Coming Together to Address Faulty Pipelines in Promoting Women of Color to the C-Suite
The Ritz Herald

The Civic Engagement Leadership Institute for Everyone (CELIE) will convene a one-day event named, Leaky Pipes: Influencer Solutions Forum, where leaders from Fortune 500 companies, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the federal government and the U.S. Congress will meet to identify barriers and broker solutions to recruiting, retaining and…

Statement from Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D., on consumer warning to stop using THC vaping products amid ongoing investigation into lung illnesses
The Ritz Herald

Over the past several weeks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been working tirelessly along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal, state and local partners to investigate the distressing incidents of severe lung injuries and deaths associated with the use of…

National Voter Registration Day Shatters Record for “Off-Year” with an Estimated 400,000 Voters Registered
The Ritz Herald

This year’s National Voter Registration Day (September 24) shattered records with an estimated 400,000 citizens registering for the first time or updating their voter registration. This unprecedented number is more than THREE TIMES the previous record set for an “off-year” focused primarily on local elections and far outpaced expectations.

Last…

3 mins
The Ritz Herald
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (“Punchbowl” Crater)
The public is invited and encouraged to attend all these upcoming events
By / Associate Writer

Wreaths Across America (WAA) and the Governor of Hawaii are pleased to announce the expansion of the WAA mission to Hawaii in honor of those that served and sacrificed in the Pacific. WAA will present three Ceremonial Wreath placements in honor of the 75th anniversary of the WWII Pacific Landings.

WAA’s mission of REMEMBER-HONOR-TEACH extends to our veterans, military and their families for all conflicts. As such, the Korean-Vietnam Memorial at the State Capitol in Honolulu was chosen as the site for WAA’s Ceremony to be held on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, at 11 am HST. Following the Capitol Ceremony, the WAA-Texas volunteer team will place another ceremonial wreath at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (“Punchbowl” Crater) at 2 pm HST. Just as WAA was selected to present a Ceremonial Wreath as part of the 75th anniversary at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA (6Jun19), we were invited to present one for the Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration Ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 7, beginning at 7:45 am HST.

This year (2019) is the 75th anniversary of key World War II battles. Last December, WAA placed live balsam fir veterans’ wreaths on all of the 9,387 headstones at Normandy American Cemetery in France in memory of D-Day (6Jun1944). This November 30th, WAA will place wreaths on all of the 5,073 veteran graves at American Cemetery in Luxembourg, in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge (16Dec1944). On December 1st, at the Netherlands America Cemetery and Memorial, 8,291 of the veterans resting…

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New Center for State and Local Government Excellence Research Examines Variable Arrangements for Public Pension Plans
The Ritz Herald

A new report from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) and AARP provides policymakers and stakeholders with an overview of the use of variable benefit and contribution arrangements in public pension plans. Under variable benefit and contribution arrangements,…

Young Activists Call for Presidential Candidates to Address Health & Economic Impacts of Alzheimer’s Disease
The Ritz Herald

Just in time for World Alzheimer’s Day, a group of young activists in their 20’s have created a nationwide call to action for presidential candidates to take action on Alzheimer’s disease.

Spearheaded by The Youth Movement Against Alzheimer’s (YMAA), a nonprofit with high school and college…

FDA Issues Proposed Rule For Premarket Tobacco Product Applications As Part Of Commitment To Continuing Strong Oversight Of E-cigarettes And Other Tobacco Products
The Ritz Herald

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a proposed rule to set forth requirements related to the content, format and FDA’s review and communications procedures for premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs) as part of the agency’s continued commitment to its oversight of e-cigarettes…

2 mins
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, talks with Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., outside of the Senate chamber. Credit: Tom Williams/Roll Call
The Ritz Herald
For more than five decades, the U.S. Conference of Mayors has advocated for policies to combat gun violence

Today, on behalf of the nation’s mayors and the police chiefs of major cities across America, the Presidents of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Major Cities Chiefs Association sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) calling on them to consider needed legislation that would establish a stronger system of background checks covering all firearms purchases.

“Our communities cannot afford to wait any longer for the federal government to address the epidemic of gun violence. We know that bipartisan, sensible gun safety legislation will make our cities safer without compromising gun owners’ rights. That is why we are calling upon Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer to consider legislation that would ensure all firearms purchases go through our background check system,” said U.S. Conference of Mayors President Bryan Barnett, Mayor of Rochester Hills (MI).

“Police chiefs and mayors are on the frontlines of communities affected by gun violence, and we know that our communities can’t wait any longer for action. Americans overwhelmingly support commonsense background check legislation that will reduce gun violence and the slaughter of innocent people. The time to act is now, and the nation’s police chiefs and mayors…

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U.S. Representative Josh Harder Announces Bipartisan Bill to Improve Telehealth Access for Central Valley

Rüthers / Oct 25
Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) announced that he will introduce the Specialty Treatment Access and Referrals (STAR) Act to provide support for the creation of new telehealth infrastructure. The bill will
West Health Institute Supports House Speaker Pelosi’s Drug Pricing Plan
The Ritz Herald

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today released a plan to allow government negotiation of prescription drugs that account for the greatest total cost to Medicare and the entire U.S. health system and that lack competition. The following is a statement from Shelley Lyford, president and…

Wounded Warrior Project Announces Renewed Support for The Veterans of Foreign Wars
The Ritz Herald

Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) renewed its support of The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), an organization that fosters camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts, assists with securing benefits, empowers veterans to have a smoother transition to civilian life, and advocates on behalf of…

U.S. Obesity Rates at Historic Highs Nine States Reach Adult Obesity Rates Above 35 Percent
The Ritz Herald

Nine U.S. states had adult obesity rates above 35 percent in 2018, up from seven states at that level in 2017, an historic level of obesity in the U.S., according to the 16th annual State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America report released today by the