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Note to Legislators: We Can’t Criminalize Our Way Out of Social Issues – WATCH Virtual Town Hall




*Neighborhood Forward convened a distinguished panel of respected faith-based and professional African-Americans on Thursday, July 30, to discuss the unintended consequences of a proposed menthol ban making its way through the California legislature.

Many within the African-American community have voiced concern over Senate Bill 793 and its likelihood to increase racial profiling by law enforcement, based on statistics that suggest menthol cigarettes are overwhelmingly preferred by African Americans who chose to smoke.

Some California legislators, who have subscribed to paternalistic attitudes and views towards communities of color have supported Senate Bill 793 under the guise of “protecting the health of vulnerable African-Americans”.  If this were truly an issue of American’s “health” they would seek a ban on all forms of cigarettes, not those preferred in the African-American community, as well as seek the advice of faith, civil rights, black law enforcement, and the social justice community.

“The road to hell is paid in good intentions,” said Jody Armour, the highly respected Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at the University of Southern California.  “We can’t criminalize our way out of social problems.”

Armour pondered “what lessons have we learned from the last 30 years” as we have evolved from Jim Crow to mass incarceration which has become the vanguard of civil rights issues.

Armour further discussed the court’s interpretation of “pre-text stops” being constitutional, which ultimately gives law enforcement the ability to stop a motorist for a simple infraction as a non-working taillight.  This proposed ban would also fit the criteria of “pre-text” stops for simply possessing a cigarette.

neighborhood forwardRetired NYPD Lt. Corey Pegues echoed that sentiment stating that over 50% of the cigarettes on the streets of New York are coming from an “underground economy” as a means to survival.

Citing Eric Garner as an example of an unintended consequence of a “pre-text” encounter gone bad.

Garner was in possession of single cigarettes, commonly identified as “loosies” which initiated his interaction with law enforcement officers who subsequently killed him with an illegal chokehold.

Pegues concluded many African-American’s have been jailed over possession of marijuana which is now becoming legalized, in many states, showing the perception of its use was wrong.

“How does our youth have a right to smoke marijuana when Big Mama can’t have her menthol?” asked Pegues.

Civil rights leaders state that although they aren’t advocates of smoking they are advocates of preserving our right to choose.

“Don’t deny one group the right to smoke while allowing another group their right to choose,” said Pastor William Smart President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.  “Hookah is being carved out of SB 793 which against gives preferential treatment to one race over another which is why SCLC is in this fight.”

The panel discussion was led by former U.S. Congressman member Kendrick Meeks and included Pastor KW Tullos, President of the Black Ministers Conference, Joseph Paul, City of Refuge, Roz Renfro, Vice-President of L.A. Black Pride and Dr. Amos Brown, who has marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who are all in agreement that we know what’s best for us and don’t need legislation to tell us we can’t smoke our preferred method of tobacco in order to invite rogue officers into our personal space with the sole intention of filling prisons with African-Americans.

Neighborhood FORWARD is a movement built by concerned citizens, faith leaders, civil rights activists, elected officials, business partners, and non-profit organizations throughout the country.






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5 Moving Hacks for a Faster, Easier, and Less Stressful Move



Moving - packing boxes

Moving - packing boxes

*Do you know how it is to carry boxes of books and endless suitcases of belongings during the move?

If you do, then you probably did not know that summer shoes are more convenient to transport in wine boxes, and books — in a suitcase on wheels.

We have collected life hacks of people who know exactly how to pack things correctly. Their advice will make the process of moving quickly and even enjoyable.

  • How to pack boxes right

On each box, you have to indicate not only the name of the room but also the content of the box itself. Then you don’t have to open it to understand what is inside. You can use a different color for each room — it will be even more convenient to sort them out. Children will probably want to disassemble their boxes themselves. Photos on the surface will help them find their favorite toys faster. To make searching even easier, store toys in transparent containers. If you don’t have enough time to arrange it yourself, use the moving services Spokane or the alternatives to help you with this task.

  • Put all the documents in a separate folder

Losing your documents will be especially unpleasant. Put them in a separate folder to keep safe. Put the folder in your personal bag — not a travel bag, but the one that you carry with you all the time.

  • How to pack accessories

Small things are often lost when moving. In order not to accidentally lose your favorite jewelry, tape them to the outside of the box. In this way, they will not be lost, and it will be very easy for you to find them. Another easy way to avoid losing jewelry during transportation is to pack them in a bushing in one of the boxes, so your accessories will be better protected.

  • Use cotton pads to protect cosmetics

Cosmetics may be spoiled during transportation. Cotton pads will help to avoid this. Just make sure that the box with cosmetics is tightly closed, and for this, choose pads that are not too large.

  • Put the furniture fittings in signed bags

If you dismantle furniture for transportation, small bags will help you not to lose the necessary parts from it. To prevent the bags from getting lost, you can stick them to the bigger parts of furniture with tape.

Moving - couple hi-5

In Conclusion

We hope these tips will help you move to a new place faster and not forget anything in the old one. What are you doing to make your move easier, faster, and not stressful? Share your own tips with us in the comments.

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Civil Rights

Ben Carson Says Protesters are Being ‘Manipulated’ to Create Chaos (Video)



ben carson

HUD Sec. Dr. Ben Carson at the 2020 Value Voters Summit in Washington D.C. (Sept. 24, 2020)

*There’s been a Ben Carson sighting.

After being off the radar since his RNC speech, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development popped up Thursday evening at the Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C. trying to argue that race is being manipulated this election cycle in order to create chaos and divide Americans.

“In this election season, everything is race. And, obviously, it’s being manipulated along those lines,” he said during an interview with Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins. “Things have changed so incredibly dramatically in this country, but in order to create the kind of chaos that’s necessary to make people want a change, you divide them, you divide them in every way you possibly can: by race, by gender, by age, by income.”

Dr. Carson also said that as a black child growing up in Detroit in the 1950s and 60s, he saw racism “that would curl your hair.”

“You don’t see that kind of stuff anymore,” the retired pediatric neurosurgeon said. “We’ve made so much progress, it’s absolutely astonishing.”

Dr. Carson also appeared to suggest that protesters are beholden to government as opposed to democracy. He said, “Right now we’re looking at people clashing who believe in a system that is of, for, and by the people, and people who believe in a system that is of, for, and by the government. Those are two very different things.”

Watch below, or click here to view on Twitter:

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Automotive’s Review: Mazda’s CX-30



(Photo Credit: CX-30)

Highlight: The CX-30 is approximated $1,300 more than Mazda’s CX-3.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $31,670 (Base Model: $23,000)

Seating Capacity: 4

Standard Safety Features: airbags; side airbags; ABS; hill launch assist; traction control system; stability control; automatic on/off headlights; rain sensing wipers; a rearview camera; a lane keep assist system; a lane departure warning system; a tire pressure monitoring system; sunvisor extensions; a smart city brake support system; and a driver fatigue monitor system

Standard Equipment (Base Model): 16-inch wheels; front wheel drive; an electronic parking brake; dual power exterior mirrors; a manual a/c; center console armrest with covered storage compartment; cloth seats; manual adjusted front seats; a push button ignition starter system; a keyless remote system with a panic button; and an 8-inch infotainment screen

Standard Equipment (Premium Package Model): 18-inch wheels; paddle shifters connected with the steering wheel; electric assist power steering; front/rear signature LED illuminated headlights; a power liftgate; roof rails; a dual zone ventilation system; rear ventilation vents; leather seats; heated front seats; power driver’s seat with a memory control feature; overhead console with sunglass holder; vanity mirror illumination; rear armrest with cupholders; a 12-speaker Bose AM/FM audio system; SiriusXM; Andorid/Apple CarPlay; a 9-inch infotainment system with Pandora ready radio integration; a drive attention alert system; a radar activated cruise control system; a blindspot monitoring system with a rear traffic cross alert system; a heads up display (HUD) system; and an active front lighting system  

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: paint color; frameless auto dimming mirror; navigation system; active driving display system; an adaptive front lighting system; leather seats; front/rear LED signature illumination; power moonroof; paddle shifters; and power rear liftgate roof rails.

Mazda CX30 (Photo Credit:

Other Trim Levels:



Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: an 8-speaker AM/FM/HD radio

Apple CarPlay/Android: Available

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder/186-hp (horsepower)

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage (Non AWD): 25-city/33-hwy

What’s New: For the 2020 model yearthe CX-30 compact crossover is a new addition to the Mazda portfolio.

To continue reading, click here.

(Photo Credit:

About The Reviewer:  Jeff Fortson is the host of Auto Trends with, the only syndicated multicultural automotive radio show on the airwaves. The 30-minute weekly show, which airs on SiriusXM 141 and a number of FM radio dials, includes one-on-one conversations with many of today’s pioneers and influencers. The engaging show, which goes beyond traditional car talk, can be heard via all mobile and stationary infotainment devices, clicking here.

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