North Miami City Councilman Scott Galvin is known for his unique approach to serving his constituents.
An early adopter of email newsletters and blogging to keep people that live in his city informed, Galvin has recently started producing web videos for the same purpose.
Galvin is not afraid to take a stand on issues that are a bit bigger than North Miami, a diverse northern Miami suburb with nearly 60,000 residents.
So he decided to make fun of Republican Presidential front-runner Donald Trump to raise money for the AIDS walk.
Galvin dressed as “The Donald” and walked around the event carrying fake money with Trump’s face on it.
“I’ve been wearing silly costumes in the Walk since 2009, when I was a leprechaun,” Galvin said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “I always try to do something unique, as it’s a big point in my fundraising efforts. This year, I truly didn’t have an original idea. And then I saw a recent Republican debate. My costume immediately became clear.”
Galvin has been involved with AIDS walks for years and has been walking in them since 2007.
While most people at the walk understand that Galvin was making fun of Trump and his arrogant manor (he was also saying one-lines as he walked around like “I’m building a wall around YOUR house”), some people didn’t get the joke.
“A few were unsure, however, and wondered if I was supporting Trump,” Galvin said. “A few wouldn’t even take my fake money and just gave me disgusted looks.”
While it was all in good fun, Galvin said that he really does believe that Trump poses a threat to the LGBT community.
“An affront to any minority community is an affront to us all,” Galvin said. “If we sit silently as Trump insults Mexicans and Muslims, who will be around to defend us when it is our turn?”
Galvin’s efforts seemed to have paid off as he was able to raise around $8,000 for the walk.
“Trump’s campaign is as much a hot mess as I was walking in the sun wearing a clown wig and orange make up,” Galvin said. “At least I was able to turn his idiocy into a few laughs for a good cause.”
Cover Photo Credit: Scott Galvin/ Facebook
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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By John Massey
The highlight of the party’s platform is the desire to hold a referendum on Hong Kong’s autonomy prior to 2047. It is a revolutionary desire in the eyes of the Chinese government and many pro Chinese political figures in Hong Kong.
When RISE NEWS learned about the creation of Demosistō, we reached out to them in order to share their story.
After all, they are some of the most politically influential millennials that the world has seen.
She is also a second year student at Hong Kong Baptist University, studying politics.
Chow first became involved in Hong Kong politics in 2012, after being exposed to Scholarism via Facebook.
The group was founded in opposition to the highly controversial Moral and National Education Curriculum, which was claimed by opponents to be pro Communist Party of China (CPC) brainwashing.
One of the more compelling pieces of evidence to this claim is one of the key seven priorities of the curriculum being “National Identity“, which is to say an identity indistinct from that of mainland China.
Scholarism, and its allied groups were ultimately successful in defeating the Moral and National Education Curriculum, but also in demonstrating that a grassroots movement of millennials in Hong Kong can make political change.
However, Scholarism’s next big outing, as well as other liberal organizations, proved even larger than the opposition to the Moral and National Education Curriculum.
The Umbrella Movement was a mass protest spanning several months in Hong Kong. Thousands of protesters gathered in opposition to constitutional reform imposed by the National People’s Congress (NPCSC). These reforms give a nominating committee, with purportedly strong ties to the CPC, the authority to pre-select a handful of candidates prior to a territory wide election.
The “suffrage” presented by Beijing outraged a tremendous number of Hong Kongers, and in particular, large swaths of young people, many of whom were in secondary school.
In particular the student group Scholarism was the centerpiece of what little international media attention was put on the Umbrella Movement. It was largely out of the ranks of Scholarism that Demosistō emerged.
However, size of opposition did not prove decisive in the Umbrella Movement, as the ultimate objective of the protesters was thwarted.
When asked if the three month event was a failure, Chow told RISE in a Skype interview;
“in terms of political goals, i think it was a failure, but it also had lots of influence on people’s minds.”
Indeed, there is something to be said of the conditions being created in which a handful of university students can exercise a considerable degree of influence in politics.
To those familiar with the Occupy Movement in the United States, the idea of using the political capital gained through the Umbrella Movement to work within a broken system may seem strange or counter intuitive.
“It is difficult to fight some things through the Parliament, or through the Legislative Council, and while I can understand these kinds of feelings, because in our legislative council now half of our council is not democratically elected, because of the Functional Constituency,” Chow said. “I still believe we can enter the Legislative Council, we can do something… because our aim is to not just work within the Council.
“Through the election we want to promote our ideas to more people. What we have to do is connect the Legislative Council and the Civil Society outside.”
The intentions of Demosistō and other liberal actors within Hong Kong has not gone unnoticed.
Earlier this year, Chow brought attention to the abduction of a man selling books that criticized the Communist party, or were otherwise banned in Mainland China.
Chow has also had the shadow of the CPC come upon her as well.
Limits on withdrawals were placed on her bank account which was intended to be used to accept donations on behalf of Demosistō, as they have thus far been unable to register as a company.
This has resulted in Demosistō relying on crowdfunding via Paypal.
We are currently experiencing sudden issues concerning Agnes Chow's bank account. Latest updates at: https://t.co/AvtNfQV80u
— Demosistō 香港眾志 (@demosisto) April 11, 2016
Chow was more concerned with Demosistō’s hurdles in registering as a company. Bernie Sanders wouldn’t like this very much.
” In Hong Kong we do not have the legislation for political parties,” Chow said. “They all have to register as a company instead.”
These financial problems likely do not improve Demosistō’s opinion of the Hong Kong establishment.
” Of course the government and the companies will not support us, because we are opposing the government, and the business sectors are also always standing on the government’s side,” Chow said. “They have to cooperate with the Chinese side.”
Demosistō then will be relying on their proven ability to utilize grassroots tactics to gain wins in the Legislative Council, especially students, but not exclusively.
“We have involved a professor teaching in one of the arts schools… We believe that the new political party, because it’s not a student’ s organization anymore, and it’s important for us to involve more people from the older generations.”
She also notes that for future plans, the party will:
“Try to recruit them [volunteers], through our website, and different forums, and public locations we will try to send our message to Hong Kong People, and hope that they can join us later on.”
Spreading the message of a referendum on Hong Kong’s self determination by 2047, the year the Sino-British Joint Declaration expires, is the clear center piece of Demosistō’s platform, but is far from the only position taken.
Scholarism was deemed ill fitting for elevation to Demosistō’s status as a political party in part due to a lack of political cohesion, according to Chow.
Demosistō heavily invests in individualist language to describe their proposed policies, broken down into the ” Four Selves” :Self Initiating, Self Standing, Self Autonomy, and finally Self Determination. These are intended as steps over a ten year period.
” Self Determination does not mean dissolution of the Social Problems in Hong Kong”
” Even after self determination we still have lots of: education problems, housing problems, property hegemony, etc,” Chow said. “We still have a lot of problems to solve before the self determination of Hong Kong. Resources such as food and water heavily rely on the supply of the mainland China. No matter if it was an independent country or a city under a country, it has to have self sufficiency.”
Not only does Demosistō insist on self sufficiency for the city of Hong Kong, but also an advancement of Hong Kong’s unique identity.
” It is also important to build up the identity of Hong Kong People, so we propose a Hong Kong History subject be implemented,” Chow said in the interview. “Hong Kong people do not really know much about Hong Kong history; in our education system there are only World History and Chinese History.”
This idea of an independent Hong Kong identity seems pivotal in the dispute between Hong Kong and Beijing. As previously noted, establishing a national identity was one of the objectives of the Moral and National Education Curriculum.
Beijing specifically does not want there to be any distinction between China and Hong Kong, and may be trying to begin laying the groundwork for 2047, and end this “salutary neglect” like relationship.
Chow concluded our chat by telling us about her vision of Hong Kong’s identity, saying;
“For me, the identity of Hong Kong people, or the characteristic of Hong Kong, is diversity. We have lots of different kinds of people, who believe in different core values, who came from different countries, who are different races, etc. It’s very important to emphasize the diversity, and not to exclude the others who disagree with us.”
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Agnes Chow Ting/ FacebookPost Views: 728
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Student groups at the University of Mississippi in Oxford will rally Friday afternoon in order to bring attention to a cause they believe is worthy of national attention the removal of the state flag from the campus.
Mississippi is the only state in the Union that still has the Confederate battle flag as part of the official state flag. Georgia was the second to last state to rid its state flag of Confederate iconography and did so in 2003.
At 12:30 CST on Friday, numerous progressive student groups and those associate with minority including the campus chapter of the NAACP will be rallying in front of a well-known Confederate Statue in the Circle, a historical central location on campus.
The organizations, which include the Black Student Union, UM Pride Network, College Democrats and others want the Associated Student Body, the student government of Ole Miss to pass a resolution that would call for the removal of the state flag from campus.
Allen Coon is a student senator and also the president of the campus College Democrats chapter. He authored the resolution and has helped organize the event.
As a native Mississippian, the fight is a personal one for Coon.
“I love my state and I care about it deeply. But every-time, I see that flag it reminds me that we are promoting a perspective that led to a war of injustice and pain,” Coon said in a phone interview with Rise News. “And that’s not representative of my Mississippi and that’s why it has to change.”
According to the Daily Mississippian, there are 49 student senators in the Associated Student Body. That would mean that at least 25 of them would have to vote in favor of taking down the flag in order for the resolution to pass. Coon told Rise News that it would be a difficult fight to win the vote in the student senate.
“If this resolution fails, then it will bring a lot more scrutiny on the campus from a national perspective,” Coon said. “The very test of a symbol is that it should be divisive. On that basis alone, it is grounds enough to take down the flag.”
“When people think of Ole Miss I don’t want them to think, ‘oh that’s a racist school,’” Buka Okoye, the president of the Ole Miss NAACP said in an interview with Daily Mississippian reporter Dawn Boddie. “Therefore, what are we doing to rid ourselves of that image?”
According to the Mississippi Business Journal, five other public universities in the state do not currently fly the official state flag: Delta State University, Mississippi State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University and Alcorn State University.
Even if student government passes the resolution, it will be up to campus administrators to make the final decision.
Rise News is looking for a few Ole Miss students to report for us during the rally on Friday afternoon. If you are interested then please email email@example.com with a phone number and we will get back to very quickly.
Read: Proposed Ole Miss student government resolution to take down state flag on campus
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With Tiger Woods in the throes of a major slump, it is sometimes hard to remember how incredible and important he has been for the game of golf.
With few exceptions, Woods has also been a model citizen and a somewhat bland sports star, careful and guarded in public life.
But he is also probably the greatest golfer of his generation (perhaps ever) and without a doubt the most successful African-American golfer of all time. That latter fact about his skin color is dismissed by some in the Obama era as non important. But golf is still a segregated sport in many parts of the country, due to a slew of reasons.
An amazing video that was posted online in 2013 by Trans World Sport shows what a young Tiger Woods thought about race and golf in 1990.
At just 14 years old, Woods was already seen as a future star of the game and judging by the tape, it is also clear that he understood how important his presence on the world stage would be for African-Americans across the country.
H/T: USA Today
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