Tuesday, January 10, 2012

COP 24/7: Here, There and Everywhere!

It's the second week of 2012 already and its taking off like a bat out of hell. No soon than the Christmas decor came down and the final New Year's salutations were completed the schedule of this and than starting popping off like fireworks. Just in the past week there's already been the firsts fundraiser of the year with plans of more community events coming out of shoots galore. Wow, here we go again as COP 24/7 continues to be the "eyes and ears" of what's really going on. If you want to be in the loop, then may I suggest that you opt-in e-mail subscribe, follow or bookmark us. You just can't afford not too... Now here's the latest....

People of Unity Supports local Singer

The emerging group, People of Unity sponsored the first fundraising event of 2012 featuring Amber Edge in her pursuits to be cast on America's Got Talent program. Held at Miss Kitty's Saloon last Sunday night, the evening also showcased local comedians in a laugh fest enjoyed by an engaging audience and hosted by club icon, Montana Reed. Organizers were pleasantly surprised with the turn out for the first time event for not only the organization but also the venue. Edge sang both cover tunes and original selections that were well received by onlookers whom cheered the singer throughout the night. Edge stated that she was thankful for the support and appreciated the efforts put forth by People of Unity. Edge is scheduled to leave Little Rock this weekend on her journey to Austin Texas for the audition. People of Unity has decided to become an affiliate of The National Association of Black and White Men Together embracing their vision of dealing with racism, sexism, homophobia and HIV and AIDS in our communities and lives. The group has an ongoing founding $10 membership drive through January 31 and is planning future activities. Check out their Facebook page for more information.

One of the Gayest Cities in the U.S.: Little Rock

The news broke Monday that according to Advocate.com, Little Rock was just one slot shy at No. 11 of making it into the "top ten" of the "most gayest cities" in the U.S. Yes, this Little Rock! and why not? Even Max Brantley of Arkansas Times fame rolled with the story online as others posted and reposted the tidbit across the Internet stratosphere. However even as the new broke, I was none to happy with those who posted very negative, stereotypical and aggressive bullshit about my city. I didn't get a chance to counter all those comments including some from folks who actually live here that stated they didn't believe the city deserved the ranking because there's no "Gay Pride Parade" in  the city. Really? Does a Gay Pride Parade really make people's lives better, enrich them or perhaps empower them? Perhaps some believe that parading in all manner of gay glory will serve a purpose but if this is the case where are those "organizers" to make it happen. Why don't they step forward with their wallets open and minds blazed with plans, strategies and structure to make it happen. I've tired of these "shadowy" folks quarterbacking from the sidelines complaining about what this city doesn't have when they've not made one damn attempt to do anything about changing it. Also for those who spoke to the Marriage Amendment or other items seen as "gay negative" need to understand that there have been individuals and groups always going to bat in defense of the LGBTQ community. Our political power relies on a groundswell of support financed by "us for "us" when such matters enter the political fray. This very forum offered and sought financial support for the 2009 Gay Pride Picnic which was the last time for any such event. To date only The Living Affected Corporation has expressed any interest in GPW 2012 with other local venues bringing up the rear. Little Rock got raved reviews from the National Association of Black and White Men Together after last October's Midland Weekend events. The group cited that the local flavor and welcoming vibe they experienced was exceptional. Believe it or not, this group has asked locals to consider hosting their official national convention in 2013 in Little Rock. Congrats Big Rock on at least getting noticed as well as being a glowing blip on the national radar. 

Election Year Gears Up for 2012

My experience in seeking to be a delegate in 2008 was filled with twist and turns to say the least. I expressed my frustration with the process even as I moved through various levels without mentoring or a real sense of guidance. Unfortunately, I may have missed out or wasn't informed about access to such training but it seems that if you are interested in being a delegate to the Charlotte Democratic Convention this year, there's going to be more access to learning the process. I have talked about 2012 being here sooner than we know it, and now the time has come. According to a press release from the Arkansas Democratic  Party, this election year is unlike any we have ever seen in the history of our state. Every state legislative seat is up for election. At one point I even thought that maybe I should consider running for my area but wondered if I could muster any volunteer or financial support to make it so. Therefore with that as an after thought, I too believe that we have the opportunity to elect better representation to the first, second, and third congressional districts while keeping a Democrat serving in the fourth, and our country will have the opportunity to re-elect President Obama.
Certainly, this is an important year. Start thinking now about how you will help with the efforts of the Democratic Party of Arkansas. You can donate to our cause, become an active user on the Democratic Action Network (D.A.N.), or volunteer for a candidate through your county committee. Maybe you will do all three. The important thing that you remember is that it’s all hands on deck, and it will take each of us working day in and day out to ensure the future success of our state.

I want you to mark these important dates on your calendar for the coming year:
    Feb. 1 Forms to county committees to file with the DPA go out
  • Feb. 10 & 11 Executive and State Committee Weekend, Hot Springs Convention Center, Hot Springs (You can make hotel reservations at Embassy Suites for $199.00 per night by calling (501) 321-4406, the Clarion on the Lake for $89.95 per night by calling (501) 525-1391, or at the Arlington Hotel for $110 - $120 per night by calling (501) 609-2572)
  • Feb. 13 Fiscal legislative session starts
  • Feb. 23 Democratic candidates and county parties filing with the DPA begins at noon
  • March 1 Democratic candidates and county parties filing with the DPA ends at noon
  • March 14 Fiscal legislative session ends (tentative)
  • May 22 Primary Election
  • June 12 Primary Runoff election
  • June 16 Congressional District Caucus Convention & Election of Delegates to Democratic National Convention, Wally Allen Ballroom, Little Rock
If there are events in your area and we can help promote them through the Hot line, please let them know by emailing us at cmartin@arkdems.org

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