Old Horsehead Zinc, site of new Shell ‘Cracker’
By Jared Stonesifer
Beaver County Times
March 10, 2016 – MIDLAND — The Beaver County chapter of the NAACP wants to make sure the local black population isn’t left out of a potential economic explosion that would occur if Shell Chemicals builds a multibillion-dollar ethane cracker plant along the Ohio River.
The chapter is holding an event next week designed to prepare the local population for that possibility. The meeting will inform residents on what skills and qualifications they would need to be hired at the potential plant, while it will also inform them about the possibility of an array of opportunities if the plant comes here.
Shell, which continues work to remediate the old Horsehead Corp. site in Potter Township, has not made a final investment decision on the plant. But that hasn’t stopped local leaders from preparing in the event it does come here.
“There could be an (economic) explosion coming, and we want to make sure African-Americans are part of that explosion,” said Willie Sallis, president of the Beaver County NAACP.
The meeting will be held 5 p.m. Thursday at the American Legion at 800 Midland Ave. in Midland.
It will include representatives from Community College of Beaver County, Shell, Job Training for Beaver County, CareerLink and potentially a local politician, according to the NAACP.
Future meetings could be scheduled in other Beaver County locations in an attempt to galvanize as much of the population as possible.
Continue reading Beaver County NAACP Prepares Black Workers for Employment at Proposed Shell plant
Protesters Rally for Officials to ‘Do the Right Thing’
People gather at the Beaver County Courthouse to raise awareness of several social and economic issues.
By Kirstin Kennedy
Beaver County Times
Oct 28, 2014 – BEAVER — Everyone knows the First Amendment gives citizens the right to assemble. Few regularly exercise it.
But that wasn’t the case Monday evening on the steps of the Beaver County Courthouse, when over 30 people gathered with signs and chants.
Willie Sallis, president of the NAACP in Beaver County, said he helped to gather the protest to pressure elected officials to "just do the right thing."
"What is the moral thing to do? … That’s what we’re trying to keep alive with the union and the civil rights leaders," he said. Sallis paired with several other organizations — including members of local labor unions — for the rally, with the hope of raising awareness of several social and economic issues.
Inspired by a recent lecture given locally by the Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, Sallis dubbed the rally Moral Monday.
"What’s the right thing to do for the poor?" Sallis said. "What’s the right thing to do for health benefits? What’s the right thing to do when it comes to jobs? What’s the right thing to do when it comes to minimum wages? All we’re saying is, ‘Look, do the right thing.’"
On the courthouse lawn, participants chanted, "Keep it fair; we care."
Continue reading ‘Moral Mondays’ Launched in Western PA
From Tina Shannon:
Monday, October 27th, is a big day for Beaver County.
It’s the day we’ll have our first Moral Monday rally at the Beaver County Court House.
At 6:00 PM we’ll all gather on the steps of the Court House in Beaver to announce our intentions. We intend to follow our moral compass & use our energy to address the issues facing Beaver County & Pennsylvania.
Public education is under attack. It’s harder than ever to make a living because unions are under attack too. There aren’t enough jobs. Our very water is being threatened because of cuts to the agencies that are supposed to protect it. Inequality is at an all time high, with our brothers & sisters in the African American community suffering the worst. We intend to gather people together & address these issues & other issues that hurt our beloved community.
Please please join us. It’s the beginning of coming together. It’s the beginning of reaching out. It’s the beginning of standing & listening to each other & finding the way forward.
With love & solidarity,
Tina Shannon, 12th CD Progressive Democrats of America
Read more on Moral Mondays:
Activists to Watch: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber | BillMoyers.com
Corbett Administration Abandons Voter ID Appeal
From PA AFL-CIO
May 9, 2014 – After more than two years, multiple trials, and a confusing roll-out that ultimately disenfranchised tens of thousands of eligible voters and cost millions of dollars, Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law has been defeated. In a statement yesterday, the Corbett administration indicated that they would not appeal the Commonwealth Court’s January ruling, which found the law to be unconstitutional on its face.
At the time of that ruling, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO urged the Commonwealth to accept the judge’s findings and to abandon further appeals. “This process has already cost the Commonwealth millions of dollars, and risked the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of our citizens,” said PA AFL-CIO President Bloomingdale. “We are pleased that the administration has finally decided to face the fact that their voter ID law was never constitutional.”
While defending the broader concept of voter ID requirements in their statement yesterday, the Corbett administration also made the surprising acknowledgement that ‘for a voter identification law to be found constitutional, changes must be made to address accessibility to photo identifications.’
“While the court ruling in January, combined with this week’s developments, are a victory for voting rights, there is still much work to do,” said PA AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Snyder. “We have avoided taking a step backwards, but Pennsylvania is still one of the more restrictive states when it comes to ballot access.” Among the changes that voting rights advocates have called for in Pennsylvania are early voting, same-day registration, and no-excuse absentee ballots.