Although this edition was first published in April 2017, it is still timely and we wanted to give our audience an opportunity to view some of our past editions of Chicago Street Journal. Don't forget to join us on Saturday, November 11 in Chicago to celebrate the 24th anniversary of CSJ. Free Admission. Grace Temple Holiness Church. 938 West 69th Street in Chicago. 10 AM to 3 PM.
February 2017 6 April 2017 Chicago Street Journal Black Owned Ride- Sharing App to Compete with Uber, Lyft in U.S. and Abroad With the immense success of companies like Uber and Lyft, ridesharing technology has boomed into a multi-billion dollar industry within the past decade. Now a new platform is looking to stake its claim in the marketplace. Moovn is a ride-hailing mobile application founded by Godwin Gabriel. The app currently operates in 7 U.S. cities (Washington, DC, Chicago, IL, Boston, MA, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, San Francisco, CA, New York, NY) and 1 city in Africa (Dar-Es- Salaam, TZ), with plans to rapidly expand in both Western and emerging markets. In a recent interview with UrbanGeekz, Gabriel explains how he taught himself how to code, in order to launch the beta version of his app. Saying his beta launch was “amateurish at best,” he goes on to explain how the platform transformed into what it is today: “It wasn’t until we received investor backing that I was able to hire and collaborate with a team of seasoned developers to transform the platform into what we have today.” When asked what his biggest challenges are, he says, “The market, for the most part, is currently being dominated by Uber and Lyft with these companies enjoying the benefits of having first mover advantage with the transportation technology space. However, we’re confident that the global market remains sizable enough for all of us to fit in and play.” Considering the rise of smartphone usage across the continent of Africa, operating there seems to be a good business strategy. It’s also a market that hasn’t been explored by the big brands in the industry. CHICAGO — The city of Chicago has begin charging people a tax for each bag they use to haul groceries and other items purchased at retailers in the city. But while the tax will produce income for the city, it remains to be seen how much the tax will actually do to reduce the number of plastic bags Chicagoans use - a major selling point for such taxes in Chicago and other locales. Some of the biggest cities in the United States have taken it upon themselves to wage a war on plastic bags under the guise of environmentalism. Plastic bag fees are merely a stealth tax hike that disproportionately hits families that go grocery shopping more frequently. Reusable bags tend to be unsanitary, which causes major problems when they’re being used to tote fresh produce and other groceries. A study in the journal Food Protection Trends found that food -borne illnesses could skyrocket with the increased adoption of reusable bags. The study found that 99 percent of reusable bags tested contained bacteria; the figure was 0 percent in new bags, or single-use plastic bags. These bacteria were frequently dangerous, with E. Coli being shockingly common in reusable bags. So Chicago’s bag nannies are taking your money under false pretenses, spending it on something unrelated to its stated purposes, failing to solve the problem they claim they’re addressing, and possibly making you sick in the process. Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s $8.2 billion budget passed with unanimous support of the Chicago City Council on Nov. 16, including a tax on consumers for paper and plastic bags. The 7-cent bag tax on plastic and paper bags at the grocery store — or at any Chicago store without reusable bags — follows efforts around the country to change consumer behavior and reduce waste and harmful environmental impact. Consumers can avoid paying the tax by bringing their own reusable bags, thereby keeping plastic and paper substitutes out of landfills. At the same time, retailers receive 2 cents every time the tax is levied and the rest goes to the city. The average Chicago resident uses 500 plastic bags a year, totaling 1.3 billion for the whole city, according to environmental experts. The tax reverses a partial ban that went into effect more than a year ago. The ban required large retailers to replace thin plastic bags with thicker ones that are designed to be reused. But consumers weren’t reusing the bags, which are more expensive to make. But some policy experts aren’t convinced the new measure will be any more effective than the last one. Kevin Glass, policy director for the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, told the Cook County Record that assessments of plastic bag taxes in other cities have shown they may not have the environmental impact public officials hope for. “I have no doubt that they’re put forward with good intentions, but, you know, the numbers show that they’re largely ineffective on the environmental aspect of their justification,” Glass said, citing a Washington Post review of the Washington, D.C.’s 5-cent tax heralded as a way to clean up the Anacostia River. The review found that more of the money put in the Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Fund was used for school field trips and worker salaries than for cleanup projects on the river. Additionally, taxes that have been put in place on various levels in states like California, Texas and Virginia, among others, haven’t proven to change consumer behavior, Glass said. Another unexpected downside could be the reusable bags encouraged as substitutes, which public health experts have said could pose a risk because of the germs they carry. Tax rates vary among http://s3.amazonaws.com/ssu s a / c o m p a n i e s / M z Q y M z Q 1 s w Q A / u p l o a d s / AC_Green_Logo.jpgthose who have put them in place. Washington, D.C., charges less than the new rate in Chicago, but some charge much more. Some, like the Better Government Association, have publicly criticized the few cents the city of Chicago settled on because it’s unlikely to actually deter shoppers from using plastic bags, making the tax just another revenue stream for the city. The city expects to bring in $12.9 million from the tax next year. Glass said he thinks the mayor’s intentions are genuine, but he said the few cents per bag will add up for low -income shoppers, who may be disproportionately affected by the charge. He said he believes neither a ban nor a tax has enough of an upside to be worthwhile. “It’s a surprisingly complicated issue, but the downsides, I think, across the board, really outweigh the upsides,” Glass said. “This is an evolution of what Chicago has been trying to do. And they’ve obviously failed multiple times before at what they’re aiming for. I just worry that they’re going to try over and over again to restructure or reorient how they’re either taxing or prohibiting bags and none of it’s going to see the upside they’re really searching for.” Sources: http://watchdog.org, cookcountyrecord.com According to Forbes Magazine in 2016 there were 1,810 billionaires with a net worth of $6.5 trillion.
February Chicago Street Journal April 2017 7 The Real organizer of the Bus Boycott E.D. Nixon: The Forgotten Hero Edgar Daniel Nixon (July 12, 1899 – February 25, 1987), known as E. D. Nixon, was a civil rights leader and union organizer in Alabama who played a crucial role in organizing the landmark Montgomery Bus Boycott there in 1955. The boycott highlighted the issues of segregation in the South, was upheld for more than a year by black residents, and nearly brought the city-owned bus system to bankruptcy. It ended in December 1956, after the United States Supreme Court ruled in the related case, Browder v. Gayle (1956), that the local and state laws were unconstitutional, and ordered the state to end bus segregation. Nixon was president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Montgomery Welfare League, and the Montgomery Voters League. At the time, Nixon already led the Montgomery branch of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters union, known as the Pullman Porters Union, which he had helped organize. Martin Luther King Jr. described Nixon as "one of the chief voices of the Negro community in the area of civil rights," and "a symbol of the hopes and aspirations of the long oppressed people of the State of Alabama."  Edgar D. Nixon was born to Wesley M. Nixon and Sue Ann Chappell Nixon. As a child, Nixon received 16 months of formal education, as black students were ill-served in the segregated public school system. His mother died when he was young, and he and his seven siblings were reared among extended family in Montgomery.  His father was a Baptist minister.  After working in a train station baggage room, Nixon rose to become a Pullman car porter, which was a well-respected position with good pay. He was able to travel around the country and worked steadily. He worked with them until 1964. In 1928, he joined the new union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, helping organize its branch in Montgomery. He also served as its president for many years.  Marriage and family Nixon married Alease (who died in 1934), and they had a son, E. D. Nixon, Jr. (1928– 2011). He became an actor known by the stage name of Nick La Tour. His son Lionel Nixon ________________________  Nixon later married Arlette Nixon, who was with him during many of the civil rights events.  Civil rights activism Years before the bus boycott, Nixon had worked for voting rights and civil rights for African Americans in Montgomery. Like other blacks in the state, they had been essentially disenfranchised since the start of the 20th century by changes in the Alabama state constitution and electoral laws. He also served as an unelected advocate for the African-American community, helping individuals negotiate with white office holders, policemen, and civil servants. Nixon joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), becoming president of the Montgomery chapter and, within two years, president of the state organization. In 1940, Nixon organized 750 African Americans to march to the Montgomery County courthouse and attempt to register to vote. They were unsuccessful, as the white Democrats used subjective rules to exclude them.  In 1954, he was the first black to run for a seat on the county Democratic Executive Committee. Challenging bus segregation In the early 1950s, Nixon and Jo Ann Robinson, president of the Women's Political Council, decided to mount a court challenge to the discriminatory seating practices on Montgomery's municipal buses, along with a boycott of the bus company. A Montgomery ordinance reserved the front seats on these buses for white passengers only, forcing African-American riders to sit in the back. The middle section was available to blacks unless the bus became so crowded that white passengers were standing; in that case, blacks were supposed to give up their seats and stand if necessary. Blacks constituted the majority of riders on the city-owned bus system. Before the activists could mount the court challenge, they needed someone to voluntarily violate the bus seating law and be arrested for it. Nixon carefully searched for a suitable plaintiff. The final choice was Rosa Parks, the elected secretary of the Montgomery NAACP. Nixon had been her boss, although he said, "Women don't need to be nowhere but in the kitchen." When she asked, "Well, what about me?", he replied, "I need a secretary and you are a good one."\ On December 1, 1955, Parks entered a Montgomery bus, refused to give up her seat for a white passenger, and was arrested. After being called about Parks' arrest, Nixon went to bail her out of jail. After years of working with Parks, Nixon was certain that she was the ideal candidate to challenge the discriminatory seating policy. Even so, Nixon had to persuade Parks to lead the fight. After consulting with her mother and husband, Parks accepted the challenge. Organizing the boycott After Parks' arrest, Nixon called a number of local ministers to organize support for the boycott; the third man he called was Martin Luther King Jr., a young minister who was newly arrived from Atlanta, Georgia. King said he would think about it and call back. When King responded, he said that he would participate in the boycott Nixon met with Rev. Ralph David Abernathy and Rev. E.N. French to plan the program for the next boycott meeting. They came up with a list of demands for the bus company, named the new organization the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), and discussed candidates for president of the association. Nixon recommended King to Abernathy and French because Nixon believed that King had not been compromised by dealing with the local white power structure. Nixon shared his labor and civil rights contacts with the MIA, organizing financial and other resources to help manage and support the boycott. These were critical to its success. Successful boycott What was expected to be a short boycott lasted 381 days. Despite fierce political opposition, police coercion, personal threats, and their own sacrifices, the he boycott continued. Bus ridership plummeted, as blacks were the majority riders in the system, and the bus company was on the verge of financial ruin. In late January a bomb was set off near the home of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and on February 1, 1956, a bomb exploded in front of Nixon's home. On June 5, 1956, a three-judge panel of the US District Court ruled on Browder v. Gayle and determined that Montgomery's segregation law was unconstitutional, violating the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution. On November 13, 1956, the US Supreme Court upheld the lower court's ruling. On December 17, 1956 the Supreme Court rejected appeals by the city and state to reconsider its decision. At a later rally at New York City's Madison Square Garden, Nixon talked about the symbolism of the boycott to an audience of supporters: “I'm from Montgomery, Alabama, a city that's known as the Cradle of the Confederacy, that had stood still for more than ninety -three years until Rosa L. Parks was arrested and thrown in jail like a common criminal.... Fifty thousand people rose up and caught hold to the Cradle of the Confederacy and began to rock it till the Jim Crow rockers began to reel and the segregated slats began to fall out.” After the boycott Nixon's relationship with the MIA frequently had sharp disagreements with others in the group and competed for leadership. He expressed resentment that King and Abernathy had received most of the credit for the boycott, as opposed to the local activists who had already spent years organizing against racism. But King admired Nixon, describing him as "one of the chief voices of the Negro community in the area of civil rights," and "a symbol of the hopes and aspirations of the long oppressed people of the State of Alabama." Nixon resigned his post as MIA treasurer in 1957, writing a bitter letter to King complaining that he had been treated as a child and a "newcomer." Nixon continued to feud with Montgomery's Black middle class community for the next decade. By the late 1960s, through a series of political defeats, his leadership role in the MIA was eliminated. After retiring from the railroad, Nixon worked as the recreation director of a public housing project. He continued to work for civil rights, especially to improve housing and education for blacks in Montgomery. 1985, Nixon received the Walter White Award from the NAACP. In 1986, a year before his death, Nixon’s house in Montgomery was placed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage, in recognition of his leadership in the state.  Nixon died at the age of 87 in Montgomery on February 25, 1987. Now Available at AskingOurselvesTheToughQuestions.com CHICAGO! We want to hear from YOU! Send your editorials to: ChicagoStJournal@gmail.com CSJ on Twitter @ChicagoStreetJo Follow Chicago Street Journal at Issuu.com/ ChicagoStreet- Journal Call 773-998- 1925 to be in the NEXT issue. Call 773-998-1925 to be in the NEXT issue.