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Cohen: ‘I run on my record’

cohenandobama 600At the intersection of Union and Cooper, an 11-year-old boy stricken with polio waited eagerly for the convertible transporting the future 35th president of the United States to pass his way en route to the riverfront to deliver a campaign speech. Transfixed by the thrill of seeing Sen. John F. Kennedy, Steve Cohen aimed his camera, framed the senator, and fired the shutter that day in September of 1960.

Today, the vintage black and white photograph of a beaming Kennedy sitting atop the convertible with then-Memphis mayor Henry Loeb and then-Senator Albert Gore Sr. hangs conspicuously among Cohen's extensive collection of photographs, posters, artwork, hundreds of campaign buttons, and other political paraphernalia in his Spanish Tudor-style home on the periphery of Overton Park.

The paraphernalia are decades-long records of events and personalities that inspired and shaped Cohen. His brush with Kennedy subsequently would seal his fate as a public servant in local, state and national politics.

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RNC launches new initiative with COGIC in its sights

rncgop 600Some would say that we've seen this kind of outreach before from the Republican Party. The year was 2000. President George W. Bush had just "won" a photo-finish presidential race branded by "hanging chads" that led to the disqualifying of Democratic ballots and a painful loss for Tennessee favorite son, Al Gore Jr.

One week after the presidential election, Bishop G.E. Patterson of the Church of God in Christ had been elected presiding bishop. The acrimony between the political parties was palpable.

In late March of 2001, President Bush welcomed key African-American religious leaders, including Bishop Patterson, to the White House. More than a dozen convened with the president to lend their support for a plan to award federal dollars to faith-based programs. Patterson was quoted as saying that he did not vote for President Bush, adding that if the plan worked as intended, "there would be no reason for black people not to vote for him four years from now."

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Meet one of the GOP’s ‘rising stars’

risingstar 600This week, during its Annual Spring Meeting, the GOP is rolling out an impressive roster of young, fresh "rising stars," who will be entrusted with moving the party forward into a creative innovative future of minority inclusion and conciliation.

Perhaps the most impressive of these is an African-American teenager, Lee Jackson. He appears pretty much like a typical 19 year old. That is, until you begin talking with him. There is then espoused a wisdom far beyond his years.

The political science student at the University of Maine wanted to change some things in Old Town, Maine, where he lives. The predominantly Democratic area is where Jackson has lived most of his life. No Republican candidate had a prayer running for public office.

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K’PreSha’s Haul of Fashion

haul 600Kimberly Taylor, owner and operator of K'PreSha Boutique, a Downtown apparel store, celebrated her birthday on May 1st. She also recently observed the third anniversary of K'PreSha. So what "gift" would send her "over the moon with excitement?"

The answer is mobile and it was slated for an unveiling Thursday (May 8th) in front of City Hall at 125 N. Main St.

The gift is an opportunity courtesy of the Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team (MIDT), which – in conjunction with alt.Consulting, a small business advisory and lender, is introducing MEMMobile, a small business incubator. MEMMobile is focused on developing and launching a fleet of mobile retail trucks that represent a diverse variety of merchandise and service offerings.

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College grad meets U.S. senator, big deal?

grad 600PHILADELPHIA, PA. – U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey (D-Pa.) visited Community College of Philadelphia on April 25th to accept the Judge Edward R. Becker Citizenship Award, which is named for a respected jurist noted for his humanity, humility and powerful decisions.

Casey used the occasion to discuss food insecurity, an issue that often remains hidden from public view. Just last year, U.S. Sens. Casey, Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced the Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Incentive Act, which would expand and create permanent tax incentives for businesses that donate to food banks.

At the award ceremony, Casey called food security, among children especially, an issue of justice. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget plan includes cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) of $137 billion – 18 percent – over the next ten years.

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