Elections and Politics, Free News Articles, Government

Attorney, Mother and Child Advocate Melissa Martz Announces Bid for Florida’s 18th Congressional District

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A tenacious fighter, attorney, mother and anti-child sex trafficking advocate, Melissa Martz begins her congressional campaign to unseat U.S. Congressman Brian Mast in 2022. A main tenet of her platform is to protect the inalienable rights and innate value of each individual in District 18, which covers parts of Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Jupiter and Palm Beach.

Having survived childhood sexual abuse, Martz intends to educate others that the blatant exploitation and sexual abuse of children should never be tolerated. Remarks made by Representative Brian Mast on social media about "hooking up with 15, fifteen year olds" and "...don't turn this rape into a murder," make him unfit to hold public office, no matter how much money he is able to raise or how many times he apologizes.

"I appreciate U.S. Representative Mast's service and sacrifice to our country, but there are no answers that can vindicate his voting record against our 2nd Amendment rights or the horrendous comments he made about young girls," Martz states. This is Martz's motivation to avail herself to the community in this trying time.

Melissa Martz is a Constitutionalist, with a moral fire to see the inalienable rights of "We the people," protected by the government, not taken from them. Government intrusion, overreach and outright corruption are happening at alarming rates between lockdowns, election fraud and sexual abuse against our children, which remains underreported.

"It is time for the people to take back their communities, their state, and their nation and it starts here," said Martz.

She is prepared to introduce and support legislation that supports Constitutional rights, restricts government overreach and puts an end to child trafficking.

"I have the backbone, the stamina and the Constitutional expertise to protect the rights of the people," said Martz. "True representation of "we the people" must be free of corruption and abuse."

Melissa Martz is a woman of action. She continues to help represent a group of Palm Beach County residents, on a pro bono basis, against the County mandate, EO-12, which violates the Constitutional rights of the people. Martz understands the role of our government is to protect, not dictate, individual rights. She understands and gives deference to the God-given sovereignty of the individual.

For more information about the Melissa Martz for Congress 2022 campaign and to follow her on social media, visit https://melissamartz.com/.

*PHOTO link for media: https://www.Send2Press.com/300dpi/21-0409s2p-mmartz-300dpi.jpg

*Caption: Melissa Martz, candidate for Florida's 18th Congressional District.

PAID FOR BY MELISSA MARTZ FOR CONGRESS 2022.

Related link: https://melissamartz.com/

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Elections and Politics, Free News Articles, General Editorial, Government

Georgia Black Women’s Roundtable Break from Battling Voter Suppression to Honor Valiant Women of the Vote

ATLANTA, Ga. -- Despite the ongoing efforts of many leaders to suppress the voices of Georgia residents, Black and Brown voters turned out in record numbers, electing the most diverse leadership in the state's history. Last week, the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples' Agenda's women's network, Georgia Black Women's Roundtable (BWR), took a short break from their fight against archaic voter suppression laws to recognize the historic leadership of local Black women during a virtual event, "Celebrating Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced."

"Black women have worked extremely hard over the past year to make sure every eligible voter was able to cast a ballot that counted without fear or intimidation," said Helen Butler, executive director of the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples' Agenda. "We wanted to take a moment to recognize the impact their service has had on our community, locally and nationally."

The first valiant woman of the vote, Dekalb County Commissioner Mereda Johnson, was elected to serve District 5 in 2015. A co-founding partner with the law firm of Johnson Hopewell Coleman, Commissioner Johnson has been a practicing attorney for more than 33 years, concentrating in family law. In 1985, she became the first Black female judge appointed in DeKalb County Courts.

"I decided to be a part of the change I wanted to see in Dekalb," said Commissioner Johnson. "Everyday I wake up to serve my neighbors and try to improve the quality of life in my community."

Gwinnett County Commissioner Nicole Love Hendrickson was elected chair of the Board of Commissioners in 2020, making her the first African American to hold this position. She was the founding director of the Gwinnett County Community Outreach program where she launched several community-based initiatives and has served on the boards of the United Way Gwinnett Community and the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Elected in 2020, Henry County Commissioner Carlotta Harrell is the daughter of a pastor and a freedom fighter. She is a managing partner and VP of Business Development with The Harrell Group, a women-owned consulting firm. Commissioner Harrell served as chief of staff for the Henry County Commissioner in District V and was a consultant for the Georgia Conference of African American Mayors, assisting mayors and cities with identifying over $300 million dollars in funding for infrastructure and economic development projects.

Prior to being sworn in as the county's first Black and first woman chairperson, Cobb County Commissioner Lisa Cupid served on the Board of Commissioners for eight years representing District Four. Commissioner Cupid is an attorney and former mediator, policy analyst and manufacturing process engineer. She is known as a strong advocate for the fair treatment of all of Cobb's residents and stakeholders regardless of geographic, demographic or economic standing. Her accomplishments include championing Cobb's newly instituted Sunday transit service and advocating for enhanced public safety measures.

The Rita Jackson Samuels Trailblazer Award was given to Felicia M. Davis, the co-founder of HBCU Green Fund and convener of Clayton County Black Women's Roundtable. Davis has been a staunch advocate for climate justice and spent just as much time promoting voting. Mentored by renowned civil rights leader, Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, Davis has led voter registration, education and mobilization initiatives locally and nationally. She serves on the board of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and was a partner with the late Rita Samuels in Women Flying High, a business devoted to increasing women's participation in Atlanta airport contracts.

"My friend, Dr. Rita Jackson Samuels, would be so proud of the historic number of Black women elected officials in Georgia," said Davis. "Rita dedicated her life to women's empowerment, especially getting Black women elected. Today we're leading in Clayton, Cobb, Gwinnett, Dekalb, Henry and Douglas Counties, and throughout the state."

Dr. Samuels was a civil and women's right's visionary who worked alongside some of the most powerful leaders in the country including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She became the first Black woman in Georgia's history to serve on the staff of a Georgia Governor and went on to serve in the staff of President Jimmy Carter.

The Georgia Coalition for the Peoples' Agenda ( http://thepeoplesagenda.org/ ) is proud to promote health, wealth, and economic prosperity for women through Georgia Black Women's Roundtable, an affiliate of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation's Black Women's Roundtable (blackwomensroundtable.org); an intergenerational leadership development, mentoring, and empowerment arm for Black women and girls that stays at the forefront of championing justice and equitable public policies.

Contact: Edrea Davis
Phone: (770) 961-6200)/ (818) 613-9521

Related link: http://www.thepeoplesagenda.org/

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Business, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles, Government

Environmental Justice Leader Mustafa Ali to Dialogue with White House Advisor Gina McCarthy at BIPOC Climate Justice Virtual Event

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- After an introduction by U.S. Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry, environmental justice leader, Mustafa Santiago Ali, will discuss the Biden-Harris Administration's approach to climate justice with White House Advisor Gina McCarthy during a panel discussion at the day-long virtual BIPOC Climate Justice event. The panel, "White House Climate Overview," starts at 12:55 PM on Thursday, April 8, 2020, the HBCU Green Fund announced today.

A former official at the Environmental Protection Agency, Ali is the vice president of environmental justice, climate and community revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation and founder of Revitalization Strategies. Gina McCarthy is a leading environmental health and air quality expert. EPA under President Obama and helped in efforts to secure the Paris Climate agreement.

Convened by the HBCU Green Fund, Land Peace Foundation, BIPOC Climate Scholars Project, and U.S. Action for Climate Empowerment Coordinating Team, the event will provide an opportunity for climate leaders to discuss national climate goals and priorities with top administration officials and federal agency representatives.

Climate leaders will discuss BIPOC priorities for a just transition, culturally responsive climate action, and will also introduce the community-driven U.S. framework for Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE), as recommended in Article 12 of the Paris Agreement. They will also discuss implementation of Biden's Justice40 initiative across federal agencies.

The BIPOC Climate Justice Dialogue is free and open to the public. For An agenda participant list visit http://hbcugreenfund.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/BIPOC_Dialogues_Agenda.pdf.

WHAT: Panel featuring John Kerry, Mustafa Ali, Gina McCarthy, Felicia M. Davis

WHERE: Facebook Live: https://m.facebook.com/HBCUGreenFund

ZOOM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81039783325?pwd=RUV1dUZpY0ZxcEpSVENTV2RuSzZqZz09

WHEN: DATE: Thursday April 8, 2020

TIME: 12:55 PM until 1:30 PM**

**(please note: the day-long event is 9 AM - 5 PM)

CONTACT: Media is invited to attend. For more information email edmedia@dogonvillage.com, text: 818.613.9521, phone: 770.961.6200.

ABOUT HBCU GREEN FUND

The HBCU Green Fund promotes investment in sustainable campus solutions, interdisciplinary sustainability curriculum development, student and faculty engagement and just climate policy with a focus on historically black colleges and universities.

ABOUT LAND PEACE FOUNDATION

The Land Peace Foundation (LPF) is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Indigenous way of Life, which includes: the protection and preservation of Indigenous land, water, religious and/or spiritual rights; proliferation of cultural and traditional practices; strengthening of kinship roles, and; preservation of ceremonial ways of being.

ABOUT BIPOC CLIMATE SCHOLARS PROJECT

The BIPOC Climate Scholars Project is established as a resource hub activating a national network of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Asian/Pacific climate scientist and policy experts eager to advise, conduct and support research and implementation of public and private action to address climate change.

ABOUT U.S. ACTION FOR CLIMATE EMPOWERMENT COORDINATING TEAM

The ACE team promotes the alignment of climate education, workforce development, and civic engagement nationally to accelerate a just transition to a low carbon economy and coordinates multi-level participation in the development of an Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) Framework to advance the US national strategy as articulated in UNFCCC and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Edrea Davis, 770.961.6200/818.613.9521 (cell).

Related link: http://hbcugreenfund.org/

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Business, Free News Articles, Government

Virginia Passes Two Bills Increasing Access to Midwifery Care

SILVER SPRING, Md. -- It's been a busy and productive legislative season for the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). The organization is anticipating several wins across the country, but right now is thrilled that two bills in the Commonwealth of Virginia were signed by Governor Ralph Northam this month. It was through careful planning, tireless advocacy and coordinated teamwork that the Virginia ACNM Affiliate was able to make Virginia the eighth state in the country to recognize Certified Midwives (CMs) and the 28th state to allow Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) to practice to the full extent of their education and clinical training and be regulated without physician control.

Virginia joins Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island in recognizing the CM credential, increasing access to midwifery care, and potentially improving outcomes for women, babies, and all who need high-quality, individualized sexual and reproductive care.

"With maternal health care deserts throughout the Commonwealth, we need to address care in underserved areas with initiatives that remove barriers to practice unrelated to health and safety. Greater access to maternal healthcare is essential in reducing disparities in maternal and infant mortality and morbidity, and stark racial and class inequities in maternal healthcare access," says Virginia Affiliate President Katie Page, CNM, FACNM.

Page, along with the affiliate legislative committee chair, Nichole Wardlaw, CNM, FACNM, led a fantastic team, including Karen Kelly, CM; Mary Ellen Bouchard, CNM, MS, FACNM; and their lobbyist, Julianne Condrey, at breakneck speed through a very short session of the Virginia General Assembly.

The CM credential was developed in 1994 to expand access to midwifery through multiple educational pathways. The first CM was licensed in 1997. The CM pathway includes a graduate degree in midwifery from a program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) and board certification through the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). CMs differ from CNMs only in that they are not also licensed as nurses. CMs and CNMs meet the same core competencies, sit for the same board exam, and have identical scopes of practice, including prescriptive privileges.

"We are thrilled to see Virginia supporting expanded access to midwifery care," says ACNM President Cathy Collins-Fulea, DNP, CNM, FACNM. "Ensuring midwives are represented at every table is key to mainstreaming midwifery in the United States. We look forward to continuing our work to improve care and reduce inequities in maternal healthcare.

The ACNM Department of Government Affairs and Advocacy has been working hard with dedicated, savvy volunteer affiliate leaders to make full practice authority a reality in all US states and territories. ACNM's vision of midwifery for every community is our guide in all policy making efforts. As Nichole Wardlaw stated about the successful Virginia efforts, "We can't keep doing things the same way and expect different outcomes." Bravo to the Virginia ACNM Affiliate for these two incredible wins for midwives and the people they serve.

About ACNM

With over 6,500 members, ACNM is the professional association that represents certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) in the United States. ACNM promotes excellence in midwifery education, clinical practice, and research. With roots dating to 1929, our members are primary care providers for women throughout the lifespan, with a special emphasis on pregnancy, childbirth, and gynecologic and reproductive health. ACNM provides research, administers, and promotes continuing education programs, establishes education and clinical practice standards, and creates liaisons with state and federal agencies and members of Congress to increase the visibility and recognition of midwifery care.

Learn more at https://www.midwife.org/.

MEDIA CONTACT:
ACNM Membership & Communications
240.485.1813; membership@acnm.org

Related link: https://www.midwife.org/

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Business, Free News Articles, Government, Hospitals and Nursing

Congressman Ron Kind praises vaccination clinic in La Crosse

LA CROSSE, Wis. -- AMI Expeditionary Healthcare along with three partnering organizations - the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, the Department of Health Services and the La Crosse County Health Department - welcomed Rep. Ron Kind, on March 23, as he toured a COVID-19 vaccination site that has distributed more than 2,000 doses since its opening on March 9.

"We are proud of the work being done here by the AMI team and all of its partners," said Daniel Beck, senior operations manager for AMI Expeditionary Healthcare who is helping to oversee several vaccination centers throughout the state.

Rep. Ron Kind on Tuesday toured the community-based vaccination clinic at UW-La Crosse, as the site continues to expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine in the Coulee Region.

"This is an unbelievable vaccine site operation - it's a well-oiled machine," Rep. Kind said, noting that Wisconsin is among the top five states in the country when it comes to distributing vaccine in a timely manner. "It's because of planning, preparation and vaccine sites like this that keep people safe."

Julie Willems Van Dijk, deputy secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, said it's been a team effort to get as many people vaccinated as possible, as quickly as possible.

"It's all players, all working together, all the time," she explained. "We've provided vaccine to health care, pharmacies, local health departments, employers, tribal nations ... and they're all distributing the vaccine quickly."

AMI Expeditionary Healthcare works with the state to identify locations to address gaps in vaccine access and support vaccination efforts. Factors including population demographics, local health capacity, operations, and concentration of other vaccine providers are taken into consideration when planning for clinics.

DHS community-based clinics are operated by AMI Expeditionary Healthcare through collaboration with the University of Wisconsin System, local public health departments, and other local partners.

For more information, contact info@ami.health

If you would like to learn more about AMI and their services, please visit https://ami.health/

Follow us on Social Media:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/amiexpeditionaryhealthcare

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/amiexpeditionaryhealthcare/

Twitter https://twitter.com/amiexphealth

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/ami.health/

Related link: https://ami.health/

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Business, Free News Articles, Government

AMI Expeditionary Healthcare (AMI) Contracted by The State of Louisiana to Provide Medical and Surgical Staff to Support 400+ Intensive Care Unit and Hospital Beds for 12-24 Months

RESTON, Va. -- AMI Expeditionary Healthcare (AMI) will be providing comprehensive, independent, and turnkey operation management for The State of Louisiana as they fight the surge of COVID-19 positive cases during this public health emergency.

Physician owned and physician led, AMI grew out of a need to provide the highest quality healthcare in areas of high demand such as this. "We have a proven track record providing medical and surgical teams on very short notice," Dr. Thomas Crabtree, AMI Group Medical Director notes. "Our company delivers a unique combination of extremely flexible teams of health practitioners combined with highly refined medical processes and procedures. This combination allows us to provide an expanding number of bespoke health services around the world," Crabtree continues.

"The contract allows Louisiana to be prepared should there be additional surges in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations," notes the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH.) AMI will be supplying and managing medical staff, and/or other personnel providing direct patient care as authorized by LDH for at least the next year or two.

AMI's services range from health consultancies and deployment of single-person aid posts and mobile clinics through to full-field hospitals and global aeromedical evacuation solutions - providing people, facilities, equipment, consumables, pharmacy products, procedures, training or any combination of these services depending on needs, requirements and desired healthcare outcomes-all part of this historic response providing critical services to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services all over the United States.

For more information, please contact info@ami.health.

Related link: https://ami.health/

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Business, Free News Articles, Government, Software

GSA IT MAS Contract Awarded to Synergetics

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Synergetics has been awarded the General Services Administration (GSA) IT MAS Contract, after a thorough assessment from the GSA. This award is a testament to Synergetics' competencies, execution, and customer success.

Buying through IT MAS streamlines Government procurement by shortening buying cycles, ensuring compliance, and delivering the best value from pre-vetted vendors.

Synergetics has continuously excelled in delivering critical custom software and data solutions to Federal Agencies. The company develops and manages the official platform for all military parts and products, the backbone through which billions of dollars of Federal supply chain procurement occurs annually and the official source of identification and standardization for over 16 million unique parts.

Synergetics' IT MAS Schedule allows Federal, State, and Local Agencies to license cloud-ready software with unified user experiences, auditable interactions, configurable data architecture, and hardened security. Product Offerings include:

Cloud-Ready Software Suite (Licensed Products):

* IMD: our dynamic data platform that syndicates, catalogs, searches, and retrieves data from one or more sources

* OpenFLIS: our cloud-scale, modular platform for data syndication, schema configuration, cataloging, search, dissemination, secure access, and reporting. OpenFIS supports mobiles and API options for flexibility.

Services:

* Application Development Services

* Systems Administration Services

* Software Maintenance Services

* Database Consolidation Services

About Synergetics:

Synergetics is a longstanding Colorado software engineering company and services provider focused on Federal modernization initiatives for over 25 years. Synergetics' software solutions have been used by a variety of Government agencies including, the Department of Defense (DoD), the National Institute of Health (NIH), the US Geological Survey (USGS), and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), among others.

Learn more at: https://synergetics.com/

Synergetics' IT MAS Contract Number is 47QTCA21D005F and is valid until February 2026 with options for renewal.

For more information on our products and services, please contact:

Kabir Mehta, COO

Phone: 970.498.9723

Fax: 970.498.9775

Email: gsa-mas@synergetics.com

Synergetics Incorporated, 1520 South College Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80524.

Related link: https://synergetics.com/

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Awards and Honors, Business, Free News Articles, Government

Printpack Williamsburg Receives the Virginia ‘Star’ Designation Under the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s (DOLI) Voluntary Protection Programs

RICHMOND, Va. -- Commissioner C. Ray Davenport announced today that Printpack in Williamsburg, Virginia, has been approved as a Virginia STAR Worksite under the Virginia's Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), the agency's highest level of recognition for excellence in safety and health management systems.

"This outstanding achievement in occupational safety and health has come through the dedication and hard work of Printpack Williamsburg employees and management. I commend Printpack for embracing the cooperative spirit of VPP, and congratulate them on their hard-earned certification as a Virginia STAR Worksite," said Commissioner Davenport.

Printpack's commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace for its employees is demonstrated by its low injury and illness rates. The Williamsburg facility has a total three-year average for the TCIR (Total Case Incident Rate for injuries and illnesses) of 1.31 compared with a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) national rate of 3.8, representing a TCIR rate 66% lower than the national average for the industry. The site's three-year average DART rate (Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred injury and illness cases) is 0.49, compared with the 2.3 national rate, which is 79% below the national average for the industry.

As part of the recognition for achieving Virginia STAR status under VPP, the worksite is entitled to fly the Virginia "STAR Worksite" flag. The Printpack facility is the only STAR Worksite in Virginia and is one of six Printpack VPP STAR sites currently in the United States. VPP includes two levels of participation, Merit and STAR, with Virginia STAR being the highest. Similar voluntary protection programs are conducted in other states across the country.

The process for reaching Virginia STAR status is extensive to ensure that only the very best companies qualify. Since the inception of Virginia STAR in 1996, only 73 STAR worksites have been recognized, and only 36 Virginia companies currently retain the STAR designation. Printpack's site has set a standard of excellence that is second to none.

In Virginia VPP, a cooperative relationship is formed between the VOSH program, the employer, and the employees which include the agreement of company leaders to operate exceptional safety and health management systems that meet a rigorous set of occupational safety and health criteria. Employers agree to voluntarily participate in the program and to directly involve employees in all aspects of the company's safety and health management systems. Requirements include an extensive application process, submission of written safety and health policies and procedures, demonstration of successful implementation of those programs through injury and illness rates that are below the national average for the employer's industry, and an intensive weeklong inspection by a team of VPP experts.

Virginia businesses that participate in VPP substantially improve safety and health protections for thousands of Virginia employees through cooperative efforts to reduce injuries, illnesses, and fatal accidents. VPP STAR sites regularly report decreased bottom line costs associated with dramatically reduced injury and illness rates (an average of approximately 50% below the respective industry average), and improved productivity and employee morale. Reducing private sector employer costs associated with injuries, illnesses, and fatal accidents enhances a company's economic viability and competitiveness, and increases available capital for reinvestment, expansion, and new hiring.

DOLI operates six recognition programs. These include:

- Virginia STAR is a cooperative relationship between the VOSH program, the employer, and the employees that include the agreement of company leaders to operate exceptional safety and health management systems that meet a rigorous set of occupational safety and health criteria. Participating employers agree to voluntarily participate in the program and to directly involve employees in all aspects of the company's safety and health management systems. Requirements include an extensive application process, submission of written safety and health policies and procedures, demonstration of successful implementation of those programs through injury and illness rates that are below the national average for the employer's industry, and an intensive weeklong inspection by a team of VPP experts.

- Virginia BEST (Building Excellence in Safety, Health and Training) is a strategic partnership between the DOLI and the Associated General Contractors of Virginia (AGCVA) that recognizes AGCVA members who voluntarily implement highly effective safety and health management systems to benefit construction workers and reduce or eliminate injuries, illnesses, and fatalities on construction sites in Virginia.

- Virginia BUILT is a new strategic partnership between the DOLI and the Associated Builders and Contractors of Virginia (ABCVA) and is designed to encourage and recognize ABC-VA members who voluntarily implement highly effective safety and health management systems to benefit construction workers and reduce or eliminate injuries, illnesses, and fatalities on construction sites in Virginia. The Virginia BUILT program incorporates the ABC STEP program (Safety Training Evaluation Process) as the gateway to participation in Virginia BUILT.

- Virginia CHALLENGE is a formal three-stage recognition program that dramatically improves safety and health at the worksite and prepares the company to apply for Virginia STAR recognition.

- VOSH-VADOC CHALLENGE is a strategic partnership between the DOLI and the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) to recognize safety and health excellence at correctional facilities around the Commonwealth. Three stages of participation in VADOC Challenge prepare a site to apply for Virginia STAR recognition. Virginia has the only two correctional facilities in the nation to have received VPP STAR status, Augusta and Lunenburg Correctional Centers. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the DOLI office closest to you at www.doli.virginia.gov or contact Milford Stern, VPP Manager, at (540) 562-3580, ext. 123, or milford.stern@doli.virginia.gov.

- The Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) recognizes businesses of 250 employees or fewer and is administered by the DOLI Consultative Services Division. Contact Tracy Michaud, Consultation Program Manager, at (804) 786-8707 or tracy.michaud@doli.virginia.gov.

DOLI offers free On-Site Consultation Services to help employers better understand and voluntarily comply with VOSH standards. Priority is given to high hazard workplaces with 250 or fewer employees and all services are offered to employers at no cost. On-Site Consultation Services helps employers identify and correct potential safety and health hazards by conducting walk-through surveys (without citations or penalties), abatement advice, on-site training, and program assistance to develop safety and health programs. Additional information about On-Site Consultation Services can be obtained by contacting the DOLI office closest to you at www.doli.virginia.gov or by contacting Tracy Michaud, Consultation Program Manager, at (804) 786-8707, or tracy.michaud@doli.virginia.gov.

The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) program is financed in part by a grant from the U. S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), under §23(g) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The FFY21 Virginia State Plan is funded by a grant of $4,332,400 federal funds, which constitutes 50% of the State Plan budget excluding any state overmatch funds. Zero percent, or $0.00 of the State Plan budget, is financed through nongovernmental sources.

The Virginia On-Site Consultation Cooperative Agreement program is financed in part by a grant from the U. S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), under §21(d) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The FFY21 Virginia Consultation program is funded by a grant of $1,189,200 federal funds, which constitutes 90% of the Virginia Consultation program budget excluding any state overmatch funds. Zero percent, or $0.00 of the Virginia Consultation budget, is financed through nongovernmental sources.

MEDIA CONTACT

Jennifer Rose

VOSH Cooperative Program Director

804-786-7776

jennifer.rose@doli.virginia.gov

Related link: https://www.doli.virginia.gov/

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Business, Free News Articles, Government

Amarillo Among Tops in the Nation in COVID-19 Vaccination Rate

AMARILLO, Texas -- Amarillo is leading the way in getting the COVID-19 vaccine to the public. According to online data from covidactnow.org, the Amarillo metro area is among the top metro areas in the nation in COVID-19 vaccinations.

For Updates/Vaccine Availability Information, See https://amarilloalerts.com/.

As of February 9, Amarillo was No. 4 in the country in first-shot vaccinations. Amarillo was tops in the nation in this category as of late January. The Amarillo Public Health Department began providing the COVID-19 vaccine at its walk-in clinic at the Amarillo Civic Center on Dec. 30. As of February 9, more than 30,000 individuals in the Amarillo metro area had received the first COVID-19 vaccine shot.

"A vaccination clinic of this magnitude is something Amarillo has never done before," said Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson. "The City of Amarillo Public Health Department understood the mission: vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible. They accomplished that by transforming the Amarillo Civic Center into an area-wide health clinic that is providing a crucial vaccine to thousands of people a day.

"What has been accomplished in such a short time is truly remarkable. This is one of the primary steps in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in our community, and I would encourage our citizens who meet the current vaccination criteria to please get vaccinated and to take advantage of this vital public resource."

The City of Amarillo is updating COVID-19 vaccine availability several times a day at https://amarilloalerts.com/. Please check this site for current information. Amarillo City Transit is providing free transportation. For more information call (806) 378-3095.

For more information, contact City of Amarillo Communications Manager Dave Henry at (806) 378-5219 or by email at David.Henry@amarillo.gov. Web: https://www.amarillo.gov/

Related link: https://www.amarillo.gov/

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Defense and Military, Free News Articles, Government, Legal and Law

SECDEF Urged to Protect Troops from Sexual Assault Through Equity Boards

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Washington D.C., metropolitan-based law firm of Jordan Guydon, LLP, announced today a plan to reduce sexual assault and harassment in the military. "Our plan recommends that Secretary of Defense Austin update 75-year-old architecture," said managing partner Attorney Daryle A. Jordan, a former Army lawyer and veteran of the Gulf War.

Former Army lawyer Colonel Howard G. Cooley, USA (Ret.), recommends Secretary Austin empower Pentagon Boards for Correction of Military Records (BCMRs) to strongly prevent sexual assault and harassment before they occur; and promote fair adjudication of sexual harassment and assault claims by appointing an exponentially expanded pool of qualified civilian adjudicators.

Cooley and Jordan recommend Secretary Austin direct each Pentagon Service Secretary to establish a sub-BCMR entity designated as a BCMR Equity Panel (for Gender, Racial and Cultural Equity) - applying criteria to adjudicate sexual assault; sexual harassment; discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation; discrimination based on race, national origin, ethnicity, culture, and religion; and discrimination based on historical marginalization. Cooley and Jordan propose BCMR Equity Panels protect Servicemembers from sexually-based harassment, stalking, attempted attacks, offensive touching, or other harmful actions and consequences including depression, PTSD, fear, venereal disease, pregnancy, broken bones, retaliation and career damage.

Cooley notes, "Waiting for Servicemembers to be attacked before acting is not an option, as it would be unreasonable for the military to process 'red-tape' when 'vulnerable or marginalized' women and some other Servicemembers are under assault by lascivious superiors and co-workers in a culture of violence."

Cooley continues, "Thus, if a Servicemember is so pressured and the military's bureaucracy is unresponsive, the Service BCMR Equity Panel acts on behalf of the Secretary concerned as a 'safety valve,' upon contact by the victim; and prevents imminent harm such as by changing the records of Servicemembers to reflect reassignment and direct immediate compliance with that order, within 24-hours."

Cooley and Jordan recommend BCMR Equity Panels apply the standards and spirit of relevant laws and policies, including President Biden's Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government (January 20, 2021), and advance equity for all, including and especially the historically underserved and marginalized by or as follows:

* Designation by each Service of a BCMR Panel for Gender, Racial and Cultural Equity Issues (GRACE Panel), consisting of civilian legal, human relations, and other personnel appropriate for such duty, with the responsibility to ensure their decisions promote orderly personnel management.

* Elimination of preordained caps on the number of BCMR Board members, and appointment of globally based qualified members in accordance with the needs of Servicemembers, complexity of cases, and other considerations. The Equity Panel membership should be diverse and include members from the Senior Executive Service (SES). Appointments may be involuntary, temporary, extra-duty, part-time, full-time, voluntary or otherwise, at the direction or approval of the Secretary concerned.

* Designation in each Service of a highly trained BCMR Equity Panel, consisting of a standing civilian body of at least 600 members (200 panels) and reserve civilian body of at least 240 members (80 panels).

* Exercise broad authority to act on behalf of the Service Secretary, including transferring Applicants out of harm's way temporarily or permanently to prevent apparent, threshold, imminent or actual mental, physical or career injury, when it is determined DOD and Service protective procedures are inadequate. The Equity Panel's jurisdiction includes acts pertaining to an Applicant's superiors, colleagues, installation, or off-post sites reasonably related to the military.

* Report incidents to the Office of the Assistant Secretary (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) concerned for any appropriate disposition, consistent with existing laws.

* Consistent with the legislative history of the BCMR Statute, Board members shall personally review case materials, and decide each case through the exercise of independent and fair judgment based on a sound application of the legal, broadest equitable and remedial standards in a timely manner. Board members will not delegate decisional authority, in fact or appearance, to staff. Staff may conduct research, prepare administrative orders or draft Board decisions upon receiving explicit direction in writing from the chair of the panel or Board president or vice president. Staff, however, may not participate in the Board's adjudicational process regarding petitions.

* All commands shall cooperate with BCMR Equity Panels.

* This directive does not impact any Presidential, Congressional, judicial, DOD, Military Department or any other action that modifies/alters or declines to modify/alter case disposition under the UCMJ.

Jordan explains, "In 1945, as 16-million Servicemembers demobilized upon the end of WWII, a public angry over the military's mistreatment of many Servicemembers during the war demanded an immediate remedy from Congress, the sole body correcting military records since 1789." Jordan observes further, "In response, Congress materially changed the military records process to respond to public demands, and avoid potentially large numbers of post-WWII requests for correction of military records from clogging Congress' legislative focus on a possible WWIII with atomic implications and the restoration of the world economy." Thus, Cooley notes, "Congress delegated its authority to correct military records under the constitutional War Powers provision to Service Secretaries through newly established BCMRs, vesting in them more equitable power possessed by the U.S Supreme Court and federal courts, including the amazing ability to change facts in the record upon which to compel legal relief."

Commenting further, Jordan observes, "The touchstone of the BCMR process, however, is civilian employees appointed by their Service Secretaries exercise objective and independent review over personnel decisions by the military." Jordan observes, however, that, "By 1996, management consultant Booz Allen Hamilton's independent study advised DOD and Congress that the ABCMR functioned with a 'lack of independence' and an appearance as a mere 'rubber stamp' of the actual decisions by the staff."

Jordan states, "The ABCMR's failure of independent judgment was confirmed in 2016 by Attorney Sara Dareshori, then Human Rights Watch's Senior Counsel, who stamped the ABCMR with the momentous characterization as a nonresponsive 'graveyard' for marginalized female Servicemembers seeking vindication of their rights regarding sexual assault and retaliatory discharge through a process in which the ABCMR routinely and erroneously rejected their petitions in a mere 4 to 5-minute span without adequate review of the case materials."

Cooley further observes, "In 2018, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Review Boards (DASA) informed the Military Personnel Subcommittee of Congress' House Armed Services Committee (HASC) the ABCMR had a history of adjudicating many cases by focusing on eliminating its high case backlog in the thousands [nearly 14,000 at the time] at the expense of doing justice for Servicemembers petitioning for relief." Additionally, the DASA represented the ABCMR would correct its course; however, Cooley and Jordan who "do not question the DASA's good-faith, but question the time it will take to reverse that extensive institutional damage tantamount to the loss of decisional integrity."

CONTACTS:

HOWARD G. COOLEY | Colonel, USA (Ret.) | Of Counsel | DARYLE A. JORDAN | Managing Partner |

JORDANGUYDON LLP | Attorneys at Law | 10560 Main Street (Mosby Tower), Suite 310, Fairfax, VA 22030 | Desk: 703.865.8699 | Fax: 703.865.8729 | Email: hcooley@jordanguydonlaw.com

Website: http://jordanguydonlaw.com/

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