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This board member breaks the mold

Old enough to advocate, young enough to still relate 

By Dwight Hobbes
Contributing Writer


You don’t meet LeAndra Estis so much as experience her. The svelte, diminutive dynamo, an enthused conversationalist, arrests your attention, bringing intelligence and passion to bear on whatever subject happens to be at hand. Good news: Estis is committed to the cause of affording disenfranchised, low-income Twin Citians tools and tactics to empower economic advancement. She is a board member of Community Action Partnership (CAP), a national agency dedicated the past 50 years to leveling the field for those who’ve been shunted to society’s sidelines. On top of which, the term “board member” generally brings to mind a stodgy, self-impressed stuffed blouse of fairly advanced age more concerned with being officious than being of actual effect.  At 31, energetic and outgoing, Estis breaks that mold. Continue Reading →

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Sebelius and Holder address NAACP convention — Speeches focused on Zimmerman verdict, Affordable Care Act, voting rights




By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer



In light of the recent George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict, both U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week stressed the importance of civil rights during their scheduled appearances at the NAACP national convention in Orlando, Fla. The attorney general called for “a respectful, responsible dialogue about issues of justice and equality.”

“The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy for his family, but also for our country,” Sebelius pointed out. “So are the tragedies of all the children we have lost because of gun violence before and since Trayvon was killed.” She and Holder spoke separately to the NAACP July 16, three days after the Zimmerman trial ended on July 13. “Across America, diverse groups of citizens, from all races, backgrounds and walks of life are instead overwhelmingly making their voices heard” in disagreeing with the verdict, said Holder. “I hope that we will continue to approach this necessarily difficult dialogue with the same dignity that those who have lost the most — Trayvon’s parents — have demonstrated throughout the last year, and especially over the past few days.”

“The president hasn’t given up on pushing forward on commonsense gun violence prevention efforts,” reaffirmed the HHS secretary. Continue Reading →

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