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James Wright

Stories by James

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Michele Roberts Elected as Head of NBA Players' Union

Noted D.C. criminal defense attorney Michele Roberts has been elected as the new executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, marking the the first time a woman will lead a major North American sports union.

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Federal Judge Issues Stay on D.C. Gun Ban Ruling

A federal judge granted a 90-day stay Tuesday in a recent ruling that declared D.C.'s ban on citizens carrying handguns in public as unconstitutional, a delay welcomed by city officials and law enforcement who had scrambled to comply with the ruling.

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Dem Lawmakers Call for Universal Internet Access


Two House members were among group of lawmakers Monday calling on Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to ensure that every American has access to the Internet, regardless of economic status.

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Obama Renames Fellowship after Nelson Mandela


President Obama has renamed a fellowship program that educates young African leaders after former South African President Nelson Mandela.


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D.C. Political Roundup: Three Blacks Vie for Attorney General

The voters of the District will go to the polls on Nov. 4, to elect a mayor, members of the D.C. Council, D.C. State Board of Education members and their advisory neighborhood commissioners. However, there's a new category on the ballot, District attorney general, and voters may have three African-Americans to choose from for the office.

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D.C. Celebrates the Life of Robert Moore, 'Mr. Columbia Heights'

Hundreds of people, including the mayor of the District and two D.C. Council members, commemorated the life and accomplishments of the late Robert Moore, known affectionately to many as "Mr. Columbia Heights" on Saturday, July 19 at Shiloh Baptist Church in Northwest.

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NAACP, Dunkin' Donuts Pair for Diversity Initiative

The NAACP announced Wednesday it has teamed with the parent company of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins to create a diversity initiative to increase the number of black-owned franchise businesses nationwide.


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Booker, Paul Float Sentencing Reform Legislation

Freshman Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) teamed earlier this month to introduce a bill that would radically change the nation's criminal justice system. 


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Sharpton, NAACP Condemn NYPD Chokehold Death

The NAACP and the Rev. Al Sharpton condemned the New York City police officers who killed an asthmatic Staten Island man Thursday by putting him in a chokehold.

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Bowser to Hold Soccer Stadium Hearings

D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) will hold public hearings next week on a proposal to build a soccer stadium in the city.

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Gray Lauds Drop in D.C. Unemployment Rate



D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said he is elated about the latest unemployment figures from the Department of Labor that show the city's unemployment rate for June dropped to 7.4 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage points from the revised May rate of 7.5 percent.

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Gray Expands D.C. Free Summer Meals Program to Saturdays

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray announced Thursday the expansion of the city's Free Summer Meals program to Saturdays, the second straight year he has done so.

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NAACP to Honor Howard U.'s William Spriggs

William Spriggs, a professor and past chairman of Howard University's economics department, was recently selected by the NAACP as this year's recipient of the organization's Benjamin L. Hooks "Keeper of the Flame" Award.

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Biden to Address NAACP Convention in Las Vegas

Vice President Joseph R. Biden will be one of the speakers at this year's NAACP annual convention in Las Vegas.

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D.C. Political Roundup: Catania Courts Black Voters

D.C. Council member David Catania is running an aggressive campaign for mayor and he wants the backing of the District's black community.

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Tierra Jolly Wins Ward 8 Board of Education Race

Tierra Jolly, educator and political neophyte, won the Ward 8 seat on D.C.'s Board of Education on Tuesday, besting veteran political activist Philip Pannell, 704-599.

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AIDS Walk Has a New Name

The Whitman-Walker Health clinic in Northwest recently announced that, after 27 years, it is changing the name of its signature activity.

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Norton Sponsors 'Dance Day' Resolution

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton recently introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives marking Saturday, July 26 as National Dance Day.

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D.C. Mayor Gray Chides Council Override of Budget Veto

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray decried the city council's decision to override his veto of the 2015 budget plan, warning that it "ties the hands of future mayors."

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Edward Smith to Run for D.C. Attorney General

Edward "Smitty" Smith is merely the latest to formally make a bid in the inaugural race for District attorney general, but if he's deterred by the ever-growing list of candidates, he's not showing it.

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Senate Approves Harriet Tubman Park Bill

The Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to establish a national historical park at Harriet Tubman's former home and related properties in Auburn, New York, and her childhood residences on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

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CBC Blasts Boehner for Attempt to Sue Obama

Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge (D), the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, criticized House Speaker John Boehner for his efforts to sue President Obama over alleged abuses of executive authority.


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McDuffie Endorses White for D.C. Council

D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5) has endorsed independent Robert White, a former staffer for Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, to fill the Council's non-Democratic at-large seat.

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Lateefah Williams to Run for D.C. Attorney General

Lateefah Williams, an attorney and civic activist, wants to use her extensive experience in legislative and public policy positions to become the first elected attorney general for the District.


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Gray Vetoes D.C. Council's 2015 Budget

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray rejected the City Council's fiscal 2015 budget and returned it to the city's legislative body with three line-item vetoes.

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Gray Welcomes Microsoft to D.C. for Conference

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, who has made priority to bring high-tech firms to the city, lauded Microsoft for holding its Worldwide Partner Conference in the District this month.


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D.C. Political Roundup: 
Politics on Display at Palisades Parade

Despite the fanfare, marching bands and parade onlookers, the District's politicians grabbed the undivided attention of potential voters — both new and old — during the 48th Annual Palisades Citizens Association Fourth of July Parade in Northwest.

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Norton Chides Rand Paul on D.C. Gun Law Amendment

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton will take on anyone on behalf of her city, including Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who drew Norton's ire by filing an amendment Tuesday that would eliminate the District's gun safety laws.

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NAACP, CBC Lament High Rate of Black Unemployment

While the nation appears to be in an economic recovery, leaders of the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus bemoan the high number of unemployed blacks.

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Valerie Montgomery Rice Heads Up Morehouse Medical School

Valerie Montgomery Rice, the executive vice president and dean of Morehouse's School of Medicine, is the school's newest president and the first black woman to lead an independent medical school.

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Anthony Williams Endorses Bowser for Mayor

Former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams has publicly endorsed Council member Muriel Bowser's quest to become the next mayor of the District.

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Gray to Residents: Boycott Md. Rep.'s District for Blocking D.C. Marijuana Law

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and leaders of the city's democracy movement are urging residents to boycott vacation destinations in the district of Rep. Andy Harris — including Ocean City — in retaliation to the Maryland Republican's push to stop marijuana decriminalization in the District.

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Norton: St. Elizabeths West is Still On

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton announced Thursday that the St. Elizabeths West complex in Southeast is slated to receive a substantial amount of federal funds and the building of the huge project will proceed, contrary to several reports.

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D.C. Political Roundup: 
Ward 8 Democrats Call Truce

Natalie Williams, the president of the Ward 8 Democrats, battled members of the organization's executive board earlier this year but has since made peace with her former adversaries.

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Centric to Air D.C. Emancipation Day Town Hall

Cable channel Centric will air a two-hour special dedicated to the 2014 D.C. Emancipation Day Town Hall on July 4, Council member Vincent Orange (D-At Large) announced Wednesday.

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Gray Cites Progress Fighting HIV, Other STDs

D.C. is no longer one of America's breeding grounds for HIV, sexually transmitted diseases and other ailments, according to a report released Wednesday by the Gray administration.

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Michelle Howard Becomes Navy's First Female Four-Star Admiral

The Navy made history Tuesday when it promoted Michelle Howard, an African-American, to be its first female four-star admiral.

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Peaceoholics Misused $600K in City Funds, D.C. Judge Rules

Peaceoholics, an anti-gang, anti-violence nonprofit in the District, suffered a legal setback Tuesday when a D.C. Superior Court judge entered an order of default judgment against the group and its CEO for more than $600,000.

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Obama, Dems Lambaste Supreme Court Labor Ruling

President Obama and other Democratic leaders expressed concerns about the Supreme Court's ruling Monday that some government employees do not have to pay fees to the labor organizations representing them.

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Supreme Court Blasted for Birth-Control Ruling

Political leaders nationwide lamented the Supreme Court's ruling Monday on Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby allowing for-profit employers to use religious reasons to opt out of a mandate of the Obama health care law to provide contraceptive coverage.

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Cory Booker Sponsors Bill on Juvenile Justice

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker recently introduced a bill that would incentivize states to replace overly harsh school disciplinary actions and juvenile court punishment with evidence-based solutions that save money, enhance public safety and improve youth outcomes.

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Redskins Sign Jerry Rice Jr.

The Washington Redskins are hoping that Jerry Rice Jr. is a chip off the old block.

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Bonds Supports Good Hope Road Upgrade in Southeast

D.C. Council member Anita Bonds wants to make sure that Ward 8's Good Hope Road in Southeast receives as much economic attention as it needs to develop.

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Obama Loses Supreme Court Recess Appointments Case

In a rare show of unity, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the Obama administration and stated that recess appointment for high-level administrative posts made by the president had its limits.

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Holder Takes on Wisconsin Voter ID Law


U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he will not keep an anti-voting rights decision made by the Supreme Court last year prevent him making sure that all Americans have fair access to the ballot box.

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D.C. Political Roundup: Cheh's AG Elections Bill Takes Center Stage

A bill authored by D.C. Council member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), the "Attorney General Partisan Election Implementation Act," may be key to the election of the District's first attorney general in November.

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Black Vote Helps GOP's Cochran; Rangel Hangs On

Anthony Brown and his successful bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination was the focal point for most African-Americans on election night Tuesday, but blacks also quietly played a big role in a veteran Republican senator's defeat of a tea party favorite in the Deep South.


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Norton Fights D.C. Pot Decriminalization Amendment

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) is fighting to stop an amendment to a House appropriation bill that would block the District from decriminalizing marijuana.

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NAACP Calls for New Voting Rights Act

The NAACP told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday that key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 struck down last year by the Supreme Court need to be reactivated to ensure citizens will be allowed to vote freely.

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'Yoga Tax' Stays in D.C. Budget Proposal

The District of Columbia 2015 budget proposal to be submitted to Mayor Vincent Gray (D) contains the controversial "yoga tax" that will extend the city's sales tax to include gym and fitness services.

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