Monday, August 31, 2020
Roy Charles Brooks
Rodney Ellis
Dr. Helen Holton
Executive Director
We hope this message finds all of our members well, especially those who are in areas affected by Hurricanes Laura and Marco. Just be assured that your colleagues are here to provide mutual support if you need it.

Because of COVID-19 and the economic downturn it created, this year definitely will go down in history as one of the most troubling times in recent years. However, we will all get through this period by working together.

Now, with both political parties’ national conventions in the rearview mirror, we face another critical challenge to assure that voters have safe and easy access to the polls without risking their health. This election is extremely important because the results could determine not only the future of this country, but also the world.

Not only are we voting for the next president of the United States, let us remember down-ballot candidates in the local communities where we live.

In addition, we must support efforts to keep the U.S. Postal Service open for business. Its services extend beyond mail-in ballots. USPS delivers mail-ordered prescription drugs, agricultural supplies and online purchases. Those services are the lifeline to rural America. 

Finally, we must also not lose sight of a complete and fair Census count. While we are fighting for an extension beyond the Sept. 30 deadline, that still is the finish line by law for us to complete the decennial count as of today. We must keep our sleeves rolled up as we press forward for a just, safe and inclusive nation. Because we know our push to make Blacks Lives Matter is more important than ever before.
By Supervisor Keith Carson
We, the undersigned, applaud the bold actions taken by NBA players to strike and not play the NBA playoff games following the announcement of the boycott by the Milwaukee Bucks exactly four years after Colin Kaepernick took a knee to protest police brutality. This strike, which has now extended throughout professional sports, was ignited by yet another shooting of an unarmed Black man; Mr. Jacob Blake who was shot in the back, seven times, by white police officers in Wisconsin and the ongoing killings of Black men and women in this country by law enforcement officers, something chronicled in history since enslaved Africans were first brought to America over 400 years ago.

Thank you for the bold leadership you continue to display as Americans across racial and ethnic groups, who speak out as human beings impacted by and concerned about the systemic racism which has existed since the founding of the country. While you are celebrated leaders, you are first and foremost human beings who have every right to speak out publicly, like all Americans on issues of concern to you and your family. America is a country which highlights in its constitution the right of every American to speak out and even demonstrate against injustice.

Your bold stand and continued actions are impactful to all of those who look up to you as leaders and role models regarding the ongoing injustice which has historically taken place in this country disproportionately affecting Black, Brown, Asian, Native and poor White people.

We, the undersigned, recognize the incredible actions you are taking by standing up and speaking out about the killings of Black men and women and People of Color by law enforcement across this Country, risking your livelihood, especially at this uncertain time in history. Your actions and sacrifice are a pivotal point in today’s struggle for “equal protection of the laws”, your peaceful, heroic actions at this important moment opens the door for others in positions of public influence to join you in speaking out against the injustice which continues to take place in this country from cradle to grave in every segment of our society including health care, education, lending, housing, environment, food access, and law enforcement interactions.

We, the undersigned, stand with you as organizations and individuals. Thank you for your bold action.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, California's 13th District
Supervisor Keith Carson, Vice President, Alameda County Board of Supervisors
Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks, (Tarrant County, TX) Chairman, National Organization of Black County Officials, Inc.
Commissioner Rodney Ellis, (Harris County, TX) President, National Association of Black County Officials
Councilmember Larry Reid, Vice Mayor, City of Oakland
Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, District 3, City of Oakland, Chair, Black Elected Officials of the East Bay
Dr. Fatima Alleyne, Trustee, Contra Costa County Board of Education, Area 1
Supervisor Keith Carson, Vice President, Alameda County Board of Supervisors
Dr. Helen Holton, Executive Director, NOBCO
LaNiece A. Jones, Executive Director, Black Women Organized for Political Action
Melanie Campbell, President & CEO, Convener, Black Women's Roundtable, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Inc.
Muhammad A. Nadhiri, Chairman, Board of Directors, 100 Black Men of the Bay Area
Dr. Wade Nobles, Professor Emeritus, Black Psychology and Africana Studies San Francisco State University, Founding Executive Director(retired), The Institute for the Advanced Study of Black Family Life & Culture, Inc.

Messaging: Don’t Rush Our 2020 Census, Save The Census

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted and delayed the counting of every person in the country for our 2020 Census.

This is the 24th time we have conducted this Constitutional mandate since 1790, through wars and recessions and natural disasters, and we’ve never skipped it or shortchanged our mission.
Now, the Administration has decided to cut the census short. If they rush the rest of the census, a lot of us won’t be counted. It’s time to make some noise. Tell Congress to push back the legal deadlines for reporting the census results, as the top Census Bureau career experts recommended, and the Administration requested in April. The Administration abruptly reversed course, with no explanation. Now it’s up to us to demand the complete, fair and accurate count our communities and families deserve.

Give the national count the time we were promised. Too much is at stake for the next decade.
Now, in the middle of a pandemic and a recession, we need a good census more than ever. We can’t afford to cut people and communities out of the once-a-decade portrait of our nation that the Constitution requires.

Here’s what’s at stake for the next 10 years: funding for Medicare and hospitals, school lunches and senior care programs, teachers and job training, road improvements and new public transit, emergency response, and rural sewer systems, plus business investment to help our neighborhoods recover from the pandemic. Our communities won’t get the resources they need and deserve if we don’t get this census right. An accurate census requires enough time.
Congress must act now to secure our futures together.

The census belongs to us. Our democracy depends on it. Congress is in charge of the census, so tell lawmakers: Save our census. Extend the deadlines. Make sure we all count.
It is time we stake our claim. Don’t rush our Census. Save the 2020 Census. 


The Urban Institute, with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are looking to partner with up to eight counties to compose an Upward Mobility Cohort. Awardees will receive $125,000 and 18 months of tailored technical assistance from Urban Institute experts to help county leaders use a set of 25 evidence-based mobility metrics to inform decision-making and develop a “mobility action plan.”

This plan will reflect a comprehensive approach to upward mobility and will identify key challenges across policy areas that inhibit local mobility. The plan will also highlight strategies to improve local conditions for mobility and outcomes for residents, as informed by data and community voices.

Interested counties should complete the Request for Information (RFI) by September 16, 2020. The researchers will select up to 25 finalists who will be invited to submit a full proposal due in November 2020, ultimately inviting eight counties to participate in the Upward Mobility Cohort. The cohort and technical assistance process will launch in January 2021.
For more background information please visit the following links:

·      Details on the RFI
·      Submit an application
·      FAQ’s

Please email any questions about the application process to:

Over the years we've awarded thousands of dollars of scholarship to students pursuing higher education. They represent the next generation of leaders from our community. We're currently working on a project to support student enrichment at the primary/secondary levels of education. Stay-tuned for more information.

Following are updates of how we continue to support higher learning as an organization through the HHSF.
To thank Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie for the gift of her time in supporting our Inspirational Fellowship. We presented her with a $1,000 scholarship for a student of her choosing. She chose Ms. Raven Jones, a Junior at Grambling University majoring in Business Management. Here is Bishop McKenzie presenting this educational lift to a deserving student.
Good Morning NOBCO,

This is Martina Jones the recipient of the NOBCO/NABCO scholarship and the daughter of Commissioner Eddie Jones. On behalf of myself and my parents I would like to thank this organization for this generous scholarship. I am a sophomore at Rhodes College where it cost $60,800 yearly to attend. I usually have a $2000 balance not including my $1000 per semester book cost, but your scholarship has helped me tremendously. In addition, I concluded last year with an overall GPA of 3.5. This year I will declare my major in Business with a minor in Mathematics. Please share my gratitude with everyone.

Sincerely, Martina Jones

First and foremost, I would like to greet and thank you all for my annual scholarship. I am truly blessed and honored to be the recipient of an academic grant from such a prestigious organization. I hope all of you are doing great despite the chaotic manner in which 2020 has unfolded. From quarantine, to the second wave of the Black Lives Matter movement, I feel like my year has closed with immense growth and introspection.

           To provide an update on my freshman year of college, I think it went very well. My first quarter, I struggled a bit finding my way and adjusting at Northwestern University, but it ended amazingly. I finished with a 3.7 GPA, joined a dance team, and found an amazing network of Black women who I hope to call long-time friends. Second quarter, I began writing for a Black student newspaper called Blackboard Mag. I will link below one of my articles. During my second quarter, I also auditioned for and performed in a show called Danceworks, where renowned choreographers set pieces on us. It was an exhausting, but invigorating experience. It pushed my body and mind to the limit. Shortly after this quarter ended, we were all sent home due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This was initially upsetting for me, but I feel like quarantine ended up being everything I needed.

           I took 3 classes during quarantine, but honestly felt like I was unable to completely invest myself because of the state of the world. During May, I became extremely active within the BLM movement. I organized four marches with friends, aiming to bring attention to police brutality and social injustice. I even kick-started an activist mobility network, geared towards young Black people interested in Activism. I have decided that I will pursue a double major in Sociology and Legal Studies, on a Pre-Law track. I hope to someday pursue a career in law and later, lobbying. I will be touching base with you guys again soon. Thank you, so much, and channeling lots of love and light to you all!

Best, Cameron Simpson <<<<--- link to my article on Colorism and its divisive impacts on young Black women.
History VP Democratic Nominee Selection
SHE has what it takes!

For the last month we have been waiting anxiously to see who Presidential Candidate Joe Biden would pick as his running mate. He had been urged to pick not just a woman but a woman of color, and that is exactly what he did. His decision has made history. Senator Kamala Harris is the first woman of color to be on a major party ticket, and she is exactly what we need.
Harris has proven that she is more than qualified to help lead this country. Having served as the District Attorney for San Francisco, Attorney General of California, and U.S. Senator for California, she knows her way around politics and shows that she will fight for the people. Her opening speech demonstrated that. She called out President Trump and how he has mishandled the pandemic, comparing it to the Ebola crisis, where only two Americans died. Harris even said, “like everything else he inherited, he ran it straight into the ground.” She refused to sugarcoat anything.

However, we face a big issue when it comes to Harris as the choice for VP. Many people do not like her history and what she has done in the past. Not only that, she is a black woman. However, we cannot allow 2016 to repeat itself. In the last election people chose not to vote because they did not like their choices. Well, this year we face a similar situation, however, not voting is not an option. We are living with what the alternative has done, and what he is willing to do to continue. We need to do all that we can to restore and improve our democracy. .

So, you may not like Biden’s selection of Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate, it’s time to get over it and consider what team is best equipped to lead this nation forward. If the only thing opponents can say is, she’s “a mean and nasty woman, reveals they’re grasping at straws to knock her down. She’s not mean or nasty. She is a fierce, strong, and unapologetically black leader. Now is the time to consider what team is best positioned to rebuild America for the better.

This year we saw the first virtual Democratic National Convention. We watched as they gathered many diverse people together to share why voting in this election is essential. We witnessed many speakers present the inefficiency of the current sitting President. 
           On that first night, we watched former First Lady Michelle Obama give an amazing speech. Telling us how important it is to vote and telling us, “We’ve got to grab our comfortable shoes, put on our masks, pack a brown bag dinner and maybe breakfast too...” She told us that the current President isn’t who we need; repeating his one-liner, “it is what it is.”.

           Night two, Dr. Jill Biden had us focusing on COVID-19 and schools. Showing a clear difference between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. We heard from Ady Barkan urging activist to not only elect Biden, but to keep the pressure on him. 

           On that third night, Former President Barack Obama said, “Don’t let them take away your democracy.” A recurring theme throughout the DNC urged , people to vote. Hillary Clinton reminded us that just because someone is leading the popular vote doesn’t mean they’ll win the election. She reminded us, “we need numbers so overwhelming that they can’t sneak or steal their way to victory.” Democrats got specific on issues to tackle, while highlighting legislation ignored by the administration. Rounding out the night was an historic moment to watch theVP nominee, Sen. Kamala Harris deliver her acceptance speech. She told her story of who she is and where she comes from. 

           That final night we witnessed Joe Biden give his greatest speech ever. He referred to President Trump as “the current president,”, never saying his name. He pointed out the mishandling of COVID-19, and shared his plan for fighting the pandemic…when elected to office. He gave us a plan; something Mr. Trump has not done. The relevancy of tackling issues like racial injustice, rebuilding our economy, and restoring our democracy were highlighted. 

           The convention ended with a beautiful display of fireworks . People socially distanced in and on top of their cars from an open lot in Wilmington, DE celebrating an historic and unprecedented Democratic National Convention with lots of cheers, fanfare and applause. 
Farewell Congressman John Lewis

           A month ago, you left us. I’ve read countless articles about Congressman John Lewis, but it wasn’t until I watched him speak in his documentary that I truly understood who he was and his legacy. As I sat there watching, I began to cry for a man that I never got the chance to meet. I watched him talk about getting arrested more than 40 times before going to Congress and five times while in Congress, and then make a joke that it would probably happen again. 

John Lewis, was a beautiful and kind-hearted soul. He was gentle and wished nothing but the best for everyone, even those who were not the kindest to him. He had the strength to forgive those who did him wrong. People like Edwin Wilson, former supporter of the KKK, were forgiven, even though he helped beat Lewis and Albert Bigelow in Rock Hill, S.C. he was a survivor. He got back up and continued on the frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement.

Then in 1965 “Bloody Sunday” happened as John Lewis and Hosea Williams helped lead a group of about 600 people across the Edmund Pettus bridge in a protest to end voter discrimination. They were met by law enforcement who used billy clubs and tear gas against peaceful protestors. When they refused to turn around, they were beaten and bloodied. Lewis’ head was bashed in, and in this moment, he truly felt that he was going to die. On this day, the Edmund Pettus bridge became a symbol of freedom and rights. How ironic that a bridge named after a Confederate General and leader of the Alabama KKK would go down in history as a spark to ignite freedom and fairness.

           Though short in stature he was a giant among men. This man, the son of a sharecropper from rural Alabama, beat the odds. Dr. King affectionately called him, “the boy from Troy.” Lewis was the youngest speaker at the March on Washington. Another pivotal moment in his life was 1986, when he ran for Congress against one of his longtime friends Julian Bond. He won the election and served for more than 30 years in Congress until the time of his death. In 2011, Congressman Lewis was honored by President Obama as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

           He’s inspired so many people, not just in America but all over the world, which is why we cannot stop his fight. Although he’s gone, we have good reason to get into “good trouble,” and continue the work that he began more than 60 years ago. It’s time for voter suppression to end. It’s time to renew and put into permanent status the Voting Rights Act.

We are the legacy of Congressman John Lewis and this is our time to step up like never before. There’s too much at stake for us to fall down on the job. It’s critical that we do all we can to get out the vote, to ensure that fair and safe elections occur, whether at the polls or by mail-in ballot. Congressman Lewis worried and worked to maintain our democracy and its ideals until the day he died. So, if not us and if not now who and when will deliverance come? This is the fight of the 21st century if we are to truly be a diverse and inclusive nation where all people can participate towards its progress and prosperity.

           Congressman John Lewis, we thank you for the love you shared, the tears you cried, and the blood you shed for Civil Rights, the Voting Rights Act, and the Black Lives Matter movement. We can only hope that we do you proud. You’ve passed the baton and we shall take the lead and do what you’ve always said “get into good trouble, necessary trouble.” We will miss you and be forever indebted to you. May you rest in power. Amen.