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Vermont has become one of the most recent states to allow Election Day voter registration.  The measure, which will go into effect in 2017, will allow individuals to register to vote at any polling place.
African Americans make up a large part of the public sector workforce.  One in five African Americans works for the government.  However, with a slow bounce back from the recession, those jobs are harder to find, taking the chance at economic mobility harder to attain.
Victims of police brutality and torture orchestrated by former police officer Jon Burge and his colleagues received a $5.5 million settlement from the city of Chicago.  Spanning two decades, Burge and police officers under his direction, brutalized African American suspects without punishment.  Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel has stated providing reparations to the victims of this torture is a step towards healing.
The marijuana industry has been a boon to those living in states where recreational, medical, or decriminalized marijuana laws have been passed.  However, there has been concern that that this windfall will not be benefiting communities of color because of the restrictions related to legal marijuana sales.  Some of these concerns are impacting black Florida farmers as well based on provision in the medical marijuana law that requires individuals to have owned and operated a nursery for 30 years before qualifying for a license.
In another blow to President Obama’s executive order on immigration, a U.S. appeals court upheld the ban 26 states instituted blocking action on the order.
In Evenwel v. Abbott, the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Texas’ redistricting plans which may impact other states.  The case, which is being brought by a conservative advocacy group, will determine if states and localities can continue to use its total population in creating districts or whether it should consider the total number of eligible citizens in redistricting.
An influx of Black immigrants from African and Caribbean countries is reshaping the black population in certain areas according to a recent study by Pew Research Center.   The number of foreign-born Black people has grown from 3.1 percent in 1980 to 8.7 percent in 2013.  The study estimates that by 2060 16.5 percent of the black population will be foreign born.
The officers involved in the death of Baltimore man Freddie Gray have been indicted by a grand jury.  In a case that has drawn national attention, the six officers were indicted on second degree murder, reckless endangerment, manslaughter and other charges in relation to Gray’s death.
For many African immigrants, the chance at a better life does not quite live up to its promise in the United States.  Several leave their home countries with higher education degrees and experience that they are unable to transfer in the states.  This often results in doctors, lawyers, and bankers becoming taxi drivers, janitors, or dishwashers in order to make ends meet.
President Obama made a visit to New Jersey to discuss a new program the Camden police department has been working on to bridge the gap between community members and the police.  Police association have been expressing some concerns over President Obama’s comments about police and have been looking for him to show support and understanding for the actions police officers take in protecting civilians.