APRIL 2, 2022

APRIL 2, 2022

APRIL 2, 2022

right now. On a matter of fact, grassroots political organizers are putting on the miles to get out the vote in texas. I am living full time in my van barb helping explain the new voting rules after tens of thousands of primary ballots are rejected, you’ve messed with our voters, you’ve caused them angst and that’s not what we do. How new voting laws might be messing with more than texas Plus holocaust survivors in Ukraine are seeing their lives bookended by war. These holocaust survivors were subjected to unimaginable horrors when they were young. This time, Germany offers them safe haven. We will never abandon them again. The rescue effort that offers a chance to make peace with the past and the people of Jackson Mississippi are struggling against deep rooted inequities, looking to their youngest mayor to lead the way forward. When you see communities that did not have the social supports, then it explodes into the circumstance that we have now. What does the future look like when there are no easy answers? I’m soledad O’Brien. Welcome to matter of fact, the midterm elections are in full swing across the country in the coming months. At least 18 states will be casting primary election ballots under new, more restrictive voting rules in Texas, officials have already rejected tens of thousands of mail in ballots in their primary election. So how have the rules changed Texas law SB one bans overnight early voting hours and drive through voting. It includes new voter I. D. Rules and makes it a felony for local election officials to proactively send out mail in ballots. Our correspondent laura Chavez traveled to texas to look at the impact on grassroots politics on this one. We were just trying to capture the various methods of voting. Bayer County election administrator. Jackie Callanan takes pride in her job and the history of texas voting and this is my most prized possession in the elections office. She pointed out one of the county’s first ever voter complaint letters from 18 38. The polls were not open at the aforementioned time of nine a.m. Jackie and I met after the texas primary in early March Election day comes but the election is not over then. This was the first election since Texas Senate Bill One passed last September it was enacted to help with election integrity and security but it might have hindered the process for voters, both Republican and Democrat with the 27,000 rejected ballots in Texas. What was the biggest catalyst to drive that number up? It was the quick turnaround of the law, the lack of publicity, lack of education from the organizations. Many of those ballots were declined due to clerical errors like this in this one. They’re requiring the voter to put their texas driver’s license for the last four of their social. Our voters are used to seeing the red box where we seal it sign here. What we’ve noticed is a lot of the voters miss this part. This is the new SB1 part when Jackie and her team saw the mistakes come in, they rushed to reach voters before their ballots were disqualified and offered to help the voter fix the issues. Those came late. So they unfortunately went out late, you know, but we got them out and got them processed. We did the best we could with what we had. How do you see grassroots playing a part? Does it takes a village? It genuinely does. So we need all the other organizations to join us. That’s where someone like Taylor Coleman comes in, we met her when she was getting certified as a deputy voter registrar in Bear County. I Taylor Coleman do solemnly swear, do solemnly swear my family going back so far in texas. Some members of my family were among the first black Texans to register to vote. Taylor is a Democratic strategist. She left Washington D. C, in early 2020 to focus on grassroots voting efforts here in her home state voting rights has always been something that’s really important to me. It’s a big step. She hopes to register Texans and all 254 counties while living out of her Van Barb named after taylor’s personal hero, Former congresswoman Barbara Jordan’s all registered in baker county. No, you’re not. No, my God, this is so perfect. Some you have to convince why you should be voting in this election and a lot of people feel like their votes don’t matter why should people be voting because everyone’s vote matters. People like Republican strategist Wayne Hamilton’s are also working to get texas ready for the next election with his organization project red texas. It’s not easy. It takes a lot of effort to go door knocking. Some of the counties that project Red Tex is targeting are very, very small, very rural counties which makes it that much harder Along with getting the word out about down ballot races. Wayne is also invested in getting more people to the polls. How do you make voting appealing? You can call them and remind them to vote. You know, text them, send the material whatever you want to do. But at the end of the day, personal responsibility which Texans are really big on Has to kick in along with registration and awareness efforts. Taylor and Wayne are also taking a closer look at Texas SB1 I’m going to describe to you one part of the law and then I want you to say helpful or hurtful 24 hour voting ban. I think it’s hurtful because there are people who can’t get to the polls during regular hours, helpful because it sets the it sets a standard of we have a 12 hour voting. That’s what we always have vote by mail. Id mandates helpful or hurtful, helpful. Hurtful new requirements for voting assistance. I think it’s hurtful, helpful while they don’t agree on the provisions of the law? Everyone seems to agree on one key part of the voting process. Last question. Who do you want to see voting every texas citizen that is eligible to vote? I want everyone to vote. I don’t care who they’re voting for everybody. We just want to be there for everybody. For a matter of fact, I’m laura Chavez in san Antonio texas. Next. On a matter of fact, painful memories resurface for holocaust survivors. Now living in Ukraine, these survivors suffered tremendously tremendous losses at the hands of the Germans. At the hands of the Nazis. Now see the historic rescue effort transporting them to safety in Germany. And later there’s new data that shows another health threat for kids, pre diabetes. What’s behind the rising rate of disease among young people? And what can we do about it? Yeah, Never again. That promise was made after the Holocaust the mass murder of 11 million people. More than half of them Jews all at the hands of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis during World War II of the European Jews who survived the Holocaust 10,000 are in Ukraine. The youngest is 76 years old but most are in their 80s and 90s. Well now an extraordinary effort is underway to evacuate these survivors from war torn Ukraine to safety in Germany. A number of organizations including the american jewish joint distribution committee and the german Red cross are working to make this happen. Greg Schneider is the executive vice president of the conference on jewish material claims against Germany. It’s a nonprofit working on behalf of holocaust survivors. Greg Schneider. So nice to talk to you. So, can I begin by asking about the name of your organization, the jewish material claims against Germany? Can you explain that? Yeah. We were founded in 1951 to negotiate with Germany for compensation for Holocaust survivors. And our founders wanted to be clear that this was not about forgiveness, which we are not authorized to speak on behalf of other people, but rather about material claims compensation. A small acknowledgement of suffering for holocaust survivors. So why Germany as a place to to resettle all those that you’re trying to get out of Ukraine? So we’re trying to bring out holocaust survivors from the Ukraine who are most disabled, who are alone, who need help. And really the choice is theirs. If they want to go to Israel, that’s fine, will help facilitate that as well. But Germany has a special responsibility to these particular people. These survivors suffered tremendously tremendous losses at the hands of the Germans, at the hands of the Nazis. Can you walk us through what’s involved in moving some people as you describe, who are elderly, but also frail, maybe disabled and getting them out of an active war zone. Some of those holocaust survivors. They are all alone. They have no family. Um and some of them are disabled. They are bed bound and so their ability to flee to leave is very, very limited. It’s a huge operation. So ambulances are brought into a war zone, literally the ambulances have to coordinate with the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense to find roads and routes that are safe. Which changes all the time of course. And then eventually brought all the way across the Ukraine to the to the western part of Ukraine and then just over the polish border, once over the polish border, they’re transferred into a german red cross ambulance and then driven all the way throughout across Poland and brought into Germany. And we’ve arranged accommodation for them possibly for the rest of their lives um in german care facilities in old age homes, In seven different cities in Germany. How many do you expect? You’re going to be able to get out? How are you hoping to get out? As of today, we’ve been able to evacuate 50 again of the most disabled and who don’t have any family support. In total, there are about 250 that fit into this category and people really want to help. So, it’s been very, very heartening. How many people want to help to ensure the safety of these Holocaust survivors. Why Greg? Is this your mission? These holocaust survivors were subjected to unimaginable horrors when they were young. They were targeted for extermination and at the end of their life. Um they’re facing unimaginable horrors. So the world abandoned them 80 years ago left them to die, left them to fend for themselves and we will never abandon them again. Greg Schneider is with the jewish material claims against Germany nonprofit organization. Thank you for talking with me. Thank you for having me coming up on matter of fact, Jackson, Mississippi’s youngest mayor takes heat for his temporary ban on open carry. I’ve heard a lot of the critics to this say this was just grandstanding. I never cared about what they thought, right. I cared about the safety of my residents here. His plans to curb violence and build a safer community. Mhm. Okay. There’s a new generation of leaders running America’s cities and while they are fresh faces with new perspectives, they’ve inherited generations of challenges. Last week, our correspondent Jessica Gomez took us to Jackson Mississippi. It’s a place with deep rooted social and political inequities, none with easy solutions. Unfortunately, the city has a population of about 150,082% of its residents are black, 25% live below the federal poverty level. Our correspondent Jessica Gomez takes a look at the efforts of the city’s mayor Chokwe antar lumumba and the community that has battled so long for so little Mississippi’s new flag hoisted above a law school in downtown Jackson, A significant moment for the city’s mayor Chokwe antar lumumba every Mississippian now has a symbol that they can be proud of the mayor among those who advocated for the state to replace the confederate emblem on its flag with a magnolia flower. In 2017, Lumumba was the youngest mayor ever elected in Jackson. Known as the city with soul. It has a complex legacy when you see high rates of poverty, when you see communities that did not have the social supports that it needed before the pandemic, then it explodes into the circumstance that we have now that circumstance, a wave of violent crime, reportedly, there’s more murders in this smaller city, right per capita than any other city in America, including Chicago Detroit ST louis. That has to be a heavy burden to bear for the mayor of the city. It’s a heavy burden because I think that the loss of life is always tragic and so that burden rests on me. The mayor supporting efforts to fund the city’s understaffed police department bolstering recruitment efforts and increasing cops pay. Don’t forget all that you have sacrificed and learned to get to this hour. But some, including members of the City council, say that support hasn’t been strong enough. Their narrative is simply, you know, we need to create more and more officers. Which one is not a simple task to do right, but to does not lead to safer communities. The decisions that y’all make every day, they follow you for the rest of your life. The mayor says a more comprehensive approach is needed, including putting resources on the ground in communities working to prevent violence, a backlog county courthouse and state evidence lab, he says, aren’t helping. Neither are the number of guns on the streets of Jackson, 92% of last year’s homicides, gun related. The open carry law has led to an increase in gun violence in our communities, but the mayor, the target of backlash at the beginning of the pandemic when he temporarily suspended Mississippi’s open carry law in Jackson. As governor of the state of Mississippi, I would have no ability to waive constitutional protections and I don’t think the mayor of a city has that ability either. I’ve heard a lot of the critics to this say this was just grandstanding politics that you knew this would never go over in the state and the city. Even what do you say to that? I would say that that those critics would need to know me and to to know me would be to know that I never cared about what they thought, right. I cared about the safety of my residents. We hear you talking will show us something on Jackson’s Westside, vernon Hartley so frustrated after his home was burglarized five times, ran for and won a seat on the city council. We lost three family members always shot in the back. Always innocent bystanders. Hartley says for his constituents, the losses seem to keep coming this year. I have lost a brother. I have lost a nephew. I have lost a niece and the frustration is mounting in neighborhoods that were once sites of historic civil rights achievements, a lot of folks have paid a lot of dues for us to get to this very point and by us squandering it, not doing everything in our power and not be selfish but doing everything in our power to pass that baton to the next generation to acknowledge the sacrifice of folks like mega evers and Fannie Lou hamer and and others king and others that have actually walked these streets. Then we have dropped the ball across town in the Belhaven neighborhood. Christie spikes runs her smoothie business with surveillance cameras and a glock. We’re going to continue to fight for our communities. We’re, we’re not gonna be bullied out by crime or criminals and we’re going to extend a hand to help people who need it. I don’t believe that those things are achieved by one person, but by a community that buys into that process a community the mayor says that must rise to the occasion together to save the city with soul. Mm hmm. In Jackson Mississippi For a matter of fact, I’m Jessica Gomez Ahead. On a matter of fact, the rate of diabetes among America’s Children has doubled. How can we protect young lives from this growing health threat and still ahead. What comes in 100 and 20 different colors and has been cherished by generations of Children. We’ve got a colorful quiz to stay up to date with matter of fact sign up for our newsletter at matter of fact dot tv. While all eyes have been on the coronavirus and how it affects young people. There’s new data that shows another health threat for kids. Prediabetes, it’s easy to blame the pandemic but this is actually developed over decades. Take a look at the C. D. C. S data of 12 to 19 year olds from 1999 to 2018. They saw rates of prediabetes climb from a little over 11% to 28%. Pre diabetics often have higher than normal blood sugar levels and are at greater risk of stroke and heart disease. Children in the us make up about 200,000 of the more than 20 million people who have full blown diabetes. Researchers say they can’t pin down why pre diabetes is increasing in young people and plan to investigate further. But in the meantime doctors are encouraging kids to have a more healthy lifestyle to reduce their risks which includes eating balanced meals. And also they recommend increasing physical activity and cutting back on screen time. Next on matter of fact, most kids love crayons and The smell of a crayon is the 18th most familiar scent for adults. A look at why we’re crazy for crayons. And finally a salute to crayons. This week we marked national crayon day they first hit the US market in 1903 Crayola is the best known manufacturer, makes about three billion crayons every year. They’ve got some colorful names. Jazz, berry, jam, fuzzy, wuzzy, purple mountains, majesty. America’s favorite color crayon is blue and six shades of blue made it into the top 10. A study out of Yale University found among 80 different items like coffee and cinnamon and cheese. The smell of a crayon is the 18th most familiar scent for adults, proving that you never really forget the scent of your childhood. That’s it for this edition. A matter of fact, I’m soledad O’brien. I’ll see you back here next week. Listen to a matter of fact, with soledad O’brien on your favorite podcast provider. Watch us during the week on F. Y. I. Pluto and Youtube.

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APRIL 2, 2022

APRIL 2, 2022

This week Matter of Fact looks at why more than 20,000 ballots were rejected in last month’s Texas primary. Plus, we look at how Ukrainian Holocaust survivors are being evacuated to Germany and sit down with Jackson, Mississippi’s mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba to see where he stands on police funding and abolishing open carry laws.

This week Matter of Fact looks at why more than 20,000 ballots were rejected in last month’s Texas primary. Plus, we look at how Ukrainian Holocaust survivors are being evacuated to Germany and sit down with Jackson, Mississippi’s mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba to see where he stands on police funding and abolishing open carry laws.

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