As the Linden Mayor and Town Council (LM&TC) organized “Speak out, Speak up” march to end violence against women and children across the country got underway on Saturday, the message was clear: “No form of violence against women or children is acceptable”.Led by Linden Mayor Waneka Arrindell, the march commenced at the Bayroc Community Centre Ground and culminated at the Georgetown minibus park. In the spotlight was the newly formed community group ‘Fix her crown’, formed by a group of young women from Linden with the aim of lending support to persons affected by any form of abuse and domestic violence.In her address to the gathering, Arindell urged the community to stand together to “secure our children and look out for our families and friends” in the quest to stand against all forms of violence.She urged women not to be silent on the issue, as she pointed out that the LM&TC is working to create a safe home for affected women.“Women, speak out, speak up…The law is there for the lawless, and so let the law do what it has to do. Do not be afraid”, she urged.Linden Councillor Nikeza Noel also urged men to lead by positive example, and women to stand together against abuse.“Each woman has a story. We need to take the time to listen to that story… Tonight, women, arise! We will stand together, against every form of violence against our women and our girls… Today, women, take pride in what we’ve accomplished so far. I say thank you to the men who would have stood and taken up their positions, and (I say to them) you have taken care of us…,” she noted.Speaking on behalf of the Muslim community, Brother Jafar Mohamed called for stricter punishment for crimes against women. He pointed out that men are failing to properly take care of women. “…what we’re seeing today in society is as a result of us as men failing to liberate ourselves…in order to deal (with) and handle a woman properly…This failure, it has to do with spirituality, it has to do with economics, it has to do with morality, it has to do with social life.“We, as men, fail to prepare ourselves in a holistic way. Hence, when a woman enters our lives, we don’t know how to handle her properly”, he noted.Mohamed said that while it takes a village to raise a child, today’s community is doing something wrong. He added that when a woman is disrespected, an entire community is also disrespected.Meanwhile, Manager of the Gender- Based Bureau within the Ministry of Social Protection reiterated that no form of violence is acceptable, whether in schools, relationships, or in the home. He said the Social Protection Ministry, over the past 3 years, has implemented a number of programmes to address domestic and sexual violence.He encouraged all to get on board, noting that it cannot be a one-sided approach, and that no one should be alienated as it relates to sexual and domestic violence. He added that one of his tasks this year is to address the issue of negative masculinity, and he stressed that everyone has a role to play. He further urged women to report first instances of abuse, and everyone to be their neighbour’s keeper.
For the most part, though, Villaraigosa stuck to the needs of Los Angeles, stumping for the region’s “fair share” of federal funding. “We think it is important that Los Angeles, as a national asset, be a place for investment on the national level,” he said. “As Los Angeles goes, so goes the nation.” Tuesday’s itinerary included sit-downs with Dreier, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, Rep. Jane Harman, D-El Segundo, and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. King, who chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security, agreed to visit Los Angeles to see the region’s command centers, city officials said. Villaraigosa’s trip is the second to Washington this month. In town earlier this month to speak to the American Jewish Committee, the mayor backed Sen. Ted Kennedy’s immigration plan now before the U.S. Senate. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Los Angeles, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, said she believes Villaraigosa is helping Los Angeles financially by becoming a familiar face on Capitol Hill. “Congress stubbornly sticks to the East Coast mentality that the U.S. ends at the Mississippi,” she complained. With a looming $8.3 trillion national debt, she said the personal touch is becoming ever more important. “Competition for federal dollars has never been so fierce.” Villaraigosa said he plans to become a regular Washington visitor. “I have been here a few times lately. That red-eye (flight) is starting to wear on me,” he joked, adding, “This won’t be my last time.” firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 662-8731160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa continued to rack up frequent flier miles Tuesday, returning to the nation’s capital in search of federal dollars. Joined by dozens of members of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Villaraigosa called on Congress to invest more heavily in Southern California infrastructure, particularly the Alameda Corridor East rail network aimed at relieving San Gabriel Valley truck congestion. Last year, Southern California lawmakers brought home less than a quarter of the $900 million that local officials sought for the rail project. But Villaraigosa and local business leaders said they believe the $37 billion infrastructure bond package on California’s November ballot will induce Congress to be more generous this year. “We have something today we didn’t have a year ago,” David Fleming, the chamber’s incoming chairman, said of the bond measure. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsVillaraigosa noted that if the bond passes, Los Angeles would get about $1 billion in public transportation dollars. Moreover, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has made cargo-transportation projects, such as the Alameda Corridor East, a top priority. “One thing that Congress has always liked is when local people put up their own money,” Villaraigosa said. “That breeds money.” On immigration, Villaraigosa declined to offer his opinion of President George W. Bush’s proposal to temporarily deploy National Guard troops along the U.S.-Mexico border. But he did swat the House and Senate for a resolution backed by Reps. David Dreier, R-Glendora, and Gary Miller, R-Brea, insisting that the national anthem be sung in English – a backlash against a proposal to translate the anthem into Spanish. “I think our national anthem should be sung in English,” Villaraigosa said, adding, “I don’t know that we need a resolution for that. It’s just common sense.”