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August 05, 2020
Gamma Mu • Phoenix AZ
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Democrats Target House Race In Predominantly White District In Arizona

Karl E. Gentles

Protests after the killing of George Floyd are changing politics. In one Phoenix-area congressional district, three of the four Democrats running in the primary are people of color.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The protests against racial injustice are motivating some political candidates to take on challenging races. In the suburbs of Phoenix, Ariz., Democrats are targeting a predominantly white district that has been held by Republicans for nearly a decade. Steve Goldstein from member station KJZZ reports that ethics violations committed by the incumbent could make the race more competitive.

STEVE GOLDSTEIN, BYLINE: Arizona's sixth congressional district is centered in Scottsdale. Its residents are highly educated, affluent and nearly 75% white. Congressman David Schweikert was reelected by double digits here in 2018. But Schweikert had been under investigation by the House Ethics Committee. And on Thursday, he admitted to 11 violations and agreed to pay a $50,000 fine. Schweikert's perspective opponents immediately pounced on the news. Here's Democrat Anita Malik.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ANITA MALIK: There's a part of me that's glad that we finally have closure to this investigation. But it is so infuriating to see him simply get off with a slap on the wrist.

GOLDSTEIN: Even before acknowledging the ethics violations, Schweikert was already expected to face an intense general election campaign in part because of an electorate that wants more action on combating racial injustice. One of the Democrats looking to challenge him is African American businessman Karl Gentles. While he believes many here are worried about education and jobs, he says the killing of George Floyd has led to more direct conversations about racial injustice than the district has seen before.

KARL GENTLES: While George Floyd was an African American, I'm an African American - and, certainly, I can see myself, my son, my father, my brother in the face of George Floyd beneath that officer's knee - I think people can see their own family members no matter what race they are in the face of George Floyd.

 

Read complete transcript courtesy of NPR here.

 

Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation

Mr. Lewis, the civil rights leader who died on July 17, wrote the following essay shortly before his death, to be published upon the day of his funeral. 

Opinion
By John Lewis
 
While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.

That is why I had to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, though I was admitted to the hospital the following day. I just had to see and feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on.

Read full Op-Ed by John Lewis courtesy of New York Times here.

Dwayne Murray Installed as 49th Grand Sire Archon

Remarks of the 49th Grand Sire Archon Dwayne M. Murray

55th Virtual Grand Boule

Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity

(The Boulé)

Greetings:

First and foremost, I give praise to God; to the memory of our beloved Founders; to the Officers and Delegates of the 55th Grand Boule; to our living Past Grand Sire Archons, Anthony W. Hall, Jr., Charles C. Teamer, Robert L. Harris, Cornell Leverette Moore, Rodney Reed, James Payne, James Cole, Wesley Coleman and to Immediate Past Grand Sire Archon Gregory J. Vincent.

I pause to say thank you for your service.  Your conversations and coaching over the next two years will be beneficial to me as Grand Sire.  I expect to involve the Council of Past Grand Sires on all material matters involving the fraternity. 

Now, there are several Archons who have transitioned to Omega I would like to acknowledge.   This select group who saw something in me 16 years ago are no longer with us.  Past Grand Sire Archon Huel Perkins, Richard B. Millspaugh, Horacio C. Thompson, E. C. Harrison, Ernest Gaines, Ralph A. Tyson, Brace Godfrey, Charles Smith, Marvin L. Yates, Raphael Baranco and David A. Hall, Jr. 

They picked me from the masses of all potential candidates in my community to become Alpha Xi’s singular inductee at the 100th Anniversary in 2004.  I thank them and I know they are smiling upon us today.   To the Southeast Region and to Alpha Xi, my member boule, thank you for all of your support.  I am so proud to be a part of the SER and an Archon of Alpha Xi, home of Past Grand Sires, Huel Perkins and now Gregory Vincent.

There are so many Archons who helped make this day a reality.  I say thank you to the Delegates of the 54th Grand Boule who voted me into office.  And, to each of you participating in the Virtual Grand Boule, I am proud to call you my brothes and my friend. Thank you too for your support over the last two years.  It is my goal to make your proud. 

Introduction:

I have contemplated this moment and finally it is here.   An opportunity to lead Sigma Pi Phi.   I found an excerpt from a poem that I believe would be fitting for our talk today.

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on:

nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,

Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

 The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam, 1859

 

The expression 'The moving finger writes...' articulates the idea that whatever we do at this moment is our own responsibility and cannot be changed.   History will be written about this moment.   History will be written about this Virtual Grand Boule.  History will be written about what Sigma Pi Phi has done and more particularly, what we, the 49th Administration of the fraternity will do with the opportunity we embrace today.   

The statement that history will be written starting at this moment compels us to make a public statement, that we, your newly elected officers, will leave nothing undone.   We have been meeting on Saturday mornings, planning and preparing to execute our goals for the upcoming biennium.  In two years, we will stand before you desirous of applause symbolic of a conductor having arranged a masterpiece.  We pledge to offer vision for the second century of the fraternity and to provide continuing leadership and to continue the work of the officers we retire today.  

Our goal is to put in place the required and necessary action plans that are woefully lacking on the national scene.   We believe the groundwork that has been built through prior administrations is a solid foundation for us to build upon and could certainly be the blueprint to help  our people.

As your leader, I have read the history of the fraternity.  I understand our culture, protocols, rituals and customs.   I read the Boule Journal as each publication arrives at my home.  Our Boule Journal contains the writing of the many learned men of the Boule.  What I know today, is that our history is more than chronologies of routine events.  Our history demonstrates a high level of experience in various disciplines that enables us to fashion policies and to set high standards that will challenge those we inspire to listen, to learn and to lead. 

The Transition Bell Tolled:

At my initiation in 2004, the bell rang.  We stepped into the second century while our first 100 years rested from its labors behind a Philadelphia skyline.  While in Philadelphia, I watched a great Archon take the oath of office by the name of Charles C. Teamer.  I listened to his words as he accepted the role of Grand Sire Archon.  PGSA Teamer, you were the first Grand Sire I saw installed into office.  Since that time, I have watched others accept this powerful undertaking.  So, to the Council of Past Grand Sire Archons, you are aware of what I have taken on.  I will be calling upon each of you to help me maneuver through the processes of the fraternity.

The Oath:

Thank you PGS Robert L. Harris for administering the Oath of Office.  I have been looking up to you since my days in college.  Through the oath I have taken, the instruments of authority of the position of Grand Sire Archon have been transferred to me.  I accept now, my duty to assume the mantle as leader of  Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.  I look to the heavens and ask  Him for  strength to carry me through the next biennium.

            Now, there will be several goals of the administration.   Our number one goal will be infrastructure. Over the next two years, we will build a more efficient organization to meet the needs of our membership. We will authorize an organizational study to look at the overall operations of our management and governance teams.

The Theme:

Our theme for the biennium will be:  Vision, Leadership and Action During Changing Times.

The Vision of the fraternity must be a powerful motivator.  Our Leadership must be one that recognizes and engages the human capital of the fraternity.  And, the Action we take must impact the nation and give our people direction.

We are listening to the cry of our people seeking to amplify the plight and progress of African Americans.  Ours is a private organization, and we cherish our collective and individual ability to get to know the best of one another without being exposed to public scrutiny.   Every Archon should respect this valued aspect of our culture and never share any images or information about our closed affairs, social or otherwise, with individuals outside of the Fraternity. We will speak to the public through our public policy statements, our social action programs, and, our interactions with similarly situated organizations.

I look forward to hearing from each of you through what I will call “listening sessions.” Your new executive committee plans to schedule monthly listening sessions throughout the fraternity so you can have a voice, volunteer and help your elected and appointed leaders find cogent answers to issues involving education, health care, institutional racism and economic empowerment.

Think about this, if our founders could give the fraternity life and direction in 1904, during the midst of the melting pot of racial segregation, surely thousands of learned men within our organization can sustain us and guide us to a better place in society.  I will use our conversations, our predecessors’ wisdom, and the policies and programs that we are currently engaged in, and those we will create, to demonstrate to the world that the Boule is an organization of promise, productivity and most of all one of influence. 

            Having worked in the administrations of four of the living Past Grand Sire Archons, I filled my mind and heart with the wisdom they shared and the zeal that they demonstrated for hard work.  I recognized within their body of work, the key ingredients that I needed to lead the fraternity.

The Gavel of Leadership:

            So today, I humbly accept the gavel of leadership fully knowing that it is not mine to keep.  I understand that it was given to me at this time in the fraternity’s history, to lead us, not only to a higher and better place, but to a place where the leaders of the world will invite us to sit at the table where the nation’s policies are made, and to participate in the activities by virtue of invitation, rather than by the mercy of the power-makers.

            God, who is the author and finisher of my faith, claimed this time and place for me.  This oath demands every word I utter as the leader of this fraternity, bear meaning.

I will not only remember this oath but it will be etched in my very soul and every moral fiber of which I possess.  

What has been given to me, has only been given to a few men in our fraternity.  I have been given the responsibility to build a culture within Sigma Pi Phi where the fraternity’s opportunities will be unlimited.  This is not an experiment for the fraternity.  It is real world opportunity to do what was commanded and placed in the hearts of your founders. 

So, before we leave this Virtual Grand Boule, let us rededicate ourselves to the principles found in our Creed.  Our Founders not only recognized the indifference of the majority population to the needs of African Americans, but had the foresight to take action to do something about it.  As a result, our founders decided to join together to broaden the social, academic and economic opportunities not only for themselves but for others all across this nation.   This commitment of humility for mankind is a preamble for Sigma Pi Phi to make her greatest contribution to society. 

            Throughout our lives we will always remember the year 1904.  We have taken every opportunity to reflect on the miracle that happened on May 15, 1904.  We have honored our beloved founders, as though they were far above mere mortals, not because they were, but because we uniquely know the depth and breadth of their vision and the good that has come about because they lived by the Creed we all have called to memory.   

The Challenge:

So, I say to you today, what is it that we want for Sigma Pi Phi?  Do you want an organization that sees an injustice and takes a knee in protest of that injustice? Do you want an organization willing to call-out the President of the United States on a position that is contrary to things that are not politically correct, fine or decent?  Do you want our “YAC” millennials who are speaking truth to power to be trained to take their rightful place in America, with the wherewithal to become civil rights leader?  Do you want and organization that will offer strategy to the Black Lives Matter Movement? 

I am calling upon each of you to exercise your right to vote in upcoming elections.   Urge every member of your family, your church and each of your co-workers to participate in the electoral process.  As Archon Chuck Brown of Alpha Xi always say, “We count because we vote.”  Archons, the health and moral welfare of our nation will depend upon your voting participation.

Closing:

Finally, I extend special thanks to every Archon who participated and worked to make this massive 55th Grand Boule, the Virtual Grand Boule, a success.    I pray that the 49th Administration will continue to perpetuate the legacy of our founders, and that the service we render to mankind will reflect acts of substance, which not only satisfy members of the fraternity, but change the plight of the least of these in our society-at-large.  I believe, that we will continue to grow and exhibit the vision, leadership and action during these changing times and let us always serve others more than we serve ourselves. 

May the Almighty God, bless each and every one of you.

 

 

 

Archon Poole Included in Phoenix Biz Journal 40 by 40

Kenneth G. Poole Jr.

Each year, a new class of 40 talented honorees is carefully selected from nearly 450 applicants, by a panel of judges. These dynamic leaders have shaped the Valley in ways that make it a better place to work and live. Archon Poole is one if this year's honorees.

Our first TV ad is ready and I want you to see it first

Friends, I have a big announcement: Thanks to the overwhelming support of people like you, our first TV ad is ready — and it starts airing today! We are thrilled to give you the chance to see it first.

But first, my team has set a major $15,000 goal to keep this ad on the air, and I need to make sure we keep it on the airwaves to spread our message.

If you can help, please click here and give what you can today. »

I'm running for Congress to unseat Republican incumbent David Schweikert, one of Donald Trump's biggest allies, who just voted against the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

I'm running because our government and policing systems are broken and it's time to turn our anger into action. We need meaningful reforms — body cameras, better police training, no chokeholds, and full accountability for bad behavior.

I'm running to build a better future for my grandson Jordan Jr., who just finished kindergarten, and for his generation. That's why I got into this race to begin with, and the events of the last month have crystallized that for me.

Together, we must unseat David Schweikert, who remains silent while Trump refuses to focus on the policy reforms this country so desperately needs, like my Nine-Point Plan for Real Police Reform.

Sire Archon Kevin Robinson Appointed to the Arizona Judicial Council

Kevin L. Robinson
On Friday, June 12, 2020, Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert M. Brutinel appointed Gamma Mu Boule´ Sire Archon Kevin Robinson to the Arizona Judicial Council.  Robinson becomes one of eight Public Members serving in this capacity for a three year term.
 
The Arizona Judicial Council (AJC) is a policy-making body that oversees the judicial system in Arizona. AJC was created in 1990 and, in accordance with Arizona Code of Judicial Administration §1-104, assists the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice in the development and implementation of policies and procedures for the administration of all courts, uniformity in court operations, and coordination of court services that will improve the administration of justice in the state of Arizona. 
 
View official press release here.