They’re about to instruct! New proptech partnership to revolutionise lead management

first_img A new partnership between two leading tech firms says its joint service can both qualify potential home buyers and sellers and predict when they are going to move.The ‘revolutionary’ partnership is between chat service Yomdel and automated customer journey firm ActivePipe and will be available to Yomdel’s existing 2,500 estate agent customers.“In a nutshell, our human, managed, 24/7 chat service identifies additional buyers and sellers and ActivePipe’s behavioural analytics then effectively predicts when they are ready to buy or sell, with the customer life cycle nurtured through tailored email communications,” says Yomdel’s Natalie McLeod.“Estate agents are facing rapid change in the sector due to the rise of the online model coupled with tough wider market conditions, so they need to adopt highly effective digital strategies to stay ahead of their competitors in both the traditional and online space.”ProptechAlthough both company’s don’t mention it explicitly, the partnership marks the latest expansion of hybrid artificial intelligence (AI) or ‘behavioural analytics’ into property marketing.The deal merges Yomdel’s human-based chat service with an AI-driven email marketing capability.“With Yomdel’s superior lead capture capability and ActivePipe’s lead nurturing capabilities, we see this as a fantastic partnership for our customers,” says ActivePipe CEO Ashley Farrugia (left).“The combined offering will allow an agency to offer 24/7 live chat coupled with world-class lead nurturing, which is pretty exciting.”ActivePipe is based in Hatfield but has operations in the US and Australia. Yomdel has its head office in West Sussex and has bagged several high-profile agents as clients including Northwood and EweMove.activepipe.comyomdel.com lead generator natalie McLeod ActivePipe ai property Ashley Farrugia chat service Yomdel September 20, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » They’re about to instruct! New proptech partnership to revolutionise lead management previous nextProducts & ServicesThey’re about to instruct! New proptech partnership to revolutionise lead managementChat service Yomdel and predictive email marketing firm ActivePipe claim their service will revolutionise digital marketing for estate agents.The Negotiator20th September 201801,087 Viewslast_img read more

Read More »

Blackjacks Looking for Win in Road Game

first_imgThe Atlantic City Blackjacks (3-6) may have to win all three remaining games for a chance to make the playoffs. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic City Blackjacks Facebook page) The Atlantic City Blackjacks finally finish their four-game road trip this weekend in Washington and are looking to bring back an important victory. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Saturday at Capital One Arena.With three games remaining and the final playoff seed being occupied by another team, the Blackjacks (3-6) need to win the last three games of their season if they want a decent shot to make the playoffs. Picking up the momentum from a victory and returning home next week would greatly increase the odds for Atlantic City to make it, but they must take care of business in D.C. first against the Washington Valor (5-4).DEFENSIVE EFFORT: The offense erupted for 61 points last week, a season high, and it’s time for the defense to make a statement this week. Defensively, the Blackjacks have not been their usual selves, allowing opponents to score on every drive over the last three weeks. Something has to give and this will be the most important game for them to snap out their slump and make some stops and create turnovers to give the offense as many chances as they can to score.LET THE OFFENSE ROLL: Coming off their best offensive game yet, the Blackjacks look to replicate the same performance in back-to-back weeks. Whether it’s Randy Hippeard or Warren Smith starting at quarterback, points need to be scored. Hippeard has been consistently solid in the games he has played this year and Smith put up some big numbers against the Albany Empire’s defense in Week 9. Whoever is standing under center Saturday night needs to have a near perfect game, the team’s playoff chances depend on it. NEED WINS: One thing is certain, the fate of the season lies in the hands of the Blackjacks. If the team drops one of these last three games, the season might be cut short. If they do win all three remaining games, they still might be on the outside looking in do to head to head tiebreakers. Atlantic City might need some help from the other teams if they win their remaining games but they need to take care of their own fate first.last_img read more

Read More »

Greece: Restrictions reimposed in Athens after case spike

first_imgATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek authorities have reimposed tougher lockdown restrictions in greater Athens after a January decline in infection rates was reversed this week. Most retail stores will close in the capital Saturday, retaining pickup services only, after being allowed to reopen on Jan. 18. Plans to reopen high schools in Athens Monday have been limited to the first three grades, while older students will remain in online classes, officials from Greece’s Health Ministry and Civil Protection Agency said.last_img read more

Read More »

University admits 3,507 students into class of 2024

first_imgAfter receiving 21,270 applicants, Notre Dame’s admissions department invited 3,507 students to join the Notre Dame community in the 2019-2020 application round –– a 100-student increase from last year due to expected declines in yield because of the current pandemic, associate vice president of undergraduate enrollment Don Bishop said.The University hopes to enroll 2,050 first-years for the class of 2024 and expects to admit as many as 50 to 150 students from the waitlist. Due to the global situation, Bishop said admissions expects to use the waitlist more than in past years, but they hope to establish the first-year class by the end of July.“We think families are going to keep adjusting their own personal decisions throughout the summer,” Bishop said.Forty-four percent of the class was admitted in the early action cycle while 56% was admitted in regular action. Students from all 50 states and 80 nations are represented, and the current class is 57% white students, 36.4% students of color and 6.6% international students.Although 15.2% of admits are children of alumni, legacy students will likely compose 21% of the incoming class, as they have a higher yield percentage than the general class, Bishop said.Lina Domenella | THE The University set goals to increase ROTC admits in the past few years, having admitted 125 this year in comparison to 94 last year and 65 in 2018.“We’re really working hard with the ROTC units to find more qualified people that want to be of service to America right away in the military and we feel very good about that,” Bishop said.While the University saw a 4% decline in overall applications, applicants among the most qualified groups in terms of GPA and standardized test scores were up 9%. However, Bishop said over the past decade Notre Dame has grown to consider test scores less in the admissions process.“In my 43 years, I have never seen so many applications from students with very high test scores that did not provide the normal depth in their application, in class performance, as well as thoughtful and interesting submitted essays, personal statements –– even the activities,” Bishop said. “So I’m finding that there seem to be more people prepping for these tests, and that it’s getting more aligned with socioeconomic success.”To combat this disadvantage, Notre Dame looks to increase its presence in high-achieving, lower income, middle income and first-generation college students communities by becoming more involved in community-based organizations like Cristo Rey, KIPP and QuestBridge –– which provide traditionally disadvantaged groups with access to elite colleges.This year the University admitted 398 first-generation college students in comparison to 323 last year, along with 231 QuestBridge admits in comparison to 207 in 2019.“The best predictor of success, in my opinion, is to see how much a student did with the resources they had,” Bishop said.In creating the admitted class, the University purposefully looks for students who will make the most use of the Notre Dame experience in terms of scholarship and personal formation, which Bishop said aligns with the University’s commitment to the development of the mind, body and spirit.“Our staff does an amazing job of making sure the students we are bringing into Notre Dame are more than just a number,” director of undergraduate admissions Christy Pratt said.Pratt said the admissions committee looks for students with strong academic backgrounds in addition to those who match with the University’s mission of being a force for good.“What’s most important for our review is one, are the students academically prepared for the rigors of Notre Dame? And are they involved in their communities? Are they leaders in their communities? Are they good citizens?” Pratt said.The committee gains insight into students through their essays, comments from teachers and school counselors and their activities in order to evaluate the motivation that applicants have for success.“We hope that the students who picked Notre Dame again are seeking wisdom more than accomplishment,” Bishop said, “They’re seeking to have a quality life, and to part of that life is going to be giving to others. I always like to say we’re looking for students who want to give more than they take.”With the college admissions process coming to a close for the class of 2024, Bishop hopes the incoming first-year students can relax enough at Notre Dame to still be successful without feeling an intense amount of pressure.“We are hopeful that this class now that they’re in, they will come to Notre Dame and balance their lives and be a little less stressed out about accomplishment,” Bishop said. “It’s time to develop themselves more in not just what it looks like they’ve accomplished but what they really want to do what do they really want to accomplish.”Tags: Admissions, applications, Don Bishop, ND admissions, Office of Undergraduate Admissions, QuestBridge, ROTClast_img read more

Read More »

Vermont falls in Forbes’ “The Best States for Business” rank

first_imgVermont falls in Forbes’ “The Best States for Business” rankVermont fell to 36th in the Forbes “The Best States for Business” rankings. Last year Vermont was 32nd. Once again, Virginia was first and West Virginia was last. Vermont tied with Massachusetts, one place ahead of New York. New Hampshire was the highest New England state, falling six spots to 20.Vermont ranked highest in “Quality of Life” (10) and “Labor” (12) and lowest in “Growth Prospects” (44) and “Business Costs” (43). The other two categories were “Regulatory Environment” (33) and “Business Climate” (31).The table with state ranks can be found at Forbes Rank.last_img read more

Read More »

3 Men Held in Uniondale Church Burglary

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Uniondale church leaders eager to replace nearly $3,000 worth of stolen audio equipment had their prayers answered when the suspects walked into the music store they were in to resell the electronics.Nassau County police said New Jerusalem Church of Christ staff was at Sam Ash in Carle Place when the alleged burglars walk in with a cart full of their stolen speakers, microphones, amplifiers and keyboards on Wednesday. The victims identified the items as the electronics they use for their church services.Police arrested 25-year-old Triston Thomas of Elmont, Richard Norris of Freeport and Duane Smith, both 23. All three were charged with criminal possession of stolen property. Smith and Thomas were also charged with burglary.Judge Joy Watson set bail for Smith and Thomas at $10,000 bond or $5,000 cash. Norris’ bail was set at $5,000 bond or $2,500 cash. They are due back in court Tuesday.last_img read more

Read More »

Hang The Jury

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York [dropcap]A[/dropcap] single juror has the ability to acquit a defendant in a trial for any reason. Even if the juror believes the defendant is guilty. This is called jury nullification. This is not a loophole. Nor is it illegal. But it’s a secret and it shouldn’t be.With that said, let’s begin.A cursory review of prison statistics illustrates the nightmare that is African Americans’ experience with our criminal “justice” system. There are currently more than 7 million Americans caught up at some point in the prison system between probation, incarceration and parole.Incredibly, 40 percent of our prisoners are black even though African Americans comprise only 13 percent of the total U.S. population. I live in a state where that number is closer to 50 percent. All told, America has 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated population despite only having 5 percent of the world’s population. This makes the sheer number of blacks in the prison system today even more overwhelming.If you think there’s something wrong with this picture, continue reading, as there’s something that you can do about it. If you think this is because black people commit crime at a higher rate than white people do, then there’s a special place for you in hell or, worse, Congress.Half of the prisoners in the United States are serving time for non-violent drug-related charges and 80 percent of those charges are for possession. Advocates and activists throughout the nation are attempting to reverse this trend, as the mass incarceration of black men specifically has become an epidemic. Despite the best efforts of groups such as the NAACP and the ACLU to reverse the trend, the problem persists unabated with most feeling helpless to change the system in a meaningful way.Click here for more on Hang The JuryBut something can be done. By understanding your rights as a citizen to participate in the legal system, change can occur. Simply performing a civic obligation and reporting for jury duty gives every American the ability to weigh in on this issue.Few people who are arrested on drug possession charges ever make it to trial for two reasons. One is that most cases are settled with a plea deal that a defendant often learns of for the first time while standing in front of a judge. The court-appointed attorney is basically there just to explain the plea to the defendant. The second reason is that plea deals are often considerably more attractive than the potential of losing in a trial and being sentenced by a judge, who is obligated to hand down sentences in strict accordance with the law. In states with mandatory minimum sentencing requirements, the risks are enormous.But for those rare cases that do make it to trial, most people would be surprised to know that the most powerful person in the room is not an attorney or even the judge, for that matter. It’s the juror. One dissenting juror has the ability to decide whether or not a defendant should be set free no matter how the facts are presented. If a juror believes a defendant is guilty of breaking the law, but believes also that the law itself is not just, she has the right to vote with her conscience and not with the law.Whether or not a judge has an obligation to inform a jury of this right has been battled over for two and a half centuries. As it stands now, judges are not required to inform a jury of their right to nullify a verdict; therefore, most do not.Intrigued? Incredulous? Inspired? If you are brave enough to defy injustice and provide the last line of sane defense in an insane world, it’s best to arm yourself with an understanding of how we arrived at this point in history and your constitutional right to turn the tide.The Modern “Middle Passage”In order to properly describe the extent to which our criminal justice system is inherently and overwhelmingly racist, we must learn to speak about it with a new language. The current language, inculcated into the population by the government and corporate media over several decades, includes phrases such as “tough on crime,” “zero tolerance,” and “three strikes.” This type of rhetoric has been delivered repeatedly and enthusiastically since President Ronald Reagan declared the official start to the War on Drugs in 1982. Thirty years and a billion episodes of Law & Order later, we are all fluent in the language of narcotics.Unfortunately, most of us have turned a blind eye to the mass incarceration of young black men in America during this time. Most of us shrugged it off. Most of us have failed to comprehend the rise of the prison industrial complex. Most of us, but not all of us.In her book, The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander speaks to both the sociological and institutional aspects of racism in the American legal system. Since its publication in 2010, her book has been gradually galvanizing members of the black community around the concept of incarceration as a new form of slavery. And because of the efforts of outspoken leaders such as Dr. Cornel West, tireless advocacy from grassroots drug and prison reform groups and the comprehensive analysis provided by Alexander, the nation is beginning to speak about incarceration with a new language.Rev. Roger Williams, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Glen Cove, N.Y., and president of the local NAACP chapter, says the reaction in the black community has been “multifaceted.” He says Alexander’s book has certainly inspired debate, with some putting “all of the onus on the black community,” others who have a “balanced understanding,” and “then you have those who feel like white folks are coming for you.” In every case, says Williams, “it’s almost like shoveling smoke trying to get a consensus, but it’s certainly stirring leadership.”Fred Brewington, a prominent New York attorney and activist, has lectured frequently on this issue and even given sermons on The New Jim Crow, as he lives it every day in the criminal justice system.“Unfortunately, the system has become the norm,” says Brewington. He shares Williams’ view that the book hasn’t necessarily filtered through the black community, but it has started to take root. “It’s not as though everyone is waking up and saying, ‘Where are all our African American men?’” But he calls Alexander’s book a “wonderful compilation of information that is there for the use of front-line advocates.”Alexander’s book boldly equates the effects of today’s punitive drug laws to those of the Jim Crow laws that legalized segregation and unequal treatment under the law with respect to race. Specifically, she addresses the mass incarceration of black men in America under draconian drug statutes. For those who believe her analogy is a stretch, Alexander has a powerful weapon at her disposal: statistics.Our modern journey to enslavement begins in 1972 in the years immediately following stark gains made during the Civil Rights movement. The prison population was around 350,000 as compared to 2.2 million people today. In 1972, violent crime had already peaked and was on the decline in the United States. The reason for the peak during the prior years was arguably the result of the Baby Boomers being between 18 and 25 years old—the prime adolescent years of criminal agitation—mixed with civil unrest and protests during the Vietnam War era.But by the mid to late ’70s, conscription had formally ended, the Boomers were more worried about getting jobs than getting high and violent crime was precipitously declining. As Alexander notes in The New Jim Crow, the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals recommended as early as 1973, “no new institutions for adults should be built and existing institutions for juveniles should be closed.”Sociologists and criminologists had come to realize that punitive punishments and long-term sentences had little to no positive impact on crime statistics and that rehabilitation and treatment were more appropriate measures for all but the most violent criminals. Plus, the numbers were on their side. Despite a difficult economy, violent crime was falling—not only in the United States, but also around the globe. Given these circumstances, it was somewhat surprising that President Reagan declared an official “War on Drugs” in 1982, only two years into his first term. Surprising also because America didn’t really have a drug problem in 1982.Ask enough people from a black neighborhood where “crack” came from, and it won’t take long for someone to tell you it was the CIA. This point has been hotly debated for years. But the fact remains that the period during which cocaine first began flooding the streets of American cities coincides precisely with the start of CIA operations in Central America, specifically Nicaragua. In the early 1980s guerrilla fighters in Nicaragua were suddenly flush with cash from American drug dealers—cash used to purchase American weapons in their fight against the Sandinistas, the Marxist government that aligned itself with Cuba.In 1982, the U.S. Attorney General drafted a Memorandum of Understanding to the CIA establishing the United States’ interest in overthrowing the Sandinista government in Nicaragua; the same year the Reagan administration declared the War on Drugs. But crack cocaine had yet to reach the streets. It would take another three years for crack to begin appearing in the black neighborhoods; crack derived from cocaine funneled from Nicaragua. Call it a conspiracy or an incredible coincidence, but the timing is irrefutable. In the meantime, however, the Reagan administration didn’t sit idly by and wait for crack to become an epidemic. It had laws to change and a paradigm to shift. It didn’t take long.Despite the downward trend of violent crime and no evidence yet of a rampant drug problem, the Reagan administration increased anti-drug funding for the FBI, Department of Defense and the Drug Enforcement Administration tenfold between 1980 and 1984; almost the exact size of the funding decrease to federal drug treatment, rehabilitation and education programs. Cocaine funneled from Central America hit the streets in 1985 in the form of crack and was deemed an epidemic by the media by 1986. By the end of 1986 the country had already adopted mandatory minimum sentencing requirements for drug-related felonies.In less than five years a crisis had been fully manufactured in our cities and federal, state and local law enforcement agencies were given incentives in the form of military arsenals and cash to increase the number of arrests. Police departments were suddenly competing for cash grants, assault weapons and air power. The government’s sudden change of course and willingness to fund anything related to drug crimes also created an opportunity for private industry, which was only too anxious to jump into the fray.In 1983, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the first privately held prison corporation, was formed. Despite the historically low prison population, the government’s drug war prompted private industry to suddenly jump into the incarceration game. Today, CCA is a nearly $2 billion (and growing) corporation with more than 90,000 “beds” under its control.Allowing for privatization of our prisons is one of the more egregious examples of how divorced our policymakers are from common sense in this country. The goal of a private penal corporation is to profit from high and extended rates of “occupancy.” (CCA literally speaks in these terms as though it was part of the hospitality industry.) The private prison lobby in America has pressured lawmakers over the years to maintain harsh minimum sentencing requirements as corporations have little financial incentive to encourage rehabilitation of prisoners. As far as the private prison industry is concerned, the only useful felon is one who is incarcerated, not reformed.Reagan’s “war” saw a clean population getting hooked on drugs. During this “war,” rehabilitation was replaced with recidivism. Treatment was abandoned in favor of solitary confinement. Education was upended by “stop and frisk.” Prevention was sacrificed in the name of incarceration. The result? Half of all inmates today are in prison for drug-related crimes, of which 80 percent are related to possession of marijuana. To say the black community bore the brunt of this war is an understatement. To wit, more black American men are in the prison system today than there were slaves just prior to the Civil War. Present the statistics any way you please. There’s no pretty picture to paint. Black America is once again in chains.The SystemEach year, hundreds of thousands of “stop-and-frisk” acts are performed in black neighborhoods. They are rarely, if ever, conducted in white neighborhoods, office complexes or college campuses.Nevertheless, politicians point to the success of “stop and frisk” in the absolute number of people arrested for carrying drugs instead of the miniscule percentage of people found carrying drugs who were searched. I’m no mathematician, but logic would dictate that if you only stop and search people in black neighborhoods, then when you find drugs on someone the chances are that person is going to be black.The reasoning behind “stop and frisk” is so specious and the process itself so unconstitutional it defies logic. And yet, it’s generally upheld in court. In 2012, 533,000 people were subjected to “stop and frisk” by the NYPD, according to the NY Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU). Once again, even though blacks comprise 25 percent of the city’s population, they made up 55 percent of those who were stopped and frisked.Many officers are unhappy with the “stop-and-frisk” protocol but are caught up in the nightmare due to pressure that comes from the top. Recently, the New York Daily News reported on a case where NYPD Officer Pedro Serrano testified against the department after taping his supervisor, Deputy Inspector Christopher McCormack, telling him to target “male blacks. And I told you at roll call, and I have no problem [to] tell you this, male blacks 14 to 21.” These kinds of orders are not unique. They stem from quotas that are often handed down from the police brass. And officers such as Serrano who speak out against these practices are often shunned by their colleagues.But wrestling with one’s conscience and struggling to maintain police quotas is nothing compared to the hell that awaits a young black man swept up into the web of “stop and frisk.” Once in court, the odds are stacked against him. In a recent conversation, Brewington described the harrowing process of being caught by the police and ushered through the “system.”Those with a prior arrest who are brought in on possession charges may meet an attorney such as Brewington in the holding cell. They’re actually one of the lucky ones, as a staggering number of accused felons make it all the way to sentencing in front of a judge without ever having spoken to an attorney. A far cry from what happens on TV. Brewington describes the encounter as something less than a conversation, as he advises his client to answer simply “yes” or “no” because everyone around him has an incentive to use his words against him in their own plea deal.Time is of the essence, as he is typically carrying an offer from the D.A. that is set to expire quickly. Whether they want to go free is not a question he will raise. They’re in the system now. The only question is, how long? Risking an appearance in front of a jury means risking a much longer sentence.“The fear is that you’re going to get a jury that’s really not of your peers,” says Brewington, who is loath to advise a jury trial. He says many of the young men he encounters “have not acquired the requisite skills to appear sympathetic” in front of a jury “that looks at you as though you must have done something wrong.”The confusing whirlwind of circumstances between being frisked by law enforcement officials and accepting a plea deal is just the start, a piece of the legacy from Reagan’s “War on Drugs.”But if Ronald Reagan was responsible for putting so many black people behind bars, it was Bill Clinton who was most responsible for keeping them there. In an effort to make Democrats appear “tough on crime,” the Clinton administration institutionalized punitive measures outside of the system, such as lifetime bans on some forms of welfare including access to food stamps, government jobs and public housing. Parolees, now branded as felons for life, were suddenly unable to leave their district while being forbidden from returning home, accessing food and gaining employment in the public sector.“If the initiative is to eradicate the drug trade,” says Williams, the opposite occurred. “What you’re doing is inducing the necessary anger on the inside that will be accentuated when they come back. And the only thing that will accept them back is the game.”Throughout the ’90s, recidivism spiked and parolees came face to face with President Clinton’s most punitive anti-crime measures—the “Three Strikes” rule and mandatory minimums. Under Clinton, life sentences were mandated for any third-time felon, or felon convicted of multiple counts, regardless of the nature or severity of the crime. Mandatory minimum sentences for even the lowest level drug offenders were implemented as outrage finally began to creep into American consciousness. Black churches and organizations were up in arms. Some judges resigned. Alexander even recounts the story of a notoriously harsh judge who wept when forced to hand down a 10-year sentence “for what appeared to be a minor mistake in judgment in having given a ride to a drug dealer for a meeting with an undercover agent.”Beyond the practical hindrances a felon faces in attempting to re-enter society, there’s an emotional burden and stigma that is carried forever; a burden that extends to the family as well. Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, president of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, runs programs to counsel children of incarcerated parents. While their parents are on the inside, the kids “suffer guilt, shame and isolation,” says Reynolds, adding, “Seventy percent of kids of incarcerated parents, without intervention, wind up incarcerated themselves.” But he speaks to the effectiveness of intervention, saying, “None of our kids have been incarcerated. With a little bit of help and a little bit of energy, it makes a huge difference.”Even those who are released carry with them the shame of having been on the inside and the painful memories that accompany incarceration. Horrifically, more than 70,000 prisoners are raped every year. Additionally, tens of thousands of prisoners are locked in solitary confinement at any given time in the United States, a punishment usually employed by totalitarian regimes that was all but outlawed in the United States prior to Reagan’s War on Drugs and the emergence of the modern prison industrial complex.Nullification is a “Juror’s Prerogative”Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?—Henry David Thoreau, Civil DisobedienceYou don’t have to agree that the “War on Drugs” was an intentional war on the poor, disenfranchised people of color in this country to understand that this was the result. Thinking, feeling people know these laws must be changed. And while we, as citizens, must indeed protest, engage in civil disobedience and write to Congress, there is more that can be done and it begins with understanding your rights.In a New York Times op-ed last year, Alexander floated a question raised to her by a woman named Susan Burton. Her question was simple, but brilliant: What if there was a movement to convince “thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of people charged with crimes to refuse to play the game, to refuse to plea out?” Her supposition was that this would theoretically crash the criminal justice system. She’s right. But the risk would be enormous given the potential and very legal retribution the system provides for.But if the black community is examining this option and weighing the risks of such a strategy, it is incumbent upon the white liberal community to do the same on the opposite side of the equation. In this scenario, African Americans have everything to lose and white people have nothing to lose. So to possess this knowledge, have nothing to lose and still refuse to be an “upstander” is to be silently complicit in modern-day slavery.Most white Americans have only a casual relationship with our legal system. Their understanding of what is just and what is legal generally comes from watching television crime shows and movies. This is why most people have the impression that the sole responsibility of a juror is to deliver a verdict based upon legal facts and that his or her personal feelings of fairness and justice cannot be considered.This is patently false.If you manage to get by “voir dire,” the process of questioning jurors to sit for a particular trial, and are fortunate enough to be selected, you can participate in a revolutionary movement. You can hang a jury without ever having to explain why. Jurors such as this are referred to as “stealth jurors.” Quiet activists who are guided by conscience not convention, or as Fred Brewington says, “The jury becomes the advocate for society.”But first, you have to be in the position to do so. The key to getting through voir dire is to answer honestly without revealing anything ideologically. There is a science to voir dire and cases are often determined by how adroit an attorney is at selecting a jury. So remember these simple facts:1) Less is more: You cannot misrepresent yourself by exercising restraint during voir dire.2) You are not the one on trial.3) Your goal is to get on that jury.Serving on a jury is tedious, time-consuming and may even be financially detrimental. There is nothing romantic about the inner-workings of our legal system, no matter how glorified it is on television. Moreover, only a handful of Americans will actually be selected for a trial that involves drug possession charges for the reasons I stated in the opening of this piece. The goal here is to make enough people aware that the reason our system was designed to have trials decided by a “jury of one’s peers” was to prevent unjust laws from unfairly condemning citizens to incarceration or any form of punishment.Like I said, the chance of being picked for a jury that involves drug possession charges is extremely remote. But our ability to disseminate a simple message of civil obedience to encourage defiance in the face of injustice has never been greater. If millions of Americans know who Joseph Kony is and know how to dance “Gangnam-Style” then they can at least understand their legal right and moral obligation to hang a jury in the case of drug possession charges.Twitter. Facebook. Smoke signals. Whatever your preferred method of communication, it’s time to spread the word and find the “one in twelve” willing to hang the jury.*This article is an excerpt from Jed Morey’s forthcoming book titled The Great American Disconnect: Five Fundamental Threats to our Republic.“America in Chains” Illustration by Jon Moreno“Dissenting Juror” Illustration by Jon Sasala“Hang The Jury” Video by Rashed Mianwww.hangthejury.com created by Michael Confortilast_img read more

Read More »

Vanished: Dix Hills Father Still Missing After 2 Months

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A missing person flyer tucked onto the windshield of a car at the Long Island Rail Road Deer Park Station, where his bright red 2004 Pontiac GTO was found. (Photo courtesy of Bob Savage)[dropcap]R[/dropcap]obert Mayer left his Dix Hills home around 4:30 a.m. on Friday, June 14, in his bright red 2004 Pontiac GTO, the same routine he’s had on countless mornings as an electrician, rising before dawn to get to his jobsite—this time, a massive theater complex under construction in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.Around 9 a.m., he spoke with his wife Ida about their weekend plans. Father’s Day was that Sunday, and his mother and in-laws were coming by for a barbeque. Ida told him she’d buy some lobster; he asked her to also pick up some oysters. Mayer loved to barbeque.They also talked briefly about an upcoming vacation to Italy that they’d been planning for July 7.“He was happy,” Ida tells the Press. “Everything was good.”Unbeknownst to her, it would be the last conversation she’d have with her husband of 18 years. Robert never came home that night, and has not been seen since.His car—which Ida says he “loved”—was discovered the next day abandoned in the Long Island Rail Road’s Deer Park station parking lot. Its keys were missing, the front seat was moved forward closer to the steering wheel than he’d have it, and the trunk, where Mayer typically would keep his tools, lunchbox and water bottles, was empty; the latter found on the front seat.Ida subsequently discovered Robert’s green mountain bike missing, and found his wallet and $300 cash in a drawer in the garage.A Suffolk County Police Department spokesman tells the Press detectives do not believe Mayer’s disappearance to be the result of foul play at this stage and that there is an active and ongoing investigation into “all leads.”Ida, however, fears the worst.“This is a man who never once spent a night away from home,” she stresses, between sobs. “Not once, not one night in 18 years was he not with me.“He didn’t like the Long Island Rail Road parking lot because of all the thefts [there],” Ida continues, explaining that they’d go so far as to drive into Queens where relatives lived and hop a subway from there rather than take the LIRR whenever heading into the city. “His car, that was his baby, aside from the family, that was what he loved the most, was his car. He just would never leave it there. To find it there without a Club on it—he wouldn’t park it there.“He wouldn’t walk away from everything he has, everything he’s worked for his whole life,” she adds, weeping. “He had no reason to—and his children. We have two children. My son is 15 and my daughter is 11. They mean the world to him.”Their son plays in a band, and Robert, a drummer, attends his shows and helps set up equipment. Their son had a gig on Saturday, the weekend Robert went missing—he just wouldn’t have missed that show, Ida insists.Dix Hills father Robert Mayer has been missing for more than two months. (Photo courtesy of Ida Mayer)“I believe that he’s in danger,” she cries. “Something happened to him.”The 6-foot-1, 200-pound electrician was last seen around 2:15 p.m. on June 14 at the Arrow Scrap yard in West Babylon—where he sold scrap metal from his jobsite. His cell phone went dead about a half hour later. An Arrow foreman tells the Press Mayer had been a longtime, if sporadic, “customer” of the recycling center.“He was a nice, well-composed individual,” he said on Aug. 2—exactly seven weeks to the minute of Mayer’s last known visit—but with little other details to offer. “Over the years, he probably came in here every so often to scrap some metal.”Arrow’s surveillance cameras are aimed at the parking area and the entrance, but the foreman declined to say whether they captured Mayer’s sharp red sports car the day he vanished—a vehicle, said another worker, that would have stood out from the typical daily parade of beat-up pickups and trucks filled with wiring and wreckage that the majority of sellers haul their scraps to the center in. Ida tells the Press that an internal camera did capture Robert that day and “he looked scared. He looked worried.”“So strange,” said the scrap metal worker, shaking his head and expressing sympathy for Mayer’s family as he clenched the “Missing” flyer.Workers at Heavy Metal Scrap a few blocks away—the other recycling yard in the area that deals with the type of materials Mayer would have sold—did not recognize him, nor his car, when shown the handout.About a week after her husband’s disappearance, Suffolk police detectives informed Ida that a neighbor’s camera had recorded what appeared to be her husband’s car by her driveway at approximately 2:41 p.m., June 14, and then showed it pulling out of the driveway 10 minutes later. Only the top of the car was spotted; the driver and/or passengers weren’t. The camera caught Ida’s car pulling into the driveway at about 3 p.m.Further searching the garage, Ida found Rob’s cell phone, turned off, in another drawer in the garage. The $300 she’d found previously matches the transaction he made June 14 at Arrow, she says.“It means to me that he came home,” says Ida. “It means to me that something happened.”“I feel bad for the family,” says Bob Savage, 53, of Port Jefferson, one of dozens of volunteers—many complete strangers—who’ve been searching for answers and trying to raise awareness about the case since Mayer’s abrupt disappearance.He joined about 60 others on July 7, along with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation officials and nonprofit Long Island Search and Rescue, scouring 813-acre Oak Brush Plains Preserve at Edgewood in Deer Park. Savage also teamed up alongside about two dozen others handing out flyers and searching for clues and potential witnesses July 21 at the Deer Park train station, which abuts the preserve. He and others have also participated in other, more recent searches.Savage, a photographer and mountain biker who heard about Mayer’s disappearance from a friend, has been contributing photos he’s taken during the searches to the “Robert Mayer Search Group” Facebook page, which currently has nearly 3,000 members. The page serves as a bulletin board for updates and to strategize future searches, flyer-handout drives and media attention.THE SEARCH CONTINUES: Volunteers from across the Island and country have been strategizing online and conducting searches, such as this one, of Oak Brush Plains Preserve at Edgewood in Deer Park, for clues of Robert Mayer’s mysterious disappearance. (Photo courtesy of Bob Savage)Its members span the country. One woman set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for the family in Robert’s absence. (They’ve also started a drop-subscription drive against the Island’s lone daily newspaper, which has yet to publish an article on the case as of press time.) Another member, Matthew Berkowitz, has taken to the air.The 45-year-old filmmaker and adjunct professor at Five Towns College, with the assistance of a team of volunteers, has been using GoPro Drone Quadcopters—remote-controlled mini-helicopters equipped with surveillance cameras—to scour and map the preserve and landfills for signs of Robert.Mayer was last seen at Arrow Scrap yard in West Babylon June 14, 2013. (Christopher Twarowski/Long Island Press)Berkowitz, with the help of the owners of Huntington’s Cinema Arts Centre, has also been mass producing “Missing” flyers and posting them across Long Island. He tells the Press he went to school with Robert and made a commitment to Ida “that I would do everything I could to help, so that’s what I’m doing.“People are nothing without other people,” he says. “This is a father and a husband. We’ve got to get him back.”These selfless actions mean the world to Ida, who gets emotional at the mere mention of the grassroots efforts. She calls them “amazing.”“The community support and just the support of people all over has been overwhelming,” she tells the Press. “Thank God for them, because they’re working so hard to try to find him… They’ve supported me.”“It helps so much,” she says, weeping. “It gives me hope.”Local Union 3, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, has also posted the Mayer’s “Missing” flyer on their website. His most recent worksite had been at the Theatre for a New Audience complex on Ashland Place in Downtown Brooklyn’s BAM Cultural District.Robert Mayer has short brown hair, hazel-green eyes and possibly a beard by now. Mayer was wearing a grey polo shirt with a J.C. Electrical logo emblazoned on it, light blue jeans and black work boots. His left middle finger is slightly chopped off at the tip.Until there is “concrete evidence” otherwise, Suffolk police will treat Mayer’s vanishing as a missing persons case, Ida says, despite his lengthy disappearance.Anyone who may have seen Robert or who may have information about his disappearance is asked to call the Suffolk County Police Second Squad detectives at 631-854-8252. Mayer’s family is also offering a $10,000 reward.Ida, who has been completely consumed with grief since Rob’s disappearance, describes her husband as a “homebody” who enjoyed lounging around the house watching TV and playing video games with their children. She said he’s a loving, caring family man who would do anything for his family, friends and neighbors.“His family is the most important thing to him,” she says, between long pauses and sobs, “followed by his friends. During Hurricane Sandy, he was the one helping everyone set up generators and lending them anything they needed. He was the first one out there, and my neighbors will tell you that.“Someone out there knows something,” Ida insists, vowing never to give up on finding her husband. “Whether it’s at the scrap yard or at the worksite in Brooklyn, any of the last places he was seen—or the train station. Someone saw something, someone knows something.“My husband would not just disappear.”last_img read more

Read More »

Crystal clear

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Read More »

Moderna, Merck say they will not limit price of coronavirus vaccines to company cost

first_imgTopics : Executives from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca Plc testified that they will price their respective potential vaccines at no profit while the pandemic rages on.Gerberding and a representative from Moderna did not comment on the price they have in mind for their vaccines at the hearing, which focused on efforts to develop a safe, effective and widely accessible vaccine against COVID-19, which has claimed 600,000 lives globally.Pfizer Inc has said the company intends to make a profit from its potential coronavirus vaccine if approved. However, Pfizer Chief Business Officer John Young, testified: “We recognize that these are extraordinary times and our price will reflect that.”Unlike rivals Moderna and AstraZeneca, Pfizer has not received funding from the United States for its vaccine development. Lawmakers questioned whether Pfizer had declined government funding so it could price the vaccine at a profit.”We didn’t access federal funding solely for the reason that we wanted to move the vaccine faster to the clinic,” Young said.AstraZeneca said its vaccine would be provided at no profit under its agreement with the United States for allocation of some 300 million doses.More than 150 coronavirus vaccines using a variety of technologies are in development globally, with some two dozen already in human trials. The aim is to produce vaccines that can end the pandemic by protecting billions of people from infection or severe illness. Whether any will succeed or be available by the US government’s stated goal of having one by late this year remains far from clear.”Speed is important,” Gerberding said of the vaccine development, “but we will not compromise scientific efficacy, quality, and above all, safety, despite the sense of urgency we all feel.”center_img Moderna Inc and Merck & Co on Tuesday told a US Congressional panel that they expect to profit from their coronavirus vaccines once approved, amid concerns the vaccines may not be accessible to all.”We will not be selling our vaccine at cost, although it is premature for us as we’re a long way from understanding the cost-basis,” Julie Gerberding, chief patient officer for Merck, told the House of Representatives subcommittee on oversight and investigations in a virtual, off-site hearing.Merck’s has yet to begin human studies of its experimental vaccine, lagging the leading candidates.last_img read more

Read More »