Yes We Can!!

This article was found on Yahoo.com via The Nation

Young Texans March for Voting Rights

Thu Feb 21, 11:10 PM ET

The Nation — While the nation’s eyes may have been on Hawaii and Wisconsin on Tuesday, it was also the first day of early voting in Texas, and voting rights came to the fore in a rural county outside of Houston.

More than 1,000 mostly African-American students from Prairie View A&M, a historically black university, marched 7.3 miles to the nearest polling place, wearing shirts declaring “It is 2008. We will vote!” The students, joined by faculty and community members, were protesting the county’s refusal to open an polling place on or near the campus, which they feel is part of pattern of the county impeding students’ right to vote.

This year, Waller county officials announced they would have only one polling place open for early voting. Thanks to pressure from student organizations such as Black Youth Vote! Texas and other community groups, the Department of Justice stepped in to question the decision. The same day that the march was announced, Waller county officials agreed to open three others polling places, but they won’t be open until later this week.

Waller County, where Prairie View is located, has a history of controversy over voting rights, particularly surrounding the university. In a mostly white, conservative county, Prairie View students represent a sizeable minority demographic. In 2004, students organized a similar march when many of them were declared ineligible to vote based on residency status. According to the Houston Chronicle, the county is still under investigation by the Texas Attorney General for the 2006 election, when black community leaders complained of faulty machines and inadequate staffing of polling places, and hundreds of students’ names being missing from election rosters.

Tuesday’s march was, according to those who went, a testament to the power of youth organizing and action. Andre Evans, president of the Prairie View Student Government Association, said it best: “It’s time for students to be more proactive and aggressive in obtaining our rights…Our problem is that we have not had county leaders in office who care about the needs or concerns of students. We’re going to vote on Tuesday, and in the future, we will vote to get some of those people out of office.”

This story is very inspirational. I am glad to hear that people are very excited about voting and are willing to walk over 7 miles to their polling station. I hope the county officials will stop disenfranchising voters.

Check out a video of the students marching to voting place on the highway.

Way to go Prairie View!!

For Richer or For Poorer

Hey Pumps and Gloss-ers,

Wedding season is approaching very quickly. Many brides are finalizing reception, floral arrangements, and other related wedding activities.

I have discussed many aspects of wedding attire and accessories, but not the actual wedding/reception party planning.

Wedding Reception

We all know that weddings/receptions can be expensive. If possible, your best bet is to begin the planning process early. Please bare in mind that the actual wedding is not as costly as the reception. You can probably get away with faux flowers and tulle on the pews and a few flowers, columns, and so forth on the rostrum.

The reception is probably 60-80% of the budget, assuming that all of the bridal party will be paying out of their own pockets, which is pretty much standard, unless you are aware of financial hardship with a couple of bridal participants. Here is Mix Maven’s rule of thumb, “If you cannot afford the reception, you need to keep the wedding invites to a minimum.” Opt for a destination ceremony that will limit who can come to the wedding, which, ultimately, means less money flowing out of your pocket.

Preston Bailey’s Sandals Destination Wedding

I must stress that you cannot have a caviar and saltfish reception. You must either keep the reception elegant or decide on a casual event. Do not mix the two. A friend of mine was telling me about a wedding that the friend was planning with the bride. The bride asked the friend to help because she likes my friend’s taste, which is quite impeccable. The friend told me how the bride wanted to use plastic or paper plates for dining *gasp* as well as setting up a lobby for the reception. *double gasp*!!! To add insult to injury, the bride and groom wanted to serve a specific ethnic menu to all guests, but the menu would cater to 25% of guests. Why? Because the menu was the cheapest. Now, the best solution would be to cater to both sets, negotiating rates that will be conducive to their budget. (Sidebar: if you have a significant amount of guests that are vegetarian, do not relegate them to eating cheese and pasta. Make sure that substantive food i.e. protein is provided for them.)

Spring Rolls - Source: MarthaStewart.com

I am not saying that you should not find bargains, but be careful of where you decide to cut costs. I am a bargain shopper, but I know that you get what you pay for. Do not cut costs on food. If you cannot afford to feed people good food, DO NOT have a reception. I heard about a bride wanting to have a potluck for her wedding reception, thankfully, a relative stepped in and helped to make sure the event was catered.

Do not treat guests with disdain by providing them substandard fair, yet still wanting gifts from them . Elegance does not have to be butchered, if your budget is not the amount you want it to be, be open to creative affordable options that will still add the touch of elegance you desire. You, your spouse, family and guests are definitely worth it! Always REMEMBER, Your wedding day is a reflection of you and your new spouse, so make sure the look you want is cohesive and charming.

Keep It Classy,

Mix Maven