Mayor Cory A. Booker announced today that his Twitter microblog has won the 2010 government category, during the second annual Shorty Awards ceremony which was held at TheTimesCenter in the New York Times Building in New York City last night. The “Shorty” Award is the Twitter equivalent of Hollywood’s Oscars and television’s Emmy Awards. The “Shorty Awards” was hosted this year by CNN’s Rick Sanchez and partnered with sponsors including PepsiCo for the Innovaton category, Marketwire for the Journalist category and Porter Novelli for the Advertising category.
The “Shorty Awards” honor the best people and organizations on Twitter, in 28 categories, ranging from News to Cultural Institutions to Humor. Several of the award recipients included Suze Orman (Finance), Rachel Maddow (Journalism), and a special humanitarian Shorty Award to Haitian TV presenter Carel Pedre for tweets that shedded light on the devastating earthquake in his country.
Mayor Booker was recognized for his @Cory Booker account. Runners up in the “Government” category included NASA, Virginia State Parks, NavyNews, the U.S. Marine Corps, and Israel Los Angeles.
Mayor Booker’s Twitter microblogs were cited for their timeliness and importance in assisting residents with snow removal during blizzards that impacted New Jersey’s largest City. Through Twitter, Mayor Booker was able to connect residents with snow removal resources and alert response agencies to areas in need of action. Required to give his acceptance in Twitter’s 140-character maximum, Mayor Booker read his remarks from his phone and said, “Newark is rising thanx 2 the power of people working together. Thank u Twitterverse & Tech Corps 4 unifying people 4 inspiration & justice.”
Mayor Booker has been an active Twitter microblogger since August 11, 2008 and currently has 1,076,008 followers. In July 2009, Mayor Booker announced the formation of the Newark Tech Corps, a working group of technology sector founders and executives, who teamed up with Newark Leadership to activate and amplify the social Web to accelerate positive change in Newark and beyond. Designees from LinkedIn, Ning, Ustream, Causes and Seesmic have joined Mayor Booker to harness new media platforms, experiences and connections to elevate local, national and global engagement with Newark’s residents, schools, social services and businesses.
“Twitter is part of the new frontier of communication,” said Gary Kebbel, Knight Foundation’s journalism program director. “This year’s Shorty Award winners share the ability to spread news and information, and to engage people individually and globally, in innovative ways. They’re doing the kind of creative communicating that Knight Foundation seeks to support and advance.”
The “Shorty Awards” ceremony featured a live performance by the Reduced Shakespeare Company, acceptance speeches by winners in other categories including personal finance expert Suze Orman, CNBC journalist Rachel Maddow, along with an appearance by Sesame Street’s Grover. William Shatner congratulated the winners via video and read some of his own favorite tweets from @sh*tmydadsays, which is being turned into a TV pilot by CBS with Shatner in the lead role. In all, 34 awards were given across the 28 categories, including several new ones. Janis Krums received a Real-Time Photo Shorty Award for his camera phone shot of U.S. Airways flight 1549 crash in the Hudson River last year.
The awards were created by Sawhorse Media and made possible with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. This year, voting opened in early January, quickly making the second annual “Shorty Awards” a consistent top trending topic on Twitter. Voters publicly nominated the best people and organizations on Twitter across official and crowd-sourced categories.
“The Shorty Award winners show that you can make a big impact with few characters,” said Gregory Galant, the CEO of Sawhorse Media, which created the Shorty Awards. “We’re thrilled to see so many concise communicators fly in from around the world to accept their awards.”
Finalists were narrowed down in February and then, for the first time, the winners were chosen from the finalists by a combination of the popular Twitter vote and judging by the Real-Time Academy of Short Form Arts & Sciences. Academy members include Kurt Andersen, Alyssa Milano, MC Hammer, Joi Ito, Craig Newmark, David Pogue, and Jimmy Wales.
For more information about the second annual “Shorty Awards” you can visit their website at www.ShortyAwards.com
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Washington D.C. - In a decision issued today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals adopted the arguments of the Legal Action Center (LAC), of the American Immigration Council, that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) unlawfully imposed extra-regulatory requirements on a petition for a worker of "extraordinary ability" (EB-1). The case in question, Kazarian v. USCIS, involves a theoretical physicist whose employment-based visa was denied because he did not demonstrate "the research community's reactions to his [scholarly] publications" - an arbitrary requirement with no justification in the law.
In today's decision, the Ninth Circuit amended its previous ruling and reversed the agency's interpretation. The court held that "neither USCIS nor an [Administrative Appeals Office] may unilaterally impose novel substantive or evidentiary requirements beyond those set forth [in the regulations]." The Ninth Circuit also found that the agency impermissibly added another unlawful criteria as well.
The case stems from a 2009 Ninth Circuit Court ruling in favor of USCIS. Following that ruling, the LAC and NAFSA submitted an amicus brief in support of rehearing Kazarian's case. The LAC argued that USCIS erred by adding an additional requirement that did not exist under the law. Kazarian was represented pro bono in the rehearing petition by Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group.
Today's decision sends a clear message that USCIS must follow the law and provide a fair process. Unfortunately, this case is not an isolated incident and not the first time the LAC has successfully challenged the policies and practices of the agency. The LAC will continue to challenge similar attempts by the government to operate outside of the law.
"Immigration law is complicated enough without the immigration agency imposing additional requirements and burdens of proof that aren't in the statute or regulations and that ultimately undermine the goal of attracting the best and brightest to our shores," said Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council.
To read the decision in its entirety visit:
For more information contact Wendy Sefsaf at 202-507-7511 or firstname.lastname@example.org
New York - March 4, 2010 - Frustration and dissatisfaction with Congress and President Obama's failure to complete his promise of immigration reform has led organizers from around the country preparing to march on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on March 21, 2010.
It is the intention of the organizers to rally tens of thousand of supporters to push for immigration reform this year. The march, organized by the Reform Immigration For America coalition, will also bring together organizers concentrating on different aspects on the immigration problem. This includes supporters for the DREAM Act,, which would grant legalization for children who entered this U.S. before they reached 16 years of age, reform for the 12 million illegal aliens, agricultural reform and better immigration detention practice.
This is a massive grass roots movement to raise public awareness of the plight of the immigrant. Hundreds of state immigration associations have been making the rounds; going to churches, knocking on doors, making phone calls, contacting their state representatives and organizing caravans of people to attend the March event.
As Moses Apsan, a well know immigration attorney in the New York and New Jersey area said " Immigration reform can happen this year and none too soon. Last year's failed attempt at immigration reform was caused by right wing anti- immigration fanatics that held seats in the House of Representatives. Thank goodness, that most of them have been 'thrown out with the bathwater' when the democrats took over the House."
As we approach conclusion of the health care reform laws, immigration reform should be next on Obama's plate.