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Audio: Advocacy regarding black male unemployment in Topeka Kansa

Hope you can find time to listen to these recordings. The topic is very relevant to any community in which black men find themselves at a disadvantage in government, politic and business. The discourse in these audio files really show how deep the pathology goes for non-minorities with the power to make decisions over the lives of others they are not associated with. 
Below, I also share what I passed out to the elected officials before they deliberated and made their decision to stay the course and continue giving a public funded contract to a nonprofit special interest group. Their actions fit the definitions as provided. Which is the scary part of this all..
Thanks for listening and I look forward to your comments.
Lazone Grays
FYI - I also have the complete video; which I purchased at the county clerks office. I may or may not digitize the rest of the JEDO meeting and make available online? Once you here the presentations by the contractor and comments by those elected officials who should be good stewards of the peoples money, you can come to any conclusion you want. But, when all is said and done, FAILURE in performance by all parties involved on this issue is the only conclusion. 
It is highly unfortunate that with taxpayers dollars, this is the type of dismal leadership that is provided by those entrusted to make informed decisions.
Joint Economic Development Organization Meeting - Dec. 13, 2012
Annual meeting to review the business plan submitted for 2013 economic development programming & activities paid for with public funds made available under a 'special tax'. On an annual basis, elected officials must decide on whether to continue contracting with Go Topeka (contractor) for 'all' economic development services and activities or they have the option to change course as needed. 
By agreement signed by both the City of Topeka and the Shawnee County Board of Commissioners, (the JEDO) is the responsible party that is supposed to set and establish priorities with these public funds, but past practices devolved to them being told what the priorities are/will be by the contractor; a non-elected body, and to rubber stamp the plan of this sole-source contractor; without question or admonishment for their evident failures.
Public Comment Speakers: 
( Audio Recordings include questions and comments by elected JEDO officials )
Joe Ledbetter, Attorney
(20 min. 54 sec.)
Addressing the failures of the contractor and the lack of transparency & accountibility by the JEDO and contractor while utilizing public funds. Also breaks down inconsistencies that have evolved over the 10-year period the contracting group has been given a no-bid, sole-source contract utilizing public funds.
Matthew Gassen, Business Owner
(14 min. 74 sec.)
Addressing the illegality and problems that come with of non-competitive bidding by government bodies such as JEDO
Lazone Grays, Nonprofit Director
(30 min. 45 sec.)
Addressing the failed policy of JEDO and dismal failure by their contractor (Go Topeka) to utilize funds in ways that address the chronically high unemployment of black men in Topeka/Shawnee County Kansas

Press Regarding this Meeting

JEDO approves 1-year contract with Go Topeka

JEDO Board Meets to Discuss Two Economic Development Plans

Official Government Sites - Topeka / Shawnee County Kansas

City of Topeka - Joint Economic Development Organization

JEDO - Shawnee County

Information on handouts provided by Lazone to elected JEDO officials
Altruism is caring about the welfare of other people and acting to help them.
My role and interest in the issue and reason for sound and consistent advocacy for inclusion, equity and equal access to resources and opportunity paid for with public funds
delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary. Unlike hallucinationsdelusions are always pathological. Science suggests that delusions may be viewed as the natural consequence of failure to distinguish conceptual relevance. Furthermore, the person takes the relevant information, in the form of counterexamples, and ignores it.
Despite nonrefutable evidence regarding the consistently failed performance by their contractor, Go Topeka in actually reducing unemployment for targeted taxpaying populations they receive public funds to address, the reasoning used to maintain a non-compete agreement would be deemed an act based on 'delusion' by any intellectual scholar (social or economic) or reasonable thinking person
Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within groups of people, in which the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternativesGroup members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints.
By the JEDO constantly telling their contractor that their work is excellent, outstanding, that no one can perform better for more-than 10-years, they have effectively create a false sense of actual performance and success in the mindset of their contractor Go Topeka;, the contractors cohorts and in their own minds as elected officials. The ideas, issues and suggestions of outsider (out-groups) is diminished and rejected not based on fact but a dissonance
Thereby, neither JEDO voting members or their sole-source contractor are willing to believe or accept the real and apparent flaws and failure in the performance by their contractor to affect positive/tangible/viable/visible change for those the low-income and disadvantaged persons they receive funds to make an impact on. This denial; leading to delusion, is what has fostered their collective decision to maintain a policy of non-compete without regard to other qualified persons and entities in the community. 
Even if legal, there is no proof that eliminating the competition for their contractor Go Topeka is the best policy or in the best interest to meeting the goals and strategies laid out in the Topeka/Shawnee County Economic Development Plan; as proscribed in the interlocal agreement
Reason, is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, for establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing informationReason or "reasoning" is associated with thinkingcognition, and intellect
Status-quo thinking is an enemy to reason. Stifling innovation, rejecting change and maintaining failed performance when other prospects for success exist
Innovation economics is a growing economic doctrine that reformulates conventional economics theory so that knowledgetechnologyentrepreneurship, and innovation are positioned at the center of the model rather than seen as independent forces that are largely unaffected by policy
Innovation economics is based on two fundamental tenets: that the central goal of economic policy should be to spur higher productivity through greater innovation, and that markets relying on input, resources and price signals alone will not always be as effective in spurring higher productivity, and thereby economic growth.
Innovation is the development of new customers value through solutions that meet new needs, inarticulate needs, or old customer and market needs in new ways. This is accomplished through different or more effective productsprocessesservicestechnologies, or ideas that are readily available to marketsgovernments, and society.
Rejecting change, ignoring failure, denying viable alternatives  and perosns exist, and operating under the influence of 'groupthink' prohibits innovation
Common causes of failure within the innovation process in most organisations can be distilled into five types: Poor goal definition, Poor alignment of actions to goals, Poor participation in teamsPoor monitoring of resultsPoor communication and access to information

All of the above have played into the failure of the contractor to effect positive results for specific target populations falling under the inclusion clause of the interlocal agreement
Cognitive dissonance is a term used in modern psychology to describe the feeling of discomfort when simultaneously holding two or more conflicting cognitions: ideas, beliefs, values or emotional reactions.
Dissonance is aroused when people are confronted with information that is inconsistent with their beliefs. If the dissonance is not reduced by changing one's belief, the dissonance can result in restoring consonance through misperception, rejection or refutation of the information, seeking support from others who share the beliefs, and attempting to persuade others.
Explains the angst felt when I, Joe Ledbetter or others speak truthfully and factually to the failures of the group they want so badly to succeed and that they favor. This 'dissonance' has created a blind trust and allegience; and unless acknowledged, will become the false reasoning to stay the course
Ambivalent prejudice is a social psychological theory that states when people become aware they have conflicting beliefs about an out-group (a group of people that do not belong to an individual's own group), they experience an unpleasant mental feeling generally referred to as cognitive dissonance
Thereby rejecting sound reasoning, facts and other information they should be using to make sound judgement and decisions
Source: Wikipedia
Prepared and Submitted to: 
The Joint Economic Development Organization
By: Lazone Grays Jr
Date: 12/13/2012
IBSA, Inc.
629 SE Quincy, Suite 102, 
Topeka, KS 66603-3921
913.735.4272 (office) 


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