Friday, November 25, 2016

Be The Media: Stop Complaining About What the Media Doesn’t Cover and Cover it Yourself…

By Margherite Cermak 

The time people spend on Facebook complaining about why the media doesn’t cover whichever story they're upset didn’t get covered is time that could be spent writing those stories. Many times we’ll see someone say something along the lines of Did you know xyz white kid was killed in Kentucky by a black police officer? Why isn’t anyone covering that story? Where’s the outrage? Well, clearly if you live in Wyoming and you know about such an event that means that someone did cover the story and if you and one other person are outraged by it then, boom, there’s your outrage. What people are really wondering is why the things they are passionate about aren’t widely shared by the rest of the population, and the reason that is the case is not the fault of the media, it’s the fault of the audience. 

There’s this general misconception that the media has some sort of responsibility to cover whatever stories the population wants them to and that there’s some sort of magic that makes stories go viral. That is simply not true. First of all, “The Media” is not a thing, it’s a collection of people who chose to spend their lives writing stories instead of bagging groceries. Some of these writers write stories perceived as nobel ones and some writers write fluff. The general media is not a government funded platform and tax dollars do not at all contribute to the news. At least not unless politicians are bribing news reporters which in any case is highly illegal, would be incredibly obvious, and for the news caster most likely dangerously impossible to deny. In fact, it’s illegal for the government to step in and tell anyone what to or not to write.

If you believe there is an injustice in the stories you are reading and that are available to you then the best thing to do is either pay someone to write about the topics you wish to read about or, even more effectively, write the articles yourself. Journalists are just writers, people who chose journalism as their career, freedom of speech laws mean that they can write about whatever they want. The success of a journalist depends on how often they write stuff that people actively read. If they’re independent then they aren’t being told what to write, their material isn’t regulated and unless they are publishing their work on reputable platform they usually aren’t even fact checked. And writers who aren’t independent, meaning they write for a company, are simply guided or directed to write what their bosses want them to write. 

So, if there’s something we want to read, stories we want covered, it is up to us to make that happen. We, ourselves can seek out stories, document what we witness and publish them ourselves. Whether or not they strike outrage or inspiration in the folks who read these materials is completely dependent on the opinions of the readers and how well the piece was written. And as a new writer you’ll quickly realize that being asked why didn’t you write about this or that, is the equivalent of asking an artist why didn’t you paint a picture of this or that. You could spend you life writing about every thing every stranger requests of you, or you can tell them to write those stories themselves and continue writing about the things that are important to you from your own perspective, to further your own career. Which is not actually as hard as you may think. 

Being a Professional Writer means you get paid for what you write, like me. Being a writer means you write stuff, and that stuff can be whatever your heart desires. An audience is responsible for how they feel and how they react to something they read, but it’s up to the writer of those stories to make people care. It’s up to the writer to deliver information to their audiences. And no one has the right to dictate which information they choose to deliver. If you have an issue you want people to be outraged about it’s up to you to make them care and up to you to deliver it. And if you find that after writing you want to write about fashion instead of police brutality because people pay more for that, then no one will stop you from choosing your words. Either way, here’s how to get the stories you feel need to be circulated out there. 

First, you start with a subject; a topic or a specific event. Then you research the facts, if you wish to be accurate and then you write about it. Start with an introduction explaining what the piece will be about including the points you’re about to make. Audiences feel comfortable reading things in threes so choose three points to highlight. From there you begin composing what’s called the body of your article or essay starting with the first point you mentioned, moving on to the second point you mentioned, and finally the third. When you’ve completed the body of your piece finish it with a conclusion. Within your conclusion state your point of the piece and recount the three vital points you made. Writers do this because readers often read the first and last paragraphs of a lengthy piece before deciding to read the whole thing. 

After that it’s up to you to get it published. If you desire, file with the Library of Congress to get it copy righted, which means only you have the right to copy, reproduce or profit off of it unless otherwise declared in writing. Obviously if you want the material to be free for all people to share it and spread it to everyone you know then you shouldn’t attack people for violating your copy right. Whether you file your piece with the Library of Congress, as long as you are the sole writer of the article than you are the owner no matter what. A copy right is just proof that you are in fact the writer if the issue ever is presented to a court of law. Otherwise, just putting your name on it is fine. 

Getting an article, blog or essay published is easy if you aren’t particular about where it’s shown. Whenever I have a personal article that I really want published by mainstream media I’ll often donate it to whatever company I want highlighting it. Sometimes it works as long as the piece is relevant to what that company publishes and follows their guidelines. When it doesn’t work right away I keep at it until they have an opening or some slot they need to fill and then just like magic they publish the piece. Most places pay a lot of money to writers for content so if the exposure is important to you enough, donating it free of cost is likely to get it published because it saves a company money. 

If you’re not particular about who publishes the piece then publish it yourself. Create a Blogspot or a Wordpress, or simply build a website. Post it to Facebook or any of the many other public social platforms. Write a hundred articles and compile them into a book that you can then submit to Kindle with their self publishing tool. Print out a million copies and spend your days placing them in people’s mailbox. Do whatever you think is going to get your article attention and then hope for the best. But keep in mind that you’ll never be able to control everyone’s reaction to whatever it is you wrote. We are all different, wildly different, and absolutely nothing is something everyone in the world cares about. All you can do is write clearly and honestly and expose it well. You can only do your best in making people care.


If outrageous stories are being circulated or are available but there isn’t a widespread outrage about it, that’s the fault of the audience not the media, not the writer. We as an audience we have the power to share and spread stories that we deem important for the world to see. If a writer is writing about things that we feel are important we have to support them. We have to ensure that these writers are successful by paying for their words and sharing them with everyone we know. Writers of important news have already done their part. They have researched and studied the topic, they have written passionately about it and they have published it making it available to all of us. And if you don’t like a product, don’t buy it. That’s the power as consumers that we have. Stop complaining about why people aren’t doing what you want them to do and do it yourself. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Communicating Information Properly…

By Margherite Cermak

Everybody knows how to speak, but most people find it difficult to communicate sometimes. Miscommunications happen via text messages and emails, misunderstandings happen between people who are arguing or debating. People who care about each other get messages crossed and sometimes never get to the truth. All sorts of things go wrong when people don’t communicate properly. Not knowing how to communicate makes it difficult if not impossible to learn and it can damage relationships and opportunities. 

Some key elements of communicating are examining what it is you wish to express, knowing how to speak specifically to an individual, and understanding how they may feel in response to your words. Mastering these things means being able to speak and be heard. By being able to communicate properly you can make the same point presented twenty different ways and be received by everyone in your path, even if they disagree. 

First of all, the platforms on which we communicate need to be looked at. Communicating is a back and forth exchange of information and reactions to that information. If you don’t want to get a bad reaction from people, you have to be aware of the platform you’re using to communicate with them. Before text messaging, if you wanted to speak to someone who is a distance away from you you’d have to call them. If you called them in the middle of the night or in the early morning for an unimportant reason you would receive a very bad reaction from them. 

This reaction is what keeps people from calling each other at unreasonable hours. But with text messaging, irresponsibility has increased tremendously and timing consideration has plummeted. Since we don’t have to experience a person’s reaction when their message notification wakes them up it’s much easier to find the courage to entertain our impulse to communicate. The person on the other end is still reacting with anger and frustration but since texting is difficult to do while sleepy they probably won’t express themselves as quickly or as directly and feelings of discontent may come out in other ways that you might not understand. 

Same goes for emails, if you have a difficult topic to discuss be conscious of the platform you use. Breaking up with someone is a much different conversation in person, over the phone, or via email. Communicating how you feel without giving the other party or parties an opportunity to respond easily can be frustrating, hurtful and perceived as disrespectful. With that type of an attitude towards you, you’ll never be able to get your point across and your efforts would be wasted. That’s why it’s so important to evaluate what it is you’re trying to communicate and get accomplished with your words. 

Before you speak, evaluate what it is you’re trying to get done. Ask yourself what you’re feeling, and why you want to talk about it. Ask yourself what it is you want to happen after you say what you need to say, and then ask yourself how you think you can best accomplish that task. If you want someone to correct a mistake they’ve made, ordering them to do so may not be as effective as telling them what you believe they did wrong and how it made you feel. Telling someone how you feel as a result of their actions is more likely to strike empathy in them as well as give them an idea as to how to rectify the problem, and if not, at that point they will be much more open to hearing suggestions as to what they can do to please you then if you shouted at them. You’re much more likely to get your way by calmly and thoughtfully expressing how you feel and what you want. 

As people, we are naturally defensive and emotional. We don’t like to be wrong so we don’t like to be confronted. For the most part, we also don’t like to be responsible for hurting or upsetting somebody so our natural defense is to prove that we’re justified and not wrong. Stopping that reaction before it starts is more often than not as easy as saying I feel this way because of this, instead of phrasing it as You did this thing and so I feel this way. Removing blame and just stating facts puts you in a much stronger position than allowing your emotions to speak. 

It’s also important to recognize what a person is responsive to on an individual and personal level. Expressing systemic racism and police brutality to a sherif is a different conversation than expressing it to a civil rights activist. You have to know your audience before you present a point. If you speak to everyone in the same tone, by the same words, with the same attitude you’ll be dismissed by half the population. But if you comprehend who you’re speaking to and gauge how they might react, you can alter the conversation so that it is received in your favor. That doesn’t mean you can convince everyone of everything, but it does mean you can get your point across. 

The language you use is critical in making sure someone understands you. Consider a conversation between you and an adult verses you and a child. Asking an adult to set the dinner table is much different than asking a small child to do it isn’t it? An adult you can simply ask please set the table, while a child you’ll have to tell them how many plates, forks and glasses to get and you’ll probably have to show them how to fold the napkins. The same concept applies to everyone. We’re all very unique, we have different levels of education, experience, and emotional responsiveness. Knowing the level your audience is at will enable you to choose your words properly. 

Now you won’t always get the reactions you’re looking for, but understanding the reactions you receive can make a conversation transition more smoothly. When we don’t get the responses we desire it’s very easy for a calm discussion to turn into a heated argument. That really only happens because we lack understanding of each other. That is why it is so important to absorb a person’s response and the information they’re giving you, and truly try and understand where it’s coming from. If you respond to what someone is saying to you by deflecting or defending then you won't get far but if you absorb it and ask yourself or them what it means, you’ll be able to move forward. 

For instance you might tell someone that you love them and get a negative response. That kind of thing might be very confusing for you but if you take a step back and try to see things from their perspective your choices may become a lot easier. Having a deep conversation before someone is ready to or bringing something up too often puts pressure on people and causes them anxiety. Again, ask yourself why you said it. If you tell a person you love them because you think they need to hear it, your choice is probably correct and you'll get a good response. But if you’re telling that same person you love them because you want to hear it in return you’re most likely setting yourself up for disappointment. 

A statement like I love you is heavy because it comes with a lot of responsibility. If you’re saying it to a person for you’re own sake then what you’re really saying is Be careful with me but if you’re saying it for their sake then you’re really saying I’ll be careful with you. That’s a huge difference. Nobody wants to be lured into a conversation and we can sense what others are feeling and trying to do, so understanding how a person’s going to feel about your choices makes for better decision making. So try to be considerate of how the other person is going to feel about your words. 

Also, ask yourself if what you’re about to say is necessary. If you know a person is going to respond awkwardly to something and it’s not something that needs to be said, is it really important enough to you to say it at the expense of someone else? If the answer is yes, then of course find a way to say it but if the answer is no, perhaps keep it to yourself. 

Conversations, even simple ones, can make a person feel like you’re taking something from them, they can be draining. And that’s because many times we are. If you ask a person a question, you’re requesting that they give you information. Asking a person a question means that they have to stop, think about what you’re saying and finally make a decision about how they’re going to respond. However if you make a statement, you're giving a person information. They then have the choice to ignore you, or, acknowledge you and respond. You’re giving them as opposed to taking from them. 

If you ask a person something like, are you going to finish your dinner? they may feel the need to respond with a question, or an explanation. They might feel like they are being rushed, or wonder why you asked, perhaps you want the food on their plate. But if you make a statement such as, If you’re done with your dinner, I’m going to put what’s left in the in the fridge then you’ve just given them the information they need to make a decision as to how to respond.

If you see someone is flustered and you keep asking them questions, and they snap at you in response, even if you were trying to help, you instead make the confusion worse. So it’s necessary to understand their reaction and best to take responsibility for it. Simply telling people what you want, how you feel and what you’re willing to offer will completely change a conversation, offering a positive response. Being conscious of giving people opportunities and choices verses forcing them to respond to you is going to make them much more comfortable and receptive to communicating with you properly. 

Allowing a person to grow in a conversation always proves valuable. Some people respond best to simple, straight forward, concise direction while other’s need to know the whys and hows behind a message. So when you communicate with a person be open to their response. If you said something to offend someone, or if you’re misunderstood, apologize. Take responsibility for your half of the conversation. Understand that people might be taken off guard when you confront them with something. Even if they react poorly, if you remain calm and understanding of the fact that your words will strike emotion in them then you will maintain the upper hand. 


When you speak to a person, speak to who they are and never at them. Be clear about what you want to say and why you want to say it. Communicate with purpose and understanding. And recognize that none of us are the same, but that we are all people experiencing valid emotions. Once you have a handle on all this, you’ll be able to communicate in a healthy, effective manner with anyone and you’ll be a happier, stronger person for it. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Letter to The Secretaries of State and Governors of Faithless Elector States to Vote Against Donald Trump...

By Margherite Cermak & Andres Rey Solorzano

Below is an editable letter that you may copy and paste into a separate document to edit and personalize as you please in an effort to persuade the Secretaries of State and Governors of our nation to use their power and influence to encourage the Electoral College to vote against Donald Trump overriding the current results of the 2016 Presidential election. Following the letter is a list of all the Faithless Elector States along with the contact information of the Secretary of State and Governors ruling over them. The letter is in the form of a business letter and is pretty self explanatory. If you have any questions feel free to email me at ItsMarg@Hotmail.com

Peace,
--Marg


(Insert today’s FULL date here)

(Insert the name of the person the letter is written to here)
(Insert the title of the person the letter is written to here)
(Insert the name of the establishment here)
(Insert the Street Address of the person the letter is written to here)
(Insert the City, State and Zip Code of the person the letter is written to here)

Dear (Insert title and name of recipient here)

My name is (Insert your name here), I’m a (Insert demographic, age, gender, race etc, here) residing in (Insert neighborhood or community here) as a (Insert profession here).

I am writing you today on behalf of the (insert community you are representing here) to petition you to use your power and position to influence the Electoral College to vote in the interest of the American people. By that I mean the overall rejection of Donald Trump by the American people, as proved by the popular vote. 

The founding fathers gave the Electoral College the power to review the competence and validity of the president elect and to ensure that the conclusion is in fact a proper representation of what is in the best interest of all Americans, rather than allowing the decision to fall into the hands of uneducated, and misinformed common folk based on sensationalized media and selective distribution of information. 

The results of the election proved that the majority of the American people who turned out to vote, voted against Donald Trump casting 59,937,338 ballots in his favor, 60,274,974 for Hillary Clinton, 4,102,585 for Gary Johnson, and 1,228,862 for Jill Stein bringing the grand total of votes against Donald Trump to 65,606,421; that’s a defeat of over 6 million votes. Clearly, these numbers represent a more accurate account of the values that the majority of Americans place importance in. 

Donald Trump is not only a poor representation of the American people and the core values this country is built upon, but he is also a clear danger to our society and to the reputation we have spent over two centuries fiercely building with the rest of the world. He is an obvious threat to the Constitutional Republic in which it is our duty to uphold, protect and abide by.  

Our political system, and the system which we use to elect a president was designed the way it is for this very reason. So that we can protect the fabric of our nation and the liberty we so proudly boast that we stand by. The essence of democracy relies upon the decision that you are faced to make between now and December 19th. 

Electing Donald Trump sends a message to the world that this is a country that has little regard for people of color, foreigners, women, homosexuals, disabled, and non Christians. The repercussions of sending that message would be devastating. It would cripple our appearance of being the land of the free, and embolden our enemies to rise up against us. 

We have spent enough time, money, resources and most importantly, lives of men and women serving our country on war and conflict. It is imperative that we avoid further invitations for violence, both from within our borders and across them. Not to mention, allowing such a blatant misrepresentation of our people to become president would be a direct insult to the troops and veterans who have bravely served our nation in years passed; to dishonor them in such a way would be a disgrace. One that the entire world will see. 

Right now, as I am writing this letter, a day after the election, we are already witnessing the results of his hateful rhetoric through the dark, violent actions of the previously oppressed bigots who have been lurking in the shadows waiting for validation and permission to enact terrorism upon the American people. Support which Donald Trump has publicly vocalized and vowed to grant and protect as the leader of our nation. This is absolutely unacceptable. 

Republicans can either embrace this unconstitutional behavior and become a racist representation of the party, or they can reject him and recoup the dignified integrity on which we have always prided ourselves. The American people vow to support you in the face of any repercussions that may fall upon the Electoral College in the event of breaking any pledge previously made to this demagogue. His racism, sexism, homophobia, and isolationist attitude towards Muslims is an embarrassment to everything great about our nation. Our founding fathers would be mortified and ashamed to see this country fall into hands of such an undeserving, inexperienced, bigot. 

However, the response from the American people alive today, will undoubtedly be absolutely catastrophic. When families and young people fear for their safety, rights, lives and well being, they will inevitably revolt. Violence will no doubt be met with violence. The efforts Donald Trump promises to put into expanding our military forces will in turn be spent fighting the very people they were created to protect. 

The underprivileged population of our country already feels as though we are still suffering systemically from slavery and racist policies previously active in the United States. Of our 238 years of existence, it has only been 57 years since we have vacated the Jim Crow Era. Blacks, Latinos and Homosexuals make up over one third of our population; forcing those people into a position of defense is a frightening notion. With nothing left to loose I imagine they will rise up and fight with every ounce of their fortitude. 

Take into account why this measure of an official vote by the Electoral College is in place. We ask simply, that you consider your role and responsibility in this matter, and treat it with great seriousness and extreme importance. The political climate of the entire country hangs in the balance here. 

It is our duty, and the duty of our government to ensure that America is a safe and comfortable home for all its citizens. A place to exercise civil liberties, G*d given rights, and fundamental freedoms. Electing Donald Trump as our president will ensure the exact opposite of honoring that responsibility. 

We the people, plead with you not to allow such a travesty to happen. Please consider the future of our nation and the survival of our Republicanism, and influence the Electoral College to do the right thing come December 19th and rule in the favor us. You have the whole world watching; this is an opportunity to prove your loyalty to your people; we pray you don't let us down. 

Thank you in advance for keeping America great. 

Sincerely,
--(Insert printed name here)
(Skip a line)
(Skip a line)
(Skip a line)
(Skip a line)
(Insert Signature in space above)     (Insert Today’s Full Date here)

(Insert your mailing address in the footer)

*****Contacts*****

Arizona
SOS Michelle Reagan
Office of the Secretary of State
Elections Division
1700 W Washington St Fl 7
Phoenix AZ 85007-2808
602-542-8683

Gov: Doug Ducey (R)
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
engage@az.gov
Phone
Phoenix: 602.542.4331
Tucson: 520.628.6580

Arkansas 
Secretary of State: Mark Martin
State Capitol
500 Woodlane Street, Suite 256
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-682-1010
Contact the Elections Division by visiting Room 026 at the State Capitol or by calling 501-682-5070 or toll free at 1-800-482-1127 or by e-mail at electionsemail@sos.arkansas.gov.

Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners ............................................................................. 800-411-6996

Gov: Asa Hutchinson
Governor Asa Hutchinson
State Capitol Room 250
500 Woodlane Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 682-2345

Connecticut
Office of the Secretary of the State
State of Connecticut
30 Trinity Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Telephone: (860) 509-6200
Business Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
Secretary of the State, Denise W. Merrill (860) 509-6200 
Deputy Secretary of the State, James F. Spallone (860) 509-6212

Gov: Dannel P. Malloy
210 Capitol Ave, Hartford, CT 06106
Phone:(860) 566-4840

Delaware
SOS Jeffrey W. Bullock, Phone: 302-739-4111, Secretary of State's Office - Dover
401 Federal Street 
Dover, DE  19901
(302) 739-4111

Gov: Jack Markell
150 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Dover, DE 19901
Phone:(302) 744-4101

Dover
(302) 744-4101
Wilmington
(302) 577-3210
Washington, D.C.
(202) 624-7724



Idaho
SOS Lawerence Denney, 
Idaho Secretary of State's Office 
Attn: 'Division' (i.e. Business Entities, UCCs, Elections, etc.) 
PO Box 83720 
Boise ID 83720-0080

700 West Jefferson Street Room E205
State Capitol building, second floor, east wing:
Secretary of State
Elections (Elections, Campaign Disclosures, & Lobbyists)
Legislative & Executive Affairs

Elections (Elections, Campaign Disclosures, & Lobbyists)
(208) 334-2852
FAX (208) 334-2282

Executive Offices
(208) 334-2300
FAX (208) 334-2282

Gov: Butch Otter (R)
700 W Jefferson St #228, Boise, ID 83720
Phone:(208) 334-2100


Illinois
SOS Jesse White
213 State Capitol
Springfield, IL 62756
217-785-3000 (outside Illinois)
800-252-8980 (toll free in Illinois)

Gov: Bruce Rauner (R)
Springfield
Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-0244
TTY: 888-261-3336

Chicago
Office of the Governor
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312-814-2121


Indiana
SOS: Connie Lawson, state house 200 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Gov: Mike Pence (R)
200 W Washington St #206, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone:(317) 232-4567

Iowa
SOS Paul D. Pate
First Floor, Lucas Building
321 E. 12th St.
Des Moines, IA 50319
sos@sos.iowa.gov | (515) 281-5204

Gov: Terry Branstad (R)
Iowa State Capitol, 1007 E Grand Ave #101, Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone:(515) 281-5211

Kansas
SOS: Kris W. Kobach
© Kansas Secretary of State 
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor 
120 SW 10th Avenue 
Topeka, KS 66612-1594 
785-296-4564
Gov: Sam Brownback (R)
300 SW 10th Ave Ste 212S, Topeka, KS 66612
Phone:(785) 296-3232

Kentucky
SOS: Alison Lundergan Grimes
Office of the Kentucky Secretary of State
700 Capital Ave., Ste. 152, Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-3490

Gov: Matt Bevin (R)
Located in: Kentucky State Capitol Building
Address: Kentucky State Capitol Building, 700 Capital Avenue Bay # 100, Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone:(502) 564-2611

Louisiana
SOS: Tom Schedler
Our physical address is:
3851 Essen Lane
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Our mailing address is:
Louisiana State Archives
Louisiana Secretary of State
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125

Gov: John Bel Edwards (D)
Mailing Address:
Office of the Governor
PO Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
Front Desk:
(225)342-7015 or (866)366-1121

Minnesota
SOS: Steve Simon
ELECTIONS & ADMINISTRATION ADDRESS:
Get Directions
180 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, MN 55155

Gov: Mark Dayton
Office of the Governor and Lt Governor 
116 Veterans Service Building 
20 W 12th Street 
St. Paul, MN 55155 
Telephone: 651-201-3400 
Toll Free: 800-657-3717 
Minnesota Relay: 800-627-3529 
Fax: 651-797-1850

Missouri
SOS: Jason Kander
600 West Main Street 
Jefferson City, MO 65101 
Main Office: (573) 751-4936 
Info@sos.mo.gov 

Gov: Jay Nixon (D)
201 W Capitol Ave # 216, Jefferson City, MO 65101
Phone:(573) 751-3222

New Hampshire
SOS: William M. Gardner, State House, 107 N Main St #112, Concord, NH 03301
Phone:(603) 271-3246

Gov: Maggie Hassan (D)
State House, 107 N Main St # 208, Concord, NH 03301
Phone:(603) 271-2121

New Jersey
SOS & Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno

Gov. Chris Christie
Office of the Governor
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625
609-292-6000

New York
SOS: Rossana Rosado 
Department of State, Albany Location:
One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12231-0001 GPS USERS: Use Zip Code 12210 to locate the Albany Office.
Department of State, New York City Location:
123 William Street, New York, NY 10038-3804

Gov: Andrew M. Cuomo
Contact us by mail:
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
1-518-474-8390
North Dakota
Secretary of State
Al Jaeger
State of North Dakota
600 E Boulevard Avenue Dept 108
Bismarck ND 58505-0500
Telephone: 701-328-2900
Toll Free: 800-352-0867
TTY: 800-366-6888
Fax: 701-328-2992

Gov: Governor Jack Dalrymple
Lt. Governor Drew Wrigley
Office of Governor
State of North Dakota
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505-0100 
701.328.2200: phone
701.328.2205: fax

Pennsylvania
GOVERNOR TOM WOLF
Office of the Governor
508 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
SOS: Pedro A. Cortes

South Dakota
SHANTEL KREBS
605) 773-3537 Fax: (605) 773-6580
Secretary of State
Capitol Building
500 East Capitol Avenue Ste 204
Pierre, SD 57501-5070

Elections    
Campaign Finance 605.773.3537 605.773.6580 CFR@state.sd.us
Election Information 605.773.3537 605.773.6580 elections@state.sd.us
Help America Vote Act (HAVA) 605.773.3537 605.773.6580 HAVA@state.sd.us

Gov: Dennis Daugaard (R)
Mailing Address:
Office of the Governor
500 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, S.D. 57501
Phone Number:605.773.3212
Fax Number:605.773.4711

Tennessee
SOS: Tre Hargett
Tre Hargett
State Capitol
Nashville , 37243-1102
(615) 741-2819

Elections
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
7th Floor, Snodgrass Tower
Nashville , TN 37243-1102
1-877-850-4959
(615)-741-7956
Coordinator of Elections
(615) 741-7956

Gov: Bill Haslam (R)
600 Charlotte Ave #1, Nashville, TN 37243
Phone:(615) 741-2001

Texas
SOS: Carlos H. Cascos 
Texas Secretary of State
Executive Division 
P.O. Box 12697
Austin, Texas 78711-2697

Elections Physical: 
James E. Rudder Bldg.
1019 Brazos St.
Austin, Texas 78701
Mailing:
Elections Division
Secretary of State 
P.O. Box 12060
Austin, Texas 78711-2060

Gov: Greg Abbot
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428

Delivery Address
Office of the Governor
State Insurance Building
1100 San Jacinto
Austin, Texas 78701

Utah
Governor's Office
GARY HERBERT
350 State Capitol Building, Suite E220
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114
Phone: (801) 538-1000

West Virginia
SOS: Natalie E. Tennant
Secretary of State
Bldg. 1, Suite 157-K
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25305-0770
416 Adams Street, Suite 413
Fairmont, WV 26554
Phone Numbers
Main (304) 558-6000
Business and Licensing (304) 558-8000
Toll-Free (866) 767-8683
Investigation Hotline (877) 372-8398
Fairmont Main (304) 367-2775

Governor
The Honorable Earl Ray Tomblin
State Capitol
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25305
Website: Office of the Governor
Phone: (304) 558-2000
Fax:(304) 342-7025
E-mail: Governor@wvgov.org


Everything You Can Do Yourself, You Should Do Yourself…

By Margherite Cermak

We live in a world where services for anything you can think of are readily available… for a price. And while some services are best left to experts or perhaps simply easy and unimportant enough to have someone else do, it’s ideal to do everything you can do yourself. Doing things yourself not only saves a ton of money in most cases, but by doing things yourself you’re gaining experience, you’re learning, and your positing yourself in a strong place of decision making. Every time you do something yourself you gain a skill, even when you don’t do it perfectly. And with every skill you gain you become more valuable. 

Most people aren’t very quick to do things themselves. We often delight in the luxury of having someone else do things for us. The barista makes our coffee, the post officer delivers our mail, real estate agents find us our homes, and lawyers write our contracts. The services available to us are endless and they are great. But what if instead of spending so much time earning money to pay people to do things for us we spent that time doing things for ourselves and keeping the change? Well, one common reason people opt out of doing things themselves is because they don't know how to do some of those things themselves and figure it’s just better to pay someone else. But if we pick apart some of these things, it becomes clear to see just how much easier, beneficial and efficient doing things independently can be verses hiring others. 

Not knowing how to do something is a very valid challenge but so is cost. When people think of do it yourself type tasks things like installing cabinets and planting a garden come to mind as good examples. Paying a landscaper may cost you an hourly fee plus supplies, and no matter how clear you are about what you want, you’ll still have to deal with a little bit of settling. You’re also reliant on your landscaper to maintain your garden, and you’ll never really know if you’re getting ripped off or not. But if you spend some time researching what plants might grow well in your garden, and how to make them grow properly you can pick your own plants and take care of them yourself. You’ll also have the opportunity to better choose where your money is going because now you can get your supplies from a store of your choosing and wait for sales cutting the expense of a landscaper right out. Now you can spend that money on things maybe you can’t do, or don’t want to invest in learning how to do like trimming your bushes into lawn animals. 

Now gardening might not be your top priority, and it may not be the most important thing that needs doing so having someone else do it and make decisions regarding may not be such a big deal and could be worth the expense. But what about the important things like purchasing a house? The general population would resort to hiring a real estate agent to find and sell them a house for a fee of tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even if you buy a $200,000 house you’re still paying $20,000 to a real estate agent on top of all the interest you’ll be paying to the bank by the time your mortgage is paid. 

However, you don’t need a real estate agent to secure a loan for a house and you don’t need an agent to sell you one. All the resources available to an agent are available to the public, and an agent will only show you the houses that they have available to show, the ones that they are representing rather than what’s available in the market. That means that you can investigate the market yourself and contact owners directly giving you more options and saving everyone a fortune by simply cutting out the Real Estate agent. 

What you gain by doing this is experience and an understanding of how real estate works. Sure you’ll have to learn the legalities yourself and you’ll have to spend hours researching but think of it like this. If you’re saving $20,000, at least, that’s twenty thousand dollars worth of hours you’re not working at your job. That’s twenty thousand dollars worth of hours your spending on setting up your home, making an independent decision, and gaining the skills needed to buy and as a result sell houses. You can now take that information and apply to be a real estate agent yourself if you so choose. In any case, you’re stronger and richer for making this kind of a choice. 

This applies even more accurately to services offered by attorneys. Suppose you want to start a business. You could go to a lawyer, tell them what you're trying to do, answer a few questions and pay some money and poof, you’re a business owner. But ask yourself if that’s how you want to start your business. The scenario I just described would cost a person upwards of $1,000 if they got a cheap lawyer and filed for a basic corporation. Now think about how many hours you’d have to work at a job to earn that $1,000 to have a stranger make a decision for you about the company you’ll be running based on some answers you provided. 

Can’t you spend that time looking up the different types of corporations, the pros and cons of each and find the one that most appropriately applies to the business you want to start up? From there can’t you find the proper forms and file them yourself? The answer is yes; yes you absolutely can. If you hire a lawyer you’re still paying the filing fees and taxes but if you do it yourself you are only paying the filing fees and applicable taxes. In most states filing for an LLC, the most common type of business, only costs about $100 and it’s easy. Yet you have the power of knowing you made the decision yourself based on what you learned and information you provided, putting you in a much stronger position. 


When you do things yourself you will make mistakes, experience trial and error, and perhaps even become frustrated. But you’ll save the time you would have spent making money to pay for the service and you’ll earn an education in whatever it is you’re doing that no specialist could or would give you in return for the fee you’d pay them. In my opinion that always makes you more valuable than someone who simply writes checks. Your choices are to save money, gain knowledge and make decisions independently or work hard to spend money on someone else making decisions for you. Once you start doing things yourself, you’ll probably never stop.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Anything School Can Do, You Can Do Better… Teach Yourself Everything.

By Margherite Cermak

For the most part young people are told that in order to have a good career you must have a good college education, however not everyone can afford a college education and those who can are severely over paying. The value that is placed on getting a degree is overrated. Collectively people are under the impression that in order to have certain careers a specific degree and college education is required and that is in fact untrue. You don’t necessarily need a degree, you just need to be able to pass the tests. It’s true that you will be judged by your education, but anything you can learn from a university you can teach yourself. 

Colleges require you to take many classes that may not apply to what you’re trying to do. The time it takes to complete a degree is inefficient. And the financial system behind universities only further perpetuates unjust inequalities between low income and high income families. The education system itself is an insult to intelligent Americans. Everything that is taught in school is taught from books and is based off of a curriculum. What’s more insulting is that this information is mostly taught by people who were taught to teach it rather than by people who have been successful in the careers they are preparing their students for. 

There are cases where experts in a subject are put in place to educate students, but even then they are still teaching what they are told to teach. This makes for a waste of time and money as a universal education can’t possibly apply to everyone in the class. We each need a unique skill set and strengths to be powerful in our fields. That is why self educating is the fastest, most efficient way to learn what it is you need to learn in order to be successful in your craft. 

Now this idea may seem overwhelming at first, but let’s put it into perspective. In a typical case a student must complete 120 credit hours of college classes to earn a Bachelors Degree and it takes 4 years and tens of thousands of dollars to complete. You pay for books, you pay for transportation, you pay for teachers and most often you pay to live on campus. The text books you’ll buy will cost you three times what an average book on the subject will cost, you’re paying teachers who will only interact with you for a few moments out of a few hours a week, and the cost of living will be at least double what you’ll pay at home. But worst of all, after all that, you’ll only retain some of what you’ve learned and in most cases you’ll only apply a fraction of that information to your actual career. 

So first, let’s break down the time it would take to educate yourself instead of going to a university. A credit hour equals 3 hours a week per course so 120 credit hours equal 1,800 actual hours of in-house learning. Universities divide those hours into a variety of 40 classes, including ones you most likely don’t need, and spans it over a course of 8, 15 week semesters or 4 years on average. That’s 45 hours per course multiplied by 40 courses that’s how we come to a total of 1,800 in-house hours of learning. But how much time does 120 credit hours of education actually take to learn? Well, if you sit down and spend 3 hours a day, every day, teaching yourself what you need to know then it will take you 600 days which equals 20 months, or 18 months if you take two days out of the week off and study for 5 hours a day instead of 3. Now which scenario seems more overwhelming? 

Next let’s take a look at these books students of universities are taught from. First of all, they are just books. They aren’t special books with information that is only publishable in the form of text books and owned by the rulers of education. They are just books, usually written by teachers and published by the schools they are taught in. If they aren’t published by a specific school then that means they are books available to the public by various means. Sometimes you can even purchase these books used for very discounted prices. But since all this is true, why use them at all? They are specific books used to teach a specific class. Text books feature a variety of bits and pieces of general information in a subject, so if you are your own teacher why not use books that better suit your needs? You can instead study from a variety of books that each individually contain thorough detailed information about the specific subject or topic you need to know about. 

If you want to learn how to be a botanist instead of spending $100 on Biology 1 on 1, spend $14.95 on a book about how plants grow, $19.99 on a book that describes environmental conditions relating to plants, $25.99 on plant species that grow in your area and $29.95 on how to maintain a healthy garden or whatever. Doing it this way you can learn what you need to learn and discard anything that is irrelevant to you such as what plants King Henry VIII used a million years ago to try and cure the plague. With so much information thrown at you it’s important to take what you need and be able to apply it without useless distractions. 

You just have to know what it is you’re going to need. While this kind of knowledge will definitely come most often from trial and error as well as experience but it isn’t hard to investigate such things yourself. When I was 9 years old I decided I wanted to create a magazine about cats written from a cats point of view. I compiled stories about all my neighbors cats as well as my own, wrote them down as if written by a cat and drew pictures of cats to correlate with the stories and then I made a few copies and called it “Cat’s View”. When my Uncle Joey saw this he asked “Why don’t you get it published?”. This question to 9 year old me was the beginning of my career. 

I had no idea what publishing means so very simply, I asked. Once Uncle Joey explained it to me I picked up some of my mother’s magazines about cats, a subject similar to mine, and I found the name of the company that published the books along with the addresses of such companies and I wrote them all letters explaining my goals and asking for their advice and guidance along with a dozen questions. While most of my letters were ignored, some of them were not and many of my questions were answered. All I had to do was ask how is what I’m trying to do done, and just like that I taught myself how to copy right and publish a body of work. Cat’s View never got published, but when I was 12 and wanted to be a Hip-Hop Lyrical Writer many of my songs, poems and short stories were and 20 years later here I am, a professional writer. 

Now if I was able to do that as a child 20 years ago before technology hand delivered any and all information to anyone with an internet connection, that means that today any teenager or adult can find the information they need within the resources available to them today. You start by asking yourself what it is you need to know, then ask someone who might know. Back then that someone to ask had to be someone you knew personally but today that someone can be anyone who pops up on Google. Take the first step and ask Google “how do I do xyz” and go from there. Just keep asking questions. 

Another really great resource is Barnes and Nobles. Anyone can go to a Barnes and Nobles, find a book they want to read and sit there quietly reading through the book. You don’t have to buy it, you don’t have to be a member of anything, and you don’t have to limit yourself to the information in that one book. Amazon also has a really great program where you can sell back books you purchased in the past. I would say the library is a good source but it’s government funded and so you need a library card and everything you read is documented but if you do want to utilize them, make sure you know that if they don’t have the book you want they are required by law to try and find the book for you and have it sent to that location if requested by a library member. Just don’t hold your breath waiting for it and don’t ever loose a book you borrowed. 

The resources you can find in bookstores, libraries and on the internet is so much more valuable than those you’ll find in schools. Yes, teachers are great, but teachers, even professors, are underpaid and 90% of the time they are people who are teaching things they were taught to teach rather than things they lived and experienced. While books that get published by actual publishing companies are written by professionals who have lived and experienced the subject at hand. That’s why they get published, because they are good, informative books that people will invest in in order to obtain the information they hold. And no matter how good a teacher is, or how dedicated they are to you and your education and career, their attention is divided amongst hundreds or at very least dozens of students but when you read a book, it’s a one on one experience between you and the author. 

Save your time, save your money and educate yourself. Applying that education is equally as important if not more. Because there is so much hype around getting a degree, a self educated person will have to prove their knowledge to employers. Again, this may sound overwhelming but business people are usually people who think outside of the box, use that in your favor. If you’re studying to be something like a lawyer, then you’ll have to pass the bar exam. If you’re studying to be a carpenter for the Fire Department than you’ll have to pass their test as well. But if you’re applying to a job or chasing a career that has no test then you’ll need something to show instead. Proof that you are qualified. 

Don’t be discouraged. Again, find out exactly what you need to qualify for the position and instead of listing awards won by school contests make a list of all the books you read in completion from A to Z, write an essay on what specific things you’ve learned and how that retained information applies to the job at hand. Write a blog and publish 30 different posts on what makes you an expert on whatever topic you’re discussing. These things will get you the attention from employers and mentors that you’ll need to achieve your goals. And remember, there isn’t just one dream job, there are dozens, hundreds, thousands of amazing high paying jobs that you will qualify for if you study hard. In fact, by educating yourself you will be vastly more qualified if you truly are dedicated. 


Spend 3 hours a day, every single day, asking the world of information questions and give yourself the homework of applying that information to your life and career and I promise you’ll achieve so much more than you can imagine possible. Don’t let a system designed to separate classes and put people in debt stop you from becoming whatever it is you want to become. Be smart, be unique and be diligent. Your dreams will come true.  

Peace,
--Marg

Friday, September 23, 2016

Stop Arguing With People Who Act Like They Don’t Understand What’s Happening in This Country…

By Margherite Cermak

Everyone in this country knows that the conditions black and brown people are subjected to here in America is a result of racism except for the racists who believe it’s genetics. When you scan the USA you will find that there ins’t a single privileged, or for the simple folks, “good” black community. You can have one of two beliefs as to why that is. You either believe that it’s because black people are genetically inclined to be less productive, less intelligent, or in some way unable to take proper care of themselves and their families. Or you believe it’s because society makes it so that black communities can’t get ahead by making it more difficult for black people to accomplish things than white people. You may not know or understand exactly how Systemic Racism works, but if you don’t blame poverty on genes, then somewhere in your mind you know that it exists, and that it’s effective. 

Millions and millions of racist people will swear to you that they are not at all racist. They will pledge that they have friends and family and black people whom they love. The’ll name all their favorite black celebrities and tell you all about why their opinions aren’t racism. But no matter how much a person wants to deny that they are racist it doesn’t change the facts. Racism isn’t a broad, vague term. It’s very, very direct and it’s very simple. 

Racism: The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

So, if you don’t believe that society in America keeps black communities poor, then you believe it’s due to genetics because aside from how people are treated, the only difference between people of one race and people of another are genes. Just like your genes are different from the genes of your neighbor or any other person for that matter. The question you have to ask yourself now is, do you really believe that your genes so strongly effect and influence your personality to the point of determining whether or not you’ll be rich or poor? Do you believe that the person that you are, and the condition of your life is due to your genetic makeup and not how you are treated, the opportunities you’re presented and the experiences you’ve had? Do you believe that if you were of a different race that you’d be more or less able to do something if everything else was exactly the same? If you do, that’s racism; if you don’t, then you recognize society’s role in systemic racism. 

Whether or not people want to admit where they stand is irrelevant. It’s clear to everyone where a person stands because it’s not a complicated issue. When people argue or debate with others they already know where their opponent stands, how they feel and what they believe. What we need to recognize is that those people also know where they stand, how they feel, and what they believe and are only arguing because they want to feel justified for what they know to be true. Most people who believe genetics are responsible for our behavior and abilities don’t want to be shamed for their feelings so they try and convince others that’s their feelings aren’t racist. And many people who believe society is responsible for our behavior and abilities don’t want to take responsibility for their participation, or lack of, that contributes to the horrible conditions of blacks and browns in the United States. 

And of course not. Taking responsibility for the role a person plays in the systems of society that oppress the underprivileged in this country can be absolutely terrifying. As long as a person denies responsibility for something, they at least have a small chance that they may be deemed innocent if they can possibly convince the judging party that they just didn’t know any better. But admitting that you see and understand that something is wrong and that you participate in it, or at least, participate in allowing it means that you’ll be judged and pay consequences. 

The goal here for an activist is not to convince someone that their opinions are wrong, but to make absolutely clear that you know that they know the part they play in this disgusting oppressive mess. Instead of trying to define racism for people, state that you know they know what it means and insist that for as long as they hold on to their beliefs that they will be in your eyes seen as an oppressor, a contributing factor. Insist that if they wish to be seen differently they must prove it. They must prove it passionately with action, and that if they don’t then they put themselves on the side of a people who are being fought back against. That we, the revolutionaries, the activists, the oppressed, the people who believe that all people should be respected based on their person and not their nation, are fighting and willing to continue fighting, with passion, with fury and with all of our strength, wisdom and intelligence until this oppression is annihilated. 

Instead of explaining to people why what is happening, explain what is and will continue happening. Don’t explain why we do what we do or why people are responding with force. Just make it known that this is what's happening. If you’re going to explain something, explain that people are going to act, and react whichever way we have to in order to protect our people. Remind people that dirty fights are fought dirty, that violence is fought with violence. You don’t need to explain to anyone why that is, they understand that already. You don’t need to explain that some people are peaceful and some people are not, they know that already too. All you should spend your time explaining to anyone is that this is happening; oppressive thumbs are to be lifted and that we don’t have a choice but to fight. 

Explain that we are all kinds of different people, with all kinds of different tools, that we must fight with. Some of those tools are words, some of those tools are influence, some of those tools are money and some of those tools are weapons. Explain that the only thing anyone can do to stop us is obliterate the systems that oppress people based on the things they cannot change such as race. The dumbest of the dumb will understand that and if they claim they don’t then they are lying. Don’t waste your precious time and energy explaining to people that there is a problem, spend it explaining what they can do to help solve it. Explain to them that their resistance, guilt and fear are all normal feelings considering the circumstances but that none of it deserves pity or empathy. Explain that we don’t have room or time for that. Speak to them in a non judgmental tone but hold them accountable. Instead invite them to be part of the solution and explain that it would relieve their guilt and fears. 

Understand that such an invitation may be intimidating or overwhelming, even for those who really do recognize and dislike the injustice of our land. Changing the world seems impossible especially for someone who hasn’t ever done anything for anyone but themselves. Most of us would much rather wait for someone else do what we want done instead of doing it ourselves even if that means waiting forever to get something done. So when presenting someone with an opportunity to do something to improve the community it’s important to present easy, tangible, concrete options, tasks and direction. Again, maintaining a non judgmental tone will always increase your likelihood of being heard and will decrease resistance to what you’re saying. Be practical and simply present them the why and then the how

For example, here’s a why…
We need to hold police officers accountable Because innocent black and brown people all over the country are being killed since police officers are rarely reprimanded. 

And here’s a how…
To stop this we need to get the attention of our police commissioners, city council members, and mayors across the country and demand they raise the standards of conduct within our police departments and enforce harsher penalties for using force. We can do this by writing and mailing letters by the hundreds or by showing up to their doorsteps by the thousands with our expectations. 

A straight, clean, concise, factual message. 

Examples like that may make participation less intimidating and overwhelming for someone who doesn’t know what to do, or that they can do anything at all. One truth that I find amongst the sea of people who claim impoverished black and brown communities can’t possibly be the result of society, is that these people truly don’t believe that they themselves can do anything to change it which is why it’s so easy for them to believe that these issues can’t be a result of society. They believe that society is made up of millions of people just like them who are just as incapable of making a difference as they are. So presenting that kind of a person with a concrete thing that they can do, that will be effective, is a guaranteed way of showing someone that they are wrong about that. And the truth is, anyone who still doesn’t do anything just doesn’t want to, and those people we have no time for so move on. 

Blacks and browns in America are oppressed. People may want to call that an opinion, but it’s a fact. No buts, no exceptions, no debate. We don’t have room for you if you disagree. We don’t have room for you. We don’t have time to explain to you the things you want to pretend you don’t know. And we don’t have patience to hold your hand and coddle your embarrassment. We are busy. The people we love are being killed. People we love are being targeted, oppressed, abused, and we don’t have time or patience or energy to waste on you or anything else. So just get out of the way, because if you don’t, we are going to plow right through you, anyway we can, until the people we love are safe. And that’s all there is to it. 

Peace,

—Marg

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Contracts! What Constitutes as a Legal Agreement and How To Protect Oneself…


By Margherite Cermak

A contract is a written or spoken agreement, especially one concerning employment, sales, or tenancy, that is intended to be enforceable by law.

What that means is, if you have a written or spoken agreement with a person, persons, or entity,  then the court and judicial system is obligated to protect you from the agreement being broken.

1-That doesn’t mean that all agreements are forced, an alternative is a settlement or revised renewal of the contract.
2- The purpose of a documented agreement, such as a written agreement, is to prove your entitlements in regards to the agreement itself. It is used to reflect on in future dealings sometimes, and called into question sometimes, but if there’s proof of it, disputes are easier to resolve.
3- For your Contract to be a Valid Contract, and ultimately recognized by a court it must contain certain elements.

  1. The Date. This absolutely must be the date that all parties are engaging in, or in other words signing, the Contract. If it’s even 1 day earlier or later than the date it’s signed it can be ruled Void, which means the court decides it doesn’t recognize it at all.

  2. The names of the entities entering the Contract, and preferably all entities addresses as well.

  3. The terms of the agreement between all entities. Financial agreement terms would go here. They would specify a product, service, or tenancy in exchange for a dollar amount or something else of value set by the entities.

  4. The signatures of all entities engaged in the agreement.
4- Contracts of anything Illegal are not recognized by the court.  
5- You must use blue or black ink only when signing a contract, green is used for temporary notes and red ink is used on sample contracts and makes a contract void.
6- If the contract has multiple pages you must initial all the pages. This is to protect you from signing a contract and then someone switching out pages, paragraphs, or points without signatures attached.
7- Anytime something is changed in a contract but the contract is not redrafted all parties must initial the changes to indicate the change is agreeable by all parties.
8- All entities entering a contract are entitled to a copy of the agreement engaged it.

If you follow these instructions your contracts and legal agreements will be very, very difficult to contest and you will remain protected.

Peace,
--Marg

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Starting Your Own Business... Why You Should and How To Get Started...

By Margherite Cermak

When deciding to form a business the first thing I like to do is look at all the types of businesses possible, and pick a formation that fits best for me based on what I want to do.

The types of businesses or corporations are:

Sole Proprietorship
Limited Liability Company
Cooperative
Corporation
Limited Partnership
Limited Liability Partnership
C Corporation
S Corporation
Non Profit Organizations

I now know to go straight to USA.gov and then navigate through the site until I have my answers.

Filing for an LLC
You need:
A unique name
Articles of Organization: http://bpd.cdn.sos.ca.gov/llc/forms/llc-1.pdf
Announce in your local paper that you have formed your LLC
Get an EIN (Employee Identification Number) so that you can hire employees and pay taxes.

A C Corporation has share holders and exchange money and assets.
They are subject to taxes regardless of whether or not they profit
They pay taxes and then split profit evenly among share holders
Each share holder has to pay taxes individually and as the corporation as a whole this is called double taxation
C Corps can operate internationally.
C Corps reduce individual taxes by paying most of their expenses out of corporate funds and pay themselves a very low salary.
C Corps are the types of businesses that qualify for bailouts because of the taxes they pay and because they can very easily become a business umbrella due to all the people with stakes in the corporation.

They are legal individual entities also owned by share holders.
Big successful S Corps can sell stock backed by their company which makes it easier to raise capital and profitable to sell if desired. However it’s the most complex and costly corporation to form. The tax forms are complex and have many legal requirements.
Best for people who intend to expand or become chains.
Also the type of Corporation that may qualify for bailouts.

Limited Partnerships: https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/choose-your-business-structure/partnership
Limited Partnerships are corporations that split responsibility between all the owners. They must be partnerships and cannot be owned by one person. This is useful when looking for a silent partner. One of you will be solely responsible for all the initial capital to form and run the business and one will be solely responsible for day to day operations. Neither partner will have incur responsibility for the other’s position. Partners of an LP spilt profits as described in the partnership agreement.
First you register your company based on your Partnership agreement, a customized contract between partners.
Then you choose a name. If you don’t agree on one in your partnership agreement then you will be assigned a name based on the last names of the partners.
Then finally you get permits that you might need.
Another benefit to an LP is that Partners can sell off fractions of their shares.

For questions either comment here or email me at ItsMarg@Hotmail.com
Peace,

--Marg