Vote Tatum for Congress on May 29, 2012


“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Philippians 2:4
The Rev. Kyev Tatum, Sr., a minister, civil rights activist, former collegiate athlete and university administrator is on a mission to change the world for the better. Born and reared in abject poverty, Rev. Tatum knows first-hand it takes a village to rear a child.

By focusing on advocacy, academy, and access, Rev. Tatum has built a reputation of “getting things done” at every level of public affairs and community service. He is the president and CEO of Urban Public, a consulting firm that focuses on urban education, public policy and community development issues. He has promoted the causes of civil rights, human rights and development in traditionally disadvantaged and underserved communities for over 20 years.

He coined the phrase, the “Communiversity of Hope Approach,” meaning when you connect the heart of the Church, with the heads at the University, to the hands within the Community, you create hope in the future, which empowers people in the present.

A native Fort Worthian, Rev. Tatum also heads the Fort Worth-Tarrant County chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), a civil rights group founded by the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., founding member of the Black, Brown, and Tan Caucus, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and currently serves on the Texas Interagency advisory council for the Center to Eliminate Disproportionality and Disparities at the Texas Health and Human Service Commission.

In 2006 and 2010, Rev. Tatum was honored by the Fort Worth Weekly with their Servant of the People award.

A graduate of Green B. Trimble Tech High School in Fort Worth, Texas and the College of Public Affairs and Community Service at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, Reverend Tatum and his wife Tonya are proud members of the Harmony Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. Contact the Tatum for Congress at 817-966-7625 or

Tatum Makes It Official

Rev. Kyev Tatum Makes It Official
"We are running to fight and save the Voting Rights Act."
by Betty Brink

FORT WORTH, TEXAS - Rev. Kyev Tatum, minister, head of the local chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and co-founder of the Black, Brown and Tan Coalition, will officially kick off his campaign to be the Democratic nominee for the newly formed 33rdCongressional District, at 7 pm tonight at the Dock Book Shop, 6637 Meadowbrook Drive in east Fort Worth.

Calling his campaign the “Fight’in 33rd,” Tatum will be up against Fort Worth council member Kathleen Hicks and state representative Marc Veasey, the only announced Democratic candidates for the seat to date. However, there are rumblings that North Side council member Sal Espino is interested as well as lawyer and former county Democratic chair Art Brender. This should be an exciting race.

Stay tuned.

For more information on the campaign and the Fight'In 33rd movement contact Rev. Tatum at 817-966-7625 or

Support Rev. Kyev Tatum for US Congress District 33

Hello Friends:

For those of you who may not know, as a result of the 2010 Census a new district, Texas’ 33rd Congressional District, has been created and will be seated for the 113th United States Congress.

The 33rd Congressional District includes parts of southern and eastern Tarrant County, including parts of Fort Worth and Arlington. I have lived in, and have extensive knowledge of the populations and needs associated with the constituents associated with these areas. Therefore, it is with great pride and enthusiasm that I am announcing my desire to represent the citizens of Texas’ 33rd Congressional District and have decided to run in the 2012 Democrat primary elections on March 6, 2012. My campaign, with your help, will be OUR campaign. As it stands today, my primary desire is to focus on education; specifically urban public education. We are losing too many children under the current system and there is a need for comprehensive assessment and potentially for wholesale reform, which will have a tremendous impact not only on the youth of this district, but on their families and surrounding communities as well. Currently, I am in the process of establishing the Coalition of Americans Unified to Strengthen Education (CAUSE) to help move our education agenda through this campaign and into Congress. I need your help and assistance!

CAUSE is a group of Americans; Independents, Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives and Liberals who are committed to improving educational outcomes of all students, but especially those students who show a record of limited academic success and access. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., summed it best: It seems to me that education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of man and in society: the one is utility and the other is culture. Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of his life.

The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals. We must remember that intelligence is not enough, intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education.

My good friend, an educator at Texas State University in San Marcos, Vincent Morton likes to say, "Combine street sense, with intelligence and a Christian foundation and you just might have a good thang!"

As another preacher once said, our history demands it, our time requires it, our Children deserve it and God is still watching. I would greatly appreciate your prayers and support as I move forward individually, and as we move forward collaboratively, in effort to win this congressional seat and put the citizens of Texas' 33rd Congressional District's needs in the forefront where they should be.

Rev. Kyev P. Tatum, Sr.
Candidate, US Congress TX District 33

Rev. Tatum Appointed To Serve on Texas Interagency Council

AUSTIN, TEXAS - The Reverend Kyev Tatum, president of the Fort Worth Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was recently appointed to serve on the new Texas Health and Human Service Commission Interagency Council for Addressing Disproportionality and Disparities in Texas.

"This is an amazing honor and a unique opportunity for us to examine the current data and facts and make positive recommendations to improve public policies and program practices. Make no doubt about, our mission is to undo racism in Texas state agencies," says Rev. Tatum.

The Interagency Council will work directly with the staff at the Center for the Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities (

Sponsored by State Senator Royce West and State Representative Dawnna Dukes, SB 501 ( mandates the Interagency Council identify and make recommendations addressing issues of disproportionality in state services systems. The new Interagency Council for Addressing Disproportionality will meet quarterly, as required by statute, and will include representatives from the:

Health and Human Services Agencies,
Texas Education Agency
Texas Youth Commission
Texas Juvenile Probation Commission
Attorney General’s Office
Criminal Justice Division of the Governor's Office
Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System
Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families

The Interagency Council is also required to include external stakeholders including a former foster care youth, and representatives from community and faith-based organizations and the medical community, appointed by the Health and Human Services Commission Executive Commissioner. Born to a single mother of ten in abject poverty, Rev. Tatum knows firsthand he negative impact of racism and discrimination on impoverished children.

“It’s devastating growing up African-American in poverty,” Rev. Tatum said. "We have known the cause of inequality for many years and now we have a chance to shape the future of Texas for the better for years to come, says Rev. Tatum who is a graduate of Fort Worth Trimble Tech High School and the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. For more information on the Interagency Council for Addressing Disproportionality, contact the Center for the Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities at the Health and Human Services Commission at 512-487-3396.

41 Tarrant County area schools rated "unacceptable"


Forty-one Tarrant County area campuses are now deemed "academically unacceptable," according to Texas Education Agency accountability ratings announced today.

The Fort Worth school district, while rated acceptable as a whole, had 22 campuses rated academically unacceptable, up from five last year.

The four-tiered rating system is based largely on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills tests with schools receiving an exemplary, recognized, academically acceptable or academically unacceptable rating. Other factors include completion and dropout rates.

Fort Worth's interim superintendent Walter Dansby acknowledged that the high number of unacceptable schools in the district could affect student and staff morale, but he stressed that changes are coming to the district to help address various needs.
"There's no doubt in my mind that we can reach our goals," Dansby said. "This is a temporary setback for the district, yes. But there are much brighter days ahead."
While some work to address struggling schools began under former superintendent Melody Johnson, who resigned in May, Dansby said he is working on various efforts as well.

For example, half the unacceptable schools are middle school campuses. Dansby said he is reorganizing positions so that middle schools will have their own central administrator so that individual campus needs can be better addressed. The current system has one administrator for both high schools and middle schools
Fort Worth wasn't the only school district to see a drop in its ratings.

School districts that dropped from recognized to academically acceptable include: Arlington, Burleson, Castleberry, Eagle-Mountain Saginaw, Everman, Keller and Mansfield.

All four Keller school district high schools dropped ratings, with Keller High losing its exemplary status to recognized. Central, Fossil Ridge and Timber Creek high schools all dropped from recognized to academically acceptable.
The Arlington school district has five campuses rated academically unacceptable, including Sam Houston and Lamar High schools.

Crowley schools, meanwhile, pulled their district rating up from academically unacceptable to academically acceptable. While the district had five academically unacceptable campuses, four schools also earned recognized ratings.

The Southlake-based Carroll school district, and all 11 campuses, received the top rating of exemplary.

This year, state education commissioner Robert Scott eliminated the Texas Projection Measure, a provision that was applied to schools based on how well students were expected to do in the future.

Critics, including some lawmakers, had complained that the TPM did not give credit based on actual student gains demonstrated. But supporters said that the measure was a good indicator of progress.

Last year, TPM helped boost ratings at 225 Tarrant County area schools. In Fort Worth, it bumped up ratings at 51 schools, 18 of which would have been unacceptable without it.

Crowley posted a district academically acceptable rating, but without the TPM, five schools got the academically unacceptable rating. and none were rated exemplary.
It’s a story of what might have been, according to Superintendent Dan Powell, who said the district would have received its first recognized rating since the 2002-03 school year if the TPM hadn't been pulled.

"Our kick was already in the air, and they changed the goalposts," Powell said at Thursday's school board meeting.

Four elementary schools were recognized including Bess Race, Deer Creek, Sycamore and Oakmont. Twelve campuses were rated academically acceptable. The five schools that received the state's lowest rating were Parkway and Poynter elementary schools, both Crowley and North Crowley Ninth Grade campuses, and Crowley Middle School.
This year’s campus and school district ratings are particularly important because they will be in place for two years instead of one, as the state transitions to a new program that includes end-of-course standardized testing.

Additionally, passing standards increased in math and science this year making it more difficult for some schools to hit higher ratings while more special education tests counted toward accountability as well. To meet the highest two ratings of recognized and exemplary, more students also had to perform at the higher commendable levels.

However, schools can still receive a bump in ratings from two other provisions, one giving credit for making enough improvement in an area and another that allows schools essentially to be graded on a curve and have exceptions in accountability.


The failure of African-American students is a state of emergency and we must demand better treatment from our public schools,” Rev. Kyev P. Tatum, president of the SCLC

12 out of 15 Tarrant County school districts fall short of federal accountability standards

Posted Thursday, Aug. 04, 2011

A dozen Tarrant County school districts failed to meet federal accountability standards, including Fort Worth, which faces increased sanctions because of multiple years of missing the benchmark, according to data released by the state Thursday.

The other districts that failed to make adequate yearly progress for 2010-11 are Arlington, Azle, Birdville, Burleson, Crowley, Eagle Mountain-Saginaw, Everman, Kennedale, Lake Worth, Mansfield and White Settlement.
Across Tarrant County, 181 schools missed the federal benchmark, up from 30 the year before.

Aledo, Carroll and Hurst-Euless-Bedford were the only Tarrant County districts in which all schools met the accountability standards.

Statewide, 605 districts, or nearly half, fell short, as did 2,233 schools, or 26 percent.

The federal standards are based largely on passing and participation rates on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills and on attendance and graduation rates.
Educators say it was more difficult for schools to make adequate progress this year because a provision that critics said inflated passing rates on the TAKS was eliminated, more special-education students were tested, and passing standards were raised in math and reading.

Schools that receive Title I federal funding and fail to make adequate progress are subject to a number of sanctions and risk losing federal dollars if improvement is not seen.

The progress benchmarks are part of the federal No Child Left Behind law, which aims to have 100 percent of students proficient in math and reading by 2014.
Arlington area

In the Arlington district, 38 schools -- more than half -- did not make adequate progress, including all of its high schools. Only one school failed to meet federal standards the year before. The district missed as a whole because of low passing rates for African-American and special-education students in math and low passing rates for special-education and limited-English students in reading.
Officials said they were surprised that so many schools came up short.

"If you go by the standard, by 2014 -- two years from now -- 100 percent of the kids are expected to pass the test 100 percent of the time," school board President Peter Baron said. "That's pretty unrealistic.

"We're not saying we're not going to pay attention to it, because we certainly are."
Superintendent Jerry McCullough said he sees the missed marks as more of a problem with the system and not with Arlington schools.

"Last year we had one school, and this year we had 38," McCullough said. "So something's wrong there."

For the first time, the Mansfield district did not meet federal accountability standards. That was due to special-education students' TAKS scores in math and reading. Eleven schools fell short of standards, including the four traditional high schools -- Mansfield, Summit, Timberview and Legacy -- which did not have enough students pass the math tests.

"We're still trending up. We're just not where we want to be," spokesman Richie Escovedo said.

Fort Worth area

The Fort Worth district is facing Stage 2 sanctions because it has missed the mark three of the last four years. Of its 124 schools, 76 did not make adequate progress, including 10 high schools, 17 middle schools and 45 elementaries. The year before, 20schools missed the mark.

The district failed to make adequate progress because of low passing rates for African-American, economically disadvantaged and special-education students on reading and math tests. In addition, not enough limited-English students passed in reading.

"It's a high standard and obviously every population needs to meet that, but our goal as a system is to get kids learning," said Michael Sorum, the district's chief academic officer. "We had some nice gains and some declines, but overall the picture was one of improvement in the district this year. We try not to let ratings define us."

The Stage 2 designation means that the district must inform parents about the status and why it did not make adequate progress, as well as implement various improvement plans, such as addressing teaching and learning needs, said DeEtta Culbertson, a Texas Education Agency spokeswoman.

Interim Superintendent Walter Dansby, who took office in June, recently said improvement efforts include appointing two directors of middle schools to focus on those campuses' individual learning needs. Some schools have new principals this year. The district is also partnering with Harvard and Vanderbilt universities to help assess what's working and what's not.

Seven district schools reached Stage 5 sanctions for missing federal standards for six years or more: Dunbar, Eastern Hills, Polytechnic and O.D. Wyatt high schools and Daggett, Handley and Meadowbrook middle schools.

The Everman district fell under Stage 1 sanctions because of low passing rates in reading and math for special-education students and low passing rates in math for African-American students.

"The system is set up to collapse under its own weight by 2014," Superintendent Jeri Pfeifer said.

Crowley failed to make adequate progress as a district, as did 12 of its 21 schools, including Crowley High.

"We strive for success for every student, but we realize not every child will meet these federally mandated standards in the required timeline," Superintendent Dan Powell said in a news release. Many principals were reassigned this year to improve test scores.

Northeast Tarrant

The Birdville school district fell under Stage 1 sanctions for the second consecutive year because it missed the mark two years in a row as 14 of 31 schools failed to make adequate progress, including all three high schools -- Birdville, Haltom and Richland.

The district missed the federal benchmark because of low passing rates for special-education students in reading and math and for limited-English students in reading. The year before, the district missed the standard because of low special-education math scores.

This school year, a new math consultant and a new math and science instructional coach will work with high school teachers to evaluate data from individual students, design lessons and refine the curriculum.

Adequate progress "is no indicator of how well we are educating our students," school board President Richard Davis said. "By looking at everybody else you can see the standards that they're using aren't good indicators."

Three Grapevine-Colleyville district schools missed progress standards: Grapevine High, Cross Timbers Middle and Bridges Accelerated Learning Center.

The district is implementing various efforts such as a college-prep program and accelerated-learning plans in middle and high schools to help struggling students get back on track, spokeswoman Megan Overman said.

Three elementary schools in the Keller district failed to make adequate progress. Basswood, Heritage and North Riverside did so because of low passing rates for economically disadvantaged students in math. North Riverside also had low reading passing rates for Hispanics.

Staff writers Jessamy Brown, Robert Cadwallader, Sandra Engelland, Shirley Jinkins and Amanda Rogers contributed to this report, which includes material from The Associated Press.
Eva-Marie Ayala, 817-390-7700

Taser Gets Zapped for 10 Millions

FORT WORTH, TEXAS - The Arizona company that makes Tasers, the allegedly “less-lethal” weapons that have killed hundreds of people around the world, has lost another lawsuit. This time a North Carolina jury found Taser International responsible for the death of a 17-year-old store clerk who was hit with the weapon’s 50,000 volts of electricity because he pushed groceries off a counter and threw an umbrella.

In the July 19 verdict, Taser International was ordered to pay $10 million in damages to the family of Darryl Turner. A company spokesman said the verdict will be appealed.

Burton: “I read that press release and almost threw up.” Courtesy Vern Evans
News of the jury decision drew cheers from locals who have fought for years to stop the overuse of the stun guns by police in Fort Worth, where at least five people died after been tasered since 2005.

“It’s not a question of whether or not Tasers will finally be banned, but how much Taser International is going to have to pay for the funerals those weapons cost,” said Rev. Kyev Tatum, president of the Fort Worth chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

“In truth, it was a tremendous victory, a nail in the coffin of the use of Tasers,” he said. “And eventually, as those awards mount up against the company, against police departments, and against cities, they’ll be forced out of business.”
Marcus Hardin, whose grandson survived a 40-second tasering three years ago, agreed with Tatum’s assessment. “I give them [Taser International] five years,” he said. “Then they’re done.”

Hardin, with Tatum and Pastor Tom Franklin, founded the Taser Memorial at the New Mount Cavalry Baptist Church in Highland Hills. He said the North Carolina verdict “was a long time coming. Unfortunately, the number of people who have died after being shot with a Taser keeps going up. We’re up to 674 crosses at the memorial — and each represents someone who was tortured to death by a Taser.”
Mark Haney, a Fort Worth civil rights attorney who has worked on Taser cases for years, also praised the Turner verdict. “This adverse judgment is simply further evidence that Taser rushed these products to market without fully appreciating the risks associated with them,” he said.

The victory marked only the second loss Taser International has sustained in a courtroom — but most of the cases filed against the company don’t make it to court. Of the almost 130 lawsuits known to have been filed against the company, all but four were settled out of court. In the four that were decided by juries, Taser International has won two and lost two.

Company spokesmen regularly refer to the out-of-court settlements as though they were all wins for Taser.

John Burton, the California attorney who represented plaintiffs in both of the cases in which Taser went to court and lost, scoffed at that idea.

“One of the cases they put in their win column was a case I handled where they settled for $2.8 million before it came to trial,” he said. “So when they say they’ve won 127 cases, that just means they’ve settled out of court most of the time.”

In the North Carolina case, Turner, known generally as a good worker and excellent student, was working at the Food Lion grocery store in North Charlotte on March 20, 2008, when he was approached by an assistant manager who accused him of eating a microwaved sandwich he hadn’t paid for. Turner admitted the petty theft and was sent home for the day. But he returned after his shift was up, demanding to see the assistant manager, who refused to speak with him.

According to Burton, the young man “then pushed some product” from a counter and “threw an umbrella,” at which point a policeman, who had been called to remove Turner from the store, appeared in the doorway and fired his Taser into Turner’s chest at close range twice, the first time for 37 seconds.

The officer, Jerry Dawson, later said that he held the trigger down so long because Turner did not fall when hit. Dawson, a veteran of 15 years with the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department, then fired at Turner a second time for five seconds. That time, Turner went into shock and died without recovering consciousness.
An autopsy by the Charlotte medical examiner found that Turner died from “acute ventricular dysrhythmia, agitated state, stress, and use of conducted energy weapon device (Taser).” In 2010 the city of Charlotte settled with the Turner family for $625,000, while admitting no culpability.

The $10 million judgment against Taser International came in a separate product-liability suit filed by the family.

Burton said he doesn’t think the company will be able to get off without paying damages the way it did in an earlier case that he and co-counsel Peter Williamson won against the weapon maker in 2008.

After the North Carolina verdict, Taser International released information meant to calm fears of investors in the publicly traded company and of law enforcement agencies that use the electronic weapons. Steve Tuttle, the company’s vice president of communications, said Turner had a condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which is responsible for 39 percent of sudden cardiac arrest deaths in people under 21.

“That was a fully fabricated lie,” said Burton. “The Charlotte medical examiner, Thomas Owens, did the autopsy, and he said Turner had a great heart, free from all pathologies, in top shape. But Taser brought in someone from Harvard, Dr. James Stone, who examined some tissue and declared that Turner had HCM. We sent his findings to one of the world’s leading specialists on HCM, and he agreed with Owens, the ME: The kid simply didn’t have it. No enlarged heart, no thickening of ventrical walls, nothing.”

Tuttle’s release also noted that the jury was not told about three baggies of marijuana that were alleged to have been found on Turner. “Under North Carolina law, if someone has acted in a negligent manner that contributed to their damages, even a one percent contribution, they are barred from recovering damages. … The company’s legal council believe that Mr. Turner’s crimes, including theft, trespassing, drug possession, assault on fellow employees, resisting arrest, and initiation of an apparent assault on a law enforcement officer constitute negligent behavior that necessitated the use of force by police.”

“I read that press release and almost threw up,” said Burton. “This was a great kid. Never arrested, first in his class in high school, had applied for college, had a job at 17, didn’t smoke or drink … . Heck, I talked with the manager of the store, and he told me that Turner was a great worker, always on time, and that he had great potential with the company.

“And when I talked with other employees, they said the assistant manager was always unpleasant and routinely unfair. I mean, he [Turner] had eaten some food he hadn’t paid for — right, a 17-year-old in a supermarket job. And look what Taser makes him out to be.”

Both of the cases that Taser International lost in court were based on the premise that the company knew the weapons could be lethal in certain circumstances but did not warn the police departments and public of that.

Shortly after the first of those two cases was decided, the company added a number of warnings in its product package. After Turner’s death, the company added more language, warning that the weapons should not be fired into the chest near the heart.
Hardin sees the change as Taser International’s attempt to throw all responsibility onto law enforcement personnel. “Now when someone dies, Taser is going to say, ‘You were warned not to use the weapon in the chest area,’ or whatever, and that might get them off the hook.”

Burton agreed. The new warnings, he said, could mean that, when more people die after being hit with Tasers, their families “will be going directly after the police departments … for liability.

“The products, Tasers, are simply a lot more dangerous than the company says they are,” Burton said. “They talk about excited delirium killing all these people, as if everyone who dies after being tasered would have dropped dead in minutes anyway, and that’s just not the case.”