Posts tagged with "money"

Is Gambling Responsibly Simply a Myth?

Recreational gambling can be a fun and entertaining activity for many people, but it can sometimes tip the scales into problematic behavior for others. The adrenaline rush of a big bet and the thrill of winning a jackpot keep many coming back for more, even when they shouldn’t.

We’ve all seen advertisements for “responsible gambling” on television in our daily lives but what does that actually mean? And more importantly, is this even possible? 

What is Responsible Gambling?

Responsible gambling is defined as: “Exercising control and informed choice to ensure that gambling is kept within affordable limits of money and time, is enjoyable, in balance with other activities and responsibilities, and avoids gambling-related harm.”

This ubiquitous phrase is used to remind players of the importance of maintaining a clear head when playing the odds. Essentially it references the age old saying “It is just a game,” urging players to stay in touch with reality. This idea, however, has been criticized for being a myth that is impossible to achieve, especially for players that struggle with addiction or lack of self-control. 

Top 6 Ways to Gamble Responsibly

Responsible gamblers know the risks involved with gambling and think of it as a cost of the entertainment, just like going out to dinner, the movies, or going on a vacation. Setting out on any excursion with a fixed budget makes smart fiscal sense in every aspect of life — and gambling is no different. 

Just as you would not invite your friends out to a 5-star restaurant that you knew you could not afford, gambling without mental and financial safety precautions is a recipe for disaster. In order to gamble responsibly, take charge by following some simple tips before you set out.

1. Learn the Rules and Odds of the Games that You Play

Hobbyists know their favorite pastimes better than anyone else in the world. Knowledge of your leisure pursuits is a great way to not let them get the best of you, especially when it comes to real-money gambling. 

When choosing a game to play, make sure you’re well-versed in the rules, the casino’s guidelines, and best practices involved in a given game. And whether it’s roulette or blackjack, bear in mind the odds to make an informed decision and your best bet. Being prepared is always the best bet.

2. Don’t Play with Money You Don’t Have

You wouldn’t spend your rent money on a designer handbag or an unreasonable car lease. Likewise, you should never use money to gamble that you need for your living expenses. Remembering priorities is essential.

Responsible gamblers never play with money that they aren’t willing to lose. As an entertainment expense, any losses simply add up to a fun evening out with friends, not serious financial problems the next day.

3. Set a Time Limit

If you’re worried that you might get carried away, a good rule of thumb is to set a time limit for how long you’re able to gamble before it’s time to call it quits. When you’re having a fun evening, it can be easy to lose track of time. By setting an alarm and having a hard end to your playing is a smart idea before you get started.

4. Set a Money Limit

Setting a dollar limit for yourself before you start playing is one of the smartest things you can do to gamble responsibly. 

Some online casinos have a loss limit feature that allows you to program in a maximum amount that you’re willing to lose in a given time before the system prevents you from placing another bet. The loss limit feature works very well for some people but for many, it doesn’t work at all. For many, they hit the limit and simply join another casino. If this is you, consider alternate means of self-control and consider asking for assistance.

5. Don’t Gamble Under the Influence

With a great game plan for responsible gambling and a fun time ahead, it would be a shame to throw away all of your best intentions by getting inebriated and failing to follow your own guidelines.

Gambling responsibly can be an exciting and entertaining activity but without a clear head, some players may unintentionally go a bit overboard. Gambling culture, especially in-person, often encourages players to drink while they play. A glass of wine or a single beer while playing might not be disastrous, but it is important to comprehend your limits.

6. Never Play Because You Need to Win

Problem gamblers sometimes fall into the trap of using gambling to make money they need for their day-to-day lives. It is always a bad idea and can lead to serious problems, especially with something as random as chance itself. Make sure even as you play, you are grounded in reality.

Play Smart

These suggestions are not foolproof, however, and can be quickly thrown out the window when a player is in trouble with their gambling, whether through a serious addiction or fear of financial ruin. It is important to consider your circumstances, your headspace, and your ability to stick to a plan before even going near a casino. 

Responsible Gambling Can Be Possible

Knowing yourself is key. If you know that you’re not able to follow your own prescribed rules, gambling responsibly may not be possible for you to do successfully. Maintaining a healthy relationship with your hobbies and leisure activities is essential.

As you can see, however, it is possible to gamble responsibly if you’re able to stick to a plan. By maintaining these standards, responsible gambling can be just like any other form of paid entertainment. If one approaches it with a clear head and knows their limits, a good time can be had by all. 

Allison Christensen Illustrates a Music Business Article for 360 MAGAZINE

VEVA Sound X Quansic

VEVA Sound announced Tuesday that users of its platform are now able to register for an ISNI number for free.

An ISNI is an International Standard Name Identifier, a number uniquely identifying an individual in the music industry.

VEVA Sound verifies archived projects for clients. By partnering with Quansic, a leader in ISNI services, to facilitate registrations, it is now easier for creators to get credit and payment for their work.

FX Nuttall, the founder of Quansic, said the partnership made perfect sense for the company, as both Quansic and VEVA Sound share a vision that creators should be able to be identified easily and early in the creative process.

“As this partnership continues into the future, we are enthusiastic about introducing VEVA Collect’s users to our products — starting with ISNI registration before addressing the allocation of ISRC for Recordings and BOWI for Works,” Nuttall said. “We at Quansic are focused on enabling 100% identifier coverage for all, and our friends at VEVA provide an unprecedented opportunity for the independent creative community to do just that.”

President of VEVA Sound Deborah Fairchild said she is excited about the partnership and for the new opportunities for artists and creators who use VEVA Collect for payment for their work.

“FX Nuttall is widely respected in our industry, and we are proud to avail his expertise to our users through Quansic,” Fairchild says. “We believe it is imperative that we empower creatives with every resource available to receive authenticated credit for their work.

VEVA Sound was founded in 2002 and works to spearhead the movement to define, create and implement the standards for how sound is preserved and monetized. They now have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Nashville and London where they work with clients to verify and archive audio and metadata.

To learn more about VEVA Sound, you can click right here. You can also follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

You can learn more about Quansic by clicking right here.

Presidential candidate illustration

Presidental Campaign Money

By Hannah DiPilato

Both President Donald Trump and presidential candidate Joe Biden have splurged a fair amount on their 2020 presidential campaigns. Biden’s campaign along with his allies have spent an estimated $600 million while Trump’s campaign and his supporters have spent a little over $400 million. 

Over $1 Billion has been spent between the campaigns on TV advertisements in only 13 states alone according to an NPR analysis from the tracking firm Advertising Analytics. This money is being used to target six states: Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Arizona. TV ads may be playing a larger role in the presidential campaign this year because of the pandemic keeping so many Americans at home watching TV. 

Tracked by Ad Age Datacenter, for the presidential, congressional and gubernatorial races, campaign spending has now surged past $3 billion. This hefty amount includes TV, radio and digital ad spending. The digital ad spending includes Facebook and Google properties only for presidential candidates. 

This is “the most expensive election in history,” according to CNBC. The expected total spending for the 2020 election is predicted to be a whopping $10.8 billion according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This prediction takes into account both presidential and congressional races. CRP has recorded the election has already cost $7.2 billion, so the $10 billion milestone isn’t far out of reach. 

“The 2018 election smashed fundraising records for midterms, and 2020 is going to absolutely crush anything we’ve ever seen — or imagined — before,” Sheila Krumholz, executive director of CRP, said in a statement. “This is already the most expensive presidential election in history and there are still months of election spending to account for. The unanswered question is whether this will be the new normal for future elections.” 

So far Biden has topped the charts for his advertising spendings. Between September 28 and October 11, Biden estimated spendings have been $55,928,770 and his ads have aired about 80,452 times. Trump trails Biden with estimated total spending of $31,796,960 and 32,011 airings in the same time period. 

The Biden campaign has been able to air ads in 17 states, even though there are many fewer states considered a close race. The campaign cost continues to grow over the expected TV budget of $280 million. “If we didn’t have the resources we had now, we’d be having to make [some] hard choices right now,” said one Biden campaign official.

Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager, said the campaign has “more than sufficient air coverage.” He also stated that the campaign has spent more than the Biden campaign in different areas such as Facebook ads. 

The Biden is not shying away from spending and they plan to keep spending as much cash as possible until the campaign concludes. However, in the event the result of the race is contested, the Biden campaign is reserving money for legal fights.

Ethereum Accounted for 96% DeFi Transactions in Q3 2020

Ethereum Accounted for 96% DeFi Transactions in Q3 2020 as ETH Miner Fees Double Bitcoin’s

According to the research data analyzed and published by StockApps.com, Ethereum’s transaction volume soared to $119.5 billion in Q3 2020. In comparison to the $10.2 billion volume posted in Q2 2020, that was a 1,200% increase.

Based on Coinmetrics’ data, Ethereum fees shot up during the same period, eclipsing Bitcoin’s fees for the first time on August 13, 2020. As of September 2020, ETH fees stood at $276 million, nearly double Bitcoin’s $146 million.

Ethereum Miners Made $113 Million from Fees in August, 38x Increase from April

The surge in transaction volume and fees on the Ethereum blockchain was linked to the recent Decentralized Finance (DeFi) hype. DApp Radar reveals that during the period, DeFi apps accounted for 99% of all transactions on the network.

The total DApp transaction volumes on all platforms in Q3 2020 reached $125 billion. There was an increase of $113 billion quarter-over-quarter (QoQ). Most of the activities took place on Ethereum, TRON and EOS. From the total value created, Ethereum accounted for 96%. With 1,956 apps, it was the top DApp blockchain during the period.

Coinmetrics’ data reveals that Ethereum transaction fees surged from $21.98 million on June 1, 2020 to $77.77 million on July 31, 2020. In August, Ethereum miners made $113 million from transaction fees according to Glassnode. That marked a 38x increase from the $3 million recorded in April and a 1.8x increase from the January 2018 all-time high. In September, miners for the first time earned more from fees ($172M) than they did from block rewards ($150M).

According to Glassnode, Ethereum miners made a record on September 1, earning $500,000 in one hour. Daily earnings on that day doubled to $16.5 million from $8.1 million the previous day. On September 2, they made a new record with the average hourly revenue surging to $800,000. They broke this record on September 17, reaching $938,000.

The full story, statistics and information can be found here.

Online Casino Bonus Guide for Players in the US and UK

The Ultimate Online Casino Bonus Guide for US and UK players

When you first enter the extraordinary world of online gambling, you will be faced with an inevitable question that will present itself the moment you walk through the virtual casino doors: what is an online casino bonus?

As you are greeted by the plethora of alluring promotional offers, it’s crucial that you understand what you are dealing with before you start on your bonus-infused online gambling adventure.

So, how exactly does a casino bonus work? What types of bonuses are available in the online gambling industry? Are there any terms and conditions I should be aware of and when should I claim a bonus on my account? All of these questions will be answered in our ultimate online casino bonus guide for US and UK players.

However, if you are simply looking for a top recommendation straight off the bat, All Star Slots Casino is mainly for US and UK players and impresses with a wealth of features and bonus offers that is sure to satisfy even the most avid gambler.

What is a Casino Bonus and How Does it Work?

The online gambling landscape would be unimaginable without promotions and bonuses spread across big, colorful banners to excite UK and US players from. It’s a wonderful incentive for the time and money you invest in the site and is a great way to reward you for your loyalty once you become a regular player. The online gambling market continues to expand as more and more gambling sites are flooding into the market.

In fact, the industry is so competitive that casinos need to create new and exciting ways to attract players to their sites and the best way to achieve this is through online casino bonuses. So, what is a bonus, anyway? To put it simply, a casino bonus is essentially an incentive that is offered by the casino to attract players to the site. Casino bonuses can be used to entice new players to register or to keep existing players from leaving by boosting their bankrolls with additional funds. The bonus funds that are added to your account can be done in one of several innovative ways which bring us to the next question: what types of casino bonuses are available to players in the UK and US?

Types of Online Casino Bonuses for UK and US Players

You will discover that there is a casino bonus for each and every player in the online gaming industry. You can look forward to bonuses that don’t require a deposit, welcome packages on your initial deposit, payment specific promotions, and the freedom to claim these offers on either your desktop or mobile device. In fact, claiming promotional offers while away from home is only one of the advantages of gambling on your mobile device. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the types of casino bonuses you’ll come across in the UK and the US along with a brief description of each.

No Deposit Bonus: This is exactly as the name implies, a bonus that you will receive without making a deposit. No deposit bonuses are primarily offered to newcomers for simply registering a new account and come in a variety of flavours, including a free cash offer, free spins, or free play. It’s perfect for online players that want to test the waters before committing with a real money deposit.

Welcome/Sign-Up Bonus: This is undoubtedly the most popular offer in the industry and it usually doubles, triples, or even quadruples your initial deposit made at the casino. It’s the casino’s way to welcome you to the site and to thank you for choosing them over everyone else. You will even come across welcome packages that contain a welcome bonus and a number of free spins on a popular slot to further entice you to make a deposit.

Reload Bonus: Once you’ve claimed a no deposit bonus and welcome package, you will be deemed an existing player, opening up the doors to ongoing promotions. One of the most popular promotions for existing players is the reload bonus. It’s basically a deposit bonus with a smaller match percentage when compared to the welcome bonus. For instance, where a welcome bonus might offer 100% up to $100, a reload bonus will offer a 25% match up to $50.

Cashback Bonus: This offer is designed to give you a percentage back on your losses for either the week or month. For instance, if you lose $100 during the week, the casino would usually credit a 20% or 30% cashback bonus based on your losses, giving you a second opportunity to enjoy your favorite games without making an additional deposit on your account.

High Roller/VIP Bonus: These types of bonuses are specifically designed for high rollers and VIP players that are planning to deposit well-over the usual deposit amount. These offers are usually not displayed within the promotions section. Therefore, you will need to contact support and find out what high roller packages are available, depending on your deposit size.

Loyalty Bonus: Most gambling sites will come equipped with a loyalty program where you can earn loyalty points for every wager you make at the casino. Once you’ve accumulated enough loyalty points, you can redeem them to unlock additional bonuses or free spins on your account.

Refer-A-Friend Bonus: There is nothing better than enjoying your favorite casino games with friends. This is why gambling sites created this innovative promotion that will allow you to earn an additional bonus for simply referring your friends to the site. Most referral bonuses will require that your friend register a new account and make a minimum deposit before you’ll be rewarded with a Refer-A-Friend bonus.

Complimentary Bonus: This type of bonus will usually be based on your financial history with the casino. If you have a bad run, or you feel like making a deposit on the day, you are welcome to contact support and request a complimentary bonus. Should your financial history prove that you’ve been a loyal and consistent player, you will receive a complimentary bonus as a thank you for your patronage.

Birthday Bonus: This is credited to your account once a year to celebrate your birthday and the size of the birthday bonus will be based on your financial history, much like a complimentary bonus.

With so many promotional offers at your disposal, it’s easy to understand how the online gambling industry continues to grow in the United Kingdom and the United States with each passing year. The only pitfall when it comes to online casino bonuses is the terms and conditions which is the next topic that deserves your attention.

Promotional Terms and Conditions to Consider:

All promotional offers will be restricted in one way or another to ensure players don’t bankrupt the casino. The restrictions will always be presented in the terms and conditions and it’s here where most players get in trouble as they simply don’t take the time to read through the fine print. Most online casino bonuses will have similar terms and conditions, including:

Wagering Requirements: This will tell you how many times the bonus needs to be wagered before it’s allocated to your cash balance, ready for a cashout. For instance, a typical welcome bonus needs to be wagered 40 times before it’s cleared.

Game Contributions: Every casino game will contribute a different percentage towards your wagering requirements. For instance, slots will usually count 100% towards wagering, while video poker and blackjack might only contribute 5%.

Expiry Date: All bonuses will have an expiry date, indicating how long the bonus will be available on your account before it expires. No deposit offers last between 7 and 14 days, while welcome bonuses usually last up to 30 days.

Cashout Limit: This restriction is usually found in no deposit offers and indicates the maximum amount you’ll be allowed to withdraw from a no deposit bonus. Most gambling sites in the US and the UK will go as high as $200 as a withdrawal cap.

When to Avoid Casino Bonuses

Now that you have a better understanding of what a casino bonus is, how it works, and the types of bonuses you can claim, it’s time to look at when to avoid a bonus. When a bonus sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Casinos might impress you with the biggest bonus offer in the world that you can claim with the smallest deposit. However, when you look at the terms and conditions, you’ll quickly understand why it’s not worth your time or money.

Most gambling sites will trick you into claiming a bonus and will then make it impossible to accumulate any winnings due to unreasonable wagering requirements. Some might only use slots to contribute to your playthrough requirements, while others might increase the wagering requirements to make it impossible to actually clear the bonus.

You will also find gambling sites that shorten the expiry date, making it harder to clear the bonus in the given time frame, while others will limit your withdrawal limit, forcing you to play your winnings instead of cashing out what you earned. Apart from the terms and conditions, you should also avoid claiming bonuses when the casino isn’t licensed and regulated by a reputable regulatory body.

With the ultimate online casino bonus guide, you will have all the tools at your disposal to confidently claim a bonus without having to worry about falling prey to rogue casinos or claiming an offer that comes equipped with arbitrary terms and conditions. You should also have a good understanding of the types of bonuses in the online gaming industry and whether it’s suited for your own unique playing style. Claiming casino bonuses is a fantastic way to keep yourself entertained and is one of the self-care tips during COVID that you can use to escape reality while giving yourself the opportunity to win some cash in the process.

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LaMelo Ball illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 magazine

LaMelo Ball Joins PUMA

By Justin Lyons

LaMelo Ball, top 2020 NBA Draft prospect and younger brother of New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball, signed with the sports company PUMA for a long-term sponsorship deal.

Ball said he’s excited to join the PUMA family as he kicks off his basketball career.

“I believe the brand is the perfect partner for me because PUMA will allow me to just be myself. I want to be 100-percent authentic whether that’s playing basketball or showing off my personal style, and that’s what I want to do with PUMA,” Ball said.

The 6-foot-7-inch guard with elite passing skills opted out of college basketball in favor of professional contracts in Lithuania and Australia.

Adam Petrick, the global director of brand and marketing at PUMA, said Ball is a natural fit for PUMA because of his personal style and his “physical gifts and dynamic play on the court.”

“We are thrilled to add him to our roster of talented athletes, and at just 19 years old, we can’t wait to see his impact on the broader culture surrounding basketball,” Petrick said.

The first collaboration between the young phenom and PUMA will come in the form of a PUMA x LaMelo Ball T-shirt and hoodie set. The set will release Nov. 18, the same day as the 2020 NBA Draft where Ball is expected to go in the top five.

PUMA also intends to blur lines between sports, culture, music and fashion with its approach to the collaboration with Ball, which will likely be seen in the form of shirts, shoes and other apparel.

The partnership will follow PUMA’s “Not From Here” concept, something Ball cooked up himself to represent his unique attitude.

“I don’t know what normal is. I personally chose a different path to achieve my success because that defines who I am,” Ball said. “I know some people think I am mysterious or ‘not from here,’ and I might have to agree. I am someone who likes to be different and consider myself to be one of one. That’s the message I want to share in my upcoming projects with PUMA.”

Ball and PUMA will also join forces to host basketball camps, clothing donations, court refurbishments and more to support programs that encourage young athletes stay active.

With names like RJ Barrett, Kyle Kuzma and Deandre Ayton highlighting the list, Ball is the latest in a line of young talent to join PUMA.

In Ball’s 2019-2020 season as a member of the Illawarra Hawks, he played just 12 games before injuring himself during practice and deciding to leave for the NBA Draft. He averaged 17 points, 6.8 assists and 7.6 rebounds per game.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have the first overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft after winning the NBA Draft Lottery. The Timberwolves had a 14% chance at landing the first pick, tied for the best odds with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, the team holding the worst record in the league.

With the Timberwolves trading for star guard D’Angelo Russell last season, mock drafts appear to have Minnesota targeting Anthony Edwards, the wing player out of Georgia.

Without a consensus first pick, there is also speculation that Minnesota could trade out of the first pick, opening an opportunity for a team looking for a point guard with passing abilities like Ball’s.

It all remains to be seen the night of the Draft Nov. 18, where one thing is for sure: LaMelo Ball’s name will be called.

Rob DeCou and son in a photo for HOPE61

HOPE61 x Rob DeCou

HOPE61, the human trafficking prevention ministry of One Mission Society, is joining forces with ultra-endurance athlete Rob DeCou for the Uberman ultra-triathalon.

The triathlon will wake place Oct. 8 in Southern California, and HOPE61 and DeCou will aim to raise $50,000 in the fight against human trafficking.

With a course length of 556 miles, Uberman is the most difficult triathlon in the world. A 21-mile swim through the Pacific Ocean leads athletes to Palos Verdes, where they then begin a 400-mile bike ride through Los Angeles and into Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America. From there, the race closes with a 135-mile run through Death Valley and a 13,000-foot final ascent to the trailhead at Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States.

HOPE61 is based out of Greenwood, Indiana, and trains churches around the world to understand, identify and combat human trafficking. Aiming to reach those most vulnerable to human trafficking, HOPE61 wants to help churches find God-given gifts, talents, abilities, and resources to reduce vulnerability.

Tom Overton, the global director for HOPE61, said he is excited to partner with DeCour.

“He is using his God-given perseverance and athletic gifts and abilities powerfully to raise awareness and much-needed funds to stop trafficking both locally and around the world,” Overton said.

For more information about HOPE61, you can click right here. You can also track DeCou’s progress in the race by clicking right here.

Twist Out Cancer

Twist Out Cancer will host its Brushes With Cancer program Sept. 25.

The program will be held in Warren, Michigan, at GM‘s Design Center and will kick off with a virtual art exhibition. Brushes With Cancer takes cancer survivors, battlers and caretakers and pairs them with artists who are able to depict the struggles, emotionally and physically, faced by those with cancer.

For the 2020 event, all 25 people affected by cancer and all 23 artists are employed by GM Design, and their story-inspired art will be on display virtually.

After the event, the art will remain on display until Oct. 30 and will then be auctioned off to the highest bidder with proceeds going right back to Twist Out Cancer to provide psychosocial support to those in a face-to-face fight with cancer.

Jenna Benn Shersher, the CEO of Twist Out Cancer, said 2019’s event was a smash success and that Twist Out Cancer was honored to be working with GM Design for the 2020 program.

“We have worked hand-in-hand with employees at GM Design during this unprecedented time to continue our program virtually, which is offering our Inspirations and Artists the same transformational experience our participants have come to expect over the past eight years,” Shersher said. “As Twist Out Cancer has grown, we continue to bring our impactful programming to new cities and new audiences around the world and are thrilled with the start of this new program.”

Virtual events will also be held in Austin Oct. 25 and in Chicago Nov. 14. Twist Out Cancer also encourages anyone to bring an event to their hometown by contacting Amelia Hanrahan at amelia@twistoutcancer.org.

To purchase tickets for the event on Sept. 25, you can click right here.

Gabrielle Marchan illustrates Dianne Morales for 360 MAGAZINE

Dianne Morales

As of late, one of our team members had the opportunity to sit down with New York City mayoral candidate Dianne Morales for an interview. After eight years under Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City will see someone new in the position in 2021, and Morales, a member of the Democratic Party, is jumping at the opportunity.

360: What are the major points of inspiration throughout your life, so far, that have led you to where you are today?

Morales: At my core is a commitment to community, and I learned community at home. I am the youngest of three girls and the daughter of Puerto Rican parents. My mother, a secretary for the Leather Workers’ Union, and my father, a building manager on the waterfront, created a working-class life for us in Bed-Stuy. But our home was not just for me and my sisters. My grandmother, Mami, lived with us my whole childhood. In fact, she and I shared a bed until the day that I left home for college. Our home was a resting place, a layover, a transition point for whoever needed it. There was always someone new sleeping on the couch or joining us at the dinner table. Whether they had just arrived from Puerto Rico, were in between jobs, had just returned from the military or from being incarcerated, there were always other people staying with us while they “got back on their feet.” My parents opened their arms and their front door to whoever needed it. I never questioned this way of life. I was taught, “If you have, then you provide.” We took care of each other. I saw, firsthand, the opportunity created when we each take responsibility, not just for ourselves, but for our neighbors and for our communities. This belief has spurred me on through 30 years in the public sector, as an educator, a foster care worker and a leader of nonprofits.

As I established my own home in Bed-Stuy as a single mom, my children and I recreated the dynamic my parents had built. We always have a few extra people living in our home – whom we often refer to as our “chosen family.” These extended family members have filled my home with love and reciprocal support. In a twist of fate, since the pandemic hit, I have shared my home with my parents and my children. I envision a New York City where we take care of each other, where everyone is welcome to the dinner table, where neighbors provide more support than extra sugar and all of us have a warm place to rest our heads. Although NYC is vast with diversity, we are all inextricably bound together and are only as strong as our most vulnerable link.

360: How can a mayor, as opposed to any other civic official, lead unique positive changes for equity?

Morales: Over the past several months there is a mantra I have been repeating consistently: a budget is a reflection of our values. The mayor has executive power over what gets funded in the city and by how much. Funding for services that contribute to true public safety (access to housing, medical/mental healthcare, economic stability, job training, education) will provide access and opportunity to those who have historically been left behind by our elected officials. Line by line, the budget reveals the values of a city and government. The NYC budget passed in June was a failure. It failed the residents of NYC, who have been raising their voices in protest and demanding a divestment from law enforcement since May 29. It failed those whose lives have been lost at the hands of the NYPD. It failed communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by violence and brutality.

The budget highlights the need for NYC leadership to put New Yorkers first by investing in communities. The NYC Mayor also has the ability to work to desegregate public schools and impact the quality of education provided to over 1.1 million students, many of whom are students of color living in poverty. This alters the course of a student’s life and provides an entry point to economic mobility and a true career trajectory. New Yorkers deserve a bold, transformational leader who is unapologetically committed to prioritizing justice in the budget’s bottom line. I fundamentally believe that those closest to the problem are closest to the solution. Our city needs a mayor that is in tune with her people and provides a vision for and direction for what is possible.

360: What are some of the most pressing or urgent issues that need attention within New York City, and how would you address them?

Morales: New York’s problems all stem from structural oppression by Race, Gender and Class, so our solutions must go deeper, all the way to the root causes. Too many New Yorkers are living in a time of scarcity, and that’s been going on since long before the virus hit. The are working two jobs, just barely surviving and always one misfortune away from losing everything. Instead of this “Scarcity Economy,” we need a “Solidarity Economy,” and that requires bold action. First, transforming public safety in the city by providing access to the same critical resources found in wealthy communities will be a critical step toward creating the long-term change we need for all to live in dignity. True public safety includes ensuring that every New Yorker has access to “life essentials,” like quality transportation, affordable housing, excellent and equal education and human-centered healthcare. All New Yorkers deserve access to these fundamental resources in order to live in dignity, and it is the necessary floor needed to break through glass ceilings.

Next, we must enhance and overhaul vital infrastructure requiring multi-part, creative solutions that address the deeper issues embedded in the fabric of NYC. To break the racist cycle of poverty that divides our city into the “haves” and the “have-nots,” we will establish a guaranteed minimum income. We will push for universal healthcare and eliminate inequities in the health system faced by women, and especially women of color. We will work to address the persistent segregation of our schools and disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline by replacing school safety officers with trained mental health professionals. The driving force behind all policy initiatives is the experiences, needs and voices of women of color. Particularly, Black women. As the Combahee River Collective wisely wrote in its 1977 statement, “If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.” We know that if New York does right by Black women, the entire city will be better for it.

360: How can you use your personal experiences with serving as a single mother and observing the many other challenges that face New York City residents to enact policy reform?

Morales: So many of New York’s problems have impacted me directly, and so much of who I am and what I know comes from being a mom. My greatest joy is being the mother of my two children, Ben and Gabby. They constantly push me, teach me and nourish me. As a single parent, I share experiences with hundreds of thousands of other New Yorkers. A 2018 study found that single-parent households are the second largest household type in New York City. I navigated New York City’s systems – economic, health and education – on my own. I balanced a budget for my family each month, figuring out how to make it work. My greatest challenge was parenting my children through the NYC education system. The rigid and unforgiving education that my children received did not allow any space for their learning differences. They did not see themselves in the white-centric curriculum and we struggled to find support during their developmental years. Advocating for my children was a full-time job on top of my paying-full-time-job. Again and again I have stood with parents for a more equitable and life-affirming education for our kids. It is with this same community spirit of coalition building, advocacy and bettering of our social safety nets that I will push for policies that support all types of families in NYC.

360: What is one of the most significant components of your background or experiential knowledge that separates you from any other candidate?

Morales: I am, in so many ways, the average New Yorker. I was born and bred in Bed-Stuy. I am an Afro Latina single-mom of two children who survived the New York City public school system. I am a first generation college graduate who came back home to my city after school. I am a woman of color who discovered that I was not being paid the same as my white male counterparts. I’ve watched my neighborhood change, I’ve seen Starbucks replace the corner bodega, and I have spent my weekends marching side by side – 6 feet apart – with my fellow New Yorkers demanding justice for those killed at the hands of a racist policing system. Because I am the average New Yorker, my voice reflects the voices of thousands of others. We share our lived experiences, frustrations and joys. I love New York City because I see our full potential for all of us.

360: How does your previous extensive work with social service nonprofits inform your motivations and goals to serve as Mayor?

Morales: For decades, I worked within the community to address structural inequities burdening communities of color. I worked alongside those experiencing the symptoms of our broken system most acutely – poverty, lack of access to education, homelessness and mental health services. I witnessed firsthand the day-to-day struggles of New Yorkers that are perpetuated by cycles of poverty and oppression. I worked from the ground, up and from the inside, out. But as I hammered away, I recognized these structural and institutional barriers, and began to ask, “So how do we burn them down?” It felt as though I was only tinkering around the edges of the problem and providing Band-Aid solutions to deep, deep wounds. The core, perpetuating issues were centralized and foundational. I realized that if I want to create lasting, effective change, I must address these systemic and political problems at the root. As Mayor, I would carry with me the voices of those I have served.

360: In outlining your points of action and reform for New York City, how does the COVID-19 pandemic affect any of these potential strides for change?

Morales: As we know, COVID-19 is a catastrophe that illuminates all of the cracks and splinters in our broken systems. At first, many claimed the COVID-19 was a “great equalizer,” affecting all people, regardless of race, class or gender. Instead COVID-19 disproportionately impacts people of color and low-income communities. This is not a coincidence or personal failing, but rather the direct result of racist systems, putting structural oppression in stark relief. While some New Yorkers are able to escape crowded areas, arm themselves with personal protective equipment and work remotely, others, namely people of color, are on the front lines providing essential services to our city.

As COVID-19 has had devastating consequences that will leave a lasting impact for years to come, it has also provided us with a unique moment. As we saw after the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police, being homebound and isolated forces us to pay attention. We have paused. We have slowed down. With fewer distractions and a center of focus, folks all across the country have had the veil lifted. People are noticing the interconnected webs of oppression I have lived with and that I have been fighting to dismantle my entire life. In this moment, we need leaders in office who are of, by and for the movement for social change. There is a momentum and hunger for justice that can no longer be ignored. As we overcome the challenge of the disease, I will never let the city forget who is truly essential. Together we will create a world in which front-line workers are truly valued as indispensable. A world where we accompany our applause and platitudes with a livable wage, unquestionable dignity and real community power.

360: What are some of the most rewarding takeaways you have gained from leading several momentous organizations?

Morales: I’ve learned firsthand about the barriers and challenges that people have to overcome in order to gain access to opportunities that are alleged to be available to everyone. I also have watched as community members care for one another to bridge the gaps in access to those opportunities. This is testament to the power of our communities to be true partners in determining the solutions they face when given the resources to do so. Finally, I have been able to bear witness to what is possible when people finally gain access and opportunity and how that has the potential to change the trajectory of people’s lives and transform families and communities.

360: Regarding the national and global movement, Black Lives Matter, how will you utilize your unique identity to empower minorities in the City of New York?

Morales: Like many people of color, I have lived years of my life trying not to take up space. I have seen the ways that my identities – my Blackness, my Latina roots, my politics, my womanhood – make people, namely white people, uncomfortable. In these spaces I would constantly ask myself, “Do I seem too opinionated, too articulate, too aggressive?” I would contort and deflate myself to fit into tight corners and small boxes. I would shrink myself so that others could feel big. When making the decision to run for Mayor of NYC, I decided it was important for me to run as my full, unadulterated, unapologetic, multi-hyphenated self. There would be no more shrinking, questioning or self-doubt. I recognize that by the very nature of stepping into this space, I am opening up a path of possibility. As the first Afro-Latina running for mayor of New York City, I recognize the awesome responsibility I hold. I know that when I speak, unfairly or not, I am representing all Afro-Latina women. Missteps become mass stereotypes. Accolades become communal achievements.

This is both beautiful and deeply terrifying. But in moments of fear, I am guided by a greater purpose to bring with me those whom have been devalued and made to feel small, as I have been; to elevate the voices of those with shared experiences and claim our rightful place in democracy and representation in leadership. People like me, individuals and communities of color, women of color, we must be at the forefront of our politics and policies. I am deeply committed to divesting from racist systems and investing in Black and Brown communities. I am committed to reimagining public safety on our streets and in our schools. I am committed to shifting wealth opportunities to those who have been historically marginalized. I am committed to redressing and repairing the wounds of oppression that scar our city. I am in this race to stand taller in the face of a world that tells me to shrink. I am here to tell them that Black lives are beloved. We matter today and every day forward.

360: To all of the NYC citizens following your efforts to better numerous communities, what are some of the best ways individuals can support your campaign?

Morales: The best way to help me is to join the campaign with a small contribution. I am not a career politician, and unlike other candidates, I have not spent decades cultivating a war chest of people, networks and resources to kickstart my run for mayor. I want to be responsive to the people, not the special interests.. My campaign was born out of my home in Bed-Stuy, out of conversations with my neighbors, friends and colleagues. Our campaign is 100% powered by the people, not the 1%. We are an intersectional coalition of Black and Brown, Latinx, LGBTQIA and working class New Yorkers. We are backed by the people being hit the hardest at this moment in time. I am so incredibly humbled that in the middle of a pandemic, without employment, people are finding a way to donate to our campaign. I know what is at stake and the choices they have had to make to do so. If donating to our campaign is not possible for you during this financially uncertain time, we understand. Visit my website, dianne.nyc, for information and volunteer opportunities. Spread our mission to your fellow New Yorkers. Reach out to join our team. Remember me in November 2021.

To learn more about Dianne Morales, you can click right here. To learn more about her stances and solutions, you can click right here. To support Morales through donations, you can click right here. You can also support her on Twitter and Instagram.

Naz “ItsNastyNaz” Saleh

TikTok, a phone app allowing users to share fun videos of singing, dancing and skits, has taken the world by storm, and Naz “Itsnastynaz” Saleh is its megastar.

Saleh, or “Itsnastynaz” on TikTok, was a completely ordinary fast food worker yet a complete anomaly. He was born on April 27, 1997, in Bronx, New York, and raised by his Yemeni-descendant parents looking for a better life for their kids. When he turned 12, he started working 12 hours per day, seven days per week. Saleh hit rock bottom when excessive bullying made him drop out of high school, but things changed.

Saleh went from working in fast food to being a man who enjoys all luxuries of life, but what made Naz Saleh who he is today?

It all started when Saleh was watching a YouTube video and a Musical.ly ad popped up. He saw the famous Baby Ariel. The video made him laugh and think he could do it even better than she could if he gave it a try. That was the turning point in his life. He started performing more skits with his brother in his workplace. He became an overnight success when the third video he uploaded was viewed 5 million times, and it didn’t stop there. The video spread like wildfire and was featured on news channels internationally.

His audience skyrocketed to over 6 million followers. He was awarded the “Popular Creator” badge by TikTok after his videos broke the internet and were viewed between 100 million and 350 million times.

That’s when he quit his 84-hour-per-week job to focus full time on his TikTok career. He now sits at 13 million followers.

Saleh is now known as “The Most Generous Man in New York” after filming himself giving food and money to homeless people. His videos also caught the attention of the government, giving some of those homeless people the option to go to rehab. Many said goodbye to their previous lives and moved toward a path of happiness.

Following his quick ascent, Saleh signed deals with iconic brands such as What Do You Meme? and Fashion Nova. He even received sponsorship deals from apps on the Apple App Store. He went from working in fast food to making seven figures and driving luxury cars all in a day’s work.

Though he has found success on TikTok, life isn’t always easy for Saleh. He receives many hateful comments online.

When asked how he deals with hateful comments, Saleh said, “Receiving so much hate can be heart-breaking and really demotivating. It used to have really bad effects on my mindset and my happiness until I realized making skits, helping people and making others happy is my safe place, and no one can make me feel bad about that.”

He admits sudden fame can be a bit overwhelming, but Saleh tries to remain positive, using his power to spread as much love and happiness as he can.

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