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Archive for March, 2010

National Medical Association names Kweisi Mfume as its new executive leader

Posted by Admin On March - 28 - 2010 5 COMMENTS

 Civil Rights Leader to Tackle Health Disparities and Promote Health Policy Priorities

Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — Former U.S. Congressman Kweisi Mfume will take the helm of the nation’s oldest and largest medical association representing the interests of more than 30,000 physicians of African descent and their patients, effective March 29, 2010.

A seasoned elected official and prominent civil rights advocate, Mr. Mfume will bring his considerable experience working across organizations to help further the mission of the NMA. Most recently, Mr. Mfume spent nine years leading the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). While serving as its President & CEO, he gained an in-depth understanding of health disparities in the nation’s health care delivery system and the devastating effects such disparities have on the lives of American families. Mfume went on to establish the organization’s first National Office of Health Advocacy to educate and advocate on behalf of access and affordability in health care. Prior to his tenure there, he served as a five-term Congressman from Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, where he chaired the Joint Economic Committee, the Congressional Black Caucus, and co-founded the Congressional Task Force on Sarcoidosis Disease Awareness. Mr. Mfume also served on the Baltimore City Council for seven years, where he chaired the Committee on Health.

“I have dedicated my life to ending the economic and social barriers that continue to confront people of color all across our nation,” Mr. Mfume said. “The National Medical Association has been the conscience of the medical profession by making sure that African Americans and the underserved have a voice in their health and health care.” He continued, “We have a long way to go to truly eliminate health disparities, but now is the time to work with political, medical, and community leaders to make that vision real.”

NMA President Willarda V. Edwards, M.D., M.B.A. said, “With such an intense national focus on health policy, Kweisi Mfume brings significant expertise to our organization that will directly benefit our members as they navigate the ever-changing landscape of health care.”

Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., Chair, NMA Board of Trustees, further commented, “His commitment to the most vulnerable in our communities makes him a natural fit to continue the NMA’s legacy of advocacy and service.”

“It is vital that NMA has a strong visionary at the helm of our organization,” Rahn Bailey, M.D., Speaker, NMA House of Delegates, stated. “We looked for someone with a proven background in mission-driven work and a seasoned background in health policy and believe that Mr. Mfume holds that elusive combination.”

A native of Baltimore, Mr. Mfume received his B.S. from Morgan State University and his Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. He has also been bestowed with honorary doctorates from some 10 colleges and universities as diverse as Meharry Medical College and Brandeis University. Mr. Mfume is a frequent lecturer and serves on the Boards of several organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America National Advisory Council, Johns Hopkins University Board of Trustees, Morgan State University Board of Regents and Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Mfume is a member of the Continuity of Government Commission funded by the Carnegie, Hewlett Packard, and MacArthur foundations. For 4 years, he hosted the nationally syndicated NBC – Hearst TV special “The Remarkable Journey.” He is the recipient of the NAACP Image Award and the 2005 Telly Award for the Television documentary “Ticket to Freedom.” His former bestselling autobiography is entitled “No Free Ride.”

Founded in 1895, the National Medical Association is a national professional and scientific organization committed to improving the quality of health among minorities and disadvantaged people through its membership, professional development, community health education, advocacy, research and partnership with federal and private agencies. The NMA has repeatedly advocated for policies that would assure equitable and quality health care for all people.

www.nmanet.org

Attorney General’s office receives Ethics Award For commitment to open, accountable government

Posted by Admin On March - 27 - 2010 2 COMMENTS
ethicsphotoChicago, IL ─ Citing the office’s leadership and commitment to ethics reform in Illinois, the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission (EEC) presented the Attorney General’s Office with the Abraham Lincoln Ethics Award during its conference this week in Springfield. Attorney General Lisa Madigan accepted the award for the office.
 
Created by the EEC in 2006, the award is bestowed each year to a State employee or entity that, according to the Commission, demonstrates a record of exemplary adherence to the principles of integrity, fairness and service to the people of the State of Illinois.
 
“I am proud to accept this honor on behalf of the employees in my office who are dedicated to serving the people of Illinois and upholding the ethics and open government laws,” said Attorney General Madigan.
 
In his award citation, Executive Ethics Commission Chair James Faught said, “We believe that the consistency and professionalism with which the Office has conducted its work, particularly in the area of ethics, makes a profound difference in the ethical climate in this State.”
 
Faught said that in 2009, Madigan’s office, working closely with the EEC, spearheaded an overhaul of the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act that raised ethical standards for State officers and employees and significantly increased transparency in State government. 
 
The new law resulting from the joint effort of the Attorney General’s Office and the EEC strengthens the state’s ethics standards and the ability to enforce those standards in several critical ways. Among many significant provisions, the new law:
 
·        Tightens the revolving door prohibition to prevent state officials and employees from using their government positions to lobby for new jobs with state contractors or businesses regulated by the government;
·        Adds transparency and accountability to the ethics law enforcement process by requiring public disclosure of Inspector General reports of misconduct;
·        Increases the penalties for violating the Ethics Act; and
·        Empowers Inspectors General to investigate misconduct in state hiring.
 
In 2009, Attorney General Madigan also led the successful effort to rewrite the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and enhance the enforcement of both FOIA and the Open Meetings Act (OMA). Madigan’s efforts, working with legislators, a coalition of open government advocates and the Illinois Reform Commission, resulted in a new law that closes loopholes in FOIA and makes it and OMA easier to enforce by codifying the position of Public Access Counselor within the Attorney General’s office to assist people seeking access to government documents and meetings.
 
The new law also requires government officials to receive training on compliance with FOIA and OMA. And it authorizes the Attorney General’s Office, through the Public Access Counselor, to issue binding opinions to resolve disputes over FOIA requests or Open Meetings Act issues. Prior to enacting the new law, members of the public who were denied access to public records or meetings had no recourse other than going to court. 
 
– 30 –
 
Executive Ethics Commission Photo Cutline from left:
 
Gil Soffer
Randal Thomas,
MaryNic U. Foster,
Maria Kuzas
Fr. Shawn Denney
Attorney General Lisa Madigan
Stephen John Thurston, Sr.
Ellen Craig
Chad Fornoff, Executive Director of the Ethics Commission
Jim Faught, Ethics Commission Chair

Vote on Health Care reform “A profile in courage”

Posted by Admin On March - 24 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS
      Statement by Jim Duffett, Executive Director,
Campaign for Better Health Care

 
Hardworking Americans will no longer be taken advantage by the insurance industry, and 31 million of our brothers and sisters will now begin to have access to affordable and accessible health care, due to the courageous vote that 216 members of Congress gave today.

Today’s vote by many members of Congress was a profile in courage.  Their vote today will go down in history, just as it did with the members of Congress who voted in 1935 for the enactment of Social Security, and in 1965 for the enactment of Medicare.  The American people will now enjoy the security and peace of mind that comes from knowing they and their families will be able to access affordable care when they need it.

The Campaign for Better Health Care applauds the vote in the U.S. Congress and wishes to thank all those members of Congress who stood by America’s hard working families, small businesses and providers. It is very disappointing that Congressman Lipinski, Congressman Roskam, Congressman Kirk , and Congresswoman Biggert voted against their constituents and instead sided with the powerful insurance industry.  Fortunately, the American people won today, despite the choice of these members of Congress to engage in political gamesmanship in Washington instead of fighting for their constituents.
 
We also applaud the leadership of Illinois’ U.S. Senators, Richard Durbin and Roland Burris, who stood their ground and fought for the hard working people and small businesses of Illinois.  U.S. Senator Durbin played an extra special role in making sure that the reform proposal passed the Senate.

President Obama signs health care bill into law

Posted by Admin On March - 24 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Giannoulias’ Statement on President Obama signing Historic legislation

CHICAGO, IL – Following the President’s enactment of the health care reform bill this morning, U.S. Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias released the following statement:

“With the stroke of his pen today, President Obama signed landmark legislation that will ensure that insurance companies can no longer use caps or pre-existing conditions to deny coverage to those who pay their premiums, gouge consumers, or ration care to those who offer the most profit. Small businesses will earn tax credits to provide health insurance for their employees, prescription drugs will be more affordable for seniors, and the federal deficit would be reduced over the next decade.

“Unfortunately, my opponent Mark Kirk has joined Republicans declaring he wants to lead the effort to repeal this bill and defeat President Obama’s efforts to move this nation forward. I will continue to be a fighter for the hardworking people of Illinois who deserve results, not political games or obstruction, from their leaders in Washington.”

D-Day on health care legislation; will it pass the test of reform?

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On March - 20 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

 By Juanita Bratcher 

 

After months of debate, health care legislation heads for the finish line. On the heels of the House vote, President Barack Obama said he was confident “History will be made” with this “historic vote.”

The upcoming vote on health care legislation expected this Sunday (March 21) in Congress is synonymous to that great game of competitive sports – the Super bowl. After months of debate, political ideology clashes, boisterous health care reform rallies, and infighting between lawmakers in both the Democratic and Republican Parties, it seems that America is in the final stretch of what has been an unnerving debate. Tempers flared, incendiary remarks were strewn about, and mean-spirited words lit up the poster boards and took on new meanings – polarizing and dividing the country.

While some speculate that the votes are not there for passage, others predict that health care legislation will pass, even though the numbers will be very close. And no Republican in the House or Senate is expected to vote for it. Republican leadership has tried to torpedo the legislation from Day-One. And in the final days, suggested that health reform talks go back to the drawing board and to start from square one even though legislation had earlier passed the House and Senate.

President Obama, speaking before thousands in Virginia’s Patriot Center, March 19th, declared:

“…At the heart of this debate is the question of whether we’re going to accept a system that works better for the insurance companies than it does for the American people — because if this vote fails, the insurance industry will continue to run amok.  They will continue to deny people coverage.  They will continue to deny people care.  They will continue to jack up premiums 40 or 50 or 60 percent as they have in the last few weeks without any accountability whatsoever.  They know this.  And that’s why their lobbyists are stalking the halls of Congress as we speak, and pouring millions of dollars into negative ads.  And that’s why they are doing everything they can to kill this bill.”

Those who keep a close eye on the political arena, and have become swept up into this political/ideology battle, are now poised, waiting for the outcome, the end result of a once seemingly unending fierce political battle. After the results are officially in, assessments will be made – of winners and losers – and will then move on to the next political episode…battle? There’s bound to be more. Believe it, there will be innumerable ones down the road. Why? Because there’s never a boring time in the political arena; it’s filled with exciting blurbs and innuendoes, and at times, can be very dramatic with lots of grandstanding.

From the outset, CopyLine Magazine has always been in favor of a public option in health care legislation. Unfortunately, public option didn’t make the cut. Nonetheless, health care legislation up for vote on Sunday is a very good start, though not perfect. Yet, if passed, 32 million uninsured will have accessibility to health care, those with pre-existing conditions will now get a fighting chance, without being dropped by their insurance companies, among other things. 

When all is said and done – which ever way the vote goes – whether it passes or fails – there is bound to be winners and losers. And in the aftermath, it will be an excellent time for assessment. Voters should take a closer look at those that represent them in the U.S. House and Senate. Did they like what they saw or heard from their representatives? Were elected officials’ actions more about politics (whether it would hurt their chance at re-election), or in the best interest of their constituents and that of the country?

If not, it’s time to throw the incumbent bums out and send some fresh talent to Washington; those with constructive, innovative voices that are worthy of our support and trust.

Senate approves Senator Durbin’s Fair Sentencing Act

Posted by Admin On March - 19 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

  Bipartisan Compromise Reduces Crack-Powder Sentencing Disparity to 18:1                        

                                                                                                                     

CHICAGO, IL – (UPDATE) A bipartisan bill to curtail the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine passed the United States Senate by unanimous consent last night. The Fair Sentencing Act, introduced by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), was amended by the Judiciary Committee and will reduce the current 100:1 sentencing disparity to 18:1.

“Drug use is a serious problem in America and we need tough legislation to combat it,” Durbin said. “But in addition to being tough, our drug laws must be smart and fair. Sadly our crack cocaine laws are not. I strongly support eliminating the crack-powder disparity and establishing the same sentences for crack and powder cocaine. But this is an issue that requires a bipartisan solution. Today’s historic agreement will make a significant difference in the lives of many while still keeping our drug laws tough.”

Under current law, possession of five grams of crack cocaine (roughly the weight of two sugar cubes) triggers a mandatory minimum five-year prison sentence, while trafficking 500 grams (approximately one pound) of powder cocaine triggers the same sentence. The so-called 100:1 ratio has been in place since 1986. The Fair Sentencing Act as introduced would have completely eliminated the disparity, treating crack and powder cocaine equally.

Durbin negotiated an agreement last week with Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to achieve a unanimous vote of 19-0 in the Judiciary committee.  The bipartisan compromise would establish an 18:1 ratio for crack-powder sentencing meaning 28 grams of crack would trigger the same mandatory minimum sentence as 500 grams of powder cocaine. 

The compromise significantly increases fines for drug traffickers and mandates that the U.S. Sentencing Commission significantly increase enhancements for a number of aggravating factors. This tough new language would apply to all drug offenses and not just those involving crack or powder cocaine.

The legislation will now be sent to the United States House of Representatives.

Senator Dick Durbin’s Floor Statement on the Fair Sentencing Act, as prepared for delivery

March 18, 2010

Mr. President, I rise to speak about the Fair Sentencing Act, bipartisan legislation which I understand has been cleared by both sides.  At the conclusion of my remarks, I will yield to Senator Sessions.  At the conclusion of his remarks, I will ask unanimous consent for the Senate to take up and pass this legislation.

The Fair Sentencing Act would reduce the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine and increase penalties for serious drug offenders.

Crack and powder cocaine have a devastating effect on families and our society, and tough anti-cocaine legislation is needed.

But the law also must be fair.  And current law is based on an unjustified distinction between crack and powder cocaine.  Simply possessing five grams of crack—the equivalent of five packets of sugar —carries the same sentence as selling 500 grams of powder cocaine – or 500 packets of sugar.  This is known as the 100-to-1 disparity. 

The crack-powder disparity disproportionately affects African Americans.  While African Americans are approximately 30 percent of crack users, they make up more than 80 percent of those convicted of federal crack offenses. 

Law enforcement experts say that the crack-powder disparity undermines trust in the criminal justice system, especially in minority communities.  In a hearing that I held last year, Asa Hutchinson, who was the head of Drug Enforcement Administration during the Bush Administration, testified that, quote, “Under the current disparity, the credibility of our entire drug enforcement system is weakened.”

The bipartisan U.S. Sentencing Commission and the Judicial Conference of the United States support reducing the crack-powder disparity.  According to the Sentencing Commission, this, quote, “would better reduce the gap [in sentencing between blacks and whites] than any other single policy change, and it would dramatically improve the fairness of the federal sentencing system.” 

The Fair Sentencing Act would reduce the current 100-to-1 disparity to 18-to-1.

The Fair Sentencing Act also would eliminate the 5-year mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine.  This is the only mandatory minimum for simple possession of a drug by a first-time offender.

Mr. President, there is a bipartisan consensus that current cocaine sentencing law is unjust, and now Democrats and Republicans have come together to address it in a bipartisan way.

Just last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported the Fair Sentencing Act by a unanimous 19-0 vote.  The bill is cosponsored by 16 of the 19 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

This is the first time that the Senate Judiciary Committee has ever reported a bill to reduce the crack-powder disparity.  And, if this bill is enacted into law, it will be the first time since 1970 – 40 years ago – that Congress has repealed a mandatory minimum sentence.

Here is what Attorney General Eric Holder said last week, quote: 

“The bill voted unanimously out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today makes progress toward achieving a more just sentencing policy while maintaining the necessary law enforcement tools to appropriately punish violent and dangerous drug traffickers. … I look forward to the Senate and the House approving this legislation quickly so that I can be signed into law.”

And the Fair Sentencing Act is supported by law enforcement groups, including the National District Attorneys Association, which represents 40,000 state and local prosecutors; the National Association of Police Organizations, which represents 240,000 law enforcement officers; and the International Union of Police Associations, which represents more than 100,000 law enforcement officers.

I want to thank my colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee for supporting the Fair Sentencing Act.  I especially want to thank the following members who have worked tirelessly for the last year to reach this bipartisan agreement:  Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy; Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions; and Senators Lindsey Graham, Tom Coburn, and Orrin Hatch.

Mr. President, we have talked about the need to address the crack-powder disparity for too long.  Every day that passes without taking action to solve this problem is another day that people are being sentenced under a law that everyone agrees is unjust.  

I wish that this bill went further, but it is a good bipartisan compromise.  If this bill is enacted into law, it will immediately ensure that every year thousands of people are treated more fairly in our criminal justice system.

I urge my colleagues to support the Fair Sentencing Act.

PADF: Eight weeks after deadly quake, Haitians are still suffering

Posted by Admin On March - 13 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

 PADF-OAS-HUFH urge support to rebuild lives

 

Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — Eight weeks after the catastrophic earthquake that killed more than 230,000 people in Haiti, the Pan American Development Foundation and its partners renewed their call for financial support so they can help Haitians rebuild their homes and take care of their families.

“March 12 marks the eight-week anniversary of the quake. More than a million Haitians are homeless and urgently need our help,” says Jimmy Jean-Louis, the actor and spokesperson for PADF’s disaster relief and recovery efforts. “Please call toll free (877) 572-4484 to contribute to the relief and recovery efforts.”

Jimmy Jean-Louis, who plays the “Haitian” on NBC’s hit series “Heroes,” is returning to his homeland on March 12 to participate in recovery efforts. It’s his second trip since the devastating 7.0 quake. Immediately after Jan. 12, he spent a week in Haiti distributing relief supplies and assisting families.

To date, more than 300,000 people received food, water, shelter, medicine and other supplies from PADF and its partners thanks to individual, corporate and multilateral donations.

Although providing relief will continue for a few months, PADF and its partners Hollywood Unites for Haiti (HUFH) and the Organization of American States (OAS) have initiated recovery and reconstruction in key areas of Port-au-Prince. With additional funding, it would like to expand to the Southeast province.

Among key activities that PADF-OAS-HUFH are undertaking in Haiti:

* Employment: Working with its network of community groups, 3,000 people are clearing rubble and cleaning streets in the capital. Haitians to earn money to support their families and help to rid the city of the debris that chokes a number of streets. It would like to expand the program to the communities in the Southeast province.

* Supplies: PADF continues to distribute relief as the crisis continues.

* House “tagging” & repair: Teams of structural engineers are being deployed to evaluate homes to determine if they are safe, need repair or should be demolished. Twenty thousand homes will be evaluated during three weeks. U.S. structural engineer and earthquake expert Kit Miyamoto and his team are training Haitian engineers to conduct the field work. For homes that need repair, PADF will provide guidelines and materials to make them safe.
“The goal is to move 70,000 people from these temporary camps into safe homes before the rainy season,” says John Sanbrailo, PADF’s executive director.

Individual and corporate donations to PADF-OAS-HUFH’s Haiti relief, recovery and reconstruction efforts are encouraged by calling toll-free in the U.S. (877) 572-4484 or visiting www.PanAmericanRelief.org. Text HEAL to 50555 in the U.S. to donate $5.
About HUFH
Hollywood Unites For Haiti is a non-profit charitable aid organization based in Los Angeles that that is lead by Jimmy Jean-Louis. www.hufh.org

About the OAS
The Organization of American States (OAS) is the world’s oldest regional organization and today is comprised of 34 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean. www.oas.org

About PADF
PADF is a non-profit organization established in 1962 to promote, facilitate, and implement social and economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the past year, it had more than 5.6 million beneficiaries in 18 countries.

PADF is one of the largest non-governmental organizations in Haiti. With nearly three decades of work on the ground, PADF now manages a large portfolio of activities ranging from community-driven development to protecting human rights.

Its headquarters is in Washington, D.C., and has field offices in Haiti, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and elsewhere. www.padf.org

Better Business Bureau: Complaints to BBB up nearly 10 percent in 2009

Posted by Admin On March - 9 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS
 Cell phone industry, cable/satellite TV and banks top the list for most complaints filed with BBB

 

Chicago, IL – According to an annual report released by the Better Business Bureau, consumer complaints to the organization increased by 9.7 percent in 2009. Not only did BBB receive nearly 1 million complaints filed by disgruntled customers last year, consumers turned to the non-profit more than 65 million times for help researching businesses across North America. 

“Amidst the housing crisis, high unemployment rate and the chaos on Wall Street, the last year has not been easy on consumers and the increase in complaints to BBB reflect this troubled economy,” said Steve J. Bernas, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Now more than ever, struggling families should rely on BBB to find businesses they can trust and to help their voice be heard in the marketplace.”

 

The cell phone industry received the largest number of complaints in 2009 with 37,477, a 2.1 percent increase over last year. The cable & satellite TV industry ranked second with 32,616 complaints, an 8.7 percent increase over the previous year. Rounding out the top three, banks received 29,920 complaints, a 42.3 percent increase over the previous year.

 

While cell phone and the cable & satellite TV industries along with banks received a high volume of complaints, two of the three industries saw improvements in their resolution rates over the previous year. Cell phone companies resolved 97.4 percent of complaints; the cable & satellite TV industry resolved 97.2 percent. The resolution rate by banks declined slightly to 95.2 percent.

 

The report also reveals that BBB Reliability Reports-which are available online for free at www.bbb.org and contain information on a business’s accreditation status, letter-grade rating and complaint history-are increasingly popular as a free tool for consumers to research the trustworthiness of businesses.  The nearly 4 million BBB Reliability Reports® on businesses across North America were viewed more than 65 million times in 2009. The most popular industries researched through BBB were roofing contractors, general contractors and mortgage brokers.

Following are the top 10 industries by volume of consumer complaints filed across North America with BBB in 2009:

 

Industry

Total Complaints

Rank by number of complaints1

Percentage Change over 2008

Percentage of Resolved Complaints 2

Cellular Phones Service & Equipment

37,477

1

2.1%

97.4%

Television – Cable, CATV & Satellite

32,616

2

8.7%

97.2%

Banks

29,920

3

42.3%

95.2%

Auto Dealers-New Cars

26,888

4

-2.4%

84.1%

Internet Shopping

21,494

5

9.4%

71.7%

Collection Agencies

15,797

6

-3.3%

86.6%

Auto Dealers – Used Cars

13,686

7

2.5%

70.8%

Telephone Companies

13,470

8

11.2%

96.1%

Furniture – Retail

13,158

9

-2.9%

78.3%

Auto Repair & Service

12,736

10

9.5%

65.9%

1 Complaint rank is out of 3,947 industries categories

2 Average resolution rate across all industries for 2009 was 76.2 percent 

For a complete industry breakdown of all complaints filed with the BBB in 2009, and previous years, go to www.bbb.org/statistics

Giannoulias Releases Statement on Latest Unemployment Figures

Posted by Admin On March - 6 - 2010 1 COMMENT

Accuses Congressman Mark Kirk of Continued Obstruction on Illinois’ Economic Recovery

CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias released the following statement in response to the unemployment figures released today and to Republican Congressman Mark Kirk’s continued opposition to economic recovery efforts, which include his vote yesterday against the HIRE act, a jobs bill that passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support:

“Today’s unemployment numbers provided another sign that the economic recession has hit bottom, but that a strong recovery remains elusive.  Nearly every economist agrees that now is not the time to halt efforts to stimulate the economy.  After the small jobs bill passed the House yesterday, the Senate should immediately get back to work and pass an extension of unemployment insurance that will help thousands of Illinois families and more tax breaks for small businesses that start hiring again.

“I urge Mark Kirk to stop standing in the way of sensible, targeted efforts to promote an economic recovery and get Americans back to work. Unfortunately, we should not be surprised at his opposition, as Mark Kirk has said that unemployment isn’t a big issue. He voted against the HIRE Act that passed the House yesterday with bipartisan support, and against the Recovery Act that has created or saved more than one million jobs.  The only constituency that received a stimulus from Mark Kirk is the Wall Street corporations that landed a $700 billion bailout with no strings attached.”

YMCA Partners with Chicago Bulls to Fight Childhood Obesity

Posted by Admin On March - 6 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago, IL – The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago recently announced a partnership with the Chicago Bulls to combat childhood obesity and create EnergizaBulls Fitness Learning Centers in YMCA community schools.

On Wednesday, March 3, Mayor Daley, CPS president Ron Huberman, Alderman Walter Burnett, and YMCA president Richard H. Malone joined Bulls players Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Jannero Pargo and James Johnson to officially unveil the first of 25 EnergizaBulls Fitness Centers. The new fitness center is located at the Morton School of Excellence, a YMCA Community School, on the city’s west side.

The collaboration between the YMCA and the Bulls began in 2009 when the Bulls charity organization, CharitaBulls, was awarded approximately $1.475 million from the U.S. Department of Education to help enhance physical education programs within Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

“Childhood obesity has increased 60 percent in the last 10 years; diabetes has become a significant concern; and even high cholesterol is affecting children. Issues that we used to associate with adults are now affecting children. These statistics are sounding an alarm to us,” said Richard H. Malone, president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago.

The EnergizaBulls Fitness Centers are permanent, sustainable wellness health centers located within the school’s building. Each fitness center will include cardiovascular machines such as bikes, elliptical, HOPSports, and exergaming equipment. The goal of the fitness centers is to help children develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to adopt and maintain a physically active and healthy lifestyle.

Through this collaboration, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago developed programs that get children moving in a fun and interactive way. Additionally, the YMCA will track student’s daily activity, monitor their progress and help them reach the recommended level of activity.

The YMCA is committed to help students make healthier lifestyle decisions and address the national childhood obesity epidemic. It was recently reported that Illinois has the fourth highest rate of childhood obesity in the nation.

Five other Chicago Public Schools chosen to receive fitness centers this year include Ryerson Community School, Lawrence Elementary School, Oglesby Elementary School, Orozco Community Academy and Whistler Elementary School.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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