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Archive for May 21st, 2010

Rep. Schakowsky responds to Rand Paul’s remarks suggesting the Civil Rights Act exemplifies government overreach

Posted by Admin On May - 21 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) issued the following statement in response to remarks by Kentucky’s Republican Senate nominee, Rand Paul, who has repeatedly questioned the merits of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that bars discrimination.

“Rand Paul, Republican nominee for Senator in Kentucky , has startled the nation with his repudiation of hard won civil rights laws that have been central to the moral fabric of our democracy for half a century.  Those of us old enough to remember the images of lunch counters refusing to serve African-American diners are shocked that any 21st century politician would even whisper let alone endorse a return to those days.

“Rand Paul is a proud Tea Party candidate who wants to represent the people of Kentucky and our nation as a whole as a United States Senator, yet he has a perspective that could not be further from the mainstream views of thoughtful, fair-minded Americans. It has become clear that Paul’s philosophy: “Let’s take our country back,” translates into, “Let’s take our country backward.”

State’s Attorney shares stage with retired Supreme Court Justice

Posted by Admin On May - 21 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

anita alvarez and sandra dayCook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez greets retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor at a legal luncheon in Chicago for the Chicago Bar Association.  Alvarez, who is the President of the CBA, introduced Justice O’Connor, who was the keynote speaker for the event.

State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez: Protect yourself from Identity Theft

Posted by Admin On May - 21 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

 

A message from Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez

 

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America — the Federal Trade Commission estimates that nearly 9 million people become victims of identity thieves every year.  Having your personal identification stolen can cost you financially, tarnish your credit record and take up months, if not years, to clear up.

There are several ways identity thieves gain access to your personal information:

  • “Dumpster diving” – rummaging through your trash looking for personal information on discarded mail and old personal records
  • Stealing mail from your mailbox
  • “Phishing” – obtaining information over the internet through legitimate looking emails, websites and pop-up advertisements
  • Pick-pocketing your wallet
  • Obtaining your information from employees/insiders at banks, hospitals, schools and/or places of employment

You need to be vigilant about safeguarding your personal information.  While you cannot completely prevent someone from stealing your personal information, there are ways to greatly reduce your chances of becoming a victim:

  • Don’t give it out your social security number unless absolutely necessary and never print it on your checks.  Don’t carry your social security card with you – keep it in a safe place.
  • Empty your mailbox every day.
  • Review credit card and telephone bills as soon as you receive them.  Call immediately if you see discrepancies, unauthorized or unexplained charges.
  • Never give out personal information, including credit card or bank account numbers over the phone, email or internet unless you initiated the contact with the company.
  • Shred any documents you are discarding that contain any personal information.
  • Don’t carry unnecessary credit cards or other personal documents (passport, birth certificate) with you unless absolutely necessary.

You should also monitor your credit reports.  You are entitled to one free report from each of the three credit reporting agencies every year.  For information on how to request credit reports go to www.annualcreditreport.com. 

For more information on identity theft, visit my office website, www.statesattorney.org .

Consistently safeguarding your personal information can make an identity thief’s job more difficult, and keep your financial reputation in your own hands.

Berrios unveils Cook County Homeowners’ Plan

Posted by Admin On May - 21 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

  

CHICAGO, IL – Cook County Assessor candidate Joseph Berrios unveiled a four-point plan for homeowners on his newly launched website www.electjoeberrios.com. The Berrios Plan will generate more money for Cook County, provide homeowners with fair assessments at market value, add new technology to make assessments more accurate, and improve customer service. It will also call for a blue-ribbon committee to reconvene so that it can review an existing ordinance that is causing homeowners undue hardships.  

One way Berrios plans to improve the Assessor’s office is by working hand-in-hand with township assessors. It was reported late Tuesday that in Evanston more than 1,500 building permits weren’t reported to Cook County over a three-year period, leaving Evanston officials trying to figure out how much tax revenue was lost as a result.

 “This is completely unfair to the rest of the homeowners who have to make up for the remaining share,” Berrios said.

The Evanston Township assessor and the city’s building department share responsibility for getting the permits to the county, officials said.

“Building permits are the main way the Cook County Assessor’s office knows whether it should inspect a property to evaluate whether it has increased in value,” Berrios said. The failure to move forward those permits means the property has been undervalued and that other residential property owners are paying more than their fair share. Most of the under-reported permits happened under the watch of former Evanston Township Assessor, and current Republican candidate for Cook County Assessor, Sharon Eckersall.

Eckersall claimed the township’s permit department wouldn’t turn over permits, but it was her job to make sure that happened, Berrios said.

“Candidate Eckersall can pass the blame around all she wants, but the responsibility ultimately lies at her feet,” Berrios said.

The Berrios plan announced on Thursday will also:

  • Thoroughly examine the ‘Claypool 10/25 Ordinance’ 

It was promised by the current Assessor that this ordinance would bring transparency and simplicity to the property tax system. Instead, it has resulted in an unfair and confusing methodology that has caused undue hardship on homeowners. Berrios will ensure that the ordinance is studied thoroughly by a blue-ribbon panel to assess viability and determine necessary changes. This study will include a “consequences” section so that the Cook County Board of Commissioners understands the potential effect of the ordinance and any revisions.

  • Use new technology to make land assessments more accurate

Cook County is losing millions upon millions of dollars because some properties are assessed as vacant land, yet there are homes being built on some of these properties. Through the use of a new computerized system, we will be able to review every parcel using aerial photographs. These pictures could be compared to assessment records and used to verify vacant land parcels. As Assessor, Berrios will also improve human communication between my office and township assessors, as well as the City of Chicago, to make sure that building permits are submitted to my office in a timely fashion. This will help ensure that assessments are accurate and filed promptly.

  • Fairly assess properties at market value

Homeowners are being unfairly hit with tremendous fair market value increases by the current Assessor during the most serious economic decline in decades. Transparency is key to understanding your assessment notice. Berrios will make sure that properties are fairly assessed and that assessment notices are easy to understand.

  • Improve customer service

This will happen in a variety of manners. 

“As a customer, you will be treated with the respect you deserve,” Berrios said. “I will make sure that phones are answered promptly, messages are returned, and that the office is open on several Saturdays each year during tax calendar crunch time.” This will allow working families to visit the office without having to take time off from their jobs.

 Berrios says he will also keep suburban offices open so homeowners don’t have to travel downtown.  

Finally, Berrios says he will rely on staff more effectively than any previous assessor. Homeowner counselors will be available to help serve you on a one-on-one basis so that you, as a property owner, understand your rights, your benefits, your taxes and your options.”

Berrios has been a commissioner on the Board of Review since 1988. Prior to being elected five times to that post, he served three terms as an Illinois state representative. He is chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party and Committeeman of the 31st Ward. Berrios was the first Hispanic elected chairman of the party, a commissioner to the Board of Review and to the Illinois General Assembly.”

WNBA All-Star Catchings joins Beyond Sport

Posted by Admin On May - 21 - 2010 1 COMMENT

 

Tamika Catchings, six-time WNBA All-Star, two-time Olympic gold medallist and President of the WNBA Players’ Association, has become the latest high-profile sport star to become an Ambassador to Beyond Sport.

In her new Beyond Sport role, Tamika will help to spread the word about the global initiative and its mission to promote, develop, and fund the use of sport to create positive social change across the world. 

In addition, Tamika will offer her input during the final judging process for the Beyond Sport Awards which provides funding and business support worth $1 million annually to projects across the world that use sport to address issues within their communities.

Tamika’s appointment as an Ambassador also represents a substantial show of support in Beyond Sport’s mission and associated values by the Women’s National Basketball Association, the most successful women’s sports league in the world.

Speaking about her new role, Tamika said: “I am delighted to become an Ambassador for an initiative that looks to show how sport can make a tangible difference to the lives of disadvantaged individuals all across the world. I cannot wait to get started and help Beyond Sport spread the word about the impact sport can have on the poorest and most socially excluded communities.”

As well as her on-the-court exploits, Tamika has also led from the front in terms of her commitment to social development.

She was born with a hearing disability as a young girl and, drawing from her first-hand experiences, she was moved to set up the Catch the Stars Foundation which helps disadvantaged youth achieve their dreams. In 2008, Tamika was awarded the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award for her work in the Indianapolis community with her foundation.

She joins 22 other Ambassadors, all who bring unique experiences and visions to the Beyond Sport initiative, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair; the multi-Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson; Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of London 2012; HRH Prince Faisal Al Hussein of Jordan; and two-time Women’s World Cup winner and former president of the Women’s Sport Foundation, Julie Foudy.

Beyond Sport is partnered with Barclays Spaces for Sports, United Airlines, TIME International and UNICEF.

For further information visit www.beyondsport.org or contact

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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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