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The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, a division of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency; ...
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Six Passport Party participants, aged 11-15, will then take first-ever trip abroad, sponsored by Expedia.com ...
During a speech at Texas Southern University in Houston, Hillary Clinton called for expanding ...
From: The TIF Illumination Project A review of the 2014 annual reports of the City’s ...

Archive for April 1st, 2011

Topinka applauds Senate passage of Fiscal Office Consolidation

Posted by Admin On April - 1 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Combining offices would save an estimated $12 million annually

 

Springfield, IL – Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka on Thursday released the following statement in response to Senate passage of legislation to consolidate the offices of Comptroller and Treasurer. Sponsored by Sen. Kwame Raoul, the bill was approved by a vote of 55-0.

“Members of the Senate did the right thing for Illinois and its taxpayers today by voting to consolidate the state’s fiscal offices, and I appreciate Senator Raoul’s work to move the bill forward. Consolidation of the offices of Comptroller and Treasurer will improve efficiency, save on personnel and office costs, and deliver the long-term benefit of more timely state investments. In all, it will save the state an estimated $12 million annually without sacrificing services, and there is absolutely no reason for further delay.”

“Quite simply, Illinois’ precarious fiscal condition will not improve until government stops spending more than it takes in. There is no tax increase or borrowing plan that can dig us out of this – it all comes back to spending. Difficult decisions must be made, but Consolidation is an easy one.  It is time to get it done.”

 

 

Black historian/Author Donald Tucker releases book detailing life as a Civil Rights-Era Secret Service Agent

Posted by Admin On April - 1 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

New Release is First-Hand Account of Major Landmarks in US History through the Eyes of one of the First Black Federal Narcotics and Secret Service Agent


Bookcover

Scottsdale, AZ (BlackNews.com) — In his new book entitled The Two-Edged Sword, Scottsdale-based black author and historian Donald Tucker recounts his personal experiences of major historical landmarks – detailing his life as one of the first African-American Secret Service Agents in the United States. This gritty, first-hand account tells what it was like to be black and work as an undercover agent for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the DEA) and U.S. Secret Service during the civil rights movement and beyond. Tucker rose through the ranks to become one of this country’s foremost Federal Law Enforcement Administrators and reformers and protected every U.S. President from Lyndon Johnson to George H.W. Bush.

The Two-Edged Sword tells Tucker’s story starting with growing up on the Southside of Chicago to his work as an undercover agent for the Chicago Federal Bureau of Narcotics and the discrimination he faced.

When a young black student by the name of James Meredith attempted to pursue a college education, Tucker was there. Tucker was summarily removed from his Military Police Unit, along with other black soldiers, segregated and prohibited from providing protection for James Meredith during Meredith’s attempt to enroll at the University of Mississippi.

Racism was rampant despite Tucker’s high-ranking role at the federal government level. During an undercover assignment, Tucker was pulled into a police car by local police officers who didn’t know he was an undercover agent. A white police officer proceeded to unleash a racial tirade against Tucker that even threatened his death. True tales like these underscore the reality of race relations in that turbulent time.

For the first time ever, these stories are being told by a vocal proponent of civil rights spares no punches in revealing candidly the good, the bad and the ugly of growing up in the ‘hood and being one of the first black federal drug and law enforcement agents.

Tucker grew up in a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in Chicago with five children and four adults. He attended the University of Iowa on a football scholarship and received a BA degree in Sociology. He retired from the Secret Service in 1990, after a career of almost 25 years and was sworn in as a U.S. Marshal for the District of Arizona. He was named Chief of Court Security for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts in Washington, D.C., in 1994, overseeing a $150 million security budget. He also coordinated the investigation of the bombing of the Federal Courthouse in Oklahoma City, Okla. He retired in March 1996 and started his own private investigations company, T.I.P.S.-Tucker Investigations and Protective Services.

Donald Tucker is an expert in black history as well as police and government affairs focusing on drug trafficking and laws. He is available as a source for media to provide perspective on the drug trade and law enforcement.

For further information, please contact Don Tucker at 480-205-7686.

The Two-Edged Sword is available at Amazon, Ingram, Barnes & Noble, Changing Hands Bookstore, Amazon.com, on Kindle and B & N Nook e-readers as well as in other fine bookstores everywhere.

Registration is now open for Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration

Posted by Admin On April - 1 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

verizon_how_sweet_the_soundPowerful Community Program Returning to Delight Gospel Fans

The Compton-based Voices of Destiny perform at the 2010 Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound finale

 

Basking Ridge, NJ (BlackNews.com) — Registration is now open for the 2011 Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration, the country’s most prestigious gospel music experience. Interested choir representatives can visit www.HowSweetTheSound.com until Friday, April 15, to sign up to be part of the How Sweet the Sound community. By registering, choirs will have the chance to rejoice in song and praise; sing in front of gospel greats and fans; and win up to $50,000. Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration pays tribute to gospel music and provides choirs a platform to showcase their talent.

Regional events will take place in the following cities this year:   

* Chicago

* St. Louis

* Detroit

* Washington, D.C.

* Dallas

* Charlotte, N.C.

* Atlanta

* Los Angeles

* Oakland, Calif. “How Sweet the Sound is really about building a partnership between Verizon and the community,” said Marquett Smith, vice president of corporate communications and community relations, Verizon Wireless. “We are committed to investing in meaningful programs that empower individuals and the community.” Last year, the Compton-based choir, Voices of Destiny, won the How Sweet the Sound grand prize, receiving over $40,000 and the opportunity to perform at the 2011 Stellar Awards and Super Bowl Gospel Celebration. The choir is building a youth center with the prize money. “Winning Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration has been such a blessing,” said Voices of Destiny choir director Pastor Michael Fisher. “Verizon has given us an opportunity to show the world that Compton is filled with young people working for positive change in their lives and those around them.” Entry and Selection Process

Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration invites faith-based choirs within one of the nine tour regions to enter (visit www.HowSweetTheSound.com for specific geography). Choirs interested in a chance to perform on stage must submit an application and audition video. All registration forms and audition videos must be received by April 15, 2011. The audition video may be submitted by mail, uploaded online or dropped off at participating Verizon Wireless Communications Stores. To enter by mail, choirs should send submissions to Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration, 125 E. Broad Street, Greenville, SC 29601.
Both small and large choirs are eligible to enter the competition. The “Small/Medium Category” is for choirs consisting of six to 35 performers, while the “Large Category” is for choirs with 36 to 100 performers.
After April 15, 2011, a panel of independent judges, selected by Verizon in its sole discretion, will review the eligible Round 1 Videos submitted and, based on the Judging Criteria, score and select four (4) choirs from the Small/Medium Category and four (4) Choirs from the Large Category in each Region (for a total of eight (8) choirs per region) to advance to Round 2 of the contest. Regional Finalists selected by the Judges to advance to the second round of the Contest will be required to submit an essay and video response answering the question “How is your ministry advancing the community?” The videos will be posted on HowSweetTheSound.com where members of the community can vote for their favorite choirs. Online voting results will be taken into consideration to determine the V CAST People’s Choice Award Winner at each regional event and the grand finale.
Up to eight choirs will then be selected to perform onstage at the regional event and two winners, one from the Small/Medium and one from the Large Category, will win $10,000. One overall winner will be selected at each regional concert, and each choir member from the overall winning choir will receive a Verizon Wireless phone and a $50 gift card and advance to the grand finale where they will compete to win more than $25,000 in cash and prizes.
 
The V CAST People’s Choice Award will be awarded to the choir that captures the heart of online voters as well as the audience at each regional concert and at the grand finale. The V CAST People’s Choice Award winners will receive $5,000 at each regional event and at the grand finale.

Why the Wal-Mart Case is so important to women, minorities

Posted by Admin On April - 1 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

(From New America Media)

 

Question & Answer

 

By Irma Herrera

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments March 29 in the biggest sex-discrimination case in history: Dukes v. Wal-Mart. Many pro-worker advocates are worried that the court—which has made a number of extremely conservative rulings in recent years—will decimate the ability of ordinary people to join together in class actions to sue large, well-financed companies that engage in wrongdoing and discriminate against women and minorities.

To understand more about the case, Nina Martin spoke with NAM contributor Irma Herrera, a civil rights attorney who spent almost 15 years as executive director of Equal Rights Advocates http://www.equalrights.org/, one of the main law firms in the case.

What is this case about?

This is a sex-discrimination case http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-03-19/business/ct-biz-0320-court-walmart-20110319_1_walmarts-wal-mart-stores-job-bias brought by six California women on behalf of female employees at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores across the country. The lead plaintiff, Betty Dukes, started working at the company in 1994 and still works at a Wal-Mart store in the town of Pittsburg, outside San Francisco.

The women’s claims are that: 1) they get paid less than men for doing the same jobs, and 2) the company denies them promotional opportunities even when they are better qualified and have more years of service than male co-workers. One of the things women told us repeatedly is they would train men who started working at Wal-Mart way after they did, and these men would become their supervisors. The women would think, “Wow, how unfair is that.”

Wal-Mart is a company that prides itself on promoting from within. But the women we surveyed reported innumerable obstacles when they tried to move into managerial positions, as well as discrepancies in pay that got wider and wider. At the management trainee level, women earned an average of $22,400, versus $23,200 for men. At the store manager level, it was $89,000 versus $105,000. By the time they reached the regional vice president level, women were earning $279,772, while men were averaging $419,000.

It is neither right nor fair that the nation’s largest employer can get away with widespread discrimination against women who are the backbone of the business, both as workers and as the primary consumers who shop there.

The issue before the Supreme Court is whether the lawsuit should be allowed to continue as a class action. Why is this issue so important, in the Wal-Mart case and beyond?

In many instances, problems in a workplace are so widespread that it is not feasible for individuals to bring separate lawsuits. Some situations call for systemic change. Wal-Mart is the largest private employer in the world. It is not a good use of court resources for thousands of separate suits to be brought by women who may have been shortchanged $2,000 a year, not to mention that an individual in that situation would never be able to find a lawyer to represent her. The injustice and violation of law would then persist year in and year out.

But when you bring together the interests of many people into one case—a class action— you’re talking about the possibility of real change, because restitution or back pay is so significant.

In order to be certified as a class, the plaintiffs had to show that Wal-Mart’s practices were widespread and affected large numbers of women. To do this, the legal team gathered evidence from many, many women around the U.S. In 2004, the federal court in San Francisco allowed the suit to proceed on behalf of more than 1 million current and former Wal-Mart employees. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the class certification three times.

This is a case that seems especially important in the current economic climate— people are desperate for work, unions are under siege, and companies have more leverage than ever, especially in nonunion industries or states.

It’s true these are very challenging times for all workers, but especially true of low-wage workers. It used to be that many employees had unions, which collectively could demand fair wages and better treatment of workers. But there are no unions at Wal-Mart, and there, as at most other companies today, employees are on their own.

Wal-Mart started out in a small town in the South, and I think that many of its policies and practices are rooted in its origins. Historically, Wal-Mart’s senior managers embraced the notion that women are not the primary breadwinners. When some of our clients asked why John Doe was paid more than she was, it was not uncommon for her to be told, “Because he has a family to support”—even when the worker was herself the sole breadwinner in her family A number of key people also held the view that women weren’t interested in advancing to management, they were perfectly content to remain in entry-level jobs.

Wal-Mart is an enormously powerful institution. In my hometown of Alice, Texas, for example, many small employers that used to sell office supplies, groceries and housewares don’t exist anymore because of the Wal-Mart effect. Wal-Mart undercuts other businesses because of its sheer size and power in the marketplace. If you’re a small pharmacy in a town of 18,000 people, you cannot compete. That also ends up having an impact on the wages of workers.

Why is this case so important for people of color?

In the current lawsuit, there’s no focus on women of color per se. But this case is important to all low-wage workers, who are disproportionately women of color, because these are the kinds of jobs that women can get without a college education.

Women of color, such as Betty Dukes, often find themselves in a situation when they don’t know if the obstacles they are facing are a result of race or gender. And sometimes it’s because of both.

What is Wal-Mart’s argument against allowing the class action to proceed?

Wal-Mart’s main contention is that women workers across 3,400 stores and 170 different job classifications cannot possibly have enough in common to be treated as a class.
But as an interesting aside, Wal-Mart was a lead plaintiff in an antitrust class action brought on behalf of 8 million merchants, suing Visa and MasterCard. In that instance size wasn’t an obstacle to proceeding as a class action.

We don’t know how the Supreme Court will rule. But if the justices say, “No, you can’t have this class as certified below,” it doesn’t means the whole case goes away. The lawyers for the women will continue to fight.

Do you think much has changed in Wal-Mart since the suit was filed in 2001?

One positive effect of litigation is that most defendants immediately begin addressing the problems that are at the root of the lawsuit. Wal-Mart did begin changing some of its practices after the case was filed. It created a promotion system whereby employees can learn about management openings, instead of waiting for a tap on the shoulder from their boss. It created a diversity office and tied compensation for senior managers to meeting diversity goals. It created a global women’s leadership council. And it restructured its overall compensation system, which hopefully has addressed some of the disparities that exist.

We know these things because they are reported in the press. The information collected in the course of the lawsuit itself is now several years old. After the Supreme Court ruling, which is expected in June, the case will go back to the lower courts, there will be more discovery, and we’ll get an accurate picture of how much Wal-Mart has actually changed. Maybe Wal-Mart has gotten better. If so, that’s great. That’s what this lawsuit is all about.

Meanwhile, though, this case has dragged on for nearly 10 years without even getting to the real issues. Despite complaints by big business about too much litigation, not many of these types of cases are actually filed because they take years to resolve, they’re expensive, and the power of the workers, even collectively, is minuscule compared to the power and strength of a big corporation.

Betty Dukes has often said, “We just want our day in court.” The plaintiffs deserve the chance to be heard.

Jesse White Unveils New Organ and Tissue Donation Campaign Featuring 13-year-old Heart Recipient and Brittney Payton

Posted by Admin On April - 1 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

White Kicks Off Donate Life! Month at Children’s Memorial Hospital

 

 Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White will announce Illinois’ Donate Life! Month campaign April 4th at the Children’s Memorial Hospital, 2300 Children’s Plaza (Fullerton Pkwy. At Lincoln Ave.), in the Siragusa Lobby at 10 a.m…

 White will unveil the Secretary of State’s new organ and tissue donation commercial, highlighting 13-year-old heart recipient Mikahla Thornton and Brittney Payton, daughter of Chicago Bears great Walter Payton whose efforts had a dramatic impact on donation.

Mikahla, Payton, 8-year-old liver recipient Noelle Krockey, doctors from Children’s Memorial, and members of Donate Life! Illinois will be in attendance.

April is National Donate Life! Month. Organizations will be working together to promote organ and tissue donor awareness. Nationally, more than 110,000 people are currently waiting for organ and tissue donations. In Illinois, more than 5.6 million people have signed up for the registry.

Newark Anti-Violence Coalition Organizer Bashir Akinyele to make guest appearance on Rutgers Radio Show tonight (April 1st), 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Posted by Admin On April - 1 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

Newark, NJ (BlackNews.com) — Bashir Akinyele, member and press officer of the Newark Anti-Violence Coalition, will be the first guest of Rutgers University’s new live internet radio show called “All Politics Are Local”. He will be discussing and taking calls with the host Ed Riliey on the pandemic disease of violence plaguing the African American and Latino American community and the upcoming anti-violence town hall meeting in Irvington, NJ hosted by Newark Anti-Violence Coalition (NAVC), but moderated by Kiss F.M.’s Open line talk show host brother James Mtume.

The Irvington town hall meeting will have special guest appearances by the Honorable Wayne Smith of Irvington, NJ, Newark Anti-Violence Coalition / Nation of Islam Member Lamont Muhammad, UMDNJ’s Violence Institute Program Analyst Jack Ferrell, National/International Hip Hop and Anti-Violence Activist Jah Jah Shakur, and Dr. Malik Zulu Shabazz-Executive Director of Black Lawyers for Justice / National Chairman of the New Black Panther Party.

The main body of the program will be a panel discussion on the topic of Black on Black: Are we on the Verge of self-genocide (self-destruction)! The panelist will be made up of the following community leaders: Newark Anti-Violence Coalition Member / Irvington, NJ District Leader Al-Tariq Ibn Shabazz, Newark Anti-Violence Coalition Member / Irvington, NJ Chairwoman of the NAACP Chapter Kathleen Witcher, Newark Anti-Violence Coalition Member / Senior Pastor of New Psalmist Worship Center Rev Bryant Ali, Newark Anti-Violence Coalition / New Black Panther Party Member – Sharif Amenhotep, and Newark Anti-Violence Coalition / BLOODS Member – Lamont “True V” Vaugh!

The anti-violence town hall meeting will discuss, analyze, and offer solutions to the pandemic disease of Black and Brown self-genocide (self-destruction) plaguing the township of Irvington, NJ and in Black and Brown America.

Dawn Hayes, a member and organizer of Newark Anti-Violence Coalition says, “The Irvington Town Hall meeting will give our community the opportunity to understand that the violence that is plaguing Black and Brown communities around the world reflects deeper and neglected underlining issues such as poverty, drugs, the crisis in the family, the high incarceration rates of Black men and Women, joblessness, colonialism, White supremacy, Black and Brown self-hatred, and the counter intelligence program (COINTELPRO).”

The anti-violence town hall meeting will discuss, analyze, and offer solutions to the pandemic disease of self-genocide (self-destruction) plaguing the township of Irvington, NJ and in Black and Brown America.
Rutgers web site: www.wrnu.info
Rutgers call-in number: (973) 353-5746
WHO: Newark Anti-Violence Coalition member Bashir Akinyele and Ed Riliey – the Host of Rutgers radio show “All Politics Are Local”

WHEN: Friday, April 1st, 2011 at 6:30-8::00 p.m.

WHERE: Internet Radio show on Newark’s Rutgers Campus

WHY: Discuss analyze, and offer solutions to the pandemic disease of Black and Brown self-genocide (self-destruction) plaguing the Township of Irvington, NJ and, Black and Brown America!
About The Newark Anti-Violence Coalition:
The Newark Anti-Violence Coalition is a community-based organization composed of many community leaders, community organizations, and concerned citizens committed to stopping the pandemic disease of violence plaguing African American and Latino American communities in the city of Newark, NJ and throughout the tri-state area. They tirelessly organize and challenge the people, the block, the streets, the schools, the clergy, and elected officials one mind at a time to fight violence of any kind. Their motto is “Stop the Shooting! Stop the Killing! Stop the Violence! Black Power! All Power to the People!”

Visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Newark-Anti-Violence-Coaltion/187817488230

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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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