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Archive for April 4th, 2011

Martin Luther King, III challenges Americans to unite and fight for worker’s rights

Posted by Admin On April - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

“Stop making my father an idol, rather embrace his ideals”

 

 

By Chinta Strausberg

 

Reflecting on the 43rd anniversary of his father’s assassination, Martin Luther King, III, the son of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Sunday urged followers to unite in the battle to save collective bargaining rights of workers across this nation,  but he also challenged them to stop making his father an idol but rather embrace and teach others his ideals.

 

On Monday, King will join labor leaders in Atlanta “because workers are being attacked. The right of collective bargaining is being attacked by misguided leadership that believes they have the interests of people in mind but are yet creating an additional burden.“

 

Referring to his father who was killed while standing on the Lorraine Motel balcony in Memphis, TN, King said his father was there to support the sanitation workers.

 

 He said his father was in Memphis in support of the black striking sanitation workers. “Those men were also members of American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union.

 

“It is in order that tomorrow the nation will be organize around stating we’re going to continue to work to protect the notion of collective bargaining and to stand up for the rights of workers across America,” he stated.

 

King said his father was a “man of action” and would want his supporters to be engaged in social action on Monday. He reflected on this past January saying it was the 25th anniversary of the federal Dr. King holiday.  “We started in January with the observance of the holiday. Tomorrow is the observance of the assassination, and on August 28th, we will dedicate the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial in our nation’s capitol.”

 

Referring to the site where his father’s memorial will be erected, King said, “in between presidents and war memorials now will exist a memorial for a man of peace,” he told a cheering crowd.

 

King said this monument may “help to create some severe change. We talk change, but we really don’t always create change.”

 

In talking about what has transpired over the past 25-years and why it is important to continue to embrace the message of his father, King said it is critical that his father’s supporters to continue and embrace Dr. King’s message.

 

In remembering his father, King said he was a Christian minister who “fervently believes he was doing only the work that God wanted him to do.

 

For the last 25-years, King said, “We’ve witnessed the triumph of the digital revolution with the Internet…transforming access to limitless information. We’ve gone from the novelty of bulky desk top computers to the eloquent of light weight note pads, iPads….”

 

King said, “We’ve witnessed progress in man’s un-relentless march towards freedom. We’ve seen the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe and the rise of black majority rule in South Africa. We’ve gone from the election of President Ronald Reagan to the election of President Barack Obama.”

 

“Given the momentous changes that have occurred over the past quarter of a century, it’s appropriate to raise the question, ‘Is it still important for the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr. to persist.”

 

King said when Obama was elected “some thought we were free…we’ve gone to the promise land.” The truth is, King said, “We made a significant step, but we’re no where near the achievement of the dream that Martin Luther King envisioned.”

 

“Despite the wonderful changes we’ve seen,” King said his father’s leadership and message are needed “now perhaps more than ever in our nation and in our world.”

 

As an example, King referred to January 8, 2011 when Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in the head and six died including a judge and a 9-year-old girl.  King called the shooting an example of how “senseless violence works” and said it is reminiscent of similar violence in Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, and D.C.

 

“In every major city of this nation we see us killing us, and they too aren’t doing anything about that and again your pastor is,” King said referring to Pfleger who continues to march against violence, go to Springfield to oppose liberal gun legislation and issue $5,000 rewards for the killers of children.

 

“We see hate being promoted through the airwaves,” he said. “When a person’s sexual orientation remains a barrier to full civil equality, there is a very real factor sometimes of brutality and even death. It says we’re in trouble as a nation and when every one of our inner cities continue to be plague by this violence….

 

“When the Great Recession threatens to make permanent the pain of the underclass and expand this suffering to the previously protected middleclass, it’s clear to me that the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. is needed and is essential,” said King.

 

In reflecting on personal moments he had with his father, King told how his Dr. King took him to his first grade class in Atlanta and when he bought he and his brother their first bike. “I reflect on these things because they remind me of Martin Luther King, Jr., the man, the father, the husband, not the Martin Luther King leading great marches, speaking at the Lincoln Memorial, sleeping on cold tenement floors here in the chill of Chicago….

 

“I believe it is a tendency to put him on a pedestal far away on a cloud where nobody can touch him, nobody can reach him and nobody can reach him and nobody can be like him,” King said calling his father a great man who was his hero.

 

“Sometimes I think there is too much emphasis placed on Martin Luther King, Jr. the idol and not the ideas of Martin Luther King.” He said it is important to have the national holiday of his father, the soon-to-be-unveiled monument in D.C. and the King Center in Atlanta.

 

“While we commemorated the birthday in January, let us not confuse nor forgot what he stood for and died for. Let us not forget the ideals he gave up his life for. Let us not bury the peace and love that he lived for so this country and the world would be a better place,” said King.

 

Saying his father stood for education, King said 43-years later “our educational system is abysmal.” He pointed to the high dropout rates and the seemingly unconcern about this plight. “We don’t understand why we are being left behind with an economic collapse. The educational system has to be reformed.”

 

As an example, King said history is not taught accurately. “History is taught wrong. We teach history from a western and European perspective, which is OK, but it excludes Native or Indians. It excludes Latino and Hispanic people. It excludes Asian Americans and it excludes African Americans.

 

“Until our history is inclusive of every ethnic group that makes up the population of our nation, we’re missing the mark,” said King. “We are being defeated at this time where the global economy is nearly collapsed. Competition is becoming keener from China, Russia and Brazil. American is not playing its ‘A-Team.’”

 

“If America wants to win, we must compete in the global economy. We have to start putting the best players on the field. That means we have to start educating young African Americans, young Hispanics and Latinos, and young whites from underprivileged backgrounds so that they can compete with all people, all nationalities all over the world. We got to put our best players on the field,” King said.

 

King said his father believed in decent housing. Later Sunday, King, along with the Lawndale Christian Development Corporation (LCDC), dedicated the affordable 45-unit Dr. King Legacy Apartments at 1550 S. Hamlin where the King family once lives for a month back in 1966.

 

Before he became president up the King Center, he headed up the “Realizing the Dream” where he visited 40 communities documenting poverty in an effort to raise the consciousness of poverty.  Referring to Dr. King’s talking about the three evils of poverty, racism and militarism, King said, “We got to eradicate those evils if our nation is going to become what it ought to become….”

 

With nearly 3 million foreclosures were filed and a potential of 1.2 million homeowners may lose their homes, King said he believes the president should call for a moratorium on foreclosures. “Nobody in America should have to lose their home. Everybody is struggling except the super wealthy and wealth disparity has reached the same level as it did before the Great Depression…. We got to stop the bleeding in the housing industry.”

 

“We cannot afford to keep tax breaks to the wealthy while we try to break the backs of the poor and middle class Americans as they continue to struggle day-to-day with no identifiable relief in sight,” King said.

 

“My father believed in justice, but if you go to Cook County or Fulton County of Atlanta, Georgia looking for justice all you’ll find, as the late great Richard Pryor would say, just us…a sad commentary….” “The justice system is broken,” King said explaining that most of the more than 2.2 million behind bars are black and Hispanic.

 

But, King said, “Our bible tells us if we train up a child in the way they should go when that child is old they will not depart from that training and some have abandoned their roles of raising our children.”

 

King quickly pointed a finger towards the government as well. “We don’t have appropriate indigent care. We don’t have enough attorneys to represent those accused of crimes. We have to shore up the indigent defense system.”

 

He said Americans grow up in a “culture of violence… We consume a diet of negativity. Until we top allowing our children to watch any and everything and change the music we allow our children to listen to….” King said parents must take control of their homes and make their children abide by their rules.

 

King said of the past, there were songs of hope, peace, dignity, respect and love; however, today he said today’s violence is frightening with people afraid to leave their home or sometimes stay in their homes. “We can’t blame all of this on young folks. We got to take some responsibilities ourselves if we’re going to turn this thing around. We have to get engaged.”

 

Referring to Saint Sabina, King said, “You know what your church does. Can you imagine if a thousands churches would do what you are doing? It takes bold leadership. It takes uncompromising leadership. It takes fearless leadership. It takes leadership that is determined and dependable and dedicated and we can change communities.”

 

King said he would soon unveil a youth non-violence initiatives “that teach and train young people how to live together without destroying personal property. That is the philosophy of non-violence. We saw non-violence raise its beautiful head in Egypt and removed Mr. Mubarak.

 

“We see people who are oppressed and suppressed rising up all over the world.” Referring to the violence occurring in Libya, King said, “We as a nation are somewhat behind helping to perpetuate some of that violence. The forces that want to bring about change and get rid of Mr. Gaddafi are having to use the same force that he is using and as a result, we are promoting violence and there is no telling when that crisis may end.”

 

Fearing that more violence will occur around the world, King said, “If you are willing to be committed to non-violence, non-violence will sustain you eternally….”

 

Having lost his dad at the age of 10, an uncle who mysteriously drowned when he was 11 and his grandmother killed when he was 16, King said, “I had to learn how to forgive so I would not harbor bitterness, hatred and hostility because I could have been angry. I thank God that I had the spirit of love personified my family. That is what I hope I try to emanate….

 

“It’s time to quit looking at my father as someone who was so pious, so super human that none of the kids could aspire to be like him. We got to stop treating him as an unattainable idol and remember him as truly a man of strength, a man of conviction, a man of integrity, a man of love. These are all ideals that we can all aspire to. These are universal principles that should be taught to our kids….”

 

King also praised Father Michael L. Pfleger and recognized his long-standing relationship his family has had with the Saint Sabina priest. Referring to the children of Dr. King, he said, “All of us have been blessed to worship and speak at Saint Sabina. It feels like home, but perhaps more than anything else, you know that you have a remarkable pastor and leader,” he told a cheering audience.

 

“There are communities around America that have grown to love your pastor also because there are very few that we know of; well the list becomes very short when it comes to those to give and give…. I don’t mean just preaching. There are a lot of great preachers. He’s got that down.

 

“There are some who are good servants who visit the sick…but I’m talking about giving far beyond what the average person does,” said King. “It is the true personification of what a pastor, a leader, a spiritual leader, should be about. My God, can you imagine if we had 100 Father Pfleger’s in America…and that does not diminish any other pastors because there are pastors who are doing great things all around but there is something different about this one.

“God has got, obviously, his hand on Father Mike and Saint Sabina,” King stated.  “So, as you go through the crisis, again, somehow, it’s going to be alright,” King said to a cheering audience.

 

Saying Saint Sabina “is probably the most unique Catholic ministries in America. There is no other like you. It’s a combination…Father Michael Pfleger and the team that works with him, but it is also…to be a good leader, you have to be a good follower and you also have to have a flock that understands the mission and message and lives by it.

 

“Very few go through our community…. We talk about drugs but we don’t really close down drug houses because we’re scared and it’s nothing wrong with that. This is just real. When you talk about the absence of fear…when you talk about understanding teaching non-violence what Gandhi and others around the world embrace and practice, Father Michael Pfleger represents that.”

 

King said what is needed is a plan and said, “We have the power to change and improve our lives…. It’s time to resurrect my father’s ideals, love, peace, harmony, strength, non-violence, cooperation, and unity.

 

“Don’t put him so far up on a pedestal and throw him in a dark closet all year long except for these special moments like during the holiday, April 4th and then on August 28th and pull him out and dust him off like he is like some kind of ornament….”

 

For the King Holiday, King said people shouldn’t just eat barbecue, don’t have to go to work “and not reflect on what he stood for and died for. Practice his ideals every minute and every day. Don’t turn your back on your neighbor because you’re to scared to get involved or you just don’t have the time and say it’s their fault for being in the predicament….

 

“Reach out and help somebody. If I can cheer somebody with a word or song, if I can show somebody that they’re traveling wrong, then my living will not be in vain. If I can do my duty as a Christian, if I can bring salvation to a world, if I can spread the message as the Master taught, then my living will not be in vain. Help somebody,” he bellowed.

 

“God knows I missed my father. “I was robbed. I was robbed to go to baseball games and basketball games with him. I was robbed of a chance to discuss the complexities of global politics and economics with him and even have him watch me graduate from his and now my alma mater, Morehouse College.

 

“I’m sick and tired of people singing about King, rapping about King, even using King to justify policies that we all know he would be against as opposed to embracing the ideals of King, trying to love your neighbor like King, trying to help the poor like King and ignoring that which is wrong, like King.

 

“We can do it. He taught us we can do it. He and a whole lot of people taught us and gave their lives…,” he said of whites, blacks, Christians and Jews who marched with his father.

 

Referring to Michael Jackson’s record “Man in the Mirror,” King said, “If you want to make the world a better place, look at yourself and make a change for the better. Let’s get engaged in our communities…in America…in our school system. “ King said while we are not quite there, he believes one day his father’s ideals will be achieved.

 

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host.

NNPA to champion pardon for Wilmington Ten

Posted by Admin On April - 4 - 2011 1 COMMENT

(From New America Media)

 

By Khalil Abdullah

 

Editor’s note: The Wilmington Ten were a group of civil rights activists who spent nearly a decade in jail after being convicted of arson and conspiracy in 1971. The case became an international cause celebre amidst widespread beliefs that the individuals in the case were only guilty of holding dissenting political beliefs. Amnesty International took up the case in 1976. The convictions were finally overturned in 1980 because the prosecutor and the trial judge both violated the defendants’ constitutional rights.

Washington, D.C. – The flood of emotion and memory of his six-year incarceration was evident as Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., sought to retain his composure at the podium of the National Newspaper Association (NNPA) “Power of the Black Press Luncheon”.

After hesitating to respond to a question from NNPA columnist and colleague George Curry, the master of ceremonies, about Chavis’ lowest point after being falsely convicted and imprisoned in 1972 as one of The Wilmington Ten, Chavis became overwrought. “I was warned not to go into the shower,” he said in a faltering voice barely above a whisper, “I couldn’t take a bath for eight months.”

Then only 24-years old, Davis explained he had been told he was marked for a prison hit; that his life was in daily peril and he shouldn’t leave his cell. Arson of a local grocery store was among the charges for which the group was convicted. But Chavis, who is not from Wil-mington, was specifically targeted as the outside agitator, as described in a brief documentary about the case shown during the luncheon.

Chavis and his co-defendants became an international cause célèbre after Amnesty International declared them, in 1978, political prison-ers, the first American prisoners so recognized by the organization.

Legal challenges and media notoriety exposed the prosecutorial misconduct and the collusion of state and federal officials in imprisoning the young activists, many of whom were in their teens, for daring to defy the local practices of school desegregation plans. Though The Wilmington Ten eventually were freed and their sentences commuted by North Carolina’s governor, they never received a formal “pardon of innocence.” NNPA is rallying its member newspapers to support that cause in the year ahead.

Mary Alice Thatch, publisher of The Wilmington Journal, provided a historical retrospective on The Wilmington Ten, explaining that her city in southern North Carolina had long been a bastion of white supremacy. She said Cape Fear River “ran red from the blood of our ancestors in 1898” as a result of a terror campaign that targeted the African-American community decades before Chavis arrived as an em-issary from the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice. “Ben, thank you for crossing that bridge [to Wilmington] in 1971,” Thatch said.

The NNPA has yet to announce its strategy around the pardon initiative, but to her peers, Thatch said she is “asking you help us repay The Wilmington Ten in what I call a very small way” for their efforts to bring social justice to the “birth place of Jim Crow in North Caro-lina.”

While welcoming the pardon campaign, Chavis emphasized the NNPA effort as an opportunity to educate and revitalize today’s youth to be vigilant about protecting the rights and gains so many have sacrificed to attain. Despite the election of an African American to the White House, Chavis said, “We ought to be more vocal now than ever before,” noting, for example, that the current budget discussions on Capitol Hill could result in the closure of several Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Now in his early 60s, Chavis has had a long and sometimes controversial career, which included a stint as the executive director of the NAACP. Chavis was co-founder, with Russell Simmons, of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network. From an early age, Chavis recognized the power of the press. A North Carolinian native, Chavis said he interned for The Carolina Times when he was 14 years old. During his incarceration, he wrote not only about The Wilmington Ten, but about other political prisoners as well. Chavis said he is pleased that his editorials, like his recent one on the de-funding threat to HBCUs, could be carried once again by NNPA members.

NNPA Chair and The Los Angeles Sentinel publisher Danny Bakewell encouraged NNPA members to take up the banner and “request a pardon for those ten people,” some of whom are now deceased. He lauded several of NNPA’s corporate partners, which, through adver-tising in member newspapers, assist in publication. Bakewell also announced NNPA’s partnership with The Nielsen Company to produce a report on the state of the African-American consumer.

As NNPA Chair, Bakewell has been consistent in his message that businesses exercise corporate responsibility in advertising purchases. “I don’t expect them to advertise in markets they’re not in,” Bakewell said, but noted that African Americans often represent a significant market share for companies who return little to those communities.

The message from Bakewell and other speakers was that advertising is only a means to the end of providing a voice for African Americans.

Chavis added, however, that African Americans themselves also bear responsibility for sustaining their own media. “I want the black community to step up,” he said. “We have to pay for our own freedom … We also have to reach into our pockets.”

The National Black Church Initiative urges Supreme Court to consider Wal-Mart class action gender discrimination suit

Posted by Admin On April - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

Washington, DC – The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a faith-based coalition of 34,000 churches comprised of 15 denominations and 15.7 million African Americans, strongly supports the class action lawsuit brought forth by female Wal-Mart employees.  This case represents the largest class action gender lawsuit in history and highlights Wal-Mart’s systemic discriminatory practices.  Lawyers for women suing the nation’s largest retailer built their case on affidavits from more than 100 workers and a statistical model showing that, while women make up 80% of the company’s hourly workers, they account for only 30% of its managers. They allege pay discrepancies, unequal promotion policies and a male-dominated management.  NBCI abhors discrimination in any form and stands by these women to seek justice.

 

As a national organization committed to eradicating racial disparities, we reached out to Wal-Mart to create a strategic partnership.  As a corporate giant, Wal-Mart has the resources and scope to enact real change nationwide and we were eager to enact programming to benefit African Americans.   Unfortunately, we came to discover that Wal-Mart’s priority was to brutally crush competition and exploit their workers, especially minority women.  We refuse to partner with an organization whose commitment to their employees and the community is so easily broken – Wal-Mart should be forced to adhere to the standards that we as Americans deserve.

 

Rev. Evans, President of NBCI says, “Wal-Mart has proven to be a company resistant to innovation within its workforce and community.  Their primary motivation is profit – at any cost.  They undermine small businesses while maximizing their own profit margins.  Despite the fact that their profit margins are wide – they are unwilling to compensate their employees fairly.  The Church is appalled that Wal-Mart would make its profits on the backs of women and children by systematically underpaying them – degrading their human spirit.”

 

NBCI urges the Supreme Court to uphold the rights of these women – women who in an effort to support themselves and their families have been subjected to discrimination and exploitation.  We will fight to achieve justice and hold Wal-Mart accountable for its actions.

 

About NBCI

The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) is a coalition of 34,000 African American and Latino churches working to eradicate racial disparities in healthcare, technology, education, housing, and the environment. NBCI’s mission is to provide critical wellness information to all of its members, congregants, churches and the public. The National Black Church Initiative’s methodology is utilizing faith and sound health science. The National Black Church Initiative’s purpose is to partner with major organizations and officials whose main mission is to reduce racial disparities in the variety of areas cited above. NBCI offers faith-based, out-of-the-box and cutting edge solutions to stubborn economic and social issues. NBCI’s programs are governed by credible statistical analysis, science based strategies and techniques, and methods that work.  Visit their website at www.naltblackchurch.com.

HUD awards nearly $54 million to help low-income families receive job training, employment

Posted by Admin On April - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan has announced that public housing agencies across the United States will receive nearly $54 million to link low-income families with the necessary education and job training to put them on the path to self-sufficiency.

Funded through HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Family Self-Sufficiency Program (HCV/FSS), the grants allow public housing agencies (PHAs) to work with welfare agencies, schools, businesses, and other local partners to develop a comprehensive program to help individuals already participating in HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program increase their education or gain marketable skills that will enable them to obtain jobs that pay a living wage.

“This program is absolutely critical in today’s economy,” said Donovan. “The research demonstrates that this program works. When families are given the tools they need to move beyond the voucher program, they do. Ultimately, they become self-sufficient and more vouchers become available for other families, some who have been waiting for long periods to receive housing assistance. For America to win the future we need a trained and skilled workforce.”

The funding allows local housing authorities to hire coordinators (or caseworkers) to link adults in the Housing Choice Voucher program to local organizations that provide job training, childcare, counseling, transportation and job placement.

Participants in the HCV/FSS program sign a contract that requires the head of the household to get a job and the family will no longer receive welfare assistance at the end of the five-year term. As the family’s income rises, a portion of that increased income is deposited in an interest-bearing escrow account. If the family completes its FSS contract, the family receives the escrow funds that it can use for any purpose, including paying educational expenses, starting a business or paying back debts.

The Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program is a long-standing resource for increasing economic security and self-sufficiency among HCV participants. A new report just issued by HUD evaluated the effectiveness of the FSS Program. Conducted from 2005 to 2009, HUD’s study shows the financial benefits are substantial for participants who remain and complete the program. This study is the second of a three-part series by HUD that evaluate the effects of the FSS program. The first study in the series found individuals who participated in the FSS program fared better financially than those who did not enroll in the program. HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) will launch the third and final installment to complete this series this year.

HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.

For more information, visit www.HUD.gov or www.LowIncome.org

Illinois’ hometown heroes during the Civil War

Posted by Admin On April - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

The stories of Illinois’ Medal of Honor recipients from 1861 – 1865 offered during Civil War 150th anniversary   

 

 The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency is recognizing the 150th anniversary of the Civil War by providing information about Illinois’ most courageous soldiers, the recipients of the Medal of Honor, during the 1861 – 1865 conflict.  The tales of these brave men are organized chronologically and by county to make it easier to find particular “hometown heroes.”    

 The Medal of Honor was created by Congress in 1861 to recognize conspicuous acts of bravery and heroism by America’s soldiers.  The creation of this new commendation coincided with the first year of the bloodiest conflict in our nation’s history, the Civil War.  Many of the Medal of Honor recipients from the Civil War are from Illinois.    

The President, in the name of Congress, has awarded more than 3,400 Medals of Honor to our nation’s bravest soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen since the decoration’s creation.  The citations of the Illinois soldiers provided here are taken from the 1979 U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Report, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1861-1978.  A synopsis of each battle at the center of the Medal of Honor citation is provided, and in some cases original correspondence from other men who fought in those battles is included as well, courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. 

Some of the Medal of Honor recipients were born in other states or countries but entered the Union armed services in Illinois.  In cases where the men were born in one Illinois community but enlisted in another, their citations are included with the county in which they were born.

Former Inspector General and U.S. Senate candidate David Hoffman endorses James Cappleman for 46th Ward Alderman

Posted by Admin On April - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago, IL – Reform leader David Hoffman, the former Chicago Inspector General and U.S. Senate candidate, today strongly endorsed James Cappleman’s campaign for 46th Ward Alderman.  Cappleman, a social worker, former teacher and community advocate, is in the April 5th run-off election to replace retiring Alderman Helen Shiller.  Hoffman won the 46thward by 11 points in his February 2010 Democratic U.S. Senate Primary bid and is respected throughout the city for his clean government credentials, his anti-crime advocacy and his strong stance against the City’s controversial parking meter lease deal.

“James Cappleman has what it takes to fight crime and help reform Chicago’s City Hall,” said Hoffman, also a former federal prosecutor who fought gangs, drugs and gun violence prior to serving as Chicago’s top anti-corruption official.  “He supports critical ethics reforms and has the depth of experience necessary to tackle crime in the 46th ward.  He is the type of tough, reform-minded leader that we need in the Chicago City Council.”

“I’m honored to have David Hoffman’s endorsement” said Cappleman. “I plan on working with him to advocate for honesty and transparency in government.  I share his passion for fighting crime and cleaning up City Hall.”

Cappleman is also endorsed by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, State Senator Heather Steans, the 46th Ward Democrats, 46th Ward Democratic Committeeman Tom Sharpe, former State Senator Carol Ronen, Illinois State Representative Deb Mell, Alderman Mary Ann Smith, Alderman Scott Waguespack, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioners Debra Shore and Mariyana Spyropoulos, every former 46th Ward Aldermanic candidate who has made an endorsement in the race, LGBT advocacy organizations Equality Illinois and Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, clean government organization IVI-IPO, the Chicago Teachers Union, pro-choice organization Personal PAC, Northside Democracy for America, National Democracy for America, National Association of Social Workers and the Chicago Sun-Times, which wrote:

“In the runoff, we’re backing James Cappleman, a former teacher and social worker with deep roots in this fiercely independent ward.

Cappleman has a broad and detailed vision for attracting businesses to the ward, fighting crime and giving residents a greater say in ward decisions. Cappleman and opponent Mary Anne “Molly” Phelan, a real estate and tax attorney, don’t differ significantly on the issues but do in experience… we prefer Cappleman because we believe he would be more independent. Cappleman already has many long-standing, constructive relationships in the ward and has displayed a willingness to reach out to those with whom he disagrees.”

Challenger Cuahutemoc Morfin calls on incumbent 25th Ward Alderman to return campaign contributions from top lead polluters

Posted by Admin On April - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

(From the campaign of Cuahutemoc Morfin) 

                                        

 

 In wake of Tribune investigation, Morfin and Perez Elementary parents demand change in Pilsen

 

Chicago, IL – A day after the Chicago Tribune reported finding dangerously high levels of toxic lead in the air outside of a Pilsen elementary school, aldermanic candidate Cuahutemoc Morfin called on incumbent Ald. Danny Solis to return the nearly $70,000 in campaign contributions he has taken from the three highest lead emitters in the area.

“We are witnessing a pattern emerging with with Ald. Solis,” said Morfin, a small business owner and community activist, at a press conference outside of Perez Elementary School on Saturday morning. “Time and time again he’s taken major campaign contributions from these polluters, and in exchange, he has looked the other way while they’ve poisoned our air and made us sick.”

Solis has taken $8,200 in contributions from H. Kramer, a metal smelter in the 25th Ward that, the Tribune reports, is the top lead emitter in the area. Solis has taken an additional $6,500 from H. Kramer Executive Vice President R. K. Weil. The second and third highest lead emitters in the area, respectively, are the Crawford and Fisk Coal Plants, owned by Midwest Generation, from which Solis has taken another $54,000.

Morfin said Ald. Solis “has made it clear. He’s willing to sell off the health of his constituents to the highest bidder.” He called on Solis to return the $70,000 to Midwest Generation and H. Kramer and to “get tough on these polluters.” But, he said, “we already know he probably won’t bite the hand that feeds him.”

Guillermina Sandoval, whose two young children have tested positive for lead poisoning and childhood asthma, was also present at the press conference. “It’s appalling to know that we have a leader who is not standing by the community, who is endangering everyone. Especially now, as a parent, I’m appalled,” she said. “It’s time for a change.”

Jackson Potter, Staff Coordinator at the Chicago Teachers Union, said the union chose to endorse Morfin “because of his advocacy and concern displayed over many years for the children, parents and teachers of this community and this ward.”

“Our society should be judged on how it treats its most vulnerable, and by that standard, Solis has failed miserably at displaying the kind of leadership necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of the families that live in this ward,” said Potter. “[Solis’] buddies who are paying his campaign money own these factories. That’s unacceptable and it has to end today.”

Dr. Quentin Young, nationally-renowned public health expert and Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board Chairman, said the presence of lead “damages, first and foremost, our kids, because of the stage of life they’re in.” Young said he was glad to see environmental health issues front and center in the 25th Ward election.

Of Morfin, Young said, “I’m very proud to be at his side, and I hope very much he has a successful victory. It’ll make a huge difference in the way the city approaches the issue of contamination and pollution and the environment.”

To learn more about the Morfin campaign for alderman, please visit http://morfinfor25thward.com/.

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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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