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Commentary  By Juanita Bratcher I've never been one that fully believed in the results of political polling. ...
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  Conference highlights the best nutrition and physical education practices across the state    SPRINGFIELD, IL – ...

Archive for July 9th, 2011

Madigan announces $92 million settlement with JPMorgan Chase over bid-rigging scheme

Posted by Admin On July - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

Bank to Pay Millions to Illinois Municipalities, Schools and Nonprofits for Illegal Practices

 

Chicago, IL ─ Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced a $92 million multistate settlement with JPMorgan Chase & Co. over a scheme to rig bids and engage in anticompetitive practices that defrauded local municipalities, schools, hospitals and prominent nonprofits that purchased municipal bond derivatives from the bank.

“JPMorgan Chase concocted a scheme to enrich themselves by cheating hospitals and schools out of much needed resources,” said Attorney General Madigan. “Today’s settlement will restore funding to agencies throughout Illinois for use as they originally intended – to improve services in their communities.”

Madigan joined 23 states and the District of Columbia in the settlement, which will result in more than $2.2 million in restitution for Illinois municipalities, school districts, hospitals and nonprofits harmed by the bank’s efforts to orchestrate illegal bids for municipal derivatives. JPMC is the third financial institution to settle with the multistate working group in the ongoing municipal bond derivatives investigation. Bank of America and UBS previously settled with the states for $67 million and $90.8 million, respectively.

Today’s agreement centered on allegations that from 2001 to 2005, JPMC conspired with financial institutions and brokers to rig bid prices for municipal derivatives, circumventing the competitive bidding process. In some instances, JPMC and other financial institutions communicated directly with each other, and not through brokers, to fix prices or to fix rates or key terms of these transactions. Brokers also frequently offered JPMC and other financial entities the unfair advantage of reviewing other bids, thus rigging who would win the deal.

Municipalities, schools and other organizations typically issue municipal bonds to fund capital projects. Once bonds are issued, the money is typically placed into accounts to spend as the local entity incurs expenses for the project. Because the money from the bonds does not need to be spent immediately, the entity that issued the bonds typically seeks to invest the money and may also use strategies to manage or transfer the bond’s interest rate risk. These investment accounts and risk management products – which are collectively called “municipal bond derivatives” – are offered by large financial institutions.

Entities affected by the bank’s scheme and today’s settlement include the following:

Chicago Area

  • Chicago Midway Airport
  • Chicago O’Hare Airport
  • Chicago Park District
  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • City of Chicago
  • City of Elmhurst
  • City of Evanston
  • Elmhurst College
  • Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare
  • Evanston Northwestern Hospital
  • Field Museum of Natural History
  • Glenbard Schools
  • Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
  • Loyola University of Chicago
  • Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  • Village of Schaumburg
  • YMCA of Chicago

Greater Illinois

  • City of Bloomington
  • Kishwaukee Health System
  • Metro East Transit District of St. Clair County
  • Rochelle Community Hospital Association
  • Rockford School District

Madigan said JPMC’s practices illegally and unreasonably restrained competition in the sale of these municipal derivatives in violation of Illinois’ antitrust laws. This conduct brought on financial harm to municipalities, local agencies such as hospitals and schools, and nonprofits that relied on JPMC’s services. Entities that purchased a municipal derivative from JPMC will be eligible to receive restitution as part of this settlement.

Other states joining in the JPMC settlement include Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

The states’ investigation into financial institutions involved in this scheme remains ongoing in conjunction with a federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service.

Bureau Chief Robert W. Pratt and Assistant Attorney General Jamie Manning are handling this case for Madigan’s Antitrust Bureau.

Congressman Ryan: The Rich Man’s Robin Hood

Posted by Admin On July - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

(Equal Voice Newspaper)

By Kathy Mulady

 
Washington, DC  – The debate over how to fix the $1.4 trillion shortfall and rein in $14 trillion in national debt has become less about money and more about government’s role in caring for the poor, the vulnerable, and the growing number of unemployed and underemployed.

President Obama is standing firm on plans to discontinue tax breaks for the wealthy. Republican leaders are threatening cuts to safety net programs at a time when more Americans need assistance.

Chairman of the House Budget Committee Paul Ryan (R-WI) describes his budget proposal as necessary steps “to get prosperity back on track” and “help people on welfare get back on their feet.” Others say it is a dangerous plan that will hurt millions of low-income families, children and the elderly.

In a recent conference call with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, a nonpartisan forum for discussing policy solutions to poverty, Rep. Ryan said if the U.S. government fails to bring the budget and deficit under control, the first to be hurt will be those who depend on government most.

“The strength of that safety net is dependent on the health of our economy and the federal government’s ability to finance the safety net,” said Ryan.

Critics say Ryan has it backwards. His swipes at programs for the young and old will hurt those barely hanging on in the fragile economy. Thousands more jobs will be lost in every state, further slowing recovery.

Ryan’s “Roadmap for America’s Future” cuts government aid that he says creates a culture of dependency. The plan snips the threads of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that Americans contribute to during their working years and count on for retirement or disability.

His plan also slashes Pell grants, which help students from low-income families go to college, and unemployed workers return to school to sharpen their skills or train for new careers.

“By continually increasing Pell funding, we are feeding education inflation,” said Ryan.

Ryan also proposes a 20 percent cut to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), pointing to reports that the food stamp program is “rife with fraud.”

Ryan’s budget proposal, called the “Path to Prosperity” – and which some Democrats refer to as the “Road to Ruin” – spotlights the deep fiscal-policy rift between the two parties.

“This budget anticipates the storm on the horizon and pre-empts the pain, the real pain, of being forced to cut everyone indiscriminately. The best welfare program is the one that ends with the individual empowered and not dependent on government,” Ryan said.

Clare Crawford, executive director of the Center on Policy Initiatives in San Diego, said Ryan’s plan fails to address the economic realities the vast majority of Americans face.

“He keeps referencing a life of dependence, but the economic reality is that there are multiple job seekers for every existing job. The people who are relying on the safety net now are recently unemployed or under-employed,” she said.

Crawford said she’s frustrated that Ryan and other Republicans want to extend the tax cuts for the wealthy that were supposed to be temporary.

“That they have been unwilling to consider real shared sacrifice by everyone on the income spectrum is just outrageous,” she said.

Nationwide polls repeatedly show Americans demanding shared sacrifice, tapping the rich instead of further punishing the poor. A recent Boston Globe poll showed 73 percent of likely voters support raising taxes on the wealthy.

Ryan’s plan calls for across-the-board tax cuts, including for businesses, corporations and the nation’s wealthiest.

He compares Canada’s corporate tax rate of 16 percent to a business owner in Wisconsin paying 35 percent.

“They win, we lose, and we don’t get jobs. There’s a belief that we can just keep raising tax rates on the wealthy, and that’s going to pay for all this,” said Ryan.

Ryan’s budget also turns responsibility for Medicaid management and reform over to individual states, which he says will encourage innovation. Medicaid provides health care to about 60 million low-income families with children, and nursing home care to seniors and people with disabilities nationwide.

“Let’s reform health care with the patient and their doctor as the nucleus of the system, not some distant formula or bureaucrat,” said Ryan. Medicaid is already second-class health care. You’re immediately thought of as somebody getting an inferior system.”

Kelly Hardy, director of health policy for Children Now in Oakland, Calif., said the cuts would have a disastrous impact on the 3.5 million children receiving Medicaid and Medi-Cal coverage in California. Many of those children are from working families unable to afford health care insurance.

“We are innovating as much as we can. California has always been the testing ground for delivering care more cost effectively,” she said. “The idea that somehow the states can find amazing ways to solve this problem is a red herring. These cuts affect real children and real families.”

According to “Jobs at Risk,” a report released by Families USA, an organization that promotes affordable health care, shifting more costs for Medicaid and Medicare to the states and families will have a devastating human toll and will lead to increased unemployment.

According to the report, even the smallest proposed Medicaid cuts of 5 percent would cost states thousands of jobs and further damage their economies. The potential number of lost jobs includes more than 28,000 in California, 18,000 in Texas, 11,000 in Florida, 9,000 in Illinois, 5,820 in Georgia, and nearly 5,000 in Tennessee.

Eric Mann, director of the Labor/Community Strategy Center in Los Angeles, which advocates for working-class families and communities, said Ryan’s budget paints a future that resembles something from Charles Dickens more than from Franklin Roosevelt.

“I would call this plan the road to cruelty,” said Mann.

(http://www.equalvoiceforfamilies.org/pages/grantee_in_the_news/congressman_ryan.html)

Lincoln case comes to trial after 146 years

Posted by Admin On July - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS
 
Re-trial of Lincoln Assassination “conspirator” Mary Surratt to be held September 23 in Chicago, October 3 in Springfield
 
Chicago, IL – On July 7, 1865 a woman was among four people executed for conspiring to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.  Now, 146 years later, she will finally get a new trial – two of them, in fact – as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission team up to re-try the case of Mary Surratt.
 
The re-trial of Mary Surratt featuring well-known Illinois attorneys and a judge will be held Friday, September 23 at 5 p.m. in the Pritzker Auditorium at the Harold Washington Library, 400 South State Street in Chicago; and Monday, October 3 at 5:30 p.m. in the Union Theater at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, 212 N. Sixth Street in Springfield.  Tickets are priced at $25 each and will be available starting August 1, and seating will be very limited.  Tickets for the Chicago dramatization may be purchased from the Chicago Bar Association by calling (312) 554-2057 and for the Springfield event by calling (217) 558-8934.  Funds raised at the events will be used for educational programs developed by the two sponsoring organizations.  Event information is available at www.whokilledabrahamlincoln.com.
 
 Judge James B Zagel, United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, will preside over the September 23 re-trial of Mary Surratt in Chicago.  He will be joined by a prosecution team of attorneys Dan Webb and Jim Montgomery, and the defense team of Ed Genson and Karen Conti.  Broadcast journalist Bill Kurtis will set the scene with trial “coverage.”  The actress portraying Mary Surratt will be named soon.
 
 Appellate Court Judge Thomas Appleton will preside over the October 3 re-trial in Springfield, joined by Assistant Sangamon County State’s Attorney Bill Davis and local attorneys Carol Posegate, Steven Beckett and Greg Harris.  Springfield actress Aasne Vigessa will portray Mary Surratt.  Former WUIS Radio journalist Rich Bradley will provide “coverage” at the Springfield event.
 
 The case of Mary Surratt, unlike the dramatization in the recently released film The Conspirator, will be tried using modern rules of evidence as a dramatically presented court proceeding rather than the original 1865 military tribunal that used procedures that limited the scope of Mary Surratt’s defense.  At the end of the arguments by the prosecution and defense, audience members will determine her guilt or innocence.
The participating attorneys will use their own words and strategies to make their cases as they interact with the judges, who will rule on objections and give instructions to the jurors.
Surratt owned a boarding house in Washington, DC where John Wilkes Booth and other conspirators, including Surratt’s son, met to plot President Lincoln’s assassination.  Historians have long debated whether Mrs. Surratt was innocent or guilty, and if guilty, whether the death penalty was the appropriate punishment.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (www.presidentlincoln.org) is the nation’s largest and most visited presidential library complex, and immerses visitors in Lincoln’s life and times.  The Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission (www.illinoiscourthistory.org) assists the Supreme Court in acquiring, collecting, documenting, preserving, and cataloging documents and artifacts important to the history of the Illinois judicial system.

What you need to know about the state of urban jobs!

Posted by Admin On July - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

(National Urban League)

 

NUL’s State of Urban Jobs site at iamempowered.com gives you everything you need to know about jobs including the monthly employment report with stats for Blacks, Whites and Latinos, the National Urban League’s position on employment and job creation policy, the facts about how investing in job creation is the best strategy for reducing the deficit, as well as resume writing tips and job listings. Click here to view and stay abreast of the latest developments.
 
Join Dr. Valerie Rawlston Wilson today, July 8, 2011 from 2:00pm-3:00pm ET for a live online web chat about the June 2011 Employment report on IAmEmpowered.com.
 
Highlights of the June 2011 Employment Report:
 
Job growth continued to wane in June as the economy gained only 18,000 jobs in June while private sector employment (excludes government losses) increased by 57,000, signaling trouble for an already tepid economic recovery.  The number of unemployed people in June increased slightly to 14.1 million, as the labor force participation rate was little changed at 64.1%.

Private sector job growth was concentrated in leisure & hospitality (+34,000), followed by professional & business services (+12,000).  There was no change in the education & health industry as job gains in health care were totally offset by job losses in education.  Most losses were concentrated in government (-39,000), with state and local governments alone shedding 25,000 jobs in June.  Modest job losses were also seen in financial activities (-15,000) and construction (-9,000).
 
The unemployment rate was essentially unchanged – now 9.2% (from 9.1% in May).  The black unemployment rate was unchanged at 16.2% – the unemployment rate for black men was down to 17.0% (from 17.5%); for black women, it increased to 13.8% (from 13.4%). The unemployment rate for whites remained essentially unchanged at 8.1% (from 8.0%) while the Hispanic rate fell slightly to 11.6% (from 11.9%).  Rates of teen unemployment were 21.8% for whites (from 20.7%), 39.9% for African-Americans (from 40.7%) and 35.4% for Latinos (from 26.1%). The rate of underemployment (including the unemployed, marginally attached and those working part-time for economic reasons) increased to 16.2% (from 15.8%).  The ranks of long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased to 6.3 million (from 6.2 million) or 44.4% of all unemployed.  
 
The June 2011 Employment report is available at the State of Urban Jobs website along with NULPI’s latest report, “A Long Road Back to Work: Realities of Unemployment since the Great Recession”.  Also, available from the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), the June 2011 edition of its state-by-state snapshots which detail each individual state’s economic progress for the previous month.  For more information on state and regional unemployment statistics for May 2011 (latest available), click here.  For more information on metropolitan area unemployment statistics for May 2011 (latest available), click here.

Illinois GOP Chairman responds to June Unemployment Report

Posted by Admin On July - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

Chicago, IL – Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics June Employment Report that showed only 18,000 new jobs created nationwide, which is far below population growth:

“These dismal numbers show that America is not getting the hope and change it was promised.

“Our economy is in a shambles and President Obama and his Democratic colleagues in Washington and Springfield have no plan to fix it.

“The only thing good for President Obama is that this news was released on a Friday – Pat Quinn Style. He obviously learned how to increase unemployment during his time in Springfield.”

ILGOP Note: Unemployment has remained above 8 percent every month President Obama has been in office and it is now at 9.2%.

Moretta Economic Development Corporation announces initiative for Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Development

Posted by Admin On July - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

Annual conference tour and community expo events raise awareness and visibility, bridge resource gaps and connect women entrepreneurs to ecosystems for success in home, business, health & wellness and sustainability

Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) — Women entrepreneurs across America will gather in communities to kick-off a five year entrepreneurship initiative and women’s conference tour on entrepreneurship and economic development. The national conference tour is presented by the Moretta Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The initiative aims to raise awareness and visibility, remove barriers – real and perceived, dispel myths, build confidence and create new opportunities and pathways of success to navigate the new economic environment with confidence. Conference events give attendees access to vital tools and resources needed to start, grow, and sustain businesses for economic wellness and community well-being.

The USA tour theme: “Empowered Women. Sustainable Communities. Moving Our Future Forward.” frames space for women to connect with local leaders, decision makers, meet face-to-face and in-person to interact, share ideas, discuss issues, identify collaborative relationships and solutions for entrepreneurship success. The holistic agenda focuses on four ecosystems connected to SMART entrepreneurship: home, business, health & wellness and sustainability. Their online community activities reinforce the mission, showcase the accomplishments and sustain the gains.

“This is a pivotal moment in American entrepreneurship,” states Deborrah Gilbert, the conference visionary and architect. “Women possess unique perspective and cultivating skills for building the engine of economic growth; for jobs, wealth, innovation in our communities and guiding the next generation of young business leaders and entrepreneurs. There’s a serious ‘Main Street’ business conversation going on today. We’re home to the American Dream and the nation of great ideas. Women are listening to the debates and provocative questions of the day, but they’re also focused on solutions; the children of our future and moving the future forward. We’re for community economic success and all things well. SMART entrepreneurship is the new sexy! It’s an exciting time for women entrepreneurs to think outside the box, bring solutions and get into the game.”

The SYSTER Conference USA (Self-Sufficiency Through Training, Education and Resources) tour major cities include Los Angeles CA, San Diego, CA, Atlanta GA , Memphis TN, Huntsville AL, Las Vegas NV and Orlando, FL. Deborrah “Dee” Gilbert, executive director of MEDC, provides leadership for the initiative, the National Alliance for American Women Entrepreneurs and has years of experience in community economic development, affordable housing and community lending. Her experience includes public safety officer/administrator and subject matter expert for the California State Department of Corrections and local community based organizations for technical and capacity building assistance. Dee is passionate about inspiring and connecting young girls to the fun in math, science, and technology while building strong business communities in America. MEDC is a not-for-profit intermediary organization established in 2006.

To register for the conference or learn more call toll-free (888) 569-5506, visit www.MorettaCommunity.org or email Solutions@MorettaCommunity.org.

Beyond Sport to unveil Beyond Sport United

Posted by Admin On July - 9 - 2011 18 COMMENTS

Beyond Sport United: Sports teams for social change

 

Beyond Sport will unveil Beyond Sport United – a unique event that will bring together the greatest gathering of sports teams ever assembled to address their role in triggering positive social change in the communities they serve.

 The event will take place on September 27 at Yankee Stadium in New York City.  Beyond Sport has secured the backing of Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA); the National Football League (NFL); the National Hockey League (NHL); and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) as Founding Supporters to the event – the first time the major US sports leagues have collaborated around the issue of sport and social change.

Influential figures from all these leagues and their constituent teams, together with representatives from their counterparts around the world, will unite at Beyond Sport United for a day of meaningful, action-focused, and practical sessions to address how teams can further impact their communities.

Commented Nick Keller, Founder of Beyond Sport: “According to the UN, more than 65% of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2020. Sports teams are heroic brands with historic resonance that sit at the very heart of these urban communities and as such have a significant role to play in triggering positive social change.

“The opportunity is vast and, with the substantial support of the major US sports leagues, it is our aim that Beyond Sport United will provide the platform from which sports teams can come together for the first time to focus on how they can better impact the communities they serve.”

Beyond Sport United is also partnered with executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles and United Airlines who have lent their substantial support to this unique event.

Beyond Sport is a global organisation that promotes, develops and funds the use of sport to create positive social change across the world.

The Beyond Sport Summit and Awards 2011, the third annual gathering of its kind, will take place in Cape Town, South Africa from December 5-8.

For more information on Beyond Sport, log on to www.beyondsport.org.

Beyond Sport is a global organisation that promotes, develops and funds the use of sport to create positive social change across the world. Programs consist of: 

Beyond Sport Awards

The Beyond Sport Awards programme provides support worth $1.5 million annually to projects across the world that use sport to address issues within their communities. The Beyond Sport Awards 2011 closed for entries on May 1. Visit www.beyondsport.org to view the entered projects.

Beyond Sport Summit

The Summit is an annual event that brings together the best sport-led social innovators with influential, global leaders to address sport’s role in driving positive social change. The Beyond Sport Summit 2011 will take place in Cape Town, South Africa from December 5-8.

Beyond Sport World

Beyond Sport World is an online networking platform that allows any organisation across the globe involved in sport and development to promote their activities and connect. Visit www.beyondsportworld.org.

Better Business Bureau Alert: California-based Century Photo and Light Impressions leave hundreds of unhappy customers

Posted by Admin On July - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

(Message from the Better Business Bureau)

 

                                                                         

Chicago, ILTwo California businesses that have sold photo and document storage products nationwide for more than 40 years are facing an avalanche of recent complaints from customers who say they waited months for items that never arrived. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises consumers to think twice before ordering from Century Photo or Light Impressions. 

 

Both businesses have “F” ratings, the lowest grade possible, with the BBB of Colton, California. A June 9, 2011 report on Century Photo showed the BBB had received 312 complaints nationally involving the business in the past three years, 304 of those in the past 12 months. The report showed that Century Photo did not respond to 287 of those complaints. Many of the complainants allege a failure to deliver ordered merchandise, nonpayment of refunds and poor customer service.

 

President & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois Steve J. Bernas said, “Many of the consumers we have heard from say they dealt with these businesses for years and were very satisfied with their past experiences. However, more than 95 percent of the complaints came within the past 12 months. For customer service to deteriorate so quickly is a concern.”

 

From Jan. 1, 2010 to June 8 of this year, the BBB received 25 Illinois complaints against Century Photo. In the same period, Light Impressions generated nine complaints from Illinois.  

 

Caroline Keem of Chicago, IL described her experience with Light Impressions: “I placed my order for photo and framing supplies online and got an e-mail confirmation. I was not notified that anything was on backorder. Then when I called and found out, I asked for a refund. They said it would take a month. Nothing should take that long, they charged me right away. I tried to call them and follow up but never got through to anyone again.”

 

Both Century Photo and Light Impressions are under the corporate umbrella of New Century Direct of Santa Fe Springs, CA. A website for New Century Direct says Century Photo was established in 1953 and offers a line of photo albums, photo pages, scrapbooks, collector accessories and genealogy products. The same site says Light Impressions was established in 1969 and offers “the world’s largest variety of fine archival storage, display and presentation materials”.  The companies sell products from websites and through mail order catalogs.

 

The BBB offers the following advice for consumers ordering items online or through merchandise catalogs:

 

 ·         Pay by credit card whenever possible.  If there is a problem with the order, you can challenge it with the credit card company.

 ·         Before ordering online or through a catalog, it may be a good idea to attempt to make direct contact with a customer service representative.  If that is not possible, or if you are put on hold for a long period before being able to speak to someone, that could be a sign of other problems.

·         Obtain a free BBB Business Review by going to www.bbb.org

 

For more information on finding businesses you can trust visit www.bbb.org

 

Black Bloggers connect: A new social network for Black Bloggers

Posted by Admin On July - 9 - 2011 1 COMMENT

New York, NY (BlackNews.com) – BlackBloggersConnect.com launched on June 17, 2011 and is a new social network for Black bloggers. People of color have been blogging by the thousands across the Internet. This digital boom highlights the potential for people of African descent to connect and address important issues in Black communities around the world.

The sister site to BlackBloggersConnect.com is Black Blogger Network, which has featured Black bloggers from all over the world including but not limited to: the U.S.A., Canada, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Thailand and the U.K. Thus, Black Bloggers Connect(TM) was launched as a means for these bloggers to meet and learn from each other. BlackBloggersConnect.com is also serving as a platform for distributing information about vital issues affecting Black communities.

The founder of Black Bloggers Connect(TM) is no stranger to drawing connections between the black community and digital relations. Jessica Ann Mitchell has a Master of Arts degree in Pan African Studies and is currently completing a Master of Science degree in Public Relations at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Mitchell is also the founder of NationalBlackPages.com, BlackFathers.org and OurLegaci.com.

In 2010, Mitchell started the Black Blogger Network. After coming in contact with black bloggers around the world, she had the idea of starting a special social network specifically to address the needs of black bloggers.

“I really wanted to start Black Bloggers Connect(TM) a long time ago. I felt that it was necessary for Black bloggers to have a platform for exchanging thoughts and sharing ideas. Often times, the importance of black blogs is underrated. However, black bloggers are a highly important means of transmitting information to black and marginalized communities,” states Mitchell. On Black Bloggers Connect(TM), bloggers have the ability to promote their blogs, share links to their favorite blog posts, find blogging advice, upload videos and read news updates. Bloggers can also create their own profile pages and include detailed information about their blogs.

The new social network is already generating interest from top black writers in the blogosphere. The first 100 bloggers to join will receive a lifetime link to their site on BlackBloggersConnect.com. Though Black Bloggers Connect(TM) will focus specifically on topics of importance to African descended communities; bloggers of all backgrounds are welcome to join.

“We are in a new era. Due to the emergence of digital media, blogging has become a platform that has enabled marginalized voices to come the forefront and be heard. At BlackBloggersConnect.com we want to unite those voices,” states Mitchell.

For more information or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit www.BlackBloggersConnect.com or email info@BlackBloggersConnect.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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