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Growing number of Illinois students are considered college ready in individual subject areas SPRINGFIELD, ...
  100 students accepted to college   CHICAGO, IL - Illinois State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (D-Chicago) ...
Exhibit examines President Lincoln’s Cabinet and the start of the Civil War ...
New web site, BlackBusiness.org, showcases free information about all the African American business publications, organizations, ...
CHICAGO, IL – As Chicago neighborhoods experience an unprecedented number of shootings and gun deaths, ...
CHICAGO, IL – Sixteen Chicago nonprofit agencies are among 23 law-related nonprofit ...
  CHICAGO, IL – As thousands of teens free of studies this summer look for work, ...
Rally & March is being held today, August 10th, 10:30 a.m. at the Thompson Center, ...
  Bill Seeks to Undo Key Dodd-Frank Reforms and Weaken Protections for Consumers   WASHINGTON, DC  – National ...
Kirk also responds to  changes in U.S. Policy Toward Cuba CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Senator ...

Archive for February 3rd, 2012

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie distorts Civil Rights History

Posted by Admin On February - 3 - 2012 2 COMMENTS
 
By Marc H. Morial, President and CEO
National Urban League

 

“No minority should have their rights subject to the passions and sentiments of the majority.  This is the fundamental bedrock of what our nation stands for.” – Newark Mayor, Cory Booker

 

In recent weeks, outrageous statements targeted at minority citizens have come out of the mouths of a number of conservative politicians – everything from the assertion that African Americans prefer food stamps over pay checks to the claim that “black people” are using “other people’s money” to get ahead.

But last week, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey may have topped them all when he declared, “People would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the South.”  The Governor’s statement was made in the context of his proposal that the issue of same-sex marriage in New Jersey be settled by a voter referendum.  But his words amounted to an insult to generations of men and women who put their lives on the line for equal rights.  They also ignore the fact that the sole purpose of any civil rights struggle is to gain rights for minority citizens that the majority has historically and consistently denied.
 
The nonsense of Christie’s statement was made all the more apparent by the fact that during the heyday of lynchings, poll taxes and “separate but equal schools”, any referendum on voting rights and civil rights for African Americans would have excluded many of the very people seeking those rights.  In fact it was only because the majority for centuries had first enslaved and then discriminated against African Americans that it became necessary for people of conscience to organize in protest against such treatment.  Christie should remember that in the 18th century, it was not a referendum but a revolution that formed the United States of America.  In the 19th century, it was not a referendum, but a civil war that ended slavery and unified our nation. And in the 20th century, it was not a referendum, but a series of non-violent civil rights struggles that defeated Jim Crow and secured voting rights for women, African Americans and other disenfranchised minorities.
 
Sheila Oliver, New Jersey’s first African American woman Assembly Speaker, correctly saw Christie’s proposal to submit same-sex marriage rights to the whims of voters as a shirking of responsibility.  She said, “The major issues of our time such as women’s suffrage and civil rights were rightly decided legislatively. We are elected by the people of New Jersey to protect civil rights. We do not pass on such tough decisions.” Oliver also took issue with Christie’s characterization of the civil rights struggle, adding, “Governor, people were fighting and dying in the streets of the South because the majority refused to grant minorities equal rights by any method.  It took legislative action to bring justice to all Americans, just as legislative action is the right way to bring marriage equality to all New Jerseyans.”
 
It is almost unthinkable that a sitting governor would either be so uninformed, so callous to suggest that civil rights movements have not played a necessary and positive role in ensuring that the promise of freedom, equality and democracy is made real for every citizen.  We think the Governor owes the people of New Jersey and all Americans a clear explanation.

Attorney General Madigan files suit over faulty mortgage assignments filed with County Recorders

Posted by Admin On February - 3 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

Attorney General Alleges Faulty Practices in Foreclosing on Homeowners in Crisis 

 

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed a lawsuit against Nationwide Title Clearing for filing faulty documents with Illinois county recorders. Nationwide Title Cleaning Inc. (NTC) is a Florida-based company that prepares documents for mortgage servicers to use against borrowers who are in default, foreclosure or bankruptcy.

“The practices that NTC used were a key contributor to the mortgage crisis by undermining the integrity and accuracy of the mortgage servicing and foreclosure process,” Attorney General Madigan said.

NTC provides a range of mortgage loan services to eight of the top 10 lenders and mortgage servicers in the country. NTC specializes in creating, processing and recording mortgage assignments, which are often used for a lender to foreclose on a borrower.

The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges numerous violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act and the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Madigan is asking the court to require NTC to review and correct all documents it unlawfully created and recorded in Illinois, and pay back all revenues, profits and gains achieved in whole or in part due to unlawful practices. The suit also asks the court to impose civil penalties against the company.

Attorney General Madigan is committed to holding all entities that contributed to the financial crisis accountable for their unlawful misconduct. As part of those efforts, Madigan sued the national credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s last week for its fraudulent role in assigning high ratings to risky mortgage-backed investments in the years leading up to the housing market crash. The Attorney General alleged that S&P compromised its independence as a ratings agency by doling out high ratings to unworthy, risky investments as a corporate strategy to increase its revenue and market share.

In December 2011, Madigan and the U.S. Department of Justice reached a $335 million settlement with Countrywide, a subsidiary of Bank of America, for discriminating against thousands of Illinois minority borrowers during the height of the subprime mortgage lending spree. The settlement will provide restitution to harmed Illinois borrowers and is the largest settlement of a fair lending lawsuit ever obtained by a state attorney general. The Attorney General is litigating a similar lawsuit against Wells Fargo alleging widespread discrimination against African American and Latino borrowers.

Madigan led an earlier lawsuit against Countrywide, which resulted in a nationwide $8.7 billion settlement in 2008 over the company’s predatory lending practices. That agreement established the nation’s first mandatory loan modification program.  The Attorney General also reached a $39.5 million settlement with Wells Fargo over the bank’s deceptive marketing of extremely risky loans called Pay Option ARMs in 2010.

Assistant Attorneys General Andrew Dougherty, Thomas P. James and Vaishali Rao are handling the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

State Senator Collins urges follow-through on Gov. Quinn's plan to alleviate housing crisis

Posted by Admin On February - 3 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) was pleased to hear Governor Quinn, in his State of the State Address, express his commitment to two priorities she shares: helping people stay in their homes, and protecting neighborhoods from falling home values caused by poorly-maintained vacant properties. Collins is the chief sponsor of legislation that would enable municipalities to hold lenders responsible for the upkeep of properties in foreclosure once the occupants have relocated.

“Despite some recovery in the housing market, property values remain low in many neighborhoods because of the prevalence of abandoned, unsafe,and poorly-maintained buildings,” Senator Collins said. “I look forward to working with the governor, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, and other state and community leaders to stop the cycle of home loss and falling home values.”

Illinois was one of the top five states in the first half of 2011 in terms of percentage of loans in the foreclosure process. The Chicago region saw a 13.5 percent drop in new foreclosures in 2011, but Cook County experienced only an 8 percent decrease.

Senator Collins has long advocated for making counseling, legal aid, and other resources available to homeowners facing foreclosure. She applauds the governor for unveiling the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network, which brings together existing resources in one place. Sen. Collins urges anyone facing foreclosure to visit www.keepyourhomeillinois.com to find a nearby financial counselor or service provider.

President Barack Obama also had some good news for homeowners this week, asking Congress to approve a new refinancing plan that would allow a borrower who has not yet missed payments to refinance at a better rate if the value of the home has fallen below the amount he or she still owes. The refinanced loan would be backed by the government, even for those with mortgages from private lenders.

“I applaud the President for designing innovative solutions to keep people in their homes,” Senator Collins said. “If we can slow the rate of foreclosure and require lenders to maintain vacant properties, we can strengthen our neighborhoods and allow them to finally recover from this housing crisis.”

New book, "Why Are So Many Black Folks In Jail?", raises tough questions about the uses of incarceration in America

Posted by Admin On February - 3 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Dr. Tracy Andrus, one of the top African-American criminologists in the country, has released what is sure to become another best seller – his latest book, Why Are So Many Black Folks In Jail?: The Conspiracy to Exterminate Black Folks, Colored Folks, Negroes, Negroids, and African Americans in 21st Century America. This book raises very important questions about the plight of black folks and the uses of incarceration in America.

According to Dr. Andrus, African Americans are disproportionately represented in every state in the United States. His book focuses on the root causes of incarceration from a criminologist’s perspective, and is a must read for all lawmakers, criminologists, convicts, American citizens and people interested in conspiracy theory. It’s also a great read for criminal justice students around the world.

Because of knowledge and research, Dr. Andrus is one of the most sought after speakers in America. His previous best selling books include Beneath the Skin of Black Folks – How Black Folks In America Really Feel, his dissertation which was converted into a book entitled A Macro-Analysis of Poverty and African American Incarceration, and an autobiography about his life entitled From Prisoner to PhD – My Eleven Year Journey.

Dr. Andrus is a native of Crowley, Louisiana and currently resides in Marshall, Texas. He is the son of Ms. Alice V. Andrus and the late Warren Andrus of Crowley, Louisiana. He can be reached at tandrus26@gmail.com.

His newest book can be purchased on CreateSpace.com, Amazon.com and all other major book outlets. ISBN-13: 978-1451550634 (CreateSpace-Assigned) ISBN-10: 1451550634 BISAC: Social Science / Criminology

Photo Caption: Bookcover

Pastors to hold all night prayer vigil at site where 2 teens were killed

Posted by Admin On February - 3 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
 
“Source of violence is sin….”
 
 
CHICAGO, IL – The churches and pastors of the Illinois Missionary Baptist State Convention are holding an ALL NIGHT Prayer Vigil Friday, February 3, 2012 from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m., Saturday, February 4, 2012 at Churches Chicken, 6600 South Halsted Street, Chicago, which is the site where two teenagers were killed.
 
Last December, Dantril Brown, 17, a junior at the Prosser Career Academy, and Jawan Ross, 16, a sophomore at the Robeson High School, were at Churches Chicken where an argument erupted outside with one chasing the other into the restaurant and opening fire wounding five people and killing the teens.
 
According to Rev. Gerald M. Dew, pastor of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, the purpose of the prayer vigil “is to demonstrate to the community our care and concern for every resident, and to ask the Lord to move on the hearts and minds of those who use violence to solve their problems.
 
“We believe that the primary source of the violence in our communities is sin and sin can only be handled by The Savior. All who believe that the Lord has the power to turn our communities around are welcome to join us in this effort,” said Dew.

Illinois State Board of Education encourages participation in summer food programs

Posted by Admin On February - 3 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Programs help fill nutritional gap for children

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is encouraging school administrators to make sure students take advantage of free, nutritious meals and snacks available this summer at more than 1,700 summer food service program sites statewide. Applications to be a sponsor can be submitted to ISBE beginning March 1.

“Summer food programs fill an important role for both parents and children,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “As educators, we know that nutrition is a critical prerequisite to learning. However, learning does not stop when the school year ends, and neither does the need for a nutritious meal.”

Summer food programs work by providing free meals and snacks to low-income children through age 18 when school is not in session. People ages 18 and older who are enrolled in school programs for persons with disabilities may also participate. Summer food programs typically operate June through August, but can start as early as May and can go into September.

During the summer of 2010, more than 105,000 low-income Illinois children ate free meals through summer food programs. Those children represent 14.7 percent of the roughly 721,000 children who ate free or reduced-priced meals during the 2009-2010 school year. Nationally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that more than 18 million children received free or reduced-price school meals during the 2010 school year, but only 2.8 million children received summer meals.

ISBE administers two federally funded summer food programs – the USDA’s ‘Summer Food Service Program for Children’ and the federal National School Lunch Program’s ‘Seamless Summer Option.’ Both programs are designed to bridge the summer nutrition gap by offering free nutritious breakfasts, lunches or snacks to children age 18 and younger.

Most summer food program sites are open to all children in the community. These “open sites” are also eligible for federal funds if the site is located in an area in which at least 50 percent of the children are from households that would be eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. All children 18 years of age or younger who come to an approved open site may receive meals.

Local governments, school districts and non-profits can sponsor summer food sites, which may include schools, parks, recreation centers, housing projects, migrant centers, churches, summer camps and others. Organizations and government entities may apply to ISBE to be a summer food program sponsor beginning March 1 through June 15, 2012.  Organizations may also become a site with an existing sponsor; to learn more, visit the ISBE website at: http://www.isbe.net/nutrition/htmls/summer.htm

To locate an open site summer food program in Chicago, contact the Illinois Hunger Coalition’s Hunger Hotline at (800) 359-2163 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The hotline is available in both English and Spanish. For other areas of the state, an interactive map of the state’s summer food program sites can be found online at http://webprod1.isbe.net/NutSvc/.

New Author's Book on grief nominated for NAACP Image Award

Posted by Admin On February - 3 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Noteworthy Book Focuses on Healing through Relationships and Resources


Frederick, MD (BlackNews.com) — Debut author, Denise Hall Brown, from Frederick, MD, has been nominated for a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Award for her groundbreaking book on grief.

Brown’s 2Grieve 2Gether: A Journal from the Heart Helping Survivors and Supporters Navigate the Healing Process was selected in the category of Outstanding Literary Work for a Debut Author for the 43rd NAACP Image Awards. The book is a compilation of journal entries that Brown kept following the deaths of her mother, son, husband and aunt. The entries detail a whirlwind of emotions and offer readers insightful reflections and tips on dealing with grief. The book also includes helpful resources to assist the bereaved and their supporters.

When Brown was 29, her mother was killed by a drunk driver. She lost her 5-month-old son tragically 10 years later. Since then, she’s buried her husband and an aunt who was like a mother-figure to her. From each hardship, Brown learned that grief is not something you ever get over, rather you get through.

Just as writing the book helped Brown accept and release her feelings, she is happy that it is also making a positive difference in other people’s lives. “I am extremely humbled and honored to have been selected as one of five nominees for this prestigious award,” said Brown. “I wrote 2Grieve 2Gether because I’ve met so many people who are hurting and I wanted to provide a resource to help them cope. There is healing in support. Through this nomination, my prayer is that more people are helped with the knowledge that no one needs to feel isolated. Grief is something that we must all go through at some point in our lives. There is no need to suffer alone.”

The NAACP Image Awards celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. NAACP members have until Feb. 12, 2012, to vote on the nominees. Winners will be announced on NBC during the live show on Friday, Feb. 17th at 8 p.m. EST.

The NAACP was founded in 1909. It is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization with a half million adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world.

About Denise Hall Brown

Denise Hall Brown spent 20 years working in the insurance industry. Five years of that time was spent directly helping clients with their life insurance needs and the recovery that happens after someone dies. During that time, she experienced the deaths of four family members and committed to learning as much as possible about grief. Denise currently attends Hood College in Frederick, MD, where she is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Thanatology, the study of death and bereavement. 2Grieve 2Gether is her first book. To learn more about the book, visit www.2Grieve2Gether.org, email denise@2grieve2gether.org, or call 888-378-0202.

Photo Caption: Author – Denise Hall Brown

Casting is complete for Robert Falls’ major revival of The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O’Neill at Goodman Theatre, starring Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy

Posted by Admin On February - 3 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Tickets go on sale Friday, February 3 at 12 Noon

 

Chicago, IL – Artistic Director Robert Falls announces the cast for his major revival of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh at Goodman Theatre running April 21 – June 10, 2012 in the Goodman’s Albert Theatre. As previously announced, Falls’ production features Tony Award-winning stage and screen stars Nathan Lane as Theodore “Hickey” Hickman, and Brian Dennehy as Larry Slade. Tickets for The Iceman Cometh go on sale this Friday, February 3 at 12 noon (CST) by web and telephone; call 312.443.3800 or visit GoodmanTheatre.org. The current ticket price range ($53- $119) is subject to change. In addition, a Luxury Ticket Package, the price of which includes a contribution to the theater, includes access to House Seats, use of the Patrons’ Lounge (private bar, restrooms and coat check), complimentary drinks and parking; mention the Luxury Package when purchasing tickets. Allstate Insurance Company is the Lead Corporate Sponsor of The Iceman Cometh and Fifth Third Bank is the Corporate Sponsor Partner.

 

Cast of The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O’Neill, directed by Robert Falls:

 

Stephen Ouimette…………… Harry Hope, proprietor of a saloon and rooming house

Larry Neumann, Jr…………… Ed Mosher, Hope’s brother-in-law and one time circus man

Sal Inzerillo…………………….. Rocky Pioggi, night bartender

Marc Grapey…………………… Chuck Morello, day bartender

John Judd……………………….. Piet Wetjoen (“The General”), one-time leader of a Boer Commando

John Reeger…………………… Cecil Lewis (“The Captain”), one-time captain of a British Infantry

James Harms…………………..James Cameron (“Jimmy Tomorrow”), one-time Boer War Correspondent

John Douglas Thompson…. Joe Mott, one-time proprietor of a gambling house

Brian Dennehy……………….. Larry Slade, one-time syndicalist-anarchist

Lee Wilkof………………………. Hugo Kalmar, one-time editor of anarchist periodicals

John Hoogenakker………….. Willie Oban, Harvard Law School alumnus

Patrick Andrews……………… Don Parritt

Tara Sissom……………………. Pearl

Lee Stark…………………………Margie

Jennifer Engstrom……………Cora

Nathan Lane…………………… Theodore Hickman (“Hickey”), a salesman

 

The design team for The Iceman Cometh includes Kevin Depinet (Set), Natasha Katz (Lighting) and Merrily Murray-Walsh (Costumes). Joseph Drummond is the Production Stage Manager.

 

In The Iceman Cometh, Harry Hope’s saloon is home to a ragtag band of drunks and dreamers who celebrate the arrival of Hickey, the charismatic traveling salesman whose raucous presence always ensures a grand good time. But when a newly sober Hickey blows in with a renewed outlook on life, his zealous attempts to fix the lives of his old friends leads to a series of events that are at once devastatingly comic and heartbreaking—and a revelation that threatens to shatter the tenuous illusions that fuel their lives. O’Neill’s monumental drama is “as corrosive as rotgut whiskey, as morbidly funny as a funeral gone amok, and as hallucinatory as an alcohol-fueled excursion into purgatory” (Chicago Sun-Times).Visit the Goodman virtually: catch the latest news and updates on the Goodman’s Blog, Goodman-Theatre.Blogspot.com/; like us on Facebook.com/GoodmanTheatre; follow us at Twitter.com/GoodmanTheatre; and peek behind the scenes at YouTube.com/TheGoodmanTheatre.

Better Business Bureau Advice: Avoid Payday Loans

Posted by Admin On February - 3 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

 

CHICAGO, IL – Distressed consumers, worried about paying bills or buying food for their families, are turning to payday loans for fast cash. While many borrowers believe they can pay off the loans quickly, the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois (BBB) warns payday loans may have long-lasting and devastating effects.

 

Obtaining a payday loan can be very expensive. Driven by the need for quick cash the borrower will generally write a personal check for the amount they want to borrow plus a fee charged by the lender. The fee may vary, but as a rule of thumb it is a percentage of the face value of the amount borrowed.  

 

Once the consumer makes out the post-dated check, the lender will provide the cash amount of the money borrowed and wait until the consumer’s next payday to deposit the check. The problems begin when the consumer is unable to pay off the debt and must extend the loan. These roll-overs come with a very expensive fee for extending the debt often ending with the borrower paying interest rates as high as 400%.

 

“Consumers should be extremely cautious when considering loans either from an online business or a neighborhood loan office,” said Steve J. Bernas, President & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois. “Payday loans can trap borrowers in a revolving door of debt that can be difficult to escape. When borrowers discover their loan repayments leave them unable to meet their bills, they are forced to take out additional payday loans.”

 

The BBB offers these tips for consumers considering taking out a payday loan:

  • See if your bank or credit union offers short term loans.
  • Contact your creditors or loan Service Company as quickly as possible if you are having trouble with payments. Ask if you can have more time.
  • Use a credit card for emergencies. Shop for the credit offer with the lowest cost. Compare the APR and the finance charge, which includes loan fees, interest and other credit costs. Find out if you can delay paying a bill which has no interest charges, and make payment arrangements with the company. 
  • If you do take out a payday loan, read the agreement thoroughly and make sure you understand it. Know exactly when the loan payment is due, how the money will be collected and how much your payments will total.

For more consumer tips you can trust from your BBB, visit www.bbb.org  

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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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