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Washington, DC– Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today released the following statement  regarding the terrorist attack ...
  ISBE advocating for full General State Aid funding  as required under Illinois law   SPRINGFIELD, IL– State ...
By Randy Raghavendra Without jurisdiction, federal judge may be ready to mimic “Slavery & Jim ...

Archive for May 18th, 2012

National Lawyers Guild condemns preemptive police raids & unlawful searches on the streets

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
Early morning house raid in Bridgeport and harassment of activists indicates intolerance of free speech rights
 
 
CHICAGO, IL — The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) condemns a preemptive police raid that took place at approximately 11:30pm Wednesday in the Bridgeport neighborhood, and instances of harassment on the street, in which Chicago police are unlawfully detaining, searching, and questioning NATO protesters. The Bridgeport raid was apparently conducted by the Organized Crime Division of the Chicago Police Department and resulted in as many as 8 arrests.
 
According to witnesses in Bridgeport, police broke down a door to access a 6-unit apartment building near 32nd & Morgan Streets without a search warrant. Police entered an apartment with guns drawn and tackled one of the tenants to the floor in his kitchen. Two tenants were handcuffed for more than 2 hours in their living room while police searched their apartment and a neighboring unit, repeatedly calling one of the tenants a “Commie faggot.” A search warrant produced 4 hours after police broke into the apartment was missing a judge’s signature, according to witnesses. Among items seized by police in the Bridgeport raid were beer-making supplies and at least one cell phone.
 
“Preemptive raids like this are a hallmark of National Special Security Events,” said Sarah Gelsomino with the NLG and the People’s Law Office. “The Chicago police and other law enforcement agencies should be aware that this behavior will not be tolerated and will result in real consequences for the city.”
 
In another incident, 3 plainclothes police officers unlawfully stopped, handcuffed, and searched a NATO protester on Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive at approximately 2pm today. According to the protester, he did not consent to a search and there was no probable cause to detain him. The police also photographed and questioned him about where he was from, how he got to Chicago, how long it took, what he was doing here, where he was staying, who he was with, and how long he was planning to stay in Chicago. The protester refused to answer any questions and was eventually released.
 
The NLG has received reports that at least 20 people have been arrested so far this week, and two people are still in custody, not including the Bridgeport residents who are still unaccounted for. One of the protesters currently being detained, Danny Johnson of Los Angeles, has been accused of assaulting a police officer during an immigrant rights rally on Tuesday afternoon. However, multiple witnesses on the scene, including an NLG Legal Observer, recorded a version of events that contradict the accusations of police.
 
During the week of NATO demonstrations, the NLG is staffing a legal office and answering calls from activists on the streets and in jail. The NLG will also be dispatching scores of Legal Observers to record police misconduct and representing arrestees in the event the city pursues criminal prosecutions.
 
Contact: NLG Legal Worker Kris Hermes 510-681-6361 or NLG Attorney Sarah Gelsomino 773-520-8246
 

“Help for Homeowners” Mortgage Resource Fair at Illinois Attorney General’s office, May 19

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Housing counselors from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office will be available to homeowners in need and provide information about preventing foreclosure and avoiding foreclosure rescue scams during the Mortgage Resource Fair on Saturday, May 19, at the Attorney General’s office in Springfield.

Mortgage lenders including Bank of America, Citi, PNC and Wells Fargo will meet homeowners and provide information on obtaining loan modifications. Those planning to complete a loan modification application are urged to bring the following items:

  • Most recent pay stubs (2 months) for all wage earners/household members with income
  • If receiving government benefits, current award letter (including unemployment benefits)
  • If receiving child support, copy of current court order and proof of payments
  • Most recent bank statements (2 months)
  • Most recent W-2s for all sources of income
  • Most recent federal tax returns (2 years)
  • Complete & accurate budget
  • Letter explaining reason for default/inability to afford current mortgage payments
  • Recent utility bills
  • Recent mortgage statement
  • Recent Homeowner Association Assessment (if applicable)
  • Recent property tax bill
  • Homeowners insurance declaration page.

The “Help for Homeowners” Mortgage Resource Fair will be held Saturday, May 19, 2012, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Attorney General’s Office, 500 South Second St., Springfield, IL 

More information on this free event can be obtained by calling the Attorney General’s Homeowners Referral Helpline at 1-866-544-7151.

Legislative updates from Illinois House Republicans

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Letters to the Editor

Tom Cross

House Republican Leader

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – As the General Assembly begins the final weeks of session before scheduled adjournment on May 31, the “big two” – pension and Medicaid reform – have dominated discussions throughout the state. I understand and respect the concerns of everyone who has participated in these discussions – including and especially those of you who have taken the time to call or write me with your feedback.

Over the years, every chance we get, Illinois House Republicans have been talking about enacting these reforms in order to get our state back on sound financial footing.

Now is a time to come together and put partisan, regional, and economic differences aside in order to achieve a meaningful and fair solution to the challenge imposed by the two 800-pound gorillas in the room – soaring pension and Medicaid costs. 

Governor Quinn should be commended for offering his suggestions on these major initiatives, but the fact that these problems have being building for years should be lost on no one. While it is promising to finally see Democrat leaders willing to accept the challenge of working with us to solve these twin crises, we should not have had to wait until reaching the brink of financial collapse before making long-overdue structural repairs, especially with regard to public pensions.

On this issue, House Republicans have framed the discussion.  Over the past two years, we’ve laid the groundwork. If you look at our pension proposal as compared to Governor Quinn’s recent plan, the end goals are the same:  restore fiscal solvency, ensure current and future retiree benefits are available, and stabilize the budget.  These are not new concepts or radical ideas; they are the fiscal reality we face. 

While differences remain and details must still be ironed out in order to find consensus on a fair solution moving forward, I wanted to take this moment to underscore the importance of this moment. The next two weeks will determine the course of our future in the State of Illinois across a wide range of issues.

We all share the same stake in the future. Now we must all share in the responsibility to make the difficult but necessary decisions to secure that future for our kids and grandkids.

Sincerely,

Tom Cross

House Republican Leader

State Representative, 84th District

Award-Winning Journalist Hazel Trice Edney elected President of historic Capital Press Club

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

Historic Capital Press Club elects new president, leadership team 

 

 

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Award-winning journalist Hazel Trice Edney, editor-in-chief of the Trice Edney News Wire and President/CEO of Trice Edney Communications LLC, has been elected president of the historic Capital Press Club.

 

Edney, a veteran reporter, who is also former editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service and BlackPressUSA.com, was elected by the CPC board April 19. She took office May 1.  

 

“I nominated Hazel Trice Edney because she is able to be the proactive advocate for communications professionals of color needed in the DC area,” says CPC President Emeritus Derrick Kenny, owner of Bold American Marketing. “She boasts a stellar track record as a seasoned journalist and has earned numerous awards. In addition, she has the proven ability to manage a non-profit communications organization, educate young communications professionals, motivate volunteers and establish partnerships with valued corporations and newsmakers. She is ideal for this office. She has the vision, strength, integrity and faith that are needed to move CPC forward into the future.”

 

The new leadership team also includes First Vice President Robyn Wilkes, Director of Communications, Greater Washington Urban League; Second Vice President Sherrie Edwards-Lassister, Senior Account Manager, Campbell and Company; Treasurer Joan Davion of The Davion Group; Immediate Past President Nyree Wright, Senior Vice President, MSLGROUP Americas; and Kenny, who is also Digital Media Manager, Montgomery CountyOffice of Cable and Broadband Services.

 

“Newsrooms across America are shrinking. That means the numbers of Black journalists in the newsrooms are diminishing while the numbers of injustices facing African-Americans are increasing,” said Edney, who has reported for the Black Press for more than 25 years. “In addition to the destructive forces of racism in our communities, we also see its economic impact on our media outlets. This climate reveals that this organization of Black media professionals is just as necessary and just as relevant as ever. The Capital Press Club will not shrink from the front lines in the war for justice and equality for others as well as ourselves.”  

It was 44 years ago that the Capital Press Club was established as the National Press Club refused to accept African-American members. As it approaches its 70th Anniversary in two years, The Capital Press Club exists to unite communications professionals of color through professional development, networking, new business opportunities and entrepreneurship, and issues advocacy. Its diverse membership of journalists, marketing, public relations, advertising and communications professionals from all disciplines is dedicated to maintaining superior standards of ethics, promoting cooperative business competition, and addressing the recruitment and retention of qualified minority communications professionals.

 

Biography of Hazel Trice Edney

 

Award-winning veteran journalist Hazel Trice Edney is president & CEO of Trice Edney Communications and editor-in-chief of Trice Edney News Wire. She is former Editor-in-Chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service and Blackpressusa.com and former interim executive director of the NNPA Foundation.

 

Edney is also an adjunct professor of journalism at Howard University. She has taught Reporting & Writing, Writing for the Media and the Freshman Seminar Class of Annenberg honor students. She is also the Entrepreneur in Residence at Howard’s John H. Johnson School of Communications’ CERRC (Communications Entrepreneurship Research and Resource Center), where she teaches students how to become business owners.

 

A native of Louisa, Va., she was the first Black woman inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. She covered Capitol Hill, the White House and national electoral politics for NNPA from Sept. 2000 to Sept. 2010, including as an investigative reporter in NNPA’s NorthStar Investigative Reporting Program.

 

Edney has a Master’s Degree from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she was awarded the William S. Wasserman Jr. Fellowship on the Press, Politics and Public Policy for her journalistic impact while reporting for the Richmond Afro-American and subsequently the Richmond Free Press. She is also a 2006 graduate of Harvard’s KSG Women and Power Executive Leadership program.

She was a 1999-2000 congressional fellow, sponsored by the American Political Science Association. In the nine-month fellowship for journalists, she served as a legislative aid in the personal office of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

 

Her journalism awards also include the 2011 New America Media Career Achievement Award; a fellowship at the Annenberg Institute for Justice in Journalism at the University of Southern California; the prestigious Lincoln University Unity Award in Media for economics writing; the coveted Tisdale Award, named for crusading Black Press editor the late Charles Tisdale of the Jackson Advocate; and a string of NNPA Merit Awards, including NNPA First Place Feature Story Merit Award 1990 for her final interview with Virginia death row inmate Wilbert Lee Evans, published in the Afro.

 

Her professional media appearances have included the Tavis Smiley Show; CNN; C-Span, Bishop T.D. Jakes’ Potter’s Touch; The Al Sharpton Show; George on the Hill; Washington Watch with Roland Martin; Rhythm and News; the Joe Madison Show and the Washington Journal. Hazel was named “2008 Role Model” by the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education and a “2010 Phenomenal Woman” by the Phenomenal Women’s Alliance. She was also featured as a “Living Legend” on Tom Joyner’s BlackAmericaWeb.com in February 2011. In addition to building the Trice Edney News Wire, Hazel is currently writing her personal memoir. She can be reached at Hazel@triceedneywire.com or 202-291-9310.

 

 

Raoul Legislation Makes Hospitals “Baby-Friendly”

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

Maternity wards must encourage breast-feeding, provide resources for new moms

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-13th) has secured passage of legislation requiring hospitals to adopt policies that encourage breast-feeding, allowing the use of infant formula only when medically necessary or when the mother prefers not to breast-feed.

“The consumption of breast milk by infants – especially in the first few days of life – is correlated with positive health outcomes, both in the short term and throughout the child’s life,” Sen. Raoul said. “Hospitals, of all places, should make breast-feeding an easy choice for a new mother, providing her with the information and resources she needs to get started.”

House Bill 4968 states that obstetric and neonatal wards in hospitals should continue to make formula available for infants when breast-feeding is medically inadvisable, the baby is not receiving sufficient nutrients or calories from breast milk alone, or the mother does not wish to breast-feed. A hospital’s infant feeding policy must include providing instruction in the safe preparation and storage of formula when it is used.

“Breast-feeding is inexpensive and healthy for most mothers and babies,” Sen. Raoul said. “New mothers should know their hospital is supportive of breast-feeding, has committed not to supplement with formula without their permission unless medically necessary, and stands ready with sound information and guidance.”

The legislation requires hospitals to consider the recommendations of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a project of the World Health Organization, when developing a policy on breast-feeding.

HB 4968 has passed both chambers and will become law once signed by the governor.

Simon: Advocates, industry compromise on strip club bill

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

Club fees would help restore cuts to rape crisis centers

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – With bipartisan support and agreement from victim advocates and the adult entertainment industry, strip clubs that permit alcohol would have two options to help restore funding to rape crisis centers under a bill passed 8-0 by the Senate Public Health Committee, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon said.

Strip club owners would choose to pay the state a $3 per patron surcharge on an annual basis or opt to pay a flat fee based on the taxable receipts they report to the Illinois Department of Revenue each year, under House Bill 1645 Amendment 3. Clubs that report taxable receipts of $2 million or more would pay $25,000 a year; clubs that report total receipts of $500,000 to $2 million would pay $15,000; and clubs that report total receipts of less than $500,000 would pay $5,000, according to the legislation.

The $3 surcharge and fee structure in House Bill 1645 Amendment 3 replaced the $5 per patron entrance fee proposed in an earlier bill. The new language was agreed to by rape crisis advocates, club owners and sponsor Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights). House Bill 1645 Amendment 3 now moves to the Senate for a vote.

“I am pleased all the interested parties came to the table with Sen. Hutchinson and my office and agreed on a common sense way to restore funding to rape crisis centers that have struggled to provide critical services to sexual assault survivors, school children and law enforcement agencies on ever-shrinking budgets,” Simon said.

“Substantial evidence links the consumption of alcohol at strip clubs to negative secondary effects, including sexual harassment, sexual assault and prostitution. This legislation will address the social ills and protect free expression. Clubs that do not want to pay the surcharge or fee can choose to stop permitting alcohol,” Simon added.

The newly generated revenue will go into the new Sexual Assault Services and Prevention Fund and be distributed by the Department of Human Services for community-based assistance to victims of sexual assault and sexual assault prevention.  There are at least 32 rape crisis centers – 10 in the Chicago-metro region and 22 in the non-metro area. State funding for the centers has decreased about 28 percent in the past five years.

Last year, the Texas Supreme Court upheld legislation that funded crisis centers through a $5 entrance fee at strip clubs that permit alcohol based on the correlation between alcohol, live nude dancing and negative secondary effects, such as sexual assault. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge of that decision, effectively opening the door for other cities and states to purse similar measures. California is among the states seeking legislation; it is considering a $10-per-patron fee.

Simon, a longtime domestic violence and women’s advocate, first voiced her support for Hutchinson’s legislation in February and testified in support of the amended legislation today. She visited rape crisis centers across the state this spring to call for a budget-neutral way to restore state funding.

 

Topinka supports cigarette tax increase as part of solution

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

Comptroller calls for coinciding cuts, slots at tracks

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka said she supports a proposed cigarette tax increase for Medicaid provided that it is tied to significant spending cuts and approval of a gaming expansion bill that includes a Chicago casino and slot machines at horse racing tracks.

The proposal offered by the state fiscal officer represents a compromise in the ongoing state budget and Medicaid negotiations.

“I am not inclined to support any tax or fee increases, but can back the cigarette tax provided that critical spending cuts are made and much-needed support of the horse racing industry is passed,” Topinka said. “Our biggest problem in this state is spending, and that has to be addressed. But the reality is that increased revenue also has to be a part of balancing the budget, and this compromise accomplishes that as well.”

The Governor and members of the General Assembly have been at odds over the proposed tax and gaming expansion. Republican legislators have opposed the cigarette tax, saying the state should focus solely on spending. At the same time, Gov. Pat Quinn has said he will not support gaming expansion legislation.

But given an estimated state bill backlog of $8.5 billion and the urgent need to pass Medicaid reform legislation, Topinka emphasized the importance of finding common ground.

“This is a common sense fiscal solution,” Topinka said. “And most importantly, it will provide important spending cuts and revenue enhancements to help put the state back on track to fiscal stability.”

Better Business Bureau recognizes National Small Business Week

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

 (From the Better Business Bureau)

 

 

CHICAGO, IL – Entrepreneurs and small business owners are the backbone of the U.S. economy. In honor of National Small Business Week, May 20-26, 2012, the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) encourages small business owners to take advantage of the many free resources for small businesses.

 

“There are many ways that businesses can enhance their messages and strategies,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “The BBB has several free tools business owners can use at www.bbb.org

 

A sample of tools provided by the BBB and FTC are listed below:   

 

BBB Code of Advertising

The BBB was founded on the principles of truth in advertising, which rests first and foremost with the advertiser. The BBB Code of Advertising lays out principles, definitions and suggestions for ethical advertising that all businesses can adopt. This resource is helpful in preventing ad violations.

 

BBB Data Security – Made Simpler  With data breaches becoming all too common in the news, the BBB partners with various data security experts to produce free, easy-to-understand data security guidelines, with checklists and links to data security resources for small businesses. BBB’s Data Security – Made Simpler arms small business owners with the information they need to protect their customers and their business. For more information, visit www.bbb.org/data-security

 

BBB Tips on Direct Selling  The BBB and the Direct Selling Education Foundation partnered to create a series of articles, videos and PSAs to educate direct sellers, their customers and even those considering a career path in direct selling. Free tips and advice you can trust on direct selling are available at www.bbb.org/us/dsef-tips.

 

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)  The FTC has free resources on best practices for complying with the law; online tutorials, videos, and publications created with the small business owner in mind are available. 

 

For more information on National Small Business week, visit www.nationalsmallbusinessweek.com 

 

Consumers can check out businesses for free at www.bbb.org 

Secretary of State Offices closed Monday for Memorial Day

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that all Driver Services facilities and offices open Monday through Friday will be closed Monday, May 28th, 2012, in observance of Memorial Day.

Driver Services facilities that are normally open Tuesday through Saturday will close on Saturday, May 26th, 2012.

All Driver Services facilities will reopen for regular business on Tuesday, May 29th, 2012.

Individuals can visit the Secretary of State’s website, www.cyberdriveillinois.com, to change an address, register to become an organ/tissue donor or renew license plate stickers if they have received a renewal form by mail.

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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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