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SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) issued the following statement ...
Law enforcement implores Backpage, the leading U.S. website for prostitution advertising, to protect children     WASHINGTON, D.C. ...
Findings: Schools concerned about pension funding CARBONDALE, IL — Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon announced the ...
   Springfield, IL —Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White has announced that forty-one public ...
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WASHINGTON, DC - Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Marcia L. Fudge released the following ...
Medical expert Dr. Ken Taylor explains the health priorities that should be on everyone's New ...
Concerned about the harmful impact of a continued state budget stalemate, Cook County Board President ...
CBC Chairman G.K. Butterfield statement on the appointment of Steve Bannon to senior role in ...

Archive for June 8th, 2012

Floridians win twin Victories in the fight against voter suppression

Posted by Admin On June - 8 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

By Marc H. Morial

President & CEO, National Urban League

 

Recent attempts to prevent voters of color in Florida from fully exercising their constitutional right to vote suffered twin blows last week.  First, on Thursday, the Federal District Court in Miami granted a preliminary injunction effectively blocking several key provisions of Florida’s new and restrictive voter registration laws.  Calling the new registration requirements “onerous,” the judge sided with the National Urban League, our Florida affiliates and a coalition of civil rights and voting rights groups who believe that these illegitimate and burdensome restrictions have only one purpose – to suppress the votes of millions of Floridians. 

Second victory for voting rights occurred on Thursday when the U.S. Department of Justice Voting Section informed Florida’s Secretary of State that the State’s current effort to purge voting rolls — allegedly to keep non-citizens from voting — was likely in violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the 1993 National Voter Registration Act.  The State has targeted about 2,700 so-called ineligible voters for removal from the rolls unless they provide proof of citizenship within 30 days.  The effort is so flawed that hundreds of legal residents, including several heroic World War II veterans, have received insulting letters demanding proof of citizenship.
 
In its letter challenging the State’s actions, the Justice Department said that Florida failed to comply with Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act because it has not, as required, submitted any changes affecting voting to the federal court or the Attorney General for review.  The letter also stated that under the National Voter Registration Act, any program to eliminate ineligible persons from the voting rolls must be completed 90 days prior to a Federal primary or general election and must be “uniform and non-discriminatory.”  With Florida’s primary slated for August 14th, the State has clearly missed the deadline.  And with Hispanics comprising the majority of those targeted by this measure, we believe it also fails the non-discrimination test. 
 
These Federal rulings are a victory for Floridians and for those of us on the front lines working to protect one of our most precious rights – the right to vote.  Let’s not forget that because of voting irregularities in Florida, including clear instances of voter suppression, a mere total of 537 votes and the United States Supreme Court decided the 2000 Presidential election,  The nation vowed to never let that happen again.  But, Florida has emerged as a key battleground in a new and unprecedented war on voter rights currently underway across the country.
 
The National Urban League’s “Occupy the Vote” campaign has made the protection of voting rights our number one issue in 2012.  We are calling on citizens to join us in the fight against voter suppression laws which are clearly designed to keep people of color, students, the elderly and people with disabilities from the polls.  We have also teamed up with the NAACP to sponsor a voter empowerment hotline to enable callers to register to vote and report problems: 1-866-MYVOTE-1.  Nothing will have a greater impact on the future of Black America in 2012 than the vote.  That is why we will continue the fight to remove barriers and empower all citizens to fully exercise this precious right.

Foundation work helps to reverse social plights, perception of African-American men and boys

Posted by Admin On June - 8 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

By Kimberly N. Alleyne
America’s Wire Staff


Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — Concerned about the plight of African-American men and boys, several philanthropic organizations have launched initiatives to improve opportunities for them to succeed. Some programs address the structural bias that leaves these men more likely to be incarcerated, jobless and disproportionately affected by other social disadvantages.

One of every 15 African-American men is in a U.S. prison or jail compared with one of every 36 Hispanic men and one of every 106 white men. Moreover, scores of African-American men are affected by chronic unemployment, lack of education, poverty and poor health outcomes.

Organizations such as Open Society Foundations, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Mitchell Kapor Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and local and regional foundations are working to assist African-American males. Shawn Dove, campaign manager for the Campaign for Black Male Achievement sponsored by Open Society Foundations, recalls that media stories about the plight of black men in 2006 spurred discussion on how the foundation could engage.

“I thought, ‘How can we, a foundation that supports open society values, and believes in a democratic society, as a foundation, not be at the forefront of these issues?'” he says. “When we launched, there was not an equivalent on a national level.”

The program began in June 2008 and was to be a three-year campaign. But 18 months in, Dove says, George Soros, chairman of Open Society Foundations, and its board were impressed by the work, expanded the budget and agreed to make it ongoing. Since 2008, it has spent $29.6 million funding 94 organizations working on educational equity, strengthening family structures and increasing work opportunities. Grantees are in Chicago, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Jackson, Miss.

“We are responding to long-term systemic and structural barriers facing the African-American community, specifically black men and boys,” Dove says. “An adequate response is not a three-year or five-year commitment. An adequate response is generational commitment so that direct services and policy advocacy are bridged.”

Dove maintains that to adequately address challenges faced by African-American men, “we need an endowed social corporation that can focus on these issues for the long haul.”

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s work in this regard dates to the early 1990s when it launched a Men and Boys of Color initiative that included grants and creation of opportunities for black males. For more than 20 years, Kellogg has been in the forefront in supporting initiatives such as Community Voices, which started the nation’s first health clinic for men in Baltimore, addressed flaws in local juvenile justice systems and assisted ex-convicts in re-entering communities in numerous cities.

“Both explicit and unconscious bias affects young men and boys of color in particular, denying them equal opportunities to succeed in their communities, says Dr. Gail C. Christopher, Kellogg’s vice president for program strategy. “At the Kellogg Foundation, a critical objective for our racial healing and racial equity strategy seeks to remove structural and implicit barriers that limit their success. Achieving and sustaining racial equity requires strong systems of accountability, and as importantly, success requires uprooting a belief system of racial hierarchy.”

Last September, Kellogg sponsored “Too Important to Fail,” Tavis Smiley’s PBS report on health and education disparities among African-American boys. The foundation also funded a University of North Carolina project, the Promoting Academic Success initiative, which worked with families, schools and communities to improve academic achievement of African-American and Latino children in Lansing, Mich., and Polk County, Fla.

Under its America Healing Initiative, the foundation funds many organizations, such as the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, that engage in efforts to address the challenges faced by black males. One grantee, the Opportunity Agenda, recently released a report on perceptions of black males in the media. The report seeks to educate media makers, educators and others on how negative images of black communities perpetuate negative stereotypes.

A significant part of the challenge is improving educational opportunities for African-American men. With its College Bound Brotherhood program established five years ago, the Mitchell Kapor Foundation helps black youths and men achieve success by equipping them to pursue a college education. Based in San Francisco, the program provides grants to community-based organizations offering college preparedness programs in the Bay Area.

Justin Davis, the foundation’s program coordinator, says it has awarded more than $1 million to organizations. “We also offer an online database, which is a free directory that lists college readiness programs in the San Francisco Bay area community,” he said. “It helps students, parents and teachers.”

The program hosts an annual graduation celebration at which college-bound high school graduates are lauded for their achievements. “This year, we are celebrating 150 young black men who are enrolling in college this fall,” Davis says. “This is the only event like it in the Bay Area. Last year, it was standing room only. One of the most powerful images was seeing a stage full of young black men who are going to college. It’s a great thing to see.”

The programs are making an impact.

Jordan Johnson, 17, is heading to Morehouse College next fall largely because of his participation in the Young Scholars Program, one 15 organizations that the Kapor Foundation supports through grants from College Bound Brotherhood. Johnson says the program changed his perspective about college.

The Young Scholars Program offers college preparatory and leadership development, plus tutoring, mentoring, cultural enrichment and scholarship assistance. Over the past 10 years, its students have attended colleges and universities such as Texas Southern, Fisk, Cornell and Yale.

“I got involved in the Young Scholars Program my junior year,” Johnson says. “Before I got involved, I thought I was going to a junior college or a two-year college. I didn’t have the professional, social or academic skills to go to a four-year college.” But the program changed his aspirations. He plans to study business management. “I didn’t think I was going to Morehouse because my GPA is 2.67,” he says, “but the Young Scholars Program gave me hope. I have been accepted to 17 colleges. I have not received any rejections.”

Another organization, Foundation for the Mid South, works to address poverty in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, a region whose 30 percent poverty rate is the nation’s highest. Based in Jackson, Miss., the organization focuses on education, health and wellness, wealth building and community development. The Kellogg Foundation is among funders of its work.

Matthew Caston, a communications fellow at Foundation for the Mid South, asserts that to be successful, more African-American men require better education. For instance, the foundation’s data show that two of three boys of color cannot read at grade level by third grade and that 19.1 percent of black males are unemployed, compared with 8 percent of white males.

“We have found that education is the biggest determinant of success in the areas of incarceration, health and earning. People who are more educated are healthier and have better jobs,” Caston says, adding that reading scores are the biggest determinant for high school graduation and employment. “Males of color in our region are at the bottom in reading scores.”

The foundation is working to improve education and economic outcomes for youths of color by assisting parents and civic, community and government leaders in improving the educational system and launching a public awareness campaign about its shortfalls.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Black Male Engagement (BME) Challenge takes a different approach.

Pronounced “be me,” BME piloted programs in Detroit and Philadelphia last year, and its primary mission is to highlight actively engaged black men in those cities. BME is also funded in part by the Open Society Foundation’s Campaign for Black Male Achievement.

“There are many initiatives that show that black men are disengaged, absent or a threat to their communities, but our working assumption is there is nothing to fix about black males,” says Trabian Shorters, vice president/communities program at the Knight Foundation and BME’s spearhead. “BME is not about fixing black males. Black men are assets to their communities, and we are working to respond to the many of them who are engaged and how to get more black males engaged.”

Under the program, African-American men in Detroit and Philadelphia were asked to submit video testimony showing how they strengthen their communities. The 2,083 videos received told many stories about personal journeys that included men helping veterans returning to their community and introducing children to dance instead of street life. The storytellers were invited to apply for grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to further their community work.

“So many regular guys go unsung,” Shorters says. “They don’t do this work for a pat on the back, but it is nice to affirm what they do.” BME has awarded $443,000 in grants “to 443 regular, everyday guys,” he adds.

Shorters says everyone knows “good guys” who are not part of the dreadful statistics. “I hope that BME creates a network of these kinds of guys, regular guys,” he says. “We want to make it so that if your cousin Joe is a good guy, doing something great for his community, that he can plug into the network and meet other guys like him and find resources to support his work.”

Though many foundations focus their attention on systemic and structural barriers affecting African-American males, the whole “village” carries the burden of success.

“This is our unfinished business,” Dove says. “This is not black America’s unfinished business. It is America’s unfinished business.”

America’s Wire is an independent, nonprofit news service run by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Our stories can be republished free of charge by newspapers, websites and other media sources. For more information, visit www.americaswire.org or contact Michael K. Frisby at mike@frisbyassociates.com.

Photo Caption: College Bound Brotherhood program lauds graduates for their achievements
Photo credit: Derek Lassiter

Black Author: Slavery could exist on Mars

Posted by Admin On June - 8 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Author claims that 1350 BC Pharaoh returns to tell her that slavery could exist on Mars in the future

 

 In new book, author Angela Powell says Pharaoh Akhenaton uses her to take readers on a spiritual journey to explore the biblical precepts that allow outer space captivity. He then asks the question, “Since the Bible condones captivity, how do you obtain manumission?” Using dreams and visions, an answer is given – but it is so disturbing that it causes the author to undergo mental illness


Griffin, GA (BlackNews.com) — Known as the heretic King and revolutionary, first-time author Angela Powell claims that Pharaoh Akhenaton manifests himself to guide her through a sixteen-year journey wherein God teaches her about the biblical principles that allow slavery to perpetually exist. Spiritual Bipolar: God Is The Peace In Your Heart That Calms The Voices Above Your Head is the author’s memoirs that chart every step of the ordeal.

Powell follows Pharaoh Akhenaton on a spiritual quest to record dreams and visions that begin on Azusa Street, and that are downloaded into her psyche like scenes from The Matrix. Angela sees the Black nation in chains of bondage. A war rages beneath them in which dark forces try to keep them in captivity; and a war rages above them in which God fights from Heaven to free the redeemed of His people from bondage. These visions are so mentally debilitating that they cause Angela to develop bipolar with schizophrenic tendencies.

According to Powell, through prayer and intense research, God shows her that her vision foretells of the Devil’s demonic plans to continue slavery on the planet Mars. Her book of witness tells all – from Noah’s Old Testament curse against Canaan/Ham to Revelation’s New Testament of the final wars between good and evil, light and darkness, in order for God to set His people free.

To keep the author from alerting her race that captivity on Mars is imminent, using violent tactics, the Devil attempts to keep the author in a state of paranoia. Whether asleep or awake, the Devil constantly attacks the author, and she must actively fight for her life in an alternate spirit-world. The Devil is subdued long enough for the author to complete her book of witness, which God will use to teleport the reader into a spiritual journey wherein he or she must decide: Is Pharaoh Akhenaton teaching the author a truthful doctrine? Or, is her bout with mental illness trapping her inside a distorted reality that only she can see and hear?

Spiritual Bipolar: God Is The Peace In Your Heart That Calms The Voices Above Your Head by Angela Powell is available online at www.createspace.com/3696829.

Photo Caption: Bookcover

$5 Million for West Suburban man wrongfully imprisoned for rape

Posted by Admin On June - 8 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Prosecutors & Police Allegedly Withheld Evidence That Would Have Freed Him

 

Chicago, IL – Attorneys for Marcus Lyons announced that they had reached a $5 million agreement with the west suburban Village of Woodridge to settle a case alleging police misconduct that resulted in Lyons’ 3-1/2 years wrongful imprisonment for a rape that DNA evidence later showed he did not commit. 

The DuPage County prosecutors in the case were Joseph Birkett, now serving by appointment as a state appellate court judge and running for election for a full term in the November 2012 election, and Kathryn Creswell, now the presiding judge of the felony division in DuPage County Circuit Court.

Lyons was joined by his attorneys, Jon Loevy and Aaron Mandel of Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, at a press conference yesterday in Chicago to discuss the settlement and his long journey to this day.

At the time of his arrest in 1987, Lyons was a Navy reservist with no criminal record, was in school at the College of DuPage, close to obtaining his degree in computer science, and was employed at Bell Labs as a computer operator.  He was engaged to be married and dreamed of starting a family.  He was the only African American man living in the apartment complex where the rape occurred, and where police suppression of biological evidence and a faulty witness identification ensured his conviction.

After being found guilty, Lyons was sentenced to six years in prison and served three-and-a-half of them before being released on parole. Then he found that his nightmare had only really just begun, because as a convicted felon and registered sex offender, he had difficulty finding employment and pursuing a meaningful career.  In addition, his personal relationships suffered as he never married nor had children.

Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law is the largest civil rights firm in the Midwest.  Over the past decade, Loevy & Loevy has won more in jury verdicts against law enforcement abuses than any other firm in the region.

Cook County State’s Attorney announces new initiatives to tackle gang violence

Posted by Admin On June - 8 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

With Governor’s signature new “Street Gang Rico” law would become first-of-its-kind to target organized gang activity 

 

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez recently unveiled a new anti-crime legislative initiative designed to target gang leaders and the organized structures of Chicago street gangs and announced that her office is creating its first ever Racketeering Unit to help implement the new approach to fighting gang and other organized crimes. 

Alvarez praised legislative passage of the “Illinois Street Gang and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Law” (Street Gang Rico), which was written by her office and for the first time will enable local prosecutors to investigate and indict gang cases applying the tools of “Rico” a charge typically utilized in federal prosecutions.

Alvarez was joined by Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and the sponsors of House Bill 1907, State Senator Tony Munoz and State Representative Michael Zalewski.  The bill, approved last week by the Illinois General Assembly, awaits the Governor’s signature.

“Under current practices, state prosecutors are typically only able to charge individual gang crimes and rarely, if ever, are able to prosecute and hold gang leaders accountable for the organized activities of the street gang and its underlings,” Alvarez said. 

“With this new law, for the first time in the history of our state, local prosecutors will be permitted to identify and address patterns in multiple gang-related offenses and join different organized crime offenses and different offenders into a single court proceeding.”

The “Street Gang Rico” bill will target gang organizations engaged in a pattern of crimes involving violence such as illegal weapons, sex-offenses, terrorism, and drug trafficking.  In this way, different organized crime offenses and offenders may be joined into a single proceeding, and prosecutors can target the structure of the criminal organization itself and allow judges and juries to hear and see a complete picture of the overall criminal activity of the gang and its leadership.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said his agency welcomes the new tool in its battle against Chicago street gangs.

“The Chicago Police Department is committed to making Chicago a safe place to live, work and play for our residents and we will use all available resources, including the new RICO law, to ensure the safety of communities across Chicago,” said McCarthy. 

Alvarez also announced that she is creating a new “Racketeering Unit” within her office that will include specially trained Assistant State’s Attorneys who will be made available to train other prosecutors from State’s Attorney’s offices around the state.  The prosecutors in the State’s Attorney’s Racketeering Unit will undergo intensive training on the best practices and principles of Racketeering and Rico prosecutions and they will build and handle cases prosecuted by the office under the new law. 

“This new law will require fundamental changes in the way that state prosecutors approach gang crimes because the crime of racketeering has not existed under Illinois law in any meaningful shape or form,” Alvarez said.   

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez was joined by legislative and law enforcement partners to announce the legislative passage of the “Illinois Street Gang and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Law” (Street Gang Rico), which was written by her office.  For the first time local prosecutors will be able to investigate and indict gang cases applying the tools of “Rico” a charge typically utilized in federal prosecutions. The bill, approved last week by the Illinois General Assembly, awaits the Governor’s signature.

Immigrants enter 8th Day of Hunger Strike

Posted by Admin On June - 8 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

(From the Moratorium on Deportations Campaign)                                                                   

 Standing in Solidarity with our fellow immigrant community!                                        

 

We will not stand and watch our friends, our neighbors; our brothers and sisters; our families die due to lack of “papers” and medical care. We denounce the racism and disempathy that exists within medical institutions here in Chicago. Institutions like University of Illinois and Loyola Medical hospitals are complicit and responsible for the death of people who are refused medical care due to their immigration status.

Today, we make responsible these two medical institutions ( University of Illinois and Loyola) for the health of the 5 hunger strikers (Sonia Lopez 47, Lorenzo Arroyo 36, Catalina Arroyo 53, Hilda Burgos 45, Fr. Jose Landaverde 43) in addition to the lives of the 3 individuals (Jorge Mariscal 24, Lorenzo Arroyo 36, and Elfego Arroyo 37) who are in need of urgent medical care and organ transplant.

With this CALL TO ACTION, we ask for solidarity and support from social justice advocates and those fighting for a more just world. We reach out to our allies, supporters, community organizations, grassroots organizations, and everyone fighting against the 1% (Corporations and Institutions that choose and exist for profit over people)

Today, we add the administrators and boards of institutions like Rush, University of Illinois and Loyola medical hospital to the 1% list.

We say NO to profit over people,

We say YES to empathy and solidarity

We say YES to people’s power and NO to racist institutions that systematically oppress marginalize communities.

WHAT: CALL TO ACTION to ALL COMMUNITY GROUPS, ORGANIZATIONS, INDIVIDUALS, THE 99%!

MASSIVE GATHERING OF SOLIDARITY, ACTION ANNOUNCEMENT TO CONTINUE THE HUNGER STRIKE

WHEN: Sunday, June 10th 2012 at 12pm (noon)

WHERE: 3442 W. 26th St. Chicago IL 60623

WHO: Immigrant rights groups, community organizations, grassroots activists/groups, individuals who will join forces with the hunger strikers!

 Strikers will be available for interviews and will be announcing their “direct action” and strategy as they continue the Hunger Strike.

 In Solidarity,

Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission and Moratorium On Deportations Campaign (MDC)
Join us in solidarity by attending the CALL TO ACTION on Sunday June 10 at 12noon and by e-mailing your organization’s name (note of support) to: MoratoriumOnDeportations@gmail.com


Background:

Taken from the Chicago reporter by Yana Kunichoff.

On Sunday at 11 am, Sonia Lopez, Hilda Burgos and Lorenzo Arroyo [Catalina Arroyo and Fr. Jose Landaverde] stopped eating. The three started a hunger strike to demand medical treatment for family members who have been denied a spot on the organ transplant list because they are undocumented.

 And as a result, says Burgos, these loved ones are slowly dying.

Each of the hunger strikers has an experience related to transplants. Sonia Lopez’s son, Jorge, lost one kidney to kidney cancer and his second is diseased. Arroyo’s brother is in need of a liver transplant.

Burgos has the most hopeful story–her son was able to get a transplant after her sister volunteered to donate a kidney.

“We as mothers don’t want our kids to die,” said Burgos. Sonia Lopez first took the decision to go on a hunger strike, and “we are supporting her because we know what it is like.”

The barriers and hurdles to getting transplants for undocumented immigrants are varied, and depend on individual situations.

Firstly, Burgos says, a valid social security number is essential to getting on the transplant list.

In her case, her sister’s organ donation meant that her son didn’t have to worry about the list.

Next comes the cost of the procedure and the expensive medication needed afterwards. Most undocumented immigrants are uninsured–they make up 7 million of the 46.3 million uninsured people in the country. They are also ineligible for Medicaid and Medicare.

Burgos’ son was eligible for Illinois’ All Kids state healthcare, which is awarded regardless of immigration status, but had grown out of the program by the time he needed the transplant.

Burgos says that with a donation from Rush Hospital, which agreed to do her son’s transplant, and the post-operation medicine offered at a discount from Cook County Hospital, her son was able to get a new kidney.

She says that it is not impossible to save Jorge’s life, but it is essential to get the approval of a hospital to do the transplant.

Guidelines on transplants answer few questions about whether immigrants, undocumented or otherwise, can receive organs, according to a 2008 study by Charu Gupta with the American Medical Association. Along with “indirect exclusion” through a lack of insurance coverage, undocumented immigrants rarely receive transplants when they need them.

Burgos said that Lopez and her son had tried several hospitals, all of which had refused to take Jorge.

Research shows that between 1988 and 2007, undocumented immigrants contributed 2.5 percent of all donations, while only receiving 0.63 percent of the organs.

Jorge Lopez, who Burgos says is in serious condition, came to the United States at the age of 1. She calls it a cruel irony that though he was able to graduate high school, the constant dialysis for his kidney had made him too weak to attend college or contribute to the country he has lived in practically his entire life.

Burgos says that the community is willing to help Sonia Lopez and Lorenzo Arroyo raise money to fund the needed operations. But she stresses that the target of the hunger strike is the hospitals-–if they can agree, she says, the money won’t be an obstacle.

“Everybody from the community can help with that.”

And until the hospitals come to a decision, she says, they won’t be taking any breakfast, lunch or dinner.

© Community Renewal Society 2012

Chicago rally to condemn child massacres in Syria

Posted by Admin On June - 8 - 2012 1 COMMENT
Rally will be held June 9, 2 p.m., at Michigan & Congress
 
Chicago, IL – Americans from all backgrounds, ethnicities, and religions will come together in downtown Chicago to rally for freedom in solidarity with the Syrian people and condemn the massacre and slaughter of children. The turnout is expected to be one of the largest rallies for Syria in the Midwest.
Participants will gather at Michigan and Congress at 2PM and have a large pep rally for Syria. At the pep rally, a number of inspirational speakers will give talks on the Syrian situation and the role that the United States could play in bringing an end to the massacre. Then supporters will have signs, posters, and be chanting for freedom and condemning brutality. 
Supporters will be handing out fliers, brochures, and chanting freedom songs and chants for Syria. The message will be clear: the United States needs to take a leadership role in ending this tragic situation.
 
Location: Downtown Chicago at Michigan and Congress
Time: 2:00 PM
Date: Saturday June 9, 2012 
Photo and Video Ops: Men, women, and children of all races and religions dressed in color clothing chanting, holding signs, and singing together for freedom for Syria. 
Audio Sound Bites: A number of extraordinary speakers will

Better Business Bureau Warns: Look for the Red Flags during your summer Job search

Posted by Admin On June - 8 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

(From the Better Business Bureau) 

 

 

CHICAGO, ILMany students are off for summer break and find themselves searching for temporary work. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) is warning high school and university students looking for work this summer to avoid common job scams.  

 

“Many students seeking summer jobs may have little to no previous work experience, And are tempted to apply for jobs that require limited work experience but offer high salaries,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “However, the reality is these offers may be scams rather than legitimate work opportunities.”

 

Ads are posted everyday in newspapers and on the Internet that promise “Summer jobs; make $300 a day” or “last year our employees made $10,000 over the summer”. The intent of these ads generally is to gather personal identity information or to get money from job seekers.

 

Here are 10 tip-offs that the “employment opportunity” could be a scam:

 

1. Big bucks for simple tasks. Watch out if they promise to pay you a lot of money for jobs that don’t seem to require much effort or skill. If it sounds too good to be true, it might be a scam.

 

2. Job offers out of nowhere from strangers. If they offer you a job without getting an application from you, meeting you, or doing an interview, it’s probably a scam. Don’t hand your personal information, especially your Social Security Number or credit card information to such people. This could lead to identity theft.

 

3. Requests for up-front payments. If someone wants you to make an advance payment to partake in a new business opportunity – especially if it’s a big investment, or you don’t have much information about the deal – this is a red flag. “Advance fee scams” are very common and they come in many varieties.

 

4. They ask you to wire the money. If you wire a payment to somebody, it’s gone forever. Wire transfers of money are a convenient and perfectly legitimate service. But scam artists often ask you to wire payments that they are requesting (especially to destinations in other countries) because they know you won’t be able to get your money back.

 

5. High pressure to do it now. Don’t be in a hurry to accept an unsolicited offer of work, or to make a business investment, particularly if the other party is asking you to spend your money on the deal. Take your time and check it out. If somebody tries to convince you that this is a “limited time” offer and you have to act now, just tell them to forget it. High pressure is a common sign that something’s wrong.

 

6. Refusal to give you full details in writing. Ask for complete information in writing. Look carefully at any documentation they might provide to make sure it answer all your questions. If they won’t give details, or don’t respond to questions, don’t do business with them.

 

7. References are missing or a bit suspicious. A real business should be able to give you professional references, ask for references and check them yourself. Even if the references seem good, don’t make your decision based on references alone. Do a careful background check; free Business Reviews are available at www.bbb.org

 

8. Contact information is missing or doesn’t make sense. Be very cautious if a company is trying to get you to accept a job, but seems to lack any established physical location with a real street address. A cell phone number and website address are not enough contact information. If there is an address, it’s worth taking a moment to check it out on the Internet.  

 

9. They want you to buy expensive items. Be cautious if they expect you to make a major purchase of equipment, software, inventory, or information in order to get started in business. It seems like it might be a real business opportunity – but it’s not; the buyer makes the purchase and never receives the things needed to set up the business.  

 

10. It has a bad rating with the BBB! Victims do complain to the BBB about work at home scams. It only takes minutes to check a company’s record with us at www.bbb.org

 

“Your BBB can be reached 24/7 at our website www.bbb.org,” added Bernas. “For more valuable tips, visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/BBBChicago

 

For more consumer tips, visit www.bbb.org

 

MB Financial Park at Rosemont brings live music, comedy, nightlife and more to Chicago’s Northwest Suburbs

Posted by Admin On June - 8 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

“Rockin’ in the Park at Rosemont”–Free Outdoor Music Festival to be held in the 30,000-sq.-ft. Lawn Space at the Heart of MB Financial Park at Rosemont

June 8-10
 
Newest entertainment venues to open are Adobe Gila’s Margarita Fajita Cantina
June 5, Park Tavern mid-June, Zanies Comedy Club July 6, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill mid-July and My Big Fat Greek Restaurant August 1

 

Chicago Bear Charles Tillman to host “Celebrity PRO BOWLer Tournament” at Kings Lanes with current and former teammates June 7

 
ROSEMONT, IL
– This summer, MB Financial Park at Rosemont, a new dining and entertainment district, will be abuzz with the hottest new dining and entertainment venues, charity events, and a free summer music festival. Events will include the June 5 opening celebration of Adobe Gila’s; Charles Tillman’s Celebrity PRO BOWLER Tournament at Kings Lanes, Lounge & Sports June 7; The Village of Rosemont will host a summer music festival “Rockin’ in the Park at Rosemont” June 8-10. Finally, Zanies Comedy Club will open July 6 with a ribbon cutting ceremony with Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens.

 

“MB Financial Park at Rosemont will have something for everyone this summer,” said Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens. “We are thrilled we can provide new and exciting entertainment options to the community, and are confident that our events will become a must-do for the greater Chicago area.”

Tuesday, June 5: Adobe Gila’s Margarita Fajita Cantina, located at 5455 Park Place, will officially open its doors Tuesday, June 5 at 10 p.m. Adobe Gila’s is the home of the famous sizzling fajita and also offers a variety of delicious Mexican and American appetizers, entrees and sandwiches including made-to-order guacamole as well as a large kid-friendly menu. Guests will enjoy lunch and live entertainment seven nights-a-week. Adobe Gila’s closes at 4 a.m. seven nights a week and never has a cover charge.

Thursday, June 7: Kings Lanes, Lounge & Sports will host the Charles Tillman Pro BOWLer Charity Fundraiser, presented by Meijer. This exclusive event will take place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. to support the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation, which provides resources for critically and chronically ill children in the Chicago-area. The fundraiser will be an exclusive evening of bowling, dining and celebration, where guests will have the opportunity to bid on live and silent auction items including autographed sports memorabilia. Some of Tillman’s current and former Chicago Bear teammates will join him in bowling for the cause including Devin Hester, Matt Toeaina, Nick Roach, Alex Brown and Anthony Adams.

Friday, June 8- Sunday, June 10: “Rockin’ in The Park at Rosemont,” an eclectic outdoor music festival at MB Financial Park, will feature 11 live bands, food and drink and free admission, from June 8-10.

 

The festival will be held on the great lawn in the center of new MB Financial Park at Rosemont. Admission is free and food and drink will be available for purchase from restaurants within the complex. The festival runs Friday, June 8 from 5 – 11 p.m., Saturday, June 9 from 1 – 11 p.m. and Sunday, June 10 from 1 – 7 p.m. Each day boasts a variety of live music including Jimmie Van Zant, Infinity, Wedding Banned, April’s Reign, Kashmir, He Said, She Said, Smokin Gunz, Hot Rocks, Fortunate Sons, School of Rock, and Rod Tuffcurls. Outside coolers cannot be brought into the park. A full schedule of performance times can be found below.
 
Accompanying the Sunday, June 10 performances is the “Bags and Jams” Corn Hole Competition offering up to $5,000 in prize money. $50 advance registration is available for the competition and the deadline is Friday, June 8. The maximum number of entries is 64 two-person teams and day-of-event entry (pending availability) is $60. For more information about the “Bags and Jams” competition, email Brittany Stephens at stephensb@rsmt.net.

 
Festival Schedule
Friday, June 8
5:00 p.m. April’s Reign (Rock)
7:00 p.m. Kashmir (Led Zeppelin Tribute)
9:15 p.m. Jimmie Van Zant
 
Saturday, June 9
1:00 p.m. He Said, She Said (Rock/Pop)
2:45 p.m. Smokin Gunz (Country)
4:30 p.m. Hot Rocks (Rolling Stones Tribute)
7:15 p.m. Fortunate Sons (CCR/Rock)
9:00 p.m. Infinity (Classic Rock)
 
Sunday, June 10
1:15 p.m. School of Rock (Kids Rock Band)
3:00 p.m. Rod Tuffcurls (80s Pop)
5:15 p.m. Wedding Banned (80’s Pop/Rock/Glam)

 

July 6:  Zanies Comedy Night Club, located at 5437 Park Place, will officially open its doors with a a ribbon cutting celebration on Friday, July 6 with Rosemont Mayor, Brad Stephens, followed by its first show at 8 p.m.  Opening weekend shows will feature Chicago All Stars Pat McGann (The Chicago Standup Project), Larry Reeb (HBO & Showtime) and Dobie Maxwell (Late Night with Craig Ferguson.)  Other Chicago Favorites are sure to stop in. There will be free admission all weekend – July 6 and 7. 

Other Summer Openings

Mid-June: Park Tavern is a contemporary spin on the gastropub that serves gastropub food in a casual yet stylish setting. Guests can pour their own draft beer from the comfort of plush overstuffed booths with the restaurant’s unique table-tap systems. In warmer months, they can enjoy a craft cocktail and the view of The Park from the roof-deck.

 

Mid-July: Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill will be a fun and rowdy atmosphere inspired by the music and the attitude of the “Big Dog Daddy” himself, Toby Keith. “I Love This Bar & Grill” will offer a mason jar-full of entertainment all week long; whether you want to watch the big game on one of its numerous flat screen TVs, listen to live country music from some of the country’s best high-energy live bands, dance the night away or eat some delicious down-home barbeque cooking.

 

August 1: My Big Fat Greek Restaurant will transport guests to the shores of the Aegean and the Mediterranean as they feast on delicious traditional Greek specialties, including dolmades, taramosalata, roast lamb, moussaka, roast chicken and, of course, flaming plates of saganaki, always accompanied by the waitstaff’s enthusiastic shouting of the classic Greek exclamation “Opa!”

 

In September, Hofbräuhaus Chicago will open just in time for Oktoberfest celebrations.

***

About The Village of Rosemont, Illinois
Rosemont, Illinois, Chicagoland’s business and entertainment suburb, is conveniently located five minutes from O’Hare Airport and twenty minutes from Chicago’s downtown. Rosemont is home to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, a wide variety of hotel and dining options, the Allstate Arena, the Akoo Theatre at Rosemont, and a host of entertainment and retail venues. Rosemont continues to grow and evolve based on the new vision of Mayor Bradley A. Stephens. MB Financial Park at Rosemont features an array of great dining and entertainment options. For more information visit www.rosemont.com.
 
About The MB Financial Park at Rosemont
MB Financial Park at Rosemont is a 200,000 square-foot entertainment and dining complex that, when complete, will house eight venues offering upscale international cuisine, live music and comedy, state-of-the-art film, bowling and more. Conveniently located near O’Hare International Airport, the MB Financial Park at Rosemont is easily accessible from Chicago as well as the suburbs. The address is 5501 Park Place, a new looping street situated west of River Road between Bryn Mawr and Balmoral Avenues.  A 20-minute drive from Chicago’s Loop, MB Financial Park at Rosemont is walking distance from the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, the CTA Blue Line Rosemont station and the Akoo Theatre at Rosemont and convenient parking is available.

 

Adobe Gila’s Margarita Fajita Cantina is the home of the famous sizzling fajita, offering a variety of delicious Mexican and American appetizers, entrees and sandwiches.  Fresh made-to-order guacamole will accompany a large kid-friendly menu. At Adobe Gila’s guests will enjoy live entertainment seven nights-a-week and never a cover charge. The fully stocked bar offers more than 75 tequilas, 30 drafts beers, the ever popular “fishbowl” drink and 64 oz. ‘Mug O Rita’. The 15 large-screen HD TVs and HD projector will show all of the major Chicago sporting events.  The covered second-story patio will be open year round, overlooking The Park.  “Adobe Gila’s, come for the food, stay for the party!”  The 6,000-square-foot venue is projected to open in May. adobegilas.com

 

Kings Lanes, Lounge & Sports is a 27,000-square-foot entertainment complex with 20 state-of-the-art ten-pin bowling lanes, two full-service bars, a boutique billiards lounge and a separate full-service restaurant with patio seating overlooking The Park. Kings is fully equipped with a state-of-the-art sound system, complemented with more than 60 HD televisions. Kings’ menu is highlighted by unique, modern plays on classic fare such as crispy buffalo chicken wontons, hand-tossed pizzas, house-smoked baby back ribs and the freshest hand-rolled sushi. The venue is the ultimate destination, whether it be an afternoon family outing, a corporate event, watching favorite sports teams or dancing the night away along with the house DJs. kingsrosemont.com

About Zanies Comedy Night Club
In 1978, Zanies became the first night club in Chicago to feature professional standup comedy on a full-time basis. At Zanies, the goal is to present the best standup comedy in the most intimate and personal setting. Zanies in Rosemont will continue this tradition with a design featuring a glamorous but intimate environment, the best sound and lights, state-of-the-art video displays, VIP seating, and a corporate section for groups and parties. Guests will enjoy a full-service bar, select food items, great customer service and legendary standup comedy, all designed to make the entire experience unforgettable.  

 

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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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