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Archive for June 19th, 2012

Robert L. Johnson calls for new focus on wealth creation in the black community

Posted by Admin On June - 19 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Johnson Urges Race-Recognition Remedies to Address Wealth Gap during remarks at the Congressional Forum on the “Economic Empowerment in the Black Community”

Bethesda, MD (BlackNews.com) — In an address to the Conservative Black Forum hosted by Congressman Allen West (R-FL-22) focusing on the economic empowerment in the African American community, Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies, called for a renewed national discussion on the growing wealth gap which he referred to as a “wealth gap Tsunami threatening African Americans”.

Johnson cited a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center, which concluded “The wealth gap between white and African American families has more than quadrupled over the course of a generation; the racial wealth gap increased by $75,000, from $20,000 to $95,000; the median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households; and at least 35% of African Americans have no assets”.

In response to this compelling national crisis, Johnson stated that, “We must admit the harsh reality of a history of institutionalized racism and economic discrimination against African Americans is the primary cause of wealth disparity between Black and white Americans” and “we must be willing to talk about race recognition remedies at the highest levels of government as well as between Black and white Americans.”

In his remarks to the Forum, Johnson listed several race recognition policy initiatives that could be discussed. For example, encourage majority-owned businesses to invest in black-owned companies by deferring the taxes on the economic gain similar to the FCC “tax certificate program” which motivated major media companies to sell to minorities and create a Treasury-backed fund to securitize short-term borrowing or emergency loans made by minority banks or other lending institutions to Black families provided these loans are marketed and made in a regulated and transparent manner. The securitized loans would encourage banks and lenders to make short-term or emergency borrowing available at reasonable rates and end “payday” lending as we know it today and break the cycle of borrowing at outrageous interest rates.

“Something has to be done to recalibrate our economic system to address these problems. We need the political courage to propose race-based remedies based on the disparity caused by past and present race discrimination. In the next 25 to 30 years, the majority of Americans will be black and Hispanic. There is a compelling national interest in addressing racial disparity and if we are to be a successful nation and compete globally, we must ensure that all Americans are given an opportunity to fully participate in the U.S. economic system,” he concluded.

Johnson’s complete remarks can be found below and at www.rljcompanies.com.

United States Capitol Building – HVC 200
Monday, June 18, 2012 * 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT

Remarks by Robert L. Johnson, Founder and Chairman

Thank you Congressman West for inviting me to be here today to discuss an issue that is important to me – creating opportunities and access to capital for minorities and minority business owners.

[Acknowledge Members of Congress in attendance]

Most people know me as the entrepreneur who founded and built Black Entertainment Television (BET) which was created to provide consumers with programming content that was not available on existing cable channels.

Since selling BET to Viacom in 2001, I created The RLJ Companies, the holding company for my businesses operating in a publicly traded hotel real estate investment trust; a $250 million private equity fund in partnership with The Carlyle Group; financial services; asset management, where we manage $2 Billion for the U.S. Treasury; insurance services; sports and entertainment; and, we are the largest minority owned automobile dealership group in the country.

As an entrepreneur, I know first-hand the challenges minority entrepreneurs face. I also know the talent, dedication, determination and vision that minority entrepreneurs possess in their desire to become a part of and a contributor to the American Dream.

For many years, I have been vocal about the state of Black wealth and the daunting challenges minority business owners and entrepreneurs face. Without question, lack of access to capital and capital formation are the principal factors holding back opportunities for minority businesses and as a consequence wealth creation within the Black community.

A wave of troubling economic statistics continues to escalate and further exacerbates the growing wealth gap that is directly impacting African American families – what I have called a wealth gap Tsunami.

Consider these facts: “The wealth gap between white and African American families has more than quadrupled over the course of a generation; the racial wealth gap increased by $75,000, from $20,000 to $95,000; the median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households; and at least 35% of African Americans have no assets” according to a recent Pew Research Center study. [Source: Twenty-to-One: Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks and Hispanics, July 26, 2011]

A study by United for a Fair Economy stated “for every dollar of white per-capita income, in 1968, African Americans had 55 cents and only 57 in 2001. At this pace, it would take African Americans nearly 581 years to get the remaining 43 cents and achieve income parity with whites.

A recent Brandeis University study found “the wealth gap between white and African Americans has more than quadrupled over the course of a generation” and the Pew study found “nearly half of African Americans born to middle-income parents in the late 1960s plunged into poverty or near-poverty as adults.”

Since the burst of the housing market bubble in 2006, and the recession that followed, plummeting house values were the principal cause of the recent loss in household wealth. As we all know, the housing downturn had a strong impact on the net worth of African Americans.

As a result of these declines, the net worth of Black households fell from $12,124 in 2005, to $5,677 in 2009, a decline of 53%. Compare that to the net worth of a typical white household which is $113,149. [NOTE: In 2005, white HH net worth was $134,992]

Our Nation’s economy is confronting major structural challenges, the likes of which we have not seen since the Great Depression, and will only serve to magnify the growing wealth disparity unless this harsh reality is addressed.

The indisputable facts point out that middle income whites have far more wealth than even some high-income African Americans. Equally disturbing, educational success achieved by many African Americans has not led to racial wealth equality. To change this reality, we have to increase access to capital.

We (African Americans) fall way behind in access to income and capital. While white America has an 8.2% unemployment rate, the rate for African Americans is close to double that.

Those in society who are generating wealth are beginning to look askance at supporting those who they deem to be nonproductive. So you have one group opposing transfer payments in the form of entitlements and another group arguing that we have to protect entitlements.

Adding to this growing political conflict is the fact that the minority population receiving the transfer payments also happen to be the fastest growing demographic group in the country. As a result, the population that is paying feels they are being financially squeezed because they believe they are transferring money to a nonproductive class.

This is a prescription for the kind of political fighting that is taking place in the U.S. today. Republicans are saying “no new taxes” and Democrats saying “we must protect entitlements”. We are politically in a zero-sum game and many African-Americans are in the middle of that fight with no ability to control their own destiny.

How do you change that paradigm? First you must recognize that the 13.6 percent unemployment rate for African Americans is not because they don’t believe in hard work or in building wealth for their families.

There is a racial component to the employment and wealth gap between African Americans and white Americans that has to be addressed. Unfortunately, this country is uncomfortable with addressing that racial component but until we have a real dialogue about it, that gap is going to grow wider.

To address this compelling national crisis, I suggest that if we are going to close the wealth gap, we must engage in a dialogue about race-recognition remedies at the highest levels of government, as well as between Black and white Americans.

I recognize that public policy based on racial preferences is extremely provocative and controversial, but controversy should not prevent a reasonable dialogue about a societal dilemma that is real and economically devastating in its potential to millions of African Americans.

I wish the answers to close the growing wealth gap were as politically palatable and acceptable as proposals to make our public schools better for minorities, to retrain minority workers for the new jobs market, and aggressively enforce laws against racial and economic discrimination. Over the years, this Nation has been committed to all of these objectives, but these efforts have not and will not close the Black wealth gap.

Therefore, to initiate a dialogue on how to enhance Black businesses and increase Black wealth, I propose the following policy proposals:

1. Allow black businesses to be eligible for government set aside contracts if they own 10 percent of a business rather than the existing 51 percent rule due to the 10-to-1 wealth gap; and significantly increase the dollar volume of set aside contracts for Black businesses across all government agencies.

2. Encourage majority-owned businesses to invest in black-owned companies by deferring the taxes on the economic gain similar to the FCC “tax certificate program” which motivated major media companies to sell to minorities.

3. Allow African American families earning less than $250,000 annually to defer federal income taxes, without interest, provided tax deferrals are placed into a 401(k) type savings account which can only be drawn out at retirement or upon death at which time the government would be reimbursed for the deferred taxes. The gain on the 401(k) investment would be available to the families at retirement or passed on to future generations.

4. Create a Treasury-backed fund to securitize short-term borrowing or emergency loans made by minority banks or other lending institutions to Black families provided these loans are marketed and made in a regulated and transparent manner. The securitized loans would encourage banks and lenders to make short-term or emergency borrowing available at reasonable rates and end “payday” lending as we know it today.

5. Require large banks under the Community Reinvestment Act to fund a nationwide marketing campaign targeted to the Black community with a focus on financial literacy and savings.
Many of these proposals are incorporated in some form or another in current policy and are usually based on economic disparities — for example, the poor versus the rich but these policies do not acknowledge the racial nexus of wealth disparities between Blacks and whites. With African Americans facing a wealth gap Tsunami, we must address these important issues.

I am personally committed to working toward a viable consensus on how to grow and expand minority business ownership and opportunities in America and to propose business solutions to close the growing racial wealth gap.

Until we achieve such remedies, we will not have an environment in which Black wealth can expand or entrepreneurs can prosper.

About The RLJ Companies:

The RLJ Companies, founded by Robert L. Johnson, is an innovative business network that provides strategic investments in a diverse portfolio of companies operating in a publicly traded hotel real estate investment trust; private equity; financial services; asset management; insurance services; automobile dealerships; sports and entertainment; and video lottery terminal (VLT) gaming. The RLJ Companies is headquartered in Bethesda, MD, with affiliate operations in Charlotte, NC; Little Rock, AR; Los Angeles, CA; San Juan, PR; and Monrovia, Liberia. Prior to founding The RLJ Companies, Johnson was founder and chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET). For additional information please visit: www.rljcompanies.com.

Father Pfleger on Rodney King’s death: “America owes him a thank you’

Posted by Admin On June - 19 - 2012 1 COMMENT

By Chinta Strausberg


Reacting to the death of 47-year-old Rodney King who was found dead at the bottom of his Rialto, California home, Father Michael L. Pfleger Sunday said King was victorious in making America “wrestle” with racial profiling not just because of his brutal recorded L.A. police beating but his question to the nation, “Can’t we all get along”?

“America owes him a big thank you,”  Pfleger said after receiving the “Father of the Year” award at Rev. Bobby L. Rush’s Beloved Community Christian Church, 6430 S. Harvard.  “I was very sad to hear about his death because I felt he was damaged from the racial attack years ago and always seemed to be struggling to get back on his feet. He deserved better than that.”

Pfleger was referring to the March 31, 1991 beating by four white L.A. police that was captured on a video that went viral. That beating of then 25-year-old King, who had several addictions including drugs and alcohol, and their acquittal of police abuse charges by an all-white jury led to the L.A. riots and the killing of at least 55 people and the destruction of 600 buildings. The video became a national symbol of police brutality.

“I will always remember Rodney King for asking the question, “Can we all get along”?  “In most places when you ask that question, people just laugh because they are uncomfortable,” said Pfleger, “but the question he asked was a question that is just as pregnant today as the day he asked it. America is still so divided not just by race but by class, so polarized by parties and faith and politics.

“I hope that as we remember Rodney King we ask the question, ‘can we all just get along’?”  Pfleger believes that King “made America wrestle with racial profiling and racism. He did for racism what Trayvon Martin did about race profiling and the ‘Stand Your Ground’ in Florida” which sparked national protests and gain worldwide support. Martin, 17, was unarmed. He was fatally shot by 28-year-old George Zimmerman, an armed neighborhood watchman who said Martin looked suspicious.

“Rodney King made America look at itself like what Mamie Till Mobley did when she made America look at her son (14-year-old Emmett Till)” lying in an open casket with his face grossly disfigured from a vicious beating and shooting by white racists in Money, Mississippi who claimed he whistled at the wife of a store owner.

Mobley said she wanted America to see “the ugly face of racism” which is why she opted for an open-casket funeral held in at the Robert’s Temple Church of God In Christ….. on the South Side of Chicago. Emmett Till’s murder of August 28, 1955, sparked the Civil Rights movement.

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama resulting in a 381 successful bus boycott, a repeal of Montgomery’s segregated bus seating law, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that segregated buses are unconstitutional.

It was the introduction of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who helped organize the bus boycott. The Parks incident paved the way for King’s contributions to the Civil Rights movement including his giving the “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963 in Washington, D.C. that echoes Rodney King’s question of can’t we all get along. At that time, Dr. King said, “No, no we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Pfleger added: “The best way we can honor and remember” Rodney King “is for us to try to get along with each other.”

Rev. Rush said Rodney King began as a victim and though he struggled history will remember him as a victor. “He was a simple man, a modest man, a man who was facing the crosshairs of history.”

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. told reporter “His fight helped to illuminate the darkness that exposed racial profiling and police abuse in a way that was never done before. It was a defining moment.”

Agreeing, Pfleger said, “He will always be one of the voices that spoke to the country and although he was the victim of a beating, he was victorious in making America wrestle with the question about who are we and how are we treating each other.  America owes him a thank you.”

Police are investigating the death of Rodney King as an accidental drowning; San Bernadino County, California coroner officials said the results of an autopsy performed on King today wouldn’t be available for several weeks.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

Author tells story of her granddaughter surviving five strokes, five seizures and three aneurysms

Posted by Admin On June - 19 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

The fight to live told in new book

Flower Mound, TX (BlackNews.com) — Have you ever heard of a child surviving five strokes, five seizures and three aneurisms and live to tell about it? Most likely not, but Chelby Cymone Terrell is a child who did.

Author Brenda Anderson Parker will share her granddaughter Chelby’s story at a book signing party for her new book, The Lessons of Chelby: A Real Life Story, to be held on Sunday, June 24, 2012, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at Bishop Lynch High School, located at 9750 Ferguson Road in Dallas, Texas.

This event will be free and open to the public. It will feature 10¬-year-old Chelby – who at 19 months old – suffered her first stroke associated with brain Arterio-Venous Malformation (AVM), a disease that she and her family would fight to overcome with the help of the nation’s top medical professionals and the power of faith.

AVM is an abnormal connection between arteries and veins, and is typically congenital. According to the American Stroke Association:

AVM occurs in less than one percent of the population . . . More than 50 percent of patients with AVM have an intracranial hemorrhage. Among AVM patients, 20 percent to 25 percent have focal or generalized seizures. . . . Fifteen percent may have difficulty with movement, speech and vision. . . . The chance of a brain AVM bleeding is 1 percent to 3 percent per year. Over 15 years, the total chance of an AVM bleeding into the brain – causing brain damage and stroke – is 25 percent.

This event will increase awareness of AVM and its ongoing advancements, as well as how attendees may offer support to families and the medical community who care for children like Chelby.

The Lessons of Chelby: A Real Life Story is available for purchase at Amazon, AuthorHouse (publisher), Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and The Book Depository. Retail: $15 (paperback and e-book).

About Brenda Anderson Parker

With over 20 years of experience in business, training and motivational speaking, Brenda Anderson Parker is a speaker and writer who inspires people to make change so that they can win in everyday living.

For more information, visit www.TheInspirationalWoman.com

Photo Caption: Author, Brenda Anderson Parker

Southern Illinois Democrats continue track record of closed door politics

Posted by Admin On June - 19 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
Illinois Republican Party State Chairman Pat Brady issued the following statement regarding the ongoing lack of transparency in the replacement process for a Democrat candidate in Illlinois’ 12th Congressional District:
“Southern Illinois’ Democrat Insiders have shown that they are not willing to be open and transparent following the deadline for candidates to apply for the 12th Congressional District Opening.”
“The Selection Committee has done a disservice to the voters of the 12th District by not releasing the number of applicants and their names. Members of the committee have spoken about potentially having a candidate by the end of the month and how ‘quickly’ they think they will be able to select a nominee.  When choosing a nominee for Congress, is quickly and secretly really in the best interest of the voters?”
“By contrast, Jason Plummer, the Republican nominee for the 12th District, met with voters and fielded their questions at three townhall forums last week. That is an example of openness in government, and I call for the Democrats to schedule several forums so the voters of the District can meet with and choose their candidate.”

Job Fair at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill in Rosemont, June 19-21

Posted by Admin On June - 19 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

ROSEMONT, IL – Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill announced that it will be holding a job fair this coming Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday June 19 – 21 from 1pm – 6pm daily at its latest location in The Village of Rosemont, scheduled to open up in mid-July. The home of live country music, whiskey girls and beer in mason jars is seeking plenty of smiling, enthusiastic faces to be a part of the excitement.


“We are really looking forward to opening our location in Rosemont,” says Director of OperationsGeneral Manager Jim Taranto. “Selecting the right staff is always such a critical part of opening a new location.  We need individuals that are ready to share the fun-loving spirit we have come to be known for and want to create an environment where every employee is happy to come to work every single day.”


The new location is accepting applications for all staff positions including servers, bartenders, hostesses and kitchen staff and will be conducting on-site interviews from 1pm – 6pm daily June 19 through June 21. Apply in person at  Toby Keith’s ILTBG at 5441 Park Place, MB Financial Park in the Village of Rosemont, IL.


Visit their website at countrybaril.com or like them on Facebook for updates on future interviews and goings on. Everyone is sure to love this bar and grill!


About Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill – Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill, set to open this summer in The Village of Rosemont, IL, is owned and operated by CRG Enterprises, LLC. This will be the 12th location in the U.S. with two more set to open across the country in the coming year. Each location features a full restaurant menu and private and semi private rooms all adjacent to a live music stage. Focused on the energy and camaraderie of country music, Toby Keith’s is a place anyone will feel as comfortable bringing the family for a lunch time meal as they will hanging with friends at a late night show. Visit countrybarilHYPERLINK “http://countrybartx.com/“HYPERLINK “http://countrybartx.com/”.com for the full menu, a list of upcoming live shows and more information.


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.

Congressman Rush presents ‘Fathers of the Year” award to Father Pfleger and retired Police Officer Moore

Posted by Admin On June - 19 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

By Chinta Strausberg


Father Michael L. Pfleger and Curtis Moore, an old friend were presented the “Father of the Year” Award Sunday by Rev. Bobby L. Rush who is also congressman of the First Congressional District during a ceremony held at the Beloved Community Christian Church, 6430 South Harvard in Chicago.

The awards to honor father’s ceremonies began four years ago, according to Rush. He presented co-Father’s Day Awards to Father Pfleger, Pastor at Saint Sabina and Curtis Moore, retired police officer and a member of Rush’s church.

 “We started this because it is an automatic assumption that Mother’s Day would be a highlight day of the season for the church,” said Rush. “It’s an established folks we call CME’s. They only come to church on Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter. We want to intentionally honor fathers.”

In honoring Pfleger, Rush said he was ordained a priest “he didn’t stop there” having adopted three boys. “He took up the banner for our children when birth fathers were not even on the scene. He took up the cause of young people who day-by-day suffer under the number one problem, according to them, and that is fear of being shot and killed by somebody else of their generation. He took up their cause.

“His voice has been a voiced that has been raised from the rooftop to the mountaintop speaking out against drug dealers, gun dealers, gangbangers and every other ill that has come up against our community,” said Rush. “

Referring to Pfleger, Rush said he is “relentless in his approach, magnanimous in his spirit, selfless with intensity in his outrage over the injustice that he sees all around him, but he didn’t stop there. He adopted three children. So he moved from being a Catholic Father to being a community father and he moved to be a daddy to three adopted boys. He is a man of inspiration to all of us.”

Rush said his mother used to tell him, “Boy, you don’t have any crazy sense.” “Father Pfleger doesn’t have any crazy sense,” said Rush. “He keeps on keeping on, fighting the fight.”

In accepting the “Father of the Year” award, Pfleger said, “When I woke and had my morning prayer this morning, my heart was sad because I thought about my daddy who went home to be with the Lord,” he said referring to Louis J. “Lou” Pfleger born on October 19, 1911 and passed on July 5, 2008.

Pfleger was also saddened on Father’s Day because of the memories of his youngest son, Jarvis Franklin, 17, who was caught in gang crossfire on May 30, 1998 at 79th and Carpenter, but his saddest didn’t end there. Pfleger said he thought about his middle son, Beronti Sims, who died last month having collapsed in his Orlando, Florida home. Beronti would have been 33 on June 3, 2012. He recently buried his second son two-weeks ago.

“My heart was heavy as I thought about this Father’s Day,” Pfleger said. “I thank you for reminding me that every child is our child and the community is our children and that we are brothers and sisters, mother’s and fathers, sister’s and brother’s to one another out here in the community. Until we think like that all the time, we’re never going to stop what is going on.”

Turning to Rush, Pfleger said, “We didn’t serve in the Army together, but you are my brother whom I have known” for many years. Pfleger said his admiration for Rush goes “back in the days of the Black Panthers.”

Pfleger said when he was living on the West Side of Chicago, the Black Panthers used to meet in the basement of the Precious Blood church for a while. “I would sit in on those meetings. I was told I couldn’t say anything but to just sit in the corner and be quiet. That was hard for me to do sit in a corner and be quiet, but the Panthers taught me about community service.

“I realized that the Panthers were doing more on the West Side than the churches were,” said Pfleger. “I started picking up bread for their breakfast program. They thought I was picking up bread for the Precious Blood program. They didn’t know I was bringing it to the Panthers.

“I thank Congressman Rush because you are not only a natural father. You have been a father to this city and to this country, a father who protected his children by always fighting for what is right.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am that you are our Congressman. I am so proud of you,” said Pfleger. He recalled the day when Congressman Rush came on the House Floor and pulled his hoodie up in denouncing the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Pfleger said Rush “made the world recognize the scandal of America, and I told him how proud I was of him. I sat home and I had goose bumps watched him standing there with that hoodie on. I told him that my only regret, and he looked at me, was that all the other Congressmen didn’t run around him and stand with him. He should not have had to stand-alone.

“I thank you for this award. I thank you for being a father to this city and to this country and fighting for justice. I love you,” Pfleger said hugging Rush.

In bestowing the award to Moore, Rush said he and Moore served in the Army together and they have been friends since 1964. Moore, who is a retired Chicago policeman, helped him with his first campaign for office. Rush said the Moore is “an extraordinary family. Curtis raised five girls and one boy mostly by himself.

“He cooked, cleaned worked because he was called to be a daddy. There is something about a transition from being a father to a daddy. Ain’t nothing like a kid calling you daddy or dad. That is more powerful when they call you daddy. That is a more intimate relationships…a more protective relationship,” said Rush.

In accepting the award, Moore said, “I enjoy what I did, and I am glad as a result of what I did they all have become successful.” As an example, one of his daughter’s was the first black queen for the University of Westin Illinois in 35-years. His other daughter graduated from the University of Wisconsin last year.

Referring to his family, Moore said, “I have had a lot of support in doing what I’ve done. This is nothing new to me because my mother raised over 100 foster children. So, that runs in the family.”

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

“Cirque Shanghai: Year of the Dragon” adds additional performances week of July 2

Posted by Admin On June - 19 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 Added Performances on July 3 at 2, 6 and 8 p.m.; Performances on July 4 at 2 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. prior to Navy Pier Fireworks



CHICAGO, IL  – “Cirque Shanghai: Year of the Dragon” has added performances on Tuesday, July 3 at 2 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and will feature a slightly different performance schedule on Wednesday, July 4, with performances at 2 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The Navy Pier July 4 fireworks celebration will begin at 9 p.m.


“Cirque Shanghai: Year of the Dragon” will run through September 3, 2012 (Labor Day), rain or shine, at the Navy Pier® Pepsi® Skyline Stage, the 1,500-seat, canopied, open-air theater on Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. Tickets are $15.50 – $29.50 and are available via Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com/shanghai.


“Cirque Shanghai: Year of the Dragon” is a spectacle for audiences of all ages, featuring performers direct from China who are leaders in their craft of tumbling, juggling, balancing and more. This year’s production features an incredible line up of awe-inspiring acts, including favorites such as Bike Balances and Hoop Diving, as well as an all-new Group Chair Stack, Teeterboard act and the Wheel of Destiny. China’s finest daredevil motorcycle troupe, “Imperial Thunder,” returns with not two, not four, but five motorcyclists riding at breakneck speed within a steel globe – more than ever before in this death-defying feat, called the Globe of Death.


Directed by Miao Miao Chen, “Cirque Shanghai: Year of the Dragon” is presented in this exclusive U.S. engagement by Navy Pier in conjunction with International Special Attractions, Ltd. (www.isaattractions.com) production headquarters in Beverly Hills, CA.



“Cirque Shanghai: Year of the Dragon” will perform May 24 – Sept. 3, with regular run performances as follows:

  • Wednesday at 2, 6 and 8 p.m.
  • Thursday at 2 and 8 p.m.
  • Friday at 2, 7 and 9 p.m.
  • Saturday at 2, 6 and 8 p.m.
  • Sunday at 2 and 4 p.m. 

The schedule on Wednesday, July 4 is 2 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. There will be additional performances Tuesday, July 3 at 2 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 2 at 8 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 3 (Labor Day) at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Tickets are $15.50 – $29.50 and are available by calling 800-745-3000 or visiting www.ticketmaster.com/shanghai. Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more are available by calling GroupTix at 773.327.3778 or visiting www.grouptix.net.


Located on Lake Michigan, just east of Chicago’s downtown, Navy Pier is the most-visited tourist and leisure destination in the Midwest, welcoming more than 9 million visitors annually. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, it is now one of the country’s preeminent recreation and exposition facilities, showcasing 50 acres of parks, gardens, restaurants, shops, attractions, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exhibition facilities and more.

State Board of Education names Financial Oversight Panel for North Chicago District 187

Posted by Admin On June - 19 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Community leaders to supervise finances in North Chicago School District to help balance budget and better serve students 


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced that it has named a Financial Oversight Panel (FOP) for North Chicago School District 187 with David Agazzi serving as the panel’s chair. The FOP, with five ISBE-appointed volunteer members, will serve District 187 for at least three years in order to help the district achieve financial stability.

“On behalf of the Board, I want to thank these citizens for stepping up to offer their time and expertise in helping this district get back in good financial health,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “Districts that are operating with a balanced budget are better able to serve students today and plan for the future.”

The ISBE-appointed members of the FOP are:

David Agazzi, Vice President of Administrative Affairs for the College of Lake County.  Mr. Agazzi’s previous experience includes Vice President of Administrative Services for Joliet Junior College and Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Chicago Public Schools.  Mr. Agazzi lives in Highland Park and will serve as the Chairman of the FOP.

Evelyn Alexander, retired Assistant to the Mayor with the City of North Chicago after 28 years of service.  Ms. Alexander volunteers as a Commissioner for the City of North Chicago Housing Authority, City of North Chicago E-911 board member, and a member of the College of Lake County (Lake Shore campus) Advisory Committee.  Ms. Alexander lives in North Chicago.

Cheryl Crates, retiring Chief Financial Officer for Carpentersville-based Community Unit School District 300.  Ms. Crates brings 40 years of experience in school finance to the Financial Oversight Panel and has previously worked as the Chief Financial Officer in the North Chicago School District.  She also serves as the Chairperson for the Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO) Delegate Advisory Assembly.  Ms. Crates lives in Algonquin.

Hornsby Kneeland, Design Engineer at Molex.  Mr. Kneeland also serves on the Board of Commissioners for the North Chicago Housing Authority.  While serving four years as an Alderman for the City of North Chicago, Mr. Kneeland was appointed chair and vice-chair of several committees.  Mr. Kneeland also enjoys volunteering as a local children and teens’ coach.  Mr. Hornsby lives in North Chicago.

Shaunese Teamer, Executive Director of the Lake County Chamber of Commerce after serving more than 20 years as a Corporate Communications and Marketing Executive with WTTW Channel 11 in Chicago.  Ms. Teamer also served four years as an Alderwoman for the City of North Chicago.  Ms. Teamer lives in North Chicago.


North Chicago School District 187 serves nearly 4,000 students and has been under ISBE oversight since December 2010. The State Board will consider Wednesday whether or not to remove the locally elected board and replace them with an independent authority. The district’s failure to meet standards for nine years under the federal No Child Left Behind law (NCLB) triggered the state’s intervention. The creation of the FOP will provide the district with a greater ability to meet the financial challenges the district is facing after years of deficit spending.

Protesters and Supporters to announce their victory and next steps in The Hunger Strike for Healthcare Campaign

Posted by Admin On June - 19 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

After a Monday meeting with CEO Joe Garcia of University of Illinois Medical Center  


CHICAGO IL –On Monday June 18, Joe Garcia, the CEO of University of Illinois Medical Center held a meeting with the Hunger Strike for Healthcare representatives including the hunger strikers themselves. In a meeting that lasted about an hour, UICMC agreed to certain demands of the Hunger Strike for Healthcare Group. 

 Father Jose Landaverde, stated, “We came into an agreement that University of Illinois Medical Center will offer the treatment needed to Lorenzo Arroyo, they also agree to continue the dialogue with us and with Rush Medical Center to address the issues of urgent medical care for those who can’t access medical care due to their immigration status.”

 University of Illinois Medical Center follows the steps of Rush University Medical Center by agreeing to a dialogue to find solutions to the issue of health treatment to individuals who lack legal status in this country. However the “fight is far from over” said a hunger striker of the campaign, “We need to continue this campaign, there are more people in need of urgent care and transplant treatment, now we are targeting Loyola Medical Center, they have refused to answer our demands therefore we continue the strike and the struggle” she concluded. 

The Hunger Strike for Healthcare Campaign is strategizing their next moves targeting Loyola Medical Center for Friday June 22,2012. More details about this and the meeting with Joe Garcia, at the press conference. 

The press conference was held today at Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission, 3442 W. 26th St. Chicago, IL, to announce the details of the meeting between CEO Joe Garcia and Representatives of the Hunger Strike for Healthcare – Protesters also announced the next steps that will be taken against Loyola Medical Center. 

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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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