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Archive for August 21st, 2012

Black voters must roll up their sleeves and fight back against voter suppression efforts in states around the country

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On August - 21 - 2012 Comments Off on Black voters must roll up their sleeves and fight back against voter suppression efforts in states around the country

“The Black Church, activists and black organizations must step up to the plate and shore up its efforts in taking an active role in seeing that no voters, especially black voters, are disenfranchised anywhere in places where new Voter ID laws, purges and shorter voting hours are taking place” – Juanita Bratcher, Author, Editor & Publisher, CopyLine Magazine

 

By Juanita Bratcher

 

Just as there are efforts taking place by some public and elected officials to suppress voting participation by minorities, the elderly, poor and young voters in the November 6, 2012 Presidential Election, there should also be an all-out effort by black churches, black organizations and activists to make certain that every voter – Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians and others – gets the opportunity to exercise their right to vote in this very critical election.

The Black Church is and always has been the backbone of the black community, and has certainly earned its stars and stripes on the battlefield fighting for democracy, not just for Blacks but for other disenfranchised people. The Black Church has been the catalyst in monitoring and overseeing the many negatives confronting black and other minority communities, and in many cases has brought these catastrophes to a squeaking halt.

Traditionally and historically, Blacks have always looked to the Black Church to morally be at the forefront of fighting unfair, unjust laws and discrimination. And the Black Church has proudly stepped up to the plate and delivered with the help of its counterparts – other ministerial ethnicities that believe in civil rights and human rights for all.

When talking about efforts by some to “block the vote through Voter ID laws and purges,” Rev. Harold E. Bailey, Founder and President of Probation Challenge, Inc., and the PCC Internet Broadcast Network. http://www.probationchallenge.org/, said there are those who are “seeking to set the premise of this nation for a precious few.

“I have lived past the promised years, but I never thought I would see our nation try to revert back to the yesterdays where the KKK and other biased groups sought to destroy another body of people. Now many of those same hatred groups are dressed in pin stripe attire while seeking to set the premise of this nation for a precious few.  This country was built for all the many races of people – and not merely for a self-serving body who talks out of both sides of the mouth… especially on Mondays after giving God thanks on Sundays.”

Unfair Voter ID laws, purging and shorten hours are nothing more than an outright assault on our democracy. And to victims of “Block the Vote”: If your voter registration is in jeopardy – if you’re a victim of purges or Voter ID laws – you must do what’s necessary to make certain that things are straightened out prior to Election Day so you can exercise your right to vote in this VERY IMPORTANT election. There is so much at stake; and yes, the winner of the presidential prize will be in charge of leading this country for the next four years and you might not like the results or the winner’s agenda. There are extremists with hate-filled views, hatred and of dividing the country. We must continue to weed them out.

There’re about 70 something days before the November 6th General Election – not much time left to wage an-all-out concerted campaign to see that justice is done, and stop the manipulative assault by some to keep people from exercising their right to vote. But there’s still a little time to turn some things around. So it’s incumbent to do everything necessary to work toward a concerted goal, to walk lockstep together to make going to the polls a top priority and to be mindful that whoever wins the presidency – whether it’s  President Barack Obama or Republican Presumptive Nominee Mitt Romney – the winner’s decisions will set the future tone of our country. And certainly, there are stark differences in the two candidates’ agendas and also differences in the Democrat and Republican Parties as well.

Victims of “Block the Vote” – and that’s what they are – must be ready to fight every step of the way to make certain that their voting right is in place before November 6th. When one prepares early for possible disasters, there’s a possibility that those disasters can be overturned before they ever see the light of day.

Crucial actions can take place in filing lawsuits in the courts but at the same time there must be alternatives like getting out the vote drives to register people to vote; field organizers to put strategic plans together to help those who have been purged from voter registration rolls back on the rolls, i.e., getting their Voter IDs and raising money to pay for those ID’s if the state does not provide free ones, which should have been part of legislation passed to accommodate already voters and potential voters.

 In one state where a Voter ID law was passed, nights and weekends were restricted in some areas and expanded in others. Reportedly, there were shorter hours in counties where there were predominantly Democrat voters and they were extended in counties where there were predominantly Republican voters. In Pennsylvania alone, there are 758,000 voters with no Voter ID. There are purge processes going on in Iowa and Ohio. In Ohio, the last three days of early voting were cut.

In Franklin County, Ohio, in the 2008 election, 31% of early voters were African-Americans; 82% of all early voters in Franklin County voted on weekends; and 197,000 voted early on nights or weekends.   

Noteworthy: It’s as clear as day that Block the Vote, purges, and shorter voting hours obviously were put in place to sabotage the November 6, 2012 Presidential Election.

And it’s time for all “Political Sleeping Giants” to wake up and smell the outrage – strategic actions by some elected and public officials – to take away one of the most basic rights of all Americans, to deny them the right to cast their ballot at the polls on Election Day.

And Political Sleeping Giants must recognize the connotations coming from these new “hostage laws” that have every means of sabotaging the election: This is an important election… one you must take seriously…no play…and by all accounts, is a very serious matter! And it’s time to get serious about getting out the vote. The goal must be to do whatever necessary to cast your vote at the polls on Election Day, to uphold our democracy and not let a handful of people determine this race by undermining our voter and electoral systems. You must put forth an effort to do the right thing – make certain you have moved all road blocks to voting on Election Day. Don’t stay home and don’t go fishing. For sure, those who don’t want you to vote are already working hard to shut you out of the process.

As the old adage goes, “It’s Nation Time,” a time to get involved to make certain that every registered voter can exercise their right to vote at the polls on Election Day, although some will continue to fall through the cracks.

By no stretch of the imagination should any registered voter be denied the right to vote. Yet Voter ID laws have passed in more than 30 states, including several swing states – Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

Reportedly, the Voter ID law in Pennsylvania alone can disenfranchise as many as758.000 to a million voters. A lawsuit was filed against Pennsylvania’s law but a judge upheld it. The decision was appealed but it will be somewhere in September before a decision is made.

However, by the slip of the tongue, lapsed memory pertaining to secrecy, or just plain arrogance, some key Republicans made a case for those who already believed that the Voter ID laws, purging and shorten voting hours are based on voter fraud, were a farce and not the real reason. The fraud numbers, if any, were so minuscule. The bottom line is, it is the last gasp to try and keep down the African-American vote and other voters who normally vote Democrat. And obviously, it was a well thought-out approach to legally disenfranchise certain voters.

Take for instance: Doug Priesse, Chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party and a member of the county’s Board of Election, told an Ohio newspaper that extended hours benefitted African-Americans.

Priesse, who voted against weekend voting hours, said “We shouldn’t try to accommodate African-American voters…I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban…voter-turnout machine…let’s be fair and reasonable,” he told the Columbus Dispatch.

Hours in Ohio were cut in all 88 counties.

African-American voters didn’t ask for special privileges or special accommodations to vote, as Priesse would want whoever his audience is to think. Voting laws apply to all – and they should apply to all. But it appears that these laws are designed to usurp Blacks from the voting process.

In another debacle, Jim Greer, former Chairman of the Florida Republican Party, admitted that during his tenure as chairman, the Republican Party of Florida intentionally tried to suppress minority voters to keep them away from the polls. He made the charges in a deposition in a civil lawsuit he filed against the Florida Republican Party and in an interview with Rev. Al Sharpton, host of PoliticsNation on MSNBC.

Greer, who served as chairman in Florida and is now up on criminal charges for alleged money laundering and fraud, said voter fraud was never on the Republican agenda, but that the strategy was to reduce early voting and manipulate the voter registration process which could lead to party gains in the November elections; to suppress minority voters, specifically Latinos, African-Americans and potential voters, and to make sure that what happened in the 2008 election never happens again.

And then there was Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai. In a speech in June 2012, Turzai, in listing a number of legislative accomplishments, said “Voter ID, which is going to allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania: Done.”

In a CopyLine article July 2, 2012, authored by Publisher Juanita Bratcher, entitled “Tear gas, billy clubs, water hoses, attack dogs and voter registration: We will not go back to that shameful history, that dark era of yesteryear through voter purges and Voter Id laws cropping up in states across the country,” Bratcher stated, “We cannot and will not go back to the dark era of yesteryear when certain citizens could not vote in this country. We must fight tooth and nail, every step of the way, to extinguish efforts by some who would try to disenfranchise voters’ constitutional right to the ballot box”

In Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech of August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., he stated: “We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

In another article by Bratcher in CopyLine’s October 11, 2011 Edition, “Some states have re-invented voting through new voter ID laws: Is it a legal means to disenfranchise certain voters?,” the article reported that:

Brennan’s Executive Summary points out the following on the status wave of changes in the voting arena:

This wave of changes may sharply tilt the political terrain for the 2012 election. Based on the Brennan Center’s analysis of the 19 laws and two executive actions that passed in 14 states, it is clear that:

  • These new laws could make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012.
  • The states that have already cut back on voting rights will provide 171 electoral votes in 2012 – 63 percent of the 270 needed to win the presidency.
  • Of the 12 likely battleground states, as assessed by an August Los Angeles Times analysis of Gallup polling, five have already cut back on voting rights (and may pass additional restrictive legislation), and two more are currently considering new restrictions.

And lastly, lest we never forget the echoing words from Theodore G. Bilbo who served two terms as Governor of Mississippi (1916-1920 and 1928-1932); and two terms as United States Senator from Mississippi (1935 to 1947). Bilbo’s declaration made many years ago as to the possibility of blacks voting, declared: “Do not let a single Nigger register and vote. If you let a few register and vote this year, next year there will be twice as many, and the next thing you know the whole thing will be out of hand.”

There are those who want to take liberties from some Americans while giving more to others and extreme views that are shameful to a democracy. They should be rooted out and booted out of office or never be an officeholder. There should only be ONE AMERICA and all citizens should have the same basic rights – not one for the 99% and another for the top 1%.

It’s an urgent call to arms. And it’s time for activists to put on their running shoes, organize the foot soldiers, and put forth every effort to see that America has a fair election on November 6, 2012.

I can imagine that if Bilbo were still here today, he’d say, “Uh, huh, I told you so…this voting on the part of African-Americans has gotten out of hand.”

Juanita Bratcher is an award-winning journalist and the Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com. She is the author of several books, songwriter and poet. Bratcher has been a Journalist for more than 35 years covering politics, education and a wide-range of other topics. 

Florida leads nation in denying franchise; fails to notify more than 13,000 people of right to vote restoration

Posted by Admin On August - 21 - 2012 Comments Off on Florida leads nation in denying franchise; fails to notify more than 13,000 people of right to vote restoration

 

A Reprint from Disinfranchisement News, The Sentencing Project

 

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Florida leads the nation in disenfranchising people who have served time for felonies–especially for African Americans.  According to The Sentencing Project, some 520,500 African Americans – 23 percent of Florida’s black voting-age population – could not vote because of a felony conviction in 2010.

The Sentencing Project report, State-Level Estimates of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States, 2010, written by Christopher Uggen and Sarah Shannon of the University of Minnesota  and Jeff Manza of New York University, estimated that in 2010, a total of 5.85 million people who had been convicted of felonies could not vote.

Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott and his cabinet made it more difficult for someone with a felony conviction to regain the franchise, establishing a five- or seven-year wait, before they can apply to have their rights restored.

Florida fails to notify more than 13,000 people of right to vote restoration

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida reported that a public records request filed by the organization with the Florida Parole Commission discovered 17,604 Restoration of Civil Rights (RCR) certificates that were returned to the Parole Commission as “undeliverable.”  

The result: thousands of citizens who completed a sentence for a felony conviction now have the right to vote but have not been notified by the state.

ACLU review of the state’s voter rolls indicates that more than 75 percent of those now eligible to vote have not registered to vote, largely because they don’t know that their civil rights have been restored.

The RCR certificates returned as undeliverable may have kept more than 13,000 citizens from voting in the August 14th primary. Unless they are informed of the restoration of their vote and register for the presidential election by October 9th, they may be unable to vote in the November election.

Few Regain Right to Vote in Florida

Vikki Hankins has never voted, but she feels that she’s earned the right, according to an article the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting. She is one of about 1.5 million Floridians fighting for the vote — a right more difficult to regain under Republican Gov. Rick Scott than his GOP predecessor. 

Since her release in 2008, Hankins, 43, who served 18 years for selling crack cocaine, has completed an associate’s degree, started a publishing company and runs an advocacy group for criminal justice.

But she is worried that she won’t regain her civil rights — to vote, serve on a jury and hold public office —until she’s “50, 60 years old,” she  said.

To date, Gov. Scott has restored civil rights to only 78 people.

Ministers have a spiritual obligation to cry loud and spare not!

Posted by Admin On August - 21 - 2012 Comments Off on Ministers have a spiritual obligation to cry loud and spare not!

 

By Rev. Harold E. Bailey

 

Ministers of the Gospel are not speaking out as much as I’ve been used to hearing. I honestly feel that many have felt the sting of corruption that has been prevalent in the land and now perhaps fear has struck their hearts. But, of course there are blatant cries from another group of ministers who feel at some point there just might be benefits if the election results are ruled in their favor! Biblically, I warn this group of select political ministers who won’t consider the scriptures and the disposition for their leading people astray.  Are we not to be centered in Christ and call wrong as sin no matter where we find it – in the White House or Congress? We can’t go along for the sake of getting along. There is a spiritual decision to be made.

However, the Bible tells us not to become entangled in worldly affairs… and we should not be entangled, but then again it tells us as ministers to stand on the wall – cry loud and spare not… and to warn the people as to their transgressions… and that means ‘all the people’ which should include the leadership in Washington DC, and the Congress of these not-so-United States who have stood up strong with the garments of unfairness and out-right in-your-face racism. These often are the persons who fill the pews on Sunday Morning services in pretense of worship.

I have lived past the promised years, but I never thought I would see our nation try to revert back to the yesterdays where the KKK and other biased groups sought to destroy another body of people. Now many of those same hatred groups are dressed in pin stripe attire while seeking to set the premise of this nation for a precious few.  This country was built for all the many races of people – and not merely for a self-serving body who talks out of both sides of the mouth… especially on Mondays after giving God thanks on Sundays.

Ministers, who read and believe the word of God, just ought to consider living that which is preached. If we really preached diligently against the evils of the world – would God not hear and answer our prayers? After all, the prayers of the righteous avail much! Or do we believe man rather than God?

Evil has become a way-of-life by many, and ministers of the gospel have a spiritual duty to ‘Preach the Hell’ out of those persons who are contrary to the teachings of He who made us – for we did not make ourselves! And, we should remember that we are living in God’s house, His courts, and we should enter into His gates with thanksgiving. This world is not about us, it is simply God’s planet and we must be careful how we treat it – which includes treating one-another.  Remember: The very least you do unto God’s little ones; you are doing it unto God, as stated by the real land-lord of the world!

Rev. Harold E. Bailey is founder and president of the Probation Challenge, Inc., and the PCCInternet Broadcast Network. http://www.probationchallenge.org/ – The Truth Network.

Jesse White urges student readers to enter “Letters About Literature” competition

Posted by Admin On August - 21 - 2012 Comments Off on Jesse White urges student readers to enter “Letters About Literature” competition

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White is urging students in grades 4-10 to enter the 2013 “Letters About Literature” (LAL) contest, a national reading and writing competition.

“Every year thousands of students in Illinois enjoy participating in this inspiring competition,” White said.  “Illinois has had more entries than any other state for five years in a row. I encourage all of our students to take part in Letters About Literature, and I hope their participation leads to a lifetime love of reading.”

 Students read a book and write letters to the authors, living or deceased, describing how a book positively impacted their life. The contest is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, in cooperation with the Illinois Center for the Book. There are three levels of participation: Level I for grades 4, 5 and 6, Level II for grades 7 and 8 and Level III for grades 9 and 10.   One winner will be selected for each level and receive a $100 award.  Teachers of the winning students receive a $100 award to purchase materials for their school library.  Winners and teachers are invited to an award ceremony in Springfield.  State winners’ letters are forwarded for national judging.  One national winner for each level will receive $1,000 and one second place national winner for each level will receive $150. 

The deadline to enter the competition is January 11, 2013.  State winners will be announced in April 2013.  For more information about the competition, contact Bonnie Matheis at 217-558-2065 or bmatheis@ilsos.net. More information can also be found at http://illinoiscenterforthebook.org.

Diverse religious leaders unite to end violence

Posted by Admin On August - 21 - 2012 Comments Off on Diverse religious leaders unite to end violence

Reject violence against Sikh community/Uniting behind Dr. King’s vision of peace

 

CHICAGO, IL -  In the spirit of unity, a group of diverse religious leaders is holding a breakfast meeting at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, August 28, 2012, at the New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, 4301 W. Washington, to support and call for the reinstatement of the assault weapon ban.

They are also calling for support of HB 5831, which calls for the registration of all guns in light of the violence in the city and just recently against the Sikh Society and its community.

An 11 a.m. press conference will follow the breakfast meeting.

Last week, 50 religious leaders, who are part of the growing Chicago Clergy Coalition met at Rev. Hatch’s church as an act of love, respect, solidarity and prayer for Dr. Balwant Singh Hansra of the Sikh Society and the Sikh community.

Recently, the Sikh Community of Oak Creek, Wisconsin experienced shock and tragedy when a lone gunman fatally shot six worshippers and critically wounded three others. Dr. Hansra expressed appreciation for the show of support from the Chicago community.

“The encouraging words of Dr. Hansra were inspiring,” said Larry Greenfield, executive minister of the American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago.  “We are all the more committed to the cause of bringing peace to our city starting with the adoption of commonsense handgun legislation in Illinois.”

At the upcoming 11 a.m., August 28th meeting, religious leaders will also design plans to involve youth and young adults in the movement to promote peace and end Chicago’s senseless violence.

Father Jose Landaverde of Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Catholic Church, said,  ” I support this effort 100 percent. I will make sure that this petition is translated in Spanish so that it can be widely distributed in the Hispanic Community. “

Pastor Ira Acree of Greater St. John Bible Church, said, “Just recently here in Chicago we experienced the tragic death of 7-year-old Heaven Sutton. Then there was the Colorado Massacre followed by the domestic terrorist act at the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin. 

“This string of deplorable violent acts has prompted members of diverse faith communities to unite and use our collective voices to protect humanity from the dreadful destruction that assault weapons cause,” Acree stated.

Father Michael L. Pfleger of Saint Sabina Catholic Church said, “A great cross section of people of faith has come together to join in a crisis that we and our members are all faced to deal with, ‘GUN VIOLENCE’! We have chosen to join together and use our moral authority to call for the reinstatement on the Assault Weapon Ban and HB 5831 to call for registration of all guns.  “We will empower our members to put on a full court press for their passage,” Pfleger said.

On the weekend of September 7th-9th, the group estimates that hundreds of faith institutions will participate in the launching of the petition drive. Jacqueline Clark of CROSSwalk commented, “We have the opportunity to come together as people of faith to address this violence, all of us, from all walks of life.”

Referring to the escalation of violence, Clark added: “It is a clear incidence of evil, and if we come together, we have the opportunity to do something about it. This petition is the first step.”

And, Pastor Cy Fields of New Landmark MB Church added, “The faith community of Chicago and surrounding areas is the sleeping giant in this struggle that can lead our city to a more peaceful existence for all and be a model for urban change across America.”

For more information, visit www.chicagoclergycoalition.org.

The Growing Coalition Includes:

Jacqueline Clark                                    CROSSWalk

Rabbi Michael Balinsky                        Chicago Board of Rabbis

Alice Harper Jones                                    Kenwood UCC

Rev. Yoruba Siddiq                                    Kenwood United Church of Christ

Dr. Balwant Singh Hansra                        Sikh Religious Society of Chicago

The Rev. Shawn M. Schreiner            Grace Episcopal of Oak Park

The Rev. Fran Holliday (associate)            All Saints’ Episcopal

Larry Greenfield (Exec Minister)            American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago

Susan Johnson                                                Hyde Park Unoin Church

The Rev. Jackie Lynn                                    St. James Episcopal Cathedral

Rev. Chris Griffin                                    First Baptist Congregational Church

Steve Stanley                                                Organization of the North East

Rev. Jaques A. Conway                        Neighborhood United Methodist

Rodney Lara                                                Judson Baptist Church

Rev. Dwayne L. Grant                        Xperience Church

Dr. Noah Nicholson                                    Family Worship Center

Pastor Ira Acree                                    Greater St. John Bible Church

Pastor Jorge Fuentes                                    Prayer Network USA

Father Jose Landaverde                         Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Catholic Church

Rev. Andre Smith                                   

Rev. Randall Harris                                    Faith Community Church

Elder Murry J. Mills                                    Life Center Ministries

Rev. Woodard Williams                        #2 Mt. Sinai MB Church

Bishop James Stevenson                        New Hope Baptist Church

Pastor Jedidiah Brown                        Chosen Generation

Rev. Dr. Stanley Davis                        Council of Religious Global

Rev. Michael Heyer                                    St. Sabina Catholic Church

Rev. Billy Geanes                                    Renewance Baptist Church

Bishop Victor Agee                                    Praise Temple of Restoration

Brother Andre Hinton                                    Circle Urban Ministries

Rev. Donald Smith                                    First Baptist Congregational Church

Min. Yancey Bady                                    Greater St. John Bible Church

Craig Dooley                                                Top Box Foods

Takesha Marcella Williams                        Are You Ready to Work

Rev. Carol Reese                                    Episcopal Diocese of Chicago

Barbara Abrajano                                    Interfaith Connect

Rev. John Vest                                    Fourth Presbyterian Church

Dr. Bernice Williams                                    First Pentecostal Church

Rabbi Amram Abraham                        Instituting A New World Vision

Pastor Londale McNeal                        Greater Works Ministries

Pastor Paco Amandow                        Lglesia Nueva Vida en LaVillita

Mark J. Wallace                                    Logos Baptist Church

Chris Ophus                                                New Life Community Church Little Village

Joshua Sherif                                                New Life Community Church Albany Park

Loretta E. Horton                                    Bethel Lutheran Church

Bobby Moss                                                New Life Community Church Lincoln Park

Dwayne Eslick                                    New Life Community Church Rogers Park

Rev. Gerald LaMar Wilson                        Greater St. John Bible Church

Meredith E. Hoxie Schol                        ITLC

Pastor James Springfield                        Greater Hope Baptist Ministries

Pastor Martin Stoudemire                        Powerhouse Ministries

Pastor LaJuan Whitfield                         New Life Holiness Church

Rev. James Hicks                                    Original Greater Garfield

Evangelist Tasha Shields                        New Hope Baptist Church

Father Michael Pfleger                        St. Sabina Catholic Church

Pastor Pedro Windsor                                    La Capilla del Barrio Church

Pastor Phil Blackwell                                    First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple

Pastor Kevin Bruursema                        New Life Community Church – Lakeview

Pastor Walter “Slim” Coleman            Lincoln United Methodist Church

Pastor Marshall Hatch                         New Mt. Pilgrim MB Church

Pastor Cy Fields                                     New Landmark MB Church

Pastor David Pope                                    Brotherly Love Baptist Church

Pastor Marcenia Richards                        Life Center Church

Pastor Leslie Sanders                                    Hope Presbyterian Church

Pastor Walter Turner                                    New Spiritual Light MB Church

Pastor John Collins                                     Great True Vine MB Church

Pastor Robbie Wilkerson                        New Birth Christian Center

Pastor Matthew Miller                         Rising Sun MB Church

Pastor Cleophus Lee                                    Original Providence Baptist Church

Pastor Roosevelt Watkins                        Bethlehem Star MB CHurch

Pastor R.M. Lara                                    Judson Baptist Church

Rev. Kenny Baker                                    Judson Baptist Church

Rev. Harry Roundtree                                    Judson Baptist Church

Pastor Steve Epting                                    Hope Community Church

Pastor Darian Williams                         Renewed Hope Church

Minister Freddie Savage                        Sweet Holy Spirit Church

Pastor Ivan Smith                                    1st Bethel MB Church

Rev. Danny James                                     First Baptist Congregational Church

Pastor George Daniels                         First Baptist Congregational Church

Rev. Chris Griffin                                    First Baptist Congregational Church

Rev. George Wilson                                     Circle Urban Ministries

Pastor John White                                     Leap of Faith Church

Pastor Leon Miller                                    Mt. Ebenezer Baptist Church

Rev. Robert Housley                                     SAFER Foundation

Pastor Tommy Woolridge                         Helping Hand MB Church

Pastor Ronald Wilks                                    Soul Saving MB Church

Pastor Cornelius Parks                        Harvest Worship Center

Pastor Bernard Jakes                                     West Point Baptist Church

Pastor Reginald Bachus                        Friendship Baptist Church

Pastor Willie Southworth                        True Story MB Church

Pastor James Brown                                    New Freedom Christian Center

Pastor Dwayne Grant                                    New Faith Community Methodist Church

Pastor Jonathan Rodgers                        New Jehovah MB Church

Rev. Darius Randle                                    Resurrection House Baptist Church

Indiana Dabney University to conduct Collegiate Men’s and Women’s Basketball Recruitment Fair

Posted by Admin On August - 21 - 2012 Comments Off on Indiana Dabney University to conduct Collegiate Men’s and Women’s Basketball Recruitment Fair

Indiana Dabney University will conduct a Recruitment Fair, for the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams, August 25, 2012, from Noon to 3:00 pm, at Josephine’s Hard Times Restaurant 438 E. 79th Street, in Chicago.

The Men’s Head Coach, Fernando Bowie, and Women’s Head Coach, Tommie Posely, will be on hand to answer questions, discuss the University’s degree programs and scholarship opportunities. Applicants are welcome to bring their parents, coaches or other interested parties. Applicants are also encouraged to being copies of their transcripts from other educational institutions they attended.

The University seeks to offer inner city youth an opportunity to play the sport they love while achieving their educational goals, therefore, building a stronger individual to foster a stronger family and community.

Indiana Dabney University is located about 20 minutes from the Chicagoland area, which makes up 90% of the University’s population.

Link: http://www.indianagraduate.com/athletics-department

Main Campus: 219-932-2100 Main Campus Fax: 219-932-1647.

For additional information visit Indiana Dabney University’s website at www.indianagraduate.com

Lt. Governor Simon issues statement on strip club legislation

Posted by Admin On August - 21 - 2012 Comments Off on Lt. Governor Simon issues statement on strip club legislation

CHICAGO, IL –  Lt. Governor Sheila Simon issued the following statement regarding Governor Pat Quinn’s signing of House Bill 1645, which will help fund rape crisis centers through fees based on strip club profits or admissions.

Simon said: “I thank Governor Quinn for standing up for rape victims and crisis centers across the state. This new revenue stream will help offset cuts that threatened critical services. When a sexual assault victim goes to a police station or a survivor calls a hotline, we need trained staff ready to respond. This bill helps to keep lights on and doors open, jobs filled and responders trained.”

Under the law, strip club owners can choose to pay the state on an annual basis a $3 per patron fee or opt to pay a flat fee based on the taxable receipts they report to the Illinois Department of Revenue each year. Clubs that report taxable receipts of $2 million or more would pay $25,000 a year; clubs that report taxable receipts of $500,000 to $2 million would pay $15,000; and clubs that report taxable receipts of less than $500,000 would pay $5,000, according to the new law.

The law goes into effect January 2013 and applies only to strip clubs that serve or permit alcohol consumption. It is projected to raise up to $1 million per year, or roughly one-sixth of what the state spends on sexual assault prevention and response annually. In fiscal year 2011, rape crisis centers in Illinois served more than 18,000 clients and reached nearly 475,000 people with prevention education.

The $3 per patron surcharge and fee structure was a compromise reached by rape crisis advocates, club owners and sponsors Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) and Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). The bill originally called for a $5 per patron entry fee.

“I would like to thank the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault as well as Lt. Governor Sheila Simon for their constant and unwavering support for this new law,” Hutchinson said. “Victims of sexual assault must be able to access emergency services to fully recover from their traumatic experiences. I am hopeful the extra funding for sexual assault centers across Illinois will ensure no victim is turned away for care when they need it the most.”

The new 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 serving Illinois residents – 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, forcing many centers to cut counselors and/or create waiting lists for counseling services while demand for services increased. One center closed its doors.

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 among 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 pursue similar measures.

Jay-Z brings out the best in up and coming Maryland Rapper Verbiage

Posted by Admin On August - 21 - 2012 Comments Off on Jay-Z brings out the best in up and coming Maryland Rapper Verbiage

Iconic rapper inspires rising artist to share music with a personal message  
 

 

Los Angeles, CA –– It takes confidence to use classic Jay-Z instrumentals as the backdrop to your first mixtape but that’s just what Maryland-based rapper Verbiage has had the guts to do. My Life in Syntax is just as much a tribute to the iconic rapper as it is an introduction to Verbiage’s introspective journey through life’s ups and downs. Consisting of only 7 songs, Verbiage chose some of Sean Carter’s most melodic tracks to bring listeners into his world.

The 22 year old artist’s lyrics are no fabrication.  Losing his mother to cancer at 16 followed by a string of family hardships has molded Verbiage into the artist he is today. A classically trained pianist since elementary school, Verbiage came into his own as a producer first.  As a teen, making beats came just as easy as writing rhymes. Shortly after graduating from high school, Verbiage got what seemed like his big break producing for the likes of J Hood, Young Buck, Rich Boy, Ray Cash, 2 Pistols and Yukmouth. Unfortunately, after a dry spell and bills piling up, Verbiage was obligated to get a full time job spending his remaining free time working on his first self produced album. However, realizing that listeners may not be interested in yet another album from an unknown producer/rapper, Verbiage decided to use familiar Jay-Z instrumentals to compliment his heart felt lyrics. My Life in Syntax was born.

Written in just 7 days, My Life in Syntax was titled after his uncanny ability to cleverly flip words and punch lines about his personal struggles. Engineered by his partner Anom the Phenom, the project is dedicated to his mom. With artists like Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T., Kanye West, Nas, and J. Cole inspiring Verbiage to be lyrical without sacrificing substance, he’s confident that listeners will connect with his message and passionate delivery.  “People are always looking for an artist with a fresh take on things,” says verbiage. “I feel like there’s a greater cause here so this is the perfect medium for people to see what I’m trying to do.”  His mom would be proud.  

My Life in Syntax is currently available at www.TheVerbiage.bandcamp.com. To learn more, visit the website at www.TheVerbiage.com. Connect with Verbiage on Twitter at @TheVerbiage or @B3Music.

For more information, Build a Buzz Promotions, 323-638-4020 or buildabuzzpromo@gmail.com

Public input helping shape Red Line South reconstruction project

Posted by Admin On August - 21 - 2012 Comments Off on Public input helping shape Red Line South reconstruction project

 

CTA incorporates feedback, suggestions into plans

 

 

Public feedback received at a series of recent community meetings is helping shape and improve the CTA’s plans for the Red Line South reconstruction project in 2013.

 

Feedback from CTA riders and community residents has been incorporated into plans for several elements of the project, from service levels to community outreach.  Since announcing the Red Line South project in early June, the CTA has held three large-scale public hearings along with numerous smaller community meetings in neighborhoods throughout the project area.  CTA has also worked closely with elected officials to solicit community feedback and better understand concerns.

 

“The Red Line South is an investment in our future that will revitalize communities and create jobs,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “It is crucial that the voices of South Side residents are heard throughout this process and I’m encouraged by the incredible turnout we have seen thus far.”

 

“These meetings have provided a productive forum for everyone who will be impacted by the work to ask questions, share their concerns and offer suggestions,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool.  “We very much appreciate the ideas and thoughts we’ve received.  We’ve listened closely, and we’re using all the feedback we’ve received to refine our plans to make sure the project proceeds as smoothly as possible.”

 

Among the areas where CTA will be developing or expanding plans based on feedback:

 

1.    Shuttle bus service – CTA has added a shuttle bus between Roosevelt and Cermak/Chinatown to better facilitate travel between those stations

2.    Expanded bus service – CTA plans to further augment plans for additional bus service along some major bus routes, such as the #24 Wentworth, #9 Ashland, #44 Wallace/Racine, #3 King Drive and #4 Cottage Grove.  Additionally, some operating hours will be lengthened.

3.    Changes to bus routes–#8A will extend to the Halsted Green Line station and #71 71st South Shore will extend to Garfield Green Line station, providing more convenient connections

4.    Safety/security – CTA is developing a comprehensive public safety plan for rail and bus service during the reconstruction period, working closely the Chicago Police Department and Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

5.    Supervision – CTA will implement 24-hour supervision of the free bus shuttles, resulting in smoother service and better assistance to customers

6.    Traffic management – to help ensure smooth traffic flow, CTA will work to develop a strong traffic-management plan for both vehicles and pedestrians.

7.    Community outreach – CTA is expanding its community outreach plan to provide project information to businesses, chambers of commerce, and others groups and organizations.  Information will be tailored to specific areas.

   

“As we said when we first announced the Red Line South reconstruction, we understand the impact this project will have on Red Line riders and the communities the line serves,” said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Terry Peterson.  “We pledged then to do everything we can to minimize the impact during this historic construction project.  We remain committed to that, and appreciate all the helpful suggestions we’ve received so far.”

 

Community meetings will continue throughout the remainder of 2012, providing the opportunity for additional feedback and suggestions about the project.

 

Beginning in May 2013, the Red Line South project will completely rebuild the 10 miles of the line from just north of Cermak-Chinatown to 95th Street.  The project will provide a brand-new railroad—offering faster commutes, a smoother ride and more reliable service.

 

To complete the project in the shortest amount of time and at the lowest cost, the south Red Line will completely close for five months.  During the closure, CTA is planning extensive alternative service, including free shuttle buses from closed stations south of 63rd Street, Red Line trains using Green Line tracks, and significantly expanded bus service on existing bus routes.

 

For more information, visit the CTA website at www.transitchicago.com/redsouth.

 

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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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