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Archive for October 3rd, 2012

A huge victory for Civil Rights and Voting rights: Sometimes a “done” deal isn’t always a “done” deal

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On October - 3 - 2012 Comments Off on A huge victory for Civil Rights and Voting rights: Sometimes a “done” deal isn’t always a “done” deal

Commonwealth Court Judge halts Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law in November 6 election – Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai’s effort met with setback  


Civil Rights Leaders, Congressional Black Caucus’ Chairman applaud decision

By Juanita Bratcher


About three months ago, Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, at a Republican State Committee meeting, confidently and arrogantly declared that Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law would allow Republican Candidate Mitt Romney a win in the State of Pennsylvania.

Pointing out his legislative accomplishments, Voter ID being one of them, Turzai told Committee members that with Voter ID, winning the state was a “done” deal for Romney.

Said Turzai: “Voter ID, which is going to allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennyslvania: done.”

Turzai’s well-laid out plans were crushed yesterday when a federal judge halted the Voter ID law to take place in the November 6 election.

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson delayed the implementation of the law until after the November 6 election. He agreed with opponents of the measure that requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls could disenfranchise some voters, although Republicans said the law was put in place to prevent voter fraud. Voters can be asked for photo ID but cannot be barred from voting without it.

“I’m still not convinced in my predictive judgment that there will be no voter disenfranchisement,” wrote Simpson.

Civil rights groups and the American Civil Liberties Union had asked the courts that the law be blocked. Reportedly, about 9.2 percent – 758,000 voters – would have been affected by the law and could have been barred from voting, and that Pennsylvania might lag – time wise – to process all new IDs before the November 6 election.

The Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and Leaders of both the NAACP and the National Urban League called it a major victory for civil rights.

Benjamin Todd Jealous, President & CEO of the NAACP, in a prepared statement said the “Ruling is a victory for the Pennsylvania voter. On November 6, voters will no longer need to produce an identification to ensure that their vote is counted. As we look towards 2013, the Pennsylvania NAACP will take this battle from the courts to the legislature. We are confident that this state will not tolerate voter suppression.”

Also, Jerome Mondesire, President of the NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference, in a prepared statement said “The ruling today is encouraging for all Pennsylvanians. Unfortunately, it is a decision that should have been made a long time ago. With 35 days left until Election Day, the state must work with the NAACP and other leading organizations to limit voter confusion. We will work to ensure that poll workers do not wrongly enforce the law, and that all counties are monitored on Election Day.”

In a press statement, the National Urban League said Pennsylvania Voter ID Injunction was a major victory for civil rights. It reads as follows:

Today’s Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruling to delay implementation of the state’s discriminatory voter ID law is a lesson to those who seek to change the rules of the game for their own political ends, National Urban League President Marc H. Morial.

“We are heartened by the Court’s ruling, which confirms our long-held view that Pennsylvania’s ID law was always unworkable—at best.” Morial said. “The Court has unambiguously held that the state cannot use voter ID requirements in a way that would disenfranchise citizens.
“However, we remain concerned about the eventual implementation of the law, and whether it will be used to disenfranchise historically vulnerable citizens including seniors, people of color and young people,” Morial said. “Pennsylvania officials not only failed to produce evidence of voter impersonation, they conceded that they know of no examples, so it’s clear the intent of the law was not to remedy any existing fraud.

“As Pennsylvania’s House Majority Leader indicated, the law was passed to boost the chances of one Presidential candidate over another,” Morial said. “We will continue to oppose any effort to deny the right to vote to any eligible citizen, whether in a Presidential election year or any other.”

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver’s statement follows:

“Today brought another victory for those committed to protecting the right to vote for all Americans. Pennsylvania now joins Texas, Ohio and other states across the country in recognizing that requiring citizens to obtain a voter ID places an undue and excessive burden on eligible voters, mostly from minority communities, that is difficult to overcome.

“While we should be implementing policies that remove obstacles to greater participation in our democracy, these proposed voter ID laws created additional ones. I am pleased Judge Simpson blocked the provision that would have required Pennsylvania voters to show an ID at the polls and I look forward to full resignation of the proposed law.

“I would also like to commend the people of Pennsylvania who, in spite of the difficulties reported, waited hours at local DMVs to complete the documents required to ensure they will be prepared vote this fall. Their commitment to exercising their right in the face of efforts to take it away is a testament to the plight of Americans who came before them, bled and died so no one would be turned away at the polls.

“The Congressional Black Caucus remains opposed to any effort in this country that suppresses its voters and that disenfranchises its citizens. We applaud today’s decision and will continue our vocal disapproval of these discriminatory and unjust laws.”

“There should never be barriers set-up to stop people from exercising their constitutional right to vote in this country,” said Juanita Bratcher, Editor & Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com. “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. I urge all American voters to participate in the electoral process and vote for the candidate (s) of their choice.”

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


Illinois State Board of Education launches Center for School Improvement

Posted by Admin On October - 3 - 2012 Comments Off on Illinois State Board of Education launches Center for School Improvement


State awards $10 million contract to international school reform leader


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced it has established the Center for School Improvement to help raise student performance in the nearly 4,000 public kindergarten-12th grade schools across the state, particularly the lowest performing schools. The Board recently awarded the American Institutes for Research (AIR), a proven international education reform leader, with a one-year contract worth just under $10 million in federal dollars to lead the state in comprehensive school improvement work.

“We are excited to work more closely with the American Institutes of Research as we continue our ongoing reform initiatives and school improvement work,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “This international leader in teaching and learning brings decades of experience supporting schools and will help implement a systemic approach to addressing stagnant achievement gaps.”

The Center will help coordinate various regional improvement efforts under the ISBE’s existing network to ensure that schools receive expert, timely and relevant assistance with an emphasis on closing the achievement gap. The achievement gap refers to the performance disparity on various measures between groups of students, particularly English Language Learners, students with disabilities, low income students and racial ethnic minority students.

Some key features of this new Center include: 

·         The Center will bring high-quality, research-based services and resources that improve education outcomes for students.

·         The Center will employ content area specialists, coaches and turnaround experts with specific expertise in working with English Language Learners (ELLs), students with disabilities, low-income students and racial and ethnic minority students.

·         On-going professional development for Center staff.

·         An evaluation process for Center work to promote continuous improvement and better serve districts and schools.

·         Collaboration with Regional Offices of Education and Intermediate Service Centers to improve student outcomes and opportunities.

The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is one of the largest not-for-profit behavioral and social science research organizations in the world.   With 1,700 global employees, AIR is a national leader in teaching and learning improvement, research, assessment, evaluation, and technical assistance to ensure that all students – particularly those facing historical disadvantages – have access to a high-quality, effective education. 

AIR has established offices both internationally and across the nation, including offices in Chicago and Naperville. The State Board approved the AIR contract during the September Board meeting with plans to evaluate and renew the contract through Fiscal Year 2017. The Center will be housed at a yet-to-be determined location and may have more than one site.

“We are honored to work in partnership with the Illinois State Board of Education to build on their existing strengths and make the Center for School Improvement a model for consistently delivering high quality, research-based support that benefits students, teachers and school leaders,” said Gina Burkhardt, Executive Vice President of AIR and Director of the Education, Human Development and Workforce Program. “We will draw upon our student improvement work in Illinois and other states, as well as our international expertise, to support the efforts of ISBE, school districts and schools in this very important school reform effort.”

Funding for The Center is supported by federal school improvement funds allocated to ISBE under the federal Title I grant as established under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965.  For more information and updates on Center work, please visit: http://www.isbe.net/grants/center/default.htm

For the latest news from the Illinois State Board of Education, follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Illinois-State-Board-of-Education/136022251779 or Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/ISBEnews. Visit the official ISBE website at http://www.isbe.net.


San Antonio Pastors come together to urge people to vote in November

Posted by Admin On October - 3 - 2012 Comments Off on San Antonio Pastors come together to urge people to vote in November


San Antonio, TX (BlackNews.com) — BlackVideoNews.com kicked off voter registration week with a special report on the “Vote for America” campaign.

In an effort to combat a recent rise from African American pastors (The Coalition of African-American Pastors) who are urging their congregation not to vote because of President Obama’s position on gay marriage, San Antonio pastors have gone on record to speak out on the issues of gay marriage, women’s rights, healthcare and your civic duty to vote.

Bishop David M. Copeland of New Creation Christian Fellowship, says “The President is not your pastor in chief but the President of all Americans.”

Pastor Kenneth Kemp of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, says “We must respect women’s rights for equal pay for equal work and access to care.”

Bishop Alfred Blue of Family Life International Ministries, comments, “We have a civic duty according to the word of God and we have a right to be heard.”

Voters are encouraged to review this video collection of some of the most outspoken pastors in San Antonio at www.blackvideonews.com and the Black Video News YouTube channel.

For more detailed statements from theses pastors, please review the video presentation at http://youtu.be/FTcvl-9epwA

About Black Video News

Launched in February 2012 as a compliment to BlacksinSanAntonio.com, Black Video News has become the video news source for African American focused content for San Antonio. Consistently ranked in the top 50,000 website in the country, BVN encourages and documents issues facing the African American lifestyle and community. Black Video News is a product of Avista Products based in San Antonio, TX.

Photo Caption: San Antonio pastors speak out on gay marriage, healthcare and what they feel is everyone’s civic duty.


Illinois AFL-CIO Delegates re-elect Carrigan, Drea

Posted by Admin On October - 3 - 2012 Comments Off on Illinois AFL-CIO Delegates re-elect Carrigan, Drea

Political work marks Opening Day of Convention


ROSEMONT, IL – Delegates to the 40th Illinois AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention re-elected officers Michael T. Carrigan and Timothy Drea by acclamation at its biennial meeting in Rosemont Tuesday.

Carrigan was elected to his second term as President of the state’s largest labor organization. Drea was also elected to his second term as Secretary Treasurer.

“I’m humbled to serve the working families of Illinois,” Carrigan said. “We have many challenges ahead, but we have a great union state. We will meet those challenges head on. We are together and strong.”

The state federation represents nearly a million union members in Illinois.

The convention, attended by nearly 1,000 representatives of local unions from all areas of the state, focused on importance of voting. The Labor 2012 program has already made more than 200,000 contacts with union families by phone and at the door before Oct. 1

Endorsed congressional candidates Tammy Duckworth (8th District), Bill Foster (11th District) and Cheri Bustos (17th District) spoke to the delegates.  Brad Schneider (10th District) is scheduled to speak Thursday.

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler also addressed the conference. Shuler discussed the AFL-CIO “Work Connects Us All” initiative celebrating and showing how each person’s work affects others.

The convention will continue until Thursday.

U.S. Senators Kirk, Grassley question Treasury Secretary inaction on LIBOR, impact on U.S. borrowers

Posted by Admin On October - 3 - 2012 Comments Off on U.S. Senators Kirk, Grassley question Treasury Secretary inaction on LIBOR, impact on U.S. borrowers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk of Illinois and Chuck Grassley of Iowa today asked Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to explain his apparent inaction to sufficiently inform the public and prevent the use of a rigged interest rate affecting mortgages, student loans, credit cards and other loans.
“We need the Treasury Department to take swift action to inform consumers, homeowners, students and other borrowers about potential impacts of faulty interest rates,” said Kirk, a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. “We cannot expect confidence in our financial system to last without this crucial information, and the Treasury should consider alternative solutions to boost confidence in the marketplace.”
“Taxpayers need to know there’s a cop on the beat at the Treasury Department making sure the interest rates they pay on everything from home loans to retirement investments aren’t fixed,” Grassley said.  “If the attitude of the Treasury Secretary is that it isn’t his responsibility to take action or to tell the public, that’s going to harm confidence in our financial system and create a lack of certainty.”
The London interbank offered rate, or LIBOR, is the average interest rate that banks use to borrow from each other.  Set in London, the rate is one of the main rates that determine the cost of interest for trillions of dollars of loans on a variety of everyday consumer loans such as mortgages and more complicated financial instruments such as derivatives.
In recent testimony before Congress, Geithner said when he was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York he became aware of concerns LIBOR was being rigged, and he deferred to the British central bankers to fix the problem.  Despite those concerns, Geithner appears not to have taken action “to diminish use of this flawed index in U.S. financial markets; to the contrary, Treasury’s use of LIBOR has increased,” Kirk and Grassley wrote in a letter to Geithner.
Kirk and Grassley asked Geithner to answer questions including whether the Treasury Department considered the risk to U.S. borrowers, including state, municipal, and local governments facing higher debt burdens as a result of the LIBOR scandal; whether the Treasury Department considered the litigation risks to U.S. borrowers in deciding to raise the LIBOR scandal only to the attention of British central banks rather than U.S. lenders and borrowers; and whether the Treasury Department’s continued reliance on LIBOR is affecting borrower access to Small Business Administration loans. 
The Senators concluded, “In the wake of this scandal, we believe that it is essential to undertake steps to consider the creation of an American-based interest rate index. If U.S. investors and borrowers have suffered financial harm from our dependence on an index set in London, they have the right to expect the country’s leaders to support better alternatives. Complacency in the wake of losses and lawsuits will diminish both investor and borrower confidence regarding debt securities issued in U.S. financial markets.”
The text of the Grassley-Kirk letter to Geithner is available here.

Topinka kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted by Admin On October - 3 - 2012 Comments Off on Topinka kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Comptroller joins Cancer Society in ‘Making Strides’


CHICAGO, IL —Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka joined the American Cancer Society, survivors and volunteers at the James R. Thompson Center to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness month and promote the 13th Annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.

Topinka encouraged Illinois residents to sign-up for one of 21 walks around the state, and thanked the American Cancer Society for uniting communities in honoring breast cancer survivors, increasing awareness and raising money to find a cure.

“In just one morning, participants can make a difference that will that will affect thousands of people for a lifetime,” Topinka said. “These walks help fund American Cancer Society programs that treat cancer patients and assist their families in every Illinois community year-round.”

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is the largest network of breast cancer awareness events in the nation. The American Cancer Society hosts fundraising walks in more than 270 communities nationwide, including an Oct. 20 event in Chicago at Montrose Harbor. Topinka’s office will participate in that walk for the second consecutive year.  Last year 45 walkers from the Comptroller’s Office donated more than $5,700.

According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight Illinois women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.

“Making Strides Against Breast Cancer unites us to walk together as the most powerful force to end breast cancer,” said Jackie Burgess-Bishop Vice President of the American Cancer Society’s Chicago and West Cook regional offices. “Today, one in every two women newly diagnosed with breast cancer reaches out to us for help and support. We’re here 24 hours a day with information, answers and emotional support. The progress we are making is remarkable, but we need volunteers to join us and step-by-step work to win this fight.”

The American Cancer Society’s combines unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to fight breast cancer on all fronts and save lives. For more information about the 13th Annual Making Stride Breast Cancer walks or to register, visit makingstridesillinois.com or call 312-279-7376.

International Olympic Committee appoints Beyond Sport for advisory role

Posted by Admin On October - 3 - 2012 Comments Off on International Olympic Committee appoints Beyond Sport for advisory role

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has appointed Beyond Sport to support the IOC Sport for All Commission throughout the build-up to the 15th IOC World Conference on Sport for All, to be held in Lima, Peru in April 2013. The IOC Sport for All Commission was established in 1983 with the primary aim of encouraging and supporting efforts to disseminate the health and social benefits of sport.

Beyond Sport will be supporting in the development of the event delivery and will use its extensive network and knowledge of programmes from around the world to assist the Commission in selecting the recipients of the Sport for All Grants. The two bodies have already worked together ahead of the first such awarding of grants, announced at the 14th IOC World Conference on Sport for All in Beijing, China in 2011.

Sam Ramsamy, the Chairman of the IOC Sport for All Commission, commented: “Sport for All is at the heart of the Olympic Movement and closely linked to development through sport. It really touches society at large. The expertise of Beyond Sport in this area increases the impact of the conference and future initiatives.”

Beyond Sport is uniquely positioned to be able to provide such a service to the IOC. The organisation is the central point for a network which now reaches 135 countries across the globe, and has conducted extensive due diligence on dozens of programmes using sport as a tool to tackle social issues including health, unemployment, conflict resolution, gang-related violence and education.

Nick Keller, the Founder of Beyond Sport, commented: “Beyond Sport’s values and objectives have, since our foundation, been similar to the values and objectives of the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Movement as a whole. Sport can and does play a transformative role in communities around the world. The IOC occupies a unique place both within and beyond sport, and the potential impact of Sport for All’s mission is unprecedented in this field.”


Chia Obama sales are leading Chia Romney sales

Posted by Admin On October - 3 - 2012 Comments Off on Chia Obama sales are leading Chia Romney sales

Chia Obama: 69.6% vs Chia Romney: 29.5%

San Francisco, CA (BlackNews.com) — Now there is a new kind of poll about the Presidential election – the “Chia Poll.” While Romney and Obama are battling it out in the political polls, Chia versions of Romney and Obama are battling it out at K-mart stores and online. These percentages are compiled from internet sales and in-store sales at K-mart.

In the most recent sales data available from Joseph Enterprises, Inc. of San Francisco (the company that markets Chia Obama and Chia Romney), the reported sales figures since the start of the first airing of Joseph Enterprises’ TV commercial featuring both Chia Romney and Chia Obama (from September 17, 2012 – September 29, 2012) are as follows:

Chia Obama 69.6% vs. Chia Romney 29.5%.

Additional sales for items in Joseph Enterprises’ “Freedom of Choice” collection during these same dates were for Chia Gingrich 0.3% and Chia Ron Paul 0.5%.

These results reflect the latest sales figures reported to Joseph Enterprises from K-mart and online retailers Amazon.com, Drugstore.com and www.Americanchia.com according to Joe Pedott, President of Joseph Enterprises.

Will the sales of the Chia versions of Obama and Romney reflect the actual outcome of the election? How will the sales figures vary from week to week? Will people buy one Chia version of the candidates or both? “If people buy both Chia versions of the candidates, they could do all sorts of creative things with them, says Pedott. They could make their own videos featuring Chia Romney and Chia Obama. They could stage their own debates. Who knows what people will do with their Chia versions of the candidates? I guess we’ll find out online” says Pedott.

The political parties might even use them for fundraising purposes.

People can view the commercial online at www.Americanchia.com. Limited editions of the Chia versions of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are available at K-mart stores and online at Amazon.com, Drugstore.com and www.Americanchia.com.

To find out more about Chia Romney and Chia Obama, and to check in periodically to find out the percentages of sales of Chia Obama vs. Chia Romney, contact Peter Georgii at Joseph Enterprises, Inc. in San Francisco by email at pgeorgii@jeiusa.com


Diverse Religious Coalition to lobby City Hall in battle to restore water exemption

Posted by Admin On October - 3 - 2012 Comments Off on Diverse Religious Coalition to lobby City Hall in battle to restore water exemption

Clergy:  “Paying water bills is double taxation and wrong”

By Chinta Strausberg


Today, a group of religious leaders is going to City Hall to plead their case as to why the city should restore the water fee exemption, and they are prepared to prove their bills are hurting their ability to care for the poor and the downtrodden, which is the core of their mission from God.

The Interfaith Coalition to Restore the Water Fee Exemption for Religious Institutions will be lobbying aldermen to either amend  or pass an ordinance that will restore the water fee exemption.

Coalition members are concerned that their water bills coupled with the city’s order to install meters will devastate their budgets. One minister isn’t sure how he can pay a more than $7,000 water bill.

Rev. Joseph L. Napier, Sr., pastor of the Ward Memorial Baptist Church, 4820 S. Prairie Avenue, owes more than $7,600 in water fees. “We don’t have the money to pay it,” he told the coalition. More than a year ago, his water was cut off but he received help from Springfield. Today he is faced with a huge water bill and isn’t sure how he can pay it and still keep his church doors open at the same time.

“They have broken the tradition, the favor and privilege that was extended to churches traditionally,” Napier said. “The members are already being taxed with water. There ought to be one place that is not double taxed and that is the house of God. It’s double taxation.”

More than three-dozen ministers met Tuesday at the St. Paul Church of God In Christ Community Development Ministries, Inc., 4550 S. Wabash Avenue, headed by Elder Kevin Anthony Ford.  The diverse coalition includes Jimmy Lago, Chancellor, Archdiocese of Chicago, Rev. Michael Eaddy, pastor of the Peoples Church of the Harvest, Rev. Leonard DeVille, the former alderman of the 21st Ward and pastor of the Alpha Temple Baptist Church and many others.

Elder Ford said, “We are going to come in with empirical evidence to sustain our belief that the churches and the other religious institutions in the city of Chicago are deserving of the water exemption based upon in-kind services and unfunded mandates that we provide throughout the city of Chicago.”

In the meantime, Rev. Stanley L. Davis, Jr., co-executive director of the Council of Religious Leaders of metropolitan Chicago, said the religious leaders are to return their letter son church letterhead laying out the services they provide and the impact paying water bills will have on their institutions by next Tuesday. He asked them to talk to the aldermen to get their support to vote in favor of restoring the water fee exemption.

Rev. Marshall Hatch, pastor of the New Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, said, “The church belongs to the people” and referring to forcing religious leaders to pay for water when for decades they had been exempt, he added, “It’s not right.” “These are non-profits….Before you know it they will be treating us like a business. We‘re God’s business. These are non-profits….

“Why would you tax the one place where people in most pain go and get help. That just ain’t right,” said Hatch. “The church is the community. The church is the people….”

Eaddy urged the religious leaders to turn in their letters spelling out the services they provide for the community and the costs associated with it and the number of people they serve.  The Coalition is also asking their members to sign a letter of support. “We need the majority of the aldermen to support this effort and to rescind this water tax.”

Asked about some elected officials belief that small churches don’t provide services, Ford said that’s an illusion and is not true. “They fill a critical gap in the city dealing with homeless, crime ridden folks in the neighborhood. They serve the basic needs of the people of Chicago.

“They are part of the larger network of religious institutions. We are the covering for the smaller churches. We are growing, expanding, and we are going to stand up for God. We need all of our religious institutions in Chicago, large, small, medium size that is not a determining factor,” said Ford.

The religious leaders will meet again for a strategy session Tuesday, October 9, 2012, at 10 a.m.

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.

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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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