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Archive for October 9th, 2012

Blacks should embrace the ballot box on Election Day – Going fishing is not an alternative as a few black ministers have suggested

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On October - 9 - 2012 Comments Off on Blacks should embrace the ballot box on Election Day – Going fishing is not an alternative as a few black ministers have suggested

By Juanita Bratcher

A few weeks ago there were various articles circulating in newspapers and on the Internet stating that a few Black ministers are urging Blacks to go fishing on Election Day, November 6, 2012.

According to the articles, the few ministers complaining have a problem with President Barack Obama’s support of gay marriage and Republican Candidate Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith.

Specifically, the ministers claim that their congregants question why a true Christian could support same-sex marriage (referring to President Obama), and question Republican Candidate Mitt Romney because of the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and also a former ban on men of African descent in the priesthood.

The articles jostled my mind. Certainly, I was baffled to say the least. The Bible states in St. Matthew 7: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

Why would Black ministers even go there, or any black leader for that matter – urging Blacks to go fishing on Election Day? Are they out of their minds? Have they lost it? Why would they urge church members to stay away from the polls in such a crucial election year? There are so many aspects of this election – Senate races, House races, and of course the presidential race; and somewhere down the road, perhaps, appointments of about two new Supreme Court Justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Did they (ministers) forget – or is it meaningless to them – the suffering, the humiliation and the frustration Black forefathers encountered and endured in their efforts to get the right to vote in this country, and under tumultuous circumstances? In their efforts to register and vote, through blood, sweat and tears to let their voices be heard at the ballot box on Election Day, they were faced with tear gas, billy clubs, water hoses and attack dogs. They were turned away by the Bull Connors of Alabama who would deny them their right to vote as American citizens.

Incensed, Whites responded by putting the names of all Blacks eligible to vote on a hit list, circulating it to white businessmen who retaliated by firing them from their jobs, denying them credit and raising their rent.

But first and foremost, did those ministers forget that many of those in the fight to gain voting rights for blacks in this country, the United States of America, bled and died for the right to vote? Many faceless people – not just Blacks – but other ethnics as well, put their lives on the line to help Blacks in their effort to get the right to vote.

Two White civil rights activists, Jonathan Daniels, an Episcopal divinity student from Cambridge, Mass., died in Lowndes County, Ala., and Father Richard Morrisroe, a Roman Catholic priest from Chicago, was seriously wounded during voters registration drives in Selma, Ala.

Moreover, three civil rights activists engaging in voter registration efforts – Andrew Goodman, White, 20 years old; James Chaney, Black, 21; and Michael Schwerner, White, 24, disappeared in a small town in Mississippi, and subsequently were found dead.

And Rev. George Lee, a black businessman, courageous actions to register black voters in 1954, ultimately cost him his life.

Lee printed and passed out leaflets urging Blacks to pay their poll tax so they could register to vote. “Lee knew his days were numbered, but he ignored the pleas of his wife, Rose, to back off. On Saturday before Mother’s Day in 1955, Lee was driving home when gunfire from a passing car blew half his face off. Notwithstanding the evidence, and the fact that everybody in town knew who did it, the sheriff concluded that Lee died of unknown causes.”

Even after Blacks gained the right to vote, they were stymied by a menacing poll tax, used as an impediment to African Americans voting in federal elections.

The 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in January 1964, prohibited the poll tax. And in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation which suspended literacy and other tests for voter qualification.

Voting is a privilege. It’s imperative that registered voters make it a priority to participate in the democratic process, and go to the polls on Election Day and vote for the candidate of their choice; that they lend their voices in shaping policy all across the spectrum, on a myriad of issues.

Blacks should be mindful that efforts by Black forefathers to gain the right to vote in this country is something we should never take for granted and abandon the ballot box altogether. Then, too, they should also be cognizant that low voter turnout allows the minority to make decisions for the majority.

In essence, going fishing on Election Day adds up to a non-vote and gives one’s rights away to those who do show up at the polls to vote.

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 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

In 2012, we’ve witnessed the shenanigans of Republican governors and Republican Legislatures across the country engaged in passing Voter ID laws and purges of voter registration rolls which will disenfranchise thousands of voters in the 2012 election. Voters should be running to the polls in large numbers to vote in order to counteract some of this madness.

It is important that citizens exercise their right to vote, inasmuch as it not only gives them the opportunity to elect representatives that will work in their best interest, but ensure them a stake in the legislative process. The ballot is a powerful weapon to effect change.

Certainly, ministers are entitled to their opinions as anyone else. But instead of them suggesting to their flock to go fishing on Election Day, they should do their own individual thing of abandoning the polls and quit poisoning the minds of others to do so.

On a personal note, if I was a member of any church where a minister lectures the congregation on staying away from the polls on Election Day and go fishing, I would immediately be looking for the nearest exit door…forever – and would find a new House of Worship.

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.

Latino Voter Registration ‘In High Gear’ for Nov. 6 Election

Posted by Admin On October - 9 - 2012 Comments Off on Latino Voter Registration ‘In High Gear’ for Nov. 6 Election

Latino Voter Registration ‘In High Gear’ for Nov. 6 Election

New America News Analysis

By Khalil Abdullah


WASHINGTON, D.C.–A consortium of Latino organizations already has registered a quarter-million new Hispanic voters for this election cycle. Their spokespersons estimate that when those numbers are combined with outreach efforts by other organizations, the multiplier effect may bring as many 650,000 new Latino voters onto the rolls by the time registration deadlines close in most states over the next few weeks.

“I understand the difference Latinos voters can make in their communities,” said Nathieli Diaz, a student at University of California-Riverside. She has been helping register voters–“especially because I cannot vote.”

DREAMers Helping Although They Can’t Vote

Diaz is a DREAMer, who came to the United States in her youth, but who is ineligible to vote because she is not a U.S. citizen. She said she is one of the many DREAMers volunteering with registration drives.

“There are so many students like myself whose future lies in the hands of eligible voters,” Diaz said, explaining her motivation to ensure the Latino turnout is high in November.

Diaz stressed that DREAMers “are contributing to this great country” even now. But she added that “all those like myself, who hope to be able to vote someday” are dependent on those who currently can vote.

Predicting the final number of those registered at this early date is difficult because there is no national voter registration database. Also the consortium’s numbers don’t include those Latinos registered by political parties or other initiatives.

Speakers on a teleconference earlier this week did not address the partisan implications of their efforts, but said their collective initiative is laying solid groundwork for their long cherished ambition of finally maximizing the potential of the Latino vote.

Out of an estimated 53 million Latinos in the United States, approximately 23.5 million are eligible voters and about 14 million are registered voters, according Evan Bacalao, senior director of civic engagement for the Educational Fund of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. Bacalo is expecting a turnout of 12 million Latino voters this election.

Latino Vote in Key States

Should Latinos vote as a bloc vote in November, their preferences would be most obviously felt in swing states, such as Colorado, Florida and Nevada. Each of those three went Democratic in 2008, after Republicans had carried them in 2004.

In Colorado, Latinos now account for 20 percent of the population; 22 percent of Florida’s and 26 percent of Nevada’s. Recent polls show Democrats still holding the edge.

Even in states where their populations are smaller, the Latino vote could be a significant factor given what may be a narrow margin of victory.

Virginia, for example is still being counted as a toss-up, but went Democratic 2008 after Republicans carried it 2004. Latinos account for only seven percent of the populace there. In Wisconsin–another state that remains too close to call, although Democrats carried the state in 2008 and 2004–only five percent of residents are Hispanic.

Latino voters also may yet weigh in on Pennsylvania’s electoral outcome, now that its restrictive voter photo ID law has been suspended. That law would have likely reduced the number of Latinos who tend to vote as Democrats.

It would have particularly affected the Puerto Rican community, given the difficulties of retrieving birth certificates from Puerto Rico necessary to get a Pennsylvania photo ID in time for the election.

Parties Courting Latinos for First Time

“For the first time in my memory, the Latino vote is being courted as never before by both political parties,” said Eliseo Medina, board member of the nonpartisan Mi Familia Vota and who also serves as the International Secretary of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Medina’s enthusiasm is significant. Now in his mid-60s, he has long been a nearly legendary advocate for Latino American rights for decades. He emphasized that this election will have profound implications for post-election policy decisions on the Affordable Care Act, immigration and a host of issues regardless of which political party triumphs.

“Young voters across all backgrounds are one of the most difficult populations to engage, and obviously the Latino community is particularly young, so ensuring that we have a vigorous effort to engage Latino youth is really an integral part of what we’re trying to do this year,” NALEO’s Bacalao said.

He explained that even though social media has been particularly useful in registering young voters, especially by Voto Latino and other collaborative partners, the consortium still relied heavily on traditional get-out- the-vote methodologies, such as phone banks and door-to-door canvassing to reach Latinos of all age demographics.

“Investments in voter registration [in the United States] are not what they should be,” said Clarissa Martinez de Castro, Director of National Campaigns for National Council of La Raza.

She also expressed concern that registration drives have been negatively affected by other factors. “We’re also seeing displacement due to the economic and foreclosure crisis, not to mention efforts to make it more difficult for eligible voters to vote.”

Yet, despite those obstacles, Martinez de Castro echoed the sentiment of others on the call. “Our teams on the ground are telling us, as many other voters, Latinos are starting to pay more attention to the election right now.”

Martinez de Castro said that interest and enthusiasm about the election are driving registration numbers upward, but the ultimate goal is for the continuous post-election engagement that can hold elected officials accountable to the Latino community’s interests.

Other organizations involved in the registration effort include the Center for Community Change, Hispanic Federation, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Muslim-Americans decry media portrait of followers of Islam

Posted by Admin On October - 9 - 2012 Comments Off on Muslim-Americans decry media portrait of followers of Islam

By Nadra Kareem Nittle

Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism


Irrational. Violent. Fanatics.


Members of the Muslim-American community say mainstream media in the West use these words consistently to portray followers of Islam. News coverage of uprisings in the Arab world over the American-made video that disparaged the Prophet Muhammad has perpetuated the negative stereotypes.


While the Arab outcry over the video “Innocence of Muslims” has certainly inspired a violent streak, advocates for the Muslim community say mainstream media have failed to report that only small numbers of Muslims are involved in the unrest.


In the most prominent violence, U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three American colleagues were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. Initial reports attributed the attack to protests against the video, but U.S. officials subsequently described the event as a terrorist attack.


The advocates also say mainstream media have failed miserably at explaining why the film is an insult to followers of Islam.


Aymen Abdel Halim, communications coordinator for the Chicago branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, says issues of Newsweek and Time magazines were particularly objectionable.


Newsweek’s cover story on Sept. 24 was headlined “Muslim Rage” above a photo of an angry crowd in Islamic dress. Time’s cover that week was headlined “The Agents of Outrage: An Embassy attacked. Diplomats murdered. The new calculus of violence against America.” Behind the headline was a photo of an angry mob.


“It’s a lot of the same imagery we’ve seen in the past,” Halim says. “It’s imagery that has demonized Muslims and perpetuated stereotypes.”


Yasmin Hussein, young leaders program coordinator of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Washington and Los Angeles, agrees. She says the media’s tendency toward sensationalism hasn’t helped to counter the American public’s misconceptions about Islam. “A bunch of people protesting, doing crazy stuff obviously makes for really good news,” she says, adding that it fails to tell the full story.


That story in this case, Halim says, is that uprisings in the Arab world over “Innocence of Muslims” were not widespread. He says mainstream media have mistakenly compared recent Middle East unrest to the Arab Spring of 2011. But while hundreds of thousands of people revolted then, only a couple thousand people have participated in the current public outcry in Muslim nations, he says.


“It’s being depicted as something much larger than it actually is,” Halim says, adding that the media have “kind of painted Muslims and Islam with a broad brush.”


That includes ignoring various factors leading to Arab demonstrations. Halim says the demonstrations aren’t solely about the video, which depicted the Prophet Muhammad as sexually promiscuous, a drunk and a pedophile. They also stem, he says, from effects of U.S. policy on the Arab world and the fact that countries such as Libya remain devastated a year after the United States helped to rid it of despotMoammar Gadhafi.


Experts say mainstream media have failed to provide comprehensive reports on the variety of reasons that the Muslim world resents the West and have not addressed why “Innocence of Muslims” has angered Muslims.


Deana A. Rohlinger, associate professor of sociology at Florida State University, says many Americans don’t realize that free speech isn’t a right in many countries throughout the world, especially in Muslim nations.


“We have this very narrow understanding of what it means to be a Muslim, what a Muslim looks like, what a Muslim does,” she says. “In some parts of the Muslim world, they see a film like this and assume it’s backed by the U.S. government.” The idea that the United States was complicit in the film’s making is one factor that has driven the violent protests.


Junaid Afeef, a Chicago-based attorney, activist and self-described “patriotic American” who runs the website “An American Muslim Journal,” says he has found it difficult to explain to Muslim cousins abroad that the U.S. government doesn’t infringe on artistic freedom.


“They live in autocratic rule, very controlled environments,” Afeef says. “They can’t wrap their minds around the level of freedom citizens here enjoy. They ask, ‘Why can’t your government demand that YouTube take this video down?’ It’s an honest question. They don’t understand the laws here allow people to say really offensive things.”


Afeef points out that many Muslims abroad have expressed support for the United States and expressed regret for the death of Stevens. He says that some have displayed signs expressing these sentiments but that the media have largely ignored this segment of the Muslim community.


Meanwhile, Hussein says mainstream media have largely ignored releases from her organization condemning acts of violence, such as the consulate attack. But the bigger issue, she says, is that the media largely ignore Muslims overall, unless war or reckless violence is the subject.


“There needs to be more coverage of Muslim-Americans who are really making an effort to have a positive impact on the country,” Hussein says. “Muslim athletes, Muslim attorneys, Muslims who are part of everyday America. These stories need to be told to humanize Muslims.”


Nadra Kareem Nittle writes media critiques for the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Her reports and other media critiques are available at www.mije.org/mmcsi and can be republished free of charge. For more information, please contact Elisabeth Pinio at epinio@mije.org or 510-891-9202.


Ed Gardner to mayor: “No meeting, we will march on City Hall”

Posted by Admin On October - 9 - 2012 Comments Off on Ed Gardner to mayor: “No meeting, we will march on City Hall”

Tillman: ‘We ought to treat Gardner as our Rosa Parks’


By Chinta Strausberg

To a standing-room-only crowd at BJ’s Market & Bakery Restaurant on 87th and Stony Island, business giant Ed Gardner Saturday said if Mayor Rahm Emanuel has not met with him by this Wednesday, then his supporters, 10,000 strong, will march on City Hall.

Making it extremely clear, Gardner said, “The mayor has been asked on several times to meet with me.  He had some how found other more important things to do. Not only mayor of this city know but also mayors of other cities around the country know.

“The BBC out of England is aware of it. The talk show in New York is aware of it. They all interviewed me since the same thing is happening in our communities. The Latinos are getting the jobs and we are standing around watching. Let Chicago be an example of how we can change this situation around,” said Gardner.

“This is a change period of time. I will be meeting with the mayor I’m sure…but I’m putting it on your lap right now,” said Gardner referring to the Coalition of African American Leaders (C.O.A.L.) headed by Clarence Wood former chair of the Chicago’s Human Relation. “I expect you to take the leadership. I’ve going to commit to move forward, and I’ve already thought about our next move as far as I’m concern.

“Our next move unless I hear a positive fashion from the mayor will be down at City Hall with 10,000 people,” Gardner said. “A lot of white folks what we are doing and they are very happy and pleased that we’re finally doing it, but the charge of C.O.A.L. must mean what you are talking about and the results will be what counts.

“When I meet with the mayor and get the results, if it’s negative, the next following day of work that is available, we will have the same number of thousands to come out” as he did two-weeks ago at the Evergreen Park construction site.

Gardner asked the group to remain united “no splinters” and not complain about an individual not getting a job. “Our biggest job is much bigger than that.” Saying he wants Chicago to lead the nation in construction reform, Gardner said the problem of few blacks on construction sites is a national problem.

And former Ald. Dorothy Tillman (3rd) suggested supporters should treat Gardner “as our Rosa Parks.” She, like the host organization, the Coalition of African American Leaders (C.O.A.L.) headed by Clarence Wood, supports Mr. Gardner’s challenge to march on City Hall Wednesday if the mayor has not met with Mr. Gardner.

“Growing up in he Civil Rights movement since 9-year-old, I remember when Mrs. Parks refused to give up he seat to the white man…and when she did that the community came together and put a structure around Mrs. Parks to make sure what ever we were going to do would happen,” said Tillman. “I see Mr. Gardner as that Rosa Parks who refused to give up her seat. We have to put something around him. This is no game. I personally feel when the mayor said, ‘Who is Mr. Gardner’ and would not meet with him and went on WVON that is disrespectful…. Folks are working and you don’t see no black folks. We have to come and shut down these sites….”

“Rahm Emanuel has totally disrespected our elder. He doesn’t have to wait to see if he’s going to get a meeting. Who is Ed Gardner? If he doesn’t know who Ed Gardner is, he doesn’t need to be mayor,” Tillman said. “Mr. Gardner, you are our Rosa Parks.” She called for unity and told the audience “everybody has a role to play. Just find your space and get there….”

Last week, Mayor Emanuel did call Mr. Gardner and they talked for about ten-minutes; however, Gardner said he wanted a face-to-face meeting with Emanuel.

Saturday, Gardner was joined by a number of black officials including his son, Guy Gardner, former U.S. Senator Roland W. Burris, former School Supt. Dr. Manford Byrd, attorney Ernesto Borges, Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), John Rogers, president/CEO Ariel Investments, activist Zakiyyah S. Muhammad; and others.

Referring to the C.O.A.L., a five-year-old organization that addresses the impact on the well being of the African American community, Gardner said, “I want no excuses. I want changes to take place.”

Saying he is just one person, Gardner added, “I want you to organize in such fashion that anything that has to be done to change the attitude of the union, change the attitude of the mayor, change the attitude of the governor of this state, change the attitude of the folks over there just West of us…” become a reality.

Gardner said he is expecting C.O.A.L. “to take the leadership and make things happen and make things change.” Gardner said C.O.A.L. is the biggest, largest, most successful organization off black men and women in this city.

“I’m not asking you to do anything but assume your responsibility,” Gardner said. “Don’t disappoint them…,” he told the crowd. “

“I want no excuses. I want changes to take place,” said the 87-year-old Gardner who two-weeks ago stuck his cane in freshly poured concrete at the 92nd and western construction site to protest the lack of blacks on that worksite.

Gardner emphasized he is just one person. Referring to a possible march on City Hall, Gardner said, “I want you to organize in such fashion that even if it has to be done to change the attitude of union, change the attitude of the mayor, change the attitude of the governor of this state, change the attitude of folks over there just west of us.”

Saying they do not have to find him to talk to him, Gardner said C.O.A.L. is the organization with whom they should work. He said it is C.O.A.L. that will take the leadership “and make things happen and make things change.”

But change and inclusion didn’t come for many in that meeting like Gardner’s own son, Guy, who failed to get a contract and Helen Crawley, president/CEO of the C&L Petroleum and Unicorn Oil Corporation, who is accusing the CTA of allegedly denying her a $2 million contract that was bid in March of 2012.

 Having signed an agreement allegedly saying she would get the bid, Crawley said she received an e-mail saying the bid was going to be rebidded. “They took out the 2 percent DBE out of the bid.” She, along with a representative from Rep. Bobby L. Rush’s office, talked to the CTA. “They put the 2 percent DBE portion back in.”

Crawley said the CTA “awarded the bid to a white female broker. She is not certified for oil. She’s certified for medical supplies, trucking, construction stuff, from toothpaste to dead bodies.” Crawley said she protested but was denied the bid and was told there was no 2 percent DBE portion in the bid. She continues to fight for the bid.

Making it clear, Clarence Wood said because Mayor Emanuel is in New York they are assuming he will return to Chicago before Mr. Gardner’s Wednesday deadline and that they would meet. Gardner said earlier if a meeting occurs he will report back to his supporters.

“At that time, this body will meet again to determine the next steps as it relates to the issue of African Americans being employed on construction jobs and getting other kinds of jobs throughout the city,” said Wood.  “We did not affirm a march. We did say if the mayor does not meet with him and if the consequences of the meeting is not satisfactory to Mr. Gardner, a march on City Hall will be considered.”

“We heard a message from Mr. Gardner and a challenge from Mr. Gardner…. The challenge will be accepted,” said Wood. “Our goal is to identify the problem, gather the information, analyze it and then do something about it to change it.”

Saying C.O.A.L. has a process, Wood said, “We were on the road. Mr. Gardner hastened our process. He did not identify a problem that we did not already know existed.” Wood added, “One of the most difficult things to do in the African American community is to bring us together on one or two issues at one time without someone becoming the dissident or the one who keeps us from achieving our goal.

“The critical challenge for us this morning is to work together,” Wood said referring to some who are “in different places” while others have “immediate needs…a job today. Some of us are able to make it tomorrow, but the critical piece is that we will come together, hear each other, talk about it, work on it, march about it and demand a change.”

Wood said the first they are challenged to do, as suggested by Tillman and others present, is to “acknowledge the fact together Mr. Gardner has not been respected the way we believe he ought to be respected by the leadership of our city,” he said getting a round of applause.

Wood and Tillman were referring to the late Rosa Parks who in 1955 refused to give up her bus seat to a white man and as a result she was arrested. Her refusal to give up her seat sparked a Montgomery bus boycott that ultimately led to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling against separate but equal practice giving blacks a victory after a 381-day boycott. 

Like Rosa Parks, Tillman said Mr. Gardner has taken a stand against the locking out of African Americans on construction sites across the city and the state.

Agreeing with Tillman, Wood said, “Mr. Gardner has told us what he wants us to do about that. He has said he will wait for a call and meet with the mayor, and he will report back the consequences of that meeting and determine whether we need to do something beyond that in two-days. We will take action with Mr. Gardner related to that meeting.”

Taking a quote from the late Dorothy Height, who headed the National Council of Negro Women, Wood said, “The power of the black community is in its feet and in its pocket book; so the time has some for us to use our feet and our pocketbooks.”

Attorney Borges, who is a member of C.O.A.L., was happy with the meeting and an issue “we can wrap our arms around and start a movement.” Borges said Gardner “is the spark” and likes the idea of making him the Rosa Parks in this construction movement. “When you realize what they did in Montgomery, Alabama under a lot more severe conditions back in 1955, it is inspiring. I hope the movement keeps moving forward…. We are beginning to come together and doing something.”

“Mr. Gardner has also asked us to establish a process by which we can identify those who are ready to bid or perform” on contracts.” Wood reached out to Ms. Taylor to help C.O.A.L. in developing proper data on how to bid on contracts.

“We do not have time to wait for the first Friday of November.” Wood said the next meeting for C.O.A.L. would be next Saturday, October 13, 2012. The location has yet to be determined.

Althea Taylor, president of the Taylor Made Industries, said many people wanting to bid on jobs don’t know the numbers or how to do the proper paperwork. She said her organization could help blacks set up businesses and assist them to get contracts with all levels of government.

Taylor told the group that the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) “has a contract that is about $4 million that has been given out to help minority women funds. There are management support services to help them set up their businesses…and technical support services that could help them to bid on a contract….”

Taylor said, “You can’t go and put a white firm inside of a company that is supposed to be helping minority firms. The minority firms are not getting the education and direction they need.” Taylor said on the technical side, blacks are not getting the technical support they need. She can help African Americans on the education and technical aspects of getting contracts.

Youth leader, Tamiko Holt, a journeyman carpenter who also heads a CHA’s council, urged the coalition to include the youth in heir meetings. Referring to older blacks, Holt said, “Our problem is the older generation who has been in the room, been in play for 40-years. They have been speaking for us, acting on our behalf without us being in the room. They think because they’ve been in play for so long, that we don’t know nothing.”  Holt wants C.O.A.L. to include youth in their meetings.

Craig Wimberly, chairman of COAL’s Public Policy Committee, said, “The challenge for us, the real challenge, is for us to work together on something that we agree on whether we like each other or not. The goal is about black folks. I don’t have to eat with you, sleep with you, but I want to do something about helping black folks and that is the maturity and that is what we have to get to,” he said.

In support of Mr. Gardner, the C.O.A.L. organization issued a statement of support for Mr. Gardner saying he has “taken a giant step in stopping worksites where the representation from the African-American community is minimal, if existent at all.

“He has called on all of us to stand with him and for the thousands of African Americans who need work and whose  we should, as the member club organizations of C.O.A.L., stand with him not just on 95th Street but also at worksites throughout the city of Chicago.
The time is now to make the movement needed to offer opportunity, inclusion and justice come alive. Let’s join Ed in this effort and pledge our commitment in the other struggles that will be required of us as we continue our move toward full equality and justice,” stated the C.O.A.L. organization in a statement.

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.

ISBE to honor those who excel in education at annual banquet in Normal

Posted by Admin On October - 9 - 2012 Comments Off on ISBE to honor those who excel in education at annual banquet in Normal

Illinois Teacher of the Year to be named

NORMAL, IL – More than 200 award recipients will be recognized Saturday, Oct. 20 for their outstanding service to students statewide at the 38th annual Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year banquet in Normal. This year’s program recognizes 203 exemplary teachers, administrators, student support personnel, educational service personnel, community volunteers, board members and teams. The evening program will culminate with the naming of the 2012-13 Illinois Teacher of the Year.

“The high caliber of this year’s recipients is an excellent example of the outstanding human resources in classrooms, schools and districts across the state,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “It is an honor and privilege to recognize outstanding Illinois educators, administrators, support personnel and community members who go above and beyond on a daily basis to serve our students.” 

Candidates are nominated by their local school districts or members of their communities. The nomination includes a brief nominee biography, his or her philosophy on education, professional development, community involvement and their views on the state’s most pressing educational needs. Letters of recommendation are also required.

A committee of peers chooses the award winners. The committee represents statewide education organizations and includes former award winners.

The categories for recognition are:

  • Classroom teacher
  • School administrator
  • Student support personnel
  • Educational service personnel
  • School board member and/or community volunteer
  • Teams, which recognizes groups of teachers and/or administrators; citizen committees; civic organizations; parent organizations; school boards; booster clubs and others that have a significant impact on teaching and learning in a school or district.
  • Early Career Educator

All levels of awards will be presented at the banquet. They are:

  • 48 recipients of the highest award level, Excellence.
  • 70 recipients of the Award of Merit.
  • 84 recipients of the Award of Recognition.
  • 1 Outstanding Early Career Educator.

All teachers receiving an Award of Excellence are also among the nine finalists for the 2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year. For a list of the finalists, please visit http://www.isbe.net/news/2012/sept10.htm.

The Teacher of the Year serves as Illinois’ ambassador for the teaching profession and represents Illinois in the National Teacher of the Year program sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers, ING and Target.

Josh Stumpenhorst, an eighth-grade language arts and social studies teacher at Lincoln Junior High School in Naperville Community School District 203, is the 2011-2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year.

The Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, 201 Broadway St., Normal, will host this year’s banquet. Due to overwhelming demand for the annual event, tickets are sold out.

A complete list of local recipients by county can be accessed at: http://www.isbe.net/pdf/those-who-excel12-13.pdf


Illinois GOP: Last day to register to vote in Illinois, Tuesday, Oct. 9; Chicago Election Board will be OPEN from 9 a.m. to Midnight today

Posted by Admin On October - 9 - 2012 Comments Off on Illinois GOP: Last day to register to vote in Illinois, Tuesday, Oct. 9; Chicago Election Board will be OPEN from 9 a.m. to Midnight today
(From the ILGOP)
Today, Tuesday, October 9 is the last day to register to vote in Illinois.

If you aren’t currently registered, or you recently moved, please make sure to get your registration updated!

You can check your registration status here.

If you need to register, you can fill out the form here, print it out, and drop it off or mail it to your local election authority.

Find your local election authority here. If you mail it, it must be postmarked by Today, Tuesday, October 9!

There still is “grace period” registration after today until Nov. 3 but you must do that in person at your election authority office and vote at the same time. We urge you to register to vote today.

A press release from the Chicago Election Board follows:

The Chicago Election Board will be OPEN from 9 a.m. – midnight Tue., Oct. 9 at 69 W. Washington St. on the ground floor to accept voter registrations through the very end of the standard-registration deadline.

There was a steady flow with more than 500 forms submitted on Columbus Day. Many more thousands are arriving in the mail daily and from deputy registrars. The fill-in-the-blank form is here and can be delivered in person today — or submitted by mail if it has an Oct. 9 postmark.

By law, voters must submit original form with a ‘wet-ink’ signature — and cannot submit the form by email or fax.
After Tuesday, there will be the less-convenient option of grace-period registration from Oct. 10 through Nov. 3. During that grace period, prospective voters must come in person to the election authority and also cast their ballot during that same visit. Grace-period voters cannot use Early Voting, Absentee Voting or Voting in the Polling Place on Election Day.

Election Day Countdown: November 6 is just a month away!

Posted by Admin On October - 9 - 2012 Comments Off on Election Day Countdown: November 6 is just a month away!
From The Coalition of African American Leaders (COAL)
COAL strongly urges each and every one to get out and Vote.
Facts: In 2008, when we elected President Barack Obama
·       The black voter turnout rate increased by 8 percent from 2004 to 65.3 percent. 
·       And for the first time, the turnout among African-American women voters was the highest of all racial, ethnic and gender groups at 68.8 percent.
·       Participation by young African American voters between the ages of 18 and 29 soared by 17 percent over 2004 levels.
In our last message, we talked about WHY your vote matters.  This time, we want to talk about HOW to vote.
To use your voice, you must be registered to vote.  If you can’t get it done by the Tuesday, October 9 deadline, you can still register, change your address or file your name change during the “grace period”.
In Illinois, this grace period is from Wednesday, October 10 until Saturday, November 3
In Chicago, you can go to the Chicago Election Board between the hours of 9 am until 5 pm.  The address is 69 W. Washington on the 6th Floor.
If you live outside of Chicago, grace period registration and voting will be conducted at each Cook County Clerk’s office (Downtown, or at the Broadview, Markham, Maywood, Rolling Meadows, and Skokie courthouses). 
You must bring two forms of identification (one must show your current address). 
You can use your:
Illinois driver’s license            Illinois state ID                        Employee or student ID           
Credit Card                  Social security card                  Birth certificate
Utility bill in applicant’s name      Mail postmarked to the applicant      Valid U.S. passport                Lease or rental contract
After you take care of your registration business, you will vote during that same visit, so plan to be there AT LEAST one hour. 
You don’t have to wait until November 6 to vote!
Early Voting Begins on Monday, October 22 Through Saturday, November 3. 
In the city of Chicago, you can go to any of the 51 places to vote.  You don’t have to live in that neighborhood. 
To find a place in the city, go to: www.chicagoelections.com or www.coalchicago.com.
If you live outside of the city, to find a place, you can go to:  http://www.cookcountyclerk.com or www.coalchicago.com. 
You don’t have to tell anyone why you are early voting (you DON’T need a reason).  State law requires early voters to display valid photo identification: current driver’s license, state-issued ID card, university/college ID or another government-issued ID with a photograph. All forms of ID must have correct information.
The Coalition of African American Leaders (COAL) strongly urges each and every one of us
to get out and Vote. Please tell them that you matter!
The Coalition of African American Leaders (COAL) believes that it is important to examine the critical issues confronting the African American community where injustice, inequality and the absence of access and opportunity continue to prevail, thereby negatively impacting us as a people.  C.O.A.L. is an assemblage that advocates and organizes for appropriate and responsible public policy change, system behavior change and equality of opportunity.  We aim to achieve for all of our people the fullness of the life experience without any form of racism or exclusion as a deterrent.  We believe we must prepare ourselves for the opportunity of this full participation, thereby achieving the necessary education and training to participate.
Contact: Clarence N. Wood, President                                                            Craig K. Wimberly, Chair
Coalition of African American Leaders (C.O.A.L.)                                                COAL – Public Policy
(312) 404-8269                                                                                                (773) 350-9315
clarence.wood@coalchicago.com                                                                        craig.wimberly@coalchicago.com

Two dynamic black educators train teachers to help black students excel

Posted by Admin On October - 9 - 2012 Comments Off on Two dynamic black educators train teachers to help black students excel

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Award-winning educators and authors, Chike Akua and Kobie Wilkerson will host the next Teacher Transformation Institute (TTI) in Atlanta on Thursday and Friday, November 8-9, 2012. “Teachers come from all over the country to learn how to increase reading, math, and science achievement,” says Akua, a former Teacher of the Year who was selected as one of Ebony magazine’s “50 Leaders of Tomorrow.”

“Professional development begins with personal development,” says Wilkerson. “Teachers get both at the Teacher Transformation Institute.”

For Akua and Wilkerson, increasing the achievement of African American students is not a one-shot deal or an event. It is a process that requires an ongoing commitment. “Uncommon accomplishments require uncommon commitment,” says Akua, the Executive Director of the Teacher Transformation Institute. “We are committed to training a new generation of culturally conscious and culturally competent teachers who know how to bring out the best in our children.”

Those who attend the 2012 Teacher Transformation Institute will get another special treat. “I will be releasing my book, Education for Transformation: The Keys to Releasing the Genius of African American Students, a collection of the best hands-on strategies I have researched and used in my 20-year experience as an educator to increase student achievement,” says Akua. Many schools are using this book with their teachers and it has questions for thought, reflection, and discussion at the end of each chapter. To register and learn more about the Teacher Transformation Institute, log on to www.MyTeacherTransformation.com.

TTI is a standards-based, research-driven, best practices training conference for educators, administrators, and counselors who are interested in dramatically improving the achievement of African American students. “First and foremost it is imperative that the culture and climate of a school shift to create an environment that can support achievement before a discussion about increasing achievement can occur,” says nationally-known trainer Kobie Wilkerson who has partnered with Akua to produce TTI.

Wilkerson, who is best known for transforming school culture, is passionate about equipping teachers and administrators with tools to create authentic relationships and empower students through their instruction. He will release his highly acclaimed children’s book Queen Infinity, an enchanting rhyming tale of a little girl who becomes queen because of her knowledge and wisdom gained from reading. The book contains interdisciplinary facts, riddles, math problems and lessons brilliantly woven into the story.

According to past conference evaluations, educators love the Teacher Transformation Institute because they have never experienced practical, hands-on professional development in a setting that is fun, dynamic, interactive and engaging. Educators emerge rejuvenated, not only with cutting-edge teaching techniques and strategies, but also with an inspired and renewed commitment to the students they teach. Other presenters at this year’s TTI include Valencia Thornton (Helping Struggling Students Master Mathematics), counselor and author, Dr. Lisa Tait (Countdown to College: Strategies for Helping Students Gain Admission to the College of Their Choice).

Photo Caption: Chike Akua and Kobie Wilkerson

“Real Housewives of Atlanta” Star partners with New penny Auction Site

Posted by Admin On October - 9 - 2012 Comments Off on “Real Housewives of Atlanta” Star partners with New penny Auction Site

One lucky fan will win a $10,000 shopping spree in New York City, and the chance to hang out with reality star Sheree Whitfield

Detroit, MI (BlackNews.com) — The launch of PennyStorm.com marked the beginning of a revolution in entertainment shopping. And for the consumer whose shopping decisions and retail desires are influenced by celebrity culture, the web site will offer an unprecedented opportunity to follow in their favorite star’s footsteps.

PennyStorm.com is the world’s first online entertainment shopping destination-allowing members to win exclusive merchandise and purchase the latest technology and high-end fashions at astronomical discounts, using a unique bidding system. Upon joining the site, each member purchases “bids,” which they will then use to compete with other members for the chance to win items ranging from designer iPad accessories to NASCAR tickets at prices close to 90% below the suggested retail price.

Founded by Detroit, MI-based entrepreneur Warren DuBosé, the site is a culmination of new age demands and next level vision. “What sets us apart from our competitors is our “Dream Events”, exclusive celebrity-endorsed lifestyle auctions, which gives the fans nearly unrestricted access to their favorite stars,” states the VP of Operations, William Tolbert.

Through partnerships with celebrities across all facets and genres in entertainment, PennyStorm.com aims to offer fans a first-hand glimpse into the lifestyles of the rich and famous. No less than twice a month, members will have the opportunity to bid on a once-in-a-lifetime “Dream Event” experience that will allow them a day in the lap of luxury.

To kick off this entertainment shopping experience, PennyStorm has partnered with former “Real Housewives Of Atlanta” star Sheree Whitfield to offer one lucky fan an all-expense-paid $10,000 shopping spree in New York City, where she will serve as the winner’s shopping buddy. The auction for this “Dream Event” started on October 8th and will be open for a minimum of 48-hours. But the beauty of PennyStorm’s “Dream Events” is that each and every one will serve as a fundraising tool for a good cause. “Our number one goal is to create significant revenue streams for lesser known non-profit organizations through celebrity collaboration and partnership,” states DuBosé. “A portion of the proceeds from all ‘Dream’ auctions will be donated to a non-profit, based on a celebrity donation percentage, and PennyStorm’s celebrity matching multiplier.

For her first of many “Dream” auctions on the web site, Shereé has selected the Wish Upon A Hero Foundation as her benefiting charity. The Wish Upon A Hero Foundation grants the wishes of those in need, working to raise funds and awareness for causes ranging from some of the most well known in the world to rare diseases and specialized disabilities. To find out more about the organization’s mission, please visit www.wishuponaherofoundation.org. Follow Shereé at Twitter.com/iamsheree, Facebook.com/shereewhitfield for the latest auction information.

For more information about PennyStorm, visit www.pennystorm.com and click on the “about us” section or follow PennyStorm at www.Twitter.com/PennyStorm, www.Facebook.com/ShopPennyStorm, and www.Youtube.com/ShopPennyStorm.

For all inquiries, please contact Will Tolbert at W.Tolbert@pennystorm.com.

Photo Caption: Sheree Whitfield, former star of “Real Housewives of Atlanta”

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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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