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August , 2017
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The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, in cooperation with the Illinois Community College Board, ...
Community organizers ask aldermen, media to get answers at Chicago Police budget hearings, likely to ...
Crowd of 700 attends elegant dinner; Saxophonist Mike Phillips performs "We Are One" ...
The Institute of the Black World 21st Century(IBW) in conjunction with Bus Boys and Poets ...
Julius, Man of 1,000 Voices Releases Single For The Holidays Denver, CO (BlackNews.com) -- "You ...
Historic installation is Sunday By Chinta Strausberg In an expanded move towards racial reconciliation, Rev. Dr. ...
  Superintendents and principals from across the state honored for their expertise and leadership     SPRINGFIELD, IL – ...
PETAL et al. will hold a Beginners’ Game Design and Development Workshop for Pre-Teens ...
"Forty-nine years ago, a determined group of Americans marched into history, facing down grave ...
To Be Equal#26  By Marc H. Morial, President and CEO National Urban League   “The arc of the moral ...

Archive for April, 2013

Hearing for Miguel Morales, torture victim, today at 26th & California

Posted by Newsroom On April - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

 

 

Miguel Morales, who was tortured by Chicago Police officers Kenneth Boudreau,  James O’Brien, and John Halloran, will have a hearing at 9:30 am Tuesday, April 30, 2013  in Room 203 of the Cook County Criminal Court Building, 26th Street and California Ave.  Morales is asking that he be allowed to present evidence that he was tortured by police, and that he be granted a new trial in which his false confession is not allowed into evidence.

Family and supporters of justice in Chicago will attend the hearing to support Morales’ petition.  Frank Chapman, Chairperson of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression Organizing Committee to Stop Police Crimes, observed, “The case of Miguel Morales is another example of why the Police in Chicago need to be accountable to the people through an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council. (CPAC)”  Chapman called on people across the city to join the movement for an elected CPAC, and to come out for the mass march on City Hall demanding justice for victims of police crimes on August 28, 2013.


For more information, contact Bertha Escamilla, 708-220-6747; Frank Chapman, 312-513-3795.

With few jobs, non-profit founder encourages African Americans to become Real Estate Developers

Posted by Newsroom On April - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

 

 

 

MIAMI, FL (BlackNews.com) — The founder of The REDI Foundation, non-profit institute, Richard Michael Abraham, announced today at The REDI Foundation’s Development Conference that real estate development success is “all about your vision and your ability to see and imagine real estate development opportunities that others overlook”.

“With few jobs, the only way to survive and prosper now is to fight to be entrepreneurial and the best place to fight is in the lucrative real estate development business. With low interest rates, investors are hungry and looking for hard real estate developments to invest in for higher returns. Anyone with vision who instinctively can see what needs to be developed in his or her local community possesses a great advantage. All of these visionary emerging developers at heart need now are the real estate development knowledge and skills to put together and package real estate development joint ventures,” Mr. Abraham stated.

The REDI Foundation offers the world’s #1 real estate development online course. The 6-Month Real Estate Development Certification and Private Mentoring Course is recognized as the world’s most comprehensive course and in addition to printed instructional materials, assignments, exams, each student is required to complete a “real” and feasible real estate development project under the watchful eye of Mr. Abraham. The course enrollment is limited and always filled, but “standby places” can be made available for exceptional applicants.

“During the last booming decade of real estate development, African Americans were left behind, unable to get into real estate development. The REDI Foundation is now doing everything possible to make this Course available to qualified African-Americans executives, professionals, business people and entrepreneurial individuals. Our African American students are doing exceptionally well,” Mr. Abraham added.

Entrepreneurs and professionals who possess a vision of what can be developed along with the passion for real estate development and who feel they have what it takes to develop real estate and work with affluent investors (once they learn the skills) are invited to apply for the course by visiting www.redii.org.

“The accepted students who do extremely well all have a vision of what they want to develop. They see a vacant lot or building in their community, or inner city, and they immediately see what it could be e.g. affordable housing, mixed-use development, apartments, shopping center and they see the possibilities. It’s uncanny. This is what makes a great real estate developer, their vision. If an accepted student has this natural gift of vision, passion and determination, once they have the development skills taught in this online mentoring course, nothing can stop them from achieving ultimate success as a Joint Venture Real Estate Developer,” Mr. Abraham said.

Only the very best applicants are accepted. The course is more comprehensive and challenging than a Master’s degree program.

Those who feel they are an exceptional candidate with vision and passion to develop real estate, to apply for a special “Standby” Course place, should review all the details about the course on the web site at www.redii.org. There they can read about the success of students, see their developments and then, if they have a passion to learn, and are willing to study hard for 6 months, can email their completed application (on the Website) as soon as possible. They should also include a sincere, honest cover letter describing why they feel they qualified and why they feel they should be accepted. Once received, a REDI Application officer will contact applicants for an interview and to discuss eligibility, tuition, (any available partial scholarships) and the next online course start date. Course enrollment is strictly limited and always filled by referrals but “standby places” can be made available for a course start date now for exceptional applicants.

 

More Black men in college than in prison?

Posted by Newsroom On April - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

 

Reprint from The Sentencing Project

 

Race & Justice News

 

 

For nearly a decade, there has been a claim that there are more black men in prison than in college. The statement arises from a report based on 2001 data from the National Center for Educational Statistics. In an interview with NPR, Ivory Toldson, Associate Professor at Howard University, reports that data on black males were previously missing for at least 1,000 colleges, including a number of historically black universities. Currently, there are 1.4 million black men in college, and about 840,000 in prison or jail.

Perpetuating the belief that black men in prison outnumber black men in college is harmful, according to Dr. Toldson, because it contributes to a situation where keeping black males out of prison becomes its own success.  “The problem is that young, black males are not being advised to seek out the most competitive [colleges], and they’re not being prepared in the way that we should be preparing them, I think, because we believe that just getting them into any college is a success.”

 

Jimalita Tillman: “Youth inspired by spirit of Mayor Washington”

Posted by Newsroom On April - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

 

 

Will be in court today to save Harold Washington Cultural Center

By Chinta Strausberg

After a more than two-hour tribute to Chicago’s first Mayor Harold Washington, Jimalita Tillman, executive director of the Harold Washington Cultural Center, late Monday night said she is happy to be able to showcase a neighborhood gem that is providing youth with theatrical skills especially since the Center is now an official member of the prestigious League of Chicago Theaters.

While Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised the program and spoke eloquently of the late Mayor Harold Washington and the Center named in his honor, Tillman said the fight to keep the Harold Washington Cultural Center, located at 4701 South King Drive, continues.

Located in the Third Ward where her mother was alderman for 22-years, the former alderman and her daughter have been fighting city officials along with the City Colleges of Chicago who want to seize control of the historic and popular center that sits across from the former Democratic Organization where the late Mayor Washington was so politically active.

“The legal fight is still on in full swing,” the feisty Jimalita Tillman told this reporter. “We have a court date tomorrow (Tuesday, April 30th).”

“Hopefully, some of those naysayers will have their hearts turned tonight and start being cheering and championing what we are doing and help us pay off this debt.

“We are doing a reorganization and a restructuring that will be announced Tuesday. We will be going to court tomorrow. We will officially say we have a new business model; therefore Chancery Court has no jurisdiction on us so we’re moving on to Chapter 11 in a positive way.”

Referring to the Center’s legal fight with the City Colleges of Chicago, Jimalita Tillman explained, “They are closing down all of their performing arts programs but they want our building; however, now that we are going to moving out of Chancery Court into Bankruptcy Court we’ll be able to reorganize and restructure based off our new business model which is generating revenue, we’ll be able to pay down our debt.”

Praising her “Off the Street On the Stage program” and her “Broadway in Bronzeville program, which are in-house production programs, Tillman, who is the daughter of former Ald. Dorothy Tillman (3rd) said, “Being a new member of the League of Chicago Theaters will further help the Center lift up homegrown talent “in our theater and in our community.”

While the second panel of speakers had to be cut from the historic program that honored the 30th anniversary of the inauguration of Mayor Harold Washington due to time, Jimalita Tillman echoed what WVON’s Cliff Kelley, who was Masters of Ceremony, suggested…that there may be a Part II of honoring “the Man, the Moment, the Movement” remembering Mayor Washington.

“I believe that there is a next step. A lot of young people are now energized with the spirit of Mayor Washington because the stories that were told tonight have them thinking. Now they want to go back and properly research the history of Harold Washington. He is no longer just a cultural center, no longer a library or a college. He’s alive to them now. They were able to hear his voice whereas before they saw photos, read about him in newspapers or books, but seeing him alive up there made him more tangible,” she told this reporter.

“Our youth people told us they finally heard his voice, how strong and loud his voice was. Our drill team started and ended with a speech, but they had to study several of his speeches. Many of them were prepared to do oratory performances today of Mayor Washington.

“That is what we have to do,” young Tillman said. “Every other culture takes their leaders and immortalizes them to their speeches and presentations and we want to make sure we do that here with Harold Washington.”

Tillman said the Center includes a 1,000-seat theater, a full service recording studio, a video editing lab and they train youth with most of them going on to higher education. “We had teen summit…where young people not only talk about stopping the violence but a positive life movement in the right direction and increasing the peace….”

She urged supporters to learn more about the Harold Washington Cultural Center by clicking on: http://www.broadwayinbronzeville.com or call 773.373.1900, or “if they want to support what we are doing, they can go to Seaway National Bank” and contribute to the Center.

“The fight is on. We are working on a $1.5 million capital campaign to burn our mortgage and another $1 million to continue the programming because right now we do not receive any funding for program or operations.” She is hoping that the more than 1,000 people who attended the celebration of Mayor Washington’s 30th anniversary will help in “zeroing out that debt.”

 

 

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.

 


Aging Undocumented Immigrants – A Burden or a Boon?

Posted by Newsroom On April - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Aging Undocumented Immigrants - A Burden or a Boon?

 New America Media

By Paul Kleyman

 

SAN FRANCISCO–As the debate over immigration reform tugs predictably back in Washington, an undercurrent of ageism and disability bias has been flowing beneath more obvious racial and class implications.

Take, for instance, the recent USA Today op-ed co-authored by former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., now president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, which warned, “The truly enormous costs come when unauthorized immigrants start collecting retirement benefits.”

DeMint and his colleague continued, “Social Security, Medicare, food stamps and other entitlement programs already impose huge, unfunded liabilities on taxpayers.” The op-ed goes on to declare that “an amnesty” proposed for 11 million unauthorized immigrants will add significant taxpayer costs because unauthorized immigrants average only a 10th-grade education.

Doing the Right Thing

Rather than being a burden, however, according to the Social Security Administration’s chief actuary, those presumed drains on the system have been a boon. They add $15 billion a year to Social Security in payroll taxes, only taking out $1billion annually in benefits. In the long term, immigration reform would modestly cut Social Security’s deficit, not worsen it.

According to Pew Research, that’s partly because of future rising income and home ownership levels for those immigrants’ children.

“Those opposed to immigration reform have attempted to use vital programs, like Social Security, as an economic excuse to avoid doing the right thing,” said Max Richtman, president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM).

In a policy brief last week, NCPSSM cited Edward Alden of the Council on Foreign Relations, who has said that immigration reform would actually lead to higher wages and allow immigrants to pay more towards Social Security.

“They’re going to pay more into the Social Security system. The CBO has run these numbers in the past, in the short-run there’s a big boost for the Social Security system,” Alden said

White House and Senate ‘Roadmaps’

According to a new policy analysis by the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) and National Council on Aging (NCOA), today’s approximately 11 million unauthorized immigrants include 1.3 million individuals ages 45-54, and another half million who are 55 and older.

NHCOA’s Jason Coates and NCOA policy analyst Joe Caldwell examined “roadmaps” to citizenship outlined so far by the White House and the Senate’s bipartisan “Gang of Eight,” with legislation to come in a few months.

Both proposals signal long waits before eligible immigrants could even apply for lawful permanent resident status (green cards) and citizenship. And their access to health care and economic security benefits, especially important to elders and those with disabilities, is in doubt.

Under the current proposals, unauthorized immigrants could end up waiting a decade or more to qualify for health care and other safety-net programs.

While the Senate plan would link the waiting period for being able to apply for green cards to some assurance of border security, the White House has proposed allowing undocumented immigrants provisional status for six-to-eight years before they could become permanent residents. (Both the administration and Senate frameworks would expedite the process for “DREAMers,” agricultural workers, and highly skilled immigrants with advanced degrees in such areas as science and technology.)

Once an immigrant waited through those years on provisional, or temporary status and qualified for a permanent status (the green card), he or she would begin the five-year process toward naturalization. During that time, the White House and Senate proposals would deny them access to federal benefits, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps). President Obama’s proposal would deny access to subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. People could have to wait more than a decade for assistance.

Older adults would also have to wait that long to access Medicaid, which is the primary payer of long-term care in the U.S. States can waive the five-year waiting period normally required once someone becomes a permanent resident, but only for pregnant women and children, not for individuals with disabilities or seniors.

Statistics show that six-in-ten undocumented Hispanics is without health insurance.

They would also have to wait another five years — that is about a decade after starting on the path to citizenship — to qualify for federal Medicare.

Many of those 11 million undocumented people are overrepresented in low-paying and often physically demanding occupations, frequently incurring high rates of work-related injuries, and contributing to high rates of disability and chronic conditions over time.

Looming Shortage of Care Workers

The NHCOA-NCOA report also calls on the government to strengthen and stabilize the shrinking direct-care workforce, such as the nursing aides who assist patients with such crucial daily activities as getting dressed, taking medication, preparing meals and managing money.

The advocacy groups say reforms should afford these workers the same streamlined and expedited visa process as those proposed for scientists, engineers and workers in other high-need areas, because the nation is facing a looming shortage of care workers.

The paper explains that as the U.S. population ages, U.S. demand for long-term care will leap from today’s 12 million to 27 million by 2050. The country will need 1.6 million additional direct-care workers by 2020 and 3 million by 2030.

Immigration reform is vital for meeting that projected need, say NHCOA and NCOA, because almost one in four current direct-care workers is foreign born. About half today are naturalized citizens and others have legal status, “but a significant portion is estimated to be unauthorized.”

Policy changes offering these workers authorized immigration status would improve the quality of care, says the paper, by allowing for improved background checks, providing workers opportunities for training and career advancement, building registries to assist individuals and find workers, and enabling workers to legally drive.

“Comprehensive immigration reform will help millions come out of the shadows. Many of the half million older adult immigrants [among them] have worked for decades and contributed millions to Social Security,” said NHCOA’s Jason Coates. Rather than begrudging them income and health security protections they have earned, he added, “We should reward their contributions to the to the United States.”

7th Annual Barrington Concours D’Elegance displays the finest in classic automobiles, July 12 – 14

Posted by Newsroom On April - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

A Series of Yearlong Special Events Celebrates The Automobile as History and Art  Kicking Off Thursday, April 25 with Bob Lutz, Former Vice Chairman of General Motors

 
 

 

CHICAGO, IL — Automotive aficionados are treated to the most exceptional classic vehicles throughout the world during The 7th Annual Barrington Concours d’Elegance, July 12 – 14, 2013 at the Makray Memorial Golf Club just 40 miles northwest of Chicago in Barrington, IL. Featuring 100 of the world’s finest and rarest vehicles including special displays never before seen in the Midwest, the Concours offers the true artistry combined with rich history of the most famed classic automobiles. Co-chaired by Chief Executive Officer and owner of Cooper Technica, David Cooper and Chief Operating Officer Patty Dowd Schmitz, all proceeds benefit the Barrington Area Conservation Trust, through the newly established Legends & Legacies Foundation. Tickets ($25 – $85) can be purchased in advance online at www.barringtonconcours.org.
 
In addition to the Concours, a series of special events will take place for a yearlong celebration of the automobile. Kicking off the events, Cooper Technica, which specializes in the complete restoration and history of rare and valuable vintage automobiles, hosts “An Evening with Bob Lutz” on Thursday, April 25 at Cooper Technica (401 N. May St., Chicago) featuring former Vice Chairman of General Motors Bob Lutz. Over 200 guests will join Lutz as he shares insights from his pioneering days in the automotive industry as well as thoughts on the future. Lutz will also be on hand to sign copies of his national bestselling book “Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business.” Tickets ($40 prior to the event, $50 at the door) can be purchased online at www.barringtonconcours.org. All proceeds benefit the Legends and Legacies Foundation which supports various Chicago area charities while promoting the classic vehicle community. More events will be announced at a later date.
 
“Over the course of only a few years, the Barrington Concours has become one of the most enjoyable celebrations of our rich automotive heritage,” said David Cooper. “I have been involved with this organization since its founding in 2007 and to see the event grow into a yearlong celebration of the automobile is extraordinary. It is a privilege to work with a group of high caliber individuals who share our vision and are now helping propel the Concours to even greater success in the automotive world and beyond.”

In July, the Concours d’Elegance takes place over an entire weekend beginning on Friday, July 12, when Legacy Club members and invited guests kick things off with a “Car-B-Que” featuring the muscle car collection of Mike and Ivy Guarise, co-hosted by Dave and Susan Nelsen. The festivities continue on Saturday, July 13 with a Road Rally featuring a 40-mile drive through the countryside followed by a picnic lunch for guests and presenters to enjoy. On Saturday evening, the Concours will host a charity gala benefit for the Barrington Area Conservation Trust at the Barrington Hills Country Club. Sunday marks the main event as the Barrington Concours d’Elegance opens at 11:00 a.m. A distinguished panel of judges assembled by Chief Judges Peter Fino of QuattroFino and automotive historian and writer Jonathan A. Stein will review all automobiles at the Concours and present the top honors, including special honors to key individuals in the automotive industry at a 2:30 p.m. The Awards Ceremony is followed by a VIP closing cocktail hour.
 
The 7th Annual Concours will feature 12 classes of collectible cars and motorcycles across every time period and style from private collectors around the globe. Featured exhibits will include select Avions Voisins,1930s French luxury automobiles established by Gabriel Voisin that will arrive in Chicago from the Mullin Automotive Museum. Their rare appearance at the Barrington Concours marks the first time these unique vehicles will be shown in the Midwest. Other exhibits include an extraordinary assembly of Duesenbergs featuring renowned authority Randy Ema; an Indy Car exhibit with the assistance of race driver Bobby Rahal and Don Devine; a celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Porsche 911; a special showcase for the 50th Anniversary of the Corvette; and a rare collection of antique military vehicles.
 
“I’m thrilled with the direction that the 7th Annual Concours d’Elegance is taking,” said Co-Chair and Chief Operating Officer Patty Dowd Schmitz. “Not only have we significantly increased the quality of vehicles for this year’s main event, but the special events planned throughout the year will ensure the high quality and entertainment for exhibitors, sponsors, VIPs and guests.”
 
Over 50 corporate and individual sponsors support the 7th Annual Concours d’Elegance including Founding Sponsors Motor Werks of Barrington, Makray Memorial Golf Club, Northern Trust and the Stephen B. Smith Family.
 
Additional information about the Concours and other events scheduled throughout 2013 can be found here.
 
About the Barrington Concours d’Elegance
The Barrington Concours d’Elegance is a charitable event that supports the Legends & Legacies Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization (in process). This year’s proceeds support The Barrington Area Conservation Trust, which works to protect open space in Barrington and throughout the Northern Illinois region. Located just 40 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, the Barrington Concours d’Elegance is a premier automotive event that celebrates the rich international automotive heritage. A series of events are scheduled throughout the year, culminating with the Concours’ move to Northerly Island in June 2014. For more information about the Concours or to purchase tickets, call (847) 381-4291 or visit www.barringtonconcours.org.
 
About Legends & Legacies Foundation
The Legends & Legacies Foundation, a 501c3 organization (in process), aims to raise money for local charities through a continuing series of educational events focusing on automotive history, design, and technology. Since the first Barrington Concours d’Elegance in 2007, the event has continued to work with various charities including Hospice of Northeastern Illinois, Barrington Area Conservation Trust, and Cowboy Dreams of Illinois.

Company publishes exclusive list of investors for minority entrepreneurs looking for funding

Posted by Newsroom On April - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
 


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — 25-year old internet entrepreneur Eli Marcus is on a mission to build a strong and powerful Black America by promoting entrepreneurship and providing minorities with access to alterative solutions to find funding for their business project. His company BrokersPlayGround.com sells a list of 15,000 accredited investors, venture capital firms, funding groups, High net-worth execs, and business lenders. The list contains updated contact information such as Company Name, Contact Number, E-mail Address, Website, and Location. Such sensitive and high profile information is usually sold for $3,500 plus in packages by competitors, but because of Eli Marcus’ passion for underserved communities, his company has discounted the market value over 95%. A customer can expect to spend just $50 instead of spending the usual market value. After the customer completes their transaction the full list is e-mailed to them in excel format within an hour.

Eli’s approach to black entrepreneurship is that business minded African American’s need more than encouraging words or even a list of investors, on his personal blog he places a strong focus on creating a solid business plan, summarizing your business plan into a 1 minute pitch, educating yourself on how to approach an investor entity with your business proposal, and making sure you have proven your product or service as a profitable company with room to grow.

He and a group of friends also started an entrepreneur networking group in Atlanta, Georgia called iDream Initiative. The 20 something youngsters meet at least once a month to discuss their business objectives and personal goals. Eli comments, “Having a strong support system of productive visionaries is vital for any start-up entrepreneur. It keeps them optimistic towards high possibilities and more importantly it holds everyone accountable to their vision. If a person said they plan on building this or that within a certain amount of time, the group will ask questions about their progress at each meeting. People tend to succeed more when they’re being held accountable.”

Eli continues, “BrokersPlayGround.com is intended to give entrepreneurs accurate investor information to help them on their journey of starting a business. Our culture has so many brilliant ideas to contribute as a service to the world, but often lack the necessary funding to effectively build a functional and profitable company from the ground up. Many of us falsely believe that the only way to receive funding for a business is to fill out a business loan application at our local bank and to keep a high credit score. If the bank rejects our loan proposal we simply take that as our business not yet being ready and worthy to pursue. My mission is to educate minorities that there are more ways to get funded than the local bank. Furthermore, there are countless financial scams that collects outrageous ” up front fee’s” from entrepreneurs under false pretenses. I don’t believe in that practice. My job is to supply you with legitimate funding sources, and your job is to contact the investor via e-mail, phone, or even visit in person to pitch them your business proposal. To gain my customer’s trust, I provide them with a free sample of our investor list package, where they can verify the investor contacts on the list. I also provide each paid customer with a free educational presentation on how to write a business plan and how to approach investors on the list. At the end of the day it’s all about building a powerful black America. I want more multi-billion dollar black owned businesses in America, because that’s the kind of progress that will solve the issue of the black unemployment rate being twice that of white Americans. I have faith in black entrepreneurs in the private sector to solve some of the issues of poverty and the lack of opportunity in the black community. A passive dependence on government to jump in and say something about black unemployment has proven to be wasteful. It’s time we take a different and more proactive approach to what capitalism is and how to use capitalism to benefit our communities into abundant prosperity.”

When asked about his future career goals, Eli Marcus states he plans to one day start a Venture Capital firm with a focus on technology, energy, and internet companies. He says his underlined agenda will always be to promote entrepreneurship in underserved communities.

Those interested in obtaining the list of 15,750 direct funding sources such as accredited investors, funding groups, investment firms, and business lenders should visit www.BrokersPlayGround

Photo Caption: Eli Marcus, founder of BrokersPlayGround.com

State of Equality and Justice in America: It’s Time to Step it Up, We Have Not Arrived!

Posted by Newsroom On April - 29 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The fourteenth of a 20-part series, “State of Equality and Justice in America”

 
By Melanie L. Campbmcampbellell
Reflecting upon the past 50 years since the 1963 March on Washington we must pay homage to our civil rights leaders for their hard work, strength and endurance in the fight for equality and justice in America. Their unwavering commitment to The Movement made it possible for a Black man named Barack Hussein Obama to become President of the United States of America.
As I look at the state of equality and justice today, we are at a very critical moment in time. Our elders have taken us this far. Some have transitioned on, others are continuing on the battle field for justice. Also, with all the progress over the past 50 years, some of us are under the misguided impression that we have arrived. I feel compelled to appeal to my generation and today’s young leaders to make sure they understand: There is no more time, we must take the torch or the fire will die. It’s time to step it up and get busy.
The task before Black leaders today begins with making sure that those coming behind us understand that even though the Civil Rights Movement forced laws to change, it did not change the hearts and minds of all Americans. Some of those who want to retain their power and money are threatened by inclusion.
Our young people must understand that a small group of people are continuously plotting to create new ways to exclude entire communities. In 2013, new school activists must make sure our young people understand that racism and inequality may not always manifest itself in a white sheet or barking dog but the dogs are still biting. Inequality comes in many packages.
Back in the day people in power relied on slick tactics like Jim Crow Laws and Poll Taxes to hold us back. Today, it’s voter IDs and the “War on Drugs.” For example, a person with a non-violent drug conviction on their record is restricted in their ability to secure housing, financial aid for education, public assistance, jobs, and the right to vote.
What does the fight for equality and justice look like in 2013 and beyond?
In 2013 and beyond our fight is not just for access to education. We must make sure our schools are teaching critical thinking, promoting innovation, and preparing our youth for jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009 American Community Survey reports that STEM workers earn more than other workers. Non-Hispanic Whites hold 72 percent of STEM jobs while only 6 percent of STEM jobs are held by Non-Hispanic Blacks.
In 1963 March organizers called for “Dignified Jobs.” In 2013 “Dignified Jobs” must provide good jobs with a livable wage. We must also unite to support our unions and workers’ rights.
Modern-day equality struggles include closing the digital divide. Access to high-speed broadband Internet will increase job and educational opportunities as well as democratic participation. Broadband access will also help to lower health care costs and make quality medical care more accessible to the Black community.
Diversity strengthens our democracy. We must make sure employers don’t just talk about “diversity” and “women’s equality”, but also back up the talk through their hiring practices. From the federal government to Wall Street to the corner store, we want to see Black women represented in top positions.
The elimination of racial disparities in our criminal justice system is paramount. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Pew Charitable Trusts reports that the incarceration rate for Blacks is more than six times as high as the national average and over 60 percent of those incarcerated are racial and ethnic minorities.
In 2013 and beyond we will continue to lead the fight to eliminate barriers to civic participation fighting against restrictive voter ID laws, felon disenfranchisement and any other tactics created to block Black people from voting.
Finally, I must address our responsibility as a people to work harder to prepare our youth in this ongoing fight for justice and equality. We must encourage them to pursue STEM careers, teach them to be environmentally conscious, and help them understand the dire need to stop the violence in our neighborhoods. We must take the time to instill good moral values so they turn to each other and not on each other and our journey will not be in vain.
As we celebrate 50 years of progress, let’s thank our elders for their great fight by stepping it up because we have not arrived.
Melanie Campbell is president/CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable. This article – the fourteenth of a 20-part series – is written in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The Lawyers’ Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar’s leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity – work that continues to be vital today.
For more information, please visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.

Anti-War Activists, Stockholders to Protest Boeing’s Killer Drone

Posted by Newsroom On April - 29 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Anti-War Committee (AWC) of Chicago opposes Boeing CEO James McNerny’s plan to make the next combat drone for the US military.  Members of the committee, including several who have purchased Boeing stock, will protest at the annual stockholders meeting at the Field Museum, South Entrance,  on Monday, April 29th, at 9:30 AM.

Newland Smith, stockholder and anti-war activist, cited Senator Lindsey Graham of the Armed Services Committee, on the number of casualties from killer drones.  Graham recently stated, “We’ve killed 4,700.”  According to Smith, “This is the estimated number of casualties in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, but including drone strikes in Afghanistan and Iraq would result in a much higher number.”

Smith and Sarah Simmons, also a stockholder, said that the Anti-War Committee will be at the Boeing meeting to expose the loss of life resulting from drones.  “What the Obama administration says isn’t true:  most of the drone strikes aren’t against proven, high level Al Qaeda leaders,” explained Simmons.  “In Pakistan, as many as 881 were civilians, including 176 children.  Almost all the rest are “alleged combatants.””

Boeing is competing with the other top arms manufacturers for the growing budget for unmanned aircraft for the military.   This year, the Navy is asking for designs for a new combat drone.   Boeing is expected to propose its “Phantom Ray.”

AWC has taken a number of measures to oppose the drone wars, including submitting a statement to a hearing being held by Senator Richard Durbin on the topic taking place on April 23rd.

In addition to the deaths caused by their products, Boeing received over $60 million in tax breaks to move to Chicago.  Simmons, the mother of Chicago Public School children, spoke from her experience.  “Our schools are crumbling, and we’re giving tax breaks to a company with $25 billion in defense contracts.”  Smith added, “With their record profits last year, McNerny was given a 20% raise to $27.5 million.  Clearly war is profitable for Boeing.” 

In addition to the casualties in the countries targeted by the Obama administration, AWC points out that U.S. drone pilots are also victims of drone warfare.  They experience a rate of PTSD and suicide higher than combat veterans.

Smith put it plainly. “It’s time to end the drone wars, not prepare to build another generation of more deadly weapons.”

CTA Launches Online Trip Planner for Red Line South Project

Posted by Newsroom On April - 29 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Tool allows customers to explore travel alternatives; Red Line Ambassadors will answer questions at stations

 

To help customers prepare for the upcoming Red Line South project, which will completely rebuild the tracks and improve stations on the 10-mile stretch of the Red Line South from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th Street, the Chicago Transit Authority today launched an online trip planner allowing customers to explore travel options now—before the May 19 project start date.
 
Visitors can access the online trip planner at www.redlinesouth.com to explore the CTA service options available during the Red Line South project.  Using their desktop or any internet-connected device, users will enter a starting point and destination, choose weekday or weekend travel, and indicate a time of travel.  The trip planner uses Google Maps to provide information on multiple transit-route options, including travel-time estimates.
 
The CTA is also distributing project-information fliers with travel tips and information on alternative bus and rail service—with specific suggestions for defined geographic areas to help customers get around during the five-month project.  The CTA created 12 versions of the fliers, each targeted to various communities in the project area, with travel options for riders who would normally use the Red Line.
 
“These informational materials are part of our continuing efforts to make sure CTA customers are well-prepared for the start of the Red Line South reconstruction project next month,” said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Terry Peterson.  “We want to make sure CTA passengers have the tools they need for a smooth commute.”
 
Also starting next week, CTA will deploy “Red Line South Ambassadors” to south Red Line stations to answer customer questions and provide project and travel information.
 
The Red Line South Ambassadors, wearing bright red shirts, will be stationed at the nine affected Red Line stations during the afternoon rush hours, on a rotating basis.  They will provide information and answer questions from customers.
 
In early May, CTA will begin distributing informational door hangers to homes and businesses near the Red Line.  Like the fliers, the door hangers will provide alternative transit service suggestions for neighborhoods throughout the project footprint.
 
The project will completely rebuild the tracks and improve stations on the 10-mile stretch of the Red Line South from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th Street.  The project will provide faster commutes—up to 20 minutes off the round-trip commute from 95th Street to downtown—as well as smoother rides and better reliability. 
 
To complete the work in the fastest, most cost-effective manner, the line will close from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th Street through October 2013, affecting nine stations. Red Line service will be rerouted south of Roosevelt onto the elevated Green Line tracks to Ashland/63rd.
 
Since announcing the $425 million project in June 2012, the CTA has worked closely with residents, community leaders, business organizations, elected officials and other groups who will be impacted by the project.  CTA has attended dozens of meetings in communities throughout the South Side to discuss construction plans and the extensive alternative bus and rail service the CTA will offer, as well as additional service being offered by Metra and Pace during the project.
 
“Recognizing that this project will affect thousands of customers each day, CTA has worked to provide multiple, convenient options for people to get around during the construction,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool.  “We want our customers to be well-informed about the myriad travel options we’re offering, so that they can get where they need to go.”
 
Last year the CTA announced the multiple alternative travel options and discounts the agency will provide, including:
·         FREE shuttle buses from Red Line stations south of 63rd Street to connect customers with the Garfield Green Line rail station
·         FREE entry at Garfield Green Line station for bus shuttle passengers
·         Red Line train service running on Green Line tracks from Roosevelt to Ashland/63rd
·         Expanded bus service on numerous nearby bus routes
·         50-cent discount on bus rides south of 63rd Street
 
Built in 1969, the South Red Line tracks are well beyond their expected lifespan.  Despite ongoing repairs and maintenance, between 30-40 percent of the branch includes slow zones in which trains must travel well below the designed speed limit.  In some cases, trains that would normally travel up to 55 mph are instead running at 15 mph. 
 
The reconstruction, one of the biggest construction projects in CTA history, will shave up to 20 minutes off the round-trip between 95th Street and Roosevelt, while providing a smoother ride and fewer service interruptions through better reliability and on-time performance.
 
The project is part of Mayor Emanuel’s Building a New Chicago infrastructure renewal program.  Funding for the work is part of more than $1 billion in federal, state and local funding announced in late 2011 by Governor Pat Quinn and Mayor Emanuel for the Red and Purple lines.  The Governor’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program is providing more than $700 million of the total investment.

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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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