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Archive for May 2nd, 2013

Lt. Gov. Simon: Pass ethics reform measure now

Posted by Newsroom On May - 2 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – With a month left before the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today urged lawmakers to pass ethics reform legislation that she drafted with government watchdog groups. Senate Bill 1361, sponsored by Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), is currently awaiting Senate passage.

“In these remaining weeks of session, members of the legislature are continuing to address a number of important challenges; however, they cannot allow ethics reform to fall to the wayside,” Simon said during a public policy luncheon at the City Club of Chicago. “I thank Sen. Kotowski for his leadership on this important transparency bill, and I look forward to continuing to work with his colleagues to send this legislation to the House.”

SB 1361 proposes a revised disclosure form, known as a Statement of Economic Interests, which must be filed with the secretary of state’s office or postmarked annually by May 1. The revised form would require filers to list outside sources of income, lobbyist relationships and loans made or accepted on terms not available to the general public, for the first time. It also closes loopholes that allowed filers to answer “not applicable” to almost all of the questions on the current version of the form introduced 40 years ago.

Simon said the goal of the new form is to help Illinois residents determine if elected officials, high-ranking employees and candidates have conflicts of interest. The new form will also be easier for filers to complete thanks to the plain-language questions, definitions of terms and clear connections to information found on tax returns and investment statements.

“Residents of Illinois should not have to wait any longer to find out whether their elected officials are working in the public’s interest or their own self interest,” Simon said. “I urge lawmakers to do the right thing by sending this legislation to the governor’s desk.”

The Illinois Constitution and Illinois Governmental Ethics Act require elected officials, high-ranking government employees, and political candidates to complete a Statement of Economic Interests each May. State government workers file with the Secretary of State, while workers for local units of government file with their county clerk. The forms are supposed to expose existing or potential conflicts of interest, but the documents use such vague and cumbersome language that the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform has called them “woefully inadequate” and “a waste of paper.” 

Last month, Simon and members of her senior staff released an annual financial disclosure form that goes above and beyond what is required in the state’s Statement of Economic Interests. Simon’s staff form is modeled after those used by federal officers and notes income greater than $200, investments and debts.

This is the third year that Simon and her staff have released their detailed financial statements. Find the documents here.

State Senator Collins explains “no” vote on gaming expansion

Posted by Newsroom On May - 2 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) issued the following statement after voting against Senate Bill 1739, the gaming expansion package that passed the Senate: I have strongly and consistently condemned the devastating education cuts proposed by Gov. Quinn.

But I cannot condone replacing this money at the expense of families destroyed by gambling. At a time when government must act responsibly to protect its citizens and preserve core services, we should not rely on the financial irresponsibility of our own residents (and those of other states) to meet needs. To do so would be not only immoral, but self-defeating, requiring greater expenditures to assist the children and families who suffer when we make excessive gambling a more omnipresent temptation. This legislation does just that, offering vast new opportunities to wager one’s livelihood. None of the ethical safeguards advertised as improvements on earlier versions alters its ultimate and intended effect — to encourage more gambling in our state, particularly in its largest city.

The bargain we were offered today — gaming expansion in exchange for filling the threatened $400 million hole in the K-12 and higher education budgets — is a deceptive one. It promises to dull the urgency of our budget crisis without requiring lawmakers to make tough decisions and spread the pain equitably, taking into account the needs of the most vulnerable among us. It is a short-sighted fix, and I hope my colleagues in the House and the governor possess the courage and wisdom to reject it.

Teatro Luna Introduces its Inaugural Diane Rodriguez Award with a Staged Reading of 2013’s Winning Play “You, Me & Tuno”, by Milta Ortiz

Posted by Newsroom On May - 2 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL  – Teatro Luna kicks off its first Lunada of 2013 with a staged reading of You, Me, & Tuno by Milta Ortiz, the winner of the inaugural Diane Rodriguez Award for the Advancement of Latina Voices. The award furthers Luna’s mission to provide development and opportunities for emerging and established Latina voices. A trailblazer for Latino and Chicano American theatre, Diane Rodriguez has dedicated her life to making work that documents and illuminates the narratives of the Latino/Chicano experience in the United States. Teatro Luna honors her and its commitment to expanding the circle of storytelling in contemporary American theatre by launching the Diane Rodriguez Award with a brave, exuberant new play that investigates environmental inequality through the lens of America’s most complicated special interest group: teenagers.On May 11, 2013 at 2pm, Teatro Luna will present a staged reading of You, Me & Tuno at Stage 773 directed by Steppenwolf’s Associate Producer Jacob Padrón. The reading features Ensemble members Kristiana Rae Colón and Abigail Vega, Artistic Affiliate Elizabeth Nungaray, and guest artists Sipriano Cahue, Jesse David Perez, Angelica Roque, and Norm Woodel. Development of the play continues the company’s engagement with young Latino audiences, a journey which began with the 2012 launch of the VeraLuna Young Artist Lab.In You, Me & Tuno, when teen sisters Marisol and Luna’s parents leave to pick pomegranates in the fields of the Central Valley, California, they are left under the care of their barely present Tia in East Oakland. Desperate for a way out, the girls and their cousin, Tuno, set out on a quest out of the familiarity and danger of their food desert barrio to the aisles of elusive “Real Foods” to taste a pomegranate. The quest tests their relationship to each other, the desert they call home and their understanding of who they are.

What: Staged reading as a result of a 3-week workshop of a work in progress, You, Me, & Tuno by Milta Ortiz. Directed by Jacob Padrón. Produced by Alexandra Meda for Teatro Luna.

Where: Stage 773 Box Theatre, 1225 W. Belmont Avenue

How Much: $5.00 Suggested Donation, Groups & Youth are encouraged to RSVP in advance to info@teatroluna.org or call 773.819.5862

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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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