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Archive for June 26th, 2013

U.S. Senator Durbin responds to the Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act

Posted by Admin On June - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement yesterday, after the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

 “For almost 50 years, the Voting Rights Act has protected minority populations from discrimination at the ballot box, whether in the form of poll taxes, literacy tests or voter identification laws and discriminatory redistricting. We need look no further than the last election cycle to understand the ongoing importance of the Voting Rights Act,” Durbin said.

 “Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is a major setback for the voting rights that courageous Americans have fought for generations to protect. Now, Congress has a responsibility to respond promptly by taking legislative action addressing voting discrimination and inequality. As chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, I will be holding hearings to address this troubling decision by the Supreme Court.”

 As Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, Durbin held a series of hearings on new state voting laws that were creating barriers to the ballot for minority, young, low income and other voters. In September 2011, his Subcommittee held the first Congressional hearing to examine whether numerous new state voting laws threaten the right to vote. More information on that hearing can be found here.

 In January 2012 and May 2012, Durbin chaired field hearings in Tampa, Florida and Cleveland, Ohio on those states’ restrictive new voting laws. More information on those hearings can be found here and here.

National Coalition on Black Civic Participation President calls Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County v. Holder “Travesty to Justice”

Posted by Admin On June - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

In response to yesterday’s Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder, Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and convener of Black Women’s Roundtable said, “Today’s decision by the U. S. Supreme Court to invalidate Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is a travesty to justice for all Americans to have their voting rights protected.   We believe the decision opens the flood gates for voter suppression tactics to go unchallenged in states that have historically suppressed our voting rights and the ability for minority voters to vote for their candidates of choice.” 

“While many people want to say times have changed, many things remain the same. We witnessed widespread voter suppression efforts as recent as 2012,” Campbell adds. “We call on Congress to act urgently to establish a new coverage formula for Section 4 in order to ensure that the U. S. Justice Department will be able to continue enforcement of the Voting Rights Act now and for future generations.”

Campbell continues, “The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation is committed to our mission to eliminate barriers to civic participation.  We urge Congress to repair and restore the Voting Rights Act now. Preventing racial voting discrimination will result in greater social and economic justice and enhance the quality of  life for people of color and all Americans.”

Shelia Tyson, convener of The Alabama Coalition on Black Civic Participation, an affiliate of The National Coalition adds, “”I am deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling in this case. This is especially concerning for Birmingham residents since we are only nine weeks from municipal elections.”

“Voter suppression is alive and well in Alabama. Even in 2013, far too many Alabama voters face intimidation, prejudice, and discrimination at the polls. Strong voter protection laws are the only recourse for citizens – especially the underserved – to combat efforts to deny them from voting. The Voting Rights Act has been the soundest piece of legislation we’ve had to ensure equality at the polls.”

“This year, the City of Birmingham celebrates the 50-year anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement for racial equality and social justice. While it’s true that we’ve made huge strides since 1963; today’s ruling proves that we still have work to do,” Tyson adds.

Founded in 1976, The National Coalition (ncbcp.org) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing African American participation in civil society.

‘CPS budget is putting schools on a collision course with failure,’ say Chicago students

Posted by Admin On June - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

(From Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our Schools (CSOSOS)


CHICAGO, IL – Less than a month after Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the unelected Board of Education’s decision to close 49 public elementary schools, Chicago Public Schools is implementing massive budget cuts affecting the remainder of public schools. Many schools are facing cuts that surpass $1 million with some schools facing cuts as high as $4 million. As a direct result of CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett’s budget, teachers are threatened with being laid off, which could create larger class sizes and critical support staff members such as counselors, nurses, office workers, etc. are facing job loss; supplies for books, academic equipment and maintenance may be slashed, reducing the quality of students’ learning environments..

Arts, foreign-language classes and even recess are among the first programs being shed by principals trying to deal with budget cuts of 10 percent or more while Mayor Emanuel proposed using $55 million in public TIF money to fund construction of DePaul stadium.

“Rather than pushing for progressive, comprehensive measures, CPS is putting schools on a collision course with failure. First Rahm and Barbara closed 49 public schools and now they’re trying to gut the remainder of existing schools by passing crippling budgets,” said Ross Floyd, sophomore at Jones College Prep High School.  

Students from across the city will be marching to CPS headquarters to protest the budget cuts and the decimation of their future while CSOSOS will be inside of the Board of Education meeting. The students will stand in solidarity with a speaker, who is allowed a two-minute speech. Afterward, CSOSOS will begin a series of statements to bring attention to the issues facing young students.

“We, the students, will show Barbara Byrd-Bennett that her budget is detrimental to our future and it will not stand. Rahm Emanuel will be a one term mayor and his unelected school board will be dissolved. We will take it upon ourselves to fight for the future of education in Chicago, as Rahm and Barbara have proven that they only care about rich, white people, not the communities of color or low-income neighborhoods,” said Israel Munoz, a recent graduate of Kelly High School.


8 am: CPS students from across the city will meet, then march from Daley Plaza and to CPS headquarters to join the Chicago Teachers Union picket outside Board of Education meeting

10:30 am: Inside Board of Education meeting, CPS students will peacefully demonstrate against the school closings and budget cuts, making their voices heard.

For breaking info, follow hashtag #noCPScuts

CSOSOS page: https://www.facebook.com/csosos

For more information, contact Israel Munoz 773-603-4688

Lt. Governor Simon issues statement on Supreme Court decisions

Posted by Admin On June - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Following the United States Supreme Court’s historic decisions on civil liberties this morning, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon issued the following statement:

“I am thrilled by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Windsor today to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. This decision supports one of the fundamental principles of our country—equality—and brings us one step closer to the nation we aspire to be.

“I appreciate the Court’s decision in Perry, and am excited for all California couples whose marriages are once again recognized. The decision strengthens my resolve to work harder in Illinois and throughout the country to ensure full marriage equality.

 “I look forward to renewing that commitment to equal rights with Illinois families and advocates this Sunday at the Pride Parade in Chicago as we continue working toward marriage equality in Illinois.”

Fact Sheet: Educator Licensure Information System

Posted by Admin On June - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

June 2013

Division of Public Information, Illinois State Board of Education


The Educator Certification System (ECS) will be seamlessly upgraded to the new Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS) on July 1, 2013.  In the past, Illinois educator certificates sometimes caused confusion for teachers and administrators; it has not always been clear from the certificate which subjects or grade levels the holder is qualified to teach.  To clarify this, Illinois will transition from a certificate system to a licensure system during the summer of 2013, moving from 60 types of educator certificates and endorsements to just three licenses.

Educators will not lose any of their credentials or endorsements in this transition, there is no cost to educators associated with this change, and the difference in each individual’s license will appear automatically July 1 on the ISBE website.

Current certificate holders will not have to do anything except ensure that their existing certificates have been registered or renewed as usual by June 30.  After July 1, 2013, each educator will be able to log in to ELIS and find his or her credentials listed, and districts will be able to use an access portal to verify these credentials.

In order to simplify the credential environment, ISBE will only issue three types of licenses:

  1. Professional Educator License (PEL)
  2. Educator License with Stipulations (ELS)
  3. Substitute License

It is possible for an individual educator to hold multiple licenses, as different certificates held at the time of the exchange will be converted to endorsements on different licenses. 

The first license after the exchange (July 1, 2013) will be valid for the time period remaining on the current certificate; thereafter, each license will have to be renewed and registered at the end of its validity period. Note, upon renewal and registration, the PEL will be valid for five years.   For the ELS, the validity period varies depending on the type of endorsement on the license. Each substitute license is valid for five years.

Educators will not receive paper copies of their licenses, but may print a screen shot of their credentials from ELIS. The subject area and grade levels for which the licensee is qualified to teach or administer will be clearly indicated on the license.  Endorsements obtained after this initial exchange will be added to the license within the same level for which the licensee qualifies.   All applicable content-area tests must also be passed before the endorsement may be issued.

New Educators, prepared outside of Illinois

After this change goes into effect, educators who were prepared outside of Illinois and are seeking Illinois licensure for the first time as of July 1, 2013, will be required to have completed six semester hours in courses that prepare them to teach reading skills and reading in content areas such as social science, math and science, one course in instructional strategies for English language learners, and one course in methods of instruction for special education students.

New Educators, prepared in Illinois

New educators from approved Illinois preparation programs will complete coursework that meets state standards in the areas of reading methods, reading in the content area and methods of instruction for special education.

Substitute Teachers

Additionally, in accordance with Section 21B-30 of the School Code, all substitute teachers will have to pass a test of basic skills in order to renew their licenses.  Under agency rules that will take effect July 1, 2013, anyone currently holding a substitute teaching certificate that is exchanged for a substitute teaching license will have five years before the license will expire and will have to provide evidence of passing the test by June 30, 2018.  Anyone receiving a new substitute teaching license after July 1, 2013, will be required to pass the basic skills test before renewing the license when it expires. 

Registration Fees

Just like certificates, licenses must be registered for a $50 fee every five years in order to prevent them from lapsing.  Educators can pay any registration fee by logging in to ELIS.

If a license is not re-registered after six months, it lapses, and the educator will have to pay a $500 penalty fee, or complete nine semester-hours of college coursework in the content area listed on the credential. 

For more information about transitions to specific licenses for different certificates, please see http://www.isbe.net/certification/default.htm

Additional fact sheets provided by the ISBE Division of Public Information will be released throughout the summer of 2013.

Attorney General Madigan: Cell phone “cramming” a growing consumer threat, urges FTC to take action

Posted by Admin On June - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to address the growing problem of cell phone “cramming” as the federal agency pursues a national examination of trends involving unauthorized charges on mobile phone bills.
Madigan said wireless cramming is poised to become a major source of consumer fraud, much like it did on landline phones before the practice was banned in Illinois. A recent study points to the extent of the problem, showing that 60 percent of third-party charges placed on mobile phone bills of Vermont residents were “crammed” during a two-month period in 2012, according to a survey conducted by the University of Vermont and the Vermont Attorney General’s office.
Cramming happens when third-party vendors use consumers’ phone numbers much like a credit card. Vendors add charges to phone bills for bogus products or services, such as celebrity gossip items, horoscopes and joke-of-the-day offerings, that consumers and businesses never requested – and never used. But because the charges are unauthorized, consumers rarely, if ever, detect the scam, allowing the scammer to illegally profit for months at a time.
In 2012, Madigan drafted and negotiated a law that banned unauthorized charges on landline phones, making Illinois only the second state in the nation to ban the practice on wired phone lines. But as more people use cell phones as their primary phones, scam artists are now migrating to wireless billing schemes, spurring the need for stronger consumer protections.
“Cramming charges on landline phone bills has been a problem for a long time,” Madigan said. “Now, cramming is spreading rapidly to our cell phones, so we need protections in place to prevent scammers from illegally profiting by putting these unapproved ‘crammed’ charges on our monthly cell bills.”
The Attorney General’s office has filed 30 lawsuits against crammers. Among the most glaring of targets for these scams was cited in Madigan’s 2009 lawsuit against US Credit Find Inc., a Venice, Calif.-based operation, which crammed a Springfield public library’s dial-a-story telephone line.
Over the last several years, Attorney General Madigan has advocated for a nationwide ban on phone bill cramming, testifying in July 2011 before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee and filing comments with the Federal Communications Commission. The filing with the FTC is her latest effort to call for action to stop cramming on wireless bills. 
For more information on how to protect against phone bill cramming or to report being scammed, contact Attorney General Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Hotlines:
Chicago 1-800-386-5438
Springfield 1-800-243-0618
Carbondale 1-800-243-0607

New Latin American Festival comes to Chicago

Posted by Admin On June - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Organizers from Accion Latino announced the 1st Inaugural National Latin American Festival to take place August 31 – September 2, 2013 in Riis Park, (6100 W. Fullerton) Chicago.

 “Over the past decades, Chicago’s Latino community has experienced unbelievable growth and prosperity… An astounding 35 Latin American countries are represented here in the Chicagoland area and they have made their presence felt with through their businesses, families, and communities…it’s important to us to celebrate these nations and unite them in the National Latin American Festival,” according to  Festival Organizers

 “A more diverse Latino population is ready to showcase their heritage and contributions to society. I am honored to be able to bring this amazing event to Chicago” says Hector Hernandez, President, Acción Latino.

The National Latin American Festival will include Latin American cuisine, Artisan booths, Countries Represented by: Tourist Bureaus, Consulates, and Cultural Organizations.  Entertainment will be provided on all three days of the event with Live Musical Performances representing over 23 Latin American countries, Live Folkloric and Traditional Dance Troupes, Presentation of dignitaries from Latin America.

Special consideration was given in planning to the family value system that is the core of every Latin American home. The Kid’s Korner will have Interactive Play Area, Chicago Fire mini soccer field with key players and mascot, Cultural workshops for kids, Clowns, face painting, balloon artist, and Child ID Program.  Another pavilion is designated for the leaders of our cultural heritage, Senior Citizens.

Community focus rounds out the National Latin American Festival.  The Community Sector of the festival will feature an Immigration Information Center (Full blown tent areas sponsored by immigration law offices), a Community housing & resource center, and an Education recruitment center (Colleges & Charter Schools).

 “Hispanics account for nearly thirty percent of the population in Chicago. It was time that the National Latin American Festival was brought to Chicago and I am honored to be the person to spearhead it as the Festival Director”, Mickey Mantilla, Executive Vice President, Acción Latino.

The National Latin American Festival will be an annual celebration hosted by National Latin American Festival, LLC (NLAF) and Acción Latino Inc. The festival is supported by the Chicago Teamsters Hispanic Caucus as well as The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Joint Council 25, Teamsters Local 700  and key Latino stakeholders throughout the Chicagoland area.  Sponsorship and Vendor opportunities are still available for more information, call 773.237.9300 or visit www.nationallatinamericanfestival.com

Brother’s Keeper Out Reach Church launches 8-week violence prevention camp

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On June - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS


Partners with County/State to make a difference

By Chinta Strausberg

In an effort to stem the violence, Chief Apostle William McCoy, pastor of the Brother’s Keeper Out Reach Church in Chicago Heights, kicked off an eight-week violence prevention camp Saturday where he was joined by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, state and county officials.

Announcing the bifurcated program, McCoy, who was also joined by Cook County Comm. Deborah Sims, Cory Foster, assistant director of Governmental Affairs from Gov. Pat Quinn’s office, Jeffery Jones, outreach director for Illinois’ Department of Resources, Michael Holmes, assistant director of the Illinois Department of Human Services, explained that Brothers Keeper Community Resource Center is an extension of the Brothers Keeper Outreach Church located at 283 East 14th Street in Chicago Heights, Illinois.

Referring to the program, McCoy named it the  “Violence Prevention Camp.”  “We are working in collaboration with the state and the county to help reduce the violence in the community,” said McCoy who explained that Illinois Senator Toi Hutchinson and the Illinois Department of Resources were also sponsors of this initiative.

Explaining, McCoy said the Cook County “Violence Prevention Camp” is being facilitated in Ford Heights where they will offer several courses like self-awareness, conflict/resolution and Hip Hop contemporary Christian dancing.  “We will have field trips to the state facilities where the participants can learn archery and camping/survival skills. Those eligible for the program range in ages 8-24.

Apostle McCoy praised Gov. Pat Quinn, President Preckwinkle and Senator Toi Hutchinson for partnering with his church. The Violence Prevention Camp will be held in a County facility, the Housing Authority of the County of Cook (HACC) at 1055 Berkeley, Ford Heights and at Brother’s Keeper Out Reach Church, 283 East 14th Street, Chicago Heights.

 “Our goal is always to bring not only the community together but also the municipalities, the state, county and faith-based community to fight this crime that is so rampant in our communities,” said McCoy. Quoting Rev. Dr. Willie Cotton, President of the Baptist, Pastor’s and Ministers Union and Vicinity, McCoy said, “We believe that we are better together” in fighting the rise in violence.

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.

State Senator Raoul: Court’s voting rights ruling highlights value of Illinois’ protections

Posted by Admin On June - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

“I’m proud to live in a progressive state that values full participation by all citizens in the democratic process”  – State Senator Kwame Raoul


SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder to invalidate the formula that determines which jurisdictions were required under the federal Voting Rights Act to obtain preclearance of proposed changes to voting procedures:

Yesterday’s decision, with which I am extremely disappointed, highlights the ongoing need for strong, state-level voting protections such as those found in Illinois law. I’m proud to live in a progressive state that values full participation by all citizens in the democratic process. Historically, African-Americans in many parts of the country faced discrimination and outright intimidation when they tried to make their voices heard at the polls; today, voting is made more difficult not only for racial minorities but also for senior citizens, students and low-income individuals when procedural hurdles such as ID requirements are put in their path.

Prior to the latest round of legislative and congressional redistricting, I introduced the Illinois Voting Rights Act to protect language and racial minorities from having their electoral influence diluted in the redistricting process. I also worked this year to make voting more accessible through online voter registration, early voting on college campuses, later in-person early voting hours on Sundays and protections for provisional voters.

Congress should take action to restore a strong federal Voting Rights Act that addresses the barriers to minority electoral participation still in existence today. Meanwhile, I believe Illinoisans can be proud of this state’s voting laws. I pledge to continue working to make them stronger and fairer.

For Children in LGBT Unions, Supreme Court Ruling Falls Short

Posted by Admin On June - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

For Children in LGBT Unions, Supreme Court Ruling Falls Short

New America Media

By Paul Kleyman

Whichever way the Supreme Court wind blows for or against the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8, many children in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LTBT) families will continue to be shortchanged by current Social Security restrictions. The program’s rules are unfavorable to them, but not to minors in families with heterosexual parents, stepparents and even grandparents.

Experts say that only action by Congress—unlikely in the current political atmosphere—or possibly by the Social Security Administration could remedy the inequity.

A recent report, “Living Outside the Safety Net: LGBT Families and Social Security,” states, “In the absence of fair adoption laws, thousands of same-sex parents across the country remain legal strangers to the children they are raising.”

The report, released by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) and Human Rights Campaign Foundation, explains, “Many same-sex couples use adoption to form their families. When one parent is the biological parent, or when joint adoption is not permitted under state law, second-parent adoption is the only option that allows a same-sex partner to legally adopt his or her biological or adoptive child while leaving the rights of the ‘first parent’ intact. Access to adoption for same-sex parents is far from universally accessible — in fact only 18 states make second-parent adoption available.”

In the 32 states that don’t recognize second-parent adoption, when a child loses a parent “who is not tied to them biologically or through adoption, the Social Security system determines that they are not eligible to receive any benefit,” says the report.

“Living Outside the Safety Net,” goes on to say, “A child becomes eligible for Social Security benefits when a parent becomes disabled, retires or passes away.”

The study’s authors, Carroll L. Estes, emeritus co-founder of the University of California, San Francisco’s Institute for Health and Aging, and Robin Maril, Legislative Counsel of the Human Rights Campaign, continue, “Recognizing the power of these benefits to ensure a consistent quality of life for a family, the Social Security Administration also considers stepchildren and step-grandchildren to be eligible despite the absence of a legal, formal relationship with the working parent.” But not children of same-sex parents.

Call for Federal Redefinitions

Currently, Social Security provides family benefits to 4.4 million children. According to a study by the Family Equality Council, [www.familyequality.org], LGBT parents are raising as many as 2.8 million children in the United States, a “number is expected to grow in the coming years.”

The report goes on, “Same-sex couples of color are more likely to be raising children than white same-sex couples.” Overall, four in 10 same-sex couples with children identify as non-white compared to about one-quarter of married heterosexual couples with children.

Calling for redefinitions in the federal agencies, the Council’s 2012 report, “Strengthening Economic Security for Children Living in LGBT Families,” stresses, “The average annual loss of child survivor benefits for families when a deceased parent goes unrecognized for Social Security purposes is $9,420.” That sum can draw the line against economic struggle or poverty for many families facing the loss of a breadwinner.

What’s more, say Estes and Maril, many children with disabilities in LGBT families are shorted by Social Security’s present definitions, because minors are determined eligible for benefits based on their parents’ work history.

“If the disability begins prior to the child’s 22nd birthday, benefits can last throughout the child’s lifetime,” they state, “Over a 30 year period, an adult disabled child of a legally-unrecognized parent would forfeit, on average, $254,102 in Social Security benefits.”

In Congress, the Social Security Equality Act of 2012, introduced by Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., with almost 100 co-sponsors and would give benefits to LGBT partners. Not surprisingly it was buried in a House committee.

Another remedy might be action by the Social Security Administration (SSA). But legal and legislative advocates differ on whether the soon-to-be nominated new U.S. Commissioner of Social Security would, or could effect a more equitable policy.

Web Phillips, senior legislative representative of the NCPSSM, said in an email that he’s “not optimistic that the Commissioner of Social Security has much discretionary decision making authority with regard to relationship determinations made in association with claims for Social Security child benefits.”

Phillips said the rules for qualifying for benefits are “spelled out in great detail in the legislative language itself rather than through regulations that are promulgated by the Commissioner.” However, he said, a broad Supreme Court decision striking down DOMA and other statutes discriminating against children of LGBT families, could force such a change—but not swiftly even then. “It is a very complex area of law,” he said.

SSA Action Possible, If Controversial

Nancy J. Altman, co-director of Social Security Works and author of The Battle for Social Security (Wiley, 2007) said, “I would think SSA could define children of intact same-sex couples who were prohibited from marrying under state law as ‘de facto’ step children. For that matter, ‘de facto spouses’ might be able to get benefits in that situation as well. There would have to be proof that the couple is all but married and would have married if state law allowed it.”

She added, “Of course it would be controversial, but I don’t see who would have standing to challenge it. So a commissioner willing to take the heat could probably make the change, especially because of the stepchild coverage.”

Many sources in Washington these days expect President Obama to take a no-chances approach to his choice for SSA Commissioner. (It is a so-called non-political appointment. This means that once a sitting president nominates someone, if the person is confirmed by the U.S, Senate, he or she serves a six-year term and cannot be removed except for malfeasance and so on.

President Obama has already shown forceful leadership through executive action in other areas, such as with the don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy and by offering a fairer path to undocumented youth last year. Could there be congressional or administrative fairness for LGBT-family children? Regardless of the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage rulings, that’s a question that still needs to be brought up.

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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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