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Archive for July 1st, 2013

Can Congress Redeem Itself?

Posted by Admin On July - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

By William E. Spriggs

 

In the latest polls for May and June, Congress’ approval rating is a mere 14 percent. This reflects a clear dissatisfaction with Congress not doing something meaningful to help American households. Highjacked by the Tea Party, the Republican-led House of Representatives does not want to use government to help people at a time America’s people need help digging out from policies that let Wall Street bankrupt the country.
 
Now Congress has been thrown the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court, and it struggles with fixing a broken immigration system. But, as we celebrate the federal minimum wage law turning 75 this week, we should add to the list Congress’ duty to raise the minimum wage.

From the end of World War II to the late 1970s, Americans got used to a government that worked to lift the people, being on the side of balance and fairness and expanding opportunity. Compromise was reached on the speed and size of moving toward a country that celebrated equality. In 1949, under President Truman, House Republicans on the final House version of the amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act voted 138 to 13 to raise the minimum wage from $0.40 to $0.75 an hour. (Final action on the bill, out of conference, was a vote by division.) That was an 87.5 percent increase in the minimum wage, the largest percentage increase in the wage. In 1966, Republicans in the House voted 72 to 47 to increase the minimum wage from $1.25 to $1.60 (to take effect in 1968). That was an increase in the minimum wage of 28 percent, and in today’s dollars took the value of the minimum wage to $10.71, its highest value on record. Today, the minimum wage stands at $7.25 an hour, about where it stood in 1991.

 The median U.S. family income remains 9 percent below where it was in 2007. Yet Wall Street is back to celebrating record-high stock prices and corporate profits have recovered. So America’s workers and their families are uninvited to the party. Before we continue debating taxes, the first straightforward path is to raise the wages of U.S. workers so they take home more money.

There was a time Americans could count on Congress to see the fall in the value of the minimum wage and act to reduce the number of working poor people. If Congress acts on the proposal of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, the Economic Policy Institute estimates about 30 million workers would see a rise in pay.

The vast majority of those workers are adults, close to 90 percent, and 70 percent are workers in families with incomes below the median family income. In almost 70 different occupations, half the workers make less than $10.10 an hour, including food preparation workers, child care workers, maids, hotel desk clerks, personal care aides and cashiers. So, not surprisingly, almost 56 percent of the workers who would get raises are women. Because the average affected worker earns about half of his or her family’s income, this means a boost to American family incomes. 

During the post-war boom, Republicans and Democrats understood the importance of federal labor standards to a vital middle-class America. A conservative is supposed to be someone opposed to change, who wants to maintain systems, customs and cultural norms. But in both 1972 and 1973, House Republicans voted against an increase in the minimum wage, signaling a switch into making the government’s compact with America’s workers a partisan issue; during the 1970s, House Republicans voted three times against raising the minimum wage. And in this regard, the Tea Party is a further radical departure, as this month such legislators voted against a farm bill that helps families meet their food needs, breaking with the long tradition of U.S. policy on supporting farmers and workers. But, it is beyond radical if you vote against the SNAP food program and against raising the wages of workers so they can be self-sufficient and afford to buy food. People expect Congress to represent them against the vagaries of failed economic policies.

In all, the Economic Policy Institute estimates family incomes would go up by a combined $51.5 billion, which means more revenue for the Social Security Trust Fund, fewer dollars for the Earned Income Tax Credit and fewer people getting food assistance. That is why this is so popular with the American public. The U.S. public believes work should pay, and workers should be able to sustain themselves. That is why 19 states plus the District of Columbia have local minimum wage laws above the federal minimum wage.  

This year will be a true test of the direction of the Republican Party. With its control of the House of Representatives, will the GOP stand with moving America forward on fixing a broken immigration system, will it conserve an almost 50-year victory of democracy over the anti-democratic forces of silencing voters and fix the Voting Rights Act and will it stand with women and America’s families to give workers the pay raise they have earned and need? Will Republicans choose to be on the wrong side of so many U.S. voters? An honest assessment of that 14 percent approval rating ought to lead to rational decisions about these vital issues.

William Spriggs serves as Chief Economist to the AFL-CIO and is a professor in, and former chair of the Department of Economics at Howard University.  Bill is also former assistant secretary for the Office of Policy at the United States Department of Labor.

Protestors arrested for fighting to save Sexton Elementary go to court today

Posted by Admin On July - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Protestors, parents and community go to court today at 8:45 a.m. to defend protestors who were arrested last month protesting the closing of Sexton Elementary School.

Prior to court hearings at  727 E. 111th St., arrested school closing activists, parents and community allies will hold a press conference.

Students and community members were arrested last month protesting the closing of Sexton Elementary School. Protestors held a die-in along 61st and Cottage Grove, a gang line which students will be forced to cross when Sexton closes. These protestors are due in Court today, they will hold a press conference in front of the courthouse at 8:45am (right before they appear in court)..

“School closings will lead to more violence” says Marilyn Harper, parent at Sexton Elementary School who attending court to support the arrested protestors this morning. According to Ms. Harper “closing Sexton will force children and their relatives to cross gang lines and will result in violence”. 

Residents tell Alderman Moore: Take a stand for tenants’ rights!

Posted by Admin On July - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Today, Astor House tenants and members of the Rogers Park community are bringing their frustrations with unsafe building conditions and BJB Properties’ forced displacement of residents to 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore’s office.

For weeks, tenants have been asking Moore to assist them in getting Joe Slezak of BJB Properties, an owner of the 1246 W. Pratt building, to the negotiating table. But Moore’s office has declined to intervene.

At a rally and 4:30 p.m. press conference outside Moore’s 7356 N. Greenview office, tenants will call on Moore to do the right thing: take action to prevent the remaining Astor House tenants from becoming homeless.

BJB has purchased dozens of buildings housing low-income tenants—such as the Hotel Chateau in Lakeview—to convert them more profitable luxury housing. Since it purchased the building, BJB has filed at least 60 eviction cases at 1246 W Pratt.

Meanwhile, management has ignored worsening problems with the building.

“I have pictures from all over the building—appliances in disrepair, bedbugs, cockroaches, rodents, elevators not working, mold, water damage, faulty fire equipment. Not to mention heat, water and electricity being turned off for days at a time,” says tenant Adenrele Adeboje.

Multiple calls into Chicago’s 311 building complaints telephone line have documented people being stuck in elevators every week, as well as narrowly missed falls after elevator doors opened to reveal an empty shaft.

“There’s a lot of elderly folks living here that can’t move around that easily. How are they going to get out when the elevator is broken for a week at a time?” asks tenant Arbie Bowman.

Like at the Hotel Chateau and Abbott Hotel, BJB has begun construction at the Astor House with little concern for the tenants still living there. Much of it occurred before the company had proper permits on display or even processed by the city. Even now, the company is doing more construction than is covered by the permits it has.

As a result, tenants have endured electricity shut-offs and construction noise from the early morning through the late evening. Dust from the project sent Bowman’s elementary-age daughter to the hospital from asthma attacks.

Weeks ago, BJB Properties began advertising apartments on Craigslist, even as its remaining tenants fight their eviction cases in court. But Loyola students, BJB’s target market, have been spreading the word about these conditions on campus.

“I can’t believe the price they are renting at. I wouldn’t pay $850 for a bedbug-infested studio. Not even with new floors!” says senior Tala Said.

She, like hundreds of Loyola students and other community members, have signed on to a boycott of BJB in protest of these conditions. “The least Alderman Moore can do is help negotiate reasonable time and compensation for tenants to move,” Said says. “If these tenants end up homeless, we will hold Alderman Moore responsible.”

Topinka requests investigation of Washington Park finances

Posted by Admin On July - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
 
 

Village consistently failed to submit required reports

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka announced that she has asked the state Attorney General to investigate the Village of Washington Park after it failed to submit required financial reports for seven years.

Local governments are required to file certain Annual Financial Reports, Audits and TIF reports with the Office of the Comptroller, which serves as a repository for the records. Washington Park is mandated to file AFRs, Audits and a financial report for its TIF District. The municipality, however, has not filed its AFR and Audit reports in seven years, and has never filed a report for its TIF, which was created in 2004.

After repeated attempts to bring the Village into compliance, the Comptroller retained an independent auditing firm to examine the municipality’s financial records. Washington Park, however, either did not or was not able to provide adequate documentation to complete the audit.

“We cannot afford to take chances with public money,” Topinka said. “I am concerned by Washington Park’s inability to produce financial information and make records available for public inspection. I have contacted the Attorney General to take a closer look and will assist the investigation in whatever way is most helpful.”

The Comptroller’s Office serves as a repository for 5,200 Annual Financial Reports, 1,850 Audits and 1,220 TIF reports each year. Since taking office in January, 2011, Topinka has made local financial filings a priority, bringing the statewide compliance rate from 89 percent in 2010 to 97 percent today. The Annual Financial Report compliance rate for Illinois Counties has grown from 60 percent in 2010 to 100 percent today, and municipality compliance has increased from 89 percent in 2010 to 94 percent today.

To further encourage compliance, Topinka last year successfully advocated for legislation to fine governments for delinquent AFR and Audit reports.

Illinois to reenact controversial Extradition Hearings of Founder of Mormon Church

Posted by Admin On July - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The founder of the Mormon Church will again “face” extradition hearings as two premiere Illinois institutions produce a series of events exploring how the courts have protected minority rights since the 1800s. 

Joseph Smith, the founder of The Church of Latter-day Saints (the “Mormons”), is the focal point of three days of programs sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, a division of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, and the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission.  The two Illinois institutions are producing a rehearing and a panel discussion to educate the public on the use of habeas corpus, a writ carried over from English law that determines whether an individual is being detained legally.  Smith used the writ in the 1800s to stop efforts by Missouri officials to extradite him from Illinois for events arising from the Missouri War of 1838.

On Sept. 24, the Museum will be the site for a reenactment of the three Smith habeas corpus hearings.  The script draws on Mormons’ experiences in the early 19th century.  Logan Auditorium at the University of Chicago is the site of an encore presentation Oct. 14.

At each venue, the reenactment will be followed by a panel discussion on the use of habeas corpus over the last two centuries, from Smith to Abraham Lincoln to Guantanamo Bay.  Panel members include U.S. District Court Judge Sue Myerscough of the Central District of Illinois; Michael Scodro, Solicitor General for the State of Illinois; Jeffrey Colman, partner at Jenner & Block in Chicago, who has worked on behalf of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay; and Jeffrey N. Walker of the Joseph Smith Papers , Salt Lake City, Utah.  President Lincoln suspended the right of habeas corpus during the Civil War.

In addition to the rehearings and panel discussions, on Sept. 23, experts will lead tours of the Nauvoo historic sites in central Illinois near Quincy, one of the key settlements in the early years of the Mormon faith.  That evening, Dallin Oaks, former dean of the University of Chicago Law School, former Utah Supreme Court Justice and current member of the Quorum of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), will speak at the LDS Center in Nauvoo.

A state-wide group of lawyers and judges led by Illinois Supreme Court Justices Rita Garman and Anne Burke are spearheading the effort to bring greater awareness of historic legal events in Illinois and the lessons that can be learned from them.  Last year this group explored involuntary commitment through a re-enactment of the case of Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln, who was involuntarily committed by her son in 1875.  Previously, the group explored the trial of Mary Surratt who was convicted for conspiring in the Lincoln assassination and who became the first woman executed by the federal government. 

Tickets will be available after July 15.  For more information on these events, visit www.josephsmithcaptured.com. 

For more information, please contact John Lupton, Executive Director of the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission in Springfield.  217-670-0890, ext. 1.  John.lupton@illinoiscourthistory.org


Senate Appropriations Committee approves Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Spending Bill

Posted by Admin On July - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Bill reduces Veterans Claims Backlog, Funds Military Construction Projects in Illinois

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (Milcon/VA) Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2014. Senator Kirk voted in favor of the bipartisan bill, which provides $74.3 billion in discretionary funds and is $325 million below the President’s request. The Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, of which Senator Kirk is the Ranking Member, approved the bill earlier this week.

The bill includes $63.4 billion for the VA, and more than $2.5 billion of those funds will help reduce the claims backlog in Illinois and across the nation. The Chicago Regional Office has the 4th worst processing time in the nation, with claims waiting for an average of 465 days. Claims processed at VA Regional Offices average 292 days across the United States.

“This bill will help us solve the VA backlog problem so we can provide our wounded veterans with the services and treatment they deserve,” Senator Kirk said. “The men and women who have fought for our country should not have to wait more than a year for their disability claims to be processed, and this bill will reduce their wait times.”

The bill also appropriates $77.851 million in funding for Illinois Military Construction projects, including $35.851 million for Unaccompanied Housing at Naval Station Great Lakes and $42 million for two Air National Guard projects in Kankakee.

Background:

On April 29, 2013, Senator Kirk joined a bipartisan group of 68 U.S. Senators in urging President Obama to take direct action in ending the VA disability claims backlog. A copy of that letter can be found here. At a May 22 meeting with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, Senator Kirk discussed the claims backlog and urged them to work toward a solution.

Photo Caption: Senator Kirk urged Senate Appropriations Committee to approve Milcon/VA funding bill

Durbin celebrates long-awaited unveiling of Frederick Douglass Statute in the U.S. Capitol

Posted by Admin On July - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Recently, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) celebrated the unveiling of a statue of Frederick Douglass in the United States Capitol’s Emancipation Hall by entering a statement for the Congressional Record. The ceremony marks the first time that the District of Columbia, like the states, will have its own statue in the Capitol. As chairman of the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Subcommittee, Durbin included the provision authorizing the statue’s move in the fiscal year 2013 FSGG appropriations bill.
 
“One hundred and forty-eight years ago today Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the promise of the Emancipation Proclamation. The date, June 19, 1865, has gone down in history as “Juneteenth.”  It is a day to celebrate the end of legalized slavery in America and to re-dedicate ourselves to the continuing the struggle for true equality,” Durbin said. “I can’t think of a better day to welcome to the United States Capitol – at long last – a statue of Frederick Douglass.
 
“By accepting the Frederick Douglass statue, Congress honors a great man and, I hope, moves closer to recognizing the rights of Washington D.C. to be represented fairly in Congress.”
 
Full text of Durbin’s statement is below:
 
Senator Richard J. Durbin
Statement for the Congressional Record
On the Installation of Frederick Douglass’ Statue in the US Capitol
Celebrating Juneteenth by Welcoming an American Hero Home
June 19, 2013
 
Mr. President, 148 years ago today Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the promise of the Emancipation Proclamation.
 
It had been two months since General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse and more than two years since President Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation, but word of the proclamation’s promise was only now reaching those held in bondage in Texas.
 
With the reading of General Order #3 to the people of Galveston, the last remaining slaves in the United States were officially free.
 
The date, June 19, 1865, has gone down in history as “Juneteenth.”  It is a day to celebrate the end of legalized slavery in America and to re-dedicate ourselves to the continuing the struggle for true equality.
 
I can’t think of a better day to welcome to the United States Capitol – at long last – a statue of Frederick Douglass.
 
The statue of the great abolitionist leader was welcomed in a dedication ceremony earlier today. The statue now stands, appropriately, in Emancipation Hall, the great hall of the Capitol Visitors Center.
 
The Frederick Douglass statue is only the fourth carved likeness of an African American to be displayed in the United States Capitol. It joins busts of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Douglass’ fellow abolitionist leader, Sojourner Truth, and a statue of Rosa Parks, which was dedicated two months ago.
 
Importantly, the Douglass statue is the first statue accepted by Congress from residents of the District of Columbia for display in the United States Capitol.
 
A federal law gives each state the right to display in the Capitol two statues of its distinguished residents. Although District of Columbia residents pay federal income taxes and serve in our armed forces, they have no voting member in Congress and they had no statue in the Capitol, not one, until today.
 
By accepting the Frederick Douglass statue, Congress honors a great man and, I hope, moves closer to recognizing the rights of Washington D.C. to be represented fairly in Congress.
 
Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton is Washington D.C.’s only elected representative in either House of Congress and is a distinguished champion of freedom and equality in her own right.
 
She has been fighting for a dozen years for Washington DC’s right to display two statues in the Capitol, the same as every state.
 
I was proud to include language in the fiscal 2013 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill allowing the District to display the Douglass statue in the Capitol. I hope that America’s capital city will have a second statue in the Capitol soon.
 
I can’t think of a better or more distinguished choice for the District’s first statue than Frederick Douglass.
 
He was called “the Lion of Anacostia,” after the section of Washington where he lived for the last 23 years of his life.
 
He was a social reformer, a brilliant orator and writer, a statesman and a leader in the movement to abolish slavery in America.
 
Frederick Douglass knew that evil institution well. He was born into slavery as Frederick Bailey in Talbot County, Maryland, in 1818. Like many enslaved children at that time, he met his mother only a few times in his life. His father was likely his mother’s white owner.
 
When Frederick Douglass was 8 years old, he was sent to live with his owner’s relative in Baltimore. She taught him the first letters of the alphabet – but quit when she learned that it was illegal to teach a slave to read.
 
When he was 15, he was returned to his owner’s farm, where he risked his life to educate other slaves.
 
At the age of 20, Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery. Disguising himself as a sailor, he boarded a train from Baltimore to New York City.
 
It was in New York that he changed his name to Douglass, to avoid being captured.
 
In the north, Douglass began speaking publicly about the horrors of slavery. He carried his message throughout the country and to other nations.
 
He published a book, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, describing his life as slave and his efforts to gain his freedom. The book helped transform the debate over slavery – but it also forced Douglass to flee to Europe to avoid being recaptured under the Fugitive Slave Act.
 
He continued to speak about equal rights for all people in England, Scotland and Ireland. Supporters in Great Britain were so deeply moved that they purchased Douglass’ freedom, allowing him to return to the U.S. after more than two years in abroad.
 
Upon returning, he settled in Rochester, New York, and began publishing The North Star, an uncompromising and highly regarded abolitionist newspaper.
 
When the Civil War broke out, Douglass recruited African American soldiers to fight for the Union Army.
 
His passionate writing and speeches are widely credited with influencing President’s Lincoln’s evolving aims for the war – from simply preserving the Union to ending slavery in America for all time.
 
After the war, Frederick Douglass moved to Washington, D.C.  He was appointed by presidents to posts as U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia, Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, U.S. Minister to Haiti and Charge d ‘Affairs to the Dominican Republic.
 
Frederick Douglass was a firm believer in the equality of all people, regardless of race or gender, whether Native American or immigrant.
 
He famously said: “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.” He also fought for voting rights and home rule for residents of the District of Columbia
 
I hope that the new statue will encourage members of Congress to finish Frederick Douglass’ fight for District residents to have self-government and Congressional representation.
 
I will end with a story of the last time Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln saw each other.
 
It was Inauguration Day 1865. After hearing President Lincoln deliver his Second Inaugural Address at the Capitol, Frederick Douglass went to the White House for a reception in the President’s honor.
 
Police officers refused him entry at first. But President Lincoln got word that Douglass was at the door and instructed that he should be welcomed in.
 
When President Lincoln saw Frederick Douglass, his face lit up and he said in a booming voice for all to hear: “Here comes my friend Douglass.”
 
As we welcome the statue of this revered American to the United States Capitol, we say: “Here comes our friend Douglass.”  We are very glad you are finally here.
 
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American Heart Association thanks legislators for passing lifesaving legislation in Illinois: Bills awaiting governor’s signature

Posted by Admin On July - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

While bills for concealed carry and pension reform have created controversy for Illinois lawmakers recently, the American Heart Association would like to celebrate and thank the members of the Illinois General Assembly for passing legislation that will help save lives and improve the health of Illinoisans.

Several bills have passed the legislature and are awaiting Governor Quinn’s signature. These bills are small but important steps in treating cardiovascular disease in Illinois. Below is a short description of each bill passed:

 •HB 2661: known as the “Pulse Ox” bill, which requires hospitals to perform an inexpensive, non-invasive screening for congenital heart defects. This screening can catch heart defects that were not yet presenting symptoms in babies, which resulted in serious health issues and sometimes death.

 •H.B. 1225: This bill will ensure high-school PE teachers and coaches have access to a free CPR video training program.

•H.B. 2506: This bill will ensure that at least two Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) will be available to thousands of patrons and employees who visit Illinois’ horse racing parks.

 •H.B. 1854: This bill will ensure the brave men and women of Illinois’ Emergency Medical Services are properly honored with a flag flown at half-staff in the tragic event that a member of an EMS crew is killed in the line of duty.

 •H.B. 2777 and H.B. 3186: These bills will make it easier for cash and time-strapped EMS systems to maintain a full roster of EMTs in the field, especially in rural areas of the state helping to make sure individuals receive treatment when they need it the most.

One additional bill made it within sight of final passage before running out of time prior to a final vote:

 · H.B. 2778: another important EMS bill that would make it easier for EMTs with Advanced and Intermediate-level training to use that training to save a life even when they’re aboard a Basic-level ambulance. The bill passed the House and was then amended and passed in the Senate, but still needs one more vote in the House before it can be sent to the Governor for signature. This procedural vote, known as concurrence, can take place later this year when the legislature comes back into session before final adjournment. We urge the Illinois House of Representatives to move this bill to final passage at their earliest opportunity.

 “We thank the Representatives and Senators who worked with the American Heart Association, our volunteers, and other health organizations and advocates to pass these bills,” said American Heart Association Government Relations Director, Alex Meixner.

For more information on the American Heart Association’s legislative priorities in Illinois, or how you can be an advocate for heart health, log on to www.yourethecure.org.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Kohl Children’s Museum joins forces with the Illinois Tollway and Illinois State Police for a free “Kids Identification and Safety Seat” event on Saturday, July 6, 2013

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Event to include interactive activities, a special appearance by the Illinois Snow Plow Truck and discounted admissions to the museum 
 

GLENVIEW, IL— Kohl Children’s Museum, the Illinois Tollway and Illinois State Police District 15 are teaming up to host a free “Kids Identification and Safety Seat” (K.I.S.S.) event Saturday, July 6, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Kohl Children’s Museum parking lot. The K.I.S.S. event strives to educate parents and caregivers on important safety issues for their children by providing safety seat inspections and child identification cards for children age 3 and older. The Illinois Tollway will also bring a snow plow for children to climb aboard and explore in a safe and supervised environment.
 
For easiest access, participants should enter using the Museum’s bus entrance, located at the south side of the Museum on West Lake Avenue.  Event attendees will also receive a $2 off special discount on admission to the Museum after attending the event.
 
“The safety of our patrons and their families is of the utmost importance to us here at the Museum,” said Kohl Children’s Museum President and CEO Sheridan Turner. “Suprisingly, 80% of safety seats in Illinois are improperly installed. As all of our patrons should be using these seats, we feel an overwhelming responsibility to help educate our local community in partnership with the Illinois Tollway and State Police District 15.”
 
Safety Seat Inspections- Parents and caregivers should bring child safety seats, children and the vehicle in which the child safety seats will be installed. Information on recalls and recall detection, correct positioning, correct sizing to protect the child most effectively, plus additional safety information and resources will be offered at the event.
 
Child Identification Cards– Specially trained professionals will take kids’ photographs and fingerprints and gather vital information to include on three personal identification cards to be used by parents and  law enforcement in the event of an emergency.
 
About K.I.S.S. Events
K.I.S.S. events are scheduled at a variety of locations along the 286-mile Illinois Tollway system throughout Northern Illinois. For more information about K.I.S.S. events, visit the Tollway’s website at www.illinoistollway.com
 
About the Illinois Tollway
The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 286 miles of interstate tollways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80).
 
About Kohl Children’s Museum
In recognition for its outstanding exhibits and impact on Chicago land families, Kohl Children’s Museum was recently named one of the country’s Ten Best Children’s Museums by Parents Magazine. The Museum was ranked sixth out of more than 300 children’s museums nationwide and was the only Chicago area museum recognized.
 
Offering 17 interactive, hands-on exhibits for children ages birth to 8, the Museum’s mission is to encourage young children to become effective learners through self-directed complex play. Kohl Children’s Museum is located at 2100 Patriot Blvd., in Glenview, Ill. at the corner of Patriot Blvd. and W. Lake Ave. in the newly redeveloped area known as The Glen. The Museum can be easily reached by public transportation, including Pace bus and Metra trains.
 
For more information, visit the Museum’s website at www.kohlchildrensmuseum.org or call (847) 832-6600. The Museum is open on Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Special members-only hours are from Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Admission prices are $9.50 for children and adults and $8.50 for senior citizens. Children under 1 year old and members are free. 

Attorney and Professor releases new book series for children of color, encouraging character building and social resilience

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America recently reached a milestone. Nearly 50% of all Americans, under the age of 5, are children of color. Now children can read about youngsters that look and sound like themselves


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Dr. Shawn Council, a Connecticut-based attorney and professor, encourages character building and social resilience in her new Bookee & La La children’s book series. Through her publishing company, Council Publishing, she has released several new books that were particularly written for children of color.

Some of the titles include: Bookee & La La: Life Lessons, Bookee & La La Say No to The Pressure to be Stupid, Bookee & La La Learn to Manage Money and Bookee & La La Love the Lord. Spanish only and Spanish and English versions of the series will be available purchase and download in a few weeks.

Bookee & La La, little urban heroes, are current, fresh and visually engaging characters who ultimately triumph when confronted with many of life’s daily challenges.

The Bookee & La La series is designed as a teaching tool for parents and educators. Many children of color do not have books with characters that look like themselves. While, purple dinosaurs are cute, they do not look like the reader. However, Bookee & La La do. The books are available at www.amazon.com and www.bookeelala.com and www.councilpublishing.com in paperback, secure pdf, Kindle and Ebook versions.

About The Author

Dr. Shawn Council, Esquire, LPD is a practicing attorney in Connecticut. She has handled thousands of family related matters. She is also a Professor of Philosophy, Social Justice and African American Studies at Central Connecticut State University. She received her B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles, a J.D. from The University of Houston and a Doctorate in Law & Policy from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

The author lived through the Los Angeles Riots of 1992 and watched the crack epidemic and gang violence overtake the city. Many children and their parents were in the crossfire of both. Today, Attorney Council represents parents, children and grandchildren, in various courts in Connecticut, who have many misfortunes. It is the author’s hope that this book series will be an effective tool to help children learn to read while instilling a commitment to their community to make it better when they grow up. The books are available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, www.councilpublishing.com and www.bookeelala.com.

Photo Caption: Dr. Shawn Council and some of her books.

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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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