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Archive for August 21st, 2013

Making History… Again

Posted by Admin On August - 21 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS


By Benjamin Todd Jealous

President/CEO of the NAACP

Remember the March on Washington? August 28, 1963. Tens of thousands of activists on the National Mall. A preacher’s son from Atlanta talking about his dream for the country.

We don’t need a history lesson. Even if we weren’t at the March itself – even for those like me, who were not yet born – Dr. King’s words are etched into our minds as deeply as they are inscribed in stone at the base of his memorial. The preacher’s son has taken his rightful place in the pantheon of national heroes.

We don’t need to watch a rerun of that fateful day. We need a sequel.

On Saturday, August 24th, the NAACP is co-hosting a sequel to the March on Washington for Jobs and Justice: the 2013 March on Washington. The march begins at 8:00 am, at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Join us.

If this year has shown us anything, it’s that the work of the 1963 march is not yet finished. Texas and South Carolina are sprinting forward with voter ID after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. African American unemployment has flat lined. Our children are gunned down each and every day in senseless acts of violence. Trayvon Martin lies in the ground after one such senseless act.

At the same time, our culture of civic engagement is experiencing a renaissance. In the past month, hundreds of cities held vigils and rallies to protest the Zimmerman verdict. The nation is having a serious conversation about racial profiling for the first time since 9/11. In North Carolina, Moral Mondays has grown larger with each passing week.

We have the numbers, and we have the capacity for motivation. The question is whether we will allow ourselves to be motivated.

So join us – NAACP, National Action Network, Realizing the Dream and others – on the National Mall on August 24th. If you live within two hours of Washington, DC, hop in a car or on a bus – or even better, organize a bus. If you live farther away, you are still encouraged to come and be a part of history.

The 2013 March on Washington will be a people’s movement. It will not be fueled by cash – it will only be energized by your decision to participate. We need you there to help us gain a critical mass of voices, and prove once again that organized people can beat organized money any time.

On this fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington, we should celebrate our history, but it’s more important that we never stop making history.

Meet us at the Lincoln Memorial. Join us on August 24th.

Ben Jealous is president/CEO of the NAACP.

Contact: Ben Wrobel 917-846-0658 bwrobel@naacpnet.org @NAACPPress

It’s Time To Redeem the Dream!

Posted by Admin On August - 21 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS


From Marc Morial

President of the National Urban League

The 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington is only a few days away. Please join us as we commemorate this historic event and continue the quest for jobs and freedom. We look forward to you being there with us in our nation’s capital for this momentous event. Please help us spread the word!


Tell Your Friends & Family. 
Share this flyer on your social networks and invite people to join you at the Redeem the Dream Summit on Friday, August 23, 2013 with special guests T.J. Holmes, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Rev. Al Sharpton, Sybrina Fulton (mother of Trayvon Martin), and Benjamin Crump, as we reflect on 50 years of the civil rights movement. To register for this FREE event, visit www.drummajorsforjustice.com.Also join us for the Drum Majors for Justice Future Leaders Celebration on Friday, August 23, 2013 from 2:00 – 4:00pm and the Urban League Pre-March Rally on Saturday, August 24, 2013 where we will prepare to parade to the Mall at 7am.
KEEP CALM & Change Your Profile.
Change your profile to the “Keep Calm and March On” graphic to join the National Urban League in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. Help us spread the word by signing on to share this message with your social networks. Help us make the biggest impact possible. Learn more!

Share Your Story!

50 years ago, Dr. King’s iconic speech gave voice to the dreams of millions of Americans. Now it’s your turn. Tell us: How are you redeeming the dream of equality in your life? Share your story.
  With your support, we can continue the march for equality so all Americans can achieve their dreams. Donate now. donate now

The Memorial Foundation, Inc and the National Urban League Unite to Present Drum Majors for Justice

Posted by Admin On August - 21 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
Harry Belafonte, Jeff Johnson and Biz Markie Help Usher in New Generation of Drum Majors Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington
Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, The Memorial Foundation, Inc. led by Harry E. Johnson, Sr., in collaboration with Marc Morial and the National Urban League, will host the Drum Majors for Justice Celebration on Friday, August 23 in Washington, D.C. Sponsored in part by AT&T, Enterprise, Hyundai Motors America, Sprint and Wells Fargo, the day pays homage to our civil rights icons and celebrates the young people who have already begun taking up the mantle in the continued fought for justice for all.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 75 percent of those living in the country today were not born in 1968. With this in mind, one of the goals of the Drum Majors for Justice Celebration is to engage young people ages 35 and under, equipping and preparing them for civic engagement and leadership. Noted speaker, commentator and media personality Jeff Johnson will be on hand to from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. to celebrate the occasion. Harry Belafonte will be present to offer words of inspiration and encouragement; and getting the crowd ready for the day will be celebrity DJ Biz Markie and Howard University’s Marching Band’s drum line.

“As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and honor the icons who paved the way for us today, we consider it our duty and privilege to celebrate and open doors for our young people, our leaders of tomorrow,” said Harry E. Johnson, Sr., president and CEO, The Memorial Foundation. “The Drum Majors for Justice Celebration is just the beginning for The Memorial Foundation, and we look forward to continued engagement with the next generation of community and world leaders.”

During the Drum Majors for Justice Celebration legends of the civil rights movement and other national leaders will take a look back on the 1963 March on Washington, the iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Highlights of the day include:

Friday, August 23
Redeem the Dream Summit
Grand Hyatt Hotel – Independence Ballroom
1000 H Street, NW
9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Drum Majors for Justice Future Leaders Celebration
Freedom Plaza, 14th and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Saturday, August 24
Pre-March Rally
Grand Hyatt Hotel – Independence Ballroom
1000 H Street, NW
5:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.

For media interviews, contact Rae Trotman at rae@raetrotman.com or 703-869-5448. To learn more about Drum Majors for Justice, please visit http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0017xHhslUbPq9QHPLEtN4D0diB4xuw7mcSNrA6j7e8a7BbbUzmspp8IsJ0NyxtaYSZ5i8TqmJd84VRYampEbkCihu6TUjwKt7iGnOBYELtLZqzLJ7EWyYwF7GlXV4OlHUl6A7W8TZTv6A= or http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0017xHhslUbPq8NWrNcUh4CXxhxMXR1pgZInwViziM8LFYwBQUUE6HfYoUHMeqe4_nhXnrZddvJJ5iH9TdTOHh5OsAocXmRcKZqY5ZS-CcExeoqSY3xlc4ZI-2ONLPoJclCXx9U6rHKvDI=.

About The Memorial Foundation, Inc.
The Memorial Foundation, Inc. was launched on the one-year anniversary of the opening of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, August 28, 2012. The Memorial Foundation exists to promote awareness of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial located in Washington, DC and its tenets of democracy, justice, hope, and love as well as to support the general upkeep of the Memorial in future years.

Additional information regarding The Memorial Foundation, Inc. can be found at http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0017xHhslUbPq8NWrNcUh4CXxhxMXR1pgZInwViziM8LFYwBQUUE6HfYoUHMeqe4_nhXnrZddvJJ5iH9TdTOHh5OsAocXmRcKZqY5ZS-CcExeoqSY3xlc4ZI-2ONLPoJclCXx9U6rHKvDI=.

Number of Illinois students who are considered college ready remains steady

Posted by Admin On August - 21 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS


Illinois’ ACT score continues to rank among the best for states that test all students


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced that the graduating Class of 2013 achieved a composite score of 20.6, giving Illinois the second highest score among the nine states in the country that test 100 percent of its graduates. Illinois’ ACT composite score is just slightly below the national average of 20.9, which is based primarily on the scores of self-selected college-bound students. The vast majority of states only test students intending to go to college as opposed to Illinois, where every 11th-grader is required to take the ACT as part of the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE).

Additionally, starting with the graduating Class of 2013, the ACT state reports now include scores from students who were allowed an extended time allotment in which to complete the test. Eligible students may request extended-time accommodations for the ACT, however ACT did not previously include these students’ scores in each state’s composite score.

“Illinois has been a leader in promoting college and career readiness since requiring 11th-grade students to take the ACT as part of the PSAE more than 10 years ago,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “The Class of 2013’s composite score reflects a larger pool of students than previous years by including those who require additional time to complete the exam. Just as we require universal testing, we applaud ACT’s move to include these time-extended score results to help promote high standards and college readiness for everyone.”

The state’s ACT composite score is based on the 160,066 students tested in the graduating Class of 2013, compared to 146,822 counted in last year’s report, an increase explained by ACT’s new policy. For Illinois, the new policy meant an additional 15,481 students with extended time scores were included in this year’s composite score, while about 2,000 fewer students took the test in standard time compared to last year’s graduating class.

ACT officials note that this change, along with another on the cut scores for the College Readiness Benchmarks, affect the ability to make direct comparisons with previous years’ reports.

“The drop in ACT scores for Illinois students should not be interpreted as a decline in student learning or readiness,” said Jon Erickson, ACT president of education. “The state results were impacted by the change in the composition of test takers included in the report. As a result, this year’s data should be viewed as a new baseline against which future years can be compared.”

When not including the scores of graduates who took the ACT with extended time, Illinois’s composite ACT score increases to 21.1, slightly above the national average composite score of 21 for standard time test takers. When counting only standard time test takers, the percentage of Illinois graduates who met all four of ACT’s College Readiness Benchmarks grows to 27 percent, which is the same as the national average for this pool of test takers.

“Illinois is moving in the right direction in terms of the standards and performance expectations for our students,” said State Board Chairman Gery J. Chico. “We have shown steady gains on the ACT and I have no doubt that we will continue to see improved scores as we implement higher learning standards for pre-kindergarten through 12th-graders and higher performance expectations for elementary students.”

Illinois raises the bar with higher standards and test scores

Illinois has also shown steady progress over the past five years in improving college readiness with 25 percent of students meeting all four subject areas in 2012 and 2013 compared to 22 percent in 2009.

This year, ACT updated the College Readiness Benchmarks cut scores, also affecting the ability to make comparisons with previous years’ reports. The English and Mathematics Benchmark scores remain the same, but the Science Benchmark score went down by 1 point, from 24 to 23, while the Reading Benchmark score has gone up by 1 point, from 21 to 22. As a result of these changes, readiness levels in Reading and Science are not comparable to those of previous year.

The Benchmark scores indicate a student’s chance of obtaining a “C” or higher in first-year college courses in English composition, college algebra, biology and social sciences.

To help increase the number of students who meet these College Readiness Benchmarks, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) adopted the more rigorous English language arts and mathematics Common Core standards in 2010 and raised the performance levels of the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) in 2013. The ISAT, administered to third through eighth grade students, will now give educators, students and their families an earlier and more accurate indication of college and career readiness rather than waiting for ACT results.

Illinois one of just nine states that requires all students take the ACT as part of PSAE

Illinois requires all 11th-graders, unless they’re exempt, to take the ACT as part of the PSAE. The eight other states with 100 percent of 2013 graduates taking the ACT are: Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming. Utah earned the highest composite ACT score of 20.7, with Illinois a close second at 20.6.

Since 2003, Illinois’ composite score has been among the highest for the group of states that annually test all of their students.

From 2009 to 2013, Illinois schools have ensured more 11th-graders are taking the ACT. The number of graduates in Illinois has only increased by 2.1 percent during the past five years but there’s been an 11.3 percent increase in the number of graduates who have taken the ACT in that time frame. At least 16,000 more graduates took the ACT in 2013, compared to 2009. The average Illinois ACT composite score has remained steady over the last four years, rising slightly from 20.8 in 2009 to 20.9 in 2011 and 2012 and going to 20.6 in 2013. The national score, again based on a more selective pool of students, has dropped slightly to 20.9 compared to 21.1 in 2012 and in 2009.

Five-Year Trend Composite Scores
  2009* 2013* 2013 Total**
Illinois 20.8 21.1 20.6
National 21.1 21.0 20.9

*excludes students testing with extended time
**per ACT, now includes students testing with extended time

The year-to-year composite score for Illinois students mirrored the national average by hovering around the same mark from 2012 to 2013. Note that Illinois’ score differs from the national score because it includes 100 percent of graduates and the state has seen an 11 percent increase in ACT test takers during this five year time frame while the national score reflects mostly students intending to attend college.

Year-to-Year Composite Scores
  2012* 2013* 2013 Total**
Illinois 20.9 21.1 20.6
National 21.1 21.0 20.9

*excludes students testing with extended time
**per ACT, now includes students testing with extended time

Illinois students who tested without extended time have remained consistent or made gains in all four subject areas from 2009 to 2013.

Five-Year Illinois Subject Area Scores
Subject  2009* 2013* 2013 Total**
English 20.5 20.8 20.2
Mathematics 20.7 21.2 20.7
Reading 20.8 20.8 20.4


20.9 20.5

*excludes students testing with extended time
**per ACT, now includes students testing with extended time

Illinois first required all students to take the ACT in 2001 as part of the PSAE during students’ junior year. Today’s results represent the latest scores achieved by all Illinois 2013 graduates in both public and private schools.

The ACT is scored on a scale of 1 to 36, with 36 being the highest possible score.

Attorney General Madigan: Governor signs bills addressing Pseudoephedrine, Human Trafficking, Child Pornography

Posted by Admin On August - 21 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that Gov. Pat Quinn has signed three important bills that were part of her 2013 legislative agenda, all of which were passed unanimously in the General Assembly during the spring legislative session.
“My office’s legislative agenda this past year aimed to make our communities safer,” Madigan said. “As a result of our efforts, we’ve enhanced penalties for ‘pill shoppers’ who supply meth cooks, extended financial assistance to victims of human trafficking and expanded criminal charges and penalties against child pornography offenders.”
This month, the Governor signed the following Attorney General-supported measures into law:
Stronger Penalties for “Pill Shoppers”
HB 806 amended the Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act to make it illegal for individuals to knowingly purchase pseudoephedrine (PSE) or ephedrine on behalf of convicted meth manufacturers. Rep. John Bradley (D–Marion) and Sen. John Sullivan (D–Rushville) sponsored the legislation that strengthens the penalty for so-called “pill shoppers” to a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class 4 felony for second or subsequent convictions. Madigan stressed that the law will not impact lawful consumers of PSE within the current limits set by Illinois law. The amendment took effect immediately upon the Governor’s signature.
Assistance for Victims of Human Trafficking
HB 2640, effective immediately, allows victims of human trafficking who have been “branded” by their abusers to be reimbursed by the Crime Victims Compensation Fund for the cost of removing the tattoo if the victim seeks an authorized or licensed tattoo remover. Madigan’s office assisted sponsors Rep. Kelly Burke (D–Oak Lawn) and Sen. William Delgado (D–Chicago) in passing the measure aimed at helping victims recover from physical and psychological abuse.
Increased Charges for Child Pornography Offenders
HB 2647 will strengthen prosecutors’ effort to protect children from pornographers by amending current law to allow charging suspects for each individual item of alleged child pornography in their possession. The measure was sponsored by Rep. Emily McAsey (D–Romeoville) and Sen. John Mulroe (D–Chicago). Madigan also stressed the importance of HB 2647 in light of the consecutive sentencing model that her office helped to enact last year. Under that model, courts must impose mandatory consecutive sentences for child pornography-related offenses. HB 2647 takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.

Raoul’s Law Moves Illinois Toward Universal Background Checks

Posted by Admin On August - 21 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Measure closes private sale loophole, requires reporting of lost/stolen guns

CHICAGO, IL — Landmark public safety legislation sponsored by State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) was signed yesterday and will help law enforcement crack down on two key gun trafficking pipelines. Raoul’s law requires anyone who sells or transfers a firearm to verify that the recipient has a valid FOID Card; it also establishes that gun owners must report lost or stolen weapons within 72 hours of discovering the loss.

“Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle acknowledged the threat of gun trafficking and came together to pass this commonsense legislation,” Raoul said. “Illinoisans have a wide variety of opinions about guns — but we can all agree it should be harder for criminals to obtain them.”

In Cook County alone, more than 4,000 FOID Cards have been revoked but have not expired. They appear valid but are not, for reasons ranging from a felony conviction to mental illness. House Bill 1189 will require anyone selling or giving away a gun in a private transaction to verify with the State Police that the recipient’s FOID Card is still valid. It also imposes criminal penalties on people who use revoked FOID Cards to purchase guns. Because an individual must undergo a background check before being issued a FOID Card, the verification requirement will result more scrutiny of gun buyers’ backgrounds.

“As a father living in a neighborhood that has seen the murder of promising young people like Hadiya Pendleton, I am impatient for action on illegal guns,” Raoul said. “This law shows parents in violence-plagued communities that we know this is a tough fight, and we’re on their side.”

The new law, which passed May 31 with bipartisan support in both chambers, takes effect immediately.

How will you celebrate the 394th anniversary of slavery in America?

Posted by Admin On August - 21 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

How will you break the chains of slavery


By Chinta Strausberg

Today, Tuesday, August 20, 2013, is the 394th anniversary that slaves were brought to America. While it’s hard to wrap your mind around the year 1619 and what led to the capture of Africans, the ripple affects of slavery and racism still exist…broken homes and a wandering of cultureless people who today are killing each other. 

So, how do we remember the beginning of slavery in America? Is it time to be the man in the mirror and take a long and piercing look to see just who we are for we all know from whence we come.

Since the first African slaves were brought to America’s Jamestown, Virginia in 1619 to work in the tobacco fields—land stolen from the Indians– can you honestly say that blacks have progressed in this country?

If you say yes, then where are the African American owned stores? Where is the pride we once had in our communities? Why are blacks killing each other every day mostly on the West and South Sides of Chicago? Why are there so many single- family homes in the black community? Why do many of our communities look like garbage dumps? When elections roll around even though blacks are the largest voting bloc, why do so many stay home?

Yes, blacks can now vote. Yes, they can ride in the front of the buses, trains and airplanes. They can even take cruises, but today the unemployment rate remains in the double digits for African Americans, and with some blaming integration, black businesses are becoming a dying breed.

And, in 2013, we still have white racists attacking integrated couples just out to celebrate a birthday. So, how much has changed or has it at all? Has racism become more subtle that we cannot readily detect it? Is that the new form of racism in America?

We see Republicans, with the help of the U.S. Supreme Court, continuing to take away the right to vote from poor and African Americans and doing it legislatively. It’s a page from our nation’s racist past, but it’s happening today. 

So what are your thoughts on the 394th year your ancestors were forcibly brought to this country to work stolen land?

How will you remember this day and more important what can you do to help heal the many maladies that linger in and over our communities? How and what can you do to break the mental and physical chains that keep black people enslaved in 2013?

Even more important, why do we willingly become legal slaves today in the billion dollar prison complex system?


By Staff Blogger

On Tuesday, August 20, 2013, it will be exactly 394 years to the very day that slavery began in America in 1619. This slavery wasn’t just the loss of freedom; it was also the loss of family, culture, land, language, name, religion, human status, limb, and life for over two centuries.

Slavery in America began when the first African slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619, to aid in the production of such lucrative crops as tobacco. African slaves were a cheaper, more plentiful labor source than indentured servants (who were mostly poorer Europeans). Slavery was practiced throughout the American colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries, and African-American slaves helped build the economic foundations of this new nation.

Ironically the U.S. Constitution tacitly acknowledged the institution (slavery), counting each slave as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of taxation and representation in Congress and guaranteeing the right to repossess any “person held to service or labor” (slavery).

Between 1774 and 1804, all of the northern states had abolished slavery, but slavery remained prominent to the South. Though the U.S. Congress outlawed the African slave trade in 1808, the domestic trade flourished, and the slave population in the U.S. nearly tripled over the next 50 years. By 1860 it had reached nearly 4 million, with more than half living in the cotton-producing states of the South.

It is impossible to give accurate figures, but some historians have estimated that 6 to 7 million slaves were imported to the New World during the 18th century alone, depriving the African continent of some of its healthiest and ablest men and women.

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all of the slaves in the rebellious states. Some of Lincoln’s greatest achievements were the Emancipation Proclamation and the argument for the passage of a constitutional amendment outlawing slavery (eventually passed as the 13th Amendment after his d$$$h in 1865).

Some 394 years later, the residue effects of slavery and racism still play a role in lives of many African Americans people.

Let us remember this day with pride, hard work and love.

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. 

Fake Foreign Lotteries or Sweepstakes Offer Prizes Too Good To Be True, Warns Better Business Bureau

Posted by Admin On August - 21 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – If you receive a letter in the mail saying that you have won the lottery in a different country, throw it out because you are being scammed. That’s the recommendation from the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) because it is a lottery or counterfeit check scam.

“It is not hard to fall for these scams, especially during tough times,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Scammers are talented at making something false look very real. People need to always be on guard to combat these sneaky antics.”

Bernas explains that typically scammers send legitimate-looking letters with a fake cashier’s check, informing the recipient that they have won a foreign lottery. “This falls into the category of something that is too good to be true, so be extremely cautious,” he said.

The scam process includes a letter that claims the cashier’s check is to help cover the taxes and fees when claiming the money. The letter instructs the “winner” to deposit the check and wire a portion of the money back to the people that sent it, and then keep the remaining sum. Because the cashier’s check is a part of the scam, recipients are easily fooled. The check is counterfeit and by the time the bank discovers that the check is fake, the damage is done. The recipient is held responsible for the full amount of the check and withdrawal.

The BBB offers the following tips for people to avoid counterfeit check scams:

  • Do not enter foreign lotteries. As tempting as a foreign lottery may seem, avoid them completely. Not only are they usually fake, but it is also illegal to play a foreign lottery.
  • Never pay money for a prize. If you are required to pay for a prize that you have won, then it is most likely not legitimate.
  • Never deposit a check for someone you do not know. When counterfeit checks bounce, the only person the bank will blame is you. Money that you withdraw from your bank will need to be paid back to the bank. Keep in mind that a check can take weeks to clear so the counterfeit check and money withdrawal may not be discovered by the bank until weeks after it was deposited.
  • Never wire money to someone you do not know. The reason scammers request people to wire money is because it is untraceable. If you transfer money to a scammer, do not expect to ever see it again.

For more tips and information about scams, visit www.bbb.org 

Casting is set for Noah Haidle’s Smokefall, directed by Anne Kauffman, kicking off the 2013/2014 Line-Up in the Owen Theatre October 5 – November 3

Posted by Admin On August - 21 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago Legend Mike Nussbaum joins Goodman Newcomers Catherine Combs, Katherine Keberlein, Guy Massey and Eric Slater


CHICAGO, IL – Acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Noah Haidle returns to Chicago with his newest work, Smokefall, which examines life’s big questions through the prism of an ordinary family. Hailed by The New Yorker as “formidably talented, with a sort of freewheeling intuitive daring,” the Michigan native playwright most recently wrote the 2012 film Stand Up Guys (starring Alan Arkin, Christopher Walken and Al Pacino) and previously authored Mr. Marmalade, Vigils (at the Goodman in 2006) and Persephone for the stage.  Director Anne Kauffman, in her Goodman debut, assembles an ensemble cast for the Goodman production, including legendary Chicago actor Mike Nussbaum (Henry VIII at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre) as the Colonel; Catherine Combs (The Delling Shore at Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival) in the roles of Beauty and Blessing; Katherine Keberlein (Boeing, Boeing at Drury Lane Oakbrook) as Violet; Guy Massey (Failure:  A Love Story at Victory Gardens Theater) as Footnote and Fetus Two; and Eric Slater (Gloryana at New York City’s Public Theater) as Daniel and Fetus One.  Headshots and bio information can be found in the Press Room. A world-premiere co-production with South Coast Repertory, Smokefall runs October 5 – November 3 in the Owen Theatre (opening night is Monday, October 14). Tickets ($10-$40; subject to change) are on sale now at GoodmanTheatre.org/Smokefall, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Bank of America is the 2013/2014 Owen Season Sponsor.

“The Goodman has collaborated on Smokefall since 2011, so to be able to open the Owen season with this highly theatrical, unique production is a great joy,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “Noah has a singular, theatrical voice, and his plays shine in a highly original, imaginative world. Smokefall is thought-provoking and entertaining at the same time, and I am thrilled to welcome him back to our home.”

Faith leaders pray for action at Alderman Joe Moore’s Office

Posted by Admin On August - 21 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Tenants at Rogers Park’s Astor House building are joining with religious leaders to hold a prayer vigil asking that 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore convene negotiations between Astor House tenants and BJB Properties, Inc. 

Tenants, religious leaders, and supporters will gather at 5 p.m. outside Ald. Moore’s Office at 7356 N. Greenview. They will pray for Ald. Moore to take action and remedy the unjust situation at Astor House, which threatens Rogers Park’s affordability and diversity.

Several tenants at the 1246 W. Pratt Astor House building, including Arbie Bowman and her 8-year-old daughter Rosie, are scheduled to be evicted in the coming two weeks and have nowhere to go. They will likely end up on the streets unless Moore takes action.

“BJB is putting us (existing tenants) in an unfavorable position by not accepting rent money and ignoring these hazardous living conditions,” Bowman says.

Reverend Kenneth Wesbrooks of A Work of Faith Ministries, Inc., in Rogers Park, plans to join in with tenants at Wednesday’s vigil. He says that affordable housing promotes stable families and communities. 

“As a steward of violence-prevention efforts in the community, I recognize family displacement often leads to dysfunctional families and dysfunctional families often produce angry youth. These angry youth in turn are forced into the streets, where drugs and violence become their new landlords,” Wesbrooks says.

Despite serious problems in the Astor House building — such as bedbugs, mice, lack of hot water, and elevator problems — BJB is rushing to rent recently rehabbed units to new tenants, while denying existing tenants the opportunity to renew their leases.

These rehabbed units are being rented as non-negotiable six-month leases at higher rates of $695 to $825. Yet several new tenants who signed short-term leases are reporting the same problems of mice and roaches.

“BJB did not disclose these problems to new tenants, or the fact that they are in housing court,” Bowman says. “Several new tenants left almost immediately after seeing these poor building conditions.”

Tenants and supporters have been asking Alderman Moore for months to stand for affordable housing and use his power to convene a meeting with tenants and the building’s owner, BJB Principal Joe Slezak. Moore’s inaction is paving the way for BJB and other large developers to profit from more expensive housing while making tenants homeless.

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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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