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Archive for December 2nd, 2013

Illinoisans believe that gun violence is a serious problem but oppose mandatory minimum prison sentences for illegal gun possession (SB1342)

Posted by Admin On December - 2 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

(From OCPress Activist News)

“This is not a problem we can legislate away. We have to change the way people live and are educated. I’m a CPS teacher and a DePaul Law student, so what I’m constantly bombarded with are the inequities in the legal system and public education. Fix those and we can greatly reduce gun violence!” – Anonymous survey respondent

CHICAGO, IL – An online survey by Project NIA shows strong public opposition to SB 1342, a mandatory minimum gun bill proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and awaiting a vote by the Illinois General Assembly.

On Monday December 2, a group of people from across Chicago will gather at Chicago City Hall at 6 p.m. to protest SB 1342 and demand a focus instead on the root causes of violence. Details for this event are here: http://niastories.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/december-2-shine-a-light-on-mandatory-minimums/.

Nine out of 10 (93%) survey respondents oppose the passage of SB 1342. Moreover, Illinoisans don’t believe that mandatory minimum prison sentences reduce violence. In fact, 86% of Illinoisans disagree/strongly disagree with the statement:

“Mandatory minimum prison sentences (that take away judicial discretion) for illegal gun possession will reduce violence in Illinois.”

Ninety-four percent of those surveyed said that Illinois should NOT spend an estimated additional $780 million in prison costs over the next 10 years to pay for SB 1342.

The findings indicate support for an approach to gun violence that runs contrary to the punitive policy currently under consideration by the General Assembly.

Nearly nine out of 10 (89%) people surveyed believe that “Gun violence is a serious problem in Illinois.” However data released today show that more than 90 percent of Illinois respondents disagree/strongly disagree that “Incarceration produces positive changes in young people (21 & under) or in adults.”

The survey also found that when given choices outside of prison, Illinoisans support the following types of interventions for adults who illegally carry a gun (whether loaded or unloaded): Vocation Training & Job Skills, Restorative Justice Program, and Employment. They favor Help getting a high school diploma or GED, Mentoring, and Restorative Justice Program for youth (21 & under) who illegally carry a gun (whether loaded or unloaded).

“Illinoisans understand that SB 1342 will not actually make our communities safer, is too expensive, and will serve to criminalize more people,” said Project NIA director Mariame Kaba. “Respondents favor community-based alternatives as opposed to incarceration to address gun violence in Illinois.”

Only 37% of survey respondents strongly agree/agree/somewhat agree that: “Adults      who  illegally carry a gun (whether unloaded or loaded) should be sentenced to prison.” Over 6 in 10 strongly disagree/disagree with that statement.

75% of respondents disagree/strongly disagree with the statement: “Young people (21 & under) who carry a gun illegally (whether unloaded or loaded) should be sentenced to prison.”

Only 16% of survey respondents strongly agree/agree/somewhat agree that: “Adults who commit a FIRST-TIME offense of illegally possessing a gun (whether unloaded or loaded) should serve a MANDATORY one-year prison sentence.”

· Only 13% of survey respondents strongly agree/agree/somewhat agree with the statement: Young people (21 & under) who commit a FIRST-TIME offense of illegally possessing a gun (whether unloaded or loaded) should serve a MANDATORY one year prison sentence

· Most Illinoisans don’t know how much it costs to incarcerate youth and adults in the state. Only 34% correctly identified that it costs about $40,000 per year to incarcerate an adult & 20% correctly identified the $90,000 annual incarceration costs for juveniles.

While the rest of the country is moving away from mandatory minimum prison sentences because research and experience suggest that they don’t work, Illinois has been moving towards them. It appears that the public is ahead of the policymakers again and favors a focus on rehabilitation and community-based alternatives instead of more incarceration.

Legislators and policymakers should take heed. There is no popular demand for the ‘tough on crime’ bills that politicians often offer as a solution to violence and harm. The desire is for less punishment and to focus instead on the root causes of violence. Additional information about the survey is available on http://niastories.wordpress.com/.

The survey was carried out online by Project NIA. It was administered from November 20 through November 29. 571responses were collected from across Illinois. 

For more information, contact: Mariame Kaba, 773-392-5165 or email: projectnia@hotmail.com or project-nia.org.

About Project NIA

Launched in 2009, Project NIA is an advocacy, organizing, popular education, research, and capacity-building center with the long-term goal of ending youth incarceration. The organization believes that several simultaneous approaches are necessary in order to develop and sustain community-based alternatives to the system of policing and incarceration. Project NIA’s mission is to dramatically reduce the reliance on arrest, detention, and incarceration for addressing youth crime and to instead promote the use of restorative and transformative practices, a concept that relies on community-based alternatives.

About SB 1342

SB 1342 “would strip judges of their discretion in sentencing persons convicted of gun possession. Regardless of the criminal intent of the defendant or circumstances surrounding the case, judges would be required to impose “mandatory minimum sentences” on such defendants.

And, SB 1342 does not simply increase mandatory minimum sentences for gun possession; the bill would actually create a new mandatory minimum one-year prison sentence for people without any prior convictions whose only mistake is having an unloaded gun with ammunition nearby and no Illinois gun card (Belcore, 2013).” http://www.theshriverbrief.org/2013/11/articles/community-justice/mandatory-minimums-too-costly-and-too-ineffective/

Time to Reflect

Posted by Admin On December - 2 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

By William Spriggs

Last week marked Thanksgiving, the quintessential American holiday. In part, because it belongs to no religion, it is a day that all people can claim as their own to give thanks, in their way. This marked its 150th birthday.

In the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln set aside Thursday, Nov. 26, as a day of thanks. The previous week he had just delivered the Gettysburg Address declaring a new birth of freedom in the United States, commemorating the bloodiest battle on American soil. At the beginning of the year, he had issued the Emancipation Proclamation, making the flight of slaves in the South to Union battle lines a march to true freedom and giving the Civil War a new meaning. After the defeats of the Army of Northern Virginia at Antietam in 1862 and Gettysburg in 1863, the tide of the war had swung.

Over the past 150 years, the day grew from a day of reverence to be commercialized into marking the beginning of shopping for the Christmas season-a clearly religious holiday also transformed into a commercial spectacle.

Not unlike the battles of 150 years ago, America is today deeply divided. Over the past 40 years, inequality has grown at an increasing rate. The benefits of economic growth continue to concentrate among the top 1 percent. More studies note that the ladder from the bottom to the top is falling apart, and that lack of economic mobility is fracturing us into a nation of “haves” and “have nots.” And with that divide is a great divide in the paradigms we use to make sense of things.

Despite the clear evidence to the contrary, many Americans cling to a belief that America is the land of social mobility and the inequality we see growing is simply the split between the hardworking and the lazy. So, though the Great Recession threw more than 8 million of us out of work, collapsed the values of millions of homes and destroyed the retirement savings of millions more, there are some who deeply believe that storm rained only on the lazy. And they believe that sunshine lies in heaping greater sacrifice from the lazy to the hardworking few who survived, because they believe benefits trickle down off the rich onto the less industrious.

But this too is a form of commercialism. It is a deep belief in the power of the dollar to judge virtue. It leaves us with deep moral hand-wringing on things like who can marry whom-something with spiritual meaning but no dollar value. It does not countenance deep moral discussions about a rich nation that cuts food assistance to the millions who lost jobs because of bad public policy. But to return to American values and moral vision and away from commercialism, at Thanksgiving, we should pause to ask those deeper questions that are not comfortable to the religion of the dollar.

We should ask, “Why is it that Thanksgiving can no longer be a day America has set aside for families to be together?” Is the dollar too important for a nation to give value to family?

Beyond Thanksgiving Day, can we demand more of a reflection on moral obligations? The largest employer in the United States is Walmart. Last year, Walmart pulled in profits of $17 billion. At its June stockholder meeting, Walmart approved a $15 billion program to buy back its existing shares of stock-a strategy to boost the wealth of current stockholders and consolidate the ownership of the Walton family. Over the past two years, Walmart bought back $14.29 billion in stock-enough to raise the pay of each employee by nearly $5,500 per year. All the while, Walmart’s poorly paid employees rely heavily on federal assistance for health care, housing and food assistance.

So why don’t we have deep debates on why the workers who make Walmart such a large, profitable company need our assistance to buy food, health care or housing assistance?

Around the country Walmart workers are standing up, demanding their fair share of what they contribute to make Walmart so profitable. Their demand for a living wage of $25,000 a year is a demand for fairness and dignity.

There was a time in America when the largest employer was General Motors Co. What does it say about our changing values when we no longer require those with the most to be fair, and only ask those with the least to sacrifice for our prosperity?

Follow Spriggs on Twitter: @WSpriggs. Contact: Amaya Smith-Tune Acting Director, Media Outreach AFL-CIO 202-637-5142

New live weekly Internet Talk Show features diverse panel of auto journalists

Posted by Admin On December - 2 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

“Hanging Out With AutoNetwork” live talk show uses the latest digital and mobile technology. Interested ones can request an invitation to sit in the audience and interact with guests, hosts and panelists via webcam

Charlotte, NC (BlackNews.com) — The first of its kind live automotive talk show, “Hanging Out with AutoNetwork,” aired November 14th from 3PM EST to 4PM. The show broadcast on AutoNetwork’s YouTube channel and Google+ page using the new Business Hangout app.

The show is moderated by Roosevelt Gist, an African American car enthusiast, with a diverse panel of auto journalists representing the makeup of the U.S. population. The live weekly talk show allows guests, panelists and viewers the ability to interact with each other in a real time group chat and video stream from participants’ webcam.

Invited guests with webcams will now be face to face with each participant, making this about as real as you can get other than being in the same room.

“Hanging Out with AutoNetwork” is the brain child of Roosevelt and will cover safety, new car events, auto shows, product reviews, interviews with auto executives, auto dealers and salespersons, live walk arounds and more while interacting with viewers.

Free registration is required and show sponsors and advertisers are welcomed.

“The technology now exists for AutoNetwork to take live webcasting/broadcasting to the next level and really take our viewers inside the auto industry and inside products like never before and deliver from practically any location in the world,” says Roosevelt.

“Hanging Out with AutoNetwork” gives consumers a real voice and car companies and auto dealers a cost effective means to speak directly to buyers interested in their products.

Each show is automatically saved on AutoNetwork’s YouTube channel, Google+ page and AutoNetwork.com for on-demand viewing and can be embedded on websites that want interactive and engaging content.

Businesses wanting to advertise coupons for our audience, visit: www.couponsoffersanddeals.com/signUp/merchant.

Auto dealers wanting to advertise Special Deals, visit: www.buttinseat.com.

Subscribe to the AutoNetwork YouTube channel now for show invitation and never miss a show, www.youtube.com/autonetwork and www.autonetwork.com.

Web Site teaches how to buy/sell stocks

Posted by Admin On December - 2 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

People are flipping over “Flip That Stock”, a company that teaches everyday people how to make money buying and selling stocks

Bowie, MD (BlackNews.com) — Flip That Stock Founder and CEO, J.R. Fenwick, has been buying and selling stocks for over 15 years. He didn’t speak much about it because buying and selling stocks is something he could do from his home computer without talking to anyone.

Recently, Fenwick began sharing with his friends and posting on Facebook the tremendous opportunities that exist to make money in the stock market. Even letting his friends know how they could make money when the price of a stock goes down using a little known technique that most people have never heard of, but is commonly used on Wall Street.

After showing a few friends how he was routinely making $500 to $1,000 in less than 30 minutes buying and selling stocks, friends began coming over to his home to see him buy and sell stocks live. Then his friends began asking him to teach them how to buy and sell stocks (also known as “trading”). He began getting so many requests from people to teach them how to trade, that he founded the company Flip That Stock. (www.FLipThatStock.com).

Fenwick debunks the myths and misconceptions that many people have about trading in the stock market, such as, you have to have millions of dollars, an MBA from Harvard and spend all day looking at stock charts on a computer screen to start trading stocks. Or that it is just too risky and you will lose all your money. “With the proper education, people will understand they can make money annually, quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily and even within minutes and seconds from buying and selling stocks, while minimizing risks,” Fenwick says.

The mission of Flip That Stock is to teach people with little or no stock market knowledge or experience how to start making money in the stock market buying and selling stocks.

“I wanted to offer an excellent educational program at a very affordable price and that’s what we’ve accomplished with the Flip That Stock Membership, which is a monthly membership that offers short and easy video modules to teach people step-by-step how to start buying and selling stocks. The membership also includes stock alerts that come out every Sunday along with other valuable resources for members. The response has been overwhelming since launching the company. People definitely want to learn how the stock market works and how they can participate. Learning how to buy and sell stocks is a valuable skill set that allows people to take control of their financial future,” Fenwick says.

With a TV and radio show, smartphone app, trading hardware and software all in development, Flip That Stock’s future is brighter than ever and is like a fast rising stock.

J.R. Fenwick is available for interviews and seminars that will enlighten, educate and entertain. He can be contacted at FLipThatStockRequest@gmail.com. For more details, visit www.FLipThatStock.com

Chicago: Where are the honest black political voices?

Posted by Admin On December - 2 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The African-American community has regrettably lost many brilliant out-spoken leaders who said what they meant – and meant what they said!

CHICAGO, IL – The galvanizing voices of such great African-American leaders such as the late Congressman William Dawson, Justice R. Eugene Pincham, Mayor Harold Washington, President John Stroger, Sr., John Sengstacke, Lu Palmer, Vernon Jarrett, Congressman Ralph Metcalfe, Jesse ‘Ma’ Houston, Neal A. Bratcher, Sr., Dr. Margaret Burroughs, Marion Williams, Alderwoman Anna Langford, and so many others have been called into eternity. These brilliant-minded people and others spoke back with truth to power! As you perhaps might already know, many of these dedicated hard-hitters gave all they had – and some died of broken hearts!

While some present warriors continue to lift their voices in honesty, their lights appear to be dimmed by in-house internal political fractions. Much of these political fractions and power grabs are attributed to greed, power and for the love of money! Now, this is not to say that all Blacks seeking higher offices or any office is seeking funds for their own bank accounts! However, it has been established that in the past (before the changes of the law) some candidates would run for office knowing they could not and would not win; but afterwards, many ran all the way to the bank with the community’s contributed dollars. Laws have since changed.

The community by large should remember those political persons sitting in authority who promise liberation, but in return, often give back a good dose of disappointments coupled with a bunch of untruths!

In earlier political years a fraction of power was brought about by the downtown voices of deceit who came to rob, steal and destroy and they did it quite well! They gave crumbs to Blacks and rewarded them with low paying jobs. The paybacks for salaried positions were for Blacks to give back a percentage of their paychecks. These deceitful voices and faces have perhaps changed, but their theories of thought remain the same… get all you can while you can! It now appears that some Black politicians have taken on the mindset of the overseers (masters) who governed the slaves.

I think the taxpayers forget that he or she is the politicians’ employer and that employees can be fired!

Are we living in an era where we call the right – wrong … and the wrong right? And if so, the scriptures clearly says we are living in the last days.

Can you remember those loud voices above the crowd who promised everything – but gave little or nothing in return? Note that this mythology extends to this day and to the nation’s capitol found sitting among our United States Congress. I would advise that the community watch with a jaundice eye those persons vying to occupy available seats in Congress, perhaps seeking an opportunity to take us back 100-plus years.

In my humble opinion and with an apolitical view, I suggest that present leaders in addition to want-to-be politicians who honestly want to fight for a struggling people, focus in on African American political history, thus realizing that we may now be at the brink of bloodbaths that has historically caused strife and bitterness in this city, county and state! Disruptive change may serve only to divide and conquer the African American community! You cannot erase the historical evils that were put into place by the powers-that-be at that time, and will be long remembered by our children’s children! But you can play the brilliant hand of being wise as a serpent yet harmless as a dove!

Black political history just ought to instruct us that Blacks not travel the old path of being misled again. And, speaking of misleading, may I quickly ask an important question… why is African-American Education not implemented in the Chicago School System as set-forth via the law in the 90s? What is the hold-up? Point being, if Blacks don’t know where we’ve been how then can we get a perspective on today or the many tomorrows. Or quite honestly, is this the plan?

African American political candidates please stop fighting for political entrapments that lay in wait for your very demise! Rather, fight with your knowledge and money…in the community for those things in plain view such as criminal justice, education, poverty and the lack of food among our elders, and just so many other important day-to-day matters!

Note: I speak to those who are vying for politics on their own and not to those who under the guides of God seek to battle the divisiveness of the enemy. Because if God does not build the house, the laborer builds in vain. I hasten to point out that if you are on your own politically and not holding on to the word of God the enemy will give you a dose of medicine where you may not have an immediate cure for. Stay in your calling!

Years ago, I recall that there was a sincere mindset by the large majority of political candidates to give of themselves to those less able to fend for themselves … but today, some are helping themselves and, of course, filling their own coffers. The public goes along with what’s happening and simply living off a thing called hope. Christ is the hope of Glory and He sends the ministers to protect and warn the people. The scripture says: The people will perish for the lack of knowledge… but not on my watch!

The true ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ have been put on alert to stand on the wall and warn the people. And, the scripture says: Danger to the shepherd who allows the sheep to be scattered.

I would sincerely suggest to those political candidates praying for the favor of God and have love and mercy for the people of God, to first seek ye the kingdom of God and His righteousness – all other things will be added unto you! Candidates just ought to make sure their calling to serve has been sanctioned and ordained of God!

All candidates and sitting politicians are presently faced with a new face on the enemy, smiling and could care less about a thing called honest intent! That deceiving face comes to the candidates stating that he or she can be blessed as far as you can see. Some folk want to believe that world of fantasy, while others digest the lie. Praying folk turn to the Lord who has promised to lead and guide us.

Going back to our many yesterdays, I remember when the greatest among men and women in Chicago were those who were concerned about the people and sought not to rape or rob them, but tried honestly hard to enhance their abilities to better survive! Where has that gone?

Then again, where is the broad respect for the Black community by large, and not me and mine? The love we lost was a good thing!

Political offenders and ex-offenders have yet to offer an apology and/or repentance for their proven misbehavior! Some would seek an opportunity at a second and third chance to shame us, only after being found guilty, leaving office in disgrace and being sentence to jail or prison. The question is, where is that simple sincere apology coupled with repentance, or is it thought that God nor the public deserves one?

What example is being demonstrated for our troubled youth who would hold elected officials up as role models and to many their idols? Youth emulate that which they see, and we wonder what is wrong with them? And of course many gangbangers are now aspiring to become politicians… they say the ‘business’ is good! Wonder what that means?

Isn’t it enough that non-Black politicians spit in the communities’ face and say that it’s raining! However, for Black traitors to take the same liberties to do the same, it becomes most offensive and shows a lack of integrity.

We could in fact recall the golden years of decency where those who desired to sit in political seats of authority were held accountable to the taxpayer and their feet were held to the fire!  In the African-American community, the public must demand that those in leadership are honest and with moral decency! The Scriptures also speak as to requirements for leadership for those who have been selected to have the rule over people.

A valid question: Are we living in an era where we now call the right wrong and the wrong right? And if so, the Scriptures says we are living in the last days when men and women wouldn’t consider their ways.

About Rev. Harold E. Bailey

Rev. Bailey has served 34-years as President of the Probation Challenge Organization, 14 years as former member and chairman of the cook county board of corrections,14 years as a Chicago/Cook County Adult Probation Officer (Assigned to Justice R. Eugene Pincham).

Contact: Rev. Harold E. Bailey, President of Probation Challenge, Inc.

WWW.ProbationChallenge.org – The Truth Network

Contact: Rev. Harold E. Bailey at: 773.978.3706

Written for Copyline Magazine and may be re-printed via the media.

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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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