February , 2019

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  Statement by Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael T. Carrigan     The working families of the Illinois AFL - ...
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Archive for March 18th, 2014

Vote Today: Cast Your Vote With Prudent Tenacity

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On March - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

By Juanita Bratcher

Publisher & CEO, CopyLine Magazine

During Chicago Mayor Harold Washington’s re-election campaign in 1987 at one of many get-out-the vote rallies, he stated that “Blacks are registered in more numbers than they say we are. We’re not apathetic, but systematically turned off.”

Today is Election Day. It is crucial that registered voters exercise their right to vote. There are many power brokers that don’t want that to happen…or to see you cast a ballot at anytime. There are legislative actions and efforts in state legislatures across the country to take that right through Voter ID laws…voting saboteurs.

It is absolutely absurd, insulting and mindboggling that there are some conservatives in this country who are trying to sabotage the right of Blacks and certain other people to vote in this country.

Conservative governors and Republican-controlled Legislatures across the country are trying to undercut and undermine the vote through Voter ID laws, purging of Voter Registration Rolls and shortening of voting hours, which obviously, has the possibility of disenfranchising millions of voters – specifically Blacks, other minorities, senior citizens young voters and handicapped. These Voter ID laws, purges and shorter voting hours in several states across the country stand to disenfranchise millions of voters.

When we vote we have a voice; a voice far from being silenced. And we must fight tooth and nail, every step of the way, to extinguish efforts by some who would try to disenfranchise voters’ constitutional right to the ballot box.

Most recently, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker directed the Wisconsin state legislature to revisit and modify a law he signed in May 2011 requiring voters to have state-issued IDs in order to vote. He wants this legislation to be in place before the next election. That’s when Walker will be up for re-election and faces a strong Democrat challenger, Mary Burke, a former state commerce secretary.

As a reminder, little more than a year after Walker won the Wisconsin governorship, he was subject to a recall, which he subsequently won and remained in office.

It is important that citizens exercise their right to vote, inasmuch as it not only gives them the opportunity to elect representatives that will work in their best interest, but ensure them a stake in the legislative process. The ballot is a powerful weapon to effect change and low voter turnout allows the minority to make decisions for the majority.

Reportedly, there are more than 34 states where legislation has passed or pending that would require a picture photo to vote (Voter ID). Other ways voters are being disenfranchised are through the abandonment of same-day voter registration, reduction of early voting periods (early voting prior to the official election day), and other voter suppression efforts.

You cannot be apathetic or systematically turned off from going to the poll and casting your ballot. Don’t abandon the ballot box; and cast your vote with prudent tenacity.

Voting gives power to the people who use it.

There’re some things you can never stop fighting for, and exercising your right to vote is one of them.

Take heed: Know those candidates’ backgrounds that are running for elective office and know them by their deeds. But most importantly, always be aware of the messenger and the message he/she brings.

Think about it! Your vote is vital to keeping the Democratic process intact.

Go out and Vote Today. And remember, voting is a privilege.

Juanita Bratcher is an Award-Winning Journalist, the Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com and the author of several books, songwriter and poet. She has been a Journalist for more than 38 years covering politics, education and a wide-range of other topics.

Madigan Assigns Teams Statewide to monitor Primary Election

Posted by Admin On March - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that 181 teams of assistant attorneys general and investigators from her office will be working throughout the state on Tuesday, March 18, to monitor the primary election to ensure that Illinoisans’ voting rights are protected and that polling places are accessible.

Madigan urges voters to call her office if they encounter suspected improper or illegal activity.
Chicago and northern Illinois voters can call 1-866-536-3496 (TTY 1-800-964-3013).
Downstate voters can call 1-866-559-6812 (TTY 1-877-844-5461).
Attorney General Madigan reminded voters of some of their basic voting rights:
  • Voters have the right to vote if they are in line when the polls close at 7 p.m. or at any other time between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Election Day (10 ILCS 5/17-1).

  • If a voter makes a mistake or “spoils” a paper ballot and the voter has not cast the ballot, the voter has the right to receive a replacement ballot (10 ILCS 5/17-11).

  • If a voter cannot read, has trouble understanding English, or has a disability, that voter has the right to request assistance from anyone other than his or her employer, an agent of his or her employer, or an officer or agent of his or her union (10 ILCS 5/17-14).

  • Voters have the right to take unpaid time from work to vote, but no more than two successive hours, as long as they have applied with their employer before Election Day. The employer may set the time of day (10 ILCS 5/17-15).

  • No one is allowed to try to influence a voter within 100 feet of the polling place (10 ILCS 5/17-29).

(First published 3/14/14)

School Environment Matters: State Board of Education administers second Illinois 5Essentials Survey to help improve student learning

Posted by Admin On March - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Students, parents and teachers weigh in on school climate and learning conditions

SPRINGFIELD, IL –Many sixth through 12th grade students and teachers across the state will once again have the opportunity to provide feedback on their schools’ learning conditions and climate through a state survey that aims to help drive improvement planning and paint a fuller picture of the nearly 4,000 public schools in Illinois. Results from this year’s survey will be posted on the State School Report Card which is released each fall.

The roughly 20-minute-long online survey, called the Illinois 5Essentials Survey, will be available in select schools as of today, March 17, for students and teachers. By law, each district is only required to administer the survey every other year. Race to the Top districts, which are those that are piloting innovative education initiatives, and districts that did not administer the survey last year, are required to offer it sixth through 12th grade students and teachers this year. Districts may also choose to administer an optional parent component of the survey.

“This survey generates data that districts can use to guide their on-going efforts to improve schools and offer students a world-class education,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “Districts and the state share this data as another improvement tool and a means to inform parents and community members.”

The Illinois 5Essentials Survey window will close April 25, and results will be shared publically, via the release of the  State School Report Card, in late October. The State Board once again joins UChicago Impact at the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute in providing the online survey. The Illinois 5Essentials Survey (Organizing Schools for Improvement) asks about leadership, collaboration, family involvement, instruction and the school environment.

At least 50 percent of students and teachers at each school must fill out this survey in order for ISBE to have enough data to generate a school-level report. The survey provides a comprehensive assessment of school organizational culture with reports to help drive school improvement on the five indicators or “Essentials”:

  • Effective Leaders
  • Collaborative Teachers
  • Involved Families
  • Supportive Environment
  • Ambitious Instruction

5Essentials generates data that helps schools target resources and make decisions that help accelerate learning and test score gains. 5Essentials also demonstrates that teachers and students can play a crucial role in school reform: What they share about their schools reliably predicts whether those schools are likely to improve or stagnate.

Based on 20 years of research conducted by the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research in more than 400 schools, the 5Essentials has been shown to be strongly predictive of school improvement. Research has shown that schools strong in three to five of the Essentials were 10 times more likely to improve student learning than schools weak in three to five of the Essentials. Those differences remained true even after controlling for student and school characteristics, including poverty, race, gender and neighborhood characteristics.  Strength on components within the Essentials also correlated with increased teacher retention, student attendance, college enrollment and high school graduation.

In addition to being used in CPS, a version of the 5Essentials survey has been administered in schools in Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Indiana.

“We cannot rely on test scores to provide an accurate representation of the caliber of teaching and learning that take place in individual school buildings,” said Cinda Klickna, President of the Illinois Education Association. “The 5Essentials Survey collects the valuable insights of both teachers and students to give a more complete picture of the leadership, instruction, collaboration and community support that shape our schools and affect what happens in the classroom.”

This is the second year of the school climate and learning conditions survey, required under Senate Bill 7, which was passed in 2011. Last year, during the first year of implementing the 5Essentials survey across the state of Illinois, 87 percent of all public schools in the state met the required 50 percent participation threshold to receive survey results. More than 70 percent of all teachers and eligible students across Illinois took part in the 2012-2013 survey.

“Our district operates on a continuous improvement cycle,” said Indian Prairie CUSD 204 Superintendent Kathryn Birkett. “We welcome the feedback provided from students, staff and parents through 5Essentials so we can make improvements and adjustments as needed.”

Like last year, districts have the option of asking parents to participate in the survey. While this survey may help inform state policy and improvement initiatives, it is primarily intended to help schools at the local level by identifying strengths and areas that need improvement and provide more comprehensive information about each school for parents and community members. Federal Race to the Top funds are covering the cost of the survey.

For more information visit: https://illinois.5-essentials.org


Congressional Black Caucus Chair Marcia Fudge Issues Statement on Changes to Stand Your Ground Laws

Posted by Admin On March - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Marcia L. Fudge released the following statement in support of changes to Stand Your Ground Laws:

“It has been made clear that Stand Your Ground Laws across this nation must be changed.  While the “castle doctrine” was originally intended to protect citizens from intruders in their homes, the expansion of this law into the public sphere through Stand Your Ground has resulted in inequitable application and has cost innocent individuals their lives.

“Over the past two years, the ways in which Stand Your Ground Laws are flawed in principle and in practice have been brought to the national stage. The American public has witnessed how Stand Your Ground has been disproportionately used to defend deadly force against the innocent, while the innocent have been denied using it as their defense.

“Today, as CBC Members Rep. Corrine Brown (FL- 05) and Congressman Bobby Scott (VA -03) testify at the Florida Senate Criminal Justice Committee hearing on Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law, members of the Congressional Black Caucus wholeheartdely support their calls for change. Florida must take action to change its Stand Your Ground Law and the 23 states that have passed similar laws must do the same.

“Death is not justified because someone is assumed to be guilty. This nation cannot lose another innocent life to laws meant to protect.”

Illinois Tollway’s Website Now Available in Seven Languages

Posted by Admin On March - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

DOWNERS GROVE, IL – The Illinois Tollway launched a new feature on its frequently used website giving users the ability to view select information regarding the Tollway system and I-PASS not only in English, but also in seven other languages.

Using the feature, viewers can with the click of a mouse translate the Tollway’s home page into Arabic, Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, Polish and Spanish. The website then offers in the language chosen by the viewer details about the Tollway that include roadway conditions, upcoming construction projects, locations of oases, as well as information about paying missed tolls, doing business with the agency and recent actions by the Tollway Board of Directors.
The website, www.illinoistollway.com, drew 11.9 million visits in 2013 – or nearly 33,000 visits daily – and is the preferred method for customers to communicate with the Tollway.  A survey last year found nearly 72 percent of respondents preferred to receive information about the Tollway online.

“We are committed to providing every bit of information we can to all of our customers, and that includes giving them the ability to translate these important details into other languages,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. “We want to communicate directly with our customers, no matter what language they speak.”

The languages selected are those most commonly spoken by residents in the 12-county area of Northern Illinois served by the Tollway, according to U.S. Census data.  Previously, the Tollway’s website provided limited information online in Spanish.
Visitors to the Tollway’s website will find a drop-down box labeled “Select Language” in the top middle of every page. Users can click on one of the seven languages offered and the page then appears in the selected language.

Translations of the Illinois Tollway’s website are provided as a courtesy and are made through an automated and computerized process powered by Google Translate, a free translation service. Computerized translations are an approximation of the website’s original content.
Online services that include transferring funds into I-PASS accounts and using credit cards to pay missed tolls will continue to be offered only in English.

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), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80).

New Website for Senator Durbin’s Campaign; Will Serve as a Powerful Activity Hub for Supporters

Posted by Admin On March - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

(Letters to Editor)

Today is the Illinois primary, and we’re excited to launch our brand-new campaign website!

We hope the new Di‌ckDu‌rbi‌n.‌com website will serve as a powerful activity hub for supporters like you and provide valuable information for Illinois voters as we head into November. Click here to check out the all-new DickDurbin.com now!

Don’t forget to vote for Senator Durbin in today’s primary. The campaign added a polling place look-up tool right on our new homepage — and we hope you’ll check it out.

We’ll be ready for whoever wins today’s GOP primary, and the launch of the new Di‌ckDu‌rbin‌.com is going to take our campaign to the next level.

I hope you’ll share our new website with your friends and family, and help us build even more grassroots support for Senator Durbin’s reelection!

Better Business Bureau Presents Lifetime Achievement Award Posthumously to Carol Cooling-Kopp of NBC 5 on March 20

Posted by Admin On March - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago, IL Carol Cooling-Kopp will posthumously receive the James E. Baumhart Lifetime Achievement Award from the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) at the 87th Annual Dinner Meeting on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at the Chicago Downtown Marriott.

“Carol Cooling-Kopp was an outstanding individual, and this was shown through her hard work and dedication with both the Better Business Bureau and NBC 5,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Her dedication to her work and to supporting the BBB mission will always be remembered.”

This award is named after James E. Baumhart, the immediate past president of the BBB. He dedicated 43 years to the BBB and its commitment to enhance an ethical marketplace.

“The Baumhart Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a person who has made an outstanding contribution in support of the BBB’s mission,” said Bernas. “It is presented only when there is a person worthy of the award.”

Cooling-Kopp worked behind the scenes of NBC-TV and Channel 5 for a total of 30 years and earned multiple Emmy Awards for her work. She joined Channel 5 in 1983 as a Community Relations Assistant and moved up the ranks into several management jobs in different departments, including an Administrator in Community Operations then Producer to Executive Producer in Program Operations and Manager to Director in Broadcast Operations. Her final job at NBC-TV was the Director of Special Events Programming in 2002 and she moved to executive management in 2008.

During her career Cooling-Kopp covered eight marathons and 15 auto shows. With the marathon, she forged ties with charities, sponsors and sports teams to create a memorable event and coordinated broadcast specials with the Chicago Auto Show, especially the “First Look” event. She had the ability to understand both the production side and the business side of both events.

“Carol was the heart and soul of NBC 5.  She was a true professional and welcoming ambassador both internally and to all our community partners. She loved her job and strived to make a difference in everything she did. We are proud to have known and worked with her,” says David Doebler, president and General Manager of WMAQ-TV.

Cooling-Kopp was born in South Bend, Ind., and graduated from Hersey High School in Arlington Heights. In 1979 she received her bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University. She joined Channel 5 as a community relations assistant in 1983, where she was immediately noticed for her attention to detail and ability to coordinate large-scale events early on.

She is scheduled to be posthumously inducted into the Silver Circle of the Chicago chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Introducing the Hip Hop Choir – A Platform for New Artists to Showcase all the Elements of Hip-Hop Culture

Posted by Admin On March - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

“Our vision of the Hip Hop Choir will be that it is made up of every nationality, so that it will have the potential to reach people and cultures around the globe.” (Haskel Jackson, Co-Founder)

Hip Hop Choir

Hollywood, CA (BlackNews.com) — Bellringer Productions and Haskel Jackson Entertainment have come together to create a platform for new artists of all ages and ethnicities to make their presence known in the world. This innovative Hip-Hop Choir will showcase the elements of Hip-Hop culture with rappers, singers, dancers, visual artists, and various forms of musical expression with an urban foundation.

“When people from different ethnic backgrounds, genders, and ages come together in harmony through rap, a magic happens that transcends what seems impossible. The music unifies us all! Hip-Hop=Human Possibility,” says Marcus Bell, founder.

The Hip Hop Choir will be a voice not often heard from the main stream Hip Hop culture. It will represent diversity, unity, creativity and integrity. The five elements of Hip Hop will be the foundation of what the choir represents. The intentions of the choir are to compete, educate, travel, and grow.

Haskel Jackson, co-founder, comments, “Hip Hop was born out of pain and lack of freedom. It started one way and now it seems to be going in a completely different direction from its original aim. This movement was created to give hope and opportunity to those that have a true desire to express their love and passion for Hip Hop. Since Hip Hop is a culture, it carries a very important role in the world. We as Hip Hop heads have a huge responsibility to not allow our voice to be diluted with messages of hate. Not that we have all the right answers, but the Hip Hop Choir will strive to bring unity so that we can get the best answers for all of us moving forward. I AM HIP HOP.”

For more details about the Hip Hop Choir, visit www.hiphopchoirla.com

About Bellringer Productions
Bellringer Productions is a music production company that creates music for record labels, major recording artists, television, film and commercials. Through our artist development division, “Starbootcamp”, we train celebrity and developing artists on fame, fortune, and influence.

About Haskel Jackson
Haskel Jackson is a seven time Grammy Nominee, and the Founder/CEO of Haskel Jackson Entertainment, Genesoul Productions, Dream Soul Records, PAI Stations and the Genesoul Music Lab in Hollywood, Ca. He also founded, along with Rena Phillips, the Unsigned Artist Network Show and New Stars of Hollywood. Haskel along with Aaron Spears, Estella Spears, and Marcus Armstrong recently created a Film, TV Show, and music platform called Henna TV.

Illinois State High School Archery Tournament Set for March 22

Posted by Admin On March - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Top finishers Among 873 Young Archers Will Advance to National Tournament

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will host the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Illinois State Tournament Saturday, March 22 at the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. Participation continues to grow as 873 archers from 32 schools have qualified to compete. The 2013 State Tournament drew about 700 archers. 400 students competed in 2012. Top finishers qualify for the NASP National Tournament to be held May 9-10 in Louisville, Kentucky.

“We are proud of the student-athletes who are coming to Springfield to represent their schools in the State Tournament,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller. “Outdoor sports are a growing part of extra-curricular programs at many schools in Illinois, and we look forward to seeing these accomplished young men and women compete.”

Students will compete in three divisions, including Elementary (Grades 4-5), Middle School (Grades 6-8) and High School (Grades 9-12). Members of the Illinois Archery Association provide volunteer support for the event. Last year’s state champions were Schlarman Academy High School of Danville (Grades 9-12), Georgetown-Ridge Farm Junior High School (Grades 6-8), and Jefferson Elementary School in Charleston (Grades 4-5).

NASP is a nationally acclaimed youth archery program that implements a curriculum-based archery education program into the public/private school system through the physical education department. The program started in Kentucky in 2002 and has expanded to include 12,000 participating schools and one million students in five countries. Illinois was one of the first 10 states registered in the program.

Qualifying schools include:

Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire

Armstrong Potomac Grade School

Armstrong Potomac High School

Athens High School

Canton High School

Canton Ingersoll Middle School

Centennial High School, Champaign

Central High School, Champaign

Chicago Military Academy

Cuba High School

Evansville Attendance Center

Ewing Grade School

Foreman High School, Chicago

Georgetown-Ridge Farm High School

Georgetown-Ridge Farm Middle School

Highland Middle School

Jefferson Middle School, Champaign

Lane Tech College Prep, Chicago


Mark Bills Middle School, Peoria

Metamora St. Mary’s

Metamora Township High School

Next Generation School, Champaign

Oswego High School

Phoenix Military Academy, Chicago

Pinckneyville High School

Pinckneyville Junior High School

Riverton High School

Roberto Clemente High School, Chicago

Schlarman Academy, Danville

Tremont High School

Washington Middle School, Springfield

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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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