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Archive for May 2nd, 2014

NAACP official resigns over fallout from honoring Clippers Donald Sterling

Posted by Admin On May - 2 - 2014 Comments Off on NAACP official resigns over fallout from honoring Clippers Donald Sterling

Los Angeles NAACP President Leon Jenkins rescinded the award honoring Clippers Sterling after a racially-charged tape was released by TMZ

Statement from the national NAACP:

Baltimore, MD – NAACP Interim President and CEO Lorraine C. Miller has accepted the resignation of Los Angeles NAACP President Leon Jenkins.
In his letter of resignation, Mr Jenkins stated, “Please be advised that the legacy, history and reputation of the NAACP is more important to me than the presidency.  In order to separate the Los Angeles NAACP and the NAACP from the negative exposure I have caused the NAACP, I respectfully resign my position as President of the Los Angeles NAACP.”
The national office of the NAACP is developing guidelines for its branches to help them in their award selection process.

$12 Million Dollar Whistleblower Settlement Spotlights Rampant Cheating in Chicago’s Minority Set Aside Programs

Posted by Admin On May - 2 - 2014 Comments Off on $12 Million Dollar Whistleblower Settlement Spotlights Rampant Cheating in Chicago’s Minority Set Aside Programs

Construction Giant McHugh Used Sham Subcontractors to Funnel Money Away from Women and Minority-Owned Firms

CHICAGO, IL– A politically-connected construction giant used half a dozen of the biggest recent public works projects in Chicago as part of a multi-year scam to siphon off government money intended for the City’s women and minority-owned businesses, a 2008 whistleblower suit unsealed today showed.

With promises to help local women and minority-owned businesses, Chicago’s McHugh Construction landed major contracts like the new North Avenue Bridge, the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line and Brown Line expansion projects, and new viaducts for the Kennedy and Dan Ryan Expressways.

Funded with over $150 million in federal and state grants, the contracts were supposed to provide big opportunities for women and minority-owned business to get a foot in the door of the clout-driven world of major public construction.  But the money never made it to the intended businesses.

According to the whistleblower suit unsealed today by the Chicago federal district court, McHugh used two sham companies – ASI, Inc. and Perdel Contracting – to divert almost $40 million in funds that it had agreed to earmark for minority and women owned-firms.

The United States Attorney and Illinois Attorney General today announced that McHugh will pay $12 million to settle the whistleblower case. These prosecutors used federal and state False Claims Acts to take down the politically-connected contractor.  The whistleblower, Ryan Keiser, and his lawyers, Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, had also sought to recover treble damages for the City of Chicago under its false claims act ordinance.

Keiser came forward after McHugh managers insisted that he create false paperwork to cover-up the sham.  “What angered me the most was that McHugh’s managers were so matter-of-fact about cheating the WBE and DBE programs,” he said. Keiser explained that the cheating was visible to anyone who wanted to put a stop to it.

“It happens right out in the open.  So many of the prime contractors are doing it and all of them know what’s happening.  The suppliers have to play along to get the business.  And none of them has any concern that they will get in trouble. The City of Chicago’s leaders and similar politicians throughout the country just don’t seem to care.  That’s why I had to blow the whistle.”

Keiser turned to Loevy & Loevy, a law firm representing plaintiffs in whistleblower and civil rights cases nationwide, to help him bring McHugh to justice.  Attorney Mike Kanovitz guided him through the whistleblower process for six years, culminating in today’s $12 million settlement.

“If not for Ryan’s strength to stand up for what’s right and the outside intervention of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, this major fraud would not have come to light, let alone been stopped,” said Kanovitz.  “I hope this settlement encourages other construction industry insiders and City of Chicago employees to step forward and expose more of this rampant cheating, cheating that passes for business as usual in the world of big public construction contracts.  That would be a good start.”

Keiser and Kanovitz will continue a second portion of the suit that alleges McHugh forced Keiser out of his job after he refused to go along with the fraud.  “Whistleblowers should be honored for the serious contribution they make to our society.  Instead, Ryan was black-balled from a line of work that he loves. That’s not right, and we won’t stand for it,” Kanovitz said.

Kirk, Rubio Call on Kerry to Publicly Reaffirm Conditions on U.S. Aid to the Palestinian Authority

Posted by Admin On May - 2 - 2014 Comments Off on Kirk, Rubio Call on Kerry to Publicly Reaffirm Conditions on U.S. Aid to the Palestinian Authority

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) today called on Secretary of State John Kerry to publicly state that there will be an immediate cut-off of relevant U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority should the unity government it is pursuing fail to comply with the detailed requirements set forth by the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006.

In a letter to Kerry, Senators Kirk and Rubio highlighted the counter-productive steps being taken by the Palestinian Authority after the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Fatah announced plans to pursue a unity government with Hamas, a terrorist organization that has a stated goal of wiping Israel from the map.

“As you know, the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 sets detailed requirements for the continuation of U.S. assistance should Hamas be brought into the Palestinian Authority government. The law is very clear. If Hamas comes to have a role in governance, there must be public acknowledgment of the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist as well as acceptance of all previous agreements the Palestinians have made with Israel, the United States, and the international community,” the senators wrote. “The law also requires that demonstrable progress be made toward dismantling of Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure and purging of individuals with ties to terrorism. Moreover, Hamas would need to halt its anti-American and anti-Israel incitement. The bar is high because the stakes are high and we must make sure to stand firmly by what we have said. Failing to do so will diminish the credibility of the United States.

“Unfortunately, we have already seen reports that influential voices within Hamas say a unity deal would not compel Hamas to recognize Israel’s right to exist,” they added. “It seems clear, therefore, that the current plans for the Palestinian Authority continue to disregard the assurances needed to support Israel’s security and move the Palestinian people further away from the day when they can live in peace.

“Under the unity deal as we understand it, no effort whatsoever will be made to disarm Hamas or even request that it renounce terrorism before joining the PA. Having an armed terrorist group, which is still committed to violence against Israel, as part of the PA government should make that government ineligible for American aid,” they continued. “We urge you to state publicly that there will be an immediate cut-off of relevant U.S. assistance unless there is full compliance with the letter and spirit of all provisions in the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act.”

A PDF of the letter is available here.

African Americans on list of top 100 Greatest Americans

Posted by Admin On May - 2 - 2014 Comments Off on African Americans on list of top 100 Greatest Americans


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – African Americans, from celebrities to politicians and civil rights activists, were recently voted onto a list of the top 100 Americans of all time. More than 1,000 people from across the country were asked to vote on a list of the greatest Americans. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. came in at number five. Rosa Parks, the “mother of the freedom movement” was voted in 10th place, followed by former TV talk show host and media mogul Oprah Winfrey at number 24 and comedian Bill Cosby at number 29.

But by far, the most votes went to ex-presidents. Abraham Lincoln tops the list at number one, followed by Thomas Jefferson and John F. Kennedy. Number four is Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. Former presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harry Truman were voted in at number 16 and 19. President Obama is number 32, just two behind former president Bill Clinton.

Of course, Lincoln is no stranger to the popular crowd. He has long been considered one of the country’s greatest leaders, the 16th American president who led the country through the Civil War and issued the Emancipation Proclamation, paving the way for the abolition of slavery. His Gettysburg Address and second inaugural address are among the most noted speeches of all time. It also can’t hurt that his life was the subject of a critically acclaimed epic historical movie of the same name just two years ago.

‘’Abraham Lincoln is considered by many to be one of the greatest American presidents, and it also seems most see him as the greatest American as well,” said a spokesman for the global market research firm Onepoll.com, which commissioned the survey. ‘’His two terms in office had a huge effect on America as we know it today, and his actions changed the country in so many ways.”

But what classifies as a great American to one person may not be great to another. That’s why the list of the top 100 runs the gamut – from the influential, to the powerful, inspirational, iconic and entertaining.

Other African Americans on the list include basketball star Michael Jordan, actor Morgan Freeman, the late Michael Jackson, actor Will Smith, the late Nat King Cole, singer Stevie Wonder, the late Whitney Houston, actor Samuel L. Jackson, professional golfer Tiger Woods, actress Halle Berry, the late Billie Holiday, singers Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Beyonce and Alicia Keys. Also included is first president George Washington, the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie and animation pioneer Walt Disney. Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb, came in sixth, while Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, came in 12th. Singer Elvis Presley was the highest-ranking celebrity, making it into number 22, a whole ten places ahead of Obama.

Several first ladies are also among the list, including Eleanor Roosevelt, a politician in her own right, Kennedy’s wife Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Hillary Clinton, who went on to become a senator and Secretary of State.

TV stars include Ellen DeGeneres and Jennifer Aniston. Also listed are Hollywood greats such as Marilyn Monroe, Steven Spielberg, Katherine Hepburn and Tom Hanks. Other singers include Frank Sinatra, Dolly Parton, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears.

1. Abraham Lincoln
2. Thomas Jefferson
3. John F Kennedy
4. Neil Armstrong
5. Martin Luther King
6. Thomas Edison
7. George Washington
8. Benjamin Franklin
9. Orville and Wilbur Wright
10. Rosa Parks
11. Franklin Roosevelt
Henry Ford
13. Steve Jobs
14. Walt Disney
Bill Gates
Dwight Eisenhower
Alexander Hamilton
Amelia Earhart
19. Harry Truman
20. Eleanor Roosevelt
Andrew Carnegie
Elvis Presley
Jackie Kennedy Onassis
24. Oprah Winfrey
Andrew Jackson
26. Muhammad Ali
27. Ernest Hemingway
Steven Spielberg
Bill Cosby
Bill Clinton
Chuck Yeager
Barack Obama
Michael Jordan
Morgan Freeman
George Bush Sr.
36. Tom Hanks
Michael Jackson
Clint Eastwood
Hilary Clinton
Larry Page
George Bush Jr.
Katherine Hepburn
Marilyn Monroe
Frank Sinatra
Ellen DeGeneres
46. J.P Morgan
47. Will Smith
Nat King Cole
49. Judy Garland
Stevie Wonder
51. Dolly Parton
Alfred Hitchcock
George Lucas
Donald Trump
Paul Walker
Whitney Houston
Samuel L Jackson
Christopher Reeve
Angelina Jolie
Dick Van Dyke
Brad Pitt
62. Jennifer Lopez
Martin Scorsese
George Clooney
Leonardo DiCaprio
66. Arnold Schwarzenegger
67. Matthew McConaughey
Ella Fitzgerald
Jennifer Aniston
Taylor Swift
 Jimmy Wales
Tiger Woods
75. Justin Timberlake
76. Tom Cruise
Halle Berry
Janet Jackson
79. Mariah Carey
Alicia Keys
Quentin Tarantino
Will Ferrell
84. Jennifer Lawrence
Katy Perry
Robert Downey Jr.
Christina Aguilera
Seth MacFarlane
Lady Gaga
91. Billie Holiday
Selena Gomez
Tina Fey
94. Jennifer Garner
Steve Carell
96. Miley Cyrus
Kim Kardashian
98. Paul Rudd
99. Britney Spears
100. Robert Rodriguez

About OnePoll
OnePoll is a global online market research organization that regularly provides statistics and data for everyone from large corporations to small and medium sized enterprises. They specialize in providing newsworthy data regarding interesting trends and topics to media outlets around the world.

$26.3 Million Recovered from Unemployment Fraud Brings Program’s Three-Year Total to $120 Million

Posted by Admin On May - 2 - 2014 Comments Off on $26.3 Million Recovered from Unemployment Fraud Brings Program’s Three-Year Total to $120 Million

Integrity effort protects workers and employers

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois so far this year confiscated $26.3 million in federal tax refunds from individuals who knowingly collected unemployment insurance while working, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said today. The three-year-old program has recovered $120.57 million through tax garnishments and convincing individuals to enter into repayment plans to pay off their debt.

Individuals who owe IDES money because of fraud will not receive future benefits until that debt is paid.

“Illinois workers are honest and proud. Those who steal money from the fund used to help our neighbors who are out of work must be held accountable,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “We are not talking about innocent people who made a one-time mistake. They knew they were lying, refused to consider a repayment plan when they were caught, and made enough money at work to earn a tax refund.”

In the past three years, IDES confiscated federal tax refunds 58,376 times. If a refund is not enough to repay the debt, and the individual continues to refuse a repayment plan, IDES will garnish future refunds until the debt is paid. Data shows that this process is changing behavior. In 2012, the first year of the federal tax garnishment, 922 people entered into repayment plans. This year, 3,495 have agreed to a repayment plan.

Protecting the integrity of the Trust Fund is paramount. Money that pays for unemployment insurance benefits comes from a business payroll tax. The Trust Fund’s balance is among the factors considered when determining the payroll tax amount. The lower the Fund balance, the higher the payroll tax. Bi-partisan reforms enacted in 2011 enabled IDES to use this garnishment tool.

IDES integrity programs are catching waste, fraud and abuse more quickly than ever before. In many cases, the fraud is identified before a single benefit payment can be made. When that does not occur, Illinois garnishes tax refunds. It also will confiscate lottery winnings from individuals who wrongfully collected unemployment.

Employers play a critical role in fighting unemployment fraud. IDES contacts employers when an unemployment application is received so the employer can accept or challenge the claim.

President Obama Nominates Judge Pamela Pepper to Serve on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Posted by Admin On May - 2 - 2014 Comments Off on President Obama Nominates Judge Pamela Pepper to Serve on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

WASHINGTON, DC – President Barack Obama nominated Judge Pamela Pepper to serve on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

“I am proud to nominate Judge Pepper to serve on the United States District Court bench,” said President Obama.  “Judge Pepper has a long and distinguished record of service, and I am confident she will serve on the federal district court with distinction.”

Judge Pamela Pepper:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Judge Pamela Pepper has been the Chief Bankruptcy Judge in the Eastern District of Wisconsin since 2010, having served as a Bankruptcy Judge in the same district since 2005.  From 2005 to 2009, Judge Pepper also served as a Bankruptcy Judge in the Southern District of Illinois.  From 1997 to 2005, she worked in private practice as a criminal defense attorney, where she handled both trials and appeals in state and federal courts.  Judge Pepper served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Wisconsin from 1994 to 1997 and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois from 1990 to 1994.  She began her legal career as a law clerk to Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit from 1989 to 1990.  Judge Pepper received her J.D. in 1989 from Cornell Law School and her B.S. in 1986 from Northwestern University.

Hispanic College Enrollment Up, But Not By Enough

Posted by Admin On May - 2 - 2014 Comments Off on Hispanic College Enrollment Up, But Not By Enough

Hispanic College Enrollment Up, But Not By Enough

New America Media
By Irene Florez

Recent data show that nationwide Hispanic/Latino and Chicano college admissions are on the rise, with Hispanic figures now outpacing white enrollment at some schools. But Hispanic education experts say the numbers are not high enough.

Patricia Gandara, research professor and co-director of The Civil Rights Project at UCLA, and and commissioner with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics calls the numbers “disastrous.”

“We can’t sustain an economy this way,” she said, noting that only 11 percent of Hispanic adults in California have a bachelor’s degree. “Very soon half of the graduating class [in California] will be of Hispanic origin. If they are only getting degrees at a rate of 11 percent, we are heading in the wrong direction. It is disastrous for the community and disastrous for the state.”

The Rise

Hispanic or Latino?

Both terms are used by the U.S. government, and many organizations use the terms interchangeably.

According to the PewResearch Hispanic Trends Project most native Spanish speakers don’t have a preference for either term, but among those who do, “Hispanic” is preferred over “Latino”—33 percent versus 14 percent. This choice is especially true in Texas. Among Hispanic Texans 46 percent prefer the term Hispanic, while just 8 percent say they prefer the term “Latino.”

Cuban American or Mexican American Chicano, or?

PewResearch says that of Americans who trace their roots to Spanish-speaking countries, most identify themselves by their family’s country of origin instead of with one pan-ethnic label.

This year the University of California reported that they added more ethnic designations to their freshman application. The application now has 69 categories including Caribbean, Cuban American, Latin American Latino, Mexican American Chicano, Puerto Rican, Other Black and Other White Caucasian. Tracking data related to the new ethnic assignation options is not yet available.

Latinos continue to gain more degrees year after year. As of 2012, there were 2.4 million Hispanic 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college, representing 19 percent of all college students, compared to 12 percent in 2008. From 2001 to 2011, the number of Hispanics with a bachelor’s degree rose from 11.1 percent to 14.1 percent.

But, the rise isn’t limited to Hispanic students. In the last twenty years, Whites, Blacks, Asians/Pacific Islanders and Hispanics have all seen improvements in bachelor degree attainment rates. Nationwide, up to 60 percent of Asians/Pacific Islanders obtain at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to 40 percent for Whites, 23 percent for Blacks and 15 percent for Hispanics.

Another area of concern is the fact that in states like California and Texas, completion rates for first-time, full-time Latino freshman – 15 percent and 17 percent, respectively – continue to lag behind other groups.

Moving Forward

According to Excelencia in Education, a non-profit focusing on Latinos in higher education, for the United States to regain the top global ranking for college degree attainment, Latinos will need to earn 5.5 million more degrees by 2020.

That would go a long way toward boosting the nation’s economic and political vitality, according to one study by the Washington-based think tank Center for American Progress.

The study, which outlines the benefits enjoyed by those with at least a bachelor’s degree, shows college graduates earn more, access more opportunities, show greater rates of civic engagement and have a higher quality of life overall. The authors note that in 2006 the average annual income for a college graduate was $56,897 compared to $30,072 for a high school graduate. And that gap continues to widen for those with masters degrees versus those who hold only a bachelors.

Hans Johnson, co-director of research for the Public Policy Institute of California and author of Closing the Gap: Meeting California’s Need for College Graduates, says that California still has a long way to go. The state needs many more college graduates before it can meet labor market demands.

“When we look at Latino attainment levels we see strong progress in the first generation but that progress still leaves US-born Latinos far short of other groups in terms of college completion,” he said.

In California, Hispanics surpass white enrollment

California is home to a third of the nation’s Hispanic population. As of March of this year, California Latinos now represent 39 percent of the state population, making them the single largest ethnic group in the state.

And for the first time, the state’s premier public institution of higher education, The University of California, announced in April that it had accepted more Hispanic/Chicano students than white students. (This number was an aggregate of all Hispanic, Latino and Chicano students.)

Last year Latinos made up 27.6 percent of those admitted for the freshman class. This year, Latinos made up 28.8 percent of the 61,120 Californians admitted for this fall’s freshman class across the UC system’s nine undergraduate campuses. In total, nearly one thousand more Hispanic and Chicano students were admitted this year compared to last year.

Next year, the University of California will have even more data available about Hispanic admissions, thanks to the addition this year of more ethnic designations to their freshman application. As of 2014, UC’s application has 69 categories including Caribbean, Cuban American, Latin American Latino, Mexican American Chicano, Puerto Rican, Other Black and Other White Caucasian.

As California goes, so goes the nation

Still, experts say that the latest increase in Hispanic admissions at the University of California isn’t a surprise, and that it’s more a reflection of changing demographics already underway.

“Increasing numbers of students admitted to UC is good news but it’s also what you’d expect given the demography [and] high school graduation rates in the state,” said Johnson, of the Public Policy Institute of California.

According to Excelencia in Education, in California, Hispanic students make up over half of the K-12 population; in Texas it’s just under half. In Florida, 22 percent of children in K-12 are Hispanic. Nationally, Latino youth represent 22 percent of the K-12 public school population.

The numbers say it all

Mark Hugo Lopez, Director of Hispanic Research at PEW Research says that Hispanic college admission gains are a reflection of trends. There are more college-age Latinos and the share of Latinos finishing high school and choosing to go to college is also growing.

“These changes are more amplified when you look at young people,” he said. “Nationwide Hispanics make up 17 percent of the population, but among 18-29 year olds they make up 21 percent of the population.”

Given those numbers, Gandara says more change needs to happen to make Hispanic enrollment a more accurate reflection of the growth of the population.

Major sponsorship announcement will bolster Divvy’s success

Posted by Admin On May - 2 - 2014 Comments Off on Major sponsorship announcement will bolster Divvy’s success

Support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is one more sign that bike sharing has come of age in Chicago

CHICAGO, IL — Chicago’s new bike-sharing system is poised to see even greater success thanks to a $12.5 million sponsorship arrangement with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.

“It’s a fantastic fit for Divvy,” said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “This sponsorship deal ensures Divvy will have even more of a positive impact in the way people get around Chicago.”

By the end of this year, Divvy plans to increase the number of docking stations in the city from 300 to 475. Chicago will then have the highest number of bike share stations in the nation.

The sponsorship deal will last over a five year period. The city plans to use the $2.5 million in annual funds from the partnership to expand the Divvy system and enhance bicycling in Chicago. The funds will be used for securing equipment to sweep and plow bike lanes; more bike lane materials like bollards, signage and striping; and more bike ambassadors on the streets to educate people about bike safety.

“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois’ support will benefit Divvy riders as well as anyone who rides a bike in Chicago,” said Burke. “It’s an excellent sponsorship fit because it emphasizes the connection between biking for transportation and better public health.”

Less than one year after its launch, Divvy’s success has exceeded most people’s expectations. Last week, Divvy announced that the bikes have been taken on one million trips totaling 2.5 million miles.

Active Trans has been an ardent supporter of launching and expanding bike sharing in Chicago. Currently, Active Trans members receive a $10 discount on annual Divvy memberships.

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. Formerly the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, the Active Transportation Alliance is supported by more than 7,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 35 full-time staff.

For more information about the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.

Twin Brothers Launch New Online Hip Hop College

Posted by Admin On May - 2 - 2014 Comments Off on Twin Brothers Launch New Online Hip Hop College

Inkster, MI (BlackNews.com) — Twin brothers, Antoine and Santoine Jackson have launched a new website that comprehensively outlines the business of music and entertainment. The site, a virtual university, is a curriculum-centered portal through which students gain applicable knowledge on navigating effectively through the entertainment industry.

TheCollegeofHipHop.org teaches knowledge seekers the fundamentals of the entertainment business through a series of technology-based seminars, blogs and info sessions centered around a core program. The program has been designed specifically for artists, entrepreneurs and industry professionals interested in gaining access to insider information.

Fundamentals of the entertainment business are taught online for a donation of $19.99 for the entire year. Once enrolled, students will have 24-hour access to information pertaining to publishing, copyright protection, encoding, vocal training, choreography, etc. New, compelling lessons are uploaded each month that offer students an across-the-board analysis of each subject matter.

By accessing the web site at www.thecollegeofhiphop.org, future and potential students will open themselves up to a world of knowledge they can receive in an easy to follow format that will walk them through the music business, step-by-step. The college bills itself as a premier online learning institution that uses dynamic, thought provoking lessons to deliver valuable information to aspiring entertainers and industry entrepreneurs.

Antoine and Santoine Jackson are identical twins whose lives were heavily influenced by music. The idea of opening an online university took shape while the two were students at the University of Phoenix’s Business and IT programs respectively. The College has been accepting students since April 2013.

For more info and media contact call Santoine Jackson (313) 212-5800 or email info@tcohh.org

Community activist and labor organizer announces independent bid for 25th Ward Aldermanic seat

Posted by Admin On May - 2 - 2014 Comments Off on Community activist and labor organizer announces independent bid for 25th Ward Aldermanic seat

Letters to Editors

“Solis has sold our communities out for too long,” says community activist Jorge Mújica in announcing independent campaign as socialist candidate in challenge to corporate darling incumbent.

CHICAGO, IL – One of Chicago’s most well-known and respected community activists is challenging one of Chicago’s most politically connected and unaccountable aldermen for a seat on the City Council. The race pits Jorge Mújica — an award-winning journalist and long-standing activist for labor and immigrant rights — against one of the city’s most powerful aldermen, the 25th Ward’s Danny Solis, who has drawn the ire of local residents for supporting school privatization, corporate pinstripe patronage and developer deals that are driving up rents and displacement in the heavily immigrant and working class ward.

Mújica, who is fluent in both English and Spanish, was one of three core conveners of Chicago’s historic immigrant rights marches in 2006, which put an estimated 1 million people on the streets to call for humane, fair immigration reform. He ran for the US Congress in 2009, representing the immigration movement in the electoral arena as a counterweight to the 3th District incumbent’s refusal to take a firm line on basic human rights for immigrants, including those without documents.

Mújica emigrated to the United States from Mexico in 1987, working first as a journalist in Chicago at several Spanish language newspapers and at both Univision’s and Telemundo’s local Spanish-language TV outlets, winning two first place awards from the National Association of Hispanic Publishers for his work. In the last 15 years, he’s also worked extensively with labor unions in election campaigns, organizing efforts, pickets and strikes, and also belongs to a number of community organizations that address immigrant rights issues that range from remittances to the right to vote from abroad. He currently works as lead strategic campaigns organizer for Arise Chicago, a non-profit organization tackling systemic poverty and the needs of low-wage workers with the support of a broad coalition of faith-based and labor groups.

Mújica is also running this time not as an independent Democrat, but as an openly socialist candidate. And his campaign has won support from perhaps the nation’s most prominent independent socialist elected official, Kshama Sawant, who recently won a seat on Seattle’s city council as a socialist in a campaign that drew national attention — and support.

Mújica’s campaign has launched a website that he and his supporters are fleshing out with information on core issues and his legislative agenda — which includes support for a $15-an-hour minimum wage in Chicago, opposition to public school privatization and neighborhood school closures, legislative steps to end wage theft for low and middle-income workers, and a policy of refusing to support development that drives displacement and undercuts affordable housing for the residents of the ward’s neighborhoods, which include Pilsen and parts of Chinatown, University Village, Little Italy, Tri-Taylor and the near west side.

Mújica’s campaign will accept no funding from corporations, developers, or Chicago’s political machine bosses.

Local residents have been working for months to pull together a coalition of community activists and grassroots projects willing to support a truly independent, openly Socialist candidate free of the shackles of a Democratic Party elite that routinely prioritizes profits for their politically connected donors over the daily needs of ordinary people.

“A growing number of Chicagoans live paycheck to paycheck in neighborhoods that are economically depressed, disenfranchised from city services, and polluted by fat cats like the Koch Brothers petcoke operation,” says Mújica. “Republicans and Democrats alike are incapable of raising real solutions because both parties represent the interests at the root of the problem: corporate education profiteers, real estate developers, and poverty-wage employers.”

“We live in a working class city. It is our labor, our skills, our ingenuity, and our pride that built this city, and that keep it running every day. Yet most of us are overworked and underpaid. We face a real crisis — not one of resources or possibilities, but of priorities. Until we create our own political voice, working people will remain locked out of political power, left to protest on the sidelines. We need to declare our independence by creating a real alternative to Democrats and Republicans: a Socialist one, grounded in a commitment to put people before profits. Real change is never handed down by politicians. Real change is won by people standing together and building movements.”

Campaign supporters include education activists, immigrant rights activists, housing rights activists and local residents fed up with the incumbent’s dismissive approach to local community members’ wishes — from the struggle to preserve Whittier School’s beloved La Casita Field House to local calls for more accountability from real estate developers.

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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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