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Until we engage children, youth and families are around serious survival and developmental needs we ...
The View From The Top: A Reprint from the Invisible Institute By Curtis Black A sergeant and ...
The Chicago Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression will hold a press conference today, Thursday, ...
  Dozens of Rogers Park tenants will gather Monday morning, February 18th, to stand up to the ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced the House Consumer Protection Committee unanimously voted ...

Archive for July 14th, 2014

CBC says Resolution by House Republicans to Sue President Obama “…Is an Insult to Our Political Process…”

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CBC Chair Fudge’s Statement on Republicans’ Resolution to Sue the President

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) released the following statement on the House Republican’s draft resolution to sue the President Barack Obama over alleged abuses of executive authority:

“Once again the House Republican Leadership has shown its complete disregard for the democratic process and for the American people. While Speaker Boehner could focus on passing legislation that would address any of the many challenges facing our nation – economic recovery, education, immigration reform or voting rights –he has chosen to bring a frivolous lawsuit against the President of the United States.

“Instead of doing the work that will help this nation progress, Republican Leadership has decided to throw taxpayer dollars down the drain with another meaningless stunt that will benefit no one – not even their own party.

“This resolution is an insult to our political process and is merely a distraction from the real problems occurring within the Republican Party. It is an effort to deflect attention away from the fact that under their leadership, this has been the least productive Congress in this history of this country.

“Through consistent obstruction, dysfunction and a steadfast unwillingness to serve the American people, Republican Leadership has once again abused their power as they continue to demean and disgrace this House.”

Attorney General Madigan Recovers $84 Million for Illinois’ Pension Systems, Consumers in Citigroup Settlement

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Madigan Recoups Full Losses to Pension Funds for Citigroup Mortgage-backed Securities, Obtains Additional $40 Million in Consumer Relief

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced an $84 million settlement with Citigroup as a result of the bank’s misconduct in its marketing and sale of risky residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) leading up to the 2008 economic collapse. The agreement is part of a national settlement forged by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and also joined by attorneys general from California, Delaware, Massachusetts and New York. The settlement includes $44 million in relief to fully recover for losses incurred by Illinois’ pension systems and $40 million in consumer relief.

An investigation by Madigan’s office revealed that between 2006 and 2007 Citigroup failed to disclose the true risk of RMBS investments to Illinois’ pension systems and therefore misled the systems when they invested in the RMBS market.

“This relief will fully restore the losses Illinois’ pension systems incurred as a result of Citigroup’s fraudulent schemes in the mortgage-backed securities market, and it will provide much-needed aid to Illinois homeowners who are still paying for Wall Street’s reckless actions,” Madigan said. “This settlement is the latest in my ongoing commitment to recover critical funds not only for homeowners but also for the state as we continue to address Illinois’ financial crisis.”

The settlement requires Citigroup to pay a total of $44 million to the Illinois Teachers Retirement System, the State Universities Retirement System, and the Illinois State Board of Investment, which oversees the State Employees’ Retirement System, General Assembly Retirement System and Judges’ Retirement System.

Citigroup also will provide at least $40 million in consumer relief, including assistance for homeowners and renters as well as funding for blight reduction. An independent monitor will be appointed to oversee the relief distribution.

Today’s settlement is the second agreement Madigan has secured as part of her work on the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group under President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. In 2013, Madigan announced that Illinois’ pension systems would receive over $100 million from JPMorgan Chase & Company to settle similar allegations about its marketing of risky securities investments.

Long before today’s settlement announcement, Attorney General Madigan has led the country in taking legal action against banks, lenders and other financial institutions for unlawful financial misconduct that contributed to the country’s economic collapse.

Madigan was a lead negotiator in the $25 billion national mortgage settlement with the country’s largest mortgage servicers – Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ally Bank, formerly GMAC – that addressed allegations of widespread “robo-signing” of foreclosure documents and other fraudulent practices banks employed while servicing mortgages of struggling homeowners. As a result of Madigan’s leadership, Illinois borrowers have received over $2.4 billion in direct relief.

Madigan also was the first attorney general in the nation to sue a national bank for fair lending violations. Madigan and DOJ secured a $175 million national settlement to resolve allegations that Wells Fargo illegally targeted African American and Latino borrowers for sales of the lender’s poorest quality and most expensive mortgages during the height of the subprime mortgage lending spree. Madigan and DOJ also reached a $335 million national settlement with Countrywide, once the nation’s largest mortgage lender, to resolve similar allegations of fair lending violations. The settlement has provided restitution to harmed Illinois borrowers and is the largest settlement of a fair lending lawsuit ever obtained by a state attorney general.

Madigan also reached a landmark $8.7 billion national settlement in 2008 against Countrywide for deceptively placing thousands of Illinois homeowners into ultra-risky and unaffordable subprime mortgages. The settlement with Countrywide’s new owner, Bank of America, established the nation’s first mandatory loan modification program.

Currently, Madigan is litigating against the national credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s, alleging that the company compromised its independence as a rating agency by doling out high ratings to unworthy, risky investments as a corporate strategy to increase its revenue and market share.

Who Cares That Deception Will Kill Youth?

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Death Toll rises to over 16 in Chicago’s bloody 4th of July Weekend; 82 shot

By Rev. Harold E. Bailey

President of Probation Challenge & the PCC Network


CHICAGO, IL -  It is reported that Chicago has become the poster child for urban violence, fueled by gangs and involving drive-by shootings or attacks from cars on other vehicles. People of all ages have been shot on streets and in some cases while sitting on their porches. The weekend carnage is the greatest spate of gun violence so far this year, the Chicago Tribune reported.

It has been stated that homicides have actually been going down since 2012 when the city surpassed 500. By 2013, the number of homicides was said to have fallen to 415, still the largest in the nation and substantially more than New York City, with less than 350 and Los Angeles at 255. When computed to the number of murders per 100,000 people, Detroit zooms to the top of the heap in a virtual tie with New Orleans. But Chicago still has the largest number of killings.

Starting of the year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he had good news on crime and violence and that the murder rate was lower than it has been for decades. 2013 was said to have had 415 murders, 88 fewer than in 2012, according to the Chicago Police Department (CPD).  The reports indicated that overall crime was down too…

The news to the taxpayer was a relief! The previous year had been violent, with a brand new resurgence of gang warfare fueled by a long bloody summer. However, 2013’s figures are now coming under scrutiny. Last month Chicago Magazine reported that it knew of ten people who were “beaten, burned, suffocated or shot to death in 2013” who were not included in the official count for “at best, unclear reasons”. The article raised similar concerns over the numbers reported for other crimes. Moreover a recent audit of crime figures from Chicago’s Office of the Inspector General, and a sudden rise in reports of murders this year, have driven speculation that Chicago’s Crime Numbers are Faked.

The recent surge in murders reflects the known fact that most killing in Chicago take place when the weather gets warmer. And, the audit by the inspector general has been widely misinterpreted. It is true that the IG found that police were failing to count crimes with multiple victims as separate offences. It is also correct that this resulted in a 24% underestimation in sample of incidents in 2012. However, Chicago’s police have been massaging their crime figures this way for years, so this wouldn’t explain a sudden downward trend.

The question is whether there has been a recent change in the way crime figures are computed and then reported. If adjustments in procedures were made, transparency with the public should have kicked in.

Chicago’s remarkable drop in crime is very difficult to believe said one critic who refused to be identified, because  Some individuals within the CPD now share their concerns over the accuracy of the figures and are scratching their heads. The source said that she has seen similar drops in crime figures at other police departments after they introduced centralized data-driven performance targets, which put individual officers under pressure to keep their numbers down. The procedure is called the “New York model” as it got its start in New York  in 1994, and has since spread to Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas and New Orleans.

Lord, it hurts so badly when I see your people, not truly acquainted with your Grace, Love and Mercy, to digest anything thrown politically at us. It hurts to know that those you created for your glory, are losing their lives to such crimes as gun violence and multi-assaults!  And, then those hired to face up to the plate, give us bogus lies… It hurts! It hurts when people who have been put into positions of trust, betray you and sell you out for nothing more than 30-pices-of-silver.

The Independence Day massacre in Chicago, will long be remembered because it was written in the sands of time, by multiple shootings that reportedly left at least nine dead and 60 injured. However, many persons close to the physical-stats stated if it is says to be one (60) person… you best believe you can triple those numbers. He also said that those in control of the figures have a habit of hiding correct stats for fear of repercussions from persons on the Fifth Floor and the Chicago Supt of Police.

Kicking off the violent weekend for the city, Corey Hudson, 34, was killed after a car pulled up and someone inside shot him and a friend on the street. According to ABC News station WLS-TV in Chicago there were also three police involved shootings on July 4th alone. At least one suspect involved in one of those shootings was killed.

The eyes of the killing perpetrators who are believed to be gang-related, are misguided and said to be wrongfully focused  on those who were sworn  to serve and protect the public.

Remember In Retrospect: In an unprecedented move to bring down the high murder rate, police were to have new assignments, and would be dispatched by the hundreds in dangerous neighborhoods and government officials were to have worked with community leaders to try to combat violence. This was apparently not a success, as violence continues massively throughout the city.

“We will keep building on our strategy, putting more officers on the street in summer months, proactively intervening in gang conflicts, partnering with community leaders,” Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said in a previous statement.

It hurts because those heading the City of Chicago, are declaring over-and-over again and  without a clue… that Crime is Down!

While some are seeking to figure out methods of trying to help ex-offenders in efforts to  curtail crime, Probation Challenge has success stories with a track-record to prove it.  For more than three-decades Bailey’s program, Probation Challenge, which started from the courtroom of the late Justice R. Eugene Pincham, has returned youth back into society as taxpayers rather than tax burdens. What the enemy intends for evil with our children… Watch God!

Rev. Harold E. Bailey is the President of Probation Challenge.

WWW.ProbationChallenge.org – The Truth Network

Contact: mrheb@aol.com Tel:: 773-978-3706

President Obama Announces New Partnership with the Private Sector to Strengthen America’s Small Businesses; Renews the Federal Government’s QuickPay Initiative

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

As a part of his Year of Action, the President is using the power of his pen and phone wherever he can on behalf of the American people to create jobs and help hard-working Americans get ahead. Today, the President will announce the creation of SupplierPay, a new partnership with the private sector to strengthen small businesses by increasing their working capital, so they can grow their businesses and hire more workers.

To launch SupplierPay, the President is bringing together 26 companies – both large and small – that have committed to the initiative.  For the larger companies, joining SupplierPay demonstrates a recognition that a healthy supply chain is good for business.  For the small business suppliers, benefiting from SupplierPay means having more capital to invest in new opportunities, new equipment, and new hiring.

President Obama, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, National Economic Council Director Jeff Zients, and Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet will host a meeting at the White House today with these businesses and their suppliers to discuss what more can be done to strengthen small businesses, building on the successes of the QuickPay program.

SupplierPay builds on the success of the Federal Government’s QuickPay initiative, which President Obama launched in 2011. QuickPay requires federal agencies to expedite payments to small business contractors with the goal of paying within 15 days.  As a result of QuickPay, we have already seen well over $1 billion in cost savings for small businesses since 2011, leading to greater investment and job creation. SupplierPay is the private sector’s equivalent, where companies have committed to pay small suppliers faster or help them get access to lower cost capital.

Also today, the President is renewing QuickPay for federal small business subcontractors, where the government pays its large contractors faster and, in return, requires them to pay their small business subcontractors faster. QuickPay for small business subcontractors, which began in 2012, was only available temporarily for many small business subcontractors.  Today’s announcement means faster payment for all small business subcontractors and even more business opportunities, more investment in small businesses, and more hiring.

The following companies have signed on to SupplierPay:

Apple Lockheed Martin
AT&T Milliken
Authentix Molina Healthcare
Cardinal Health Nissan
Coca-Cola PG&E
CVS Philips
Ericsson Rolls Royce
FedEx Rothschild North America
Honda Salesforce
IBM Textura
Intuit Toyota
Johnson & Johnson Walgreens
Kelly Services Westinghouse Electric Company
QuickPay and SupplierPay:  Growing our Small Businesses

  • The President’s QuickPay initiative has strengthened small contractors working with Federal Government, cutting in half the time it takes to get paid, reaching 172,000 small businesses, covering $220 billion in contract awards, and generating well over $1 billion for small businesses – freeing up capital to invest and hire new workers.
  • By renewing QuickPay for small business subcontractors, the initiative can expand its impact as large federal contractors pay their small suppliers even faster.
  • The SupplierPay initiative builds off this successful model as large private sector companies are committing to pay small suppliers faster or help them get access to lower cost capital.

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND:

Small business play a vital role in the American economy – employing half of our country’s workforce, creating nearly two out of every three new American jobs, and often being the source of the next great American innovation.

Small businesses were disproportionately impacted by the Great Recession, losing 40 percent more jobs than the rest of the private sector combined. When the President took office small business credit markets were effectively frozen. Today, trends are moving in the right direction; according to a recent survey, small business confidence is near the highest levels since the fall of 2007 and small businesses are back to creating two of out of every three net new jobs.

Small business capital access has been an area of focus for this Administration, starting with the Recovery Act in 2009, the Small Business Jobs Act in 2010 and the JOBS Act in 2012. Collectively, this legislation has been instrumental in driving improvement from the depths of the recession. The Administration has achieved record SBA small business lending volumes and recent Federal Reserve Small Business surveys indicate improved access to financing. Yet, more can be done – too many small businesses still struggle to access the capital they need:

  • A 2014 Pepperdine and D&B study reported that 66 percent of small businesses found it “difficult to raise new business financing.”
  • Capital access challenges are magnified by the fact that small businesses are waiting longer to get paid for their products and services.  According to different estimates, small business invoices go unpaid for 55-60 days on average and payments “past due” are increasing. As a result, small businesses are spending unnecessary funds to cover cash flow issues caused by late payments. These are funds that could be otherwise spent on growing their business and creating new jobs.

SupplierPay Case Studies:

Company Commitment: Intuit

  • By signing onto the White House’s Small Business Supplier Financing Pledge, Intuit commits to taking active steps to lower the working capital costs of its small business suppliers.
  • 10 percent of Intuit’s suppliers are small businesses – approximately 315 companies. Most of its small business suppliers are creative agencies, product development partners and marketing services firms, including many that are women-owned, minority-owned, or veteran-owned.
  • In 2009, when the economy was down and the impact was especially hard on small businesses, Intuit temporarily changed payment terms to pay its small business suppliers more quickly. Since then, the accelerated payment terms were adjusted back as the economy started recovering.
  • In support of the White House’s pledge, Intuit is making a permanent change to its payment term policy to accelerate the payment terms for its small business suppliers who will now be paid within 10 days. This will help those small businesses get the cash they need faster.
Company and Small Business Supplier Case Study:
Molina Healthcare and March Vision Care

  • Molina Healthcare’s commitment to SupplierPay and the White House’s Small Business Supplier Financing Pledge is an outgrowth of the company’s experience working with March Vision Care, one of its small business suppliers.
  • In 2005, Glen March and his wife Cabrini started March Vision Care, a minority and woman owned business, with the idea of providing vision care plans primarily to Medicaid participants.  March Vision was able to land Molina as its first customer, but struggled to access financing as they were turned down by banks and investors.
  • Molina recognized Glen and Cabrini’s potential and provided seed capital directly to them as a new supplier.
  • Today, March Vision Care has grown to over 100 employees, contracts with several healthcare providers and members in 18 states and the District of Columbia.
  • In response to the President’s call to action, Molina is expanding its commitment to its small business suppliers, and in addition to providing favorable working capital, will be creating a seed investment fund to back the launch of other small business suppliers.
Company and Small Business Supplier Case Study:
Apple and Metal Impact

  • Metal Impact, in Elk Grove Village, Illinois is a small supplier working with Apple as part of its domestic manufacturing initiative for the Mac Pro. Metal Impact provides components to the cylindrical aluminum enclosure and is one part of Apple’s $100 million Mac Pro Project, which relies on component and equipment suppliers from 23 states.
  • This partnership represents 18 new jobs and millions of dollars in revenue to Metal Impact.
  • Building the Mac Pro would not have been possible without the manufacturing expertise of dozens of U.S. small businesses, and Apple is supporting the White House’s commitment to ensuring that small businesses get paid faster and have reasonable financing rates so they can continue to hire and grow.

Impact of the QuickPay Initiative:

QuickPay Has Delivered Meaningful Results: QuickPay has accelerated more than $220 billion in payments to federal contractors and generated savings well over $1 billion for small suppliers, increasing growth and jobs.  When businesses get paid faster, their financial footing gets stronger. And with nearly $90 billion each year in federal contracts going to small businesses, cutting in half the time it takes for them to receive payment is a powerful way to help businesses make the decision to go ahead and buy another piece of equipment or hire another worker.

Examples of QuickPay’s Impact

The ELOCEN Group

  • The ELOCEN Group offers consulting services in construction management, interior design, information technology, and facilities/logistics.  ELOCEN’s work has totaled over 40 million square feet in new construction and renovation space managed.
  • “QuickPay has had an incredible impact on the ELOCEN Group.  It has resulted in more working capital, a greater number of satisfied subcontractors and a more profitable overall bottom line for the company.” Necole Parker, CEO of The Elocen Group

Sarakki Associates, Inc.

  • Sarakki Associates Inc. is a multi-disciplinary engineering firm that specializes and provides services to local, State and Federal Governments in Systems Engineering, Information Technology, Border Crossing System, and Intelligent Transportation Systems. SAI started as sole proprietor in 1995 and was incorporated in 2001.
  • “Our company has been a prime contractor to the Federal Government for the past eight years and has experienced firsthand the difference QuickPay has made on the business.  It has improved our bottom line by reducing the cost of doing business and has allowed the company to pay our subcontractors faster.  I no longer have to dip into my personal savings when managing cash flow.”

Illinois Department on Aging Raises Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Campaign Stresses Importance of Reporting Suspected Abuse; 24 Hour Hotline is (866) 800-1409 or TTY (888) 206-1327


SPRINGFIELD, IL -  Governor Pat Quinn has issued a proclamation that July is Elder Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month and the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) is raising awareness through its annual campaign.  Elder abuse refers to a negligent act (physical, sexual, emotional, confinement, passive neglect, willful deprivation, or financial exploitation) by a caregiver or another person known by the victim that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult 60 years of age or older.  (Text of the full proclamation follows the press release).

“No one likes to talk about it, but all too often it happens and most times it goes unreported.  We encourage everyone to break the silence about elder abuse.  If you are a victim or suspect someone you know is a victim, report it.  The sooner we know about the abuse the sooner we can put a stop to it and help the victim,” said IDoA Director John K. Holton, Ph.D.

IDoA operates a 24 hour hotline for the purpose of reporting the abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of an eligible adult.  The number for the 24 hour Adult Protective Services Hotline is (866) 800-1409 or TTY (888) 206-1327. Trained professionals on the hotline take reports of abuse and promptly forward them to local protective service agencies and/or law enforcement.  There are resources to help victims and all calls and information related to suspected abuse are confidential.  In addition to older adults, IDoA extends protective services people with disabilities ages 18 to 59 who live in a domestic setting.

It is estimated about five percent of older adults fall victim to abuse each year.  With more than two million older adults, ages 60 and older in Illinois, means 100,000 fall victim to some form of elder abuse each year.  There are some specific indicators that may help point to abuse:

  • Untreated injuries, bruises, burns, sprains or dislocations, scratches and cuts
  • Sudden changes in behavior, unusual depression and/or withdrawal in social settings
  • Tense relationships/frequent arguments with the caregiver or a caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors
  • Dehydration, unusual weight loss, poor hygiene, untreated health problems, unsafe living conditions; and
  • Sudden financial changes:  bank account/practices, additional names on victim’s bank signature card, unauthorized withdrawal of victim’s funds using victim’s ATM/credit card, & abrupt changes on a will or other financial documents

Since starting the statewide campaign to raise awareness and encourage reporting 10 years ago, IDoA has documented an increase in the number of reported cases. In FY13, IDoA received 11,756 reports.

Next month, IDoA will host the 2nd annual Adult Protection and Advocacy Conference August 20 to 22, at the Oak Brook Hills Marriott, in Oak Brook. IDoA presents the annual conference, formerly known as the Elder Rights Conference, for service providers, advocates and other professionals to get information and learn the latest on the topic of elder rights.

For general information about programs to assist older adults in Illinois and their caregivers, call the Department on Aging Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 or for TTY (hearing impaired use only) call 1-888-206-1327 or log on to the website at www.state.il.us/aging/.

Proclamation by Governor Quinn:

WHEREAS, according to the Illinois Department on Aging, as many as five percent of persons aged sixty and older are subject to some form of abuse, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as financial exploitation and neglect of basic care needs; and,

WHEREAS, Illinois has more than two million citizens over the age of sixty, meaning 100,000 or more older adults in Illinois could currently be victim of some form of abuse; and,

WHEREAS, it is the mission of the Illinois Department on Aging and its network of service providers to increase public awareness of this plight against our most vulnerable elderly; and to promote increased elder abuse reporting; and,

WHEREAS, the Illinois Department on Aging has strengthened protections of people with disabilities and older adults through its Office of Adult Protective Services; and,

WHEREAS, it is essential that the citizens of Illinois recognize the signs of abuse, neglect and exploitation, break the silence and report suspicions of abuse; and,

WHEREAS, it is imperative that each community in Illinois refuses to tolerate these offenses against our older citizens by creating greater awareness of the prevalence and severity of elder abuse in hopes of eradicating it from society:

THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim July 2014 as ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS AND PREVENTION MONTH in Illinois, and encourage all citizens to recognize this crisis and join in working toward its prevention.

Memories

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

By William Spriggs

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Memory is how individuals and societies recall past events. History, in contrast, seeks to collect the actual data of events. In society, memory is important because it forms the narrative on which we build basic concepts that drive policy.

Take this past week when we celebrated the founding of the United States on July 4. Historical facts tell us there are many days we could designate to celebrate the official independence of the United States of America. July 2 was the day the Continental Congress voted to declare Independence. July 4 is when the Continental Congress completed the draft of the Declaration.

Then there were the battles at Lexington and Concord, Mass., in April 1775 that set the colonies on the path to the American Revolutionary War. Or we could look to Oct. 18, 1781, when British troops surrendered to French troops and General George Washington at the battle of Yorktown, forcing the British to the bargaining table.

Then there’s Sept. 10, 1783, when the war officially ended with the Peace of Paris. As you can see there is much more to the history and documentation of the events of that era, yet in the memories of Americans, it is July 4 that marks the founding of a nation that protects individual liberty against government and mob rule, while upholding representative democracy.
Memory is a selection of facts, ignoring those that don’t serve the agreed upon framework. The Civil War is a key example. Another seminal event occurred July 3, 1863, when the failure of Confederate General George Pickett’s charge on Cemetery Ridge in Gettysburg, Pa., forced the retreat of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, ending its last thrust into the North and the beginning of the end of the American Civil War. Gone from America’s memory are the raids led by Confederate soldiers in June and July, in advance of the Battle of Gettysburg to kidnap free African Americans of the Cumberland Valley into slavery. This is to remove the centrality of the maintenance of slavery from the Southern cause and dismiss the pain of slavery, as on a personal level we forget painful incidents with family members.

In assembling arguments for reparations for slavery and America’s history of racial exclusions, journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates underplayed the convenient loss from America’s memory that there were slave owners who received “reparations.” And, until the movie “Glory,” the role of African American troops in the war was not part of America’s memory. My wife’s third great grandfather, Jessie White, enlisted on Oct. 1, 1864, into Company D of the 6th Regiment, U.S. Colored Cavalry, and saw action at two Union victories later in November at the Battle at Marion and the Second Raid on Saltville in southwestern Virginia. His military file includes the claim before the Adjutant General’s Office for $300 to be paid to Daugherty White as compensation for the freedom of Jessie White, his slave, to serve in the defense of the United States of America.

Memory, in part, is the creation of a narrative that serves other concepts-like the meaning of race or patriotism. It also can serve the purpose of class. We are still recovering from the Great Recession of 2008. So far the narrative is that it was a financial collapse and that the quick actions of the Federal Reserve and the bailout through the Troubled Asset Relief Program saved the day. That means we can “remember” this as home loans gone bad. With health restored to Wall Street, we don’t need to do anything more. That serves the purposes of the 1%.

Memories also shape policies to prevent painful policy failures. Why isn’t 2008 remembered like the Great Depression? Conservative economist Milton Friedman and monetarist Anna Schwartz went to lengths to rewrite the Great Depression as a financial sector collapse followed by poor Federal Reserve policy, dismissing the need for Roosevelt’s aggressive government response. Adopting the financial system as central to how we remember 2008 is part of that same anti-government narrative.

Another narrative of 2008 could be this: Long-term imbalances between workers and managers generated huge inequality, resulting in workers’ heavily indebted position and making sustained demand for goods and services to maintain full employment impossible. Remembering 2008 as a financial collapse dismisses the pain of high unemployment in the real economy. That memory would force new policies to correct those imbalances and calls to strengthen policies that ensured workers’ jobs and incomes. Like the memory of the Great Depression.

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

Vice President Joe Biden to Deliver Plenary Address at National Urban League Annual Conference in Cincinnati, July 23-26

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

By Marc H. Morial

President and CEO
National Urban League

“It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.” Whitney M. Young, Jr., National Urban League president, 1961-1971

We are in the final countdown to the kick-off of the 2014 National Urban League Conference, “One Nation Underemployed: Bridges to Jobs and Justice.”  After more than a year of planning and preparation, in less than two weeks, from July 23-26, more than 8,000 participants will convene in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Duke Energy Convention Center for four days of panels, workshops and networking sessions focused on the most pressing social, political and economic issues – and solutions – facing our communities and the nation.  This year, we are excited to welcome Vice President Joe Biden to headline a dynamic roster of thought leaders, influencers, activists and supporters of the Urban League Movement who will bring a diverse range of ideas and insights.  In addition to the Vice President’s plenary speech, this year’s conference will feature the President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Kevin Johnson, along with six other mayors, including Alvin Brown of Jacksonville, Florida and Michael Coleman of Columbus, Ohio.  Additional speakers scheduled to appear include Rev. Al Sharpton, Walmart U.S. President and CEO William Simon, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, OH Senator Nina Turner and KY Senator Rand Paul.  Academy Award winning actor and activist Forest Whitaker will receive a Living Legends Award at our annual Whitney M. Young, Jr. gala on July 26.

Our annual Youth Leadership Summit will bring together 350 young people for four days of rigorous college and career lessons, as well as leadership training.  In addition, our Small Business Matters Entrepreneurship Summit will highlight strategies for starting a business and sustaining wealth, and our Women of Power Awards Luncheon will honor trailblazing women for their outstanding contribution in the areas of arts, politics, journalism, justice and sports and to women’s empowerment. The conference will also include workshops and discussions on important issues such as the fight against voter suppression, the need to raise the minimum wage, affordable housing, and financial literacy.  Accordingly, as we mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the conference will feature panel discussions on both the celebration of a half-century of progress and the continuation of the unfinished business of equal opportunity in America.

Celebrating African American culture and music, on Thursday, July 24, the conference will showcase a star-studded advance screening of “Get On Up,” the life-story of Godfather of Soul, James Brown, starring Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Dan Akroyd, Tika Sumpter and Jill Scott.  On Friday, July 25, the Urban League Live White Party at the Macy’s Music Festival will feature Charlie Wilson, Chaka Khan and Robin Thicke.

We are especially excited to bring this year’s conference to Cincinnati and to partner with our Affiliate, the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati, which is making a notable impact in the local community.  The city has experienced a sea-change in relations between the police and the community since the 2001 race riots which were sparked by a police shooting that killed an unarmed Black man.  Sitting on the historic “borderland” between the north and the south, today Cincinnati has been transformed by a $2 billion investment in new infrastructure and is also home to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

The “Queen City” is waiting to welcome the Urban League Movement for a conference that will empower attendees with unmatched professional, civic engagement, business development, and networking opportunities and energize them to continue our daily work to help realize the full potential of our great nation.  We, along with our presenting sponsors – P&G, Toyota and Western & Southern Financial Group – hope to see you there.  For more information visit: http://conf2014.iamempowered.com.

Denounce John Boehner’s Baseless Lawsuit Against President Obama – Sign The Petition

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

John Boehner’s lawsuit against President Obama is baseless — and a complete waste of OUR tax dollars. But Republican leaders are claiming they already have 1OO,OOO signatures backing Boehner’s lawsuit, so we need to fight back. We’ve set an ambitious goal of 2OO,OOO people denouncing Boehner’s plan to use our tax dollars to sue the President.

Will you sign our petition demanding Boehner drop his baseless lawsuit against President Obama?

BOEHNER’S GONE TOO FAR.

First, he allows the Tea Party to shut down the government. Now, Boehner is suing the President for simply trying to do his job and get things done for the American people.

And he wants to use YOUR tax dollars to do it!

We want to get 2OO,OOO signatures on our petition telling Boehner we do NOT want him using our tax dollars to pay for his frivolous lawsuit against President Obama.

Sign our petition to show Boehner that you won’t let your tax dollars be spent to fund his crusade.

Thanks,

Democratic Headquarters

New Reports: Drug Sentencing & Human Rights

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

(From The Sentencing Project)

I’m pleased to pass along two recent documents on sentencing and human rights issues that The Sentencing Project has submitted to policymaking bodies.

U.S. Sentencing Commission: Sentencing for Drug Offenses

As a result of a determination that federal drug sentences have been too severe, in April the U.S. Sentencing Commission submitted to Congress an amendment that would reduce these penalties by two “levels” in the sentencing guidelines structure. That amendment will go into effect on November 1st unless disapproved by Congress. The Commission will now vote on July 18th on whether to make this amendment retroactive, potentially affecting up to 50,000 persons currently in prison and reducing sentences by an average of nearly two years. Our submission to the Commission argues in favor of full retroactivity, for reasons of fairness, public safety, and reducing racial disparity.

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Racial Disparities

Along with 11 allied civil rights and justice reform organizations, we have also just submitted a shadow report regarding racial disparities in the justice system to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). Our report documents continuing disparities in incarceration, the imposition of juvenile life without parole, the death penalty, and felony disenfranchisement. The review of United States’ compliance with the CERD convention will take place in August.

We will keep you posted on developments with these issues.

Regards,

Marc Mauer

National Black Storytelling Contest Seeks Community Heroes

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Storytelling Contest deadline, September 21, 2014

Baltimore, MD (BlackNews.com) — Who are our unsung, unknown and uncrowned heroes/ sheroes who have had and are having a profound impact on our lives? The National Association of Black Storytellers, Inc. (NABS) encourages our community members to tell family, neighborhood and historical stories, and to enter video narratives into the 2nd annual NABS National Storytelling Contest.

Recently during the most valuable player award ceremony sponsored by the MBA, Kevin Durant, basketball player for the Oklahoma Thunder accepted the award and gave what is being called, “the greatest acceptance speech of all time by an MVP.”  He told the story about his mom and gave her all the credit.  “Mom, you’re the real MVP.”  Kevin Durant used a national platform and took advantage of a great opportunity to crown his mother and make her achievements known to the world.

The NABS National Storytelling Contest: Lighting the Way: Stories of Our Heroes/ Sheroes – In our Homes, Community and in Our Nation provides a nationwide platform for others to tell stories of people who have lit the fire and is lighting the way for hope, strength, courage and empowerment in their lives.

The call is to create, record and share an original story inspired by the NABS’ statement, entitled “The Need to Crown our Heroes/Sheroes.” The competition has a youth and an adult category. Winners in each category will receive a cash prize, along with an opportunity to perform, during the 32nd Annual National Black Storytelling Festival and Conference, to be held in Chicago, IL, November 12-16, 2014. This annual national event draws attendees from across the country.

NABS believes stories are transformative. When we share the courageous victories of our people we pass on invaluable lessons of faith, determination and endurance. We create and sustain a culture that freely speaks out for the rights of freedoms, justice and equality. This call to action is in keeping with the NABS mission to promote and perpetuate the art of Black Storytelling — an art form, which embodies the history, heritage, and culture of African Americans.

NABS is calling all members of the community to encourage one another by making their heroes and sheroes known to the world by recalling and sharing original family stories and oral histories. Storytelling Contest deadline, September 21, 2014.

To read the official NABS statement in its entirety and review guidelines to enter the second annual National Storytelling Contest, as well as register to attend this year’s Festival, please visit www.NABSinc.org

NABS is the authentic voice of Black Storytelling. The contest is sponsored by In FACT, Inc. and the NABS Past Presidents Advisory Council.

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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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