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Archive for July 16th, 2014

Jews Join in Mourning Gaza

Posted by Admin On July - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on Jews Join in Mourning Gaza

Jewish Voice for Peace joins with others to mourn the casualties of Israel’s aggressive war in Gaza. The event will be held at the  Israeli Consulate General, 500 W. Madison St., Chicago, today, Wednesday, June 16th, 2014, from 4:00-5:30 P.M.

The Chicago branch of Jewish Voice for Peace, in partnership with the American Friends Service Committee and the Chicago Anti-War Committee will hold an event to express grief of Palestinians and the world at the nearly 200 Palestinians dead as a result of Israeli bombardment of the Gaza strip. Communities in Palestine and across the world are reeling, and we will join members of various faiths in mourning the passing of those killed, 80% of whom were civilians. As American Jews, we will also call for accountability for Israel and the U.S.’s role in the suffering: as long as Israel maintains its occupation of the West Bank and ongoing siege of Gaza, we must call for an end to US military aid to Israel and heed the international Palestinian call for nonviolent resistance to Israeli brutality through boycotts and divestment form companies that profit from the occupation, and sanctions against Israel for its human rights violations.

The trauma of Palestinians who have lost friends and family members to Israel’s bombardment must be made visible and prominent in the United States. The United States Government is directly responsible for Israel’s attacks on the people of Gaza. The U.S. gives Israel $3.1 billion a year: our tax dollars are being used to kill civilians overseas. Major U.S. corporations, as well, profit from the bloodshed and have a stake in continuing it.

VIDEO/PHOTO: Follow @ChicagoDivests and @ChicagoJVP on Twitter.

Vigil Facebook Event

Chicago Jewish Voice for Peace

American Friends Service Committee

Chicago Anti-War Committee

Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org) is a national, grassroots organization dedicated to achieving a just and lasting peace that recognizes the aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians for security and self-determination. Jewish Voice for Peace has over 130,000 online supporters, 40 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Cabinet, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.

Religious/Community Leaders Take Aim at GOP Attack on Youth Program

Posted by Admin On July - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on Religious/Community Leaders Take Aim at GOP Attack on Youth Program

CHICAGO, IL – Elder Kevin Anthony Ford, Father Michael L. Pfleger, and other faith/community-based leaders from Chicago’s impacted communities will hold a press conference and rally 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 16, 2014, outside of the Bilandic Building, 160 North LaSalle, Chicago, IL, 60601.

Ford, who is executive director of the St. Paul Church of God in Christ Community Development Ministries, Pfleger, head of Saint Sabina, and others will discuss Republican efforts to spend state time and taxpayers money on a 2010 now defunct anti-violence program instead of focusing on supporting efforts to improve the quality of life for youth in Illinois.

Housing Group Announces Unprecedented Home Mortgage Modification for Laid-Off State Employee

Posted by Admin On July - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on Housing Group Announces Unprecedented Home Mortgage Modification for Laid-Off State Employee

Press Conference – Wednesday, 7/16 – 10:15 a.m.  – 1401 E. 75th Street Chicago, IL 60619

CHICAGO, IL -  Laid off IL state employee CeCe Edwards will be joined by members of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign to announce the unprecedented home mortgage modification agreement this local housing group recently helped her to negotiate with her lender, Wells Fargo bank. With the support of this housing group, Ms. Edwards reached an agreement that will not only stop her from going into foreclosure, but also significantly shrinks her mortgage principal from $260,853 to just $46,000, a more than two hundred thousand dollar reduction that effectively shrinks her monthly payments by two-thirds.

Like many Chicago area homeowners, Ms. Edwards has spent most of the economic recession with an “underwater” home loan, owing more on her home loans than the property’s actual value. According to an April 2014 report by RealtyTrac, roughly 47 percent of Chicago-area homeowners with a mortgage were underwater, with nearly a third dealing with at least 25 percent negative equity. A 2012 National Mortgage Settlement required the country’s five largest banks to offer qualified borrowers principal reductions, but these lenders have often been reluctant to provide families with the relief that would keep them in their homes.

“The only way we can help struggling families in this city is with principal reduction,” explained Ms. Edwards. “This is actually making it affordable for me to stay in my home. But they only gave it to me because I fought for it. If other people fight, they’ll win too.”

Ms. Edwards purchased her Chatham area home in 1999. A decade later, when she found herself defaulting on her Wells Fargo home mortgage, Ms. Edwards sought out and hired an ‘mortgage defense’ attorney, only to find that he failed to deliver on his promises of relief. Instead, it was only after coming to the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign’s weekly meetings that found their step-by-step process of reaching out to her elected officials and rallying her neighbors helped to slow her foreclosure.

In April, Ms. Edwards traveled with the Home Defenders League, a national network of struggling homeowners, to present her case directly to Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf. During the bank’s Board of Director’s meeting, Ms. Edwards spoke out passionately about the difficulties she faced trying to get a loan modification and the need for assistance for disabled borrowers like herself. At the same time, the Anti-Eviction Campaign members continued to draw attention to her case by circulating an on-line petition and organizing a demonstration at Wells Fargo’s main branch in the loop, prompting negotiations with the bank’s executive response unit that eventually proved successful.

While celebrating her success, the Anti-Eviction Campaign is also recovering from a break-in and attempted eviction from its South Side by Safeguard Properties, LLC, a company currently being sued by the Illinois Attorney General’s office for illegally evicting hundreds of Illinois families. .

“The banks have tried to intimidate us because of the work that we do helping families to fight for the human right to housing,” offered campaign organizer Toussaint Losier. “They want us to walk away, but CeCe’s case shows us that if we stand up and fight, we might get knocked down, but we will win in the end. We hope that her success will open up principal reduction opportunities for other families.”

In addition to fighting to save her home, Ms. Edwards has also had to fight to win back her job with the state’s Department of Professional Regulation. In 2009, she suffered a herniated disc stemming from a case of workplace violence and found herself unable to work or collect unemployment and an abusive supervisor attempted to stop her from collecting workers compensation. She is currently suing the state of Illinois to be reinstated to her former job.

What: Announcing details of unprecedented modification

When: Wednesday, July 16th at 10:15 a.m.

Where: Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, 1401 E. 75th Street,, Chicago, IL 60619

For more information, contact the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign 773-236-0559

Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate

Posted by Admin On July - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate

The following nominations were sent to the Senate:

Craig B. Allen, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Brunei Darussalam.

Sharon Block, of the District of Columbia, to be a Member of the National Labor Relations Board for the term of five years expiring December 16, 2019, vice Nancy Jean Schiffer, term expiring.

Jane D. Hartley, of New York, to serve concurrently and without  additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Principality of Monaco.

Richard M. Mills, Jr., of Texas, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Armenia.

Joseph L. Nimmich, of Maryland, to be Deputy Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security, vice Richard Serino, resigned.

Anne E. Rung, of Pennsylvania, to be Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, vice Joseph G. Jordan, resigned.

Alissa M. Starzak, of New York, to be General Counsel of the Department of the Army, vice Brad Carson, resigned.

John Francis Tefft, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Russian Federation.

AG Madigan & AG Schneiderman Urge FCC to Strengthen Protection for Net Neutrality

Posted by Admin On July - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on AG Madigan & AG Schneiderman Urge FCC to Strengthen Protection for Net Neutrality

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to strengthen rules to  preserve “net neutrality.” In comments submitted to the FCC and a letter to Chairman Tom Wheeler, Madigan and Schneiderman argue that the FCC must ensure the continued “dynamism of the internet” by protecting its low barriers to entry and equal treatment for all content providers, which can only be upheld through the principles of an open internet, or net neutrality.

“The Internet was built upon a simple but powerful concept that ensured equal access to everyone,” Madigan said. “That standard must be maintained to ensure that the Internet continues to be a driver of innovation and economic opportunity for businesses and an open marketplace for consumers.”

“Preserving one set of rules for everyone includes protecting the right of every business or organization looking to access customers through the web to do so in a competitive manner. It also includes ensuring everyone has free and open access to the internet and the essential services it provides,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “With our letter and comments to the FCC, we are standing up for the new makers, thinkers and entrepreneurs who seek to better the online marketplace, who must be allowed to continue to innovate on the same terms as established businesses.”

In their letter and comments, the attorneys general emphasized the role that net neutrality and non-discrimination principles play in furthering vigorous competition and innovation on the web, enabling startup businesses an equal platform to provide new content to consumers at the same speed as established providers. However, the attorneys general noted, without net neutrality, internet service providers could charge content providers for priority treatment, or access to an internet “fast lane.”

“The Internet is the public square of the 21st Century, and the voices of the ‘digital haves’ will drown out the ‘digital have-nots’,” the attorneys general wrote. “In effect, the Information Superhighway will become a toll road. Those who pay will rapidly reach their audiences, while newcomers, startups and others with limited resources will be left behind.”

The attorneys general encouraged the FCC to change its classification of internet access from an “information service” to a “telecommunications service that provides information.” This would enable the FCC to apply common carrier obligations to broadband providers. The attorneys general argued that such a move would protect net neutrality principles by obligating them to deliver traffic of all users “indifferently,” without depriving them of the ability to efficiently manage their network operations to accommodate “the different costs, functions, and burdens imposed by various users.”

Chicago Area Green Fleet Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

Posted by Admin On July - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on Chicago Area Green Fleet Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

The Illinois EPA is now accepting applications for the Chicago Area Green Fleet Grant Program.  Additional information including eligibility criteria, funding amounts and primary program objectives can be found on the Illinois Green Fleets website at www.illinoisgreenfleets.org. Application forms are also available at this time on the website.

The Program is limited public and private fleets operating in the Chicago area (primarily Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties).  The Illinois EPA is in “application collection mode” right now and may not be able to select the first round of awardees until later this year due to new federal funding requirements. There is no set application due date.  Questions can be sent directly to Darwin Burkhart at Darwin.Burkhart@illinois.gov or call 217/557-1441.
Program Overview
The Illinois EPA received $3 million in federal funding to further promote natural gas and propane vehicles and certain types of alternate fuel-powered off-road equipment in the Chicago area. A major focus of this funding is medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, such as trucks and buses, operated by government or public sector fleets as well as some private fleets whose vehicles serve the public (e.g., commercial school buses, airport or hotel shuttle buses, etc.). In addition, some light-duty vehicles for government fleets will be considered. The funding can also be used as an incentive for the purchase of new off-road equipment that operates with natural gas, propane, or electricity, in which such equipment would normally run on diesel fuel. Specifically, this funding is to be utilized for the following:
  1. For the purchase of new natural gas and propane on-road vehicles
  2. For converting existing conventional vehicles to natural gas or propane using EPA-certified or approved conversion systems, and
  3. For the purchase of new off-road mobile equipment (e.g., construction, quarry, airport, rail yard) that would normally run on diesel fuel to be powered by natural gas, propane, or electricity.

Jesse White Awards More Than $5.7 Million in Adult Literacy Grants

Posted by Admin On July - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on Jesse White Awards More Than $5.7 Million in Adult Literacy Grants

Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White awarded more than $5.7 million in FY15 Adult Literacy Grants to help students develop and enhance their reading, math, writing and language skills.

“I am pleased to provide over 100 local literacy providers with funding that will allow adult students to achieve their utmost potential,” White said.  “I will continue to do all I can to ensure that every citizen of this state has access to quality literacy programs.”

Nearly 22,000 students are served by adult literacy programs across the state.  More than 8,500 volunteer tutors provide training for students to obtain skills that put them on the path to lifelong learning.  Adult literacy projects help Illinois adults, who read below the ninth grade level or speak English at a beginner level, to improve their reading, writing, math and English language skills.

The Adult Literacy Program is administered by the Secretary of State’s Illinois State Library Literacy Office and awards grants in three categories:

  • Adult Volunteer Literacy Grants provide training for volunteers who tutor adults over age 16 in basic reading, math, writing or language skills.  Participating literacy providers may include libraries, volunteer tutoring organizations, community-based organizations, community colleges, regional offices of education, schools (individual and public), pre-school programs, school districts, domestic-violence shelters and correctional facilities.
  • Penny Severns Family Literacy Grants provide educational services to parents and children to enhance basic reading, math, writing or language skills. Programs must partner with an adult literacy provider, child-at-risk agency and a library.
  • The Workplace Skills Enhancement Project provides onsite instructional services to employees of participating Illinois businesses, enabling them to enhance their basic reading, math, writing or language skills and improve their chances for promotion. Eligible employees must read at or below the 9th grade level. Grantees must match the grant award and may also provide instructional services to prospective employees. The fiscal agent and submitting agency may be either the educational partner or the business partner.

People interested in becoming volunteer tutors are encouraged to contact the Illinois Adult Learning Hotline at 1-800-321-9511.

Lt. Governor Simon: Protect Women’s Access to Health Care

Posted by Admin On July - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on Lt. Governor Simon: Protect Women’s Access to Health Care

AURORA, IL —Illinois  Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will tour a health clinic in Aurora today and advocate for full access to birth control coverage and preventive care.

“A woman’s decision to use birth control is a personal one, and her boss should not be able to interfere with it,” Simon said.

Simon’s visit comes after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 30 that some corporate employers can use religious objections to deny access to birth control coverage. Legislation to override the decision is expected to move on Wednesday, and Illinois voters will be asked to weigh in on an advisory referendum in November asking whether any health insurance plan in Illinois that provides prescription drug coverage should be required to include prescription birth control.

TIME: 2:15 p.m.

DATE: July 16

LOCATION: Aurora Health Center, 3051 E. New York St., Aurora

NOTE: Simon’s tour will be private due to patient confidentiality. The media availability will take place in the clinic waiting room.

Illinois Holocaust Museum and Anti-Defamation League Host Family Program to Explore Identity Through Art

Posted by Admin On July - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on Illinois Holocaust Museum and Anti-Defamation League Host Family Program to Explore Identity Through Art
Will take place Sunday, July 27, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

SKOKIE – On Sunday, July 27, the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) will co-present the family program, Who Am I?: Exploring Identity Through Art. Adults and children ages 4 through 14 will explore internal characteristics and traits through the following facilitated, art-based activities:
  • Four to six year olds will enjoy an art and music-based activity drawn from ADL’s “A World of Difference” that helps children respect themselves and others.
  • Seven to nine year olds will participate in ADL’s “What Makes a Group?” that asks children to think about the different groups they belong to and to identify some similarities and differences they share with other participants, allowing children to compare superficial stereotypes and assumptions versus deeper characteristics.
  • Ten to fourteen year olds will use water colors and oil pastels to explore their identity through self-portraiture after being inspired by the Museum’s new special exhibition Charlotte Salomon: “Life? or Theater?”consisting of nearly 300 gouache paintings that offer a rare opportunity to experience a coming-of-age story set amidst Nazi oppression.
  • Older siblings and family members will have the opportunity to take a docent-led tour of the Karkomi Permanent Exhibition.
The over-arching theme of this program coincides with the Museum’s Make a Difference! The Harvey L. Miller Family Youth Exhibition—that teaches young people to respect differences—and the new special exhibition Charlotte Salomon: “Life? or Theater?” consisting of nearly 300 paintings that offer a rare opportunity to experience a coming-of-age story set amidst Nazi oppression.
At the conclusion of each breakout workshop, participants will be ushered to the youth exhibition, where Museum docents will be available to facilitate. Families will also be encouraged to explore the rest of the Museum’s galleries including:
The Illinois Holocaust Museum is the largest facility in the Midwest dedicated to preserving the memories of those lost in the Holocaust and to teaching current generations to fight hatred, indifference and genocide in today’s world. The Museum is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.; Thursday evenings until 8:00 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Learn more at www.ilholocaustmuseum.org. 

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

Rep. Keith Ellison: Tell Congressional Republicans Stop Wage Theft by Federal Contractors – Sign the Petition

Posted by Admin On July - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on Rep. Keith Ellison: Tell Congressional Republicans Stop Wage Theft by Federal Contractors – Sign the Petition
CREDO Mobilize
Tell congressional Republicans: Stop wage theft by federal contractors
Sign the petition â–º

Hard-working Americans should never have to worry that an employer will deny overtime pay, take money out of their paycheck, or engage in other practices known as “wage theft” — especially if that employer is a federal contractor.

But that’s exactly what’s happening right now. Although there are strong labor laws to punish this type of activity, federal contractors are some of the worst offenders when it comes to committing wage theft. However, 204 House Republicans continue to refuse our attempts to protect federal contract workers.

It’s time to tell Congressional Republicans to wake up and stop this illegal wage theft now. That’s why I started my own campaign on CREDOMobilize.com, which allows activists to start their own petitions. My petition, which is to Republicans in the U.S. House, says the following:

Federal contract workers regularly face “wage theft” perpetrated by their employers, including being forced to work “off the clock” or without overtime pay. Support the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ work to keep lucrative government contracts away from law-breaking federal contractors who steal from their employees.

Tell congressional Republicans: End illegal wage theft by federal contractors.

It’s simple — the federal government shouldn’t do business with corporations that break the law. That’s why this summer, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which I co-chair, decided to put an end to federal contractor wage theft for good by introducing amendments to many spending bills brought up in Congress.

We’ll give these 204 House Republicans another opportunity to stand with hard-working federal contract workers, instead of bosses who break the law by underpaying their employees, when we again demand an up-or-down vote on our amendment.

House Republicans must do the right thing and support federal contract workers who have families to feed, parents to look after, and basic needs that can’t be met when wages are stolen.

Will you join me and add your name to my petition urging congressional Republicans to end federal contractor wage theft?

Thank you for your support.

Rep. Keith Ellison

Sign the petition â–º

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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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