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Archive for August 26th, 2014

Rev. Al Sharpton Calls For United Front In Seeking Police Reform

Posted by Admin On August - 26 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

‘We’re not the haters. We’re the healers’

By Chinta Strausberg

The Rev. Al Sharpton Monday issued a challenge to the thousands of people who attended the funeral of 18-year-old Michael Brown who was gunned down by a Ferguson, MO policeman, to say it’s time to unite and fight for police reform and social justice in America.

Poster size pictures of Brown loomed on both sides of his coffin at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis headed by Rev. Michael Jones, Sr. Among many speakers was Rev. Sharpton who issued a national call of action.

The lawyer for the Brown family, Benjamin Crump, referred to slavery when African Americans were declared three-fifths of a man. “We declare him today as we pay our final respects to Michael Brown, Jr. that he was not three-fifths of a citizen. He was an American citizen. We will not accept three-fifths justice. We will demand equal justice for Michael Brown, Jr.” Crump then introduced Rev. Sharpton.

Saying that children are supposed to bury their parents, Sharpton said the Brown family is being asked to do something that is “out-of-order” and that had Brown lived he would be in his second week of college.

“Religion ought to affirm what we are doing not be an escapism for what is done. Some are so heavenly bound that we are no earthly good,” Sharpton quipped. “Before you get to heaven, before you put on your long robe, before you walk down the streets, you got to deal with the streets in Ferguson and St. Louis. God is not going to judge you by your behavior in heaven. He’s going to judge you what you did on earth….”

Sharpton said dealing with Brown’s murder would require a united front. He spoke about the day Brown was killed and how his body laid out in the middle of the street for nearly five-hours and the resulting violence. “That night violence erupted,” he said which caused the parents of Brown to stop mourning to tell the protesters to stop.  For the day of their son’s funeral, the parents did ask people not to protest rather that it should be a day of peace in the memory of their son.

“Michael Brown does not want to be remembered for a riot,” Sharpton said. “He wants to be remembered as the one that made America deal with how we’re going to police in the U.S.

“This is not about you. This is about justice. This is about fairness and America is going to have to come to terms. There is something wrong that we have money to give military equipment to police forces but we don’t have money for training, money for education, money to train our children,” he said to a thunderous applause.

Sharpton chided the Ferguson police department for not releasing the name of the police officer who allegedly shot Michael Brown for six days resulting in riots, some deaths and looting, but “you can find a video (of Brown at a convenience store).

“How do you think we look when young people march…asking for the land of the free, the home of the brave to hear their cries and you put snipers on the roof and pointed guns at them. How do we look? How do we look when people support the officers, and they have a right to do that and an obligation if they feel that, but if they support him, they are supporters. If we come to support the family, we’re dividing the country.”

Sharpton referred to the policeman who repeatedly punched a black woman on the side of a Los Angeles expressway. “He hit her 15 times…a woman with no weapon. Right after that a man (Eric Garner from NY) they said he had loose cigarettes and they put an illegal chokehold on him…. The man said he couldn’t breathe. A man, a policeman wouldn’t him go. Later that week, we see Michael lying on the ground…. It’s time to deal with policing. “

Referring to the day Brown was shot allegedly by 28-year-old Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson who remains on paid administrative leave, Sharpton focused on the nearly five-hours Brown’s body laid on the ground after he was shot. “It’s time to deal with policing. We’re not the haters. We’re the healers,” he bellowed. “

“We can’t have a fit. We have to have a movement.  A fit, you get mad and run out for a couple of nights. A movement means we’ve got to be here for the long haul and turning our chance into change, our demonstration into legislation. We have got to stay on this so we can stop this,” Sharpton said.

Saying they will need congress to secure legislation “about guidelines in policing,” Sharpton said, “We need to have a fair, impartial investigation. Those that are compromised will not be believed….. We are not anti-police. We respect police, but those police who are wrong need to be dealt with just like those in our community who are wrong need to be dealt with.”

Comparing a bushel basket of apples to police corruption, Rev. Sharpton said, “We must be real today. If you have a bushel of apples…the only thing that messes up good apples is that you don’t take rotten apples out the bushes. We are not the ones making cops look bad. It’s the bad apples that you won’t take out the bushes.”

But, on the other side of that coin, Sharpton made it clear that blacks have to get their act together and that is a mandate from God. “We have to be straight up in our community, too. We have to outraged about a 9-year-old girl killed in Chicago.

“We have to be outraged by our disrespect to each other, our disregard to each our, our killing and shooting and running around gun toting each other” he said serves as a justification by police and an excuse to cover up the crime. Some blacks, Sharpton said, “act like the definition of blackness is how low you can go.

“Blackness has never been about being a gangster or a thug,” Sharpton said. “Blackness (was) no matter how low we were pushed down, we rose up anyhow,” he said to a round of applause. “Blackness was never surrender, our pursuit of excellence.”

As an example, Sharpton said years ago when it was illegal (by law) for blacks to go to some schools,  “we built black colleges and learned anyhow. When we couldn’t go down to church, we built our own AME church and our own Church of God in Christ. We never surrendered. We never gave up and now we’re getting to the 21st Century, we’re getting to where we’ve gotten some positions of power and you decide it ain’t black no more to be successful…. Now, you want to call your woman a ho. You’ve lost where you come from….”

“We got to clean up our community so we can clean up the United States of America,” he said.

Saying he understands why some people say, “but you don’t know what they do to us,” Sharpton reminded them that “nobody is going to help us if we don’t help ourselves. Sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves won’t solve the problems. Fighting, sitting around having ghetto pity parties rather than organizing and strategizing and putting our differences aside.”

Sharpton said while there are things blacks don’t like about each other, “It is bigger than our egos. It’s bigger than who shot John. We need everybody.” Saying it doesn’t matter about the amount of money or education you have, “if we can’t protect a child walking down the street in Ferguson and protect him and bring justice, all you got doesn’t matter to nobody but you.”

“Michael Brown must be remembered “ as the one who started the social change. “This young man for whatever reason appealed to all of us that we’ve got to solve this….” He said Brown’s family will go through a great deal of stress “but their target is all of us. If we cannot focus and do what the Lord requires of us, we’ll be right back here again.”

“The policies of this country cannot go unchallenged. We cannot have aggressive policemen of low-level of crimes and can’t deal with the higher levels. Something’s strange that you can get all of these guns into the hood but you running round chasing folks selling loose cigarettes,” said Sharpton referring to the New York policeman who put him in an illegal chokehold resulting in his death and Brown who was stopped by the police for walking in the middle of the street. “There is something crazy about that kind of policing,” he said.

Saying while police are human, Sharpton said they have a different kind of commitment to the public.“Once you put on that state badge and that gun that is state backed up, you cannot act like another citizen. You are supposed to be trained above that and we should expect that in our community like they did it in any other community.

“No community in America would tolerate an 18-year-old boy laying in the street for 4-and-half-hours,and we are not going to tolerate it either. What ever happened, the value of this boy’s life must be answered by somebody.”

To the family, Sharpton said if you love and believe in God he will “give you strength that you didn’t know you had….” “God will make a way…guide your feet…. The challenge for you is that you must commit that forever reason God chose you and he chose you. Michael’s gone on to get his rest. We are required in his name to change the country.”

Rev. Sharpton told a story about an old preacher who told him a story and how he was reading a novel one night and that he couldn’t put it down. It was 12 midnight and he hadn’t finished the book so he cheated and turned to the end of the book. “I saw how the story ended and that is how I got my rest,” the preacher told Sharpton.

To Michael Brown, Sr. and Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, Sharpton said, “I sat up at the hotel and took out my bible and I turned to the end of the book. I don’t know how long this investigation…this journey will be, but I know how this story will end. The first will be last. The last will be first. The lion and the lamb will lie down together and God will make a way for the children. I’ve been to the end of the book. Justice is going to come,” Sharpton said to a deafening round of applause.

But, there were Chicagoans at the funeral as well like Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., Pastor Ira Acree and Rev. Dr. Marshall Hatch., civil rights activists Bernice King and her brother Martin Luther King III, the children of Dr. King, Hollywood stars like MC Hammer, Wesley Snipes, Spike Lee,  elected officials including Rep. Maxine Waters and Senator Claire McCaskill and radio giant Tom Joyner.

Pastor Acree said he came to the funeral because, “This is clearly a watershed moment for the nation. The world is watching how we handle race relation in America.

“Rev Sharpton was right when he made the statement ‘we must address how we do policing in America.’  I think it is vital that police departments all across America are racial diversity. When you don’t have it, it tends to make the police presence feel like an occupying force to minority community residents,” said Acree.

“There is no reason for Ferguson to have only three black officers on their 53 man police force. That’s a recipe for poor police and community relations in a town that is two thirds African American.

“Hopefully the Mayor of Chicago and Superintendent McCarthy are watching and learn from the Ferguson fiasco because we’ve made the case consistently prior to their arrival, and during their tenure that a city that’s primarily black and brown should have representation on the police force that mirrors those racial demographics,” said Acree.

“It was amazing that Friendly Temple Baptist Church, where the funeral was held, is only 10 miles away from the courthouse where the Dred Scott Decision of 1857 occurred. It stated that Scott could not sue for his freedom, because blacks were not actually citizens. and the reason we weren’t citizens is because the Constitution said that we were only  3/5 human.

“Well, fate has it so, that with the Michael Brown case, we have an opportunity to fight for our equality by organizing, registering to vote, and getting legislation passed. We all have a role to play. I hope this inspires us all to do our part as a change agent.”

Acree, who along with Hatch also went to Brown’s gravesite, said, “When the body of Michael Brown was lowered, his dad screamed and sent a chill through my body and through the cemetery. I felt so helpless not being able to do anything to calm the pain. I began to pray immediately and I urge us all to continue praying, because they have along tedious and emotional journey to recovery ahead of them.”

To see Michael Brown’sfuneral in its entirety, please click on this link:

Pastor Ira Acree and Rev. Dr. Marshall Hatch at the site where Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, MO.Pastor Ira Acree and Rev. Dr. Marshall Hatch at the site where Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, MO.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

Community Activist Kicks Off Petition Drive to Get on the Ballot and Oust Clouted Incumbent in Aldermanic Race

Posted by Admin On August - 26 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

(From Jorge Mújica’s Campaign)

“This spring, the people of our ward will hand Solis a pink slip for selling out neighborhood residents to his political donors for almost 20 years,” says community activist and socialist candidate Jorge Mújica.

CHICAGO, IL -  Chicago’s aldermanic campaign season is officially launching this week with a record number of grassroots candidates surfacing across the city to challenge some of Chicago’s most powerful, politically connected incumbents.

In Chicago’s 25th Ward, Socialist Jorge Mújica is challenging incumbent alderman Danny Solis, a Democratic Party yes-man for Mayor Rahm Emanuel. This press conference will mark the formal beginning of a concerted effort by the Mújica campaign to hit the streets in the coming weeks to earn him a slot on the 2015 ballot and build support for his independent candidacy.

Jorge Mújica is a long-standing labor and immigrant rights activist and was one of three core conveners of Chicago’s historic 2006 immigrant rights marches, which put an estimated 1 million people on the streets. Mújica has assembled a dedicated and growing volunteer campaign team, who are committed to challenging Solis on his track record of school privatization, corporate patronage and developer deals that are driving up rents and displacing the local community.

A Press conference/petition drive kickoff will take place today, Tuesday, August 26, 2014, at Plaza Tenochtitlan, 1800 S. Blue Island (outside Rudy Lozano Library, across the street from the incumbent alderman’s office) at 10:30 A.M. For more information, contact Stavroula Harissis (224)595-4234

Mújica supports a $15-an-hour minimum wage in Chicago, opposes public school privatization and neighborhood school closures, supports legislative steps to end wage theft for low and middle-income workers, and opposes local development that creates displacement and undercuts affordable housing in the ward. The campaign seeks to build a people-powered movement for workers’ and immigrant rights.

“Chicago’s Democratic Party insiders represent elite interests that work directly against the needs of our residents — including corporate education profiteers, politically connected real estate developers, and poverty-wage employers. We need to create a real alternative to both the Democratic and Republican parties: a socialist alternative, committed to putting people before profits and challenging the growing income inequality that entrenched insiders like Solis embrace.”

Mújica’s campaign team includes advocates for public education, immigrant rights and housing rights, alongside local residents who want to see a change from the incumbent’s dismissive approach to local community members’ needs.

Funeral Services for Lyric Tenor Earl Calloway, longtime Fine Arts & Entertainment Editor for the Chicago Defender

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On August - 26 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

By Juanita Bratcher

Funeral services for Earl Calloway, lyric tenor and longtime Fine Arts & Entertainment Editor for the Chicago Defender, will be held Sunday, August 31, 2014 at Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Church, 7000 S. Michigan Ave., in Chicago. Visitation is 1-2 P.M., and funeral services from 2-3 P.M. Interment at Lincoln National Cemetery

Mr. Calloway, born October 4, 1926 in Birmingham, Alabama, died Wednesday, August 20 at the age of 87.

While Calloway spent most of his journalistic career at the Chicago Defender, starting there in September 1963, he also worked for the Associated Negro Press, the Chicago Courier and Negro Press International.

A graduate of Roosevelt University, Calloway also attended Chicago State University and Governors State University.

Calloway was active in many erstwhile organizations. He was a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalist Chicago Chapter, founder of the Philharmonic Youth Choir and Oratorio Society of Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Church.

He was a legend in his own time. Calloway made his mark on the entertainment landscape. His column flowed through the pages of the Chicago Defender for decades. There were offers from other publications to come on staff, but he always declined.

Calloway wrote thousands of articles about the movers and shakers in the entertainment industry. He wrote about the careers of most of the African-American entertainers, musicians and actors during his many years as a journalist.

Amid his numerous accomplishments, Calloway never lost the common touch with his readers and admirers. He was a hard worker, a tenacious go-getter, and at the top of entertainment writers. He was also a Chicago Jewel.

Mr. Calloway was a lyric tenor and performed in several opera productions. He was also the recipient of numerous awards for his outstanding contributions to the arts.

Juanita Bratcher is the CEO & Publisher of CopyLine Magazine

Atty. General Madigan Investigating Immigrant Worker Abuse at Chinese Buffet Restaurants in Illinois

Posted by Admin On August - 26 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
Attorney General & Illinois Department of Labor Issue Subpoenas, Urge Immigrant Workers to Report Discrimination, Wage Violations

CHICAGO, IL ─ Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a joint investigation by her office and the Illinois Department of Labor into wage violations and discriminatory practices against immigrant workers employed at Chinese buffet-style restaurants in Illinois.

Madigan and the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) are investigating allegations of wage payment and minimum wage violations and discrimination against a largely immigrant workforce serving as kitchen labor for many Chinese buffet-style restaurants throughout Illinois. Workers who have complained to Madigan’s office alleged they typically work 11-13 hours per day, without breaks, six days a week, and are housed by restaurant owners in crowded, substandard conditions.

Madigan and IDOL have jointly issued subpoenas regarding workers’ claims that they are routinely being underpaid, discriminated against based on their race or national origin, and in some cases forced to work under threats of abuse and violence.

In announcing the investigation, Madigan urged any current and former workers of a Chinese buffet-style restaurant in Illinois to immediately contact her office to report wage abuse or discrimination in the workplace. Workers should contact Madigan’s Civil Rights Bureau at 1 (877) 581-3692.

“We take claims of wage violations and discrimination very seriously,” Madigan said. “My office is actively investigating the complaints we have received, and I’m encouraging anyone else who has endured such abuse to come forward so we can work to put a stop to these substandard labor practices.”

Films With Positive Images of Young African American Men to Screen at the Long Beach Indie International Film Festival August 27-31, 2014

Posted by Admin On August - 26 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Five-day event showcases global diversity in film, television, and digital media

Long Beach Indie International Film Festival
Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) — In the midst of the furor over the death of Michael Brown and the continuing legacy of the Trayvon Martin killing, the Long Beach Indie International Film Festival is featuring a suite of films highlighting positive images of young African American men. Taking place August 27-31, 2014 at the Cinemark at the Pike Theaters in Long Beach, California, the festival screens more than 90 diverse films from across the globe.

The brainchild of festival director Dr. Daniel E. Walker, a noted filmmaker and Research Associate at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California, Long Beach Indie was created to entertain, educate, and inspire. While the festival screens narrative, documentary and animated films from more than 20 countries, the suite of films with positive depictions of young African American men is particularly close to Walker’s heart.

He states, “This is an important statement we’re making about the commercialization of negative images of black men in film, television and digital media globally. As opposed to being negative and monolithic, these films and media projects paint a picture that is complex, diverse and redeeming.”

They include:

Take Me to the River – Audience Choice Award winner at the 2014 SXSW Arts and Music Festival, director Martin Shore’s inter-generational film explores the history and music of Memphis, Tennessee while passing life lessons along to the next generation. Narrated by Academy Award Nominee Terrence Howard and featuring Bobby Blue Bland, William Bell, Snoop Dogg, Charlie Musselwhite, Mavis Staples and others.

Astray – Ethical boundaries become blurred in Kyle Romanek’s narrative drama when a social worker tries to help a runaway teenager and is confronted with the demons of his own past.

Sol Brothers – Daniel Walker’s short film follows the journey of 33 young men of color as they take part in a revolutionary college-focused servant leadership camp.

A Song for Naija – This music-infused documentary highlights the activities of young Nigerian and Nigerian-American artists, activists, and social entrepreneurs as they create a new model of grassroots leadership on both sides of the Atlantic.

Inner City Champions – Frederick Hawthorne’s film chronicles the torturous yet uplifting lives of Los Angeles basketball legends Dwayne Polee Sr. and Freeman Williams, the NCAA’s 2nd all-time leading scorer, as they return home to coach their alma mater.

In Collaboration with Bill T. Jones: Reading, Mercy and The Artificial Nigger – Internationally renowned choreographer Bill T. Jones assists dance students at California State University Long Beach in their production of his controversial staging of Flannery O’Connor’s The Artificial Nigger, meanwhile revealing the backstory of his life.

The Residue Years – The documentary explores the journey of author Mitchell S. Jackson from a youth and early adulthood marred by drugs and a prison term, to his life as a writing professor and critically acclaimed author.

The Throwaways – “The Throwaways courageously explores the most pressing racial justice issue of our time: the mass incarceration and profiling of poor people of color.” — Michelle Alexander (Author, The New Jim Crow)

Perseverance: The Story of Dr. Billy Taylor – The University of Michigan’s Billy Taylor experienced celebrity on college football’s largest stage and then saw his world come crashing down. In a poignant personal narrative, director Dan Chace highlights Taylor’s improbable recovery from homelessness and addiction, as a powerful reminder that it’s never too late to change.

When Roosters Crow – A coming of age story, the film examines the life and legacy of Emmy Award-Winning educator and choreographer Dr. Danny L. Scarborough and the early AIDS crisis in Black America.

Live Above the Hype: A Life Skills Curriculum – “This workbook does a great deal of work in helping young people identify their problems, name their obstacles, receive help, and rise above the bewildering social and cultural options that hold out destruction in the name of popularity… Live Above The Hype is the intellectual lovechild of Plato, Oprah and 2Pac.” — Dr. Michael Eric Dyson (Georgetown Professor, Author, MSNBC Political Analyst)
Long Beach Indie also includes a free College and Career Fair co-sponsored by the BLU Educational Foundation, on Saturday, August 30th at the Long Beach Convention Center.

To view the full schedule or to purchase tickets for the Long Beach Indie International Film Festival go to www.longbeachindie.com. For more information e-mail info@longbeachindie.com or call (562) 216-8287.

Long Beach Indie is a five-day international film festival presented by Perfect Works and co-sponsored by Yelp, along with festival partners Team Diesel Productions, Boulder Entertainment, Long Beach Cinematheque, the Believe Foundation, and the BLU Educational Foundation. Major advertisers include the California Endowment, West Point (U.S. Military Academy), and Brooks Institute.

Photo Caption: Long Beach Indie to Highlight Positive Young Black Men

Simon welcomes Class of 2025 back to Carbondale Middle School

Posted by Admin On August - 26 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Speaks about education reform initiatives

Welcoming the Class of 2025 back to school, Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon highlighted a new leadership program aimed at keeping Carbondale Middle School students on track to graduate.

Simon joined Principal Marilynn Ross to tout the first CMS Leadership Academy, which provided students with tools to handle stress and inspire good behavior. The summer academy builds on a discipline program students will learn about in the opening days of class that aims to increase the time students are spending in class.

The future college Class of 2025 is now in sixth grade.

“The Class of 2025 is going to shape the future Illinois,” Simon said. “We need to provide every student, from Carbondale to Chicago, a clear path for success. Investing in their education is an investment in our state workforce.”

The year 2025 is the deadline set by Illinois leaders to have 60 percent of working-age adults hold a college certificate or degree. Economists say the highly educated workforce will be needed to attract and retain jobs of the future.

As part of the 60 by 2025 strategy, Simon’s office is working with the state’s public universities and community colleges to bring up college completion rates among students through Guided Pathways to Success, which aims to streamline course requirements so more students can graduate on time, in less debt and with a career connection. She also helped launch the state’s first math curriculum to cut down on remediation needs and led the Classrooms First Commission as it recommended ways for districts to redirect $1 billion from administration to classrooms.

Simon serves as the state’s point person on education reform and chairs the Joint Education Leadership Committee for the P-20 Council, the state’s top educational advisory body. This was Simon’s second address to the future college Class of 2025 in Carbondale. She first visited in 2011 when the Class of 2025 was in third grade at Thomas Elementary School.

Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center (RRBITC) held the “First Africa Digital Security Conference” Hosted by The Women Ambassador Foundation

Posted by Admin On August - 26 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center (RRBITC) held the “First
Africa Digital Security Conference” hosted by The Women Ambassador
Foundation on Thursday, August 7, 2014 during the historic White House
Africa Leadership Summit in Washington, DC.

PHOTO CAPTION: (L-R) Dr. Marilyn Sephocle, Founder/Director of the Women Ambassador Foundation; Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza, First lady of Burundi; Andrew Gelfuso, Vice President, Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center (RRBITC); Diene Conde, First Lady of Guinea; and Jan Du Plain, Embassy Liaison, RRBITC, joined in all day panels showcasing the First Africa Digital Security Conference during the historic White House Africa Leadership Summit in the nation’s capital. Panels included lively discussions on Cyber Security Demystified, Digital Outreach, Obliterating the Digital Divide and Countering Digital Colonialism. Keynote luncheon speaker Dr. Hope Sullivan, Global President and CEO, NOLA received a standing ovation, captivated a packed room, and recognized the First Ladies unique position as role models, champions and the person nearest and dearest to the president. Dr. Sullivan’s message confirmed the power of the First Ladies role in their respective countries future. The Women’s Ambassador Foundation, a non-profit organization founded to honor women ambassadors and women diplomats in Washington, DC, will celebrate their 20th anniversary next year.

Photo Credit: Patricia’s Professional Photos

Community Residents Picket Campaign Offices of Alderman James Cappleman

Posted by Admin On August - 26 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Community residents, poverty advocates, workers and allies held a community rally and picket outside the campaign offices of Alderman James Cappleman at 4660 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL.

The picket was held Sunday, August 24th, 2014.

Uptown–According to picketers, during the past four years of Alderman Cappleman’s freshman term, the people of the Uptown neighborhood in Chicago have witnessed repeated attacks on the standards of living for the most impoverished.

James Cappleman, Alderman of Uptown’s 46th Ward, has closed more SRO’s than every other alderman combined, evicted hundreds of seniors and tenants, has raised rents on students and families, and has led extreme harassment of the homeless. In addition, he has been in lock-step support of closing mental health clinics, depleting mental health services and giving millions in TIF money to expensive high-end luxury apartments.

Most notably, he has also tried to get services that feed the hungry to leave the ward. Put simply, the people of the 46th Ward have had to endure extreme class warfare from their new alderman. Their elected official has waged intensive attacks on the extreme poor and working-class, while catering to and prioritizing the wealthy, the spoiled and the affluent.

As developers, real estate brokers and banks get wealthier; students, young people, working mothers, seniors and veterans have gotten poorer. As Ald. James Cappleman gears up for re-election, we believe it is time to let his supporters and their neighbors know exactly what they are endorsing. We will not go in silence as communities vanish and as the vulnerable die. The community will demonstrate outside his new campaign office during his campaign kick-off to bring these issues to light.

For more information, contact: Ryne Poelker, 217-416-8627

Auburn University Honors Attorney Gerald A. Griggs as National Hero Award Recipient

Posted by Admin On August - 26 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Gerald A. Griggs
Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) — Being an “upstander” rather than a “bystander” in bullying situations requires courage and risk, but individuals or groups who take the initiative to be “upstanders” – those people whom we describe as Anti-Bullying Heroes – become an impetus for change in schools and communities. The Hero Awards were presented at Auburn University’s Fourth Annual National Anti-Bullying Summit, June 26-27, 2014 in Peachtree City, Georgia. The Summit was sponsored by Auburn University’s Office of Professional and Continuing Education and by the Truman Pierce Institute in the College of Education.

Among the honorees was Mr. Gerald Griggs, a community leader and attorney from DeKalb County, Georgia. Griggs has worked for many years providing anti-bullying advocacy and education throughout the United States, from his base in Decatur, Georgia. In 2011, he was a featured speaker at the second annual National Federal Partners in Bullying Summit in Washington D.C. For the past three years, he has visited Metro Atlanta School Systems with the Hot 107.9 “Bullying is Not Hot” Tour, spreading the anti-bullying message. In 2009, following a high profile case in which a bullied student committed suicide, Mr. Griggs began to lobby the Georgia General Assembly to strengthen Georgia’s Bullying law.

With support from state senator Mike Jacobs and other legislative advocates, Georgia’s Anti-bullying law was changed in 2011 to include all primary grades, age appropriate sanctions, and transfer of students after a third bullying incident. This made Georgia’s Anti-Bullying law one of the toughest in the nation at that point. Mr. Griggs has hosted town hall meetings and has appeared on local and national radio shows to discuss the need for anti-bullying initiatives and victim advocacy. He also educates students about their rights about how not to be a bystander but to uplift the victim and stop the bully.

Officials at Auburn University say they are proud to honor the anti-bullying efforts and work of Griggs by presenting him with the 2014 Auburn HERO Award for Community Activism. They comment, “It is our hope that through his efforts, attention and change will come to the problem of bullying in our nation’s school systems.”

For more details about Attorney Gerald A. Griggs and his law firm, visit www.therightattorneyrightnow.com

Photo: Attorney Gerald A. Griggs

IDOT Takes Major Steps to Strengthen Personnel Practices

Posted by Admin On August - 26 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Corrective Actions Aim to Improve Accountability, Restore Public Confidence

CHICAGO, IL – Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Erica Borggren  announced a series of personnel reforms that are underway to improve accountability and restore public trust at the Illinois Department of Transportation. The measures announced today are the result of a directive by Governor Quinn’s office to ensure the agency’s hiring practices are held to the highest standards.

“Governor Quinn deployed me here to IDOT to lead an important mission and take strong, quick action to ensure all of our hiring and personnel actions, as well as everything else we do, is fully  above board, ” Borggren said. “These initiatives that we are putting into effect immediately show that is exactly what we are doing.”

The reforms announced by Acting Secretary Borggren today are part of a broader reform effort and cover three main areas:

  • Material reorganization. To streamline operations, the staff assistant position will be eliminated. The 58 staff assistants currently at IDOT will be laid off and the position abolished entirely. The decision comes after IDOT worked for months to reclassify these positions once an internal audit determined that employees in many cases were performing duties not in their official job descriptions, a practice that has been in place for at least 10 years under multiple administrations. This internal review will continue and any future problems will be addressed immediately.
  • Creation of Merit Board. Today, Governor Quinn signed an executive order creating a Department of Transportation Technical Merit Board to ensure the integrity of all personnel matters involving employees covered by IDOT’s technical code, the hiring policies and protocols that are separate from the state’s regular Personnel Code. This external, independent body will help to oversee the technical code process and provide greater accountability and transparency. The merit board also will collaborate with the agency as it works to better define which positions should be under the technical code.
  • Maintain freeze on the establishment of new Rutan-exempt positions indefinitely. In addition to these reforms, Acting Secretary Borggren is ordering that the moratorium on the creation of new Rutan-exempt positions first instituted by Governor Quinn be continued indefinitely.

With these steps taken today, IDOT under Acting Secretary Borggren has completed or has initiated all nine of the directives issued by Governor Quinn’s office to reform the agency’s personnel practices. This guidance included a comprehensive independent audit of all Rutan-exempt positions, stringent annual evaluations to make sure employees are fulfilling their correct job responsibilities, and Rutan training for IDOT’s personnel and executive staff, which is ongoing and will be complete soon.

“The Illinois Department of Transportation performs a critical mission and impacts all communities in the state,” Acting Secretary Borggren said. “Our state’s economy depends on a safe and efficient network of transportation. But to effectively meet our goals, we must have confidence from the public. These reforms and our ongoing efforts will only help to make IDOT the best agency it can possibly be.”

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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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