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Is enough being done about the youth employment crisis? Youth Advocates Say No!   Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) ...
  Cleveland, OH (BlackNews.com) -- The National Rites of Passage Institute (NROPI) is proud to announce ...
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch released the following statement after the Supreme Court ruling in ...
WASHINGTON, DC – President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals ...
Case Before the U.S. Supreme Court Could Void 2016 Primary and General Elections Jerroll Sanders WASHINGTON, D.C. ...
  Nationwide (BlackNews.com) -- In response to recent reports of up to 800,000 government employees facing ...
 (From the Illinois GOP)   CHICAGO, IL  – Democrat Brad Schneider running in Illinois’ 10th Congressional District, ...
  Black Church Condemns Legalization of Gateway Drug as Dangerous      Washington DC - (Trice Edney Communications) The ...
By Chinta Strausberg After fighting for three-years to free her husband from prison, Rosalind Morgan, the ...
CHICAGO, IL –This month, seven of Illinois’ metropolitan (metro) areas experienced increases in their over-the-year ...

Archive for September, 2014

Mayor Harold Washington Legacy Committee Highly Offended by Recent Bruce Rauner Commercial

Posted by Admin On September - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The African American and Progressive Communities consider Mayor Harold Washington’s Legacy to be iconic and not to be cheapened by candidates of either party for political gain. The recent commercial by Bruce Rauner regarding his firing of Pat Quinn does just that. It defies and belittles Mayor Washington’s legacy.

Mayor Harold Washington’s legacy is one of a life of fighting for the rights of the common man and woman. He dedicated his political career to the defense of worker’s rights, equitable tax policies, open government and fairness for everyone.

It is true that Mayor Washington fired Pat Quinn. Many people in this community sympathize and relate to being fired or not hired though qualified. However, we find it disturbing that Bruce Rauner would insult the intelligence of this community by implying that we are more concerned with a firing 25 plus years ago than details of the candidates’ plans for the welfare of the State of Illinois and how each candidate would execute his plan.

The Mayor Harold Washington Legacy Committee is a 501-(C)3 organization and does not endorse political candidates. There are supporters of both candidates within our group; however, we are totally united in our demand that Mayor Washington’s legacy not be tainted. Our mission is to celebrate and preserve Mayor Washington’s legacy through events, such as the 6K walk for voter registration that will take place on Saturday, October 4, 2014.

For more information on the organization and the event, please visit our site at www.mhwlc.com.

Robert Clifford Named Class Counsel in Defective Pella Window Federal Class Action Lawsuit

Posted by Admin On September - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner at Clifford Law Offices, was named the new class counsel in a federal class action lawsuit regarding allegedly defective Pella windows.

U.S. District Court Judge James B. Zagel appointed Clifford as lead class counsel on Sept. 15 citing his “demonstrated skills in the field.” George K. Lang of Rolling Meadows was appointed to serve as co-counsel.

In another case, Clifford represents more than 1,000 people who were affected by the data breach involving at least four million patients of Advocate Medical Group.  He also is involved in comprehensive litigation regarding General Motors ignition switch problems, complex food mislabeling cases out of California and Target’s data breach affecting more than 110 million customers.  Clifford also served as liaison counsel in the litigation involving insurance companies and business interests following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Towers that resulted in a $1.2 billion settlement in 2012.

In his order regarding Pella, Judge Zagel wrote that “Messrs. Clifford and Lang will best serve the interests of the class.”  In 2013, Judge Zagel approved a supposed $90 million settlement involving defective Pella aluminum-clad windows that leaked, resulting in premature wood rot and other damage to buildings.  The Seventh Circuit rejected that figure in rejecting the settlement.

“The homes of millions of Pella consumers are affected by the windows at issue, and we are privileged to advocate on behalf of those consumers,” said Shannon McNulty, partner at Clifford Law Offices also handling the matter.  “The litigation team leading this case will vigorously protect the consumers’ rights.”  McNulty further clarified that the Seventh Circuit did not dismiss the case but did reject the settlement terms for which approval had been sought prior to the appointment of Clifford and Lang.

The case, Saltzman et al. v. Pella Corp, et al., 1:06-cv-04481, is now being led by Clifford and Lang in the Northern District of Illinois.

For further information, please contact Clifford Law Offices’ Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker at 847-721-0909.
pammenaker@cliffordlaw.com
www.CliffordLaw.com-

America is Leading the World: President Obama’s Weekly Address

Posted by Admin On September - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
September 27, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week’s address, the President reiterated the forceful and optimistic message of American leadership that he delivered in his speech before the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week. America is leading the world against the most pressing challenges, including the fight to degrade and destroy ISIL, the effort to stop the Ebola epidemic, and the movement to confront the threat from climate change. The world looks to America and its commitment to freedom in the face of uncertainly, and as the President said, it will continue to do so for generations to come.

The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, September 27, 2014.

Hi, everybody. American leadership is the one constant in an uncertain world. That was true this week, as we mobilized the world to confront some of our most urgent challenges.

America is leading the world in the fight to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL. On Monday, our brave men and women in uniform began air strikes against ISIL targets in Syria. And they weren’t alone. I made it clear that America would act as part of a broad coalition, and we were joined in this action by friends and partners, including Arab nations. At the United Nations in New York, I worked to build more support for this coalition; to cut off terrorist financing; and to stop the flow of foreign fighters into and out of that region. And in my address to the UN, I challenged the world — especially Muslim communities – to reject the ideology of violent extremism, and to do more to tap the extraordinary potential of their young people.

America is leading the effort to rally the world against Russian aggression in Ukraine. Along with our allies, we will support the people of Ukraine as they develop their democracy and economy. And this week, I called upon even more nations to join us on the right side of history.

America is leading the fight to contain and combat the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. We’re deploying our doctors and scientists — supported by our military — to help corral the outbreak and pursue new treatments. From the United Kingdom and Germany to France and Senegal, other nations are stepping up their efforts, too, sending money, supplies, and personnel. And we will continue to rally other countries to join us in making concrete commitments to fight this disease, and enhance global health security for the long-term.

America is engaging more partners and allies than ever to confront the growing threat of climate change before it’s too late. We’re doing our part, and helping developing nations do theirs. At home, we’ve invested in clean energy, cut carbon pollution, and created new jobs in the process. Abroad, our climate assistance now reaches more than 120 nations. And on Tuesday, I called on every nation – developed and developing alike — to join us in this effort for the sake of future generations.

The people of the world look to us to lead. And we welcome that responsibility. We are heirs to a proud legacy of freedom. And as we showed the world this week, we are prepared to do what is necessary to secure that legacy for generations to come.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Paul Vallas, Clergy, Activists say ‘Take Your Souls to the Polls’ on Nov. 4th

Posted by Admin On September - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
Rev. Crider: “Election is about raising the wage, keeping affordable health care”

By Chinta Strausberg

The battle cry for Illinois Democrats to take their “souls to the polls” come Tuesday, November 4th, was sounded by a number of clergy and political activists during a “Stand Up For Gov. Pat Quinn for Raise the Wage” rally held over the weekend at the Gloria Taylor Banquet Hall in Harvey Illinois.Democratic Lt. hopeful Gov. Paul Vallas was the keynote speaker; however others before him like Chief Apostle William McCoy, organizer for the Raise the Minimum Raise for Pat Quinn, Bishop Dr. Claude Porter, Chairman, Interfaith, Illinois, Pastor Tyrone Crider, Gladys Taylor, assistant director, Illinois Department of Corrections, Harvey Park District Comm. Anthony McCaskill, Dantrell Evans, activist Al Kindle, motivational speaker Lamont Brown, and dozens of SEIU workers and others also urged voters to come out on election day not just in two’s but to bring their entire block to the polls.

Pastor Crider, who heads the Mount Calvary Church Baptist Church, set the stage for the fight and need to pass the minimum wage referendum. “In March of 1998, I collapsed in the pulpit and was rushed to Mercy Hospital. I was found to have 14 cancerous tumors in my body, and doctors gave me at that time one year to live in 1998, but it’s not March. It’s September. It’s not 1998. It’s 2014, and I’m still here,” Crider told a cheering audience.

“A minimum wage even today is not a livable wage,” he said. “This is why our rcampaign is raising the minimum wage…. This election, November 4th, some people think it’s against Quinn vs. Rauner, but it is also about minimum yes, minimum wage, no…. Though (this election) is listed as Quinn vs. Rauner, it’s about whether we keep Affordable Health Care or that it is canceled,” said Crider.

“It’ actually whether we want to raise the wage, whether we want to keep the affordable health care. These become the two key issues that I urge you to fight for, mobilize for and stand with,” Crider said.

“There is only one in that campaign that supports raising the minimum wage and that is Pat Quinn. There is only one in that race that supports affordable health care continuing and that is PatQuinn. There are some things at stake that are not just Quinn vs. Rauner…,”Crider. He said the victory of passing those two initiatives is literally in their hands.

Activist Al Kindle fired up supporters by challenging them to “take your souls to the polls.” He called for unity to “raise the awareness in the community” and vote with a purpose on the wage issue. Jaquie Algee, vice president, director of External Relations for the SEIU looked on with approval. She is leading this campaign for the SEIU Healthcare.

In introducing Vallas, McCoy said, “A change has got to come. We are tired of this mess.” An unapologetic support of Quinn, who is running under the banner of “Everybody in. Nobody Left out,” McCoy told the crowd, “A house divided shall not stand.”

Referring to Rauner’s TV commercial where his wife claims she is a Democrat and her husband a Republican, McCoy said, ‘We are here to make a difference and the difference is in the power of the vote.” “It’s time for a change…. We’ve got to face the most important issue and that is to not let this state turn red.” Referring to Quinn, McCoy said, “He’s for the people and the people got to understand not to sweat the small stuff….”

“If this guy, this Republican gets in, it will be hell to pay,” warned McCoy. “And, all of those who sold out to sweat the small stuff for personal” gain, “they will be paying along with them.”

McCoy introduced Vallas who stirred up and challenged supporters to support the minimum wage referendum.

Vallas told of how when Quinn took over it was “during the worse recession…a recession driven by greed. He came into office when two former governors were in jail, George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich. For 28-years, we had Republican governors. I thought I was going to die before I saw a Democratic governor….

“We’re running against a man whose values are not like ours,” McCoy said referring to Rauner,” said Vallas. Nothing, he said, could spell out that difference clear than Quinn’s support to raise the minimum raise and his support for the Affordable Care Act both of which is opposed by Rauner.

Saying he has known Quinn for 30-years, Vallas said he was in Haiti doing public service work when the governor asked him to be his running mate. While surprised, Vallas said Quinn has dedicated his entire life being a public servant and said the choice between Quinn and Rauner is as “clear as night and day.”

Citing some of those differences, Vallas said Quinn is for raising the minimum wage vs. Rauner who is opposed to it. “It’s easy for someone to be against this when they make $25,000 an hour,” said Vallas referring to billionaire Rauner.

Pointing out another stark difference between the two candidates, Vallas said Quinn is for the Affordable Care Act and has backed President Obama from day one vs. Rauner who opposes it and is against Obama. Because of the Affordable Care Act, we now have over 700,000 people enrolled” in this plan. “We got a lot at stake,” warned Vallas.

On education, Vallas said Quinn has launched a five-year blueprint $6 billion education plan that includes universal early childcare education.  Quinn, he said, wants to create a universal job-training program for those who are no longer in the workforce but need more job training. “Quinn wants to invest money into schools but Rauner wants to disinvest and blame the teachers” for failed schools.

Under Rauner, Vallas said one-third of educational funding would be cut. “We need to invest, not disinvest,” said Vallas who is the former CEO of the CPS. He also accused Rauner of “wanting to tax consumption as opposed to basing it on income.”

Vallas said Rauner is opposed to the raising the minimum wage and that “working families should have a livable wage. People who work 40-hours a week should not have to live in poverty. They should have the resources so they can provide for their families.”

Vallas took another swipe at Rauner accusing him of wanting to “dismantle the Affordable Care Act….”

Saying Rauner has “18,000 commercials and deep pockets,” Vallas said that’s easy “when you make $1 million a week.” Vallas said African Americans in particular should be outraged that out of a staff of 51 or 51 Rauner “did not have a single African American in his GTCR Company.

Vallas said Rauner “has more African American’s in his commercials than he has hired at his firm. We know when we are being conned and this is the biggest con.”  In comparison, Vallas said Quinn “has always viewed the state as a region that should be diverse…. We need to be inclusive” in every facet of government, Vallas stated.

Referring to Nov. 4th, Vallas said, “We cannot win this as a squeaker. We have to win this by a landslide. We have to send a message that we will not be toyed with…that we will not be insulted.”

Also speaking was Christopher Patterson head of the Returning Citizens Organizing for Racial Equality (R.C.O.R.E.). “The level of violence that plagues communities of color has not always existed. Yet the poverty and lack of funding and opportunity that could potentially elevate the economic status of many communities of color is the sole cause of an increase in a booming prison industry not just in areas like Chicago and Harvey” but in America as well.

Patterson, who is organizing returning citizens, is fighting what he says is the current condition…1 out of 3 black men and 1 and 6 Latino men are locked up. “We are citizens of this great country, and we want our right like every other American.

If you live in Chicago and want to check the status of your voter registration,click on this link:

http://www.chicagoelections.com/en/home.html,and if you live in the south suburban Cook, click on this link: http://www.cookcountyclerk.com/elections/pages/default.aspx.

And, so just in case it slipped your mind, don’t forget the civil rights movement that raged from about 1955 to 1968 that included marches, boycotts, sit-ins, civil disobedience that began with the killing of Emmitt Till, the refusal of Rosa Parks to give up her bus seat to a white man and the entree of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who died fighting for fair wages for garbage workers and other civil violations.

You are standing on the shoulders of all of those, black and white, who chose to die fighting for your right to vote today. Like Paul Vallas said, “You have the power and it lies in your hands” but only you can exercise that right. So, are you going to be part of the solution or the problem? Your answer and action will change the course of history and fairness for the state of Illinois. Will you help Illinois turn red or keep it blue? Which shall it be?


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.

African American Female Entrepreneur Creates the Heartbeat Music Academy to Provide Music Programs for Underserved and Homeless Impacted Youth in San Diego, CA

Posted by Admin On September - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

San Diego, CA (BlackNews.com) — The Heartbeat Music Academy, located in San Diego, California, was founded by entrepreneur and humanitarian, Tyra K. Hawthorne. Ms. Hawthorne, a native of Detroit, Michigan, created the academy out of memory of her childhood and remembrance of how music has helped her overcome childhood tragedies. The programs provided by the academy are designed to promote scholastic achievement and music education. Since the incorporation of the academy, two of her students were provided the opportunity to attend summer music programs at both the Berklee College of Music and Jackson State University.

With a passion for giving back, Ms. Hawthorne selflessly served her country through the United States Marine Corp. During that time, she still made time to serve the youth by volunteering her time to kids in need. After being honorably discharged from the military, Tyra Hawthorne stepped out on faith and founded the Thunder Squad Drumline, a community based music program composed of young percussionists in the underserved community of San Diego. However, she did not stop there and later realized that the need was greater for music programs in the underserved communities of San Diego County. In January 2014, she founded the Heartbeat Music Academy, a non-profit organization.

With programs to include, Music Education, Music Performance, Healing through Music, and Lyrical Expression and Music Production, Ms. Hawthornes vision is that the Heartbeat Music Academy will become recognized as an organization to encourage youth to embrace their talent as an integral part of their educational and social advancement.

In an interview with Founder and Conduit of She Who Builds, D.L. Carpenter, she provided the following response to the question, “what motivates you to build the life you imagined for yourself?”

“I am motivated by the youth that I have impacted over the years. To work hard for something that I do not have a passion for, makes me feel like I am going through the motions of living. With music I feel free, and I feel like by giving youth their own creative outlet, it gives music the opportunity to set them free.”

To find out more about the Heartbeat Music Academy and how you can get involved, visit www.heartbeatmusicacademy.org.

Madigan: Sangamon County Man Arrested for Child Pornography

Posted by Admin On September - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
Offender Was Most Prolific Child Porn Trader Under Investigation by Madigan’s Operation Glass House

CHICAGO, IL ─ Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Sangamon County State’s Attorney John Milhiser announced charges against a Sangamon County man on multiple counts of possessing and distributing child pornography as part of “Operation Glass House,” her statewide initiative to apprehend the most active offenders who download and trade child pornography online.

Jacob R. Stark, 26, of Chatham, was arrested early morning after investigators with Madigan’s office executed a search warrant at his place of employment, the Capital Area Career Center in Springfield. Stark was charged in Sangamon County with five counts of distribution of child pornography, a Class X felony punishable by six to 30 years in prison, and five counts of possession of child pornography, a Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in prison. A bond hearing was set for Friday.

At the time of Stark’s arrest, Madigan said, he was the most prolific trader of child pornography online under investigation by Madigan’s High Tech Crimes Bureau. An IP – or internet protocol – address traced to Stark was allegedly seen trading more than 14,000 files of child pornography.

“Viewing and trading child pornography is not an innocent act but a terrible crime that perpetuates the sexual assault of children,” Madigan said. “This crime destroys the lives of these innocent victims and only serves to revictimize them when it spreads online.”

This is the 69th arrest of Operation Glass House, which Madigan launched in 2010 to investigate and arrest offenders trading child pornography online. The operation’s investigations are conducted by Madigan’s High Tech Crimes Bureau and have revealed a disturbing community of criminals who are trading and viewing extremely violent videos of children as young as infants being raped and abused.

The Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office will prosecute the case.

“We will continue to work together with our law enforcement partners to get these dangerous individuals off the street and protect our most vulnerable population, our children,” said State’s Attorney Milhiser.

In addition to Operation Glass House, Madigan leads the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. The Task Force investigates child exploitation crimes and trains local and county level law enforcement agencies throughout Illinois to do the same. Since 2006, Madigan’s ICAC task force has been involved in 825 arrests of sexual predators. The task force has also provided Internet safety training and education to more than 372,000 parents, teachers and students and nearly 18,000 law enforcement professionals.

The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Wally Amos is Back Baking as the Cookie Kahuna

Posted by Admin On September - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

His newest and greatest cookie venture serves up delectable treats with the message of care and aloha

Wally Amos, Cookie Kahuna

Honolulu, HI (BlackNews.com) — After nearly 40 years as the world’s leading baker of the gourmet cookie empire, Wally Amos is back in the kitchen rolling out his newest cookie company, The Cookie Kahuna.

Based exclusively in Hawaii, each batch is handmade with quality ingredients and baked by The Cookies In Paradise Bakery. Amos said it’s the quality of the ingredients he uses and the fact they are baked by hand, that has kept the integrity of his cookies. “We only use Guittard chocolate and butterscotch chips, lots of real butter and pure vanilla extract, he said, crediting his Aunt Della’s recipe she baked for him as a child. “People tell me they can still remember the first taste they had of my chocolate chip cookies from decades ago.”

The Cookie Kahuna comes in three flavors: Original Chocolate Chip, Butterscotch Chip Macadamia Nuts and Chocolate Chip Pecan and are sold online at www.thecookiekahuna.com.

Amos based his new company on the concept of Kahuna or caretaker in Hawaiian. Amos said he has always been a caretaker of people; always showing his aloha and respect for others and always caring in a selfless, kind, and generous manner for those in need.

Amos said, returning to the cookie world was easy since he realized the company currently bearing his name and image, no longer makes cookies the “Wally Amos” handmade way, so why not do it himself “I kept getting calls, letters, emails and tweets from people around the world wanting my cookies. It was time to give the people what they truly wanted, which is my original handmade chocolate chip cookies,” said Amos.

Not far from a cookie, Amos always has a book in-hand. He continues his passion for Read it LOUD!, a nationwide literacy campaign he developed over 10 years ago. Today, each cookie bags bears the message to parents to read aloud each day to children from birth to age six. “I firmly believe reading aloud to children will transform their lives and set them on a path for a better life.”

An eternal optimist, Amos said his newest company is his greatest venture allowing him to regain his foothold in the cookie universe. “I’m excited to be baking cookies again. You cannot put a good book down nor a delicious cookie and, by no means, can you put a determined man down! I encourage everybody to read a book and share a cookie, even with a stranger, because soon you will make a friend – and change a life forever.”

WHO: The Cookie Kahuna, Wally Amos,
wally@wallyamos.com
www.thecookiekahuna.com/ www.readitloud.org

WHAT: Original Chocolate Chip (32% Guittard Chocolate)
(Guittard) Butterscotch Chips with Macadamia (10% Macadamia nuts)
Chocolate Chip Pecan (24% Guittard Chocolate & 9% Pecans)

WHERE: Online at www.thecookiekahuna.com

PRICE: 8oz bag @ $12.00

Photo Caption: Wally is BAKING again!!

President Obama’s Remarks at Congressional Black Caucus Awards Dinner

Posted by Admin On September - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Walter E. Washington Convention Center

Washington, D.C.

President Barack Obama:  Hello, CBC!  Thank you so much…It is good to be with you here tonight.  If it wasn’t black tie I would have worn my tan suit. I thought it looked good.

Thank you, Chaka, for that introduction.  Thanks to all of you for having me here this evening. I want to acknowledge the members of the Congressional Black Caucus and Chairwoman Marcia Fudge for their outstanding work. Thank you, Shuanise Washington, and the CBC Foundation for doing so much to help our young people aim high and reach their potential.

Tonight, I want to begin by paying special tribute to a man with whom all of you have worked closely with; someone who served his country for nearly 40 years as a prosecutor, as a judge, and as Attorney General of the United States:  Mr. Eric Holder.  Throughout his long career in public service, Eric has built a powerful legacy of making sure that equal justice under the law actually means something; that it applies to everybody — regardless of race, or gender, or religion, or color, creed, disability, sexual orientation.  He has been a great friend of mine.  He has been a faithful servant of the American people.  We will miss him badly.

This year, we’ve been marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.  We honor giants like John Lewis — unsung heroines like Evelyn Lowery.  We honor the countless Americans, some who are in this room — black, white, students, scholars, preachers, housekeepers, patriots all, who, with their bare hands, reached into the well of our nation’s founding ideals and helped to nurture a more perfect union.  We’ve reminded ourselves that progress is not just absorbing what has been done — it’s advancing what’s left undone.

Even before President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law, even as the debate dragged on in the Senate, he was already challenging America to do more and march further, to build a Great Society — one, Johnson said, “where no child will go unfed, and no youngster will go unschooled.  Where no man who wants work will fail to find it.  Where no citizen will be barred from any door because of his birthplace or his color or his church.  Where peace and security is common among neighbors and possible among nations.”  “This is the world that waits for you,” he said.  “Reach out for it now.  Join the fight to finish the unfinished work.”  To finish the unfinished work.

America has made stunning progress since that time, over the past 50 years — even over the past five years.  But it is the unfinished work that drives us forward.

Some of our unfinished work lies beyond our borders.  America is leading the effort to rally the world against Russian aggression in Ukraine.  America is leading the fight to contain and combat Ebola in Africa.  America is building and leading the coalition that will degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL.  As Americans, we are leading, and we don’t shy away from these responsibilities; we welcome them.  That’s what America does.  And we are grateful to the men and women in uniform who put themselves in harm’s way in service of the country that we all love.

So we’ve got unfinished work overseas, but we’ve got some unfinished work right here at home.  After the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, our businesses have now created 10 million new jobs over the last 54 months.  This is the longest uninterrupted stretch of job growth in our history.  In our history.  But we understand our work is not done until we get the kind of job creation that means everybody who wants work can a find job.

We’ve done some work on health care, too.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed.  Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we’ve seen a 26 percent decline in the uninsured rate in America. African Americans have seen a 30 percent decline.  And, by the way, the cost of health care isn’t going up as fast anymore either.  Everybody was predicting this was all going to be so expensive.  We’ve saved $800 billion — in Medicare because of the work that we’ve done — slowing the cost, improving quality, and improving access.  Despite unyielding opposition, this change has happened just in the last couple years.

But we know our work is not yet done until we get into more communities, help more uninsured folks get covered, especially in those states where the governors aren’t being quite as cooperative as we’d like them to be. You know who you are.  It always puzzles me when you decide to take a stand to make sure poor folks in your state can’t get health insurance even though it doesn’t cost you a dime.  That doesn’t make much sense to me, but I won’t go on on that topic. We’ve got more work to do.

It’s easy to take a stand when you’ve got health insurance. I’m going off script now, but — that’s what happens at the CBC.

Our high school graduation rate is at a record high, the dropout rate is falling, more young people are earning college degrees than ever before.  Last year, the number of children living in poverty fell by 1.4 million — the largest decline since 1966.  Since I took office, the overall crime rate and the overall incarceration rate has gone down by about 10 percent.  That’s the first time they’ve declined at the same time in more than 40 years.  Fewer folks in jail.  Crime still going down.

But our work is not done when too many children live in crumbling neighborhoods, cycling through substandard schools, traumatized by daily violence.  Our work is not done when working Americans of all races have seen their wages and incomes stagnate, even as corporate profits soar; when African-American unemployment is still twice as high as white unemployment; when income inequality, on the rise for decades, continues to hold back hardworking communities, especially communities of color.  We’ve got unfinished work.  And we know what to do.  That’s the worst part — we know what to do.

We know we’ve got to invest in infrastructure, and manufacturing, and research and development that creates new jobs.  We’ve got to keep rebuilding a middle class economy with ladders of opportunity, so that hard work pays off and you see higher wages and higher incomes, and fair pay for women doing the same work as men, and workplace flexibility for parents in case a child gets sick or a parent needs some help. We’ve got to build more Promise Zones partnerships to support local revitalization of hard-hit communities.  We’ve got to keep investing in early education.  We want to bring preschool to every four-year-old in this country. And we want every child to have an excellent teacher.  And we want to invest in our community colleges and expand Pell Grants for more students.  And I’m going to keep working with you to make college more affordable.  Because every child in America, no matter who she is, no matter where she’s born, no matter how much money her parents have, ought to be able to fulfill her God-given potential.  That’s what we believe.

So I just want everybody to understand — we have made enormous progress.  There’s almost no economic measure by which we are not better off than when I took office. Unemployment down.  Deficits down.  Uninsured down.  Poverty down.  Energy production up.  Manufacturing back.  Auto industry back.  But — and I just list these things just so if you have a discussion with one of your friend — and they’re confused.  Stock market up.  Corporate balance sheet strong.  In fact, the folks who are doing the best, they’re the ones who complain the most. So you can just point these things out.

But we still have to close these opportunity gaps.  And we have to close the justice gap — how justice is applied, but also how it is perceived, how it is experienced. Eric Holder understands this. That’s what we saw in Ferguson this summer, when Michael Brown was killed and a community was divided.  We know that the unrest continues.   And Eric spent some time with the residents and police of Ferguson, and the Department of Justice has indicated that its civil rights investigation is ongoing.

Now, I won’t comment on the investigation.  I know that Michael’s family is here tonight. I know that nothing any of us can say can ease the grief of losing a child so soon.  But the anger and the emotion that followed his death awakened our nation once again to the reality that people in this room have long understood, which is, in too many communities around the country, a gulf of mistrust exists between local residents and law enforcement.

Too many young men of color feel targeted by law enforcement, guilty of walking while black, or driving while black, judged by stereotypes that fuel fear and resentment and hopelessness.  We know that, statistically, in everything from enforcing drug policy to applying the death penalty to pulling people over, there are significant racial disparities.  That’s just the statistics.  One recent poll showed that the majority of Americans think the criminal justice system doesn’t treat people of all races equally.  Think about that.  That’s not just blacks, not just Latinos or Asians or Native Americans saying things may not be unfair.  That’s most Americans.

And that has a corrosive effect — not just on the black community; it has a corrosive effect on America.  It harms the communities that need law enforcement the most.  It makes folks who are victimized by crime and need strong policing reluctant to go to the police because they may not trust them.  And the worst part of it is it scars the hearts of our children.  It scars the hearts of the white kids who grow unnecessarily fearful of somebody who doesn’t look like them.  It stains the heart of black children who feel as if no matter what he does, he will always be under suspicion.  That is not the society we want.  It’s not the society that our children deserve. Whether you’re black or white, you don’t want that for America.

It was interesting — Ferguson was used by some of America’s enemies and critics to deflect attention from their shortcomings overseas; to undermine our efforts to promote justice around the world.  They said, well, look at what’s happened to you back home.

But as I said this week at the United Nations, America is special not because we’re perfect; America is special because we work to address our problems, to make our union more perfect.  We fight for more justice. We fight to cure what ails us.  We fight for our ideals, and we’re willing to criticize ourselves when we fall short.  And we address our differences in the open space of democracy — with respect for the rule of law; with a place for people of every race and religion; and with an unyielding belief that people who love their country can change it.  That’s what makes us special — not because we don’t have problems, but because we work to fix them.  And we will continue to work to fix this.

And to that end, we need to help communities and law enforcement build trust, build understanding, so that our neighborhoods stay safe and our young people stay on track.  And under the leadership of Attorney General Eric Holder, the Justice Department has launched a national effort to do just that.  He’s also been working to make the criminal justice system smarter and more effective by addressing unfair sentencing disparities, changing department policies on charging mandatory minimums, promoting stronger reentry programs for those who have paid their debt to society.

And we need to address the unique challenges that make it hard for some of our young people to thrive.  For all the success stories that exist in a room like this one, we all know relatives, classmates, neighbors who were just as smart as we were, just as capable as we were, born with the same light behind their eyes, the same joy, the same curiosity about the world — but somehow they didn’t get the support they needed, or the encouragement they needed, or they made a mistake, or they missed an opportunity; they weren’t able to overcome the obstacles that they faced.

And so, in February, we launched My Brother’s Keeper. And I was the first one to acknowledge government can’t play the only, or even the primary, role in the lives of our children.  But what we can do is bring folks together, and that’s what we’re doing — philanthropies, business leaders, entrepreneurs, faith leaders, mayors, educators, athletes, and the youth themselves — to examine how can we ensure that our young men have the tools they need to achieve their full potential.

And next week, I’m launching My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge, asking every community in the country — big cities and small towns, rural counties, tribal nations — to publicly commit to implementing strategies that will ensure all young people can succeed, starting from the cradle, all the way to college and a career.  It’s a challenge to local leaders to follow the evidence and use the resources on what works for our kids.  And we’ve already got 100 mayors, county officials, tribal leaders, Democrats, Republicans signed on.  And we’re going to keep on signing them up in the coming weeks and months. But they’re going to need you — elected leaders, business leaders, community leaders — to make this effort successful.  We need all of us to come together to help all of our young people address the variety of challenges they face.

And we’re not forgetting about the girls, by the way.  I got two daughters — I don’t know if you noticed. African American girls are more likely than their white peers also to be suspended, incarcerated, physically harassed.  Black women struggle every day with biases that perpetuate oppressive standards for how they’re supposed to look and how they’re supposed to act.  Too often, they’re either left under the hard light of scrutiny, or cloaked in a kind of invisibility.

So in addition to the new efforts on My Brother’s Keeper, the White House Council for Women and Girls has for years been working on issues affecting women and girls of color, from violence against women, to pay equity, to access to health care.  And you know Michelle has been working on that. Because she doesn’t think our daughters should be treated differently than anybody else’s son.  I’ve got a vested interest in making sure that our daughters have the same opportunities as boys do.

So that’s the world we’ve got to reach for — the world where every single one of our children has the opportunity to pursue their measure of happiness.  That’s our unfinished work.  And we’re going to have to fight for it.  We’ve got to stand up for it.  And we have to vote for it.  We have to vote for it.

All around the country, wherever I see folks, they always say, oh, Barack, we’re praying for you — boy, you’re so great; look, you got all gray hair, you looking tired. We’re praying for you.  Which I appreciate. But I tell them, after President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, he immediately moved on to what he called “the meat in the coconut” — a voting rights act bill.  And some of his administration argued that’s too much, it’s too soon.  But the movement knew that if we rested after the Civil Rights Act, then all we could do was pray that somebody would enforce those rights.

So whenever I hear somebody say they’re praying for me, I say “thank you.”  Thank you — I believe in the power of prayer.  But we know more than prayer.  We need to vote. We need to vote.  That will be helpful.  It will not relieve me of my gray hair, but it will help me pass some bills.

Because people refused to give in when it was hard, we get to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act next year.  Until then, we’ve got to protect it.  We can’t just celebrate it; we’ve got to protect it.  Because there are people still trying to pass voter ID laws to make it harder for folks to vote.  And we’ve got to get back to our schools and our offices and our churches, our beauty shops, barber shops, and make sure folks know there’s an election coming up, they need to know how to register, and they need to know how and when to vote.

We’ve got to tell them to push back against the cynics; prove everybody wrong who says that change isn’t possible.  Cynicism does not fix anything.  Cynicism is very popular in America sometimes.  It’s propagated in the media.  But cynicism didn’t put anybody on the moon.  Cynicism didn’t pass the Voting Rights Act.  Hope is what packed buses full of freedom riders. Hope is what led thousands of black folks and white folks to march from Selma to Montgomery.  Hope is what got John Lewis off his back after being beaten within an inch of his life, and chose to keep on going.

Cynicism is a choice, but hope is a better choice.  And our job right now is to convince the people who are privileged to represent to join us in finishing that fight that folks like John started.  Get those souls to the polls.  Exercise their right to vote.  And if we do, then I guarantee you we’ve got a brighter future ahead.

Thank you, God bless you.  Keep praying.  But go out there and vote.  God bless America.

Photography Critique at the National Veterans Art Museum

Posted by Admin On September - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Museum to host a free Critique Night on the first Friday of every month

CHICAGO, IL — The National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM) invites the public to a monthly photography Wine and Critique hosted by internationally-exhibited photographer Warren Perlstein. Wine and Critique nights launch Friday, October 3, 2014, from 7­–10 p.m. at the National Veterans Art Museum, 4041 North Milwaukee Avenue.

The Wine and Critique offers a night of networking, laughter, a glass of wine (or something non-alcoholic) and critiques with a group of industry experts and photo enthusiasts. Participants are both professionals and amateurs who share their knowledge and expertise of photography as art, personal expression, and as business. Many Wine and Critique participants share their photo equipment suggestions, sites to photograph, meet-ups, and other photography events as well. The Wine and Critique also will host a themed contest each month.

There is no charge for this event but participants are asked to bring and share a bottle of wine or something to eat or drink. Participants can display up to 3 images (prints no larger than 11×14 in.) or digital JPEG files 1MB or less on a flash drive for a fun evening of learning more about photography and to watch images evolve.

This event is moderated by Warren Perlstein, a photographer with more than 40 years of experience in commercial, industrial, architectural, and special event photography; www.perlsteinphoto.com. He is also an advisor and instructor of photography at Chicago Photography Center; www.chicagophoto.org.

About Warren Perlstein
Perlstein was co-curator and major contributor of photographs for the American Indian Center of Chicago’s “50 Years of Powwow” photo exhibition, which the Field Museum is currently traveling internationally. His work is featured in the book “50 Years of Powwow,” published by Arcadia Press. He curated the exhibit “First Exposure,” photography from the American Indian Center’s 57th annual powwow and co-curated “I Love Ink” and “Tattoo II,” photography exhibits of the art of tattoo at the Chicago Photography Center.

At this time, Perlstein’s photography is exhibited in Washington DC, at the National Museum of the American Indian, and in various Smithsonian publications. He has been shown in Chicago’s Field Museum, Chicago History Museum, the Illinois State Museum Art Galleries, Chicago Photography Center, and Trickster Gallery in Schaumburg, IL.

About the National Veterans Art Museum
In October of 1981, a group of Vietnam veterans put together an exhibition of artwork based on their war experiences. The success of that show led to the establishment of the Vietnam Veterans Art Group. Fifteen years later, with a building donated, the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum was launched. In 2003, the museum began accepting work by veterans of all conflicts and, in 2010, changed its name to the National Veterans Art Museum. The museum made its home in Portage Park in 2012.

The National Veterans Art Museum, located at 4041 N Milwaukee Avenue, inspires greater understanding of the real impact of war with a focus on Vietnam. The museum collects, preserves and exhibits art inspired by combat and created by veterans. It is home to more than 2,500 works of art by more than 270 artists. Personal narratives and artistic representations of war (including paintings, photographs, sculptures, poetry, and music) provide transformative learning opportunities in art, history, and civics and enables programming for veterans and their families and for the community at large. The NVAM offers guided tours, teacher resources, workshops for students and student groups, and family-focused interactive programs. Creative community workshops take place the second Saturday of every month. The museum offers a free after-school drop-in arts education program every Friday.

For more information, visit www.nvam.org or call 312-326-0270.

More Than 70 Employers Seeking New Hires At Sept. 30 Career Fair in Waukegan

Posted by Admin On September - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

WAUKEGAN, IL – Illinois State Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) and State Representative Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan) will co-host a community job and resource fair on Sept. 30 in Waukegan. The event will be managed by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

The fair will be held at the Waukegan Ramada, 200 N. Green Bay Road. The event will begin at 9 a.m. and will continue until 2 p.m. Prospective employees are asked to dress in business or business casual attire and bring current resumes.

“Our goal is to help job seekers get on-the-spot job offers and critical feedback from potential employers,” Link said.  “It’s seldom that someone can walk into one location, apply for many jobs, receive immediate interviews, and land a job all within a few hours. Working together, we can match talented applicants with rewarding employment opportunities.”

More than 70 public and private employers will be featured at the fair. Major private employers include Walgreens, Stericycle, Carmax, Comcast, Peoples Energy, Vista Health System, and Fastenal. Public employers include College of Lake County, Lake County Human Resources, and State of Illinois agencies.

Individuals looking for more information are asked to call Senator Link’s district office at (847) 821-1811 or email the office at senator@link30.org.

Workers and employers attending the event also should visit Illinoisjoblink.com, the state’s help-wanted internet job board managed by IDES. Illinoisjoblink.com features Resume Builder. Resume Builder intuitively asks questions about skills and work experiences to create a resume designed to pass through computer filters that employers use to sort job applicants. Once built, the resume is immediately matched to help-wanted ads that seek the worker’s skills. Multiple resumes can be built to highlight different skills and experiences.

The Illinois unemployment rate fell in August for the sixth consecutive month to reach 6.7 percent while employers created +13,800 jobs. The data is seasonally adjusted.

The drop from 9.2 percent one year ago marks the largest year-over-year decline since 1984. The last time the rate was lower than 6.7 was in July 2008 when it was 6.6. Also, there are +40,600 more jobs than one year ago.

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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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