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Archive for September 25th, 2014

New York Black Officials Demand Investigation into Ramapo Ward Scheme

Posted by Admin On September - 25 - 2014 Comments Off on New York Black Officials Demand Investigation into Ramapo Ward Scheme
Councilwoman Charles, Deputy Mayor Leon, Councilwoman Hunter and Mayor Jackson demand Justice Department investigation into Ramapo Ward Scheme

Current & Former Minority Elected Officials: Ward Referendum on 9/30 Would End 27-Year Black Representation on Town Board

New City, NY (BlackNews.com — Leading African-American and Haitian-American elected officials are demanding the Justice Department investigate the proposed ward referendum in the town of Ramapo because it would violate the Voting Rights Act by risking the black community’s 27 years of uninterrupted representation on the Town Board.

Town voters will decide on the plan next week in a September 30th referendum. Currently, members of the Board are elected townwide. The referendum would split the town into district and the leaders are urging a NO vote.

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me,” said Councilwoman Brendel Logan-Charles, a longtime civil rights and Spring Valley neighborhood watch activist whose father-in-law, Bernard Charles, Sr. was the towns first-ever African-American councilman when he was elected in 1967.

“In 2003 and 2011, the Rockland Legislature drew so-called minority districts for Spring Valley and Hillcrest after complaints from civil rights groups. But both districts elected white men, not minorities,” Charles said, “Dont make me promises when I know my history. The Justice Department must intervene immediately.”

Charles, Spring Valley Deputy Mayor Anthony Leon, former Ramapo Deputy Supervisor Fran Hunter and former Hillburn Mayor Bernard Jackson demanded the investigation in a letter to Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Molly Moran and Chris Herren, Voting Section Chief in the Civil Rights Bureau of the Department of Justice. A copy of the letter is attached. “Minority voters shouldnt pay the price for the battle between Preserve Ramapo and the Orthodox and Hasidic communities. It is impossible to draw a district that is certain to elect a minority and our diverse town should not have an all-white Town Board. This is a violation of the Voting Rights Act and I demand the Department of Justice investigate,” she said.

African-Americans, Haitian-Americans and Jamaican-Americans comprise only 15.9% of Ramapo’s population, but a minority representative has held 25% of the voting power on the town council (1 out of 4 votes) continually since 1987. African-Americans occupy influential positions in Ramapo town government, including the Town Clerk’s office and the Chairwoman of Zoning Board of Appeals. The ward system would create a 6-member board. At best, there would be one majority Afro-American/Latino district, reducing minority representation from 25% to 16.6%. At worst, there would be no minority representation at all.

The ward plan violates the Voting Rights Act because minority voters are geographically concentrated in the Spring Valley and Hillcrest areas and would be packed into one district in order to create minority district. But an analysis prepared by the research firm GeoPolitical Strategies shows that even such a district would contain less than 50% black voters.

GeoPolitical Strategies was hired by Democrats and Republicans to advise the Rockland County Legislature on districting issues.

A ward system would pit African-Americans against Haitian-Americans against Latino-Americans in a single district, allowing a white candidate to steal the seat. It happened in both 2003 and 2011 when Haitian-American candidates for the Rockland Legislature were defeated by white male candidates in districts set aside for minorities.

“The truth has come out with the Republicans endorsing this ward scheme. Republicans across America are trying to stop our community from voting, so its no surprise they are doing the same thing in Ramapo,” Charles said.

7 of the Towns 12 Village Boards are all white. None of them are considering shifting to a ward system to increase diversity.

Clifford Law Offices Files Petition for Rehearing in Seventh Circuit’s Partial Reversal of $180 Million Jury Verdict

Posted by Admin On September - 25 - 2014 Comments Off on Clifford Law Offices Files Petition for Rehearing in Seventh Circuit’s Partial Reversal of $180 Million Jury Verdict

Clifford Law Offices, a nationally recognized firm that was just named one of the National Law Journal’s top 50 “Elite” plaintiffs’ firms in the country, filed a Petition for Rehearing in a case involving a record verdict for three downstate Illinois men who were severely injured in a grain bin explosion.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the portion of the $180 million verdict against the defendant ConAgra that was reached following a month-long trial in 2012.  In filing the Petition for Rehearing Sept. 22, Clifford Law Offices asked the court to reconsider its ruling that ConAgra owed no duty to the horribly injured plaintiffs according to well established Illinois premises liability law.  This is particularly the case given “that ConAgra actively caused the danger and continually interfered with West Side’s [second defendant] efforts to correct it,” according to the Petition.  The plaintiffs pointed out this is why the jury found ConAgra to be more than 50 percent liable for plaintiff’s injuries.  ConAgra appealed the verdict reached after 10 hours of jury deliberations in June, 2012.

“The Court’s decision is directly contrary to well-established Illinois law, and absolves ConAgra for recklessly interfering with the contractors it hired to deal with the problem,” said Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner of the firm.  “We felt we needed to file a Petition for Rehearing to point out the well established case law in this state that is not being given full consideration in this matter.”

The verdict still stands against defendant, West Side Salvage, Inc., a contractor from Atkins, Iowa, hired by ConAgra to salvage grain from a clogged elevator in Chester, Illinois, where the tragedy occurred.  The court also ruled that the punitive damage ruling against West Side for $1 million is reversed, which the Petition for Rehearing also addressed.  ConAgra is based in Omaha, Nebraska.  The case was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Illinois.

The case involves workers in Chester who discovered smoke coming from a bin in March, 2010, but were unable to figure out the source.  West Side sent two workers into the smoking bin to clear a path for firefighters who had been called.  While inside the bin, an explosion occurred, severely burning the two workers and injuring a third man in the nearby elevator.

For further information, please contact Clifford Law Offices’ Communications Partner Pamela S. Menaker at 847-721-0909.

NAACP to Release Groundbreaking New Report on Racial Profiling

Posted by Admin On September - 25 - 2014 Comments Off on NAACP to Release Groundbreaking New Report on Racial Profiling

Born Suspect: Stop-and-Frisk Abuses & the Continued Fight to End Racial Profiling in America

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today,  Thursday, September 25th, the NAACP will release a groundbreaking new report on racial profiling titled, “Born Suspect: Stop-and-Frisk Abuses & Continued Fight to End Racial Profiling in America.” Rooted in the Association’s commitment to eliminating injustice, this report will provide analysis of advocacy efforts, offering lessons learned and recommendations for advocates across the country. The prevalence of racial profiling in everyday policing cannot be ignored. Recent incidents in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York and others further demonstrate that racial profiling remains a polarizing and even deadly issue.

The report  contains a review of every state racial profiling law, breaking each down to better understand the law’s effectiveness and identify where improvements are needed. In 2014, not one state in the United States has a law that can be hailed as a perfect model for ending racial profiling effectively. This report will highlight the need for much more effective anti-profiling legislation, in every state and at the federal level – be it through passing new policies or strengthening existing and often deficient policies. Join NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks; Michigan Congressman Rep. John Conyers; Dr. Niaz Kasravi, NAACP Criminal Justice Director and others for the official release of this report during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 44th Annual Legislative Conference. The press conference will take place immediately following an 11 a.m. panel discussion in the same room.

1:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 25, 2014

Room 145-A
Washington Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place NW
Washington, DC 20001

Vowing to Block Sheriff’s Eviction, Neighbors and Friends Rally around Family scammed by Reverse Mortgage Services, Inc

Posted by Admin On September - 25 - 2014 Comments Off on Vowing to Block Sheriff’s Eviction, Neighbors and Friends Rally around Family scammed by Reverse Mortgage Services, Inc

Neighbors and local activists help family to block their eviction by Cook County Sheriffs following reverse mortgage scam and foreclosure

Eviction Blockade – Thursday, 9/25 – 8:15 a.m.  – 58 E. 91st St Chicago

CHICAGO, IL – Rallying around longtime resident Vernell Rowell, 62 years old, and her family, neighbors and local supporters rally to keep her from being evicted by the Cook County Sheriff’s deputies. Two weeks ago, supporters of the Rowell family held a vigil to highlight this family’s plight, calling on Reverse Mortgage Services, Inc., to keep the family in the home, only to find out that their eviction had been scheduled for the morning of September 25th.

This eviction is part of worrying trend, where, according to the Woodstock Institute, foreclosure auctions have continued to rise in South Side neighborhoods like Ashburn (up 29.8 percent), Calumet Heights (up 36.7 percent), and Auburn Gresham (up 20.9), during the first six months of 2014. This sharp increase in foreclosure activity in already hard-hit South Side neighborhoods comes just as foreclosure auctions have declined more than 20 percent across most of the City of Chicago during that same time.

“We’re not going to give up,” explained Vernell Rowell. “My aunt worked so many years to buy this home and I’m not going to give it up without a fight, regardless of any reverse mortgage scam.”

In 2007, Vernell Rowell and her elderly aunt, Harriet Huff, the former owner of this single family home, sought out Janaan Mortgage Company after viewing their commercial on television, largely in the hopes of receiving additional income through a reverse mortage to help maintain their home. Employees of Janaan Mortgage Company came to the house to verify Ms. Huff’s eligibility. After the company qualified her and Ms. Huff signed the reverse mortgage agreement, Mr. Tom Welch-a loan officer for Waterstone Mortgage Company- called to finalize the deal. However, in finalizing the agreement, he failed to notify Vernell that if her name was not on the mortgage, she could be evicted once Harriet passed. For more than two decades, Ms. Rowell had served as her aunt’s primary care givier and was entrusted with her power of attorney.

A reverse mortgage is a home loan that provides cash payments based on home equity, with payments deferred until the borrower moves out of the home or passes away. Since 2010, the federal government has required borrowers to attend counseling course. However, Vernell Rowell and her aunt took out this loan prior to these regulations, leaving them vulnerable to lenders who promised them that Ms. Rowell’s name would be added to the title and that she would be able to stay in the home after her aunt passed away.

In 2010, Ms. Huff passed away. By then, her loan had been transferred to another company, Reverse Mortgage Solutions, Inc., which refused to acknowledge any previous arrangements and demanded payments on the mortgage. In 2011, RMS began foreclosure proceedings, claiming that Ms. Rowell and her aunt had failed to make payments on a 2009 mortgage with a different Federal Housing Authority case and loan number. According to Ms. Rowell, the signature on these documents has cut from somewhere else and pasted on to this new loan agreement.

Rather than resigning herself to being left homeless, Ms. Rowell has rallied her neighbors and sought the support of local housing rights activists. Across the country, more than 2,500 people have signed her petition to Reverse Mortgage Solutions, demanding that the family be kept in their home. Many of these supporters will join her to ensure that she continues to have a home and that she has an opportunity to shine a light on what she believes is an instances of mortgage fraud.

What: Eviction Blockade for the Rowell family

When: Thursday, September 25th at 8:15 a.m.

Where: Rowell family home, 58 E. 91st Street, Chicago, IL

For more information, contact the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign 773-236-055


Hundreds of students participate in National Day of Action, despite silencing pressure from pro-Israel group

Posted by Admin On September - 25 - 2014 Comments Off on Hundreds of students participate in National Day of Action, despite silencing pressure from pro-Israel group

CHICAGO, IL – Hundreds of students from university campuses across the country participated in the International Day of Action, called for by the national education and advocacy organization the American Muslims for Palestine. The day of action was geared to answer the Palestinian Call for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

The purpose was to get students and faculty engaged in an initiative to raise awareness about how Israeli academic institutions are complicit in Israel’s occupation of Palestine, according to AMP Chairman and UC Berkeley Professor Dr. Hatem Bazian.

Students from Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of Texas – San Antonia, Temple University and Oberlin College were among the many that staged events or actions.

Last week, University of California Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi created controversy when it became known that she forwarded to senior university staff an Islamophobic email from the Anti-Defamation League, which is known for its efforts to silence any criticism of Israeli policies. The ADL’s email called for extra security and “discipline.”

“The ADL’s email contains an attack on AMP and all those who are working for Palestinian human rights,” said Dr. Bazian. “The fact that Katehi forwarded the email to staff and top administrators has the effect of chilling free speech activities of a particular set of students, namely Muslim and Arab students.”

Joining universities in Turkey and Europe, US campuses staged die-ins, put on rallies and teach-ins, distributed information and commemorated those who were killed in Gaza this past summer. AMP has made materials such as power point presentations, posters, fact sheets and booklets to students this year as a way to help them deal with Zionist propaganda and backlash on campuses in the wake of Israel’s summer attack on Gaza that killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians, including more than 520 children.

The United States Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel USPACBI), a group of academics and artists advancing the academic and cultural boycott of Israel and institutions that enable its occupation of Palestine, also supported the International Day of Action.

The International Day of Action for Palestine on College Campuses called for the academic boycott of Israel as well as a demand to end university collaboration with organizations that have a history of racism and promote the suppression of student activities about Palestine.

For more information, contact Taher Herzallah, AMP National Campus Coordinator

915 741-7007, taher@ampalestine.org

We Charge Genocide Raises Over $10,000 in a Week to Present Report on Chicago Police Violence to United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva

Posted by Admin On September - 25 - 2014 Comments Off on We Charge Genocide Raises Over $10,000 in a Week to Present Report on Chicago Police Violence to United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva
CHICAGO, IL – This November We Charge Genocide, will send six organizers to present a report on Chicago Police violence to the United Nations Committee Against Torture at their 53rd Session in Geneva, Switzerland, during which the U.S. will be under review.

With widespread community support, the group raised nearly $12,000 in one week for the trip via an online fundraiser and tickets to Geneva, Switzerland have been purchased for six organizers. We Charge Genocide will continue to work towards their $15,000 goal with a series of fundraising dinners as well as an appeal to Chicago’s faith communities.

The group of young organizers have submitted their report to the UN for review via the US Human Rights Network and will briefly present it before the Committee Against Torture during the hour reserved for Civil Society groups. The report details data collected on the experiences of young people of color in marginalized communities most targeted by police violence in Chicago. It will be released to the public on October 22, a national day of protest against police brutality, on which We Charge Genocide has called for a silent protest in Chicago at the 11th police district.

Organizers traveling to Geneva include (full bios with personal statements and photos):

Ethan Viets-VanLear, 19, Rogers Park

Born and raised in Chicago, Ethan says he grew up facing constant surveillance and oppression from the police. He has organized with Circles and Ciphers, a leadership training program that works with youth of color involved in the justice system, and he helped develop curriculum for the Know Your Rights Project. He hopes the UN can assist in putting international pressure on Chicago to end the continued atrocities committed against people of color.

Page May, 25, Edgewater

Page was instrumental in writing the report We Charge Genocide submitted to the UN. Since moving to Chicago from Vermont four years ago, she has organized with prison abolition group Black & Pink: Chicago and is a member of the PIC Teaching Collective, working to dismantle the prison industrial complex through education. She hopes to speak before the UN about key findings in their report.

Ric Wilson, 19, Southside

An alumni of the Chicago Freedom School, Ric is a performing artist and an organizer with Black Youth Project 100, a group using leadership development, non-violent direct action, advocacy and education to work towards justice and freedom for all black people. He describes himself as a prison abolitionist who believes in restorative justice and believes he has a special contribution to make at the UN as a young black person directly impacted by oppressive policing.

Monica Trinidad, 28, Rogers Park

A lifetime resident of Chicago, Monica is an artist and is the co-founder of Brown and Proud Press, a writing collective that uses self-publishing to gather overlooked stories about the struggles of queer people of color. Monica will document the group’s experiences in Geneva on social media and says that by verbalizing the experiences of Chicago’s youth of color at the hands of the Chicago Police Department, the UN delegation will break the silence around the struggles these young people live through.

Todd St. Hill, 30, Rogers Park

Todd grew up in Washington DC and now lives in Chicago and organizes as a trainer with We Charge Genocide’s Cop Watch program. He says he wants to travel to the UN because the voices of ordinary people are not heard enough by government decision makers, and that it is important for black and brown people to be involved in the decision making processes that affect their lives.

Breanna Champion, 21, Bronzeville

Breanna is a field organizer for Chicago Votes, a core leader of the IIRON student network & Roots of Justice at UIC and an organizer with Black Youth Project 100. She says she is fighting to change the inequalities she sees every day in Chicago and that the UN trip is an opportunity to give a voice to people who have been physically assaulted by the police and who are terrorized by law enforcement on a daily basis.

We Charge Genocide is volunteer-run by Chicago residents concerned that the epidemic of police violence continues uninterrupted in Chicago and who seek to equip individuals across the city with tools to more proactively hold police accountable. The name We Charge Genocide comes from a petition filed to the United Nations in 1951, which documented 153 racial killings and other human rights abuses, mostly by the police.

Remarks by the President at U.N. Security Council Summit on Foreign Terrorist Fighters

Posted by Admin On September - 25 - 2014 Comments Off on Remarks by the President at U.N. Security Council Summit on Foreign Terrorist Fighters

United Nations
New York, New York

President Barack Obama: Thank you, His Excellency, the Secretary-General, for his statement.  I’ll now make a statement in my capacity as President of the United States.

Mr. Secretary-General, heads of state and government distinguished representatives, thank you for being here today.

In the nearly 70 years of the United Nations, this is only the sixth time that the Security Council has met at a level like this.  We convene such sessions to address the most urgent threats to peace and security.  And I called this meeting because we must come together — as nations and an international community — to confront the real and growing threat of foreign terrorist fighters.

As I said earlier today, the tactic of terrorism is not new. So many nations represented here today, including my own, have seen our citizens killed by terrorists who target innocents.  And today, the people of the world have been horrified by another brutal murder, of Herve Gourdel, by terrorists in Algeria.  President Hollande, we stand with you and the French people not only as you grieve this terrible loss, but as you show resolve against terror and in defense of liberty.

What brings us together today, what is new is the unprecedented flow of fighters in recent years to and from conflict zones, including Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa, Yemen, Libya, and most recently, Syria and Iraq.

Our intelligence agencies estimate that more than 15,000 foreign fighters from more than 80 nations have traveled to Syria in recent years.  Many have joined terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda’s affiliate, the Nusrah Front, and ISIL, which now threatens people across Syria and Iraq.  And I want to acknowledge and thank Prime Minister Abadi of Iraq for being here today.

In the Middle East and elsewhere, these terrorists exacerbate conflicts; they pose an immediate threat to people in these regions; and as we’ve already seen in several cases, they may try to return to their home countries to carry out deadly attacks.  In the face of this threat, many of our nations — working together and through the United Nations — have increased our cooperation.  Around the world, foreign terrorist fighters have been arrested, plots have been disrupted and lives have been saved.

Earlier this year at West Point, I called for a new Partnership to help nations build their capacity to meet the evolving threat of terrorism, including foreign terrorist fighters.  And preventing these individuals from reaching Syria and then slipping back across our borders is a critical element of our strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.

The historic resolution that we just adopted enshrines our commitment to meet this challenge.  It is legally binding.  It establishes new obligations that nations must meet.  Specifically, nations are required to “prevent and suppress the recruiting, organizing, transporting or equipping” of foreign terrorist fighters, as well as the financing of their travel or activities.  Nations must “prevent the movement of terrorists or terrorist groups” through their territory, and ensure that their domestic laws allow for the prosecution of those who attempt to do so.

The resolution we passed today calls on nations to help build the capacity of states on the front lines of this fight — including with the best practices that many of our nations approved yesterday, and which the United States will work to advance through our Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund.  This resolution will strengthen cooperation between nations, including sharing more information about the travel and activities of foreign terrorist fighters.  And it makes clear that respecting human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law is not optional — it is an essential part of successful counterterrorism efforts.  Indeed, history teaches us that the failure to uphold these rights and freedoms can actually fuel violent extremism.

Finally, this resolution recognizes that there is no military solution to the problem of misguided individuals seeking to join terrorist organizations, and it, therefore, calls on nations to work together to counter the violent extremism that can radicalize, recruit, and mobilize individuals to engage in terrorism.  Potential recruits must hear the words of former terrorist fighters who have seen the truth — that groups like ISIL betray Islam by killing innocent men, women and children, the majority of whom are Muslim.

Often it is local communities — family, friends, neighbors, and faith leaders — that are best able to identify and help disillusioned individuals before they succumb to extremist ideologies and engage in violence.  That’s why the United States government is committed to working with communities in America and around the world to build partnerships of trust, respect and cooperation.

Likewise, even as we are unrelenting against terrorists who threaten our people, we must redouble our work to address the conditions — the repression, the lack of opportunity, too often the hopelessness that can make some individuals more susceptible to appeals to extremism and violence.  And this includes continuing to pursue a political solution in Syria that allows all Syrians to live in security, dignity, and peace.

This is the work that we must do as nations.  These are the partnerships we must forge as an international community.  And these are the standards that we now must meet.  Yet even as we’re guided by the commitments that we make here today, let me close by stating the obvious.  Resolutions alone will not be enough.  Promises on paper cannot keep us safe.  Lofty rhetoric and good intentions will not stop a single terrorist attack.

The words spoken here today must be matched and translated into action, into deeds — concrete action, within nations and between them, not just in the days ahead, but for years to come. For if there was ever a challenge in our interconnected world that cannot be met by any one nation alone, it is this:  terrorists crossing borders and threatening to unleash unspeakable violence.  These terrorists believe our countries will be unable to stop them.  The safety of our citizens demand that we do.  And I’m here today to say that all of you who are committed to this urgent work will find a strong and steady partner in the United States of America.

I now would like to resume my function as President of the Council.  And I will now give the floor to the other members of the Security Council.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis: Demand Congress Reinstate Basic Voter Protection – Sign Your Name

Posted by Admin On September - 25 - 2014 Comments Off on U.S. Rep. John Lewis: Demand Congress Reinstate Basic Voter Protection – Sign Your Name

I’m deeply saddened.

If Congress doesn’t act, this will be the first election in 50 years without critical protections from the Voting Rights Act.

The right to vote is precious… even sacred.

That’s why in 1963, I marched on Washington with Martin Luther King for the right to vote.

That’s why in 1965, I gave a little blood on that bridge in Selma, Alabama for the right to vote.

Folks marched for this. Folks fought for this. And some even died for the right to vote.

But today, the vital protections in the Voting Rights Act have been gutted by the conservative Justices on the Supreme Court.

Will you stand with me to demand basic voter protections be reinstated?

Voting is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society. And we’ve got to use it!

Election Day is in 41 days. Will you demand that Republicans fix the Voting Rights Act?



Congressman John Lewis

John Lewis <dccc@dccc.org>

The Fight for Justice Continues

Posted by Admin On September - 25 - 2014 Comments Off on The Fight for Justice Continues

“Justice delayed is justice denied. They should not stall, and we will not wait.”

By Marc Morial

President & CEO, National Urban League

This morning, the nation’s leading civil rights and social justice organizations – including the National Urban League, National Action Network, NAACP, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) and National Bar Association – will join the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the National Press Club in Washington, DC to demand justice and accountability in the deaths of the unarmed men at the hands of police in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, NY. The families of Brown and Garner, along with myself, Rev. Al Sharpton, Cornell Brooks, Melanie Campbell and Ben Crump, will call on the U.S. Department of Justice to take over investigations into both cases and press for federal civil rights charges to be brought against the officers responsible, as well as to carry out federal reviews of police misconduct and implement key recommendations for police reform. We will also demand an end to the contemptible tactics by local prosecutors designed to impede the legal process while demonizing the victims and will call for prosecutors to immediately indict officers involved in both killings.

Whether you will be joining us in person or in spirit, we must keep up the fight to achieve justice for these families. We will not forget – and we will not quit.

Happy Birthday, Juanita Bratcher, Publisher & CEO of CopyLine Magazine

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On September - 25 - 2014 Comments Off on Happy Birthday, Juanita Bratcher, Publisher & CEO of CopyLine Magazine

happy birthday wishes

Happy Birthday, Juanita Bratcher

Author, Publisher & CEO, CopyLine Magazine

Another Birthday, Another Blessing from God! God has truly been good to me and has blessed me a thousand-fold. So in celebrating my life and Birthday today, I pause, praise God and give Him the glory. I’m truly thankful and grateful for all of His blessings. I thank Him for a wonderful life and/or keeping me. I am also thankful for a wonderful, caring family and friends.

Frankly, I can’t make it without Him. I want to share with you a song I wrote some years ago for HillTop Records. I wrote the lyrics. When I listen to the song it reminds me of what one can accomplish when making sure that God is part of their  life. The lyrics to the song follows:

Lord, I Can’t Make It Without You

Copyright (c) By Juanita Bratcher

Lord, I can’t make it without you

I’ve been traveling this road for so long

Sometimes it was rough

At times it was tough

And at times, it seems everything went wrong

But I continued to climb the mountains

So grateful for your blessings untold

You delivered me from obstacles before me

I know you live within my soul

Lord, I can’t make it without you

I’m determined to walk in your faith

Won’t worry about tomorrow and what it brings my way

‘Cause I know you’ll make everything okay

But I believe in the power of Jesus

I believe in the power of prayer

And I know that God has the power

God can take you anywhere

Lord, I can’t make it without you

Even when my spirit tells me I’m okay

I need you to lift my burdens, yes I do

And I need you to lead the way

So I pray for His Holy Guidance, yeah, yeah, yeah

I pray about my daily plight

I have faith that God will make a way

He can turn darkness, darkness, darkness into light, oh yeah, oh yeah

No, Lord, I can’t make it without you; no I can’t, no, no

You can wish Bratcher Happy Birthday by email: juanitabratcher@yahoo.com

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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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