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Archive for October 21st, 2014

Former Police Officer Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison For Attack on 89-Year-Old Man

Posted by Admin On October - 21 - 2014 Comments Off on Former Police Officer Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison For Attack on 89-Year-Old Man

A former Chicago Police Officer has been sentenced to three years in prison for assaulting an elderly man during an altercation at a gas station which led to the victim falling and breaking his hip, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

David Barrett, 59, was previously convicted by a jury of Aggravated Battery of a Senior Citizen for attacking the 89-year-old victim after the victim asked Barrett to stop using profanity during a December 2013 incident at an Oak Lawn gas station.

According to prosecutors, during the early afternoon hours of Dec. 12, 2013 the victim was waiting in a long line at the Shell gas station at 106th and Cicero when Barrett, who was off duty at the time, burst into the gas station and began cursing at two cashiers working behind the counter.  The victim calmly asked Barrett to stop yelling, and Barrett responded by pushing the man with closed fists, causing the elderly victim to fall to the ground.

Barrett then continued to scream at bystanders for several minutes and eventually walked out.  A witness followed Barrett to his car, wrote down his license plate number, and reported the incident to the Oak Lawn Police Department.

The victim had to undergo surgery for a fractured hip, and suffered a torn rotator cuff on his right shoulder.  As a result of his injuries, the victim was required to spend an extended period of time in a residential rehabilitation center.

Officers located Barrett with the driver’s license number and he was arrested and charged with the assault.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Colleen Hyland sentenced Barrett to the 3-year prison term during a hearing at the Cook County Courthouse in Bridgeview.

State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys Dan Weiss and Naheda Zayyad as well as the Oak Lawn Police Department for their work on this case.

October 22 – A National Day of Action Against Police Brutality

Posted by Admin On October - 21 - 2014 Comments Off on October 22 – A National Day of Action Against Police Brutality
Oct 22: ‘We Charge Genocide’ Presents Report on Chicago Police Violence and Hosts Silent Protest on National Day of Action Against Police Brutality

Chicago organizers release report they will present to the UN, exposing ongoing, pervasive Chicago Police violations of the Convention Against Torture, as well as call for a protest at the 11th District Police Station, formerly run by disgraced Commander Glenn Evans.

CHICAGO, IL – On October 22, a national day of action against police brutality, local organizers with We Charge Genocide (WCG) will present a report to the public detailing Chicago Police violence in marginalized communities and against youth of color. The report shows that CPD actions violate the United Nations (UN) Conventions Against Torture. The presentation will take place at 9 a.m. at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, 800 S Halsted St, Chicago.
9 A.M. – Presentation of Report on CPD Violence, 800 S Halsted
5:30 P.M. – Press Availability with WCG Organizers, 3151 W Harrison
6:00 P.M. – Silent Protest Against Police Brutality, 3151 W Harrison

The full report, We Charge Genocide: Police Violence Against Chicago’s Youth of Color, will be available for download on 10/22 at wechargegenocide.org.

9 A.M. Presentation Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/393181967499789/
Later that day, at 5:30 pm, WCG organizers who will travel to the UN to present the report will be available for interviews before a 6:00 pm silent protest at the 11th District Police Station, at 3151 W Harrison. The 11th District is a hotbed of police brutality. Recently, the Commander of the station, Glenn Evans, was accused of putting his gun into a suspect’s mouth. Brutality lawsuits against Evans alone have cost taxpayers nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
6 P.M. Protest Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1487848628144241/
In November WCG, will send eight 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 over $17,500 in less than a month via online fundraiser and a series of fundraising dinners. Because of the generosity of people in Chicago and around the country, WCG has added two additional organizers to the Geneva delegation.

We Charge Genocide: Police Violence Against Chicago’s Youth of Color contains data and personal narratives collected by WGC at events, using their online submission form, the #ChiCopWatch hashtag, as well as publicly available resources. The report also includes an infographic, Chicago Police Violence By The Numbers. Key finding include:
  • From 2009 to 2013, although Black people comprised only 32.3% of Chicago’s overall population, 75% of police shooting victims were Black. Additionally, in the first six months of 2014, 23 of 27 people shot by the CPD were Black.
  • Between 2009 and 2011, 92% of Taser uses involved a Black or Latino target, including 49 youth under the age of 16 (with some as young as 8 years old).
  • Black youth accounted for 77% of the arrests of youth in 2011 and 79% in 2012. Latino youth accounted for most of the other arrests, i.e., 18% of these arrests in 2011 and 17% in 2012.
  • A brutality complaint is 94% less likely to be sustained in Chicago than in the nation as a whole: Only 0.48% of brutality complaints against the CPD are sustained (as opposed to 8% nationally).
  • Between 2002 and 2004, Chicago residents filed 10,149 complaints of excessive force, illegal searches, racial abuse, and false arrests against the CPD. Only 124 of these 10,149 complaints were sustained (1.2%), and a mere 19 cases (0.18%) resulted in any meaningful penalty (a suspension of a week or more).
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.

Previous press releases:

The Early African American Vote Catches the Worm

Posted by Admin On October - 21 - 2014 Comments Off on The Early African American Vote Catches the Worm
Letters to Editors

From Malik S. Nevels, J.D.
Executive Director, Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention

The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution declared the “right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

Unfortunately, this right was not acknowledged for almost a full century. Years after the Fifteenth Amendment was passed, African-Americans were subjected to racist tactics that included paying poll taxes, passing literacy tests and other erosions of the protections given by the Fifteenth Amendment. It was not until the Twenty-Fourth Amendment was passed that the poll tax came to an end, eventually leading to the Voting Rights Acts of 1965, which legally ended barriers to voting for African Americans and other protected classes. And let us never forget the countless number of lives that were sacrificed on the road to freedom.

In the last two years, however, we have witnessed a hostile attack on our democratic right to vote. The United States Supreme Court, in its 2013 decision, Shelby County vs. Holder, practically gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by striking down, as unconstitutional, the Act’s enforcement mechanism. Emboldened by the Court’s ruling, several states have recently attempted to enact laws that significantly restrict our access to the ballot box. This includes shortening the early voting period, increasing the scrutiny of identification, and eliminating Election Day registration.

Fortunately, Illinois is not one of those states that seek to disenfranchise its citizenry. In fact, today, October 20, 2014, marks the first day of early voting in Illinois. We are in the midst of a very important gubernatorial election, which will take place on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. Illinois’ African-American community has a lot at stake. Issues important to our children, families, and communities, like funding for quality early childhood education, increased minimum wage, and access to affordable healthcare are all on the table during this year’s election.

While the Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention does not endorse candidates, we do endorse a movement that makes sure you exercise your franchise. There are no excuses, make sure you are registered to vote. You can vote early, mail-in your ballot or vote in person on November 4th.

As you prepare to cast your vote, remember the seemingly insurmountable obstacles we have overcome, honor the lives that were sacrificed, and never forget that we still have work to be done to build safe, healthy, and resilient African-American children, families, and communities.


In service,

Malik S. Nevels, J.D.
Executive Director

Chicago Light Brigade: Clean Up Your Mess, CPS: New Report Released As Community Protests Against School Conditions Intensify

Posted by Admin On October - 21 - 2014 Comments Off on Chicago Light Brigade: Clean Up Your Mess, CPS: New Report Released As Community Protests Against School Conditions Intensify
Chicago Light Brigade report accuses Chicago Public Schools, the Department of Public Health and Alderman Moore of failing to inform parents of dangerous school conditions and allowing hazards to continue unaddressed for nearly 1,000 school days.

Amid growing complaints unsanitary conditions and inadequate maintenance in Chicago’s public schools, Chicago Light Brigade (CLB) has released a report stating Chicago Public Schools (CPS) administrators, over a period of at least five years, knowingly exposed up to two thousand, mostly low income Rogers Park children to significant amounts of peeling lead based paint and lead based paint dust at Gale Math and Science Academy. The group is holding a press conference and protest Wednesday at CPS headquarters to debut their report, present recommendations and raise awareness of the unacceptable conditions that were allowed to develop at Gale.

Lead is an extraordinarily dangerous poison. Exposure even in small amounts, especially in developing children, can cause irreversible brain damage. Children in buildings with flaking lead paint are also exposed to lead dust, which is spread by hand and transferred on clothes by children to their homes. A 2012 Chicago Reader article sums up the acute nature of this hazard: “It doesn’t take much: a sugar packet’s worth of lead dust scattered over an area the size of a football field is enough to poison a child.”

The report charges that CPS withheld information from Gale administrators and parents about hazards at their school and illegally refused to comply with Freedom of Information Requests filed by CLB activists until attorneys intervened, prompting action from Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office. It also states that the Chicago Department of Public Health and Ald Joe Moore (49) have each contributed to keeping parents in the dark about lead hazards at the school.” Again, this is consistent with the latest version..

According to internal CPS documents acquired by CLB, testing for lead at the school was first performed in 2009. Despite results showing hazards in public areas used by all students, no action was taken by CPS and parents were not informed of the health risks associated with exposure to lead based paint. In August of 2013 a second round of tests revealed lead-based paint hazards at fifteen locations in the school, and nine out of ten tested classrooms. Again, no action was taken, parents were not informed, and students and staff continued to be exposed every day they were in the building.

Following years of repeated requests for action by Gale administrators, CLB began a campaign to force CPS to take action to remove lead hazards and make other repairs to the school, including faulty fire alarms and leaking roofs. Although Alderman Moore denied knowledge of the issue, Moore’s staffers attended LSC meetings where ongoing maintenance issues were discussed.

Once the media began reporting on hazards at Gale, a new round of testing was secretly performed by CPS which proved widespread lead contamination throughout the facility. According to CPS documents, lead based paint was found in multiple classrooms, offices, and hallways as well as on entry doors, railings and post caps in the stairwells – surface areas which are touched by children’s hands everyday.

Because of CPS’ inaction and the subsequent cover up by administrators and Alderman Moore, lead based paint hazards at Gale were allowed to continue unabated for almost one thousand school days. In light of these facts, it is likely that CPS management of lead based paint across its entire system is deeply flawed.

While pressure from CLB and other community members has resulted in long overdue lead remediation efforts at Gale, CLB’s findings have a number of community members asking what else CPS might be hiding. “It’s a story you’ll hear from everyone who tries to track down information about a school: CPS just doesn’t respond to FOIA requests, unless they’re forced to.  They don’t want to tell us what they knew, when they knew it, or what other schools might contain hazards. They’re supposed to have lead reports for these schools on file, and we want to see them,” said local organizer Kelly Hayes.

Other community members believe that a lack of accountability is the root problem. “If CPS can find $10 million to spend on new office furniture, they can find the money to lead test our public schools and make that information public. The problem is that they’re not accountable. If you want them to be accountable, they need to be elected, not appointed. Until then, the paint’s going to keep peeling, and the rats and roaches aren’t going anywhere.” said Chicago teacher Jerica Jurado.

CLB makes a series of recommendations in their report, including:

  • CPS must locate every individual, parent, or guardian that was present or had children in Gale during the period 2009-2014, and inform them of possible exposure to lead based paint and lead based paint dust.
  • An independent investigation, by medically trained personnel not employed or connected to CPS, CDPH, or other non- federal governmental bodies in the State of Illinois should be undertaken into management of lead based paint at all CPS facilities.
  • A formal complaint should be lodged with the United States Environmental Protection Agency- Region 5 regarding CPS management of hazardous lead in all of its facilities.
  • An independently administered fund must be created to provide ongoing medical support for families impacted by lead exposure at Gale.
  • Because all lead based paint is at least thirty-six years old, exposed paint at all CPS locations must be considered a hazard and abated as soon as possible.
  • Enrollment based funding cuts to Gale must be rescinded to restore the school to resource parity with institutions that were not burdened by extreme facilities mismanagement.

Selected Past Media Coverage:

May 13, 2014, CBS Chicago: Residents Want Funds To Fix Gale Math And Science Academy

May 22, 2014, CBS Chicago: Rogers Park School Is Crumbling Around Students, Parents Tell CPS

May 23, 2014, DNAinfo: CPS to Remove Lead Paint From Gale School After Complaints

June 2, 2014, Chicago Tonight: Rogers Park School Struggles to Survive, Embattled Elementary School Determined to be Heard

Kirk Statement on Administration’s Plan for Iran Nuclear Deal that Circumvents Congress

Posted by Admin On October - 21 - 2014 Comments Off on Kirk Statement on Administration’s Plan for Iran Nuclear Deal that Circumvents Congress

CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released the following statement in response to the Administration’s reported plan to circumvent Congress in a nuclear deal with Iran:

“By threatening to cut out Congress from the Iran nuclear deal, the Administration is actually uniting Congress. We will not support an Obama-Khamenei deal that condemns our children to a future where the Middle East is full of nuclear weapons.”

NAM Launches #FeelBetter Campaign: Breaking Silence on Youth Depression

Posted by Admin On October - 21 - 2014 Comments Off on NAM Launches #FeelBetter Campaign: Breaking Silence on Youth Depression
Break Silence. Share Stories. Seek Coverage.


SAN FRANCISCO – New America Media is tapping into 30 years of working to promote youth communications, as well as grow a network of youth-produced community media, to launch #FeelBetter, a social media-driven storytelling campaign about depression in young people. Our youth network created the #FeelBetter campaign with the idea that sharing stories about not only depression, but also access to treatment, could begin to break through the stigma that keeps so many young people suffering in silence – and also encourage health coverage enrollment among youth.

Medi-Cal expansion under the Affordable Care Act for the first time offers the promise of health care to young low-income childless adults who never qualified for it before. The young man who inspired the #FeelBetter campaign was crippled by depression for years. He finally accessed health care by enrolling in Medi-Cal early in 2014 and told NAM he wanted to help spread the word.

Nationwide, mental health problems account for 85 percent of the disease burden in people between the ages of 15 and 25. The social stigma around mental illness contributes to this – depression thrives on the silence that keeps people from seeking help. But there is excitement among mental health professionals and advocates about breakthroughs in treatment and expanded access to care. In the words of one young storyteller featured on the #FeelBetter site, speaking about the benefit of seeing a therapist, “At least I know what I’m dealing with. It’s called depression.”

The #FeelBetter site includes a collection of stories from young people of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, which will expand as more young people contribute, as well as instructions for obtaining Medi-Cal coverage and a mental health resource map that is searchable by location.

Stories are in a multimedia format and shared using the #FeelBetter hashtag, including print stories, illustrations, and video.

NAM is also partnering with WE Connect, a program of The California Endowment, to help young people connect to resources.

Please follow the campaign on Facebook and Instagram.

Begin exploring with Amber’s story (click here for Spanish):

What Happens When Your Mother Dies?

Coming from a very traditional Filipino family, it was not abnormal to grieve the loss of family members through prayer. But I felt abnormal. I felt that at any moment I would burst into tears and plunge deep into my own self-hatred and negative thoughts and never come out.

Lira Ensemble Opens Jubilee Season with a Holiday Concert of Polish Music & Dance

Posted by Admin On October - 21 - 2014 Comments Off on Lira Ensemble Opens Jubilee Season with a Holiday Concert of Polish Music & Dance

The acclaimed Lira Ensemble, which specializes in Polish music, song and dance, celebrates the opening of its 50th anniversary with a holiday concert:

“Joyous Jubilee! Polish Carols, Song & Dance”
Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 3pm
at the Harris Theater at Millennium Park
205 East Randolph Drive in Chicago
Tickets: www.harristheaterchicago.orgBox Office: 312-334-7777
or call Lira at 773-508-7040 or visit www.liraensemble.org

This new production offers favorites from the five decades of Lira performed by the Lira Singers, Dancers and Symphony.

The first half of the concert includes Polish carols of various styles and the rare opportunity to hear Polish carols played by a symphony orchestra. The Lira Ensemble will also perform works by Polish master composers such as Frederic Chopin, Stanislaw Moniuszko, and Witold Lutoslawski, one of the most respected Polish composers of the 20th century.

The second act is devoted to Polish folk song and dance from various regions, presented in colorful, authentic folk outfits. Familiar American works and folk songs are also included in the program.

A celebratory reception at the Harris Theater follows the concert—with canapés and cocktails. Reception tickets, at $35 each, are available only at the Lira office, by calling 773-508-7040.

The Chicago Tribune is among the many metropolitan newspapers that have given high praise to the Lira company. The Tribune wrote: “the Lira Ensemble is booming…trying to bring Polish song and dance into American life, a cultural gift from people who emigrated to this country from Poland” and loved Lira’s “goregeous music and sharply choreographed folk dance.”

The concert will be conducted by resident conductor Mina Zikri. Born in Cairo, Egypt, Zikri came to the United States in 1999. In addition to his duties with Lira, he is guest conductor for the Cairo Symphony Orchestra in Egypt and is founder and music director of the Oistrach Symphony Orchestra of Chicago. Mr. Zikri, who is a violinist, has been a member of Daniel Barenboim’s West Eastern Divan Orchestra since 1999.

Lucyna Migala of WCEV/1450am, artistic director and general manager of the Lira Ensemble, will narrate the concerts in English, demonstrating some Polish holiday traditions and offering a bit of the history and tradition behind the music and dance performed.

The Lira company has been artist-in-residence at Loyola University Chicago since 1995 and is the nation’s only professional performing arts company specializing in Polish music, song and dance. The mission of the company is to bring the best of Polish culture into American life.

The concert is sponsored by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago and by the Lira Society-Group 816 of the Polish Women’s Alliance of America. This event is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. The work of the Lira Ensemble is also supported by grants from the Alphawood Foundation and the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation.

Indoor parking is adjacent to the Harris Theater – just a few steps from the lobby. Theater doors open at 2:30pm. Lira recordings will be available for purchase in the lobby.

Tickets for “Joyous Jubilee! Polish Carols, Song & Dance” are very reasonably priced so that families can attend—from $25 to $50—with discounts for groups of 10 or more. Half-price tickets for children under age 16 in all price ranges are available only through the Lira office. All seats are reserved.

To purchase tickets visit HarrisTheaterChicago.org
Or call 312-334-7777
Or visit www.liraensemble.org
Or call Lira at 773-508-7040 or 1-800-547-LIRA (5472)

ShakesFEAR! – A Haunted Tour of Ewing

Posted by Admin On October - 21 - 2014 Comments Off on ShakesFEAR! – A Haunted Tour of Ewing
Illinois Shakespeare Festival

A New Halloween Tradition

Thursday – Saturday, October 23 – 25 from 7 to 10 p.m.

“I think ShakesFear has a few really scary moments along the tour. Part of the fear factor comes from touring Ewing Manor in darkness, but Shakespeare was brilliant at creating terrifying situations, images and characters. From gruesome abductions, horrifying death scenes, and even the appearance of ghosts, Shakespeare never shied away from fear”, Andy Park, director of ShakesFEAR!


Option 1

$6 Haunted Tour
Ages 10 and Up

  • 30-minute guided tour of the Haunted Grounds (includes entry into Juliet’s Enchanted Courtyard)
  • The Ghost of William Shakespeare will introduce you to some of his scariest characters!
  • The brave of heart will leave on tour every 15 minutes beginning at 7 p.m.
  • Space is limited to 20 people per tour. Reservations may be made by calling (309) 438-2535

Tickets sold at the gate (cash only).
$6 per person – includes tour and Juliet’s Enchanted Courtyard

Option 2

$1 Juliet’s Enchanted Courtyard
Fun for ALL Ages

  • “Not-So-Scary” stories with Halloween shadow puppets*
  • Make and Take autumn crafts
  • Glow-in-the-dark Halloween tattoos
  • Delicious treats like Popcorn balls and hot chocolate from Carl’s Ice Cream will be available†

Tickets sold at the gate (cash only)
$1 per person

Ewing Cultural Center, 48 Sunset Road, Bloomington, Illinois
Parking is available at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 1617 E Emerson St. Please cross into the property at the corner of Emerson St. and Towanda Ave.

Special thanks to the students of the Regional Alternative School, the School of Theatre and Dance at Illinois State University, and the Ewing Cultural Center staff for their participation.

Partially funded by a Harmon Arts Grant, Town of Normal

Special effects used in this program/event may include strobe lighting and loud sound and noise. Persons with conditions that can be aggravated by strobe lightning and loud noise should not attend this program/event. No pets or skates are allowed on the grounds of Ewing Cultural Center. If you need special accommodations to fully participate in this program/event, please contact the Illinois Shakespeare Festival at (309) 438-2535. Please allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation. An equal opportunity/ affirmative action university encouraging diversity. This document is available in alternative formats upon request.

* Michael Vetere from the Saturday Creative Drama program at Illinois State University presents “Not-So Scary” stories with Halloween shadow puppets.
** Andy Park (The Quest Ensemble of Chicago), director of our 2013 production of Failure: A Love Story, returns to create this one-of-a-kind spooky Halloween spectacle!
† Not included in entry fee

Mailing address:

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Campus Box 5700

Normal, IL 61790

What President Obama Said at a DNC Event in Chicago

Posted by Admin On October - 21 - 2014 Comments Off on What President Obama Said at a DNC Event in Chicago

Remarks by President Barack Obama October 20, 2014

Thank you, everybody.  Thank you.  Well, I want to thank Barbara for not just today but for just being a friend for so many years — as is true for a lot of people in this room.  When I look around, I see folks who had my back very, very early on and made a big bet on me.  And I could not be more grateful.

And it’s just good to be home, especially when the weather is reasonable, which doesn’t happen often.  (Laughter.)  And I’m glad that I got the kids back.  We’re starting to get to that point where Malia and Sasha are projecting out and thinking of their escape.  And sometimes I start getting a little choked up when I look at them because they’re growing up too fast.  So I’m glad to have them here, spend a little time with mom.  And they look like they enjoy it. (Laughter.)

I’m going to be very brief at the front, and then we’ll have some time for questions.  I want to thank Henry Muňoz, who is our tireless chair of the DNC Finance Committee, and just does a great job — and always dresses well.  (Laughter.)  And wears things that I cannot pull off.  Maybe as ex-president, I’ll get some tips from him.  (Laughter.)  I try a tan suit and that’s like — (laughter) — folks go crazy.  And Henry has got the purple checks and everybody thinks it’s cool.  I don’t know what happened.  (Laughter.)

When we think back to when I first took office, one of the nice things about being home is actually that it’s a little bit like a time capsule because Michelle and I and the kids, we left so quickly that there’s still junk on my desk, including some — newspapers and all kinds of stuff.  We always thought we’d be back every month and we’d kind of get everything in order and filed, and it hasn’t happened.  But it’s useful, actually, to take a look at some of these old articles to remind ourselves of where we were when we took office and to think about the progress we’ve made over the last six years.

I mean, we were in the midst of almost an unprecedented economic crisis, losing 800,000 jobs a month.  Unemployment went above 10 percent.  We now have an unemployment rate that is at 5.9 percent.  We’ve created over 10 million jobs and 55 months of uninterrupted private sector job growth, the longest in American history.  The deficit has come down as rapidly as it has in decades, cut it by more than half.

We’ve got not only 10 million more people with health care that didn’t have it before, but the cost of health care, health care inflation, has actually gone up slower than any time in the last 50 years.  And as a consequence, we’ve saved about $188 billion over the next 10 years in projected Medicare costs, all of which is contributing to lower deficits, but also is saving people in their pocketbooks, because the average family that has health insurance is probably paying about $1,600 less per family than they otherwise would be paying if inflation had gone on the same clip as it was.

Energy is booming in this country.  We’ve doubled the amount of clean energy.  Solar energy has gone up tenfold, wind energy by threefold, all of which is contributing not only to a stronger economy and creation of jobs, but has also meant that we’ve reduced carbon emissions that create climate change faster than any other advanced nation.

College enrollment is up, high school graduations up, reading scores up, math scores up.  There’s almost no economic measure by which we’re not doing better than we were when I took office.  And if people were applying the same test that Ronald Reagan said — are you better off than you were — the answer is yes.

But people are still anxious.  And they’re anxious for three reasons:  One, internationally, we’re seeing a tumultuous time in the Middle East.  And although the direct threats against us are not imminent, what is true is, is that what’s happening with ISIL, what’s happening with respect to Iraq, with Syria, has a destabilizing effect that we have to pay attention to.  And the United States is the only country that can galvanize the world community to help do something about it.

The Ebola crisis, which obviously has generated the only — has been the only story here in the United States for the last couple of weeks, is not an outbreak and epidemic here.  We’ve had one case of a person dying from Ebola that brought it in from outside; two nurses who, thankfully, seem to be doing better.  To give you some sense of perspective, around 20,000 to 30,000 people die of flu every year.  So far we’ve got one person dying of Ebola.  But people are understandably concerned, in part because they’ve seen what’s happened in Africa.  And this is a virulent disease and it is up to us, once again, to mobilize the world’s community to do something about it, to make sure that not only we’re helping on a humanitarian basis those countries but we’re not seeing a continued epidemic and outbreak that can ultimately have a serious impact here.

The situation in Ukraine and Russia’s aggression — that has concerned people.  So you have this sense of uncertainty overseas.

Here at home, the concern is, is that although the economy is doing better, wages and incomes have not gone up.  And the vast majority of growth, productivity increases, profits, wealth has accrued to folks at the very top of the economic pyramid, and we have not seen wages and incomes for ordinary folks go up for a couple of decades.  And that makes people feel, even if things have gotten better, that they’re still concerned about not only their future but their children’s futures.

And finally, there’s a sense that things simply don’t work in Washington and Congress, in particular, seems to be completely gridlocked.  And so all of this adds together to a sense on the part of folks that the institutions they rely on to apply common-sense decisions and to look out for working families across the country, that those institutions aren’t working the way they’re supposed to.

Now, here’s the good news.  First of all, progress is well within our reach — continued progress.  There’s some very sensible steps that we can take to make sure that we increase the minimum wage, that we have fair pay for women, that we rebuild our infrastructure, that we invest in early childhood education

— all of which would accelerate growth, increase wages, increase incomes and make people feel better about their own economic circumstances.  We also know that the challenges overseas, as tough as they are, are ones that can be solved if we just apply the steady leadership and build the coalitions that are necessary as we’re doing in Iraq and as we’ll do in terms of tackling the Ebola crisis.

And the third problem that people are worried about, which is gridlock in Washington, is solvable by making sure that people actually vote in midterm elections.  Because it’s not true that we have this complete dysfunction in both parties.  There’s no false equivalence here.  Democrats are for things that the majority of the American people are for.  You don’t see the Democratic Party captive to some wild ideological faction.  We’re pretty much offering raising the minimum wage, or fair pay legislation, or rebuilding roads and bridges — stuff that used to be considered mainstream by both Democrats and Republicans.  So the problem is that the House of Representatives in particular, but there’s a certain faction of Republicans in the Senate as well, have just decided that we are going to not do anything and obstruct any possible progress.  And democracy has a cure for that — it is people voting.

And Democrats do have one congenital defect, and that is that we do not vote in midterms.  That’s what happened in 2010, and that’s what could happen this year unless we’re mobilized, organized and focused.  And that’s why your attendance here today is so important.

I have absolute confidence in our ability to tackle every single challenge that’s out there.  But in order for us to tackle it effectively we’ve got to have a Congress that functions.

And so whenever people ask me how am I doing I say, actually, I’m doing pretty good.  I love the work.  It is an extraordinary privilege to every single day be able to work on behalf of the American people.  And we’re making steady progress just through executive actions and the work we’re doing in terms of mobilizing around the Ebola crisis, or the work we’re going in terms of pulling the coalition around ISIL.  Those are things that we can get done, and we’ll chip away at these problems and eventually they’ll get resolved.

But if I really want to see America get to where it should be by the end of my term, I’ve got to have a Congress that can get some things done.  They don’t have to agree me on everything, but some basic stuff that the majority of the American people agree with we should be able to go ahead and get done.

And for that, we’ve got to have a decent turnout in the midterms.  And that’s what the DNC is all about.  And that’s why I’m so grateful for all your support.  We’re going to make one last push in these last several weeks.  We’ve got a lot of just nail-biter races, and if we do what we’re supposed to do, then I’m actually confident that we can get it done.

All right?  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

Source: Whitehouse.gov

Pat Quinn for Illinois! CopyLine Magazine Endorses Pat Quinn for Governor

Posted by Admin On October - 21 - 2014 Comments Off on Pat Quinn for Illinois! CopyLine Magazine Endorses Pat Quinn for Governor

By Juanita Bratcher

Author, Publisher & CEO, CopyLine Magazine

Illinois has economic woes; most Illinoisans are aware of that. But Illinois is not alone in this venue. A slow-growing economy has brought dire economic woes not only to the state of Illinois but to states across the nation – some are just a little worse off than others.

When Quinn took over the Governor’s Office on January 29, 2009 – after the Illinois Senate by a vote of 59-0 unanimously voted to remove former Gov. Rod Blagojevich from office – Quinn inherited a $3 billion state budget deficit, close to $4 billion in unpaid bills, a steadily rising unemployment rate, and was in the midst of one of the worst economic disasters imaginable. Quinn, himself, made note that it was “probably the greatest economic crisis that our state has ever had.”

In August 2014, the Illinois unemployment rate fell for the sixth consecutive month to 6.7 percent, and employers created about 13,800 jobs, according to a government labor survey – that figure was close to the 6.6 percent unemployment rate in July 2008.

And even though the economy and the unemployment rate have improved somewhat since Quinn took over the helm, it’s still not good enough for critics who feel he hasn’t done enough and should not get another four years as governor of Illinois.

In his efforts to bring fiscal stability to the state of Illinois and eliminate waste to reduce spending, Governor Quinn reduced state spending by more than $5.7 billion by rooting out and eliminating government waste.

Quinn proposed a clear five-year blueprint that will keep Illinois moving forward. Called “Securing Illinois’ Financial Future,” the governor’s detailed plan is an honest, responsible budget that will secure the state’s finances for the long-term and establish stable funding for education, public safety and critical human services.


Under Quinn’s leadership, more than half a million Illinoisans now have health insurance, which profoundly benefits low-wage workers who are one illness away from financial ruin. The Sun-Times in released video footage exposed Rauner behind closed doors telling a group of Tea Party supporters that he would veto the Medicaid expansion in Illinois. Obviously, if done, hundreds of thousands of people would lose their health insurance.

Rauner’s running mate for Lt. Governor is Wheaton City Councilwoman Evelyn Pacino Sanguinetti, reportedly a Tea Party Republican. She deleted her facebook account when added to his ticket. She is said to be closely affiliated with Tea Party extremist, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who led efforts to successfully shutdown the federal government last October in an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

Quinn partners with nursing home providers to ensure nursing home residents across the state get the quality care they deserve.

Quinn created the Office of Health Innovation and Transformation to replace the Office of Health Information Technology, aiming to create a pathway to modernize health care and delivery models in Illinois.

He has worked tirelessly to make sure every student in Illinois has the opportunity to receive a good education.

Since taking office, Governor Quinn has fought to preserve early childhood education from radical budget cuts and invested $45 million to build early education centers in underserved areas.

Quinn dramatically strengthened school safety in Illinois, instituting proactive and preventative measures to make sure children are safe in the classroom.

Quinn strongly supports raising the minimum wage, creating more jobs, and putting college within reach of more students and moving the state forward. He is pushing for a minimum wage increase to $10.10. It is unclear about Rauner’s position on minimum wage. During the Republican primary, Rauner said he was “adamantly” opposed to raising minimum wage, but has since waivered on that statement.

Rauner opposes marriage equality (same-sex marriage) and said he would have vetoed the measure. He is a supporter of assault weapons, and has been mum on voting rights and Voter ID laws that Republican governors and Republican-controlled legislatures have passed in several states.

The Chicago Teachers Union in its endorsement of Quinn in September 2014 called Quinn a “consensus builder” but labeled Republican challenger Rauner as a “school privatization proponent.”

First lady Michelle Obama states in her endorsement commercial of Quinn: “Pat has the courage to do what’s right.”

CopyLine Magazine also believes that Pat Quinn “has the courage to do what’s right.” And he deserves another four years to move Illinois forward.     

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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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