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Archive for November 20th, 2014

Awaiting Obama’s Executive Action, SF Wants to Be ‘Out in Front’

Posted by Admin On November - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Awaiting Obama’s Executive Action, SF Wants to Be ‘Out in Front’

New America Media

By Elena Shore


SAN FRANCISCO – Just before stepping out of the room to take a call with the White House, Mayor Ed Lee said he wanted San Francisco to be a model city in helping undocumented immigrants access administrative relief.

“I would like all cities to follow our practices as the best practices. I want to be out in front,” Mayor Lee told a group of philanthropic and community organizations that are preparing to respond to the executive action that President Obama is expected to announce Thursday.

Obama’s anticipated executive action could temporarily defer deportation and provide work permits to the parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. Depending on the scope of the announcement, it is estimated to impact up to 5 million undocumented immigrants, or about half of the country’s undocumented population, according to an analysis by the Migration Policy Institute. However, it would not provide a pathway to legal permanent resident status or citizenship.

Immigrant advocacy organizations have been calling on Obama to take executive action since the prospects of Congress passing comprehensive immigration reform have faded. Republican leaders, who will now control both houses of Congress, have made it clear that they will not act on immigration reform. Obama, meanwhile, has faced mounting pressure from immigrant rights advocates who criticize him for presiding over a record 2 million deportations, including the deportation of many who had no criminal record or were only convicted of minor offenses.

Cities like San Francisco are now preparing to coordinate strategies to deal with what Lee calls a “surge” in families who will want to take advantage of administrative relief.

In early December, Lee will join a meeting with other mayors from across the country to discuss how they are responding to the federal government’s expected executive action on immigration.

“This is very important to us. For me, as a child of immigrants, I understand that pretty fast. But also as sanctuary city,” Lee said, “we unite people.”

San Francisco is facing a housing crisis, and already has seen cuts to human services, education, health and family programs, Lee noted.

But, he said, “I really think the city is strong enough to cover those cuts,” citing the role of San Francisco’s philanthropic community. Last month the mayor appointed Colin Lacon, former head of Northern California Grantmakers, as the Mayor’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, a new position supported by foundations, that will interact with non-profit and philanthropic organizations.

“I’ve always said that the federal government is going to leave us behind on some things and we’ve got to be prepared to make it up,” said Lee. “Good thing we’re in a very strong economic situation in this city because these are things we’ve been preparing for.”

Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) Deputy Director Sally Kinoshita, who will be leading administrative relief efforts, said there are lessons to be learned from past executive actions.

“With IRCA [Immigration Reform and Control Act] back in the ‘80s, legal services were completely overwhelmed,” said Kinoshita.” Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which was enacted in 2012, was “a good test run,” she said. But she noted that, as with IRCA in the 1980s, legal services were inundated.

“Knowing how to coordinate” with other agencies is key to its success, said Kinoshita, noting that San Francisco was a model in bringing in school districts and unions to help get out the word to immigrants.

Nationally, the Committee for Immigration Reform Implementation is working to prepare for possible administrative relief, as is the statewide group Ready California, a coalition of 11 organizations.

“It really is going to take widespread coordination,” agreed Adrian Pon, executive director of the Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs.

Another lesson from DACA was that certain communities took longer to apply. Kinoshita expects that this will also be the case for administrative relief, and expects many to take a “wait and see” approach, especially in communities that are more fearful or have a bigger stigma around being undocumented.

Chinese, Filipino, Korean and Indian eligible Dreamers, for example, had much lower application rates for DACA than Mexicans.

A report published in August 2014 by the Migration Policy Institute found that 62 percent of eligible Mexican immigrants had applied for DACA, compared to 24 percent of eligible Koreans, 26 percent of eligible Filipinos, 28 percent of eligible Indians, and an even lower percentage of Chinese Americans.

“Chinese youth were notably absent among DACA applicants,” the report stated. “Although China ranked ninth among the top 10 countries of origin of the immediately eligible population, it was not among the top 20 countries of origin for DACA applicants in the program’s first two years.”

“We’re really concerned about Asian immigrant communities,” said Kinoshita, noting that this has already changed the way organizations are informing communities about DACA, and will be applied to administrative relief as well.

“We’re just trying to go through those trusted community leaders that people are already in contact with,” said Kinoshita, such as “community leaders, churches and tapping into ethnic media.”

“People go to work, people go to school, people listen to the radio at work and read their newspaper,” she said. “We learned from DACA it takes multiple touches.”

Kinoshita encourages immigrant families to start saving money and getting their documents together, including potentially having to prove that they were in the country on the day of the announcement.

But she warned that immigrant families should “keep a close eye on media sources” so they can get accurate information.

“I think the biggest challenges are going to be getting the correct information and accessing competent services,” Kinoshita said. “There’s a lot of preying on the immigrant community and people who will take their money and scam them, giving them the sense that they will get something that doesn’t exist yet.”

Senators Urge Administration to Work with Congress to End Iran’s Nuclear Threat

Posted by Admin On November - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – In light of the administration’s reported plans to circumvent Congress and unilaterally reach a nuclear deal with Iran, U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) today led a group of 43 senators in urging President Obama to work with Congress on reaching an agreement that will decisively end Iran’s nuclear threat.

In a letter to President Obama, the senators highlighted the negative consequences of a weak nuclear deal to the United States, and urged the President to insist that Iran meet the essential requirements previously outlined by Congress and the administration.

“We have watched with concern as your administration has hinted at ‘creative solutions’ that abandon the clear requirements of U.N. Security Council Resolutions, and shifted course away from essential requirements Congress has stressed in order to meet Iran’s unreasonable demands,” the senators wrote. “Your negotiators appear to have disregarded clear expressions from the Senate emphasizing the need for a multi-decade agreement requiring Iran to fully suspend its enrichment and reprocessing activities, to dismantle its illicit nuclear infrastructure, and completely disclose its past work on nuclear weaponization.”

“Given Iran’s growing nuclear and non-nuclear threats, we therefore urge your administration to firmly insist that Iran meet the requirements that Congress and members of your administration have previously outlined,” the senators added. “The negative consequences of a bad deal to the United States are immense, and will impact the security and safety of Americans and send a message of U.S. weakness to our allies and partners in the Middle East and beyond, including Israel.”

In addition to Kirk and Rubio, the letter is signed by Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Thune (R-S.D.), David Vitter (R-La.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), James Risch (R-Idaho), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

A PDF of the Kirk-Rubio letter is available here. The full text of the letter is below:

November 18, 2014

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

We are alarmed by recent developments in your administration’s policy toward Iran, including reports that your administration plans to circumvent Congress and unilaterally provide significant sanctions relief under a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran.  Reported plans to circumvent Congress suggest that your negotiators may be concluding a weak and dangerous deal which will prove unacceptable to the American people.  Such a course would ensure the ultimate failure of any agreement, and runs directly counter to Secretary of State John Kerry’s April 2014 statement to the Senate that your administration was absolutely obligated by law to come back to Congress in order to lift sanctions as part of a final deal with Iran, and that any final deal would “have to pass muster with Congress.”

We have watched with concern as your administration has hinted at “creative solutions” that abandon the clear requirements of U.N. Security Council Resolutions, and shifted course away from essential requirements Congress has stressed in order to meet Iran’s unreasonable demands.  Your negotiators appear to have disregarded clear expressions from the Senate emphasizing the need for a multi-decade agreement requiring Iran to fully suspend its enrichment and reprocessing activities, to dismantle its illicit nuclear infrastructure, and completely disclose its past work on nuclear weaponization.  We see no indication your negotiators are pressing Iran to abandon efforts to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach American soil.  Iran’s refusal to seriously address these issues raises fundamental questions about the sincerity of its participation in this process.

We also remain concerned about the full range of Iran’s threatening behavior.  As the State Department has reported, Iran remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.  Iran’s military forces, terrorist proxies, and illicit financial activities are perpetuating slaughter in Syria, and sowing extremism and instability throughout the region.  We are also troubled that you are apparently seeking to cooperate with Iran in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, especially given that Iran and its proxies have killed Americans in the past.  Moreover, despite hope about the supposed change represented by President Hassan Rouhani, the human rights of the Iranian people are still not respected.  On the contrary, executions are on the rise, political prisoners remain behind bars, and U.S. citizens continue to be held as hostages by the Iranian regime.

Given Iran’s growing nuclear and non-nuclear threats, we therefore urge your administration to firmly insist that Iran meet the requirements that Congress and members of your administration have previously outlined.  The negative consequences of a bad deal to the United States are immense, and will impact the security and safety of Americans and send a message of U.S. weakness to our allies and partners in the Middle East and beyond, including Israel.

As you know, Congress has a long history of bipartisan cooperation on Iran policy.  The Senate enjoys a broad consensus for continuing to increase the pressure on Iran, as evidenced by the bipartisan support for the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 (S. 1881).  We will continue to seek to impose additional pressure on Iran in the months ahead unless Tehran abandons its nuclear ambitions and pursues a genuinely constructive path in its relations with the world.

We urge your administration to cease efforts to circumvent Congress and work with us on a smarter approach that will decisively end Iran’s nuclear threat.  Unless the White House genuinely engages with Congress, we see no way that any agreement consisting of your administration’s current proposals to Iran will endure in the 114th Congress and after your presidential term ends.

Civil Rights Groups to Join Together to Highlight Need for Executive Action on Immigration

Posted by Admin On November - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The president’s pending executive action on immigration is expected to provide millions of aspiring Americans with relief from unnecessary deportations. With the power, precedent and priority for action on his side, millions of Americans are counting on President Obama to act boldly now.

Join leading civil rights groups including Define American, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Mi Familia Vota, NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Action Network, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), the National Urban League (NUL), NCLR (National Council of La Raza) and Voto Latino as they unite to urge the president to act swiftly and boldly.

To RSVP for this event, contact Julian Teixeira at jteixeira@nclr.org or (202) 776-1812.

Media Advisory

Who:

Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO, NAACP
Melanie L. Campbell, President and CEO, NCBCP
Chanelle Hardy, Executive Director, Washington Bureau, NUL
Wade Henderson, President and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Maria Teresa Kumar, President and CEO, Voto Latino
Ben Monterroso, Executive Director, Mi Familia Vota
Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR
Janai Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
Hector Sanchez, Executive Director, LCLAA, and Chair, NHLA
Rev. Al Sharpton, President, National Action Network
Jose Antonio Vargas, Founder and Co-Chair, Define American

What: Press conference on the president’s use of executive action on immigration

When: Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. EST

Where: National Press Club
529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor
Murrow Room
Washington, DC 20045

Rep. G. K. Butterfield Elected Next Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus

Posted by Admin On November - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – Representative G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) was elected chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) for the 114th Congress.  His appointment comes after 10 years of membership in the Caucus.

“I am happy to pass the Chairman’s gavel to my friend and colleague, Rep. Butterfield. He has dedicated his life and career to advancing the priorities of the disenfranchised and overlooked, both in his home state of North Carolina as well as here on the Hill,” said current CBC Chair Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11).  “Rep. Butterfield’s service and leadership, while a member of the CBC, have been critical to a number of key successes for the Caucus. I congratulate him on his election, and I look forward to supporting him in this new capacity as he continues to move our Caucus forward.”

Also elected in today’s leadership elections were: Yvette Clarke (NY-09); 1st Vice Chair; Andre Carson (IN-07), 2nd Vice Chair; Karen Bass (CA-37), Secretary; and Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), Whip.

The new CBC executive board will officially take their offices when the 114th Congress opens onJanuary 6, 2015.

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

Posted by Admin On November - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts

  • Matthew Butler – Nominee for Commissioner, Election Assistance Commission
  • Mark R. Rosekind – Nominee for Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Department of Transportation

President Obama also announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  • Darryl J. Madden – Member, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin
  • Brigadier General Kent D. Savre, USA – Member, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin
  • Robert M. Sussman – Member, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin

President Obama said, “I am pleased to announce that these experienced and committed individuals have decided to serve our country.  I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:

Matthew Butler, Nominee for Commissioner, Election Assistance Commission
Matthew Butler is a Principal at BCT Consulting Group LLC, a role he has held since 2013.  From 2009 to 2013, Mr. Butler worked with Media Matters for America, first as the Chief Financial Officer and Director of Progressive Talent Initiative from 2009 to 2011, and then as the Chief Executive Officer and President from 2011 to 2013.  From 2008 to 2011, Mr. Butler was the Principal Consultant with East Capitol Consulting, LLC, where he served as a senior level political advisor to various organizations.  From 2007 to 2008, he was the Deputy Campaign Manager for the Chris Dodd for President Campaign, and in 2006, he was the Campaign Manager for the Maria Cantwell for Senate campaign in Washington.  In 2004, Mr. Butler served as the Deputy Campaign Manager for the Kerry-Edwards campaign, and from 2002 to 2004, he was the Chief Financial Officer for the John Kerry for President campaign.  He was an Associate Attorney at Haight, Brown & Bonesteel, LLP.  In 2000, he served as the General Election Comptroller for the Democratic National Committee, and he served as the Planning Manager for the Presidential Inaugural Gala following the 1996 Presidential election.  He began his professional career as the Deputy to the National Coordinated Campaign Director at the Democratic National Committee from 1995 to 1996.  Mr. Butler received a B.A. from American University and a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law.

Dr. Mark R. Rosekind, Nominee for Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Department of Transportation
Dr. Mark R. Rosekind is a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a position he has held since 2010.  Prior to his service on the NTSB, he was President and Chief Scientist of Alertness Solutions from 1997 to 2010.  From 1996 to 1997, Dr. Rosekind was Chief of the Aviation Operations Branch in the Flight Management and Human Factors Division with NASA Ames Research Center.  Dr. Rosekind also served as a Research Scientist at the Ames Research Center and Team Leader for the Fatigue Countermeasures Program in the Aviation Safety Research Branch of the Flight Management and Human Factors Division from 1990 to 1997.  From 1989 to 1990, he was a Research Associate in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine.  From 1987 to 1989, Dr. Rosekind was a postdoctoral fellow in Sleep and Chronobiology at Brown University Medical School.  Dr. Rosekind received an A.B. from Stanford University and an M.S., an M.Phil., and a Ph.D  from Yale University.

President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

Darryl J. Madden, Appointee for Member, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin
Darryl J. Madden is the Commodore of the Port of Washington Yacht Club, a position he has held since 2014.  He also currently serves as Executive Director of the Homeland Security and Public Safety Practice at IMRI, Federal Sector, a position he has held since 2014.  From 2010 to 2014, Mr. Madden was Director for the Ready Campaign on Emergency Preparedness and Deputy Director for Strategic Communications at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and previously held several other positions at FEMA starting in 2005.  Mr. Madden was Chief Operations Officer at The Trident Group from 2004 to 2006 and Managing Partner of the communications division from 2002 to 2006.  From 1998 to 2004, he worked as Director of Communications for the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety in the District of Columbia.  He also served as Special Assistant to the Mayor of Baltimore from 1995 to 1998.  Mr. Madden received a B.S. from the University of Baltimore and is a Senior Executive Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Brigadier General Kent D. Savre, USA, Appointee for Member, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin
Brigadier General Kent D. Savre serves as the Commanding General for the United States Army Corps of Engineers North Atlantic Division, a position he has held since 2012.  Prior to this position, he was the Director of the Office of the Chief of Engineers from 2011 to 2012.  From 2008 to 2011, he served as U.S. Forces-Iraq Theater Engineer Brigade commander in Iraq and Commander of the 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas.  Brigadier General Savre was Director of Counter Explosive Hazards Center at the U.S. Army Engineer School from 2005 to 2007.  From 2003 to 2005, Brigadier General Savre was Battalion Commander in Fort Lewis, Washington and Commander for “Operation Iraqi Freedom” in Iraq.  From 2002 to 2003, he was Assistant Corps Engineer for I Corps at Fort Lewis, Washington.  From 1998 to 2002, Brigadier General Savre served as an Executive Officer in Germany and for “Operation Joint Guardian” in Kosovo.  Brigadier General Savre received a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, an M.S. from Arizona State University, and an M.S.S. from the United States Army War College.

Robert M. Sussman, Appointee for Member, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin
Robert M. Sussman is Principal at Sussman and Associates and is an Adjunct Law Professor at Georgetown University School of Law.  From 2009 to 2013, he served as Senior Policy Counsel to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator.  Mr. Sussman was Co-Chair of the Obama Transition Team for EPA from 2008 to 2009.  Mr. Sussman was partner at Latham & Watkins from 1995 to 2007 as well as from 1987 to 1993.  From 1993 to 1994, he served as EPA Deputy Administrator.  Mr. Sussman was an Associate and Partner at Covington and Burling from 1974 to 1987.  He was a Judicial Clerk to Judge Stapleton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware from 1973 to 1974.  Mr. Sussman received a B.A. from Yale College and an L.L.D. from Yale Law School.

Twelve Historical Black Colleges and Universities Selected for Inclusion in the 2015 Collector’s Edition African-American History Calendar

Posted by Admin On November - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS


Flint, MI (BlackNews.com) Philanthropist and historian Dr. K. D. Yarber, of Flint, Michigan announced today that twelve historically black colleges and universities are being honored in 2015 Collector’s Edition African American History Calendar. The HBCU’s included in the 2015 African American History Calendar are: Bluefield State College, Bluefield , West Virginia , Clinton College Rock Hill, South Carolina Elizabeth City State University Elizabeth City North Carolina Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Tallahassee, Florida Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Georgia LeMoyne-Owen College Memphis, Tennessee Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee Oakwood University Huntsville, Alabama Saint Phillips University San Antonio, Texas Selma University Selma , Alabama Shorter College North Little Rock, Arkansas South Carolina State University Orangeburg, South Carolina.

Each of the colleges and universities will be featured for one month in the Collector’s Edition African American History Calendar with a full color photograph and a brief history of the college or university. In addition the Collector’s Edition African American History Calendar also features Black History information for everyday of the year. Calendars can also be purchased in bulk by visiting www.TrueBlackHistory.com or by calling (810) 624-3987.

Many kinds of youth groups, church groups, sports teams, schools and individuals have successfully used the Collector’s Edition African America History Calendars to raise funds for special needs without upfront cost Calendars will also be available at selected Colleges and Universities, Bookstores featuring African American genre.

The Collector’s Edition African American History Calendar can inform the general public about the stories of our treasured Colleges and Universities, and help readers gain an appreciation of the history of black people. Previous Historically Black Colleges and Universities featured in the Collector’s Edition African American History Calendar included: Wilberforce University, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, University of the District of Columbia, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, Harris Stowe State University, Bowie State University, Shaw University, Virginia Union University, Edward Waters University, Lincoln University Missouri, Rust College, Fisk University, Spelman College, Lane College, Virginia State University, Arkansas Baptist College, Kentucky State College, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Savannah State University, Langston University, West Virginia State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Delaware State University, Huston-Tillotson University, Stillman College, Jackson State University, Philander Smith College, Florida Memorial University, Southern University and A& M College, Tuskegee University, Knoxville College, Virginia State University, Morris Brown College, Paine College, Clark Atlanta University, Saint Augustine College, Alcorn State University, Tougaloo College, Paul Quin College, Prairie View A&M University, Bennett College, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Wiley College, Benedict College, Alabama A&M University, Morehouse College and others.

Dr. Yarber is a possessed by a humanitarian spirit and desire to help historically black colleges and universities prosper. During these times when so many of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities are fighting for survival the Collector’s Edition African American History Calendar is one way support them. A 40 year member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., a graduate of the Morehouse School of Religion at the Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, Georgia Dr. Yarber is pastor of Mount Hermon Baptist Church, of Flint, Michigan, History of African American Religion instructor at University of Michigan-Flint, and president of the Great Lakes District Baptist Leadership and Educational Congress.

For more details and/or to purchase the calendar, visit www.TrueBlackHistory.com or call (810) 624-3987.

Photo Caption: 2015 Collector’s Edition African American History Calendar

Madigan, FTC Ban ‘Free’ Credit Score Scam

Posted by Admin On November - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
Defendants to Pay $22 Million in Refunds for Scheme to Charge for Credit Monitoring Consumers Never Authorized

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan  joined with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Ohio Attorney General to stop an online scheme that allegedly lured consumers with “free” access to their credit scores and then billed them a recurring fee of $29.95 per month for a credit monitoring program they never ordered. In total, three companies have agreed to pay $22 million for consumer refunds under a settlement with Madigan, the FTC and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

A complaint was filed today by Madigan, the FTC and Ohio against defendants One Technologies, LP, who operated as ScoreSense, One Technologies, Inc., and MyCreditHealth; as well as One Technologies Management, LLC; and One Technologies Capital, LLP. The lawsuit alleged the companies failed to clearly disclose that consumers who accessed their credit score through an online portal would be automatically enrolled in the credit monitoring program and incur monthly charges until they called the defendants to cancel. At least 210,000 consumers contacted banks, credit card companies, law enforcement agencies, and the Better Business Bureau to complain about the scheme.

“Consumers should never have to pay for monitoring services when they can incorporate several commonsense steps into their daily routine that will help minimize the risk of identity theft,” Attorney General Madigan said.

Madigan said that consumers can receive one free credit report annually by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228 to order their free reports. The report will not include a consumer’s full credit score, but it should be immediately reviewed to ensure all the information is correct. If not, immediately contact the credit reporting agency to request that the information be explained or corrected.

The defendants marketed their credit monitoring programs, MyCreditHealth and ScoreSense, through at least 50 websites, including FreeScore360.com, FreeScoreOnline.com and ScoreSense.com. They bought advertising on search engines such as Google and Bing so that ads for their websites appeared near the top of search results when consumers looked for terms such as “free credit report.” The most prominent ad stated, “View your latest Credit Score from All 3 Bureaus in 60 seconds for $0!”

The only way consumers could cancel their membership and request refunds was to call a toll-free number. Consumers often had to make repeated calls to secure their cancellation or refund. The defendants often denied refunds to those who claimed they did not knowingly enroll.

Under the settlement order, the defendants are permanently prohibited from violating the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act, misrepresenting material facts about any product or service marketed with a negative option, misrepresenting material terms of any refund or cancellation policy, and failing to clearly disclose, before a consumer consents to pay via a negative option, all material terms of any such policy. They are also barred from failing to honor a refund or cancellation request that complies with such a policy, and failing to provide a simple way for consumers to stop recurring charges.

In addition, the defendants are prohibited from failing to disclose the name of the seller or provider or the name of the product or service as it appears in billing statements, a product description and its cost, the length of any trial period, and the mechanism to stop any recurring charges. The defendants are also barred from using billing information to obtain payment for any product or service marketed with a negative option without the consumer’s prior express informed consent, as prescribed in the court order.

Attorney General Madigan also offered these tips for consumers who want to better protect themselves from identity theft:

  • Set up Transaction Alerts on your accounts to receive notifications when your credit or debit card is used above a certain dollar amount, so if someone uses your card without authorization, you’ll receive a text message or email and can immediately call your card issuer to dispute the charge.
  • Regularly review your bank and credit card statements to make sure there are no unauthorized transactions. Contest any unauthorized charges immediately by contacting your bank using the toll-free number on the back of your credit or debit card. Prompt reporting of unauthorized charges is critical to limit your liability, particularly if you are a debit card user because liability depends on how quickly you report a lost or stolen card. For instance, if you report a lost or stolen debit card before any unauthorized transactions occur, you are not responsible for any of the unauthorized charges, but if you make the report within two business days of losing your card, you can be liable for up to $50 of unauthorized charges. After two days, reporting lost or stolen cards can increase your liability anywhere from $500 and up.
  • Review your credit reports for unauthorized accounts. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies per year. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com, or call 1-877-322-8228 to order your credit reports. Make sure all the information is correct. If not, immediately contact the credit reporting agency to request that the information be explained or corrected.
  • Consider putting a security freeze on your credit. A security freeze, also known as a credit freeze, essentially locks down your personal data at the consumer reporting agency until an individual gives permission for the release of the data, which can prevent someone from taking out credit in your name.  You can easily have the freeze lifted when you want to allow a company to check your credit if, for instance, you are opening new accounts or purchasing a car or home.

For more information or assistance, Attorney General Madigan urged Illinois residents to call her office’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1-866-999-5630. Madigan’s Identity Theft Unit has helped over 35,000 victims remove over $26 million in fraudulent charges from their credit.

Preckwinkle Introduces Major Economic Development Initiatives to the Cook County Board of Commissioners

Posted by Admin On November - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
Four clusters of communities in Southern Cook County to be designated as “Illinois Enterprise Zones”


First BUILT in Cook loan approved for the Cullerton Avenue Industrial Area in the Village of Franklin Park

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle introduced a series of ordinances designed to generate economic development in local communities by designating them as Illinois Enterprise Zones at the November meeting of the Cook County Board of Commissioners held on Wednesday. The Board of Commissioners also approved awarding the first loan under the BUILT (Broadening Urban Investment to Leverage Transportation) in Cook program to the Village of Franklin Park for infrastructure improvements to the Cullerton Avenue Industrial Area.

Four Illinois Enterprise Zones

The Cook County Bureau of Economic Development is leading a collaborative effort with the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (SSMMA) and Will County to designate four locations in Southern Cook County as Illinois Enterprise Zones, including two areas that straddle Cook and Will Counties. Illinois Enterprise Zones are eligible for substantial tax incentives to generate private sector investments and business growth, including include sales tax exemptions on the purchase of property and building materials, utility tax emptions, and an investment tax credit for taxpayers who invest in machinery, equipment or buildings in the enterprise zone.

“Economic development will be a key focus of my administration as we move into our second term. Enterprise Zones are a valuable tool that allows state and local governments to work with businesses to create jobs and generate economic development,” Preckwinkle said.

The four Enterprise Zone locations are:

·  Cal Sag Enterprise Zone: The Village of Alsip, The City of Blue Island, The Village of Calumet Park, The City of Country Club Hills, The Village of Dixmoor, The Village of East Hazel Crest, The City of Harvey, The Village of Hazel Crest ,The Village of Homewood, , the City of Markham, The Village of Merrionette Park, The Village of Midlothian, The City Oak Forest, The Village of Phoenix, The Village of Robbins, the Village of Worth, and The County of Cook.

·   Calumet Enterprise Zone: The City of Calumet City, The Village of Lansing, The Village of Riverdale, The Village of South Holland, The Village of Thornton, and The County of Cook;.

·   Lincoln-394 Corridor Enterprise Zone: The Village of Beecher, The City of Chicago Heights, The Village of Crete, The Village of Ford Heights, The Village of Glenwood, The Village of Olympia Fields, The Village of Sauk Village, The Village of South Chicago Heights, The Village of Steger, The County of Cook, and the County of Will.

·  Will-Cook Enterprise Zone: The Village of Matteson, The Village of Monee, The Village of Park Forest, The Village of Richton Park, The Village of University Park, The County of Cook, and The County of Will.

“Many state benefits occur as the result of being a designated Illinois Enterprise Zone. For example there is a  sales tax exemption on purchases of building materials, and a utility tax exemption for businesses that invest more than $5 million in property and create more than 200 jobs, just to point out two examples,” stated Ed Paesel, Executive Director, South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (SSMMA).

“The initiative to establish four new enterprise zones in Will and Cook counties is an example of my ongoing commitment to regional collaboration and economic development,” said Will County Executive Larry Walsh. “For the Eastern Will County communities involved, an enterprise zone designation will be another tool to attract new investment, stabilize the local tax base, and create jobs closer to home for Will County residents.”

All applications are submitted to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Enterprise Zone Program in Springfield, Illinois.  They will be reviewed by the Enterprise Zone Board in early 2015.

Cullerton Avenue Industrial Area in Franklin Park

The Board of Commissioners also approved issuing the first BUILT (Broadening Urban Investment to Leverage Transportation) in Cook loan to the Village of Franklin Park to fund improvements to the Cullerton Avenue Industrial Area. BUILT in Cook is a HUD Section 108 Loan Guarantee program that allows the County to borrow money from private investors at reduced interest rates to promote economic development, stimulate job growth and improve public facilities.

The Cullerton Avenue Industrial Area contains more than 2,300,000 square feet of industrial space, and is home to ten companies employing more than 1,300 employees. The loan of up to $4 million will be used to fund public infrastructure improvements, including street reconstruction and sewer and drainage work. Pending Board approval, the project is scheduled to begin in early 2015.

“The Cullerton Avenue Industrial Area in Franklin Park was chosen for a BUILT in Cook loan because of the strong partnership between the resident businesses and local government.  The infrastructure improvements made through the loan will create 133 new jobs and will also increase property values,” Preckwinkle said.

“Revitalizing the Cullerton Avenue Industrial Area in Franklin Park allows us to rebuild much needed infrastructure,” stated Commissioner Tobolski.  “Improved infrastructure is vital to the business community and their work to create jobs.”

“Funding provided by Cook County through their ‘BUILT in Cook’ program allows us to move forward with improvements  to failed industrial infrastructure,”  Franklin Park Mayor Barrett Pedersen said. “Without the County’s support, this project would not have been financially feasible.  This loan will help us maintain a strong economic employment base for the Village of Franklin Park and Cook County.”

All ordinances were referred to committee and will be voted on at the December Board Meeting.

Simon Urges Support of Minimum Wage Increase

Posted by Admin On November - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Legislation Passes Senate Committee

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon issued the following statement in support of Senate Bill 68 sponsored by Sen. Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).

“Voters at the polls this month were loud and clear: they support raising the state’s minimum wage. Making sure that Illinois workers are earning a decent wage is in the best interest of all Illinoisans and will help us grow our state’s economy.

“I would like to thank Sen. Lightford for her commitment to fighting for Illinois’ workers and their families. I encourage the Senate to pass this important legislation quickly.”

Senate Amendment 5 to Senate Bill 68 would raise the minimum wage in Illinois in increments. Under the amendment, the wage would increase to $10 per hour on July 1, 2015, $10.50 per hour on July 1, 2016 and $11 per hour on July 1, 2017.

KCETLink Airs New Episode of CCTV America’s Current

Posted by Admin On November - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Episode Airs on Link TV Friday, November 21, 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT, Sunday, Nov. 23 at 4:30 p.m. PT KCET (Southern California)

Affairs & Culture Magazine Show, ‘Full Frame’

Philanthropists Vicki Escarra, Dan Pallotta, and TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie discuss ways the non-profit sector is learning from for-profit businesses

KCETLink, the national independent public media organization, presents a new episode of Full Frame, CCTV America’s new weekly series, which features human interest storytelling, enlightening dialogue and humanitarian issues embraced by leading cultural luminaries.

Despite their worldwide impact, critics claim that charitable organizations’ not-for-profit framework actually hinders their true potential. Full Frame host Mike Walter sits down with Vicki Escarra, Dan Pallotta, and Toms Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie to discuss new and innovative ways that the non-profit sector is learning from for-profit businesses.

Vicki Escarra has been successful in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. Formerly, one of the highest-ranking women in the aviation industry, Escarra decided to pursue a new path and switched her focus and career to the non-profit sector after a life-changing experience on September 11, 2001. She became the CEO of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization. Escarra is now the CEO of Opportunity International, a non-profit organization that provides support to over four million people who are working their way out of poverty in the developing world through savings accounts, small business loans, insurance and job training.

Dan Pallotta gave an iconic TED Talk criticizing the idea that charities should be rewarded for how little they spend, instead of what they actually accomplish, still ranking in the top 50 most-viewed TED talks of all time.

Through his company, Pallotta TeamWorks, he created the multi-day charitable event industry and raised more than $582 million in nine years, which was the more money for charitable causes in that period of time than any private event operation in history.

Full Frame also sits down with the founder of Toms Shoes, Blake Mycoskie, the person behind the idea of one-for-one charitable donations. Created in 2006, Toms was one of the first companies to introduce the one-for-one business model — a promise that for every pair of shoes sold, a new pair of shoes would be donated to a child in need.

Also, in this week’s “Close-Up” segment, Full Frame follows Crys Worley and her foundation A-SKATE, a non-profit organization that hosts skateboarding clinics for autistic children and their families across the U.S.

Link  TV (DirecTV 375, DISH Network 9410)

For more information on Full Frame, visit http://www.kcet.org/shows/full_frame/.

About  KCETLink Media Group

KCETLink Media Group, formed by the merger between KCET and Link Media, is a national independent, nonprofit, digital and broadcast network that provides high-quality, culturally diverse programming designed to engage the public in innovative, entertaining and transformative ways. With a commitment to independent perspectives, smart global entertainment, local communities, and opportunities for engagement and social action, KCETLink depicts people and the world through a lens unavailable elsewhere in U.S. media. A viewer-supported 501(c)(3) organization, KCETLink content is distributed nationally via satellite on Link TV – DIRECTV channel 375 and DISH Network channel 9410 – and on KCET in Southern and Central California via broadcast and cable, as well as through various digital delivery systems. For additional information about KCET and Link TV productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org or linktv.org.

About CCTV America

CCTV America began producing unique programming in the Americas about the Americas in February 2012.  CCTV America is a division of CCTV News, a global English language news channel that reaches some 85 million viewers in more than 100 countries and territories. The channel reaches 35 million viewers in North America.  Channel distribution includes Comcast-273 in Washington D.C. and Time Warner 134 in New York. Nationally it can be seen on the DISH Network 279.

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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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