13
December , 2017
Wednesday

Research Center on Health Disparities, Equity and the Exposome at the University of Tennessee Health ...
Black-owned firm produces large scale animation via 3D projection mapping Nationwide – "Our ...
  By Benjamin Todd Jealous President & CEO of the NAACP   The United States has five percent of ...
The U.S. Census Bureau today released the latest statistics from the American Community ...
By Juanita Bratcher Occupy Chicago protesters were staked out in the heart of the Chicago Loop, ...
San Francisco, CA (BlackNews.com) -- Terrance Amen says the Black community can become prosperous by ...
Monthly concert series showcases roster of international virtuoso musicians On Sunday May 27, the non-profit arts ...
Annual JUBALEE Gala November 7 on Jay Pritzker Pavillion Stage in Millennium Park   Chicago, IL –The ...
  Bookcover and author Celly Cel Vallejo, CA (BlackNews.com) -- Bay Area rapper, Celly Cel, blazed ...
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) -- Walking The Spirit Tours, who pioneered tours of historical and contemporary Black ...

Archive for December 5th, 2014

President Obama Nominates Ashton Carter as Secretary of Defense

Posted by Admin On December - 5 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

President Barack Obama’s Remarks in Nominating Carter as Defense Secretary

Roosevelt Room


President Obama: Good morning, everybody.  Please have a seat.  It is wonderful to be able to announce not the creation, but at least the filling of one new job. But before we do, I wanted to make a somewhat broader statement about the economy.  And Ash is willing to indulge me.

Last month, America’s businesses created more than 300,000 jobs.  This keeps a pace so far this year that we have not seen since the 1990s.  So far this year, over the first 11 months of 2014, our economy has created 2.65 million jobs.  That’s more than in any entire year since the 1990s.  Our businesses have now created 10.9 million jobs over the past 57 months in a row.  And that’s the longest streak of private sector job growth on record.

We also know that the pickup in the pace of job growth this year has been in industries with higher wages.  And overall, wages are rising — a very welcome sign for millions of Americans.  So we’ve got an opportunity to keep up this progress if Congress is willing to keep our government open, avoid self-inflicted wounds, and work together to invest in the things that support faster job growth in high-paying jobs.  That means exports, infrastructure, streamlining our tax code, immigration reform, giving minimum wage workers a raise.

It’s been a long road to recovery from the worst economic crisis in generations, and we still have a lot more work to do to make sure that hardworking Americans’ wages are growing faster.  But the United States continues to outpace most of the world.  Over the last four years, we’ve put more people back to work than Europe, Japan, and all other industrialized advanced countries combined.  And we’re going to keep at it until every single American who is willing and able to work can find not just any job, but a job that pays a decent wage and allows them to support their families.

But it’s worth us every once in a while reflecting on the fact that the American economy is making real progress.  And if we can continue in this trajectory, if we can continue to grow robustly, and if we make sure that those companies who are seeing profits — they’re probably higher than any time in the last 60 years — that they’re also making sure that their workers are sharing in that growth, then we can get a virtuous cycle that’s really going to make a difference and be a critical component of strengthening our national security, because national security starts with a strong economy here at home.

Now, I know that some people think that I announce Cabinet positions on fake Twitter accounts. This is not the case.

A year ago, when Ash Carter completed his tenure as Deputy Secretary of Defense, Secretary Hagel took to the podium in Ash’s farewell ceremony and looked out at the audience of our civilian and military leaders, and he said, “I’ve known Ash Carter for many years.  All of us here today have benefited from Ash’s hard work, his friendship, from his inspiration, and from his leadership.”  And Chuck then went on to express his gratitude to his partner for “what Ash has done for this country and will continue to do in many ways.”  Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Today, I’m pleased to announce my nominee to be our next Secretary of Defense, Mr. Ash Carter.

Now, with a record of service that has spanned more than 30 years — as a public servant, as an advisor, as a scholar — Ash is rightly regarded as one of our nation’s foremost national security leaders.  As a top member of our Pentagon team for the first five years of my presidency, including his two years as deputy secretary, he was at the table in the Situation Room; he was by my side navigating complex security challenges that we were confronting.  I relied on his expertise, and I relied on his judgment.  I think it’s fair to say that, Ash, in your one-year attempt at retirement from public service, you’ve failed miserably. But I am deeply grateful that you’re willing to go back at it.

Ash, as some of you know, brings a unique blend of strategic perspective and technical know-how.  As a student of history, he understands the United States — and I’m quoting him now — is “the single most [important] provider of security in the world,” and he played a key role in devising our defense strategy to advance that security.  He’s also a physicist, which means that he’s one of the few people who actually understands how many of our defense systems work. And that has also allowed him to serve with extraordinary breadth and also depth in a whole range of work that we’ve had to do.

In one way or another, Ash has served under 11 Secretaries of Defense.  He’s an innovator who helped create the program that has dismantled weapons of mass destruction around the world and reduced the threat of nuclear terrorism.  He’s a reformer who’s never been afraid to cancel old or inefficient weapons programs. He knows the Department of Defense inside and out — all of which means that on day one, he’s going to hit the ground running.

Ash is also known by our allies and our friends around the world.  Having served both Republican and Democratic Secretaries, he’s respected and trusted on both sides of the aisle.  He’s been a close partner with our military leaders.  And he’s admired by civilian leaders across the department because he’s a mentor to so many of them.

There’s one other quality of Ash’s service that I think often gets overlooked, and that is his true regard, his love for the men and women in uniform and their families, his relentless dedication to their safety and well-being.  When he cut outdated, unneeded systems, he did it because he was trying to free up money for our troops to make sure they had the weapons and the gear that they needed and the quality of life for themselves and their families that they deserve.

When our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan were struggling to defend against roadside bombs, he moved heaven and earth to rush them new body armor and vehicles.  It’s no exaggeration to say that there are countless Americans who are alive today in part because of Ash’s efforts.  When our forces sat down for Thanksgiving dinner far from home, or as our wounded warriors recovered in the hospital, or when our fallen heroes returned to Dover, Ash was there, often on his own time, without any publicity or fanfare.  And I know that Ash will be there for them now as Secretary of Defense.

We face no shortage of challenges to our national security. Our combat mission in Afghanistan ends this month, and we have to transition to a new mission of advising and assisting Afghan forces and going after remnants of al Qaeda’s core.  We have to keep degrading, and ultimately destroying, ISIL in Iraq and Syria.  We have to build counterterrorism partnerships and new platforms.  We have to continue the fight against Ebola in West Africa.  We have to continue to strengthen our alliances, including NATO, and continue rebalancing our defense posture in the Asia Pacific.

Going forward, our armed forces are, necessarily, going to need to be leaner, but as Commander-in-Chief, I’m going to make sure that we have a military that is second to none, that continues to be the greatest fighting force in the history of the world.

That means, though, we’re going to have to bolster some new capabilities, our cyber-defenses, how we deal with our satellites and how we’re adapting our military, and investing in new capabilities to meet long-term threats.  We’re going to have to work with Congress on a more responsible approach to defense spending, including the reforms we need to make the department more efficient.  That’s how we’re going to preserve readiness.  That’s how we’re going to keep faith with our forces and our families.  That’s how we’re going to deliver world-class care to our wounded warriors.

And Ash is going to be critical to all these efforts.  When we talked about this job, we talked about how we’re going to have to make smart choices precisely because there are so many challenges out there.  And we’re going to have to squeeze everything we have out of the resources that we have in order to be as effective as possible.  And I can’t think of somebody who’s more qualified to do that.

In his career, Ash has been confirmed by the Senate three times.  If it were entirely up to my dear friend, Carl Levin, who’s sitting here, I suspect it would happen really quickly because that’s the kind of guy Carl is, and Carl, I know, has had a chance to work with Ash in the past.  My hope is, is that in the new Congress, we get similar speed and dispatch.

By the way, we will miss Carl Levin.  I just wanted to mention that.

One last piece of critical information that may have tipped the scales in me wanting to promote Ash.  Ash is a big Motown fan. And one of his favorites is a classic by the Four Tops, “Reach out, I’ll be there.”  So, Ash, I’m reaching out to you. You have been there for us, our troops, our families, our nation.

I also know that he’s been there for his lovely wife, Stephanie, sometimes by Skype because he’s been traveling.  But the sacrifices that Stephanie has been willing to make — this is a team effort, as it is true for our military families.  And so we’re very grateful to Stephanie.  She joined Ash on a lot of those Thanksgiving trips to see our troops and at the bedside of wounded warriors.  She knows the sacrifices they’re going through.

Stephanie, we thank you for your service.  We thank Will and Ava, who couldn’t be here, but we know that they couldn’t be prouder of their dad.

And with that, I want to let, hopefully, our soon-to-be-new Secretary of Defense say a few words.

MR. CARTER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  And, Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, it’s an honor and a privilege for me to be nominated for the position of Secretary of Defense.  General Scowcroft, my longtime mentor, thank you for being here.  And thanks to another longtime mentor, Bill Perry, who can’t be here today.  And thanks to you, Chairman, and many other friends and colleagues, past and future, for coming out today.

I accepted the President’s offer to be nominated for Secretary of Defense because of my regard for his leadership.  I accepted it because of the seriousness of the strategic challenges we face, but also the bright opportunities that exist for America if we can come together to grab hold of them.  And I accepted the offer because of the deep respect and abiding love that Stephanie and I have for our men and women in uniform.

As we talked together in the past weeks, Mr. President, we discussed the challenges and the opportunities, and the need both to keep America safe and to make a better future for our children.  If confirmed in this job, I pledge to you my most candid strategic advice.  And I pledge also that you will receive equally candid military advice.

And finally, to the greatest fighting force the world has ever known, to you, I pledge to keep faith with you and to serve our nation with the same unflinching dedication that you demonstrate every day.

Madigan Announces $3.8 Million Settlement with Sirius XM

Posted by Admin On December - 5 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
Sirius XM to Provide Restitution for Misleading Advertising & Billing Practices

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined with the attorneys general of 44 states and the District of Columbia to announce that Sirius XM Radio Inc. of New York has agreed to pay $3.8 million and provide restitution to eligible consumers to resolve claims that the satellite radio company engaged in misleading advertising and billing practices.

Madigan and the other attorneys general alleged that Sirius XM engaged in misleading, unfair and deceptive practices in violation of state consumer protection laws. The states’ investigation focused on consumer complaints involving: difficulty canceling contracts, cancellation requests that were not honored, misrepresentations that the consumer’s Sirius XM service would be canceled and not renewed, contracts that were automatically renewed without consumers’ notice or consent, unauthorized fees, higher and unanticipated rates after a low introductory rate, and Sirius XM failing to provide timely refunds.

Under the terms of the settlement, an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, Sirius XM will make significant changes to its business practices. Specifically, Sirius XM agreed to:

  • Clearly and conspicuously disclose all terms and conditions at the point of sale, such as billing frequency, term length, automatic renewal date, and cancellation policy.
  • Make no misrepresentations about the available plans in advertisements.
  • Provide advance notice via mail or email about upcoming automatic renewals for plans lasting longer than six months.
  • Revise the cancellation procedures to make it easier for consumers to cancel.
  • Prohibit incentive compensation for customer service representatives based solely on “saves,” or retaining current customers who attempt to cancel.

“This settlement will put a stop to the numerous unfair and deceptive practices Sirius employed to overcharge customers,” Madigan said.

In addition to the $3.8 million that Sirius XM must pay the states, Sirius XM will provide restitution to eligible consumers who have complaints about the problems addressed by the agreement.

To be considered for restitution under this settlement, consumers must file a complaint by May 3, 2015, concerning Sirius XM conduct between July 28, 2008, and Dec. 4, 2014, involving an actual loss that has not been previously resolved with the Attorney General’s office.

Consumers who previously complained about Sirius XM to the Attorney General’s office do not need to re-file in order to be considered for restitution under this settlement.

Consumers who have not previously filed a complaint with their attorney general for the practices covered by this settlement have 150 days after the settlement’s execution date to file a complaint to be considered for restitution.

Consumers who wish to file a complaint regarding Sirius XM’s business practices addressed by this settlement are urged to contact Madigan’s office at 1-800-243-0618 or 1-877-844-5461 (TTY) or file a complaint online on her website. Consumers also can file complaints on the Sirius XM website.

Joining Madigan in today’s agreement were attorneys general from the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The Executive Committee consisted of attorneys general from Ohio, Arizona, Connecticut, Tennessee, Vermont and Washington, D.C.

10 Amazing Ways to Address and Deal With Police Brutality That You Won’t Hear About on CNN

Posted by Admin On December - 5 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

By Orrin Hudson, Founder of Be Someone


Police Brutality

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Police brutality is alive and well, and the story is always the same. White cop kills unarmed Black man, and the grand jury fails to indict him. The problem is discussed over and over again, but people rarely talk about the solutions.

Here are 10 ways for police officers and us as citizens to best deal with the issue of police brutality:

#1 – Have Faith: People may not be fair, but God is just and fair and we must trust in him (Vengeance is mine said the Lord…) Many people are religious, but tend to forget their religion when they are facing injustice. The Bible, Quran, and most other religious books encourage peace, faith and trust in a higher being.

#2 – Take the Non-Lethal Approach: Police departments around the country need to start taking the non-lethal approach to non-lethal situations. Alternatives such as mace and tasers, just to name a few. If you think violence is an answer, then think again! We must become peaceful if we want peace. What you want you must give.

#3 – Be More Sensitive: Police departments must also better provide sensitivity training. All should be treated with respect and dignity. We can choose to understand from a new perspective. Change your mind and change the result. See with eyes of love and understanding rather than with fear, doubt and anger. Know that when you hurt others, you are also hurting you and yours.

#4 – Think Kenny Rogers: All of us need to apply the Kenny Rogers philosophy which says “you got to know when to hold em’, know when to fold em, know when to walk away and when to run.” We need to know that we have choices, and our thoughts and actions return/reflect back to each of us in kind.

#5 – Encourage Youth To Respect Authority: Many police brutality cases often start because of young ones being disrepectful to those who are in authority. There needs to be a long conversation with the youth about respect and courtesy. Respect is a choice and a value. When we understand the value of what we are choosing, we will choose trust and wisdom. We must teach such values to our children and to each other!

#6 – Love Your Neighbor: Love thy neighbors as you love yourself, and remember this also implies and intends that one love one’s self. This means that we need to discern the difference between our fearful ego and our true self.

#7 – Stop Blaming Others: We need to stop blaming others for our actions, and pull out a mirror and take responsibility for ourselves. We also need to walk in love, and like mother Teresa said “focus on the positive”. Yes! Stop in your tracks and think again! Change your mind. See with new eyes. Put the situation in a new light; the light of love. When faced with a situation, ask yourself, “what would LOVE do now?

#8 – Consider the Price: Fighting and unnecessary violence is too big of a price to pay. Someone always ends up dead, and the family members are left to suffer. Power is never what it appears to be in the world. Spirit is power in love.

#9 – Think Non-Violent: This especially applies to police officers. Be cool and calm, and live in the present; It is the true gift. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Either non-violent or non-existent”. Listen to the wise, they have changed themselves. Their words and actions still ring true!

#10 – Stop Being Controlled By The Media: Stop letting the media propaganda control your actions thoughts and feelings. Be aware and discern what is true, loving and wise. Wrong is wrong, and right is right. Base your opinion on that!

Orrin Hudson is the founder of Be Someone, a non-profit organization in Atlanta, GA, that uses the game of chess to teach inner-city children how to make better decisions in life. For more details, visit www.BeSomeone.org


Marc H. Morial Responds to Grand Jury’s Decision to Not Indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the Chokehold Killing of Eric Garner

Posted by Admin On December - 5 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

By Marc H. Morial

President & CEO of the National Urban League


“There are absolutely no words that can describe the miscarriage of justice that has just occurred in America – yet again.  There is no rational or feasible explanation that can ever justify the Staten Island grand jury’s decision to not indict the person responsible for Eric Garner’s death – a decision which itself defies common sense.  Today’s unfortunate outcome – yet another in a tragic series of killings of unarmed Blacks by police officers in just the past six months – further demonstrates that we need a new approach in this nation to police-community relations, the use of excessive force by law enforcement and police accountability for acts of misconduct.

Eric Garner did not deserve to die.  NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo had no reasonable cause to kill him.  After repeated review of the facts of this case and what the video clearly shows, what is most ironic is that Eric Garner was being arrested for the misdemeanor of illegally selling cigarettes; yet, the officer who used an illegal chokehold prohibited by the New York Police Department was neither arrested nor indicted.  Officer Pantaleo’s actions directly led to the death of an unarmed man who displayed no threatening acts or acts of violence towards him.  This cannot continue.

The majority of law enforcement officers do a respectable and admirable job of upholding their pledges to serve and protect the citizens of this nation, and we commend their efforts.  But let me be clear.  We cannot and will not tolerate officers who take it upon themselves to participate in blatant misconduct, whether excessive force or otherwise.  We need a new generation of policing that ensures the safety of our citizens and communities, but does not violate the civil rights of anyone.

We support the efforts of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the U.S. Department of Justice to fully investigate this case and determine whether federal civil rights charges should be brought against Officer Pantaleo.  Despite today’s grand jury decision, this is not over – and as with Michael Brown, we will not stop until justice for Eric Garner and his family has been served and the person responsible for his death is held accountable.”

Justice Department and City of Cleveland Agree to Reform Division of Police After Finding a Pattern or Practice of Excessive Force

Posted by Admin On December - 5 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department’s civil rights investigation into the use of force by the Cleveland Division of Police has found a pattern or practice of unreasonable and unnecessary use of force.  To address these findings the Justice Department and the city of Cleveland have signed a statement of principles committing them to develop a court enforceable consent decree that will include a requirement for an independent monitor who will oversee and ensure necessary reforms.

“Accountability and legitimacy are essential for communities to trust their police departments, and for there to be genuine collaboration between police and the citizens they serve,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.  “Although the issues in Cleveland are complex, and the problems longstanding, we have seen in city after city where we have been engaged that meaningful change is possible.  There are real, practical and concrete measures that can be taken to ensure not only that police services are delivered in a constitutional manner, but that promote public safety, officer safety, confidence and collaboration, transparency, and legitimacy.”

The investigation, launched in March, 2013, assessed use of force practices of the Cleveland Division of Police following a number of high profile use of force incidents and requests from the community and local government to investigate the division.  The investigation concluded that there is reasonable cause to believe that Cleveland police officers engage in a pattern or practice of unreasonable and in some cases unnecessary force in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.  That pattern or practice includes:

  • The unnecessary and excessive use of deadly force, including shootings and head strikes with impact weapons;
  • The unnecessary, excessive or retaliatory use of less lethal force including Tasers, chemical spray and fists;
  • Excessive force against persons who are mentally ill or in crisis, including in cases where the officers were called exclusively for a welfare check; and
  • The employment of poor and dangerous tactics that place officers in situations where avoidable force becomes inevitable.

After determining that a pattern or practice of unconstitutional conduct exists, the investigation assessed the causes for the pattern and developed recommended remedial action.  The investigation concluded that Cleveland officers are not provided with adequate training, policy guidance, support, and supervision.  Additionally, systems of review that would identify problems and correct institutional weaknesses and provide individual accountability are seriously deficient. The investigation found that division fails to:

  • Adequately review and investigate officers’ uses of force;
  • Fully and objectively investigate all allegations of misconduct;
  • Identify and respond to patterns of at-risk behavior;
  • Provide its officers with the support, training, supervision, and equipment needed to allow them to do their jobs safely and effectively;
  • Adopt and enforce appropriate policies; and
  • Implement effective community policing strategies.

The investigation also found that this pattern of excessive force has eroded public confidence in the police.  The trust between the Cleveland Division of Police and many of the communities it serves is broken.  As a result, public safety suffers and the job of delivering police services is more difficult and more dangerous.  Throughout the investigation, the Department of Justice provided its observations and concerns to the city, and in response, the division has begun to implement a number of remedial measures, however much more work is needed.  This afternoon Attorney General Eric Holder, Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta and U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach will host a joint meeting with community leaders, law enforcement officials and elected officials to discuss how to improve their working relationship and address the problems and challenges identified by the Department of Justice.

“We look forward to working together with the city of Cleveland, members of the Cleveland community and Cleveland police officers to address the deficiencies that have led to this pattern of unnecessary and excessive force,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Gupta.  “Together, we can build confidence in the division that will ensure compliance with the Constitution, improve public safety and make the job of delivering police services safer and more effective.”

“Our independent investigation, conducted at the request of the Mayor and others, revealed troubling patterns of the use of force in the Cleveland Division of Police,” said U.S. Attorney Dettelbach.  “We applaud the division and the city for beginning to implement necessary reforms and are pleased that the city has entered into a statement of principles agreeing to negotiate a consent decree with outside monitoring that will guide the development of a sustainable blueprint for reform.  It will take a joint effort by all stakeholders to ensure that this critical initiative is a success.”

The investigation was conducted jointly by the Civil Rights Division’s Special Litigation Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio.  The investigation involved an in-depth review of thousands of pages of documents, including written policies and procedures, training materials, and internal reports, data, video footage and investigative files.  Department of Justice attorneys and investigators also conducted interviews with officers, supervisors and command staff, and city officials; and spoke with hundreds of community members and local advocates.  This investigation was separate from any criminal investigation of any specific incident of alleged misconduct.

14-1354

NAACP Journey for Justice March Culminates at 1 p.m. Rally at Lewis and Clark Park in Jefferson City

Posted by Admin On December - 5 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Baltimore, MD – On Friday, December 5th, marchers from the NAACP, including President & CEO Cornell William Brooks, Missouri and St. Louis NAACP leaders, members from the NAACP youth and college division, social justice activists and community members will culminate their 134 –mile, 7 -day march “Journey for Justice: Ferguson to Jefferson City” with a rally at 1pm at Lewis and Clark National Park (near the governors’ mansion).

Yesterday, Governor Jay Nixon met with the NAACP President & CEO Cornell William Brooks and vocal NAACP leaders on combating policies and practices that are violating Missourians’ civil and human rights, particularly in our communities of color. The rally tomorrow is an opportunity for the community to publicly stand in solidarity in support for new leadership of the Ferguson police department, beginning with the police chief, for new reforms of police practice and culture, and for change, accountability and justice in cases of police misconduct in both Ferguson and across the country. The final leg of the march will start around 8 am from Quinn Chapel AME 529 Lafayette St, Jefferson City, MO 65101 and the marchers will walk the final miles until they reach the Lewis and Clark National Park.
Who:  Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President & CEO; NAACP members including the youth and college division, social justice activists and community members
What: “Journey to Justice: From Ferguson to Jefferson City March” Rally
When: Friday, December 5, 2014 at 1 p.m. CT/2pm EST
Where: Lewis and Clark National Park (near the governors’ mansion)
More information about the rally and march are available here.

Objections Filed Against Alderman Patrick J. O’Connor, 40th Ward Incumbent

Posted by Admin On December - 5 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Dianne Daleiden, aldermanic challenger in Chicago’s 40th Ward running against 32-year incumbent Patrick J. O’Connor, reacts to Objectors’ Petition filed against her opponent December 3, 2014:

“Campaign finance oversight of Aldermanic races is virtually non-existent now since my opponent’s bold move last July transferred those powers to the Chicago Board of Ethics – a body that hasn’t issued a finding against a single alderman in 25 years.  My supporters understand that and will be monitoring his disclosures, or lack thereof, very closely,” said Daleiden.

One objector, Leah Fried, a registered 40th Ward voter, is concerned by Mr. O’Connor’s Statement of Economic Interest as filed (see attached) who said, “How will we ever restore faith in elected officials and basic democracy in Chicago when these games are played by the City Council Floor Leader?  We don’t need to see that you filed.  We need to see what you filed.”

“This is why people don’t vote.  When your Alderman hides legally-required information to run for office – to be on the ballot – you can sympathize with people who say “why bother to vote?  They’re all crooks,” said Daniel Sheehan, the other objector on record.

Daleiden (Duh li’ den) is a 30-year, 40th Ward resident, and is currently a Chicago Public Schools math and science teacher at North River Elementary School, Chicago Teachers Union member, and long-standing member of W.A.N.T. (West Andersonville Neighbors Together).  Previously she worked as a social worker, a community advocate with the Illinois Women’s Agenda, and in office furniture sales.  She is divorced and has one son, Griffin Daleiden, who is a practicing attorney.

Race & Justice News: African Americans Experience Disproportionate Police Contact Across U.S.

Posted by Admin On December - 5 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

(From The Sentencing Project)

Policing

Black Bostonians comprised 63% of police-civilian encounters between 2007 and 2010 although blacks made up 24% of the city’s population, according to the report “Black, Brown and Targeted” by the ACLU Foundation of Massachusetts. The report presents preliminary analyses of Boston Police Department (BPD) records prepared by former BPD Policy Advisor Anthony Braga. Braga’s team examined more than 200,000 Field Interrogation, Observation, Frisk and/or Search (FIOFS) Reports which are made when police officers observed, stopped, interrogated, frisked, or searched an individual without making an arrest. They found that racial disparities persisted even after controlling for neighborhood crime rates, prior arrest records, and alleged gang affiliation. The report also states that officers did not provide legitimate reasons for the encounter in 75% of cases and shows that only 2.5% of these encounters resulted in seizure of contraband.

“The BPD’s practices between 2007 and 2010 were arguably even more racially skewed than the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) tactics ruled unconstitutional in 2013 by a federal court,” the report states. The report also notes that while police encounters with Latinos are likely to be under-reported, neighborhoods with larger Hispanic populations had more BPD encounters. While Commissioner William Evans defended the police department’s dedication to safety, he also acknowledged the racial disparity and noted that the BPD has since updated its procedures and trainings, reports the Boston Globe.

The ACLU of Minnesota’s analysis of Minneapolis Police Department records shows that blacks were more likely to be arrested than whites for low-level non-violent offenses in that city between 2004 and 2012. Hennepin County Circuit Judge Kevin Burke and colleagues have called upon their community to recognize and address this problem. They note: “A lot of these cases were eventually dismissed.… But some people still lose their jobs because an arrest causes them to miss work or the housing they seek is denied, because after an arrest they have a ‘record.’”

USA Today has examined arrest rates at 3,538 police departments across the country and found racial disparity in 95% of departments, Brad Heath reports. News outlets across the country are using the interactive report to measure local arrest disparities.

Marijuana Reforms

Will Decriminalization and Legalization End Racially Disparate Enforcement?

The New York City Police Department will no longer make arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana, reports the New York Times. Instead, these cases will be treated as non-criminal offenses subject to a fine rather than jail time. This is a significant shift in a city where stop-and-frisk policing has generated tens of thousands of arrests each year for low-level marijuana possession among people of color. However, experts worry that this policy does not go far enough to remedy unfair policing practices and may still impose problematic consequences on those who are ticketed.

First, the new policy does not propose to reduce the racial gap between marijuana enforcement – largely focused on people of color – and marijuana use – equal across races. It will also reduce transparency in marijuana law enforcement since data on race and ethnicity are not systematically tracked and reported for summonses issued for civil offenses. Second, as Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth P. Thompson has stated, current summons courts procedures raise “serious due process concerns” since indigent defendants are given little to no opportunity to confer with attorneys before their case is called. These problems will be exacerbated as summons courts struggle to handle a large influx of cases. Finally, while convictions for quality-of-life offenses do not result in criminal records, they are a matter of public record and may hinder eligibility for public housing, citizenship, and more. Low-income defendants who cannot pay their fines will face a civil judgment, and those who fail to appear in court be issued an arrest warrant.

The Philadelphia City Council also recently approved a measure to turn possession of small amounts of marijuana into a civil penalty. In the midterm elections, residents of Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. voted to legalize the drug.

Yet while marijuana decriminalization and legalization reduces the number of arrests, the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice’s study of marijuana arrests in five states that have implemented major reforms finds that “staggering racial disparities remain – and in some cases are exacerbated – following marijuana reforms.”

State Punitiveness

Black Population Size Predicts State Punitiveness

States with larger black populations are more punitive as measured by their juvenile justice policies and their rates of incarceration, finds an article in Criminal Justice Policy Review. In “Explaining Dimensions of State-Level Punitiveness in the United States: The Roles of Social, Economic, and Cultural Factors,” authors Katharine A. Neill, Juita-Elina (Wie) Yusuf, and John C. Morris develop a multidimensional measure of punitiveness that moves beyond incarceration rates. Based on data largely from 2002-2007, the study found that the size of the black population was the most frequent predictor of state punitiveness, even after controlling for crime rates. Yet black population size did not affect two measures of punitiveness: punishing immorality (such arrests for prostitution and gambling) and political and symbolic punishment (such as felon disenfranchisement laws). Overall, the findings suggest that “for states with large Black populations, the White citizenry may be more likely to support policies that will adversely affect Blacks as a way to control and contain this population, which it perceives as threatening.”

Tanya N. Whittle and Karen F. Parker’s study, “Public Ideology, Minority Threat, and Felony Collateral Sanctions: A State-Level Analysis” in Criminal Justice Review, examines state differences in collateral sanctions. The authors assess state-level variation in barriers to employment, voting, public benefits, and public housing. They find that black population size – but not Latino population size or public punitiveness – is related to greater collateral sanctions, though not as strongly as conservatism.

Legislative Reforms

Crack Sentencing and the Felony Drug Ban on Welfare Benefits

In September, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1010, The California Fair Sentencing Act. The legislation eliminates the disparity in sentencing, probation, and asset forfeiture guidelines for possession of crack cocaine for sale versus the same crime involving powder cocaine.

Significant racial disparities were observed among those convicted of crack cocaine offenses. From 2005 to 2010, 98% of those sent to California prisons for possession of crack cocaine for sale were people of color, according to data from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. In a 2011 report, The Sentencing Project found that California was one of 13 states that imposed a sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses. The others were Alabama, Arizona, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Virginia. In recent years, five other states – Iowa, Connecticut, Missouri, Ohio, and South Carolina – have moved to modify their sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine. California’s law takes effect in January.

California has also recently agreed to end race-based punishment in prisons as part of a legal settlement. This summer, the state also ended its ban on food stamps for people with felony drug convictions, while Missouri modified its lifetime ban.

Top Ten Scholarships for Black and Minority Students for 2015

Posted by Admin On December - 5 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Black students graduating

Nationwide — 2015 is expected to be a great year for students because a record-number of foundations and organizations are planning to give away billions of dollars in legit scholarships. These scholarships usually have different criteria to qualify, but once obtained can be used to pay for college tuition, books, and room and board.

Here are the top 2015 scholarship programs for African American and minority students with upcoming deadlines in December or January:

#1 – Tom Joyner Foundation “Full Ride” Scholarship: Awards a full scholarship to one student to attend a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). The scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors with high academic records. The deadline to apply is in January 2015.

#2 – The Gates Millennium Scholars Program (The Bill Gates Scholarship): Awards scholarships each year to African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American or Hispanic American students who plan to enroll full-time in a two-year or four-year college or university program. The deadline to apply is in January 2015.

#3 – Burger King Scholars Program: Designed to help high-school seniors who are looking to start college next year. Annually, the program awards more than $1.4 million in scholarships to more than 1,000 students. Applicants must be residents of the United States or Canada, and must be graduating high school seniors. The deadline to apply is in December 2014.

#4 – Go Red Multicultural Scholarship Fund For Women: Aims to ease the financial burden to students and increase the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine. Also, champions greater inclusion of multicultural women in the nursing and medical industries. The deadline to apply is in December 2014.

#5 – Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Program: Gives high school students who are active it sports and in their communities, as well as outstanding students, an opportunity to win a $20,000 college scholarship. Students must be planning to attend a four-year college. The deadline to apply is in December 2014.

#6 – Ron Brown Scholar Program: Provides scholarship awards to African-American high school seniors who are excelling in their academics, exhibiting exceptional leadership potential, and actively serving in community service activities. The deadline to apply is in January 2015.

#7 – Dell Scholars Program: Recognizes students who have overcome significant obstacles to pursue their educations, and are now serving as positive role models in their communities. Awards hundreds of scholarships each year annually, and since 2004, has given away more than $31 million in college funding. The deadline to apply is in January 2015.

#8 – Generation Google Scholarship For Minorities, Women and Disabled Students: Helps minority students who plan to attend college and study computer science and technology. Eligible students must be African American, Hispanic, American Indian, female, or one who has a disability. Deadline is in January 2015.

#9 – United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Scholarships: Provides extraordinary amounts of scholarship opportunities for minority students with financial need. Scholarships include educational assistance for students attending participating Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCU) and other colleges as well. The deadlines to apply varies.

#10 – Ronald McDonald House Charities Scholarships For Minority Students: Gives financial aid awards to Black, Hispanic and Asian eligible high school students with high academic performance and community service as well as financial need. The deadline to apply is in January 2015.
All of these scholarships plus hundreds of others can be found online at www.ScholarshipsOnline.org.

Civil Rights Activist Cornel West to Speak at North Central College Jan. 23

Posted by Admin On December - 5 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

NAPERVILLE, IL – North Central College welcomes author, academic and provocative civil rights activist Dr. Cornel West Jan. 23 as Martin Luther King Jr. Week keynote speaker.

Each year, North Central College honors and remembers King with a keynote presentation, musical tributes, a prayer breakfast and activities. This year’s theme is “A Journey Defined.” King spoke in North Central College’s Pfeiffer Hall in 1960.

West, who appeared previously as the College’s 2010 MLK Week keynote speaker, will deliver his address at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, in Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave. He will speak to the legacy of King, other revolutionary African-American leaders and young people’s responsibility for social change. A Q&A will follow.

Tickets are $10/person and $7/groups of 10 or more. Admission is free for North Central students, faculty and staff who have registered online in advance. To purchase tickets or register for free admission, call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit northcentralcollege.edu/showtix.

West is a professor of philosophy and Christian practice at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and professor emeritus at Princeton University, where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy. He also has taught at Yale, Harvard and the University of Paris.

West burst onto the national scene in 1993 with his bestseller “Race Matters,” a searing analysis of racism in American democracy. He has edited 13 books and authored 20, including “Black Prophetic Fire,” published October 2014 with critical acclaim. Due on bookshelves Jan. 13 is “The Radical King,” a collection of inspirational speeches, sermons and writings written by King and edited by West.

West made his film debut in “The Matrix” and has appeared in more than 25 documentaries and films, including “Examined Life,” “Sidewalk” and “Stand.” He has collaborated with Prince, Andre 3000 and other major artists to create three spoken word albums. His spoken word interludes have premiered in numerous albums, including Raheem DeVaughn’s Grammy-nominated “Love & War: Masterpeace.” A prominent voice in the political landscape, West was a radio cohost with Tavis Smiley and is a frequent guest on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” “The Colbert Report,” Fox News, CNN, Democracy Now! and C-SPAN.

In addition to the keynote address, this year’s MLK Week celebration includes the Chicago Sinfonietta performance of its “Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” a stirring tribute to the civil rights leader and his dream for a new generation by featuring today’s youth in a powerful show. The performance begins at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18, in North Central’s Wentz Concert Hall. Visit northcentralcollege.edu/showtix for tickets.

North Central’s annual MLK Prayer Breakfast takes place at 7 a.m. Monday, Jan. 19, and features a message by 2006 North Central alumna Shawndra Brown Lucas. A professional mentor, she directs a multi-campus college ministry and social-emotional learning and mentoring program for high school students. And on Saturday, Jan. 24, the College will host its 27th annual Gospel Extravaganza with performances by gospel choirs from area schools as well as North Central’s own Voices of Praise gospel choir. The concert begins at 7 p.m. in Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave. Visit northcentralcollege.edu/showtix for tickets.

These events are among the many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical productions, art exhibits and more, visit northcentralcollege.edu/show or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).

Contact: Nancy Dunker, associate director of media relations, 630-637-5306, nadunker@noctrl.edu

Recent Comments

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

Recent Posts