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Archive for December 19th, 2014

Attorney General Madigan, ICC Warn Utility Customers of Scam Artists Posing as Utility Company Reps, Demanding Payment

Posted by Admin On December - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on Attorney General Madigan, ICC Warn Utility Customers of Scam Artists Posing as Utility Company Reps, Demanding Payment

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois Commerce Commission issued an alert to utility customers about a scam targeting residents in the Chicago area and Northern Illinois in which someone claiming to be a utility employee asks for immediate payment of a bill either at a customer’s door, over the telephone or by email.

The ICC and the Attorney General’s Office have received complaints from utility customers about scam artists claiming to be utility representatives, telling customers that their service will be disconnected unless payment is made directly to the scammers. The scam artist may direct the consumer to purchase a prepaid credit card, a “Cash Card,” and to call them back with the personal identification number (PIN).  The stories can vary, for example, with the scammer saying that the customer’s billing cycle has changed and payment must be made immediately, that the account is past due and payment can be made to them directly to avoid disconnection of the utility service, or the customer’s previous payment was rejected or never received.

Complaints have doubled in the past year, with victims paying up to $8,000 to the con artists. Complaints indicate the scammers may be targeting small businesses and Latino residents in particular.

“Any time you are asked upfront for money in an unsolicited call or knock at your door, that is a universal red flag for a scam,” Madigan said. “Utility companies do not go door-to-door collecting payments. Instead utility customers should report any solicitation immediately to the Attorney General’s Office, the ICC or their utility company directly.”

ICC Chairman Doug Scott noted the significant increase in customer complaints about these illegal scams and urged consumers to protect themselves by contacting their utility or the ICC.

“We want all consumers and businesses who feel they are being pressured or scammed to end the conversation with potential scammers and call their utility service provider or the ICC Consumer Services Division to check out the claims,” Scott said. “You do not have to sign anything or give personal information to anyone calling you on the phone, sending you an e-mail or showing up at your door. If you feel something’s not quite right about the situation, get the utility’s phone number off your bill, call the utility and ask for help.”

Attorney General Madigan and the ICC offer these reminders to utility customers:

  • Never provide personal information to anyone who comes to the door or calls you claiming to be a representative of the utility.
  • Contact the utility at the phone number listed on your bill to confirm the caller or the representative at your home is a verifiable employee of the utility.  Do not call a different number suggested by the potential scammer and do not let them into your home.
  • Utility field personnel in Illinois do not take payments from consumers. Be on guard with anyone who asks for your personal information, or says you must pay immediately and suggests a method to get the money quickly.

If you suspect you have been scammed, have a suspicious incident to report or have questions, contact Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438 or file a complaint on her website. Consumers can also file complaints with the ICC at 1-800-524-0795.

Obama Administration Launches Six New Women’s Business Centers (WBCs)

Posted by Admin On December - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on Obama Administration Launches Six New Women’s Business Centers (WBCs)

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – Women-owned businesses are growing like crazy. They have grown faster than the rate of small businesses, according to the annual American Express OPEN report.Between 1997 and 2014, the report states, the number of businesses in the United States increased by 47 percent but the number of women-owned firms increased by 68 percent. That’s 1-1/2 times the national average. Therefore, Women’s Business Centers are spreading to help continue their support and growth for women-owned companies.

What Women’s Business Centers provide

The growth of Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) continues to grow. The services they offer include training and counseling in a wide variety of areas that help women learn the skills they need to become successful entrepreneurs. There are currently about 100 of these centers located throughout the U.S. and women everywhere can locate a center nearest them to see what programs they offer.

6 new centers opening in 2015

The Obama adminstration has recently approved six new WBCs. One will open in 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee, but the locations of the five others have yet to be determined. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lists all the centers by state on their web site, making it much easier for women to locate and contact their nearest WBC. Women who are economically or socially disadvantaged are particularly encouraged to take advantage of the help that WBCs provide.

To find your nearest WBC center, visit:

To download the 2015 Directory of Grants, Scholarships and More For Women, visit

Cook County State’s Attorney Secures Conviction for Man Charged in Acquaintance Rape Case

Posted by Admin On December - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on Cook County State’s Attorney Secures Conviction for Man Charged in Acquaintance Rape Case

Public Relations Executive Also Facing Sex Assault Charges in Another Attack

A Chicago man has been convicted of sexually assaulting a woman after meeting the victim on a dating website and luring her to a Chicago hotel where the attack took place, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Ignacio Carillo, 40, who works in Chicago as a public relations executive, was convicted recently by a Cook County jury of one count of Criminal Sexual Assault.  The attack occurred in 2009 after Carillo met the 38-year-old victim for the first time at a River West restaurant and bar after the two had arranged a meeting on the internet.

While the victim was initially reluctant to pursue charges against Carillo, she came forward and assisted the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in the prosecution of this case after learning that Carillo had sexually assaulted another woman in 2011.  In the 2011 case, Carillo is also charged with Criminal Sexual Assault in an attack on another woman whom he is alleged to have assaulted under nearly identical circumstances.

The 2011 case against Carillo is pending, however, using a legal technique that allows prosecutors to introduce evidence at trial to demonstrate proof of other crimes, both of the victims of the attacks were permitted to testify at Carillo’s recent trial in the 2009 case.

State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez commended the work of the Assistant State’s Attorneys in her Sex Crimes Unit for their specialized work as well as the courage of victims to participate in the prosecution.

“It can be extremely difficult for the victim of a sexual assault to have the courage to come forward and re-live that horrific experience and actually face her attacker in court, but the testimony of our victims is extremely important in securing a conviction,” Alvarez said.  “I am extremely proud of and grateful for the trust that our victims’ place in our Assistant State’s Attorneys who continue to do outstanding work in the prosecution of acquaintance rape and sexual assault crimes.”

According to prosecutors, the victim agreed to meet Carillo at the restaurant in October of 2009 but shortly after consuming a drink she began to feel very strange and confused and she texted her sister to let her know that she wasn’t feeling well.

The victim and the defendant, along with the defendant’s friend, then left the restaurant and  took a cab to a different bar, where the victim continued to feel strange and struggled with being able to sit on a bar stool.  At that time, the victim told authorities that Carillo made a joke about putting a “roofie,” or date rape drug in her drink.  The victim testified in court proceedings that the next thing she recalled was being in a cab with the defendant being driven to a hotel.  Prior to arriving at the hotel the victim managed to text her sister asking for help and providing the location of the hotel.

Once at the hotel, the victim testified that she attempted to catch a cab to go home but the defendant grabbed her by the arm and took her back inside.  Inside the hotel room, the defendant threw the victim’s phone away from her and pushed her down on the bed before sexually assaulting her.

According to prosecutors, the victim’s sister arrived at the hotel and located her sister who was crying and disheveled and they immediately left the hotel.  The victim later went to the hospital where a sexual assault kit was taken and she reported the rape to authorities.

Carillo faces up to 15 years in prison at sentencing in the 2009 assault.

State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys Tracy Senica and Tom Prisco as well as the Chicago Police Department for their work on this case.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle Announces Search for New Public Defender

Posted by Admin On December - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle Announces Search for New Public Defender

Preckwinkle thanks outgoing Public Defender Abishi Cunningham for his years of service

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced that she is forming a new search committee, chaired by the Honorable Joy Cunningham, to help identify Cook County’s next Public Defender. Outgoing Public Defender Abishi Cunningham (no relation to Joy Cunningham) will conclude his six-year term on March 31, 2015.

The committee will review resumes, interview highly-qualified individuals, and present its top three recommended candidates to President Preckwinkle for her final decision. The President’s selected candidate for the position of Public Defender is expected to be submitted to the Cook County Board of Commissioners for its approval in March 2015.

The President is seeking a highly qualified individual whose practice of law has clearly demonstrated experience in the representation of persons accused of crime and who is dedicated to the goals of providing high-quality representation to defendants and improving the quality of defense services.

The President seeks candidates who are both motivated and capable of leading a large staff charged with the crucial work of defending large numbers of individuals in need of first-rate representation. The Office of the Cook County Public Defender currently employs approximately 506 attorneys, 68 Investigators and 109 support staff.

Interested candidates must submit their resume and cover letters by January 26, 2015 by email to pd.resumes@cookcountyil.gov or by mail to the Justice Advisory Council, 69 West Washington, Suite 1100, Chicago, IL 60602 Attention: Public Defender Search.

Preckwinkle also thanked current Public Defender Abishi Cunningham for his six years of service. “Our criminal justice system is reliant upon the efforts of the Public Defender’s Office to rigorously uphold the protections of the Constitution and be a zealous advocate for the clients they represent. I am grateful to Abishi Cunningham for his partnership in this effort.“

Online Petition Launched to Repeal and Abolish Supreme Court Ruling Allowing All-White Juries to Hear Cases of African Americans

Posted by Admin On December - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on Online Petition Launched to Repeal and Abolish Supreme Court Ruling Allowing All-White Juries to Hear Cases of African Americans

The Supreme Court’s ruling on Batson v Kentucky declares that “A citizen has no right to a jury composed in whole or in part of persons of his/her own race.”

Race Justice Petition

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – An online petition has been launched on Change.org in an attempt to abolish the court ruling that makes it legal for African-Americans (and other minorities) to have their causes heard by all-white grand juries. Civil rights leaders say that cases where minorities are subjected to all-white jury trials have proven over time to be illegal cases of racial discrimination, which has caused grave injustice to people of color for decades.

The cases of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Gardner are nothing new but merely a continuation of history as the 1955 – Emmett Till – incident has proven. Rogers Hicks, founder of the Race Justice organization, says that “if not repealed, Batson will continue to have devastating and destructive effects over the lives of people of color by depriving them their civil and constitutional right to a fair and impartial jury system under guise of judicial process.”

Hicks adds, “Indeed, in America, a country designated as the melting pot, with its many different types of people, ideas, religions, etc. existing together, racial diversity on juries would unquestionably improve a jury’s ability to assess witness testimony, evaluate cross-racial situations, avoid unfounded presumptions, and permit a fair outcome in both criminal and civil proceedings. Equally important, racial diversity on juries would improve public confidence on part of African-Americans (and other minorities) in our American Jury System.”

To sign the online petition, visit www.change.org/p/repeal-batson-v-ky-ruling-no-right-to-jury-with-members-of-one-s-own-race
For more information about the petition, visit www.racejustice.net

For more information about the book “Race Justice: Judicial Atrocities” by Rogers Hicks, visit www.racejustice.com

Illinois Arts Council Agency Funding Opportunities for Not-For-Profit Organizations, Units of Government, and Institutions of Higher Education

Posted by Admin On December - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on Illinois Arts Council Agency Funding Opportunities for Not-For-Profit Organizations, Units of Government, and Institutions of Higher Education

The Illinois Arts Council Agency is pleased to announce current funding opportunities for Illinois not-for-profit organizations, units of governments, and institutions of higher education.

ARTSTOUR & LIVE MUSIC provides support to eligible Illinois not-for-profit organizations seeking to present Illinois performing artists, companies, or groups for performances, collaborations, or short residencies held in conjunction with performances. Open Deadline.

PROGRAM GRANTS provide either general operating support or project support for eligible Illinois non-profit organizations that provide arts programming of high artistic merit. The application deadline for fiscal year 2016 is March 16, 2015.

STARTS provides support to eligible Illinois not-for-profit organizations, schools, and school districts for short term residencies focused on hands-on learning experiences conducted by Illinois artists, companies, or ensembles. Open Deadline.

Note: Refer to Proof of Eligibility for details and requirements.

Toni Braxton and Six Other Women Honored by the Urban League of Greater Atlanta

Posted by Admin On December - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on Toni Braxton and Six Other Women Honored by the Urban League of Greater Atlanta

Crowd of 700 attends elegant dinner; Saxophonist Mike Phillips performs “We Are One”

Atlanta GA (BlackNews.com) – Six-time Grammy award winner Toni Braxton thanked the Urban League of Greater Atlanta and her family as she received an award as one of seven women honored at the  53rd Equal Opportunity Day Dinner at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis on Dec. 6.

“It is such an honor to be here… I have gone through so many struggles and I’ve survived and succeeded, and one of the reasons… is because of my family,” Braxton said. “I would like to thank the Urban League for honoring me. I would like to thank all of the women who inspire me. I hope that my life is an inspiration for those who follow me. My mom is here and she is the woman who helps us feel confidence in ourselves. She said there is nothing greater than you but God.”

The ULGA also honored Jocelyn Dorsey, who was presented the award by Deborah Thomas, senior vice president, Human Resources, Cox Media Group; Victoria Williams Jenkins, presented by Dr. DeRetta Cole, vice president, Human Resources, First Data Corporation;  Pat Lottier, presented by Myra Reeves, manager, Diversity & Inclusion, The  Home Depot; Patrise Perkins-Hooker, presented by Dr. Jabari Simama, president, Georgia Piedmont Technical College; Alicia Philipp, presented by Pam Cross, vice president, Community Development/Atlanta Market, Wells Fargo, and Adrienne Green , presented by Ken Hodges, shareholder, Polsinelli, P.C.

“These women accept nothing less than excellence in their professional careers and they believe equally strongly in the importance of helping others,” said Nancy Flake Johnson, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Atlanta. “They have lent their time and talent to causes that affect the physical, financial and mental health of our communities. They have embraced the responsibility of empowering others, and in so doing, they have become quintessential women of empowerment.”

Braxton’s mother, Evelyn, and her sisters Trina, Tamar and Towanda were there to enjoy the Woman of Power Awards ceremony that recognized Braxton for her career successes, her perseverance in overcoming obstacles and her leadership in addressing Autism, heart disease and Lupus.

Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves brought greetings and the invocation was delivered by Rev. Marion Sailor, co-pastor, Christ the King Baptist Church. Dinner co-chairs were Nick Nelson, president of the ULGA Board of Directors and CMO, Liquid Soul Media, and Carl A. Tims, assistant vice president, Claims, at GEICO Insurance.  DeMarco Morgan, WXIA TV 11 anchor, served as emcee.

Saxophonist Mike Phillips performed a rousing rendition of the Frankie Beverly hit “We Are One,” and the elegantly attired guests enjoyed a scrumptious dinner and danced to the music of the Isaac Harris Group.
Honorees by category

Woman of Empowerment: Toni Braxton became an instant international sensation with the release of her first solo recording in 1992. Today she is recognized as one of the most outstanding voices of this generation. Recently, Braxton has wowed audiences with her Braxton Family Values reality show on the WE network. She balances her career with extraordinary support for raising visibility around health issues including Lupus and heart disease. Community Advocate: Jocelyn Dorsey, an award-winning journalist with WSB-TV for more than 40 years, is noted for her active fundraising for Special Olympics of GA. Dorsey also lends her considerable talent to produce, write, edit and narrate videos for various nonprofit organizations.

Greater Atlanta Guild: Victoria Williams Jenkins, who spent 35 years as a librarian with the Atlanta Public School System, has been a driving force for more than 50 years with the Atlanta Urban Leagues Guild, the United Negro College Fund, the NAACP, and in voter registration drives.

Entrepreneurship: Pat Lottier is publisher and chief executive officer of the award-winning Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine, a monthly business-oriented publication that covers metropolitan Atlanta’s African American community. Her numerous civic activities encompass the arts and health issues including sickle cell and cancer.

Economic and Civic Development: Patrise Perkins-Hooker is vice president and general counsel for Atlanta Beltline, Inc., and formerly was a partner with the law firm of Hollowell, Foster & Gepp, PC. She owned her own law firm for 10 years. She is president of the State Bar of Georgia. She is active with Hosea Feed the Hungry, and has received numerous honors for her service to the legal profession and the community.

Community Philanthropy: Alicia Philipp, named to Georgia Trends 100 Most Influential Georgians list, is president of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, one of the largest and fastest growing philanthropic service organizations in the country. She has led the organization for the past 37 years. Under her leadership, The Community Foundation has grown from $7 million in assets in 1977 to more than $929 million in total assets today.

Young Professionals: Adrienne Green, owner of 2nd Level Salon Studio, is a program management operations analyst with American Tower Corporation in Atlanta. A member of the Urban League of Greater Atlantas Young Professionals group, Green also is involved in civic activities with the Atlanta Business League and the North Carolina Agriculture & Technical State University, Atlanta Alumni Chapter.
About the Urban League of Greater Atlanta
Founded in 1920, The Urban League of Greater Atlanta is a civil rights organization dedicated to economic and civic empowerment. For 94 years, the mission of the Urban League of Greater Atlanta has been to empower communities and change lives by enabling African Americans and others to achieve their highest human potential and secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. The Urban League of Greater Atlanta is one of 97 affiliates in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Nancy Flake Johnson is president & CEO.

For more information, call 404-659-1150 or visit the website: www.ulgatl.org

Photo Caption: Urban League of Greater Atlanta Women of Empowerment Honorees from left Adrienne Green, Pat Lottier,Victoria Jenkins, Toni Braxton, Alicia Philipp, Patrise Perkins-Hooker and Jocelyn Dorsey
Photo credit: HIP Incorporated/Keith Hadley

Don’t Let Your Travel Plans Become “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

Posted by Admin On December - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on Don’t Let Your Travel Plans Become “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

CHICAGO, IL – During this year’s holiday season, lower gas prices are expected to fuel greater travel both on land and in the air, but the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that consumers need to be on the lookout for travel scams.

Using email, text messages, robo calls, Craigslist and published ads, scammers send great offers for flights, hotels or condos rentals offering luxury accommodations at bargain prices.

“The first thing that should come to mind is that if it sounds too good to be true, look out,” says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Being a bargain hunter is wise but when there may be thousands of dollars on the line, being careful is smarter.”

In cases where the offer is for accommodations, travelers may arrive at their destination only to find that if the hotel exists, it doesn’t live up to what it’s advertised to be. At best, the luxury hotel turns out to be a dump and amenities promised aren’t provided or aren’t worth the “bargain” price paid. At worst, the hotel reservation never existed. In condo rentals, the traveler arrives to find the condo they paid for either doesn’t exist or doesn’t belong to the scammer who rented it.

Travel scams also include flights at incredibility low prices. A red flag is that a payment needs to be made upfront via credit card, Green Dot Card, or money transfer. After the payment is made, no tickets arrive.

During the holidays, for many reasons, travel plans are made last minute. But there are signs to warn you’re dealing with a scammer:

  • You get a cold call, cold-text, or email out of the blue.
  • Your contact doesn’t or won’t give you any specifics about the offer.
  • The contact is made via a robocall.

The BBB offers these tips as protection against vacation scams:

  • Check for full company details in any ads and on websites. Find the company’s name and address then check that they actually exist.
  • Keep an eye out for bad spelling and grammar.
  • If the company has been recently set-up or changed hands, be suspicious.
  • Beware if you are encouraged to pay in cash because they are not accepting credit cards due to high fees.
  • Don’t be tempted by price.
  • Book directly with an established hotel or reputable travel agent.
  • Establish that you are dealing with the property owner or manager.
  • Confirm everything offered in writing before payment is made.
  • Pay only by credit card.
  • Get refund policies in writing.

For more information on scams, visit www.bbb.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

New Software Helps African American Families to Discover and Track Their Heritage

Posted by Admin On December - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on New Software Helps African American Families to Discover and Track Their Heritage

The Our House Family Trees, (Collection I) CD-ROM consists of lineage data compiled from 17 years of genealogical research.

Our House Family Trees CD-Rom

Humble, TX (BlackNews.com) – In 1976, Alex Haley published Roots: The Saga of an American Family, a novel based on research into his heritage. Stemming from an ancestor, Kunta Kinte, who was kidnapped from Gambia and sold into slavery in 1767, it spent 22 weeks at the top of The New York Times Best Seller List. The blockbuster success of this novel and television adaptation, Roots in 1977, along with reprints and syndications has stimulated continued interest in genealogy, the desire for independent family reunions, and a greater appreciation for African-American family history and culture.

In 1986, the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. and then president, Dr. Dorothy I. Height, organized and hosted what would be the first nationally recognized Black Family Reunion Celebration (BFRC). Now in its 26th year, the Black Family Reunion Celebration, located on the Washington National Mall in Washington, DC celebrates African-American family values and serves as a rallying point for government agencies, private and public sector entities, corporations, community-based organizations, and families of all ethnicities to forge solutions to reinforce the institution of the “black family.” The BFRC festival attracts more than 250,000 attendees each year, many with a desire to discover their own heritage.

In 2014, the FWA Family History Society developed a software program that assists African American families with such a task. Founded in Texas in 2001, as a 501(C)(3) non-profit, this national genealogical society has aided African-Americans in tracking their heritage, through what would be a painstaking process of locating many official documents. The Our House Family Trees, (Collection I) CD-ROM consists of lineage data compiled from 17 years of genealogical research, a process made increasingly more difficult, having been hampered by scant record keeping, slave codes, and anti-literacy restrictions in place prior to the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. These records have been gathered, from rural southern counties across the United States, by hundreds of members and volunteers of the FWA Family History Society. This resource tool was designed to be an invaluable time-saver for today’s African Americans looking to trace their familys roots.

“Philosopher, Khalil Gibran once asked, ‘Have we not all heard of the man that was digging for roots and found a treasure?’ I believe the same applies with family histories,” says William Kidd, president of the FWA Family History Society. “It is the hope of the FWA Family History Society that, with the help of our first, Our House CD, countless of African-Americans will find it helpful in researching their family history, building their family trees, and preserving the treasure for generations to come.”

For more details, visit www.OurHouseFamilyTrees.com

Illinois Ranks #1 in Volunteer Rate Among the Country’s 8 Largest States

Posted by Admin On December - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on Illinois Ranks #1 in Volunteer Rate Among the Country’s 8 Largest States

2.57 Million Illinoisans Give $7.2 Billion in Service

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (Serve Illinois) is commending the state’s 2.57 million volunteers who made a difference through volunteerism last year. Illinois volunteers served nearly 320 million total hours, which is valued at $7.2 billion.

“Illinois has a strong tradition of neighbors helping neighbors,” said Scott McFarland, Executive Director of the Serve Illinois Commission. “Across our state, we see volunteers working in schools, helping the homeless, preparing for and responding to disasters, supporting faith-based organizations, protecting the environment, and supporting economic improvement. When communities volunteer, we see an increase in economic strength and education and a decrease in crime.”

The recently released 2013 Volunteering and Civic Life in America report shows that 2.57 million Illinoisans demonstrated their commitment to improving their communities by volunteering. This ranks Illinois the top volunteering state out of the eight most populated.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) issued the annual report in partnership with the National Council on Citizenship, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Bureau for Labor Statistics. The complete report is available at www.VolunteeringInAmerica.gov.

According to CNCS, 62.6 million Americans (or 1 in 4 adults, 25.4 percent) volunteered nearly 7.7 billion hours last year. Based on the Independent Sector’s estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour, the estimated value of this volunteer service is nearly $173 billion. Volunteers are almost twice as likely to donate to charity as non-volunteers. Nearly eight in 10 (79.2 percent) volunteers donated to charity, compared to four in 10 (40.4 percent) non-volunteers. Overall, half of all citizens (50.7 percent) donated at least $25 to charity in 2013.

The Serve Illinois Commission is a 40 member (25 voting and 15 non-voting), bipartisan board appointed by the Governor and administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Its mission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing traditional volunteer activities and supporting national service programs. The Commission’s mission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing volunteerism and instilling an ethic of service throughout the State. The Commission is accomplishing this mission through the support of local community-based efforts to enhance volunteer opportunities and the administration of Illinois’ AmeriCorps program.

To find a volunteer opportunity, nominate a volunteer for the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards, or learn more about the Serve Illinois Commission and volunteerism in Illinois, visit www.Serve.Illinois.gov.

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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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