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Archive for January 14th, 2015

Governor Rauner Signs Executive Order for Ethical and Responsive Government

Posted by Admin On January - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Governor Rauner Signs Executive Order for Ethical and Responsive Government

Bans “revolving door” of state employees to lobbying entities; Further restricts bans on gifts from prohibited sources; Expands disclosures of economic interests; Reviews state employment contracts

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Governor Bruce Rauner signed Executive Order 15-09 today, which tightens ethical requirements for all state employees to ensure they adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity and impartiality while working for the people of Illinois.

“Business as usual is over in Illinois and we need to regain the trust of the taxpayers,” Gov. Rauner said. “Today, we are showing the State of Illinois we have learned our lessons and are changing.”

Executive Order 15-09 bans the revolving door of executive branch and state agency employees from negotiating for a new position with a lobbyist or lobbying entity while employed. It also restricts former employees from accepting positions as a paid lobbyist or with a lobbying entity for one year after leaving their position.

It also further restricts gifts from prohibited sources by state employees, their spouse, or immediate family members living with that employee. They are not allowed to solicit or knowingly accept any gift from those sources.

Further, this Executive Order expands what state employees must disclose on their statement of economic interests, which is already required under state law. State employees now must identify if they, their spouse or children under 18 have more than a 5 percent interest in a property in which the state is a tenant, lessor, or other interest in the property.

Those same people must also disclose, regardless if they are paid or not, any non-governmental positions that they hold. These positions may be with business entities, non-profit organizations, labor groups, educational institutions, and any other type of entity.

Also, state employees, their spouse, and any children under the age of 18 must disclose any ongoing litigation in which they are a named party with the State of Illinois. They also must disclose if they have any financial interests in lawsuits against the State of Illinois.

The Executive Order also requires full cooperation with the Special Master appointed by the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois to investigate any hiring practices within state agencies.

Finally, state agencies are now required to have all employment contracts reviewed and approved by the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB). The order also instructs the GOMB to conduct a thorough review of employment contracts within the State of Illinois to identify political, wasteful or other improper purposes.

“The State of Illinois needs to rebuild its trust with its citizens, and today’s Executive Order takes steps to ensure that starts now,” Gov. Rauner added. “We have a moral obligation to rebuild the reputation within our state, along with our perception within the country, to ultimately renew taxpayers’ faith in government.”

Editor’s Note:

Governor Bruce Rauner will fulfill his constitutional duty today and preside over the swearing in of the Senate as part of the 99th General Assembly.

The Senate Inaugural Ceremony will be held today, Wednesday, January 14, 2015, in Senate Chambers, State Capitol at 12 p.m.

Attorney General Holder Announces New Partnership with Facebook and Bing to Expand Reach of AMBER Alert System

Posted by Admin On January - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Attorney General Holder Announces New Partnership with Facebook and Bing to Expand Reach of AMBER Alert System

Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that – as the nation observes National AMBER Alert Awareness Day – the Justice Department has partnered with Facebook and Bing to expand the reach of the AMBER Alert system.  Facebook will begin sending alerts to its members in designated search areas and Bing will allow users to access AMBER Alerts through its online tools.  Attorney General Holder continued to urge other companies and organizations to step forward and do their part by offering whatever assistance they can provide.

“Protecting the well-being of our young people is a responsibility that falls to every American,” said Attorney General Holder.  “Each of us can help by paying close attention to alerts that come in – and by making sure you are plugged into the AMBER Alert network via social media.  Remember: finding an abducted child and returning him or her to safety depends on a fast response.  The more vigilant citizens we have on the look-out, the better our chances of a quick recovery.”

The complete text of the Attorney General’s video message is below:

“At the Department of Justice, we are committed to ensuring the safety and security of everyone in this country – and especially our young people.  Over the last two decades, a key tool in this effort has been the AMBER Alert system – an early warning system that helps us find and return abducted children.

“Since the first AMBER Alert system became operational in 1996, AMBER Alert’s strong network of law enforcement and transportation officials, broadcasters, private-sector representatives – and dedicated ordinary citizens – has helped to rescue and safely return more than 700 abducted children.  Just last month, two young children were recovered.  In one incident, a three-year-old boy who had been taken in a domestic dispute was used as a shield by his abductor.  In another, an infant just 20 days old was abducted by a carjacker.  Fortunately, with the help of the AMBER Alert system, both children were rescued unharmed.

“Through radio announcements, highway signs, wireless notifications, and Web posts, AMBER Alerts are now capable of rapidly reaching millions of people across the country.  But we have a great deal more to do in order to ensure that we can spread the word about missing children as quickly and as widely as possible.

“Today – as our nation observes National AMBER Alert Awareness Day – I am pleased to announce that we are making two vital additions to our innovative national partnerships in order to expand the reach of the AMBER Alert system.  Facebook, already an AMBER Alert partner, will now begin sending alerts, along with detailed information and photographs, to its members in designated search areas.  And the search engine Bing will begin allowing users to access AMBER Alerts through its online tools.  These cutting-edge tools are available as a result of agreements with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which coordinates our AMBER Alert distribution efforts.

“Facebook’s geo-targeted alerts and Bing’s online broadcast tools will give AMBER Alerts an expanded social media and Internet presence – extending our web of child protection resources into new and critical areas.  I am grateful for their involvement, and for the participation of so many organizations and agencies that have helped to make the AMBER Alert system such an important public safety asset.  And I urge other companies and organizations to step forward and do their part by offering whatever assistance they can provide.

“Protecting the well-being of our young people is a responsibility that falls to every American.  Each of us can help by paying close attention to alerts that come in – and by making sure you are plugged into the AMBER Alert network via social media.  Remember: finding an abducted child and returning him or her to safety depends on a fast response.  The more vigilant citizens we have on the look-out, the better our chances of a quick recovery.

“For more information on how to get involved, please go to AMBERAlert.gov or www.missingkids.com [external link].”

The full video of the Attorney General’s message is available at http://www.justice.gov/opa/video/expanding-amber-alert-tools-recover-missing-children.

Source: Office of Attorney General

Congressional Black Caucus Chair Condemns Terrorism in France and Nigeria

Posted by Admin On January - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Congressional Black Caucus Chair Condemns Terrorism in France and Nigeria

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman G. K. Butterfield, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, issued the following statement strongly condemning acts of terrorism in France and Nigeria:

“For the second time in a week, the global community has been rocked to learn of another heinous act of terrorism.  The Congressional Black Caucus joins the millions of people around the world in both shock and mourning for the brutal murders that took place in France, and now the massacre of up to 2,000 innocent people by Boko Haram in Nigeria.

“Although the details of this tragedy are still unfolding, what we know with certainty is that Boko Haram will not end its crusade of destruction unless it is met with force.  The government of Nigeria must act to protect its citizens from this ultra-extreme and violent group.

“Terrorism must cease once and for all.  The CBC calls on the global community to unite to take real action against all acts of terrorism, including the barbaric group known as Boko Haram.”


FACT SHEET: Broadband That Works: Promoting Competition & Local Choice In Next-Generation Connectivity

Posted by Admin On January - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on FACT SHEET: Broadband That Works: Promoting Competition & Local Choice In Next-Generation Connectivity

Last November, the President outlined his plan to keep the Internet open to new competition and innovation by safeguarding net neutrality — which will help ensure no one company can act as a gatekeeper to digital content. But there is more work to do so that every American has access to a free and open internet. This is particularly true in areas where broadband competition is lacking, resulting in high prices and slow service.

Building on his net neutrality plan, tomorrow in Cedar Falls, Iowa President Obama will announce steps he will discuss in the State of the Union to help more Americans, in more communities around the country, get access to fast and affordable broadband. Communities like Cedar Falls have banded together to commit to broadband that works by bringing in new competition, leveraging municipal investments, and forming new partnerships to bring world-class Internet to places like this small Iowa town.

High-speed, low-cost broadband is paving the way for economic revitalization not just in Cedar Falls, but in places like Chattanooga, TN, Kansas City, MO, and Lafayette, LA — all of which have Internet speeds nearly 100 times faster than the national average and deliver it at an affordable price. To help more communities achieve these results, support economic growth, and promote a level playing field for all competitors, the Obama Administration is:

  • Calling to End Laws that Harm Broadband Service Competition: Laws in 19 states — some specifically written by special interests trying to stifle new competitors — have held back broadband access and, with it, economic opportunity. Today, President Obama is announcing a new effort to support local choice in broadband, formally opposing measures that limit the range of options available to communities to spur expanded local broadband infrastructure, including ownership of networks. As a first step, the Administration is filing a letter with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging it to join this effort by addressing barriers inhibiting local communities from responding to the broadband needs of their citizens.
  • Expanding the National Movement of Local Leaders for Better Broadband: As of today, 50 cities representing over 20 million Americans have joined the Next Century Cities coalition, a nonpartisan network pledging to bring fast, community-supported broadband to their towns and cities. They join 37 research universities around the country that formed the Gig.U partnership to bring fast broadband to communities around their campuses. To recognize these remarkable individuals and the partnerships they have built, in June 2015 the White House will host a Community Broadband Summit of mayors and county commissioners from around the nation who are joining this movement for broadband solutions and economic revitalization. These efforts will also build on the US Ignite partnership, launched by White House in 2012, and which has grown to include more than 65 research universities and 35 cities in developing new next-generation gigabit applications.
  • Announcing a New Initiative to Support Community Broadband Projects: To advance this important work, the Department of Commerce is launching a new initiative, BroadbandUSA, to promote broadband deployment and adoption. Building on expertise gained from overseeing the $4.7 billion Broadband Technology Opportunities Program funded through the Recovery Act, BroadbandUSA will offer online and in-person technical assistance to communities; host a series of regional workshops around the country; and publish guides and tools that provide communities with proven solutions to address problems in broadband infrastructure planning, financing, construction, and operations across many types of business models.
  • Unveiling New Grant and Loan Opportunities for Rural Providers: The Department of Agriculture is accepting applications to its Community Connect broadband grant program and will reopen a revamped broadband loan program, which offers financing to eligible rural carriers that invest in bringing high-speed broadband to unserved and under served rural areas.
  • Removing Regulatory Barriers and Improving Investment Incentives: The President is calling for the Federal Government to remove all unnecessary regulatory and policy barriers to broadband build-out and competition, and is establishing a new Broadband Opportunity Council of over a dozen government agencies with the singular goal of speeding up broadband deployment and promoting adoptions for our citizens. The Council will also solicit public comment on unnecessary regulatory barriers and opportunities to promote greater coordination with the aim of addressing those within its scope.

Background: A National Need, And Solutions That Are Working

Today, too few Americans have affordable and competitive broadband choices, but some communities around the country are choosing to change that dynamic. As a result – as outlined in a new report being issued today – cities like Lafayette, Chattanooga, and Kansas City, have broadband that is nearly one hundred times faster than the national average, yet still available at a competitive price. By welcoming new competition or building next-generation networks, these communities are pioneers in broadband that works, and tomorrow in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the President is highlighting their remarkable success stories and providing municipal leadership and entrepreneurs new tools to help replicate this success across the nation.

Americans in even our busiest cities often find only one or two providers offering broadband service, and often none providing them with fast, fiber-optic connections — despite the fact that many of cities are already equipped with fast fiber-optic broadband. At the same time, in too many places, residents do not have access to broadband in their home, or their speeds continue to lag while their monthly bills continue to grow.

Both of these challenges are driven by the lack of broadband choice in many American markets. In fact, three out of four Americans have no competition or no service at speeds increasingly required for many online services. Rarely is the problem a lack of demand — too often, it is the capital costs of building out broadband infrastructure and a combination of laws that prevent communities from providing incentives to attract providers. Competitive markets translate to lower monthly prices, better products, and better customer service. In cities across the country, new competitors entering markets have provided consumers with new and often faster alternatives, spurring investment from incumbents and providing consumers with more choice.

Many of the communities that have taken aggressive steps to improve their broadband have residential and business Internet speeds among the fastest in the world — faster, even, than in San Francisco, New York City, or Los Angeles:

What sets these top-performing cities apart is that they have all taken dramatic steps to bring in more competitors, and enter into new partnerships to deliver top-quality broadband. Some specific examples of how creative thinking and partnerships are delivering faster, better broadband across the country include:

Chattanooga, TN — After investing in a visionary 1 gigabit per second broadband network, the City of Chattanooga is transforming itself into a regional center for technology and innovation. Today, Chattanooga is attracting entrepreneurs and computer programmers from around the country and boasts new business incubators and state-of-the-art public facilities. Investors have responded in kind. Since 2009, Chattanooga has gone from hosting close to zero venture capital to at least five organized funds with investable capital of over $50 million.

Wilson, NC — Through inspired leadership and the community mobilization, Wilson has been transformed from “the ‘World’s Greatest Tobacco Market’ to ‘North Carolina’s First Gigabit City,’ delivering speeds up to 100 times the national average, at a price North Carolinians can afford.  Unanimously approved by the city council, Mayor Bruce Rose believes this infrastructure “is absolutely essential to improve the economy and quality of life.”

Kansas City, MO — Kansas City was the first city to successfully compete for Google Fiber, the search giant’s entry into broadband service to homes and businesses, and today is being nationally recognized for attracting new start-ups, retaining existing business, and providing better municipal services and education as a result of this new and affordable broadband.

The new report released today by the National Economic Council and Council of Economic Advisers examines these remarkable stories in greater depth.

Source: www.whitehouse.gov

AFL-CIO President to Receive Gentle Warrior Award from Museum Devoted to Black Unions

Posted by Admin On January - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on AFL-CIO President to Receive Gentle Warrior Award from Museum Devoted to Black Unions

Richard Trumka -President of the National AFL-CIO -to Receive The A. Philip Randolph “Gentle Warrior” Award

Richard Trumka, President of the National AFL-CIO, will be presented the coveted “A. Philip Randolph Gentle Warrior” award during a gala celebration to be held in Chicago, Illinois at the Historic Parkway Ballroom, 4455 S. King Drive in Chicago, Illinois. The festive event is being hosted by the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum in collaboration with the UAW Local 551 Union Solidarity Committee & the Human and Civil Rights Committee.

The “A. Philip Randolph Gentle Warrior Award” is the Museum’s highest and most prestigious honor.  It is presented to deserving individuals who “push against the boundaries of conventionality with a warrior spirit, in much the same manner as A. Philip Randolph did throughout his career.”

Mr. Trumka’s inspiring leadership, conviction and passion have earned him the respect and admiration of all he’s touched. His commitment to fairness, his resolve to combat racism – including acts directed toward President Obama — and his courage in fighting apartheid exemplify the type of courage and warrior spirit that make him uniquely qualified to receive this honor.

Dr. Lyn Hughes, founder of the Museum, said that his life is a profile in excellence, achievement and working toward the greater good. Said Hughes, “Mr. Trumka’s qualities are rare but are the traits that propelled the AFL-CIO leader to success. In totality, these are the reasons he’s receiving the award.”

Trumka’s ascension to the presidency was shaped when he was a 12-year-old growing up in Rices Landing, Pa. He complained about how badly mineworkers were being treated. His grandfather, a miner, challenged him to do something about it. The seeds of advocacy and leadership were planted. Inspired by his hard- working father, Frank, Trumka worked in the mines for over seven years while working his way through Penn State University where he graduated with a BS. His academic background, combined with his firsthand witnessing of the hazards of mining, guided him to return to help fight for the miners.

After receiving a law degree from Villanova, he worked on the legal staff of the United Mine Workers for four years and provided pro bono legal work for local families.

Eventually, his ability to lead catapulted him to the upper tier of the union leadership ranks. At 33, he was elected the United Mine Workers of America’s youngest president, where he served three terms. The changes he made set the UMWA on a progressive course and earned him union wide recognition and praise.  In September 2009, he was elected President of the AFL-CIO by acclamation and re-elected in 2013.

Trumka exhibited unique leadership as he galvanized workers around a cause.  He’s also demonstrated an ability to motivate workers to show solidarity. These bold acts have won him widespread support within the union community and beyond.

In making the announcement, Dr. Hughes and Museum president David A. Peterson, commended Trumka and hailed him as an inspiration, not only for those in unions, but also for everyone seeking an authentic leader. Through all of his leadership positions, he has been encouraged by a desire to serve and help others.

“We are proud and honored to present Richard Trumka this award,” they declared. “He has devoted his life to helping others and decrying wrongdoing. The same sense of mission that vaulted A. Philip Randolph to success has made Mr. Trumka a profile in leadership. We are honored to be presenting him this award and eagerly look forward to bestowing it upon him on February 28 in ChicagoThe 2015 Gentle Warrior Gala event will also celebrate a major milestone for the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum as it marks its 20th anniversary as the world’s only Museum exclusively devoted to showcasing the contributions of African Americans to America’s labor history.  It is also the only cultural institution dedicated to preserving the legacy of labor trailblazer A. Philip Randolph.

In addition to honoring Mr. Trumka, the gala will provide a platform for communicating the Museum’s message, chronicling its progress, and showcasing its history.

The UAW, founder Hughes and Museum President David Peterson invite those who support the union movement, message and mission to come out and join in the celebration.

For more information on the Museum and for a link on where to purchase tickets to the gala celebration, log on to on to www.aprpullmanportermuseum.org/special-events.html

About the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum:

The A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum was founded in 1995 by Dr. Lyn Hughes and is named after Asa Philip Randolph and Pullman Porters who made up the membership of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) union. Randolph was the chief organizer and founder of the BSCP, the first African-American labor union in the country to win a collective bargaining agreement. The Museum is locally recognized as a historic site and is a unique addition to the tourism sites of the Pullman community of Chicago, Illinois. The Museum is also nationally recognized as a valuable and unique African-American museum. Since its founding, over a million people have been exposed to the Museum by visiting the site, by coming to one of its many traveling exhibits or by attending one of the many programs the Museum sponsors. Among the highlights of the cultural institution are exhibits, artifacts and original porters memorabilia donated by descendants of the labor pioneers. The Museum has been featured in numerous print and electronic media, including in an ABC Good Morning America segment, which was filmed at the Museum’s location at 10406 S. Maryland in Chicago, Illinois.

When Arrogant Youth Say – I KNOW THAT! Ask if They Know About Jail and Prison!

Posted by Admin On January - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on When Arrogant Youth Say – I KNOW THAT! Ask if They Know About Jail and Prison!

By Rev. Harold E. Bailey

President of Probation Challenge

CHICAGO, IL – Have you ever taken the time to note that some troubled youth won’t bother to consider sound educational judgment before declaring … I know that!  Now, let’s observe a matter, the hard-core-truth about that troubled youth mostly under the age of 18-years just arriving on the face of the earth… know it all! Something is radically wrong with this know-it-all theory while some parents have allowed it to prevail far too long!

I humbly suggest that caring parents and or guardians mandate that their youth sit down for a one-on-one conversation which should be a truthful tell it all journey. Tell about the complexities of life and how the many conspiracies lay in wait which are designed with them in mind! Let trouble youth and those who are not so troubled know that unmistakably conspiracies don’t fall from the sky, but are placed into various avenues of life — ear marked for certain bodies of people. And done by conspirators.

Who are some of the Conspirators: Most are unscrupulous backroom legislative prostitutes along with other hidden hands serving only to make merchandise of African American and Hispanic youth! These panhandlers sell to the justice system without reservations the undereducated poor African American and Hispanics.  By large, those filtering through the system are:

1. Blacks

2. High school dropouts

3. And from a one-parent family.

Motivation to conduct such actions are often in behalf of an influential organization or for an individual’s (financial) gain. It has been noted that political party members will ditto such actions. They are also those persons we continue to elect into public office.

If youth and adults genuinely knew the hard core truth regarding youth being orchestrated into things via crime, drugs and violence, and that their actions would escalate them into deviate matters warranting court action and its final decision. They (youth) are placed on a modern day slavery auction block, where their freighted minds, bodies and souls are bided on via the courts for the jail or prison systems. If young men and women can rationalize with these truths, maybe they could avoid the justice system and perhaps turn new found intelligence into valid votes!

Underhanded devices used to incarcerate any select or chosen body of people is a miscarriage of justice and should not be considered as honorable in the United States! Be careful not to turn heads away from such behavior to diminish a human race for such demonic behavior is documented to have taken place with the slaughter of Jews in Germany. It’s said that such mass killing could ever take place in the 21st Century… but it can to Blacks… if it’s allowed!

Be advised as to codes: The ‘P’ that was in Penitentiary is the ‘P’ that is in Prison, and was and is the same ‘P’ that’s in Plantation.

Let’s take a long hard look as to why a large majority of the powers that be tend to wink at troubled youth and their criminal behavior. Is it because the justice system has now become ‘wise’ as to the potential dollar revenue, and has now considered the need for a commodity? Blacks were a matter of selection, because the then large majority did not have an educational process to understand what was happening to them.

And because Blacks didn’t understand the lay of the land they fell through the cracks that were prepared—for them.

The Proof is: The United States government is building prisons based on third grade reading scores. Believe it or not, the government says they can conclude whether or not a child will go to prison at some given point. Question: Is this why the same government at some given point allows it to become difficult for Blacks to obtain a low level education? Illinois has refused to allow an educational component to be taught to Black students — although the law was passed — but never implemented. Is this fair governing?

Death Row: Starling figures suggest that something is acutely wrong with those who sit in administrative judgment over the lives of those who come before them. Example: As of December 10, 2014, there have been 150 inmates exonerated on death row in 26 states. Illinois had 20.  Blacks: 1, 267/41.75%. Thank God for his interventions!

Of course Blacks and Hispanics were then and are now deprived of a fair and equable education. Being unjust to underprivileged Blacks thusly allows an unfair disposition to come into play… one that means prisons would be the recipient of their bodies and souls! Meaning: As they drop out of the ‘conspired’ educational process … they so very easily drop into the Criminal Just Us System.

With a State and Federal Legislative understanding of how to present Slavery in a new fashion, Black youth now are increasing the legislative dollar amount needed for jail and prison responsibilities. However, more importantly, youth are arrested and found guilty, and are candidates for a long stretch in the penal system… and have only to look forward to a painful (sleeping on your back) experience in the criminal just us system?

Youth and adults need to know a thing called reality! There is a war going on regarding lives…human lives. The prison people business is so great that outside influences are now competing to get a share.

Approximately 12%-13% of the American population is African-American, but said to make up 40% of the almost 2.1 million male inmates in jail or prison (U.S. Department of Justice, 2009). Census data for 2000 of the number and race of all individuals incarcerated in the United States revealed a wide racial disproportion of the incarcerated population in each state: the proportion of Blacks in prison populations exceeded the proportion among state residents in twenty states.

Trouble youth without realization are not playing the system as they believe… but the money making system is playing a tune much louder than theirs, plus the system has already played them and all of us!

Inmates pay the salaries of every jailer, court-reporter, correctional officer and many other criminal justice staff persons.  However the brilliant inmate who ‘knows it all’ will not draw a mere cent. It is also fair to note that most prisons are located in Illinois downstate communities, where mostly whites are hired. These same communities were also known to have affection for the KKK and Skin-heads activities. Places of confinements are placed so far away from the main stream city that an inmate’s family is seldom able to visit.

The federal government has prohibited placement of youth in adult jails and prisons. The U.S. has promoted law reform separating youth from adult prison populations in other countries, however, the practice continues at the state level where youth tried as adults are routinely subjected to adult criminal sentences and incarcerated in adult facilities.

Because of my past experience as a 15-year member and chairman of the Chicago/Cook County Board of Corrections, 15 years with the Cook County Probation Department, and 35 years as president of Probation Challenge, I tend to look at things extremely close and for apparent reasons… Simply because I’ve discovered that people sitting in high places will play games when it come to African Americans, followed by Hispanics.

Things that should have been brought to the public’s attention years ago by elected officials have not been uttered! Have African American and Hispanic leaders gone to sleep at the switch or merely choose to wink because it’s not advantageous to speak against such matters … because of financial and political reasons?

It is stated that this practice violates the human rights of thousands of youth each year and places them in grave danger of other human rights abuses including physical and sexual abuse by corrections officials and inmates and abusive use of electro-muscular disruption devices (EMDs) also known as Tasers and solitary confinement.

The 2015 local and national elections should reflect at least a semblance of sanity, which then could order a brighter future for our children! We must elect candidates with brilliant foresights! Why? We in these United States, the land of the free, cannot continue warehousing youth for financial reasons… yet continue to refuse them an honest educational opportunity! We might be pleased to give youth an option … jail or education… you might be surprised to know they need to be educated as to the difference!

The plantation era which constituted housing colored folk for the purpose of forced labor along with demeaning chores … were to have been outlawed by the Federal Courts! Slavery days that represented such degrading behavior are supposed to be over—but are they? The State of Illinois can mandate by reason of law that youth receive a certifiable education which will unshackle the individual from the bonds of true captivity.

Why is there such a tremendous fear regarding Blacks getting an education?  That’s because Education Brings About an Awareness. Awareness Brings On The Ability To Think!  And, When A Young Man or Woman Can Think, He or She Can ‘Prayerful’ Make Rational Decisions!

Reclaim MLK Day: A Youth of Color Led Rally & March to Reclaim a Leader’s Legacy

Posted by Admin On January - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Reclaim MLK Day: A Youth of Color Led Rally & March to Reclaim a Leader’s Legacy

CHICAGO, IL -  On January 15, 2015, an intergenerational coalition of activists and community members, led by youth of color, will hold a march and rally aimed at reclaiming the radical legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Grade schoolers, high school students, young adults, and longtime activists have collaborated to organize this action. Attendees will gather outside the Village Leadership Academy (VLA), 1001 W. Roosevelt Rd, at 6 p.m., before marching to the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, at 1100 South Hamilton Avenue, for an artful demonstration and speak out.

Allied organizations and community members will also be be holding a series of daytime solidarity events, which will include both educational workshops and creative direct actions.

Organizers are responding to a national call to action, but this local installment is largely grounded in a youth led effort aimed at centering the struggle of young people of color. The primary vision for this event, including the theme and destination of the march, was developed by students from the Village Leadership Academy, and has been supported by The Chicago Light Brigade, We Charge Genocide, BYP 100, and other allied community organizations.

“When we’re talking about police violence, we’re talking about young people of color,” says organizer Page May. “We asked the Village Leadership Academy students to join us because we were hoping they could help us understand how to organize an event that would be safe and welcoming for younger students. They wound up bringing much more than that to the table. They have the radical, bold vision and analysis we needed for this march. In the span of one meeting, they became the heart, voice, and center of our efforts.”

This youth led coalition’s original plan was to stage a small action in December, but the VLA students soon developed a larger vision. Upon hearing about the national call, Kaleb Autman, a twelve year old student at VLA, and one of the event’s organizers felt strongly about the idea of reclaiming Martin Luther King’s legacy. “The government made this ploy holiday as a pacifier,” says Autman. “This is 2015 and black and brown lives still don’t matter to them.”

While Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday will be officially recognized on the 19th, the youth organizers of this event felt strongly about staging their action on MLK’s actual birthday. “If we want to reclaim his legacy, we need to take it back from the people who sanitized it in the first place,” says organizer Babur Balos.

Speakers at the event will include VLA students, poet Malcolm London, We Charge Genocide organizer Page May, CPD torture survivor Mark Clements, performers Jasmine Barber and David Ellis, and Mariame Kaba.

Organized by a coalition of activists from the following organizations:

Village Leadership Academy

BYP 100

We Charge Genocide

Chicago Light Brigade
Palestinian Youth Collective of Chicago

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/896361027062848

Free-use images of event preparations: Kelly Hayes:

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Reclaiming The American Dream

Posted by Admin On January - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Reclaiming The American Dream

The White House, Washington

From Secretary Julián Castro
Department of Housing and Urban Development

When my tenure as Secretary is over, I won’t judge my time by how many initiatives my Department has launched, or how many press releases we’ve put out. I’ll judge my tenure by the results — by how we were able to make opportunity real for families across America.
I’m proud to be serving under a President who shares the same commitment to policies that put everyday Americans first. President Obama has guided our nation out of a historic crisis and into an economy that’s picking up momentum. In just six years — thanks in large part to his actions — millions of Americans have been able to stay in their homes, and home sales are up by nearly 50 percent.
We’re not stopping there. Today, the President announced that he’s directing the Federal Housing Administration to reduce mortgage insurance premiums, which will help 250,000 American families buy a home over the next three years.
Share the news, and take a look at a few charts that show exactly how far our housing system has come
In 2008, home values were on the decline, but they’ve been rising for three years now.
New foreclosures are at their lowest levels since 2006.
The number of U.S. homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages — meaning they owe more than their home is worth — is down by nearly 10 million.
There’s no denying the progress we’ve made over the past few years, and we will continue working until every responsible, hardworking American is able to own a home.
Secretary Julián Castro
Department of Housing and Urban Development

Educator and Author Dr. Karen R. January Breaks the Cycle of Silence for Women

Posted by Admin On January - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Educator and Author Dr. Karen R. January Breaks the Cycle of Silence for Women
New book “Lessons Mama Never Taught Me” features interviews with 10 different women on various taboo subjects that their mothers never taught them.

Dr. Karen R. January

Chicago, IL (BlackNews.com) — Lessons Mama Never Taught Me by Dr. Karen R. January was written as a tool to educate young girls and women about areas that greatly affect their well-being. The book is a non-fiction narrative that follows the stories of ten women from varied religious and ethnic backgrounds. Each one tells how they fell to the depths of hell because of crucial life lessons their mothers failed to teach them. They discuss what these lessons are, how they survived, and the paths they each chose toward healing.

In the book, one woman, Maria, revealed that her lesson was education. It was not a priority in her home. Her mother didnt encourage her to attend school and the streets became her teacher. She eventually became a “high roller” selling drugs to NFL athletes. The stakes were high and she lost it all.” These women speak candidly and disclose their personal experiences with, extra-marital affairs, abortion, Internet dating, domestic, sexual, and substance abuse, and other significant topics that affect our lives.

Dr. January wanted to find out what specific lessons and relevant topics need to be taught to girls to equip them with handling the many social-ills they experience today. She had countless discussions with parents, relatives, and friends to determine what subject matters they missed growing up and how this lack of knowledge and communication impacted their lives. They concluded that self-esteem, body image, dating, sex, morals and relationships were some of the primary lessons that should be taught.

The lessons readers will take away are those of building self-confidence, self-awareness, character, in-depth knowledge on relationships, how to identify types of abuse and a better understanding of why it is important to protect your womanhood. All the points outlined within Lessons Mama Never Taught Me will nullify the many stereotypes that are portrayed in music videos, magazines and social media. The proper knowledge and preventive measures, Knowledge of finances, the importance of education, and investing in their future is the key to creating positive communities and a global society of empowered young women. It is our responsibility to teach these lessons and pass them on. The women that contributed to Lessons Mama Never Taught Me have already started.

The book is available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com
About Dr. Karen January:
Dr. Karen R. January is an established educator and author who has traveled domestically and internationally as a flight attendant and has worked in the educational field as a High School Counselor, Behavior Specialist and an Adjunct Professor of Psychology. Her innovative teaching style earned her the prestigious Oppenheimer Family Foundation Award. She has a B.S. in education with a minor in psychology an M.S. Ed. in Counseling and Guidance, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. She is a featured writer for Dunamis Womens magazine and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She currently resides in Chicago with her family. For more details, visit www.drkayjay.com

Black Author’s Political Thriller Now Available in E-Book – Receiving Rave Reviews!

Posted by Admin On January - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Black Author’s Political Thriller Now Available in E-Book – Receiving Rave Reviews!

Vernadine A. Merrick

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — And the Walls Came Tumbling Down… The Secret Life of Senator Jack by Vernadine A. Merrick is a political, suspense, romantic thriller thats received rave reviews across demographics!

Now available as an e-book, this page turner is a Cain and Abel story of identical twins, with one willing to do anything to hold the most powerful office in the land. As the senator from Massachusetts gears toward a run for the Presidency, the ghosts of his past continue to haunt him – and a detective is determined to reveal them all.

From the seedy underbelly of gang life on the mean streets to the political and powerfully elite, one mans secret will reverberate throughout his life and set in motion a chain of events that will save or destroy him.

In the time of Obama and the current intense political climate, And the Walls Came Tumbling Down…The Secret Life of Senator Jack will not disappoint. Love, suspense, romance, power struggles, family and redemption are timeless qualities that remain an intricate part of the American psyche.
About the Book:
And the Walls Came Tumbling Down . . .: The Secret Life of Senator Jack

By Vernadine A. Merrick
ISBN: 1608602133
Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency

The book is available in hardcover and on Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, iPad and other e-Readers for $9.95.

For more information on Ms. Merricks breakthrough novel, visit her website at www.vernadinemerrick.com or Facebook page.

Photo Caption: Bookcover and author, Vernadine A. Merrick

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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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