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Archive for January 26th, 2015

Wilson Calls for Federal Probe of Mayor’s Absentee Ballot “Scam”

Posted by Admin On January - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on Wilson Calls for Federal Probe of Mayor’s Absentee Ballot “Scam”

Says his actions are like that of a “snake”

By Chinta Strausberg

Angered that someone associated with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s re-election campaign allegedly sent out absentee ballots with his return address on it rather than the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, mayoral hopeful Willie Wilson Thursday called for a federal investigation, an apology from the mayor he called  “a snake.”

At a press conference held at his downtown home, Wilson said he is not sure how many absentee ballots went out “but we’re calling for an investigation to make sure they look into the whole situation….” “I am not saying it was him (the mayor). We only look at the evidence we got. It (the absentee ballot) ought to be returned to the Election Board and not a P.O. Box for one of the candidates.”

Referring to the mayor’s previous actions where he challenged Wilson’s 47,000 signatures on his petition, Wilson said, “That doesn’t go well with me. I don’t put anything past him. I had to pay thousands and thousands of dollars just to stay on the ballot. This is black history month. You don’t try to disenfranchise anyone from voting. You don’t try that. You should be encouraging people to vote.”

Asked by this reporter what was his initial reaction when he learned of the absentee ballot scam, Wilson said, “He’s a snake. I think he was a snake when he was trying to disenfranchise me personally and the 47,000 citizens…. This man will do anything for to get elected.

“I called him a snake also because he closed 50 schools in our community, but that snake may be too good for him because they wouldn’t have closed them,” Wilson said.

His lawyer, Frank Avila was also upset over the absentee ballot scam. “Even if this is legal, the absentee now mail in absentee ballot should be sent to 69 West Washington, 6th floor not to Emanuel’s mailbox.”

Saying there is no accountability or security involved in having these ballots sent to the mayor’s political PO Box number, Avila asked, “Who is picking the ballot up?   How do we know if it is getting to the Board of Election”?

Avila said he doesn’t feel comfortable with Emanuel’s asking voters to send their completed absentee ballot to his campaign P.O. box. I am asking him to cease and desist asking people to send those absentee ballots to Rahm Emanuel’s campaign post office address but rather to the board.”

Avila said this smacks of regular “vote fraud… that typical machine tactic. “ He said this comes after winning a ballot petition battle with the mayor who challenged all of Wilson’s 47,000 signatures. Avila said, “it created confusion” with voters and added, “I think it is wrong.”

However, Jim Allen, a spokesperson for the Chicago Board of Election, said candidates could ask that absentee ballots be returned to their campaigns. “We receive an application from the voter and they can do that on line or through a campaign or they can mail them directly to us.  It is legal” for a candidate to ask voters to return their completed absentee ballot to them before it is sent to the board. “Voters can then monitor their absentee ballot on our website,” explained. Allen who said this process began in 2010.

Asked if African Americans will be swayed by this latest scandal, Wilson said, “I hope that the African Americans will see him for what he is for closing those 50 schools, for not giving the right dollar amount for contracts to all citizens of Chicago not just African American but Latino, white, Asian Americans….

“He’s arrogant. He doesn’t seem to care. He doesn’t want to talk to nobody. He makes these decisions. He goes on TV and says he is for minimum wages but he does it three-months before the election. Why didn’t he do that four-years ago”? asked Wilson.

Ironically, on Thursday Mayor Emanuel flooded voter’s mailboxes with large brochures saying, “They made it tougher. For years, politicians failed to pass a minimum wage increase, leaving Chicagoans who work full time living in poverty.”  Emanuel’s four-page ad says he “took on the politicians and businesses that opposed raising the minimum wage and passed a hike to $13 per hour, so people who work full time can raise their family.”

Wilson was referring to the City Council’s approving an ordinance on December 2, 2014 raising the minimum wage for Chicago workers to $13.00 by the year 2019, but a day earlier the City Council passed a bill raising the minimum wage to $10 in seven months, an $11 minimum wage by the year 2017 and a final increase to $13 by 2019 in addition to inflation increases after 2019. Wilson feels the mayor’s push to pass this ordinance was all about his re-election bid.

Reminded that the mayor continues to get African American support, Wilson, who has a $60 million-a-year medical supply business and heads the “Singsation” gospel show on WGN-TV, quipped, “Some people want to go back to Egypt…, but I’m not returning back to Egypt. “

Reminded that some people say he is not qualified to run for mayor, Wilson said, “Then why are people at me so tough to try to keep me off the ballot. I am qualified to run my business, which I do. I am qualified to give $1 million a year away to the community. I am qualified to hire people out of the community and around the country. I am qualified to give money away to people on the street. I’m qualified to help whites, blacks, Hispanics and others who work for me. I m qualified….”

Wilson said he is going to release his income taxes for the past five-years sometime before Monday.

Asked about food poisoning he experienced earlier this week and if someone was trying to poison him, Wilson said, “It was probably bad food. I won’t be eating just anywhere. My wife will fix my food and bring me my water. I’m just being cautious. You never know what people may do.”

Asked if he is trying to follow the legacy of Mayor Harold Washington, Wilson said, “I’m just trying to follow Jesus Christ. That is all that is important to me. If he says it is OK. I don’t do nothing without consulting with him…. I will do it according to my faith, my belief and the best of my ability and if I fall somewhere short, I am entitled to grace and mercy.” “I won’t try to impersonate somebody else. I just want to be me….” Wilson, whose platform includes improving economic development, public safety, education, equal opportunity for jobs and contracts, said his goal is to unite the various races and to make all sides of the city look like “downtown Chicago.’

Wilson said his main opponent is the mayor. “When you disenfranchise 50 schools from the African American and Hispanic communities, you are messing with our kids future. We’re way back as it is.” Wilson criticized the mayor for closing the schools saying it also hurt parents who lost their jobs and created a dangerous environment for students who are forced to cross into gang territories.

Wilson said he would be pushing for his supporters to cast their ballots during the February 9th to February 21st. early vote program.  He is also looking forward to the upcoming debate.

Asked about the Chicago Tribune mid-December’s political questionnaire that contained misspellings and incomplete sentences, which turned out to be filled in by an assistant, prompting charges he is not ready to be a mayor, Wilson said, “What is important to me is what the voters say. That is what I will go on.

“This country is made up of people that haven’t got things some people were fortunate enough to go to school…but that don’t make them bad people. God made us all equal.

“I’m fighting trying to get petitions,” he said. “I ain’t got time to fill out questionnaire for the Tribune when I got to get on the ballot and I got to spend thousands of dollars to get on the ballot I am not interested in filling out nobody’s questionnaire. I am interested on getting on the ballot so I can represent the citizens of Chicago to make me mayor of this great city,” Wilson told reporters.

Steve Mayberry, a spokesperson for Mayor Emanuel, did not return this reporter’s calls.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

Brad Cosgrove Obtains $3.15 Million Verdict – Record for Leg Amputation in Rockford

Posted by Admin On January - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on Brad Cosgrove Obtains $3.15 Million Verdict – Record for Leg Amputation in Rockford

Bradley M. Cosgrove, partner at Clifford Law Offices, obtained a record $3.157 million verdict late Thursday evening in Rockford in a medical malpractice case involving a 65-year-old man who had his left leg amputated as a result of a doctor’s negligence.

The seven-man, five-woman jury returned the verdict after less than five hours of deliberations following a two-week trial in the Winnebago County courthouse.

Donald Johnson, 65, a former lieutenant with the Loves Park Police Department, was admitted to Rockford Memorial Hospital on Aug. 10, 2010, with complaints of dizziness, weakness and suspected upper GI bleeding.  He had a history of peripheral vascular disease in his lower extremities.

Dr. Mark Zarnke of Rockford was consulted to evaluate leg wounds on Johnson’s lower left extremity.  Despite medical tests revealing Johnson had only 41 percent blood flow to his left leg, on Aug. 12, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. Dr. Zarnke applied a Unna Boot to treat the leg wounds.  The boot remained on for five days.  The plaintiff contended at trial that the application of the Umma Boot was contraindicated due to Johnson’s decreased blood flow to his left leg.  When the boot was removed, his left leg exhibited necrotic skin tissue, which required debridement, a below-the-knee amputation and later an above-the-knee amputation.

Plaintiff further contended that Dr. Zarnke, a general surgeon, failed to offer surgical options to the patient to revascularize the leg and did not consult a vascular surgeon to treat the patient.

“We are pleased that the jury was able to sort through the complicated medical testimony and uncover the truth as to what caused Mr. Johnson’s leg amputation,” Cosgrove said following the verdict that came down just before 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22.  “Although the verdict cannot bring back his leg, Mr. Johnson is very satisfied with the result and believes that justice was served by the verdict.”

The Illinois Jury Verdict Reporter has confirmed that this is a record verdict in Winnebago County for a leg amputation.

Marta M. Kowalczyk, an associate at Clifford Law Offices, second-chaired the trial.

Cosgrove has had a series of successful significant verdicts since joining Clifford Law Offices less than two years ago after serving as a partner at a previous litigation boutique firm.  He has received more than $22 million in verdicts alone for his clients in just the past 14 months.

For further information, please contact Brad Cosgrove at 312-899-9090 or Clifford Law Offices’ Communications at 847-721-0909.
www.CliffordLaw.com
Case No.: 11 L 2626 (Winnebago County)
Attorneys for the Defendant Dr. Mark Zarnke and Surgical Associates of Northern Illinois:
Doug Pomatto and Kathleen Stockwell (of counsel)

Governor Rauner Announces Latest Round of Agency Appointments

Posted by Admin On January - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on Governor Rauner Announces Latest Round of Agency Appointments

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Governor Bruce Rauner announced he has made a number of cabinet secretary and agency board appointments. These appointments include the Illinois Department of Labor, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the Illinois Department of Central Management Services. Governor Rauner also announced he hired the administration’s Public Safety Director.

Name: Hugo Chaviano

Position: Director – Illinois Department of Labor

Governor Bruce Rauner has selected Hugo Chaviano, 62, to be the Director of the Illinois Department of Labor. Chaviano brings more than 35 years of legal experience to the job, including work as a mediator and arbitrator.

Chaviano is currently a senior partner for Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman, LLP, where he works on litigation cases in a number of areas including employment, contracts, transportation and torts. These cases have appeared before state and federal courts, regulatory agencies, and in arbitration and mediation. Chaviano has worked for a number of law firms throughout the Chicago area, including managing his own law firm that was acquired in 1997.

Throughout his professional career, Chaviano has become a leader among Hispanic lawyers within the United States and across Latin America. He has received a number of accolades for his work advocating diversity. Chaviano immigrated to the United States from Cuba when he was just 13 years old. He is bilingual in Spanish.

Chaviano graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in history, and he earned his law degree from Northwestern University.

Experience:

  • Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman, LLP, Partner (2003-Present)
  • Adorno Yoss Sanchez & Daniels, Partner in Charge (2004-2008)
  • Cozen O’Connor, Senior Member & Partner – Latin America Practice Group (2000-2002)
  • Blatt, Hammesfahr & Eaton, Capital Partner & Chair – Latin America Practice Group (1996-2000)
  • Chaviano & Associates, Ltd, Principal (1990-1996)
  • Broderick & Chaviano, House Counsel St. Paul Insurance Companies (1985-1990)
  • Pretzel & Stouffer, Associate (1984-1985)
  • Shand Morahan & Co. (1979-1984)
    • Corporate Counsel (1981-1984)
    • Claims Counsel (1979-1981)

Education:

  • Northwestern University, J.D. (1978)
  • Rutgers University, B.A.  History (1975)

Personal Information:

  • Age: 62
  • Hometown: North Barrington

Name: Rocco Claps

Position: Director – Illinois Department of Human Rights

Governor Bruce Rauner announced today he will reappoint Rocco Claps, 53, as the Director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights. Claps has overseen the IDHR for the past 12 years and is currently the longest-serving director in the agency’s history. Claps is also the first openly-gay agency director in the history of Illinois.

As the Director of the IDHR, Claps worked with the legislature to expand the Illinois Human Rights Act and the scope of human and civil rights laws in Illinois, which includes Illinois’ first statewide law to protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. He also created a bilingual services department within the IDHR to more effectively communicate with all communities in Illinois. Claps currently oversees nearly 150 employees with a budget of more than $14 million.

Prior to his work at the IDHR, Claps was a Deputy Assessor in the Cook County Assessor’s Office. He also worked on two Democratic National Conventions, and in the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Claps earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Illinois State University.

Experience:

  • Illinois Department of Human Rights, Director (2003-Present)
  • Office of the Cook County Assessor, Deputy Assessor (1999-2003)
  • 2000 Democratic National Convention, Director of Planning (1997-1999)
  • Office of the Secretary – U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Director of Scheduling & Advance (1997)
  • 1996 Democratic National Convention, Chief of Staff (1995-1996)

Awards & Honors:

  • The Civic Federation/Motorola Solutions Foundation Award – Excellence in Public Service
  • International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies – Individual Achievement Award
  • Chicago Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Illinois State University, B.S. Mass Communications (1983)

Personal Information:

  • Age: 53
  • Hometown: Villa Park

Name: Leo Schmitz

Position: Director – Illinois State Police

Governor Bruce Rauner has selected Deputy Chief Leo Schmitz of the Chicago Police Department to become the Director of the Illinois State Police. Schmitz, 55, has a proven record of building community trust, while reducing crime rates as a leader in the department.

Schmitz has spent his nearly 30-year career with the Chicago Police Department, starting as a patrolman and rising to the rank of Deputy Chief. He currently oversees the Englewood district, where his policies reduced the murder rate by 44 percent, shootings fell by 14 percent and all other crimes dropped as well.

Prior to his work as Deputy Chief, Schmitz was the Commander of the Gang Enforcement Unit. He oversaw the centralization of 400 police officers from 25 different districts into one gang unit, which became the largest gang unit in the United States addressing gang violence.

Schmitz has been recognized at the city, county and state level for his excellence in police work. Notably, he’s received the Illinois Law Enforcement Medal of Honor; the Superintendent’s Award of Valor and Blue Star Award; the Illinois Police Association Medal of Valor; and the Cook County Sheriff’s Medal of Valor.

Experience:

  • Chicago Police Department (1986-Present)
    • Deputy Chief, 007th District – Englewood (2012-Present)
    • Commander, Gang Enforcement Unit (2009-2012)
    • Commander, Gang Investigations Section (2008-2009)
    • Commander, 008th District – Chicago Lawn (2007-2008)
    • Lieutenant (2004-2005)
    • Sergeant (1998-2004)
    • Detective Division Sergeant (1999-2004)
    • Patrolman (1986-1999)

Awards

  • Illinois Law Enforcement Medal of Honor
  • Superintendent’s Award of Valor
  • Superintendent’s Blue Star Award
  • The Hundred Club Medal of Valor
  • Illinois Police Association Medal of Valor
  • Cook County Sheriff’s Medal of Valor
  • The William Powers Leadership Award
  • Cook County Sheriff’s Medal of Merit
  • Illinois State Crime Commission Police Officer of the Year
  • Fraternal Order of Police Distinguished Service Award

Education:

  • Southern Illinois University, B.S. Administrative Sciences (1982)

Personal Information:

  • Age: 55
  • Hometown: Chicago

Name: Bryan Schneider

Position: Secretary – Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

Governor Bruce Rauner has selected Bryan Schneider, 47, as the next Secretary for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. He brings a deep understanding of law and corporate business practices to the position.

For the past 15 years, Schneider has worked as an attorney for Deerfield-based Walgreens. Currently, he is the Divisional Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, where he worked on a number of programs and initiatives. For example, he offered regulatory and transactional support for the nation’s largest flu immunization program.

Schneider is familiar with leadership roles in Illinois; he is currently a member of the State Board of Elections, a position he’s held since 2004. He also served one term as the board’s Chairman, and another as Vice Chairman.

Schneider began his career in the General Assembly, where he worked as General Counsel for Rep. Lee Daniels while he was House Speaker and the Republican Leader in the House.

In addition to his law degree from the University of Wisconsin, Schneider is a certified public accountant. He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Trine University in Angola, Ind. He also holds an MBA from DePaul University in Chicago.

Experience:

●      Walgreen Co.

  • Divisional Vice President & Assistant General Counsel (2010-Present)
  • Director, Health Care Contracting & Regulatory Law (2009-2010)
  • Directory, Health Care Regulatory Law (2008-2009)
  • Director, Government Relations, Walgreens Health Services (2005-2008)
  • Senior Attorney (2000-2005)

●     Harris Kessler & Goldstein (1997-2000)

●     Office of the Illinois House Republican Leader (1997-2000)

●     Office of the Speaker, Illinois House of Representatives (1995-1997)

●     Sidley Austin LLP (1993-1997)

●     U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, Law Clerk – Hon. Richard D. Cudahy (1992-1993)

Leadership positions:

●      Illinois Board of Elections (2004-Present)

  • Board Chairman (2009-2011)
  • Vice Chairman (2007-2009)

●     LEARN Charter Schools, Board of Directors (2003-Present)
Education:

●     University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D. (1992)

●     DePaul University, MBA (2001)

●     Trine University, B.S. Accounting (1989)

Personal Information:

●     Age: 47

●     Hometown: Chicago

Name: Tom Tyrrell

Position: Director – Illinois Department of Central Management Services

Governor Bruce Rauner has selected Tom Tyrrell, 61, to become the Director of the Department of Central Management Services. Tyrrell has nearly 40 years of combined experience in the military, public and private sectors.

Currently, Tyrrell is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Chicago Public Schools (CPS). As the COO, Tyrrell oversees the day-to-day operations of the nation’s third largest school district, which educates 400,000 students; employs 42,000 teachers and support staff; and operates with a budget of more than $5 billion.

Prior to his work with CPS, he was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Steele Partners, which is a strategic advisory and management firm. It connects innovating businesses with projects to improve the country’s well-being.

Tyrrell also spent three years as the Executive Director and CEO of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. He oversaw the transformation of the well-respected, but underutilized museum, into a state-of-the art educational facility. Under his management, the museum saw an 80 percent annual revenue increase within three years.

Tyrrell is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, having served our country for 26 years, retiring as a Colonel. As the Commanding Officer for the First Marine Corps District, he oversaw recruitment in 14 states and managed 1,100 service personnel, which operated with an annual budget of $14 million. He also served as the Director of Strategic Planning & Coordination for the United Nations Interim Mission in Kosovo. Prior to that, he was the Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Tyrrell is a graduate of Texas A&M University-Kingsville, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He also earned post-graduate degrees from the National Defense University – Industrial College of the Armed Forces and the Naval Postgraduate School.

Experience:

  • Chicago Public Schools, Chief Operating Officer (2012-Present)
  • Steele Partners, Chief Executive Officer (2009-2011)
  • Cantor Fitzgerald, LLP/BGC, Senior Managing Director (2006-2008)
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Executive Director & CEO (2002-2005)
  • U.S. Marine Corps
    • First Marine Corps District, Commanding Officer (2001-2002)
    • UN Interim Mission in Kosovo, Director of Strategic Planning & Coordination (2000-2001)
    • Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1998-2000)

Recognitions & Honors:

  • Defense Superior Service Medal
  • Legion of Merit Medal
  • Veterans Advantage Person of the Year
  • Ellis Island Medal of Honor
  • National Police Foundation Person of the Year

Education:

  • National Defense University – Industrial College of the Armed Forces, M.S. Strategic Resource Management (1998)
  • Naval Postgraduate School, M.S. Management – Acquisition & Contracts (1992)
  • Texas A&M University – Kingsville, B.A. Business Administration (1976)

Personal Information:

  • Age: 61
  • Hometown: Chicago

Name: Rodger Heaton

Position: Public Safety Director

Governor Bruce Rauner has hired Rodger Heaton, 55, as his administration’s Public Safety Director. Heaton has 30 years of legal experience, including spending more than four years as the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois. His experience also spans years in private practice, as well.

As the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, Heaton was the chief federal law enforcement official for 46 counties from 2005-2009. Under his tenure, productivity in his division rose to record levels, which resulted in the filing of federal charges in approximately 1,300 cases. Heaton was appointed to the position by President George W. Bush.

Heaton understands the other side of the legal system as well, because of his work as a defense attorney. Most recently, he was a partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson. He also spent two years as a partner at Kirkland & Ellis.

Until joining the administration, Heaton was an Administrative Law Judge with the U.S. Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. He presided over federal administrative hearings of disability claims under the Social Security Act.

Heaton earned his law degree from Indiana University and holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Experience

  • U.S. Office of Disability Adjudication & Review, Administrative Law Judge (2014-Present)
  • Hinshaw & Culbertson, Partner (2009-2014)
  • United States Attorney – Central District of Illinois (2005-2009)
  • Supervisory Assistant United States Attorney – Central District of Illinois (2003-2005)
  • Kirkland & Ellis, Partner (2001-2003)
  • Supervisory Assistant United States Attorney – Central District of Illinois (1990-2000)
    • Appellate Section Chief  (1990-2000)
    • Springfield Branch Chief (2000)
    • Computer Crime Specialist (1995-2000)
    • Assistant U.S. Attorney – Southern District of Indiana (1989-1990)
    • Sullivan & Cromwell, Associate (1987-1989)
    • U.S. District Court, Southern District, Law Clerk – Hon. Sarah Evans Barker (1987-1987)

Education

  • Indiana University, J.D. (1985)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S. Agricultural Economics (1981)

Personal Life

  • Age: 55
  • Hometown: Rochester

Who’s the Hidden Hand in the Media Mayor Debate?

Posted by Admin On January - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on Who’s the Hidden Hand in the Media Mayor Debate?

By Rev. Harold E. Bailey

President, Probation Challenge


It has been set forth that the requirements for running for mayor in the City of Chicago is that a person must be 18 years old, a registered voter, a resident of the city of Chicago without any debt, unpaid tax, lien or other obligations to the city of Chicago. The candidate must not have a felony conviction or conviction for any infamous crime, bribery or perjury. Candidates also must have a particular amount of signatures and must file in a timely fashion.

After meeting these guidelines and ‘legally’ considered a suitable candidate for the mayor’s seat, the question comes to mind as to how some portions of the media then set their own guidelines and their own criteria rather than that of the Board of Elections Commission.

In the interest of fairness, taxpayers are again exempt from a legal and honest process that was set forth to protect taxpayers from that which is about to take place.

This is not to say that it should be one candidate above another, but that all who have followed the obedience of the law … should run the race fairly, complete  the course, and await the taxpayer’s decision via a debate that should include all candidates who are within the guidelines of  the written law.

Are there other factors not known to the public that should be known?  If so, they should be forth coming, immediately.

Where is the Chicago honest and non-biased government that we the taxpayers deserve?

Grassroots Illinois Action Announces Endorsements for Chicago Municipal Elections

Posted by Admin On January - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on Grassroots Illinois Action Announces Endorsements for Chicago Municipal Elections

Community Outrage Over Rubber-Stamp City Council and Unaccountable School Board Fueling Aldermanic Races in Wards Across City. Neighborhood Leaders Give Support to Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia in Bid to Unseat Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Grassroots Illinois Action (GIA) will hold a press conference tomorrow to announce their endorsement of Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia for Mayor of Chicago and twenty-one Aldermanic candidates “ready to fight for working families and invest in Chicago’s neighborhoods.”

The endorsement press conference will be held Tuesday, January 27th, 2015, 11:15 a.m., at  Grace Episcopal Church, 637 S Dearborn, in Chicago, 1st Floor

GIA said after years of seeing their communities ignored by Mayor Emanuel, progressive leaders and neighborhood champions are stepping up to make their voices heard. This new slate of candidates comes from communities that have been devastated by the destructive policies of the last four years. Standing behind these candidates are everyday Chicagoans who are coming together to demand a real say in our children’s education, and a responsible City Council that listens to neighborhood residents, not just downtown dollars.  In this dynamic political moment, Grassroots Illinois Action is proud to lend its support to candidates that so closely share our values.

Attending the press conference are Mayoral Candidate Jesus Garcia, Aldermanic Candidates, Community Leaders, and Neighborhood residents who have been impacted by Mayor Emanuel’s policies of community disinvestment.

For more information, contact Nathan Ryan 920-445-3920, nathan@grassrootsillinoisaction.org.

About Grassroots Illinois Action:

Grassroots Illinois Action unites working families in an effort to build real independent political power in and for our communities. We can build the power to elect Progressive champions who will fight for our communities and defeat those who would close schools, cut good jobs, slash human services, and dismantle affordable housing. We can change the political landscape and shift our city and state’s priorities. Together we can pursue a vision that values all of our residents, all of our neighborhoods.

South Suburban Middle School Teacher Charged With Abusing Former Students

Posted by Admin On January - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on South Suburban Middle School Teacher Charged With Abusing Former Students

A Joliet junior high school teacher who formerly taught at a southwest suburban junior high has been charged with sexually abusing two former students over the course of more than two years, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Cara Labus, 30, of Joliet, has been charged with four counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse in connection with incidents that occurred between 2008 and 2011 in Orland Park with two victims who were between the ages of 14 and 16 when the crimes took place.

According to prosecutors, Labus came to know the victims while she was employed as a teacher and basketball coach at Jerling Junior High School in Orland Park.   After the victims graduated from junior high, Labus kept in contact with them and from December 2008 through February 2011 she is alleged to have engaged in various sex acts with the victims on several occasions.  During the summer of 2014, one of the victims told a friend about the abuse and then filed a police report in December of 2014.  Around that same time, the other victim made an outcry to the first victim regarding abuse by Labus during the same time frame.

Labus is currently employed at Hufford Junior High School in Joliet.  She was arrested by Orland Park Police Jan. 21.

Bond was set for Labus at $150,000 during a hearing today before Judge Kerry Kennedy at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse in Bridgeview.  Judge Kennedy also ordered that Labus be placed on electronic home monitoring and that she not have contact with either victim or anyone under 18 years of age unless supervised.  Labus’ next court date is Feb. 23, 2015.

The public is reminded that criminal charging documents contain allegations that are not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the state has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

State of Illinois Closes Highland Community Bank, United Fidelity Purchases

Posted by Admin On January - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on State of Illinois Closes Highland Community Bank, United Fidelity Purchases

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) Division of Banking, in cooperation with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), took possession and control of Highland Community Bank in Chicago on Friday, January 23, 2015 at 6 pm.  United Fidelity Bank fsb (Evansville, Indiana) has agreed to purchase the bank, ensuring an immediate and uninterrupted transition in service for customers.

“Highland Community Bank was operating in an unsafe and unsound condition and did not have adequate capital to protect its depositors,” said Sheila Saegh Henretta, IDFPR Acting Director of Banking.  “At the time of its closure, the bank had approximately $54 million in assets and operated from three locations in Chicago.”

United Fidelity Bank fsb will immediately operate Highland’s offices as branches of its own bank.  No depositors will lose any money and all in-transit checks will be honored.

Highland Community Bank first opened in 1970.

AP Randolph Pullman Porter Museum to Present Gentle Warrior Award to Congresswoman Kelly/City Treasurer Kurt Summers

Posted by Admin On January - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on AP Randolph Pullman Porter Museum to Present Gentle Warrior Award to Congresswoman Kelly/City Treasurer Kurt Summers

The historic AP Randolph Pullman Porter Museum will honor two of Chicago’s dynamic leaders with the A Philip Randolph Gentle Warrior Award. The honorees are Congresswoman Robin Kelly of the Second Congressional District and City Treasurer Kurt Summers. The presentations will take place during the Museum’s 20th anniversary celebration: The “A Philip Randolph Gentle Awards Gala.” The event takes place Saturday, February 28 at the Historic Parkway Ballroom, 4455 S. King Drive from 5:30 to 9PM.

In making the announcement, David Peterson, president, said that the A. Philip Randolph Gentle Warrior Awards are bestowed upon deserving African Americans who “push gently, yet forcefully, against the boundaries of conventionality with a warrior spirit, in much the same manner as A. Philip Randolph did throughout his career.”

Robin KellyCongresswoman Kelly and City Treasurer Summers, said Peterson, reflect the spirit of the award because they have heroically worked to advance the mission they are charged to lead. He added that their records of advocacy, their commitment to serve and their accomplishments make them ideal recipients of the award.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly has devoted her life to advocacy and warrior-style leadership. As a member of Congress, she brings this passion to the five bodies on which she serves: The Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Regulatory Affairs Committees, National Security Subcommittees, the Science, Space and Technology Committee and the Research and Technology Subcommittee. As part of her responsibilities and as part of her lifelong commitment to create a better world, she has worked tirelessly to promote national safety and expand economic opportunity, sponsoring numerous bills to generate job growth and end senseless gun violence. Kelly’s first legislation, Improving Gun Safety Standards would allow the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue safety standards for guns and ammunition that will help reduce gun-related deaths. Prior to being elected to Congress, she was known for her dedication. As a former Illinois state representative and government administrator, Kelly successfully sponsored bills to protect consumers from fraud, support economic development and increase the minimum wage. She also led the fight for landmark legislation to protect victims of domestic violence and improve public safety. Kelly also served as chief administrative officer of Cook County and served as chief of staff of the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office, becoming the first African-American woman to hold that position in a constitutional office in Illinois. During her term as chief of staff, Kelly pursued a progressive agenda rooted in promoting small business job creation, investment strategy innovation, and advancing financial literacy in underserved areas. She also helped transform the Treasurer’s Office – an agency that managed as much as $17 billion in state funds – by improving efficiencies, streamlining expenses and demanding stronger ethical guidelines.

Kurt SummersKurt SummersCity Treasurer Kurt Summers is also the ideal honoree. Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Summers as City Treasurer on the strength of his work ethic, which was matched only by his commitment to service. He served as Emanuel’s Chief of Staff where he confronted the County’s deficit and led the effort that resulted in a balanced budget being passed unanimously. Under his leadership at the County, Summers reformed the way the County does business, saving taxpayers over $400 million annually from the 1% sales tax reduction. He also implemented countywide performance management and strengthened the County’s procurement rules. He won praise from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle for his vigilance in addressing and correcting the County’s problems. Mr. Summers most recently served as senior vice-president at GCM Grosvenor. Before taking his first position in public service with Cook County, he was Managing Director at Ryan Specialty Group, a specialty insurance services firm. In addition, he previously served as Director, chief financial officer, and head of business development at the Balton Corporation. Mr. Summers also gained financial expertise as a member of the Industrials Group of the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs.

“We are honored and humbled to be saluting Congresswoman Kelly and City Treasurer Summers,” declared Dr. Lyn Hughes, founder of the Museum. “They are forces who have impacted the nation, the county and the city through their excellence, commitment, passion and resolve. In setting to their mission, they have achieved excellence in a quiet – yet effective manner befitting that of A. Philip Randolph. Based on their achievements, it is our privilege to be presenting them with this prestigious honor.”

In addition to honoring these leaders, the banquet will provide a platform for communicating the Museum’s message, chronicling its progress, and showcasing its history.

Proceeds from the celebration will go continuing the Museum’s mission as the only cultural institution worldwide dedicated to showcasing the black union movement and the achievements of A. Philip Randolph.

For more information and to purchase tickets for the event, log on to http://www.aphiliprandolphmuseum.com/special-events.html

40th Ward Challenger Daleiden Demands Incumbent Remove Illegal Election Signs at His Own Expense

Posted by Admin On January - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on 40th Ward Challenger Daleiden Demands Incumbent Remove Illegal Election Signs at His Own Expense

40th Ward Aldermanic challenger Dianne Daleiden demands that her opponent, Pat O’Connor, remove illegally posted yard signs that appeared on public land overnight in clear violation of city laws.

“Section 10-8-325 of the Municipal Code is clear.  Everyone knows it and certainly after 32 years in office, my opponent must know it too.  Ward residents have reported dozens of violations which would total minimally a $5,000 fine should the City choose to enforce the law,” said Daleiden, who added, “What a waste of taxpayer money.  I call on my opponent to remove those illegal signs himself, at his own expense, and stop wasting city workers’ time and our money by having Streets and San remove them.”

“I’ve known Pat now for 30 years and I hope he can agree that from this point forward we can have a clean, fair campaign. To do otherwise is unseemly,” said Daleiden.

Dianne Daleiden is a 30-year 40th Ward resident running for Alderman of the 40th Ward against incumbent Patrick J. O’Connor.  She is currently a Chicago Public Schools math teacher.

www.dianne4ward40.com

https://facebook.com/dianne4ward40

https://twitter.com/diannedaleiden

Acclaimed Historian and Filmmaker Dr. Daniel E. Walker Launches “Faith, Hope, and Justice” Lecture and Film Tour

Posted by Admin On January - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on Acclaimed Historian and Filmmaker Dr. Daniel E. Walker Launches “Faith, Hope, and Justice” Lecture and Film Tour

Inspirational Films “Sol Brothers” and “When Roosters” Crow Examine Young Men of Color, Servant Leadership, and the Life of an Early Pioneer in the Fight Against AIDS

Dr. Daniel E. Walker


Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) – Los Angeles, CA – Amid threats to free speech across the globe and questions about the limits of police action at home, acclaimed scholar and filmmaker Dr. Daniel E. Walker launches the “Faith, Hope, and Justice” lecture and film tour.

A Research Associate at the University of Southern Californias Center for Religion and Civic Culture, Walker is the author of the critically acclaimed book No More, No More: Slavery and Cultural Resistance in Havana and New Orleans and the study Black Church Next: Challenges and Opportunities Facing African American Congregations in 21st Century Los Angeles.

Walker is the writer/director of the films Sol Brothers and When Roosters Crow, Founding Director of the Long Beach Indie International Film Festival, and executive producer of the forthcoming documentary series Faith and Soul in the City in collaboration with Emmy Award-winning writer and producer P. Frank Williams (Unsung, American Gangster).

A proud product of Head Start, Dr. Walker is an otherworldly speaker called to a mission of education, inspiration, and social change. As he states, “I simply believe that the inherent nature of humanity bends towards the good and Im just trying to remind people of that. While its easy to see all of the recent unrest as negative, I know that there is an opportunity for change that is both proactive and redemptive.”

Walkers films Sol Brothers and When Roosters Crow exemplify this vision. Sol Brothers examines the triumphant journey of 33 young men of color as they attend a revolutionary college prep camp. In the acclaimed short film When Roosters Crow, he examines the legacy of Emmy Award-winning choreographer Dr. Danny L. Scarboroughs public battle with AIDS in the late 1980s.

As a speaker, Dr. Walkers style is intelligent, humorous, and inspirational. In addition to his films and moving lectures that are tailored to the specific event or theme, he is also known for his jubilant and provocative extended workshop “Oh Happy Day: The History, Music, and Mission of the Black Church.” Rousing and informative, the stand-alone event covers everything from spirituals and Hip Hop to slavery and social justice.

In addition to his work in history, religion, and film, he is an expert on Cuba, servant leadership, and the use of film, television and digital media as tools for advocacy.

Holding a doctorate (with distinction) in Latin American and African American History from the University of Houston, Walker was formerly the Associate Director of the African American Studies Program at the University of Houston, Assistant Professor of Latin American and African American History at Indiana University, and Visiting Professor of Latin American History at Occidental College. He was also elected Student Government Association President while an undergraduate at San Diego State University.

Walker is co-founder of Leadership Excellence and the Board Chair of the BLU Educational Foundation, two of the nations leading youth development and college access organizations, and is the recipient of the W. K. Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship, the New York City Urban Fellowship, and the Coro Leadership Fellowship.

Dr. Daniel E. Walker is the perfect speaker for conferences, special events, retreats, and commencements. His lectures, films, and workshops are also a great choice for Black History Month and religious services. To watch this dynamic speaker in action or to download a full biography, visit www.drdanielwalker.com.

For questions and bookings, contact OneNation Media Services at info@onenationmedia.org or call (909) 657-0578 ext 1.

Photo Caption: Filmmaker and Historian Dr. Daniel E. Walker

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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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