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Archive for March 11th, 2015

NY Governor Is Wrong To Target Teachers

Posted by Admin On March - 11 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The Mis-evaluation of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

7 Ways To Fix the Public Education Problems in the State of New York

Andrew Cuomo

By Bernard Gassaway

New York, NY (BlackNews.com) — Over the course of his tenure, Governor Cuomo will affect public education in New York State profoundly for over 2 million children. The significance of his influence has not been determined. While he is right to be frustrated with over a decade of no significant progress in education, he is wrong to direct his dissatisfaction toward teachers. Cuomo should resist the temptation to focus only on ineffective teachers. Rather he should focus on how people become teachers and how they are supported.

To use a business analogy, one should go to the manufacturer and correct the flaws in the design or, if necessary, change the designer. In this case, Cuomo should focus on the colleges and universities producing teachers and on a state education department that allows alternative routes for entering the teaching field. If Cuomo is serious about improving the quality of education for all children, he should consider the observations of a 25-year educator who has served as teacher, assistant principal, principal, and superintendent in New York City.

First, Cuomo should direct his education advisors to examine teacher preparatory programs. They should identify best practices and require them across all New York public colleges and universities. They should do the same after examining the best induction programs around the world, including the medical profession, the military, and police and fire academies. Our current method of recruiting people to teach is fundamentally flawed, contributing to large numbers of ineffective teachers.

Second, Cuomos current proposal to hire outside organizations to run so-called failing schools does not seem plausible. It is experimental. I recommend that Cuomo fully embrace the African it takes a village to raise a child framework. Joyce Epsteins (2001, 2010) overlapping spheres of influence, which are rooted in this framework, provide a good place to start. The idea of school, family, and community collaborating to support the whole child is likely the best approach to improve outcomes for children. The outside organization approach, as being proposed, is too risky and may not workor at least there is no evidence to show it has. Instead, work with schools, families, and communities to develop organic and strategic relationships, which can lead to effectives collaborations.

Third, Cuomo should focus on the work of central and district offices. How does he hold them accountable as he is holding schools accountable? Closing schools alone will not work. Cuomo and others must figure out ways to hold local educational agencies accountable. It is not enough to blame and punish victims of a system that failed to support them. Principals and teachers are trying to redress many of the ills of society. To quote a line from Edgar Allan Poes The Cask of Amontillado, A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. Do not allow central and district offices to stay out of harms way while scapegoating teachers and principals for the offices failure to support them strategically and effectively.

I agree with Cuomo that ineffective teachers must goimmediately! However, a sizeable percentage of their replacements are likely to experience the same fate, unless there is an effort to change how people become teachers and how teachers train and develop once on the job. Who should we blame? Not teachers. They, like the children, are victims of the system. Nevertheless, the harm that ineffective teachers do to children cannot be ignored while we figure out solutions to this most profound problem.

I also agree it is imperative that a fair teacher evaluation system be created that accurately measures teacher effectiveness. However, while we may agree that the current system is flawed, it is illogical to replace it with another flawed and unfair system. Before Cuomo uses student standardized test results to evaluate teachers, he must correct the flawed tests. This cannot be ignored!

I told a group of aspiring administrators recently that it is their responsibility to educate their city and state elected officials, who are largely ignorant of what is happening in city and state schools. This is my attempt to inform anyone who will listen.

In short, I recommend Cuomo take the following actions:

1. Establish a state-of-the-art teacher training and development program. Include colleges and universities in the planning. Focus on how people become teachers. Develop the profession. Create an exemplary teacher induction programon par with the medical profession.

2. Create a fair teacher evaluation system. Invite the best researchers, scholars, business leaders, and education practitioners to a summit and do not leave without a fair evaluation system. Shift from the current political discussion on teacher evaluation to an educational one

3. Revamp the current testing program, because testing has become a large industry driven by greed. Remove the profit incentive from the equation. Focus on ways to improve assessments. Again gather the best thinkers (from our prestigious colleges and universities along with educational practitioners) to devise an accurate and fair assessment that measures the learning and performance of our children.

4. Focus on reforming failing school systems. Focusing on failing schools is blaming the victim and enabling abusers to continue abuse.

5. Fix the New York State Education Department. Have an independent evaluator advise how to make it relevant and resourceful. Its staffing and organization do not suffice to support districts and schools.

6. Focus attention on New York Citys Department of Education (DOE). Uncover fiscal mismanagement. I know that an independent auditor can uncover at least $1 billion in waste.

7. Figure out a way to minimize the DOEs constant changes. Each chancellor changes procedures and policies constantly, seeding chaos and confusion. This does not help students, parents, principals, or community stakeholders who work on improving the school system. I believe that if Governor Cuomo were to follow the above recommendations, he would significantly affect education for millions of children in New York State. For the sake of our children, I hope he listens and responds.

Bernard Gassaway is a former principal at Beach Channel High School and Boys and Girls High School. He is also the former Senior Superintendent of Alternative Schools and Programs in New York City. He can be reached at bgas37@aol.com

Photo Caption: Andrew Cuomo, Governor of the state of New York

CPC, CBC, CHC, and CAPAC Call for Strong Standard on Payday Loans

Posted by Admin On March - 11 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, D.C. -Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus G. K. Butterfield (D-NC), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Linda Sánchez (D-CA), and Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Judy Chu (D-CA) sent a letter last week to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray calling for a strong national standard for payday loans.

The text of the letter is below and a PDF copy can be found here.

The Honorable Richard Cordray

Director

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

1700 G Street, NW

Washington, D.C.  20552

Dear Director Cordray:

We are writing in support of strong, effective rules governing payday loans. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has a responsibility to protect consumers from these predatory and exploitive financial products, and we urge you to implement rules that would prohibit fraudulent and abusive payday loans that threaten the economic well-being of so many Americans, especially those from low-income communities of color.

While several states have recently passed new laws and others have increased the enforcement on the abusive nature of these loans, the need for federal regulation is pressing. As of 2014, at least 36 states still permit these abusive loans, and many do so without restriction.  Moreover, the prevalence of internet payday lending has grown tremendously in recent years. In fact, one in every three payday loans originates online, some with rates as high as 700% APR or more.

What is particularly concerning is that payday lenders target low-income communities and communities of color. According to a four state study conducted by Howard University’s Center on Race and Wealth, 12 million people living in low-income communities use payday loans annually. Those individuals averaged eight payday loans each year with an average interest rate of 400 percent for each loan. Nearly 90 percent of payday lenders referenced in the study were located in low-income communities of color.

The prevalence of such predatory and abusive practices is unacceptable. The payday loan industry robs borrowers of the opportunity to secure a foothold in the mainstream financial services market by locking borrowers into a long-term debt trap and by increasing the likelihood that a borrower will suffer other harmful financial consequences, such as bankruptcy, excessive overdraft fees, and involuntary bank account closures. The resulting adverse impact on credit scores, which lenders use to determine a borrower’s eligibility, can make it even harder for individuals to avail themselves of mainstream financial services. This means that the millions of individuals from low-income communities and communities of color are further disadvantaged and further unable to break free of existing socio-economic barriers.

That is why we need a clear, consistent, national standard that ensures that no one in this country is subject to predatory lending practices. To that end, we urge the CFPB to implement rules to stem predatory practices that are based on exorbitant interest rates and fees that draw consumers into a harmful cycle of repeat lending. Specifically, we ask that the CFPB meaningfully reform the marketplace by implementing rules governing both storefront and online payday lending that would:

1.    Require the lender to determine the borrower’s ability to repay the loan, including consideration of both income and expenses;

2.   Not sanction any series of repeat loans or provide any safe harbor;

3.   Recognize that borrowers need small dollar loans with good terms, not short-term loans that are difficult for them to repay. The CFPB should establish an outer limit on length of indebtedness that is at least as short as the FDIC’s 2005 guidelines – 90 days in a twelve-month period; and

4.   Prohibit lenders from using post-dated checks of electronic access to a borrower’s checking account as evidence of ability to repay the loan.

We thank you for your leadership and consideration of our suggestions for strong protections for consumers in the financial market. We look forward to working with you and the Bureau to establish clear rules for the payday lending industry in order to protect consumers from products that have been shown to be financially damaging.

Very truly yours,

Advisory: “Malicious Tagging” Still a Danger For Facebook Users

Posted by Admin On March - 11 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL -In recent months, thousands of Facebook users have been the victim of a scam called “malicious tagging”. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) urges everyone using Facebook to use caution when opening unexpected or suspicious posts, due to of the nature of the scam and the damage it can cause.

Here is how the scam works: You get tagged in a Facebook post, along with a few other friends. There is a link to an “adult” video, when you click it, a pop up window appears. It says that you need to download a Flash player update before you can watch the video. This update actually scans your computer for personal or banking information. It also goes onto your personal Facebook accounts, creates a fake video posts, tags your friends and repeats this scam.

“It’s the trusting nature of social media sites that cause individuals to fall victim to scams like these,” says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Never click on links that seem suspicious to you, even if it indicates it was posted by a friend.”

To protect yourself from these scams:

Don’t take the bait. Stay away from promotions of “exclusive,” “shocking” or “sensational” footage. If it sounds too overly promotional or too outlandish to be true, it is probably a scam.

Be careful of shortened links. Scammers use link-shortening services to disguise malicious links. Don’t fall for it. If you don’t recognize the link destination, don’t click.

Don’t trust your friends’ taste online. It might not actually be them “liking” or sharing scam links to photos. Their account may have been hacked or compromised by malware.

On Facebook, report scam posts and other suspicious activity by following these instructions.

On Twitter, if another user is sending you links to malware or other spam, report it to Twitter by following these instructions.

For more tips, visit www.bbb.org/chicago, like us on Facebook , follow us on Twitter and add us on Pinterest.

NABOB, NBA, USBC Statement on Byron Allen Law Suit Against Comcast-Time Warner

Posted by Admin On March - 11 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The recent law suit filed by Byron Allen’s company against Comcast and Time Warner Cable raises an important issue that needs to be addressed by the business community. Unfortunately, the law suit attacks a number of leading civil rights leaders and organizations and has therefore received a great deal of media attention for the wrong reason. These attacks have caused the important issue raised in Mr. Allen’s suit to be obscured.

The issue that Mr. Allen’s suit correctly identifies is the failure of large companies in the entertainment, broadcasting and advertising industries to do business with African American owned businesses. This is an issue which NABOB, NBA and the U.S. Black Chambers have been addressing for years. Our organizations have been pressing the large corporations which dominate these industries to sell to African American owned companies when they divest major business units, to use African American owned banks for deposits and credit facilities, and to procure business services and products from African American owned suppliers. In far too many instances, our efforts have produced only token success. And, in recent years we have seen much of the progress we have made on this issue erode.

In August, 2014, the Congressional Black Caucus recognized that consolidation of ownership in the broadcasting, cable and internet industries is decreasing ownership opportunities for African Americans and other people of color, and making opportunities for business relationships with the resulting mega-companies even more difficult. At that time, the Federal Communications Commission was (and still is) considering the application of Comcast to acquire Time Warner Cable in a $45 billion dollar transaction, and the application of AT&T to acquire DirecTV in a $48 billion dollar transaction.

The Caucus sent a letter to Chairman Tom Wheeler of the FCC in which the Caucus addressed the problems created by such mega-mergers. The Caucus advised Chairman Wheeler that, if the FCC is going to permit such mergers, it must take steps to ensure that the applicants make commitments to the FCC, enforceable by the FCC, to address the lack of diversity in their industries. The Caucus said:

Prior experience with “mega-merger” proposals shows that even the most reasonable conditions and diversity pledges go unenforced when they are not incorporated into the merger application as addendums. The following principles and questions should be incorporated into all merger

applications triggering a public interest FCC review, as enforceable and meaningful commitments to the affected communities:

Boards of Directors and Senior Management:

The applicants should include within their application, in initial filings or by amendment, the

companies’ current diversity goals. Specifically, from junior staff to middle management to executive management, to the corporate boards, the applicants should outline the metrics in place to ensure the recruitment and retention of African Americans, women, and other underrepresented groups to executive-level management and boards of directors. The

applicants should include a comprehensive outline for how they intend to integrate diversity and minority inclusion (with qualitative and quantitative goals and benchmarks) as a part of the corporate culture, including among executive leadership and top-level management.

Divestitures and Spinoffs:

If applicants are required or independently seek divestiture of assets and other properties as a condition of the transaction’s approval, applicants should ensure those divestiture plans include ownership opportunities for smaller, minority and women-owned firms. For example, in the Comcast-TWC transaction, and the AT&T- DirecTV transaction, the applicants should detail how the proposed transactions will create minority ownership opportunities in the sale of cable television and wireless cellular systems.

Financial Services:

The applicants should include within their applications and among their public interest conditions how they intend to establish and/or expand contracting and consulting opportunities for minority asset managers, broker-dealers, pension fund consultants, public finance professionals, investment bankers, securities/bond counselors, commercial bank underwriters, institutional investors, pension and endowment plan sponsors and other minority professionals in the financial services industry. Even before the initial filing of any application with the FCC, the applicants should also include minority and women-owned firms in underwriting activities.

Legal Services:

The applicants should include within their application how they will extend to minority and women-owned law firms and firms with proven track records of developing and retaining minority and women associates and partners opportunities to act as outside counsel for litigation and regulatory matters and corporate transactions.

Real Estate:

The applicants should include within their application how they will include minority and women owned real estate professionals in matters involving the acquisition and disposition of company real estate in the form of land, buildings, real estate improvements, lease of space for company purposes, subordination agreements related to financed real estate and other real estate matters.

In addition to the areas listed above, the applicants should also commit to transparency in how they intend to meet their commitments and the Commission must hold them accountable. The results of these commitments must be shared with the organizations and companies that have the knowledge and expertise in the areas in which the commitments are made.

NABOB, NBA and USBC fully endorse the guidelines set forth by the Congressional Black Caucus. However, we believe that companies should not be following these guidelines only when they have an application pending before a government agency. The leading companies in the entertainment, broadcasting and internet industries should be following these guidelines every day.

It must be pointed out that some companies claim to follow similar guidelines already. Indeed, some have entered into agreements with civil rights organizations to follow similar guidelines. The problem however, which led to Mr. Allen’s attack on such agreements, is that these agreements are rarely with business organizations. At the negotiating table for any future agreements, or for the evaluation of existing agreements, should be both the civil rights organizations and organizations with expertise in the business issues addressed in the agreements.

The need to do more business with African American owned companies and the need to include organizations with expertise in the subject matter of business agreements is the critical point that Mr. Allen’s lawsuit brings to light. We look forward to redirecting the dialogue begun by Mr. Allen’s lawsuit to its critical central point.

National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, Inc.

James L. Winston, President

1201 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 200

Washington DC 20036

PH: (202) 463-8970

CELL: (301) 873-7382

FAX: (202) 517-9185

EMAIL: jwinston@nabob.org

National Bankers Association

Michael Grant, President

1513 P St.

Washington, DC 20005

PH: (202) 588-532

FAX: (202) 588-5443

EMAIL: mgrant@nationalbankers.org

U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.

Ron Busby, Sr., President

1156 15th Street, NW, Suite 1100

Washington, DC 20005

PH: (202) 463-8722

FAX: (202) 872-8543

EMAIL: ron@usblackchambers.org

Greater Washington Urban League Whitney M. Young Gala – March 13th

Posted by Admin On March - 11 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The Greater Washington Urban League will hold its  43RD Annual Whitney M. Young, Jr. Memorial Gala on Friday, March 13, 2015 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert Street NW, in Washington, DC.

GWUL will host a Black Tie & Sneakers Affair (after-party) immediately following the gala.

The gala will bring together a constellation of supporters, sponsors, staff and friends of GWUL for an event that is the organization’s oldest and largest annual fundraiser. This year’s theme, Let Us Entertain You!, features Georgetown University Sociology professor and author Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Elaine Kwon, a prize-winning concert pianist and martial artist, and violinist Kendall Isadore. There will also be a special performance by DC councilmembers Kenyan McDuffie, Yvette Alexander and Anita Bonds. Veteran NBC News4 Anchor Jim Vance will serve as master of ceremonies. Immediately after the gala will be a “Black Tie & Sneakers Affair” after-party sponsored by GWUL’s Thursday Network Young Professionals auxiliary.

For more information, visit: www.GGWULGala.org or email spalmer@gwul.org.

Follow GWUL on Twitter @GWUrbanLeague, Like GWUL on Facebook Greater Washington Urban League or contact Stacey Palmer at spalmer@gwul.org or visit, gwulgala.org.

Otis Moss of Trinity and South Side Clergy Meet in Support of South Side Trauma Center

Posted by Admin On March - 11 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Inter-Faith Community Leaders Speak Out about Health Care Equity in Their Neighborhood

Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III: Senior Pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ; Rev. Julian DeShazier: Senior Pastor, University Church Chicago; Rev Janette Wilson, Operation PUSH, Rev. Alice Harper-Jones: Associate Pastor, Kenwood United Church of Christ, other South Side Clergy, Jewish and Muslim Faith leaders.

CHICAGO, IL – On Thursday March 12 at 9:30 a.m., South Side Clergy and other Faith leaders including Otis Moss III Senior Pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ; Rev. Julian DeShazier: Senior Pastor, University Church Chicago; and Rev. Janette Wilson of Operation PUSH will gather to tell the University of Chicago Hospital to open a trauma center.

This issue has become front and center in recent days as the University of Chicago’s bid for the Obama Library has been tied to demands for a trauma center. Last week 9 protesters were arrested at a Mag Mile protest demanding a trauma center outside of a University of Chicago fundraiser. This past weekend the Crain’s Chicago Business Editorial board called for the University of Chicago to open a trauma center. The University recently announced that they are conducting a feasibility study to determine if they can open a trauma center.

Faith Leaders will gather to speak out in Support of Trauma Center,  Thursday, March 12, 2015, and a Press Conference at 9:30 a.m. – (clergy will gather at 9AM), at the University Church 5655 South University Avenue.

Dozens of clergy will meet to tell the university that in addition to opening a trauma center, the University of Chicago trauma center feasibility study must include the input of concerned community members, and that the maximum age of the pediatric trauma center should be raised to 21.

Studies have proven that south side trauma patients are dying because of longer ambulance ride times than other neighborhoods in Chicagoland. The Illinois Department of Public Health recently released a study showing that the University of Chicago Hospital is the only South Side facility qualified to host a Level One Adult Trauma Center.

Both City of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia have been invited.

Hollywood Filmmaker David E. Talbert Continues Talent Search for Next Big Star

Posted by Admin On March - 11 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

More dates added to Acclaimed Playwright, Film Director & Producer David E. Talbert’s highly successful multi-city Actor’s Workshop & Talent Search & First Talent Search Winner announced.

Spring Installation of Tour Kicks Off April 11th in Atlanta, GA



Los Angeles, CA— Fresh off the heels of a hugely successful run with his Multi-City Actor’s Workshop & Talent Search in October and November of 2014, David E. Talbert is resuming his Actor’s Workshop & Talent Search and expanding it to additional cities. For those who can’t get to Hollywood, David E. Talbert is bringing Hollywood to them.

For the spring 2015 leg of his Actors Workshop & Talent Search, David E. Talbert will continue to help thousands gain insight into the entertainment industry when he makes a stop in their city. The tour resumes on April 11th in Atlanta, GA, followed by stops in Houston, TX on April 18th, Detroit, MI on May 2nd and New York on May 16th. There will be one session per day scheduled from 9 AM – 3 PM. The registration fee for the workshop is $250 per person. As an added bonus, everyone who attends the workshop will also receive a private one-on-one audition the next day with David E. Talbert for a chance to be cast in his next production.

“The first leg of this tour in the Fall of 2014 was met with such overwhelming response and success that I had to bring it back and give more people in more cities an opportunity to experience the workshop and get their chance at being discovered,” said Talbert. “I just wanted to answer the call to find that next big star. I also wanted to continue to give people in as many cities as I could access to Hollywood in a way they would not normally be able to experience in a very up close and personal way.”

The first person discovered from David E. Talbert’s Fall Installment of his Actor’s Workshop & Talent Search was just cast. On February 19, 2015, the red carpet was rolled out for Teresa Sykes of Chicago, IL when Talbert personally called her and announced that she was the first person to be cast from his Actor’s Workshop & Talent Search Tour.

Talbert awarded Teresa Sykes with a featured role in “Another Man Will” and a starring role in the DVD version of the play that will be aired across the world. “Another Man Will” centers on Joe and Cynthia Scott. Many see them as the perfect couple…or at least twenty years ago they were. Somewhere in the routine of it all, Joe forgot just how much of a knockout Cynthia is. So, for everything Joe isn’t giving her, another man will.

Teresa will also receive an all-inclusive trip to Los Angeles, a head shot photo shoot and a chance to audition for David E. Talbert’s next film, slated for release in 2016. Teresa was chosen from hundreds of attendees from previous workshops in DC, Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago and LA.

“Words haven’t been created to describe my feelings,” said Teresa Sykes. “This is life-changing. I’m so thankful to God and David E. Talbert and his wife and producing partner Lyn Talbert and the entire Talbert staff.  I’m beyond blessed.  My Father is 83 years old and my Mother is 81 years old and they are alive to see my dreams come true. David E. Talbert saw and believed in my God given talent. I’m just humbled by this entire experience. This would not have been possible without taking a huge step to participate in his Actor’s Workshop.”

Just like the Fall Tour, attendees from sessions in Atlanta, Houston, Detroit and New York will all be vying for a chance to also be cast for a role in Talbert’s play, “Another Man Will.” He will be choosing winners from the workshop, based on their one-on-one private auditions with him.

Winners of the Talent Search will, not only appear in the LIVE production of the play, but they will also be included in the DVD filming of the production.

If you are someone who has ever considered a career in theater, film, or TV or even watched a play or a movie and said, “I could do that,” then David E. Talbert’s Actors Workshop & Talent Search was created just for you.  Bringing two decades of skill and experience to the craft of acting, pioneering theater producer and respected Hollywood film director -David E. Talbert continues his journey to open the door to thousands of people from coast to coast for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn, grow, and be discovered in the entertainment industry.

Perfect for the professional and the beginner, David E. Talbert’s Actors Workshop & Talent Search gives attendees a chance to learn first-hand how to elevate their craft and get their foot firmly in the door of the entertainment industry. Participants receive detailed instruction on how to shape their performance and gain valuable insight into what directors really want. What makes David E. Talbert’s Actors Workshop & Talent Search really unique is the ability for participants to be able to audition with a working Hollywood director.

“I’ve worked with so many incredibly talented actors, singers and comedians over the years in my plays and films, like Jamie Foxx, Paula Patton, Morris Chestnut, Ice Cube, Tracy Morgan and Jill Scott, just to name a few, added Talbert. Now, I just want to find and help launch the career of the next great talent. I have already found an amazing talent in Teresa to star in my next play and I can’t wait to go back on the road to look for more.”

Those interested in attending the workshop in their city should visit www.davidetalbert.com to receive full details on registration and location. Space is limited and early registration is encouraged. Reserve your seats today.


About David E. Talbert

David E. Talbert began his career in the world of theater, quickly establishing himself as a highly renowned playwright. The Los Angeles Times labels Talbert, “One of the most prolific theatre makers in America” and The Washington Post “A Playwrighting and directing wunderkind.” David E. Talbert has written and directed 14 nationally acclaimed touring productions that have garnered an unprecedented 24 NAACP nominations, winning Best Playwright of the Year for THE FABRIC OF A MAN. In 2007, Talbert received the New York Literary Award for Best Playwright of the Year for LOVE IN THE NICK OF TYME and the prestigious NAACP Trailblazer Award for his groundbreaking accomplishments in theater. While Talbert continues his success as a highly respected theatre-maker, with his most recent tour being the box-office juggernaut WHAT MY HUSBAND DOESN’T KNOW starring Morris Chestnut, he has also successfully expanded his brand into the world of feature films and television. His most recent film, the Fox Searchlight romantic comedy BAGGAGE CLAIM, which Talbert adapted from his own Essence best-selling novel, starred Paula Patton, Derek Luke, Jill Scott, Adam Brody, and Djimon Hounsou. This marks the first time an African American filmmaker has adapted and directed his own novel. BAGGAGE CLAIM, released in the fall of 2013, opened as the #1 Comedy in America.

For more information on David E. Talbert and to register for the Actors Workshop & Talent Search, go to www.davidetalbert.com

Preckwinkle Nominates Amy Campanelli for a 6-Year Term as Cook County Public Defender

Posted by Admin On March - 11 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Campanelli’s Experience includes 23 Years in the Public Defender’s Office

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will nominate Amy Campanelli to serve as the new Cook County Public Defender at today’s Board of Commissioners meeting. Campanelli, a 23-year veteran of the Cook County Public Defender’s Office, is currently serving as the Deputy of Suburban Operations for the Law Office, where she manages more than 150 assistant public defenders, supervisors, chiefs, support staff and investigators and oversees all specialty/therapeutic courts. Commissioners are expected to consider Campanelli’s appointment during the April 1 County Board meeting.

“I am pleased to nominate Amy Campanelli to this critically important position. Our criminal justice system relies on the vigorous defense of the accused by the men and women of the Public Defender’s Office. Throughout her nearly 30 years practicing law, Amy has proven herself to be a relentless advocate for her clients. She is passionate about the work of the Public Defender’s Office, and fully committed to our ongoing efforts to reform the County’s criminal justice system,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

“I have dedicated my life to representing the indigent accused and I know that fairness and justice are the most critical components of our criminal justice system,” said Campanelli. “I am humbled to be able to do this great work and am grateful to President Preckwinkle for trusting me to lead this office of well-trained, compassionate, and courageous attorneys, investigators and administrative staff who fight for justice every day.”

In addition to her current role, Campanelli has experience in all divisions of the Public Defender’s Office, including Juvenile, Felony Trial, Capital and Homicide Cases. She serves as the office liaison between all suburban police departments, the Cook County Department of Corrections and the Sex Offender Management Board for the State of Illinois. She is a mental health specialist and has conducted numerous trainings for attorneys. Campanelli received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and her JD from the Kent College of Law.

“In over two decades of service as an Assistant Public Defender, Amy Campanelli has established herself as a tireless advocate for her clients and outstanding leader of law office personnel.  Her experience at every level of the office has given her the ability to develop expertise in related criminal justice areas and work collaboratively with stakeholders, leading to appointments representing the office on various boards, professional settings and trainings. Her demonstrated commitment to the office and the people of Cook County is legend.  I commend President Preckwinkle for her nomination of Amy Campanelli as the Cook County Public Defender,” said Edwin Burnette, former Cook County Public Defender from 2003-2009.

Campanelli was one of three finalists identified by a search committee appointed by President Preckwinkle in December 2014 to help select Cook County’s next Public Defender.

Preckwinkle also acknowledged outgoing Public Defender Abishi Cunningham. “There is no doubt that serving as the Public Defender is a tough job and I am grateful to Abishi Cunningham for his service and his partnership over the past 6 years. I wish him all the best on his future endeavors.”

NAACP Board Passes Clean Energy Resolution

Posted by Admin On March - 11 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

NEW YORK, NY – The NAACP National Board of Directors approved a resolution entitled “Promoting Equitable Access to Clean Energy Alternatives.” This resolution supports the ability of residential and business customers to generate their own electricity through solar panels (i.e., distributed generation) as a key pathway to energy democracy whereby communities can own solar panels and be partners in the nation’s electricity infrastructure. 
Support for this measure will provide opportunities for job creation and growth for local workers and minority owned businesses in the clean energy economy, as detailed in the NAACP national and 23-state Just Energy Policies Reports released last year.

In addition to our support for clean, renewable energy, and in keeping with our 106-year tradition of opposing regressive impacts on low-income consumers, the NAACP’s resolution mandates that the Association “will advocate for [net metering] pricing structures that are fair and do not unduly burden low income ratepayers.”  While regulatory circumstances in each state will differ, all state conferences of branches have pursued and will continue to pursue the NAACP’s dual objectives of advancing renewable energy while ensuring that it is not developed in a manner that is burdensome to the poor.

Roslyn  Brock, Chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors:

“The NAACP has a vested interest in improving the quality of lives of those most adversely impacted by high rates of energy consumption, while promoting safer, affordable, and equitable energy alternatives and supplier options. In ratifying this resolution, the NAACP National Board has affirmed that we should seek alternatives to fossil fuel based energy production that is rampantly causing harm and polluting vulnerable communities.”

Kathy Egland, Chair, National Board of Directors Environmental and Climate Justice Subcommittee:

“We can improve the economic wellbeing of low income neighborhoods and communities of color and provide avenues for asset development and participation as we chart a new course for how we generate energy in the United States and beyond.”

IDHR to Celebrate Women’s History Month with Event Featuring Merri Dee

Posted by Admin On March - 11 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL– The Illinois Department of Human Rights will hold its annual program to commemorate Women’s History Month at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 12th at the Michael A. Bilandic Building in Chicago. This event will feature an hour-long presentation (12 p.m. – 1 p.m.) by Chicago broadcasting legend and beloved media maven Merri Dee. The event will honor Merri Dee for her distinguished media career and hear stories from her recent memoir, ”Life Lessons on Faith, Forgiveness & Grace.” The media is welcome to attend.

Who: The Illinois Department of Human Rights

What: Celebration of Women’s History Month

When: 11:3oam – 1:30pm on Thursday, March 12, 2015.  Remarks will begin at 12:00 pm and close at 1:00 pm, preceded by and followed by a book signing.

Where: Michael A. Bilandic Building, 160 N. LaSalle, Room C-500 (5th floor), Chicago, IL

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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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