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Archive for March 19th, 2015

Parent Company of Yellow Cab Company Files for Bankruptcy Overnight Following $25.9 Million Verdict Obtained by Clifford and Tomasik

Posted by Admin On March - 19 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The parent company of Yellow Cab company filed for bankruptcy Wednesday, March 18, 2015) hours following a nearly $26 million verdict against the taxi company in a horrific accident that left a 44-year-old man permanently brain damaged and complete loss of his career as a lawyer.

Yellow Cab Affiliation, Inc., of Chicago, the apparent principal company for the negligent driver of the cab, filed for bankruptcy overnight.

Two personal injury law firms came together yesterday to obtain a $25.9 million verdict on behalf of the lawyer, Marc Jacobs, who was severely injured in a horrific taxi crash 10 years ago that involved a speeding cab that went hurling off an expressway ramp and smashed head-on into a concrete barrier.

Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner at Clifford Law Offices, and Timothy Tomasik, founder and partner at Tomasik Kotin & Kasserman and former partner at Clifford Law Offices, obtained the verdict following a two-week trial on behalf of Marc M. Jacobs, a former successful real estate partner at Barrack Ferranzzano Kirschbaum & Nabelberg, a prominent real estate firm in Chicago.

The jury assessed nearly $25 million in damages to Marc Jacobs and $4.5 million in damages for loss of consortium to his wife, Deborah Jacobs.  The amounts were reduced by 12 percent attributable to Marc Jacobs’ negligence for a total of $21,989,291 to Marc Jacobs and $3,960,000 to Deborah.  She has become his central caregiver for the last decade.

Jacobs, then 44 years old, was returning home by cab after a late dinner with a long-time client on Aug. 31, 2005, to his Hinsdale home when the Yellow Cab in which he was a passenger in the back seat was speeding on I-294 as it exited at Ogden Avenue.  The taxi careered out of control onto a grass drainage area adjacent to the ramp when it suddenly vaulted 32 feet through the air and slammed into a concrete barrier.

The tremendous crash into a concrete barrier resulted in severe permanent brain damage to Jacobs.  After many surgeries and long-term rehabilitation, Jacobs is unable to continue his high-level work in his same capacity at the law firm.

“It is unquestionable that the taxi company, as the apparent principal for the driver, was negligent in this horribly tragic case,” Clifford said following the verdict that took three hours to reach.  “An entire family has been injured because of a company’s negligence, a company that holds itself out as one that can be trusted to safely carry people to their destinations.”

The seven-man-five-woman jury deliberated before Judge Daniel J. Lynch at the Daley Center.

“The jury clearly saw that Marc Jacobs was a man who put his trust into a company that did not honor that trust,” Tomasik said.  “It is terribly sad that this man’s life is profoundly changed when he was in his prime.  The jury verdict speaks to the fact that this can never happen again.”

For further information, please contact Clifford Law Offices’ Communications Partner Pamela S. Menaker at 847-721-0909 or 847-251-4877 or 312-899-9090 or Tim Tomasik at 312-605-8800.
www.CliffordLaw.com
www.tkklawfirm.com

African-American Leaders Call for Senate Vote on Loretta Lynch Nomination

Posted by Admin On March - 19 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, D. C. –  African-American leaders hosted a press call to urge the Senate to move ahead with the long overdue confirmation vote on Loretta Lynch’s nomination for Attorney General.

Click here to listen to an MP3 recording of today’s call.

Despite being indisputably qualified and already twice-confirmed unanimously for U.S. Attorney by the Senate, Loretta Lynch has had to wait longer for a confirmation vote than any nominee for Attorney General in 30 years.  Lynch, who would be the first African-American female Attorney General, is now subject to another absurd attempt to block and delay her nomination that has nothing to do with her qualifications or character. Given the many racial justice issues facing our nation, the country desperately needs a seamless transition and a continued steady hand at the Justice Department. On the call, leaders called for an immediate vote in favor of Loretta Lynch’s confirmation for Attorney General.

Below are select quotes from the call:

Congressman G. K. Butterfield of North Carolina, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus

“The Congressional Black Caucus is disturbed that the confirmation of Loretta Lynch has taken four months to receive an up or down vote and we call on the Senate to swiftly confirm her. Ms. Lynch has had the longest delay of any Attorney General in modern history and this is problematic. The politics that Republicans have played with her nomination are deplorable and opposition to her nomination is nothing more than a political ploy to once again use any means necessary to show their disdain for President Obama. We need to wake up America, and see this for what it is.  This is a travesty.  We should not deny the President of the United States his choice of a qualified candidate. Every American should be interested in ensuring Attorney Lynch is treated fairly.”

Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio

“Loretta Lynch’s qualifications to serve as Attorney General of the United States have never been in dispute. President Obama and our nation are left waiting for a confirmation vote for no reason other than the petty and mean-spirited political gamesmanship of Senate leadership. I urge the Senate Majority Leader to bring Ms. Lynch’s nomination to the floor for a vote without further delay.  Anything less is an affront to all Americans.”

Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

”When a woman of Loretta Lynch’s impeccable qualifications appears before the Senate fully qualified and fully prepared to become the top law enforcement officer of this country and faces the longest delay in confirmation in modern history, all across the country women are watching, African-African American women are watching, and the civil rights community is watching.”

Dr. Paulette C. Walker, national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

“Lynch’s performance in her hearing was flawless, so much so that senators are not opposing her on her record. Instead, her nomination is being held hostage to issues that are not germane to her or how she would run the Department of Justice. Lynch is a member of Delta Sigma Theta, but even if she were not, we would still be calling for her immediate confirmation.”

Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

“The Senate Republican majority is using every excuse it can find to delay or obstruct Lynch’s confirmation.  And the one thing these excuses all have in common is that none of them have anything to do with the nominee herself. We know that senators can walk and chew gum at the same time and that this is just the latest turn in what has been the most mishandled and manipulated confirmation process in memory.”

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

Posted by Admin On March - 19 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  • Douglas J. Kramer – Deputy Administrator, Small Business Administration
  • David J. Shulkin – Under Secretary for Health, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • LaVerne Horton Council – Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Juan Garcia – Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Department of Defense
  • Andrew Read – Member, Marine Mammal Commission, and upon appointment to be designated Chairman
  • Stephen P. Welby – Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Department of Defense

President Obama also announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  • General Larry R. Ellis, USA (Ret.) – Member, National Commission on the Future of the Army
  • Kathleen H. Hicks – Member, National Commission on the Future of the Army
  • Thomas R. Lamont – Member, National Commission on the Future of the Army
  • Lieutenant General Jack C. Stultz, USAR (Ret.) – Member, National Commission on the Future of the Army
  • Chad Dickerson – Member, Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations
  • Gary Hirshberg – Member, Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations
  • Dennis D. Williams – Member, Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations

President Obama said, “I am grateful these accomplished men and women have made the decision to serve our country.  I look forward to working with them.”

President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:

Douglas J. Kramer, Nominee for Deputy Administrator, Small Business Administration


Douglas J. Kramer is General Counsel at the United States Agency for International Development, a position he has held since 2013.  Prior to this, he served in the White House as Deputy Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary from 2012 to 2013.  From 2009 to 2012, Mr. Kramer served in the Office of the White House Counsel, first as Deputy Associate Counsel for Presidential Personnel, and then as Special Assistant to the President and Associate Counsel to the President.  Prior to serving in the White House, he served as Counsel in the Antitrust Division at the Department of Justice.  From 2006 to 2009, he worked as an Associate and then Shareholder at the law firm Polsinelli PC.  From 2001 to 2006, he worked as an Associate at the law firm Covington & Burling.  From 2000 to 2001, Mr. Kramer served as a Judicial Clerk in the Chambers of the Hon. Walter L. Carpeneti of the Alaska Supreme Court.  Mr. Kramer received a B.A. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

Dr. David J. Shulkin, Nominee for Under Secretary for Health, Department of Veterans Affairs

Dr. David J. Shulkin is President of Morristown Medical Center, a position he has held since 2010.  He has served concurrently as President of Atlantic Accountable Care Organization and as a Vice President of Atlantic Health.  From 2005 to 2009, Dr. Shulkin was President and CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, and from 2004 to 2005 he was Chief Medical Officer of Temple University Hospital.  Dr. Shulkin served concurrently as Chief Medical Officer of the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital and Chief Quality Officer of the Drexel University School of Medicine from 2002 to 2004.  Dr. Shulkin was Chairman and CEO of DoctorQuality, Inc. from 1999 to 2002.  Dr. Shulkin was the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Quality Officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System from 1993 to 1999.  From 1992 to 1993, Dr. Shulkin was the Director of Clinical Outcome Assessment and Quality Management at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Shulkin received a B.A. from Hampshire College and an M.D. from the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

LaVerne Horton Council, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology, Department of Veterans Affairs

LaVerne Horton Council is the CEO of Council Advisory Services, a position she has held since 2012.  She has also served as Chairperson of the National Board of Trustees for the March of Dimes Foundation since 2011.  From 2006 to 2011, Ms. Council served as Corporate Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Johnson & Johnson.  She worked at Dell in several roles as a Vice President and Global Vice President from 2000 to 2006.  Ms. Council worked at Ernst & Young as Global Partner for the Supply Chain, Life Sciences, and Hi Tech Practice from 1998 to 2000 and as National Leader for the Supply Chain Strategy Team from 1997 to 1998.  Earlier in her career, she held positions at Mercer Management Consulting, Accenture, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and State Farm Insurance.  Ms. Council received a B.B. from Western Illinois University and an M.B.A. from Illinois State University.

Juan Garcia, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Department of Defense

Juan Garcia is the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, a position he has held since 2009.  In 2006, he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, where he represented the 32nd District from 2007 to 2009.  He also served as an attorney at Hartline, Dacus, Barger, Dreyer & Kern, L.L.P. in Corpus Christi, TX from 2005 to 2009.  After leaving active duty, Mr. Garcia commanded a unit of Flight Instructors in the U.S. Navy Reserve, and he continues to serve as a Reservist today.  From 1992 to 2004, Mr. Garcia was a Naval Aviator in the U.S. Navy.  From 1999 to 2000, he served as a White House Fellow at the Department of Education.  Mr. Garcia received a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, an M.P.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Dr. Andrew Read, Nominee for Member, Marine Mammal Commission, and upon appointment to be designated Chairman

Dr. Andrew Read is the Stephen A. Toth Professor of Marine Biology in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, a position he has held since 2012.  He has held various positions at the Nicholas School of the Environment, including Rachel Carson Associate Professor from 2004 to 2012, Rachel Carson Assistant Professor from 2001 to 2004, and Assistant Professor of the Practice from 1995 to 2001.  Dr. Read served as President of the Society for Marine Mammalogy from 2008 to 2010 and on the Marine Mammal Commission’s Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals from 2003 to 2008.  He has been a member of the Editorial Boards of Marine Mammal Science, the Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, and Endangered Species Research.  Dr. Read is active in the conservation of marine vertebrates and serves on the Cetacean Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission.  He received a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Guelph.

Stephen P. Welby, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Department of Defense
Stephen P. Welby is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Systems Engineering at the Department of Defense, a position he has held since 2011.  From 2009 to 2011, Mr. Welby was Director of Systems Engineering at the Department of Defense.  Mr. Welby worked at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency from 1997 to 2008, where he served as Director and Deputy Director of the Tactical Technology Office from 2004 to 2008, Deputy Director of the Information Exploitation Office from 2001 to 2004, and Program Manager from 1997 to 2001.  He was a Project Engineer and Team Leader at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory from 1988 to 1997.  Mr. Welby received a B.S. from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, an M.S. from Texas A&M University, and two M.S. degrees from The Johns Hopkins University.

President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

General Larry R. Ellis, USA (Ret.), Appointee for Member, National Commission on the Future of the Army

General Larry R. Ellis, USA (Ret.) has been President and CEO of VetConnexx, LLC since 2013, a company that provides career opportunities for veterans.  He was President and CEO of Point Blank Solutions, Inc. from 2005 to 2009.  General Ellis served in the U.S. Army from 1969 to 2004, where he achieved the rank of General in 2001.  During his tenure in the Army, he served in a number of command and leadership positions in the United States, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, South Korea, and Vietnam.  General Ellis was appointed to the American Battle Monuments Commission in 2014.  General Ellis received a B.S. from Morgan State University and an M.S. from Indiana University.

Dr. Kathleen H. Hicks, Appointee for Member, National Commission on the Future of the Army

Dr. Kathleen H. Hicks is Senior Vice President, Kissinger Chair, and Director of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a position she has held since 2013.  From 2012 to 2013, she was Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and from 2009 to 2012 she was Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Forces.  From 2006 to 2009, she was a Senior Fellow at CSIS.  Between 1993 and 2006, Dr. Hicks served in a variety of career civil service positions within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, including Director for Policy Planning and Director for Homeland Defense Strategic Planning and Program Integration.  Dr. Hicks received an A.B. from Mount Holyoke College, an M.P.A. from the University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Thomas R. Lamont, Appointee for Member, National Commission on the Future of the Army

Thomas R. Lamont is Principal at LAMONT Consulting Services. Mr. Lamont served as Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs from 2009 to 2013.  Previously, Mr. Lamont was Special Counsel at the University of Illinois from 2005 to 2009 and Executive Director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education from 2004 to 2005.  Prior to that, Mr. Lamont was a partner at the firm of Brown, Hay & Stephens, LLP from 2002 to 2004.  Before entering private practice, he served as Executive Director of the Office of the Illinois State’s Attorney Appellate Prosecutor and Director of Civil Litigation in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General.  Mr. Lamont was appointed to the American Battle Monuments Commission in 2014 and has served as Chair of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. After serving in the Illinois National Guard in various roles over 25 years, including most recently State Staff Judge Advocate General, he retired in 2007 as Colonel. Mr. Lamont.

Lieutenant General Jack C. Stultz, USAR (Ret.), Appointee for Member, National Commission on the Future of the Army

Lieutenant General Jack C. Stultz, USAR (Ret.) currently serves on the Board of Directors of VSE Corporation, a position he has held since 2013.  He was Chief of the U.S. Army Reserve and Commanding General of the United States Army Reserve Command from 2006 to 2012.  Lieutenant General Stultz served as Deputy Chief of the Army Reserve from 2005 to 2006 and as Commander of the 143rd TRANSCOM from 2004 to 2005.  Previously, he was the Director of Movements, Distribution and Transportation for Combined Forces Land Component Command Kuwait from 2003 to 2004, Commander of the 143rd TRANSCOM (Forward) in Iraq from 2002 to 2003, and Deputy Commanding General of the 143rd TRANSCOM from 1999 to 2002.  Lieutenant General Stultz served in the Army Reserve from 1979 to 2012 and as an active duty Army officer from 1974 to 1979.  He worked at Procter and Gamble for 28 years and retired as an operations manager in 2007.  Lieutenant General Stultz received a B.A. from Davidson College.

Chad Dickerson, Appointee for Member, Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations

Chad Dickerson is CEO of Etsy, a position he has held since 2011.  He was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Etsy from 2008 to 2011.  Previously, Mr. Dickerson was Director of the Brickhouse and Advanced Products teams at Yahoo! from 2007 to 2008, and was Senior Director of the Yahoo! Developer Network from 2006 to 2007.  He also served as CTO of InfoWorld Media Group from 2001 to 2005 and was CTO of Salon.com from 1998 to 2001.  Mr. Dickerson received a B.A. from Duke University.

Gary Hirshberg, Appointee for Member, Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations

Gary Hirshberg is Chairman of Stonyfield Farm, Inc., a position he has held since 1999.  He was CEO of Stonyfield Farm, Inc. from its founding in 1983 to 2012, and has been Managing Director of Stonyfield Europe since 2008.  Mr. Hirshberg has been a member of the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations since 2011.  He is Chairman and member of the Board of Directors of Just Label It, a project of Organic Voices.  Mr. Hirshberg serves as a member of several corporate boards including Late July, Orgain, Applegate Farms, Peak Organic Brewing, and Sweetgreen.  He is also a member of the board of Danone Communities Fund.  Mr. Hirshberg received a B.A. from Hampshire College.

Dennis D. Williams, Appointee for Member, Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations

Dennis D. Williams is President of United Automobile Workers (UAW), a position he has held since 2014.  Previously, he was UAW Secretary-Treasurer from 2010 to 2014.  Mr. Williams has served as a member of the Governing Committee of the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust since 2011.  He has also been a Director of Navistar International Corporation since 2006.  Mr. Williams has been Director of UAW Region 4 since 2001 and he was Assistant Director from 1995 to 2001.  Mr. Williams was a Salvage Welder at J.I. Case Company from 1977 to 1988.  He joined UAW Local 806 in 1977 and served as member and Chairman of the Bargaining Committee. In 1988, he was appointed international representative to the National Organizing Department.  Mr. Williams served in the United States Marine Corps from 1972 to 1975.

Attorney General Holder Delivers Remarks on My Brother’s Keeper at the Center for American Progress Washington, DC

Posted by Admin On March - 19 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
Attorney General Eric Holder:

Thank you, Neera [Tanden], for that kind introduction.  It’s a pleasure to be here with you today, and a privilege to join so many passionate citizens, committed public servants and dedicated advocates as we mark the one-year anniversary of the president’s groundbreaking My Brother’s Keeper initiative.  There is no place I would rather be in my closing days as Attorney General than with all of you.  Or, at least, these should be my closing days.  Given the Senate’s delays in scheduling Loretta Lynch’s nomination for a vote, it’s almost as if the Republicans in Congress have discovered a new fondness for me.  Where was all this affection the last six years?

But seriously, it’s fitting that one of my final events as Attorney General will be about My Brother’s Keeper because it speaks to issues that have been at the forefront of my work and at the center of my thoughts throughout my professional career.

During my time as a judge on the Superior Court in Washington, D.C., I saw how people who were convicted of crimes too often had been previously trapped in a cycle of poverty, familial instability, juvenile criminality and adult incarceration.  I observed how this cycle could weaken communities, tear already weak family structures apart and ultimately destroy individual lives.  And day after day, I watched lines of young people—most often young men of color—stream through my courtroom.  I began to recognize their faces, and to recall their too-common and recurring stories, because too many of the people I sentenced served their time, were released from prison, and sooner or later returned to the same behavior that had led them to my courtroom in the first place.

Many of these individuals were not fundamentally different from me, or from the people I grew up with in East Elmhurst, in Queens, New York City—friends, classmates, neighbors and peers—some of whom didn’t catch the same breaks, made mistakes or poor choices, and got involved in the criminal justice system with no real ability to reclaim their lives or recast their futures.  So when I returned to the Department of Justice, I insisted on doing my part to make our criminal justice system more efficient, more effective and more fair—as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, as Deputy Attorney General and, for the last six years, as Attorney General of the United States.

During my tenure in the Obama Administration, particularly through the Smart on Crime initiative, we have worked to reform our criminal justice system at every level.  Our primary responsibility—which we have never lost sight of—is public safety and individual accountability.  But we have reduced our reliance on draconian mandatory minimum sentencing, increased our use of rehabilitation programs like drug courts and veterans courts, and expanded assistance for formerly incarcerated individuals as they re-enter society.

These are important improvements, and all available results demonstrate that our approach has been extremely effective.  But in addition to modifying the way we charge, sentence and release men and women who are involved in crimes, we also have a vital role to play in preventing people from coming into contact with the criminal justice system in the first place.  That means ending the school-to-prison pipeline that sends too many children on a well-worn path from the schoolhouse to the jailhouse.  It means employing a developmentally-informed approach to prevent violence against children and to alleviate the devastating harm that comes from abuse.  And it means addressing persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color through initiatives like My Brother’s Keeper and ensuring that all our young people can reach their full potential.

The fundamental idea behind this initiative is that every child in America should have the opportunity to grow, to succeed, and to contribute to their community and their country.  Because it is clear that, despite our best efforts, some children still face significant opportunity gaps that put them at a disadvantage—that make them less likely to graduate from high school; less likely to get a well-paying job; and less likely to join the middle class.  It makes them more likely to slip below the poverty line, or to stay there; more likely to suffer violence and abuse; and more likely to become involved in the criminal justice system.

The My Brother’s Keeper initiative is designed to support the progress of these individuals—with mentorships, with support networks and with public-private partnerships that help our young people develop the skills they need to find a good job, to go to college, to raise a family and to succeed.  Most importantly, on a fundamental level, My Brother’s Keeper sends a message that these young people matter to us.  They matter to their country.  They matter to their president.  And they matter to me—an Attorney General who is so much like them.  We as a nation will never give up on them—and we must refuse to let them give up on themselves.

Over the last year, we have made significant progress.  We have joined with cities and towns, businesses, and foundations that are taking steps to connect young people to the resources they need to get a good education, to improve their lives and to work their way into the middle class.  We have launched the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge—an important call for communities to implement long-term strategies for improving the life outcomes of all young people.  And we have established the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice—a nationwide program designed to enhance procedural justice, reduce implicit bias and support racial reconciliation.

Just last week, I was proud to announce six cities selected to serve as pilot sites under this initiative—to develop programs that will work to dispel the mistrust that plagues too many neighborhoods, and to create innovative new efforts that will help build and maintain the bonds between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve, wherever those bonds have been broken.  Those six cities—Birmingham, Alabama; Stockton, California; Gary, Indiana; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Fort Worth, Texas—will stand on the front lines of this effort.  And by helping to develop programs that serve their own diverse experiences, these cities will provide trailblazing insight and essential information for our ongoing efforts to confront pressing, similar issues in other communities across the country.

As you know, these are not abstract concepts—they are vital steps that we must take to improve our communities, to strengthen our public safety programs and to save lives.  Recently, we’ve received painful reminders about the importance of initiatives like this one.  We’ve endured sudden, rancorous challenges to the idea that we are one united people.  And we’ve seen how quickly and how easily a split-second local incident can give way to enduring national strife and tragedy—to parents who are left without their children; to young people forever deprived of a role model; to brave officers killed while serving their communities; and to citizens across the country who fear walking their neighborhoods and cops who fear patrolling their beats.

That is a reality that is incompatible with the spirit of this country—a country founded on the notion of brotherhood; of shared vision and common effort.  A country that views “we the people” as a declaration of the inextricable links that connect us to one another.  As then-State Senator Obama said in a convention hall in Boston just over a decade ago, “it is that fundamental belief—I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper—that makes this country work.”

Now, our society has not always lived up to that promise.  America has been sorely tested—by long-ago injustices that nearly split our Union, and by systemic biases that still fester in too many institutions today.  But over nearly 250 years of debate, of argument and of slow and deliberate progress, there can be no doubt that we have moved closer to our highest ideals; that we have advanced toward a brighter horizon; and that we have bent the arc of the moral universe—haltingly, but with great determination and clarity of purpose—toward justice.

From revolution to emancipation; from the suffragists to the Freedom Riders; from Selma to Stonewall, countless men, women and children of strong character and enduring faith have pulled this country forward, toward a new day when all Americans can succeed no matter who they are, no matter what they look like, no matter where they’re from, and no matter whom they love—whether they are rich or poor, young or old, gay or straight, famous or unknown.  Whether they are an individual born with all the advantages this country has to offer, or a young man of color faced with difficult choices and an uncertain future.  We’re not there yet.  But today—right now—it is up to all of us to take up that challenge, to continue that effort and to resume the march that so many have sacrificed so much to advance.

I know that this work will not always be simple.  Longstanding inequities will not be easily corrected, historic divides will not be healed overnight, and leaders in government, no matter how committed, cannot do this work alone.  That is why the private partnerships being forged in response to My Brother’s Keeper are so crucial, and why I have been proud to work with—and in some cases, to help establish—extraordinary nonprofit organizations that extend a hand to at-risk youth across the country—organizations like the See Forever Foundation, Safe Shores, and The Alliance for Concerned Men.

In conversations with public safety officers, community and business leaders, activists, and young people across the country—in Atlanta, Cleveland, Memphis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Oakland, and San Francisco—I have found broad agreement that we can work together to create safer, more prosperous communities.  I have encountered an overriding desire to collaborate toward that end.  And I have been struck not by our divisions, but by our common interest in creating the more just society that all Americans deserve.

As I look around this room today—at the dedicated citizens who have a hand in this country’s direction and the young people who will guide it for years to come—I cannot help being optimistic.  I cannot help anticipating that brighter day.  And I cannot help feeling confident about all that we will achieve together.

In the coming days, my tenure as Attorney General of the United States will come to an end.  But whenever I do depart the Obama Administration, I will never leave this work.  I will never abandon this mission.  And I will never relinquish this effort to help build the more equal country—and the more just society—that all Americans deserve.  I look forward to continuing to work with all of you as we seek to make our Union more perfect.

National Bankers, Visa Announce Financial Literacy Partnership

Posted by Admin On March - 19 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The National Bankers Association (NBA), in partnership with Visa Inc., and in coordination with the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Literacy Caucus Co-Chair Steve Stivers (R-OH), Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA) and House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) hosted a financial literacy event with students from Benjamin Banneker High School in Washington, D.C.

New Orleans Saints RB and Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, Detroit Lions WR Ryan Broyles, National Bankers Association leadership and Congressional staff were among those in attendance. NBA and Visa also announced a new financial education initiative designed to provide NBA member banks, who serve communities in 23 states and the District of Columbia, with financial education tools and resources they need to help educate their customers.

“Visa is an industry-leader in financial education and the National Bankers Association is proud to partner with them to bring these innovative tools to our members,” said NBA President Michael Grant. “At NBA, we recognize the importance of ensuring consumers of all ages understand how to effectively manage their finances, and Visa’s suite of materials is a proven means of making learning financial skills fun.”

“For over a decade, Visa has been committed to promoting financial literacy and we are proud to assist the National Bankers Association in their continuing efforts to strengthen financial education,” said Bobby Thomson, head of U.S. government relations at Visa Inc.

“Financial football is a great way to get kids interested and excited about learning important money management skills,” said Heisman trophy winner and New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram. “Anytime you can make an important issue, like financial education fun, you are going to have better success and this program will help these high school students.”

“The earlier kids learn to make smart money management decisions the better off they will be,” said Detroit Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles. “It takes the efforts of parents, teachers and mentors within the community to help lay the foundation for success.”

In partnership with Visa, NBA is providing an NBA-branded Financial Football website and game discs which NBA member banks can distribute to customers. In addition, NBA members may provide access to the online version of Financial Football to other local groups in the communities they serve. Visa will also provide other tools that can assist adults and elementary students.

Financial Football puts students’ fiscal knowledge to the test in an online simulation game environment by combining the structure and rules of the NFL with financial education questions of varying difficulty. Visa has also released the game as a free iPhone app on iTunes, along with an optimized HD iPad version.

This event is part of a national educational campaign with Visa, the NFL and the NFL Players Association, now in its seventh season. Since 2006, Visa has reached agreements with forty-six states and the District of Columbia to distribute Financial Football to every high school and middle school in those states, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Financial Football is part of Practical Money Skills for Life (www.practicalmoneyskills.com) a free, award-winning financial education program that reaches millions of people around the world each year. Launched in 1995, the program is now available in ten languages in thirty countries. At Practical Money Skills for Life, educators, parents and students can access free educational resources including personal finance articles, games, lesson plans and more.

Visa also runs What’s My Score (www.whatsmyscore.org), a leading higher education consumer awareness program.

Rally for Rekia Boyd on the Third Anniversary of her Murder at the Hands of an Off-duty Chicago Police Detective

Posted by Admin On March - 19 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Join the family of Rekia Boyd in celebrating her life, grieving her murder at the hands of a Chicago police detective, and demand “Never Again!”

CHICAGO, IL – On Saturday, March 21, the family of Rekia Boyd will hold a rally and speak-out on the third anniversary of her murder at the hands of off-duty Chicago police detective Dante Servin. The rally will take place from 1p.m. to 3p.m. in Douglas Park, at 15th and Albany.

On April 9th, Servin will go on trial. He is charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless discharge of a firearm and reckless conduct. This is the first time in more than 15 years that a Chicago police officer has faced these types of charges.

The rally will be attended by families of those that have suffered losses at the hands of police terror and violence in Chicago and their supporters.

“We want to send a clear message that we will keep fighting side by side until we see justice,” says Martinez Sutton, Rekia Boyd’s brother. “We also want to highlight the way police violence disproportionately affects women of color – our sisters are often forgotten and we want their names, stories, and struggles remembered.”

Rekia Boyd was only 22 when she was shot in the back of the head and killed by an off-duty Chicago police detective.

The detective, Dante Servin, had gotten into a verbal altercation with one person among a group of individuals Boyd was standing with in Douglas Park, located on the South West Side. From his unmarked car, Servin turned the wrong way on a one-way street and fired five rounds over his left shoulder out the window. One of the rounds struck the hand of a man in the group; another hit Boyd in the back of the head. She died less than 24 hours later.

Police initially claimed a man in the group approached Servin with a weapon, prompting Servin to fire, “fearing for his life.” The Independent Police Review Authority later stated they found no weapon at the scene and that the man was reportedly holding a cell phone — not a gun.

Facebook Event (300+ RSVPs): https://www.facebook.com/events/1589265814622196/
Organized by: FURIE – Feminist Uprising to Resist Inequality and Exploitation

Preckwinkle Pushes for Smart Management and Operational Efficiencies; Backs $7 Million in Efficiency Savings

Posted by Admin On March - 19 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Preparing for potentially harmful cuts from the state and proactively planning for a challenging budget year, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is requesting all Cook County offices and agencies to identify at least $7 million in cost saving measures.

“By identifying saving measures now, we will be better prepared for the future,” President Preckwinkle said. “$7 million is a strong start toward finding new ways to save the County money and it’s just the beginning.  Finding smart savings early in the budget cycle will allow us to implement them in time to have a positive impact on this fiscal year and next fiscal year.”

Following the passage of the fiscal year 2015 budget last November, President Preckwinkle instructed her budget office to immediately begin a comprehensive search for additional ways to increase savings and productivity while avoiding cuts to services. As part of the administration’s savings mandate, Budget Director Andrea Gibson is planning to institute a 1% holdback on personnel in the General Fund, which is expected to save an estimated $6 million by moderating hiring. The holdback is under the discretion of the budget director and serves as a savings mechanism by retaining, or holding back, dollars allocated to County departments in the budget. Gibson noted that this is not a hiring freeze but will delay some hiring.

Additionally, a 2% increase in the holdback for non-personnel accounts will increase County savings by an additional $1 million. These serve as cautionary measures to moderate hiring and spending as additional months of revenue are received and monitored. Although the most recent revenue report shows the County on track with its revenue projections through January, the holdback will serve as a safeguard for an unanticipated revenue underperformance. These new savings can also help mitigate a possible damaging cut of $6.3 million in income tax revenue, along with other cuts to Medicaid and related areas that will impact the County budget that are being debated in Springfield.

In addition to the reductions in personnel and non-personnel costs across the board, the County is pursuing various targeted vendor savings and reviewing use of cell phones, printers, and vehicles, to further decrease expenses.

“President Preckwinkle has given us a clear directive to leave no stone unturned to find savings,” Gibson said. “We have implemented numerous budget best practices and will continue striving to streamline government, reduce costs and do more with less.”

Adult Redeploy Illinois Convenes 2015 All-Sites Summit

Posted by Admin On March - 19 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL — About 150 Adult Redeploy Illinois (ARI) program site managers, service providers, and state and local leaders will convene in Bloomington today at the 2015 ARI All-Sites Summit, hosted by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA).

Summit participants will discuss topics critical to the success of prison diversion, including leveraging the Affordable Care Act for offender treatment opportunities that ultimately benefit public safety, and the role of law enforcement in adult diversion programs. In afternoon breakout sessions, attendees will discuss building a recovery-oriented system of offender care and using data for program quality improvement and evaluation.

Staff assisting non-violent offenders at 22 sites with 24 distinct programs across 39 counties will be in attendance.  Local representatives from counties interested in exploring an Adult Redeploy Illinois program will also be in attendance.

“This event provides an opportunity for those who are on the ground working with this particular population to hear from criminal justice experts, exchange information, and offer what works with others who share the goal of creating safer communities with anticipated lower offender recidivism rates,” said ICJIA Executive Director John Maki.

Each individual diverted from prison by ARI represents significant potential cost savings: an aver­age annual ARI intervention costs about $4,400, while the annual incarceration cost per capita is estimated at $21,500. ARI sites have diverted 2,025 non-violent offenders from prison since program inception in January 2011 and through the end of 2014, resulting in an estimated $46.8 million in correctional cost savings.

The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Chateau Bloomington Hotel and Conference Center, 1601 Jumer Drive, in Bloomington.

Visit Adult Redeploy Illinois at www.icjia.org/redeploy.

Two Trains Running Extends Through April 19

Posted by Admin On March - 19 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Two Trains – Six More Performances! Goodman Theatre Extends Chuck Smith’s Critically Acclaimed Two Trains Running Through April 19th

This week’s August Wilson Celebration Events include readings of Fences (tonight) and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (March 21) plus “The Women of August Wilson” (March 22)

CHICAGO, IL –High demand for tickets spurs a six-performance extension for the Goodman’s critically acclaimed Two Trains Running—“Chuck Smith’s excellent revival” (Chicago Tribune) of “a high-powered homage to August Wilson” (Chicago Sun-Times).The full company of seven remains intact for the additional performances: Chester Gregory (Sterling), Anthony Irons (Wolf), Nambi E. Kelley (Risa), Terry Bellamy (Memphis), Ernest Perry Jr. (Hambone), A.C. Smith (West) and Alfred Wilson (Holloway). Additional performances include Wednesday, April 15 at 7:30pm; Thursday, April 16 at 7:30pm; Friday, April 17 at 8pm; Saturday, April 18 at 2pm and 8pm; and Sunday, April 19 at 2pm. Tickets ($37 - $80; subject to change) are on sale at GoodmanTheatre.org/TwoTrains, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn).

August Wilson Celebration – Upcoming Events

The Goodman’s citywide celebration includes five events over the next week

Reading: Fences (dir. Ilesa Duncan) at Goodman Theatre│ March 17, 2015

Reading: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (dir. Harry Lennix) at the Logan Center for the Arts│March 21 at 2pm

Discussion: “The Women of August Wilson” (mod. Michele Shay) at Black Ensemble Cultural Center│March 22 at 7pm

Discussion: “August Wilson at Yale” (mod. Constanza Romero) at DePaul University│March 23 at 7pm

Reading: Seven Guitars (dir. Aaron Todd Douglas) at Chicago State University│March 24 at 7pm

For tickets and the rest of the lineup for The August Wilson Celebration, click here.

PRODUCTION SPONSORS

The Goodman is grateful to its production sponsors. Allstate Insurance Company and JPMorgan Chase are the Major Corporate Sponsors; ComEd is the Official Lighting Sponsor; ITW is the Corporate Sponsor Partner; the National Endowment for the Arts is the Major Production Supporter; Heidrick & Struggles is the Opening Night Sponsor; and EBONY and WBEZ91.5FM are the Media Partners for Two Trains Running. The Chicago Community Trust is the Major Supporter of the August Wilson Celebration. Ardmore Associates and Mesirow Financial are the Century Cycle Reading Series Sponsors. PepsiCo is the Landmark Discussion Series Sponsor. The Joyce Foundation is the Principal Supporter of Artistic Development and Diversity Initiatives.

Funeral Arrangement for Rev. Willie Barrow

Posted by Admin On March - 19 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rainbow PUSH

930 E. 50th Street

Chicago, Ill

4;00-5:00                         Public viewing

5:30-9:00                         Service Celebration

Friday, March 20, 2015

Vernon Park Church of God

9011 S. Stony Island

Chicago, Ill

10:00-4:00                         Rev.Barrow will lie in State

5:30-6:30                           Prepast

7:00-9:00                           Service of Celebration

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Oakwood Cemetery

1035 E. 67th Street

Chicago, Ill

10:00AM                             Internment

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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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