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Archive for April 14th, 2015

Historic Hearing on Reparations for Burge Torture Survivors Will be Held Today at 10 a.m.

Posted by Admin On April - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

A hearing on the Chicago Police Torture Reparations Ordinance in a special session of Chicago City Council’s Finance Committee will be held today, Wednesday, April 14, at 10 a.m., at City Hall, 2nd Floor.

Burge torture survivors Anthony Holmes and Darrell Cannon, Steven Hawkins, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA; Dorothy Burge, member of CTJM and Black People Against Police Torture; Joey Mogul, co-founder of CTJM and partner at the People’s Law Office and Flint Taylor a founding member of the People’s Law Office, will attend the heaing.

Scores of supporters plan to attend to support the Burge torture survivors, organized by Amnesty International – USA, Chicago Light Brigade, Chicago Torture Justice Memorial, Project NIA and We Charge Genocide.

Supporters of the Burge torture reparations ordinance will present testimony and evidence in support of the Burge Torture Reparations Ordinance currently pending in Chicago’s City Council’s Finance Committee.  The ordinance was filed by co-sponsors Aldermen Proco Joe Moreno (1st Ward) and Howard Brookins (21st Ward) in October of 2013.  It currently has the support of 29 aldermen and women.

The Ordinance serves as a formal apology for the torture; seeks to provide financial compensation to the survivors; creates a psychological center on the south side of Chicago; provides free enrollment in City Colleges to the survivors and their family members; requires Chicago Public schools to teach a history lesson about the cases; and requires the City to fund public memorials about the cases.

UPDATE To Previous Article:

Mayor’s Office Announces Support for Reparations Legislation; Supporters Pack City Council chambers

Chicago, IL – This morning, members of Chicago Torture Justice Memorials (CTJM), Amnesty International, USA and representatives of the Mayor’s Office announced an agreement on a reparations package for survivors of torture by Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and officers under his command before a special session of the City Council Finance Committee. The package, based on the Reparations Ordinance introduced in October of 2013 by Aldermen Proco Joe Moreno (1st Ward) and Howard Brookins (21st Ward), provides concrete redress to the torture survivors and their family members, which includes: a formal apology for the torture; specialized counseling services to the Burge torture survivors and their family members on the South side; free enrollment and job training in City Colleges for survivors and  family members; a history lesson about the Burge torture cases taught in Chicago Public schools; a permanent public memorial to the survivors; and it sets aside $5.5 million for a Reparations Fund for Burge Torture Victims that will allow the Burge torture survivors with us today to receive financial compensation for the torture they endured.

This historic agreement is the product of decades of organizing for justice in these cases, and represents the culmination of a concerted six-month campaign led by CTJM, Amnesty International – USA, Project NIA and We Charge Genocide, with the help of several other organizations including BYP100, Chicago Light Brigade and the Chicago Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression.

Bill sponsor Alderman Moreno said, in support of the bill’s passage, “I call on my fellow aldermen to swiftly pass this reparations package that Mayor Emanuel has agreed to because we have a moral and ethical duty to help these victims and their families. We hope and trust that the healing and forgiving process can begin with the passage of this legislation.”

The reparations package, rooted in a restorative justice framework, acknowledges the torture of Black people under former police commander Jon Burge, and begins to make amends by providing financial compensation and services to the torture survivors and their families. Beyond the financial compensation, the legislation is an important acknowledgment by the city of its responsibility to make amends for the torture, and the decades of denials and cover-ups. It is a significant step towards justice and healing, although nothing can erase the unconscionable human rights violations committed by Burge and his fellow officers.

“The harm that was done by Burge and officers under his command to individuals, to their families, and to Black communities in Chicago cannot be undone,” said Mariame Kaba, founding Director of Project NIA. “It cannot be erased, and the lasting impact of this torture and trauma continues to this day. We keep this knowledge in our hearts and minds. And at the same time, it is important that the city acknowledge and speak to this harm. This ordinance is another step in the long march toward an end to police violence.  It is a modicum of redress.”

Scores of supporters of the legislation filled the City Council chambers to support the survivors of police torture. Several leaders in the movement for reparations gave testimony before the Council Finance Committee in support of the package, including torture survivors and CTJM members Anthony Holmes and Darrell Cannon, Steven Hawkins, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA; Dorothy Burge, member of CTJM and Black People Against Police Torture; Joey Mogul, co-founder of CTJM and partner at the People’s Law Office and Flint Taylor of the People’s Law Office.

When describing the ordinance, Darrell Cannon, a survivor of torture by detectives under Burge’s command, said “This is historic.  For those of us who have been fighting and struggling to set a landmark, this is that landmark. This is the moment. What we do here will not be undone. People across the country will talk about Chicago.  It would be the first bill in the US that would provide reparations for law enforcement conduct.”

The Reparations Ordinance was drafted to provide redress to approximately 120 African American men and women subjected to racially-motivated torture, including electric shock, mock executions, suffocation and beatings by now former Police Commander Jon Burge and his subordinates from 1972 through 1991.  Although Burge was convicted on federal charges for perjury and obstruction of justice stemming from the torture cases in 2010, he continues to draw a taxpayer funded pension, while scores of Chicago Police Torture survivors continue to suffer from the effects of the torture they endured without any compensation, assistance, or legal redress.

NAACP Applauds Maryland Legislature for Passing Bill to Restore Voting Rights

Posted by Admin On April - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Baltimore, MD – The Maryland legislature has overwhelmingly approved a bill to restore voting rights to nearly 40,000 people with past criminal convictions. The measure — which would simplify Maryland’s law so that a person becomes eligible to vote upon release from prison — has already passed the state’s House and Senate and now awaits Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature.

From Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President & CEO:

“The NAACP applauds the Maryland legislature for approving a bill to restore the right to vote to nearly 40,000 people who have paid their debt to society. Throughout the country 5.8 million American citizens are prevented from participating in the voting process; including 4.3 million who continue to be silenced after completing their sentence and returning to their community. Nationally, 1 out of every 13 voting-eligible African-Americans has been stripped of their voting rights. This bill will help thousands of people who currently live, work, and raise families in Maryland every year. We firmly believe in second chances and that citizens who have completed their sentences be allowed to exercise the constitutional right to vote.”

From Gerald Stansbury, NAACP Maryland State Conference President:

“The SB340 bill will strengthen our communities throughout Maryland. The majority of citizens regaining their voting rights under this legislation are African American so this legislation strengthens participatory democracy in our state. We know also that returning citizens who vote are less likely to be arrested again and more likely to be productive, engaged and law-abiding. This measure is a win for civil rights and public safety. We applaud the General Assembly for its passage of the bill and urge the governor to sign it.”

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts; Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate

Posted by Admin On April - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

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

  • Glyn Townsend Davies – Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand, Department of State
  • Carol Waller Pope – Member, Federal Labor Relations Authority, and upon appointment to be designated Chairman

President Obama also announced his intent to appoint the following individual to a key Administration post:

  • Amanda Hesser – Member, President’s Commission on White House Fellowships

President Obama said, “These fine public servants bring a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their important roles.  I look forward to working with them.”

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

Glyn Townsend Davies, Nominee for Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand, Department of State
Glyn Townsend Davies, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is currently a Senior Advisor in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State, a position he has held since 2014.  Prior to that, he was Special Representative for North Korea Policy from 2012 to 2014.  From 2009 to 2012, he served as the United States Representative to the Vienna Office of the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency.  Mr. Davies served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2006 to 2009.  Mr. Davies was a Senior Advisor at the Foreign Service Institute’s Leadership and Management School from 2005 to 2006, Acting Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in 2005, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs from 2004 to 2005, and Political Director for the U.S. Presidency of the G-8 from 2003 to 2004.  From 1999 to 2003, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in London, United Kingdom.  Mr. Davies was Executive Secretary of the National Security Council staff from 1997 to 1999, State Department Deputy Spokesman and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs from 1995 to 1997, and Director of the State Department Operations Center from 1992 to 1994.  His earlier assignments include posts in Australia, France, and Zaire.  Mr. Davies received a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University and an M.S. from the National Defense University.
Carol Waller Pope, Nominee for Member, Federal Labor Relations Authority, and upon appointment to be designated Chairman
Carol Waller Pope is currently Chairman of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), a position she has held since November 2013 and previously from February 2009 to January 2013.  She was first appointed as a Member of the FLRA in 2000.  Ms. Pope has also served as a Member of the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations since December 2013 and previously from 2010 to January 2013.  Prior to her appointment to the FLRA, Ms. Pope worked in the Office of the General Counsel of the FLRA from 1980 to 2000, first as an attorney in the Boston Regional Office, then as Executive Assistant to the General Counsel, and finally as Assistant General Counsel.  Earlier in her career, she served as an Attorney Advisor in the Employee Benefits Division of the Office of the Solicitor at the Department of Labor.  She has been recognized by numerous professional organizations for her work, including the American Bar Association’s Federal Labor and Employment Law Section and Simmons College.  Ms. Pope received a B.A. from Simmons College and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individual to a key Administration post:

Amanda Hesser, Appointee for Member, President’s Commission on White House Fellowships
Amanda Hesser is CEO of Food52, a website she co-founded in 2009.  She played herself in the 2009 film Julie & Julia and created the Twitter app Plodt in 2008. From 1997 to 2008, she was a Reporter and Food Editor at The New York Times.  Ms. Hesser is also the author of Cooking for Mr. Latte: A Food Lover’s Courtship, with Recipes and The Cook and the Gardener and is the co-author of two Food52 cookbooks.  Her most recent book, The Essential New York Times Cookbook, was a New York Times Bestseller.  Ms. Hesser was named one of the 50 most influential women in food by Gourmet in 2011. Food52 was named Publication of the Year by the James Beard Foundation in 2012 and Best Culinary Website by the International Association of Culinary Professionals for the past three years.  Ms. Hesser received a B.S. from Bentley University.

Nominations Sent to the Senate:

Gabriel Camarillo, of Texas,  to be an Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, vice Daniel Ginsberg.

Joyce Louise Connery, of Massachusetts, to be a Member of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board for a term expiring October 18, 2019, vice Peter Stanley Winokur, resigned.

Jonathan Elkind, of Maryland, to be an Assistant Secretary of  Energy (International Affairs), vice David B. Sandalow, resigned.

Joseph Bruce Hamilton, of Texas, to be a Member of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board for the remainder of the term expiring October 18, 2016, vice Kenneth L. Mossman.

William A. Heidt, of Pennsylvania, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Dean A. Reuter, of Virginia, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service for a term expiring September 14, 2016, vice Julie Fisher Cummings, term expired.

David Malcolm Robinson, of Connecticut, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, vice Frederick D. Barton, resigned.

David Malcolm Robinson, of Connecticut, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Conflict and Stabilization Operations), vice Frederick D. Barton, resigned.

Shamina Singh, of New York, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service for a term expiring October 6, 2019, vice Alan D. Solomont, resigned.

Black Youth Project 100 Chicago to Rally for Black Fast Food Workers

Posted by Admin On April - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Demands include fair wages, union rights for Black workers


CHICAGO, IL – On Wednesday, April 15, The Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) Chicago Chapter will join the nation’s largest low-wage worker mobilization effort in history. In coordination with the Fight for $15 national day of action, BYP100 will host a public rally of Black fast food workers and their allies to amplify the experiences of Black fast food workers and demand large, profitable fast food corporations like McDonald’s pay their employees a fair wage of at least $15 an hour and allow their workers to form a union without retaliation.
Low wage work and lack of access to union rights is a national problem, but presents a unique challenge to Black workers. Black people are over-represented in low wage work throughout the United States, and are disproportionately impacted by falling wages and lack of access to union rights. In 2011, 36 percent of Blacks, and 38 percent of Black women were employed in low wage jobs. Locally, 46 percent of Black Chicagoans are employed in low wage jobs. All workers deserve a living wage and access to collective bargaining rights. However, big corporate powers like McDonald’s are busy profiting billions while their workers struggle to pay their rent and support their families.

BYP100 released a short video that focuses on the importance of economic justice for Black low wage workers. Click here to view the video.

What:

Rally demanding fair wages and the right to a union for Black fast food  workers and other low wage workers in solidarity with Fight for $15’s national day of action

Who:

Members of Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) Chicago Chapter

When:

Wednesday, April 15 at 4:00 PM Central

Where:

University of Illinois at Chicago

601 S Morgan Street

Chicago, Illinois 60607

*NOTE: Rally will be preceded by pre-rally event at 800 S. Halsted. Participants will then march to University of Illinois at Chicago for rally.

Dear Black People: “Stop Running From the Police”

Posted by Admin On April - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

An Open Letter to Unarmed African Americans

By Orrin Hudson, former police officer-turned-community activist

Black person running from police


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: In a situation with the police, its not immediately about who is right or wrong, its about staying alive. If the police are making a wrongful arrest, this can be corrected later at a safer time.

Too many unarmed African American men are losing their lives to white police officers, and most of the time justice is not being served. But even if justice is served, a valuable life has already been lost.

I served as a state police officer in Alabama for 6 years from 1986 to 1993, and I have some very helpful, life-saving advice to share with both young ones and adults. Every move you make has consequences, and you can make one move, and never recover.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind when interacting with the police:

1) Don’t run. Although running from the police should not be a death sentence, if oftens ends up this way. So don’t do it! Doing so will heighten the aggression of an officer, especially if he/she is not sure if you are armed. It also puts them in a position where they have to make spur-of-the-moment decisions, which increases the chance of an officer deciding to end your life. So stay put!

2) Show respect at all times. A police officer’s duty is to serve and protect, but if he/she is out of line or bullying you, continue to be respectful. Say “sir” and “no sir”, and “may I” and “thank you”! These will keep the situation from escalating. If the officer is violating your rights in any way, you can fight this matter at a later and safer time.

3) Keep your hands where they can be seen. Do not make the officer feel threatened in any way. At all times, keep your hands visible. Many police officers, especially white police officers, will feed into stereotypes. They may be assuming that you have a weapon just because you are Black or because they feel you look like you are up to no good!

4) You have the right to remain silent. If you feel that you are being wrongfully arrested, you do not have to speak on it as this likely will not change the officer’s mind. Keeping quiet protects you legally, and also keeps the situation calm and peaceful.

5) Sign the ticket and leave. If you are being pulled over for speeding, simply sign the ticket and leave. Signing the ticket does not mean that you are admitting guilt; its only a promise to appear in court on the date listed on the ticket. Arguing with the officer about it will only make the situation worse, and perhaps raise his level of aggression.

Orrin Hudson is a former Alabama state trooper, but is now the founder of Be Someone – a non-profit organization that trains urban youth and adults on how to be make better decisions in life. He does workshops at schools, churches, and community centers all across the country, and has been recognized by CNN, Good Morning America, and People Magazine.

April 14 National Day to STOP MURDER by POLICE #ShutDownA14

Posted by Admin On April - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Letters to Editors

From: Stop Mass Incarceration Network – Chicago


#ShutDownA14 Tuesday 3:00 pm Daley Plaza

The answer to police murder of Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and thousands more unarmed Black and Latino people…will be delivered in the streets!
Tuesday April 14: National Actions 28 locations nationwide.

On April 14 2015: The people will retake the offensive in the FIRST NATIONAL PROTESTS since fall 2014, from NYC to LA; from Pasco, Washington to Ferguson, Missouri — sites of murders of unarmed black and Latino men — people will take to the streets to demand: Murder By Police Stop Now! The Call for #ShutDownA14 was initiated by Carl Dix and Cornel West and organized by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network.

Marchers will converge at Daley Plaza (Washington & Dearborn, downtown Chicago), April 14 at 3 p.m.

STOP Murder By Police

No School! No Work! Stop Business as Usual!

Walter Scott was gunned down in South Carolina. The killing was caught on video, and like Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and now Eric Harris in Tulsa, OK, there was no attempt to revive; instead police showed contemptuous disregard for their humanity.  More than 90 unarmed people have been shot by police since the start of 2015. We are clear: without the mass detemined resistance that began last summer in Ferguson, this epidemic of police killings would not now be in the national/international spotlight.

Carl Dix: “On April 14, we’re going to revive the spirit of Ferguson, that spirit of refusing to suffer the brutality of the system in silence. And we’re going to TAKE IT HIGHER. We have to get back out into the streets to declare that we’re not backing down, we’re not going away.”

Cornel West: “They’ve been shooting young folk for so long—older folk too– but when it reaches that point of such unadulterated disrespect if you don’t straighten your back up and go somewhere, something is wrong…That’s why we’re gonna march on April 14th.”

On April 14, they will be joined by the families of 30 unarmed people killed by police in cities around the country, together with powerful voices of conscience including: Eve Ensler, Alice Walker, Peter Coyote, Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, Arturo O’Farrill, Jasmine Guy, Jasiri X, Cindy Sheehan, Tom Morello, and others…

The families tell not just the horror of what happened to their loved ones, but the harrowing story of justice denied. Nicholas Heyward, Sr., whose 14 year old son was killed by the NYPD, has been fighting for justice for 20 years: “We need to be out on April 14th. We gotta let people know we are not tolerating this anymore. This injustice needs to stop and it’s going to depend on us in order to stop it.”

Stop Mass Incarceration Network – Chicago

stopmassincarcerationchicago@gmail.com • (312) 933-9586

www.facebook.com/SMINChicago

@StopMassIncChi

stopmassincarceration.net

#ShutDownA14
https://www.facebook.com/events/607388396027462/

Illinois State Board of Education Announces April 15 Board Meeting in Springfield

Posted by Admin On April - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education will convene for a regular business meeting on April 15 at the ISBE offices in Springfield.

All State Board of Education meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons planning to attend who need special accommodations should contact the Board office no later than one day prior to the meeting. Contact the Superintendent’s office at the State Board of Education, Phone: 217-782-2221; TTY/TDD: 217-782-1900; Fax: 217-785-3972.

Chairman Meeks may call for a break in the meeting as necessary in order for the Board to go into closed session.

State Board of Education Meeting

April 15, 2015

Location:  Illinois State Board of Education, 100 N. First St., Springfield

This meeting will also be audio cast on the Internet at:  www.isbe.net

10:30 a.m.

I.      Roll Call/Pledge of Allegiance

A.  Consideration of and Possible Actions on Any Requests for Participation in Meeting by Other Means

II.    Public Participation

III.   Resolutions and Recognition

A. C. Dennis Hoffman, Mount Vernon City School District 80 Board President pp. 3-1

IV.  FY15 Budget and District State Funding Adjustments

V.    Superintendent’s Report – Consent Agenda

A. *Approval of Minutes

1. Plenary Minutes: March 18, 2015

2. Special Meeting: April 2, 2015

B. *Rules for Initial Review

1. Part 210 Illinois Hope and Opportunity Pathways through Education Program

2. Part 232 Summer Bridges Program

3. Part 240 Alternative Learning Opportunities Program

C. *Rules for Adoption

1. Part 650 Charter Schools

2. Part 1105 Procurement by the State Board of Education

D. *Contracts & Grants Over $1 Million

1. Request to Contract for EMC Equipment, Maintenance, Support, Training and Services

2. Request to Award Contracts for Information Technology Programmer Analysts

3. Renewal of Intergovernmental Agreement with Illinois State University to Administer Illinois National Board Professional Preparation and Support System

E. *Cahokia Community Unit District 187 Financial Plan

End of Consent Agenda

VI.   Discussion Items

A. District Oversight – Monthly Update (Superintendent Koch)

B. Legislative Update

C. Other Items for Discussion

VII.   Announcements & Reports

A. Superintendent’s/Senior Staff Announcements

B. Chairman’s Report

C. Member Reports

VIII. Information Items

A. ISBE Fiscal & Administrative Monthly Reports (available online at http://isbe.net/board/fiscal_admin_rep.htm)

IX. Closed Session

X. Audit Reports

A. Financial Audit Report

B. Compliance Examination

C. Statewide Single Audit Report

XI.   Severance Agreement

XII. Superintendent’s Contract

XIII.   Adjourn

Madigan Warns Homeowners to be on Alert for Home Repair Scams

Posted by Admin On April - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Attorney General Files Lawsuits Against Scam Artists in Chicago & Downstate Following Last Week’s Tornadoes in Northern, Central Illinois


CHICAGO, IL – Following last week’s tornadoes, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today warned northern and central Illinois residents to be on alert for home repair con artists looking to exploit homeowners and local businesses needing repairs due to storm-related damage. In conjunction with her alert, the Attorney General filed four lawsuits against fraudulent home repair and supply businesses that previously cheated homeowners in suburban Chicago and central Illinois out of more than $220,000.

Madigan said these cases should serve as a warning to Illinois residents who may be targeted by home repair scammers who quickly move into communities hit hard by storms to take advantage of people with damage to their homes. Madigan noted that these “storm chasers” use the opportunity to pressure people into making impulsive, and often expensive, decisions about cleanup and construction work.

Investigators with Madigan’s office will be looking into complaints about contractors operating in the recently impacted areas. The Attorney General’s office will be overseeing a registration process for any contractor that is seeking access to either the Rochelle or Fairdale storm site. Contractors must register at a check-in point located in the Emergency Management Assistance Team trailer in the west parking lot of the Rochelle Township High School, 1401 Flagg Rd. Contractors should enter the parking lot via North 20th Street at Flagg Road. The check-in point opens at 9 a.m. daily.

Madigan encouraged local residents and business owners to call local law enforcement agencies and her office’s Consumer Fraud Hotline (1-800-386-5438) to report any suspicious activity.

“The communities hit by these tornadoes face a long recovery process,” Madigan said. “During this challenging time, I encourage area residents to be cautious and on alert for scammers trying to take advantage of people in need of assistance.”

Madigan filed the lawsuits earlier today in Cook and Macoupin counties, alleging the companies required homeowners to pay large deposits upfront and failed to complete work – and in some cases, even begin repairs. Madigan said in some instances, the companies did operate as “storm chasers,” targeting communities after severe storms to take advantage of homeowners struggling with repairs.

“In some of these cases, homeowners are faced with the possibility of liens being placed on their homes all because they put their trust in the wrong people,” Madigan said. “Do your research before you hand over any money by first making sure you are hiring a reputable company. Be wary of anyone who knocks on your door offering services and make sure you obtain written copies of all contracts and warrantees.”

Madigan filed lawsuits against the following defendants:

  • Ultimate Roofing, Ultimate Roofing and Remodeling and owner Jerry Yeager, based in Granite City, for requiring homeowners to pay several thousands of dollars in deposits, only to provide poor workmanship – if any work was done at all. The lawsuit also alleges Yeager did not provide customers with documentation of warrantees and contracts, and did not reimburse subcontractors for their work.
  • 1st Choice Exteriors Inc. and Bill R. Frias, an unlicensed Addison public adjuster, for defrauding homeowners out of insurance adjustments following storms. The lawsuit states that after promising homeowners free home inspections and offering to meet with insurance adjusters, the company demanded insurance proceeds without doing any repair work or providing refunds. The lawsuit also alleges that workers further damaged consumers’ homes in an effort to drive up insurance proceeds.
  • Above Grade Construction LLC and William Boerger, located in East Dundee, for targeting homeowners recovering from storm damage. The lawsuit alleges the company took insurance checks and other forms of payment from homeowners, though workers did not complete the work as promised. Even though consumers paid for work in full, subcontractors were not paid, leaving some homeowners now facing liens.
  • Click Marketing Inc., In Stock Cabinets Inc., Shop RTA Cabinets Inc., World Class Commerce Inc. and Frank LaMark, Jr., based in Franklin Park, for charging customers for cabinets they never received. According to the lawsuit, consumers purchasing cabinets online or in stores were required to pay up front. The lawsuit says the promised cabinets were never shipped, and consumers did not receive refunds.

Madigan is asking the courts to permanently ban the defendants from conducting home repairs in Illinois, cancel any pending contracts with homeowners and obtain restitution for affected consumers. The lawsuits also seek to impose civil penalties based on violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act.

Madigan offered the following tips to help protect families and businesses from dishonest contractors:

  • Be wary of contractors who go door to door to offer repair services. Ask for recommendations from people you know and trust and, whenever possible, use established local contractors.
  • Call the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline to check out a contractor and to learn if any complaints have been filed against a particular business.
  • Even if there is a need to act quickly, shop around for the best deal. Get written estimates from multiple contractors, and don’t be rushed into a deal.
  • Get all of the terms of a contract in writing, and obtain a copy of the signed contract.
  • Never make full payment until all the work has been completed to your satisfaction.
  • Never pay in cash.
  • Be aware that you have the right to cancel a contract within three business days if you signed it based on the contractor’s visit to your home.
  • In the case of disaster repair, you have an additional right to cancel. If your insurance carrier denies coverage, you have the right to cancel the contract within five days of when your insurance carrier denies your coverage.
  • Ask to see required state and local permits and licenses. Insurance adjusters and roofers must be licensed by state agencies. If the contractor does not have a required license, or if the name on the license doesn’t match the name on the contractor’s business card or truck, that should raise a red flag.

Madigan also reminded consumers that the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act requires contractors to furnish customers with written contracts for any repair or remodeling work costing more than $1,000. A contract must be signed by both the customer and the contractor. The law also requires contractors to carry at least minimum amounts of insurance for property damage, bodily injury and improper home repair. Contractors also must provide consumers with an informational pamphlet entitled “Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights.”

Madigan urged homeowners to contact her Consumer Fraud Hotlines to report being victimized by a home repair scheme or to learn tips for finding a reputable contractor:

1-800-386-5438 (Chicago)

1-800-243-0618 (Springfield)
1-800-243-0607 (Carbondale)

Assistant Attorneys General Joseph Pham, Oscar Piña, Kimberly Slider and Deborah Sterling-Scott are handling the cases for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

State Senator Mattie Hunter Takes on Sensitive Matters Regarding Politics and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner

Posted by Admin On April - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

By Rev. Harold E. Bailey,

President of Probation Challenge and the PCC Broadcast Network


CHICAGO, IL – Newly elected, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has many jaundice eyes peering at him these days.

More than a few Illinois State Legislators have declared that the governor Rauner, now appears to be backpedalling on many of his campaign promises… expressively those matters that would affecting the lives of the middle-class, poor and indigent.

One legislative person monitoring the republican governor’s actions is Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter, who recently dared to speak regarding politically sensitive matters on the Probation Challenge PCC Network.

As many tongues continue to speak with their tongue-in-cheek, others have been vocal as to the governor’s un-kept promises to keep the Illinois government flowing with wise balance.  Sen. Mattie Hunter expressed her feeling regarding her concerns for the South and Westside’s of the city, along with that of downstate Illinois.

Senator Hunter, spoke on The Chinta ‘Strausberg Report’ Show, where throughout the presentation the audience expressed moans and sighs of surprise.  Rev. Harold E. Bailey, Network president, said, ‘I publicly salute this woman of courage! It is not often that you hear truth flow from the mouth of those who pledge to serve you, and Sen. Hunter has not minced her words! There is absolutely no battle for her to give 100% regarding truthful matters that are close to the hearts of the people who are perishing for the lack of knowledge. She has discharged her duty and has now wired up the community with hard-core-truth.”

Sources have confirmed that Governor Rauner, conducts meetings held with state legislators as in a corporate setting—where he requires board-members to follow his dictates!

Illinois state representatives salaries were raised in 2014, compared to 2013.

Sources say, although their salary levels were frozen, legislators failed to pass the mandatory furloughs that had become customary in previous years. Accordingly, legislators’ year-over-year “take home” pay increased.

The base pay for state representatives was $66,277 in 2014, according to data accessed through the state comptroller’s transparency database. In 2013, their base pay was $64,717.

Excluding incoming and outgoing legislators who served for part of the year, the average state representative made $74,345 once leadership bonuses were accounted for. Roughly one-third of Illinois legislators earn the base pay, while the other two-thirds are designated as “leaders” and earn more.

The highest-paid representatives were House Speaker Michael Madigan and Minority Leader Jim Durkin, who both took home $93,122. Durkin has pledged to forgo his travel stipend in 2015. It has not been determined if that happened or not! Do they ever report to the Chicago or African American community?

Members of the Illinois General Assembly are among the highest-paid state legislators in the country. Only California, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania pay their legislators higher base salaries, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

While emphasis are placed on who will get the biggest amount of the fat-meat, African Americans increasingly continues to pimp the criminal justice system. High stakes are involved with black incarceration. Will the governor concern himself with this factual matter becomes the question? Will dollars increase for education—rather than incarceration?

The Cook County Black population is estimated at about 5,246,456.  While blacks in Illinois are is estimated at 12,880,580. It appears that the Chicago population pimps the grand state of Illinois. As Chicagoans pay through the nose with high taxation that benefits the state, it is interesting to note that little revenue returns to Chi-town.

Evangelist Andre’ Murphy of the This is your day for a miracle broadcast,  after hearing Sen. Hunter speak, immediately placed a telephone call from the PCC Studio, to have his prayer-line intercede for the senator.

Many state and city officials have been invited to appear on the PCC Network, however   it is rumored that many fear giving accountability to those they were elected to service.

Bailey, however said that there are those who have gone so far onto the avenue of hypocrisy… that they wouldn’t come within a stone’s throw of the PCC—Truth Network.

Chinta Strausberg, noted International journalist, has broadcast with Probation Challenge and the PCC Network for over 21-years. She continues to search for truth to free communities from the strangleholds of injustices.

Senator Hunter has served: 2003-Present (Senate) … Committee assignments: Senate Committee of the Whole; Appropriations III (Chairperson); Environment and Energy; Higher Education; Pensions and Investments; Public Health; Subcommittee. Global Warming & Energy.

Biography: Full-time state legislator; born June 1 in Chicago; B.A., Government, Monmouth College; M.A., Sociology, Jackson State University; single. Appointments: Co-Chair of Health Policy Task Force, Council of State Governments, Vice Chair of the Commission to Study the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its Past and Present Effects on African-Americans.

The entire ‘Strausberg Report’ with Illinois State Sen. Mattie Hunter, may soon be viewed at: WWW.ProbationChallenge.org—The Truth Network. 24/7 and On-Demand.

Rev. Harold E. Bailey is the President of Probation Challenge/PCC Broadcast Network

Rep. Schakowski: Misplaced Priorities

Posted by Admin On April - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

From: U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowski

(9th District of Illinois)

Time and time again, Americans have been clear about what they want our government to do: create good-paying jobs, provide quality public education, and shore up vital programs like Social Security and Medicare.

But the #GOPBudget does the opposite.  It cuts funding for vital programs that Americans rely upon to access health care, find job training, and get an education.

Whose priorities does the #GOPBudget represent?

Click here for a chart outling the differences between what America wants and what the GOP is proposing.

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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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