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Archive for April 29th, 2015

Senator Kirk: “Life Comes Down to Who You Love”

Posted by Admin On April - 29 - 2015 Comments Off on Senator Kirk: “Life Comes Down to Who You Love”

Addressed Marriage Equality Crowd in Front of Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) attended a marriage equality rally in front of the Supreme Court of the United States and reaffirmed his support for gay marriage. In 2013, Senator Kirk expressed his support for gay marriage.

“Life comes down to who you love, and who loves you. Government has no role to play in that,” Senator Kirk said. “The legacy of Abraham Lincoln is that the only way to solve a freedom problem is to provide more freedom to people. As the party of Lincoln, we must stand for equality and freedom.”

Oral arguments began today in the Supreme Court regarding whether or not the Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses for individuals of the same sex, and whether states are required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

President Obama Announces his Intent to Nominate Peter V. Neffenger to lead the Transportation Security Administration

Posted by Admin On April - 29 - 2015 Comments Off on President Obama Announces his Intent to Nominate Peter V. Neffenger to lead the Transportation Security Administration

WASHINGTON, DC – President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Vice Admiral Peter V. Neffenger as Assistant Secretary for the Transportation Security Administration at the Department of Homeland Security.

President Obama said, “The talent and expertise Vice Admiral Neffenger brings to his new role after more than three decades at the U.S. Coast Guard will be valuable to this Administration’s efforts to strengthen transportation security. He has been a recognized leader in the face of our nation’s important challenges, and I am grateful for his service. I look forward to working with him in the months ahead.”

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

Vice Admiral Peter V. Neffenger, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for the Transportation Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security
Vice Admiral Peter V. Neffenger has served as Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard since May 2014.  Vice Admiral Neffenger joined the Coast Guard in 1981, and has served in a number of positions, including Deputy Commandant for Operations, Director of Strategic Management and Doctrine, Deputy National Incident Commander for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and Commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District.  Vice Admiral Neffenger served as Sector Commander and Federal Maritime Security Coordinator for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the central California coast from 2003 to 2006, where he established new and innovative approaches to the safety and security of our ports.  Vice Admiral Neffenger received a B.A. from Baldwin Wallace University, an M.A. from Central Michigan University, an M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and an M.A. from the Naval War College.

NAACP Holds Press Conference to Discuss Death of Freddie Gray and Announce Satellite Office

Posted by Admin On April - 29 - 2015 Comments Off on NAACP Holds Press Conference to Discuss Death of Freddie Gray and Announce Satellite Office

Baltimore Branch NAACP “Satellite Office” in Sandtown neighborhood will collect complaints of racial profiling and police abuse

BALTIMORE, MD — The Baltimore Branch NAACP, supported by the NAACP Maryland State Conference and the National NAACP office, held a press conference to discuss the latest developments in the death of Freddie Gray. The Association also announced the opening of a new satellite office at 1135 N Gilmor Street that will receive and document complaints from residents about cases and incidents of police brutality and racial profiling to help inform the Justice Department’s investigation into issues of police misconduct by the Baltimore Police Department. Trained staff, including representatives from the legal department of the national NAACP office, will be available for complaint intake and to provide training/presentations to the community on “Knowing your Rights.”

From Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President and CEO:

I would like to begin by offering words of consolation and sympathy to a family that lost their son. As the father of two teenage sons, I can only imagine the profound loss and the heart breaking sense of sadness that comes with losing your child.

This morning, we begin by noting a profound sense of anger. We see a young man, who is not carrying a weapon or drugs. We are not yet certain about what constituted probable cause such that he was detained, and yet we note that this young man had three crushed vertebrae, that led to a coma and ultimately his death.

There is a sense of anger in this community. But the story of the NAACP over the course of our 106 years is that we have frequently moved beyond anger to action. We have moved out of a sense of righteous indignation towards a sense of righteous action. The opening of this satellite office is very much a sense of translating our anger into action.

This office will provide critically needed services at a moment of crises. We are here as the NAACP because Baltimore is our home, and we will stand with it and up for it.
This tragedy is one in a series of tragedies. The anger that we feel in Sandtown and in Baltimore is very much related to the anger that has been felt in Ferguson, the anger that has been felt in Staten Island, the anger that has been felt in Cleveland and the anger that has been felt across the length and breadth of this country. But we have to go beyond anger to action.

From Gerald Stansbury, Maryland NAACP State Conference President:

Freddie Gray was a son, a brother, and a friend. He was a 25 year old vibrant and energetic man with his whole life – dreams, hopes, and aspirations – ahead of him only to be cut short.  The NAACP will use every tool in its advocacy arsenal to bring about justice in cases where unarmed individuals are killed by police and implore that the Justice Department conduct thorough investigations in cases involving the killing of unarmed individuals by police officers.  And the opening of this satellite center is a step towards bringing those who violate their oath to protect those they swore to serve and protect to justice.  The future of Baltimore will be forged by citizens who care deeply about their communities as well as police officers who strive to be seen as both protectors and community partners.

The Maryland State Conference is launching an aggressive advocacy campaign that demands comprehensive criminal justice reform.  We have called upon Gov. Larry Hogan to call the Legislature into special session to take up Police Accountability Legislation including legislation on body cameras. The State Conference has also asked the Governor Hogan to direct cabinet level resources to the Satellite Office to assist with case management and community development.

From Tessa Hill-Aston, Baltimore Branch NAACP President:

We at the Baltimore City Branch are focused on solutions. Our central office is located on 8 W. 26th Street in Charles Village, but we decided create an office closer to the Sandtown community. We look forward to working with local community activists to provide assistance with voter registration, homelessness, criminal justice complaints and expungements. We will also be working the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, civic organizations, sororities, fraternities and the presidents of the surrounding neighborhood associations to ensure that the residents of Sandtown receive the support and the resources that they deserve.

Paul T. Graziano Housing Commissioner, Housing Authority of Baltimore City:

I want to thank the NAACP at the local, state and national level for their commitment to this cause. We are happy to be able to help in a small way in terms of accommodating with space here and service. We will continue to work with the NAACP throughout this entire process. My department operates all of the housing programs in the city. Gilmor homes is just a few blocks from here. We are here to ensure that the right thing is done and that we supply whatever support we can.

May Day Radical Coalition March, Rally, and Noise Demonstration Against Capitalism and State Repression

Posted by Admin On April - 29 - 2015 Comments Off on May Day Radical Coalition March, Rally, and Noise Demonstration Against Capitalism and State Repression

Letters to Editors

Radical Coalition Reclaims Chicago’s May Day Local, national, and international organizations unite to celebrate working class.

CHICAGO, IL -  Continuing a tradition of over 100 years, the May Day Radical Coalition will join workers across the world in a celebration of working class triumphs, as well as in remembering the sacrifices made by workers before us. This year we will focus on resistance to capitalism and the repression of class struggle by state and corporate interests. Nine organizations will be joining with fellow workers in Union Park on Friday, May 1st at 2:30 PM and will march to Cook County Jail in Little Village, arriving for a noise demonstration at approximately 5:00 PM.

This is the inaugural year of Chicago’s May Day Radical Coalition, which formed in response to abuse of rank-and-file workers during May Day events of years prior by organizers beholden to corporate and political interests. 2014’s “Red and Black Brigade”, called by the Industrial Workers of the World, brought numbers in the hundreds through a rainy day march and was an informal contingent in other May Day events.

WHO: Industrial Workers of the World – Chicago General Membership Branch (IWW)
Feminist Uprising Resisting Inequality and Exploitation (FURIE)
American Party of Labor (APL)
Chicago Socialist Party
Black Lives Matter Chicago
Pilsen Food Not Bombs
Chicago Torture Justice Memorials
Moratorium on Deportations
Gay Liberation Network (GLN)

& WHEN: Friday, May 1, 2015
2:30 PM  Union Park               (Ashland & Lake)
3:45 PM  Pilsen                       (18th & Blue Island)
5:00 PM  Cook County Jail     (26th & California)

WHAT: March, Rally, and Noise Demonstration in celebration of the working
class and against capitalism and state repression

Chicago’s May Day Radical Coalition was called to formation by the Industrial Workers of the World in February of 2015 and was formally created in late March of the same year. Each member organization, including the IWW, has equal voice and vote on all decisions. Chicago’s May Day Radical Coalition Principles, by which every organization agrees to abide for this year’s May Day events, can be found at may1chicago.org/coalition.html.

Imagery created by the Coalition can be found at: may1chicago.org/posters.html

Find the Coalition on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/may1chicago

Facebook Event Page (300+ RSVPs): www.facebook.com/events/360923034114774

For more information:

Contact:  Alison Olhava (Industrial Workers of the World) 847-707-5181
Miguel Del Toral (Socialist Party) 773-895-5774
Dan Bono (Industrial Workers of the World) 630-806-5000
Spanish Language / Hugo Rodriquez 773-918-0859 (Industrial Workers of the World)
Website: May1Chicago.org

Freddie Gray Incident in Baltimore Prompts Re-Issue of National Urban League Justice Plan

Posted by Admin On April - 29 - 2015 Comments Off on Freddie Gray Incident in Baltimore Prompts Re-Issue of National Urban League Justice Plan

NEW YORK — As Baltimore and other cities grapple with civil unrest prompted by police violence against unarmed young men of color, the National Urban League today re-issued its recommendations for police reform and accountability.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the violence that has marred these largely peaceful protests,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. “It’s imperative that we address the outrage that fuels the unrest and heal the rifts between police and the communities they serve.”

The National Urban League issued a 10-Point Justice Plan last year in the wake of the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

“Millions of Americans have now taken to the streets and to social media, not because the problems that have caused the outrage just began yesterday, but because sometimes difficult circumstances present a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring about historic change,” Morial said at the time. “We remain committed to the idea that these cases do not end where they are.  In addition to the opportunity for the Justice Department to conduct independent investigations, we each have an opportunity to participate in our great democracy by helping to ensure that the America of tomorrow is better than who we are today.”

Morial today offered condolences to the family of Freddie Gray, and support for non-violent demonstrations in protest of his tragic death.

“We have not just a right but a duty to speak out against injustice,” Morial said. “Failure to confront the underlying issues can only result in more tragedy.”

10-POINT JUSTICE PLAN: National Urban League Police Reform and Accountability Recommendations

  1. Widespread Use of Body Cameras and Dashboard Cameras
  2. Broken Windows Reform and Implementation of 21st Century Community Policing Model
  3. Review and Revision of Police Use of Deadly Force Policies
  4. Comprehensive Retraining of All Police Officers
  5. Comprehensive Review and Strengthening of Police Hiring Standards
  6. Appointment of Special Prosecutors to Investigate Police Misconduct
  7. Mandatory, Uniform FBI Reporting and Audit of Lethal Force Incidents Involving All Law Enforcement
  8. Creation and Audit of National Database of Citizen Complaints against Police
  9. Revision of National Police Accreditation System for Mandatory Use by Law Enforcement To Be Eligible for Federal Funds
  10. National Comprehensive Anti-Racial Profiling Law

Raoul’s Youth Concussion Measure up for Vote in State Senate

Posted by Admin On April - 29 - 2015 Comments Off on Raoul’s Youth Concussion Measure up for Vote in State Senate

Legislation aims to protect students — on and off the field — from lasting effects of brain injury

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) and advocates — from a pediatric sports medicine expert to the son of a Super Bowl winner whose brain injury cost him his quality of life — testified today in a Senate committee that approved tough new protections for students who suffer concussions.

“As a parent of two children who have suffered concussions, I understand that brains take time to heal,” Raoul said. “With emergency plans in place and an awareness of the accommodations needed for youth who sustain concussions, schools can help their students reach their full potential and avoid debilitating brain injuries.”

Tregg Duerson testified to committee members about his father, Dave Duerson, whose professional football career spanned eleven seasons and included a Super Bowl win with the legendary 1985 Chicago Bears. After retiring from the NFL, the elder Duerson began experiencing headaches, dizzy spells, memory loss, depression and flashes of anger and irritability. He believed he was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disease brought on by repeated blows to the head, and before taking his life in 2011, he asked his family to donate his brain to Boston University researchers who could test for CTE. The autopsy confirmed his self-diagnosis, and at least 20 other deceased professional football players have been found to have suffered from the disease.

“My father and his peers played football at the highest level at a time when concussions were mismanaged,” the younger Duerson said. “Awareness is now at an all-time high, and now is the time for our generation to get it right. My hope is that we don’t see CTE developing in today’s young players, because we get it right and manage their head injuries appropriately.”

“Concussion is often an ‘invisible injury’; most people who have a concussion don’t lose consciousness, and symptoms can manifest themselves up to 24 hours later,” said Dr. Cynthia LaBella, medical director of the Institute of Sports Medicine at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and an expert in pediatric concussions. “It’s important for a child who has had a concussion to take a cognitive rest, with accommodations such as attending school part-time, giving extra time to complete assignments and limiting time spent reading or looking at an electronic device. We know now that it takes even longer for younger children to recover from concussions than older youth, so expanding state law to cover elementary and middle school students, not just high school students, is key.”

Senate Bill 7, sponsored by Raoul and co-sponsored by Senators Dan Kotowski and Ira Silverstein, expands current requirements so that all children participating in school-sponsored athletic activities are protected – at the elementary, middle and high school levels and at public, private and charter schools. These requirements include having emergency plans in place to deal with severe injuries that arise during sporting events, designating a “concussion oversight team” of health care professionals to develop and implement concussion policies and following Illinois High School Association protocols for taking student athletes out of a practice or game and allowing them to return after a concussion. The IHSA supports the legislation.

For the first time, the measure also requires schools to have “return-to-learn” policies in place so students who have suffered concussions – at a school-sponsored athletic event or anywhere else — can ease back into classroom attendance and academic work. The sponsors and supporters emphasized that a gradual return to both physical and cognitive activity is necessary to allow the brain to heal. Dr. LaBella testified that sustaining a second concussion before fully recovering from a first increases a person’s likelihood of developing long-term complications.

“For many of our young people, playing a sport is a powerful opportunity for achievement, personal growth, fitness and teamwork,” Raoul said. “We want to ensure the door of opportunity stays open for youth to continue playing but also to succeed in the classroom and lead long, healthy lives.”

Now that the Senate Education Committee has recommended the legislation, it will go to the full Senate for a vote.

Accomplished Hip Hop Artist and Entrepreneur Helecia Choyce Launch Ad Agency

Posted by Admin On April - 29 - 2015 Comments Off on Accomplished Hip Hop Artist and Entrepreneur Helecia Choyce Launch Ad Agency

Brings Welcome to Vegas Fight Party Feat “Blac Chyna, Hazel-E, DJ Franzen & Friends

Helecia Choyce

Las Vegas, NV (BlackNews.com) – Accomplished hip-hop artist, author, and entrepreneur Helecia Choyce, CEO of HustleGurl Entertainment, has closed a major deal with GeoLinear AD Agency, and is now setting her sights in Las Vegas, Nevada launching the official “Welcome to Las Vegas” party fight weekend in Las Vegas on the strip, Thursday April 30, 2015 at Dal Toro’s Lamborghini Spa inside the Palazzo Hotel. The event will be hosted by Blac Chyna & Hazel-e with music by DJ Franzen.

Last year, Helecia Choyce bought the smash hit Still Smoking Tour to Hollywood, California. Inking a deal with Live Nation, the online concert ticket clearinghouse visited by millions every day, is a major step forward for Helecia and the Still Smoking Tour. Just to name a few projects from Helecia Choyce. The widely-anticipated fight weekend kick off party starts Thursday April 30th, is the latest achievement in Helecia Choyce’s extraordinary artistic journey. Helecia Choyce also worked close with some of Floyd Mayweather fighters, including “KO Bellows” creating his infamous “KO Bellows” logo that is seen widely amongst #TMT and Fans.

Helecia Choyce’s unique gifts were discovered in 2001, by rap mogul Suge Knight while she was still growing up, and she signed a major music deal with Death Row Records. Helecia, known as SKG (Super Krazed Goddess), described overcoming the many challenges of her youth in an autobiography, The Diary Of Helecia Choyce: The Hustle Within. In this revealing volume, among other things, Helecia tales discusses dealing with the gangs of Los Angeles, working with celebrities, developing self-respect, and learning forgiveness. The book’s overall theme brings a positive, uplifting message for today’s urban youth, letting them know that with determination and perseverance, anything is possible.

For Helecia, those possibilities became reality as her career developed, including a featured appearance on Tupac Shakur’s multi-platinum album, Until The End Of Time, with her track, Let ‘Em Have It, becoming the #4 single. In the years since her work with Death Row, Helecia has embraced the “business side” of the industry as well, while continuing to pursue her lifelong passion for rapping. Through her booking company, Helecia has booked such luminaries as Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross and DJ Quik, among many others, and sharpening her talents at 93.5 KDAY radio. Helecia Choyce and Associates, GeoLinear AD Agency and HustleGurl Entertainment are looking to a bright future with big plans in the works, making her and her brand, names to watch closely! When we asked Helecia why she chose to Book Hazel E and Blac Chyna for fight Weekend she said “I’m all for girl power” I respect each of these ladies and their accomplishments thus far and for me launching my ad agency it made perfect sense to promote with women I think has worked hard to promote their brand. I known Hazel-E for a few years and she has always been a go getter and a true entrepreneur that makes moves. I respect Chyna and what she stands for so I felt it would be a perfect fit”

For booking and media inquiries to attend Welcome to Las Vegas Fight Kick Off Party or to attend Saturday fight viewing party hosted by celebrity Actor Omar Gooding, contact Helecia@GeoLinearMarketing.com or HustleGurlMedia@gmail.com or call (702) 781-0843. Interested ones can also visit www.hustlegurlent.com

Photo Caption: Helecia Choyce, CEO of HustleGurl

Compelling Book of Double-Sided Poetry, Following Theme of “Quantum Entanglement”, Reminds Readers that All Humans are Connected

Posted by Admin On April - 29 - 2015 Comments Off on Compelling Book of Double-Sided Poetry, Following Theme of “Quantum Entanglement”, Reminds Readers that All Humans are Connected

Masterfully crafted by Annie Tsotas, ‘Harlequin Confessions’ is a unique compilation of spiritual poetry – with one half told from a girl’s perspective, and the other from that of her once lover. After they die and are resurrected, the duo succumb to the power of quantum entanglement (a theory that dictates no matter how far apart two particles are, they remain connected) to fall back in love under the force of unity. It’s a hugely thought-provoking volume, written for a world that often forgets that everything is connected.

Montreal, Quebec – There’s no point in sugarcoating the truth; humanity thrives on individualism and materialism, forgetting that it was instead created to be truly one with its planet. In her powerful new book of poetry, Annie Tsotas hopes to once again wake people up to this reality, while empowering them to accept their universal connection with each other and the world they inhabit.

But ‘Harlequin Confessions’ is far from a conventional book of poetry. Written in two parts – one from the perspective of a girl and another from the boy – the collection encapsulates all that is magical about unity; the one thing holding humanity together. Ironically, it’s also the one thing most people fail to embrace.


Quantum entanglement: when two individual particles interact and are then separated. However, when they are separated, no matter the distance or how far apart they are, they remain connected and react in unison. Harlequin Confessions, is a compilation of poems that focus on two major themes: the creation and existence of humanity. It’s about two people that were once lovers, find a reconnection, a lifetime later.

It’s about how every experience, every step of our lives, shapes where we will end up. It’s about love, loss, and moving on. It’s about understanding where we came from, and who we are. Annie uses a unique writing style to try to establish a foundation of oneness between humans, and she uses her poetry to unravel the question of what makes a human, human, and what ties the connection between two strangers.

“A lot of the poems are spiritual, focusing on the pain and heartache in life experiences; congruent with the Buddhist approach that one must suffer in order to reach happiness,” explains Tsotas. “It’s all an attempt to help readers see themselves and the world differently, in a new light that allows them to bear the fruits of a connected humanity.”

Continuing, “Most forget that we have been designed from the ground up to exist as one. We were made to be connected – to help each other rather than compete. The modern world’s abuse and materialism has skewed this ideal, and we’re slowly disconnecting ourselves from our planet and ruining it in the process. I want to remind people that we are our planet. Our world is made out of bits of ourselves and when we harm our world, we harm ourselves.”

The author sees wide appeal for her work.

“The book and its collective story will appeal to everyone from thoroughbred fans of poetry to those committed to exploring their spiritual side. There really is something for everyone – a universal message to humanity, and a vital one at that,” she adds.

Since its release, the volume has garnered rave reviews. For example, Thomas C. Reed comments, “An amazing collection of poems, prose-poetry, and bones, all interconnected by heartfelt emotion under the moon.”

‘Harlequin Confessions’, is available now: http://amzn.to/1GoKD6i.

About the Author:

Born and raised in Montreal, Annie Tsotas is a creative arts student whose prime passion is writing. She likes finding new ways to put words together, and she likes to consider herself a poet, nights she breathes metaphors instead of oxygen.

Applications Available to Serve on ISBE’s Student Advisory Council

Posted by Admin On April - 29 - 2015 Comments Off on Applications Available to Serve on ISBE’s Student Advisory Council

High schoolers from across Illinois represent student interests

SPRINGFIELD, IL – High school students eager to learn about state education and policy decisions can apply for one of 13 open positions on the Illinois State Board of Education’s Student Advisory Council. Students who are entering the coming school year (2015-16) as a sophomore, junior or senior in an Illinois public high school are eligible to apply by May 29.

“ISBE’s student representatives provide an important perspective on issues in public education,” said State Board of Education Chairman James T. Meeks. “The board looks forward to meeting and working alongside such talented high school students from across the state.”

Members of the Student Advisory Council (SAC), which was established in 1975, have demonstrated a strong work ethic and the ability to think creatively and work well in groups. The council shares student concerns and provides feedback on ISBE’s existing and proposed programs, policies and regulations and annually tackles one major issue and presents findings to the State Board.

“The SAC has made me value my education and opportunities more deeply,” said Isabella Ruggiero, a member of this year’s council and a senior at Downers Grove North High School. “I have gained perspective and new insight because of my experience working with individuals from all across the state.”

This school year members of ISBE’s Student Advisory Council are exploring a possible statewide program that will demonstrate students’ Career Technical Education skills. They will present their research project at the June 17 State Board of Education meeting. In previous years, the council has examined issues related to cyberbullying, mandatory physical education for high school students, and high school dropouts.

“I have had the pleasure of working with a very diverse group of students. We possess some similarities, but our differences are what made us stronger advocates, collectively, for students in Illinois,” said Niquan Dawson, a junior member of this year’s SAC. “I realize that one of the most important things I learned is that the student voice has the potential to move mountains, as long as we aren’t afraid to use it.” Dawson attends J. Sterling Morton West High School in Berwyn.

The following five SAC members, listed by school, city of residence and current school year, plan to return to the council next year:

Name School City Grade
Niquan Dawson J. Sterling Morton West High School Berwyn Junior
Mackenzie Flynn Stillman Valley High School Stillman Valley Junior
Colleen Madden Carlinville High School Carlinville Junior
Nicole Marcus Naperville North High School Naperville Junior
Travis Whitt Altamont High School Altamont Junior

The following members, all graduating seniors, served on ISBE’s Student Advisory Council for at least the current school year:

Name School City
Annish Aggarwal Neuqua Valley High School Naperville
Hannah Auten Benton High School Benton
Brandy Brown East St. Louis High School East St. Louis
Benjamin Bruce East Peoria High School East Peoria
Luke Hahn East Richland High School Olney
Shelby Ireland Riverton High School Riverton
Mathis Mateus Belvidere North High School Belvidere
Morgan Rich Deer Creek-Mackinaw High School Mackinaw
Isabella Ruggiero Downers Grove North High School Downers Grove
Khushi Suri Proviso Math & Science Academy Forest Park
Kayla VonBurg Carlyle High School Carlyle
Kaylia Williams North Chicago High School North Chicago
Donald Rapier Lindlom Math & Science Academy Chicago

“My favorite aspect of the SAC is sitting in on the board meetings,” said Kayla VonBurg, a senior at Carlyle High School. “Sitting next to a board member and actually watching a meeting take place is an experience that is truly unique to the Student Advisory Council, and those experiences will be memories that I take with me through my postsecondary education and into my career.”  VonBurg plans to attend the University of Mississippi and study international and pre-medical studies.

The deadline to submit an application for the 2015-16 Student Advisory Council is 5 p.m. Friday, May 29. Applications are available online at http://www.isbe.net/SAC/default.htm. Interviews will be scheduled in July for those applicants chosen as possible members.

“Being on the ISBE SAC has impacted my life in so many ways. The experience in general of getting to represent the students of Illinois, specifically from my district, is incredible,” said Shelby Ireland, a senior at Riverton High School. “The most helpful thing I am taking away from SAC is the leadership experience and knowing that when everyone works together, anything is possible.”

State Rep. Lilly Advances Measure to Reduce Recidivism in Prisons

Posted by Admin On April - 29 - 2015 Comments Off on State Rep. Lilly Advances Measure to Reduce Recidivism in Prisons

SPRINGFIELD, IL–As part of her efforts to curb the rate of recidivism in Illinois, state Rep. Camille Lilly, D-Chicago, is working to pass legislation to ensure that inmates in Illinois prisons have continuing access to appropriate medical services following release.

“One of the most pressing issues facing Illinois is our growing prison population,” said Lilly. “The costs are exceptionally high and our state does not do a satisfactory job of ensuring that those released have the resources to lead healthy, productive lives outside of prison.”

House Bill 3270 aims to help assure that the formerly incarcerated can continue treatments they were receiving after release, so they don’t reoffend due to lack of mental or physical treatment. It calls for prohibiting the Department of Health and Family Services from denying any application for Medicaid benefits solely on the basis of an individual’s incarceration.  The bill would also require that every inmate under the custody of the Department of Corrections be given the opportunity to apply for Medicaid coverage prior to their release. This bill also aims to help these individuals avoid the fee that is imposed to those without health coverage.

According to the last most recent available data, recidivism rates in Illinois are over 50%, much higher than the national average. Lilly’s bill will help ensure that preexisting conditions and the associated costs of treatment do not drive former inmates to reoffend.

“Many former inmates are faced with a life in which no available treatment for physical or mental illnesses are available,” said Lilly, “Whether reoffenders end up back in prison because of a lack of treatment or to deliberately seek treatment, this is a problem that we must address.”

House Bill 3270 passed the House Human Services Committee and awaits consideration by the full House of Representatives.

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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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