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August , 2018
Friday

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Chicago voters will be able to register dissatisfaction with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s unaccountable, unelected rubber-stamp ...
By Elder Raymond C Christian <sirrcccapt@msn.com> To:Chaplain of the Senate Washington, DC     "A Blessing to be Picked ...
Martin Delany's 200th Birthday to be commemorated - Descendants sought Charles Town, WV (BlackNews.com) -- May ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, sent a letter urging Illinois ...
Gilberto Lozano Visits Chicago to talk about Mexico and political options beside electoral system. The ...
BALTIMORE, MD – NAACP National Board of Directors Chairman Roslyn M. Brock announced that the ...
  Hollywood, California  - Archaia Entertainment’s highly-acclaimed ‘All Ages’ graphic novel series, Gunnerkrigg Court, continues with ...
Suit Calls on Beemsterboer to remove illegal refinery waste piles, halt intake CHICAGO, IL – Illinois ...
CHICAGO, IL – Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Chief of Cardiology, Clyde W. Yancy, MD, MSc, ...

Archive for May 20th, 2015

Experts Find Illinois Inflicting Needless Pain & Suffering on Sick Prisoners

Posted by Admin On May - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

From: Uptown People’s Law Center

60% of Non-Violent Deaths Show “Significant lapses in care,” Says Just-Released Study

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Corrections has failed to provide adequate medical care to prisoners across the state, according to a new expert report filed in federal court. The report cites sweeping problems with a broad range of medical services, including unqualified and incompetent physicians and nurses, inadequate medical leadership and management and staffing of IDOC facilities, a lack of adequate and sanitary medical facilities across IDOC, and a lack of follow-up and ability to correct mistakes that pervade the system.

The report was filed by Dr. Ronald Shansky and a team of medical experts selected jointly by lawyers for IDOC and the inmates and appointed by the federal court in Lippert v. Godinez, a lawsuit challenging medical care in the IDOC system.   IDOC currently houses nearly 50,000 prisoners in facilities in all parts of the state.

“This report demonstrates that Illinois is inflicting needless pain and suffering by failing to provide basic medical care for its prisoners.” said Benjamin Wolf, Associate Legal Director for the ACLU of Illinois. “The state is giving a for profit company tens of millions of dollars each year for substandard care. The broken nature of the system is revealed by the serious and preventable harm inflicted on so many of these vulnerable patients. People in the free world would never use a health care provider that did such a poor job, but these prisoners have no choice of who will provide their care when they get sick.”

The expert report criticized DOC for not having qualified physicians. As one example, a patient at the Menard Correctional Center with Type I diabetes was being treated by a physician who was not trained in primary care. The doctor discontinued the patient’s insulin use after his blood sugar levels were found to be normal while on the insulin. This error, the report notes, reflects “a lack of understanding of the basic pathophysiology of this common disease.”

The experts found “significant lapses in care” in 60% of the cases of prisoners who died from other than violent causes from January 1, 2013, to June 1, 2014. A patient at IDOC’s Illinois River facility, for example, presented “classic” signs and symptoms of lung cancer upon his entry into IDOC. Medical staff either ignored or failed to recognize these symptoms for more than three months. By the time the patient was diagnosed, the only treatment option was palliative radiation. The patient died nine days later.

The medical experts appointed by the court also examined a number of other deaths in the IDOC system.  In many of the deaths, the experts found there were a number of significant deviations from the standard of care. These deviations vary from delays in testing and care to lack of follow up and failures to refer patients to specialists.

The report notes that in many IDOC locations, there are numerous medical vacancies, often including the medical director or other key leadership positions. Additionally, the report notes that many of the medical professionals – as in the example at Menard – are not trained to deal with the medical issues they confront in the prison population. The experts add that this problem is “compounded by a lack of oversight and peer review,” which causes problems to fester and grow.

“The lack of expertise and personnel is especially troubling,” added Jason Stiehl, a partner in the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. “Unqualified staff cannot provide competent, comprehensive medical care to the population. These deficiencies result in horrific consequences.”

“The tragic stories of prisoners unnecessarily suffering—even dying—from terrible medical care are disturbing. But the deeper question is why these elderly, seriously ill people are in prison in the first place. This report is further proof that Illinois simply has too many people in prison. As long as we imprison people, we have a constitutional obligation to provide decent care. Illinois is falling woefully short of its legal obligations,” said Alan Mills, Executive Director at Uptown People’s Law Center.

The filing of the expert report is the latest development in Lippert, et. al, v. Godinez. Lawyers from Uptown People’s Law Center and the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP filed the class action complaint on behalf of six prisoners in 2012, and the ACLU of Illinois joined the lawsuit in 2013.

Uptown People’s Law Center is a nonprofit legal services organization specializing in prisoners’ rights, Social Security disability, and tenants’ rights and eviction defense. More information is available at uplcchicago.org.

Immigrant Coalition Announces a Prayer Vigil and Immigration Advocacy Visit to Washington D.C.

Posted by Admin On May - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
Will hold a press conference today, 5/20/15 at the Federal Plaza, 230 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, at 10:30 a.m.

CHICAGO, IL – The Red De Oración, RDO, USA (Prayer Network USA) announces
 a visit to Washington D.C. with the purpose of advocacy and prayer for a 
moratorium on deportations. This visit will take place from June 11 – 13, 2015.

In addition, RDO is demanding for Congress to initiate an expedited process to address the broken immigration system that the U.S. currently is faced with, which has led to record numbers of detention and deportation of immigrants, both documented and undocumented alike. RDO has also initiated efforts to advocate for those who are denied critical life saving treatments based on legal status. In a brief statement, RDO stated, “we are also advocating for those who are in need of a kidney 
transplant and face deportation in the midst of their medical crisis.”

A
 number of Chicago area Pastors will attend the press conference. This also includes Mr. Isidro 
Secundino, who is currently facing deportation and living in sanctuary at the Mission of Faith, Life and Hope. Reverend Jorge Fuentes, Director of RDO stated that 
more than 50 pastors will be traveling from the Chicago area and other cities with the objective to pray and advocate for those who are
 undocumented, facing deportation; and among these, individuals who are 
also in need of a kidney or liver transplant and facing medical crisis.

For more information, contact: Jose G. Herrera at 773 632-9992.

The Congressional Black Caucus Recognizes the 50th Anniversary of Head Start

Posted by Admin On May - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative G. K. Butterfield (NC-01), Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), issued the following statement celebrating the 50th anniversary of the launch of Head Start.

“Head Start has served over 30 million children and their families in urban and rural areas all over the country,” said CBC Chairman Butterfield.  “Children participating in Head Start programs have been successful in school and grown to be productive and successful residents in our communities.  I commend Head Start and its commitment to providing services to low income families in the United States.  This program deserves recognition as it is exceptionally significant to our children and our communities.”

“Every child in America should be afforded an equal opportunity to succeed, regardless of what neighborhood they live in or how much money their parents make.  Head Start promotes school readiness of young children from low-income families through partnerships in their local community and has a proven track record of success over the last fifty years.  It is my hope that we continue to strengthen our community by providing children with quality education early on in their development.  Let’s work together to put our children first and bring America one step closer to closing the educational opportunity gap.”

Senator Collins leads Senate in declaring Malcolm X Day in Illinois

Posted by Admin On May - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) secured the Senate’s adoption of a resolution designating every May 19 as Malcolm X Day in Illinois. The day provides an occasion to reflect on the advocacy and values of Malcolm X and engage in community service.

Collins issued the following statement on her resolution honoring the civil rights leader and urging Illinoisans to serve their communities in his memory:

Both the city of Chicago, where Malcolm X often spoke and worked, and communities throughout the state need to hear his message of human rights, the equality of all people and power in the service of justice. I am excited about the potential of Malcolm X Day to inspire more of us to commit to serving our neighbors.

According to the Serve Illinois Commission, Illinois’ two and a half million volunteers serve 320 million hours each year, contributing the equivalent of $7.2 billion of time and effort to their communities. Malcolm X Day presents an opportunity not only to promote service and inspire all our residents to lend a helping hand to others, but to link volunteer opportunities to our core values of equality and justice. Community service is a pathway to a transformed society where we respect and act on our shared human dignity.

During my time in public service, I have stood on the shoulders of the great men and women of the Civil Rights Movement, and it is an honor to continue the struggle for equality and justice today, hand in hand with people of goodwill from many traditions, faiths and backgrounds. Malcolm X was a powerful voice for the values that should unite all of us – Christian, Muslim, of any other faith or of no faith. I draw strength from his words of clarity and action.

Attorney General Applauds Senate Committee Passage of Bill to Allow Video, Audio Monitoring in Nursing Homes

Posted by Admin On May - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan applauded the Illinois Senate’s Public Health Committee after it passed her proposal to allow nursing home residents and their families to place video or audio monitoring devices in their rooms to help ensure their safety and well-being. House Bill 2462, which is sponsored by Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan) and Rep. Greg Harris, passed by a vote of 5-0.

“Placing a loved one into a nursing facility means that a family is putting a tremendous amount of trust in the facility’s caretakers,” Madigan said. “Something as simple as a camera in a resident’s room can go a long way in providing much-needed peace of mind for those families.”

The initiative stems from complaints Madigan received from nursing home residents and families who are concerned for their relatives’ care and security. Madigan’s proposal would allow residents of nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities or their family members to purchase and install video or audio monitoring devices in their rooms.

“I am proud to sponsor this measure to reassure families that their loved ones are receiving high quality care, especially when they cannot be present,” Link said. “I appreciate Attorney General Madigan’s advocacy for the residents of nursing facilities and their families.”

Madigan cited an increasing need for additional safety measures at Illinois nursing homes as the state’s population continues to age. Currently, Illinois has more than 860 nursing home facilities with over 76,000 residents. The U.S. Census Bureau also estimates that by 2030, 22.3 percent of Illinois’ population will be aged 60 and older, an increase of more than 28 percent from 2012.

Madigan noted that video and audio monitoring could be used as an added tool to help resolve disputes about suspected abuse or negligence. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) receives more than 21,000 calls annually and responds to approximately 5,000 complaints. In 2013, the IDPH found 106 allegations of abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property against residents by facility staff to be valid.w00osure to a facility i

The main provisions of Madigan’s proposal would:

  • Allow for audio and video electronic monitoring devices;
  • Require resident and roommate consent;
  • Make nursing home residents or their representatives responsible for the purchase, installation and maintenance expenses of the devices;
  • Prohibit facility retaliation for the use of the devices;
  • Provide for recordings to be admissible into evidence in administrative, civil and criminal proceedings; and
  • Provide misdemeanor and felony penalties for any person or entity that intentionally hampers, obstructs, tampers with, or destroys a recording or an electronic monitoring device.

If enacted, Illinois would become the fourth state to explicitly allow electronic monitoring devices to be installed in resident rooms in nursing home facilities. The legislation heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Free Network Connects Blacks with Economic Resources

Posted by Admin On May - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Bean, a new social network developed to create and allocate wealth within African American communities

Free Network Connects U.S. Black Population with Resources for Economic Growth

In February, 2014 a Neilson Company report predicted that African American buying power would reach $1.1 trillion in 2015. “The black population is young, hip and highly influential. We are growing 64 percent faster than the general market,” said Cheryl Pearson McNeil, a senior vice president at Nielsen. In 2015, Black consumers remain at the forefront of social trends and media consumption. The recently launched Black Economic Advancement Network (BEAN) provides a digital station that empowers African Americans to easily locate and support black-owned businesses, and help redistribute a larger percentage of wealth within their own communities.

BEAN logo

New Orleans, LA (BlackNews.com) — BEAN (Black Economic Advancement Network) announced the launch of its new social platform that enables users to harness and redistribute wealth and resources within the African American community.

The BEAN social network targets African American consumers, professionals and business leaders, and connects them with one another to develop relationships leading to personal and professional successes. The network’s benefits are described in a short animated video entitled ‘Why BEAN,’ which explains how African Americans can use BEAN to harness the resources that can help them to advance personally and professionally, and uplift their communities by supporting black-owned businesses.

Described as a hybrid between LinkedIn and Facebook, BEAN will also serve as a place to find funding and investors for business ideas and establish connections with people who have expertise in various industries such as real estate, finance, insurance and marketing.

It is from my experience and the countless stories of others that it became evident to me that we in the black community needed a new digital infrastructure that could help facilitate equal opportunity to educate young entrepreneurs and establish young black role models,” said BEAN founder Darren Walker. “Until now, no digital service existed that encourages and initiates healthy economics in our community, while enabling individuals and businesses to participate, contribute and help shape Black communities while honoring our heritage.”
I AM BEAN Endorsements:

“A successful African American community would look like a conduit of businesses and black professionals enabling them to connect and communicate … The black community coming together to help support one another will be tremendous.”Todd McDonald, Liberty Bank Vice President

“What excites me about BEAN is to be able to empower African Americans to own their own businesses; to connect with others; and to empower other businesses. We all have gifts/strengths. If we put them together, we can only make the community a better place.”Christina Pappion, Event Painter at Pappion Artistry
African American consumers are invited to visit IAMBEAN.com to learn more about the extensive professional resources to which you may connect, while business owners are encouraged to create a free professional profile that will enable purchasers and other businesses to access this gateway to celebrate and contribute to the success of Black-owned businesses.

Noel King, a reporter for NPRs Marketplace, states Blacks tend to spend more on electronics, utilities, groceries and footwear. They spend a lot less on new cars, alcohol, entertainment, health care and pensions. About that observation, United Enterprise Uprize Inc. said, “Despite our collective buying power, statistical data reflects that much of that money is spent outside of the Black community and not with Black-owned businesses.” Walker encourages the circulation of our $1 trillion+ buying power within the Black community.
About the Founder
Having been a business man from a very early age, Darren Walker became frustrated with the challenges of limited access to people and resources that could advance his business and personal endeavors. Thus, Walker created Black Economic Advancement Network (BEAN) to provide a way for African Americans to connect with business owners and capital to make it easier to identify and support each others businesses.

At age 25, Walker – together with his friend and partner Dustin Young established GOES (Green Opportunities Energy Solutions). GOES was the first among the companies then incubating at Moore Norman Technology Center whose sales exceeded $1 million in its first year of operation at the Business Development Center where it started.

Darren Walker is the youngest of six children born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has been happily married to Lucy Walker for eight years, with whom he has two precious daughters, a toddler and an infant.

Kirk-Led Veterans Affairs Bill Funds Veterans’ Care at Record Level

Posted by Admin On May - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Makes Reforms to VA and Meets Veterans’ Care Needs Nationwide

Protects VA Whistleblowers, Reforms VA Construction Funding and Enhances Military Strategic Defenses for Poland and Hungary

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) applauded the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon/VA) passage of the fiscal year 2016 MilCon/VA Appropriations bill, which he authored with Ranking Member Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.). The bill funds the care for our veterans at record levels and includes serious construction reforms to ensure that fiascoes like the Denver VA Hospital construction project, which is more than $930 million over budget, never happen again on the taxpayer’s dime. This legislation funds the VA at $69.2 billion for FY 2016, an increase of $4.2 billion, or 6.5%, over the levels in 2015.

“This bill provides funding for veterans’ care at record levels, which will reform this agency and protect 700,000 Illinois veterans and veterans nationwide,” Senator Kirk said. “Included are whistleblower protections so that doctors and nurses at hospitals like the Hines VA in Maywood, Illinois, will never again fear retaliation from high-level bureaucrats. Also included are funds for new family housing at Rock Island, Illinois, and an increase in Hepatitis C treatments for veterans nationwide. With these modern, innovative medicines, in the last 16 months we have cured more veterans suffering from Hepatitis C than in the last 16 years. It is innovations like these that we need for our veterans, and for all Americans.”

The full bill text will be released on Thursday.

Funeral Services for Iconic Insurance Owner Alonzo Perkins Set for Thursday, 3 P.M.

Posted by Admin On May - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Helped many black businessmen

By Chinta Strausberg


Funeral services for insurance/construction icon Alonzo Perkins who died last Friday, May 15, 2015, at the St. James Hospital after a long illness will be held 3 p.m. Thursday, May 21, 2015, at the Brookins Funeral Home, 9315 South Ashland, Chicago, IL.

Mr. Perkins was born the second of seven children on Thursday, June 14, 1934 in Drew, Mississippi to the parents of William and Mary Perkins. The couple moved from Mississippi to Chicago’s Bronzeville community in 1942.

A student at Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, Perkins always had an entrepreneurial spirit. At the age of 16, he, along with his childhood friend, Zishan Evans, opened a record store. Perkins also worked at the Lee Packing Company and was selected as one of their youngest union stewards at the age of 19.

In 1953, Persons married his childhood sweetheart, Faith Evans, and to that union bore three sons, Gregory, David and Michael. His wife of 43-years passed on October 13, 1996.

In the early 1960’s, Perkins founded the Central Premium Insurance Agency located on the West Side of Chicago. According to former Cook County Board of Review Comm. Robert Shaw who grew up on the West Side, “Al was one of the first African American businessman in the 24th Ward. He has always been a stalwart in the forefront of the upward mobility of black people.”

Always wanting to do more for the community, Mr. Perkins opened a grocery store at 24th and State Streets and a mini mall, and in the early 1970’s he started the Rehabilitation Construction and Custom Construction Company.

Former Illinois Senator Howard Brookins, Sr., who has personally known Mr. Perkins for the past 15-years, said, “I am very disturbed, by his death. He was a friend. We had coffee every week here (at Josephine’s Cooking Restaurant) and great social, political and economic  discussions. I will miss him deeply.”

Another friend, businessman Herbert Hedgeman, said, “He has been my friend for over 40-years. I love him like a brother, and he will be surely missed. He was a friend and business associate.”

Perkins was also a member of the WE CAN, INC. Committee, a group of African American successful businessmen who worked tirelessly to get the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to obey a 1991 Illinois law mandating the teaching of African American history.

When questioned on November 12, 2012, by WE CAN INC. Committee media director, Chinta Strausberg if she would obey the 1991 law, a stunned newly appointed CPS/CEO Dr. Barbara Byrd-Bennett agreed and black history was incorporated into the CPS curriculum in 2014.

Florence Cox, president of the WE CAN, INC. Committee, said, “Mr. Perkins was a great humanitarian who loved his people and one who was truly interested in black youth learning their history. He always said if you don’t know where you came from, you would never get to where you want to go.

“We appreciated his support of the organization, his loyalty to his people and his love of learning for the children. To that end, he worked diligently with us in assisting that the law that was passed in 1991 would be fully implement into the curriculum as mandated by law,” said Cox.

“We will miss his guidance, but we will always know his spirit will be with us as a people and an organization and we hold him dear to our hearts for that,” Cox stated.

Mr. Perkins was a part of this Black history movement. He had a passion for teaching African American youth their history. He felt if they knew from whence they come and who they are they would not engage in violence or other criminal behavior.

Perkins also believed in helping other African American businessmen and often invested his personal funds to help younger black businessmen achieve their goals.

Mr. Perkins leaves to mourn three sons, Gregory, Michael and Davis, a sister, Sylvia, a brother, Eugene, five grandchildren: Raven, Tamara, David, Gregory Jr., and Ashley, a nephews, William, Alonzo, D’Andre and George Jr., nieces: David, Deborah, Diana, Queenie, Cherol, Sheena, Trina, Dorothy and a host of friends and relatives.

A repast will be held at the Brookins Funeral Home after the funeral services.

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

Tarsha L. Arrington-Brown’s Book “If I Knew Then, What I know Now…About College” Highlights Need for Readiness & Preparedness Programs

Posted by Admin On May - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Author’s personal experience and determination to finish college underlined need for college readiness and preparedness information for high school students.

Tarsha Arrington Brown

CHICAGO, IL (BlackNews.com) — Author Tarsha Arrington-Brown’s book, If I Knew Then, What I Know Now… About College (www.authortarsha.com) is an insightful book that addresses the necessity for college readiness and preparedness courses for young people with aspirations of attending college, and graduating.

A first-generation college student, Arrington-Brown attended Northern Illinois University, Kishwaukee College and Chicago State University, before receiving her bachelors degree in sociology. If that journey was not enough of a challenge, Arrington-Brown had to overcome learning difficulties in high school, and during her young adult life. Compounded with being raised in Chicagos volatile Englewood neighborhood, by a single mother, in a low-income household.

Upon reflecting on her educational experience, Arrington-Brown was inspired to write If I Knew Then, What I Know Now… About College to provide a road map and guide. The book outlines a multitude of scenarios and provides information that can prepare students to not only be ready for college, but also enter feeling confident and encouraged.  Arrington-Brown said, “This book was created to give hope to young people who have dreams of one day going to college and graduating. And, if they already in college, it will inspire them to work through the tough times, because their hard work will pay off in the end.”

If I Knew Then, What I Know Now… About College also has a companion workbook entitled Being Ready, Prepared and Successful in College that includes study questions, planners and useful links for college research. The book itself, covers essential topics such as preparing for college and getting accepted, together with information regarding money management, grants, scholarship and loans.

Arrington-Brown also speaks at school and colleges, and is the founder and director of the non-profit organization Ready 4 College (www.ready4college2.org), which serves the community through education, career and resources. Ready 4 Colleges vision is to see under-privileged youth and families grow, through preparation and advocacy.

Arrington-Brown who also regularly speaks at schools and colleges, is also an entrepreneur and inventor, who has a patented signature furniture product under the name, “Lady TAB Shoe Rack.” Tarsha Arrington-Brown currently lives in Chicago with her husband, Alan Brown and their three children.

Photo Caption: Bookcover and author, Tarsha Arrington Brown.


BBB Wise Giving Alliance Joins Federal and State Regulators for Major Charity Fraud Announcement

Posted by Admin On May - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

BBB WGA Offers Tips to Avoid Donor Deception

CHICAGO, IL – BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB WGA) joined with the Federal Trade Commission, State Attorneys General, and State Charity Regulators today to help the donating public avoid questionable fund raising circumstances and find trustworthy charities to support. The FTC announced a major action against Cancer Fund of America, Children’s Cancer Fund of America, and Breast Cancer Society.

“It is heart-breaking news to learn that many Americans were deceived into contributing by charity bad actors,” said H. Art Taylor, president and CEO of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance (Give.org). “People want to help when they hear about a good cause, but donors need to be aware of potential deceptions, so their hard-earned money can go to charities they can trust.”

“We believe that charity financial ratios should not be the sole basis for a giving decision,” notes Taylor, “but today’s government action does show that a charity’s fund raising ratio can be a good initial marker to root out fraud and poor financial management.”

The BBB Wise Giving Alliance reports on these charities are available here: Cancer Fund of America; Children’s Cancer Fund of America; and Breast Cancer Society.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers the following tips for donors:

TIPS TO AVOID QUESTIONABLE CHARITY REQUESTS

Be cautious when responding to phone appeals. Like all forms of fund raising, telephone appeals can be put to good use by a charity, or can be part of a deceptive campaign that can result in little money going to the claimed charitable effort. Never be pressured to make an immediate, on-the-spot contribution decision.

Seek out additional facts. If interested in the charity, ask the caller for the charity’s website address and/or search online on your own to obtain program, financial and other information to make a more informed giving decision.

Watch out for excessive fund raising expenses. While most charities have reasonable fund raising expenses (less than 35% of total contributions received in the past year,) if a telephone appeal campaign is not managed well, it can result in excessive fund raising expenses where the charity might receive less than 20% or 10% of collected funds.

Rely on expert opinion when it comes to evaluating a charity.The public can go to Give.org to research charitable organizations to verify their trustworthiness. Charities that meet the 20 “BBB Standards for Charity Accountability” are called BBB Accredited Charities. Additional local charity reviews are available at bbb.org.

BBB WGA also suggests there are things that charities can do to be as responsible as possible to their donors:

RED FLAGS CHARITIES SHOULD CONSIDER

Is the charity spending funds on the activities emphasized in appeals? If phone and/or written appeals emphasize a specific charity program, the charity’s financial statements and other materials should demonstrate that this is the organization’s largest program activity. If not, donors may feel deceived. To avoid this perception, charity appeals and materials should make it clear which programs receive the largest share of the charity’s expenses.

Do the charity financial statements show large amounts of in-kind donations?While many charities are involved with in-kind drives for food, clothing and other items, it is especially important for charities to clearly explain the nature and use of large volumes of in-kind gifts that appear in charity financial statements. Charities should not over-value their in-kind gifts and/or include them in audited financial statements under circumstances that do not follow accounting rules (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.) In-kind donations should not be used as means to make charity program service expenses higher than they would be without them.

Is the charity’s board of directors providing adequate oversight?Good charity accountability starts with good governance. If a charity’s board of directors is not engaged in proper oversight of the charity executive staff in terms of reviewing performance, approving budgets, being aware of fund raising arrangements, and establishing appropriate accounting procedures, this can lead to larger potential problems for the organization.

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

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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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