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Archive for June 1st, 2015

Beau Biden, Former Delaware Attorney General and Son of Vice President Joe Biden, Succumbs to Brain Cancer

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

By Juanita Bratcher

Beau Biden, former Delaware Attorney General and son of Vice President Joe Biden, succumbed to cancer this weekend. He was 46 years old.

In announcing his son’s death, Vice President Joe Biden said: “It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life.

“The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words. We know that Beau’s spirit will live on in all of us—especially through his brave wife, Hallie, and two remarkable children, Natalie and Hunter.

“Beau’s life was defined by service to others. As a young lawyer, he worked to establish the rule of law in war-torn Kosovo. A major in the Delaware National Guard, he was an Iraq War veteran and was awarded the Bronze Star. As Delaware’s Attorney General, he fought for the powerless and made it his mission to protect children from abuse.

“More than his professional accomplishments, Beau measured himself as a husband, father, son and brother. His absolute honor made him a role model for our family. Beau embodied my father’s saying that a parent knows success when his child turns out better than he did.

“In the words of the Biden family: Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known.”

President Barack Obama said Beau Biden was a friend. “Michelle and I are grieving tonight. Beau Biden was a friend of ours. His beloved family – Hallie, Natalie, and Hunter – are friends of ours. And Joe and Jill Biden are as good as friends get.

“Beau took after Joe.  He studied the law, like his dad, even choosing the same law school.  He chased a life of public service, like his dad, serving in Iraq and as Delaware’s Attorney General.  Like his dad, Beau was a good, big-hearted, devoutly Catholic and deeply faithful man, who made a difference in the lives of all he touched – and he lives on in their hearts.

“But for all that Beau Biden achieved in his life, nothing made him prouder; nothing made him happier; nothing claimed a fuller focus of his love and devotion than his family.

“Just like his dad.

“Joe is one of the strongest men we’ve ever known.  He’s as strong as they come, and nothing matters to him more than family.  It’s one of the things we love about him.  And it is a testament to Joe and Jill – to who they are – that Beau lived a life that was full; a life that mattered; a life that reflected their reverence for family.

“The Bidens have more family than they know.  In the Delaware they love.  In the Senate Joe reveres.  Across this country that he has served for more than forty years.  And they have a family right here in the White House, where hundreds of hearts ache tonight – for Hallie, Natalie, and Hunter; for Joe and for Jill; for Beau’s brother, Hunter; his sister, Ashley, and for the entire Biden clan.

“I have believed the best of every man,” wrote the poet William Butler Yeats, “And find that to believe it is enough to make a bad man show him at his best or even a good man swing his lantern higher.”

“Beau Biden believed the best of us all.  For him, and for his family, we swing our lanterns higher.

“Michelle and I humbly pray for the good Lord to watch over Beau Biden, and to protect and comfort his family here on Earth,” said President Obama.

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released the following statement after hearing of the passing of Beau Biden:

“I am filled with sadness for the Biden family. The Vice President was there for me in my darkest times because he has faced so much pain in his own life. I am forever thankful for his thoughtfulness. The country unites behind the Bidens in our deepest thoughts and prayers.”

In memory of former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she was “greatly saddened to learn of Beau Biden’s passing. “I was fortunate to work with Beau during his two terms serving as Attorney General of Delaware. Beau always stood up for what he believed in on behalf of the people of his state and for our country. Not only was he an exemplary colleague and public servant, he was a terrific person. His passing is a devastating loss to his family, his state and our nation. My thoughts and prayers are with his entire family.”

Draft Biden, an organization whose purpose is to draft Joe Biden for president in 2016, sent their “deepest condolences” on the passing of Beau Biden.

“We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Joseph R. Biden III, also known as Beau and the eldest son of Vice President Joe Biden. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Vice President, Dr. Jill Biden, Hallie Biden and the rest of the Biden family.

“His passing is not just a loss for the Biden family but the nation. We remember him for his service to our country specifically the state of Delaware. A lawyer by training, Beau Biden joined the Delaware National Guard in 2003 and served as a Major in the Judge Advocate General Corps. He also served two terms as Delaware’s Attorney General.

“We send our deepest condolences to the Biden family for their loss. Not only was Beau Biden a passionate and dedicated public servant, but he was known to be a a passionate and dedicated son, husband, and father.”

As posted in Wikipedia:

Beau Biden was born in Wilmington, Delaware, the elder son of former U.S. Senator and current Vice President Joe Biden, and his first wife, Neilia Hunter. His mother and younger sister, Naomi Christina Biden, were killed in an automobile accident in 1972, in which he and his brother Hunter were seriously injured. He and his brother encouraged his father to marry again,[1] and Jill Jacobs became Beau’s stepmother in 1977. His half-sister Ashley was born in 1981.[2]

He graduated from Archmere Academy, his father’s high school alma mater, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity. He was also a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law, as is his father. From 1995 to 2004, he worked at the United States Department of Justice in Philadelphia, first as Counsel to the Office of Policy Development and later as a Federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In 2004, he became a partner in the law firm of Bifferato, Gentilotti, Biden & Balick, where he worked for two years before being elected Delaware attorney general.[3]

He had two children with his wife Hallie: a daughter, Natalie, and a son, Hunter.[4][5]

Gov. Rauner Requests SBA Assistance to Help People, Businesses Affected by April Tornado Declaration

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Would Make Low-Interest, Long-Term Loans Available

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner announced he is requesting a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) physical disaster declaration for DeKalb County to help people and businesses in Fairdale and surrounding areas recover from the April 9 tornado.

“We continue to seek ways to assist people who lost their homes and businesses in the tornado,” said Governor Rauner. “I’m proud of how many people have donated their time or money to help with the recovery. If approved, these loans could be an important tool to help many tornado survivors rebuild their lives.”

The Governor’s request came after officials from the SBA, Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local officials surveyed damage and documented uninsured losses. That survey found 31 homes and seven businesses sustained major damages and had significant uninsured losses. If approved, anyone affected by the April 9 tornadoes  in DeKalb County and those counties contiguous to it would be eligible to apply for a low-interest, long-term loan through the SBA.

Cook County Officials Unveil New Prostitution and Trafficking Intervention Court

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

New diversion program will focus on treatment and services over incarceration

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and partners in the criminal justice system and social justice community announced implementation of a specialized court diversion program designed to transform Cook County’s response to the prosecution of prostitution cases by providing trauma-based services and human trafficking-oriented alternatives for individuals charged with prostitution.

The new Chicago Prostitution and Trafficking Intervention Court (CPTIC) is a specialized deferred prosecution program that will attempt to divert offenders away from traditional prosecution and incarceration and toward treatment and services. It is designed specifically for individuals engaged in a pattern of prostitution or those caught up in sex trafficking.

The new court was initiated by the State’s Attorney’s Office in partnership with Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans, Cook County Public Defender Amy P. Campanelli and several Chicago-area social service providers. The program was developed with technical assistance from the Center for Court Innovation in New York and modeled after a similar successful program in Manhattan, New York, known as the STARS program.

“We know that many women involved in prostitution are victims of human traffickers or they face issues such as chronic homelessness, mental health issues or addiction and they engage in prostitution for basic necessities such as food and shelter,” said State’s Attorney Alvarez. “We strongly believe that this unique and coordinated initiative will bring positive results for the participants and their families, public safety, and the criminal justice system as a whole.”

The new court will be the first program of its kind designed to address this issue since the Illinois Legislature approved a new law last year that eliminated felony prostitution charges under Illinois law. As a result, every prostitution case charged in Illinois is now a misdemeanor.

The objectives of the new court program are to reduce recidivism, jail crowding and substance abuse and addiction among women engaged in prostitution and sex work. The overarching goal is to offer those facing misdemeanor prostitution charges with the tools and resources necessary to leave the life of prostitution.

Chief Cook County Circuit Judge Timothy C. Evans, who entered the order facilitating the implementation of the new Chicago Prostitution and Trafficking Intervention Court, said, “Although they come to court as defendants, persons in the sex trade are the real victims. They are in need of our compassion and help, which is why the court collaborated with our fellow stakeholders on this program. We believe that with access to appropriate services and treatment and the encouragement of the court system, clients in our new court will attain the courage and resolve to transition out from “the life,” as it is called, to a new and better life.”

The court program, which will be located at the Cook County Domestic Violence Courthouse at 555 W. Harrison, will include four graded levels of programming which will be offered to offenders based on their criminal background and current needs.  Most defendants will be offered “deferred prosecution,” where services will be made available to the defendant and charges will be dismissed if the program requirements are met.

“This new intervention court will help our clients start a new life,” said Public Defender Campanelli. “It is a step in the right direction because it shifts the conversation and recognizes that these people, mostly women, are victims, not criminals. It will remove them from the cycle of drugs, abuse and exploitation, and treat them as human beings, not case numbers to be processed as offenders. I applaud State’s Attorney Alvarez and Chief Judge Evans for their insightfulness and collaboration in the creation of this new alternative court.”

With a focus on community involvement and assistance, the primary social services for CPTIC will be provided by the Christian Community Health Center’s “Footprints” Program, with additional services coming from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, the Salvation Army STOP-IT program and Thresholds.

Once offenders are processed, they will be offered admission into a need-based treatment and services program which is run by the service providers who will be embedded at Domestic Violence Court. Components of the treatment model will include an individual case needs assessment, HIV testing and referral to treatment, individual counseling and support, case management, group counseling and aftercare.

When requirements of the program are completed, charges will be dismissed. Offenders who refuse the initial intervention or fail to finish the program will have the option to plead guilty and enroll in an intensive treatment course as an alternative to incarceration.

In addition to hands-on treatment from service providers, those that complete the program successfully will have access to resources that will aid them in finding health insurance options, housing availability, substance abuse treatment, and educational referrals.

Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Urges Governor Rauner to Sign Comprehensive Law Enforcement Reform Package

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The recent string of officer-involved deaths prompted legislative leaders in the Black Caucus to address the concerns of both law enforcement and the communities they affect. State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and Representative Elgie Sims (D – Chicago) passed Senate Bill 1304, which makes provisions for body cameras, independent investigators in officer-related deaths, special prosecutors and cultural competency training.

Members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus held a press conference to urge Governor Rauner to sign this pivotal measure.

“Quickly, yet carefully, we crafted a package of reforms that demonstrate a serious commitment to restoring trust between law enforcement and communities,” Raoul said. “The steps we have taken today are a response to recent, tragic officer-involved deaths but also a public acknowledgement that communities are only truly safe for all their residents when police and the people they serve can trust one another.”

Illinois will be the first state in the nation to pass a comprehensive package of recommendations put forth by President Barack Obama’s police task force.

“Mandating independent investigations in officer-related deaths will provide an impartial analysis of cases, giving members of the public greater confidence that justice will be served,” said Representative Sims, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 1304 implements numerous recommendations of the federal task force by:

·         Requiring independent investigation of all officer-involved deaths

·         Improving mandatory officer training in areas such as the proper use of force, cultural competency, recognizing implicit bias, interacting with person with disabilities and assisting victims of sexual assault

·         Create a statewide database of officers who have been dismissed due to misconduct or resigned during misconduct investigations

·         Improving data collection and reporting of officer-involved and arrest-related deaths and other serious incidents

·         Establishing a commission on Police Professionalism to make further recommendations on the training and certification of law enforcement officers.

The legislation also prohibits the use of choke holds by police and expands the Traffic Stop Statistical study, which provides insights into racial disparities in vehicular stops and searches, to include pedestrians who officers “stop and frisk”.

“These reforms will minimize instances of police brutality without criminalizing police,” said Assistant majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford, Chairman of the joint Black Caucus. “We need to keep officers and the public accountable.”

The measure now advances to the governor’s desk were he can either sign the measure into law or send it back to the General Assembly for further debate.

Preckwinkle’s Key Criminal Justice Initiative, Reducing Automatic Transfers, Wins Approval in Illinois General Assembly

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Rep. Nekritz, Sen. Raoul shepherd restoration of judicial discretion through Legislature

The Illinois General Assembly gave final approval to legislation that will ensure that nearly 70 percent of Cook County youth will no longer be automatically transferred to adult court when facing certain criminal offenses. HB 3718 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 79-32. The bill previously passed the Senate on May 19.

The legislation will also require data tracking that will bring transparency to the process and finally allow Illinois to meet federal reporting requirements on disproportionate minority contact and transfer.

Restoring judicial discretion in the transfer of youth to adult courts has been Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s top criminal justice initiative this year.
“I am pleased this bill to end an unjust, overbroad, and misguided law received the support of a bipartisan group of legislators,” Preckwinkle said. “I urge the governor to sign the legislation and allow judges to make decisions after hearing from both sides and considering all of the evidence as to whether a child should be tried in adult court or if they are better suited for the rehabilitative nature of juvenile court.”
Under the current law, young people as young as 13, but mostly between the ages of 15-17, are automatically tried as adults based solely on the charge brought by the prosecutor. The youth receives no hearing to determine whether they are better served in the juvenile system or in the adult system.

As it stands now, the law also has a disproportionate impact on children of color. In October 2014, 86 percent of youth in the JTDC who were subject to automatic transfer were African-American, and 14 percent were Hispanic.

Under the new law:
  • Young people under 16 years old will begin their case in juvenile court regardless of the accused crime;
  • 16- and 17-year-olds accused of more serious crimes, specifically murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and aggravated battery with a firearm will be automatically transferred to adult court.
  • 15-17 year olds accused of armed robbery, aggravated vehicular hijacking and unlawful use of a weapon on school grounds, who under the current law would be automatically transferred, will remain in juvenile court unless a judge rules they should be transferred.
“I have said repeatedly that when judicial discretion is removed from the criminal justice process, as in the case in automatic transfers, the outcomes for individuals and communities are worse,” Preckwinkle said. “This legislation narrows the scope of the statute and ensures that children who make one major mistake have an opportunity to redeem themselves.”

Preckwinkle specifically thanked state Rep. Elaine Nekritz, who introduced the original legislation, for her efforts in securing its passage in the House, and state Sen. Kwame Raoul for his work that secured passage in the Senate. She also thanked state’s attorneys from throughout Illinois, as well as juvenile justice advocates, particularly the Juvenile Justice Initiative which conducted the initial study on transfers in Cook County, for their assistance in moving the measure forward.

“Judicial review is a critical underpinning of our criminal justice system, and this bill restores that concept to the process for juveniles accused of crimes,” said Rep. Nekritz. “Thank you to my colleagues and the advocates for their support to get this done. I urge the governor to quickly sign this legislation and put these meaningful reforms into action.”

“Time and experience have demonstrated that automatic transfer was a bad idea when first implemented and has been bad public policy for more than two decades,” said Sen. Raoul. “I was pleased to join with President Preckwinkle and Rep. Nekritz in moving this important policy change through the Legislature, and I thank them both for their leadership on this issue.”
The bill now awaits action by the governor.

Opening ReMARCs – From Unrest to Lasting Change: Repairing Police Interactions

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Communities, Police Can Repair Fractured Relationships

By Marc Morial

President & CEO, National Urban league

“It’s naïve to think we will fix the system in three months, when it has been broken all the way back to Jim Crow. But there was a time when this kind of process wouldn’t have even started. Just 150 years ago, a black person would have been killed with no repercussion. Now people of all colors are realizing that there are systemic issues that must be addressed.” – Rev. R.A. Vernon, Cleveland

This week in Cleveland, the U.S. Justice Department unveiled a sweeping blueprint to address excessive force and racial bias within the Cleveland Police Department. The consent decree follows a two-year investigation which uncovered abuses including officers shooting at suspects without justification and battering handcuffed prisoners.

Such reviews are either underway or have recently concluded in communities across the nation, and the sad findings paint a grim picture. In Ferguson, MO, the Justice Department found that police routinely violated the constitutional rights of people of color. In Baltimore, where a review has just begun, authorities describe a “fractured” relationship between police and the community.

The National Urban League’s 10-Point Plan for Police Reform and Accountability recommends many of the reforms included in the Cleveland consent decree, including review and revision of deadly force policies and comprehensive racial bias training. Our fervent hope is that the unrest of the last two years has presented an historic opportunity for lasting change.

Prosecutors Secure 45-Year Sentence In 2013 Shooting

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

A Chicago man has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for the 2013 shooting death of another man over a car accident, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Angelo Bennett, 26, was found guilty earlier this year of the Murder of Charles E. Jones and Attempt Murder of Jones’ fiancée.

According to prosecutors, on May 26, 2013, Jones and his fiancée were driving eastbound on Division Street near the 1000 block of North Branch, on their way home after being out with relatives.  Bennett, who was also driving eastbound on Division, sideswiped Jones’ vehicle.  Both drivers pulled over and exited their vehicles to exchange insurance information.  Bennett suddenly ran back to his car, got in and drove off.  Jones’ fiancée called 911 to report the accident and Bennett’s license plate number.  As Jones’ and his fiancée were on their way to the nearest police station to make a report, they came across Bennett who had parked his car a few blocks away.  Before Jones’ pulled up, Bennett had exited his car and thrown a revolver under another car parked three to five cars ahead of his.  When Jones saw Bennett, he pulled up, exited his car and confronted Bennett about leaving the scene of the accident.  Jones and Bennett got into a physical confrontation, with Jones hitting Bennett, causing a laceration on Bennett’s forehead. Bennett then broke free and retrieved his gun and walked back to Jones, shooting Jones twice in the face.  As Jones’ fiancée got into the driver’s seat to drive away, Bennett chased after her and reached into the vehicle to shoot her, hitting her in the lower back.

Bennett was found guilty after a bench trial before Cook County Judge Carol Howard who sentenced Bennett to 45 years on the Murder charge and 31 years on the Attempt Murder charge, to run concurrent, during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building.

State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys Paul Joyce and Glen Runk and the Chicago Police Department for their work in this case.

President Obama Weekly Address: Pass the USA Freedom Act

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week’s address President Barack Obama addressed critical pieces of national security business that remained unfinished when the Senate left town. This Sunday at midnight, key tools used to protect against terrorist threats are set to expire. The USA Freedom Act strikes a balance between security and privacy, reauthorizing important measures that give our national security professionals the authorities they use to keep us safe, while also implementing reforms that enhance the privacy and civil liberties of our citizens. But currently, a small group of senators is standing in its way. The President asked Americans to speak with one voice to the Senate to put politics aside, put the safety of the American people first, and pass the USA Freedom Act now.

The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, May 30, 2015.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
May 30, 2015

Hi, everybody. As President and Commander in Chief, my greatest responsibility is the safety of the American people. And in our fight against terrorists, we need to use every effective tool at our disposal — both to defend our security and to protect the freedoms and civil liberties enshrined in our Constitution.

But tomorrow — Sunday, at midnight — some important tools we use against terrorists will expire. That’s because Congress has not renewed them, and because legislation that would — the USA Freedom Act — is stuck in the Senate. I want to be very clear about what this means.

Today, when investigating terrorist networks, our national security professionals can seek a court order to obtain certain business records. Our law enforcement professionals can seek a roving wiretap to keep up with terrorists when they switch cell phones. We can seek a wiretap on so-called lone wolves — suspected terrorists who may not be directly tied to a terrorist group. These tools are not controversial. Since 9/11, they have been renewed numerous times. FBI Director James Comey says they are “essential” and that losing them would “severely” impact terrorism investigations. But if Congress doesn’t act by tomorrow at midnight, these tools go away as well.

The USA Freedom Act also accomplishes something I called for a year and a half ago: it ends the bulk metadata program — the bulk collection of phone records — as it currently exists and puts in place new reforms. The government will no longer hold these records; telephone providers will. The Act also includes other changes to our surveillance laws — including more transparency — to help build confidence among the American people that your privacy and civil liberties are being protected. But if Congress doesn’t act by midnight tomorrow, these reforms will be in jeopardy, too.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The USA Freedom Act reflects ideas from privacy advocates, our private sector partners and our national security experts. It already passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support — Republicans and Democrats. A majority of the Senate — Republicans and Democrats — have voted to move it forward.

So what’s the problem? A small group of senators is standing in the way. And, unfortunately, some folks are trying to use this debate to score political points. But this shouldn’t and can’t be about politics. This is a matter of national security. Terrorists like al Qaeda and ISIL aren’t suddenly going to stop plotting against us at midnight tomorrow. And we shouldn’t surrender the tools that help keep us safe. It would be irresponsible. It would be reckless. And we shouldn’t allow it to happen.

So today, I’m calling on Americans to join me in speaking with one voice to the Senate. Put the politics aside. Put our national security first. Pass the USA Freedom Act — now. And let’s protect the security and civil liberties of every American. Thanks very much.

Source: whitehouse.gov

Collins: Film “Chiraq” to Create Jobs, Spur Economy, Tell Truth About Violence

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Collins leads Senate in urging state support for Spike Lee film

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) led the Senate in commending director Spike Lee for his decision to film “Chiraq” in the Southside Chicago neighborhood of Englewood, creating thousands of jobs and investing in the local economy.

A resolution she sponsored urges the state to find Lee’s production company eligible for a tax credit designed to encourage television and film productions to employ Illinoisans and contract with Illinois vendors.

“The communities I represent are buffeted by unemployment, depressed property values and a chronic lack of investment,” Collins said. “This film will provide not only temporary jobs but also valuable training and experience for those hired, and local businesses will benefit from the opportunity to provide goods and services to the production.”

Lee intends to hire nearly 3,000 extras, 100 crew members and 20 interns starting this summer; most will be residents of Englewood, whose 21.3 percent unemployment rate far exceeds the state and national average, and neighboring communities. Englewood will also be home to ninety percent of the locations used in the film.

Director Spike Lee, best known for his compelling treatments of race in America in movies such as “Do the Right Thing” and “Malcolm X,” has said that “everything I’ve done has led up to this film.” His proposed title – “Chiraq” – has generated controversy, but Collins says she and many residents welcome an honest look at the violent crime that helps perpetuate the cycle of poverty and economic neglect in Englewood and disadvantaged communities throughout the state.

“Communities such as Englewood need better statistics, not better semantics; a commitment to people, not perceptions and a focus on public safety and the public good, not merely public relations,” Collins said. “This film will challenge society’s acceptance of the unacceptable in its forgotten corners, and by generating jobs and economic growth, it will also serve as part of the solution.”

New America Media Announces the 2015 Equal Voice Journalism Fellowship and Scholarship

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
Funded by the Marguerite Casey Foundation, this offers a new opportunity for emerging and established journalists from ethnic and mainstream media who cover issues on poverty.The fellowship aims to expand and increase the public’s understanding of poverty in the United States. Nearly 50 million Americans are struggling at or below the poverty line. That means there are 50 million stories to be told from different perspectives.

Journalists can apply for an Equal Voice Journalism Fellowship and write at least one in-depth story or a series of stories that illustrate how language, culture and race influence public attitudes and policy about the poor.

Selected journalists will receive a stipend of $2,250, plus up to $1,000 in travel reimbursement. College-enrolled student journalists may also apply for the Equal Voice Scholarship, which offers $500 and up to $800 for travel.

Now think about the best medium in which to tell your story: video, audio, photography, text/print, graphics — or multimedia. Find an outlet that will agree to publish/distribute your story.

Applicants will need:
1. An essay articulating your project/idea
2. Resume/List of positions, accomplishments and awards
3. Letter of commitment from a publisher/editor or support letter from campus media
4. A letter of recommendation
5. Permanent links to work samples/recent content you have produced

Deadline to submit your application is June 7th. No applications submitted after June 13, 2015, will be considered. Click here to access the application form.

Marguerite Casey Foundation is dedicated to creating a movement of working families advocating on their own behalf for change. They strive to bring humility and hope to their work. Their actions are guided by the firm belief that significant positive change is not only possibly, but absolutely necessary.

For more information on the fellowship, please contact Anthony Advincula at aadvincula@newamericamedia.org

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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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