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Archive for June 27th, 2015

Legislative Black Caucus to Gov. Rauner: “This is not a political game of chicken”

Posted by Admin On June - 27 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Senator Jones: “We always have the recall

By China Strausberg

Saying this is a serious situation, members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus late Thursday night called on their supporters to help them put the brakes on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s “draconian” budget cuts they say would hurt the elderly, students, affect healthcare and especially harm the poor.

In what Senator Donne Trotter (D-17th) calls a “political game of budgetary chicken,” he said, “We are under attack.” Gov. Rauner has laid down the gauntlet vetoing 19 state budget bills that could lead to more social service cuts and a probably government shutdown after June 30th if Rauner doesn’t compromise. The governor has angered the black caucus by extending his TV ads accusing them of trying to force him into raising taxes.

WVON’s Cliff Kelley joined the Legislative Black Caucus in taking their fight to the people and asked the public to call Gov. Rauner’s Springfield office at 217.782.0244 or his Chicago office at 312.814.2121 and tell him to stop the cuts.

Senator Emil Jones, III, who is also chair of the Senate Black Caucus, warned the public to be watchful of several African Americans running against members of the black caucus he says are allegedly paid to do so by Gov. Rauner. He warned there would be a lot of money spread around but asked the public not to be fooled and to remain united in calling on Rauner to restore the cuts.

Jones went a step further and said if the governor doesn’t do the right thing by the people of Illinois “we do have recall in the state of Illinois.  I think there are a couple of organizations which are already working on tis recall,” he told a cheering audience.

“He’s already putting up candidates to run against us…black Republicans in our district to run against us. Don’t be fooled,” said Jones. “It’s a set up. Those are black Republicans hat he’s financing to run against us. Don’t be fooled, but we the black Caucus are standing tall to prevent this.” “We will not come home until this is fixed.” He said they will be back in Springfield on June 30th and July 1st and urged the public to join them to voice their opinion.

Trotter, who was joined by Senators Mattie Hunter (D-3rd), Jacqueline Collins (D-16th0, Rep. Mary Flowers (D-31st), Rep. Elgie Sims (D-34th), Ald. Eugene Sawyer (6th), Rep. Esther Golar (D-6th), Rep. Kwame Raoul (D-13th) and others, said the Caucus is disappointed in Rauner.

Activist Eddie Read called out those blacks who supported Rauner over Gov. Pat Quinn. Read called on former Senator James Meeks, Pastor Corey Brooke, Hermene Hartman and Dr. Willie Wilson “to come back to the ‘hood and let them explain what he (the governor) promised to do.” “I don’t know Bruce Rauner. Willie Wilson said he would make sure that Bruce Rauner do right by the black community.” Read said blacks don’t need him running for the presidency with so many problems plaguing the community.

“When the governor signed the Democratic education budget, I thought we had finally found common ground and were going o move forward collectively. Yes, education is a priority, but so are services that assist seniors, developmentally disabled children and other at risk people and communities,” said Trotter.

“We need a balanced approach to a balanced budget. Wiping out these budgets isn’t balanced It’s extreme. I hope the governor has an alternative in mind that’s better than phantom savings and slashed programs from those most at-risk in our state,” said Trotter. The governor has done a good job scaring the hell out of us. The lights are not going out” after June 30th,” he said referring to Rauner’s deadline budget threat.

Senator Hunter, who said the Caucus held three rallies including on the West Side and the suburbs, said, “We need people to reach out to the governor because we have until June 30th. The clock is ticking, and we need to move. Citizens of Illinois need to act and they need to let the governor they do not appreciate the action he is taking and he cannot balance the budget on the backs of the poor people of this state.”

Senator Collins said they are asking the public to stand with them and fight Rauner’s cuts. “It will take all of us working together…. We need people to wake up, make sure we move forward and not going backwards…. Money doesn’t rule. People who come together have strength to make sure we’re on the right path….”

Rep. Flowers said, “We hired the governor to do a job for the people of the state of Illinois, not for himself. It is not about what he wants. He is suppose to serve the people of the state of Illinois not tort reform. That’s up to the legislative process not to hurt or harm our constituents. He is causing the death, hurting and harming our most vulnerable people and that is not acceptable….”

Flowers added, “Education is in the Constitution. This is something we are entitled to. He does not have the liberty to play games with our lives. We’re non-negotiable. We are not toys to be played with. If you want to govern, govern. If you want to play, you should excuse yourself from being in that seat.”

Senator Trotter said, “There is too much misinformation that has been going out a lot of it manufactured and put out with his campaign commercials in the middle of a negotiated process. It’s confusion because people are nervous, scared and their anxiety levels are high.”

Asked if after June 30th would the government shut down, Trotter explained before that happens there are “triggers” set in place. “We have to pay bills…our obligations. Shutdown is one of those terms to scare people. We are not there yet, but we are close but we need to not get any closer.”

“The governor threw out a couple of doggie bones today,” Trotter said. “He could have done that months ago. He said we are going to look at term limits next year. We told him that months ago…. Obviously he read the constitution, but it’s the first time he’s acknowledge it is the law of the land.”

Asked what would happen if the budget is not passed, Trotter said, “There will be some lights turned out. There will be some dimming of lights…services would be eliminated…especially our small vendors who cannot wait 30 days” to get paid.

Senator Raoul said when Rauner signed the education bill he tried to “psyche you” because “24-hours leter he vetoed everything else. That is a hell of a turnaround. We don’t want to turnaround. We want to move forward.”

Leslie M. Rogers, assistant administrator from the South Shore Hospital, painted a grim picture if the cuts are not restored. “There are 18 safety net hospitals in Chicago,” he said. “What the governor has proposed is a $1.4 billion cut to Medicaid… Many of us (safety net hospitals) would not exist.” He said it would mean a $2 million cut to his hospital alone and about $3 million to Jackson Hospital. It would mean laying off most of the 450 employees at his hospital.

Community activist Pam Bosley, who lost her son to gun violence on April 4, 2006 as he stood in the parking lot of his church, said Saint Sabina was suppose to get 1500 jobs but due to the cuts they can only hire 300. “He cut the youth from working this summer…. If our youth do not work during the summer, they are going to be shooting,” she said. “We demand together that our governor give our youth jobs….”

Rochelle Crump, president, National Veterans United, said, cuts to veterans are “shameful.” She said the cuts are also affecting the children. “Every cut the governor makes” affects veterans.

Maximillian M. Boykin, from the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, said, “The best way to stop HIV from spreading..is to get the meds they need to make sure it won’t spread. If you take that away, HIV spreads. We know that from other red states in this country that has happened…. That is what he is setting us up for,” he said referring to Rauner who has cut funding for AIDS.

Nakeba Johnson, Chicago State University Student Government Association spokesperson, said many of CSU students come from homes well below the poverty level and that Rauner’s proposed budget cuts “would lead to program and staff reduction and the university would no longer be able to provide the services that attracted me to CSU in the first place. I fear these cuts will only lead to more of my classmates dropping out of college.”

According to the black caucus, Rauner’s cuts include:

Addiction Prevention –$1.6 million

Autism–$1 million

Teen REACH –$3.1 million

Criminal justice services –50% reduction

Medicaid –$1.47 billion

Health & Family Services:

Nursing homes –$65 million

Early Intervention Program –$23 million

AIDS/HIV services $6.0 million

Breast & Cervical Cancer Screening Program –$9.8 million (71%)

Managed care (funding hospitals receive to coordinate patient care) — $60 million

Child support and department operations — $12.5 million

Eliminating Crucial Services

Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which keeps families safe by assisting with energy costs.

Youth employment and violent prevention programs

Developmental disability program and services: Best Buddies, Project Autism, Arc of Illinois, epilepsy services, dental service and respite care

Mental health programs: Child and Youth Mental Health Lockout Services and the Psychiatric Leadership Grant

Supportive housing services, homeless youth services, emergency/food programs and teen parents service.

The Senate Democrats have proposed: tuition tax credit so that qualified parents or students who are Illinois residents can claim a tax credit for higher education expenses incurred at any qualified public or private university, community college, vocational school or other postsecondary educational institutions located in Illinois.

They’ve also proposed increasing the minimum wage to $9.00 on July 1, 2015 and by $0.50 each year thereafter until the minimum wage reaches $11.00 on July 1, 2019. It provides a three-year tax credit for employers with less than 50 employees.

The Illinois College Promise Program covers tuition and mandatory fees for up to two years at any of the state’s 48 community colleges so long as the student continues to meet all applicable eligibility requirements.

Healthy workplace Act guarantees up to seven paid days of sick time to full and part time employees. Sick time would accrue at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. Employees would not be able to take sick time for the first 120 days of employment.

Corporate loopholes—End a variety of corporate tax breaks including corporation’s ability to automatically receive a tax break for production outside of Illinois. Closing these loopholes will bring the state $334 million.

Providing youth employment and violent prevention services. Creating youth employment summer programs and internships offers young people economic independence and stability. Violence prevention programs keep teens and young adults off the street and out of harm’s way. These services are a matter of life and death for resident in areas of high crime.

Protecting crucial health and human services—keeping childcare centers open and protecting LIHEAP from being suspended on July 1.

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.

“…This was a good day for America…”: President Obama Remarks on the Supreme Court’s Ruling of the Affordable Care Act

Posted by Admin On June - 27 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

President Barack Obama: Good morning, everybody.  Have a seat.  Five years ago, after nearly a century of talk, decades of trying, a year of bipartisan debate — we finally declared that in America, health care is not a privilege for a few, but a right for all.

Over those five years, as we’ve worked to implement the Affordable Care Act, there have been successes and setbacks.  The setbacks I remember clearly.  But as the dust has settled, there can be no doubt that this law is working.  It has changed, and in some cases saved, American lives.  It set this country on a smarter, stronger course.

And today, after more than 50 votes in Congress to repeal or weaken this law; after a presidential election based in part on preserving or repealing this law; after multiple challenges to this law before the Supreme Court — the Affordable Care Act is here to stay.

This morning, the Court upheld a critical part of this law -– the part that’s made it easier for Americans to afford health insurance regardless of where you live.  If the partisan challenge to this law had succeeded, millions of Americans would have had thousands of dollars’ worth of tax credits taken from them.  For many, insurance would have become unaffordable again.  Many would have become uninsured again.  Ultimately, everyone’s premiums could have gone up.  America would have gone backwards.  And that’s not what we do.  That’s not what America does.  We move forward.

So today is a victory for hardworking Americans all across this country whose lives will continue to become more secure in a changing economy because of this law.

If you’re a parent, you can keep your kids on your plan until they turn 26 — something that has covered millions of young people so far.  That’s because of this law.

If you’re a senior, or an American with a disability, this law gives you discounts on your prescriptions — something that has saved 9 million Americans an average of $1,600 so far.

If you’re a woman, you can’t be charged more than anybody else — even if you’ve had cancer, or your husband had heart disease, or just because you’re a woman.  Your insurer has to offer free preventive services like mammograms.  They can’t place annual or lifetime caps on your care because of this law.

Because of this law, and because of today’s decision, millions of Americans who I hear from every single day will continue to receive the tax credits that have given about eight in ten people who buy insurance on the new marketplaces the choice of a health care plan that costs less than $100 a month.

And when it comes to preexisting conditions — someday, our grandkids will ask us if there was really a time when America discriminated against people who get sick.  Because that is something this law has ended for good.  That affects everybody with health insurance — not just folks who got insurance through the Affordable Care Act.  All of America has protections it didn’t have before.

As the law’s provisions have gradually taken effect, more than 16 million uninsured Americans have gained coverage so far.  Nearly one in three Americans who was uninsured a few years ago is insured today.  The uninsured rate in America is the lowest since we began to keep records.  And that is something we can all be proud of.

Meanwhile, the law has helped hold the price of health care to its slowest growth in 50 years.  If your family gets insurance through your job — so you’re not using the Affordable Care Act — you’re still paying about $1,800 less per year on average than you would be if we hadn’t done anything.  By one leading measure, what business owners pay out in wages and salaries is now finally growing faster than what they spend on health insurance.  That hasn’t happened in 17 years — and that’s good for workers and it’s good for the economy.

The point is, this is not an abstract thing anymore.  This is not a set of political talking points.  This is reality.  We can see how it is working.  This law is working exactly as it’s supposed to.  In many ways, this law is working better than we expected it to.  For all the misinformation campaigns, all the doomsday predictions, all the talk of death panels and job destruction, for all the repeal attempts — this law is now helping tens of millions of Americans.

And they’ve told me that it has changed their lives for the better.  I’ve had moms come up and say, my son was able to see a doctor and get diagnosed, and catch a tumor early, and he’s alive today because of this law.  This law is working.  And it’s going to keep doing just that.

Five years in, this is no longer about a law.  This is not about the Affordable Care Act as legislation, or Obamacare as a political football.  This is health care in America.

And unlike Social Security or Medicare, a lot of Americans still don’t know what Obamacare is beyond all the political noise in Washington.  Across the country, there remain people who are directly benefitting from the law but don’t even know it.  And that’s okay.  There’s no card that says “Obamacare” when you enroll.  But that’s by design, for this has never been a government takeover of health care, despite cries to the contrary.  This reform remains what it’s always been:  a set of fairer rules and tougher protections that have made health care in America more affordable, more attainable, and more about you — the consumer, the American people.  It’s working.

And with this case behind us, let’s be clear — we’ve still got work to do to make health care in America even better.  We’ll keep working to provide consumers with all the tools you need to make informed choices about your care.  We’ll keep working to increase the use of preventive care that avoids bigger problems down the road.  We’ll keep working to boost the steadily improving quality of care in hospitals, and bring down costs even lower, make the system work even better.  Already we’ve seen reductions, for example, in the number of readmissions at hospitals.  That saves our society money, it saves families money, makes people healthier.

We’re making progress.  We’re going to keep working to get more people covered.  I’m going to work as hard as I can to convince more governors and state legislatures to take advantage of the law, put politics aside, and expand Medicaid and cover their citizens.  We’ve still got states out there that, for political reasons, are not covering millions of people that they could be covering, despite the fact that the federal government is picking up the tab.

So we’ve got more work to do.  But what we’re not going to do is unravel what has now been woven into the fabric of America.  And my greatest hope is that rather than keep refighting battles that have been settled again and again and again, I can work with Republicans and Democrats to move forward.  Let’s join together, make health care in America even better.

Three generations ago, we chose to end an era when seniors were left to languish in poverty.  We passed Social Security, and slowly it was woven into the fabric of America and made a difference in the lives of millions of people.  Two generations ago, we chose to end an age when Americans in their golden years didn’t have the guarantee of health care.  Medicare was passed, and it helped millions of people.

This generation of Americans chose to finish the job — to turn the page on a past when our citizens could be denied coverage just for being sick.  To close the books on a history where tens of millions of Americans had no hope of finding decent, affordable health care; had to hang their chances on fate.  We chose to write a new chapter, where in a new economy, Americans are free to change their jobs or start a business, chase a new idea, raise a family, free from fear, secure in the knowledge that portable, affordable health care is there for us and always will be.  And that if we get sick, we’re not going to lose our home.  That if we get sick, that we’re going to be able to still look after our families.

That’s when America soars -– when we look out for one another.  When we take care of each other.  When we root for one another’s success.  When we strive to do better and to be better than the generation that came before us, and try to build something better for generations to come.  That’s why we do what we do.  That’s the whole point of public service.

So this was a good day for America.  Let’s get back to work.

National Urban League: “Far-Ranging” Impact of Supreme Court Decisions Boost Economic Justice

Posted by Admin On June - 27 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Today’s landmark Supreme Court rulings on the crucial issues of health care access and housing discrimination will have a far-ranging impact on economic justice in the United States, National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said.

“Access to affordable, quality health care and housing are key to the economic stability of working families,” Morial said. “For the millions who are able to receive health care because of the subsidies the court has protected, health insurance not only represents protection for their health, but protection from the possibility of financial ruin in case of a health crisis.

“Further, the court’s ruling that racial discrimination in housing need not be intentional to be illegal breaks down barriers to homeownership – the most significant factor in building wealth and financial security,” Morial said.

People of color have especially benefited from the Affordable Care Act, and the subsidies it provides, because they disproportionately work in jobs where affordable health insurance is not offered.

Health insurance not only increases the likelihood of timely, high-quality care; it protects families from bankruptcy should a loved one become sick and require health care. Further, it increases productivity; and decreases risk for premature death.

“We sincerely hope that the court’s ruling settles the matter of the ACA and that further attempts to dismantle it are discouraged,” Morial said.

Further, the housing discrimination ruling represents more than access to decent, affordable housing, he said.

“The American middle class is built on homeownership,”  he said. “Entrepreneurs have built their businesses with the equity in their homes. Parents have sent their children to college with the equity in their homes.”

Draft Biden Applauds Favorable SCOTUS Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

Posted by Admin On June - 27 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
Group highlights Vice President’s longtime support on issue

Draft Biden 2016, a group formed to encourage Vice President Joe Biden to enter the 2016 presidential race, applauds the U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down same-sex marriage bans nationwide.

“The favorable ruling on same-sex marriage may be remembered as one of the more defining civil rights cases in the supreme court’s history and we are proud that the person we are trying to draft for the presidency, Joe Biden, was one of the highest ranking American official’s to have first endorsed same-sex marriage,” said Draft Biden 2016 Executive Director William Pierce.

In a 2012 interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Vice President Biden had said, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that.”

The Vice President came out ahead of even the President to support same-sex marriage in 2012 and more recently this year noted at the Gill Foundation’s OutGiving conference in May, taking a shot at the current Republican field that “eleven years ago, discrimination against same-sex couples was considered really good politics,” reminding the audience that in 2004, the same year President George W. Bush was re-elected, eleven state ballot initiatives banning same-sex marriage passed.

Vice President Biden further pointed out that 2016 Republican presidential candidates are behaving differently on the issue now. “Think of the silence that’s going on among some of our — the candidates running for President,” Biden said. “I never thought I’d say silence is an improvement, but that’s a great improvement from that team.”

“Obamacare yesterday, same sex marriage today. The Obama-Biden Administration has won nearly every major battle in Congress and, when challenged in the Court’s, we are again reminded of the crucial role Vice President Joe Biden played on the frontlines of each one,” Pierce, Executive Director of Draft Biden 2016, further added.”Yet so much left to be done on climate change, infrastructure, gun safety, immigration reform, education, and more. Vice President Joe Biden has the scars to prove that he is the best candidate to best carry our nation forward.”

Kirk and Preckwinkle Weigh-in on Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage Equality

Posted by Admin On June - 27 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO , IL -  U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released the following statement after the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution grants same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide:

“As Americans, we believe in human rights, civil rights and dignity. Today’s ruling recognizes that our gay friends, family members, and neighbors are deserving of the same right to commit to the one they love.”

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle called it “a proud day for our nation and an incredible victory for all those who have fought so hard for this recognition over the years. As a history teacher by profession, I applaud this latest milestone in our nation’s long struggle to ensure civil rights for all citizens, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or immigration status. For too long in this country, same-sex couples were denied equal protection under the law.

“All couples who are in loving, committed relationships should have the right to marry and be treated equally in the eyes of the law, regardless of the state they live in. With today’s Supreme Court decision, this legal discrimination comes to an end. Today, we are all equal under the law.”

Stand with Senators Sanders and Warren: Federal Contract Workers Deserve a Living Wage

Posted by Admin On June - 27 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Tell President Obama:
“Issue an executive order giving preference in government contracting to ‘model employers’ who pay workers a living wage, decent benefits, and allow collective bargaining rights. American taxpayer dollars should reward good companies that create middle-class jobs, not companies that keep workers in poverty.”
Add your name:
Sign the petition â–º
In recent months, tens of thousands of CREDO members have taken actions in solidarity with low wage federal workers, who have been demanding President Obama to sign an executive order that requires the federal government to contract with companies who pay their workers a living wage.1
Now, progressive champions Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have joined that push by sending a public letter to President Obama asking him to issue the executive order.

Senators Warren and Sanders just gave those workers’ campaign a huge boost. It is time for us to rally around them.

Right now, our tax dollars routinely pay for government contracts that reward companies who pay millions of workers poverty-level wages. The renewed attention to low-wage federal contract workers is in large part due to a major wake up call last month, when The Washington Post ran the story of 63-year-old Charles Gladden, a full-time U.S. Senate cafeteria worker who was revealed to be homeless.2
Many of those workers have to rely on public assistance programs like food stamps and Medicaid, hitting taxpayers a second time and forcing all of us to subsidize the greed of private companies.

And when millions of workers are routinely paid poverty wages on such a massive scale, it drags down national standards for all American workers across all industries. Which means that, right now, the government is playing an active role in rising economic inequality and a disappearing American middle class.3
In their letter to President Obama, Senators Sanders and Warren wrote:
We believe that our taxpayer dollars should reward good companies that create middle class jobs for America, not companies that force workers to depend on public aid programs. […]
You have held up profitable companies, such as Costco, as examples of model employers to be emulated because they pay their workers living wages and benefits as well as respect their right to organize unions. Now is the time to declare that the federal government will invest our taxpayer dollars to incentivize model employers that commit to creating good jobs and to rebuilding America’s ailing middle class.4

The president has demonstrated that executive action can help workers. After low-wage federal contract workers went on strike in Washington, D.C., the president used the 2014 State of the Union to announce that he would sign the $10.10 Minimum Wage Executive Order. The president’s bold leadership set-off a chain reaction. In the following year, the CEOs of major companies – such as Gap, Inc., IKEA, Wal-Mart and McDonald’s – boosted starting pay, mayors issued executive orders to raise wages, and state and local governments passed minimum wage hikes.
That’s why we’re calling on the president to use his executive powers to help low-wage federal contract workers. He can do so by signing a “model employer” executive order that gives a preference to contractors that pay a living wage of at least $15 an hour, offer decent benefits like paid leave, and respect our right to collectively bargain so we don’t have to go on strike.
When the president leads, America follows. President Obama has said that income inequality is the defining challenge of our time, and that he would take executive action to help the middle class. Here is his opportunity to lead by example and lift millions of low-wage federal contract workers into the middle class.

Stand with Senators Sanders and Warren. Add your name and tell President Obama: Sign a “model-employer” executive order for low-wage federal contract workers. Click the link below to sign the petition:

Thank you for your standing up for workers.
Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Sign the petition â–º

ISBE issues Child and Adult Care Food Program Eligibility Guidelines for New Fiscal Year

Posted by Admin On June - 27 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced the availability of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016. CACFP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered annually by ISBE.

“The Child and Adult Care Food Program plays an important role in making sure all of our children are getting proper nutrition and are ready to learn,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The agency is proud to help administer the program once again.”

The program is designed to primarily assist child care centers, Head Start programs, before- and after-school programs, emergency shelters, and day care home providers with funding to provide nutritious meals to children in their care. All participating child care centers and day care homes must provide meals to enrolled children at no additional charge.

Income Eligibility Guidelines: Effective from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016

Free Meals

130% Federal Poverty Guideline

Reduced-Price Meals

185% Federal Poverty Guideline





Twice Per Month


Every Two Weeks


Weekly Household Size


Annual Monthly Twice Per Month


Every Two Weeks


1 15,301 1,276 638 589 295 1 21,775 1,815 908 838 419
2 20,709


863 797 399 2 29,471 2,456 1,228 1,134 567
3 26,117 2,177 1,089 1,005 503 3 37,167 3,098 1,549 1,430 715
4 31,525


1,314 1,213 607 4 44,863 3,739 1,870 1,726 863
5 36,933 3,078 1,539 1,421 711 5 52,559 4,380 2,190 2,022 1,011
6 42,341


1,765 1,629 815 6 60,255 5,022 2,511 2,318 1,159
7 47,749 3,980 1,990 1,837 919 7 67,951 5,663 2,832 2,614 1,307
8 53,157 4,430 2,215 2,045 1,023 8 75,647 6,304 3,152 2,910 1,455
For each additional family
member, add
5,408 451 226 208 104 For each additional family member, add 7,696 642 321 296 148

Individuals in households that receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are automatically eligible to receive free meal benefits. Children enrolled in Head Start or Early Head Start programs, or foster care children who are legal responsibilities of the State or court, are also allowed to receive free meal benefits at approved Head Start facilities. Parents or guardians should contact their child care center or day care home provider to find out if they participate in this program.

The USDA Household Income Eligibility Guidelines are listed for families that do not receive TANF or SNAP benefits. If a household’s income falls within or below the listed guidelines, they should contact their child care center or day care home provider to learn about benefits of the program. They may be required to complete an application and provide income, TANF or SNAP information.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.) To file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; by fax at (202) 690-7442; or email at program.intake@usda.gov.

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities can contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). For any other information dealing with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) issues, persons should either contact the USDA SNAP Hotline Number at (800) 221-5689, which is also in Spanish, or call the State Information/Hotline Numbers. Go to http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/contact_info/hotlines.htm for a listing of hotline numbers by state). The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

For additional information at the Child and Adult Care Food Program, visit ISBE’s Nutrition and Wellness Program Division online at http://www.isbe.net/nutrition/htmls/child_adult.htm.

City of Chicago Declares Tuesday, June 30, Duffie A. Adelson Day

Posted by Admin On June - 27 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Chicagoan Duffie Adelson, President, Merit School of Music, is retiring after 33 years of devoted service giving thousands of Chicago-area children – especially children living in economically disadvantaged communities – the opportunity to grow through a high-quality music education.

CHICAGO, IL – Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago City Council have declared June 30, 2015 “Duffie A. Adelson Day” in Chicago in honor of Adelson’s dedication to Merit and her 33-year commitment to making music and building lives for countless Chicago children.

Duffie A. Adelson Day is a city-wide celebration.

Merit School of Music is located at the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center, 38 S. Peoria  St. in Chicago’s West Loop.

June 30 is Adelson’s last day at Merit. Hired in 1982 by Merit’s founders, Emma Endres-Kountz and Alice S. Pfaelzer, Adelson:

  • Began as a teacher, served as associate director, executive director and subsequently president.
  • Founded Merit’s now thriving Bridges program in 1984, which brings music to Chicago classrooms, community centers and homeless shelters.
  • Grew Merit’s student body to 5,000 musicians annually.
  • Increased the annual operating budget from six figures to more than $5 million.
  • Led Merit’s purchase of its own home in the West Loop after completing a successful, $20 million campaign.


For 35 years, Merit School of Music has been home to a diverse community of talented young musicians and a springboard for exciting personal transformations.  Since its founding in 1979, Merit has inspired and motivated more than 50,000 students to realize their full musical potential.

Currently home to nearly 5,000 students, on-site and off, Merit continues to provide vital access to music training, while deepening and broadening instructional offerings, and increasing financial support so that more motivated students can transform their lives through the Merit experience.  At Merit, students of every income level and from every corner of Chicago have the rare opportunity to learn together, dream together, and build inspiring lives through music.

Merit School of Music is located at the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center, 38 S. Peoria St. in Chicago’s West Loop. To learn more, visit meritmusic.org or call 312.786.9428.

Kirk, Menendez Introduce Bill to Renew Key Iran Sanctions Law Targeting Terrorism and Nuclear Proliferation

Posted by Admin On June - 27 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)  introduced the Iran Sanctions Relief Oversight Act of 2015 (S. 1682), a bipartisan bill to extend the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-172) for ten more years.

With the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 set to expire next year, the Kirk-Menendez legislation would renew the Act’s critical sanctions measures designed to defund the Iranian regime’s nuclear program and support for terrorism, thereby ensuring that Congress retains leverage to snap back sanctions if Iran cheats on any nuclear agreement.  The legislation would also require the Administration to report to Congress whether any Iran sanctions relief has supported terrorism, nuclear or missile proliferation, or human rights violations, or has enriched any senior Iranian official’s personal finances.

“Congress passed the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 to drain Iran’s financial support for Hezbollah, Hamas, and terrorist  threats to the United States and Israel, and block funds for building nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles,” Senator Kirk said.  “Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper recently told Senators that ‘Iran remains the foremost state sponsor of terrorism,’ so if the White House is serious about maintaining terrorism sanctions against Iran no matter what, it must support our bipartisan effort to renew this expiring law.”

“If a deal is reached with Iran, it is critical that should Iran violate the terms of an agreement, severe penalties will follow and a forceful snapback of sanctions will occur,” Senator Menendez said.  “For me, the trend lines of the Iran talks are deeply worrying, our red lines have turned into green lights, leaving snapback as one of the few tools available to demand Iranian compliance with an agreement.  The Iran Sanctions Act, which authorizes a majority of the sanctions in place on Iran, expires next year.  Absent renewal we would be unilaterally lifting sanctions on Iran and hence unilaterally disarming.  It stands to reason that if negotiators are serious about snapback, then they should support the immediate extension of the Iran Sanctions Act to ensure there is no question for Iran about the consequences of non-compliance.   Furthermore, because Iran is the foremost sponsor of regional terrorism, any sanctions relief must be monitored closely, and this legislation ensures that regular reports will be provided to Congress to confirm that Iranian-backed terrorist organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah or the murderous Assad regime in Syria aren’t the beneficiaries of newly accessed Iranian funds. This bill is a clarifying action for all parties and this legislation should move forward now.”

Congress unanimously passed the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (originally named the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996) to stop major foreign investment in Iran’s energy sector, with the goal of denying the Iranian regime the ability to financially support international terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and missile proliferation.  Although the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 was set to expire five years after enactment, Congress passed new laws to extend the Act for five-year periods in 2001, 2006, and 2010.

“Scambaiting”- The Dangers of Seeking Revenge

Posted by Admin On June - 27 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL -  What is “Scambaiting”? To define it simply – it’s getting even with person or a business that has either scammed you or attempted to scam you. You can find hundreds of examples, articles and real life stories on the internet about “scambaiting” and people who engage in it. While it may be tempting to want to get revenge on a scammer the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns it’s not always a safe thing to do.

The scam can be online through an email or a pop-up, on the phone or using snail mail. Scammers count on anonymity and in some cases distance to keep their potential victim at arm’s length and to “safely” pull off their scam. Most individuals who are active scambaiters know how scammers work and their goal is to disrupt the process. They are often computer experts who know how to protect themselves and hide their identities. However, when you don’t have that knowledge there are some real dangers in trying to achieve that goal.

“If they are actual victims of a scam they may be angry and have decided they will get even. But, in the case where the scammer knows more about you than you do them, the victims may only make matters worse,” says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.

To disrupt the process scambaiters return emails, phone calls or letters asking lots of questions at the same time leading the scammers to believe they have bought into the scam. With the scammers believing they have a victim, they will concentrate their efforts on that individual and will leave potential victims alone.

Whether it is a romance, money request or investment scam or you’re trying to get your money back the FBI says there are risks:

  • You can’t assume the scammer is based outside the U.S. because of a foreign accent.
  • Don’t assume that they only have a phone number that’s all the information they have. A reverse look-up can lead them to your door.
  • If it’s the grandparent or distressed relative scam you can’t assume that the scammer doesn’t really know who you are or where to locate you.
  • If you get angry with a phone scammer remember they have your number and can send a barrage of robocalls your way.

Here are safe rules to follow if you are on the receiving end of a scam attempt:

  • If it’s an email, delete it.
  • If it’s a phone call, just hang up. If the calls continue contact your phone company for help. Using the blocking feature on your phone may also help.
  • If you receive a threat, contact the police.

For more information on scams, 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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