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Archive for June 29th, 2015

Madigan: House Prepared to Hear Detailed Plans from Administration Officials on Possible Shutdown

Posted by Admin On June - 29 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan released the following statement regarding the House’s two-day Committee of the Whole beginning Tuesday to hear from state agency directors on a looming government shutdown:

“We asked a number of agency directors to come before the House to give us answers to very specific questions about the impact of a shutdown. We’re looking forward to hearing from Governor Rauner’s agency directors on their plans if a government shutdown occurs, particularly their strategy for meeting the needs of those requiring services and how they plan to address continuity of care for individuals who will suffer as a result of services no longer being provided. This is important information for the people of Illinois to have if the state is moving toward a Rauner-imposed government shutdown, and these hearings will help shed needed light on how the Rauner administration plans to lead in that situation.”

Directors from 15 state agencies have been invited to testify before the full House on their plans should a budget agreement not be reached by July 1, including how their agencies plan to handle casework, phone calls and other requests for assistance from those in need. Invited agencies are:

  • Department on Aging
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Central Management Services
  • Department of Children and Family Services
  • Department of Corrections
  • Department of Employment Security
  • Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
  • Department of Healthcare and Family Services
  • Department of Human Services
  • Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Department of Public Health
  • Department of Revenue
  • Department of Transportation
  • Illinois Emergency Management Agency
  • Illinois State Police
Letters were delivered to agency directors last Thursday asking them to appear before the House.

ReMARCs – One Nation, One Flag: Equality & Justice for All

Posted by Admin On June - 29 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Supreme Court Decisions Are Meaningful Advancement for Social and Economic Justice

By Marc Morial

President & CEO, National Urban League

It was with joyful hearts that we welcomed the news this week of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling not only on the issue of health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, but also on the issue of housing discrimination and marriage equality. All three of these rulings will have a far-ranging impact on economic and social justice in the United States.

Access to affordable, quality health care and housing are key to the economic stability of working families. 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.

The Supreme Court also struck down another form of discrimination with its ruling that laws prohibiting same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. As Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were … [the petitioners] ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

We sincerely hope that the court’s ruling settles the matter of the ACA and that further attempts to dismantle it are discouraged. It is time now to refocus our efforts on making sure the law works as intended. Much more needs to be done to offer everyone in the United States – regardless of race, ethnicity, place of birth, or English language ability – an equal opportunity to live a healthy life.

Further, the housing discrimination ruling represents more than access to decent, affordable housing. The American middle class is built on homeownership. Entrepreneurs have built their businesses with the equity in their homes. Parents have sent their children to college with the equity in their homes.

This week, our nation stood up for equal access to housing, health care, dignity and love, and we are proud and grateful.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Statement on the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges

Posted by Admin On June - 29 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch released the following statement after the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges:

“Today, the Supreme Court of the United States has recognized the equality, dignity and essential humanity of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and reaffirmed this country’s bedrock principle – engraved over the entrance to the Court itself – that all Americans are entitled to equal justice under law.  By putting an end to an era of state-sanctioned discrimination, the decision lights the way to a future of acceptance, inclusion and opportunity for gay and lesbian Americans and their families.  It encapsulates a nation’s enormous leap of understanding – rooted in compassion, tolerance and empathy – and reflects the countless hearts touched and minds opened along the way.  It vindicates an idea whose time has come at last.

Today’s result would not have been possible without the passionate advocacy and innumerable acts of personal bravery of generations of leaders, who have fought for the simple freedom to pursue their own happiness with those whom they love.  Their fight, galvanized by the Stonewall riots nearly a half-century ago, was waged in the face of pervasive bigotry and widespread resistance and its progress was never guaranteed.  But after too many lifetimes of isolation, humiliation and harassment – and steeled by unimaginable courage and indomitable conviction – gay and lesbian citizens across the country bravely came out into the open and awakened the conscience of a nation.  Their courage has led us to this day; to a decision from the nation’s highest court declaring them to have full and equal rights to marry in the country they fought to change; and to a victory that they have justly and finally won.

I have no illusions that Obergefell v. Hodges spells the end of anti-gay prejudice.  Difficult legal issues lie ahead and the protections written into law are not all they should be.  That’s why this march must go on and why this cause will endure, until all Americans – regardless of sexual orientation – are afforded the equal rights, equal treatment and equal opportunity they deserve.  But on a day like today – a day that marks a watershed moment in the progress of this movement, in the story of this community and in the history of this nation – it is proper that we pause and take stock of just how far we have come.  The Justice Department is proud to have been a part of this journey, from Attorney General Eric Holder’s unwavering leadership in advancing the cause of equality to the groundbreaking progress we have witnessed today.  Going forward, we are committed to standing on the side of equality – and standing with the LGBT community – to keep up the fight for safety, opportunity, dignity and justice for all.”

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

The Congressional Black Caucus Recognizes the Second Anniversary of Shelby County v. Holder

Posted by Admin On June - 29 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – CBC Chairman, G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) released the following statement on the second year anniversary of the Shelby County v. Holder ruling:

“In the two years following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA) in Shelby County v. Holder, voting rights have come under a renewed assault in states across our country.

“Several Republican-led states have exploited the VRA by passing laws that severely diminish the right to vote and hinder America’s progress for equality and a representative democracy.  The Shelby decision reversed 50 years of progress made to expand access to the voting booth, and opened a pathway to new voting laws that discriminate against poor, minority, and elderly voters.

“Members of the Congressional Black Caucus vow to continue our fight against these overtly discriminatory and racially motivated initiatives that disenfranchise thousands across the country to ensure the right to vote is protected for all Americans.”

Earlier this year, the Congressional Black Caucus filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging justices to review Wisconsin’s 2011 state voter ID law. Additionally, the CBC filed an amicus brief with the North Carolina Supreme Court urging a review of the state’s 2011 redistricting plan.

Draft Biden adds Bulldog Finance Group and IA, NH State Directors to Expanding Team

Posted by Admin On June - 29 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

With growing momentum and an anticipated Joe Biden presidential announcement by early August, Draft Biden 2016, a group organized to encourage Vice President Joe Biden to enter the 2016 presidential race, continues to expand its team.

Sam Jones and Scott Dworkin from Bulldog Finance Group (BFG), a national fundraising firm based in DC, have signed on to direct the finance operation. The group has also hired State Directors in New Hampshire and Iowa.

Veterans from the ’08 and ’12 Obama presidential campaigns as well as the Run Warren Run Presidential draft effort, Bulldog Finance Group has represented hundreds of campaigns and organizations across the Country, including Democracy for America, New Virginia Majority, and Progressive Congress’ non-profit foundation.

Scott Dworkin, Founder of BFG, served as the Deputy Director of the Real People Project for President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Committee in 2009, (where Scott had the honor of bodying President Obama after his first dance with the First Lady) and in 2012 he served as a Deputy Director for the Democratic National Convention Committee in Charlotte.

Sam Jones, has worked with over 100 campaigns, organizations, and causes as President of Bulldog Finance Group. He has also worked in finance, field, and management during his decade in politics. In 2007, he was in Iowa on the campaign staff of Chris Dodd’s presidential campaign. In 2008, he managed the re-election campaign of Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, the first Lesbian and first Latina elected Sheriff in the United States. In 2010, Sam managed and won a $2.5 million campaign to replace the late Congressman Jack Murtha.

“We are proud to join the more than 100,000 members of Draft Biden 2016 in the effort to bring Joe Biden into the race for President,” Jones said. “The energy and momentum building behind this organization is nothing short of contagious. With the numbers where the are in the early states and with the current climate of the primaries, we think the Vice President is in the best position to win nationally, with the skill and legacy of compromise, and the best hope we have for carrying on the policies of the Obama Administration.”

In addition, Draft Biden 2016 has hired Ben Meers as New Hampshire State Director and James Rigdon as Iowa State Direct to organize Biden supporters and continue building the field infrastructure.

Ben Meers is a skilled campaign operative with several cycles of campaign management experience on the state-wide and congressional level in the New England region. Also, Meers served as the State Director for the CREDO Super PAC in North Carolina.

Raised in a union family, James Rigdon also brings strong campaign experience serving most recently as Field Director for a congressional race in Hawaii in 2014 in addition to working on New Jersey state assembly and Virginia gubernatorial campaigns in 2009 and as Campaign Manager to a Florida state senate race in 2008.

“Our team has come a long way since our humble beginnings of two people in my living room back in March,” said Draft Biden 2016 Executive Director William Pierce. “With positive momentum all across the board, we are going all in to encourage Vice President to run for President ahead of his potential August 1st announcement.”

Huge Victory for Millions of ACA Consumers

Posted by Admin On June - 29 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

From: Campaign for Better Health Care


In the case of King vs Burwell, the U.S. Supreme Court decided 6-3 that the Affordable Care Act’s premium tax credits will continue to be available in ALL states – including Illinois!  Today’s Supreme Court decision upholding the tax credits in the Affordable Care Act is a huge victory for millions of consumers. The ruling confirms what we have known all along – the law was designed to provide a tax credit to any person  who qualifies, regardless of the type of Marketplace they use. The Campaign for Better Health Care is an organization that works to build consumer participation in our health system: We are relieved that 232,000 Illinoisans won’t have to worry about losing access to necessary medical care. We will continue our work to ensure that this coverage remains affordable and to improve the quality and value of health care coverage for all people in Illinois.
ACA is Here to Stay!!!
It has been more than 5 years since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled, instead of trying to undermine the law, opponents of health reform in Conress should accept that the ACA is here to stay. Opponents need to stop wasting time and energy putting forth misguided proposals in an attempt to undermine its success and intstead should work to see that the law succeeds in providing access to affordable coverage for as many people as possible.
These are real families in Illinois who are no longer at risk of losing the tax credits they need to afford their health care coverage:
Campaign for Better Health Care

Virgo Girl Media Partners With Strebor Books to Increase Online Visibility for Authors of Color

Posted by Admin On June - 29 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Missy B. Salick

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) –Virgo Girl Media, a digital media firm, located in New Rochelle, NY, has announced a partnership with Strebor Books to enhance the online visibility for authors of color. Virgo Girl Media will work with Strebor Book authors to promote their brand on a digital platform. Virgo Girl Media will interview each author and share the piece on its blog and social media outlets. In return, Strebor Books will post interviews on their Author of the Week and/or Book of the Day pages.

The Virgo Girl Media blog will be used as a platform to spotlight creative entrepreneurs such as bloggers, writers, authors, and the creative artist community as a whole, who are turning their passion into profit. Our goal for the VGM blog is to create a movement in the literary world where urban-cultured authors and writers are recognized and celebrated in the same manner as mainstream authors. Publishing houses are wonderful for authors who are lucky enough to be chosen. However, in a world where so many are self-publishing there should be a mainstream marketing option, and growing your online audience and promoting yourself digitally is just that. By using digital platforms, authors can now engage and interact directly with their audience with the click of a button, cutting out the middleman, says founder Missy B. Salick.

Founder and New York Times bestselling author Zane of Strebor Books was thrilled to learn of the movement and be one of the first publishers to jump on board. With publishing houses working with digital influencers, and authors taking advantage of the platform its a win-win for both parties, says Salick, who hopes to increase the digital engagement within the urban-cultured community.

For more information on partnering with Virgo Girl Media or getting spotlighted, contact GiGi at 202.230.7737, geralisa@virgogirlmedia.com or Val Hardy at 202-207-7768, valhardy1@aol.com.

About Virgo Girl Media
Virgo Girl Media is a digital media firm focused on helping creative entrepreneurs turn passion into profit. Virgo Girl Media produces empowering events and workshops; provides tools, tips, and resources; offers affordable business services, and runs a blog promoting positive inspiration and motivation along with how to create a digitally influenced platform. To learn more, visit www.virgogirlmedia.com. Stay social and follow them on Twitter and Instagram: @virgogirlmedia and like them on Facebook www.facebook.com/virgogirlmedia.

About Strebor Books
Strebor Books was founded in 1999 by national bestselling author Zane. In 2005, Strebor Books became a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., one of the top five publishing houses. Strebor offers its products through distributors and online retailers. It produces numerous bestsellers, including three novels that Zane originally published: The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth, Addicted, and Shame on It All. The company is based in Largo, Maryland. General information on Strebor Books can be obtained by visiting their website at http://imprints.simonandschuster.biz/atria/strebor-books or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Strebor-Books/81632076374?ref=aymt_homepage_panel Instagram @StreborBooks. Follow Zane at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorZane or @PlanetZane on Instagram.

Photo Caption: Missy B. Salick, founder of Virgo Girl Media

NAACP Statement on #BlackLivesMatter Activist Who Took Down SC Confederate Battle Flag

Posted by Admin On June - 29 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

BALTIMORE, MD –  #BlackLivesMatter activist Brittany “Bree” Newsome, wearing rappelling gear, climbed the flagpole in front of South Carolina’s state capitol and removed the Confederate Battle Flag, in an act of civil disobedience.  South Carolina Department of Public Safety arrested Bree, 30, along with her companion, James Tyson, also 30.  Both were charged with a misdemeanor–defacing a monument.  A new flag went up within an hour.  Subsequently, the NAACP has issued the following statement:

From Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President and CEO:

“For 15 years, the NAACP has called for the removal of the Confederate battle flag and has maintained economic sanctions against the state of South Carolina. The NAACP, Governor Nikki Haley, a bipartisan coalition of policymakers, an expanding number of American businesses, and a courageous young woman named Bree Newsome are all united in opposition to the Confederate flag. Ms. Newsome temporarily removed the flag flying in front of South Carolina’s state house. As well as supporting the permanent removal of the flag legislatively, we commend the courage and moral impulse of Ms. Newsome as she stands for justice like many activists including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Henry David Thoreau and numerous other Americans who have engaged in civil disobedience. The NAACP calls on state prosecutors to consider the moral inspiration behind the civil disobedience of this young practitioner of democracy. Prosecutors should treat Ms. Newsome with the same large-hearted measure of justice that inspired her actions. The NAACP stands with our youth and behind the multigenerational band of activists fighting the substance and symbols of bigotry, hatred and intolerance.”

Illinois Department of Public Health Provides Flood Safety Guidance

Posted by Admin On June - 29 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Food, water, safety, and cleaning information

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D., is urging residents in and around flooded areas to take precautions to help prevent disease and stay safe.

“Flood waters can contaminate food, water, house appliances, and just about anything it touches,” said Director Shah.  “To avoid illness it is important for people whose homes have been affected by flooding to make sure their water is safe to drink, to know if food needs to be thrown out, and to clean all items touched by flood waters properly.”


Flood water and sewer overflows can contain bacteria, fecal material, viruses and other organisms that may cause disease.  The following information can help protect communities from illness and injury:

  • Avoid skin contact with flood and sewer water, especially cuts and sores.  Keep them clean and covered.
  • Do not allow children to play in areas contaminated by flood water and sewage backup.
  • Do not eat or drink anything exposed to flood and sewer water.
  • Keep contaminated objects, water and hands away from mucous membranes (mouth, eyes and nose).
  • Wash hands frequently, especially after bathroom use, before eating and immediately following contact with flood and sewer water or contaminated objects or surfaces.

Food and Water Safety

Until you are sure the water supply is safe, use only bottled or disinfected water for drinking, cooking, dish washing, tooth brushing, and bathing.  Some communities may be under boil orders because the water quality in the system is potentially contaminated by flooding or equipment damage.  People with private water wells who think their well may be impacted by flooding should contact their local health department for instructions on disinfecting and testing their wells.  Instructions for disinfecting a well can also be found in the Department’s After the Flood pamphlet.

If the power goes out, the refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if it is unopened.  A fully stocked freezer will keep food frozen two days if the door remains closed.  A half-full freezer can keep foods frozen about one day.  If you plan to eat refrigerated or frozen meat, poultry, fish or eggs while it is still at safe temperatures, it’s important that each item is thoroughly cooked to its proper temperature to assure that any foodborne bacteria that may be present are destroyed.  However, if at any point the food was above 40 F for two hours or more – discard it. Intact cans without dents can be cleaned with a bleach solution before use.


Removal and cleanup of sewer or flood water is essential.  It is important to take the following precautions to prevent injury:

  • Turn off main power switches, if necessary.  Air out and wipe dry all appliances and electrical outlets exposed to water, before use.
  • If you have fuel oil or gas systems, be sure tanks are secure and all lines are free from breaks.
  • Wear rubber boots, gloves and a mask during removal and cleanup.
  • Open windows if possible to ventilate and dry the area.  Fans can be used to help with drying.
  • Keep children from playing in water.
  • Before volunteering or working in an area affected by flooding, make sure tetanus boosters are current – a tetanus booster is recommended every 10 years.  If cut or scratched during clean-up efforts, a health care professional can determine if a tetanus booster is needed at that time.  Exposure to flood water alone is not a reason to give tetanus-containing vaccine or any other vaccine.


The following cleaning guidelines may help prevent the transmission of disease and reduce property loss:

  • Discard any contaminated objects that cannot be thoroughly washed or laundered.
  • Thoroughly dry and clean carpet, rugs, wood, paneling, wallboard, mattresses, and anything else touched by flood water to prevent mold.
  • Wash contaminated surfaces and objects with warm, soapy water and then disinfect them with a bleach and water solution made of no more than one cup of 5.25 percent chlorine bleach, per one gallon of water.  For objects that would be damaged by bleach, use a home or laundry disinfectant.
  • Make sure to read and follow label instructions.  Do not use ammonia.  Ammonia vapors mixed with bleach vapors create a toxic gas that could be deadly.

More information can be found at http://www.idph.state.il.us/floodinfo/index.htm, including the IDPH After the Flood pamphlet, or call your local health department.

Black Caucus Hosts Rally to Fight Gov. Rauner’s Cuts

Posted by Admin On June - 29 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus stood with community advocates and rallied against Governor Rauner’s vicious cuts to social services and other programs. In front of a crowd of 150 people, advocates claimed the cuts represented a direct attack on the working poor and those who weren’t born into financial prosperity. Programs and services that provide in-home care for seniors, child-care assistance to working parents, home-energy assistance  to pay for heat and air conditioning and summer youth jobs stand to be eliminated or dramatically reduced.

“For the governor to say that he allotted some money to take care of some of our need is really back handed,” said Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford – Chairman of the Black Caucus. “If we are going to have a compassionate Illinois, why are we forcing those who can’t help themselves to suffer? Why will they feel the cuts the most?”

Cuts to child-care assistance will force parents out of the program, leaving them with the decision to either work or stay home with their children and require more taxpayer assistance.

“These cuts were made blindly and without any account for the people they will affect,” said Senator Donne Trotter. “When you craft a budget, you put your money toward programs and services that are priorities. We can see that the programs that are funded reflect the governor’s priorities, and it’s not the people who need the most help.”

Several organizations that serve communities who will suffer the most discussed how the lack of support increases crime, lowers our students’ opportunities to be qualified for good jobs and will leave people without heat during Chicago’s coldest months.

“Chicago winters are among the harshest in the nation. Last year, CPS even closed for a few days, and CPS never closes,” said Senator Emil Jones III, Senate Black Caucus Chairman. “I guess we will force families to set up wood-burning stoves in their homes – we will call it Rauner heat.”

Last week, Democrats in the General Assembly sent a budget to Governor Rauner to sign. The Black Caucus supported a budget package that provided adequate funding for programs and services that assist the working poor. Unfortunately the governor vetoed that budget plan.

Pictured: State Senator Kimberly Lightford speaking at Illinois Legislative Black Caucus rally on June 25, 2015.

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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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