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Archive for July 10th, 2015

The Congressional Black Caucus Applauds the South Carolina Legislature’s Decision to Remove the Confederate Battle Flag from Statehouse Grounds

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2015 Comments Off on The Congressional Black Caucus Applauds the South Carolina Legislature’s Decision to Remove the Confederate Battle Flag from Statehouse Grounds

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative G. K. Butterfield, Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), issued the following statement commending the South Carolina Legislature for its swift action to remove the Confederate Battle flag from Statehouse grounds:

“Early this morning, the South Carolina Legislature took a decisive step toward uniting South Carolinians by passing a bill to remove the Confederate Battle flag from Statehouse grounds.  The Confederate Battle flag has long been a divisive symbol intended to celebrate a dark period in American history during which four million blacks were held as slaves, not seen as human beings, but merely as property.  We cannot erase or change history, but we can, as witnessed in South Carolina, take meaningful steps to move forward together by removing a painful symbol of hate, bigotry, and oppression that has plagued our nation.  The Congressional Black Caucus applauds the state of South Carolina for its progress towards a brighter future.”

House Speaker Madigan: Vulnerable Protected by Short-Term Plan

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2015 Comments Off on House Speaker Madigan: Vulnerable Protected by Short-Term Plan

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement Thursday after the House passed a temporary budget to fund essential state services:

“The budget passed by the House today will ensure critical state services to some of our most vulnerable residents can continue – services such as police on our streets; health care for veterans in state veterans’ homes; home care for ill, elderly residents; meals for elderly residents; care for the developmentally disabled; and the tracking of dangerous sexual predators. The budget also makes sure state workers are paid. This budget lives within revenue projections and makes sure critical services remain in operation during the shutdown forced by Governor Rauner.

“I urge the governor to sign this measure immediately so needed services can continue and workers can be paid.

“Rejecting a balanced approach in favor of a budget that focuses on cuts alone hurts middle-class families and would severely harm the medical care services of the elderly, the disabled and struggling families, services for victims of child abuse, and nursing home care for thousands of frail elderly residents.

“My focus remains on passing a budget for the entire fiscal year that takes a balanced approach and includes spending reductions and revenue to preserve the services that the people of Illinois expect the state to deliver.”

Finance Committee, County Board to Consider Proposal to Fund Pension Fund, Debt Service and Infrastructure Improvements

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2015 Comments Off on Finance Committee, County Board to Consider Proposal to Fund Pension Fund, Debt Service and Infrastructure Improvements

The Finance Committee of the Cook County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing and committee meeting on Board President Toni’s Preckwinkle’s proposal to increase the County’s share of the sales tax by 1 percent for pension fund and legacy debt service payments, as well as to support transportation infrastructure, on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 10 a.m.

A meeting of the full Board of Commissioners to consider the proposal is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Both meetings will take place in the Cook County Board Room on the 5th Floor of the Cook County Building, 118 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL.

The sales tax proposal is necessary to address the significant shortfall in the County’s Pension Fund that has been left unresolved by Springfield, Preckwinkle said. “We can no longer afford to wait. Every month without action creates another $30 million in unfunded pension liability. The current situation is unsustainable.”

Preckwinkle warned months ago that Fiscal Year 2016 would be a challenging one for Cook County. And, as work begins on the FY 16 budget, Preckwinkle said her finance team will also be identifying more than $100 million in targeted expenditure cuts.

“Revenue increases through a sales tax, coupled with significant expenditure cuts, will put the County on firm financial footing for the future and allow us to invest in long-delayed infrastructure improvements, absorb increased legacy debt service costs, and pay down our pension shortfalls without further exacerbating the financial crisis for future generations,” Preckwinkle said.

The text of the proposal can be found here<https://cook-county.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=414547&GUID=FED77828-6901-4A85-89E5-9ADBCDD88381&Options=info&Search>.

Munger Applauds Court Payroll Authorization

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2015 Comments Off on Munger Applauds Court Payroll Authorization

Comptroller moves forward with paying state employees

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger released the following statement Thursday in response to a Circuit Court verbal order authorizing her office to process state payroll:

“Today’s Court ruling gives my office the authorization it needs to begin processing payroll for all state employees. It is a welcome development that advances my goal of complying with federal mandate and doing everything in my power under law to compensate workers for the services they are already providing the state. It also ensures that Illinois will rightly continue to pay those who are on the front line in assisting our most vulnerable residents. While there will most certainly be additional legal action, I am confident that the Court will ultimately determine that paying state employees for their work is the right, and legal, thing to do.”

Town Hall Meeting on Child Care Crisis

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2015 Comments Off on Town Hall Meeting on Child Care Crisis

Working Families No Longer Eligible for Childcare

CHICAGO, IL – The child care crisis continues to mount into epic proportions.  The Department of Human Services (DHS) published new guidelines for working families leaving over ninety percent ineligible to qualify for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP.)   Over 200 low-income working families, who would typically qualify, are being denied, per day!  Parents and providers are in an uproar as they begin to digest the dismal forecast for child care that leaves many working families faced with the decision, “Will I have to quit my job to stay home with my children?”  The child care crisis of 2015 was averted in late April when legislators passed a Hail Mary funds allocation restoring the $296 million dollar shortfall.  During those negotiations, many services were interrupted, altered or permanently discontinued.  The child care crisis of 2016 is back with a vengeance and promises to be more accelerated than its recent predecessor.

Families of two (including the child) that qualified under the old guidelines could earn up to $2456.00 per month.  Meaning a working mom or dad could earn $123.00/day or $15.35/hour to qualify for child care assistance.   Under the new guidelines, families of two can only earn $664.00 per month to qualify for child care assistance.  That breaks down to a working mom or dad earning $32.00 per day or $3.95/hour to qualify for child care assistance.  Families using CCAP under the old guideline rates, were barely scraping by with no surplus nor room for any financial emergencies.  Under the new guidelines, it would render families virtually homeless, creating a newly expanded working poor population.

On Friday, July 10, 2015, Child Care Advocates United (CCAU) will host a Town Hall Meeting at Village Leadership Academy at 1001 W. Roosevelt Road from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm. Several community organizers, parents, providers and legislators will be in attendance to answer vital questions about how these changes will alter the tapestry of life in Illinois.  Confirmed panelist are State Representative La Shawn K. Ford, State Representative Mary Flowers, Maria Whelan (Action for Children), Senator Donne E. Trotter, Alderman Rod Sawyer, Alderman Leslie Hairston and a host of other elected officials and activists.

“I almost lost my job during the last crisis,” is the consistent worry families are sharing with providers in mass numbers.  Providers are empathetic but have little information to share with inquiring parents as no encouragement is coming from Springfield regarding when an agreement will be reached.  Contrarily, the word from legislators indicates this battle could continue well into September.

For more updates, visit www.facebook.com/fundchildcarenow or direct emails to CCAUIlllinois@gmail.com.

UChicago Alumni President Goes to Court Today for Kicking and Punching Peaceful Trauma Center Activist

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2015 Comments Off on UChicago Alumni President Goes to Court Today for Kicking and Punching Peaceful Trauma Center Activist

NEW Video shows Alumni attacking protestors (click here for video)

CHICAGO, IL – a University of Chicago Medical Alumni Association President will go to court today for punching trauma center activists at a protest last month.

A Press Conference will be held today, July 10th, 8:30 a.m., at 5101 South Wentworh Avenue, prior to the 9:00 a.m. court hearing.

The incident occurred at a protest where activists calling for the University of Chicago to open a trauma center rallied at an Alumni Awards Ceremony and disrupted University President Robert Zimmer’s speech.

The video shows an alum walking out of the disrupted awards ceremony, charging a student videographer, grabbing the camera, and then kicking and later punching activists. Activists were forced to block traffic to stop the alum from fleeing the scene and to ensure that he was arrested.

The arrested alum is Russ Zajtchuk, who graduated from the College in 1960 and from the Medical School in 1963. He has occupied the position of President of the Medical & Biological Sciences Alumni Association. Zatchuk is being charged with a battery.

Dan Lichtenstein-Boris a University of Chicago Alum who witnessed the attack said that “the violence of this Alum toward peaceful protesters is just as wrong as the violence University President Zimmer shows by refusing to open a trauma center and save black lives on the south side”.

This court date coincides with the court date for 9 trauma center protesters who were arrested, days before this incident at the University of Chicago Administration Building, while holding a peaceful sit-in. The University of Chicago Police charged the 9 activists with resisting arrest, criminal trespassing, and mob action.

Trauma center activists are demanding that:

·       UofC open a level one adult trauma center now

·       UofC raise the age of the Level 1 pediatric trauma center care to 21

·       UofC President Zimmer set a meeting with the Trauma Care Coalition

·       UofC include community input in the current trauma center feasibility study

·       UofC agree to a community benefits agreement on the Obama Library

The community’s demand for trauma care was sparked by the death of Woodlawn youth leader Damian Turner, and is led by Fearless Leading by the Youth, the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization, Students for Health Equity at the UofC, the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, National Nurses United and many faith groups including the University Church and Kenwood Church of Christ.

The South Side is currently a trauma desert for adults, meaning that victims of shootings and other serious injuries must be taken over ten miles away, to the Near North Side or south west suburbs. The call for trauma care is also supported by a new study by the Illinois Department of Public Health which states that longer travel times to a trauma center increases the likelihood of dying, the study also states that the U of C is best positioned to expand access to trauma care, and that the U of C could further raise the age limit of their pediatric trauma center.

State Rep. Ford Votes to Sustain Essential Services, Pay to Employees during Government Shutdown

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2015 Comments Off on State Rep. Ford Votes to Sustain Essential Services, Pay to Employees during Government Shutdown

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The state’s most vulnerable residents and the pay of state workers wouldbe temporarily safeguarded from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s government shutdown under a critical services budget passed by Illinois  state Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago.

“This temporary budget can  ensures that the state of Illinois continues to  take care some of the  most pertinent responsibilities while legislators and the Governor come to a permanent budget  solution for FY16,” said Ford. “The revenue for this budget is not a fund sweep or borrowed money its taxpayers’ money and it’s the right thing to do to protect the people of Illinois.  If we fail to continue to protect and provide the needed care for the people in Illinois taxpayers will only be hit with a great tax liability to correct the unintended consequences of not providing the critical services in the budget.

As a new fiscal year began without a long-term state budget in place on July 1, a number of critical services including in-home care for seniors, the salaries of tens of thousands of state employees, therapeutic services for the developmentally disabled and even the incarceration of sexually violent criminals were at risk of coming to a pause.

Ford passed Senate Bill 2040, a critical services budget that provides continued funding forsome of Illinois’ most important state services, and compensation for tens of thousands of state workers while legislators and the governor work to construct a long-term state budget. Ford voted to protect critical funding for therapy and work placement assistance for the physically disabled, care for aging veterans, protective shelters for children who are victims of abuse, programs that keep dangerous sexual predators incarcerated, public safety services like operating expenses for prisons and the Illinois State Police, and the Community Care Program, which allows elderly residents to receive in-home care and avoid costlier nursing home care.

“People in need deserve a state government that works for them,” said Ford. “There is more work to be done to protect the critical services that working families, senior citizens and those with disabilities are provided for, and I will continue to fight for a long-term budget solution that puts their needs first or a short term budget that protects all state programs and services until a full budget is passed and signed into law .”

Tech Support Scams Continue to be a Serious Danger to Consumers Warns the Better Business Bureau

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2015 Comments Off on Tech Support Scams Continue to be a Serious Danger to Consumers Warns the Better Business Bureau

CHICAGO, IL – Tech support scams have been around for years and have affected thousands of individuals. Today, the leading tech support scam is known as the “Microsoft Scam.” Since mid-2014, there has been a major increase in scam activity.

Originally, the scammers placed calls claiming to be “tech support specialists.” They would build trust with their potential victims, convincing them that their computers have been hacked. In a new twist, cyber criminals attempt to defraud individuals using another avenue. The scam is executed while a user is browsing the Internet and unknowingly clicks a link that produces a pop-up warning that says their computer has been hacked. The warning provides a phone number for tech support.

That was the case with James Topp, a Des Plaines senior citizen and Vietnam veteran. Mr. Topp says, “In May, I saw an odd icon on my computer with a message that said I had a problem with my computer. I called the number provided. They told me I had to pay $199 to fix the problem. I was not aware of any problem but I paid with a credit card.”

In June, he received another phone call from a person who identified himself as Patrick Sanders and was told his computer had been compromised. According to Mr. Topp, “He said that I had to wire $2000 to fix the problem, and then they locked my computer. Now they have $2,199 of my money.”

And in a third call, trying to gain access to Mr. Topp’s bank account, the scammers asked that he turn on

his computer and provide access to his bank account; it would allow Microsoft to refund his money as part of a special program for senior citizens. He said no.

“Even though there are ongoing efforts by federal authorities to shut down this and other scams, these cyber criminals seem to have become more determined in their efforts and tactics to rip-off consumers,” says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.

Bernas noted, “Regardless of how the contact is made, by telephone or an on-screen pop-up, the scam only works if the scammer gains the trust of their potential victims. That’s where a healthy dose of consumer skepticism will pay off.”

If they are able to gain your trust, they may:

  • Ask you to give them remote access to your computer and then make changes to your settings that could leave your computer vulnerable.
  • Try to enroll you in a worthless computer maintenance or warranty program.
  • Ask for credit card information so they can bill you for phony services – or services you could get elsewhere for free.
  • Trick you into installing malware that could allow them to steal sensitive data, like user names and passwords.
  • Direct you to websites and ask you to enter your credit card number and other personal information.

If you get a call from someone who claims to be a tech support person, hang up and call the company yourself on a phone number you know to be genuine. Keep these other tips in mind:

  • Don’t give control of your computer to a third party who calls you out of the blue.
  • Do not rely on caller ID alone to authenticate a caller. Criminals spoof caller ID numbers. They may appear to be calling from a legitimate company or a local number, when they’re not even in the same country as you.
  • If you need tech support, look for a company’s contact information on their website, software package or on your receipt.
  • Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone who calls and claims to be from tech support.
  • If a caller pressures you to buy a computer security product or says there is a subscription fee associated with the call, hang up. If you’re concerned about your computer, call your security software company directly and ask for help.
  • Never give your password on the phone. No legitimate organization calls you and asks for your password.

If you think you might have downloaded malware from a scam site or allowed a cybercriminal to access your computer, don’t panic. Instead:

  • Update or download legitimate security software and scan your computer. Delete anything it identifies as a problem.
  • Change any passwords that you gave out. If you use these passwords for other accounts, change those accounts, too.
  • If you paid for bogus services with a credit card, call your credit card provider and ask to reverse the charges. Check your statements for any other charges you didn’t make, and ask to reverse those, too.

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

SF Killing Revives Attack on ‘Sanctuary Cities’

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2015 Comments Off on SF Killing Revives Attack on ‘Sanctuary Cities’

SF Killing Revives Attack on 'Sanctuary Cities'

La Opinión

By Mary Ballesteros-Coronel

Translated by Elena Shore
Sanctuary cities are once again under attack, this time because of the recent killing of Kathryn Steinle, 32, in San Francisco. Steinle was allegedly killed by an undocumented immigrant with a criminal record who had been deported several times.

The controversy over the “sanctuary city” intensified when the shooting suspect, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, 45, said he had returned to San Francisco after having been deported five times because he knew that the police would not turn him over to federal immigration agents.

For 26 years, San Francisco has been one of the country’s “sanctuary cities” that do not cooperate with immigration authorities to detain and hand over undocumented immigrants.

The sanctuary movement grew out of the efforts of churches in the 1980s. It was intended to provide refuge to Central Americans fleeing violence in their home countries at a time when the federal government was reluctant to grant them refugee status. It was later adopted by liberal cities that were more open to immigration.

However, sanctuary cities have also been the target of attacks in the media by ultraconservative, anti-immigrant political groups.

Lopez-Sanchez had several crimes on his record, but no recent convictions for violent crimes, according to the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department.

San Francisco: We Protect Immigrants, Not Criminals

“There has been much discussion about San Francisco’s Sanctuary City Policy in the aftermath of Kathryn’s death,” said Mayor Ed Lee in a statement. “Let me be clear: San Francisco’s Sanctuary City Policy protects residents regardless of immigration status and is not intended to protect repeat, serious and violent felons.

“Our City’s policy helps immigrant and limited-English speaking communities where sometimes people fear and mistrust the criminal justice system. We want people to report crimes, we want children of undocumented immigrants to attend school, and we want families to get access to much needed social services without fear of their City government reporting them to federal authorities,” said Lee.

Fodder for the Republican Mill

But Some Republicans have said the Obama administration shares responsibility for the death of Steinle.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., blamed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for letting officials in San Francisco take charge of Sanchez, knowing that it is a sanctuary city.

“The federal government and San Francisco are wrong here,” Goodlatte said in an interview with ABC.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who ignited anti-immigrant fervor by calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “murderers” in recent weeks, used the murder of the young woman as “another example of why we must secure our border immediately.”

The White House, meanwhile, on Monday defended its immigration policies and criticized Republicans for using this murder for their own political ends.

“I recognize that people want to play politics with this,” said White House spokesperson Josh Earnest. “The fact is the president has done everything within his power to make sure that we’re focusing our law enforcement resources on criminals and those who pose a threat to public safety.”

Lopez-Sanchez Does Not Represent All Latinos

Those who support sanctuary city policies say their purpose is to preserve family unity, not protect criminals.

Now, immigrant rights activists are afraid that the Lopez-Sanchez case will obscure their efforts, even though he does not represent the majority of Latinos, who come to this country in search of a better future.

“It’s a setback for our work and also a call for immigrants to behave well,” said Francisco Moreno, spokesman for the Council of Mexican Federations in North America (COFEM). “I know that the majority of immigrants are workers and people of good faith,” he added.

Angela Sanbrano, chair of the board of the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), stresses that this is an “isolated” incident, but that it will be used by anti-immigrant activists.

“California wouldn’t have its economic, social and cultural success if it weren’t for the contributions of immigrants. Unfortunately, those contributions are not taken into account,” she said.

What is a Sanctuary City?

There is no legal definition, and its meaning varies from one jurisdiction to the next, but the term is generally used to describe a city, county or state whose policies or laws limit how much cooperation law enforcement or government employees can offer the federal government on immigration issues.

Isaiah Alvarado contributed to this report.

Get Covered Illinois Moves to the Department of Insurance

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2015 Comments Off on Get Covered Illinois Moves to the Department of Insurance

The State’s Health Insurance Marketplace will continue to provide Illinoisans with access to affordable, quality health coverage

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) Director Anne Melissa Dowling, announced the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace (IHIM), also known as Get Covered Illinois (GCI), will be administered by the department beginning August 1.

“The Department of Insurance welcomes the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace as its new home. This move will streamline program processes, improve efficiency, and align services leading to increased access to health coverage for Illinoisans,” said Director Dowling. “Consolidating Marketplace activities under a Division at the Department will promote a potential path to long term operational sustainability for Illinois to continue as a Partnership Marketplace.”

The mission of the Division will be to operate Get Covered Illinois (GCI). Get Covered Illinois will continue to provide Illinoisans with access to affordable, quality choice in health coverage. Through maintenance of the Get Covered Illinois website, Help Desk, and in-person assistance program, GCI will continue to serve as the trusted source helping Illinoisans with questions about their health insurance options and connecting Illinoisans to the federal Health Insurance Marketplace for federal financial assistance to make private health coverage more affordable.

“We look forward to working with the Department and our other partners to provide Illinois consumers with the tools and resources they need to get covered, stay covered and stay healthy,” said Karin Zosel, Executive Director for Get Covered Illinois.

Get Covered Illinois has resources to help Illinoisans access plans from the top insurance companies in the state to fit an individual’s needs and budget.  As of March 2015, more than 290,000 Illinois consumers have enrolled in the Marketplace.  The GCI phone number is (866) 311-1119.  More information is available at http://getcovered.illinois.gov

About the Illinois Department of Insurance

The Department’s mission is to protect consumers by providing assistance and information, by efficiently regulating the insurance industry’s market behavior and financial solvency, and by fostering a competitive insurance marketplace. The Illinois Department of Insurance assists consumers with all insurance complaints, including health, auto, life, and homeowner. Consumers in need of information or assistance should visit the Departments website at insurance.illinois.gov or call our toll-free hotline at (866) 445-5364.

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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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