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Launches CapitalizeTheB.com to Change Grammar Rules Houston, TX (BlackNews.com) -- Writer, Demetrius Walker, has ...
CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that 178 teams of assistant attorneys ...
Settlement Provides Unprecedented Access for People with Disabilities to Go to the Movies    CHICAGO, IL — Attorney ...
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) today issued the following ...
Julee Nist brings vast experience as educator and leader to the school   JACKSONVILLE, IL – The ...
Perfecting Assistance Services Partnering with Arise Virtual Solutions to provide Work From Home Jobs ...
Baltimore, MD - The National NAACP issued the following statement in response to a protest ...
CHICAGO, IL. - During challenging economic times, it can be tempting to forgo contributions to ...

Archive for July 20th, 2015

Munger: Court Decision Allows Continued Processing of Payroll

Posted by Admin On July - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Appellate Court vacates previous Cook County ruling


CHICAGO, IL – Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger released the following statement Friday in response to the First District Appellate Court’s decision to vacate the Cook County Circuit Court’s order to pay certain state employees at minimum wage:

“Today’s ruling removes any conflict between Court decisions and allows my office to continue paying all state employees for their work. My priority has consistently been to comply with federal mandates and do everything in my power under the law to pay workers for services they are already providing the state. Time will tell what, if any, additional Court action occurs but I remain confident that paying state employees for their work is the legal, fiscally responsible and right thing to do.”

Texas NAACP Statement on the Death of Sandra Bland

Posted by Admin On July - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

AUSTIN, Texas – According to the Waller County Sheriff’s office and the Texas Department of Public Safety, Sandra Bland was pulled over by DPS trooper, Brian Encinia on July 10, 2015, for improper signaling a lane change.  The traffic stop occurred in Waller County, Texas. Ms. Bland was subsequently arrested for allegedly assaulting an officer and booked into Waller County jail. On Monday morning, Ms. Bland was found dead. Waller County authorities have classified Ms. Bland’s death a suicide. In light of these developments, the NAACP Texas State Conference has issued the following statement.

From Gary Bledsoe, NAACP Texas State Conference President:

“We extend our heartfelt sympathy to Ms. Bland’s family and friends. The Texas NAACP is currently conducting an inquiry into the tragic death of Sandra Bland in Waller County. We remain committed to finding an objective determination of the facts.  We have serious concerns surrounding the routine traffic stop that led to Sandra Bland’s arrest and subsequent death. We are also concerned by the immediate pronouncement of suicide as the cause of death by Waller County authorities and the endorsement of a specific funeral home to be used by Sandra Bland’s family. To ensure that justice is fairly administered, the Texas NAACP is calling for an independent investigation by the United States Department of Justice into this case. The Texas State Conference of the NAACP is also asking for anyone with information regarding this matter to please contact us our office at 512-358-1359. We all deserve to know what led to the untimely death of Sandra Bland.”

Subcommittee on Public Higher Education Executive Compensation to Meet Today

Posted by Admin On July - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – A legislative panel tasked with investigating costly administrative practices at our state’s public universities and community colleges will hold a meeting on Monday, July 20 at 10:00 AM. The meeting will be held in Room C600 of the Michael A. Bilandic Building, 160 N. LaSalle Street in Chicago.

State Senator Bill Cunningham (D-18th Senate), chair of the Illinois Senate Subcommittee on Public Higher Education Executive Compensation, says the committee will hear testimony regarding possible legislative reforms to the higher education administrative compensation system.

“This is the first in a series of hearings we will hold to take a closer look at the committee’s initial report and discuss proposed reforms that have been drafted by the General Assembly,” Senator Cunningham said.

Specifically, Monday’s hearing will hear testimony on a variety of legislative proposals, including auditing reforms, severance package reforms and contract reforms.

For more information on Monday’s hearing, please visit the Illinois General Assembly website and for further background on the issue, please visit Senator Cunningham’s website.

WHO: State Senator Bill Cunningham, members of the Illinois Senate Subcommittee on Public Higher Education Executive Compensation

WHAT: Scheduled hearing of the Illinois Senate Subcommittee on Public Higher Education Executive Compensation

WHEN: July 20 at 10:00 AM

WHERE: Michael A. Bilandic Building, Room C600

160 N. LaSalle Street in Chicago

Justice Tech: Making Jails and Prisons Work

Posted by Admin On July - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

By Ben Jealous

President Obama’s impassioned call for criminal justice reform at last week’s NAACP national convention was the latest sign that bipartisan criminal justice reform is on the way. In the midst of this movement is another, untold story about an army of entrepreneurs that is changing the way jails and prison work for the better.

When it comes to criminal justice reform, the inside game is just as important as the outside game. America locks up more of its population than any other country on the planet, and more of its Black population than South Africa at the height of Apartheid. Police commissioners brag about being “tough on crime” and cleaning up the streets. But the fact is that more than four out of ten people who are released from prison in the United States will return within three years. Our jails and prisons are failing at their primary purpose – rehabilitation – which means more crime, more violence, and more broken families. When our inside game is broken, our outside game gets even harder.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The way we treat people in jail and prison has a direct impact on whether or not they will reoffend. Yet over the past few decades, prison officials and the agencies that regulate them have not only failed to invest in necessities like effective educational programs and cheap phone calls; they have actively opposed those programs that work.

A new movement in the tech world is seeking to change that. A class of social justice-oriented companies – what I call “justice tech” startups – has emerged as a counterweight to the prison-industrial complex. The founders of these startups come from a circle of activists, former prisoners and social entrepreneurs who understand that sometimes change has to come from outside the system.

One of these startups is Pigeonly. In 2007 Pigeonly founder Frederick Hutson was sentenced to 51 months in federal lockup on marijuana charges (a venture that, it’s worth noting, would be legal in some states today). He witnessed the pain of isolation for the young men behind bars, and knew that regular contact with family members lowers the odds that an offender will return to prison after he has been released. He also watched as prison officials across the country struck self-serving deals with private phone companies that resulted in wildly inflated prices for phone calls home.

Upon his release, Huston decided to start a company that would cater to the incarcerated directly. Pigeonly’s customers in federal prison purchase telephone time from their commissary, which usually charges inflated rates for long-distance calls. Pigeonly uses Google Voice-style technology to change the game so that all calls are “local”.

This process shaves 60 to 80 percent off the cost of calls in federal prisons. His service is soon expanding from the federal system to state prisons and jails, where savings promise to be even higher – in some jails, for instance, calling home can cost more than 18 dollars for a 15 minute phone call.

Another justice tech company is Jail Education Solutions. State funding for prison educational programs has continuously decreased since 1982, even as the prison population has swelled. It’s telling that most people who arrive in prison illiterate are illiterate when they leave. Brian Hill, a recent business school graduate whose father taught community college classes at Folsom State Prison, saw this as an opportunity to innovate. His company provides jails with tablet devices that offer educational content. Working on a for-profit model that has inmates rent devices for a small fee, the tablets provide content like GED prep, vocational training and college courses.

The tablet service has earned the early support of reform-minded sheriffs who are eager to disrupt the cycle of people repeatedly moving in and out of jail. Inmates who take advantage of educational programming are 43% less likely to return within three years than those who do not. These sheriffs see tech-savvy educational offerings as a practical and affordable solution to recidivism.

As the long-overdue movement for broad criminal justice reform continues, we cannot forget the importance of what happens, or does not happen, inside jails and prisons. We need to improve our inside game as well as our outside game to ensure jails and prisons work, and these justice tech startups can help make that future come faster.

Ben Jealous is former president and CEO of the NAACP, and Partner at Kapor Capital, a social impact investing firm that invests in Pigeonly and Jail Education Solutions.

Tell the IRS: Stop Hedge Funds From Dodging Taxes

Posted by Admin On July - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Submit a public comment to the Internal Revenue Service:
Scrap the proposed “Exception From Passive Income for Certain Foreign Insurance Companies” rule that is too vague and weak to crack down on tax avoidance by hedge funds. Take measures necessary to curb all abusive practices of tax evasion including closing of the “reinsurance” loophole used by hedge funds to set up tax dodging shelters in Cayman Islands.

Take action now â–º
Tax Wall Street!

The 25 richest hedge fund managers pocketed nearly $21 billion last year. That’s more than twice the annual income of all kindergarten teachers in America combined.1

But unlike teachers and other working Americans, hedge funds aren’t paying their fair share of taxes. On top of the low tax rates on long-term capital gains that allow Warren Buffett to pay a lower tax rate than his secretary, and the infamous “carried interest” loophole, hedge funds have been setting up shell companies in tax havens to dodge millions in tax obligations.2

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has the power to end tax evasion like this by deeming it “abusive,” but instead it has already bowed to industry pressure and proposed vague and unspecific rules.3 The IRS is only accepting public comments on the proposal until July 23, so we are teaming up with our friends at the American Federation of Teachers to make it clear that Americans demand tough action to end hedge funds’ tax avoidance.

Tell the IRS: Stop hedge funds from dodging taxes. Click here to submit a public comment.

Hedge fund managers are among the worst of the 1%, buying and selling everything from securities to stocks, short-term bonds, and entire companies, all in the unbridled pursuit of profit. Hedge fund managers receive a flat fee of 2% of their entire holdings, and then another 20% of all gains. They exploit all manner of tax loopholes to rake in millions each year, and many then turn around and use their hoarded wealth to buy political power, attempt to privatize and profit off government services, or fund right-wing causes.4,5

Here’s how this tax-dodging scheme works: Hedge funds are able to dodge taxes by moving money through tax shelters to take advantage of different tax rates. For instance, regular income, like a salary, is taxed at one rate. Long-term capital gains, the profits from buying and selling financial products, are taxed at a far lower rate, in order to incentivize people to invest for the future.

Hedge funds set up reinsurance companies – corporations that sell insurance to insurance companies – in tax shelters like the Cayman Islands. These phony companies either have no employees or share staff with the hedge fund, and do a bare minimum of real business. Then the hedge fund takes income and transfers it to the reinsurance company, which in turn invests in the hedge fund. The reinsurance company only pays taxes when the fund is sold, much later, and at the lower tax rate.6,7 Income “magically” becomes long-term capital gains, without ever leaving the hedge fund. It’s a scam, pure and simple.
Tell the IRS: Stop hedge funds from dodging taxes. Click here to submit a public comment.

The proposed IRS rules don’t do enough to stop this behavior. The IRS could have clearly distinguished between real reinsurance companies and phony tax dodges, or used its authority to close the loophole altogether. Instead, the draft rules are vague, unspecific, and an invitation for hedge funds to find new loopholes to abuse the system.8

Financial lobbyists and power players count on Americans not paying attention to rules like this one. They twist arms and use their influence to weaken laws before they even go into effect. We can’t let hedge funds get away with dodging taxes anymore – it is time for us to speak up.

Tell the IRS: Stop hedge funds from dodging taxes. Click below to submit a public comment:

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/irs_hedgefunds?t=7&akid=15007.6338158.etHU_m

Thank you for speaking out,
Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Take action now â–º
  1. Victor Fleischer, “Why Hedge Funds Don’t Worry About Carried Interest Tax Rules,” New York Times, May 14, 2014
  2. Ibid.
  3. Richard Rubin, Zachary Mider, and Sonali Basak, “Paulson, Highbridge Bermuda Ventures May Be at Risk From IRS,” Bloomberg, April 23, 2015
  4. David Dayen, “The IRS Will Close This Tax Loophole — Unless Wall Street Gets Its Way,” The American Prospect, July 9, 2015.
  5. Ross Barken, “Progressive Group Takes Aim at Hedge Fund Managers,” Observer.com, March 18, 2015.
  6. Fleischer, “Why Hedge Funds Don’t Worry About Carried Interest Tax Rules.”
  7. Dayen, “The IRS Will Close This Tax Loophole — Unless Wall Street Gets Its Way.”
  8. Ibid.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus Attend Closing Bell Ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange

Posted by Admin On July - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Washington, D.C. – Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) and members of the CBC rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

“America’s financial institutions and business community are vital to our country’s continued growth, innovation and economic success,” said CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield.  “We recently marked the 64th consecutive month of private sector job growth and the unemployment rate has dropped to 5.3 percent.  Our country is moving in the right direction, but much work remains to be done.  We will remain steadfast in our efforts until every community, especially the African American community, is able to experience financial success and security for themselves and their families,” he concluded.

The CBC continues to advocate a federal budget proposal that will increase economic opportunities through robust investments in education, infrastructure, affordable housing, domestic manufacturing, small businesses opportunities, and job training programs to ensure no community in America is left behind.

Kirk Statement on Anniversary of MH-17 Attack

Posted by Admin On July - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released the following statement today on the anniversary of the MH-17 attack by Russian-backed rebels that killed 298 civilians:

“One year ago today, 298 innocent people lost their lives when Putin-backed rebels shot down a civilian airliner over Ukraine. As evidence continues to point to Russian involvement in this senseless attack, I once again call on the Obama administration to designate the main pro-Russian separatist organizations as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) under U.S. law. I also call on the administration to provide additional support to Ukraine and our key allies in Eastern Europe to protect our friends and show Putin the cost for his violation of international norms.”

Last year, Senator Kirk sent a letter to President Obama requesting that the United States designate the  main pro-Russian separatist organizations of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) under U.S. Law. According to the Department of State, the FTO designation “impacts travel related to terrorist organizations, makes it a crime to provide material support to terrorist organizations, and freezes the financial accounts of terrorist organizations in U.S. financial institutions.” Currently, 52 organizations are designated as FTOs, including such nefarious actors as Al-Qaida, Hamas and Hezbollah. The designation could have a significant impact on Russian interests in the United States if U.S. deems them as providing “material support” to the rebels.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Statement on the Shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Posted by Admin On July - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch provided the following statement on the shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee:

“On behalf of the Department of Justice, I offer my heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to the loved ones of the U.S. servicemembers who were murdered and the law enforcement officer who was wounded in this shameful and cowardly act of violence.  I have directed the FBI to take the lead in the national security investigation of this heinous attack on members of our military.  The U.S. Attorney’s office and department prosecutors are also actively involved.  In the days ahead, we intend to work with our partners in law enforcement and the intelligence community to ensure that the American people are protected and that justice is served.”

Draft Biden 2016 Moves Forward With Positive Biden Poll Numbers

Posted by Admin On July - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Draft Biden 2016 continues to move forward with optimism due to the recent Monmouth University presidential primary poll finding Vice President Joe Biden’s support would significantly grow if he chooses to enter the fray with 43% of Democratic primary voters, who currently have a preference, expressing that they would likely support the Vice President instead  if he runs.

Vice President Joe Biden has not declared his decision for 2016, but multiple media reports have highlighted sources close to the Biden family hinting that a decision may be made in the positive as early as the first week of August.

The Monmouth University poll results articulate:

He currently earns 13% support in the poll, similar to prior results. An additional 12% of Democratic voters say they would be very likely to support Biden if he gets into the race and another 31% say they would be somewhat likely. Taken together with the support he currently holds in the vote choice question, about 1-in-4 voters say they would be very likely to get behind Biden, and more than half would be at least somewhat likely.

Among those who say they would be likely to vote for Biden if he runs, 68% are currently Clinton backers, 18% are currently supporting another candidate and 14% are undecided.  A majority, 53 percent, said it would be better if Mrs. Clinton faced an active primary challenge.

These numbers are similar to the RealClearPolitics average  of 2016 Democratic presidential nomination polling data, which now includes at least 5 announced candidates, where Vice President Biden, yet unannounced, maintains a strong consistent showing.

In CNN/Opinion Research and ABC News/Wash Post polls from late May, Vice President Biden maintained sole possession of second place.  In that same CNN poll it was asked:

In terms of selecting the Democratic nominee to run for president in the year 2016, which do you think would be better for the Democratic Party?

The top response – For there to be a number of strong candidates competing for the nomination over the next year- garnered a similar 53% compared to the recent Monmouth poll.

Draft Biden 2016 Executive Director William Pierce said, “Just as other candidates, such as Bernie Sanders, saw their own poll numbers rise as soon as they announced and with many voters still undecided, the Vice President’s polling would skyrocket. With the positive polling and over 150,000 signatures thus far to our online petition encouraging the VP to enter the race, the momentum is growing.”

In the key swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released in late June, Vice President Biden remained in sole possession of second place in all three states.

A separate Quinnipiac Poll of likely Iowa Democratic caucus participants in May articulated that Vice President Biden has a high favorability rating of 79%, 75% saying his positions on the issues are “about right”, 76% saying that he has strong leadership qualities, and 85% saying he cares about their needs and problems.

Discrimination in Illinois: Discriminatory Anti-Gay Bill Rapidly Gaining House Republican Support

Posted by Admin On July - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Sign The Petition

Republicans are trying to pass a bill that would allow vendors to refuse service to LGBT Americans.

Help us get 100,000 Democrats to denounce Republicans who are trying to legalize LGBT discrimination >>

This is outrageous. House Republicans just introduced a bill that will allow businesses to deny service to LGBT couples.

If the bill passes, LGBT couples could be refused Social Security benefits. They could be kicked out of homeless shelters. They could be refused service at restaurants. They could even be denied marriage licenses.

It reminds us of the 1950s, when pro-segregation politicians did everything possible to deny basic civil rights to African Americans. The Republicans are trying to legalize discrimination, and we couldn’t be more furious.

ADD YOUR NAME: Denounce the Republicans who are trying to legalize discrimination against LGBT Americans.

Look — we’re just as mad as you are. And that’s why we’re going on offense.

We’re making co-sponsors of this bill — like Republican New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett — top targets in 2016.

We need to show the Republicans that they can’t try to legalize discrimination and get away with it.

If you’re with us, sign our petition! Let’s show the Republicans that we will not stand for this kind of bigotry.

SIGN ON: Denounce the Republicans who would turn back the clock and legalize discrimination against LGBT Americans.

Thanks,

DCCC

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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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