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Archive for August 3rd, 2015

Why is Alderman Harris “Mum” on Medical Marijuana Dispensary Headed to the 8th Ward?

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On August - 3 - 2015 Comments Off on Why is Alderman Harris “Mum” on Medical Marijuana Dispensary Headed to the 8th Ward?

Calumet Heights and Chatham residents are furious over alderman’s “lackluster” response about medical marijuana dispensary

By Juanita Bratcher

Author, Editor & Publisher, CopyLine Magazine

Alderman Michelle Harris (8th Ward) was a “no-show” at a meeting where 8th Ward residents were furious and outraged over a medical marijuana dispensary headed to their area. If she had attended the meeting she would have seen a voracious crowd of angry residents chanting “We don’t want it”, “not in my neighborhood”, alluding to the dispensary.

Lester Hollis, Illinois Grown Medicine Chief Executive Officer, a partner in the dispensary, was also a no-show at the meeting.

The proposed dispensary will be located at 1111 E. 87th St.

Prior to the meeting held July 18th at St. Felicitas Catholic Church, 1526 E. 84th Street, sponsored by the Eighth Ward Accountability Coalition (a community organization), Calumet Heights and Chatham community residents complained and questioned why Alderman Harris did not hold a public hearing to inform 8th Ward residents of the medical marijuana dispensary coming to their area, something they are adamant about and do not want in the mostly middle-class community. Many said they were not aware of it until EWAC informed them through flyers, and stepped in to fill the void…to tell them the status of the dispensary and of going to the August 21st meeting scheduled before the Zoning Board of Appeals.

At the meeting they wanted to know why Alderman Harris did not attend the meeting and accused her of being insensitive and disrespectful to the community. However, Deborah Stanley, who was there to represent the alderman said the alderman was with the community, which many said they don’t  believe; and said if she was with the community, why didn’t she attend the meeting and deliver the message herself.

Harris did not return a telephone call to CopyLine Magazine asking for comment on the medical marijuana dispensary.

EWAC said they strongly oppose the plans of Harborside Illinois Grown Medicine, a joint venture of California-based Harborside Health Center and Illinois Grown Medicine (IGM), to locate a dispensary at 1111 E. 87th Street, noting that it is “inconsistent” with state laws regulating dispensaries.

EWAC is also concerned with the ownership and management of the proposed business. According to news reports, Steven DeAngelo, a felon convicted of drug distribution and founder of Harborside, is barred from participating in the business operations but his brother, Andrew DeAngelo is the Harborside partner who will be involved in Illinois. Reportedly, the U.S. Department of Justice has taken action to shut down the Harborside operations in California.

Since the medical marijuana dispensary has already been approved by the Chicago City Council, residents are pinning their hope on the Zoning Board of Appeals to stop it. A hearing is scheduled before the board on August 21, and a large group of residents said they plan to attend the meeting.

In an earlier report in CopyLine Magazine, EWAC cited a quote by Lester Hollis, IGM Chief Executive Officer, as a concern about exploitation of the solidly middle class neighborhood. “From the beginning of this process, [the South Side] was where we wanted to be. If we had to choose one area, that was where we would have prepared to be,” Hollis said, because “that’s where African-Americans are and we think we can be most impactful there.”

“It appears to us that the goal of this venture is not to provide medical marijuana to those who are ill and have legitimate medical prescriptions but to circumvent the laws and regulations as they do in California and elsewhere to make marijuana widely available to anyone who wants it. This is not good for our neighborhoods and we want the citizens of this area to know what is taking place,” Brown said. “Throughout the process, citizens have been kept in the dark by the company, the alderman and the zoning board.”

An application for a special use permit to locate the business at the proposed location was approved by the city council and is now before the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals. The board has deferred a decision on the matter for the second time. First, it wanted to ensure that Steven DeAngelo was not involved in the business. The second deferral was granted at the request of EWAC, which complained about the failure of the ward’s alderman to hold public meetings or post adequate notice of the proposed dispensary.

In the meantime, the 8th Ward community is still waiting to hear from Harris and they question why she didn’t hold a public hearing to hear what the community had to say about a medical marijuana dispensary coming in or to give them an overall view of the effects this business endeavor will possibly bring.

For more information on EWAC, contact: Jerry Brown 630-542-7320 jrbcomm@yahoo.com

Juanita Bratcher is an Award-Winning Journalist, the Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com and the author of several books, songwriter and poet. She has been a Journalist for more than 39 years covering politics, education and a wide-range of other topics.

Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan: Solving the State’s Fiscal Challenges Requires Coming Together in Moderation

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2015 Comments Off on Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan: Solving the State’s Fiscal Challenges Requires Coming Together in Moderation

Op-Ed by Michael J. Madigan, Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives

Solving the fiscal challenges of Illinois requires a balanced approach. That is why I pledged to work cooperatively and professionally with Governor Rauner. I will keep that pledge and continue working to ensure the governor and Legislature come together in moderation to help Illinois’ middle class and other struggling families.

In addition to that pledge, I stated that the number one issue facing Illinois was the budget deficit. That has not changed.

In February, Governor Rauner proposed a budget that was not only billions of dollars out of balance, but also cut the medical care services of the elderly, the disabled and struggling families through Medicaid by $1.5 billion, services for victims of child abuse, and the nursing home care of thousands of frail elderly residents. But the state cannot rely on cuts alone to solve our $4 billion deficit. Eliminating the budget deficit will take a balanced approach that includes both spending reductions and new revenue.

Legislators did not agree with the governor’s unbalanced approach, so we passed a plan that included hundreds of millions of dollars in spending reductions while protecting middle-class families and others who struggle by increasing funding for schools and preventing damaging cuts to public safety and services for the elderly, children and the developmentally disabled.

In addition to approving hundreds of millions of dollars in spending reductions, House Democrats opposed increasing lawmakers pay. In the budget we passed, legislators’ pay was frozen at the same level as last year. However, despite the Legislature’s intentions, when the comptroller made it clear that she planned to provide a pay increase to lawmakers, we took action to make clear that we opposed an increase in lawmakers’ pay. This is the seventh consecutive year the House has voted to cut legislators’ pay by rejecting a cost-of-living increase.

Despite the enormity of our budget challenges, the governor is diverting his attention to many ideas that run counter to the core beliefs of Democrats and Republicans – counter because his proposals will hurt every middle-class family in Illinois by reducing wages and the standard of living of middle-class and other struggling families. Though I believe the number one issue remains solving the budget deficit, the House has shown its willingness to compromise with the governor in areas where middle-class families are not hurt.

For example, many legislators agree with the governor on a plan to revamp Illinois’ economic development agency to help spur job growth and retention, and the House passed a bill to be responsive to the governor’s request. This tool may assist in preserving jobs at the Mitsubishi plant in Normal, which last week announced plans to close due to a decline in auto sales.

According to the most recent Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Commission, workers’ compensation costs in Illinois are declining, and the House has debated new ideas to build on reforms passed in 2011, as the governor has requested.

The governor was persuasive on these ideas, and both could help improve the state’s economic climate. But the governor has not been persuasive with Republicans or Democrats on several other topics where middle-class families would be hurt if we instituted the changes he desires.

Governor Rauner’s insistence on the passage of legislation that hurts middle-class families with no willingness to compromise is an extreme position. The people of Illinois cannot afford extreme positions. The state’s fiscal challenges, including eliminating the state’s budget deficit, can be addressed if the governor and the Legislature work together in moderation.

Photo: Illinois Speaker Michael Madigan

NAACP to Hold Rally at Alabama State Capitol for Economic Equality

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2015 Comments Off on NAACP to Hold Rally at Alabama State Capitol for Economic Equality

Today, August 3rd, the NAACP will hold its first state rally at the Alabama State Capitol as marchers reach the midpoint of the first leg of its 860 mile march, America’s Journey for Justice. On the capitol steps, the NAACP, coalition partners, young practioners of democracy and other social justice and human rights advocates will demand federal prioritization of job creation and training programs, passage of the Raise the Wage Act, passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act and legislation that requires stronger restrictions on payday loans in the state of Alabama.

America’s Journey for Justice is an 860-mile march from Selma, Montgomery through Washington, DC. Led relay style by regional leadership beginning with NAACP Alabama State Conference President Bernard Simelton, marchers we will trek through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia until reaching the nation’s capital. The march aims to mobilize activists and advance a focused national advocacy agenda that protects the right of every American to a fair criminal justice system, uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, sustainable jobs with a living wage, and equitable public education under the unifying theme “Our Lives, Our Votes, Our Jobs, Our Schools Matter.”

Who: Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President & CEO; Bernard Simelton, NAACP Alabama State Conference President; Frank Barragan, Alabama Coalition For Immigrant Justice; Della Bryant, President Montgomery County NAACP; Alease Wilson, Children over Politics; Rev Charles Dale, original foot soldier; Ashton Toefield, NAACP Louisiana State Youth and College President; Rev. Claude Shuford, Pastor, Mount Zion AME Zion Church; Mayor Johnny Ford, Mayor of Tuskegee.
August 3, 2015
6:30 p.m. CT
Alabama State Capitol Steps
Goat Hill, E end of Dexter Ave.,
Montgomery, AL

Congressional Black Caucus Marks 50th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2015 Comments Off on Congressional Black Caucus Marks 50th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) released the following statement recognizing the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 30, 1965:

“Access to affordable, quality health care is a fundamental American value, and no two programs have changed more lives in the area of health care than Medicare and Medicaid.

“Medicare and Medicaid have helped to successfully reduce the poverty rate among older Americans from 28.5% in 1966 to 9% today and relieve the economic burdens of millions of low-income families.  Over the last 50 years, Medicare has helped countless Americans and their families become independent and financially secure, including an estimated 55 million Americans who are receiving benefits today.  Additionally, more than 60 million Americans rely on the health care safety net that Medicaid provides, including senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and children and young adults from working families.

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this historic legislation, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is committed to defending and protecting successful programs like Medicare and Medicaid that make America strong.”

President Obama Nominates Seven to Serve on the United States District Courts, Nominates Three to Serve on the United States Court of International Trade

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2015 Comments Off on President Obama Nominates Seven to Serve on the United States District Courts, Nominates Three to Serve on the United States Court of International Trade

WASHINGTON, DC — President Obama nominated Judge Susan Paradise Baxter, Inga S. Bernstein, Judge Gary Richard Brown, Judge Robert John Colville, Judge Marilyn Jean Horan, Judge Dax Eric López, and Judge John Milton Younge to serve on the United States District Courts.

“Throughout their careers, these nominees have displayed unwavering commitment to justice and integrity,” said President Obama.  “Their records are distinguished and impressive, and I am confident that they will serve the American people well from the United States District Court bench.  I am honored to nominate them today.”

Judge Susan Paradise Baxter:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Judge Susan Paradise Baxter has been a United States Magistrate Judge in the Western District of Pennsylvania since 1995, where she served as Chief Magistrate Judge from 2005 to 2009.  Prior to her appointment as a Magistrate Judge, she worked briefly as the Court Solicitor for the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County.  From 1983 to 1992, Judge Baxter worked at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Cole, Raywid & Braverman (now Davis Wright Tremaine LLP), where she was elevated to partner in 1989.  Judge Baxter received her J.D. from Temple University School of Law in 1983, a M.Ed. from Temple University in 1980, and a B.S. from Pennsylvania State University in 1978.

Inga S. Bernstein:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Inga S. Bernstein is currently a partner at Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP in Boston, Massachusetts, where she specializes in employment litigation and criminal law.  Bernstein joined the firm as an associate in 1995 and was made a partner in 2001.  Prior to joining Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Douglas P. Woodlock of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts from 1994 to 1995.  Bernstein received her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1994 and her B.A. magna cum laude from Wellesley College in 1984, after spending her junior year at the University of California, Berkeley.

Judge Gary Richard Brown:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

Judge Gary Richard Brown has been a United States Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of New York since 2011.  From 2005 to 2011, Judge Brown worked at CA Technologies, where he served as Senior Counsel, Associate General Counsel and Director for Litigation, and then Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Counsel of Litigation.  From 1996 to 2005, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Long Island Criminal Division at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, where he was elevated to Deputy Chief in 2001 and Chief in 2003.  From 1989 to 1996, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil Division, where he also served as Affirmative Litigation Coordinator from 1994 to 1996.  Judge Brown began his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Jacob Mishler of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York from 1988 to 1989.  He received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1988 and his A.B. cum laude from Columbia College in 1985.

Judge Robert John Colville:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Judge Robert John Colville has served as a judge on the Court of Common Pleas for Allegheny County since 2000, where he currently presides over civil matters.  Since 2012, he has also served as a judge on the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline.  Previously, Judge Colville worked as an associate at the law firm of Pietragallo Bosick & Gordon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1994 to 1999.  He began his legal career by serving as a law clerk from 1992 to 1994 to the Honorable Ralph J. Cappy, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.  Judge Colville received his J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law in 1992 and his B.A. from Pennsylvania State University in 1989.

Judge Marilyn Jean Horan:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Judge Marilyn Jean Horan has been a judge on the Court of Common Pleas for Butler County, Pennsylvania since 1996, where she currently serves in the civil division.  During her tenure on the bench, she has also presided over criminal and family law cases.  Previously, from 1979 to 1996, Judge Horan worked at the law firm of Murrin, Taylor, Flach and Horan, where she was elevated to partner in 1982.  Judge Horan received her J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1979 and her B.A. magna cum laude from Pennsylvania State University in 1976.

Judge Dax Eric López:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

Judge Dax Eric López has served as a judge on the State Court of Dekalb County since 2010, where he presides over both civil and criminal matters.  Previously, he worked as an attorney at Foltz Martin LLC (now dissolved) in Atlanta, Georgia from 2008 to 2010.  From 2005 to 2008, he worked at the law firm of Ashe, Rafuse & Hill, LLP (now Polsinelli PC), and from 2002 to 2005, he worked at Holland & Knight.  Judge López began his legal career by serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Héctor Laffitte, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, from 2001 to 2002.  Judge López received his J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School in 2001 and his B.S. from Vanderbilt University in 1998.

Judge John Milton Younge:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Judge John Milton Younge has been a Judge on the Court of Comment Pleas for the First Judicial Circuit of Pennsylvania since 1996, where he has presides over both criminal and civil cases.  From 1985 to 1995, Judge Younge worked at the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, serving as Deputy Executive Director and subsequently as General Counsel from 1991 to 1995.  He began his legal career as a solo practitioner in Philadelphia from 1982 to 1985.  Judge Younge received his M.J.S. in 2011 from the University of Nevada, Reno, his J.D. in 1981 from Howard University School of Law, and his B.S. in 1977 from Boston University.

President Obama Nominates Three to Serve on the United States Court of International Trade

WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama nominated Elizabeth J. Drake, Jennifer Choe Groves, and Justice Gary Stephen Katzmann to serve on the United States Court of International Trade.

“I am proud to nominate these outstanding candidates to serve on the Court of International Trade,” said President Obama.  “I am confident that they will serve the American people with integrity and distinction.”

Elizabeth J. Drake:  Nominee for the United States Court of International Trade

Elizabeth J. Drake is currently a partner in the law firm of Stewart and Stewart, where her practice focuses on international trade law matters and where she advises clients on disputes before the World Trade Organization.  In addition to practicing before the court to which she has been nominated, Drake also practices before the United States Department of Commerce, the United States International Trade Commission, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  Previously, from 1999 to 2005, she worked as an international policy analyst at the American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), where she advocated for workers’ rights in trade and international economic policies.  In addition, she has served on the Labor Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations to the United States Trade Representative.  Drake received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1999 and her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1996.

Jennifer Choe Groves:  Nominee for the United States Court of International Trade

Jennifer Choe Groves is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Titanium Law Group PLLC and Choe Groves Consulting LLC, where she provides legal and consulting services in the areas of international trade and intellectual property.  Previously, she was a partner at the law firms of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC from 2012 to 2013 and Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP from 2010 to 2011.  From 2005 to 2010, Groves served as the Senior Director of Intellectual Property and Innovation in the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in the Executive Office of the President.  During her time at USTR, she also served as chair of the Special 301 Committee, where she led the interagency committee’s decision-making on international trade policy and intellectual property protection.  Prior to joining USTR, Groves was Counsel at O’Melveny & Myers LLP from 2001 to 2005 and an associate at Fish & Neave LLP (now Ropes & Gray LLP) from 1998 to 2001.  She began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in New York County District Attorney’s Office from 1994 to 1997.  Groves received her LL.M from Columbia Law School in 1998, her J.D. from Rutgers School of Law – Newark in 1994, and her A.B. from Princeton University in 1991.

Justice Gary Stephen Katzmann:  Nominee for the United States Court of International Trade

Justice Gary Stephen Katzmann has served as an Associate Justice on the Massachusetts Appeals Court since 2004, adjudicating civil and criminal matters.  From 1983 to 2004, he served in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, including as Chief Appellate Attorney, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, and Chief Legal Counsel to the United States Attorney.  While at the United States Attorney’s Office, Justice Katzmann was detailed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1994 to 1995 and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General from 1993 to 1994.  From 1981 to 1983, he worked at Harvard Law School’s Center for Criminal Justice as a research associate and special investigator.  He began his legal career as a law clerk, first to the Honorable Leonard B. Sand of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York from 1979 to 1980 and subsequently to the Honorable Stephen G. Breyer, then of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, from 1980 to 1981.  Justice Katzmann received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979, his M.P.P.M. from the Yale School of Organization and Management in 1979, his M.Litt. from the University of Oxford in 1976, and his A.B. summa cum laude from Columbia College in 1973.

Source: whitehouse.gov.

Pfleger Shuts Down Halsted & 79th Street to Send a Message

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2015 Comments Off on Pfleger Shuts Down Halsted & 79th Street to Send a Message

Tells store owner to hire blacks, or get shut down

By Chinta Strausberg

After praying at Saint Sabina, Father Pfleger changed his route taking his diverse group of supporters West in an effort to “keep the peace going.”

Led by Saint Sabina’s Peacemaker, Pat, a former gang leader, they marched right past the police station for several blocks before heading back west. Another supporter held a sign that said, “Honk Your Horn,” which prompted a number of motorists to do just that. For a while, it sounded like a celebration, but it was the motorist’s way of giving their stamp of approval of Pfleger’s peace march.

Supporters lined both sides of the street passing out flyers that on one side said, “Put The Guns Down” and giving pointers on how there can be peace in the community such as conducting household sweeps and numbers parents and others can call like Pfleger’s, 773.483.4300, where they can turn in guns anytime, no questions asked.

Pfleger stopped by the house of Eunice Genus, 99, who will be 100-years-old on October 26, 2015. He gives her a kiss.

At 76th and Racine, a woman, Yoletta Williams, asked Pfleger when was the next time he was marching because her son, Roy Smith, was killed June 19, 2012. Pfleger suggested she join Saint Sabina’s Purpose Over Pain group consisting of parents who lost their children to gun violence.

Wearing a T-Shirt that said, “Blessed are the Peacemakers,” Father Pfleger, who is also demanding that stores within the Auburn Gresham community hire an African American from the community or he will shut them down, stopped by the Express Food Mart, located at 77th and Racine.

“Have you hired an African American yet”? asked Pfleger. The clerk at first hesitated then said “yes.” Pfleger replied, “I don’t see any African Americans working here.” The clerk said that person works in the daytime.

“I’ll be back in the morning, and if I don’t see a black working, we’re going to shut you down,” Pfleger promised the two clerks who stood peeping at him behind a bulletproof glass.

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.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Delivers Remarks at Goucher College’s Prison Education Partnership at the Maryland Correctional Institute

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2015 Comments Off on Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Delivers Remarks at Goucher College’s Prison Education Partnership at the Maryland Correctional Institute

Justice Department Announces First-Ever Second Chance Fellow to Help Advance Vital Diversion and Reentry Strategies

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch: Thank you, Secretary [Arne] Duncan, for that kind introduction – and for your outstanding leadership in our efforts to advance education and improve the lives of students throughout the United States.  It’s a pleasure to be here today and a privilege to join you, Cabinet Secretary [Broderick] Johnson, members of Congress, Dallas Pell, extraordinary advocates and role models like Glenn Martin and Vivian Nixon and our other distinguished guests to announce this important pilot program and to discuss the vital steps we are taking together to reorient our nation’s approach to criminal justice while strengthening our country and empowering our communities.

This is an exciting moment in our ongoing, bipartisan work to reform this nation’s criminal justice system.  As Secretary Duncan has noted, postsecondary education provides individuals from all backgrounds and circumstances with the opportunity to better themselves and their communities.  For incarcerated individuals, education can provide an avenue to redemption and a chance to earn their way back into mainstream society.  It can allow individuals to see themselves as more than their worst decision and encourage them to value themselves for what they can achieve.  And the results can deliver significant benefits for communities and taxpayers already burdened by the high costs associated with incarceration and crime.

We know from research that incarcerated individuals who participate in correctional education – including remedial, vocational and postsecondary programs – are more likely to stay out of prison; more likely to seek, gain and maintain employment; and substantially more likely to remain crime-free.  We recognize that our communities are safer and more secure when those who have engaged with our criminal justice system are involved in positive behavior.  And given that the vast majority of people behind bars will one day be released – with more than 600,000 individuals leaving state and federal institutions every year – we believe that it is incumbent upon us as a nation to ensure that people who have served their time are able to fully and productively engage in our society.

Lifting the ban on Pell Grants for a limited number of incarcerated students to pursue higher education is an important step forward as we seek to build avenues of opportunity from imprisonment to improvement.  I am pleased to announce that the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance will provide technical assistance through the Vera Institute of Justice to correctional facilities that partner with institutions of higher learning to provide postsecondary education under the Pell Experimental Site.  And I am looking forward to continued partnership on this important work.

The issues we are addressing today are not new – and I am proud to say that they have been a central focus of the Department of Justice throughout the Obama Administration.  Under the outstanding leadership of my predecessor, Attorney General Eric Holder and with Secretary Duncan’s invaluable support, we convened the Federal Interagency Reentry Council in 2011 to reduce barriers to successful reentry for formerly incarcerated individuals.  We directed every U.S. Attorney to designate a Prevention and Reentry Coordinator in his or her district to focus on building community engagement and creating positive outcomes.  We asked our law enforcement partners and state Attorneys General to reconsider policies that create overly burdensome collateral consequences – often in the form of barriers to employment, housing and education – that are unlikely to improve public safety.  Earlier this week, I chaired a productive meeting of the Reentry Council and introduced the first-ever Second Chance Fellow.  And we are currently working to implement and advance the Smart on Crime initiative that Attorney General Holder launched in 2013 to reduce this country’s reliance on incarceration; to increase investment in diversion and reentry programs; and to ensure that our criminal justice practices are carried out in a way that is both effective and fair.

Today’s action is not the end of our effort.  We have a great deal more to do in order to ensure that incarcerated individuals receive opportunities to turn their lives around.  But with the partnership of the advocates and public servants joining us today and the hard work of individuals seeking to chart a new course – for themselves, their families and their communities – I am confident about where our work will take us from here. I am excited about the progress we will achieve together.  And I am hopeful that today’s announcement will be the beginning of a new era for dedicated students around the country.

At this time, I’d like to hand things over to Cabinet Secretary Broderick Johnson, who will provide further information on today’s announcement.

Justice Blog: Second Chances Vital to Criminal Justice Reform

Source: Office of U.S. Attorney General

Stop Mitch McConnell From GUTTING Campaign Finance Laws: Sign The Petition

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2015 Comments Off on Stop Mitch McConnell From GUTTING Campaign Finance Laws: Sign The Petition

Letters to Editors

When he thought no one was watching, Mitch McConnell snuck a provision onto an otherwise crucial bill to DESTROY one of the only campaign finance regulations left.McConnell’s plan would ELIMINATE limits on coordination between candidates and political parties — further opening the floodgates for outside spending.

We can’t let Republicans get away with this. Please sign our petition to stop McConnell now:

We can’t let Republicans get away with this. Please sign our petition to stop McConnell now:

This can’t wait.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, billionaires like the Koch brothers have flooded our elections with millions in dark money.

Now, Senator Mitch McConnell wants to ELIMINATE one of the only campaign finance limits we have left.

Senate Republicans want to sever the limits on coordination between candidates and political parties — opening up our elections to be bought and sold.

25,OOO SIGNATURES NEEDED: Sign our petition to stop Senator McConnell from GUTTING one of the last remaining campaign finance laws >>
Last December, the Senate drastically raised contribution limits to political parties.

And now McConnell is racing to finish what he started by allowing UNLIMITED coordination.

We can’t let McConnell sell our elections to the highest bidder. Please sign your name now:


Our democracy is at stake,


“Birthright” Event in Washington, D.C. to Celebrate African Diasporic Culture in High Style on August 15th

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2015 Comments Off on “Birthright” Event in Washington, D.C. to Celebrate African Diasporic Culture in High Style on August 15th


Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) – The Adinkra Group is proud to present BIRTHRIGHT, an exquisite indoor event that celebrates African Diasporic Culture in high style with superior performance by four of the hottest traditional and contemporary professional African dance and drum performance ensembles in the country – Asase Yaa (NY), Urban Foli (Baltimore), ASA! Kelenya (DC) and the Farafina Kan Family (DC).

BIRTHRIGHT will take place on Saturday, August 15, 2015 at the newly renovated University of the District of Columbia Theatre of the Arts located at 4200 Connecticut Avenue NW just steps from METRO’s Van Ness Red Line stop. The celebration kicks off at 3 pm with the Good & Plenty Marketplace sponsored by Asli Pure & Koumani Holistics. For individuals interested in a higher level BIRTHRIGHT experience, the VIP Reception starts at 4 pm and features healthy light African fare, live Jazz, custom cocktails, wine and goodie bags for all VIP ticket holders. Theatre seating begins at 5 pm and the show starts at 6 pm.

Inaugurated last year in 2014, over 750 people attended BIRTHRIGHT celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Farafina Kan: The Sound of Africa with amazing performances by the entire Farafina Kan Family – the children’s ensemble (ages 3 – 7), the youth ensemble (age 7 – 12), the junior company (ages 13 -19) and the adult professional company.

The Adinkra Group is a cultural edutainment and resource company based in the Washington, DC area committed to partnering with local, national and international performing, teaching and visual artists and arts organizations who hold at their core and promote progressive messages of humanity through their varied forms art. The Adinkra Group is committed to providing high quality superior presentations that entertain, educate, motivate, and inspire action towards creating a better human experience for all people.

Saturday, August 15, 2015
University of the District of Columbia Theatre of the Arts
4200 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

Good & Plenty Marketplace at 3 pm
VIP Reception at 4 pm
Theatre Seating at 5 pm
Show Starts at 6:00 pm

Tickets available online at www.theadinkragroup.com or the following locations:

Adinkra Cultural Arts Studio
3804 34th Street
Mt. Rainier, MD 20712

Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Center
1803 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11233

Blue Nile Botanicals
2826 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

Glut Food Co-Op
4005 34th Street
Mt Rainier, MD 20712

The Living Well
2443 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

Niseys Boutique
4007 34th Street
Mt. Rainier, MD 20712

Nubian Hueman Boutique
1231 Good Hope Road SE
Washington, DC 20020

Roots Public Charter School
15 Kennedy Street NW
Washington, DC 20011

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Take the A Train to Aurora for the Duke Ellington Orchestra Sat., Sept. 5 at the Paramount Theatre

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2015 Comments Off on Take the A Train to Aurora for the Duke Ellington Orchestra Sat., Sept. 5 at the Paramount Theatre

AURORA, IL – Over the course of 50 years, the great Duke Ellington led a world-renowned jazz orchestra, wrote thousands of compositions and changed the American musical landscape forever.

Even decades after his death, Duke’s Orchestra still honors his incredible legacy in the best way possible: by performing his musical masterpieces for audiences around the world.

In preparation for their exclusive Labor Day weekend performance, the world-class Duke Ellington Orchestra will pack up their pianos, trumpets, drums and more and head to Aurora’s Paramount Theatre. And when they get there, it’s going to be spectacular. Jazz fans, get set for a very special evening of Duke’s biggest numbers, including his foot-tapper “It Don’t Mean A Thing,” his sultry “Take The A Train” and his heart-pounding “Rockin’ in Rhythm,” all with that swinging grandeur that would make Duke proud.

The Duke Ellington Orchestra will perform one-night-only, Saturday, September 5 at 7 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora. Tickets are $35, $40 and $45. To purchase tickets, go to ParamountAurora.com, call the box office, (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

The Duke Ellington Orchestra performing the band's signature song
The Duke Ellington Orchestra performing the band’s signature song “Take the A Train”

More about The Duke Ellington Orchestra

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, born April 29, 1899, is regarded as one of the most prolific American composers of the twentieth century. His career spanned more than 50 years and included leading his orchestra, composing an inexhaustible songbook, scoring for movies, composing stage musicals and performing on world tours. Ellington called his music “American Music” rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as “beyond category.” He remains one of the most influential figures in jazz, if not in all American music, and is widely considered as one of the twentieth century’s best-known African American personalities.

In his 50-year career, Ellington played over 20,000 performances in the United States, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. He led his band from 1923 until his death on May 24, 1974 at the age of 75. At that point, his son Mercer Ellington took leadership of the band. Mercer was an accomplished trumpet player and composer who wrote many songs for his father’s orchestra including the standard “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be.” As director, he toured and recorded with the orchestra for the next 22 years until his own death in 1996, when the baton was then passed to Mercer’s son, Paul Mercer Ellington.

The Duke Ellington Orchestra has been performing worldwide for the past 91 years under the guidance of three generations of the Ellington family. Pianist and composer Tommy James now acts as the conductor for the band that continues to tour around the world year-round.
For more information, visit idealent.com.

More about Paramount Theatre’s 2015-16 Season

In addition to The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Paramount’s 2015-16 season is anchored by its Broadway musical series: Oklahoma, directed by Jim Corti(Sept. 16-Oct. 18); A Christmas Story- The Musical (Nov. 25-Jan. 3), directed by Nick Bowling, Hairspray – The Broadway Musical, directed by Amber Mak (Jan. 20-Feb. 21) and West Side Story, directed by Jim Corti (Mar. 16-Apr. 24).

Paramount is still offering the same great “Buy Two Shows, Get Two Shows Free” subscription offer, with four-play packages starting as low as just $82. The rewards are ample – four amazing, Broadway-quality, classic American musicals at one of the most majestic theaters in the Midwest, all for the price of one show downtown.

Subscriber benefits include the best seats, free ticket exchange privileges, 10% discounts on additional shows at the Paramount, first notice of added shows, special subscriber events and exclusive access to our Broadway Series Premium Guest Experience (including pre-show hors d’oeuvres, open bar and private intermission bar service.)

In addition to its Broadway series, Paramount’s 2015-16 season also boasts The Happy Together Tour and Season Kick-Off Party (Aug. 21), Chicago frontman and solo vocalist Peter Cetera (Sept. 4), Chicago’s own Jersey Boys Under The Streetlamp (Oct. 25), Jay Leno with special musical guest Emily West (Oct. 30), Ballet Folklorico Quetzalcoatl (Oct. 31), Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live! (Nov. 1), star of A&E’s hit Paranormal State The Happy Medium – Kim Russo (Nov. 6), comedian and impressionist Frank Caliendo (Nov. 7), Peter & Paul of the legendary folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary (Nov. 8), country music hunk Josh Turner (Nov. 12), comedian and ventriloquist Terry Fator (Nov. 13), Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis (Nov. 14), The Second City’s Holidazed and Confused Revue (Dec. 4-20, in Paramount’s Copley Theatre), STOMP (Feb. 26 & 27), I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues (A Salute to Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland and Patsy Cline), (Feb 28), Queen cover geniuses God Save the Queen (Mar. 5), and Donny & Marie (May 25-29.) Classic Movie Mondays are back too, with $1 screenings of everyone’s favorite flicks most Monday nights.

For subscriptions, single tickets or more information, go to ParamountAurora.com, call (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount Theatre,
23 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora.

Paramount’s 2015-16 Broadway Series is sponsored by the Dunham Fund,
BMO Harris Bank and Paramount Arts Centre Endowment (PACE). Broadway Series Orchestra Sponsor is Rush-Copley. Broadway Series Lighting Sponsor is ComEd. Broadway Series Costume Sponsor is Gerald Subaru.

About The Paramount Theatre

The Paramount Theatre is the center for performing arts, entertainment and arts education in Aurora, the second largest city in Illinois. Named “One of Chicago’s Top 10 Attended Theatres” by the League of Chicago Theatres, the 1,888-seat Paramount Theatre, located in the heart of downtown Aurora at 23 E. Galena Blvd., is nationally renowned for the quality and caliber of its presentations, superb acoustics and historic beauty.

The Paramount Theatre opened on September 3, 1931. Designed by nationally renowned theater architects C.W. and George L. Rapp, the theater captures a unique Venetian setting portrayed in the art deco influence of the 1930s. The first air-conditioned building outside of Chicago, the Paramount offered the public a variety of entertainment, including “talking pictures,” vaudeville, concerts and circus performances for more than 40 years.

In 1976, Aurora Civic Center Authority purchased the Paramount and closed the theater for restoration. The $1.5 million project restored the Paramount to its original grandeur. On April 29, 1978, the Paramount Arts Center opened, offering a variety of theatrical, musical, comedy, dance and family programming. In 2006, a 12,000-square-foot, two-story Grand Gallery lobby was added, with a new, state-of-the-art box office, café and art gallery.

Today, the Paramount produces its own Broadway Musical series, presents an eclectic array of comedy, music, dance and family shows, and on most Mondays, screens a classic movie. For tickets and information, go to ParamountAurora.com or call (630) 896-6666.

The Paramount Theatre is one of three live performance venues programmed and managed by the Aurora Civic Center Authority (ACCA). ACCA also oversees the Paramount’s “sister” stage, the intimate, 175-seat Copley Theatre located directly across the street from the Paramount at 8 E. Galena Blvd., as well as RiverEdge Park, downtown Aurora’s summer outdoor concert venue.

The Paramount Theatre continues to expand its artistic and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Tim Rater, President and CEO, Aurora Civic Center Authority; Jim Corti, Artistic Director, Paramount Theatre; a dedicated Board of Trustees and a devoted staff of live theater and music professionals.

For more information, visit ParamountAurora.com.

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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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