April , 2019

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Archive for August 7th, 2015

Illinois Residents Rally & March to Take a Stand Against the “Billionaire Budget Bully”

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2015 Comments Off on Illinois Residents Rally & March to Take a Stand Against the “Billionaire Budget Bully”

Rally & March August 10th at the Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph, Chicago from 10:30 a.m – 12:30 p.m.

CHICAGO, IL., August 2015 — Springfield’s inability to pass a balanced budget is decimating social services providers, including those in the childcare industry.

On July 1st, without the input of the legislature, Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration unilaterally changed the eligibility standards of the Child Care Assistance Program. This means 90% of usually qualified families are left without child care for their infants and children. The recent eligibility changes have made it impossible for low-income working parents to survive in Illinois. College preschools that were designed to assist young moms in continuing their education are not planning to reopen.  This month 3,000 centers will not be paid for services rendered in good faith on behalf of the state, forcing many child care facilities to turn families away, lay off staff, and potentially close their doors forever.

On July 2nd, CEDA laid off 200 employees and shut down the majority of its programs and services until further notice: LIHEAP, PIPP, ComEd Special Residential Hardship, Weatherization, Skills Training, and Dental, Vision and Water Bill Assistance. As the summer heat has turned-up, social services have  turned-down. Consequently, the sick and elderly are trapped, alone, in overheated homes, without the assistance of state-funded homecare health aides. The Rauner administration has destroyed the Meals on Wheels Program that gets food to the sick and elderly, and is also delivering a devastating blow to the federally funded WIC Program.  Recently, CEDA announced that they will be forced to suspend services to more than 50,000 low-income women and children, including more than 5,000 medically fragile children who require specialized formula survive.

On August 14th, Teen Reach programs that keep teenagers positively engaged and off of the streets will shut down in various Chicagoland communities. This collapse in this social service resource unnecessarily places our preteens, teens, and young adults in unsafe potentially hazardous environments.

Springfield’s budget impasses is forcing new moms to leave babies home alone; taking therapy away from special needs children; pushing teens to spend the summer on the streets; booting students out of college; strong-arming parents out of work;and trapping the sick and elderly in overheated houses!  It is time for us to SAVE ILLINOIS and stand up to the Billionaire Budget Bully!

Child Care Advocates United has registered nearly 2,000 people for the rally & march at the Thompson Center, Monday, August 10, 2015 at 10:30am. Attendance will be comprised of community organizers, parents, children, providers, and legislators.  Confirmed speakers are: Illinois State Representative Lashawn Ford; Illinois State Representative Mary Flowers; Illinois State Senator Kimberly Lightford; and Harold Rice, CEDA CEO

Participating Organizations Include: Child Care Advocated United (Convener), Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Inc (CEDA), Chicago Teachers Union, Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, Roseland Community Hospital, SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana

Other Guest Speakers Include: Parents, Children, and Child Care Providers

For more updates, visit www.facebook.com/fundchildcarenow

For more information contact Nakisha Hobbs at (312)-399-9727

Direct email to ccauillinois@gmail.com.


Child Care Advocates United

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch: “…The Voting Rights Act Ushered in a New Era of More Inclusive Democracy in This Country”

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2015 Comments Off on Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch: “…The Voting Rights Act Ushered in a New Era of More Inclusive Democracy in This Country”

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Delivers Remarks at White House Event Commemorating 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch: Thank you for that warm welcome.  It’s a pleasure to be here this afternoon and a privilege to join so many dedicated public servants, passionate advocates and inspiring citizens who have devoted their lives and their professional careers to the fight for equal rights and equal justice.  I am honored to share the stage with Congressman [John] Lewis – a legend in the history of the Civil Rights Movement and a lifelong champion of human rights.  And I want to thank President [Barack] Obama and the White House staff for making this commemoration possible.

Just over five decades ago, in the aftermath of a Bloody Sunday that captured the attention of a nation and awakened the conscience of its people, President Lyndon Johnson addressed the United States to discuss a matter of great importance – to speak, he said, for “the dignity of man and the destiny of democracy.”  He described a voting system not only in the South, but throughout the country, that was rife with inequity and injustice.  He discussed the unalienable rights that so many men, women and children had fought and died to achieve.  And he declared that their sacrifices – and the words of the Constitution – demanded that our country right a terrible wrong, beginning with the passage of a bill to ensure the right to vote for every American.

What he was invoking was nothing less than the soul of our democracy – the belief that it is a democracy that belongs equally to all Americans and that all Americans equally must have the right to full participation in this great democracy of ours.

From the moment it was passed in 1965, the Voting Rights Act ushered in a new era of more inclusive democracy in this country.  Its impact was swift and sweeping – affirming a right that had too long been subject to debate; establishing protections to which every citizen is unambiguously entitled; and codifying into law the foremost American ideal: that all are created equal.  The increased exercise of that most fundamental, most American of rights brought forth a blossoming of democracy that expanded our electorate and inspired the world.  Minority voter registration soared, diversity among elected officials began to increase and voices that had long been silenced were finally – and justly – heard.  And in the years since, through four overwhelming bipartisan reauthorizations in Congress and the signatures of four Republican presidents, the government of the United States – often led by the Department of Justice and supported by our outstanding Civil Rights Division – worked tirelessly to enforce the act’s provisions, to achieve its goals and to expand its reach to every citizen in every county across the nation.  There can be no doubt that, because of the Voting Rights Act, the United States and its people have made once-unimaginable progress.

This essential freedom, this precious right, like all that we treasure, was hard fought and hard won.  And it is the lesson of every generation that the price of freedom is constant vigilance, because opponents of free and fair access to the voting booth have neither retreated nor surrendered.  Since the very beginning and at every step, organized opposition has worked to set us back – to take advantage of apathy, discord and disarray, and to restrict the rights that are due to all Americans: the right to representation; the right to access the franchise; the right to have a say – and therefore a stake – in the direction of this country; and the right, underlying all others, to be viewed as a full and equal citizen.  The forces of obstruction are as old as the rights they have fought to deny.

They too, have taken to the courts.  Just two years ago, in the Shelby County v. Holder decision, the United States Supreme Court dealt the most serious blow the Voting Rights Act had experienced in its five-decade history.  The case at issue undermined Section 5 of the act – a key provision that had allowed the federal government to review changes in voting laws and procedures before they went into effect in jurisdictions with a history of disenfranchisement.  The Supreme Court’s decision turned the success of the Voting Rights Act against itself, ruling that, because of the progress that had been made in the covered jurisdictions – thanks in part to some of the extraordinary people in this room today – the Voting Rights Act could no longer be applied as it was written.

There is no doubt that the Shelby County decision represented a serious setback.  As Justice [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg wrote in her powerful dissenting opinion, “Throwing out pre-clearance when it has worked and is continuing to work…is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”  In the aftermath of the decision, various states moved to implement or enact new and burdensome voting restrictions – including some that would previously have been subject to pre-clearance.  That’s why my predecessor, Attorney General Eric Holder, pledged that the Department of Justice would “take swift enforcement action – using every legal tool that remains available to us – against any jurisdiction that seeks to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s ruling by hindering eligible citizens’ full and free exercise of the franchise.”  And that is exactly what we have done.

In fact, over the course of the Obama Administration, the Justice Department has participated in more than 100 voting cases.  We have stood up for the rights of African-Americans, Spanish speakers and countless other individuals who have faced obstacles to casting their ballots.  In the wake of Shelby County, we successfully challenged Texas’s strict photo identification requirement for voting – and I’m proud to tell you that just yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a unanimous opinion agreeing with us that the law had a discriminatory effect in violation of the Voting Rights Act.  Separately, we have sued to block two of Texas’s statewide redistricting plans.  And in my home state of North Carolina, we are challenging several provisions of a state law that, among other things, cut down on early voting and eliminated same-day registration.  All three of those cases involved intensive, multi-week trials, and the dedicated women and men of our Voting Section deserve highest praise for their outstanding work and for the unmistakable message they have sent: that the Department of Justice will use every tool, exercise every means and do everything within our power to protect the sacred American right to vote.

That effort has continued on a variety of fronts.  We are working with Congress on legislative proposals to restore the Voting Rights Act.  We have filed amicus briefs and statements of interest in a wide range of private Voting Rights Act lawsuits, including major challenges to restrictive voting laws in Ohio and Wisconsin.  We sent monitors and observers to 28 jurisdictions across 18 states for the November 2014 general election – in a fair and nonpartisan manner – to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act.  We have consulted with tribal leaders and proposed new legislation that would ease access to polling places for those living on Indian reservations, in Alaska Native villages or on other tribal lands.  And we have aggressively enforced the National Voter Registration Act to protect those registering to vote, as well as the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act to defend the rights of our services members, their families and United States citizens living abroad, and have proposed new amendments to provide greater protections to military and overseas voters.

Let me be clear: neither I, nor the Department of Justice that I am proud to lead, will ever stand down from our responsibility to ensure the rights of every American.  We will remain vigilant against new statutes and policies that encroach on the full and fair exercise of the franchise.  We will remain on guard against those seeking to dismantle the provisions of our laws and the promise they represent.  And we will remain determined to push back against this creeping, constant, insidious threat to the core values of our nation.  If indeed the arc of the moral universe bends towards justice, as I believe that it does, then the law is the counterweight that keeps its course true.

After all, as heroes like Congressman Lewis know all too well, and as all of you here in this room understand, there is nothing inevitable about progress.  You have all demonstrated time and again that you recognize the importance of our shared efforts.  Particularly in this country – a nation designed both by and for the people – the future has always belonged to those who dare to imagine it; who decide to build it; and who resolve to protect it from those who might tear it down.  That is why it is incumbent on all of us – from every political background and every geographic community; from every legislative office and every governors’ mansion; from the halls of Congress to the streets of this nation – to stand up, to speak out and to make clear that no end is worth the means of disenfranchisement; no political advantage is worth the erosion of our freedoms; and no small-minded policy is worth the cheapening of our democracy.  As President Johnson said when he introduced the Voting Rights Act, “There is no cause for self-satisfaction in the long denial of equal rights to millions of Americans.”

Five decades after the passage of the Voting Rights Act – more than 150 years after human beings held in bondage achieved Emancipation; nearly a century after women viewed as chattel won the 19th Amendment; and long after a diverse but united Civil Rights Movement marched – bloodied, but unbowed – through a long night of racial injustice – our march must continue.  Our hope must endure.  And our work must go on.  Our path forward will not be easy.  It never has been.  But let me tell you what I know.  We cannot guarantee the absence of discrimination or the end of ill will.  But we can guarantee the presence of justice.  We can guarantee the spread of opportunity.  We can guarantee that all of us here today and Americans of strong principle and deep convictions across the country will stay united, keep the faith and continue the march, until the greatness of this country is made real for every American.  As I look out over this distinguished gathering, I cannot help feeling optimistic about the road ahead.

Thank you, once again, for your dedication to this cause; for your commitment to this country; and for your devotion to all its citizens.  I look forward to the work we will do together in the service of our shared mission in the days and years to come.

Treasurer Frerichs Hosts State Treasurers to Discuss Implementation of ABLE Act

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2015 Comments Off on Treasurer Frerichs Hosts State Treasurers to Discuss Implementation of ABLE Act

New Illinois Law to Provide Financial Stability, Independence for Individuals with Disabilities

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs welcomed state treasurers from across the nation and discussed working together to implement a program that helps families save money to cover expenses for people with disabilities.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) increases the amount of money that can be saved and spent each year without jeopardizing federal assistance or incurring certain taxes. The ABLE Act assists families facing challenges such as Autism, Down Syndrome, Blindness, or someone who has suffered a debilitating injury before the age of 26. ABLE accounts are similar to 529 college saving plans with earnings that are tax-advantaged federally.

“It is my pleasure to host my fellow state treasury leaders to brainstorm and discuss how to best implement the ABLE Act in our respective states to ensure we are helping as many people as we possibly can,” Frerichs said. “The ABLE Act will make a tremendous difference for individuals with disabilities, giving them the financial stability, independence, and peace of mind to live their lives with dignity.”

The ABLE Forum, which is being held at the Bilandic Building August 6 and 7 in Chicago, includes sessions on Treasury regulations, market assessment, college savings programs, effective communication, and program coordination.

“I want to thank Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs for hosting this forum which allows states and potential private sector partners to discuss issues surrounding the implementation of ABLE programs,” Hon. Alabama State Treasurer Young Boozer III said. “These unique programs will allow individuals with disabilities to save for their future and we are privileged to have the opportunity to assist these individuals and their families. I am delighted to tell you that more than 35 states and 17 private sector firms have come to Chicago to begin the process of implementing ABLE plans and have been joined by experts from the disability community to help us better understand their needs and the beneficiaries we will serve with this new program.”

The Treasurer’s office will be responsible for the administration and implementation of ABLE accounts in accordance with federal rules and regulations. The accounts can be used to pay for qualifying expenses such as education, health, housing and transportation costs. ABLE accounts are similar to 529 college saving plans with earnings that are tax-advantaged federally.

Senate Bill 1383 was signed into law in Illinois on July 27. Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign and Representative Kelly Burke of Oak Lawn are applauded for their leadership and guidance to get the proposal passed by the Illinois General Assembly.

President Preckwinkle’s Initiative on Automatic Transfers Signed by Gov. Rauner

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2015 Comments Off on President Preckwinkle’s Initiative on Automatic Transfers Signed by Gov. Rauner

Rep. Nekritz and Sen. Raoul’s leadership in Springfield leads to restoration of judicial discretion

Cook County Board President Toni’s Preckwinkle top criminal justice reform priority was signed into law.

House Bill 3718, which was championed in Springfield by Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, and Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, will greatly reduce the number of juveniles who are automatically transferred to adult court.  The bill restores judicial discretion in nearly 70 percent of cases that are currently automatically transferred to adult court.
The legislation also requires data tracking and reporting on cases involving transfer and will bring Illinois into compliance with federal reporting requirements on disproportionate minority contact and transfer.

HB 3718 is one of four juvenile justice bills, focused on “right-sizing” the system, which were signed today by Gov. Bruce Rauner. All were supported by President Preckwinkle this session.
“This is a great step in restoring judicial discretion and eliminating ‘one-size-fits-all’ policies in our justice system,” Preckwinkle said. “After submitting to the misguided pressures of tough on crime, Illinois is once again establishing itself as the leader in juvenile justice.

“Thanks to the efforts of Rep. Nekritz, Sen. Raoul and our broad list of partners in government  — along with the advocacy, civic and service provider communities — more youths in Illinois will have the right to a fair hearing in front of juvenile court judge to decide whether they should be tried as an adult or are better suited for the rehabilitative nature of juvenile court.”
Rep. Nekritz said, “As the national debate over sentencing policies continues, I’m proud that Illinois has taken a leadership role. These bills represent the most significant sentencing reform in our state since the abolition of the death penalty. This is a first but important step in right-sizing our prisons.”

“For most juvenile offenders, especially those who have committed non-violent crimes, we see better outcomes and lower rates of recidivism when they are able to live in the community and attend school, rather than being detained in a facility far from home,” said Sen. Raoul . “I’m grateful to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and her chief of staff, Kim Foxx, for their work in eliminating the automatic transfer of minors to the adult court system, and to Department of Juvenile Justice Director Candace Jones for helping pass sweeping reforms within the Department.”

After being promoted by President Preckwinkle and moved forward by Rep. Nekritz and Sen. Raoul, the bill eventually gained unprecedented support from the Cook County State’s Attorney and the Illinois State’s Attorneys Association.

The law had a drastic disproportionate impact on children of color, a problem that plagues the justice system at all levels.  “Automatic transfers were the most extreme example of disproportionate impact,” Preckwinkle said.  “It is promising to see that we there is consensus to reverse some of the laws that have such a dramatic impact on communities of color.”
In addition to automatic transfer reform, the governor also signed:

·        Senate Bill 1560, also championed by Sen. Raoul and Rep. Nekritz, which prohibits youth from being sent to juvenile prison for misdemeanor offenses and limits a juvenile’s time on parole after being released;

·        House Bill 2567, which requires administrators to seek a community-based alternative before accepting youths 10-12 years old into juvenile detention; and

·        House Bill 3141, which requires public reports from the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice regarding expenditures and data regarding the youth in its custody.

“America The Black Point of View” Wins Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2015 Comments Off on “America The Black Point of View” Wins Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award

Tony Rose, author of America: The Black Point of View

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – America The Black Point of View: An Investigation and Study of The White People of America and Western Europe and The Autobiography of an American Ghetto Boy – The 1950’s and 1960’s – From the Projects to NAACP Image Award Winner, Volume One (Amber Books) by Tony Rose has won the 2nd Annual Los Angeles Leimert Park Book Fair “Jessie Redmon Fauset” Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award. The winners in each category were announced on Friday, July 31, 2015 at the Los Angeles Leimert Park Book Fair Luncheon Awards Ceremony and presented on the main stage by “Jesse Redmon Fauset” Book Awards, Director, Annette Thomas, at the Book Fair on Saturday, August 1, 2015.

The L.A. Leimert Park Book Fair founded by Executive Director, Cynthia Exum, has hosted some of the nationals top authors and artists including Pulitzer Prize winning writer Isabel Wilkerson; California Laureate Al Young; Award Winning Poet, Nikki Govanni; Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Essence magazine, Susan L. Taylor; Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr.; Emmy-nominated music director Rickey Minor of “American Idol” and former band leader of the “Tonight Show;” Pulitzer Prize-winning author Douglas Blackmon; prominent literary figure Ishmael Reed; New York Times best-selling author Eric Jerome Dickey; Advertising Hall of Famer Tom Burrell; award winning chef Govind Armstrong; playwright/author Donald Welch; screenwriter Rob Edwards (“Princess and the Frog”); art enthusiasts and philanthropists Dr. Bernard W. and Shirley Kinsey; award-winning poet Ruth Forman, spoken word tour-de-force-Talaam Acey and actress/childrens author Kim Wayans just to name a few.

In addition, each year LPVBF distributes more than 1,500 free books to fair attendees, including over 300 books to local foster care children. The Leimert Park Village Book Fair, based in South Central Los Angeles, is the main annual literary event for the Black community on the West Coast. A number of authors and screenwriters attend every year to expose the community to their latest work, and thousands of book lovers come to see what all of these writers are writing about.


Fiction – (tie)

*Bad Blood Mary Monroe (Dafina/Kensington)
*Delicious Foods – James Hannaham (Little, Brown and Company)
The Honey Spot – L. Divine (Ebb & Flow)
Rumor Has It Cheris Hodges (Dafina/Kensington)
God Help the Child Toni Morrison (Alfred A. Knopf)
Disgruntled – Asali Solomon (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Non-Fiction – (tie)

*Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year – Tavis Smiley, David Ritz (Little, Brown and Company)
*America: The Black Point of View Tony Rose (Amber Communications Group, Inc.)
No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant – Thandisizwe Chimurenga (IPP)
My Journey with Maya – Tavis Smiley, David Ritz (Little, Brown and Company)

Non-Fiction Auto-Biography, Biography & Memoir

*Rising Up From the Blood – Sarah Washington O’Neal Rush (Solid Rock Publishing)
African-American Warrant Officers – Farrell J. Chiles (BookLocker.com Inc.)
Michelle Obama: A Life The Light of the World: A Memoir I Am Charlie Wilson

To see the full list of winners, visit www.leimertparkbookfair.com
Book Synopsis:

America the Black Point of View is essentially a childrens story – A story of tens of millions of African American children locked away, in the segregated, red lined ghettos and housing projects of America. Living in a bad and horrific environment, in bad conditions, with bad parents, in bad schools, where death rides hard and is known by everybody.

In this investigation and study of the White people of Western Europe and America, Tony Rose takes you on a four million year autobiographical and historic journey of great beauty and even greater horror.

The screams and howls of centuries of terror, violence and brutality transcend time as you, the reader, are taken on a tremendously honest, never before written, seen, heard or read in American literature, epic journey from Africa to Western Europe to the Americas in this compelling, violent, and true story of two turbulent and distinct African American families of unbridled good and evil, both born and raised in the brutality and horror of American slavery, segregation and Jim Crow.

The journey takes you all the way to the terrifying, vicious and savagely honest, invisible black ghetto world of a child, and then teenager, growing up in the housing projects of the 1950’s and 1960’s, where the schools of hard knocks and real fucked up shit are taught, lived, and died in, side by side.

I come from a place that is so invisible that you can hardly see me.

I come from a place that is so invisible that you can hardly see me.
Yet, I am despised, hated and feared more than anyone or anything.
I am invisible, I live in the real ghetto, the projects. I am poor and
hungry, I live in the underbelly of America and I am poor and have
nothing. I am a black man, I am a black woman, I am a black
child, and I am invisible, until someone kills me. — Tony Rose
About the Author:

Tony Rose, was born in Roxbury, (Boston) Massachusetts and raised in the Whittier Street Housing Projects. He is an NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literature, the Publisher and CEO of Amber Communications Group, Inc., the nations largest African American Publisher of Self-Help Books and Music Biographies and the 2013 44th Annual NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literature (Youth/Teens) for the title, Obama Talks Back: Global Lessons A Dialogue for Americas Young Leaders (Amber Books) by Gregory J. Reed, Esq.

He is the editor of numerous books and the co-writer of the national bestseller, Is Modeling For You? The Handbook and Guide For The Young Aspiring Black Model, written with Yvonne Rose, and has penned the critically acclaimed, international best-seller, Before the Legend: The Rise of New Kids On The Block and A Guy Named Maurice Starr, The Early Years.He has written, compiled, edited and published, the award winning, international best-seller, African American History In The United States of America An Anthology From Africa To President Barack Obama, Volume One, a Top Ten Best African American Book and has recently written the critically acclaimed, America the Black Point of View An Investigation and Study of the White People of America and Western Europe & The Autobiography of an American Ghetto BoyThe 1950s and 1960sFrom the Projects to NAACP Image Award Winner, Volume One.

Rose comments on why he wrote America the Black Point of View:

“I found out early on that this was not going to be an easy book to write. I wanted to write an autobiography about my early childhood and teen years and the horrific murderers, pimps, gangsters, drug dealers, drug addicts, rapists, child abusers and thieves, that I grew up with, lived with, called family, and write about in The Autobiography of an American Ghetto Boy. I soon realized that I could not write about me as an African American child and teen living in America, without writing about White America, what it was like when I was a child, how it shaped the people around me and what it is like to now live in America, which for tens of millions of African American children is horrific, terrifying, and not so very different than it was for me as a child.”

He continues, “I also wanted to write about what it was like for a child and young teenager to grow up in the real ghetto, the projects, and come from a dysfunctional and violent family where contrary to what poor Black people are always depicted as; there was no God, no church on Sunday, no marching with Martin Luther King, Jr., and no singing in the church choir.”

Where to Purchase the Book:

America the Black Point of View – Amazon.com – Paperback

America the Black Point of View – Barnes&Noble.com – Paperback

America the Black Point of View – Amazon.com – eBook (Kindle)

America the Black Point of View – Barnes&Noble.com – eBook (Nook)

For more details, visit www.TheBlackPointofView.com or www.AmberBooks.com

Photo Caption: Bookcover and author, Tony Rose

Boulevard Lakefront Tour Returns August 23 for 30th Anniversary of Active Transportation Alliance

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2015 Comments Off on Boulevard Lakefront Tour Returns August 23 for 30th Anniversary of Active Transportation Alliance

Chicago’s longest-running bike ride visits the city’s earliest parks, original boulevards, lakefront trail and the new 606 trail

CHICAGO, IL — Active Transportation Alliance, Chicagoland’s voice for better biking, walking and transit, is celebrating its 30th Anniversary by bringing back a much-loved event — The Boulevard Lakefront Tour (BLT).

The BLT began in 1989, four years after the organization was founded as the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation (CBF). The ride continued through 2008 when CBF became the Active Transportation Alliance, and then the event was revamped in 2011 to the Four Star Bike Tour to accommodate different bike routes.

In honor of Active Trans’ 30th anniversary, BLT is back and includes routes that overlap with those from the early days of BLT and a throwback costume contest that is sure to feature tube socks and neon shirts.

BLT was the organization’s first fundraiser, but it was more than that. The ride occupies a special place in the history of Chicagoland bicycling because it proved to elected officials that thousands of people wanted to ride and improve conditions for bicycling.

“We go back to the days when very few people biked in the Chicago region and ours was often a lone voice,” said Active Trans board member and CBF’s first Executive Director, Randy Neufeld. “Even 10 years ago, ideas like protected bike lanes, the Divvy bike-sharing program, thousands of daily bikes trips to Metra stations, or the thought that 6,000 bikes per day would travel Milwaukee Avenue would have been viewed as pipe dreams by most everyone!”

“Active Trans and a relatively small group of volunteers scrapped and clawed for years, riding into a proverbial headwind of disinterest or outright opposition to bicycling,” said Ron Burke, executive director of Active Trans. “It’s gratifying to see our work paying dividends, with bicycling much more popular and mainstream today than when we held the first Boulevard Lakefront Tour in 1989.”

BLT’s fundraising success grew with the organization and allowed CBF to move out of survival mode into programs that made a powerful and lasting impact on the region.

“It’s fitting that the BLT is back to honor Active Trans’ 30th,” said Neufeld.

The ride, taking place on Sunday, August 23, will start and finish at Memorial Grove on UIC’s Chicago campus (from 1989 through 2009, the start and finish were at the University of Chicago). BLT features four family-friendly distances to choose from that primarily use low-traffic streets:

>> The 14-mile route includes Chinatown, Bridgeport, Bronzeville, Burnham Park, and Chicago’s lakefront plus more. 14-mile riders can participate in Active Trans’ Safe City Cycling class and get on-street bicycling instruction from a trained cycling instructor.

>> The 28-mile route shares the first 8 miles of the 14-mile route through University Village, the Near South Side, Bridgeport, Bronzeville and Douglas neighborhoods. Riders will continue further south along the Lakefront to Hyde Park before returning north on the boulevard system.

>> The 36-mile route heads south along the Lakefront Trail to Hyde Park and passes through the University of Chicago. Heading northwest, the route continues through Bronzeville, Bridgeport and the Lower West Side on the way to visit three of Chicago’s premiere green spaces, Douglas Park, Garfield Park and the new 606 trails.

>> The 63-mile participants will see much of the 36-mile route before heading northwest, eventually reaching Forest Glen and the North Branch Trail as it runs through Niles and into Morton Grove. After refueling at the northernmost point, riders turn south back into the city and continue down to Logan Square where they will enjoy a ride along the new 606 trail.

All routes will conclude at UIC’s Memorial Grove with a post ride festival featuring music, Goose Island beer, a throwback apparel contest and hot dogs! Online registration closes on Saturday, August 22, 2015 at noon. Register before Friday, August 7 to save $5 for adults. (Day of registration will be available as well with an additional late fee). Register at bltride.org. Special discount code blvd3 for $3 off your online entry.

Illinois EPA Statement on Clean Power Plan Final Rule

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2015 Comments Off on Illinois EPA Statement on Clean Power Plan Final Rule

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois EPA Director Lisa Bonnett issued the following statement following President Obama’s announcement on the Clean Power Plan final rule:

“Illinois is evaluating the final rule. Illinois’ priority will be to ensure that our energy sector has the flexibility needed to meet the emission reduction limits under the Clean Power Plan, while providing residents and businesses with reliable and affordable electricity. Illinois is fortunate in that we have tremendous energy diversity, and we will want to leverage our strengths.”

Vice President Joe Biden’s Statement on the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2015 Comments Off on Vice President Joe Biden’s Statement on the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

Our task to protect the fundamental right to vote is as critical today as it was fifty years ago when Dr. King stood in the White House as President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law.

Dr. King wrote, “Voting is the foundation stone for political action.” Voting is the engine that drives all civil rights, all human rights, and all economic rights in this country. It’s the right from which all other rights flow.

That’s why Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, Bob Moses, and young people like James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner risked everything in the hot summer of 1964 to register voters in the state of Mississippi—and countless other heroes marched in communities across the country to ensure every eligible person could exercise his or her most basic right of citizenship.

The desire for that voice is what inspired 600 courageous young people, including my friend John Lewis, to march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, straight into the belly of hell. It inspired a nationwide movement that brought the Voting Rights Act to President Johnson’s desk 50 years ago today.

And it’s why we remain committed to using every tool at our disposal and every fiber of our being to protect this fundamental right, as we did in Texas when a federal court struck down one of the most pernicious anti-voting laws in the country.

The legacy of the Voting Rights Act is not fulfilled until we break down the barriers designed to silence our fellow citizens.

And so on this day and every day, I salute generations of marchers for justice who continue this fight to ensure that most fundamental American act: to vote.

State Education and Health Agencies Issue Reminder for Immunizations as Students Prepare for New School Year

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2015 Comments Off on State Education and Health Agencies Issue Reminder for Immunizations as Students Prepare for New School Year

August marks National Immunization Awareness Month

SPRINGFIELD, IL —  As students are preparing to head back to school, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) encourage parents and guardians to ensure their children’s immunizations are up to date. There is a new school-entrance immunization requirement for the upcoming school year.

Beginning this fall, a meningococcal conjugate vaccination (MCV4) requirement becomes effective for students entering grades six or 12. Sixth-graders must show proof of one dose of MCV4; 12th-graders must show proof of having received two doses. Twelfth-graders who received the first dose after 16 years of age need only one dose.

In addition, any child entering kindergarten, sixth grade or ninth grade for the first time shall show proof of having received two doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine. IDPH’s Immunization Quick Reference Guide provides additional details about the 2015-16 requirements.

“Immunizations are in place to protect students and their families,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “It’s important that our students stay healthy so they can remain in the classroom, continuing to learn and grow throughout the year.”

The State of Illinois requires vaccinations to protect children from a variety of diseases before they can enter school. For school entrance, students must show proof of diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, haemophilus influenza type b, hepatitis b, and varicella, as well as pneumococcal  and now meningococcal (depending on age) vaccinations.  For more information about immunizations, including vaccination schedules, visit http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/immunization.

“Although we are seeing fewer cases of many vaccine-preventable diseases, if we don’t continue to vaccinate our children, we will see an uptick and more people become infected. We could experience another outbreak similar to the measles outbreak which occurred in Illinois earlier this year,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “Vaccines have been proven to be a safe and effective way to keep children protected against a number of diseases.”

August marks National Immunization Awareness Month, which aims to educate people of all ages about the importance of protecting their health by being immunized against infectious diseases.

In addition to immunizations, all students enrolling in kindergarten — in a public or private school — and any student enrolling for the first time in Illinois (with the exception of preschoolers) must also have an eye examination. The eye exam needs to be performed by a licensed optometrist or medical doctor who performs eye exams and is licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. All eye exams must be completed within one year prior to Oct. 15.

Furthermore, all students enrolled in kindergarten, the second, and the sixth grades are required to have a dental examination.

Also, all children must complete a physical examination prior to entering Illinois schools for the first time, prior to the date of entering kindergarten or first grade, prior to entering sixth grade, and prior to entering ninth grade. The exam includes gender and date of birth; an evaluation of height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, skin, eyes, ears, nose, throat, mouth/dental; cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, genito-urinary, neurological, and musculoskeletal evaluations; spinal examination; evaluation of nutritional status; lead screening; and other evaluations deemed necessary by the health care provider. Illinois’ health exam requirements are aligned with recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on adolescent vaccinations.

These student health requirements for entry apply to all schools in Illinois – public, charter, or private. Parents and guardians should contact their health care provider, local health department, or pharmacy to schedule an appointment to receive the recommended and required vaccinations. It is important to keep an immunization record card for your child’s entry into school.

IDPH offers additional immunization information on its website. There is also the Illinois Help Me Grow helpline at 1-800-323-GROW (voice and TTY) for additional immunization information. For parents who may not be able to afford immunizations, the Vaccines for Children program provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families. For information, call (312) 746-6050 in Chicago or (217) 785-1455 for the rest of the state.

For additional information about immunizations in Illinois, visit:

Tell the Federal Reserve: Don’t Raise Interest Rates

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2015 Comments Off on Tell the Federal Reserve: Don’t Raise Interest Rates

Letters to Editors

Petition to the Federal Reserve:

“Don’t raise interest rates while many Americans are still struggling. Working families haven’t made a full economic recovery and now is not the time to declare victory.”

Add your name:

Sign the petition â–º
Tell the Federal Reserve: Don't raise interest rates

Will the Federal Reserve pick economic growth on Main Street, or Wall Street profits? The answer may be up to us.

Wall Street is leaning hard on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, which would help banks pad their bottom lines by allowing them to charge more to lend money. And just a few days ago, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen admitted the Fed was anticipating raising rates in September, even though it would increase the cost of student loans, mortgages, and car loans.1,2

Raising rates would also slow the economy at a time when wages are still flat and unemployment, especially for African-American and Latino workers, is still painfully high.3 That’s why we’re teaming up with the Center for Popular Democracy and progressive allies to bring the voices of everyday Americans directly to the Fed and demand rates stay low until the recovery reaches all Americans.

Tell the Federal Reserve: Don’t raise interest rates. Click here to sign the petition.

Add your name now, and your signature will be delivered along with hundreds of thousands of others to the Federal Reserve board chairs on August 27th at their annual meeting in Jackson Hole. We’ll deliver the message loud and clear: Low rates help Main Street, higher rates pad Wall Street profits, and the Federal Reserve needs to make the right call.

The Federal Reserve is supposed to have a dual mandate: maintain full employment, and fight inflation. In addition to regulating the banking system and serving as a lender of last resort, it regulates the supply of money in our economy. The Fed’s primary tool for balancing its two goals is the federal funds rate, which is the rate which banks can borrow from each other overnight. When money is “cheap” – when banks can borrow overnight at low rates – the economy grows, but often so does the risk of inflation.4

The bad news for all of us is that big banks are over-represented in the Federal Reserve’s decision-making, turning fighting inflation into the top priority.5,6 Big banks that hold lots of assets don’t want those assets to lose value due to inflation, so they demand higher interest rates to reduce the money supply. They also make more money when interest rates are high, because there is more wiggle room between the interest rates they charge consumers and what they have to pay to borrow.7 Instead of standing with struggling families to create jobs and raise wages, the Federal Reserve has been hijacked to serve the needs of banks.

Tell the Federal Reserve: Don’t raise interest rates. Click here to sign the petition.

After the 2008 crash, the Federal Reserve did everything in its power to keep interest rates low in order to stimulate the economy, and it deserves credit for preventing Republicans’ later job-killing austerity cuts from throwing us back into recession.8 But all that good work could be undone. Now is not the time to put the brakes on the economy.

While many claim the Federal Reserve is “apolitical,” the truth is that most central banks are political actors – on behalf of Wall Street, not Main Street. It is up to us to make our voices heard.

Tell the Federal Reserve: Don’t raise interest rates. Click below to sign the petition:


Thank you for speaking out,

Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition â–º
  1. Jon Hilsenrath and Ben Leubsdorf, “Fed Preps Careful Path for Rate Hike,” Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2015.
  2. Patrick Gillespie, “Fed rate hike: speed and size matter more than the start,” CNN.com, April 13, 2015.
  3. Alyssa Davis, “Young Black High School Grads Face Astonishing Underemployment,” Economic Policy Institute, June 8, 2015.
  4. John Schoen, “How does the Fed raise interest rates?” CNBC, April 10, 2015.
  5. “Federal Reserve System Structure and Governance: A Balance of Power,” Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, 2009.
  6. Mike Konzcal, “Why Liberals Should Join Conservatives’ Fed-Bashing Fun,” The New Republic, September 20, 2011.
  7. Dakin Campbell, “Banks Want Higher Interest Rates,” Bloomberg, November 14, 2013.
  8. Schoen, “How does the Fed raise interest rates?”

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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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