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Archive for August 11th, 2015

Madigan: House Expands Federal Funds Spending Plan to Include Disaster Relief, Assistance for Elderly and Other Essential Programs

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2015 Comments Off on Madigan: House Expands Federal Funds Spending Plan to Include Disaster Relief, Assistance for Elderly and Other Essential Programs

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan on Tuesday announced the House’s plan to make sure that programs serving children with disabilities and life-saving cancer screenings are included in a plan to spend federal dollars while lawmakers continue to push for a balanced approach to the state budget.

“Spending authority for 11 federally funded programs will be added Tuesday to legislation giving state agencies the ability to spend federal dollars on several vital programs during the current budget impasse,” Madigan said.

Madigan’s amendment to the $4.8 billion measure approved by the Senate last Tuesday adds funding for disaster relief, breast and cervical cancer screenings, funding for assistance to children with disabilities, and Meals on Wheels for homebound elderly residents, among other items. The amendment adds $1.56 billion in spending authority to the spending plan under Senate Bill 2042.

“After examining the legislation passed by the Senate, which Governor Rauner expressed his support for, we were contacted about additional programs of vital importance to the health and well-being of families across Illinois where the state and federal governments both provide funding. We believe funding for these programs, which can be delivered despite the lack of a state budget in place, is needed before the measure is sent to the governor,” Madigan explained.

The current version of the federal funds spending plan passed with bipartisan support in the Senate, and Gov. Rauner announced his support for the plan. Madigan expressed optimism the bill would have not only wide bipartisan support when the House passes the bill Wednesday, but support from Rauner, as well.

Pfleger Warns: Until America Fixes the ‘Storms’ Creating Violence it Will Continue

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2015 Comments Off on Pfleger Warns: Until America Fixes the ‘Storms’ Creating Violence it Will Continue

State of Emergency issued after Michael Brown march

By Chinta Strausberg

In remembrance of the first anniversary since the murder of Michael Brown, Father Michael L. Pfleger Sunday paid honor to Lucia McBath, the mother of 17-year-old Jordan Davis who was fatally shot nearly three-years ago in Jacksonville, Florida because his killer did not like the teen’s loud music, but he warned if America didn’t fix the “storms” that create violence, it would continue.

McBath joined Father Pfleger during the 11:15 a.m. worship hour in a service that remembered not only Brown, but McBath’s son who was killed by 47-year-old Michael Dunn who didn’t like Davis’ loud music and shot into the teen’s car killing him. Dunn received a life sentence plus 90-years for this murder.

Saying since this tragedy there have been “countless” other murders some not reported, Pfleger said Davis was killed by  “a man who shot him down like an animal….”

Asking every black male to stand by the altar with McBath, Pfleger said, “The reality is black men are still being shot down, killed. They are being shot down and killed by racist police. They are being shot down by vigilantes who are trigger-happy, and they are being shot and killed in our communities by black-on-black crime right in our neighborhood.”

Murder, Pfleger said, “is not acceptable on any of those levels from police, vigilantes or from brothers on the block…, but it is too easy to just say you got to stop black boys from killing black boys. We’ll continue to have violence in this country until we have the courage to deal with the root of these issues.

“We took down a Confederate flag but the Confederate agenda flies wild and strong…. Black Lives Matter is not some tagline,” Pfleger said. “Black Lives Matter is not some hashtag. Black Life Matter is some crime from the street of young brothers and sisters who are saying, ‘Black Lives Matter, America. Pay attention to us.’”

“Until we have the courage to say we’re going to end not just wrong thinking on the street but end unemployment, end bad education, end lack of economic development and all the perfect storms that create this violence in the street, America has to start caring about black lies in America,” bellowed Pfleger.

“Until we do that, Lucia’s son, my son, Annette’s son and all these lives up here are at risk,” he said referring to the young black men standing behind him at the altar. “Until we do something about it as a society from the president on down to us on the street, we are all co-conspirators of the murders going on,” Pfleger said.

Saying she is a product of Chicago, McBath said the man who killed her son “did not see my son as a human being…that valued his life as a young black man….” She is going around the country speaking out on the injustices of police killing unarmed black men.

She urged parents to raise their children not to be afraid and to take their rightful place. “We are the only ones who can change what is happening to our country…,” she said with the help of individuals and other organizations.

McBath urged them to “pressure” legislators “to change the laws that allow the police and other people who are shooting down our children and our babies. You must act,” she said. “We do not have a lot of time.”

“If you do not let your state and local legislators know  you will vote the out of office if they do not enact” reform gun laws, “what we see happening in this country will only continue to get worse. Rise up Chicago. Rise up Saint Sabina. Take up your place. You have value. You matter. We matter, and we have to continually fight to survive, but we deserve to survive because that is our God-given right,” she said receiving a standing ovation.

Pfleger asked Cinque Cullar, a nationally known gospel singer and member of Saint Sabina to sing “His Eyes are on the Sparrow,” to all of the fallen victims –a song that brought tears to the eyes of both Pfleger and McBath.

“We are going to save you,” Pfleger said asking the members to point to the youth and repeat, “We are going to save you. Black lives matter.”

Ironically, hours later what began as a peaceful remembrance of the first anniversary since Brown death turned violent when one protester allegedly began shooting at police who fired back striking Tyrone Harris, 18, according to a CNN report. Given a $250,000 cash-only bond, he has been charged with four counts of first-degree assault on law enforcement, five counts of armed criminal action and one count of discharging a firearm at a motor vehicle.

CNN reports that of the many protesters arrested included the iconic Cornel West.

This time Ferguson, Mo. officials wasted no time in beefing up security. They’ve issued a state of emergency. St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger issued a statement saying, “The recent acts of violence will not be tolerated in a community that has worked so tirelessly over the last year to rebuild and become stronger.” Stenger said there was the “potential for harm to persons and property” and that will not be tolerated.

Protesters hung two banners at the old courthouse in downtown St. Louis that said “Racism still lives here #fightback.”

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.

Black Father of Five Jailed & Indicted for Child Murder Despite Police Testimony Stating No Eyewitness or Physical Evidence That Ties Him to the Murder

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2015 Comments Off on Black Father of Five Jailed & Indicted for Child Murder Despite Police Testimony Stating No Eyewitness or Physical Evidence That Ties Him to the Murder

Nick Hillary with his Family

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — New York resident & military veteran Nick Hillary (www.truthfornickhillary.com) is an African American father of five children whose life has been turned upside down for a murder he did not commit.On October 24th, 2011, a 12-year-old boy, Garrett Phillips (who is white), tragically lost his life. Nick Hillary is charged with murdering 12-year-old Garrett Phillips inside Phillips’ Potsdam home. Phillips was found strangled and suffocated.

A police lieutenant and a former police chief said under oath that there’s no evidence tying former Clarkson University soccer coach Oral “Nick” Hillary to the killing of a 12-year-old boy. Potsdam police Lt. Mark Murray and former Chief Edward Tischler said in court documents that there’s no evidence placingHillary at the 2011 crime scene, the Watertown Daily Times reported.

In the court documents, Tischler stated that neither Hillary’s fingerprints nor DNA evidence were able to connect Hillary to the boy’s death. Both Murray and Tischler stated that there are no witnesses who saw Hillary at Market Street apartment on the day Phillips was killed.

Hillary was reindicted on murder charges in January 2015 after the charges were dropped in October, 2014. The original charges were dropped due to accusations that Rain and other prosecutors improperly questioned witnesses and injected their own opinions to the grand jury.

Hillary’s new trial will begin in November 2015.

“This is a case that is screaming for justice and every American needs to know about it. The DA prosecuting Nick Hillary ran her campaign promising to convict him for the crime. Hillary life & reputation have been destroyed and he has been threatened with bodily harm by members of the community. Nick Hillarydeserves justice.” said Hillary’s legal counsel, Attorney Lisa Marcoccia.

Nick Hillary has a Civil Rights Law Suit Pending against Potsdam Police Department that was initiated two and a half years before he was charged with murder.

In October 2010 Hillary wrote an official complaint against Deputy Sheriff John Jones stating that Jones threatened to enter his home and physically assault him. In January 2011 Mother of victim (Tandy Cyrus) wrote an official complaint against deputy sheriff John Jones that he has threatened her and she fears for the lives of her son.

To learn more about Nick Hillary, please visit www.truthfornickhillary.com

STORY LINK: www.grantland.com/features/a-nightmare-in-potsdam-nick-hillary-soccer-coach-clarkson-university-trial-garrett-phillips-killing/

Photo Caption: Nick Hillary with his Family

Draft Biden SuperPAC Announces Key Staffers, New Hires

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2015 Comments Off on Draft Biden SuperPAC Announces Key Staffers, New Hires
Effort to Attract Vice President Biden to the Race Continues to Build Momentum

CHICAGO, IL —The Draft Biden SuperPAC, an effort to compel Vice President Biden to throw his hat into the ring for the 2016 Presidential campaign, announced its senior leadership team today. Building off of the past few months of momentum, and continued signs that the Vice President is considering a bid, Draft Biden has brought on veteran campaign staffers to help create a strong infrastructure both nationally and in key early primary and caucus states.“Vice President Biden has proven over the course of his long and successful career that he can both speak his mind, honestly, with the American people and deliver the sort of change that the American people are looking for,” said Will Pierce, Executive Director of Draft Biden. “The team we’re assembling here at Draft Biden represent countless years of experience in crafting winning campaigns that will show the Vice President that we’re ready when he is.”

Last Week, Josh Alcorn, Political Director for the Vice President’s son and Delaware’s former Attorney General Beau Biden joined the campaign as a Senior Advisor.

Today, the Draft Biden team announced two new hires to help advise the team. Brad Bauman, a longtime progressive operative, communications consultant and former Executive Director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Josh Cohen, a veteran communications operative with experience at the Democratic National Committee and the U.S. Senate. Both have deep ties in early states with the Democratic Party, and key elected officials and labor.

“Josh Cohen and Brad Bauman bring over a decade of experience each winning key races across the country and winning hard-fought legislative battles,” said Josh Alcorn, Senior Advisor to Draft Biden. “Josh and Brad will help us make in-roads with key constituencies and with important allies as we continue to explore the possibility of the Vice President jumping into the race.”

In addition to Bauman and Cohen, Draft Biden has retained Liberty Concepts, a social and digital media firm that works for non-profits and political candidates. Liberty Concepts has worked for J Street and the American Civil Liberties Union in the past, as well as New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo. The firm was founded by Jonathan Karush in 1999.

Bulldog Finance Group has been retained by Draft Biden to serve as finance consultants for the race. Bulldog was founded by Scott Dworkin and has deep ties to several major funders throughout the country including President Obama bundlers. Sam Jones, President of the firm will be leading up the account.

Draft Biden has also hired BGP Strategies for Public Relations support. BGP is helmed by Christine Hunsinger, formerly Communications Director to Rhode Island’s Governor Lincoln Chafee, who has also announced a potential Presidential bid in 2016.

Draft Biden is also working with VEDA Data Solutions, a company providing donor intelligence and predictive analytics.

Sixty Days To Stop A War

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2015 Comments Off on Sixty Days To Stop A War

From: MoveOn

We just launched 60DaysToStopAWar.com to help you find where your members of Congress will be during August recess, so that you can tell them you want diplomacy, not war with Iran.

We have fewer than 60 days to stop a path to war.

This is a very real countdown. A 60-day clock started ticking the moment negotiators announced the Iran nuclear deal and passed it to Congress for review. Congress will vote on whether to approve or derail this historic agreement in early September. That means we now have fewer than 60 days to speak out to defend the deal and prevent another war of choice in the Middle East.

That’s why MoveOn, with allies including Win Without War, CREDO, and Democracy for America, launched 60DaysToStopAWar.com—a one-stop shop to help you find out where your members of Congress will be during their August recess, so you can let them know you want diplomacy, not war.

Visit www.60daystostopawar.com

Have a look at 60DaysToStopAWar.com right now. Share it with friends on social media, sign up for an event near you or add a new one, and make a call to your member of Congress’s district office.

Republicans are trying to start a war with Iran by rejecting the historic deal announced by the U.S., five other world powers, and Iran, which will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Unfortunately, some Democrats are joining them on the war path—so we need to make sure enough Democrats find the backbone to support diplomacy, not war.

War hawks (some of the same ones who brought us the war in Iraq) are planning to spend as much as $40 million on fearmongering ads, lobbying, and other campaign tactics to bully Congress into sabotaging diplomacy.1

Americans support this deal by a large margin.2 Together, if we all speak up, we can prevent another disastrous war of choice in the Middle East.

Thanks for all you do.

–Jo, Victoria, Josh, Joan, and the rest of the team


1. “Big money and ads clash over Iran nuclear deal,” USA Today, July 22, 2015

2. “Majority Favors Iran Nuclear Deal Despite Doubts That It’ll Work (POLL),” ABC News, July 20, 2015

Author Gary Hill Tells a Hard Charging Tale of Love, Greed and Death in New Book “Baker’s Will”

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2015 Comments Off on Author Gary Hill Tells a Hard Charging Tale of Love, Greed and Death in New Book “Baker’s Will”

Baker's Will by Gary Hill

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Bakers Will by Gary Hill is a hard charging tale of love, greed and death. It was conceived in the minds of two old men; one black, one white, one a former slave, one a former slaveowner; each steeped in his own past, each unwilling to accept the possibilities of the future; both stubborn as mules. One hundred years later, death would take center stage among the living and hell would be waiting in the wings.

The book’s main character, Michael Evans, is a former heavyweight boxing champion turned New York City police detective who finds himself embedded in a web of violence and deceit. His family is murdered and he nearly loses his own life to the wrath of a 100-year old will.

Laura Sanders is a lawyer fresh out of law school. She had always been unlucky at love until she met Michael Evans. Together, they would experience a world gone mad and death would land on their doorstep. But true love has its own reward and out of their collective despair would come a new beginning with new hopes and new dreams.

Elizabeth Baker, on the other hand, is the Matriarch of the Baker Clan. Her hatred of Michael Evans and the threat of change would prove to be her lifes greatest challenge. The legacies of the past and the realities of the future was too much for her and in the end, she lost it all.

About the Book:
Baker’s Will
By Gary Hill
ISBN: 978-1942901310
Publisher: Green Ivy
Available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com as a hardcover, softcover and e-book.

Photo Caption: Bookcover and author, Gary Hill

Senator Collins Protects, Informs Seniors Seeking Reverse Mortgages

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2015 Comments Off on Senator Collins Protects, Informs Seniors Seeking Reverse Mortgages

SPRINGFIELD, IL – In the wake of revelations that at least one con artist used a risky financial product called a reverse mortgage to scam dozens of senior citizens, Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) was pleased to announce today that the governor has signed her legislation designed to protect consumers from losing their homes in reverse mortgage schemes.

“A reverse mortgage is a complicated financial product that can leave homeowners and their families vulnerable to scams and unable to pay when the loan comes due,” Collins said. “This legislation requires lenders to provide potential borrowers with accurate information about the product, a list of counselors they can contact if they need help and the opportunity to reconsider within three days of signing the paperwork.”

For almost 30 years, a lawsuit filed by the state alleges, Chicago remodeler Mark Diamond tricked senior citizens into taking out reverse mortgages – which pay out cash advances based on a homeowner’s equity – and then use the loan proceeds to pay his company to make home improvements. Instead, Diamond took the money while the repairs remained unfinished or poorly done. Many of his victims and their families faced losing cherished homes they’d owned for decades when the homeowner died or moved into long-term care and the loan (the cash paid out, plus interest) came due. Attorney General Lisa Madigan is asking a court to put Diamond, who kept his scheme going by conducting it under the auspices of different companies, out of business for good. Diamond’s practices are also under federal investigation.

Collins worked with Madigan, Housing Action Illinois and other advocates on Senate Bill 1281, which ensures potential borrowers are informed about the risks of reverse mortgages and also prohibits someone who facilitates a reverse mortgage from accepting any of the proceeds in exchange for services, as Diamond did. Finally, the legislation prevents conflicts of interest by banning lenders from receiving compensation in exchange for trying to sell borrowers on other financial products, such as life insurance policies and investments.

“The senior citizens I represent take great pride in their homes; many have worked hard their whole lives to pay off their mortgages,” Collins said. “Strong consumer protections can help them avoid unscrupulous schemes so they can live out their later years in peace and dignity and not worry about whether the family home will be there for their children and grandchildren.”

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Delivers Remarks at the National Fraternal Order of Police 62nd National Biennial Conference

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2015 Comments Off on Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Delivers Remarks at the National Fraternal Order of Police 62nd National Biennial Conference
Pittsburgh, PA
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch:

Thank you, [National President] Chuck [Canterbury], for that kind introduction – and for your longstanding and expert leadership of the Fraternal Order of Police.  I am grateful for the opportunity to speak with this distinguished group today.  It’s a pleasure to stand with so many dedicated public servants, inspiring partners and good friends.  And it’s a privilege to talk with you not only about the vital work you’re doing to keep Americans safe, but also about the opportunity we have at this critical moment to strengthen our nation and empower our communities.

Along that note, I would like to say a few words about last evening’s events in Ferguson, Missouri.  I strongly condemn the violence against the community, including police officers, in Ferguson.  As we have seen over the recent months and years, not only does violence obscure any message of peaceful protest, it places the community, as well as the officers who seek to protect it, in harm’s way.

The weekend’s events were peaceful and promoted a message of reconciliation and healing.  But incidents of violence, such as we saw last night, are contrary to both that message, along with everything that all of us, including this group, have worked to achieve over the past year.

But this group has been working on these and so many other issues of national importance, for more than just the last year.  Indeed, this is your heritage.

One hundred years ago, two patrol officers here in Pittsburgh – Martin Toole and Delbert Nagle – shared a groundbreaking idea.  They believed that by banding together, officers like themselves could elevate the practice of law enforcement, secure and improve the profession and transform it into a more effective means of protecting and defending the communities they love.  They recruited 21 of their fellow officers to form a new organization they called Fort Pitt Lodge #1.  Out of that meeting came a group; out of that group came an organization; out of that organization came a brotherhood that is now over 300,000 strong.  And in the century since their first meeting, Toole and Nagle’s vision has not only improved their profession; it has revolutionized it.  By winning legislative reforms, building a network of support for officers in need and instilling confidence in the work we do among the public we serve, Fort Pitt Lodge #1 established a model for the more than 2,100 local lodges that would follow.  Today, the Fraternal Order of Police is the largest professional police organization in the nation, with more than 325,000 proud members carrying its banner, expanding its legacy and extending its mission into a second century.

That mission has never been more essential than it is now.  As the women and men who patrol our neighborhoods, you serve on the front lines of our fight for national security, identifying and neutralizing threats as they emerge.  You tackle new and evolving challenges like cybersecurity and information theft.  And you protect the most vulnerable among us, including victims and survivors of human trafficking – individuals caught up in a brutal web of modern-day slavery.  In every case and every instance, you serve as defenders of our most cherished values; guardians of men, women and children who need protection; and sentinels holding the line against those who would do them harm.

I want you to know that the Department of Justice is committed to doing all that we can to ensure that you have the tools and resources you need to perform these difficult jobs as effectively – and as safely – as possible.  Through our Office of Justice Programs, under the leadership of Assistant Attorney General [Karol] Mason and our Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, led by Director [Ron] Davis, we are engaged in a strong, systematic and sustained approach to officer safety and wellness, from initiatives like the Officer Safety and Wellness Group hosted by the COPS Office and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, to key officer-safety programs like VALOR and the Bulletproof Vest Partnership.  We are providing trainings on active-shooter scenarios and ambush-style assaults to enhance law enforcement responses to critical incidents and to minimize the risk to officers.  And just this past May, the Department of Justice announced a $20 million Body-Worn Camera Pilot Partnership Program to help address the immediate needs of local and tribal law enforcement organizations as they seek to ensure officer protection and accountability.  Some of these programs were initiated by my predecessor, Attorney General Eric Holder.  Others began on my watch.  Still others were designed by our predecessors in years past.  But together, they demonstrate an enduring and ever-deepening commitment to keeping our officers safe and secure, and they deserve our continued investment.

After all, I know very well that this profession – this role of the guardian – carries grave risks and asks you to summon tremendous courage on a daily basis.  We saw that just days ago in Memphis, Tennessee, when Officer Sean Bolton, a 33-year-old former Marine, was senselessly gunned down during a roadside encounter that turned violent.  And we saw it here in Pittsburgh in 2009 when officers responding to a 911 call were caught in a shootout that left three of them dead and two others wounded.  As I think of the families, colleagues and communities devastated by these tragedies and mourn the loss of these American heroes, I think back to one of the first events I took part in as Attorney General – a memorial ceremony for law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.  In the company of officers from around the country, I stood at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and cast my eyes over the 20,000 names etched in its walls.  I thought about the brave individuals whose lives were lost in the performance of their duties; in the protection of their communities; and in the service of their country.  I grieved for those who fell and the friends and loved ones they left behind – cherished neighbors and colleagues, devoted children and parents, loving husbands and wives.  And I considered the work that we must do together to advance the principles for which they gave their lives; to form the more perfect Union they sought to build; and to make this nation worthy of their ultimate sacrifice.

That work has long been underway, but there is more we must do.  Recent events in communities across the country have served as stark and tragic reminders of the tensions that exist in too many neighborhoods between law enforcement officers and the people we serve.  One year after the tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri, we have yet again seen the consequences for officers and residents when those tensions erupt into unrest and violence.  And we know that trust is not just a benefit of good police work – it is essential to its fulfillment.  When officers and residents share a foundation of mutual trust and a reservoir of goodwill, residents are more likely to help with investigations; victims and witnesses of crime are more likely to speak up; and all of us in law enforcement are better able to assist community members when they face difficult circumstances.

Bridging the rifts that divide us will take all of our best efforts and cannot rest on the shoulders of law enforcement alone.  This is a shared responsibility and includes those of us who prosecute crimes as well as those community leaders and members who represent the communities we all care for deeply.  And I am committed to doing my part.  Bolstering trust where relationships have frayed is one of my top priorities as Attorney General and I intend to use the full resources of the Department of Justice to support the progress that all Americans need and deserve.

Last September, we launched the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, which is investing in training; developing evidence-based strategies; promoting policy development; and advancing research that will bolster credibility, enhance procedural justice, reduce implicit bias and drive racial reconciliation.  In pilot sites across the country – including right here in Pittsburgh – we are working alongside community leaders to develop plans for progress that are tailored to local needs.  Our Civil Rights Division is also working productively with police departments across the country to ensure constitutional policing throughout their jurisdictions.  And three months ago, I launched a six-city community-policing tour to highlight some of the exciting and innovative work that communities and law enforcement are doing together to promote partnership, shore up trust and improve public safety.  I’ve already visited East Haven, Connecticut; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Birmingham, Alabama.  In the coming weeks, I’ll travel to Seattle, Washington; and Richmond, California.  And later today, I’ll be speaking with individuals here in Pittsburgh – including law enforcement officers, faith leaders, student representatives and community officials – in order to discuss the work this city has done to build the kind of infrastructure of trust, respect and mutual understanding that makes truly extraordinary progress possible.

I know that kind of progress is achievable – because I have seen it happen.  When I was in Cincinnati – a city that has experienced real and difficult challenges – I visited an elementary school that brings police officers into third-grade reading classrooms to serve as mentors and tutors to the students.  The program has been remarkably effective in establishing close bonds of friendship and respect between the officers and students who are just beginning to chart their own way forward.  While I was there, I asked the students if any of them wanted to be a police officer when they got older – and every hand went up.  When I asked them why, they told me that police officers keep us safe.  They protect people who need protection.  They get the bad guys.  And then a quiet boy in the back of the classroom raised his hand and said, “Because they are the peacemakers.”

I wish everyone in this country could have witnessed that moment.  I want every American to have a chance to know a law enforcement officer as well as those students do.  And I want every American to share the appreciation that I have always felt for the incredible work law enforcement officers perform each and every day.  That’s why, as this important national conversation unfolds, we need to hear from you.  We need your voice because the places that have seen growth and change are places where the police are an integral part of discussion and thought and reform.  These are reforms and changes that must be informed by your views, your experience and your expertise.

There is another reason we need your voice.  People who look at you and see a uniform and make assumptions – both positive and negative – will always try to tell your story for you.  But no one knows your story like you do.  No one else can talk about that moment when you have to decide how to defuse a situation, always aware that all may walk away alive or none, including you.  You are the ones who must tell the story of policing in this country because this country needs to hear it.  People need to hear some of the stories I have already heard, from officers committed to this career because of family honor and tradition, or because they saw young people in their communities going in the wrong direction and wanted to be a role model to help keep others on the right path, or those who take pride in knowing every small business owner on their beat and their families.  We need to hear your stories so that you, too, can be truly seen and heard.  But most of all we need to hear your stories so that we can say “thank you.”  Thank you for always running towards danger, when others are headed in the opposite direction.  Thank you for working to maintain the peace when many around you have no peace in their hearts.  Thank you for holding our safety in the palm of your hand.  Thank you for being the peacemakers.

I know the path forward will not always be easy.  But I am convinced that if we forge ahead with the dedication this organization has always shown, we can create the stronger country and more empowered communities that every American deserves.  As we assemble here today – in this City of Bridges – let us pledge to build bridges of understanding to every neighborhood and every community; to every citizen and every resident; across every boundary and every division that has for too long separated us from one another.  Let us recommit ourselves to carrying out the stated mission of this legendary brotherhood: to support and defend the Constitution; to improve the proficiency of officers in the performance of their responsibilities; to ensure fidelity to duty under all conditions and circumstances; and to more firmly establish the confidence of the public in the service dedicated to its protection.

These are not only the goals of the Fraternal Order of Police – they are a central objective of the Department of Justice.  And they are among my highest priorities.  As you go forward, I want you to know that the Department of Justice is dedicated – and I am committed – to using every tool, every resource and every strategy that will support your efforts and advance our shared mission.  I will never lose sight of the work you do or the difference you make.  And I will stay engaged with you not just for now, but for the long term.  I promise you that.

Thanks to extraordinary leaders like you, I have no doubt about what we can accomplish together.  I am excited about this opportunity to strengthen our country and empower our communities.  And I am eager to move forward – together – in the days and months ahead.

Source: Office of the Attorney General

The Englewood Back To School Parade Returns!

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2015 Comments Off on The Englewood Back To School Parade Returns!

“Education Is The Key To The Future”

CHICAGO, IL – On Saturday August 15, 2015, the Englewood community will celebrate the 53rd anniversary of the Englewood Back To School Parade. The Englewood Back To School Parade has long been a part of Englewood’s cultural history. It is the second oldest African-American parade in Chicago. Since its inception in 1963, by community leader Willie Pittman, the parade has ignited hope and encouraged youth to stay in school and pursue education, thus developing the theme, “Education Is The Key To The Future.”

After much anticipation, the parade returned from a two-year hiatus in 2014 under new leadership. Last year some 2,000 attendees showed up for the excitement of the festivities, performances and the tradition of the parade returning to the Englewood community.

This year’s parade is expected to be bigger and bolder with performances from local Chicago artists and community vendor participation. The parade will also include free food, free back-to-school supplies and entertainment. This year’s sponsors include: U.S. Bank, Marquette Bank, White Castle, Graham Funeral Directors and Cremation Services, LLC, and I Grow Chicago.

“We want to give the youth hope and get them excited about returning back to school by providing them with the necessary tools.  The parade will also give the residents a sense of pride, knowing that people still care about the community,” says Maurice “Pha-tal” Perkins, Parade Organizer.

Food and school supplies donations are welcomed. Sponsorship packages are available by contacting Englewood Back to School Parade Committee, P.O. Box 21069, Chicago, IL 60621 (773) 619-7247 englewoodparade@gmail.com.

The parade schedule:

·      8:30 a.m. -10:00 a.m. Dignitary Breakfast at Sikia Restaurant (at Kennedy

King College)  and Day of Registration-56th Halsted

·      10:30 a.m. Parade precession 56th Halsted (south on Halsted) then       west 67th to Throop

·     1:00 p.m. -4:00 p.m. Parade finale and celebration at Ogden Park 65th Racine.

For more information, contact Englewood Back to School Parade Committee

Nicole Vaughn    (773)-619-7247

Maurice “Pha-tal” Perkins (312)-296-4130

Sandra Streeter (312)-288-5935


Calling All “Tiny Tims To-Be!” Young Performer Auditions for a Christmas Carol Set for September 26

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2015 Comments Off on Calling All “Tiny Tims To-Be!” Young Performer Auditions for a Christmas Carol Set for September 26

Acclaimed Chicago Actor Larry Yando stars as Ebenezer Scrooge in the 38th Annual Production; tickets go on sale to the general public August 14

CHICAGO, IL -  Goodman Theatre announces open auditions for the five young performer roles in its 38th annual production of A Christmas Carol on Saturday, September 26, 9am – 2pm. Aspiring Chicagoland actors aged 5 – 17 of every ethnic background are invited to audition for the roles of Tiny Tim, Peter Cratchit/Boy Scrooge, Emily Cratchit, Belinda Cratchit and Turkey Boy. Performers should be prepared to deliver a memorized poem or monologue, one minute or less in length; sing one verse of a song a cappella, preferably a holiday song; and bring a photo/resume including previous theatrical and related experience/training (prior experience is not required) address and contact information. Day-of, in-person registration takes place from 8:30 – 10:30am at the Goodman (170 N. Dearborn) on a first-come, first-served basis; no calls, please. Parents/guardians: note commitment dates of October 20 – November 13 (rehearsals) and November 14 – December 27 (performances). Sunday, November 22 is opening night.

“There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit” (Chicago Sun-Times) than experiencing the magic of Charles Dickens’ timeless tale of hope and redemption, A Christmas Carol—a Chicago holiday tradition, now in its 38th year at Goodman Theatre. Acclaimed actor Larry Yando stars as Ebenezer Scrooge, his 8th turn in the role, and Artistic Associate Henry Wishcamper returns to direct this holiday classic for the third time. Join Scrooge as he journeys through his past, present and future to discover the importance of friendship and love—with plenty of music, costumes and “Bah Humbugs!” along the way.

Tickets to A Christmas Carol ($25 – $84) go on sale to the general public on August 14 at GoodmanTheatre.org/Joy, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Discounted Group Tickets for 15 persons or more are available at 312.443.3820. PepsiCo is the Official Beverage Sponsor, Aon Corporate and KPMG LLP are Corporate Sponsor Partners for A Christmas Carol.

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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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