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Archive for September 1st, 2015

Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar Applauds Department of Justice Stand against the Criminalization of Homelessness

Posted by Admin On September - 1 - 2015 Comments Off on Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar Applauds Department of Justice Stand against the Criminalization of Homelessness

A Reprint from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Liberty’s Last Champion ®

On August 6, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a landmark statement of interest in Idaho federal court arguing that when there is insufficient shelter space in a city, making it a crime for the homeless to sleep in public spaces is unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment. The case, Bell v. City of Boise, et al., was brought by homeless individuals who were convicted under Boise city ordinances criminalizing sleeping or camping in public.”Homelessness should not be a crime, and those without shelter should never be punished as criminals. It is an unmitigated tragedy that the scourge of overcriminalization in America has reached a point where we have jurisdictions, such as the city of Boise, Idaho, that are prosecuting the circumstance of homelessness as a crime,” said National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) President E.G. “Gerry” Morris. “In another sign that the nation and its leaders have grown weary with the failed, decades-long experiment criminalizing all manner of human conduct, it is groundbreaking that the

Department of Justice today filed an elegant statement of interest essentially making the case that criminalizing homeless people who have nowhere to seek shelter constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Of course, as a society, our better instincts should have never allowed us to reach this point where we are punishing people for the very circumstance that calls out for us to be helping them.”

To learn more about NACDL’s extensive efforts to combat overcriminalization in America, visit www.nacdl.org/overcrim. You can also keep up with news and information on this important topic at www.facebook.com/endovercrim and www.twitter.com/endovercrim.

Read more here.

Ten Years after Hurricane Katrina: Changing Hearts, Minds and Systems in New Orleans

Posted by Admin On September - 1 - 2015 Comments Off on Ten Years after Hurricane Katrina: Changing Hearts, Minds and Systems in New Orleans

Op-Ed By La June Montgomery Tabron
America’s Wire Writers Group

NEW ORLEANS – Ten years after Katrina devastated New Orleans, it’s time for midcourse corrections in the restoration efforts. The coalitions of foundations, nonprofits and government should pause to ensure that their investments will improve upon the pre-Katrina conditions in communities of color and that the racial and class inequities that existed prior to the storm are being adequately addressed.

Katrina was an awakening: the racial fault lines had been blurred in the city. Visits to Bourbon Street yielded fine food and music, but failed to paint a full picture of the city Their communities and their challenges were tucked away from view. But with Katrina, impressions of New Orleans changed dramatically.

When the hurricane struck on August 29, 2005, more than 80 percent of the residents had evacuated, leaving behind the most vulnerable – those with neither the means nor money to flee. New Orleans was predominantly African-American (67 percent) and 27.9 percent of the city’s households were in poverty, including nearly 40 percent of the city’s children. More than 1,800 people died because of the storm, 123,600 people left the city and never returned, and the black population dropped to 60 percent.

The chaos and devastation that unfolded as the surging gulf breached levees designed to protect the city vividly demonstrated the impact of the racial, housing, education and economic disparities. Many with access to information, transportation and funds for hotel rooms escaped; but those without resources were left behind — some desperately seeking rescues from their rooftops — to fend for themselves and depend upon badly flawed public services that failed them at this critical time.

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, people had to reconcile our perception of New Orleans. How had we missed the racial inequities for so long? It was so clear that imbalance between haves and have-nots were a major factor in where the blunt of the devastation was felt. Many communities of color were more vulnerable and thus their residents suffered far more.

This fueled the passion within the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to address the inequities.

The Kellogg Foundation had worked with grantees in New Orleans since 1942. Given these longstanding relationships, the WKKF Board of Trustees was compelled to help the children, families and communities recover. The board immediately approved a $12 million appropriation to help provide food, clothing, shelter, rescue and relocation, though the board’s focus was also on long-term recovery. The swift grant making also helped attract other support, as WKKF funding was at times matched by other foundations, companies like Home Depot, Time Warner, AOL, Walmart, McDonalds, and by religious organizations and government agencies.

Since August 2005, the commitment to New Orleans has not wavered: 270 grants totaling $90.1 million have been approved in the last 10 years. Yet, we have learned that one foundation, nor a group of foundations, can successfully address these challenges alone; there must be partnerships that include all segments of the community, especially government, businesses and corporations committed to providing opportunities.

Working with partners and coalitions, our work in New Orleans and the region after Hurricane Katrina has sought to lift families and children, helping to provide opportunities for them to thrive and an environment that improves life outcomes and restores hope for the future. The number of coalitions and partnerships is unprecedented in our work; we are energized by so many disparate segments of society uniting and connecting towards the goal of helping these communities rebuild. The tragedy has ignited a true sense of togetherness in this work.

Moreover, what we have learned in New Orleans has triggered a significant change in the grant making at the Kellogg Foundation. We learned from community leaders that crime and violence in residential neighborhoods is desensitizing the city’s children, causing them to lose their sense of worth and value. A generation of young people is being rendered powerless, with no security, no protection and believing they have no future. In response, WKKF adapted its funding priorities and is now mobilizing its partners to help heal the wounds of children and young adults, restore their sense of being and create environments where they can thrive. This work is part of a collective community resiliency strategy, one that is a critical segment of achieving racial equity in New Orleans.

Ten years after the storm, there also remains a need to rebuild infrastructure and systems. For example the education system, while improving, is largely failing to provide children with the tools needed to be successful. To their credit, the public sector recognized that the old system wasn’t working and boldly embarked into new territory, a system dominated by charter schools. But results are not universally good. Community leaders assert that special education and parent involvement has been shunned. In a recent poll by NPR and the Kaiser Family Foundation, 53 percent of black parents were concerned about their children’s education, compared to only 17 percent of whites.

Education is an area where the city should pause, work with the community and make corrections to ensure that all children are receiving a quality education. Educational success, achievement and job opportunities are all connected.

To be sure, some of the investments are working.

In 2011, young Bryaniesha Burks was in a rut. She and teenage friends were mired in poverty “sad, angry and depressed,” she recalls, because there was little hope that the so-called recovery of the city would ever affect their lives.

But life changed for Burks when she found Liberty’s Kitchen.

Established in 2008, the social enterprise transforms disconnected New Orleans youths by offering workforce and life skills training to unemployed and out of school teenagers and young adults. “I didn’t realize that I kept all that pain inside of me,” Burks recalls. “Every day, I would go about things in a negative way. I was a lost soul.” Now 22, and working at a job she loves, Burks says, the organization’s leaders “believed in me, when I didn’t believe in myself…They taught me to be brave.”

In the aftermath of Katrina, her story demonstrated there was hope and successes. It was possible, in part, because funders, such as the WKKF worked with nonprofits, businesses, community leaders, and local government to support Liberty’s Kitchen and the critical work that it performs. It demonstrated that pillars in our society can break away from their sector silos to form coalitions and partnerships that mobilized together to address barriers and help change hearts and minds.

Overshadowing many aspects of life in New Orleans is a racial past that must be acknowledged and healed. Portrayals of the 10-year milestone after the storm enunciate the divide in the city. While many gains have been achieved, but for communities of color it is not a celebratory time; it’s merely a marker to gauge the many challenges that remain and lie ahead.

Clearly, hearts and minds on both sides must be changed. Racial healing is a national WKKF endeavor that the foundation is bringing to local communities, such as New Orleans. Meaningful change happens locally. The foundation sponsored a healing day on Aug. 25 that brought representatives from all segments of New Orleans together – business, religious, community, academia and others to talk openly and frankly about race, its impact on the city and how wounds from the past can heal.

As some champions are emerging, we do see progress. Mayor Mitch Landrieu made clear in his recent public apology for the city’s prominent role in the slave trade, no conversation about the city’s future is possible without a discussion of race and an acknowledgement of the devastating role that racism has played in the city.

Through our work, WKKF has a better understanding of the trauma and the barriers presented by structural and systemic inequities. Our appreciation has grown for the resilience of the residents, their resourcefulness and their hope that better days lie ahead. The seeds for healing and progress are being planted and will blossom over time; we will continue nurturing teenagers and young adults like Ms. Burks. Her generation will be the light at the end of the tunnel.

A better New Orleans is on the horizon, but we must recalculate, taking what we have learned to implement fresh, informed ideas. And racial healing must be a part of it.

La June Montgomery Tabron is president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

About America’s Wire
America’s Wire is an independent, nonprofit news service run by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Our stories can be republished free of charge by newspapers, websites and other media sources. For more information, visit www.americaswire.org or contact Michael K. Frisby at mike@frisbyassociates.com

Photo: La June Montgomery Tabron

President/CEO, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Launches Interactive Tools for 45th Annual Legislative Conference

Posted by Admin On September - 1 - 2015 Comments Off on Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Launches Interactive Tools for 45th Annual Legislative Conference
New microsite and mobile app offer attendees a digital conference experience

WASHINGTON-The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF)  announced the launch of its new microsite and mobile app for the 45th Annual Legislative Conference, September 16 – 20, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The microsite is live at www.cbcfinc.org/alc. Beginning August 18, the mobile app, called CBCF ALC, will be available in Google Play and the Apple App Store.

The digital resources offered during this year’s conference are part of the CBCF’s commitment to facilitate public policy exploration and to reduce its carbon footprint, a chief goal of the foundation’s environmental sustainability initiative.

“The CBCF ALC mobile app and microsite are designed to make the conference a more engaging experience for millennials and our tech savvy visitors,” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and chief executive officer of the CBCF. “Attendees will get more out of the ALC with on-the-go conference information and improved interaction, while using less paper.”

Through these platforms, users can register for the conference, purchase tickets to signature events, and get up-to-the-minute information about forums, speakers, hotels, and transportation from virtually any device. Additional features include a customizable conference schedule, interactive maps and access to special conference discounts. Users can also use social media via the app to post about their conference experience.

To download the CBCF ALC mobile app, visit Android, Google Play or Apple stores on August 18.


The ALC is the leading policy conference on issues impacting African Americans and the global black community. The ALC features more than 70 public policy forums on health, education, economic empowerment, the environment, civic engagement, and the Exhibit Showcase. Signature events include the National Town Hall, Celebration of Leadership in Fine Arts, Gospel Extravaganza, Black Party, Prayer Breakfast, and the culminating event, the Phoenix Awards Dinner.

Media registration ends August 30. To register for the conference, visit the microsite at cbcfinc.org/alc. Sign up to receive the e-newsletter and follow the CBCF on social media for frequent updates.

Twitter: twitter.com/CBCFInc

Facebook: facebook.com/CBCFInc

Instagram: instagram.com/cbcfinc

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/congressional-black-caucus-foundation

Google+: google.com/+CBCFIncorg

YouTube: youtube.com/user/CBCFINC

Periscope https://www.periscope.tv/
(follow CBCF)

Community Residents Demand Fairness and Equity in Chicago City Budget

Posted by Admin On September - 1 - 2015 Comments Off on Community Residents Demand Fairness and Equity in Chicago City Budget

Residents Lay Out Revenue Options to Protect Working Families and Require Rich to Pay Fair Share

CHICAGO, IL — In reaction to the City holding it’s first neighborhood budget hearing since 2011, Grassroots Collaborative will hold a press conference with residents and community leaders outlining revenue solutions that would generate millions of dollars to fund vital city services and programs.  The wide menu of progressive revenue includes: millions in additional TIF reforms, renegotiating financial fees, ending bad bank deals, and reining in corporate tax breaks and subsidies.

“After years of excluding neighborhood residents from the city budget process we are glad that Mayor Emanuel has decided to listen to what the people of Chicago have to say.  What remains to be seen is if  the administration will take these ideas seriously. Our communities need immediate action to shift the budget burden from working families to the big banks and downtown developers profiting while neighborhoods suffer,” said Amisha Patel, Executive Director of Grassroots Collaborative.

A Press conference with community leaders calling attention to a multitude of progressive revenue solutions the City of Chicago could implement instead of cutting from working families and most vulnerable residents, was held yesterday at Malcolm X College, 1900 W Van Buren St, Chicago prior to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s budget hearing. Following the press conference participants testified at the city budget hearing.

Participating in the press conference were Community leaders and neighborhood residents, parents and teachers being impacted by CPS cuts to Special Education, Dyett Hunger Striker.

Grassroots Collaborative is Action Now, American Friends Service Committee – Great Lakes Region, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Chicago Teachers Union, Enlace Chicago, Illinois Hunger Coalition, ONE Northside, Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois Indiana

Keep Corporate Interests OUT of Our National Parks: Sign The Petition

Posted by Admin On September - 1 - 2015 Comments Off on Keep Corporate Interests OUT of Our National Parks: Sign The Petition

Tell Congress: Stop bottled water companies from polluting our national parks
Tell Congress:
“Discarded water bottles are the single largest source of waste on public lands. Do not prohibit our national parks from implementing necessary restrictions on bottled water sales on park lands.”

Add your name:

Sign the petition â–º

Disposable plastic water bottles are single the biggest source of trash and pollution in our national parks.1 That’s why in 2011 the National Park Service gave national parks the ability to ban sales of commercially bottled water from wasteful, disposable plastic bottles, instead encouraging park visitors to use refillable water bottles for hydration.

But the ability of national parks to implement this commonsense and environmentally sustainable policy may soon come to an end. After intense pressure and lobbying from giant water bottling companies like Coca-Cola and Nestle, Republicans in Congress slipped in a last minute amendment into its parks funding bill that prohibits national parks from banning disposable bottled water.2

This is a stunning giveaway to the bottled water industry at the expense of our national parks, and we need to stop it. Tell Congress to strip this terrible idea out before it passes this year’s national parks funding bill.

Sign the petition: Stop Big Water from polluting our national parks. Click here to sign the petition.

Today, Americans discard over 50 billion plastic water bottles per year, which consumes 20 billion barrels of oil and releases 25 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The National Park Service estimated that reducing bottled water could eliminate 6,000 tons of carbon emissions and 8 million kilowatt hours of electricity every year.3, 4

After the decision to allow parks to ban the sale of disposable bottled water and instead make refilling stations widely available to visitors, the new program was rapidly adopted by some of the most iconic and cherished national parks across the country. By 2014, nearly two dozen national parks had implemented it, including the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore. 5 Zion National Park reported that it eliminated over 60,000 disposable bottles – 5,000 pounds of plastic – every year.

But last month, after a lobbying campaign from Big Water brands like Deer Park, Fiji, and Evian that totaled over half a million dollars since 2011, Republican Rep. Keith Rothfus snuck a last-minute amendment into Congress’s appropriations bill, blocking the National Park Service from funding or enforcing the program.

National Parks were created to preserve some of this country’s most beautiful outdoor areas for the enjoyment of Americans – not to boost the profits of corporations. We can’t allow members of Congress to overturn sound public policies and sell out our national parks to the bottled water industry. Tell Congress to drop this horrible idea and quit playing politics with our national parks.

Sign the petition: Stop Big Water from polluting our national parks. Click here to sign the petition.

Thank you for your activism.

Josh Nelson, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition â–º
  1. More National Parks Ban Plastic Bottle Sales,” Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, March 25, 2014.

  2. Lisa Rein, “How Big Water is trying to stop the National Park Service from cleaning up plastic bottles fouling the parks,” Washington Post, July 13, 2015.

  3. Plastic Water Bottles in National Parks and the Green Parks Plan,” National Park Service, January 5, 2010.

  4. Adele Peters, “The Bottled Water Industry Is Fighting To Keep Plastic Bottles In National Parks,” Fast Co.Exist, July 20, 2015.

  5. Nearly two dozen national park sites ban plastic water bottle sales,” The Wilderness Society, April 10, 2014.

The Case of Black Workers: Why the Fed Isn’t Close to Achieving Full Employment and Shouldn’t Be Discussing Raising Interest Rates

Posted by Admin On September - 1 - 2015 Comments Off on The Case of Black Workers: Why the Fed Isn’t Close to Achieving Full Employment and Shouldn’t Be Discussing Raising Interest Rates

By William E. Spriggs

Why the Fed Isn’t Close to Achieving Full Employment and Shouldn’t Be Discussing Raising Interest Rates-the Case of Black Workers

The recently released minutes of the last meeting of the Federal Reserve Board’s Open Market Committee revealed there was serious discussion of the fact the labor market still showed signs of weakness. A primary issue was the lack of evidence of strong wage growth, which would be a clear signal the labor market was tightening.

This has unleashed the Wall Street bettors, who want a jump on the Fed’s changing monetary policy, giving them more active play on the bond market, where interest rate movements can fuel their gambling addiction. The voices being raised to have the Fed raise interest rates march out lots of theory to predict uncontrolled inflation, despite a global slowdown, falling oil and natural resource prices, and flat real wages. We must hope that the Fed makes policy based on what is good for the economy, not what is good for the reckless gamblers on Wall Street.

The current directive to the Fed comes from the Humphrey-Hawkins Act, which in 1978 established that the nation’s primary economic policy is to achieve full employment, within reason-not by creating unsustainable budget deficits or igniting uncontrollable inflation. Unfortunately, many have twisted the legislation’s purpose to their own ends, changing the act’s intent to balance budgets and maintain low inflation in hopes those policies don’t increase unemployment. The act does not place full employment on equal footing with fighting inflation; it merely constrains full-employment policy to a measure of prudence.

With that in mind, the Fed should understand it is not at full employment. In addition to wages rising with productivity, a main tenant of evidence of full employment, the Fed needs to embrace some additional senses of full employment. One is that discrimination would disappear, since it would become prohibitively costly in a full-employment economy.

A problem for the Fed is that there is little diversity in its staffing, which reflects the low level of diversity among economists. Economists have convinced themselves there is little to explain about the persistence of the disparity in black and white unemployment rates, the ratio of which remains stubbornly at 2-to-1. It is enough to assume there are lower skill levels among African Americans and societal structural issues that permanently disadvantage African Americans, and that these circumstances will persist no matter what the level of unemployment.

Of course, many economists do appreciate that this pat answer is hard to reconcile with the great sensitivity that the black unemployment rate has to the economy-a tightening labor market brings down the black unemployment rate at twice the rate for whites. That makes the structural argument difficult to maintain.

There is another key element. The unemployment rate gaps between blacks and whites are stubborn at every education level, and the gaps are glaring. In fact, what the unemployment rate gaps for blacks suggest is the old adage that blacks must be twice as good to compete in the labor market with whites. The unemployment rate for blacks with more education is similar to that of whites with less education. This is true for blacks at all education levels, from college graduates to associate degree holders to high school graduates. And it is very difficult to argue that those huge gaps do not reflect discrimination.

When the labor market tanks, and the number of unemployed workers per job opening goes up, the gaps faced by better educated blacks to less educated whites get wider. Black college graduates find themselves with unemployment rates closer to white high school graduates, and blacks with associate degrees find themselves with unemployment rates worse than white high school dropouts.

When the labor market tightens, unemployment rates for blacks with more education improve such that they are better than those of less educated whites, though still off the mark compared with equally educated whites. When employers are faced with two unemployed working people for each job opening, many stop seeing color and start seeing qualifications. Employers faced with a growing economy and smaller applicant pools find it would now cost to discriminate by passing over the qualified African American applicant. We don’t know what would happen if the nation maintained its commitment to full employment, because just as the black unemployment rates near parity with whites, our economic policy switches all reverse to slow the economy, increase unemployment and push blacks off the path to equality.

The Fed needs to see that its policies are part of that problem. Slowing the economy before we reach full employment means employers never have to raise wages nor understand the costs of their discriminatory practices.
Follow Spriggs on Twitter: @WSpriggs. Contact: Amaya Smith-Tune Acting Director, Media Outreach AFL-CIO 202-637-5142.

City of Chicago Offers First Workshop on Building Your Business by Blogging

Posted by Admin On September - 1 - 2015 Comments Off on City of Chicago Offers First Workshop on Building Your Business by Blogging

September Workshops Will Also Focus on How to Finance a Franchise, Legal Considerations, and City Inspections

The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) is set to host nine free business education workshops for small business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the month of September. For the first time, the City will host a workshop on blogging, “How to Use Blogging to Build Your Business,” that will lay out how the company blog is becoming one of the most reliable forms of communications.

“I believe in offering a wide range of topics so business owners learn a little about several issues that may affect their business at some point,” said BACP Commissioner Maria Guerra Lapacek. “It is important that we stay on top of industry trends so we are offering the most relevant topics to ensure all attendees walk away with something from each workshop.”

There are several other educational workshops offered during September for employers, such as how to efficiently manage business operations and how to protect a start-up.

The Small Business Center (SBC) at the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection hosts free business workshops in Room 805 at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., Chicago on Wednesdays from 3 to 4:30 p.m and Fridays from 9:30 to 11 a.m.  Workshops are free and conducted by city officials, BACP’s partner organizations, and experts in the industry.  To register for a workshop or for more information, call (312) 744-2086 or email BACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org. Learn more about BACP programs and events by visiting www.cityofchicago.org/SBC.

September 2015 Business Workshop Calendar

9/2        *City Inspections – Ask Questions, Get Answers

3:00 to 4:30 p.m.

Presented by the City of Chicago

To operate a successful business in Chicago you must know what it takes to maintain compliance. Officials from several City departments will provide insight to operate safely stay compliant, help prepare for inspections and point out the do’s and don’ts of operating your business.

9/4        How to Use Blogging to Build Your Business

9:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Presented by Smart at the Start

Blogging is one of the best ways to build authority and traffic on the Internet. As the Internet continues to grow, consumers have an insatiable need for content. The company blog has become one of the most reliable forms of providing that information. The biggest challenge most small business owner’s face is not whether they need a blog, but how to build a blog that brings in business.

9/9        How to Really Start Your Own Business

3:00 to 4:30 p.m.

Presented by SCORE

Do you have what it takes to start and run a successful business? If so, what are the first steps you should take? This workshop will help you assess your prospects, provide the initial direction you need, and inspire you to move forward.

9/11      How to Find and Finance a Franchise

9:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Presented by John McLellan, FranNet- Chicago

This informative workshop will explore the many franchise opportunities available in the Chicago market and explain the process by which you can determine which franchise meets your personal lifestyle and financial goals. This workshop also will explore the different financial options that are available for financing a franchise.

9/16      How to Obtain a Mobile Food Dispenser/Preparer License

3:00 to 4:30 p.m.

Presented by the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP)

This workshop will give you all the information you need to become either a Mobile Food Dispenser (MFD) or Mobile Food Preparer (MFP) licensed food truck operator. We will walk you through the MFD/MFP licensing process including inspections, the application, mobile food vehicle, and operational requirements, as well as the optional pre-application Mobile Food Vehicle Assessment.

9/18      Small Business Success

9:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Presented by YWCA Metropolitan Chicago

Learn the ins and outs of starting a small business and gain insight that will help you reach your goals. This workshop will cover starting your entity, marketing it for success and the intangibles of navigating the start-up arena.

9/23      How to Efficiently Manage Business Operations

3:00 to 4:30 p.m.

Presented by Illinois SBDC at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and Blackwell Energies

This workshop will focus on operations management and how to find savings at the operational level. It will cover operations management, energy and utilities, and other areas where savings can be obtained in the operation of a business. You will learn techniques that can quickly result in savings on operational costs and fatten your bottom line in the process!

9/25     LinkedIn: Converting Connections to New Business

9:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Presented by Digital Professional Institute and Dean DeLisle, Founder and CEO of Forward Progress

Dean DeLisle, Founder and CEO of Forward Progress, will take proven steps from our Social Selling Boot Camp and show you the most effective methods of connecting with your targets, gaining quality appointments, and finding the potential new clients in your network. You will also see what it takes to get THEM to find YOU by using LinkedIn for less than 20 minutes a day! Topics include optimize your profile, attract new prospects,    leverage your connections to close business, increase targeted referrals, gain more powerful introductions,            expand your pipeline and find new business channels.

9/30 Protecting your Tech Start Up: Legal Considerations

3:00 to 4:30 p.m.

Presented by Lema Khorshid, Fuksa Khorshid, LLC

Before opening the doors to your new technology concept, it’s important to be aware of legal risks that exist so you can properly protect your business. This workshop will explore different sources to fund your business   venture and teach you some basic principles of how to protect yourself in litigation. We will also discuss intellectual property laws and provide practical approaches on how to implement a solid intellectual property plan. Also, we will talk about important employment laws as well as review lease agreements to help demystify confusing legalese.

President Obama Announced New Steps to Enhance Administration Collaboration with Alaska Natives, the State of Alaska, and Local Communities: FACT SHEET

Posted by Admin On September - 1 - 2015 Comments Off on President Obama Announced New Steps to Enhance Administration Collaboration with Alaska Natives, the State of Alaska, and Local Communities: FACT SHEET

President Announced Renaming of Mt. McKinley to Denali

President Barack Obama made the announcement August 31, 2015.

Tomorrow in Anchorage, President Obama will meet with leaders from the Alaska Native community along with Governor Bill Walker, Lt. Governor Byron Mallott, and Senator Lisa Murkowski to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation between the Federal Government and Alaska Native tribes, including by furthering progress in developing cooperative management strategies for fish and wildlife. The President will also announce that the Federal Government has officially restored the Koyukon Athabascan name of Denali to the tallest mountain in North America, previously known as Mt. McKinley. This designation recognizes the sacred status of Denali to generations of Alaska Natives.

Climate change threatens the way of life of Alaska Natives across the state, from the North Slope to Bristol Bay. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, and is experiencing the consequences. Higher average temperatures are diminishing the range of winter sea ice, allowing heavy storm surges that sea ice once kept at bay to batter the Alaskan coastline, and interrupting the winter hunting season for Alaska Natives. The northernmost reaches of the state are losing slightly more than a football field’s worth of land a day to coastal erosion and sea level rise. Rising ocean temperatures and increasing acidity are affecting marine life, including the fish, shellfish, and marine mammals on which generations of Alaska Natives have depended. And due in part to climate change, earlier this summer, hundreds of wildfires scorched more than 5 million acres of land–an area approximately the size of Massachusetts, damaging homes and threatening communities. 2014 was the hottest year globally on record and 2015 so far has been breaking records as well.

Throughout his time in office, President Obama has sought greater engagement and collaboration with Native American tribes. Each year, the President has hosted a White House Tribal Nations Conference, bringing together tribal leaders from across the country. In 2014, the President made his first visit to Indian Country when he traveled to Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. He took his second trip to Indian Country in July when he visited the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. The President’s recently-launched Generation Indigenous initiative (Gen-I) seeks to improve the lives of Native youth through new investments and increased engagement. Today’s announcements builds on that record of accomplishment by addressing issues of concern for Alaska Native tribes.

Renaming the tallest mountain in North America to reflect the heritage of Alaska Natives. In 1896, a prospector emerged from exploring the mountains of central Alaska and received news that William McKinley had been nominated as a candidate for President of the United States. In a show of support, the prospector declared the tallest peak of the Alaska Range as “Mt. McKinley”—and the name stuck.

McKinley became our 25th President, and was tragically assassinated just six months into his second term. But he never set foot in Alaska—and for centuries, the mountain that rises some 20,000 feet above sea level, the tallest on the North American continent, had been known by another name—Denali.  Generally believed to be central to the Athabascan creation story, Denali is a site of significant cultural importance to many Alaska Natives.  The name “Denali” has been used for many years and is widely used across the state today.

Today, finalizing a process initiated by the State of Alaska in 1975, President Obama is announcing that the Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell used her authority to rename the mountain as “Denali.”

Announcing next steps on fish and wildlife cooperative management. In October 2014, the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced plans to develop a demonstration project to promote tribal cooperative management of fisheries within the Kuskokwim River drainage and provide subsistence participants direct input into the decision-making process for in-season fisheries management of Chinook salmon stocks, an essential resource for the tribal economic, nutritional, cultural and spiritual way of life and which have experienced a steep decline over more than a decade.

Today, the Obama Administration is building on that program by announcing DOI will provide $375,000 in funding for the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission and the Yukon River Inter-tribal Fish Commission. These funds will help build capacity in the Commissions.  Both Commissions have a critical need for administrative support, biologists, social scientists, and legal consultants to ensure that they have the capacity to fully engage in the historic tribal salmon management opportunities available and to ensure that tribal traditional knowledge is meaningfully employed in the conservation and re-building of Chinook salmon stocks.

Investing in neighborhood revitalization in Anchorage. The Administration welcomes ArtPlace America’s announcement of its $3 million investment in the Cook Inlet Housing Authority (CIHA), a tribal housing authority in Anchorage, AK, that works in close partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to create empowered communities of opportunity. ArtPlace is a partnership among 15 foundations, including Rasmuson, Bloomberg, Ford, Kinght, Kresge and Rockefeller, eight federal agencies, and six banks that works to position art and culture as a core sector of community planning and development. The ArtPlace grant will enable CIHA to incorporate artists and designers neighborhood revitalization planning and development in Anchorage, which is part of $18 million in investments in place-based organizations across the country.

Launching a youth engagement program to promote an Arctic way of life. The Administration is announcing that under the leadership of DOI, it will launch a youth exchange program meant to bring together Alaskan youth from both urban and rural areas, including Alaska Natives, to share their perspectives, learn together, and prepare to become young stewards of the Arctic way of life. These youth will participate in a program that includes rural field exploration to understand the challenges of a changing Arctic and the potential for local solutions against the impacts of climate change, elder engagement to gather traditional knowledge, and participation in science seminars with scientists and decision-makers. The youth will participate in a leadership academy that will allow them to present their learning and insights to influential Arctic leaders, including Arctic Council representatives and diplomats. The youth will also engage internationally more broadly through virtual exchanges and pro-active social media engagement. This will allow Alaskan youth to share their experiences in the American Arctic while simultaneously learning about other parts of the Arctic and identifying areas of potential international collaboration.

Bridging the gap between native communities, conservation science, and natural resource management. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and Rasmuson Foundation are announcing $1,035,200 in collaborative funding to support advisor positions at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, also known as “Refuge Information Technicians.” The collaboration also funds internships for young Alaska residents attending ANSEP with the hope of opening the door for rural village residents to obtain, and for students to aspire to, professional careers in fish and wildlife management in Alaska and nationally. The net result of this system change would be a win-win for the federal government and for local communities. While this particular project is relatively modest in scale, it could prove to be a catalyst for the next generation of natural resource managers in Alaska. The initiative supports the Administration’s Generation Indigenous initiative, which focuses on improving the lives of Native youth through new investments and increased engagement.

Source: whitehouse.gov.

The Untold Stories: Illinois/Cook County Court Judges Speak Truth With The PCC Network

Posted by Admin On September - 1 - 2015 Comments Off on The Untold Stories: Illinois/Cook County Court Judges Speak Truth With The PCC Network

By Rev. Harold E. Bailey

President, Probation Challenge & The PCC Network

CHICAGO, IL -  Some journalist would dare to query judges of the Illinois/Cook County Circuit Courts as to what makes them tick! The PCC Network, gives the tax paying public an inside view and profile of 3 prominent sitting judges.

The judicial group spoke candid and unadulterated truth regarding various facets of their criminal justice experiences. History of these judges would be shocking to many as they talked about their ventures to wear the “judicial black robe”. These distinguished black robes would seek to serve true justice to those that would come before them. At this live-taping, judges tell their untold stories as to how they achieved… and the honesty it takes to stay there.

Judges appearing on the PCC Network: Justice Shelvin Louise Marie Hall, Illinois Appellate Court; Judge Stanley L. Hill, District Four, Circuit Court; Justice Nathanial R. House, Jr., First District, Fourth division, Illinois Appellate Court. Judges spoke without reservations regarding Civil Rights and other matters of truth. Truth that many youth and elders had never been exposed.

The unrestrained judges did not hesitate to express their fearless backgrounds in civil rights. They  expressed their histories in remaining steadfast for righteousness in spite of the overwhelming 21st-Century oppositions to appease outside influences and the whims of the world.

This untraditional forum was conducted by Karissa Nacole Harden, graduate of University of Berkeley California. She is now a law student at UCLA. In a leap-of-faith, Karissa experienced her first International interview with the PCC Network, remaining poised with in-depth inquiries.

Probation Challenge, was founded by the Rev. Harold E. Bailey, under the guides of the late Justice R. Eugene Pincham. Bailey said, “How often have judges felt the spirit of freedom to express themselves as this group. They are to be applauded for not fearing to tell the gospel-truth concerning the many things that are whispered but not spoken. I salute each one of them! Their courage will resonate and speak to the hearts of those who have lost hope in the criminal justice system”.

Before and after the taping session, there were deep concerns regarding the Chicago Public Schools suffering  for dollars to educate youth, while in the same breath there’s little concern as to finding of dollars to incarcerate. Documented facts remain that it cost less to educate than to incarcerate! And as Bailey often says, “If we educated well, we wouldn’t have to incarcerate. Education brings about an awareness. Awareness brings on the ability to think. And when an offender can think—he or she then can prayerful make rational decision.”

However, while Gov. Bruce Rauner in his State of the State address promised to hire more prison guards, citing “an unsafe environment” in one of the country’s largest prison systems, across-the-board understaffing cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years.

The Illinois Department of Corrections forked over $320 million in employee overtime and compensatory payments over a five-year period, a Better Government Association investigation found.

In view of the incarceration financial findings, it is important that there be a seat provided at the table of fairness for tax-payers and honest judges. Hopefully, all would bring to the table viable solutions.

As the evening progressed, raw truth flowed from the three voices of authority. In the past, there have been substantial gaps as to the lives of judges. Gaps through the years developed distrust for many with the judiciary! However this audience could be heard echoing, “Amen” and “Tell the truth”. Sighs coupled with moaning and groaning indicated that people were being fed adequately—and not force-fed.

By way of the soon to be released judicial document, the public will better be able to put a face to  names of some powerful people sitting on the bench.

Judges who diligently followed the steps of Probation Challenge and the PCC Network are: Circuit Court Judge Mary Maxwell Thomas, Federal Judge Blanche Manning and Justice William Cousins, Jr., (all retired). Circuit Court Judge William Hooks continues to sit on the bench speaking  truth at all PCC sessions. These are some of the dedicated judges who have given of themselves to be of service to the people. They all have a love for the community which is displayed in their willingness to not shield themselves from those they serve.

The late Justice R. Eugene Pincham, was considered a mentor to the Probation Challenge organization. Over the many years (even in his absence) Pincham continues to be honored for his labor of love in the community and the offering of wisdom while siting on the Illinois Circuit Courts.

Brandy Bailey, visiting Chicago, engrossed in the interview, said, “An interview of this magnitude is very important to be viewed not only by the PCC Network audience, but by the multitude of United States citizens around the world witnessing so much unjust at this time. This interview gives all the U.S. citizens that have questions about the mind and soul of “the appointed” hope of a better tomorrow.” Brandy Bailey, is the daughter of the Rev. Harold E. Bailey.

During the reception following the taping, dialog continued between judges and attendees. Many  expressed concern about the criminal justice system. The room appeared to be filled with love and appreciation between the judges and audience.

The interview with judges was suggested by Rev. Bailey, to allow youth and elders alike to understand that contrary to popular belief, there are those on the bench who are genially interested in honesty and justice. Karissa Harden, the commentator, came forth at the hand of Geri Patterson. Patterson is host of the popular television show ’Report to The People’, heard over Chicago cable channel 25.

Bailey and The PCC Network has committed to further engage in segments regarding crime, drugs and violence, along with more presentations about those persons who dispense justice.

This broadcast may be viewed at: WWW.ProbationChallenge.org

The Truth Network can be heard around the world 24/7 and On-Demand

•Judge Stanley Hill   •Justice Shelvin Louise Marie Hall   •Justice Nathanial R. House, Jr.

•Karissa Harden, Commentator

Rev. Harold E. Bailey, President

‘Judicial Untold Stories will Soon Air on The PCC Network’

‘WWW.ProbationChallenge.org—The Truth Network’

Veteran Spouse Ada Ruth Cripps Honored As The IDVA Volunteer of the Year

Posted by Admin On September - 1 - 2015 Comments Off on Veteran Spouse Ada Ruth Cripps Honored As The IDVA Volunteer of the Year

DuQuoin – Following the death of her husband, U.S. Navy Seabee Claud E. Cripps in May 2013 due to exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, Ada Ruth Cripps continued her tradition of volunteer service, first at the General John A. Logan Museum, and later at the IDVA’s Murphysboro Veterans Service Office.

From her efforts with the IDVA, she has helped veterans and widows with detailed research to support claims, worked to establish state-wide IDVA standards for digitized veterans’ records, and in hundreds of hours of what others would call tedious, she pours meticulously over veterans’ files, some going back as far as the Revolutionary War.  Her diligence, dedication, and great contributions to our veterans and their families are why she was named as the first IDVA Volunteer of the Year in a ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015 at the DuQuoin State Fair, with Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Assistant Director Harry Sawyer presenting the honors.

“Ada Ruth Cripps represents an amazing quality we wish we had in all of our VSO offices state-wide,” said Sawyer. “She has served – first as a Navy, then a veteran’s spouse – and now she’s bringing her passions, great knowledge and curiosity, along with a great work ethic to help our veterans and their families. She has given so much of herself – we are grateful.”

Ada and Claud married in Oct. 1960 and had two children: Julie and Ben.  While Claud served in the Seebees, the U.S. Navy’s Naval Construction Forces around the world, Ada raised her family and helped her husband with his Navy career.  It was during this time that she somehow acquired a solid working knowledge of the military’s myriad forms and documents, as well as their often arcane reporting and filing system.

“Ada is an amazing worker, volunteer, and partner, “said Kathy Bower, Veteran Service Officer, for the Murphysboro IDVA office. “She first came in as a young widow, seeking help with her claim and soon became an amazing asset for the veterans and the agency.  She represents the very best of what our veterans and their families give and bring back with them from service.  She’s amazing.”

Ada and Claud have four grandchildren: Jayme, a Professor of English and American Indian Cultures, St Charles City College, St Charles IL; Jared, who serves with the 1st Cavalry Division, Ft. Hood, TX, and Afghanistan, 2013-14; Maggie, a 14-year old who adores history and singing; and Eli, a13-year old who loves military history, especially the American Civil War.  Ada says her best buddy is “Ace” a three-year-old, 65-pound Lab mix.

Sawyer presented Cripps a framed certificate naming her the IDVA Volunteer of the Year, and an Illinois State flag. She was nominated by Kathy Bower and was selected out of a field of 14 nominees, gathered from sources state-wide.

The IDVA Volunteer of the Year highlights and honors Illinois volunteers whose contributions in service to the veteran community and their local communities are truly above and beyond. Nominees are evaluated on the basis of their leadership, dedication, innovation, and impact in serving these communities. Recipients are those whose efforts add to the powerful narrative that volunteers make a difference, and who’s efforts all of Illinois’ communities stand to benefit.

Please contact Ryan Yantis, communication manager, IDVA, ryan.yantis@illinois.gov or 312-814-0778 with any question concerning the IDVA.

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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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