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Archive for February, 2016

Award-Winning Journalist Juanita Bratcher “Touched, Humbled, Grateful and Honored” to Receive Two Golden Rule International Awards, Including a Doctorate of Philosophy in Humanities

Posted by Admin On February - 29 - 2016 Comments Off on Award-Winning Journalist Juanita Bratcher “Touched, Humbled, Grateful and Honored” to Receive Two Golden Rule International Awards, Including a Doctorate of Philosophy in Humanities

Chicago, IL – Award-Winning Journalist, Author & Publisher Juanita Bratcher was the recipient of two awards from Golden Rule International, including a Doctorate of Philosophy in Humanities, during the organization’s Black History Month Celebration.
The awards ceremony was held at Sullivan High School, 6631 North Bosworth, in Chicago.
Bratcher, the recipient of numerous awards during her 40-year career as a Journalist, also received Golden Rule’s Goodwill Ambassador Award which she dedicated to her late mother, Tommie Sean Forte.
Bratcher said receiving the awards was a great honor and privilege, one of the joyous moments of her life. “I am touched, humbled, grateful and honored to receive these awards. And I offer my sincerest gratitude to Golden Rule International and Andrea Graham.
“I also thank God for a successful 40-year career journey, full of successes and milestones. And I am truly grateful to Golden Rule International and Andrea Graham for recognizing those achievements, and for a supportive family who have always stood with me in my many successful career endeavors.
“The golden rule, ‘do unto others as you wish to be done unto’ has always been an integral part of my life and that was because of my upbringing. My mom, Tommie Sean Forte, a devout and devoted Christian, from the beginning, advised her offsprings to do just that. Her teachings have always been a part of my life because doing right by others is the right thing to do,” said Bratcher.
Bratcher added, “I always wonder about those who profess to be Christians yet are so mean-spirited and disrespectful of others. To me, that’s not the Christian way.


For about 40 years, mom was the Mother of her Church – a dedicated missionary who helped so many people. As best she could, she carried the word of God to thousands of people through her missionary work, and she reaped tremendous blessings from God through spiritual obedience. She nurtured and prepared her four children – Eula, Bertha, Juanita and Tommie – for the good and bad of the world.
“Mom died in November 1995, but she became the author of a book, “Mine Eyes Have Seen God’s Miracles” in 1997, after her death. It was after her death that we (offsprings) found a book she was writing which we had no knowledge of. And being a professional writer, I was determined to see that mom’s book was published. I was co-author of the book. So it was only befitting that I dedicate the Golden Rule’s Goodwill Ambassador Award to my mother, a deserving woman who always lived by the golden rule and passed that attitude and behavior on to her children.
“This year, I celebrated 40 consistent years as a journalist, author, publisher, poet and songwriter. During the course of those years, I have authored seven books, thousands of articles and more than 700 poems. God has truly been good to me and I thank him every day for keeping me. It has truly been an exciting journey.
“Again, I thank Golden Rule International and Andrea Graham for honoring me with these awards. I also thank God first and foremost, and a family that has given me much love and emotional support over the years.”


Juanita Bratcher is an Award-Winning Journalist, the Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com and the author of several books, songwriter and poet. She has been a Journalist for 40 years covering politics, education and a wide-range of other topics.

African American Opinions About Obama Presidency, National Issues, Presidential Election and More

Posted by Admin On February - 29 - 2016 Comments Off on African American Opinions About Obama Presidency, National Issues, Presidential Election and More

The RLJ Companies Commissions Second Nationwide African American Opinion Survey


Hillary Clinton is the Dominant Choice for Sixty-Four Percent of African American Voters Who Are Likely to Vote in the Democratic Primary or Caucus

Bethesda, MD (BlackNews.com) – The RLJ Companies announced the results of a nationwide African American survey conducted by Zogby Analytics. One thousand randomly selected African American adults nationwide were polled by telephone and online survey. The survey reveals current African American sentiment on a range of issues that include the 2016 Presidential Election, opinions about national and current affairs, the Obama Presidency, race relations, and social issues.

Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies stated, The RLJ Companies released its second survey in follow up to our 2013 survey as part of our ongoing efforts to ascertain the opinions and views of African Americans. The survey focused on issues most important to the African American community, as well as their attitudes and opinions towards a range of national issues. We hope the results will be informative to people and organizations who are concerned about the views and opinions of over 38 million African Americans represented by this statistically valid survey.


African American Opinion Survey Highlights

2016 Presidential Election
* 87% of African Americans surveyed are registered to vote and 69% believe they will definitely vote in November.
* Hillary Clinton dominates the race among Democrats with 64% of African American voters who will vote for her and 20% of responders chose Bernie Sanders.
* Six-in-ten African Americans, or 59%, believe Hillary Clinton will be as good a President for African Americans as President Barack Obama.
* If the General Election were held today and Hillary Clinton was the Democratic nominee, the matchup against the following Republican candidates show:
* Clinton (83%) v. Trump (7%) with 10% not sure
* Clinton (81%) v. Rubio (6%) with 13% not sure
* Clinton (81%) v. Cruz (6%) with 13% not sure


National Issues
* 80% believe that eliminating illegal police shootings of young Black men is the most important issue and an important factor in deciding whom to vote for in the Presidential Election. Other issues include ensuring voting rights (69%), affordable college tuition (68%), income inequality (68%), and terrorism/ISIS (68%) also received a high percentages.
* A significant majority of respondents (58%) feel that Black Lives Matter should spend more time both calling for an end to Black on Black murders and drawing attention to police shootings.
* African Americans are divided when it comes to gay marriage. One third (33%) strongly agree with the U.S. Supreme Court decision to rule it legal, while 26% strongly disagree.
* Two-thirds (66%) of respondents believe that getting an education is an important factor for what African Americans can do for themselves to achieve progress.
* 59% of respondents would advocate for financial reparations for the past years of slavery.



Obama Presidency
* 61% of African Americans surveyed strongly approve of President Barack Obamas job performance
* Under President Obama, 48% feel better off financially than before he became President
* 44% believe President Obama did more than expected to help the African American community
* There is a divide when it comes to President Obamas legacy:
+ 45% believe his legacy will be defined by the fact that he was the first Black President.
+ 46% believe it will be defined mainly on what he accomplished.
+ Younger voters (58%) believe his legacy will be defined as the first Black President.
+ Older voters (63%) believe his legacy will be defined by what he accomplished. The RLJ Nationwide African American



Survey Report can be found at: http://www.rljcompanies.com/news/



About The RLJ Companies:
The RLJ Companies, founded by Robert L. Johnson, is an innovative business network that provides strategic investments in a diverse portfolio of companies. Within The RLJ Companies portfolio, Johnson owns or holds interests in businesses operating in a publicly traded hotel real estate investment trust; private equity; financial services; asset management; automobile dealerships; entertainment; and video lottery terminal (VLT) gaming. The RLJ Companies is headquartered in Bethesda, MD. Prior to founding The RLJ Companies, Johnson was founder and chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET). For more information visit: www.rljcompanies.com.



About Zogby Analytics:
Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984, Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic decisions. The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby’s dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation.

Sanders Shooting for $40 Million Month

Posted by Admin On February - 29 - 2016 Comments Off on Sanders Shooting for $40 Million Month

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Bernie Sanders’ backers were racing the clock on Monday to raise more than $40 million by tonight’s end-of-the-month midnight deadline.

To keep up the momentum propelling Sanders’ grassroots White House bid, the campaign set the ambitious goal of topping the $40 million mark for February.

With one day to go in the month, Sanders’ campaign has raised more than $36 million from 1.2 million individual contributions. That sum already makes the shortest month of the year the best yet in the 10-month-old campaign.

A $40 million month would be nearly half as much as the $94.8 million Sanders raised since the campaign began last April 30 through Jan. 31, according to the most recent report on file with the Federal Election Commission.

The average donation to Sanders recently is about $27, Sanders told a rally on Sunday here in the college town nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. “That in itself is revolutionary because we can show billionaires we can run a campaign without their money,” Sanders said.

His grassroots fundraising success is a dramatic contrast to other candidates bankrolled by super PACs which may raise unlimited sums from wealthy donors. A super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton, for example, raised $25 million from special interests, $15 million of that sum from Wall Street, in the last half of last year. Sanders has refused to coordinate with a super PAC and he told the rally at Colorado State University’s Moby arena that the country’s “corrupt campaign finance system is undermining American democracy.”

In TV ads airing for the first time on national television, Sanders connects the dots between campaign cash and how the economic system is tilted to help powerful special interests. “It’s called a rigged economy and this is how it works: most new wealth flows to the top 1 percent,” Sanders says in one of his first ads running nationwide. “It’s a system held in place by corrupt politics where Wall Street banks and billionaires buy elections. The truth is you can’t change a corrupt system by taking its money.”

To track progress on the $40 million goal, click here.

To watch the TV ad, click here

Gang Member Found Guilty in 2012 Murder

Posted by Admin On February - 29 - 2016 Comments Off on Gang Member Found Guilty in 2012 Murder

A Chicago street gang member has been found guilty of the shooting death of a passenger sitting in a car near his residence, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Joseph Sanders, 23, of Chicago, was found guilty of 2nd Degree Murder in connection with the death of 17-year-old Taylor Diorio of Chicago Ridge.

According to prosecutors, in the early morning hours of August 18, 2012, the victim was the front seat passenger in a car driving in the 2400 block of west 35th Street. The vehicle stopped on that block in front of Sanders home and another passenger briefly exited the vehicle. Sanders claimed that when he looked out of a second floor window a bottle was thrown at him. Sanders responded by firing a gun multiple times at the vehicle, hitting the victim in the right side of her head. When Sanders began shooting, the passenger re-entered the vehicle and the driver went to a local hospital where the victim died from her injury.

Sanders was found guilty late yesterday after a four day jury trial at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago. Sanders’ next court date is March 24 for post-trial motions and sentencing.

State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys Kirsten Olson and Christina Brewer and the Chicago Police Department for their work on this case.

Kirk Questions Who Will Be Fired at Hines VA for Secret Veteran Wait Lists

Posted by Admin On February - 29 - 2016 Comments Off on Kirk Questions Who Will Be Fired at Hines VA for Secret Veteran Wait Lists

Credits Germaine Clarno for Standing Her Ground for Over Two Years

CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released the following statement after the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) determined an investigation by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (VA OIG) into whistleblower complaints of schedule manipulations and secret wait lists at Edward Hines, Jr., VA Hospital in Illinois was willfully inadequate, ignored allegations of excessive wait times for veterans, failed to hold senior leaders responsible for the improper practices, and attempted to discredit Germaine Clarno: 

“Veterans at Hines have waited over two years to finally learn the truth – schedulers maintained secret wait lists in order to receive cash bonuses. The OSC letter to the President shows another example of the VA culture – attack whistleblowers instead of protecting vets. This report is a victory for whistleblowers who risk retaliation, firing and even criminal investigation when they stand up for vets.

“When Germaine came to me with information about the same type of scandal happening at Hines that we saw in Phoenix, I met with the hospital’s then-director, Joan Ricard, to demand her resignation for encouraging schedulers to manipulate wait times. Germaine and Shea are champions for standing up to the intimidation of the VA for over two years. For them, I have passed a new law to protect whistleblowers at our VA hospitals from retaliation. 

“The wait time scandal in Phoenix showed 35 veterans died while waiting for an appointment. It’s long past time for the VA to conduct a real investigation into whistleblower allegations at Hines, determine how many veterans were harmed and if any died as a result of this scandal, and fire those responsible for covering it up.”

Clarno, a social worker at Hines VA and president of the AFGE Local 781, alleged that Hines VA staff were improperly ordered to falsely “zero out” patient wait times and to use a separate Excel spreadsheet to schedule appointments rather than the VA’s electronic system. She said the improper scheduling practices followed at Hines VA covered up unacceptable delays in veterans’ wait times.

“Two years ago I went public to report secret wait lists and the gaming of wait times for veterans,” Clarno said. “I expected that I would be the target of retaliation and harassment at Hines but I soon realized the Office of Inspector General, the very agency that was supposed to help whistleblowers and bring to light their claims, would instead use the same tactics and work to discredit us instead of fixing the problems hurting veterans. I won’t be stopped by retaliation at Hines or even from the OIG, I will continue to advocate for our veterans with Senator Kirk until the VA is fixed.”

In 2014, the VA OIG investigated Clarno’s claims and submitted its report on January 26, 2015. On February 25, 2016, the OSC released its review of the OIG’s investigation and report, finding it “does not meet the statutory requirements and the findings do not appear reasonable.”

In its report, the OSC found:

  • The OIG investigation confirmed Clarno’s allegations of separate wait lists and schedule manipulations, but concluded without explanation that the separate lists did not violate VA policy.
  • The OIG investigation also confirmed delays in patient care at Hines VA but did not attempt to determine the extent of those delays or what impact they had on patient care. The report failed to “make any recommendations for corrective action to address the ongoing delays.”
  • Despite evidence “that leadership and senior management had knowledge of at least the potential for these practices,” the OIG report concluded Hines management had no knowledge of the improper practices.
  • The OIG limited its investigation to the “straw man” question of whether the off-the-books wait lists were “secret,” and as a result the report “failed to address the whistleblowers’ legitimate concerns about access to care for” veterans at Hines.
  • “The Special Counsel determined that the agency report does not meet the statutory requirements, nor do the agency’s findings appear reasonable. … [T]he report does not provide a sufficient review of the evidence, and the evidence does not support the findings and conclusions. … [T]he OIG investigation was not responsive to the serious allegations of significant wait times and delays in veterans’ access to care at Hines.”
  • “The content and tenor of the report OIG prepared demonstrate hostility toward Ms. Clarno, apparently for having spoken publicly, as well as an attempt to minimize her allegations.”


In April of 2014,  Dr. Katherine Mitchell and Dr. Sam Foote broke national news that schedulers at the Phoenix VA hospital were manipulating wait times of veterans in order to receive financial bonuses.

Senator Kirk, who is chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees funding for the VA, looked for scheduling manipulations at VA hospitals in Illinois and found Germaine Clarno, a social worker and president of the AFGE Local 781 at the Edward Hines, Jr., VA Hospital near Maywood, Ill., Germaine was trying to tell anyone who would listen that schedulers at Hines routinely manipulated the schedules of veterans and that senior officials at Hines were guilty of the same systemic cover-up.

Senator Kirk also met Dr. Lisa Nee, a former cardiologist at Hines who experienced retaliation from VA officials after reporting a backlog of hundreds of unread echocardiogram tests and unnecessary surgeries. Senator Kirk has questioned the validity of VA OIG Report No. 13-02053-119, which acknowledges unnecessary surgeries done on veterans by Hines cardiologists but doesn’t call for corrective action or accountability for the physician in question. 

Since then, Senator Kirk has partnered with these whistleblowers to bring real accountability and awareness to the misconduct and ongoing patient and whistleblower abuse that was happening at the Hines VA.


May 13, 2014: CBS News reports allegations made by Germaine Clarno, a social worker at Hines VA in Maywood, Ill., and VA employee union president, that employees at Hines used secret wait lists in order to receive bonuses. 

May 14, 2014: Senator Kirk calls for the VA Inspector General to expand its ongoing investigation to include Hines VA. May 15, 2014: The VA Office of the Inspector General notifies Senator Kirk that it had opened an investigation into the allegations regarding Hines VA. 

May 16, 2014: Senator Kirk speaks on the phone with VA Secretary Eric Shinseki regarding the Hines VA allegations. Secretary Shinseki agrees to Senator Kirk’s request to expand IG investigation into all VA hospitals in Illinois. 

May 21, 2014: Senator Kirk sends a letter to the VA Acting Inspector General Richard J. Griffin requesting investigation into specific claims of scheduling manipulations, bonuses and delays in treatment at Hines VA. 

July 24, 2014: Senator Kirk sends a letter to White House Deputy Chief of Staff Robert Nabors, who the White House appointed to investigate VA backlogs and mistreatment of veterans, requesting that he join in on a meeting with Hines VA whistleblowers– including Hines VA’s Germaine Clarno–in his Chicago office to discuss their experiences as employees at the Hines VA. 

July 25, 2014: Senator Kirk convenes with White House Deputy Chief of Staff Nabors and whistleblowers in Chicago to discuss misconduct and corruption at Hines VA, including long wait times for veterans and mold discovered in the facility. They meet with hospital whistleblowers, including Germaine Clarno. 

July 25, 2014: Senator Kirk sends a letter to Acting Inspector General Richard Griffin of the Veterans Affairs citing the consistent flooding and presence of mold throughout Hines VA. In light of these findings, Senator Kirk renews his call for Hines VA Director Joan Ricard to step down. 

July 31, 2014: Senator Kirk sends a letter to newly-confirmed VA Secretary Robert McDonald addressing the retaliatory actions–including restricting access to computer hardware needed to perform her job–that Germaine Clarno, a social worker at Hines VA, suffered.

October 7, 2014: Following Senator Kirk’s calls for dismissal, Hines VA Director Ricard steps down. 

January 9, 2015: Senator Kirk calls on Acting Inspector General Richard Griffin to appoint new inspectors and to investigate complaints and allegations at Hines.

July 13, 2015: Senator Kirk and Representative Charlie Dent (R-Pa.-15) send a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to nominate a permanent Inspector General (IG) to oversee the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the numerous ongoing investigations into misconduct, mistreatment of veterans, and retaliation against whistleblowers at the agency. 

July 30, 2015: On National Whistleblower Day, Senator Kirk chairs a hearing of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. Along with Dr. Lisa Nee, witnesses include Dr. Katherine Mitchell, the whistleblower who broke the Phoenix VA scandal last year that led to the resignation of Secretary Shinseki; Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, a nonpartisan watchdog group that investigates corruption and misconduct within government agencies; Linda Halliday, Deputy Inspector General and acting head of the VA OIG; and Carolyn Lerner, Special Counsel at the OSC.

November 9, 2015: Senator Kirk chairs a field hearing in Chicago with Germaine Clarno and Dr. Lisa Nee to detail whistleblower allegations and patient and employee abuse at the Hines VA. 

November 18, 2015: Senator Kirk introduces the Veterans Patient Protection Act, which forces the VA to address reports of abuse and punishes the managers who retaliate, ignore, and intimidate veteran whistleblowers.

December 18, 2015: Senator Kirk’s MilCon/VA bill, included in the fiscal year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill, is signed into law and closes a loophole in the Whistleblower Protection Act so that the 200,000 doctors and nurses at the VA are now fully protected from retaliation under the law. This is the first time ever that doctors and nurses will be fully protected from retaliation and abuse under the Whistleblower Protection Act.   

Senator Kirk’s legislation also provides record funding for veterans’ care – $71.4 billion for the VA ($1.3 billion above the President’s request). 

Judge Right to Throw Out Red Light Cam Fines

Posted by Admin On February - 29 - 2016 Comments Off on Judge Right to Throw Out Red Light Cam Fines
Fioretti Calls on City to Heed Court’s Ruling, Give Refunds, End Program


The decision to overturn red-light camera tickets was the right one and as a long-time opponent of of the program I applaud the court and call on the city to take guidance, Bob Fioretti said Friday.

“The cameras are unfair to our residents and prey disproportionately on lower income people” said Fioretti, a candidate for State Senator from the Illinois 5th District. “The program is an obvious money grab and has been rife with corruption and plagued with unfairness from the start.”

The ruling by Cook County Circuit Judge Kathleen Kennedy said the city program violated the “fundamental principles of justice,” but the the city announced it does not plan to refund any of the millions in fines it has collected or to stop issuing the tickets.

Fioretti was invited to join the press conference being held by red light camera activist and WVON personality Marc Wallace, but is unable to attend.

Former Suffolk County Police Chief Pleads Guilty To Civil Rights Violation And Conspiracy To Obstruct Justice

Posted by Admin On February - 29 - 2016 Comments Off on Former Suffolk County Police Chief Pleads Guilty To Civil Rights Violation And Conspiracy To Obstruct Justice
James Burke admits to assaulting handcuffed suspect in December 2012 and orchestrating an extensive cover-up to obstruct the Federal Civil Rights Investigation

Earlier, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York, James Burke, the former Chief of Department for the Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD), pleaded guilty to a civil rights violation and conspiracy to obstruct justice.  The civil rights violation related to Burke’s assault of a Smithtown man who had been arrested for breaking into Burke’s SCPD-issued vehicle and stealing his property on December 14, 2012.  Following that assault, over almost three years, Burke and other Suffolk County law enforcement authorities took actions to obstruct the federal civil rights investigation into the assault.  Burke was arrested and arraigned on December 9, 2015, and he has been in federal custody since that date.

The guilty plea was announced by Robert L. Capers, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI).

“The defendant violated his oath and responsibilities as a law enforcement officer by exacting personal vengeance, assaulting a handcuffed suspect, and abusing his authority as the highest ranking uniformed member of the Suffolk County Police Department.  Despite the efforts of the defendant and his co-conspirators to obstruct the federal investigation, he has been brought to justice,” stated United States Attorney Capers.  “Our investigation is ongoing, and we will seek to hold accountable anyone who violates another’s civil rights or attempts to obstruct justice.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Rodriguez stated, “An honest government, trusted by the people, is imperative to protect our freedoms.  For these reasons, combating public corruption is the top criminal priority of the FBI.  In his guilty plea today, Burke has taken responsibility for his illegal conduct.  This begins the restoration of the public’s trust in the Suffolk County Police Department’s ability to protect their Constitutional freedoms.”

According to the indictment, court filings, and statements during today’s guilty plea proceeding, on December 14, 2012, New York State Probation Department and SCPD officers arrested probationer Christopher Loeb at his mother’s home in Smithtown, New York, for a variety of probation violations.  During the arrest and search of the Loeb residence, officers discovered a large cache of merchandise stolen from over a dozen vehicles, including an SCPD-issued SUV operated by Burke.  Among the items taken from Burke’s SUV was his gun belt, several magazines of ammunition, a box of cigars, a humidor, and a canvas bag that contained toiletries, clothing, and other items.

Burke was permitted to enter the Loeb residence and retrieve the canvas bag and several other articles, even as the search was underway.  He then drove to the SCPD’s 4th Precinct in Smithtown where detectives had begun interrogating Loeb.  Burke entered the interrogation room where Loeb was handcuffed and chained to an eyebolt fastened to the floor.  Burke then punched and kicked Loeb in the head and body.

Subsequently, Burke and others pressured the detectives who witnessed the assault to conceal the event.  Those efforts continued even after the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office opened an investigation of the assault in 2013.  In one instance, Burke summoned detectives under his command to SCPD headquarters in Yaphank, New York, to persuade the detectives to agree to a false version of events that would conceal the assault.  In October 2013, one of those detectives testified falsely under oath in a state pretrial hearing in the Loeb prosecution, denying that Loeb had been assaulted.

The guilty plea proceeding was held before United States District Judge Leonard D. Wexler.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Lara Treinis Gatz and John J. Durham are in charge of the prosecution, assisted by EDNY Investigator William Hessle.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

Opening ReMARCs: Supreme Court Obstructionism is Indefensible

Posted by Admin On February - 29 - 2016 Comments Off on Opening ReMARCs: Supreme Court Obstructionism is Indefensible


By Marc H. Morial
President & CEO, National Urban League

Minority access to institutions of higher learning. The future of collective bargaining. The fundamental concept of “one person, one vote.”

These issues and others hang in the balance as we face an unprecedented and indefensible refusal by the Senate Judiciary Committee even to consider, much less confirm, a nominee to the Supreme Court.

While our nation has seen vigorous, often partisan debate over a nominee’s ideological stance, never in history has a small group of obstructionists vowed to shut down the nomination process before it even has begun. The New York Times, in an editorial this week, called the move “panic masquerading as strength.”

While we often raise our voices to urge lawmakers to adopt one position or another, to act or not to act, never before have we as citizens been called upon to urge lawmakers simply to fulfil their constitutional responsibility. That we are doing so now is surreal.

President Obama is not a “lame duck” and will not be considered one, by any stretch of the definition, until November 8. Even then, whether he has one day or one year left in his term – and he does have nearly a year – he has an unequivocal Constitutional responsibility to appoint a Supreme Court justice. And the Senate has an unequivocal responsibility to advise and consent.

Physicians Medical Forum Hosts Conference to Increase Pipeline of African American/Black Students to Attend Medical School

Posted by Admin On February - 29 - 2016 Comments Off on Physicians Medical Forum Hosts Conference to Increase Pipeline of African American/Black Students to Attend Medical School

High School, Community College, University/College, Pre-med and Post-Baccalaureate Students Invited to Attend at NO COST | Sat., March 19, 2016



OAKLAND/SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA – Physicians Medical Forum (PMF) aims to expand the pipeline and the number of African American/Black students who want to become physicians.

PMF also provides a network of support that encourages medical students and residents to pursue their careers as physicians in the Oakland/San Francisco Northern California, Bay Area. PMF’s mission is to improve the delivery of culturally competent medical care to better meet the healthcare needs of the community-at-large. To that end, on Saturday, March 19th, the non-profit organization will host its sixth annual “Doctors On Board Pipeline Program” (DOB), a day-long, tuition-free, information-filled series of workshops on admissions, exam prep, financial aid and mentoring sessions with physicians that inspire the growth of Black students to attend medical schools and residency programs.


Stalfana Bello, M.P.A., Physicians Medical Forum Executive Director, stated, “The Doctors On Board Pipeline Program is a one of a kind program that pulls together major resources to focus students on becoming physicians. The beauty of DOB is that almost all of the students will be the “First Generation” in their families to become doctors or pharmacists.”
Stalfana Bello, PMF Exec. Dir. addresses
Physicians Medical Forum 2015
Doctors On Board students
Physicians Medical Forum 2015 Doctors On Board students in Mock Suture Clinic learn
knot tying techniques
Dr. Albert L. Brooks, PMF President and Chief of Medical Services at Washington Hospital in Fremont, California said, “Historically, African American/Black students have had extremely limited access to higher education and without exception in the field of medicine. This remains to be a startling truth, even today. Doctors On Board provides students their first step to successfully manage their exciting journey to becoming doctors.”
Many of Northern California’s most prominent physicians, including members of the Sinkler Miller Medical Association and representatives from medical schools in Northern California and nationwide, will provide students with an innovative opportunity to explore varied facets of medicine and provide information about medical school preparation, specialties field, and life as a physician. 
Segments of the DOB Program will include:
  • Workshop on admissions & financial aid; information on the revised SAT Exam
  • Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) Preparation
  • Workshop with currently enrolled medical students and residents
  • Mock medical clinics with real patients
  • Knot Tying Basic Skills Training
  • Mock suture clinic training session
  • Mentoring interviews with more than 50 physicians of varying specialties from
    throughout the Northern California Bay Area
  • Workshop for parents and families of future doctors
  • Students will be awarded Certificates of Completion immediately followed by
    a reception (at the end of program).
Students who wish to take part in this innovative, inter-active, one-day program may learn more and register by visiting www.PMFMD.com. Interested parties must submit Student Application online or via mail as soon as possible, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., Friday, March 4, 2016. Parents, guardians and adult family member of students who are accepted into the program may also register at the website to attend the workshop, “Guide to Parents/Family of Future Doctors.”
WHO:             Physicians Medical Forum (PMF)
WHAT:           “Doctors On Board Pipeline Program” (Pre-Medical School Conference)
WHEN:           Saturday, March 19, 2016 | 6:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.
Registration & breakfast (6:30 A.M. – 7:30 A.M.)
Workshops, mentoring, lunch, mock medical/suture clinics (7:30 A.M.-4:30 P.M.)
Workshop: Guide for Parents/Family of Future Doctors (2:30 P.M.- 4:30 P.M.)
Certificate of Completion Award ceremony and reception (4:30 P.M. – 5:30 P.M.)
WHERE:        Oakland Marriott City Center | 10th and Broadway, downtown Oakland
Leading physicians, faculty, residents, medical students and business professionals will instruct, mentor and network with the program’s student participants. They will include representatives from the PMF Board of Directors, Kaiser Permanente, Sinkler Miller Medical Association (SMMA), Student National Medical Association (SNMA), UCSF, UC Davis, and Stanford Schools of Medicine, Well Fargo, US Navy Medical Officers Program, Tour for Diversity in Medicine, Highland Hospital and San Francisco General Hospital (partial list).
Physicians Medical Forum is supported by The California Wellness Foundation, Kaiser Foundation Hospital Fund for Community Benefit Programs at the East Bay Community Foundation, California Healthcare Foundation, Sinkler Miller Medical Association, San Francisco Foundation, Wells Fargo, The Talaton Group and the National Medical Fellowships.
The Physicians Medical Forum is an Oakland, CA-based non-profit 501(c)(3) whose mission is to encourage recruitment and retention of African American/Black physicians to eliminate health disparities; improve access to care; and maintain diversity within the profession, thereby, improving the quality of healthcare for the community overall.  

PMF programs and initiatives include: Community Health Ambassadors Internship Program, Doctors Rock Workshop Series on Mentoring, Exam Prep, Interview/Personal Statement Skills Clinics; Physicians mentoring and networking events, studies on physicians’ retention and recruitment; Visiting Elective/Visiting Clerkship Resident Scholarships, physician education and development; providing scholarships for medical students and residents; networking with legislators and medical organizations; and community outreach programs.



Deadline 5:00 p.m., Friday, March 4, 2016

City of Chicago Hosts First Small Business Expo ‘On The Road’ Series for 2016

Posted by Admin On February - 29 - 2016 Comments Off on City of Chicago Hosts First Small Business Expo ‘On The Road’ Series for 2016


The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) through the Small Business Center (SBC) has partnered with COUNTRY Financial® for the 2016 Small Business Center ‘On the Road’ expo series. The first expo is Saturday, February 27, 2016, from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. with Jarrett Payton as the keynote speaker at Kennedy-King College, 740 W. 63rd Street, Chicago. 

The expo will offer entrepreneurs and business owners the opportunity to consult, network and gather information from more than 40 government and non-profit agencies including the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Better Business Bureau, and the Chicago Treasurer’s Office. The goal is to provide expert advice to small business owners on topics such as licensing, financing and business planning.

“Mayor Emanuel’s administration is committed to supporting Chicago’s entrepreneurs and small businesses,” BACP Commissioner Maria Guerra Lapacek said. “Small businesses are the economic backbone of Chicago and programs like this help ensure our small businesses have the skills and resources to create jobs in our neighborhoods. Thank you to COUNTRY Financial for stepping up and making and investment in Chicago’s small business community.”

A $10,000 financial commitment from COUNTRY Financial® will sponsor mini-makeover services as well as professional photographers to take free headshots for all attendees. These two services combined will provide an added professional touch for attendees to use on their social media sites and marketing materials.

“Supporting small businesses so they can be successful has been a longtime priority for COUNTRY Financial as part of the insurance and investments we offer,” said Mike Fisher, Agency Field Executive of Market Development at COUNTRY Financial. “We’re excited about this new partnership and sharing our expertise to strengthen businesses and communities.”

Immediately following the keynote speech there will be three free workshops that begin at noon and end at 1P.M.

  • Technology is a Small Business’ Best Friend Presented by YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
  • The Entrepreneurial Equation Presented by Felicia L. Slaton-Young, Greater Englewood Community Development Center
  • How to really start your business Presented by SCORE

The ‘Small Business Center on the Road’ is a series of five free expos in neighborhoods throughout Chicago. The series is a partnership between the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), the Office of New Americans (ONA) and Western Union, Fifth Third Bank and now COUNTRY Financial®.

The expo is part of the Mayor’s agenda to support neighborhood businesses and economic development. It will also offer business consultants from the (SBC) to help attendees apply or renew for a business license and make an appointment for additional counseling at City Hall. In addition, the Center for Economic Progress will provide a free tax clinic and The Law Project will provide a free legal clinic with representatives offering 20-minute consultations. A one-hour networking session, hosted by City Treasurer Kurt Summers, will wrap up the expo from 1 P.M. to 2 P.M.

2016 Small Business Center ‘On the Road’ expo series dates and locations:

·         February 27, 2016 @ Kennedy King College

·         April 30, 2016 @ Arturo Velasquez Institute

·         June 25, 2016 @ South Shore Cultural Center

·         September 10, 2016 @ Columbus Park Refectory

·         October 29, 2016 @ Copernicus Center

To register for an expo or for more information, visit chismallbizexpo.com, call (312) 744-2086 or email
BACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org. For more information about the City of Chicago’s Small Business Center and the Small Business on the Road expo series, visit www.cityofchicago.org/sbc.

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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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