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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released a statement after meeting with families ...

Archive for February 22nd, 2016

Civil Rights Leaders Present Agenda to Presidential Candidates Clinton and Sanders

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

As part of an ongoing engagement with presidential candidates to develop am agenda for social, racial and economic justice, the National Urban League this week the leaders of nine historic civil rights groups  for briefings with presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

These are the first in a series of briefings.  All of the presidential candidates have been invited to participate.

News Coverage of the Briefings:

MSNBC: Clinton, Sanders vie for black vote
MSNBC: Courting the black vote
MSNBC: National Urban League Pres.: ‘We want to be fair’
CNN: Clinton meets civil rights leaders ahead of speech
New York Times: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton to meet with civil rights leaders
Newsday: Hillary Clinton, in Manhattan speech, sketches plan to combat ‘systemic racism’
CBS News: Civil rights leaders praise Hillary Clinton’s familiarity with their concerns
Reuters: Hillary Clinton, in push for black support, promises to tackle racial disparities
Washington Post: Clinton proposes plan to end ‘overly punitive school discipline policies’
USA Today: Clinton lays out plan for combating racial inequality in Harlem address
CNN: Clinton: Ending racial inequality will be ‘mission’ of presidency
Politico: Clinton, in Harlem, seeks contrast with Sanders on race
Bloomberg: Clinton Defends Obama Legacy and Jabs Sanders in Harlem Speech
WPIX: Hillary Clinton turns NYC into battleground 1 week after Bernie Sanders visit
New York Times: Bernie Sanders Takes His Turn Meeting With Civil Rights Leaders
New York Post: Bernie Sanders meets civil rights leaders in pursuit of black voters
CBS9 Washington: Sanders and Clinton working to court black voters
Politic365: Civil Rights Leaders to Meet With Sanders
Augusta Free Press: Sanders stresses economy, voting rights, courts in meeting with black leaders

 

News Video:
NBC Nightly News
NBC4 Washington
Fox 5 Washington

Black Lawmakers React to the Governor’s Budget Address

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget address fails to help college students, vulnerable residents and disenfranchised communities. This was the core belief expressed by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus at their budget press conference.

ILBC Chair Kimberly Lightford joined members in calling student activists and the governor to action.

“Sadly, for a whole year we’ve heard the same story about how we must turn around this state and what we have done is turn back to an era none of us needed to go back to,” said veteran budgeteer State Senator Donne Trotter. “The governor didn’t talk about what happens when we do not fund higher education, about our universities closing or about people closing their minds to coming to our state.”

Leader Lightford challenged the governor’s proposal to sell an outdated, broken education funding plan as true reform and his failure to address higher education concerns.

“Funding our schools without reforming our unfair education system does more harm than good. No matter how much wealth you have, throwing money at a problem is not going to solve it without understanding the real issues at hand. Our decades-old funding formula has not done anything to meet the needs of today’s students. It has only led to the most regressive funding system in the nation.

“We cannot wait any longer to give Illinois children the education they need to compete in this ever-changing world. Resources are scarce in many schools, disproportionately affecting minority students in Chicago and across the state. Schools are choosing between keeping students warm and paying for up-to-date textbooks. We need fundamental changes now that will address these issues in real ways.”

Majority Caucus Whip Mattie Hunter addressed the governor’s failure to tackle mounting higher education concerns.

“The governor acknowledged the need for early childhood and K-12 education funding, yet refused to step up for college students who face an uncertain future. I attended Monmouth College to better my life. Young adults who find themselves in the same situation I found myself in – young adults who want to improve their lives just like I did, might have to quit school because he failed to keep his promise.”

Rep. Marcus Evans and Litesa Wallace criticized the governor’s lack of economic development for minority communities.

“I wanted the governor to talk about how he’s going to get businesses here. I want him to talk about the vocational programs and our community. We need a plan. We need leadership in Illinois,” said Rep. Evans. “The young people need jobs.”

“As social service agencies across the state continue to close doors and face uncertainty, it was disappointing to see the governor double down on an agenda that has and will continue to hurt families in Rockford. Despite his emphasis on economic development, the governor’s insistence on non-budgetary items has led to an unnecessary impasse that has hurt growth and shaken faith in the ability of our state to move forward. If we want Illinois to truly be competitive and be this region’s economic leader moving forward, we must put aside political agendas and put the people of Illinois first,” said Rep. Wallace.

The frustration over the governor’s continued reluctance to release a budget was best summarized by Rep. Elgie Sims.

“How do you present a budget and not release a budget? Even though we haven’t “seen” a budget, what we have seen since the last budget address is Illinois’ most vulnerable populations and middle-class families watch their standards of living decline. I remain ready and willing to work with the governor and my colleagues to pass a responsible budget, but that should not be predicated on issues that are unrelated to the budget.”

Below are ILBC members sound bite reactions of the Governor’s budget address

Donne Trotter

Senator Collins

Senator Hutchinson

Senator Rauol

Senator Lightford

Senator Hunter

Below is a video react from Black Caucus members

Over 250 University of Chicago Faculty Demand Fossil Fuel Divestment in Open Letter

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Today, the Stop Funding Climate Change, UChicago fossil fuel divestment cam-
paign has released a letter written and signed by 258 University of Chicago faculty members urging the University to divest its endowment from the fossil fuel industry. The signatories represent over 50 departments, encompassing over 10 percent of all University faculty and including 4 MacArthur fellows, 10 members of the faculty council and 5 department and committee chairs.

Other notable signatories include the Executive Director of the Pozen Center for Human Rights, the Director of the Program on the Global Environment and the former Dean of Admissions.

The letter argues that “profiting from these industries conflicts with the paramount social value of avoiding significant and permanent degradation of our planet that, if left unchecked, will adversely affect all of us, personally and as an institution” and calls the University to take action by immediately freezing any new investment in fossil fuel companies and divesting from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years.

The faculty letter reinforces overwhelming support of divestment from the student body, 70% of the which that voted in favor of divestment in a student government referendum in 2013. As part of an international movement, UChicago would join a network of over 60 universities, over 60 cities, numerous religious institutions and private foundations that have demonstrated their social responsibility to both current and future generations by refusing to finance the biggest actors in climate change: fossil fuel companies. 3.4 trillion dollars have been divested from the fossil
fuel industry, socially stigmatizing the fossil fuel industry and putting pressure on these corporations to end their active perpetuation of our dependence on fossil fuels. SFCC will continue to pressure the administration until the Board of Trustees divests the University’s endowment from the fossil fuel industry.

Follow the hashtag #StopFundingClimateChange for updates on February 22.
Stop Funding Climate Change, UChicago is a campaign of UChicago Climate Action Network (UCAN), a chapter of the IIRON Student Network (ISN), a student power organization that fights for racial, economic and environmental justice at campuses across Chicago.

Find us on the UCAN or SFCC Facebook page, or on the UCAN or ISN twitter. Find our divestment report on SFCC’s website.

Senator Kirk: GITMO Detainee Transferred to Sudan Re-emerges as Al Qaeda Leader

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released the following statement after it was reported that ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee Ibrahim al Qosi, a confidant of Osama bin Laden whom the Administration transferred to Sudan in July 2012 after classifying him as a low-level risk, “has emerged as a prominent voice of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” and has appeared online in terrorist propaganda videos: 

“The transfer of terror detainee Ibrahim al Qosi from Gitmo to the Sudanese government has resulted in a new frontman for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and reminds us that no facility in the world can detain terrorists as securely as Guantanamo. The Administration needs to explain why they would transfer al Qosi and two other known terrorists to Sudan, a state sponsor of terror.

Department of Defense officials have testified that 30 percent of released detainees are known or suspected to have re-joined the fight against Americans. Last month, the Administration released as many as 17 detainees from Guantanamo Bay. In 2015, the Obama Administration quietly announced the release or transfer of 20 detainees, and fewer than 100 prisoners are now left at the facility. 

BACKGROUND: 

Blocking the Transfer of Gitmo Detainees 

  • The FY16 omnibus contained Senator Kirk-driven language to block the transfer of Gitmo detainees into the U.S. and prohibit the construction of any facility on American soil to house Gitmo detainees. These Kirk provisions have been included in annual appropriations bills since FY11.
  • Senator Kirk wanted this language in order to block the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense from acting on a 2009 Presidential memorandum to relocate detainees to Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois.
  • The omnibus also requires notification of any agreement reached between the U.S. and another country regarding the transfer or release of Gitmo detainees.

Additional Kirk Actions

  • Senator Kirk led a group of senators in a letter urging the Senate Appropriations Committee to reduce foreign aid to Ghana if the country is unable to hold and monitor the two detainees transferred there and ensure they do not reengage in terrorist activities.
  • Senator Kirk co-sponsored S. 165, Detaining Terrorists to Protect America Act of 2015, to prohibit the transfer or release of Gitmo prisoners.
  • Senator Kirk requested language in the FY12 CJS Appropriations bill to prohibit the transfer of Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
  • In the 112th Congress, Senator Kirk authored S. 209 to prohibit the use of funds to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees to the U.S.
  • In 2011, Senator Kirk wrote Attorney General Eric Holder requesting the reversal of efforts to move Guantanamo Bay prisoners to Thomson, Ill., but to allow the federal government to operate Thomson Correctional Center as a maximum-security federal prison.
  • Senator Kirk led Illinois Republicans in the House in successfully inserting language in the FY11 National Defense Authorization Act to block the transfer of Gitmo detainees into the U.S.

‘Some Shameless Hypocrites Dare to Sing God Bless America’

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

By Rev. Harold E. Bailey
President of Probation Challenge

 

 
It’s unbelievable how some politicians (reeking of hypocrisy) can stand with hands guarding the heart and sing ‘God Bless America’. These are those who under the cloth of darkness are perpetrators who are with deep-seated evil intentions! In the last few weeks some have even displayed that their love for humanity is far from the heart of God.

 
However did we forget that it is not the blessings of man that we exist, but it is: The blessing of the LORD, it makes us rich, and he adds no sorrow with it? Proverb 12:22. As candidates dispute with one another they have cause friction and hatred among the masses of people. These acts of intentional division has created confusion among tax payers, thusly, well-read biblical persons are better able to examine the fruit that sourer candidate bears! It is duly noted that God is not the author of any confusion!

 
I hasten to point-out that there is at-hand divisive efforts to achieve votes through deceptive measures… These measures are to sublimely deprive a large body of African Americans and Hispanics. There is a slick method to some political candidate’s madness, and that that mythology speaks volume to those who share to deliver the deprived and under-privileged to the slaughter! A fair question is, would an honorable God hear and honor the songs of those who lay in wait to diminish certain communities of Americans. In the bowels of slavery, how can a God-fearing man or woman sing in a foreign land? God Bless American?

 

 

Has America not learned… or conventionally dismissed the undocumented history of this country? Repeatedly, well read intellectuals have quires how the United States has dismissed the fact that this country which was to be founded on the principles of love with respect has resorted to the bashing and killing of one another! In the face of the world are bashings demonstrated on live television with the national candidates!

 
A crash course in U.S. history should dictate that pilgrims traveled from distant lands to these unfamiliar shores to embark on what was to be a land that was promised for new spiritual opportunities. Well, let us clear the air of one untruth going down the corridors of time… and this misleading bit of history should have been dispelled years ago… Every young boy and girl should have been taught in school that the original inhibitors of the America were the original Indians whose land was stolen away from them. We should revisit our books again and teach youth that Columbus did not discover American – America was never lost! Yet, these fables continue to this day without any governmental corrective measures. God Bless American?

 
With all of the hoopla and false statements flowing from the mouth of politicians not withstanding those deemed as deranged, should we believe those who are the loudest, most money, better clothes, or documented in history that are in some cases misleading? However many with deceit on their lips will sing “God bless American” and have the public to believe they are singing with conviction. Are we in the song in-fact asking God to bless that which was stolen from others – politically or otherwise? Did America ever repent for the massacring of the Indians whose land was seized, and why did we miguidinglly place those that remained … on a reservation with perhaps not even 3-piences of silver to placate? God Bless American?

 
Now, it appears that many have left the first love which was God and family, and speak of others only to mock, disrespect, ridicule or defame… this is not honorable! Unadulterated truth… which is believed to be the documented word of our Lord and Savior states that man/woman ought to pray for those who have the rule over the nation. In America, the ruler of the nation applies to the President of these Not-So-United-States, Barrack Obama, which just by ordination of God… happens to be an honorable African American gentleman, who is hated by a small fraction of the total U.S. population… without just cause. God Bless American?

 
Political churchgoing deceivers are said to regularly attend Sunday morning services with hymnal in hand while their hearts are bloody from the bullet of character assassination! Many political cronies are known to tote bibles while declaring God’s scriptures wrongfully! This is spiritually known as warring against the spirit of God. The declaration from God via the scriptures says that these actions ought not to amaze us “for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 2nd Corinthian 11th verse.

 
Many political candidates vying for the office of presidency and other seats of authority have shown blatant disrespect for the U.S. President, who was selected by an unprecedented large majority of American blacks, Hispanics and all other races.

 

 

The vote was set-forth as the meter for who was to have rule. Many candidates are misleading persons who stand in pretense…with their hand over the heart, but deep down within the secrecy of the heart they have in an agreement with Satan, pledged to disrespect, tear down and uproot the American dream of progress. This body of political prostitutes is lead by a demonic force that represents the ‘prince of darkness’ who the scripture said would be the ruler of this age! This evil force comes directly from the very pit of hell, only but to rob, steal, kill and will destroy?
Christianity: Some political candidate’s state that they are a Christian, however to be a Christian merely means to be Christ like! It simply means… if Christ would not be in any position that we are in … neither should those that follow after him. Also, if Christ would not tear down one another – nor should we! Also, Christ taught his disciples that after they would have to uproot the prevailing evils … then to plant.

 

 

Christianity is constructive and not disruptive as some politicians are. It is to be remembered that we cannot serve 2 masters…for we will hate one and love the other. Christianity is the love that we show for each others. Christianity is: Walking the Walk and not talking that Talk!

 
Americans must remember that this country was establish on what was to be … a decent and reputable constitution, now long forgotten by hate batters, peace-breakers, warmongers and conspirators. All who temper with the people of God and their earthly welfare will have their place in an unquenchable fire in the pit of hell.
Having a heart for the 21st Century youth, my earnest prayer is that they not fall into evil entrapments laying in wait for them, created by Satan! Lucifer (Satan-Devil) has brought into physical existence some political delegates who process the inappropriate abilities via money, to bring about vain imaginations. This is to lure innocent young men and women into the arena of hatred, bitterness, falsehoods, along with other detrimental underhanded devises that only cause people to lose hope. Youth must consider that Jesus Christ came that we all would have life and life more abundantly. Christ is unmistakably the hope of glory.

 
If in-fact solutions are at hand as some candidates say… why did they not offer assistance to the sitting U.S. President? There are more questions than there are answers. Once question of concern is why are there barriers when it comes to helping people…or, would that mean helping the less able such as: African Americans and Hispanics?

 
Hypocritical politicians, wishing to return to the foe of righteousness to serve the people with honor… could liken themselves to the prodigal son who turned his back on his father (God) and went to a foreign place and became poor and as the result eat with the swine. The son coming into the realization that he didn’t have to live the way he ways … came to himself. He then made a decision to return to his father. Upon that return, the son said to his Father, ‘I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and no more worthy to be called thy son.’ The father embraced his son and killed the fattest-calf and the household dined well. All was forgiven! America must return to our first love – God! Then we can sing with strong conviction: God Bless America”.

 
The president of the United States is indeed human and has faults! However, President Barrack Obama is the elected president of these Not-So-United-States of American… and to be respected as such! Pray for him as God has commanded. The president has to answer to a higher power than tax payers or politicians!

 
God bless American, has always been a song that brought people together on one accord as it did when Democrats and Republicans stood on the steps of the Capitol, who on other occasions would argue, but, on this day, September 11, 2001, only hours after the terrorist attacks on New York City and on Washington, elected officials stood as one, singing “God Bless America”… Later, many returned to their seats of authority – only to conduct business that would be harmful to most American citizens. God Bless America?

 
As we sing ‘God Bless America’ with much zest, we must spiritually be reminded to be respectful of others as only in these United States of America are we allowed to vote our own honest convictions.

 
Please God have abundance of mercy on us as we offer up this prayer in song to you. Dear Heavenly Father, we’re trusting in you to extend your daily grace and mercy unto each of us. Amen… And it is so! Rev. Harold E. Bailey.

 
God Bless America

 

By John Williams
“God Bless America”
By Irving Berlin
While the storm clouds gather far across the sea, let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free. Let us all be grateful for a land so fair, as we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.

 

God Bless America, land that I love.
Stand beside her and guide her
through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
to the oceans white with foam.
God Bless America, my home sweet home.
God Bless America, my home sweet home.

Rev. Harold E. Bailey is the president of Probation Challenge
Contact; 773-978-3706 or Mrheb@aol.com or WWW.ProbationChallenge.org

Clark County Black Caucus Endorses Bernie Sanders for President

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

LAS VEGAS – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Nevada campaign on Friday welcomed the endorsement of the Clark County Black Caucus. Clark County is the biggest county in Nevada with over 2 million people, approximately 12 percent of whom are African-American. The group noted Sen. Sanders’ lifelong commitment to civil rights, racial and social justice, ending mass incarceration and addressing economic inequality in the country.

“We are proud to endorse Bernie Sanders for president. He has the audacity to speak truth to power and fight for the needs of our community,” said Yvette Williams, Clark County Black Caucus chair. “He understands that when everyone is treated equally, this country thrives.”

The Clark County Black Caucus has pioneered several legislative advancements addressing issues that confront the state’s African-American community. The organization serves as a vibrant example of an institution that is able to transcend the partisan gridlock of the Silver State’s political institutions.

“We know that Sen. Sanders’ plans will address the institutional racism that plagues our nation and leaves millions of young African-Americans jobless, incarcerated, and hopeless,” said Steve Munford, Clark County Black Caucus executive board member. “Bernie Sanders has stood with our community since the civil rights movement and continues to stand with us today. We will caucus for him and continue working with him to bring about a political revolution.”

“We are honored to receive the support of an organization that was created on the heels of one of the most exciting moments in American history—the election of our country’s first African-American president, Barack Obama,” said Joan Kato, Sanders’ Nevada state director. “They are one of Nevada’s most influential advocacy organizations, and we are so proud to have their support.”

Black Lives Matter Chicago Declines Invitation to White House

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – On Thursday, February 18, civil rights activists and leaders from around the country were invited to the White House for what the Obama administration has called a “first-of-its-kind” intergenerational meeting to discuss “a range of issues, including the Administration’s efforts on criminal justice reform” and “building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.” The event’s guest list includes high profile civil rights leaders like Al Sharpton, student organizer Deshaunya Ware and others.

As the cofounder of Black Lives Matter Chicago, I was issued an invitation to this event, and various news outlets have already listed me as an attendee. But as a radical, Black organizer, living and working in a city that is now widely recognized as a symbol of corruption and police violence, I do not feel that a handshake with the president is the best way for me to honor Black History Month or the Black freedom fighters whose labor laid the groundwork for the historic moment we are living in.

I respectfully declined the invitation to the White House to discuss criminal legal reform and to celebrate Black History Month. I was under the impression that a meeting was being organized to facilitate a genuine exchange on the matters facing millions of Black and Brown people in the United States. Instead, what was arranged was basically a photo opportunity and a 90-second sound bite for the president. I could not, with any integrity, participate in such a sham that would only serve to legitimize the false narrative that the government is working to end police brutality and the institutional racism that fuels it. For the increasing number of families fighting for justice and dignity for their kin slain by police, I refuse to give its perpetrators and enablers political cover by making an appearance among them.

If the administration is serious about addressing the issues of Black Lives Matter Chicago – and its sister organizations that go by different names across this nation – they can start by meeting the simple demands of families who want transparency, who want police that kill Black people unjustly to be fired, indicted and held accountable. A meeting arranged to carry this out is one that would be worthy of consideration. Until this begins to happen on a mass scale, any celebrations of Black History that go on inside the walls of the White House are hollow and ceremonial at best.

Dialogue around the issue of the criminal legal system (and the injustice of this system) is crucial to the struggle against anti-Blackness. But when we confront issues of policing and incarceration, we must be very intentional about who is framing such dialogues, and what agenda that framing serves.

When we talk about criminal justice reform, we must first consider that which we are defining as “criminal.” In Chicago, under Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s reign, we must ask why he is not considered a criminal for closing half of the city’s mental health care centers. We must ask why he is not considered criminal for conducting the largest public school closing in US history. We must ask why the State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez is not considered a criminal for conspiring to keep hidden for over 400 days the videos of the killings of Laquan McDonald and Ronald Johnson. We must consider who is criminal and what the criminal legal system is when Dante Servin – the Chicago police officer who gunned down Rekia Boyd – can be acquitted of involuntary manslaughter on the grounds that her murder was an intentional act, and leave a courtroom with his job intact. We must consider who is criminal when former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel let the Dyett hunger strikers starve for 30 days while fighting to save the only high school in their Southside neighborhood from closing.

We must consider what is criminal when Chicago State University, the cIty’s only predominantly Black university, may close due to the state government’s inability to pass a budget.

We must consider what is criminal justice when not one officer, including former Commander Jon Burge, has been held responsible for the torture of over 100 Black and Latino men that occurred for over 30 years in the City of Chicago – a city where torture continues today in places like Homan Square.

We must ask when and where justice can be found when just blocks away from Homan Square, Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton and Deputy Mark Clark were murdered in cold blood by Chicago police and the FBI while they were sleeping 40 years ago last December 4th.

We must consider who is criminal when, the day after Christmas, 19-year-old college student Quintonio LeGrier called 911 three times and was hung up on by the operator before Officer Robert Rialmo showed up and killed him and his neighbor, Bettie Jones, a mother of five, from 20 feet away. We must consider who is a criminal when this same officer files suit against the young man he killed for emotional distress. Truly, we must ask who is the criminal and what is justice and who is this system for, when George Zimmerman, Darren Wilson, Jon Burge, Glen Evans, George Hernandez, Dante Servin, Anita Alvarez and Rahm Emanuel walk free? And we must ask, who then has been criminalized, who is behind bars and why are they disproportionately Black and poor?

We must ask what is criminal justice when children, the elderly, the disabled and everyday working people in the city of Flint, Michigan, cannot safely drink their water due to lead contamination which has occurred because the local government switched the city’s water sources in 2014 in order to allegedly to save money.

And finally, we ask, what can criminal justice mean in a country which houses the most incarcerated people ever recorded in human history?

In Chicago, opposition to the oppression that perpetuates these circumstances has happened in the streets, at police board meetings and in community spaces. While we continue to live in struggle, battles have been won. Last year, we became the first city in the nation to award reparations to police torture survivors. Our young people have protested and organized relentlessly. We have a long road ahead, but the gains we have made have come through laborious organizing and antagonism of the system.

The Cook County criminal legal system, federal and all county court and prison systems are corrupt and racist. In order to make substantive change, Black Lives Matter Chicago demands an end to cash bail. We demand an end to grand juries. We demand an investigation of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office for extensive cover-ups of police crimes. We demand an end to all mandatory minimum sentencing. We demand the defunding and ultimate closing of the Cook County juvenile detention center and Cook County jail and all juvenile detention centers. We demand community control of all police departments with the creation of an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council with the power to hire and fire police officers and superintendents, by civilian representatives voted in by each neighborhood, with mandated inclusion of survivors of police violence and torture. We want a redirection of funds saved to support free health care for all; we want housing for abandoned youth, the homeless and nearly homeless; we want a federal jobs program for the unemployed and underemployed; we want a living wage for all workers; we want fully funded schools and fully funded crisis centers nationwide.

We demand the immediate closing of Guantánamo Bay and the return of the confiscated land to the people of Cuba. We demand the return of all troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. We demand an immediate end to all money going to Israel while the occupation of Palestine continues. We demand an immediate withdrawal of all US troops in Africa under AFRICOM. We demand an end to the ongoing police violence against Indigenous people and that this colonized United States be returned to Native peoples. We demand immediate halting of the deportation raids of undocumented people. We demand full reparations for all descendants of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Finally, we assert that true revolutionary and systemic change will ultimately only be brought forth by ordinary working people, students, youth – organizing, marching and taking power from the corrupt elites. No proponent of this system – Democrat or Republican – will upend the oppressive structures that maintain it. To hold the powerful accountable for their harmful and oppressive actions, we must continue to build power in the streets. We must act in concert and in coalition within our communities, because together, we have the power to uproot all oppression and systemic violence.

Indiana Tutor Charged with Sexual Abuse of Child

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

An Indiana man has been charged with a second case of sexually abusing a child he was hired to tutor, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

 
Brett Zagorac, 33, of Munster, was charged with Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse in connection with incidents that occurred while he tutored the then seven-year-old child in the child’s home in 2014 and 2015. Zagorac appeared in bond court today at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago where his bond was set at $100,000 and his next court date was set for March 10.

 
According to prosecutors, in August of 2014 the victim’s parent hired Zagorac to tutor the child and the child’s 10-year-old sibling. Zagorac tutored the victim and the sibling once a week through the 2014-2015 school year, occasionally during the summer months, and then resumed weekly sessions when the 2015-2016 school year began. The tutoring sessions took place in the dining room of the victim’s home, while other family members were in the house.

 
In October of 2015, the victim’s parent learned of Zagorac’s arrest for an incident that occurred while he was tutoring another student. The parent then learned from the victim that on multiple occasions Zagorac had reached under the victim’s shirt and rubbed the victim’s lower back and that Zagorac had pulled the victim into his lap while the victim completed homework.

 
Zagorac has a pending case in Cook County for a similar crime that he was charged with in October of 2015. In that case, Zagorac was hired by the victim’s family in November of 2014 to tutor their then nine-year-old victim once a week. During the tutoring sessions, while a parent was in the house, Zagorac would place his hand on the victim’s back and make statements like “good job” while the victim was solving a problem.

 
Approximately one month after hiring Zagorac, the victim’s parents went out and left Zagorac to babysit the victim and the victim’s sibling. After the victim went to bed, Zagorac entered the victim’s bedroom and fondled the victim over the pajamas.

 
Approximately six months later, the victim’s parent became aware of Zagorac’s background and then found out about the fondling incident from the victim. Zagorac’s next court date for this case is April 14 at the Cook County Courthouse in Skokie.

 
Zagorac’s criminal history includes misdemeanor battery convictions in DuPage County (2005), Indiana (2009) and Cook County (2010) for similar crimes.

 
The public is reminded that criminal charging documents contain allegations that are not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the state has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  •          David Benton – Member, Arctic Research Commission
  •          Phyliss J. Anderson – Member, National Advisory Council on Indian Education
  •          Mandy Broaddus – Member, National Advisory Council on Indian Education
  •          Dahkota Kicking Bear Brown – Member, National Advisory Council on Indian Education
  •          Joely Proudfit – Member, National Advisory Council on Indian Education
  •          Robert O. Carr – Member, National Infrastructure Advisory Council
  •          Keith T. Parker – Member, National Infrastructure Advisory Council

President Obama said, “I am honored that these talented individuals have decided to serve our country.  They bring their years of experience and expertise to this Administration, and I look forward to working with them.”

President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

David Benton, Appointee for Member, Arctic Research Commission

David Benton is a marine resource consultant.  From 2004 to 2010, he served as Executive Director of the Marine Conservation Alliance.  From 2000 to 2003, he served as the Chair of the North Pacific Management Council.  He has held a number of positions in the State of Alaska government from 1987 to 2000, including Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game from 1994 to 2000.  Mr. Benton was appointed to be a United States Commissioner on the U.S.-Canada Pacific Salmon Commission in 1995 and also serves on the North Pacific Research Board. Mr. Benton volunteers as President of the Alaska Lighthouse Association and is involved in restoring Point Retreat Lighthouse on Admiralty Island.  Mr. Benton received a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Phyliss J. Anderson, Appointee for Member, National Advisory Council on Indian Education

Phyliss J. Anderson is Tribal Chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and is the Chief Executive Officer of the Tribal Government, a position  she has held since 2011.  Previously, she was Tribal Council Representative for the Red Water Community from 2003 to 2011 and Director of the Tribe’s Department of Natural Resources from 1984 to 2003.  Ms. Anderson chairs the boards of the Choctaw Resort Development Enterprise, Chahta Enterprises, the Choctaw Residential Center Enterprise, and the Choctaw Shopping Center Enterprise.  She is a member of the boards of United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc., the National Congress of American Indians, Choctaw Missions, and the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Advisory Board.  Ms. Anderson received an A.A. from East Central Community College.

Mandy Broaddus, Appointee for Member, National Advisory Council on Indian Education

Mandy Broaddus serves as Director of Indian Education at the Montana Office of Public Instruction, a position she has held since 2009.  She held other roles at the Montana Office of Public Instruction, including School Transformation Director from 2011 to 2013 and Indian Education Specialist from 2005 to 2009.  From 2002 to 2005, Ms. Broaddus worked as a Principal and Dean of Students in Frazer, Montana.  She taught at Fort Peck Community College in 1999, 2001, and 2005.  Ms. Broaddus also served as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Montana from 2001 to 2002, the University of Colorado from 2000 to 2001, and the University of California, Los Angeles in 1999.  Ms. Broaddus received a B.A. from Pepperdine University and an M.F.A. from the University of Montana.

Dahkota Kicking Bear Brown, Appointee for Member, National Advisory Council on Indian Education

Dahkota Kicking Bear Brown is  co-founder of Native Education Raising Dedicated Students (NERDS), an organization of peer to peer  youth study groups founded in 2012.  After co-founding NERDS, he was named a Champion for Change at the age of 14 in 2013 by the Center for Native American Youth.  He is also a Member of the White House Steering Committee for Generation Indigenous, the Center for Native American Youth’s Executive Board, and the National Congress of American Indians National Native Youth Cabinet.

Dr. Joely Proudfit, Appointee for Member, National Advisory Council on Indian Education

Dr. Joely Proudfit is an Associate Professor in the Department of American Indian Studies at California State University San Marcos, a position she has held since 2008.  She has been Director of the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center since 2009 and Department Chair of American Indian Studies since 2015.  From 2004 to 2008, Dr. Proudfit was an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Administration and Director of the Tribal Government, Management, and Leadership MPA Program at California State University, Santa Barbara.  From 2003 to 2005, she was a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of San Diego and from 1996 to 2004, she was an Associate Professor in the Department of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University (SFSU).  From 1999 to 2000, Dr. Proudfit was Interim Chair of the Department of American Indian Studies at SFSU and from 1998 to 2002, she was Director of American Indian Studies Community Service Learning.  She began her career as a Lecturer in the Department of American Indian Studies at California State University, Long Beach.  Dr. Proudfit received a B.A. from California State University, Long Beach and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Northern Arizona University.

Robert O. Carr, Appointee for Member, National Infrastructure Advisory Council

Robert O. Carr is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Heartland Payment Systems, Inc., a position he has held since 2000.   Previously, he served as Chief Executive Officer of HPS, LLC from 1997 to 2000.  Prior to that, Mr. Carr was a software consultant and founded Credit Card Software Systems, Inc. in 1987.  He began his career at the Bank of Illinois and as a professor at Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois.  Mr. Carr received a B.S. and an M.S. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Keith T. Parker, Appointee for Member, National Infrastructure Advisory Council

Keith T. Parker is General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, a position he has held since 2012.  Mr. Parker was President and CEO of VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio, Texas, from 2009 to 2012.  Prior to that, Mr. Parker was CEO of Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) from 2007 to 2009, Assistant City Manager for the City of Charlotte, North Carolina from 2004 to 2007, and Chief Operating Officer of CATS from 2000 to 2004.  Earlier in his career, he held leadership roles with the Clark County Transit Authority in Vancouver, Washington and the Greater Richmond Transit Company in Richmond, Virginia.  Mr. Parker received a B.A. and an M.U.R.P. from Virginia Commonwealth University and an M.B.A. from the University of Richmond.

State Rep. Mitchell Says Opponent Sent Out a Mailer Filled “With Lies and Propaganda”, Sets the Record Straight

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
Over the weekend, my opponent sent out a mailer filled with lies and propaganda. We know this because she provided absolutely no evidence to back up her outrageous and disingenuous claims.   
You deserve the truth, and I want to make sure that you have the facts.
Claim # 1 – Jay asserts that I am “steering money away from local schools.” If you have been following my e-blasts, you know that nothing could be further from the truth.
  • My Fund Education First bill would do exactly the opposite – by providing CPS with an additional $200 million immediately and over $1 billion long term without raising property taxes. Over 2,000 people signed a petition in support of the bill, but despite the bill’s impact and popular support, Jay and the Chicago Teachers Union opposed it.
  • I have been a staunch advocate of Education Funding Reform to ensure that more state dollars go to the students who need them the most – children living in concentrated poverty, with special needs and kids who are bilingual. The bill I support, SB 1, would bring an additional $141 million to CPS now. For no other reason than her own political gain, Jay and the Chicago Teachers Union have actively opposed it – she even repeated Republican talking points to derail the bill.
  • The mailer lists one bill that Jay says “steals Chicago’s tax dollars .. giving them to suburban schools..” Again, Jay and her allies are completely wrong. This bill would have restored more than $500 million in education spending, which is why sixty-one Democrats, including every legislator from Chicago, voted for it. You can see the roll call here.
Claim # 2 – Jay asserts that I am “forcing us to pay for special interest tax breaks.” Again, she provides no evidence to support this. I have been on the front lines working to change our unfair tax system since my days as a community organizer, and I have continued the fight as your State Representative.
  • I co-sponsored and voted for a bill that would close corporate tax loopholes and crack down on an unacceptable system where two-thirds of corporations in the state of Illinois pay no income tax.  
  • I am a co-sponsor of the Millionaire’s Tax, which would add a surcharge on wealthy individuals like Bruce Rauner and his friends in order to provide our state with an additional $1 billion in education funding. 
Claim # 3 – Jay asserts my priorities are “shaped by the same corporate interests that fund Governor Rauner’s economic agenda.” Again, this simply doesn’t bear out in the facts.
  • IllinoisGO, a Super PAC aligned with Governor Rauner, sent out several negative attack mailers against me this past summer because I have so fiercely opposed the governor and his disastrous agenda.
  • You can view one of my many speeches against the governor’s agenda here.
My work on these critical issues is also why I have been endorsed by nearly every labor union – including the Illinois AFL-CIO, AFSCME Council 31, SEIU Illinois State Council, the Chicago Federation of Labor, the Illinois Education Association, UFCW Local 881, IUOE Locals 150 and 399, the Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2, and the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local 130.
Jay can try to distort my record for her own political purposes, but she can’t refute the facts. Here’s what organized labor has said about me:
Jay knows my record of standing with working families, seniors, and our children. But for her, it’s not about right and wrong, it’s about distorting my record and lying to you to win this election.
Though unfortunate, it’s clear why Jay is avoiding talking about her own record. Her record is filled with exploitation of our community, abuse of resources and people under her care, and blatant opportunism – all of which are delineated by documents from the United States Court of Appeals. For more information about Jay’s record, you can view the facts, which are backed up by federal court documents, at www.TheTruthAboutJay.com.
Together, we can prove that facts will always triumph over the desperate attacks of a flailing candidate, and continue moving our district and our state forward.
Sincerely,
 
State Rep. Christian Mitchell 

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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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