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Archive for February 26th, 2016

#FedUpFriday: CPS Students Rally Against Budget Cuts Today at Thompson Center

Posted by Admin On February - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Students from CPS schools all over the city will rally today, Friday, February 26th, at the Thompson Center, 100 W Randolph St, at 4:30 P.M. Students are gathering together in solidarity with those at schools most harshly affected by the announced cuts to school funding and plan to speak out against these drastic cuts.

February 9th, 2016, CPS schools received information on cuts they are required to make to their individual budgets. These budget cuts will inevitably have the greatest impact on the learning environments of students in less affluent communities.

CPS schools are constantly under attack, from school closures to staff layoffs. After the recent announcement that more charter schools may open by 2018, students’ engagement in the fight against CPS budget cuts has greatly increased, with over 350 CPS students actively organizing to save their schools.

Student organizer Charles Kotrba states, “These cuts are unacceptable and unwarranted. The day we, the students, sit idly by and let Rahm Emanuel, Bruce Rauner, and Forrest Claypool fire our teachers and cut our school budgets is the day we lose the fight for a decent education. We aren’t done fighting.”

Student organizer Nidalis Burgos adds, “The elected officials and unelected school board of Chicago get a failing grade from CPS students. With the 2013 school closures, the incessant charter expansion, and now these monstrous budget cuts, students have had enough. We are fed up and demand that public education be the number one priority in Chicago.”

Consumer Alert!!! Madigan: Hang Up on Phony IRS Scams

Posted by Admin On February - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS


Phone Scammers Posing as IRS Officials Attempt to Con Illinois Residents Into Sending Money


CHICAGO, IL – In response to a recent increase in consumer complaints, Attorney General Lisa Madigan today alerted Illinois residents to a renewed phone scam in which callers pose as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials in an attempt to scare people into sending money to pay for allegedly unpaid taxes.

Madigan’s office is seeing an increase in these complaints to her office from residents throughout the state, in particular from older people. Consumers report being contacted by scammers pretending to be IRS officials who leave threatening messages that include a number for consumers to call in order to avoid lawsuits or prosecution.

Scammers also “spoof” phone numbers, causing caller ID devices to display what appears to be a legitimate call from the IRS, with identifiers such as “IRS” or the (202) area code for Washington, D.C. The scam artists claim they are representatives of the federal government collecting on unpaid taxes and leave threatening messages or instruct their targets to make a payment to them through a prepaid debit card.

“It is critical to know that the IRS does not call and tell people they are under investigation or that they owe money,” Madigan said. “If you receive a call like this, even if your caller ID shows what appears to be a legitimate name or number, hang up immediately.”

Madigan also encouraged consumers to report the call by contacting the IRS or the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) website (www.irs.gov/uac/Taxpayer-Guide-to-Identity-Theft) or by calling 1-800-366-4484. She also urged Illinois residents to report the scam to her Consumer Fraud Bureau at 1-800-386-5438 (Chicago), 1-800-243-0618 (Springfield), 1-800-243-0607 (Carbondale) or 1-866-310-8398 (Spanish), or by visiting her website. The Attorney General also provides a Senior Citizens Consumer Fraud Hotline: 1-800-243-5377.

With tax season underway, Madigan said consumers should also be aware of an increasing number of reports of tax-related identity theft. Since 2013, tax identity theft complaints to Madigan’s office have risen dramatically by over 320 percent – from 138 complaints in 2013 to 582 complaints in 2015. Consumers reported that when they attempted to file their tax return, a return was already filed in their names using their social security number, and a tax refund was issued. Other consumers reported that their dependents had already been claimed on another return.

Madigan said the number one step consumers can take to combat tax related identity theft is to file their returns as soon as possible. Madigan offered additional tips for consumers to avoid becoming the victim of tax-related identity theft:

  • The IRS does NOT initiate contact with taxpayers to request personal or financial information through any form of electronic communication, including email, text messages and social media channels;
  • Do not open or reply to any emails claiming to be from the IRS that contain a request for personal information;
  • Request a call back number and employee badge number from anyone claiming to be an IRS agent so that you may independently confirm the phone number and agent;
  • Report any suspicious IRS electronic correspondence to phishing@irs.gov;
  • Report any IRS telephone impersonation scams or suspicious IRS paper mail or fax correspondence to the TIGTA Hotline at 1-800-366-4484; and  
  • Contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1 (800) 908-4490 or visit the IRS’ website to report tax-related identity theft: www.irs.gov/uac/Taxpayer-Guide-to-Identity-Theft
Consumers can also contact Madigan’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1 (866) 999-5630 for tax-related identity theft assistance. The hotline is staffed with identity theft experts who can assist with all forms of identity theft by helping victims report the crime to local law enforcement and financial institutions, work to repair their credit and prevent future theft. Hotline operators can also assist callers who want to take proactive steps to prevent their personal information from being stolen.


BYP100 Chicago Disrupts Police Task Force Meeting Demanding Justice for Rekia Boyd

Posted by Admin On February - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Kelly Hayes- Shut Down.png

CHICAGO, IL – On Thursday, February 25th, the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) Chicago Chapter disrupted the Police Task Force meeting calling it a public relations stunt by the Mayor. BYP100 members and allies, Assata’s Daughters and Fearless Leading the Youth (F.L.Y.), made it clear that the Police Task force was already compromised because of the presence of Lori Lightfoot, chair of the Chicago Police Board.

Many BYP100 members wore Yellow shirts, Rekia Boyd’s favorite color, to the Police Task Force meeting–the same shirts they have been wearing every month at the Chicago Police Board meetings. “Lori Lightfoot doesn’t care about police misconduct. We know this because we have attended countless meetings demanding an answer for Dante Servin, but instead of addressing that she reports about an off-duty cop getting fired for shoplifting”, says BYP100 Communications Co-Chair, Paris Hipps.

The Chicago Police Board’s job is to engage community members around police misconduct and the Police Task force was created to improve this independent police oversight. BYP100 believes that the people who are currently allowing police misconduct can not be in charge of creating the solution for police accountability.  “You can’t be trusted with oversight of inevitable future police violence when you are the same people currently allowing killer cops such as Dante Servin to collect a paycheck.”, says BYP100 member, Ashley Boyd.

Lori Lightfoot has already heard the stories of police misconduct while on the Chicago Police Board and has done nothing about it. “Chicago police officers Paul Clavijo and Juan Vasquez sexually assaulted a woman twice  in this neighborhood [Rogers Park] and though they had multiple misconduct charges in 2014, they still were not held accountable for any sexual wrongdoing”, says BYP100 Chicago Co-Chair Johnáe Strong. BYP100 asserts  that if Lori Lightfoot hasn’t done anything about the police misconduct in Chicago as the President of the Chicago Police Board, then she will not be able to fulfill her role on the Police Task Force.

Chicago  does not need a Police Task Force and already has too many ineffective independent boards to improve police accountability and not enough social services that have been shown to reduce gun violence and keep Black communities safe, such as: 311 rapid response social workers, gun violence interrupters, mental health care facilities, trauma centers, expanded park district programing, and democratically controlled and funded quality public schools. These services are denied critical funding in poor Black communities throughout the City while Chicago Police Department continues to see an ever increase in funding despite its continued failure.

BYP100 Chicago is committed to holding public officials accountable and continuing the fight for economic, racial, and political justice through demanding divestment from oppressive systems and investment in the lives of Black people.

In The News

Protesters shut down meeting of Chicago police task force

Protesters Call CPD Task Force a Sham, Meeting Erupts in Chaos & Ends Early

Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) is an activist member-based organization of Black 18-35 year olds, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. We do this through building a network focused on transformative leadership development, direct action organizing, advocacy and education using a Black queer feminist lens. We are an organization affiliated with the Black Youth Project.

www.byp100.org – @BYP_100 –  facebook.com/BYP100

Image Credit: Kelly Hayes (Twitter)

State Rep. Dunkin Calls for Vote on Plan to Save Chicago State

Posted by Admin On February - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Bipartisan support for Dunkin rescue effort grows; Plan would not raise taxes or reduce services, Governor says he would sign it


CHICAGO, IL – Illinois State Representative Ken Dunkin (D-5th District) called on the General Assembly not to leave town next week until it sends his legislation to rescue Chicago State University to the Governor’s desk.

Earlier this week, Dunkin filed HB 6409 in Springfield that would appropriate $160 million in emergency assistance for public universities like Chicago State, Northeastern, Eastern and Western Illinois University, along with $40 million in emergency assistance for community colleges in crisis. The plan is fully paid for without raising taxes or cutting services elsewhere – and the Governor has publicly announced he would sign it into law.

“As Chicago State prepares to take further drastic steps to deal with its budget crisis, it’s time for action in Springfield,” Dunkin said. “We have a plan – it’s bipartisan – the Governor says he’ll sign it. I call on the Speaker and every member of the General Assembly to publicly commit that they will not leave Springfield next week until we send my bill to the Governor’s desk for his signature.”

Dunkin’s bill is HB 6409. It is co-sponsored by Democratic Assistant Majority Leader Art Turner, Democratic State Rep. La Shawn Ford and Republican State Rep. Reggie Phillips.

Sanders Calls for Tuition-Free Public Higher Ed at Chicago State University

Posted by Admin On February - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders – who has called for tuition-free public colleges and universities – spoke on Thursday at Chicago State University on a campus struggling through a higher education budget crisis that has nearly dried up state funding.

Illinois colleges and universities have not received operating money from the state since July 1 while state lawmakers battle Gov. Bruce Rauner over budget cuts. As a cost-cutting measure, Chicago State on Tuesday accelerated the semester cancelled spring break.

“This great university is being threatened with cuts. What is going on in America? Where are our priorities?” Sanders asked in an address to 6,500 supporters.

During his speech at the South Side campus ahead of Illinois’ March 15 presidential primary, Sanders also highlighted key differences with Hillary Clinton.

On foreign policy, he cited his vote against the war in Iraq in 2003. She voted for it.

On trade, he listed his record of opposition to job-killing trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement. She supported a string of corporate-crafted trade deals that have closed factories and driven jobs to low-wage nations overseas.

On gay rights, he cited his opposition in 1996 to the Defense of Marriage Act. She supported the anti-gay bill that denied federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

On poverty in America, Sanders has detailed proposals to reduce poverty and blamed an increase in part on a 1996 welfare reform bill he called “an assault on the poor, women and children, minorities and immigrants.” She supported the 1996 legislation.

On campaign finance reform, Sanders has rejected funding by super PACs and relied on more than 4 million donations averaging $27 apiece. She has coordinated with super PACs, including one that took $25 million in the past six months of last year from special interests, including $15 million from Wall Street.

Sanders’ stop on the South Side of Chicago came on a day that began with a rally outside Cleveland, Ohio, and included a stop in Flint, Michigan. He has crisscrossed the country this week making stops in South Carolina, where Democrats vote on Saturday, and to many of the 11 states holding primaries and caucuses on Super Tuesday, March 1.

NAACP National Board of Directors Elects New Members

Posted by Admin On February - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

NAACP National Board of Directors Elects New Members,
Passes Resolution on Flint Water Crisis at Annual Meeting in New York
New Members Named to Special Contribution Fund, Board Approves Name Change to NAACP Foundation


BALTIMORE, MD – NAACP National Board of Directors Chairman Roslyn M. Brock today announced the selection of several new board members and the reelection of existing board members during the Association’s recent annual meeting in New York City.  Chairman Brock and Vice Chairman Leon W. Russell were both reelected to their 7th term.

“The National Board of Directors establishes policy and helps guide the Association and its more than 2,200 units,” said Chairman Brock. “I am pleased to welcome new members to the Board and look forward to continue the work of the Association as we continue to confront and overcome the challenges to our civil and social justice movement.”

Elected to the Board, by the Board:
Tom Kalahar, TX   Dr. David Goatley, DC
William Lucy, DC   Rabbi Micah D. Greenstein, TN

At-Large Nominees Elected:
Carolyn Coleman, NC  Hazel Dukes, NY
Kathy Egland, MS  Howard Jefferson, TX
Jesse Turner, TN  James Settles, MI
Richard Womack, DC

Regional Adult Nominees Members Elected:
Region I Alphonso Braggs, HI
Region II   Scott Esdaile, CT
Region III Lillie Wilson, WI
Region IV Anita Russell, MO
Region V James Gallman, SC
Region VI Ernest Johnson, LA
Region VII Wandra-Ashley Williams, MD

Regional Youth Nominees Elected:
Region I Alyssa Smith, CA
Region II Joshua Turnquest, NY
Region III Antashe Howard, MI
Region IV John Gaskin, MO
Region V Brendien Mitchell, FL
Region VI Erin Gaddis, TX
Region VII Da’Quan Love, VA

Also announced during the Annual Meeting were new members to the Special Contribution Fund (SCF) Board of Trustees.  SCF supports the mission of the NAACP by raising funds, promoting philanthropy and advising the NAACP Board regarding the programs of the SCF.  The Special Contribution Fund was established with Board approval as a 501(c)3 entity in April 1964. At the National Board meeting on February 20, 2016, the Board of Directors approved the name change of the SCF to the NAACP Foundation.

New members to the SCF include:
Maya Bermingham, DC  Dana Mendenhall, IL
Shazzia Hall, NY   Michael Twyman, IN

The NAACP National Board of Directors also passed a resolution in support of efforts to assist residents of Flint, Michigan and to formally request local, state and federal officials enact a coordinated, cohesive plan that: addresses the long term health issues resulting from lead contamination; provides affected residents with necessary resources for legal relief; includes long term strategies to ensure there is no recurrence; and, requires aggressive infrastructure investment in, testing of, and the overhauling of lead pipe systems.


Significant Drop in Uninsured Health Insurance Rate Among 18-64 Year Old Illinois Residents

Posted by Admin On February - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Announces 7.2% Drop in Illinois Uninsured Rate As State Surpasses 1 Million Residents Covered through Get Covered Illinois

CHICAGO, IL According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Illinois was among 8 states with statistically significant coverage gains among 18-64 year old residents. Between 2013 and 2015, the rate of uninsured among 18-64 year old Illinois residents decreased from 17.8% to the current rate of 10.6%. This 7.2% drop is one of the largest in the nation.

“This is a significant achievement in the State of Illinois’ coverage efforts, but more importantly this success presents a tremendous opportunity to continue to improve health outcomes and to lower the cost of health care delivery” said DOI Acting Director Anne Melissa Dowling. “We need to seize this opportunity to continue to engage and educate these newly covered populations about the benefits of coverage and how to effectively engage with the health system.”


More than 1 million Illinois residents have obtained health insurance coverage through the efforts of Get Covered Illinois (GCI) and the Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI).


The recent release of the Qualified Health Plans on the Marketplace by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) indicated that 388,179 Illinois residents enrolled in a plan through the most recent open enrollment period. This number combined with the most recent release of information from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) indicating that there are now 626,248 Full Benefit ACA Medicaid Recipients across the state brings the total covered to 1,014,427 residents who are receiving life saving benefits.

The Illinois Department of Insurance wants to remind Illinoisans of the many benefits that having health coverage provides, subject to applicable policy terms:


  • Coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services. For assistance on understanding health insurance coverage for mental health and substance use disorders contact the Office of Consumer Health Insurance (OCHI) toll-free at 1-877-527-9431.

  • Free preventive services including counseling, screenings, women’s health services and vaccines to keep Illinois residents healthy and care for managing chronic disease; and

  • Prescription drug coverage.

State’s Attorney Alvarez Celebrates African American History Month

Posted by Admin On February - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

In recognition of African American History Month, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez along with members of the office’s African American Advisory Council presented the C.F. Stradford awards to two individuals who have made contributions to the African American community through their professional lives.

The Honorable Arthur F. Hill, Jr., Associate Judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County and Rev. Gloria Randolph, founder of Giving God the Glory Ministries, received the office’s C. F. Stradford Award for their professional excellence and community involvement.

The Honorable Arthur F. Hill, Jr. serves as an Associate Judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County and currently presides over a felony trial courtroom at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago. Judge Hill, a former prosecutor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, served as First Assistant States Attorney and prior to his service as a Jurist he was a law partner in private practice. Judge Hill is a founding member of the National Black Prosecutors Association.

Rev. Gloria Randolph has spent her life enriching the lives of others. For more than three decades, she was an educator in the Chicago Public Schools System. Rev. Randolph continues to provide service to the community through her Giving God the Glory Ministries. She is also a much sought after motivational speaker for Christian-based groups throughout the state.

The C.F. Stradford Award is named for Cornelius Francis Stradford, a pioneer in the legal community
and co-founder of the Cook County Bar Association and the National Bar Association.

The ceremony was held February 23, 2016 at the Parkway Ballroom in Chicago.

Van Pelt Campaign Supported by Rauner Anti-Union Group

Posted by Admin On February - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
New Mail Piece by Conservative PAC a Declaration of War on Sen. President Cullerton, Democratic Party

 An anti-union political action committee affiliated with Gov. Rauner has declared war on John Cullerton and is supporting Patricia Van Pelt with direct mail pieces that indicate her support of a Democratic agenda is a sham.

“We can expect a lot more anti-union, anti-progressive positions from Sen. Van Pelt based on this disturbing information,” said Bob Fioretti. “Either Rauner has now declared war on Senate President John Cullerton and enlisted Van Pelt, or Van Pelt has made a secret deal with Gov. Rauner.”

The PAC, Illinoisians for Growth and Opportunity, is the same political arm that has given well more than $500,000 in support of State Rep. Ken Dunkin and is supporting Jason Gonzalez in his effort to unseat House Speaker Michael Madigan. Dunkin’s support from IllinoisGO is why he abandoned the Democratic Party and his absence on a key vote allowed Gov. Rauner to take over collective bargaining.

The mail pieces sent on behalf of Van Pelt would be worth about $28,000 if sent district-wide, which is equal to the amount of money she’s taken from unions since her election in November of 2012.

“Now, political action committees controlled by the Governor have launched an effort to stop me, a progressive, from defeating Sen. Van Pelt,” Fioretti said. “We have to remember Van Pelt’s comments that she supports allowing cities to pass right-to-work legislation and wonder if an agreement to allow a state takeover of Chicago Public Schools is next.”

Rauner is funneling money from the the Walton family (Wal-Mart) through INCS Pac and his IllinoisGo to Van Pelt. INCS is a pro-charter school PAC.

“The only  possible explanation is a deal between Rauner and Van Pelt to vote for his agenda and against workers’ rights, against funding for Chicago Schools, and for increasing taxes on the middle class and the poor,” Fioretti said.

“When she came out in favor of right-to-work laws at the Sun-Times editorial board, we knew something was odd. She’s taken money from unions and mislead them, but now is ready to follow Ken Dunkin’s lead and sell out all of her supporters for money and favoritism,” Fioretti said. “She ran around backpedaling the last time this came up, but she can’t explain herself out of this.”

Van Pelt claimed she “misspoke” to the Sun-Times board when she very clearly and repeatedly said she would favor cities being able to enact right-to-work laws. Fioretti has been a staunch union supporter in all his years of public service. He supported a $15 minimum wage, marched with the Chicago Teachers Union and protested school closings.

Fioretti has been endorsed by the IVI-IPO for his record of ethical leadership and good governance. By contrast, Van Pelt was the subject of a recent investigation by the Better Government Association and has devoted most of her time to a pyramid scheme that has been roundly criticized by consumer groups and former members who lost money.


City of Chicago Partners With Fifth Third Bank to Expand 2016 Small Business Expo ‘On The Road’ Series

Posted by Admin On February - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) through the Small Business Center (SBC) today announced a partnership with Fifth Third Bank for the 2016 Small Business Expo ‘On the Road’ series. The partnership will allow the SBC to offer additional free resources at each expo, and help the city’s small business owners and entrepreneurs start or expand their business.

“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 with programs like this, we are working to ensure that our small businesses have the skills and resources to create jobs in our neighborhoods and keep our communities strong and vibrant.”

Each year, the city of Chicago hosts the Small Business Center ‘On the Road’, which is a series of five free expos in neighborhoods throughout Chicago. The series is a partnership between (BACP), the Office of New Americans (ONA), Western Union and now Fifth Third Bank. As part of this new partnership, Fifth Third bank is providing a $25,000 grant to support the series.

“We are thrilled to partner with the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection to further its connection and reach to area small businesses and startups,” said Robert A. Sullivan, CEO & Regional President, Fifth Third Bank (Chicago).  “Small businesses are the engines of job creation in the United States. Their value and the role they play in our economy and in the quality of life of the city is incredible.”

The expo is part of the Mayor’s agenda to support neighborhood businesses and economic development. The expo offers entrepreneurs and business owners the opportunity to consult, network and gather information from almost 40 government and non-profit agencies on topics such as licensing, financing and business planning. Business consultants from the SBC will be on hand 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 professional photographer will be on hand to take free headshots for attendees to use on their social media sites and marketing materials. A one-hour networking session, hosted by City Treasurer Kurt Summers, will wrap up each expo from 1 p.m. 2 p.m.

2016 Small Business Expo ‘On the Road’ 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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