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Archive for June 28th, 2016

Attorney General Madigan Reaches $125 Million Settlement With Volkswagen Over Diesel Emissions Scandal

Posted by Admin On June - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
 

Multistate Settlement Requires VW to repurchase or fix falsely marketed diesel vehicles

 

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced her office has reached a nearly $125 million settlement with Volkswagen Group of America Inc. for misrepresenting the emissions of its 2.0-liter Volkswagen and Audi diesel engine cars sold in the U.S. As part of a multistate settlement, Madigan secured $28.9 million for violations of Illinois’ Consumer Fraud Act, and the state could see an additional $150 million in consumer restitution based on consumer participation in the settlement. Illinois can also apply for an additional $97 million from an environmental settlement reached by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

 

The scandal uncovered in September 2015 affected approximately 29,800 cars sold in Illinois. The diesel cars branded environmentally friendly were equipped with defeat device software designed to reduce the effectiveness of the vehicles’ emissions control systems and as a result emitted excess nitrogen oxides (NOx) throughout the state.\

 

“Volkswagen deliberately defrauded its consumers and polluted our environment while promoting its cars as clean diesel vehicles,” Madigan said. “This settlement is the result of the company’s deliberate misconduct and egregious corporate consumer fraud.”

 

Madigan was among 43 states and jurisdictions that settled with Volkswagen for violating state laws prohibiting unfair or deceptive trade practices by marketing, selling and leasing diesel vehicles equipped with illegal and undisclosed defeat device software. The agreement is part of a series of state and federal settlements that will provide cash payments to affected consumers, require Volkswagen to buy back or modify certain VW and Audi 2.0-liter diesel vehicles, and prohibits Volkswagen from engaging in future unfair or deceptive acts and practices in connection with its dealings with consumers and regulators.

 

Once the consumer program is approved by the court, affected Volkswagen owners will receive restitution payment of at least $5,100 and a choice between:

 

  • A buy back of the vehicle (based on pre-scandal National Automobile Dealers Association/NADA value); or
  • A modification to reduce NOx emissions provided that Volkswagen can develop a modification acceptable to regulators. Owners will still be eligible to choose a buyback in the event regulators do not approve a fix. Owners who choose the modification option would also receive an Extended Emission Warranty; and a Lemon Law-type remedy to protect against the possibility that the modification causes subsequent problems.
The consumer program also provides benefits and restitution for lessees (restitution and a no-penalty lease termination option) and sellers after September 18, 2015 when the emissions-cheating scandal was disclosed (50 percent of the restitution available to owners). Additional components of today’s settlements include:
  • Environmental Mitigation Fund: Volkswagen will pay $2.7 billion into a trust to support environmental programs throughout the country to reduce emissions of NOx. This fund, also subject to court approval, is intended to mitigate the total, lifetime excess NOx emissions from the 2.0-liter diesel vehicles identified below. Under the terms of the mitigation trust, Illinois is eligible to seek up to $97 million from this fund to pay for emissions related mitigation projects.
  • Additional Payment to the States: In addition to consumer restitution, Volkswagen will pay to the states more than $1,000 per car for repeated violations of state consumer protection laws, amounting to $570 million nationwide. This amount includes $28.9 million paid for affected vehicles Volkswagen sold and leased in Illinois.
  • Zero Emission Vehicles: Volkswagen has committed to investing $2 billion over the next 10 years for the development of non-polluting cars, or Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV), and supporting infrastructure.
  • Preservation of Environmental Claims: Today’s settlement by state attorneys general preserves all claims under state environmental laws, and Illinois maintains the right to seek additional penalties from Volkswagen for its violations of environmental and emissions laws and regulations.
More information can be found at www.VWCourtSettlement.com. Illinois consumers affected by the settlement can also contact Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Hotline:
1-800-386-5438 (Chicago)
1-800-243-0618 (Springfield)
1-800-243-0607 (Carbondale)
Division Chief Deborah Hagan and Assistant Attorneys General Greg Grzeskiewicz and Cassandra Halm handled the consumer portion of the settlement with support from Richard Lewis, Eric Jagow and Philip Heimlich for Madigan’s Consumer Protection Division. Division Chief Matthew Dunn, Environmental and Energy Counsel James Gignac, Supervising Attorney Gerry Karr, and Assistant Attorney General Angad Nagra handled the environmental portion of the settlement for Madigan’s Environmental Division.
2.0 Liter Diesel Models
Model Year
(MY)
EPA Test Group
Vehicle Make and Model(s)
2009
9VWXV02.035N
9VWXV02.0U5N
VWJetta, VWJetta Sportwagen
2010
AVWXV02.0U5N
VWGolf, VWJetta, VWJetta Sportwagen, Audi A3
2011
BVWXV02.0U5N
VWGolf, VWJetta, VWJetta Sportwagen, Audi A3
2012
CVWXV02.0U5N
VWGolf, VWJetta, VWJetta Sportwagen, Audi A3
2013
DVWXV02.0U5N
VWBeetle, VWBeetle Convertible, VWGolf, VW Jetta, VWJetta Sportwagen, Audi A3
2014
EVWXV02.0U5N
VWBeetle, VWBeetle Convertible, VWGolf, VW Jetta, VWJetta Sportwagen
2012
2013
2014
CVWXV02.0U4S DVWXV02.0U4S EVWXV02.0U4S
VWPassat
2015
FVGAV02.0VAL
VWBeetle, VWBeetle Convertible, VWGolf, VW Golf Sportwagen, VWJetta, VWPassat, Audi A3

 

FBI and Department of State Announce a Global Law Enforcement Forum on Diamond Trafficking and Illicit Trade Hosted by Europol

Posted by Admin On June - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

THE HAGUE—The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of State announce a global law enforcement forum on diamond trafficking, illicit trade, and threat financing. This forum is being hosted by Europol, the European Law Enforcement Agency based in The Hague, Netherlands, and will run from June 28 to June 30, 2016. It is also being co-sponsored by the World Customs Organization.

For the first time, senior law enforcement and customs officials, regulatory bodies, anti-money laundering experts, private sector experts, and others who have equities in combating the illicit trade in diamonds will assemble. The forum will focus on the exploitation of the diamond trade and the use of diamonds as a vehicle for trade-based money laundering, crime financing, and similar nefarious purposes.

“Europol is interested in this topic from several angles—robbery crimes, money laundering, and terrorist financing activities—due to the high value and portability of diamonds. Precious stones and gold are still readily liquid and moveable assets that can be easily traded and transported over borders,” said Europol’s Deputy Director Wil van Gemert.

“The FBI is proud to help lead the charge to bring together global law enforcement partners in an effort to strengthen and enhance cooperation and information sharing. We are fighting back against illicit trafficking and trade that so often goes to fund more and more criminal activity,” said FBI Assistant Director for the Criminal Investigative Division Stephen Richardson. “This forum is a crucial step forward in our mission to disrupt the criminal activity that touches not just the United States but the entire world.”

William Brownfield, assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, said, “We laud these positive efforts to combat the illicit diamond trade, and we recognize that they are important, initial steps in addressing a complex problem. To effectively counter the negative consequences of illicit trade in diamonds and other contraband and to bring successful prosecutions of those who engage in such transnational crime, it will take strong political will and determination from our international partners.”

The forum will facilitate and increase international law enforcement cooperation and awareness of the illicit trade in diamonds and will provide a platform for information sharing and networking. In addition, the forum will help build law enforcement partnerships that will lead to the identification, dismantling, and disruption of criminal networks associated with the illicit trade in diamonds. This is the first global law enforcement forum on the topic of illicit diamond trafficking and trade.

For more information about the FBI, please visit www.fbi.gov. For more information about the Department of State, please visit www.state.gov. For more information about Europol, please visit www.europol.europa.eu.

Washington, D.C. June 28, 2016
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

She “made winning an attitude” – Statement by President Obama on the Death of Pat Summitt

Posted by Admin On June - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

President Barack Obama: Nobody walked off a college basketball court victorious more times than Tennessee’s Pat Summitt.  For four decades, she outworked her rivals, made winning an attitude, loved her players like family, and became a role model to millions of Americans, including our two daughters. Her unparalleled success includes never recording a losing season in 38 years of coaching‎, but also, and more importantly, a 100 percent graduation rate among her players who completed their athletic eligibility. Her legacy, however, is measured much more by the generations of young women and men who admired Pat’s intense competitiveness and character, and as a result found in themselves the confidence to practice hard, play harder, and live with courage on and off the court. As Pat once said in recalling her achievements, “What I see are not the numbers.  I see their faces.”

Pat learned early on that everyone should be treated the same. When she would play basketball against her older brothers in the family barn, they didn’t treat her any differently and certainly didn’t go easy on her. Later, her Hall of Fame career would tell the story of the historic progress toward equality in American athletics that she helped advance. Pat started playing college hoops before Title IX and started coaching before the NCAA recognized women’s basketball as a sport. When she took the helm at Tennessee as a 22-year-old, she had to wash her players’ uniforms; by the time Pat stepped down as the Lady Vols’ head coach, her teams wore eight championship rings and had cut down nets in sold-out stadiums.

Pat was a patriot who earned Olympic medals for America as a player and a coach, and I was honored to award her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was a proud Tennessean who, when she went into labor while on a recruiting visit, demanded the pilot return to Knoxville so her son could be born in her home state. And she was an inspiring fighter. Even after Alzheimer’s started to soften her memory, and she began a public and brave fight against that terrible disease, Pat had the grace and perspective to remind us that “God doesn’t take things away to be cruel. … He takes things away to lighten us.  He takes things away so we can fly.”

Michelle and I send our condolences to Pat Summitt’s family – which includes her former players and fans on Rocky Top and across America.

Shelby v. Holder – Three Years Later

Posted by Admin On June - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
The Invisible Face of Voter Suppression:  Our YouthBALTIMORE, MD – Three years ago, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Shelby v. Holder, nearly dismantling the centerpiece of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  The court ruled that 16 states no longer needed to pre-approve their voting changes with the federal government.  These were the states with some of the longest and continuous histories of voting discrimination. Since then, our nation has witnessed the greatest assault on voting rights since the Jim Crow era.

 

This year will be the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act.  With the Shelby decision, we have seen an onslaught of new voting restrictions in states across the country – laws severely limiting early voting, states purging voter rolls, passing strict voter id laws, and implementing new restrictions on voter registration.  Instead of the federal government blocking these laws before they are even implemented, the Shelby decision allows discriminatory laws to take effect and cause confusion and potential disenfranchisement in their wake.  These barriers affect not just African Americans but the elderly, the disabled, the poor and people of color. But what may be more insidious and least obvious is the effect these restrictions have on suppressing the millennial vote.

 

“Our youth are the bruised but invisible faces of voter suppression,” said Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP. “This is not the voter suppression of a seemingly ancient civil rights era, but rather Jim Crow 2.0 in 2016.  This is not your grandparents white versus black voter suppression, but rather a multigenerational older versus younger, as well as race-based voter suppression. When college IDs are not honored at the ballot box, but concealed weapons permits are, when polling places are moved off college campuses, when DMVs are closed at the moment when high school seniors are getting a license for the prom or an ID to vote, this is nothing less than a generational assault against young voters. This kind of voter suppression is not partisan gamesmanship, but rather the corruption of our democracy.  The NAACP is opposed to race-driven voter suppression and youth-targeted voter suppression.  In this first presidential election in 50 years without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act, with millions of millennials being the largest voting bloc, we can do no less.”

 

“It is very clear that the Shelby v. Holder decision precipitated voter suppression laws by state legislatures across the country to intentionally disenfranchise people of color and millennials and silence their voices at the polls,” said Stephen A Green, national director of the NAACP Youth and College Division. “As a result, The Youth and College Division of the NAACP will engage in a rigorous and relentless civic engagement campaign which couples voter registration, voter education and voter mobilization efforts with voter demonstrations, a call for resistance and non violent direct actions across the country.”

 

Here are the facts:
• According to the US Census, in the 2008 presidential election 48.5% of 18-24 year olds voted.  In the 2012 president election, 41.2% of those aged 18-24 cast a vote.
• In the 2012 election, in states where online registration was available, 12.8% of young voters registered online.
• In same day registration states, 47% of young voters registered at polling sites, making it clear that young voters utilize more convenient methods of registration.
• According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), the requirement in some states that photo ID must show the voter’s current address significantly affects young voters who are more likely to change addresses due to college matriculation or simply moving out of their childhood home. Additionally, states like Tennessee where government refuses to the accept student ID from any of the state’s 23 universities as a form of voter ID, it becomes difficult for students in particular to vote.

 

Efforts to suppress millennial voters could have a significant impact on voter turnout as the millennial population surges. A Feb. 21 New York Times Editorial reports that the total millennial population in the 2016 election is equal now to the baby boom generation in the voting age population (both making up 1/3rd).  Of all eligible voters, 21% or 49 million are 18-29. Since the 2012 election, 16.5 million youth have turned 18. One third of 18-29 year olds are eligible to vote in a presidential election for the first time in 2016—there will be 16.9 million potential new young voters in 2016.

 

Marc H. Morial Statement on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Fisher II)

Posted by Admin On June - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Diversity in Colleges and Universities Essential to Expanding Opportunity

 

NEW YORK – In response to the US Supreme Court’s ruling on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, upholding fair access to higher education, National Urban League President Marc H. Morial today reiterated the League’s strong support for affirmative action.

“Diversity in our nation’s colleges and universities is essential to our national interest, and, especially in these very racially and ethnically challenged times, for reducing racial isolation and the ugliness of hatred on our nation’s campuses,” Morial said. “These times require policies that help foster diversity, inclusion and understanding in our system of higher education – not a retrenchment into divisiveness.”

The National Urban League had filed an amicus brief in the case.

“The Court’s decision in Fisher II safeguards the ability of African-Americans to participate fully in our nation’s economic life without facing the invidious barriers of discrimination,” Morial said.

“While African Americans have seized educational opportunity and grown the ranks of African American college graduates, the promise of equity and opportunity in education remains unfulfilled.  Affirmative action policies such as those adopted by universities that are consistent with Grutter v. Bollinger have been crucial to reducing gaps in educational attainment over the past 50 years.”

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus Vow to Continue Efforts to Address Gun Violence in America

Posted by Admin On June - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, D.C.CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) released the following statement following a historic 26-hour sit-in on the House Floor to protest Speaker Ryan and House Republicans’ refusal to allow a vote on bipartisan legislation to address gun violence.  During the sit-in, House Republicans recessed the House of Representatives without bringing gun violence prevention legislation up for a vote.

“Even as Republicans tried to shut down the Floor and shut out our voices, our historic 26-hour sit-in delivered a stirring message from the American people: No Bill, No Break,” said Chairman Butterfield.  “House Republicans can no longer turn a deaf ear to the clear will of the American people: we will not tolerate more moments of silence for the victims of gun violence without action to prevent the next tragedy.  Sit or stand, members of the Congressional Black Caucus will not rest, and we will not be silent, until Congress has acted to disarm hate.”

House Democrats sat-in for 26 hours on the House Floor to demand Speaker Ryan and House Republicans allow an immediate vote on bipartisan, commonsense gun violence prevention legislation to keep guns out of dangerous hands.  The historic sit-in ended when Republican Leaders adjourned the House for the Fourth of July district work period leaving Washington, D.C. without bringing bipartisan gun violence prevention bills to the floor for a vote.

Chicago Man Sentenced in 2014 Kidnapping and Shooting Case

Posted by Admin On June - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

A Chicago man has been sentenced to 98 years in prison for kidnapping his ex-girlfriend’s children and then shooting and seriously injuring her and one of her relatives in the parking lot of a suburban shopping mall, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Everett Harris, 32, was previously found guilty of two counts of Attempt First Degree Murder and one count each of Aggravated Kidnapping and Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking.

According to prosecutors, on November 13, 2014 Harris, armed with a gun, forcefully took his ex-girlfriend’s car, which contained her two children who were ages six and four.  The ex-girlfriend immediately reported the incident to Chicago Police and then contacted several family members and friends who gathered to help her find Harris and her children.

According to prosecutors, Harris made several phone calls to his ex-girlfriend, threatening to harm her children and alluding to his possible location. After searching one mall, the ex-girlfriend and her family and friends arrived at the Harlem Irving Plaza in Norridge. One of the individuals exited a vehicle to enter the mall and search for Harris. The others, who were in two vehicles, drove around the parking lot to search for Harris. The group eventually saw the ex-girlfriend’s car, with Harris driving and the children inside. When Harris pulled into a parking spot, one of the individuals pulled his van directly behind Harris.

According to prosecutors, the ex-girlfriend approached her car carrying a hammer and demanded that Harris return her children. The driver of the van parked behind Harris followed her and other members of the group began exiting their vehicle. A verbal confrontation ensued and the ex-girlfriend struck Harris in the arm with the hammer. The driver of the van intervened and separated Harris and the ex-girlfriend, at which time Harris produced a semiautomatic handgun and shot the individual who intervened in the groin.

Harris’ gun jammed after the first shot and as he attempted to unjam it, he walked around the car and began kicking his ex-girlfriend and her friend in the face and head. Harris unjammed the gun and fired four shots at the two people on the ground, shooting his ex-girlfriend once in the shoulder and head and twice in the arm. The other individual was not shot. Harris then kicked both individuals several more times before driving off in the van that was parked behind the ex-girlfriend’s car.

After a high speed chase, Harris crashed the van into another car and was apprehended by Chicago Police. The gun used in the shootings was recovered in the van he had just crashed.

Cook County Judge James Karahalios imposed the 98-year sentence during a hearing at the Cook County Courthouse in Rolling Meadows.

State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys Karen Crothers and Susanne Groebner and the Chicago Police Department for their work in this case.

3rd Annual New York Black Expo to be Held at the Sheraton New York Times Square on Saturday, July 30th Y

Posted by Admin On June - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

New York Black Expo

New York, NY (BlackNews.com) — The Third Annual New York Black Expo will be held on Saturday, July 30th from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the prestigious Sheraton New York Times Square, located at 811 7th Avenue at 53rd Street in New York.

Small business owners, professional service providers and consumers from the tri-state area will be converging on the 3rd Annual Black Expo in record numbers. New York City is one of the premier markets in the country to bring consumers together with Vendors comprising of a diverse set of products and services.

A celebrity lineup of leaders across a wide sector of the power base of the Black community will be participating in this years business expo. Leaders in local chambers, regional chambers, corporate executives, civic leaders, community leaders and advocates supporting the Buy Black Campaign of the New York Black Expo. The expo will also provide an opportunity for diverse segments of the community to do business with the Black community.

A variety of business leaders will be facilitating seminars, workshops and panel discussions. Industry experts in the area of business, education, health, music, entertainment and fashion will be providing pertinent information for consumers, professionals, service providers, and small business owners in attendance at the expo.

The ultimate goal and mission of the New York Black Expo is to share, to educate and uplift one of the most influential market segments in the country. The New York market has significant consumer power and buying power, and the expo is the bridge to Economic Power.

This years celebrity line-up at the expo will attract greater opportunities for entrepreneurs to network, exhibit and showcase their products, services and recycle their dollars at the expo. A broad variety of products, services, and exhibitors will be on display during the entire day at the expo.

Call today at (917) 501-0614 or send an email to info@newyorkblackexpo.com to become a sponsor, for individual tickets, to purchase an exhibitor booth and/or to become a volunteer. You can also log on to www.newyorkblackexpo.com for the latest info and updates concerning the 2016 New York Black Expo.

Consumers interested in registering for this years conference can log onto www.newyorkblackexpo.com or call 917-501-0614 or email info@newyorkblackexpo.com

The New York Black Expo is a production of Black Expo America, Inc.

Entrepreneur Launches New Social Network for Black People Worldwide to Discuss Raw Issues About Racism That Would Normally be Banned on Other Social Networks

Posted by Admin On June - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Joey White, founder of Hourtimenow

Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) — Joey White, founder of Hourtimenow Inc., is thrilled to announce the launch of his exclusive social media platform and first uniquely Black social networking website (www.hourtimenow.com). The web site allows African-Americans to meet with one another to speak freely about issues that directly affect the race without getting banned, suspended or harassed, as if the case on other social sites.

The mission is simple; stop the defamation and dehumanization of Black people and allow them to build a cordial working, commerce and racial relationship amongst themselves, hence the need for this fertile platform.

According to a political science and mass communication theory known as The Spiral of Silence theory proposed by the German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, it is believed that individuals have a fear of isolation. This fear of isolation results from the idea that a social group or the society, in general, might isolate, neglect, or exclude members due to the members’ opinions, therefore, consequently leading people to remain silent instead of voicing their opinions. This is not the case when one becomes a member of Hourtimenow.com because everyone with a positive, contributing attitude is more than welcome to express their opinion.

The spiral of silence theory additionally made it known that the social media sites are a vital issue that relates to both the dominant idea and people’s belief in the dominant idea. A few social media supporters were hoping that social media creators would produce sufficient discussion venues that those with somewhat opposite views of the mainstream would possibly feel freer to express themselves. However, the reverse is the case, and this has exacerbated issues, in particular for Black people who frequent these white owned and dominated venues.

In a quest to solve this problem, Hourtimenow Inc. has passionately been in development of a plan whose ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment for everyone registered on their unique social platform, thereby forever disallowing unjust and unfair discrimination and ridicule of Black people throughout the world.

“This is the place to find everything you need in regards to black business and commerce. This is the place to find local black-owned businesses. The management team has added tools that combine the best of the world of black business and social media together,” said the founder/creator Hourtimenow Inc. Joey White. Bringing the customer and business together is, as the owner described, the best way to rebuild the black world community. The customer having close proximity access to the creator or seller of a desired product online will give that customer that mom and pop down the street business feeling and will build trust in the product and the business at the same time. A direct quote from the owner on the cornerstone of the business says, There is no unity without U N I.

For easy access to the fully functioning website, Hourtimenow is also available as an app in both the Google Play and Apple app stores. They believes the mobile application will allow their members to have easy access to the site, allow them to access additional features on the mobile application and most importantly keep in constant contact with brothers and sisters that have created and intend to create relationships with.


About Hourtimenow Inc:
HourTimeNow.com is a social networking and community information site for the Black, Afro, African, Moorish Americans and Black communities across the world. The site boasts membership in many countries around the world. Founder Joey White is a 39 years old entrepreneur and Navy veteran. He and the company are located in Los Angeles, CA.

For more information about Hourtimenow Inc. and their unique services, visit www.hourtimenow.com or watch their YouTube video at http://youtu.be/911ysT1VzhQ

Photo Caption: Joey White, founder of Hourtimenow, Inc.

 

An Open Letter to the “Progressive Caucus” of the City Council of Chicago

Posted by Admin On June - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Some of you were at the City Council Finance Committee meeting where a vote on one of the city’s most notorious TIF projects was taken — the funneling of $16 million in taxpayer money to subsidize two luxury hi-rise towers in the Uptown neighborhood.

 

Even by Chicago standards, the project is outlandish thievery of taxpayers:

 

** While the rich would have their housing subsidized, many dozens of people forced out of affordable housing would continue to live underneath Lake Shore Drive viaducts just yards away, as Uptown has lost over 1000 SRO units in recent years.

 

** The politically-connected developer gave $5000 to Mayor Emanuel’s reelection campaign, despite Emanuel’s pledge to stop such pay-to-play.

 

** The property is the last large piece of undeveloped lakefront property on the much-gentrified North Side — hardly a property that needs taxpayer help.

 

** The project pledges only 5% of its units will be affordable, even though the 2015 Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) will require that at least 20% of housing developments getting TIF taxpayer aid be affordable.

 

In a cynical move to beat the ARO that he opposed, Alderman James Cappleman is trying to rush through the ordinance for his luxury hi-rise development to beat the July 23rd implementation of the new 20% requirement.

 

This is where you come in, Progressive Caucus.

 

With our City Council stuffed to the gills with aldermen who have signed off on some of the very worst of Mayor 1%’s measures against working class, black and brown people in this city, we didn’t seriously expect to win yesterday’s vote in the Finance Committee. We don’t expect to win a vote in today’s City Council meeting either, if it comes to that.

 

However, we DO know that all it takes to delay a vote until after the July 23rd implementation of the more rigorous ARO ordinance — requiring 20% affordable housing, as opposed to just 5% — is a parliamentary procedure known as a request to “publish” the proposed ordinance. While we find the notion of taxpayer subsidies to luxury housing on any level to be offensive, 20% is a far cry better than 5%. And all it takes is just TWO alderman to request to publish for it to take effect.

 

So here’s the pitch:  If the term “progressive” is to have any meaning at all, are there at least TWO of your members who will live up to that term? Or are you going to confirm most Chicagoans’ deeply cynical view of politicians, and Chicago politicians in particular?

 

The choice is yours.

 

We don’t need any shadow-boxing “no” votes today that are only of symbolic value. What we need are at least two of you to step forward and show that the word “progressive” actually means something when said through the vocal chords of our representatives.

 

Don’t disappoint the many thousands of Chicagoans who overcame big money and big business to get you into office, or the next time you need their help for reelection, I and others will remind them of today.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Andy Thayer, Uptown Tent City Organizers

 

532 Chicago journalists bcc’d, shared on social media

 

 

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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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