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Archive for September 19th, 2016

A Message to African American Voters: Don’t Vote for Donald Trump in the November 8th Election, His Prior Actions are Not Worthy of Your Vote

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On September - 19 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

 

Trump has a long history of racism, from the 1970s until now; he is divisive and polarizing. Racism is a core element of his campaign

 

By Dr. Juanita Bratcher

Editor & Publisher, CopyLine Magazine

 

African Americans, please don’t buy into the false premise – claims and impressions – by Donald Trump that he is concerned about you, your best interest or your welfare. He’s not. This man is a racist and demagogue. This is a man who for more than seven years questioned the legitimacy and integrity of the only and first African American president this country has ever elected.

I’ve been a journalist now for more than 40 years, and it pains me to see any African American, especially Trump’s bombastic African American surrogates, sing the praises of this Republican Party presidential nominee without calling into play any of his negative or racist actions. They try to sugar-coat everything they say about him.

However, I’m mindful that during slavery African Americans were defined in two categories “House Nigger” and “Field Nigger.”

Reportedly, the “House Nigger” was a Black that worked inside the house and did his/her best to please white people even if it meant disowning their own racial identity. And the “Field Nigger” worked in the field all day, in the hot sun, picking cotton instead of working in the big house like the “House Nigger”.

The stakes are high in the November 8th presidential election. This is serious business and no time for play or to be nonchalant about what is taking place in this country, in this election year. It is of the utmost importance that we vote in this election for the candidate that will put forth efforts in the best interest of all Americans regardless of race, color or creed.

President Barack Obama in a speech before the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation gala this weekend said, “Hope is on the ballot and fear is on the ballot too”, obviously a description of what either of the two candidates will bring, if elected.

Obama urged the black community to realize what’s at stake. “If you care about our legacy, realize everything we stand for is at stake. All the progress we’ve made is at stake in this election.”

He said Blacks should give Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton the same support they gave to him. He received 93 percent of the Black vote in 2012.

“We have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African-American community. I will consider it a personal insult and an insult to my legacy if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election,” Obama said. “You want to give me a good send-off? Go vote.”

 

Obama warned attendees at the gala and blacks in general to go out and vote. “My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Good schools are on the ballot. Ending mass incarceration, that’s on the ballot right now…and there is one candidate who will advance those things, and there is another candidate whose defining principle, the central theme of his candidacy is opposition to all that we’ve done. There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter, it all matters.”

 

According to one poll, Clinton has an 80 percent lead over Trump among Black voters.

A few days ago Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said there were more white supremacists supporting Trump than leaders of his own party.

“Let’s face it, Trump has more support from the Aryan Nation and the KKK than he does from the leaders of his own party,” Warren said.

Several mainstream Republicans have refused to endorse trump for office, and a number of African Americans that worked for the Republican National Committee quit rather than work on his campaign.

These are some of Trump’s actions that should tell you not to vote for him in the November 8th election:

1.He pushed false rumors that President Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. He sent investigators to Hawaii to investigate Obama’s birth certificate, and when Obama won a second term in 2012, Trump went ranting on Twitter:

“We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!”

“Let’s fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! The world is laughing at us.”

“Our country is now in serious and unprecedented trouble…like never before.”

 “This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!”

 “The phoney Electoral College made a laughing stock out of our

   nation.  The loser one!”

  “He (Obama) lost the popular vote by a lot and won the election.

We should have a revolution in this country!”

  1. He questioned Obama attending Harvard Law School, demanding that Obama release his university transcripts, yet, Trump has not released his tax returns. He is the only presidential candidate who didn’t release tax returns.
  2. In 1989, Trump ran an ad in local papers demanding “Bring Back the Death Penalty. Bring Back Our Police, in a case involving four black teenagers and a Latino teenager accused of attacking and raping a jogger in New York City. In the end, the teens’ conviction was vacated and the city paid $41 million in settlement to the teens. Then Trump argued that they were probably involved in other criminal activity.
  3. In 1991, John O’Donnell, former president of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, wrote in his book about Trump’s criticism of a black accountant. Reportedly, Trump said, “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. … I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault, because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.”
  4. In 1992, a $200,000 fine was brought against The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino because it transferred black and women dealers off tables to accommodate a big-time gambler’s prejudices.
  5. The Trump Management Corporation in 1973 was sued for violating the Fair Housing Act. This was during the Nixon Administration. Federal officials found evidence that Trump had refused to rent to black tenants and lied to black applicants about whether apartments were available, among other accusations. Trump said the federal government was trying to get him to rent to welfare recipients. However, he signed an agreement in 1975 not to discriminate to renters of color, without admitting to discriminating before.

Village Voice, in a 1979 article, alleged that the Trumps refused to rent to black seekers, and a rental agent said Fred Trump instructed him not to rent to blacks and to encourage existing black tenants to leave.

  1. In 1980, a former employee at Trump’s Castle said “When Donald and Ivana came to the casino the bosses would order all the black people off the floor.”
  2. The US Department of Justice sued his company twice for racial discrimination when Trump was serving as the president of his family’s real estate company, the Trump Management Corporation. In 1973, the Justice Department sued the company for alleged racial discrimination  against black people looking to rent apartments in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
  3. Reportedly, Trump condoned the beating of a Black Lives Matter protester after Trump supporters physically attacked the protester at a November campaign rally in Alabama when the protester began to chant “Black lives matter.” In a video, the assailant (a Trump supporter) was kicking the man after he had already fallen to the ground.

African Americans must always use their voting power constructively. They must never forget the power of the ballot. In years past, some of our forefathers lost their lives in their struggle to get equal voting rights for Blacks in this country.

African Americans encountered various barriers in their efforts to get the right to vote in America – hostile law enforcement officials that were indifferent to them having the audacity to pursue their goal of being added to the registration rolls, insulting literacy tests designed to be difficult, to deny them the right to vote, and the Grandfather’s™ clause and poll taxes. Voting was mostly under state control. The U.S. Justice Department established that in many counties the tests were ‘administered unfairly.’

The late Honorable Illinois Appellate Court Justice .R. Eugene Pincham said: “Literally, since the beginning of civilization, one of the things that the powerful has consistently denied the powerless throughout the centuries has been the right and the privilege to participate in their government, i.e., the right to vote.”

 

A stark reminder of that was a comment made by the late Mississippi U.S. Senator Theodore G. Bilbo in 1946. In his re-election bid in 1946, Bilbo was in stark opposition to Blacks having the right to the ballot box. He said, “Niggers (his word) should not be allowed to vote in this country…Do not let a single Nigger register and vote, If you let a few register and vote this year, next year there will be twice as many, and the next thing you know the whole thing will be out-of-hand.”

There are some conservative politicians in this country now who are using all kinds of tactics to try and diminish the black vote through Voter ID laws.

We cannot and will not go back to the dark era of yesteryear when certain citizens could not vote in this country. We must fight tooth and nail, every step of the way, to extinguish efforts by some who would try to disenfranchise voters’ constitutional right to the ballot box. There should never be barriers set-up to stop people from exercising their constitutional right to vote in this country.

So, African Americans think about your actions. Do not give a thought about boycotting the polls on Election Day or voting for a third party candidate. That’s a waste of your vote.  The Alt Right will continue to support Donald Trump. And making a protest vote about the candidates and voting for a third party candidate will not accomplish anything. It would be a bad decision; and it should not make the cut in any way.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who was a Democratic candidate for president in the Primary election, suggested to voters that they should not vote for a third-party candidate for president because this is not a time for a protest vote. The effort should be focused on defeating Donald Trump.

“When we’re talking about president of the United States, in my own personal view, this is not the time for a protest vote. This is [the] time to elect Hillary Clinton and then work after the election to mobilize millions of people to make sure she can be the most progressive president she can be,” said Sanders.

Some African Americans were angry and insulted when Trump, in a pitch to black voters, made a carte blanche statement that “You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?”

The statement only reveals that Trump does not know what goes on in the black community, his words are only assumptions. Of course many words that come out of his mouth are factually inaccurate. I beg to differ. All African Americans do not live in poverty as with any other ethnic group, and all do not attend “no good” schools, as he suggested. And certainly the unemployment rate is not 58 percent.

Trump has declined to attend African American gatherings, but just recently attended a black church in Detroit. But a few days ago he declined to attend the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation gala, although he was invited.

It’s time to get serious about what is best for us as a people. Make sure you go to the polls on November 8th and vote in our best interest. By doing so, we will be giving homage to our forefathers who in some cases lost their lives in their struggle to get equal voting rights for Blacks in this country.

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

 

It’s Time for Republicans in Congress To Do Their Jobs: President Obama’s Weekly Address

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week’s address, President Obama called on Republicans in Congress to do their jobs. With Congress back in session there is a lot of business that needs to get done, including funding the fight against Zika, providing resources to help the flood victims in Louisiana, and giving Supreme Court nominee Chief Judge Merrick Garland the courtesy of a fair hearing and a vote. The President said addressing these problems is all within our reach – and we need Congress to work as hard as the American people do. We should expect Republicans in Congress to do their jobs – to protect us from disease, help us recover from disaster, and keep the Supreme Court above politics.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
The White House

Hi, everybody.  I’ve delivered a few hundred of these weekly addresses over the years.  And you may have noticed a theme that pops up pretty often:

The Republicans who run this Congress aren’t doing their jobs.

Well, guess what?  Congress recently returned from a seven-week vacation.  They’ve only got two weeks left until their next one.  But there’s a lot of business they need to get done first.

First – even as we’re seeing more and more Zika cases inside the United States, they’ve refused to fund our efforts to protect women and children by fighting Zika in a serious way.

Second – they still need to provide resources to help the people of Louisiana recover from last month’s terrible floods, and to help communities like Flint recover from their own challenges.

Third – they have made Merrick Garland, a Supreme Court nominee with more federal judicial experience than any other in history, wait longer than any other in history for the simple courtesy of a hearing, let alone a vote.  All because they want their nominee for President to fill that seat.

There are plenty other bipartisan priorities they should finish this year, too.  Passing criminal justice reform.  Attacking the opioids epidemic.  Funding Joe Biden’s cancer moonshot.  Finishing a Trans-Pacific trade agreement that will support American jobs and boost American wages.  And passing a budget that will make sure all of America’s priorities are funded without resorting to shutdown threats and last-minute gimmicks.

By the way, it’s been almost a decade since Congress voted to raise the minimum wage.  I’m just saying.

None of this should be controversial.  All of it is within our reach.  This is America – we can do anything.  We just need a Congress that works as hard as you do.  At the very least, we should expect that they do their jobs – and protect us from disease, help us recover from disaster, keep the Supreme Court above politics, and help our businesses grow and hire.

So if any of these priorities matter to you, let your Congressperson know.  And if they still refuse to do their jobs – well, you know what to do in November.

Our government only works as well as the people we elect.  And that’s entirely up to you.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Legislators and Community Leaders Meet With SEC, Ask For Federal Intervention to Recover Money From Wall Street Banks

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – State Representative Andrade, Chicago Alderman Ramirez-Rosa, and community leaders met with Federal Securities and Exchange Commission Regional Director David A.Glockner and asked that the SEC investigate predatory interest rate swap deals that have caused taxpayers to pay out billions of dollars to Wall Street banks. 

“Right now we have Chicago students who are not getting the investment they deserve as a direct result of these interest rate swap deals,” stated Alderman Rosa. “Chicago and CPS together lost $1.4 billion after being sold these potentially fraudulent Wall Street gimmicks. I sincerely hope that the SEC will listen to us and do what Mayor Emanuel refused to do by taking the necessary legal action to protect our students and our city’s taxpayers.”

For years, Wall Street banks pitched cities and local governments on complicated financial deals called interest rate swaps promising big savings over simple loans. When their promises proved false, cities, states and school districts cut public services and vital programs in order to pay back Wall Street banks. These toxic swap deals contributed to budget shortfalls that led to schools closing in Chicago, water shutoffs in Baltimore, and devastating environmental and health issues in Los Angeles. These same bad deals also helped lead to the bankruptcy of Jefferson County, Alabama and Detroit, Michigan.

“Predatory swap deals have a devastating cost in our communities. Every dollar that cities and states are forced to send to Wall Street banks is money not going towards essential community services. We must intervene to make sure that people are protected over the ill-gotten gains of large financial institutions,” said Amisha Patel, Executive Director of Grassroots Collaborative, following the meeting. 

Action by the SEC could provide much needed relief to the city of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, and the State of Illinois. Interest rate swap deals have already cost the state $684 million and could cost taxpayers an additional $870 million if Governor Rauner does not renew letters of credit on these deals before November this year. 

League of Women Voters of Illinois Deliver “Chicago Is Not Broke” Books to Mayor and Aldermen

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

At the Chicago City Council meeting, September 14, 2016, the League of Women Voters of Illinois (LWVIL) delivered copies of the new book “Chicago Is Not Broke. Funding the City We Deserve” to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and all members of the Chicago City Council.


“Chicago Is Not Broke. Funding the City We Deserve” is a collection of short articles showing how to save and generate MAJOR sustainable, progressive revenues for Chicago. The authors are all local experts in civic policy and many are educators and activists. Hilary Denk, board member of the LWVIL is an author in the book. Her chapter is on the benefits a progressive Illinois income tax would have for the city.

The book is divided into four sections: (1) Money that is STOLEN from us – money we should not have spent nor continue TO spend, (2) Money that is HIDDEN from us – money we know is being collected, we just can’t find it, (3) Money that we are NOT collecting, but SHOULD be, and (4) What are we going to about this – What next? Details: www.wearenotbroke.org.

The book is edited by Tom Tresser, a long-time civic educator. He is the lead organizer for the TIF Illumination Project (www.tifreports.com) that has been educating people about the impacts of TIFs at the ward level for the past three years.
Speaking at the September 14 event was Mary Kubasak, President of the League of Women Voters of Illinois and Ann Logue, President of the League of Women Voters of Chicago. Also speaking briefly were authors from the book, including Tom Tresser, Amara Enyia and Jonathan Peck.
“We are delivering these books to our elected officials in order to widen and deepen the conversation about and the options for Chicago’s budget,” said Logue, “After all, a budget is a moral document as well as a fiscal document and we feel the need for a more inclusive and expansive discussion of Chicago’s priorities and how they are paid for is in order.”

“Our hope is that there will be public forums across the city discussing the ideas in this book” said Tresser.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization, dedicated to making democracy work through voter education, issue advocacy and citizen participation. More details at www.lwvil.org.

The book was paid for through a crowdfunding campaign where some 203 donors pitched in. The book was printed in Chicago at Salsedo press, a worker-owned union shop. The book is available at http://tinyurl.com/Order-Broke-Book for $12 plus shipping.
The book has started to make some news: Legendary political strategist Don Rose calls it “required reading”! Learn more from Chicago Defender story “Chicago Is Not Broke Says Experts.” Tom Tresser interviewed on WGN, thorough discussion of the book. Chicago News says “this book is a must read”! Book editor Tom Tresser was a guest on the “Good Evening Show with Pat Whalen.” This interview with Tom was in Chicago Magazinehttp://tinyurl.com/Chicago-Magazine-Interview. This op-ed piece was published in Crain’s Chicago Business online: http://tinyurl.com/Crains-OpEd 

New African American Museum’s Artifact Listing is a Powerful Journey Through History

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

By Marc H. Morial

President & CEO,  National Urban League

 

As we await the opening of the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on September 24, much of the focus has been on the century-long journey to make the museum a reality.

But I found myself struck by a listing of the actual artifacts acquired by the museum, and how they alone are a powerful representation of the African-American journey through history:

  • A linen and silk shawl given to Harriet Tubman by Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom
  • The dress Rosa Parks was sewing when she refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955
  • A trumpet owned by Louis Armstrong
  • Headgear worn by a boxer then known as Cassius Clay, later to be known as Muhammad Ali
  • A bible owned by Nat Turner, who led an unsuccessful slave revolt in Virginia in 1831
  • The glass-topped casket originally used to display and bury the body of 14-year-old Emmett Till, tortured and murdered for whistling at a white woman in Mississippi in 1955

Along with the personal possessions of famous Black Americans, the museum will display iconic public representations of the nation’s history of oppression such as “white only” and “colored only” signs from the Jim Crow-era South, and a guard tower and cell from “Angola”, the cruel, violence-prone, and squalid Louisiana prison where African-Americans were exploited and abused for much of the 20th Century.

While I look forward to the museum’s exhibits putting such objects into context and amplifying their meaning, sometimes it is sheer simplicity that can put history into stark perspective.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Remarks at 2016 Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference Judiciary Brain Trust Panel

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

U.S. Attorney General E. Loretta Lynch:

 


Good afternoon, everyone and thank you so much for that warm welcome.  I want to thank Congressman [John] Conyers and his staff for inviting me to this event for the second year in a row and for all their hard work in preparing this panel.  And of course, I want to recognize Congressman Conyers for his decades of tireless commitment to these crucial issues.  I want to thank our distinguished panelists today – including my outstanding colleague Ron Davis, the director of the department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS Office.  I want to thank Dr. [Phil] Goff for serving as our moderator and for the outstanding work he and his colleagues do at the Center for Policing Equity.  And I want to thank all of you.  Looking out over this audience, I see a group of people who not only care deeply about these issues but have lived these issues – many of you in a deep and personal way.  I see a group of people who are determined to realize our nation’s fundamental promise of equal justice under the law.  In doing so, you are making our country a little stronger, a little more just and a little more perfect and so we all owe you a debt of gratitude.

We are here to discuss one of the defining issues of our time: the relationship between law enforcement officers and the communities we serve – especially communities of color.  To say that the relationship between the minority community and law enforcement is a strained one is to utter a profound understatement.  I first began speaking on these issues – and in fact uttered that very phrase – in the late 1990s, when I was serving as the United States Attorney in Brooklyn.  I had just finished trying a case that encompassed so many of these issues – the Abner Louima case – wherein we prosecuted New York City police officers for their brutal abuse of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima, as well as for the cover-up of their crimes.  After the trial, I was leading our office’s pattern and practice investigation into the NYPD’s use of force policies.

But I am not the only one in this room who has lived these issues for some time.  Someone asked me the other day if I was discouraged when I looked back over recent years.  I am not.  First, because working on these issues with all of you renews my strength and resolve every day.  And also because of where we are today.  That may sound counterproductive, as things are so much more visible today.  The viral videos of tragic loss of life have dominated our field of vision and are incredibly painful to watch – to none more so than these victims’ families.  The rhetoric around these issues can be harsh and divisive.  But the very visibility of the problem has allowed us to move past the denials of the past, the refusal to even acknowledge the reality of the issues.  We all recall those denials: “It can’t be that bad.” ”You must have misunderstood.”  And the one that swirled around the Louima case: “No one would really do that.”  But the world has now seen what so many in the minority community have been describing for years.  And for so many this moment is reminiscent of the television images of the civil rights movement showing the harsh reality of police dogs lunging at children.  It has moved us into a place where all are talking about these issues.  And as painful as that is, it is exactly what needs to happen.  Because that is the only way that progress happens.  And it has allowed us to move beyond proving the point to finding the myriad solutions called for by these challenges.  This gathering and this panel are emblematic of that very point.

But while the issues have been illuminated and the debate enlarged like never before, the problems have not been solved.  Too many of our fellow Americans still feel unable to call on law enforcement when they feel threatened out of a fear that they will instead be regarded as the threat.  Too many of our law enforcement officers – whose goal is to stand as the guardians of all our communities – find themselves rejected, unsupported, even demonized due to the actions of a few.   And in too many of our communities, public safety is suffering because of this divide, which blinds us to our common desire for security, for peace and for justice.

That’s why one of my top priorities as Attorney General has been building trust between law enforcement officers and the people we serve.  Shortly after taking office, I launched a 12-city community policing tour, which gave me an opportunity to learn about what communities across the country are doing to build bridges and foster cooperation.  The six cities I visited during the first phase of my tour had all experienced profoundly challenging police-community relationships.  Yet through the concerted and collaborative efforts of community members and law enforcement officials, each of those cities had made important progress towards meaningful change.   During the second phase of my tour, I visited six cities that were effectively implementing different “pillars” of the 21st Century Policing Task Force Report – pillars like Building Trust and Legitimacy; Officer Training and Education; and Policy and Oversight.  My travels gave me a chance to see a number of innovative and inspiring initiatives underway at the local level: from a program in Cincinnati that puts police officers into local schools as tutors and mentors, to cutting-edge de-escalation training in Phoenix, to a publicly accessible crime information center run by the police department in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  At every stop, I sought to draw attention to the positive steps that law enforcement officers and community leaders are already taking in cities across the country, inspiring other municipalities and giving them successful examples to follow.

The Community Policing Tour was a wonderful way to share best practices and to learn about the work being done at the grassroots level.  But after our nation was stunned by the tragic events in St. Paul, Baton Rouge and Dallas, it was clear that we needed to do more to help communities implement change and so I announced that the Justice Department would hold a series of regional justice forums.  At these events, we bring together local stakeholders to discuss the particular challenges facing their communities and to commit to specific solutions that they can pursue together.  We held the inaugural justice forum last month in Detroit – in Congressman Conyers’s district, as a matter of fact – and I was encouraged by the spirit of openness and goodwill that the participants brought to that gathering.  I want to thank the Congressman for his support and participation and Deputy Attorney General [Sally] Yates and I look forward to hosting additional meetings in the weeks ahead.

The Department of Justice isn’t just elevating the great work that leaders like you are doing.  We’re actively supporting it with funding and technical assistance, as well.  In 2014, we launched the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, which uses training, evidence-based strategies and research to enhance procedural justice, encourage racial reconciliation and reduce implicit bias.  Dr. Goff has served as one of the initiative’s principal partners and I want to thank him for his dedication to this promising effort.  Additionally, Dr. Goff and his colleagues are working with our Civil Rights Division and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on a research project examining how law enforcement agencies– especially smaller police departments – can recruit, hire and retain an officer corps that reflects the diversity of the communities that they serve.  Under Ron Davis’s leadership, the COPS Office is supporting jurisdictions working to build trust and expand community engagement.  Last year, for instance, COPS awarded more than $120 million to state and local law enforcement agencies that adopted best practices of community policing.  And in May, COPS, along with CNA and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, established the Advancing 21st Century Policing Initiative, which will offer intensive support and technical assistance to 15 municipalities who agree to implement recommendations of the President’s Task Force.  And our Office of Justice Programs funds a wide range of initiatives that help law enforcement officers operate safely and with greater transparency.

We also stand ready to step in on the ground and in the heat of the moment.  Our Community Relations Service helps communities undergoing times of crises or tension by facilitating productive dialogue and finding peaceful resolutions.  The COPS Office’s Collaborative Reform program helps police departments identify and address issues that are harming their relationship to the community. And our Civil Rights Division works alongside jurisdictions to implement reforms necessary to advance constitutional policing, thereby enhancing trust and improving public safety.  Just last month, the division published the findings of its investigation into the Baltimore Police Department, which found that the BPD has engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawful and unconstitutional conduct.  We are working with department leaders and city officials to restore the public’s faith in its law enforcement and we are committed to continuing that vital effort in partnership with them in the days ahead.

This can be done.  Common ground does exist.  I know it because I’ve seen it.  I saw it in Detroit, where I attended a National Night Out event that brought together police and community members to dance, to laugh and to break bread – and helping them realize that we’re not always  adversaries and that more often than not, we’re actually neighbors.  I saw it in East Haven, Connecticut, where Hispanic citizens and business owners who once literally feared the police now welcome them into their establishments with gratitude and where police officers speak of the fulfilment they find in truly serving their community.  And I saw it in Baltimore, where I made my first trip as Attorney General.  When I visited, the city was still reeling from the discord that had broken out on the day of Freddie Gray’s funeral – which was also the day I was sworn in to office.  But even though tensions were still high, everywhere I went, I heard the same thing from police officers and protestors alike: “I love my city and I want to make it better.”

I love my city and I want to make it better.  Could there be a better expression of the ties that bind us together?  All of us want to be seen for who we truly are, whether our uniform of choice is baggy pants or dress blues.  All of us want to live free from fear and violence.  All of us want to raise our children in communities that provide safety and opportunity.  And all of us want everyone to come home safely at the end of the day.  These are the hopes and dreams that bind us together as fellow Americans and as fellow human beings.  These are the goals that we all share as we continue this vital work.  And because the hopes we hold in common are stronger than the fault lines that keep us apart – I am confident that we shall overcome these challenges.  We shall bring peace to our communities and support to our guardians.  And we shall emerge stronger and more united than ever.

Thank you for your tireless efforts to build that brighter future.  Thank you for your ongoing work to create a stronger and more just society.  And thank you – each of you – for all that you do each and every day for your communities and for our country.

Two Political Candidates on Different Missions Vying for Humans

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

By Rev. Dr. Harold E. Bailey

President, Probation Challenge and PCC Network

 

This United States election has become an historical disaster, where admirable people with good principles bearing truths are all but rejected!

As taxpayers’ dispute the honesty of presidential candidates vying for the White House, each campaigning day bring about more challenges! With the ‘spirit of confusion’ coupled with lies, truth seems to be holding on by a mere thread.

With one political party opposed to the other, people ought to have the courage to stop and ponder the voice of sanity vs. insanity! Why?  Because, lives of humans are at stake! Deceit is rampant, as the creatureless than a ‘human-spirit’ toy with a ‘detrimental scam’ on God’s humans. This is a serious indictment on the actuality of the scriptures and a dangerous game to play… especially with human-lives! This is not a reality presentation

This United States election has become an historical disaster, where admirable people with good principles bearing truths are all but rejected!

As each candidate splatters mud on the other … the question should come to mind as to who the true and honest candidate is? He or She who is without sin and able to cast the first stone – standup and don’t craw as a serpent (Satan) distinct for the pit of hell.

It’s rather difficult to distinguish who’s the liar, especially when each candidate (including the deceiver) has a camera-ready face covered with deep-seated sincerity! How can the public tell who the best candidate of choice is — or, perhaps the best character-actor suitable to be cast before the public in a live day-to-day reality drama? Who will be able to discern between the good from the evil? Should the CEO  of this country be the one who will govern these Not-So-United-States with a look of compassion or merely a regular John or Mary Doe?

Some do not have a clue as to who the spiritual Deceive is!  Not knowing is why God gave us the word! Lucifer, Satan, and the Devil … aka ‘The Deceiver’ is one and the same!’  The Deceiver will fool the very elect – if possible!

“You can identify them (the evil spirits) by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Matthew 7:16.  Nor, will an apple tree will not bear oranges!

Each presidential candidate has a ‘DNA GENETIC MATERIAL’ and a spiritual father to obey! One spirit- father is the devil while the other is of God the Father! Can you not tell by the spiritual content of the  candidate who is without repentances and continually tells ‘untruths’. That spirit is a liar and cannot tell the truth! That spirit is without repentance? Be aware of the father of all lies which is anti-God.

The spirit of Satan cannot nor will not stay in-line with positive measures – because to do so would  represent life!  Know that the evil spirit has text or conversation that is always negative or of a demeaning characteristic.  Satan, we must remember comes only but to rob, steal, kill, and that spirit will destroy – if allowed! But, the spirit of Christ came that we would have life and that we would have it more abundantly! It is not the will of God that any of his children perish … but, people can perish and whither on the vine for the lack of God’s knowledge!

The scripture which is the word of God says: Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”  Matthew 13

Christ warned us that the wolves come to devour the flock and in this dispensation we are in the midst of a spiritual warfare that is not flesh and blood… This is a spiritual battle….and the battle is not yours it is the Lord’s. Now, without question … in that this is the Lord’s battle, we without know who is without any doubt going to win … The Lord!

We must be wise in obedience to the word of God that speaks: “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”  Hebrews 13:17.

Be prayerful as you journey to the polls as to who will keep the watch over your life! Vote astutely!  He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 3:13

Contact Dr. Rev. Harold E. Bailey @  WWW.mrheb@aol.com – Telephone 773.978.3706

 

 

Chicago Human Rights Groups to Hold Public Symposium on World Refugee Crisis

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
 

City of Chicago Declares September 19 as Refugee Protection Day

 

CHICAGO, IL – As the United Nations General Assembly convenes a global summit on the world refugee crisis, 13 Chicago human rights organizations will come together on Monday, September 19 at DePaul University for a public discussion about the U.S. government’s and local community’s roles in ensuring refugees and asylum seekers have access to protection.

 

A proclamation from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel has declared the day as Refugee Protection Day, referencing the refugee crisis in Central America’s Northern Triangle and urging “city departments, local businesses, charitable organizations, and legal and social services to provide shelter, sustenance, and services for refugee families relocating to Chicago and integrating into our communities.”

 

On Monday, human rights activists and attorneys, social workers, and refugees living and working in the Chicago area will share their experiences and ideas for how our community can achieve that goal. The event is free and open to the public, but online registration is required.

 

What: “Protect Refugees Now: The U.S. Response to the Global Refugee Crisis,” a public symposium

When: September 19, 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where: The DePaul Center, 1 E. Jackson Blvd, Room 8005, Chicago

Register online: immigrantjustice.org/ChiRefugeeSymposium

 

Sponsored by:
Alianza Americas
Center for Civil and Human Rights, University of Notre Dame
Center for the Human Rights of Children, Loyola University Chicago
Center for Forced Migration Studies, Northwestern University
DePaul University’s Center for Public Interest Law
Heartland Alliance Marjorie Kovler Center
Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center
Heartland Alliance Refugee & Immigrant Community Services
Human Rights Watch
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Interfaith Committee on Detained Immigrants
Latino Policy Forum
RefugeeOne

 

25th Anniversary Celebration of Dance For Life Welcomes More Than 2,400 People and Raises $425,000

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Long-Time Supporters Fred Eychaner, Barbara Kipper and
Scott Silberstein and Matt Hoffman with HMS Media Honored

 

CHICAGO, IL — On August 20, 2016, Chicago Dancers United hosted more than 2,400 guests to celebrate the momentous 25th Anniversary of Dance for Life. The special evening began with an elegant gala at the Hilton Chicago and continued at the historic Auditorium Theatre where some of the most renowned-Chicago dance companies performed on the same stage for one night only. Raising more than $425,000 in 2016— $100,000 of which went to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago—Dance for Life has raised a total of $6 million through its pioneering and empowering 25 years.

“Over the past 25 years, Dance for Life has touched an overwhelming amount of people both directly and indirectly, said Chicago Dancers United Executive Director Anthony Guerrero. “To see so many of those people, friends from near and far, come together to celebrate the impact that this event has made, was truly magical, and it was inspiring to see the individuals who helped carry on Dance for Life and will continue to do so.”

The celebratory evening began at 5:00 p.m. at the Hilton Chicago (720 S. Michigan) with a beautiful Gala reception welcoming old and new friends. Guests mingled with one another while enjoying food and cocktails before making their way over to the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (50 E. Congress Pkwy) for the highly anticipated performance. As the massive crowd took their seats, guests were treated to the debut of Audience Architects’ “Every Day is a Dance” video, melding comedy and dance to highlight the power of performance in everyday life. Giordano Dance Chicago, the only company to have performed in all 25 years of Dance for Life, took the stage first with Gus Giordano’s signature “Sing, Sing, Sing” and were followed by incredible performances from the Joffrey Ballet (“Round of Angels”—the first piece they ever performed at Dance for Life), Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (“Solo Echo”), Visceral Dance Chicago (“VITAL”—featuring live music by Peter Ferry) and Chicago Dance Crash (“Heard That”). Closing out the first act of the performance, Harrison McEldowney and Jeremy Plummer’s world premiere piece “Purple Medley,” featuring music by Prince; and in true Dance for Life tradition, Randy Duncan’s world premiere of “Depth of Light” featuring dancers from the entire Chicago dance community capped off the celebratory evening. Hosts Carisa Barreca and Tim Mason from The Second City took the stage throughout the performance and helped pay tribute to long-time supporters of Dance for Life Fred Eychaner, Barbara Kipper and Scott Silberstein and Matt Hoffman with HMS Media.

In 1991, after having lost many close friends and dance colleagues to HIV and AIDS, Keith Elliott, a member of Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre (JHCDT), took it upon himself to rally his fellow dancers and take an active role in preventing the spread of the disease. Together with friend Todd Kiech, JHCDT Associate Artistic Director Harriet Ross, HIV/AIDS community activist and skilled fundraiser Danny Kopelson and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Executive Director Gail Kalver, the small group worked together to bring Chicago’s dance community together, for one night only – to raise money and…Dance for Life.

Over the past 24 years, 32 Chicago-based, professional dance companies and numerous choreographers have been presented at Dance for Life, supporting and showcasing the city’s unique and diverse talent. Millions of dollars have been raised by Dance for Life since its inception, for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, The Dancers’ Fund and thirty AIDS service-providing organizations in Chicago. The event has supported and helped produce several spin-off events, while The Dancers’ Fund established by Dance for Life provides assistance to any member of the professional Chicago dance community facing critical health issues. In response to the changing needs of Chicago’s dance community, evolutions in the nature of HIV/AIDS, the growth of the annual event and its other programs, DFL has matured into a nonprofit organization, Chicago Dancers United, functioning on a year-round basis.

The mission of Chicago Dancers United is to mobilize Chicago’s dance community to support organizations and dance community professionals dealing with critical health issues including, but not limited to, HIV/AIDS, through the art of dance.

Kirk Bill Demands VA Give Veterans Dignified, Timely Burial

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Whistleblower Reports Veterans’ Remains Consistently Left in Hines VA Morgue for Over 30 Days

Respectful Interment for Passing Veterans Act Requires VA to Ensure Dignified, Timely Burial for Indigent Veterans and Those Without Next of Kin

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, this week introduced legislation to address whistleblower reports that indigent veterans’ remains are consistently left in the Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital Morgue for over 30 days. On numerous occasions, bodies of indigent veterans or veterans without next of kin, are left in the morgue without proper and timely post mortem care, allowing their bodies to badly decompose. Specifically, whistleblowers report that in the month of August, 2016, there were two veterans who had been left in the morgue for upwards of 45 days. Following the uncovering of this shameful practice, Senator Kirk authored the Respectful Interment for Passing Veterans Act.

“The graphic details of what happens to these veterans’ remains without timely post mortem care in the Hines VA Morgue is sickening and shameful,” said Senator Kirk. “Every hero who serves in the Armed Forces deserves a dignified final farewell from a grateful nation. Just as no service member is ever left behind on the battlefield, no veteran should ever be left behind in the morgue.”

According to VA policy, if a veteran dies at a VA facility and the remains are unclaimed, the VA facility must request funeral and burial services to be procured through a contract with a local funeral home. Whistleblowers informed Senator Kirk that the VA employee in charge of this process has no sense of urgency to approve the paperwork and let the remains of our nation’s heroes receive timely burials.  

In a letter to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, sent on September 1, Senator Kirk wrote:

“I ask for your immediate attention to correct this disgrace, demand that the two veterans who are currently in the morgue promptly receive a proper and respectful burial, and take appropriate disciplinary action against the person or persons responsible for letting this happen,” wrote Kirk. “I also ask that you launch a review of VA hospitals across the country to ensure that this mistreatment of our heroes’ remains is not happening elsewhere.”

Senator Kirk also asked the VA to confirm whether or not a service contract with an established funeral home would allow for timely transport of unclaimed or indigent veterans’ remains and information on the federal funds made available by the annual Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill for the seamless transfer of these veterans’ remains to local funeral homes.

Kirk’s legislation aims to prevent this situation from occurring in any VA hospital across the country and ensure all veterans receive the burial they deserve by establishing a concrete national protocol based on private industry practices and standards.

Senator Kirk’s Respectful Interment for Passing Veterans Act would require the VA to:

  • Enter into one or more contracts between the VA and local funeral homes for the expeditious burial of unclaimed or indigent veterans who die at VA facilities.  
  • Establish a nationwide VA policy within 180 days to ensure a “timely and respectful” burial of the remains of indigent veterans or those without next of kin.
  • Ensure the new VA policy is based on best practices from the private sector while respecting a balance between identifying next of kin and the interest of a timely burial.
  • Seek consultation on a new VA policy from funeral director(s), county coroner(s) or medical examiner(s), non-VA hospital representative(s), VAMC director(s), and VSO(s).
  • Follow state and local practice until a nationwide policy is finalized.
  • Provide an annual report to Congress on unclaimed and indigent remains of veterans who die in VA facilities – including date of birth, gender, date of death, date of transfer to funeral home, and date of burial.

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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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