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Archive for September, 2016

Police-Involved Shootings Highlight Need for Police Reform & Accountability

Posted by Admin On September - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

By Marc H. Morial

President & CEO, National Urban League


As we peacefully protest the police-involved shootings in Charlotte, N.C., and Tulsa, O.K., we urge thorough and independent investigations of, and accountability for excessive use of force.

These incidents, which seem now to occur with frustrating regularity, not only erode the trust between police departments and the communities they are sworn to protect, but also serve to alienate Black Americans at a time when our leaders and institutions need to be promoting unity.

We pray for the families of Keith Scott and Terence Crutcher and for the officers and civilians injured in the unrest. While we must hold police departments accountable, violence is not an acceptable response.

Our 10-Point Justice Plan for Police Reform and Accountability recommends the mandatory use of body and dashboard cameras, comprehensive retraining of all police officers, and the appointment of special prosecutors to investigate police-involved shootings.

Soldiers in the heat of battle have more stringent guidelines for the use of deadly force against enemy combatants than police officers in our own communities. Police work is difficult, dangerous, and stressful. Only the most highly qualified and expertly trained individuals should be entrusted to make life-and-death decisions on America’s streets.

A recent incident in Hartford, C.T., in which officers were recorded conspiring to fabricate evidence, is just one example of the need for independent review of alleged police misconduct. We’ve seen too many officers escape the consequences not only of irresponsible decisions but of blatant misconduct. Only by setting high standards and holding police accountable can we heal the rifts in this country.

FBI Releases 2015 Crime Statistics

Posted by Admin On September - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

After two years of decline, the estimated number of violent crimes in the nation increased 3.9 percent in 2015 when compared with 2014 data, according to FBI figures released today. Property crimes dropped 2.6 percent, marking the 13th straight year the collective estimates for these offenses declined.

The 2015 statistics show the estimated rate of violent crime was 372.6 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, and the property crime rate was 2,487.0 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. The violent crime rate rose 3.1 percent compared with the 2014 rate, and the property crime rate declined 3.4 percent.

These and additional data are presented in the 2015 edition of the FBI’s annual report Crime in the United States. This publication, which is a statistical compilation of offense, arrest, and police employee data reported by law enforcement agencies voluntarily participating in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, also includes limited federal crime reporting, human trafficking, and cargo theft data.

The UCR Program collects information on crimes reported by law enforcement agencies regarding the violent crimes of murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, as well as the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. (Although the FBI classifies arson as a property crime, it does not estimate arson data because of variations in the level of participation by the reporting agencies. Consequently, arson data are not included in the property crime estimate.) The program also collects arrest data for the offenses listed above plus 20 offenses that include all other crimes except traffic violations.

Prior to 2013, the FBI’s UCR Program collected rape data in the Summary Reporting System under the category “forcible rape.” In 2013, the program removed the term “forcible” from the title and revised the definition. The legacy UCR definition of rape is “The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” The revised UCR definition of rape is “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

Of the 18,439 city, county, university and college, state, tribal, and federal agencies eligible to participate in the UCR Program, 16,643 submitted data in 2015. A high-level summary of the statistics submitted, as well as estimates for those agencies that did not report, follows:

  • In 2015, there were an estimated 1,197,704 violent crimes. Murder and non-negligent manslaughter increased 10.8 percent when compared with estimates from 2014.
  • Rape and aggravated assault increased 6.3 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively, while robbery increased 1.4 percent.
  • Nationwide, there were an estimated 7,993,631 property crimes. The estimated numbers for two of the three property crimes show declines when compared with the previous year’s estimates. Burglaries dropped 7.8 percent, and larceny-thefts declined 1.8 percent, but motor vehicle thefts rose 3.1 percent.
  • Collectively, victims of property crimes (excluding arson) suffered losses estimated at $14.3 billion in 2015.
  • The FBI estimated that law enforcement agencies nationwide made 10.8 million arrests, excluding traffic violations, in 2015.
  • The arrest rate for violent crime was 157.2 per 100,000 inhabitants, and the arrest rate for property crime was 458.9 per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • By violent crime offense, the arrest rate for murder and non-negligent manslaughter was 3.5 per 100,000 inhabitants; rape (aggregate total of revised and legacy), 7.1; robbery, 29.7; and aggravated assault, 117.0 per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • By property crime offense, the arrest rate for burglary was 67.5 per 100,000 inhabitants; larceny-theft, 364.5; and motor vehicle theft, 24.2. The arrest rate for arson was 2.8 per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • In 2015, there were 13,160 law enforcement agencies that reported their staffing levels to the FBI. These agencies reported that, as of October 31, 2015, they collectively employed 635,781 sworn officers and 277,380 civilians, a rate of 3.3 employees per 1,000 inhabitants.

Caution Against Ranking

Each year when Crime in the United States is published, some entities use the figures to compile rankings of cities and counties. These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, tribal area, or region. Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents. Valid assessments are possible only with careful study and analysis of the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction. The data user is, therefore, cautioned against comparing statistical data of individual reporting units from cities, metropolitan areas, states, or colleges or universities solely on the basis of their population coverage or student enrollment.

Source: FBI

The 48th NAACP Image Awards to Air Live on TV One Saturday February 11, 2017

Posted by Admin On September - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS


Telecast will also include a Pre-Show Airing Live from the Red Carpet



Los Angeles, CA  – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and TV One, a television network dedicated to the best of black culture and entertainment, today an- nounced that the 48th NAACP Image Awards will be nationally telecast live on TV One on Saturday, February 11, 2017 as a two-hour special from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Image Awards winner, Emmy-award nom- inated actor and star of black-ish, Anthony Anderson, returns as host for the 48th NAACP Image Awards. The telecast on TV One will also include a live pre-show from the star-studded red carpet.

The NAACP Image Awards is the most respected event of its kind and is well attended by many of the top names in the entertainment industry. This past telecast, which also aired on TV One in February 2016, some of the biggest names in film, television and music appeared including Viola Davis, Gabrielle Union, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Gina Rodriguez, Chrissy Teigen, Kerry Washington, Nate Parker, Morris Chestnut, Ice Cu- be, LL Cool J, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tika Sumpter, Keegan-Michael Key, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Chadwick Bose- man, Michael B. Jordan, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laurence Fishburne, Spike Lee, Loretta Devine, Shonda Rhimes, Omari Hardwick, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Don Cheadle, Sanaa Lathan, Keke Palmer, Michael Ealy, Ken Jeong, Sylvester Stallone, and cast members from “Empire” – Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollett, Bryshere Gray, Grace Gealy, Trai Byers, Serayah, Gabourey Sidibe, Ta’Rhonda Jones, Kaitlin Dou- bleday, Lee Daniels, Danny Strong and more.

In addition, John Legend was the recipient of the NAACP President’s Award and the NAACP Chairman’s Award was bestowed on Brittany “Bree” Newsome; Justice League NYC; Concerned Student 1950 Collective at the University of Missouri, Columbia; The University of Mississippi NAACP College Chapter; Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III; Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley; Rev. Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant, and Jussie Smollett. Michael B. Jor- dan was named NAACP Entertainer of the Year.

The 48th NAACP Image Awards production team will be returning including Executive Producers Reginald Hudlin and Phil Gurin, Tony McCuin as Director, Kimmie H. Kim and Byron Phillips as Co-Producers, and Rob- in Reinhardt as Talent Producer.

Following are the key dates for the 48th NAACP Image Awards:

  • Tuesday, September 6, 2016 – Submissions opens for the 48th NAACP Image Awards
  • Monday, October 31, 2016 – Submissions closes for the 48th NAACP Image Awards
  • Tuesday, December 6, 201648th NAACP Image Awards Nominees’ Press Conference
  • Saturday, January 28, 201748th NAACP Image Awards Nominees’ Luncheon
  • Friday, February 10, 201748th NAACP Image Awards Non-Televised Awards Dinner and Ceremony
  • Saturday, February 11, 2017 48th NAACP Red Carpet and Image Awards Telecast Airs Live on TVOne

The NAACP Image Awards is the premiere multicultural awards show. It celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film, and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.

For all information and latest news, please visit the official NAACP Image Awards website at http://www.naacpimageawards.net.

FB: /naacpimageaward | Twitter: @naacpimageaward (#ImageAwards)

About NAACP:

Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. The NAACP’s adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities and monitor equal opportunity in the public and private sectors. In the fall of 2011, the NAACP launched a process to develop its strategic direction and plan, creating a powerful vision for the future, and setting organizational goals that would focus its work for the 21st Century. The six NAACP Game Changers (Economic Sustainability, Educa- tion, Health, Public Safety and Criminal Justice, Voting Rights and Political Representation, and expanding Youth Engagement) are the focus of the NAACP’s work.

About TV One:

Launched in January 2004, TV One (www.tvone.tv) serves 57 million households, offering a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies and music designed to enter- tain and inform a diverse audience of adult Black viewers. The network is the exclusive home of News One Now, the only live daily news program targeting Black viewers. In December 2008, the company launched TV One High Def, which now serves 14 million households. TV One is solely owned by Radio One [NASDAQ: ROIA and ROIAK, www.radio-one.com], the largest radio company that primarily targets Black and urban viewers.

For more information about TV One, viewers can join the conversation by visiting the network’s companion website at www.tvone.tv. TV One viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@tvonetv) using the hash tag #REPRESENT and catch clips and promos on TV One’s YouTube Channel.

CBC Holds Press Conference at DOJ and Presents Letter to AG Loretta Lynch Addressing Systematic Surveillance and Profiling of Blacks by Law Enforcement

Posted by Admin On September - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and members of the CBC held a press conference at the U.S. Department of Justice to address the systematic surveillance and profiling of African Americans by law enforcement in communities across the country:

“The Congressional Black Caucus is outraged and deeply troubled with the dozens of unlawful police shootings taking place all across America involving unarmed African American men, women and children,” said CBC Chairman Butterfield. “Tensions are very high in our country, and violence does not lead to justice. We urge Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Department of Justice to aggressively pursue investigations, indictments and prosecutions through the Office of Civil Rights, against any and all law enforcement officers who harm or kill innocent, unarmed African Americans.  There must be a national standard regarding the use of lethal force, and the Congressional Black Caucus will not rest until fairness and justice have been brought to the victims, families and communities who have suffered at the hands of law enforcement.”

A copy of the letter presented to Attorney General Lynch may be viewed in its entirety here.

Cook County Continues to Realize Savings Through Smaller Real Estate Footprint; Warehouse Consolidation Expected to Save Another $1.5 Million

Posted by Admin On September - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

County on track to reach its goal of a 1 million square foot reduction by 2018

Continuing her efforts to save taxpayer dollars by reducing Cook County’s real estate footprint, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has announced plans to consolidate two County warehouses during 2017 that will create an estimated annual operating savings of $1.46 million.

The plan will reduce the County’s footprint by 495,000 square feet, the equivalent of nine acres or almost seven football fields, by Fiscal Year 2018 as the County will shutter one of three current warehouses.

Upon taking office, President Preckwinkle issued an executive order to re-evaluate and devise a strategic multi-year plan to address the County’s real estate infrastructure related needs. As a result, the Cook County’s Real Estate Asset Strategic Realignment Plan (REASRP) project was initiated to review the condition and use of the County’s real estate assets.

The recommendations, once fully implemented, could save the County as much as $192 million over a 10-year period.  The President has called for a reduction in County real estate use by 1 million square feet by 2018.

“Cook County historically has not used its space as efficiently and effectively as it should,” Preckwinkle said. “Recognizing that this will be a difficult budget year, further consolidating our warehouses is an important step to reducing costs, shrinking our real estate footprint and streamlining operations. We can and should be doing more with less and consolidating our warehouses is another step in that right direction.”

A countywide facility condition assessment determined that a strategic reduction of aging and underutilized warehouse facilities could result in substantial operational and energy savings both now and over the longer term. Through further analysis, the Cook County Bureau of Asset Management developed a plan to reduce the County’s warehouse portfolio and look for alternatives to provide modern and right-sized storage facilities.

The first phase of this consolidation was the build-out of a new Cicero warehouse, completed in 2014, which combined the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s storage needs into one modern and efficient facility, greatly reducing the square footage occupied by these records.

The next phase includes the consolidation of the remaining Rockwell and Hawthorne storage facilities. This consolidation will accommodate the balance of the County’s current and future storage needs for the Public Defender’s office, State’s Attorney’s office, Office of the Chief Judge, Sheriff’s department, Adult Probation office, Board of Elections, Recorder of Deeds and Cook County Health and Hospitals System.

Since taking office, President Preckwinkle has overseen the County’s leasing of the 4th, 16th, 21st, 34thand 35th floors at the George W. Dunne Building, located at 69 West Washington. Additionally, two retail tenants have leased space in the building’s lower level. Altogether, these steps brought an increase in annual revenues from the building averaging $2 million per year. The County is also moving forward with plans to demolish several outdated buildings on the Department of Corrections campus.

President Preckwinkle reiterated her commitment to further shrinking the County’s facilities footprint and leasing more of the excess space in the Dunne building. The County has set a target of leasing approximately 60,000 square feet by 2018 as part of the ongoing initiative.

Black Man of Biblical Hebrew Ancestry Speaks out on Racism in the U.S.

Posted by Admin On September - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

International Statehood Recognition & Right of Self-Defense of New Negro/Afro Desencendants Nation


By Rechayahu Ben Harvey

Rechayahu Ben Harvey


Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) — There will be a movement. There will be change. There will be no stopping us. The emerging indigenous Negro/Afro descendants of the North American nation command international Nation/State recognition and behest without hindrance their right to biblical wages and reparations for 524 years of slavery. These indigenous people shall be referred to as The Congregation. This is a call to action. A call to freedom. A call that can not go unanswered.

Too long has the people of The Congregation stood by and allowed the debauchery and sheer utter dismantling of their ancestry to happen. No longer shall this be tolerated. And no longer should this be tolerated by any community, which is recognized by the fact I am of biblical Hebrew ancestry.

My name is Rechayahu Ben Harvey, and I am the awaken highest ranking indigenous Afro Asiatic sovereign of flesh and blood of North America. I am the biological heir of biblical Afro-Asiatic Semitic Hebrews that claimed the Americas after the last Ice Age (circa 15,00012,000 years ago).

The Congregation under Article of Confederation, Article 4, free Inhabitants, demand to be assigned absolute authority and sovereign over lands and holdings. They are the lawful and rightful owners of such articles and lived and thrived in these lands millenniums before the creation of the state and federal governments.

The Congregation would like to bring forth the case of DRED SCOTT vs SANFORD, 60 U.S 393 (185657) drawing clear distinction to the legal understanding garnered. Which states that the Negroes/Afro descendants cannot be state or federal citizens, have no God-given, human or international law rights that Caucasians have to respect, obey or consider. The Congregation is literally powerless and can be subjected to anything that the Caucasians deem satisfactory.

This racist attitude and bigoted well of beliefs towards The Congregation continues with the hidden fact that on March 27, 1861, seven southern states walked out of Congress leaving the entire legislative branch of de jure National Government without required constitutional quorum. The National Government of the de jure have never been constitutionally nor lawfully reconvened or reestablished, by the required Article 5, Constitution of the United States of America.

The Congress for the municipal federal government for the District of Colombia masquerades as the de jure 1787 Constitutional National Congress that ceased to exist from March 27, 1861. This so-called government in a position of authority at present that has taken the mantle of power does not legally nor constitutionally have any power over land, law or sea.

The United States (Inc) is a private municipal federal corporation that has been deceptively impersonating being the legal and lawful National Government of the vacant and defunct American Republic (the de jure Republic of the United States of America). All of which without the people’s common knowledge or consent. This wool over the eyes can no longer be allowed or endured.

The municipal federal government for the District of Columbia (United States) covertly set out to deceptively mirror the bankrupted, vacant and defunct National Government of the de jure Republic of the United States of America. Doing so with a counterfeit flag, counterfeit Constitution, and thus constructing the 1871 treasonous Congress for the District of Columbia, whose authority is restricted to that 10 square mile federal District.

The Congregation has no other viable option but to sever ties and form an indigenous, ancestral and sovereign land. Continuing to erect an Afro descendant, indigenous government and nation, coupled with international law of self-determination and right of self-defense.

This extends to all the dual nationals of the indigenous Negroes and Afro descendants of the African diaspora and non-citizen nationals of the vacant and defunct de jure Republic of the United States of America.

This indigenous government is hiring right now. Without delay. Paying above poverty wages and providing food, shelter, clothing a medical allowance. They shall be known as free inhabitants that have relinquished and revoked the counterfeit 14th amendment. They shall be known as the ones who took back what was theirs. They shall be known by the names that they have always been Kings and Queens.

Rechayahu Ben Harvey is the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Indigenous Government and Nation of the Principality of Granville. For more details, visit www.pgranvillegov.net


IDOT Hiring in Preparation of Winter Weather

Posted by Admin On September - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Temporary help needed to assist with snow-and-ice removal, public urged to apply


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Transportation is in the process of hiring temporary help to assist with snow-and-ice removal throughout Illinois this winter. These seasonal employees will be hired on a full-time and an on-call basis.

The department’s annual “snowbird” program requires employees to promptly respond to weather situations, assisting in snow-and-ice control and working in emergency conditions at any time, including weekends, holidays and nights. Applicants must have a commercial driver’s license and submit to a criminal background check. A pre-employment physical, vision testing, drug and alcohol screening also are required.

Applicants will be selected based on availability, job-related experience and qualifications. Veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. For additional information, including details on pay and the potential for benefits, please click here.

City of Chicago Offers Free Business Workshops

Posted by Admin On September - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP) offers FREE business workshops every Wednesday and Friday at City Hall, 8th Floor. To register for a workshop call 312-744-2086. You also can register by emailing BACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org.

October 2016 Workshop Calendar
10/5 City Inspections – Ask Questions, Get Answers
3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Presented by the City of Chicago
To operate a successful business in Chicago you need to know what it takes to maintain compliance. Officials from several City departments will provide insight to operate safely, stay compliant, help prepare for inspections and highlight the do’s and don’ts of operating a business.10/7  Accounting in Quickbooks
9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Presented by Trak Patel, CPA, PCIP from ARCC Consulting Corp
Learn how to keep your financial recordkeeping books using QuickBooks. We will identify the differences of QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop and list the important features and benefits.10/12  Business Licensing 101
3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Presented by the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP)
Attendees will learn the 3 steps to obtain a business license, and free business resources to start or expand their business.10/14  How to Open a Concession at O’Hare or Midway Airport

9:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Presented by Chicago Department of Aviation – Concessions Department

Are you interested in operating a restaurant or shop at O’Hare or Midway International Airports, but don’t know where to begin? Come and learn about the Request for Proposals (RFP) process, how to operate a business at the airports, and a summary of the Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) program.

10/19  Compelling Communications – Master your Message
3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Presented by Mark DiGiacoma, Crossroads Leadership Development, LLC
There is a positive correlation between business success and your ability to clearly communicate your ideas. Learn how to create messages with impact, whether you’re talking with one person or an auditorium. This hands on approach begins with learning how the brain processes information. By the end, each attendee will have a framework to quickly build a captivating, clear and compelling message for your audience.

10/21  What Do I Blog About?
9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Presented by Business Bragger, Inc.
We’ve all heard about the blogging craze that took the internet by storm!  Is your company blogging?  Find out why you should be and how it can increase your SEO rankings as well as your interaction on social media platforms.  If you’ve got writers block, this interactive workshop will help you get past what to say and teach you how to say it online.  Learn the SEO tactics to incorporate in your company blogs as well as how to create topics that will make a lasting impression.

10/26  Leadership and Happiness
3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Presented by J.B. Brocato
What is the key component of effective leadership?  Simple: Happiness.  Join J.B. Brocato, author of HAPPY IS COOL: HOW TO IGNITE THE TRUE HAPPINESS IN YOU, will present a fun, interactive workshop to provide tools to both company leaders and employees to increase personal and workplace happiness.  Based on J.B.’s H.O.I.S.T. model, attendees will learn a framework for happiness, practice optimism, apply happiness interventions, explore the concept of signature strengths, and discuss thoughts and behaviors that maximize happiness.

10/28 An Important Cash Flow Conversation – Understanding Working Capital
9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Presented by Craig Feldman, Managing Partner – Bloom Lending
Let’s have a critical conversation about the importance of cash flow, learn the key indicators of why working capital is crucial in all areas of your business and discuss when short term debt is the best decision for you. Attending this workshop will provide you with the confidence to make the important decisions to manage your cash flow and to secure the best financing needed to achieve your goals.

Click here to view full monthly calendar. All workshops are free and are located at the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection – City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., Chicago, Room 805.
Incentive to Complete the Small Business Start-Up Certificate Program

The City of Chicago’s Small Business Center (SBC) has partnered with The PrivateBank to make entrepreneurs who complete the city’s Business Start-Up Certificate Program eligible to apply for low-interest and no-fee loans through the bank’s Entrepreneurial Loan Program.

Program participants who complete the curriculum will now qualify to apply for The PrivateBank Entrepreneurial Loan. This low-interest, no-fee loan can range from $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000 for new businesses and $25,000 for businesses with one-year of filed tax returns. All financing decisions are made by the bank.

For more information go business workshops email BACPoutreach@CityofChicago.org or call 312.744.2086.
The PrivateBank Entrepreneur Loan Program With Application Requirements
The PrivateBank Entrepreneur Loan Program With Application Requirements
10/29 Free Small Business Expo 

Supporting Black Entrepreneurs Must Be a National Priority

Posted by Admin On September - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

By Connie Evans
TV Producer Nely Gal and Super Model Beverly Johnson 

Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — After Noemi Prado had devoted 29 years to working for Southwest Moulding in Grand Prairie, TX, the owners decided to close the business. But Ms. Prado gathered her retirement savings and other financing to purchase the company, a transaction that has sustained and created jobs for 40 people in her community.

A key aspect of the financing was a $825,000 loan that she received from the Valley Economic Development Corporations (VEDC), a non-profit organization that provides affordable business assistance services, direct financial assistance, and entrepreneurial training to minority businesses and entrepreneurs. If it wasn’t for VEDC, it wouldn’t have happened, Ms. Prado said, noting that it was difficult to obtain traditional bank financing.

Research by the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) shows that a large percentage of people want to be like Ms. Prado and run their own businesses. At the same time, however, many would-be entrepreneurs lack the access to mentors, capital and support networks that could help them get up and running.

That’s the problem our nation faces.

Small businesses are actually creating a higher percentage of new jobs than big companies, but entrepreneurs and small business owners struggle to get the access to capital and the knowledge, known as trusted guidance in the microbusiness industry, that they need to start or sustain their businesses. The reality is that significant barriers limit opportunities for business owners of color. They face discrimination in the banking world, have fewer wealth assets, and often lack the technical skills, like financial management, to make their dreams and aspirations come true.

Yet, there are new developments that are slowly changing the landscape for minority entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Perhaps the most powerful is the changing demographics of the country, which corporate and government leaders are starting to better understand. The nation is moving towards a majority-minority status. Already, the majority of children born in the country are children of color. Thus, its clear that the nation must become more inclusive with business opportunities or the pockets of poverty across the country will just grow larger. And, smart corporate leaders recognize that the growing communities of color are where future growth and expansions of their businesses should concentrate for sustained growth.

To-be-sure, part of the answer lies with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which are getting more attention than ever before from both the public and private sectors. These mission-based organizations, which receive federal resources to invest in disadvantaged communities, are frequently where minority business owners turn when they need financing. But needless to say, the demand frequently outpaces their money supply.

One of the positives is the collaborations now taking place between major banking institutions and CDFIs and other organizations, such as VEDC.

For instance, this year JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced the Small Business Forward initiative, which will allocate $30 million over five years towards growing local, community-based small businesses. The program includes a combination of targeted lending to minority-owned businesses, new kinds of community development financing and technical assistance for entrepreneurs. Through this work, JPMorgan Chase is helping minority- and community-based small-business owners become engines of job growth and economic vitality in the neighborhoods they serve.

At a recent event in Washington, DC that AEO co-sponsored with JP Morgan Chase, Janis Bowdler, their Head of Community Development for Global Philanthropy, put the institutions thinking in perspective. As the economy recovers, much of the growth is often channeled toward reviving commercial corridors and downtowns in U.S. cities, she said. As a result, many disadvantaged neighborhoods, where low-income people live, are being left behind.

Working with JPMorgan Chase, VEDC has created a National African American Small Business Loan Fund that will boost economic opportunity for minority-owned businesses and help them serve low-income communities by providing them with greater access to capital, technical assistance and financial consulting. VEDC is a member AEO, which is a trade association for the microbusiness and microfinance industry.

A broad range of organizations are recognizing the power of inclusive entrepreneurism, which will help bring equity to communities and Main Streets across the nation. The National Coalition of 100 Black Women and New Economics for Women partnered with AEO and JPMorgan Chase to celebrate minority business owners at the event in Washington, DC during the annual meetings of the Black and Hispanic Caucuses. Speakers specifically noted that minority women often need assistance in starting and running businesses, but frequently are unaware of how to get that help.

Clearly, various partnerships and collaborations can help minorities overcome the barriers. Empowered mission-based community lenders are working with underserved entrepreneurs to help them build and sustain businesses that can fuel financial and social mobility, and create jobs that are boosting the economy — locally and nationally.

We must make supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses a national priority.

Connie Evans is president and CEO of Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), the voice of microbusiness in the United States. For more details, viist www.microenterpriseworks.org


TV Producer Nely Gal and Super Model Beverly Johnson promote minority small businesses.

Photo Credit: Ashleigh A.M. Bing


Black Lives Matter Chicago Responds to the Announcement to Hire More Police

Posted by Admin On September - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

From: Black Lives Matter Chicago

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson announced the planned hiring of 970 more cops over the next two years. Johnson stated that this was in response to an increase in shootings and gang violence and that this was reflective of a new initiative to “execute a crime strategy and protect the people of Chicago.” This announcement comes after two days of video release footage showing the executions of unarmed Black men in Oklahoma and North Carolina. The most recent being the murder of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina who was reportedly a disabled gentleman, waiting in his car with a book, to pick up his son from school.In righteous anger, the people of Charlotte protested his murder by taking to the streets overnight.

Eddie Johnson’s announcement occurred after Mayor Rahm Emanuel publically stated his intention to increase policing in the 2017 City budget, which already allots the largest portion of funding to policing at 40% (or $4 million a day). Emmanuel stated, “My No. 1 priority–and I told this to my whole staff. In this budget, we’re gonna increase our investments with more police officers. Every other decision will be made around that priority.”  

Five days following this statement to the City Council, Alderman Roderick Sawyer demanded an increase of at least 500 more police officers be hired and said that he would support property taxes to pay for this increase. Essentially demanding that the citizens of Cook County fund the militarization of their own communities.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago Police Department and City Council are incapable of solving the conditions that produce street crime in Chicago.Neither Emanuel, Johnson nor Sawyer offer solutions that will benefit the people of Chicago, nor address the conditions that case the City’s rampant intracommunal violence. Instead they propose tax payers money go for even more policing, in a City which already has the most police per 100,000 people in the country. Chicago has spent over $100 million in police “misconduct” (ie. abuse/murder/rape) settlements in the last 2 years, and this will undoubtedly continue as police have not stopped killing people. This year alone, police killed 16 year old Pierre Loury, whose family still has not received the police report and most recently, 18 year old student, Paul O’Neal, both of whom were shot while running away from police.

The causes of crime and intra-communal violence exist because of the conditions of poverty that Rahm Emanuel has exacerbated for Chicago. More policing will not “fix” these conditions. What more policing will accomplish is more violence, more lock ups and more trauma for our already suffering communities.

Rahm Emanuel conducted the largest mass school closing in US history. These schools were predominantly located in poor Black communities. Rahm Emanuel closed HALF of the City’s mental healthcare centers. Both of these policy decisions produced consequences that have further taxed already struggling parents, struggling mothers and fathers, and struggling communities. Both of these policy decisions disenfranchise working people, and poor people.

Prior to Emanuel coming to office, violence was on a downturn in the City. After he took office, murder rates increased from a 2010 amount of 432 to 500 in 2012, reversing a 20 year trend. Within the same time frame, police funding increased annually.

The cause of crime is not absence of police. Anyone can look to the well-to-do suburbs to see that Kenilworth is not wealthy due to police officers patrolling every block. Crime occurs because of unemployment, lack of quality education, housing inequalities, and lack of other life sustaining entities like health-care, trauma centers, and clinics. We also know based on numerous scientific studies, that crime soars in areas that have a huge gap between the rich and the poor. As Chicago is now labelled the most segregated City in the country, it should be no shock that violence has increased along with the segregation and isolation of poor communities.

Cabrini Green was torn down and now condominiums occupy the space. Where are the poor people? Where are the former residents of that area? Did they all obtain six figure employment and are now property owners? No. What we do know is that unemployment for young Black men is up to 80% in certain neighborhoods with a Citywide aggregate total that reflects that half of young Black men in Chicago are out of work, and out of school. In these conditions, turning to street economies is literally a matter of survival.

This mayoral administration and his lapdog council members offer nothing but continued impoverishment and continued tax breaks to the wealthy in the City of Chicago. Their focus is on how to best protect and build the wealth of the already rich at the expense of the poor and at the expense of the the everyday Chicagoan who lives paycheck to paycheck. Their budget will produce more deaths, more violence and families who will have to suffer the loss of their loved ones to police violence.

The hiring of more police means the mayor and his administration haves no plans to address the conditions of poverty, lack of affordable housing, food insecurity, underfunded schools, lack of access to healthcare and unemployment. This is a recipe for disaster and will result in more killings by police, more police torture and violence, more people entered into the prison system, and more intracommunal violence further distressing the people of Chicago.

To address the rising rates of intracommunal violence, we demand an end to policies that create the conditions which produce poverty. We demand jobs, fully funded schools, affordable housing food security, and access to healthcare.

We oppose the addition of 970 more police and demand an immediate reduction of all policing funds in Chicago. The money saved should be used to provide services for the people.

Black Lives Matter Chicago:
Black Lives Matter Chicago is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black peoples’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression. Our priorities are to amplify our collective knowledge and applied practices toward abolishing anti-Blackness, and to honor the organizing and mobilization put forth by various Chicago based organizations, collectives, projects and individuals within the expansive, intersectional Black Lives Matter network.

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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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