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Archive for October 28th, 2016

Huge Changes in Illinois Parole Revocation

Posted by Admin On October - 28 - 2016 Comments Off on Huge Changes in Illinois Parole Revocation

Illinois will now comply with 1973 US Supreme Court decision requiring due process for parole revocations                                                                         

State agrees to provide attorneys to poor people facing re-imprisonment as part of class action settlement

CHICAGO, IL –The state of Illinois will provide attorneys to eligible parolees who are accused of violating their parole, and will overhaul the parole revocation process to ensure that the hearing process is fair and adheres to the requirements of the US Constitution, according to terms of a settlement of a federal lawsuit.

The case against the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) and the Illinois Prisoner Review Board (IPRB) alleged the state parole revocation process violated due process rights of parolees re-imprisoned for alleged parole violations without an adequate hearing and access to legal counsel.

“Over 28,000 men and women throughout the state of Illinois are on parole and were at risk of having their lives disrupted by Illinois’ byzantine and dysfunctional parole revocation system,” said Sheila A. Bedi, Associate Clinical Professor of Law at the Northwestern School of Law and an attorney with the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center. “This settlement will provide essential protections for people going through the parole revocation process and, if implemented correctly, should significantly reduce the number of people are re-imprisoned for parole violations.”

Attorneys for the MacArthur Justice Center and Uptown People’s Law Center filed the class action civil rights case in US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in 2013.

Terms of the settlement reached with IDOC and IPRB include:

  • Parolees will receive written notice of any alleged parole violation leading to revocation and written findings at each stage of the process.
  • Parolees will be able to explain their side at a preliminary hearing before a hearing officer or an IPRB member. If determination is made that a parole violation did not occur, the parolee will be released. Previously, preliminary hearings were rarely held, and people sat for months before anyone heard their defense.
  • If the preliminary hearing results in a determination that probable cause exists to believe a violation occurred, the parolee will be able to present his/her case for release at a final revocation hearing, conducted by members of the IPRB.
  • At preliminary and final hearings, many parolees will be represented by legal counsel provided by the state, if they meet certain criteria.
  • IDOC and IPRB will adhere to deadlines for prompt hearings and final decisions.
  • An independent monitor will be appointed to help IDOC and IPRB comply with the settlement agreement and report on the status of compliance.

“For years, the Illinois parole revocation process has left alleged parole violators in the dark and unable to defend themselves. The vast majority lost their freedom in phony hearings that lasted only minutes and stripped them of their constitutional right to due process,” said Alexa Van Brunt, Clinical Assistant Professor of Law and attorney for the MacArthur Justice Center. “The system seems intent on keeping prison doors revolving. The rush to reincarcerate has helped keep prisons overcrowded, but has not helped keep our neighborhoods safe.”

“Most people think that if you are facing prison in this country, you are entitled to a lawyer. That has not been true in Illinois, where thousands of people every year are returned from parole to prison without a lawyer, or a proper hearing. With this settlement, we expect that many people will now win their parole revocation hearings, which will help relieve the massive overcrowding in Illinois prisons,” said Alan Mills, Executive Director of Uptown People’s Law Center.

All people in Illinois who are on parole will have an opportunity to comment on the terms of the settlement before they go into effect. US District Judge Amy St. Eve granted the settlement preliminary approval on October 27 and scheduled a January 25 fairness hearing, during which the court will consider any objections to the settlement.

The Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center was founded in 1985 and is one of the premier civil rights law firms in the United States, with offices in Chicago; St. Louis; New Orleans; and Oxford, MS.

Uptown People’s Law Center (UPLC) is a nonprofit legal services organization specializing in prisoners’ rights, Social Security disability, and tenants’ rights and eviction defense. UPLC has nine pending class action lawsuits against the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Alicia Keys Urges Fans and All Americans to Vote for Hillary Clinton in Powerful New MoveOn.org Video

Posted by Admin On October - 28 - 2016 Comments Off on Alicia Keys Urges Fans and All Americans to Vote for Hillary Clinton in Powerful New MoveOn.org Video
In a new video released today, renowned singer, songwriter, and actress Alicia Keys urges her fans, and all Americans, to “Vote Love” this year by supporting Hillary Clinton for president. The video, produced in partnership with MoveOn.org Political Action, highlights how voting can help bring about a more perfect union and advance trans equality, gender equality, sexual equality, and racial equality. In the video, Keys invites her fans and followers to share what they love and how that’s inspiring them to vote in this election.
The video builds on Keys’ other work to engage and inspire voters in this election including her performance at the Democratic National Convention.
In the video, Alicia Keys explains:
“This election has struck me so deeply, as a woman, as a Black woman, as a human being.  I have tried to make sense of the hate eating away at the soul of our country. America is angry. Many​ for good reason.
“But have we lost our faith in a greater future? Have we lost our wonder for that American miracle of harmony? In a race between moving forward together or moving backwards divided — how can anyone still be undecided?”
Keys adds:
“If we elect our nation’s first female president on November 8th, we won’t wake up on November 9th in a perfect world. But we can wake up in a more perfect union. And we will stay here, to fight for trans-equality, gender-equality, sexual-equality, racial equality, economic-equality. We will stay one and we will rise.
“​​I’m voting for Hillary Clinton, I’m fighting for a woman who was never meant to have a seat at the table. A woman who never quit, who never got too jaded for hope. She endures because she has faith in our kindness.
“This is our time to be strong. Now don’t tell me you can’t vote, you won’t vote. I know you’re strong enough. Because I know you love.”
“Donald Trump’s campaign represents a clear and present danger to the very fabric of our nation. Trump has led a campaign fueled by racist, bigoted, xenophobic, misogynistic, and violent rhetoric intent on dividing us,” said Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action. “That’s why we are so proud to team up with Alicia Keys, an artist who reaches millions, to make sure people get out and vote for a more perfect union this November by rejecting Donald Trump’s politics of hate and working to make Hillary Clinton the next President of the United States.”
Alicia Keys’ direct video appeal builds on MoveOn.org’s significant cultural engagement this election cycle.
Recently, MoveOn.org announced that more than 60 Broadway actors and actresses from five different Broadway shows including Beautiful, Book of Mormon, Fiddler on the Roof, Paramour and Waitress, have joined MoveOn.org’s #UnitedFor Campaign, an effort to convince Americans to vote against Donald Trump, reject his dangerous campaign of hate and division, and elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States this November.
Last month, MoveOn.org announced the winners of its “Laughter Trumps Hate” content. More than 200 comedians across the country submitted stand-up sets, sketch videos, and Trump impressions, and a panel of all-star judges—including Judd Apatow, Adam McKay, Aasif Mandvi, and Negin Farsad, among others—selected one winner in each category.
And earlier this year, more than 100 high-profile celebrities and artists joined MoveOn.org’s #UnitedAgainstHate campaign to ensure Americans vote against Donald Trump and reject Trump’s dangerous campaign of hate and division, and committed to “use our platforms to bring attention to the dangers of a Trump presidency, and to the real and present threats of his candidacy.” The signers included actors, producers, directors, comedians, screenwriters, musicians, fashion designers, and other artists from across the country. Collectively, these artists reach millions of followers and committed to using their influence to ensure Americans vote against Trump this November.
For more information, contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at press@moveon.org.

“Chicagoland Stop The TPP” Descends on Federal Plaza Today

Posted by Admin On October - 28 - 2016 Comments Off on “Chicagoland Stop The TPP” Descends on Federal Plaza Today
From: Chicagoland Stop The TPP
Senators. Durbin + Kirk Vote “NO” on the Corporate TPP “Death Star”!

The Corporate TPP “Death Star” is descending on Fed. Plaza and is designed to destroy America and the Planet.  Will the “Rebel Alliance” defeat the TPP “Death Star”?

The “Dark Forces of Greed” and the “Rebel Alliance” will battle on Fed. Plaza for our jobs, wages, worker’s rights, patient’s rights to affordable medicines, environmental laws, internet freedom and our sovereignty.  Princess Leia will take on Darth’s Durbin and Kirk.
Find out who wins.

Join us for this fun Star Wars themed street theater, just in time for Halloween.  Activists will come dressed in black to join Darth’s Durbin and Kirk’s Sith forces of corporate greed. Others will come dressed in white to represent the “Rebel Alliance” of the people and the planet.

We will gather at 4pm at Quincy and Clark and then march to Fed. Plaza – (Quincy is a very small, seldom used side street, with a little parking, directly west of Fed Plaza across Clark St from the Post Office, (near Native Foods at 218 S. Clark St))

Race & Justice News, The Jude Effect”: High-Profile Police Brutality Cuts Black Residents’ Use of 911

Posted by Admin On October - 28 - 2016 Comments Off on Race & Justice News, The Jude Effect”: High-Profile Police Brutality Cuts Black Residents’ Use of 911
From: The Sentencing Project

“The Jude Effect”: High-Profile Police Brutality Cuts Black Residents’ Use of 911

Matthew Desmond, Andrew V. Papachristos, and David S. Kirk’s review of nearly seven years of Milwaukee residents’ 911 calls shows that African Americans reduce their crime-reporting behavior in the wake of high-profile cases of police brutality. In particular, press coverage of the police beating of Frank Jude in October 2004 was followed by a dramatic and durable reduction in 911 calls from black neighborhoods, in contrast to a small and brief drop in such calls from white neighborhoods. Moreover, homicides increased in the wake of residents’ declined use of 911. The authors argue that reduced crime reporting diminished law enforcement’s ability to suppress crime.

“If acts of excessive police force result in community-level consequences, then cities should implement community-level interventions in the aftermath of such acts,” the authors write in an Op-Ed. Police Chief Edward Flynn of Milwaukee, who was not in office for the period studied, has dismissed the study’s conclusions as the product of an administrative glitch in the tabulation of 911 calls. The journal article, “Police Violence and Citizen Crime Reporting in the Black Communitywas published in the American Sociological Review and covered by outlets including The New York Times and Atlantic.

Policing Disparities Across the Country

The Center for Policing Equity and the Urban Institute have released a report analyzing traffic stops and use of force by the Austin, Texas police department, reports USA Today. The study found that although there were racial and ethnic disparities in traffic stops and searches in 2014 and 2015, there were no disparities in the hit rate—the rate at which police found contraband during searches. “These findings suggest that racially disparate rates of vehicle stops may in fact be driven by differential rates of offending,” the researchers note. By contrast, they found that blacks and Hispanics were more likely to experience police force even after controlling for community-level differences in crime and poverty.

An investigation by the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office found that the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) does a poor job of tracking and investigating officers’ use of force, has ineffective anti-bias training, and shields the disciplinary process from the public view, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The investigation also uncovered racial disparities in traffic stops, searches, and use of deadly force, as well as “numerous indicators of implicit and institutionalized bias against minority groups.” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and former Police Chief Greg Suhr had requested the study through the COPS Office’s Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance program.

Brad Heath of USA Today writes that a new report, which the Justice Department tried to have sealed when it was filed in federal court, reveals “strong, consistent and statistically significant” evidence that federal agents singled out people of color for drug stings in Chicago. The undercover stings, which attempted to enlist people suspected of crime to commit a new crime, had been a centerpiece of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) efforts to target violent crime. Of the 94 people that ATF agents arrested in these stings, 91% were either black or Hispanic. Jeffrey Fagan, author of the report, found that there was a less than 0.1% probability that these individuals could have been selected by chance.

Federal Guidance on Increasing Police Diversity

The Washington Post reports that the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have released a report on how law enforcement agencies can increase racial and gender diversity in recruitment, hiring, and retention. The report’s recommendations include building partnerships with educational institutions to develop a pipeline of potential applicants and address negative perceptions of law enforcement, and adopting a holistic view of skill requirements including reevaluating information revealed during background checks such as previous drug use. The report’s timing coincides with President Barack Obama’s executive order promoting diversity and inclusion within the national security workforce.

School Discipline

Schools Successfully Cut Suspensions and Reoffending

Schools nationwide are reconsidering their overutilization of suspension and arrests to deal with student misbehavior. California schools are increasing their use of restorative justice (RJ) sessions to deal with low- and mid-level misbehaviors on and off school grounds. RJ seeks to engage students in a nonconfrontational setting wherein offending youth and their victims discuss the events to address its roots and impacts. “Punishment doesn’t work,” notes Oakland schools’ RJ coordinator Camisha Fatimah Gentry, whose program reduced suspensions by 75% at one middle school. A study by Jeff Bouffard, Maisha Cooper, and Kathleen Bergseth, highlighted by Vice, found that an array of RJ program designs cut youth reoffending far more than youth court processing.

Philadelphia’s Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel has led schools there to cut student arrests by 54% in one year. New Jersey passed a law to outlaw the suspension of students before third grade. In South Carolina, a law that makes “disrupting school” an arrestable offense is being challenged in state court by Niya Kenny, who videotaped the brutal treatment of her classmate by a since-fired school resource officer last October.

The Kirwan Institute has also released a set of five papers on implicit bias in school discipline including for pre-schoolers, offering constructive trauma-informed solutions to student misbehavior.

Collateral Consequences

Housing Discrimination Against African American Women with Criminal Records

A recent study by the Equal Rights Center found that African American women with criminal records are more likely to experience discrimination in the D.C. housing market than their white counterparts. In “Unlocking Discrimination,” covered by the Washington Examiner and The Huffington Post, researchers sent matched pairs of white and African American female testers who posed as having comparable criminal backgrounds to 60 different housing providers in D.C. and northern Virginia. Almost half of the tests revealed differential treatment on the part of a housing provider that favored the white female tester. In addition, 28% of tests uncovered a criminal record screening policy that may have an illegal disparate impact on the basis of race.
The Equal Rights Center’s recommendations include having housing providers evaluate their screening policies and decisions to “ensure that they are serving a substantial, legitimate, non-discriminatory interest and are not a proxy for racial discrimination.” In a related development, the Justice Department recently filed a statement of interest in a case arguing that a New York City landlord’s categorical refusal to rent to people with criminal records had a disparate impact against African Americans and Latinos, in violation of the Fair Housing Act.


Skin Tone, Afrocentric Facial Features, and Incarceration

Ryan D. King and Brian D. Johnson’s “A Punishing Look: Skin Tone and Afrocentric Features in the Halls of Justice” examines the relationship between skin tone, Afrocentric facial features, and punishment, extending the analysis of these variables to sentence type as well as length. Published in the American Journal of Sociology, the study matched detailed sentencing records from two Minnesota counties with over 850 coded booking photos of black and white males. The researchers found that while race, skin color, and Afrocentricity were not associated with significant disparities in lengths of imprisonment, they did influence whether individuals were sentenced to prison, as opposed to being placed on probation or having their charge adjusted to a misdemeanor. Afrocentric appearance also affected white defendants, even after accounting for Hispanic surnames.
With the disproportionate number of people of color cycling in and out of the justice system, and with more and more Americans not easily classified into a single racial group, the researchers note the importance of continuing to further examine skin tone and facial features in the study of punishment and inequality. “If perceived race is becoming amorphous, then skin tone and Afrocentric facial features are likely to become even more salient concepts in the future… even subtle differences in the racial appearance of offenders can tilt the scales of justice.”
The Sentencing Project works for a fair and effective U.S. justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.

First Defense Legal Aid Launches its “Be Ready” to Protect Them Campaign: What’s at Stake When Juveniles Are Alone with the Police?

Posted by Admin On October - 28 - 2016 Comments Off on First Defense Legal Aid Launches its “Be Ready” to Protect Them Campaign: What’s at Stake When Juveniles Are Alone with the Police?
First Defense Legal Aid is launching its “Be Ready” to Protect Them Campaign: What’s at Stake When Juveniles Are Alone with the Police? on October 28, 2016, at the West Side Justice Center, 601 S. California St., Chicago, from 3:00-5:00 p.m.


First Defense Legal Aid (FDLA), a nonprofit organization that educates Chicagoans about how to assert their constitutional rights and mobilizes volunteer attorneys to protect those rights in CPD stations 24/7; West Side Justice Center (WSJC); and Free Write Arts and Literacy, an organization that facilitates writing & arts programming for youth in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (CCJTDC).  Additional sponsorship comes from the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the African American Legacy Fund, and AmeriCorps.

A panel discussion and art exhibition will mark the launch of the Englewood Street Law Corps and public service print campaign urging concerned adults to “Be Ready to Protect Them” in the face of the alarming statistic that only 1 or 2 in 1,000 juveniles in Chicago police custody have legal representation.

Moderated by Vickie Casanova Willis from FDLA and the National Conference of Black Lawyers, a panel will discuss what’s at stake when juveniles are alone with the police and how adults can best help them access their rights. Included on this panel is Aislinn Sol of Black Lives Matter Chicago; Xavier McElrath-Bey of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth; Paul Williams of FDLA’s Street Law Corps; and Herschella Conyers from the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic & the Juvenile Justice Initiative.

There will also be an exhibition of art and writing by people who are or were incarcerated in the CCJTDC called Mitigating Evidence, Vol.2. The exhibit helps interrupt the presumptions, stereotypes and fears about people in detention, jail, and prison. Mitigating Evidence premiered at Chicago Art Department in September 2016 and now travels to the WSJC to become the inaugural exhibition in their newly established Movement Gallery.


Juveniles face elevated levels of vulnerability at the police station. The Chicago Defender recently reported that of the 14,994 youth arrested last year, 96% were charged with a crime but only 0.2% had a lawyer at the station! 

This number is well below the 0.6% of all Chicago arrestees who have an attorney present in the first 48-72 hours after an arrest. The overwhelming majority are African American. To combat these injustices facing Chicago’s young people, First Defense is announcing two initiatives to increase station visits to juvenile arrestees-our  new “Be Ready” public education campaign and the Englewood Street Law Corps. First Defense is still the only way for juveniles or adults to access legal representation in CPD custody, 24 hours a day, free of charge, at 1-800-LAW-REP4.


Attorney General Madigan: $41 Million Multistate Settlement With Hyundai & Kia Over Inflated Fuel Economy Claims

Posted by Admin On October - 28 - 2016 Comments Off on Attorney General Madigan: $41 Million Multistate Settlement With Hyundai & Kia Over Inflated Fuel Economy Claims

Companies Will Pay Illinois More Than $2.2 Million For Deceiving Consumers into Buying Cars with Erroneous Mileage Estimates


CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a $41 million settlement with automakers Hyundai and Kia to resolve claims that the companies misrepresented the mileage and fuel economy ratings for some of their model year 2011, 2012 and 2013 vehicles.


The settlement resolves a multistate investigation by Madigan, 32 states and the District of Columbia that alleged the companies incorporated inflated and inaccurate fuel economy data into the estimated mileage ratings displayed on window stickers and in advertisements and promotional campaigns of more than 40,000 cars in Illinois and more than 750,000 cars across the country.


Madigan and the states alleged the companies sought to capitalize on the erroneous mileage estimates, and as a result, misled consumers, who considered the mileage per gallon estimates in purchasing the vehicles, particularly at a time of peak gasoline prices. Illinois will receive $2.2 million from the settlement.


“These car companies deceived consumers into thinking they were purchasing vehicles that would be more fuel efficient than they really were,” Madigan said.


The multistate group – led by Illinois, Connecticut and Iowa – also includes Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.


The companies began providing restitution in 2013 directly to impacted consumers. To date, each company has offered more than $2.5 million in restitution to consumers with the affected vehicles. A class action settlement may provide additional restitution to consumers. To learn more, consumers can call Hyundai at 877-277-0012 or Kia at 855-912-5648.


Assistant Attorneys General Cassandra Halm and Greg Grzeskiewicz handled the settlement for Madigan’s Consumer Protection Bureau.



Comptroller Munger Campaign Accuses City Clerk Mendoza of Raking “in Cash From City & State Contractors”

Posted by Admin On October - 28 - 2016 Comments Off on Comptroller Munger Campaign Accuses City Clerk Mendoza of Raking “in Cash From City & State Contractors”
 Candidate looks to bring ‘Chicago Way’ back to Springfield

According to Citizens for Illinois State Comptroller Leslie Munger, “Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza has lined her campaign coffers with contributions from those doing business with her City Hall Office – now she’s bringing in even more by taking cash from those who would benefit if she is elected Illinois State Comptroller.


“As Clerk, Mendoza raised $20,000 from Clarity Partners, a firm which was awarded a city contract to allow for year-round city stickers sales. Contributions from the firm and its executives rolled in before, during and after the project, which Mendoza has touted as her greatest accomplishment – while refusing to be transparent about the conflict of interest. At the same time, Mendoza has brought in more than $40,000 in campaign contributions from city Currency Exchanges, which earn a fee in selling city stickers regulated by the Clerk.


“Now running for Comptroller, Mendoza is raking in cash from Ullico, a pension fund management firm that recently lost its contract with the state. Ullico was removed by the Illinois State Board of Investment, a committee of which the State Comptroller is a voting member.


“After two decades on taxpayer-funded payrolls, Susana Mendoza has mastered the art of making her ‘service’ pay off,” said Phil Rodriguez, spokesman for the campaign of Comptroller Leslie Munger. “Not only has she taken in $2 million in publicly funded salaries, but she’s also fueled her campaigns with cash from businesses that benefit from her being in office. Now she wants to bring her ‘Chicago Way’ back to Springfield? Enough.”


Munger joined members of the Board of Investment in withdrawing $65 million in state pension investments from Ullico, citing that in addition to charging higher fees, the company had been placed on the board’s “watch list,” because too much of its portfolio – 52 percent – was being held in cash. One month after the September, 2015, vote, Ullico began contributing to Mendoza. The firm has contributed $20,000 to Mendoza to date, including $10,000 this month alone.


“Susana Mendoza is a career politician and while she promises to be an independent Comptroller, her record of partisan politics and pay-to-play campaigns speaks for itself,” Rodriguez said. “In less than two years in office, Leslie has stood up to all sides, speaking out for fiscal responsibility while showing a commitment to human services. She brings a fresh voice that is sorely needed in Springfield.”


A former business executive and longtime human service volunteer, Munger was sworn-in as Comptroller in January, 2015. She has been enthusiastically endorsed by news outlets throughout Illinois, including: Belleville News-Democrat, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Daily Herald, Chicago Defender, Springfield Journal-Register Champaign News-Gazette, Rockford Register-Star and Quincy Herald-Whig.


Attorney General Madigan & Illinois State Board of Elections Issue Alert to Residents Regarding Voting by Mail

Posted by Admin On October - 28 - 2016 Comments Off on Attorney General Madigan & Illinois State Board of Elections Issue Alert to Residents Regarding Voting by Mail

Madigan & State Board of Elections Urge Voters Who Requested Mail-In Ballots to Monitor Ballot Status & Contact Election Authorities if Ballots Are Not Received

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois State Board of Elections alerted voters throughout Illinois about the voting by mail process during this fall’s election due to recent complaints raised by confused and concerned voters.

Voters should be aware that third party organizations are allowed to send voters applications to receive a mail-in ballot, but voters should stay alert and monitor whether they then receive a ballot in the mail. Voters who applied for a vote-by-mail ballot but did not receive it or have not sent in a completed ballot retain the right to vote in person during the early voting period or on election day.

Madigan and the State Board of Elections urged any voter who wishes to vote by mail to follow the steps below to ensure they receive a ballot in time to vote in the November 8 election. Illinois voters who receive a solicitation to request a vote by mail ballot may instead follow these steps to request their ballot directly from their local county election authorities.

  • Request an application. Registered voters who wish to vote by mail must first fill out an application to receive the ballot. Voters can request an application in person or have one mailed to them by their local election authority. Some counties also have applications online.
  • Apply for a ballot. A voter must fill out the application by providing certain information, including the address where the ballot should be mailed and by certifying they are eligible to vote in this election, and return the application to their local election authorities. Mailed applications to request a ballot must be received by the election authority by November 3.
  • Vote by mail. Once a voter receives their ballot, follow the instructions to vote by mail. The ballot must be completed, signed and sealed in the certification envelope. Ballots must be signed and postmarked by Election Day, November 8, to be counted in the election. Voters can also turn in their vote-by-mail ballot to county election authorities before 7 p.m. on election day.
  • Check the status of your ballot through your county authorities. A list of county election authorities can be found at www.elections.il.gov.
  • If you have not received your vote-by-mail ballot, you can vote during the early voting period or on election day.

Newly registered voters who did not provide adequate identification information with their registration need to show identification to obtain a vote-by-mail ballot.

Early Voting Available Now

Instead of voting by mail, Illinois residents can vote during the early voting period that is now underway through November 7. Voters should be aware that they can register to vote and cast their ballot at the same time during the early voting process. Residents who are registering to vote and casting a ballot at the same time should contact their county election authority to find out which local polling location they should visit to both register to vote and cast a ballot.

To find early voting locations, visit the Illinois Board of Elections website for a list of locations.

Election Day Voting

Polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day, November 8. Voters who are in line when the polls close at 7 p.m. must be allowed to cast their vote.

Voters should also be aware of a new law that allows voters to register to vote and cast their ballot at the same time on election day.

Under the law, counties with a population of 100,000 or more must provide voters with the option of registering to vote and casting their ballots at the same time at polling places on election day. Counties with a population of 100,000 or less which use electronic poll books must also provide voters with the option of registering to vote and casting their ballots at the same time at polling places on election day. Smaller counties that do not maintain voter records electronically must offer election day registration at the county’s main election office or at polling places in the county’s larger municipalities.

Voters registering to vote on election day should be prepared to show two forms of identification. The most common forms of identification include a driver’s license or a utility bill, at least one of which must show your current address. If your voter registration is active and current, you do not need to show identification to cast your vote.

More information about the voting process and the status of your voter registration can be found on the Illinois Board of Elections website or through local county clerks’ offices.


Larry Yando Stars in his 9th Turn as Ebenezer Scrooge in a Christmas Carol, Directed by Henry Wishcamper, November 19 – December 31

Posted by Admin On October - 28 - 2016 Comments Off on Larry Yando Stars in his 9th Turn as Ebenezer Scrooge in a Christmas Carol, Directed by Henry Wishcamper, November 19 – December 31

Goodman Theatre’s 39th Annual Production Features New Faces and Returning Favorites


CHICAGO, IL – With new stage magic and Chicago favorites, Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol—hailed as “the crown jewel of the holiday season” (Daily Herald) and “no better way to get into the holiday spirit” (Chicago Sun-Times)—takes the stage in its 39th year. Returning for his fourth year, Henry Wishcamper ’s directs Charles Dickens’ tale of hope and redemption. His production has been praised as “wise and warm… sometimes about loss, sometimes renewal, always about treasur[ing] our time huddled together as ‘fellow-passengers to the grave’” (Chicago Tribune). Leading the cast of 24 is acclaimed Chicago actor Larry Yando, who brings “great joy to the role of Scrooge” (Newcity) as he journeys through his past, present and future to discover the importance of kindness and compassion towards others. A Christmas Carol appears November 19 – December 31; press/opening night is November 27 at 6:30pm. Tickets ($25 – $102) are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/Carol, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn). Discounted Group Tickets for 15+ are available at 312.443.3820. Fifth Third Bank is the Major Corporate Sponsor; Allstate Insurance Company and KPMG LLP are the Corporate Sponsor Partners; Chicago Tribune Media Group is the Media Sponsor; and American Airlines is the Airline Partner for A Christmas Carol.


“It’s an honor and a privilege to direct A Christmas Carol at the Goodman, where this timeless story is told in a production that pioneered inclusive casting—a notion that was ground-breaking three decades ago, but common practice today and absolutely essential to the universality of Dickens’ message,” said Wishcamper, Goodman Artistic Associate whose recent Goodman productions include The Matchmaker and The Little Foxes. “ Each year, we approach the production with fresh eyes and make some changes that we hope will delight audiences—both those who are new and those who make the production an annual tradition—and further extend and reflect the story’s relevance in 2016.”


Wishcamper’s cast includes returning favorites Ron E. Rains as Bob Cratchit; Joe Foust as Ghost of Jacob Marley; Travis A. Knight as Ghost of Christmas Past; Kim Schultz as Ghost of Christmas Present; Penelope Walker as Mrs. Fezzwig; Kareem Bandealy as Narrator and Scrooge Alternate; John Lister, who last appeared in the 2011 production, as Mr. Fezziwig; and Nathaniel Buescher in his third year as Tiny Tim, and more. Newcomers include Hannah Gomez, Mariah Gordon, Emma Ladji, Sadieh Rifai, Aaron Stone and Jonah D. Winston.


In addition, Wishcamper has cast Kristina Valada-Viars as Scrooge’s niece, “Frida”—a role traditionally rendered as “Fred”—while J. Salome Martinez portrays Frida’s husband, Abe.


A complete cast list appears below.


A long-standing holiday tradition for Chicago audiences (and beyond)—more than 1.2 million theatergoers have attended the Goodman’s annual production of A Christmas Carol. First performed in 1978 at the Goodman’s original venue at the Art Institute, the annual offering has hosted 10 directors, 33 Tiny Tims and eight Ebenezer Scrooges who’ve collectively uttered nearly 23,000 “Bah Humbugs.”

As traditionally done for the past 29 years, cast members from A Christmas Carol will be present in the lobby following each performance to collect donations to support Season of Concern, an organization that supports local artists with illnesses, as well as Broadway Cares/Equity Fight AIDS. Since 1991 audiences have raised over $400,000 to spread the holiday spirit to those in need.

Company of A Christmas Carol

By Charles Dickens, Adapted by Tom Creamer, Directed by Henry Wishcamper

Justin Amolsch…………………………………………….Musician, French Horn

Kareem Bandealy…………………………………………Narrator/Young Scrooge/Topper/Scrooge Alternate

Nathaniel Buescher……………………………………….Tiny Tim

Ali Burch…………………………………………………….Female Understudy

Andrew Coil………………………………………………..Musician, Violin

Joe Foust…………………………………………………Jacob Marley/Young Marley/Old Joe

Hannah Gomez…………………………………………..Miss Ortle

Mariah Gordon……………………………………………Belinda Cratchit

Andrew Jessop……………………………………………Young Scrooge Alternate/Male understudy

Travis A. Knight…………………………………………..Ghost of Christmas Past

Emma Ladji………………………………………………..Martha Cratchit/Fan/Young Woman

Aaron Lamm………………………………………………Boy Scrooge/Aaron Cratchit

John Lister…………………………………………………Mr. Fezziwig

J. Salome Martinez……………………………………….Abe/Dick Wilkins

Larry Neumann Jr………………………………………..Schoolmaster/Percy/Undertaker

Ron E. Rains………………………………………………Bob Cratchit

Sadieh Rifai………………………………………………..Mrs. Cratchit

Malcolm Ruhl………………………………………………Music Director, Accordion

Madeline Ruhl……………………………………………..Musician, Flute

Amaris Sanchez…………………………………………..Emily Cratchit/Want

Kim Schultz………………………………………………..Ghost of Christmas Present/Charwoman

Aaron Stone……………………………………………….Peter Cratchit/Ignorance/Child in Doorway

Kristina Valada-Viars……………………………………..Frida/Belle

Penelope Walker………………………………………….Mrs. Fezziwig/Miss Crumb

Jonah D. Winston…………………………………………Young Man/Poulterer/Tree Seller

Larry Yando……………………………………………….Ebenezer Scrooge


Creative Team


Todd Rosenthal……………………………………………Set Designer

Heidi Sue McMath………………………………………..Costume Designer

Andrew Hansen…………………………………………..Composer

Richard Woodbury………………………………………..Sound Designer

Malcolm Ruhl……………………………………………..Music Director

Keith Parham…………………………………………….Lighting Designer
Tommy Rapley …………………………………………..Choreographer

Alden Vasquez……………………………………………Production Stage Manager

Flying effects are provided by ZFX Inc.


About Goodman Theatre


America’s “Best Regional Theatre” (Time magazine) and “Chicago’s flagship resident stage” (Chicago Tribune), Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit organization distinguished by the quality and scope of its artistic programming and civic engagement. Founded in 1925, the Goodman is led by Robert Falls—“Chicago’s most essential director” (Chicago Tribune), who marks 30 years as Artistic Director this season—and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, who is celebrated for his vision and leadership over nearly four decades. Dedicated to new plays, reimagined classics and large-scale musical theater works, Goodman Theatre artists and productions have earned hundreds of awards for artistic excellence, including: two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards, nearly 160 Jeff Awards and more. Over the past three decades, audiences have experienced more than 150 world or American premieres, 30 major musical productions, as well as nationally and internationally celebrated productions of classic works (including Falls’ productions of Death of a SalesmanLong Day’s Journey into NightKing Lear and The Iceman Cometh, many in collaboration with actor Brian Dennehy). In addition, the Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” For nearly four decades, the annual holiday tradition of A Christmas Carol has created a new generation of theatergoers.

The 2016 opening of the Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement (“the Alice”) launched the next phase in the Goodman’s decades-long commitment as an arts and community organization dedicated to educating Chicago youth and promoting lifelong learning. Programs are offered year-round and free of charge. Eighty-five percent of the Goodman’s youth program participants come from underserved communities.


Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation of the new Goodman center in 2000.


Today, Goodman Theatre leadership includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. Joan Clifford is Chair of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Cynthia K. Scholl is Women’s Board President and Justin A. Kulovsek is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.


Visit the Goodman virtually at GoodmanTheatre.org—including OnStage+ for insider information—and on Twitter (@GoodmanTheatre), Facebook and Instagram.

President Preckwinkle Joins Commissioners Boykin and Garcia In Proposing New Workforce-Anti Violence Initiative

Posted by Admin On October - 28 - 2016 Comments Off on President Preckwinkle Joins Commissioners Boykin and Garcia In Proposing New Workforce-Anti Violence Initiative

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and County Commissioners Richard Boykin and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia announced that they will join forces to implement a pilot workforce development and jobs program for 16-24 year olds who are at risk of violence or criminal justice system involvement.

They were joined in the announcement by community service providers and advocates in support of the proposal.  President Preckwinkle has committed $1 million of her proposed budgeted $3 million increase in public safety grant funds for the effort.

“I am grateful to Commissioners Boykin and Garcia for their passion on this issue and their partnership on this program to provide meaningful training and sustainable jobs for those who are most at risk,” Preckwinkle said.

“The pilot program will prioritize individuals who have had some involvement in the justice system and provide them with the supports and training necessary to enter into careers that provide a livable wage in growing sectors within Cook County.”

Commissioner Boykin thanked the President for her leadership, “The unemployment numbers among young people in the First District are unacceptable and surely a driving cause of the violence plaguing our city. Jobs are a critical part of the solution. This pilot project will serve as a model to be implemented in Cook County,” he said.

“Jobs are a key component of successful violence prevention strategies and we need to expand these opportunities in the hardest hit communities.  Many of the youth in our neighborhoods have enormous potential.  This program can expose them to workforce opportunities that can put them on a path to success. I look forward to seeing the impact of the program and finding ways to expand it throughout the County in the coming years.” Garcia said

The program will target up to 300 people ages 16-24 who are disengaged from school and work.  The pilot target areas will be in Austin, Back of the Yards and surrounding areas in need.

The program will take a multi-tiered approach focusing on career exploration and awareness for younger individuals, credentialing and qualifications development in the mid-range, and technical training and certification in high-growth industries.  All participants will have access to support and wrap-around services as needed.

The County will partner with Chicago Cook Workforce, the County’s Bureau of Economic Development, the Cook County Health and Hospitals System and external stakeholders to design and implement the program.

Planning and implementation of the program will be led by Preckwinkle’s Justice Advisory Council (JAC) “I am honored that President Preckwinkle has asked us to lead this process,” said Lanetta Haynes Turner, Executive Director of the JAC, “We cannot address the issue of violence and public safety in communities in Cook County without addressing employment and economic development.”

The goal is to launch the program before the summer of 2017.  President Preckwinkle said the need for immediacy means the planning process will be intensive and require the partnership of both public and private entities.

“We will work to leverage as many existing resources as possible.  We will seek partners with expertise and experience, and all County Bureaus and Departments under my office will assess how they can help in this effort,” she said.

Funding for the pilot project and the increase in public safety grants is dependent on the passage of President Preckwinkle’s proposed FY2017 budget.


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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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