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October , 2017
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Marks the 225th Signing of the Constitution; 100 People Sworn-In as Citizens   Illinois Secretary of State ...
CHICAGO, IL – People look forward ...
Announcing a new book for anyone interested in learning the truth about Black males - ...
The world will remember Troy’s name   Tonight the State of Georgia has killed an innocent man. In ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) will host a series of public ...
Announces annual contests to promote awareness of radon health risks SPRINGFIELD, IL – Cold weather ...
Cincinnati, OH (BlackNews.com) -- As the first African-American woman and the first Democrat ...
 Sunset Baby is written by Dominique Morisseau and already hit in New York and London, ...
Brotherhood Chorale returns January 19 The Music Institute of Chicago honors the extraordinary legacy ...
Maudlyne Ihejirika is a recipient of the Studs Terkel Media Award. Ihejirika is ...

Archive for January 9th, 2017

National Urban League Issues First Presidential Scorecard Ranking Obama Presidency

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

National Urban League issues first presidential scorecard ranking Obama presidency

Hearkens back to Reagan’s Question, “Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?”

 

NEW YORK – The National Urban League today released a comprehensive scorecard evaluating the presidential term of Barack Obama, giving the Administration its second-highest rating of “Excellent.”

“Throughout our history, the National Urban League has taken seriously our responsibility to hold the President of the United States accountable to the needs of urban America and communities of color,” National Urban League President Marc H. Morial said. “During the Great Depression, Executive Secretary Eugene Kinkle Jones served on President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s ‘Black Cabinet.’  Lester Granger, who headed the League during World War II, is among those credited with persuading President Harry Truman to desegregate the Armed Forces. Whitney M. Young advised presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and was instrumental in the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act. Urban League Presidents Vernon Jordan, John Jacob and Hugh Price continued our engagement with the Presidents with whom they served to further the work of civil rights and secure support for Urban League programs.”

“The National Urban League has regarded the first African-American Presidency with special significance, not simply because of its trailblazing status, but also because of the unique conditions under which President Barack Obama took office and served his two terms,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. “He inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, and was faced with Congressional opposition unprecedented in its intensity and sinister nature.”

Morial said his organization harkened back to the famous question Ronald Reagan asked the nation during his sole debate against President Jimmy Carter: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

“We asked ourselves not only whether the nation as a whole is better off than it was eight years ago, but also whether Black America is better off,” Morial said. “ The answer to both questions is, unequivocally, yes.”

The administration was given ratings of “Superior,” “Excellent,” “Good,” “Fair” or “Poor” on a wide range of policy areas including jobs and the economy, education, criminal justice, civil rights, housing and others.

The full scorecard can be found at the following link: http://bit.ly/2iQSabd

Morial noted that President Obama is leaving office with an approval rating even higher than Reagan’s, exceeded only by Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Bill Clinton. During Obama’s presidency, the economy has added more than 11 million jobs, and the jobless rate has dropped from 7.6% to 4.7% – and from 12.6% to 7.8 for African Americans. The high school graduation rate for African Americans has increased from 66.1% to 85%. There are 614,000 fewer long-term unemployed. Wages are up 3.4 percent. More than 16 million Americans who were uninsured now have health care coverage, with the uninsured rate for African Americans cut by more than half.

 

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $1.07 Billion in Federal Funding To Improve Rail Transit Service in Chicago

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced approximately $1.07 billion in federal grant funds to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) for the first phase of the Red and Purple Modernization Project. The project will reconstruct a section of the rail lines on the north side of Chicago in order to expand capacity on one of the busiest corridors of the CTA system. 

“For the past eight years, the Obama Administration has been committed to investing in transportation infrastructure projects that will help more Americans access jobs and new opportunities,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “That’s why we are proud to support the Red and Purple Modernization Project, which will bring better transit service to thousands of Chicagoans who take the train to work, school and other destinations throughout the region.”

 

The project involves construction of track improvements north of the Belmont Station to relieve a bottleneck at the junction of the Red, Purple and Brown lines; reconstruction and expansion of four stations to better accommodate current and projected demand; upgrades to the power, track and signal systems; and the purchase of 32 new railcars.

 

“FTA is awarding highly competitive grant funds for this project because there is a clear need for transit improvements in this busy, crowded corridor,” said FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers. “When completed, this project will make a big difference for CTA riders with increased service, less crowding aboard trains, and better waiting conditions at larger reconstructed stations.”

 

FTA Acting Administrator Flowers made the announcement to commit the funds during a ceremony today with Senator Dick Durbin, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, representatives from CTA, and other local officials.

 

DOT is contributing approximately $1.07 billion toward the $2.067 billion project. Federal funds include a core capacity construction grant agreement for $956.61 million through FTA’s Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program, and approximately $116 million through the Department’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program. The CIG funds will be provided over the course of nine years on an annual payment schedule, subject to Congressional approval during the annual appropriations process.

 

The CIG Program is the nation’s primary grant program for funding major transit capital investments. Projects accepted into the highly competitive program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law in order to receive program funds. For more information about the program, please visit FTA’s web site.

 

 

Congress Certifies Trump. Growing 1000s Say NO! Vow To STOP Trump/Pence Fascist Regime Before It Starts!

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

From: RefuseFascism.org

Mission and Plan for a Month of Massive Resistance   

 

“Imagine if people, in the tens of millions, filled the streets, powerfully declaring that this regime is illegitimate and demanding that it not be allowed to rule!  The whole political landscape would be dramatically transformed, every faction within the established power structure would be forced to respond—and all this could well lead to a situation in which this fascist regime is actually prevented from ruling. This is not some idle dream but something which could be made a reality if all those who hate what is represented by this fascist regime translate their outrage into firm determination and massive mobilization to create the conditions which make this possible,” says the Mission and Plan for a Month of Massive Resistance

 

Congress certified Donald Trump’s election. Democrat Joe Biden said, “It’s over.” But growing 1000’s, including many prominent voices are saying it is NOT over! “We certify this fascist regime as illegitimate,” Carl Dix, one of RefuseFascism.org‘s initiators, declared today. “We are going to #FloodDC!”

 

Growing numbers of prominent voices, including Cornel West, Alice Walker, Rosie O’Donnell, Ed Asner and many others, along with thousands of signers, called for millions to take the streets in political protest and resistance to prevent what they argue is a fascist regime from taking power in a full-page signed ad in the New York Times on Wednesday. “Stop the Trump/Pence Regime Before It Starts!” it states.

 

“Today’s Congressional vote underscores the urgency and truth of our Call to Action, Dix says, which states:

 

 

“[Stopping Trump/Pence] is not wishful thinking but could be made a reality if all who hate what is represented by this fascist regime translate our outrage into massive mobilization to create the political conditions which make this possible. We are millions. Our only recourse now is to act together outside normal channels. Every faction within the established power structure must be forced to respond to what we do – creating a situation where the Trump/Pence regime is prevented from ruling.”

For Interviews with Initiators of RefuseFascism.org and signers of the Call to Action, including concerning plans to #FloodDC, contact: Larry Everest 917-553-8972

Go to RefuseFascism.org for Initiators, Call to Action, Plan to STOP Trump/Pence, schedule of Protests and Events @RefuseFascism Facebook: RefuseFascism #NoFascist2017

 

BACKGROUND

Prominent scientists, actors, musicians, intellectuals, activists, religious leaders, and over 3,000 others, have called for massive protests and resistance to “Stop the Trump/Pence Regime Before It Starts!” in a full-page signed ad on January 4 in the New York Times.

 

 

The declaration, “NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America” warns that Trump is “assembling a regime of grave danger” whose fascist character “renders it illegitimate and an immoral peril to the future of humanity and the earth itself.”

 

 

They state: “millions must rise up in a resistance with a deep determination such that we create a political crisis that prevents the Trump/Pence fascist regime from consolidating its hold on the governance of society.” To achieve that they call for “protests that don’t stop—where people refuse to leave, occupying public space, and more and more people stand up with conviction and courage.”

 

 

Signers to this “Call to Action” from RefuseFascism.org include: Imam Aiyub Abdul-Baki, Justice Committee, Islamic Leadership Council of New York; Ed Asner, actor; Bill Ayers, activist, educator; Charles Burnett, filmmaker; Isabel Cardenas, Salvadoran-American activist; Margaret Cho, comedian, actor; Chuck D, rapper, author; Joe Dante, filmmaker; Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party, USA; Alex Ebert, musician; Niles Eldredge, evolutionary biologist; Eve Ensler, playwright; Merrill Garbus, Founding band member, tUnE-yArDs; Pastor Gregg L. Greer, Freedom First International, SCLC; Lalah Hathaway, singer; Marc Lamont Hill, CNN commentator and professor, Morehouse College; Chase Iron Eyes, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; Evelyn Fox Keller, Professor Emerita of History and Philosophy of Science, MIT; Robin D.G. Kelley, Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA; Wayne Kramer, musician; John Landis, filmmaker; Vic Mensa, rapper; Debra Messing, actor; jessica Care moore, poet; Thurston Moore, singer, songwriter, guitarist of Sonic Youth; PZ Myers, evolutionary developmental biologist; Rosie O’Donnell, comedian, actor; Arturo O’Farrill, composer and musician; Michelle Phillips, musician; Milton Saier, PhD, Professor of Molecular Biology UCSD; Yusef Salaam, one of the Central Park Five; Michael Shannon, actor; Danny Simmons, visual artist; David Strathairn, actor; Alice Walker, author; Cornel West, writer and professor; Saul Williams, poet and performer. (Organizations, institutions listed for ID purposes only)

 

 

NAACP President Brooks to Testify at Sessions Nomination for Attorney General Jan 10-11

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A week after statewide demonstrations and a sit-in arrest at the offices of US Attorney General nominee and Senator Jeff Sessions, NAACP President/CEO Cornell William Brooks will be one of only four opposition voices allowed to testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee about his fitness for the position of US Attorney General. The hearing will take place on Jan. 10-11 at the Russell Senate Office building.

Last week President Brooks, along with the Alabama branches of the NAACP, led statewide demonstrations at Senator Sessions’ offices in Dothan, Montgomery, Huntsville, Birmingham, and Mobile, AL. In Mobile, Brooks was arrested along with Alabama’s State President Benard Simelton and four other NAACP members for conducting a civil disobedience protest and charged with second degree criminal trespass.

“As a matter of conscience and conviction, we will continue to call on our members and supporters to escalate direct action, demonstrations civil disobedience to support democracy and oppose a nomination that imperils our democratic right to vote,” said NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks.

A nominee with a record of refusing to acknowledge the reality of voter suppression across American and in the home state of the Voting Rights Act, Alabama, can’t be trusted to protect voting rights in particular or civil rights in general. Indeed, a nominee with a record of voicing support for the discriminatory voter ID laws that are the very means of voter suppression cannot be relied upon prosecute cases of voter suppression.”  

Brooks is one of only four opposition witnesses that the Republican-majority committee is allowing to testify. Only nine witnesses are currently being allowed to speak. In another unusual move, Senator Sessions has refused to recuse himself from voting for his own nomination.

“Senator Sessions right to vote for himself is protected in U.S. Senate while leaving the right of citizens to vote unprotected in precincts in Alabama and across America — The senator has done little and said virtually nothing about the ugly reality of voter suppression,” Brooks said.

While eager to testify, Brooks is also calling upon NAACP members and supporters around the nation to write, call, post, tweet and protest their opposition to the nomination.

As the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, the NAACP has continued to ppose Senator Sessions based on a record on voting rights that is unreliable at best and hostile at worst; a failing record on other civil rights including those of women, immigrant, and LGBT communities; a raciallyoffensive record of remarks and behavior; and a dismal record on criminal justice reform issues. 

Sessions’s voting record has been graded no higher than F on the NAACP’s federal legislative report card on civil rights issues. He has voted against the NAACP’s position 90 percent of the time while in Congress, where he has voted consistently against immigration, police accountability, voter protections and women rights. He is one of the first cabinet nominees to appear before the Senate from the incoming administration of President-elect Donald J. Trump.

The NAACP has requested Senator Sessions to withdraw from the confirmation process and that President-elect Trump replace him with a candidate with a clear record of protecting the rights the Attorney General is sworn by oath to protect. The NAACP stands with a coalition that includes hundreds of civil rights groups, law professors and elected officials in opposing his nomination.

Members of the NAACP Alabama State Conference are also expected to travel to Washington DC to attend the hearing for Sessions, scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. U.S. senators could vote as early as next week on the nomination.   

For information on the hearings, including a list of witnesses, visit the Senate Committee on the Judiciary at: http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/meetings/01/03/2017/attorney-general-nomination-01-10-17

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Announces National Day of Racial Healing January 17

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
 

Initiated by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Enterprise, a National Day of Racial Healing on January 17 Will Help Americans Heal and Overcome Deep Racial Divisions

 
 

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Just five days before inauguration of Donald Trump as the country’s 45th President, millions of Americans on January 15 will celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For many, memories of the civil rights icon revolve around his momentous “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, calling for an end to racism and to the expansion of economic opportunities.

Dr. King’s brilliance – strategic leadership of the Civil Rights Movement to unparalleled courage and integrity – is often over shadowed by the speech that scholars hailed as the 20th century’s top public address in the U.S. Unfortunately, Dr. King’s dream of equality articulated in 1963 remains unfulfilled in many communities today – a reality affirming the continued structural inequities and bias spurring widespread disparities in social conditions and opportunities for people of color.

Think about Dr. King’s powerful vision. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” That’s the America many of us strive to create, but clearly, despite progress in some areas, we are still seeking to realize.

Furthermore, the vitriolic, divisive rhetoric and raw emotions raging throughout the past year pulled the scab off a persistent wound in the American psyche, bringing the issue of race front and center and exposing the divides in our society. What does the nation do about it? How do we move forward on a path toward racial equity that facilitates racial healing, dismantles structural racism and lifts vulnerable children on a path to success?

To-be-sure, America has made progress over the decades. Government and the courts enacted statutes and rulings ranging from Brown v. Board of Education to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the Fair Housing Act of 1968 that outlawed public discrimination, while purportedly providing equal opportunities. Yet, these actions only addressed the effects of racism, not its core foundation. Time has demonstrated that government and courts can enact and uphold laws, but they don’t change hearts, minds and souls or address the root cause of racism.

Racism is rooted in the false belief in a human hierarchy, an antiquated taxonomy of the human family, which has fueled structural racism and conscious and unconscious bias throughout U.S. culture with a perception of inferiority or superiority based on race, physical characteristics or place of origin. Whites are placed at the top and all other racial groups in descending order. This absurd notion, which science has soundly discredited, was used to justify colonization and enslavement for centuries. And the false ideology fuels white supremacist movements and other overt expressions of racial and ethnic hatred and bigotry.

The United States has witnessed how the belief manifests in many ways. From coast to coast, communities experience disparities for people of color in health, education, employment and housing.

Furthermore, high profile police shootings involving people of color has fueled the perception that the criminal justice system is unfair and bias. In fact, a study by University of California, Davis anthropologist Cody Ross found “evidence of a significant bias in the killing of unarmed black Americans relative to unarmed white Americans, in that the probability of being black, unarmed, and shot by police is about 3.49 times the probability of being white, unarmed, and shot by police on average.”

It appears Dylann Roof, the convicted murderer of nine worshippers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, was motivated by a belief that he was somehow superior to blacks and others. Friends said Roof complained that “blacks were taking over the world” and he vowed to start a race war

Dr. King understood that the belief in racial hierarchy created barriers to our country’s capacity to fulfill the promise of our democratic ideals. It is time for us to fully eliminate this hierarchy of human value and jettison the antiquated concept. Only then can all of our children be embraced not because of the color of their skin or other physical characteristics, but by their innate essence, their humanity.

Our country needs racial healing and a sustained effort to avert the racism that influences public and private systems, practices and policies. The racial healing can move us toward one another in a spirit of wholeness and love. A transformative, positive change can come from this shift in our individual and collective consciousness and the resulting actions we take on behalf of ourselves, our children and future generations of our human family.

After decades of funding diverse communities to help improve the lives of vulnerable children, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) leadership recognizes the need for racial healing and eliminating racism, and replacing it with the affirmation of our equal and shared humanity. The hierarchy of human value is deeply embedded consciously, systematically, structurally and unconsciously by the people and systems adhering to it.

Removing it from our society will require a concerted effort over time. The Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) enterprise created by WKKF and a broad coalition of organizations from all sectors of society is working to end the belief and facilitate racial healing. TRHT is a community-driven vehicle for transformative change. The TRHT approach examines how the belief system became embedded in our society, both its culture, and structures, and then works with communities to design and implement effective actions that will permanently uproot it. We are marshaling individual, local, public and private resources to dismantle systemic, structurally-based patterns of discrimination at the municipal, county, state, Tribal and federal levels.

At a recent summit, 570 people representing the 130 TRHT partner organizations issued a call to action to designate January 17, 2017 as the inaugural National Day of Racial Healing in America.

Communities, organizations and individuals will acknowledge that deep, racial divides still exist and must be overcome and healed. They will commit to engaging representatives from all racial, ethnic, religious, gender, and identity groups in genuine efforts to increase understanding, improve communications, caring and respect for one another and the perceived other.

These actions will help create a new narrative that refutes the belief in a hierarchy of human value and replaces it with the scientifically proven assertion that we’re all descendants of one human ancestry and guided by an inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Our country’s make-up has changed significantly since its founding, and the demographic changes are continual. Immigration and birth rates, among other contributing factors, are altering the face of communities. Already, children of color represent the majority of children in the country, and far too many are in poverty.

For these new challenges, America needs a new reality, grounded in racial healing so that the work of ending racial disparities can boldly move forward and all children have opportunities to succeed. It is time to focus our energy, resources and discourse on eliminating the false ideology of a hierarchy of human value so we can cultivate and grow what must be valued most: our common humanity.

(Dr. Gail C. Christopher is a WKKF senior advisor and vice president for TRHT. To schedule print or broadcast interviews with Dr. Christopher, please contact Michael K. Frisby at mike@frisbyassociates.com or 202-625-4328. The America’s Wire is an independent new service sponsored by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.)

Photo: Dr. Gail C. Christopher, America’s Wire Writers Group

National Veterans Art Museum Acquires Thirty-One Screen Prints by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Sponsorship to purchase the Vonnegut collection provided by generosity of the Nielsen Family.
 
Chicago, IL – The National Veterans Art Museum’s (NVAM) has announced the major acquisition of 31 screen prints created by the late World War II veteran and famed author Kurt Vonnegut Jr., currently on view in the museum’s exhibit Vonnegut’s Odyssey. The series of artwork highlights the post-war experience, specifically the many facets of the universal story of the veteran’s return home. The Vonnegut collection is a significant addition to the NVAM permanent collection, which includes over 2,500 works created by veteran artists. In recent years, the museum has been expanding its collection to include veteran-created art from all eras, from WWII to the present. NVAM Executive Director, Brendan Foster states, “The Vonnegut collection is a pivotal acquisition that illustrates both the ubiquitous nature of the veteran experience and the world-class quality of National Veterans Art Museum’s collection and exhibitions.”
                                                                                            “Black Heart”

The acquisition was made possible by the generous support and sponsorship of the Nielsen Family. On behalf of the family, Peter Nielsen offered to underwrite the acquisition in memory of their beloved wife and mother, Faith Nielsen. As an artist herself, as well as the wife and mother to wartime veterans, Faith recognized the importance of the National Veterans Art Museum and believed that there is a nobility in Veteran art that should be shared and celebrated. Peter Nielsen shares, “The Nielsen Family takes great pride in sponsoring The Vonnegut Collection at The NVAM in honor of Faith Nielsen. The Vonnegut Collection is a perfect exhibition to honor both Faith’s memory and Veteran’s art. Just from the examples of Kurt Vonnegut’s artwork and his literature, the Nielsen Family is quite certain that Faith and Kurt would have been great friends.”

Vonnegut enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943 and was deployed to fight overseas in Europe during WWII. He was later captured at the Battle of the Bulge and served as a Prisoner of War until 1945 when he returned to the U.S. and was awarded the Purple Heart. These experiences largely shaped his creative endeavors including his well-known published literature and his body of artwork. From WWII through Vietnam and until his death in 2007, Vonnegut was an active voice in American culture and society—openly discussing war and its effects publicly.

After establishing himself as an important American author during the late 1960’s with the publication of Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), Vonnegut later became recognized for his drawings that often accompanied his writings. These drawings vary in subject matter from his Purple Heart to his illustrious Asterisk. Building on these drawings, Vonnegut worked with printer Joe Petro III to create a prolific catalog of artwork. Exhibited together, these artworks reflect Vonnegut’s experience of returning home from World War II.

“Tralfamadorian, Polychrome”      

In fostering this dialogue about the long-term reintegration process experienced by veterans, Vonnegut’s Odyssey captures NVAM’s mission to inspire greater understanding of the real impact of war and offer visitors a chance to see the world through veterans’ artwork, as well as one of the 20th Century’s most impactful creative minds.

About the National Veterans Art Museum
Located in Chicago IL, the National Veterans Art Museum’s (NVAM) comprehensive permanent collection of combat inspired art comprises over 2,500 pieces. The collection includes art from the time of World War II to the present day. The collection was built to evoke an understanding of the impact of combat on the individuals who served as well as our society at large. And the permanent collection—spanning over 30 years—continues to grow it includes painting, print, photography and sculpture.  

“Back Door”
While the NVAM is one of the only museums in the world to collect and exhibit artwork exclusively created by veterans in a permanent exhibition, it also provides important programming for veterans, their families, and the community. For more information about the National Veterans Art Museum, visit www.nvam.org, or call 312-326-0270.

‘Our First Stand’ Rallies Set From Coast to Coast in a Major Show of Grassroots Support of Critical Health Care Programs Under Assault by Republicans

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, D. C. – More than a dozen rallies have been scheduled from coast to coast on Jan. 15 – and more are being planned – in a major show of grassroots support for critical health care programs under assault by Republicans in the new session of Congress.

The nationwide day of action – “Our First Stand: Save Health Care” – is being organized by Senate and House Democratic Leaders Charles E. Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Bernie Sanders, the leader of outreach efforts for Senate Democrats.

Schumer and Sanders will speak at a major event at a United Auto Workers hall in Warren, Michigan. Pelosi will speak at a rally in San Francisco. Other events are set for Chicago, Philadelphia and other cities nationwide. More rallies will be announced in the coming week. (To see the list, click here.)

“Democrats are united in fighting back against Republicans who want to make America sick again by cutting Medicare, Medicaid and repealing the Affordable Care Act. We are going to link arm in arm and stand together as we fight to protect health care for millions of Americans,” Schumer said.

“After years of the GOP’s fevered, fact-free crusade against the Affordable Care Act, Republicans’ repeal plan will have cold, hard consequences for millions of Americans,” Pelosi said. “The Republican Congress is declaring all-out war on affordable health care in our country, and we must not allow them to Make America Sick Again. Democrats will not stand by and allow Republicans to dismantle the health and economic security of hard-working Americans.”

“The American people will not allow Republicans to throw 30 million Americans off of health insurance, privatize Medicare, make massive cuts in Medicaid, raise the cost of prescription drugs for seniors and, at the same time, provide massive tax breaks to the top 1 percent,” Sanders said.

Despite campaign promises by President-elect Donald Trump not to cut Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security, Senate and House Republicans began in this week’s opening days of the new Congress to take away health insurance for more than 30 million Americans, end Medicare as we know it, threaten nursing home care for seniors, choke off support for Planned Parenthood and jack up prescription drug prices.

“If Mr. Trump allows the Republican Party to go ahead with its plans, it will dismantle the health care system and jeopardize the economic security of millions of Americans,” Sanders said. “Our message to the Republicans is simple and straightforward. You are not going to get away with it. You are not going to punish the elderly, disabled veterans, the children, the sick and the poor while you reward your billionaire friends.”

Health care activists, trade unions, senior citizen groups and others are working to coordinate the rallies on Jan. 15.

For more information, contact: Matt House (Schumer) 347-907-2595
Drew Hammill (Pelosi) 202-360-5829
Michael Briggs (Sanders) 802-233-8653

 

Federal Funds Stolen From Non-Profit Health Care Clinic

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Investigation Leads to Former CEO

Shuttered clinic

Jonathan Dunning used clinic money to buy this now-shuttered facility, titled the building in his company’s name, and charged about $20,000 a month in rent.

The staff of two non-profit health care clinics diligently worked to offer critical medical care and services to the most vulnerable residents—young and old—of the Birmingham, Alabama, region. And to carry out its operations, the clinics received funds from a federal program specifically designed to offer a community safety net for the uninsured, the poor, the homeless, migrant and seasonal farm workers, and public housing residents.

But enter Jonathan Dunning, former CEO of both non-profits who—while working for the clinics and even after he left—orchestrated and carried out a seven-year criminal scheme to defraud the clinics and the federal government out of more than $16 million. The scheme severely affected the quality of care that clinic patients received.

After a joint federal investigation into his activities, Dunning was eventually convicted on nearly 100 counts of fraud and money laundering-related charges and was recently sentenced to a federal prison term of 18 years. He was also ordered to pay $13.5 million in restitution to the entities he defrauded, in addition to an order of forfeiture that divested him of any interest in real property he obtained through his criminal scheme.

The FBI portion of the investigation began in 2011 when the Birmingham FBI Field Office received an allegation that former CEO Dunning was taking money from the two clinics through seemingly illegal contracts with the group of for-profit businesses he had created. Our investigator soon learned that the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) had recently opened up its own investigation into Dunning after receiving similar allegations, so both agencies joined forces. An agent from the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID) rounded out the team.

As a result of the investigation, law enforcement learned that Dunning had begun his scheme to skim some of the federal funds earmarked for the clinics while serving as their CEO, and he was able to continue the scheme even after he left and formed his own businesses, known collectively as Synergy companies. Dunning selected the men who replaced him as CEO for each clinic and was able to steer a variety of contracts to his own companies.

The investigation was extensive—FBI forensic accountants painstakingly examined the clinics’ and a related credit union’s accounting records. Investigators reviewed Dunning’s personal financials and the records of his for-profit businesses, as well as his electronic communications. They also interviewed over a hundred witnesses, including Dunning’s former employees from the clinics, persons affiliated with Synergy companies, and bankers associated with real estate transactions.

And investigators also found Dunning living a lavish lifestyle that had been funded by his fraud. Dunning was living large up until the moment of his arrest, which occurred in a luxury hotel room.

What was the impact of Dunning’s actions on the clinics he formerly oversaw? It was significant. Less money going to patient care meant that a number of doctors and other staff members had to be let go over time, aging equipment wasn’t replaced, and much-needed maintenance on the buildings went undone.

Eventually, as a result of Dunning’s actions, one of the health clinics had to close, leaving one less facility in Alabama to care for its most vulnerable residents. But the second clinic remains open for business, although it has changed its name.

Upon Dunning’s October 2016 sentencing, FBI Birmingham Special Agent in Charge Roger Stanton said, “Stealing money away from programs that provided health care to poor and homeless people in order to live lavishly is an abominable crime. The FBI and its law enforcement partners are committed to joining forces and putting in the hours, and years if necessary, to stop this kind of crime.”

Source: FBI

“Unbreaking The Heart: How to Forgive Anybody for Anything in 5 Simple Steps”

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Relationship Coach Leroy Scott releases new book, “Unbreaking The Heart: How to Forgive Anybody for Anything in 5 Simple Steps”

 

Scott believes that people can actually die from a broken heart and offers a cure to un-break the broken heart. 

Leroy Scott, author of Unbreaking the Heart

Zachary, LA (BlackNews.com) – Esteemed African-American author, professional counselor and relationship coach, Leroy Scott, who has been providing marriage, family, and relationship counseling since 1997, has recently released Un-breaking The Heart – a new book that addresses the importance of un-breaking a broken heart.

Scott believes that people can actually die from a broken heart and that historically only the symptoms of a broken heart have been treated, such as depression, anxiety, suicidal ideations and others, without reviving the heart itself. Scott has been studying this issue for over 15 years, particularly within the African-American community and concludes that one of the biggest issues affecting African Americans is the residual affects of a broken heart that have never been unbroken.

Scotts work is groundbreaking for the field of medicine, psychology, theology and counseling. The approach to forgiveness Scott has created can change how people bounce back from what most people thought was only a myth A Broken Heart. As African Americans, we have always been told by our churches to forgive, but we were never showed how to do it. So we just said it. My book, Un-breaking The Heart, reveals not only how to do it, but how forgiveness works to un-break the broken heart, says Scott.


About the Author
Leroy Scott, MS, MDiv, LPC, NCC is a nationally recognized Professional Counselor & Relationship Coach with over 15 years of private practice experience. He has written for popular magazines and been a guest on television and radio talk shows. He has built his reputation on saving families and relationships. He is known across the country as “The REAL-ationship Coach”. Leroy has become a new voice for men, women and families around the world. He has a unique way of being real, going deep and bringing insight that helps people fix their relationships. He has authored many other books such as Creating Possibilities in Marriage and Getting Inside Your Man.


About the Book
Un-breaking The Heart offers a simple 5-step process (Realization, Reconciliation, Redemptive, Revealing & Recovery) on how to forgive anybody for anything and move past the pain which is deeply masked sometimes by anger and rage.

The book helps people resolve anger and restore hope to their life, shows them how to forgive and explains whats happening in each phase of the process, and helps them navigate through difficult emotions. Broken hearts are normally caused when people feel violated, abandoned or betrayed. They produce emotions and behaviors that promote an unhealthy lifestyle such unresolved anger, irrational thoughts, self-persecutory guilt, low self-esteem, depression, unmanageable anxiety, difficulty focusing, concentrating and sometimes suicidal and homicidal ideations. The book offers an answer.


For more details and/or to purchase the book, visit www.leroyscott.com or www.Amazon.com

Photo Caption: Author Leroy Scott and his bookcover

 

Racism and Hatred Have no Place on Our Nation’s School Boards

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

By Marc H. Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League

 
“Mr. Paladino is an elected official charged with the responsibility to represent children and families in a district comprised of over 70% Black, Brown, Asian, Immigrant and other minority students and families; And, Mr. Paladino took an oath to ensure that students are afforded an environment which is free from fear and respects diversity within the school district and the community and is subject to all district policies;  ….  These unambiguously racist, morally repugnant, flagrantly disrespectful, inflammatory and inexcusable comments by Mr. Paladino have garnered both local, national, and international attention that reflects negatively on the Buffalo Board of Education, the City of Buffalo and its leadership and its citizens, the State of New York, and every decent human being in America and abroad who has been shocked and offended by his words;”— Resolution by the Buffalo School Board demanding Carl Paladino’s resignation

The national wave of racist, vicious invective unleashed by the 2016 Presidential campaign is well-documented. Hundreds of hate crimes have been reported to watchdog groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center. Social media is awash in cell-phone video of racially-motivated confrontations invoking the name of the President-elect.

But the recent hateful tirade of failed New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino stands out among the others. Warning: his words are difficult to read.

When the Buffalo weekly newspaper Artvoice asked locals their hopes for 2017, many gave positive, community-minded answers: “A return to shopping in communities and brick-and-mortar stores,” “the Bills get in the playoffs,” or “more kindness.”  Carl Paladino hopes President “Obama catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Hereford. He dies before his trial and is buried in a cow pasture next to Valerie Jarret, who died weeks prior, after being convicted of sedition and treason, when a Jihady cell mate mistook her for being a nice person and decapitated her.”

What do Buffalonians want to see go away in 2017? “Hate.” “Discrimination.” “Preconceived stereotypes.”  Carl Palidino wants to see Michelle Obama “return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.”

In response to the horrified national outcry over his reprehensible remarks, Paladino first rebuffed inquiring journalists with an obscenity, then penned a defiant non-apology, defending his words as “deprecating humor.”

Paladino is certainly no stranger to this brand of so-called “humor.” During his failed 2010 gubernatorial run, a local news site exposed racist and pornographic emails Paladino had shared with associates.  While he lost the election in a landslide, garnering only a third of the vote, he managed to be elected to the Buffalo School Board in 2013.

The Buffalo School Board is to be commended for its swift rejection of Paladino’s hateful statements, and its recognition that a man who holds such views cannot be entrusted with the education of children. If Paladino does not heed the demands of the Board and resign, we expect NYS Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia to pursue his removal.

The President and CEO of our affiliate in Buffalo, Brenda W. McDuffie, has been outspoken on this issue, and we urge the entire Urban League community to unite in opposition to Paladino’s hatefulness by signing the petition urging his removal.

In fairness, when ArtVoice asked Investigative Post editor Jim Heaney what he’s like to see go away in 2017, Heaney responded, “Carl Paladino.”  We couldn’t agree more.

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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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