September , 2018

Religion/Commentary Live
SPRINGFIELD, IL –Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) Director Candice Jones commended Governor Bruce ...
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White reminded people to travel safely on November 21st, known ...
Comptroller moves forward with paying state employees CHICAGO, IL - Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger released ...
By Chinta Strausberg   U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-1st) appeared at a recent political forum held ...
CHICAGO, IL — The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced that women ...
The Illinois Department of Corrections has entered into a settlement agreement in the case of ...
Honors 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference and Women’s Business and Buyer Mart       During the Metropolitan ...
Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) -- Felecia Poole, Los Angeles-based author, debuts her new ...
CHICAGO, IL -  On Friday, June 17th, Chicago Votes will be hosting "Automate It: Chicago ...

Archive for March 10th, 2017

Attorney General Madigan Collects Nearly $1 Billion in State Revenue in 2016

Posted by Admin On March - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Recoveries for state pension systems brings total pension recoveries

by Attorney General Madigan to over $400 million


CHICAGO, IL — Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced her office collected $989,858,586 in revenue on behalf of the state through litigation and collection efforts in 2016. Since Madigan took office, her office has collected over $13 billion on behalf of the state.


“I am committed to continuing my work to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for Illinois during this terrible fiscal crisis that has harmed our state,” Madigan said. “In total, I have brought in more than $13 billion for the state since I took office including millions of dollars in funding for our state’s pension systems.”


The revenue collected by Madigan in 2016 included $47.5 million for Illinois’ pension systems from settlements with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs for the investment banks’ misconduct in its marketing and sale of risky residential mortgage-backed securities leading up to the 2008 economic collapse. The settlement with Goldman Sachs also included $16 million in consumer relief. In addition to those settlements, Madigan has reached five other settlements relating to investments in mortgage-backed securities that have secured over $400 million of relief for the pension systems.


In addition, Madigan’s office collected over $346 million through collections litigation, including cases involving the collection of funds for damage to state property, child support enforcement, fines and penalties. Madigan also collected more than $278 million through tobacco litigation and more than $317 million in estate tax revenues.




NAACP Responds to Renewed Muslim Ban

Posted by Admin On March - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

BALTIMORE, MD — The NAACP released the following statement regarding the most-recent Muslim Ban executive order from President Trump:


The new executive order restricting travel from six Muslim-majority countries is just the latest in a series of actions that threaten our nation’s values.  In a few short months, this administration has withdrawn from voting rights cases, reversed course on private prisons, revoked guidance on transgender youth, intensified immigration raids, and announced its intention to limit investigation of abusive and discriminatory law enforcement.  The message is clear: this administration is unwilling to protect and is in some cases actively targeting vulnerable communities.

Even though the new executive order purports to be rooted in national security interests, it cannot mask its true origins. The civil rights community is keenly aware of seemingly neutral laws that mask intentional discrimination. We have seen poll taxes and literacy tests being imposed as supposedly race neutral voter qualification measures.  We continue to see voter ID laws that act as modern day poll taxes that rob communities of their vote.  Regardless of the smokescreen of security justifications, this executive order is a continuation of the administration’s stated goal: the implementation of a Muslim ban.

Just as we fight against voter suppression and police brutality, the NAACP continues to stand against discrimination based on racial identity, ethnicity, national origin, or religion.  We know that actions that rely on unfounded assumptions about dangerousness will always come at the expense of the most vulnerable populations.  We have seen the results of the divisive rhetoric that forms the true rationale for this executive order.  We are witnessing a record number of hate crimes—including the death of an Indian student, Jewish cemeteries being defaced and community centers being threatened, and numerous attacks based on xenophobia and Islamophobia. We know that this hatred is poisonous and antithetical to the ideals that we fight to uphold.

The NAACP is made up of Christians, Muslims, Jews, and more.  Our members are individuals of many religions and some of no religion.  We stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters. We will join in protest of this ban.  We will continue to fight for equal rights for all, for policies based on evidence and not on fear.


Seat Belts on School Buses Bill Passes House Committee

Posted by Admin On March - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Jesse White, Rep. Lang Pushing Legislation


Legislation supported by Secretary of State Jesse White requiring seat belts on school buses in Illinois passed the House Transportation Vehicles and Safety Committee today and now moves to the full House of Representatives. House Bill 3377 sponsored by Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) requires 3-point seat belts on school buses. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) supports 3-point seat belts in school buses.


“Nothing is more important than the lives and safety of our children,” said White. “I served with Rep. Lang in the House and appreciate his commitment to this issue over the years. With improvements in the technology of seat belts, along with NHTSA’s recommendation, now is the time to pass legislation pushing for a significant change in protecting our children on school buses.”


In late 2015, NHTSA endorsed seat belts on school buses due in large part to improved technology with 3-point safety belts. Up until NHTSA’s endorsement, federal and state safety organizations have largely remained neutral on the issue, with expressed concerns on whether 2-point lap seat belts improved the overall safety of a child riding a school bus. However, 3-point safety belts better protect children due to their ability to diffuse the forceful and sudden movement the body sustains during a crash over the chest, waist and shoulder areas.


“While school buses are a safe form of transportation, there is no amount of safety which could ever be enough to protect our children,” Lang said. “It is time to provide that safety by making sure that kids have seatbelts on their way to and from school just as if a parent was driving them.”


Six states — California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Louisiana and Texas — have passed laws requiring seat belts in school buses.


Illinois is a national leader in school bus safety. In order to drive a school bus in Illinois, a person must obtain a special school bus permit, which is more involved than obtaining a typical CDL. To obtain the school bus permit, an applicant must possess a valid driver’s license that has not been revoked or suspended for at least three years prior to application. In addition, they must pass written and road school bus driver permit exams and must submit to and pass an Illinois-specific FBI criminal background check. The school bus permit must be renewed each year and requires an annual refresher classroom training course. The applicant must pass an annual physical examination, which includes drug testing.


“My mission is to make Illinois roads the safest ever,” said White. “This new legislation will help us accomplish this goal.”

AARP Opposes Special Interest Health Care Bill

Posted by Admin On March - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Legislation would weaken Medicare, hike insurance premiums on those who can least afford it, and give tax breaks to big drug companies


Washington, DC – In a statement AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond announced AARP’s opposition to the House plan that would make harmful changes to our current health care system such as shortening the life of Medicare, hiking costs for those who can least afford higher insurance premiums, risking seniors’ ability to live independently, and giving tax breaks to big drug companies and health insurance companies:


“AARP opposes this legislation as introduced that would weaken Medicare, leaving the door open to a voucher program that shifts costs and risks to seniors.


“Before people even reach retirement age, big insurance companies would be allowed to charge them an age tax that adds up to thousands of dollars more per year. Older Americans need affordable health care services and prescriptions.  This plan goes in the opposite direction, increasing insurance premiums for older Americans and not doing anything to lower drug costs.
“On top of the hefty premium increase for consumers, big drug companies and other special interests get a sweetheart deal.
“Finally, Medicaid cuts could impact people of all ages and put at risk the health and safety of 17.4 million children and adults with disabilities and seniors by eliminating much needed services that allow individuals to live independently in their homes and communities.
Although no one believes the current health care system is perfect, this harmful legislation would make health care less secure and less affordable.”


AARP stands ready to work with both parties on legislation that puts Americans’ health care first, not the special interests.



Enlightened, Inc. Delivers $200,000 Gift to Howard University’s School of Business for the Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity, Education & Research

Posted by Admin On March - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Groundbreaking Center of Excellence will address the employability and competitiveness of the next wave of Cybersecurity 
professionals in the region

Dr. Barron Harvey, dean, Howard University School of Business; Antwanye Ford, president/CEO, Enlightened; Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, president, Howard University; and Andre Rogers, executive vice president/CFO, Enlightened, celebrate the $200,000 gift from Enlightened Inc., initiating the CECER partnership.


Washington, DC  -Enlightened, Inc. has partnered with the Howard University School of Business to create the region’s premier Center of Excellence for workforce development, professional training and research in Cybersecurity. The Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity, Education and Research Center (CECER) will be housed at Howard University. Enlightened has gifted $200,000 to the university, signifying the new partnership.


With continued cyber attacks across many government and business sectors, the industry is projected to see the demand for highly trained cyber security professionals and executives increase exponentially in the Greater Washington area and nationally.


“The CECER will address growing challenges Cybersecurity companies face recruiting and hiring qualified professionals. As a native Washingtonian and longtime supporter of Howard University addressing diversity and workforce development issues is long overdue in such a lucrative industry. Being able to not only change the trajectory of current professionals in the region but also local residents is an endeavor that we at Enlightened are proud to lead”, said Antwanye Ford, President and CEO of Enlightened.

“We need our students to see people like themselves and have mentors to guide them to get where they need to go,” said President Wayne A.I. Frederick in a release distributed by Howard’s Office of University Communications. “Two of our concerns are data recovery and data security. I can ensure you that the best students are here at Howard University.”


The CECER will provide dynamic resources to the business community, higher education partners and local residents as they advance their knowledge, understanding and competitiveness in the Cybersecurity Industry.


Ron Busby, president/CEO, U.S. Black Chambers Inc.;  Dr. Barron Harvey, dean, Howard School of Business; Antwanye Ford, president/CEO, Enlightened. 

“The Howard University School of Business thanks Enlightened, Inc. for their generous donation to the CECER. Their support for this center provides unique and innovative programming for our students as they enhance their skill sets, competencies, and broaden their interest in the Information Systems and Cybersecurity industry. We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship through the Howard University CECER”, said Dr. Barron Harvey, Dean of the School of Business.


Ron Busby, president/CEO of the U. S. Black Chambers Inc., echoed the sentiments:

“When it comes to the opportunity gap in the tech industry, the obvious problem is the lack of tech training and education needed to compete for contracts and business ownership in the tech industry,” Busby said. “Antwanye Ford’s program is a stellar example of how Black leaders can begin to narrow the opportunity gap in the tech industry.”


About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The historic main campus sits on a hilltop in Northwest Washington blocks from the storied U Street and Howard Theatre. The University remains committed to further enhancing its strategic positioning as one of the top research universities in the nation.


About Enlightened

Enlightened, Inc. (“Enlightened”) is an award-winning, HUB Zone certified, Information Technology (IT) and Management Consulting firm dedicated to helping our clients achieve success in meeting their objectives and solving their problems. Enlightened provides the highest level of service to our clients because we are thinking about their problems even when they are not.


Former N.J. Lawyer Sentenced To Four Years In Prison For $40.8 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Posted by Admin On March - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

CAMDEN, N.J. – A former New Jersey lawyer was sentenced today to 48 months in prison for participating in a conspiracy that caused lenders to release $40.8 million based on fraudulent mortgage loan applications and laundered the proceeds of the fraud, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.


Joseph W. Witkowski, 70, of Flemington, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.


According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:


Witkowski and his conspirators located oceanfront condominiums overbuilt by financially distressed developers in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey; premier real estate in vacation destinations in Georgia and South Carolina; and properties in New Jersey owned by financially distressed homeowners facing foreclosure. They then recruited “straw buyers” – people with good credit scores but lacking the financial resources to qualify for mortgage loans – to purchase those properties.


Witkowski and his conspirators created false documents, including fake W-2 forms, income tax returns, investment statements, and rental agreements, to make the straw buyers appear more creditworthy than they actually were. They also established numerous telephone lines for companies owned by some of the conspirators so that when a lender contacted the telephone number, the conspirators could falsely verify that a straw buyer was employed by the company listed on his or her fraudulent loan application.


Witkowski also caused fraudulent mortgage loan applications in the name of the straw buyers and supporting documents, which attributed to the straw buyers inflated income and assets, to be submitted to mortgage lenders. Once the loans were approved and the mortgage lenders sent the loan proceeds in connection with real estate closings on the properties, Witkowski and his conspirators had some of the funds wired or checks deposited into various accounts that he and his conspirators controlled.


In addition to the prison term, Judge Rodriguez sentenced Witkowski to three years of supervised release and ordered restitution of $13,105570. As part of his plea agreement, he must forfeit $2,412,899, representing the proceeds of the fraud.


U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher; and special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.


The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana Carrig of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.


Defense counsel: Maggie Moy Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden

Source: FBI

Speaker Madigan Introduces Bill Streamlining Administration of Lincoln Library

Posted by Admin On March - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
 SPRINGFIELD, IL. – Following Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposal to make the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum into a freestanding institution in his proposed state budget, Illinois Speaker Michael J. Madigan is introducing legislation to improve the administration of the library, advancing an effort prioritized by both Rauner and House Democrats.


“The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is a monument to one of Illinois’ greatest sons, and a symbol of our state’s place in American history, but the structure of its administration does not provide the museum with the clear leadership or flexibility the museum needs to fill its role as a world-class institution,” Madigan said. “This legislation puts the museum under the direct leadership of a board whose only responsibility is to the museum and this crucial piece of our history.”


Currently, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield is under the direction of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. While the library is widely recognized as one of the preeminent presidential museums in the country, it has been hampered by bureaucracy and mismanagement. Three different boards currently play a role in overseeing the museum. Madigan’s House Bill 136 separates the museum from the Historic Preservation Agency, placing it under the direction of an independent board appointed by the governor.


Streamlining the administration of the museum has been a priority for both Rauner and House Democrats. Rauner’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal called for the museum to be separated from the Historic Preservation Agency. Rauner also told legislators in 2015: “To ensure the museum and library to be the world-class institutions they deserve to be, our administration is working in partnership with Speaker Madigan on a reorganization plan.”


“The spirit of President Lincoln has always united Illinoisans, and this bill reflects a shared priority of House Democrats and the governor,” Madigan said. “House Democrats will continue to work cooperatively with the governor and seek out opportunities to streamline state government.”


Beware of Government Imposter Scams

Posted by Admin On March - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
By Lisa Lake
Consumer Education Specialist, Federal Trade Commission
Scammers sometimes pretend to be government officials to get you to send them money. They might promise lottery winnings if you pay “taxes” or other fees, or they might threaten you with arrest or a lawsuit if you don’t pay a supposed debt. Regardless of their tactics, their goal is the same: to get you to send them money.Don’t do it. Federal government agencies and federal employees don’t ask people to send money for prizes or unpaid loans. Nor are they permitted to ask you to wire money or add money to a prepaid debit card to pay for anything.

How to Recognize a Government Imposter

It could be hard to recognize an imposter through the lies they tell. They use a variety of tricks to get your attention, whether it’s distracting you with a story about money you won or creating a fear that you’ll be sued or arrested.

Here are two deceptions that they have used successfully to steal money from people:

You’ve “Won” a Lottery or Sweepstakes

Someone claiming to be a government official calls, telling you that you’ve won a federally supervised lottery or sweepstakes. They may say they’re from “the national consumer protection agency,” the non-existent National Sweepstakes Bureau, or even the very real Federal Trade Commission — and it looks like they’re calling from a legitimate number. They also might send e-mails, text messages or letters.

They might:

  • tell you you’ll have to pay taxes or service charges before you can collect your winnings
  • ask you to send money to an agent of “Lloyd’s of London” or some other well-known insurance company to “insure” delivery of your prize
  • ask you to wire money right away, often to a foreign country

The truth is that no government agency or insurance company is involved, and there are no winnings. There never were. Scammers take the money you paid them and disappear.

You Owe a Fake Debt

You might get a call or an official-looking letter that has your correct name, address and Social Security number. Often, fake debt collectors say they’re with a law firm or a government agency — for example, the FTC, the IRS or a sheriff’s office. Then, they threaten to arrest you or take you to court if you don’t pay on a debt you supposedly owe.

The truth: there’s no legitimate reason for someone to ask you to wire money or load a rechargeable money card as a way to pay back a debt. If you’re unsure whether the threat is legitimate, look up the official number for the government agency, office or employee (yes, even judges) and call to get the real story. Even if it is a real debt, you have rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Variations on these scams include people claiming to be with the IRS collecting back taxes, or scammers posing as representatives of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) who target immigration applicants and petitioners.

Five Ways to Beat a Government Imposter Scam

  1. Don’t wire money

Scammers often pressure people into wiring money, or strongly suggest that people put money on a prepaid debit card and send it to them. Why? It’s like sending cash: once it’s gone, you can’t trace it or get it back. Never deposit a “winnings” check and wire money back, either. The check is a fake, no matter how good it looks, and you will owe the bank any money you withdraw. And don’t share your account information, or send a check or money order using an overnight delivery or courier service. Con artists recommend these services so they can get your money before you realize you’ve been cheated.

  1. Don’t pay for a prize

If you enter and win a legitimate sweepstakes, you don’t have to pay insurance, taxes, or shipping charges to collect your prize. If you have to pay, it’s not a prize. And companies, including Lloyd’s of London, don’t insure delivery of sweepstakes winnings.

If you didn’t enter a sweepstakes or lottery, then you can’t have won. Remember that it’s illegal to play a foreign lottery through the mail or over the phone.

  1. Don’t give the caller your financial or other personal information

Never give out or confirm financial or other sensitive information, including your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number, unless you know who you’re dealing with. Scam artists, like fake debt collectors, can use your information to commit identity theft — charging your existing credit cards, opening new credit card, checking, or savings accounts, writing fraudulent checks, or taking out loans in your name. If you get a call about a debt that may be legitimate — but you think the collector may not be — contact the company you owe money to about the calls.

  1. Don’t trust a name or number

Con artists use official-sounding names to make you trust them. It’s illegal for any promoter to lie about an affiliation with — or an endorsement by — a government agency or any other well-known organization. No matter how convincing their story — or their stationery — they’re lying. No legitimate government official will ask you to send money to collect a prize, and they won’t call to collect your debt.

To make their call seem legitimate, scammers also use internet technology to disguise their area code. So even though it may look like they’re calling from Washington, DC, they could be calling from anywhere in the world.

  1. Put your number on the National Do Not Call Registry

Ok, so this won’t stop scammers from calling. But it should make you skeptical of calls you get from out of the blue. Most legitimate sales people generally honor the Do Not Call list. Scammers ignore it. Putting your number on the list helps to “screen” your calls for legitimacy and reduce the number of legitimate telemarketing calls you get. Register your phone number at donotcall.gov.

Report the Scam

If you get a call from a government imposter, file a complaint at ftc.gov/complaint. Be sure to include:

  • date and time of the call
  • name of the government agency the imposter used
  • what they tell you, including the amount of money and the payment method they ask for
  • phone number of the caller; although scammers may use technology to create a fake number or spoof a real one, law enforcement agents may be able to track that number to identify the caller
  • any other details from the call

Curious about other imposter scams? Check out some of our previous scam alerts. And if you haven’t already, sign up to get new scam alerts by email.

Unleash Launch Conference Kicks-Off in Chicago – Launching 1,000 Black Businesses!

Posted by Admin On March - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

The 10-city tour features a business competition offering $15,000 in start-up capital 

Robert Johnson, Managing Partner, The Solomon Group

CHICAGO, IL (BlackNews.com) — Unleash Launch 2017 kicks-off in Chicago with a powerful two-day conference to help Black professionals unleash their dreams and launch their businesses. The Lead Well Institute, PICO National Network, and the Solomon Group joined forces to create Unleash Launch; a 10-city tour to help build 1,000 businesses that will generate an estimated $5 million in new revenue in the cities of Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Memphis with more cities to be announced.

The 2-day conference commences on March 21 23, 2017, at the beautiful 19 East Event Gallery. Attendees will have access to world-class speakers, thought leaders and investors who represent a variety of professional sectors from retail to franchising, social enterprises and tech. Conference attendees will enjoy panel discussions, peer-to-peer training, and pragmatic real world insights designed to jumpstart and sustain their ventures. Unleash Launch will also feature, Entre-SLAM, a business story-telling competition where 10 cutting-edge tech and social companies will compete for up to $15,000 in start-up capital in each city.

Our goal is to Unleash the talent in 1,000 individuals who are yearning for a positive change in their lives and to Launch the dreams of 1,000 entrepreneurs who are seeking to impact culture through enterprise, said Robert Johnson, Managing Partner of the Solomon Group. For more information on Unleash Launch 2017 and the Entre-SLAM business competition, please visit www.unleash2017.com.
About the Solomon Group
The Solomon Group, LLC, provides business management, consulting, coaching and strategy development to emerging and existing companies. We also assist companies grow through franchising or help existing franchisors grow or operate more profitably in new or underserved markets. For more information, visit www.solomongroupint.com.
About the LEADWell Institute
The LEADWell Institute exists to unleash the talent within individuals and organizations and to empower others to positively transform society. The purpose of Lead Well Institute is to teach individuals and leaders to not only lead, but to lead well. Leading is an action, and leadership must be governed by values that seek a positive impact. For more information, visit www.leadwellinstitute.com.
About the PICO National Network
PICO is a national network of faith-based community organizations working to create innovative solutions to problems facing urban, suburban and rural communities. PICO helps ordinary people in public life; build a strong legacy of leadership in thousands of local communities across America. For more information, visit www.piconetwork.org.


Photo: Robert Johnson, Managing Partner, The Solomon Group



ASPIRA Educators Reach Tentative Agreement With Management

Posted by Admin On March - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Agreement will go to rank and file in coming week for review and vote, averting first strike in U.S history of charter school network.


CHICAGO, IL – Educators at ASPIRA’s charter schools came to a tentative agreement with management tonight, averting what would have been the first strike of a charter school network in U.S. history.


ASPIRA runs four publicly funded Chicago charter schools serving roughly 1,800 mostly Latino students. ASPIRA educators – all members of ACE, “A Council of Educators” with ChiACTS Local 4343, which represents educators at 32 charter schools in Chicago – have been negotiating for a new contract for ten months. In February, 99% of voting bargaining members voted to strike.


“This tentative agreement acknowledges the vital importance of union educators in the quality of education in our schools,” said acting ACE president Marines “Mari” Martinez. “This has always been about, first and foremost, creating working conditions that support the sustainability of four great schools and the students who rely on us for a quality education. We think this tentative agreement advances those goals.”


The tentative agreement includes:

  • For 2016-2017, a 3.25% raise retroactive to the start of 2nd semester.

  • For 2017-2018 a 3.0% raise.

  • Maintenance of the 2% employee pension contribution with 7% pension pick-up paid by management.

  • A reduction of the 2016-2017 school year by 1 1/2 day with NO impact on educational time for students.

  • A reduction of the 2017-2018 school year by 4 days with NO impact on educational time for students..

  • A reduction in the 2017-2018 school day from 8 hours to 7 hours and 35 minutes with NO impact on educational time for students.

  • Minimal increase in insurance costs.

  • An increase of four weeks of vacation time, plus 13 additional PTO days for 52-week counselors and mentors (these members were recently added to the bargaining unit in via an election in June 2016).

  • An increase in salary from $33,000 to $40,000 for two 52-week mentors.

  • Educators  also maintained a strong layoff policy that prohibits layoffs after the last day of the school year.


Copies of the final agreement will be made available once ratified by members.


“This has been a challenging negotiation, but the effort has opened the door to real prospects for long-term improvements in our schools,” said Martinez.


“We’ve seen some progress in recent days in management’s willingness to move more quickly to address issues related to maintenance and repairs,” said Martinez, who has joined fellow educators in recent weeks in raising the alarm about physical conditions in the schools. “In addition, we continue to explore strategies going forward to bring more financial transparency and accountability over the long term to ASPIRA’s governance of our schools, and we expect to be able to announce further developments in this effort in a joint press conference after our rank and file has had an opportunity to review and vote on this agreement.”


Recent Comments

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

Recent Posts