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Archive for April 6th, 2017

Chicago Police Clash With New Era Detroit and New Era Chicago

Posted by Admin On April - 6 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
From: New Era Detroit

CHICAGO, IL – Several members of New Era Detroit (NED) and New Era Chicago (NEC)–the flagship chapters of the New Era Nation–were violently attacked and arrested by officers of the Chicago Police Department during their first Hood2Hood community engagement program this past weekend.


The planned event was going well. NED and NEC members had spent the day cleaning and removing blight from several Chicago neighborhoods. They spoke to several residents and delivered a message of unity, hope, and empowerment. They also denounced the self-destructive violence impacting Chicagoans and other communities of color around the country. “Love of self” was the message of the day; it was black, it was beautiful, and it was peaceful.


That’s when the Chicago police arrived and everything changed.


Witnesses reported that between 30-45 police officers, without provocation or warning, began beating members with their clubs, taking and destroying all Pan-African flags, screaming profanities, racial slurs, and shoving anyone in the area not wearing a police uniform. Some officers deployed their department issued Tasers. Others pointed their guns at anyone who wasn’t law enforcement. A Chicago fireman heard an officer issue a warning to the group: “This ends today. You guys and your fucking flags. Expect this every time we see you!”


Nine individuals were arrested and charged with felony counts of Aggravated Battery of a Peace Officer. Five were released the same day. However, four members of the Detroit chapter–Zeek, Momma K, Cody, and Ron–remain in Chicago police custody. Each of the arrestee’s ten percent bonds have been set for $30,000 to $50,000.


The Detroit chapter’s legal team was able to secure legal assistance through attorneys from the Chicago chapter of the National Lawyer’s Guild who have committed to providing on-going legal support for those charged with felonies.


“This is why we exist”, Attorney Max Suchan, Chicago-NLG Mass Defense Coordinator, said. “We are dedicated to helping groups who are doing movement work whenever we can.”


To make a donation to New Era Detroit’s Bond Fund click

here. For more information, contact the organization here or via our Facebook page.


Disclaimer: Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of New Era Detroit and not those of www.copylinemagazine.com.



Correcting the Record on Property Tax Legislation

Posted by Admin On April - 6 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

As many of you know, yesterday’s deadline to pay off any delinquent property taxes from 2015 has generated a lot of news coverage – particularly around the issue of how long property owners had to pay their back taxes without being subject to the bi-annual tax sale.

Among the news coverage, there has been some misinformation spread about a bill that Senator Daniel Biss and I sponsored back in 2014 to extend the amount of time property owners had to pay their back taxes. Regrettably, some of that misinformation came from Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas last night on Chicago Tonight.

Let me start by giving you some context. Following the 2008 housing crisis, there were an exceptionally large number of Cook County residents who were delinquent on their property taxes. In an effort to provide relief to homeowners who needed more time to pay their 2009 property taxes, a series of laws were passed that gave homeowners an additional 12 months to pay their taxes. However, without action, that extension was set to expire in 2014.

So in the Spring of 2014, in order to continue providing that extra time to struggling homeowners, Senator Biss and I sponsored Senate Bill 2778, which extended the window for an additional 3 years, and was a direct initiative of the Cook County Treasurer’s office.  We passed that law because we thought it would have been wrong to abruptly end the extension, leaving homeowners with much less time to catch up on their back taxes. Remember, had we not passed SB 2778, that 12-month extension would have expired completely.

Treasurer Pappas’ mischaracterization of what this bill did, and her denial of supporting it is confusing — especially given that she wrote a letter to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle dated April 8, 2014, that demanded her personal and political support for SB 2778. She ended that letter saying, “To continue allowing your constituents reasonable time to pay their taxes, express your support for SB 2778.” We’ve included a link to that letter here for you to read.

Additionally, you should know that just last week, we passed House Bill 155, which will guarantee the 12-month extension moving forward. That bill is now under consideration in the Senate.

I hope this clears up any confusion as to what our legislation back in 2014 did and the support that we had for it from both Cook County residents and our local elected officials. Should you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at 773-924-1755 or email us at MitchellDistrict26@att.net.

Christian Mitchell
State Representative | 26th District

Illinois State Police Conduct Over 1,400 Truck Inspections During “Operation Sauter”

Posted by Admin On April - 6 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

138 Commercial Motor Vehicles and Unqualified Drivers Placed Out of Service


SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Police (ISP) announced the results of the special enforcement memorial operation dedicated to fallen ISP Trooper James Sauter, who was killed in the line of duty on March 28, 2013, when his squad was struck by a truck tractor semi-trailer at I-294 southbound at Willow Road.

ISP Troopers throughout the state aggressively patrolled Illinois roadways for 24 consecutive hours (Mar 28 – Mar 29) in remembrance of their fallen comrade. This marked the fourth consecutive year of the safety operation honoring Trooper Sauter’s memory by focusing on commercial motor vehicle (CMV) enforcement.

During ‘Operation Sauter,’ ISP Troopers conducted 1,437 Commercial Motor Vehicle Inspections, placing 138 dangerous Commercial Motor Vehicles out of service, and issued 624 Written Warnings and 123 Citations.

“The results of ‘Operation Sauter’ are a reflection of our dedication to the memory of Trooper James Sauter, and our oath to protect Illinois citizens,” said ISP Director Leo Schmitz. “I am proud of the men and women of the ISP who risk their lives each and every day, working hard to protect the motoring public along Illinois highways.”

Within the last four years, two ISP Troopers were struck and killed by commercial motor vehicles and another was seriously injured. On September 8, 2015 the Willow Road Overpass was dedicated in Trooper Sauter’s memory as the “Trooper James Sauter Memorial Overpass.”


Major Victory for Immigrant, Refugee, Domestic Violence and other Community Leaders as Illinois TRUST Act Passes Senate Executive Committee

Posted by Admin On April - 6 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Senate Executive Committee took an important step today toward making our state safer for immigrants and their families. The TRUST Act (SB-31), filed by Senate President Cullerton, passed through the committee with 11 members voting in favor, five voting present, and no opposing votes. The bill creates a bright line between local police and federal immigration agents, and sends a message to Illinois’ immigrant residents that seeking police assistance will not result in their deportation.

The bill is a rebuke to the Trump administration’s xenophobic federal immigration policies that waste local law enforcement resources and create distrust between communities and local police. Representatives from immigrant, refugee, labor and domestic violence organizations spoke at the noon hearing today on key issues in the bill.

The TRUST Act’s main provisions will:

  • Bar federal agents from schools and health facilities if they do not have a warrant,
  • Bar local law enforcement from engaging in immigration enforcement without a court-issued warrant,
  • Assist immigrant crime victims seeking legal protection, and
  • Bar local participation in a federal registry based on country of origin or religion

“This is a major step forward for our coalition leaders, who have worked tirelessly on our Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois.” said Lawrence Benito, chief executive officer at Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, one of the lead sponsors of the TRUST Act. “There is an immediate need for our elected officials to listen to our leaders and take action at the state level to keep communities safe and protected from these vicious threats and attacks on our rights.”

“We must all work together to help make our communities safer for everyone,” said Trisha Teofilo Olave, senior legal supervisor at Chicago’s National Immigrant Justice Center, who testified at today’s hearing. “The TRUST Act would standardize the U visa certification process to create consistency for immigrant victims of crime and demystify the process for law enforcement agencies. It would help law enforcement comply with federal law, while also enhancing community trust and public safety.”

“Our communities are living in fear and facing threats to their livelihoods every day,” said Andy Kang, legal director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago. “Illinois has the potential to be the most welcoming state for immigrants and refugees. Passing the TRUST Act would be a move in the direction of protecting our communities, and making sure they are safe.”

The bill is expected to reach the Senate floor soon. A broad coalition of community organizations are planning actions and scheduling in-district meetings during the upcoming spring legislative recess, to ensure the Illinois TRUST Act is passed through both the Illinois senate and the house this spring.

Organizations sponsoring the bill include:
Arab American Family Services, Asian Americans Advancing Justice |Chicago, Centro Trabajadores Unidos, Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, Hana Center, Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Latino Policy Forum, Mujeres Latinas En Accion, National Immigrant Justice Center, PASO West Suburban Action Project, Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project, and SEIU HCII.

Link to this statement: http://immigrantjustice.org/press-releases/illinois-trust-act-passes-senate-executive-committee


For more information, contact:

ICIRR contact: Sophie Vodvarka, svodvarka@icirr.org, 773-294-4909
National Immigrant Justice Center contact: Tara Tidwell Cullen, ttidwellcullen@heartlandalliance.org, 312-833-2967
Asian Americans Advancing Justice contact: Brandon Lee, blee@advancingjustice-chicago.org, 773-259-5288


Merit School of Music Honors Top Supporters Joe & Madeleine Glossberg, Jazz Legend Ramsey Lewis

Posted by Admin On April - 6 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Merit Gala will be held May 4 at Radisson Blu Aqua
Joe and Madeleine Glossberg, Ramsey Lewis and Merit students performing at past galas.

CHICAGO, IL– Merit School of Music will salute two leading supporters of the arts and education, Joe and Madeleine Glossberg, along with Chicago jazz legend Ramsey Lewis, the internationally renowned composer and pianist, at the Merit Gala, Thursday

May 4 at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago, 221 N. Columbus Drive.

Merit will honor the Glossbergs with the Alice S. Pfaelzer Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts in recognition of their unwavering support for the arts and arts education. Joe Glossberg, a high-profile Chicago financial advisor with a passion for jazz, has been an active and generous Merit Trustee for more than 20 years. He is now a Merit Life Trustee. Mrs. Glossberg joined her husband in supporting Merit through committee membership for galas, sponsoring Merit’s programs and advocating for Merit through her community involvement.

Lewis will receive Merit School of Music’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award. Known internationally for his many contributions to music and education, Lewis has long been involved with Merit as an active member of its National Advisory Board, offering master classes to students and championing Merit’s mission to transform the lives of Chicago-area youth through removing barriers to high-quality music education. Lewis has recorded more than 80 albums and has received seven gold records and three Grammy Awards.

“Our honorees for Gala 2017 share a lifelong passion for music, and for jazz in particular,” said Charles Grode, President and Executive Director, Merit School of Music. “They also share a deep belief in the power of music to have a positive, sustained impact on the lives of young people of all backgrounds. Gala 2017 celebrates their lifetime of distinguished service to music, education, young people, and the Merit School of Music.”

The Merit Gala kicks off at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour, followed at 7 p.m. by a sit-down dinner. Throughout the evening, guests will be treated to live performances by Merit’s talented student ensembles and soloists, playing a wide range of musical styles, including jazz, classical, and chamber music. The program will also include an inspiring video presentation about Merit student Isaias Nava, tuba, of Chicago’s Gage Park, who is leveraging his conservatory education at Merit into a promising future.

Tickets to the Merit Gala are $500. To reserve tickets, call Merit School of Music at 312.553.2000. Cocktail attire is recommended. As Merit’s single largest fundraising event, the gala’s success offers critical support to sustain the school’s mission. All proceeds benefit Merit School of Music and its mission to transform the lives of Chicago-area youth through removing barriers to high-quality music education.

Co-chairs of the Merit Gala are Charlie and Caroline Huebner and Tom and Kathy Lanctot.

For gala updates, follow Merit on Twitter at @MeritMusic or like the school on Facebook at Facebook/MeritSchoolofMusic. For more information, call 312.553.2000 or visit meritmusic.org/gala.


More about Ramsey Lewis

Ramsey Lewis has been an iconic leader in the contemporary jazz movement for over 50 years with an unforgettable sound and outgoing personality that has allowed him to cross over to the pop and R&B charts. The Ramsey Lewis Trio, with bassist Eldee Young and percussionist Redd Holt, became a fixture on the Chicago jazz scene, releasing their debut album, Ramsey Lewis & His Gentlemen of Jazz, back in 1956. Lewis earned his first gold record, as well as a Grammy award for Best Jazz Performance, for their swinging version of Dobie Gray’s hit “The In Crowd.” He returned to the pop charts in 1966 with versions of “Hang On Sloopy” and “Wade In The Water.”


Throughout his illustrious career, Lewis, an NEA Jazz Master, has also joined forces with countless other artists to create new and innovative music. In 1984, he collaborated with Nancy Wilson on The Two of Us; in 1988, he recorded with London’s Philharmonic Orchestra for the album A Classic Encounter; and in 1989, Lewis and Dr. Billy Taylor cut a set of piano duets in We Meet Again. In 1995, Lewis launched the side project Urban Knights, in which he collaborated with successful crossover jazz stars including Grover Washington, Jr., Earl Klugh and Dave Koz. In 1997, Lewis added disc jockey to his resume, hosting a popular show on Chicago’s WNUA-FM that ran until 2009. A new show was syndicated in 2006 under the name Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis and was broadcast on jazz radio stations across the country. In 2006, a well-received 13-episode Legends of Jazz television series hosted by Lewis was broadcast by PBS nationwide and featured live performances by jazz artists including Larry Gray, Lonnie Smith, Joey Defrancesco, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Kurt Elling, Benny Golson, Pat Metheny and Tony Bennett. He has been touring recently with Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind & Fire), John Pizzarelli and Dee Bridgewater as well as doing dates in celebration of the 50th anniversary of “The ‘In’ Crowd.”


The three time Grammy® winner’s 80th album and most recent release is his 2015 CD Taking Another Look – Deluxe Edition. For more information, visit ramseylewis.com.


More about Joe and Madeleine Glossberg

Joe Glossberg is a Chicago-based financial advisor. His expertise and passion have been invaluable to Merit, where he has helped the school prudently manage its endowment and established a planned giving program. He also created an endowed fund to specifically support Merit’s jazz program. Glossberg is also a life trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and former chair of its Theodore Thomas Society. He is a past president of the board of directors of the Jazz Institute of Chicago and was awarded the Outstanding Jazz Advocate Award in 2015. He is a member of the board of directors of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. Glossberg has served as trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and has served on Penn’s Investment Board (Endowment). He is a member of the board of overseers of the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. He is chair emeritus of the Library Board of Overseers at the University of Pennsylvania. He serves as a trustee of Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, chairing its Investment (Endowment) Committee. Glossberg is a member of the Corporate Board of Changing Worlds, a director on the board of the Benjamin J. Rosenthal Foundation, and a member of the Economic Club of Chicago.


Madeleine Condit Glossberg is a trustee of the Newberry Library, member and chairman emeritus of the External Advisory Board of Perelman School of Medicine Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, secretary of the Joseph B. Glossberg Foundation, governing member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, and member and former director of The Chicago Network. She has been recognized as a Woman in the Forefront (92nd Street Y), Woman of Distinction by United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, recipient of the Chicago High Achiever’s 2008 Paradigm Shifter Award and the WEL 2015 Trailblazer Award.

About Merit School of Music

Merit School of Music is a nationally accredited music school helping Chicago-area youth transform their lives by removing barriers to high-quality music education.

Merit’s 125 passionate and experienced teaching artists engage nearly 5,000 students annually, in the school’s downtown location and in area schools and community centers, enabling Merit to serve as a springboard for students to achieve their full musical and personal potential.

Merit’s program consists of five core areas, which students from early childhood through high school may join at any stage, including: Early Childhood, Instrumental & Vocal Music, and Private Lessons. Merit’s programming continuum begins and concludes with two signature programs – its community-based Bridges: Partners in Music, an in-school music education program; and the audition-based Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory, which requires and represents the highest level of achievement.

Merit is devoted to providing students the opportunity to grow through music by removing barriers. Thanks to the support of Merit’s dedicated faculty, staff, board, donors and parents, 75 percent of its students receive financial support in the form of need-based tuition relief, low-cost instrument rental, and/or music supplies, so that motivated students may unlock their unique musical talent, regardless of economic circumstance.

Merit School of Music’s home is the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center, 38 S. Peoria St. in Chicago’s West Loop community. To learn more, visit meritmusic.org or call (312) 786-9428.


Real Men Cook’s 2017 Father’s Day Celebration to Build on 2016 Success by Continuing With Multiple Locations

Posted by Admin On April - 6 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Real Men Cook – Chicago’s premiere urban Father’s Day charity event – will build on the success of the 2016 multiple-location format by hosting the event at the same citywide and suburban sites this year and by adding more venues. These individual celebrations are hosted by agencies and entities committed to the Real Men Charities, Inc. mission, to build healthy families and communities. Now in its 28th year, Real Men Cook will be held on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 18 from 3PM to 6PM.

In making the announcement, Ayinde Cartman, executive director of Real Men Cook, the presenting nonprofit, stated that pivoting from the original concept of hosting the celebration at one site and expanding it in 2016 was a platform they were unsure the public would accept.  However, the reception to hosting Real Men Cook at various sites in diverse neighborhoods was so overwhelmingly positive that every site will return in 2017 to host. Inspired by this success, other outlets/organizations have requested to be included.  Once vetted to see if their missions support Real Men Cook, they expect more sites to be added to the roster.

“We are delighted that the new format was embraced. We will build on the success, thanks to the positive responses,” Rael Jackson, long-time Real Men Cook director, declared.

Jackson added that the multi-location celebration allowed Real Men Cook to involve many more men from different communities, thereby broadening the message, reaching and involving more men while maintaining the Father’s Day tradition.  At the same time, each hosting location incorporates their own style and traditions into their celebrations. They will also determine entry fees.

Explained Cartman, “All my life these men of Real Men Cook have devoted countless volunteer hours and resources to cook their favorite dishes and serve. This new format allows them to serve the community most dear to them. The overarching goal is to influence young men to serve and grow their families and communities throughout the year.”

Cartman revealed that a popular feature will be added to this year’s celebrations.  “As an organization, we’ve only recognized one Father of the Year and that was our 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. This year each site will honor a Father or Father/Son team who live up to the spirit of Real Men Cook, and incorporate the administration’s Fatherhood Pledge in the recognition.”

The events will continue an added Real Men Charities, Inc. tradition of promoting health and wellness, prevention and awareness for families and children. Accordingly, in addition to traditional celebration dishes to sample, each locale will offer men serving healthy foods, and broadcasting the message that every day food selections can help to prevent disease.

Cartman believes the newly-revamped event represents the continuation of a broader Movement.  “Life is about change,” he declared, “and localizing and expanding the event’s reach is a way of keeping the healthy families, good men Movement vibrant and engaging every segment of our community. We are encouraged and humbled that there was such an outpouring of love to the new format and are heartened that the same locations will return. This is proof of the success and growing success of this model, and the response from young dads and new men interested in being among our volunteer cooks has been more than encouraging.”

Celebrities, media personalities, ministers, politicians, entertainers, athletes, local community leaders, chefs and everyday hard-working fathers will participate as part of their resolve to uplift the family and defy the negative images often depicted in the media.

The expanded format will be held at sites citywide, in suburban Chicago and Gary, Indiana. In these individual sites, men serve in churches, fraternity houses, homeless shelters, their blocks, backyards, homes and parks. At each location, they will demonstrate that Real Men Cook, Love, Work and Care.

Among the organizations that participated in 2016 and will return this year include:

BBF Family Services on Chicago’s west side, D.A.D.D.Y – (

Developing A Dedicated Driven Youth), Endeleo Institute – Men of Trinity Church, Fathers and Blessings, which brings together several Chicago south suburban towns, Mosque Maryam, Regal Theater, Hales Franciscan High School, and Trinity United Church of Christ in Gary, Indiana.

Many private Real Men Cook events are also held on Father’s Day throughout the city, but are not open to the public.

Real Men Cook is the largest, longest-running and most-anticipated Father’s Day celebration of its kind. It provides a platform where “real men” from all walks of life give up Father’s Day pampering to work and be celebrated for demonstrating extraordinary commitment to their families and to their communities. In keeping with Real Men Cook’s core mission.

Some of the high-profile men who have donned a chef’s hat and participated in the past include U.S. Senator Barack Obama, Congressmen Danny Davis, Congressman John Conyers, and John Lewis. Senate President Emil Jones and his son Senator Emil Jones and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. and his sons, former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Professor Jonathan Jackson. Most recently two-time Grammy Winner, Che “Rhymefest” Smith and actors Mel Jackson, Anthony Anderson have also joined in the celebrations.

In this new format, guests choose the event location they prefer.  Those who opt to attend multiple celebrations will witness the different flavors and styles while seeing the same commitment to promoting fathers and family that has been at the heart of Real Men Cook.
For more information, visit

www.realmencook.com. Men interested in volunteering to star and cooks, donating their time and resources on Father’s Day, may contact Ayinde Cartman at AyindeCartman@gmail.com or Lafayette Ford at LafayetteFord@gmail.com or call 773-484-0624.

Rep. Harper Legislation Stops Big Insurance Companies From Denying Coverage

Posted by Admin On April - 6 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – In an effort to protect health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, state Rep. Harper, D-Chicago, is sponsoring legislation that would outlaw insurance companies from denying people coverage because of their health conditions.


“Health care is a very contentious topic in the country right now,” said Harper. “Many people live with pre-existing conditions or other serious issues that require them to have affordable coverage. With the president attempting to roll back access to health care, I am supporting legislation that will allow our most vulnerable residents to keep their coverage.”


Harper is a sponsor of House Bill 2959, which aims to prevent insurance companies from denying people coverage based on pre-existing conditions. There are 1.3 million Illinoisans that could face potentially higher costs if Congress eliminates the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Harper feels access to health care should not be taken away from people who struggle with health issues.


“The current administration’s proposal to destroy the ACA puts the agenda at large insurance companies ahead of people,” said Harper. “This bill will allow us to take proactive steps to take care of people who will need it.”


Rep. Ford Bill to Allow Immediate Record Sealing Passes House

Posted by Admin On April - 6 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford, D-Chicago, recently passed a measure that will allow for immediate sealing of eligible acquitted and dismissed charges of individuals as a means to help provide more employment and education opportunities.

At a press conference hosted by Fr. Tom Walsh, Pastor of St. Martin de Porres Church in Austin, Fr. Walsh said, “Every day, people who have been arrested and either spend time at Cook County Jail or are out on bond are found innocent of all the charges brought against them. Many people are arrested who did not commit the crime they are accused of, and eventually a judge or jury finds them innocent. Unfortunately, these charges will remain on their record. As a result, when they apply for a job or if their current employer looks at their record, they will find that these charges still on their record even if they have been found innocent. In order to get these charges removed from their records, there is a long process which involves fees which penalizes a person who is indeed innocent of the crime they were charged with. This practice is wrong, and it creates a barrier for many people who are law-abiding citizens who are trying to support themselves and their families and lead honest lives – this situation affects many people who live within our community.”


Ford is the sponsor of House Bill 514, a measure that would allow for individuals to immediately seal records of criminal charges if those charges are acquitted or dismissed with prejudice. If it becomes law, the bill will streamline a complicated process that costs money and may take months to be effective to a much simpler process. Instead of having to file for sealing, paying fees and having to re-appear in courts, an acquitted individual could petition the court and be granted sealing in the same hearing that resolved the criminal case.


“The tide is turning in America, and the arc of the moral universe is bending a little closer towards justice,” said Ford. “When we have leaders like Clerk Dorothy Brown and Congressman Danny K. Davis working together to help pass legislation in Springfield, criminal justice reform is a little bit easier as we start by correcting flaws in our justice system.  This bill is a simple bill, and it corrects an unjust practice. It is great to work with Clerk Brown who saw the need for this legislation.”


Ford represents the 8th Representative District, which contains parts of Chicago’s Austin neighborhood and portions of Berwyn, Brookfield, Forest Park, La Grange, North Riverside and Oak Park. For more information, please contact Rep. Ford’s District Office at 773-378-5902, 708-445-3673 or visit www.LaShawnFord.com.

Former Fresno Bank of America Manager Pleads Guilty to Embezzling at Least $100,000 from Bank

Posted by Admin On April - 6 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

FRESNO, Calif. —Sylvia Ochoa, 34, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to embezzlement by a bank employee, United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, Ochoa was the manager of a Bank of America branch on Tulare Street in downtown Fresno. On multiple occasions in 2013, Ochoa entered the bank vault after other employees had left for the day and removed cash without authorization. Ochoa used the money to purchase items for herself and her boyfriend, including designer handbags and a truck that she purchased for $24,000 in cash. Ochoa also caused Bank of America to electronically credit accounts that she set up. For example, Ochoa transferred at least $69,000 of Bank of America’s money into her boyfriend’s bank account. Ochoa admitted that she embezzled at least $100,000 from Bank of America during this time.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Michael G. Tierney is prosecuting the case.

Ochoa is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd on July 11, 2017. Ochoa faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

Source: FBI

ASPIRA Charter School Educators Sign Contract With Management

Posted by Admin On April - 6 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

New contract averts what would have been first strike of a charter school network in U.S history.


CHICAGO, IL – Educators at ASPIRA’s charter schools voted overwhelmingly late last week to approve a tentative agreement with management — and at 5PM on Monday, the union’s leadership signed the final contract with ASPIRA management, formally ending the possibility of what would have been the first strike in U.S. history of a charter school network. 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” within ChiACTS Local 4343, which represents educators at 32 charter schools in Chicago – negotiated with management for a new contract for ten months. In February, 99% of members who voted authorized a strike, but management settled with educators on March 9, a week before the strike date, agreeing to many of the teachers’ demands.


ACE educators voted almost 7 to 1 in support of the new contract. Several members on maternity leave did not vote, and the 103-member bargaining unit currently has roughly a dozen vacancies, bringing the vote total to 67 in favor, ten voting no and ten not voting.


“This new agreement will help stabilize staffing, open the door to long-term improvements in our schools, and guarantee working conditions that allow us to continue to provide our students with a truly exceptional educational experience,” said Marines Martinez, the acting president of ACE. “There is nothing we want more than to concentrate on our work in the classroom, helping our students grow intellectually and emotionally into the outstanding adults they all have the capacity to be. This agreement allows us to move beyond the challenges of the negotiating process and focus our energies exclusively on the needs of our students.”


ASPIRA educators argued that any agreement needed to cement working conditions that would support the sustainability of ASPIRA’s four schools and the students who rely on ACE members for a quality education. The bargaining team fought hard for terms that would address those concerns — and have welcomed the opportunity to move forward from what was often a difficult negotiating process.


“We work as a real team in our schools,” said ACE member Tito Rodriguez. “Our principals, teachers, mentors, counselors, advisors and support staff all share a profound commitment to our students, their parents and the larger community — and this agreement allows us to build on our shared solidarity and continue to provide the quality education our students both need and deserve.”


The agreement encompasses the last ten months that ACE educators bargained with management after their previous contract expired, and educators will be back at the bargaining table with management working on their next contract beginning this May.


“After parents, teachers know best what students need, and our sisters and brothers at ACE have used that knowledge and the collective bargaining process to make crucial improvements in their schools,” said Chris Baehrend, president of Chicago ACTS Local 4343, the parent union of the ACE council. “ACE has also held Aspira accountable for their use of our tax dollars, more of which will now be dedicated to resources in the classroom. This is an important victory for all ChiACTS members, as it demonstrates that when educators with a union voice take a principled stand for their students, they can make their schools more effective educational communities, better able to help students attain bright futures.”

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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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