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August , 2017
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Encourages passage of marriage equality during veto session SPRINGFIELD, IL – As ...
NOMINATIONS SENT TO THE SENATE: Erica J. Barks Ruggles, of Minnesota, a Career Member of ...
 By Curtis Black (Reprint) At Issue: FOP and reform Dean Angelo, president of the Chicago lodge of ...
Lt. Governor Simon committee to hear recommendations for improvements Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila ...
Local district and school averages reflect higher cut scores to better indicate college and ...
More than 500 permanent jobs include bus operators, traffic control aides CHICAGO, IL - ...
  By William Spriggs The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest report on the job market ...
 CHICAGO, IL —The Rev. Jesse Jackson and other community and labor leaders will gather on ...
From: Exoneration Project at the University of Chicago Law School Sgt. Ronald Watts and his crew ...
Registration also open for Camp Red Kite for children on the autism spectrum, June 23-July 11, ...

Archive for May 5th, 2017

National Urban League’s State of Black America Urges “Protect Our Progress”

Posted by Admin On May - 5 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Threats Loom Against Gains of Last Eight Years; “Main Street Marshall Plan” is a Path Forward

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Urban League today released THE 2017 State of Black America: “Protect Our Progress,” at a moment when, President and CEO Marc H. Morial said, “so much economic and social progress stands at so much dire risk.”

As a remedy, he presented the Main Street Marshall Plan: From Poverty to Prosperity, a sweeping proposal for economic and social revitalization of America’s cities and struggling neighborhoods.

The centerpiece of State of Black America, the Equality Index, measures the economic and social status of African Americans relative to white America, with 100% representing full equality. This year’s index, 72.3%, is only slightly higher than last years, but Morial pointed out that the nation as a whole has experienced significant gains, particularly in employment and health.

The report is available free of charge at www.StateOfBlackAmerica.org and includes detailed analysis and commentary from distinguished contributors U.S Sen. Cory Booker, Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, U.S. Reps. Bobby Scott, Karen Bass, Cedric Richmond and Terri Sewell, and others.

“Over the last eight years, the economy added 15 million new jobs and the unemployment rate fell dramatically,” Morial said. “High School graduation rates rose and more than 16 million more Americans who were now uninsured now have health care coverage. The uninsured rate for African Americans was cut in half.”

Morial also cited the Department of Justice’s aggressive enforcement of voting rights, despite the 2013 gutting of the preclearance requirement of the Voting Rights Act, and its use of consent decrees to address racial discrimination, profiling and excessive use of force in a minority of police departments.

“A little more than three months since President Obama has left office, much of the economic and social progress we saw under his watch is under imminent threat,” Morial said.

Of particular concern, he said:

  • The new Attorney General has ordered a review of all law enforcement consent decrees, a move that threatens to undermine positive policing reforms in some of the nation’s most troubled police departments.
  • The Justice Department reversed course on fighting a Texas voter I.D. case that a federal court determined was passed with deliberate racial discriminatory intent.
  • Congress has voted to gut the accountability regulations protecting poor children, minorities, English-language learners and students with disabilities- paving the way for an anti-public school agenda that would funnel public education funds into private, for-profit institutions
  • The Administration twice has enacted – and federal courts twice have struck down – religiously discriminatory executive orders barring immigrants and refugees from Muslim-majority countries, exacerbating a climate of hostility and a spate of hate crimes and harassment throughout the country
  • Though defeated for the remainder of the fiscal year, the so-called “skinny budget” – remains a threat and represents a massive transfer of vital resources and fundamental social protections into unrequested and unnecessary military spending.

 

The Main Street Marshall Plan calls for a national investment of $4 trillion over the next 10 years:
$2 trillion for physical infrastructure such as roads, bridges and buildings and $2 trillion for human development, such as education, job training and health insurance.

Central to the plan is a comprehensive infrastructure initiative, with inner cities being the major beneficiary, and which must include a strong jobs-building component that guarantees minority business participation and employment for workers in high-unemployment neighborhoods.

Other highlights include universal pre-k education, a $15 minimum wage with increases indexed to inflation, reforms to financial and educational institutions and programs, criminal justice and police reform and expansion and protection of voting rights.

 

 

Attorney General Madigan Condemns Federal Executive Order Attacking Women’s Access to Preventative Healthcare

Posted by Admin On May - 5 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
                                                                               

CHICAGO, IL Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan condemned the federal executive order signed under the guise of religious freedom that jeopardizes women’s access to crucial preventative healthcare services like contraception.

Madigan issued the following statement against the Executive Order that directs the federal government to issue regulations that would allow organizations to claim religious objections to providing employees with basic preventative medical care:

“The Executive Order signed today creates a license for employers and corporations to discriminate under the pretense of religious beliefs. It puts countless women at risk of being denied basic healthcare.

This is an attack on women’s rights and an assault on progress and equality.

I will continue to vigorously defend women’s rights and work to ensure women have access to preventative healthcare.”

 

Teachers Vote Unanimously to Strike at One of Chicago’s Oldest Charter Schools

Posted by Admin On May - 5 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Rock-bottom spending on immigrant and refugee students and frontline staff stands in stark contrast to salaries for top management, who last year earned more than double the amount paid to CPS’ CEO overseeing a system 800 times larger.

 

CHICAGO, IL – Union educators at Passages Charter School voted overwhelmingly to strike, after nearly a year of bargaining with management has failed to produce a fair contract. Teachers voted 43 to zero to strike, in a bargaining unit of 46 members. Thursday’s vote authorizes the bargaining committee to set a strike date in the coming weeks if AHS does not make an acceptable offer.

 

The strike would be the first of a charter school network in the nation.

 

Passages was one of the first charter schools created in Chicago, and today serves roughly 500 students — including a large population of immigrant and refugee students of Asian and African heritage. Passages 46 union educators — including teachers, teachers assistants and paraprofessionals — were certified last April as members of ChiACTS Local 4343, which represents educators at 32 charter schools in Chicago. The school’s educators have been negotiating for a new contract since May of 2016.

 

“We care deeply about our students,” says third grade teacher Gina Mengarelli, a member of Passages’ ChiACTS bargaining team. “Many of our kids, as refugees and immigrants, look to the school as an environment to support the hopes and dreams they bring to their new country. It is simply wrong for management to invest so little in these children and the frontline workers who are responsible for their education. The primary reason we formed a union at Passages in the first place was so that we could have more voice in decisions that affect our students. And now we’re demanding a contract that allows that.”

 

The union educators charge that the school’s management spends too much on management and overhead compared to other single-site charters, and too little on staff and students. Many teachers with BAs and even masters degrees earn salaries in the $30,000 – $40,000 range for work weeks that can top 60 hours. Spending on students’ education at Passages is also at the bottom of the barrel among comparable publicly funded charter schools in Chicago.

 

At the same time, the current and former former CEOs of AHS — Asian Human Services, the agency that runs Passages — together last year earned more than twice that of Forrest Claypool, the CEO of Chicago Public Schools and its 400,000 students. Last year, Passages paid their retired CEO $381,000 — and paid $540,000 in total last year to two people, their current and former CEOs. The combined current salaries for Passages’ 46 bargaining unit members is $1.7 million.

 

Besides refusing to consider teachers’ proposals to improve compensation, which is currently on average 20% lower than that at comparable charter schools in Chicago, management has also proposed eliminating paid maternity and paternity leave — a proposal completely unacceptable to educators at a workplace where the vast majority of employees are women. In addition, management in recent years has cut classes that include music and Spanish — which, along with Urdu, is the language most commonly spoken by immigrant students — and failed to fulfill promises to create recreational programs like basketball for students.

 

Teachers are also calling for greater fiscal oversight at the school — including improvements in the percentage of dollars that management spends on students instead of on its own compensation.

 

AHS spends a greater percentage of the Passages school budget on management costs and a lower percentage on direct student and personnel costs than every other single- site charter in the city except one. The average single-site charter spends a quarter on management and overhead for every dollar they spend on school staff and students, whereas Passages spends fifty cents for every dollar. Passages is also an outlier when it comes to teacher salaries, with teachers earning 20% less than teachers at other Chicago charters. That low spending level for the school’s dedicated teachers and staff lands Passages far below the average in budget comparisons across charters.

 

“We really believe in the mission of this school, but management needs to provide us the resources to carry out that mission, says Passages paraprofessional Ann Stella-Tayler. We’ve been negotiating for almost a year, and our members are united in telling AHS that it’s past time that they treat Passages students, teachers and staff fairly.”

 

Passages has no income outside of what it collects from CPS, and union members charge that the disparity in salaries for Passages educators and those at other charters is driven by AHS mismanagement of funds and the fact that AHS simply does not contribute enough to the school’s budget from its own funds. Chicago’s other single-site charters typically provide 5-10% of their financial resources from private fundraising revenue — a practice touted in the early days of the CPS push for charters as a way to harness private dollars to support publicly funded education. Passages raises zero dollars from private fundraising revenue.

 

“These educators are the heart of the school and their students’ greatest advocates,” says Chris Baehrend, President of ChiACTS Local 4343. “No teacher wants to strike — we want to be in class, with our students, where we belong. But if it takes a strike to force change that improves the education of Passages’ students, then our members will be on the picket line until we achieve those improvements.”

 

Passages’ union educators will be back at the bargaining table next week.

 

Black Boys at Florida Reform School Were Modern Day Slaves

Posted by Admin On May - 5 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Hundreds of Black boys say they were “Modern Day Slaves” at a recently closed reform school

Antoinette Harrell conducting child peonage research

Kentwood, LA (BlackNews.com) – Antoinette Harrell is a genealogist, activist, and peonage detective who spent decades tracking down slavery in the deep south. The peonage research of Harrell led her to investigate peonage at the Arthur G. Dozier Reform School in Marianna, Florida – also called the Florida Industrial School for Boys. Her research led her to dig deep into Dozier files at the Tallahassee State Archives in the sunshine state of Florida in search of signs of peonage practices on the campus. The school opened its doors in 1900 and closed the doors in 2011 after operating for 111 years. More than 500 former students have alleged they were brutally beaten, sexually abused, as well as mentally abused by Dozier’s staff. Some even alleged that they were used as modern day slaves, working to grow crops, raise livestock and cut timber.

Harrell focused her research on child labor and wanted to follow the money trails. Boys as young as seven years old worked at Dozier’s child labor camp. They grew everything from sweet potatoes, butter beans, string beans, turnips, okra and other agricultural produce. They raised and slaughtered livestock for sale. Each division made its own money and was headed by school staff. What happened to the money? Who was buying the produce? A general farm produce report on October 1958 from the poultry, dairy, garden and swine division documented the money that was made from each division. A total of $10,980.36 was made that quarter. The reports were made quarterly each year.

A sale report of proceeds items for the period ending March 31, 1966 showed that for that year, Dozier made $118,160 in swine and $156,108 in beef sales. Each item of produce and livestock was itemized. Harrell interviewed Johnny Lee Gaddy who was 11-years old in 1957 when he was sent to Arthur G. Dozier Reform School for skipping school because he had a speech impediment and was tired of the other students in his class teasing him. He was picked up by a police officer and placed in a jail cell for one night. The next morning Gaddy was sent directly to Dozier without appearing before a juvenile court.

Gaddy informed Harrell of the hard work he did at Dozier. He said he cut down timber in the swamps; he worked in the fields planting and harvesting the produce. Harrell asked Gaddy if he knew where the produce was going? “I saw the trucks coming and going,” said Gaddy. “But I couldn’t tell you where they were taking the produce or meat. You better not asked any questions. If you want to live and didn’t want to get a bad beating for questioning the overseers, you better keep your mouth shut.”

The campus was segregated up until the late 60’s.

Over the years, Harrell has helped the African-American male victims to organize a group called “Black Boys at Dozier” and she helped them to bring their plight of abuse and modern day slavery to the eyes of the public. She also helped them gain national and international attention for their stories. She even took the men back to the Dozier campus for a press conference. It was the first time that the men set foot back on the campus in over 50 years.

Harrell is always on the hunt for new stories of slavery and peonage that have been swept under the rug in America. She has spent hundreds of hours researching private collections and public documents from the National Archives in Washington, D.C. on peonage. She had climbed in dark and dusty courthouse attics to search for any evidence that pointed to peonage practices. Sometimes driving late night hours on back dusty roads that seem never ending, looking for modern day plantations, and in search of people live in peonage.

A resolution acknowledged that treatment of boys sent to Dozier and Okeechobee was cruel, unjust and “a violation of fundamental human decency.” Within the first 13 years of Dozier School’s operation, six states led investigations were conducted in response to reports of children being chained to walls in iron, severely beaten, and used for child labor.

Sen. Darryl Rouson (D-St. Petersburg) carried the Senate resolution, apologizing to the men who say they endured physical, sexual, and emotional abuse at Dozier Reform School and Okeechobee in the state of Florida. Senate Resolution 1440 recognized the widespread abuse. “The bill expressed regret for this shameful part of our history, sincerely apologizes on behalf of the legislature, and declares a commitment to make sure that these atrocities and tragedies never occur again.”

Photo Caption: Antoinette Harrell conducting child peonage research at the Florida State Archives
Photo Credit: Walter C. Black, Sr.

 

‘Playpen’ Creator Sentenced to 30 Years

Posted by Admin On May - 5 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Dark Web ‘Hidden Service’ Case Spawned Hundreds of Child Porn Investigations

The creator and lead administrator of what was believed to be the world’s largest child pornography website—with more than 150,000 users around the world—was sentenced this week to 30 years in prison.

Steven W. Chase, 58, of Naples, Florida, created a website called Playpen in August 2014 on the Tor network, an open network on the Internet where users can communicate anonymously through “hidden service” websites—where criminal activity is not uncommon. Chase ran the Playpen website, where members uploaded and viewed tens of thousands of postings of young victims, indexed by age, sex, and the type of sexual activity involved.

The case—and the thousands of follow-up investigations it has launched—is unprecedented in its scope and reach, FBI officials said. It represents the Bureau’s most successful effort to date against users of Tor’s hidden service sites. And it has opened new avenues for international cooperation in efforts to prosecute child abusers around the world.

“We were only able to pull it off with a lot of support from our international partners and field offices,” said Special Agent Dan Alfin, who investigated the case as part of the Bureau’s Violent Crimes Against Children section.

The case opened shortly after Steven Chase launched Playpen in the summer of 2014. The FBI, which has numerous investigations involving the dark web, quickly became aware of the site, but “given the nature of how Tor hidden services work, there was not much we could do about it,” Alfin recalled.

That is, until December 2014, when Chase slipped up and revealed Playpen’s unique IP address—a location in the U.S. The gaffe was noticed by a foreign law enforcement agency, which notified the FBI.

“From that point we took normal investigative steps—seized a copy of the website, served search warrants for e-mail accounts, followed the money—and everything led back to Steven Chase,” said Alfin. Chase was sentenced Monday in North Carolina in connection with engaging in a child exploitation enterprise and multiple child pornography charges. His sentencing follows those of two co-defendants who were also administrators on the website—Michael Fluckiger, 46, of Indiana, and David Browning, 47, of Kentucky—who were each given 20-year prison terms earlier this year.

Arresting Playpen’s administrators, however, was only the beginning. In January 2015, the FBI, in partnership with the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, launched Operation Pacifier—an effort to go after Playpen’s thousands of members. Using a court-approved network investigative technique, agents uncovered IP addresses and other information that helped locate and identify users. Investigators sent more than 1,000 leads to FBI field offices around the country and thousands more to overseas partners, Alfin said.

Arrests and other enforcement actions have occurred in countries far and near. Europol, the European Union’s agency for law enforcement cooperation​, reported arrests, along with Israel, Turkey, Peru, Malaysia, Chile, and the Ukraine. International agencies critical to the investigation included CNCPO Polizia Postale e Comunicazioni of Italian State Police​, the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency, and New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs.

Even some countries where law enforcement cooperation has been historically limited were, in this case, especially helpful in pursuing the FBI’s leads on former users and contributors to Chase’s Playpen site.

“Members of his enterprise who were raping children, who were producing child pornography all around the world—those cases continue to be indicted and prosecuted,” Alfin said.

In addition to taking down the website, the ongoing investigation, as of May 4, 2017, has produced the following results:

  • At least 350 U.S.-based individuals arrested
  • 25 producers of child pornography prosecuted
  • 51 hands-on abusers prosecuted
  • 55 American children successfully identified or rescued
  • 548 international arrests, with 296 sexually abused children identified or rescued.

The Playpen site has been down for more than two years. But similar sites continue to operate and proliferate on the dark web.

“It’s ongoing and we continue to address the threat to the best of our abilities,” said Alfin. “It’s the same with any criminal violation: As they get smarter, we adapt, we find them. It’s a cat-and-mouse game, except it’s not a game. Kids are being abused, and it’s our job to stop that.”

Source: FBI

RECALL: Marcho Farms, Inc. Recalls Veal, Beef and Pork Products Due to Possible Non-0157 Shiga Toxin-Producing E. Coli (Stec) Adulteration

Posted by Admin On May - 5 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – Marcho Farms, Inc., a Souderton, Pa. establishment, is recalling approximately 5,620 pounds of boneless veal, and ground veal, beef and pork products that may be adulterated withnon-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O111, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The veal, beef and pork products were produced on April 11 and April 14, 2017. The following products are subject to recall:

  • 60-lb.cases of “VEAL BONELESS TRIMMINGS HALAL” with case code “5398” and “MANFU. DATE” of “04/11/2017.”
  • 60-lb. cases of “VEAL TRIMMINGS USDA CHOICE” with case code “98” and “MANFU. DATE” of “04/11/17.”
  • 9-lb. cases of “VEAL, BEEF, PORK GROUND FOR MEATLOAF” with case code “3122” and “Sell By” date “05/05/17.”
  • 10-lb. cases of “VEAL, BEEF, PORK GROUND FOR MEATLOAF BULK PACK” with case code “3125.”

These items were distributed to retail stores and food service locations in Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.

The problem was discovered when the Illinois State Meat Inspection Service notified FSIS on May 2, 2017, about positive non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) samples made with source material produced by Marcho Farms, Inc. There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

Non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) outbreaks are rare, but tend to primarily be due to contaminated food and person-to-person transmission. Like E. coli O157:H7, non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify theircustomers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160° F. The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature, http://1.usa.gov/1cDxcDQ.

Consumers and media with questions about the recall can contact Herb Nicolo, Marcho Farms, Inc.’s plant manager, at (215) 721-7131.

Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

 

PREPARING PRODUCT FOR SAFE CONSUMPTION

 USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline

1-888-MPHOTLINE or visit

www.fsis.usda.gov

 Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water. Immediately clean spills.

Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry and egg products and cooked foods.

Color is NOT a reliable indicator that meat has been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria.

The only way to be sure the meat or poultry is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature.

– Fish: 145°F

– Beef, pork, lamb chops/steaks/

roasts: 145°F with a three minute rest time

– Ground meat: 160°F

– Poultry: 165°F

– Hot dogs: 160°F or steaming hot

Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase or one hour if temperatures exceed 90º F. Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.

NOTE: Access news releases and other information at FSIS’ website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Follow FSIS on Twitter at twitter.com/usdafoodsafety or in Spanish at: twitter.com/usdafoodsafe_es.

USDA RECALL CLASSIFICATIONS

Class I This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

Class II This is a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.

Class III This is a situation where the use of the product will not cause adverse health consequences.

New Report Finds Record Number of People Serving Life in U.S. Prisons

Posted by Admin On May - 5 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

City of Chicago Holds “On The Road” Small Business Expo

Posted by Admin On May - 5 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

 

Expo Offers Free Resources from Nearly 40 Agencies, Workshops and Opportunity to Hear from Keynote Speaker Restaurateur and Master Sommelier Alpana Singh

 

The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) today announced its second Small Business Center ‘On the Road’ Expo on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 1871 in the Merchandise Mart. The free expo, designed to support small businesses and grow entrepreneurship throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods, offers new and existing business owners the opportunity to consult, network, gather information and receive expert advice on topics such as licensing, financing and business planning.  The expo is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s efforts to help small businesses grow in every neighborhood as an engine of economic opportunity and ongoing development.

“Bringing free business resources to the neighborhoods ensures existing and emerging entrepreneurs have direct access to vital resources to help them grow their business ventures,” said BACP Commissioner Samantha S. Fields. “Small businesses are the backbone of Chicago’s economy, and we must support them by bringing resources and services they need to be successful. So, I invite all those who may not be able to come to City Hall to stop by our evening Small Business Center’s ‘On the Road’ Expo and get a full complement of services and resources.”

BACP licenses nearly 65,000 businesses in Chicago and holds over 100 free workshops throughout the year. The expo is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s agenda to support neighborhood businesses and economic development. The Small Business Center ‘On the Road expo is a series of five free expos in different neighborhoods throughout Chicago. The series is a partnership between BACP, the Office of New Americans (ONA), Western Union, Fifth Third Bank and COUNTRY Financial®.

The expo is free and open to the public. Nearly 40 government and non-profit agencies essential to entrepreneurship will be on hand to provide important services and resources, including the Chicago Department of Procurement Services, Illinois State Treasurer, SCORE, Internal Revenue Service, the Illinois Attorney General and more. 

Free professional headshots and mini-makeovers, including make-up touchups and hairstyling, sales pitch training, consumer and financial help will be available. Business consultants from the Small Business Center will be available to help attendees apply or renew a business license and make an appointment for additional counseling at City Hall. In addition, the Center for Economic Progress will provide a free tax clinic and The Law Project will provide a free legal clinic with representatives offering 20-minute consultations.

There will also be two free workshops held following the keynote speech from 7:00 PM until 8:00 PM. The complete schedule is below.

5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Visit with vendors, get expert advice, receive a mini makeover and free headshots

Keynote Speaker: 6:00 PM – 6:30PM

Restaurateur and Master Sommelier Alpana Singh

Workshops: 7:00 PM -8:00 PM

Workshop 1:  Access to Capital: Helping Your Business Grow”

Presented by: Fifth Third Bank and ACCION

This workshop addresses traditional and non-traditional credit sources and how to best prepare for when your company needs it most. 

Workshop 2:  Measure It: The Value of Social Media

Presented by: Alumnus of Goldman Sachs “10,000 Small Businesses”

This workshop tackles the issue of taking small business promotion beyond “likes” and reaching tangible goals through data. How to amplify existing digital marketing practices from SEO to paid search (PPC) and how applying measurable strategy to social media will boost overall conversions will be covered.

                                                                               

Networking: 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM

A one-hour networking session on building and growing a business hosted by City Treasurer Kurt Summers

The May 4 expo will be held at 1871 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. 1871 is located on the 12th floor, Suite 1212 of  theMart (Merchandise Mart) at 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago. The evening location is home to 400+ early-stage, high growth digital startups and entrepreneurs. 

The 2017 Small Business Center ‘On the Road’ expo series remaining dates and locations are:

  • June 24, 2017 @ South Shore Cultural Center – 7059 S. South Shore Drive
  •  September 16, 2017 @ Wright College – 4300 N. Narragansett Avenue
  • November 4, 2017 @ Malcolm X – 1900 W. Jackson Blvd.

To register for an expo or for more information, visit www.chismallbizexpo.com, call (312) 744-2086 or email BACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org. For more information about the City of Chicago’s Small Business Center visit www.cityofchicago.org/sbc.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Cook County Health & Hospitals System CEO Dr. Jay Shannon Respond to U.S. House Vote on the American Health Care Act

Posted by Admin On May - 5 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

The impact of today’s vote by the U.S. House will be devastating. More than a half-million residents of Cook County were able to obtain health care through the Affordable Care Act, many of them through expansion of Medicaid, like our own CountyCare program that has 140,000 participants.

Forty percent (40%) of our health plan members are now at risk of losing their coverage with no viable options. They may be forced to discontinue medicine for chronic diseases, return to the emergency room for basic health needs or wait until they are acutely ill to seek the most expensive care. Shamefully, in the wealthiest country in the world, people will be forced to decide between groceries, rent, utility bills or health care.

Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) taking effect, less than half of CCHHS patients were insured. Today, as a direct result of the ACA, that number is 70%. Conservatively, the loss of revenue to the Cook County Health & Hospitals System will exceed $300 million annually and could be as high as $800 million.

Cook County’s health fund allocation has decreased by more than $380 million in the past several years, largely due to the ACA. Without these funds or an increase in local or state revenues, our mission to care for all is at risk.

Make no mistake, this vote is guaranteed to result in more uninsured in Cook County requiring hospitals to make difficult decisions such as cutting service, laying off staff or worse, closing their doors.

Congress must understand that they are threatening lives with this reckless action. We will work with partners in government and the health care arena to oppose this measure and hope that common sense prevails in the Senate.

If we can’t agree that access to affordable healthcare is a fundamental human right, then our American values have been lost.

Groups Investigate Chicago ‘Gang Database’ For Civil Rights Violations, Connection to Immigration Raids

Posted by Admin On May - 5 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

As part of the campaign to make Chicago a real sanctuary city, immigrant and Black-led groups file request for information from the City of Chicago, as start of campaign to expose the role of the gang database in criminalizing and deporting community members.

Click here to read FOIA request

CHICAGO, IL – Immigrant rights and Black-led groups await the response from the City of Chicago after filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding the Chicago Police Department’s gang database. The groups, Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) and Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), represented by the MacArthur Justice Center at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, filed the FOIA on Monday May 1st.

Some of the information requested includes:

  • Sharing information with ICE: The policies of the city of Chicago on what information they share with immigration enforcement about people who have come into contact with Chicago police, such as their criminal record, names, addresses, or whether they are in the gang database. In addition, the number of individuals whose information has been shared with ICE;

  • Maintenance and Accuracy of Data: Information on whether there are any processes to update, maintain, and check the accuracy of, information on whether individuals are part of a gang, as well as the policies and training for officers as to how they identify whether someone is part of a gang;

  • Racial Demographics: Statistics on the race and ethnicity of people who are identified as being part of a gang by the Chicago Police Department or are part of the “Strategic Subject List,” a tool used to assess whether an individual’s criminal activities “are on the rise;”

  • Due Process: Any existing policies on whether people can be notified of their inclusion in the Gang Database, Gang Book, or Strategic Subject List, as well as whether individuals can be removed or challenge their inclusion in these;

  • Civil Rights Complaints: Any documents regarding civil rights investigations, internal or external, including complaints of racial profiling, sweeps, or unfair arrests.

The request was filed on the same day that Wilmer Catalan-Ramirez, a Chicago man whose home was raided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), filed a lawsuit naming the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department as responsible for sharing incorrect information with ICE that wrongfully identified Mr. Catalan-Ramirez as a gang member.

The two groups, OCAD and BYP100, along with Mijente, have been leading a local campaign urging the city of Chicago expand what it means to be a “Sanctuary City” to protect  immigrants and US born people of color, particularly those who are targeted by local police. Exposing and eliminating the gang database has jumped to the top of the agenda this week after it became clear that Mr. Catalan-Ramirez’s targeting by ICE was in part a responsibility of the Chicago police.

The organizations involved in the campaign issued the following statements:

  • “Every time that the Chicago Police Department shares information about any of us with immigration enforcement they are violating Chicago’s promise to be a Sanctuary City and to protect us from President Trump’s policies, said Rosi Carrasco, OCAD organizer. “The City of Chicago must look at how its policies not only criminalize people of color and feed us into Trump’s deportation machine,” she concluded.
  • “If Chicago is serious about real sanctuary and ending criminalization for all it’s residents, releasing this information is a minimal step towards that end,” said Janae Bonsu, Black Youth Project 100 policy chair. “The gang database has allowed for the rampant targeting of Black and Brown people in Chicago with no accountability for too long. We’re requesting these data as a first step towards bringing the functions of the database out of obscurity,” she stated.
  • “President Trump is going after our communities by using law enforcement to target, detain, and incarcerate us. As we are fighting for survival, we cannot tolerate ‘Sanctuary’ cities in name only. Exposing and tackling the gang database is both about protecting our families and our neighbors, and pushing Chicago to be an example for the country for what resistance and protection should look like,” stated Tania Unzueta, Policy Director at Mijente.
  • “Across the country Gang databases have proven to be a deeply flawed and sometimes unlawful law enforcement tool. Databases institutionalize racial profiling by targeting Black and Brown people, are over-inclusive and rife with inaccuracies. The public has a right to know how CPD is using public funds to administer these racist, problematic public safety strategies,” stated Sheila Bedi, attorney at the MacArthur Justice Center.

The organizers and their attorneys expect a response from the City of Chicago as early as next week. If records are not forthcoming the community groups and their counsel are prepared to file litigation to seek their release. In the meantime, they are advocating for the information to be released through conversations with the City and members of the Chicago City Council.

Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) is an undocumented-led group that organizes  against the deportation and criminalization of Black, Brown and immigrant communities in Chicago and surrounding areas (organizedcommunities.org)

Black Youth Project 100 is an activist member-based organization of Black 18-35 year olds, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people (www.byp100.org)

Founded in 1985, the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center is one of the premier civil rights law firms in the United States (law.northwestern.edu/legalclinic/macarthur)

Mijente is a national political home for Latinx and Chicanx grassroots organizing that comes out of the Not One More Deportation Campaign (www.mijente.net)

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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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