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Archive for May 30th, 2017

NAACP Says “Trump Budget a Nightmare for America’s Most Vulnerable”; National Urban League Calls on Congress to Reject Proposal and Draft Common-Sense Fiscal Plan

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

The NAACP and the National Urban League issued statements regarding President Donald J. Trump proposed fiscal Year 2018 Budget.


NAACP’s statement on the proposed fiscal Year 2018 Budget:

Proposed cuts reinforce trend of gutting civil rights enforcement. 

Baltimore, Md. – President Trump’s budget proposal in every way possible seeks to cloak a shift of the nation’s resources away from America’s most vulnerable communities and toward unfair tax breaks for the wealthy and major corporations. His budget compounds its animosity toward vulnerable and communities of color by defunding civil rights enforcement.

Despite campaign promises to the contrary, President Trump’s budget provides tax cuts to individuals making over $1 million annually by cutting $1.85 trillion in a decade to ACA and Medicaid. These cuts could lead to loss of health care coverage for over 20 million individuals including the disabled, children and families and subsidies for low income individuals.

Additional cuts will impact low-income communities, the environment, women, immigrants and others. President Trump’s budget would also defund and cut at least 10 percent of key civil rights enforcement positions across the federal government. According to the Center for American Progress, cuts would slash 7 percent of the staff from the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, “despite a 75 percent increase in pending complaints between 2009 and 2015.” Trump’s budget would not only cut 249 full-time positions at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), but would also eliminate the Legal Services Corporation, whose programs served over 2 million low-income individuals with legal representation last year.

“Great nations are known by how they care for the old and the vulnerable, not by how much they can take away from them to give to their wealthy friends,” said NAACP Chairman Leon W. Russell. “I am not sure what is more insidious – regurgitating the sham of old trickle-down theories of economics, or purposely refusing to adequately fund civil rights positions necessary to protect individuals from voter suppression, job discrimination or police brutality,” he added.



National Urban League’s Statement on Trump’s 2018 Budget Proposal:

Calls on Congress to Reject Proposal and Draft Common-Sense Fiscal Plan   

WASHINGTON, DC – National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial issued the following statement today calling on Congress to reject the Trump Administration’s FY 2018 federal budget and draft a common-sense fiscal plan:

“By any standard, President Trump’s FY 2018 budget proposal falls severely short of his promise to ‘Make America Great Again.’  The federal budget is a reflection of a president’s priorities.  Based on this proposal, millions of Americans still struggling to recover from the last economic recession will continue to be left behind.

“The administration’s recommendation to slash more than $1.85 trillion from Medicaid, $192 billion from nutritional assistance, $72 billion in disability benefits, and $272 billion from welfare programs directly undermines working class and economically-strained Americans that struggle daily to make ends meet.

“Siphoning money from entitlement programs in order to grow defense and increase tax cuts for the wealthy would hit rural, urban and low-income Americans the hardest and likely throw the U.S. economy back into another recession.

“The National Urban League cannot support any federal budget proposal that seeks to cripple the sick, starve the hungry and impede the upward mobility of our most vulnerable citizens.
“We call on congressional leaders to reject this administration’s wish list and develop a common-sense FY 2018 budget that is targeted and reflective of the needs of all Americans through unbridled investments in education, job training, infrastructure, affordable housing, and healthcare.

“Congress must act now.  Instead of drafting a ‘Big-On-Cuts-Short-On-Investments Budget’ that eliminates or reduces funding to dozens of historically successful programs, lawmakers must seek ways to meaningfully invest in people and towns across the Main Streets of rural and urban America.

“It is time to put people before party.”

Speaker Madigan Responds to Passage of Rauner-Backed Procurement Reforms

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
  • Illinois House speaker says he backs 2016 special election | FOX2now ...
  • Governor Bruce Rauner (1) Governor Bruce Rauner (2) SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement Monday after the House voted to pass Senate Bill 8, a package of reforms negotiated by Gov. Bruce Rauner to help streamline acquisition of goods and services, reducing costs to the state: 

“Today’s passage of a procurement reform package requested by Governor Rauner is another instance in which House Democrats have followed through on our commitment to work cooperatively with the governor to reduce the cost of government and address the issues facing our state.

“This bill is the result of negotiation between legislators and the administration. In January, I directed the House State Government Administration Committee to thoroughly evaluate the governor’s procurement proposal, and that committee approved the governor’s plan with bipartisan support.  

“The biggest issue facing Illinois remains the state budget. As the governor continues to hold other aspects of his agenda as pre-conditions to his cooperation on a full balanced budget, I renew my request that the governor immediately focus on working with House Democrats to find common ground and pass a budget for our state. Today’s agreement is proof that House Democrats are willing to make compromises to move Illinois forward.”

Photos: (Top Left) Illinois Speaker Michael Madigan

(Top Right) Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner

State Rep. Chris Welch: Time to do Your Job, Gov. Rauner

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Letters to Editors

Actions speak louder than words. Illinois urgently needs a full and responsible budget. While Governor Rauner continues to insist his off-budget demands must be met before he will work on a balanced budget, I joined my colleagues in the House urging the governor to meet with House Democratic leaders willing to negotiate and find common ground on his off-budgetary agenda. It’s time to move Illinois forward, and we stand ready to make the compromises necessary to do just that.

Sadly, Governor Rauner and his administration is ignoring our repeated requests to meet. Under Governor Rauner, the backlog of unpaid bills has grown to $14.4 billion, our state’s credit rating is nearing junk status and social service agencies are closing their doors in the faces of our most vulnerable residents. And what is the governor doing? Spending millions of dollars on TV commercials for his reelection campaign and spending time anywhere but Springfield. It’s time to do your job, Governor Rauner.

With the clock ticking, it is simply irresponsible for him to not come to the table, negotiate and try to resolve this destructive impasse. Because he refuses to even discuss an end to this budget crisis, our communities face more unnecessary pain as social service agencies close, schools shutter and seniors lose access to critical care.

I stand with my colleagues prepared to put people ahead of politics and do whatever is necessary to end this crisis. It’s time for the governor to do the same.

Emanuel Chris Welch

State Representative, 7th District 


Student Loan Scam Gets an “F” From the FTC

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

The costs of student loans and fees can be overwhelming. You might see online ads that promise to help lower your payments or get your loans forgiven. But be wary of companies that make those promises, and never pay an upfront fee. Today, the FTC announced it had filed charges against Strategic Student Solutions, Student Relief Center, and related companies for lying to consumers about providing student loan debt relief and charging illegal upfront fees.

According to the FTC’s complaint, Strategic Student Solutions promised consumers loan forgiveness or payment reduction and credit repair services, but they didn’t deliver. They told consumers that their monthly fees would be put toward their student loans. They also charged consumers illegal upfront fees of up to $1,200.

Consumers found out later that they had not been enrolled in forgiveness or repayment programs, that none of their payments had been put towards their student loans, and their credit had not been repaired. In fact, consumers often ended up farther behind on their payments than when they first signed up for the companies’ services.

If you have paid money to Strategic Student Solutions or Student Relief Center, contact your loan servicer immediately. Depending on the type of loans you have, you may want to discuss a repayment plan or other options for your situation.

Remember, you do not have to pay for help with your student loans. Never pay an upfront fee for the promise of debt relief. Learn how to spot a debt relief scheme.

To report a student loan debt relief scam, file a complaint with:

·       the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint

·       the CFPB at consumerfinance.gov/complaint

·       your state’s Attorney General’s office.

Black Woman Dies After Plastic Surgery in Dominican Republic

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Death on the table – rooted in cultural imperialism
By Akbar Muhammad


Nationwide (BlackNew.com) – This article is personal for me. I received a call from my daughter informing me that my 27-year-old niece, Tina, died in the Dominican Republic having surgery to change her physical appearance. She lost her life trying to achieve the appearance of a smaller woman in what is now known and marketed as the Brazilian Butt. Unfortunately, she agreed to have three surgeries including breast implants and a nice little word they call a tummy-tuck (liposuction).

Many people get these procedures done because of low self-esteem and poor body-image. However, for black and brown people there is a driving factor that I call cultural imperialism where a foreign culture imposes its standards on another people and culture.

A new report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reveals that Americans spent $16 billion – more than ever before – on cosmetic plastic surgery and minimally-invasive procedures in 2016. The truth is some of it like the liposuction can be achieved with more disciplined dietary habits and exercise.

Many of our young men and women want a quick fix by going under the scalpel (knife) to surgically alter features inherited from their parents. They gamble with their life.

Much of this is rooted in the lack of self-knowledge, self-love and accepting how God has made and validated them.

The late Barry White sang it in “Just the Way You Are” where he said “Don’t go changing, trying to please me… Don’t go trying some new fashion… I love you just the way you are.” Whether Barry White was thinking about what we are doing to ourselves, one would never know; but the lyrics appropriately fits what is going on now.

People from all walks of life suffer with this problem.

Celebrities like professional baseball player Sammy Sosa, who is from the Dominican Republic was not happy with his dark skin complexion and medically lightened his skin tone.

It’s a search for validation in a world that has redefined, corrupted and then marketed standards of beauty and cultural expression. But the physical alterations in hope for love, acceptance and validation is shallow and temporary.

Skin whitening products are widely sold in Africa and the Caribbean. A recent Washington Times article said statistics from the World Health Organization say, “roughly 75 % of Nigerian women, 27 % of Senegalese women and 33 % of South African women regularly use skin-lightening products.” The article said, over half of all cosmetic products sold in India are skin-lightening products. This is what I call Cultural Imperialism.

I say to young women and some men, don’t gamble with your life thinking that the change will make you more than what you are.

Some will reject what I am writing about. My niece was a beautiful young lady with a 9-year-old son. If my writing on this will save one life, then it is worth it.

I was asked to speak at her funeral service and Allah (God) willing, I will read this article and hope it will discourage another young lady from going abroad to change her appearance thinking it will make life better.

It is better that you love yourself and live to love and raise your children in self-love, and not try remaking your body to attract a man or a woman or love outside of you.

Akbar Muhammad may be reached at: aakbar314@yahoo.com

Photo Caption: Tina, niece of Akbar Muhammad



All-Star Political & Cultural Panel Debates State of Black America on TV One May 31

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Take Action
From Marc Morial, President, National Urban League

The nation’s leading commentators challenge one another on topics such as job creation, voting rights, and criminal justice reform during the National Urban League’s first-ever national television special: “National Urban League Presents: State of Black America,” premiering May 31, 8pm ET, on TV One.

  • Dr. Michael Eric Dyson is a Georgetown University professor and author;
  • Attorney Angela Rye is a frequent political commentator on CNN and an NPR political analyst;
  • Touré is an American writer, music journalist, cultural critic, and television personality;
  • GOP consultant Paris Dennard is an NPR Political Analyst and CNN Political commentator;
  • Democratic political strategist Symone Sanders served as national press secretary for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders;
  • Journalist Jeff Johnson appears on BET and serves as a national communications consultant;
  • GOP strategist Angela Sailor served as director of the Republican National Committee’s Coalitions Department

Moderating the dynamic discussion is Roland Martin, managing editor of TV One’s NewsOne Now. Urban League Young Professionals and Guild chapters are hosting both live and virtual watch parties – check with your local Urban League affiliate for more information. Join the conversation on social media by following @NatUrbanLeague and @TVOneTV and sharing your thoughts using the hashtag #StateofBlackAmerica.

Maryland Author Stephen A. Tillett Warns Don’t Believe the Lies About “Race” That Continues to Undermine Our Country in New Book, “Stop Falling For The Okeydoke”

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Annapolis, MD – Stephen A. Tillett, Anne Arundel County NAACP Branch  President, political activist, and interfaith clergy leader, released his first book, Stop Falling for the Okeydoke: How the Lie of “Race” Continues to Undermine Our Country [iUniverse; May 25, 2017; 978-1-5320-1-9; $15.99; paperback] for sale at www.iUniverse.com.


As a new featured author, he will be at the BookExpo America 2017 from June 1-4, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City.

Tillett believes we are living in a critical time in our nation’s history, a time where people of like interests must come together for their common good, lest we all be overrun by the “Corporate States of America.” The lie-the okeydoke of “race”-has kept people of common concern separated for far too long. Genetically, we are all 99.9% the same. We must begin to act like it.

As Dr. King once said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or (we will) perish together as fools.”

Advance Praises…

“You hit the nail right on the head!”- Bishop Felton Edwin May (Retired) of the United Methodist Church

“This book is a very personal and powerful examination of the “lie of race” that has served those in power well throughout our history and right up to the present day. [His book’s] approach dispels pervasive myths and untruths and illuminates the history, science and politics of this destructive ‘lie’.”- Myla Kabat-Zinn (daughter of Dr. Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States)

“I have known Stephen Tillett for many years, and he has been making big moves all his life. And now he is leading the way again with this incredible book! This book is leading edge thinking and it will have a big impact on America and the world!”- Dr. Willie Jolley, Bestselling author of A Setback Is A Setup For A Comeback and Achieving Greatness with An Attitude of Excellence

Stephen A. Tillett is a native Washingtonian, who received a B.A. from the School of

Government and Public Administration at The American University; and earned a Masters of Divinity degree at the Howard University School of Divinity. Pastor Tillett was commissioned as a Chaplain in the Air National Guard in December 1996. He concluded his military career in a Special Duty Assignment at Arlington National Cemetery, where he served until his retirement on January 1, 2017. He is the Pastor of Asbury Broadneck UMC in Annapolis, MD, and the President of the Anne Arundel County Branch of the NAACP. He is the father of three children. He, and his wife, Dr. Sherita Gaskins-Tillett, and daughter reside in Maryland.

Courtesy Photos: Author Stephen A. Tillett and book cover

Follow Via Social Media:
Instagram: @StopFalling4It

Does the DeVos Education Budget Promote “Choice” or Segregation?

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
An Op-ed from the Poverty & Race Research Action Council on the proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Education Budget
By Kimberly Hall and Michael Hilton

Washington, DC, May 24, 2017 – The American public education system should provide an equal opportunity for all students to receive a quality rigorous education – regardless of class, race or ethnicity. In direct opposition to this goal, the Fiscal Year 2018 education budget recommendations from the Trump Administration show an effort to limit opportunities, support, and civil rights protections for students throughout the country.

The proposed Furthering Options for Children to Unlock Success (FOCUS), a new Title I program, is a thinly veiled attempt to open the door for the voucherization of all federal, state and local public schools funds. This push to funnel public money to private schools to “improve student academic performance,” fails to learn from the lessons of the past.

Districts throughout the country have attempted voucherization resulting in overwhelmingly negative academic outcomes and the promotion of segregation. The District of Columbia and Louisiana implemented district wide voucher programs to help save poor performing school districts. Evaluations of student performance in both cities showed a negative impact on student achievement. Students who participated in the Louisiana voucher program exhibited steep declines in math performance compared to students who remained in traditional public schools, performing 13% lower on average after two years in the voucher schools.

Why would we voluntarily expand a program that has proven to have the opposite effect of what we would like to achieve?

The Poverty & Race Research Action Council, like other members of the National Coalition on School Diversity, is not opposed to expanding the range of opportunities available to students and their families. In fact, our research advocacy efforts are centered around the thoughtful, responsible expansion of public school choice approaches that help to bring children together in racial and economically integrated schools.

The Magnet School Assistance Program, for instance, builds off of decades of research which shows the magnet school approach conveys significant benefits to all
students. The integration effort in Louisville, KY, provides a real world example of how school choice programs centered around integration can have positive impacts on student outcomes.

If enacted, a pseudo-voucher program such as FOCUS would all but guarantee a less equitable school funding framework, paving the way for the continued defunding of the low performing schools and intensifying racial and economic segregation in those same schools. According to research from The Century Foundation, private school vouchers present a threat to integrated schools, in some cases opening the door for white and middle-class flight, in an echo of the segregation academies of the 60s and 70s.

If we are serious about improving academic achievement for all students, we need to support and fund the programs and policies that have proven to work. The research on the benefits of integrated schools clearly shows that in addition to helping to close the achievement gap, all students in integrated schools are more likely to be prepared for a global economy, have improved civic attitudes towards democratic participation, increased participation in community activities and show enhanced critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Yet, as we seek to prepare our students to compete on a global stage, the Trump Administration proposes to divert support from programs that have proven to benefit students’ life outcomes to fund programs that have shown to cause academic harm. But it does not stop there.

The already short staffed Office of Civil Rights is on the line for considerable cuts in funding and staff positions. At a time when the complaint levels are near historic highs with a record number of complaints year after year, this budget will cripple the already understaffed office charged with protecting the civil rights of all students.

Providing all of our nation’s children with a high-quality education should always be a top priority. We have not yet achieved that goal, however, it is a struggle we must win. We can never stop working to make sure that all children have an opportunity to learn and pursue their American Dream.

This proposed budget will close the doors of opportunity to hundreds of thousands of young minds around the country. We urge Congress to reject this attack on equal access to a quality public education, students’ civil rights, and ultimately our country’s long-term ability to continue as a global leader.

The Poverty & Race Research Council (PRRAC) is a civil rights policy organization convened by major civil rights, civil liberties and anti-poverty groups in 1989-90. PRRAC’s primary mission is to help connect advocates with social scientist working on race and poverty issues, and to promote a research-based advocacy strategy on structural inequality issues.

Communications & Partnerships Manager Kimberly Hall, manages PRRAC’s communications and media relations efforts. Before coming to PRRAC she worked in communications, messaging & strategy for non-profits and on political campaigns, most notably President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. Kimberly is a graduate of the University of North Florida (B.S. Communications) and the University of Florida Political Campaigning Program (M.A. Political Science).
Michael Hilton is Policy Counsel – Education, supporting PRRAC’s education policy work. He is a 2012 Graduate of Columbia Law School, and the author of “Poverty, Literacy, and Brain Development: Toward a New, Place-Based Educational Intervention,” 17 Rich J.L. & Pub. Int. 623 (2014), and “Residential Segregation and Brain Development: Implications for Equitable Educational Opportunities in School Integration Matters” (Frankenberg, Garces, and Hopkins, Eds.) (2016) (Member of the New York State Bar.)
Photo Caption: Kimberly Hall and Michael Hilton

Attorney General Madigan Announces $18.5 Million Settlement With Target Over Data Breach

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Agreement Establishes Industry Standards for Collecting and Protecting Consumer Data  


CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that Illinois led 47 states and the District of Columbia in reaching an $18.5 million settlement with the Target Corporation to resolve the states’ investigation into the company’s 2013 data breach. The settlement represents the largest multistate data breach settlement achieved to date and sets industry standards for better protecting consumers’ information from data breaches in the future.


The states’ investigation, led by Madigan and Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, found that cyber attackers accessed Target’s gateway server through credentials stolen from a third-party HVAC vendor on or about November 12, 2013. The credentials were used to exploit weaknesses in Target’s system, allowing the attackers to access a customer service database, install malware on the system and to capture customer data, including full names, telephone numbers, email addresses, mailing addresses, payment card numbers, expiration dates, credit card verification codes and encrypted debit PINs.


The breach affected more than 41 million customer payment card accounts and contact information for more than 60 million customers.


“Today’s settlement with Target establishes industry standards for companies that process payment cards and maintain secure information about their customers,” Madigan said. “People must remain vigilant about activity on their credit and debit cards as it’s not a matter of if but when you are going to be a victim of identity theft or a security breach.”


The new industry standards require Target to:

  • Develop, implement and maintain a comprehensive information security program;
  • Employ an executive or officer who is responsible for executing the plan;
  • Hire an independent, qualified third-party to conduct a comprehensive security assessment:
  • Maintain and support software on its network for data security purposes;
  • Maintain appropriate encryption policies, particularly as they pertain to cardholder and personal information data;
  • Segment its cardholder data environment from the rest of its computer network; and
  • Undertake steps to control access to its network, including implementing password rotation policies and two-factor authentication.

Illinois will receive more than $1.2 million from the settlement.


Joining Madigan and the Connecticut Attorney General’s office in participating in the settlement are attorneys general from: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia and the District of Columbia.


A copy of the settlement document can be found here.


Consumer Protection Division Chief Deborah Hagan, Springfield Bureau Chief Elizabeth Blackston, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Van Hise and Assistant Attorney General Yangsu Kim handled the settlement for Madigan’s Consumer Protection Bureau.


Johnny Lang, Mavis Staples, Shemekia Copeland, Elvin Bishop, Devon Allman and Guy King Headline 21st Blues on the Fox Festival, June 16 and 17 at Aurora’s Riveredge Park

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Aurora’s 21st Annual Blues on the Fox Festival opens Friday, June 16 with (middle, from left)
Mavis Staples and Shemekia Copeland. The Saturday, June 17 line-up boasts (bottom, from left) Jonny Lang, Elvin Bishop, Devon Allman and Guy King.

AURORA, IL, May 19, 2017 – For 21 years, blues musicians from across the world have descended on west suburban Aurora, Illinois to play their hearts out to blues-loving crowds in the thousands.

Once again, this year’s sizzling line-up for Aurora’s 21st Annual Blues on the Fox Festival – Shemekia Copeland, Mavis Staples, Guy King Band, Devon Allman Band, Elvin Bishop and Jonny Lang – is sure to attract music fanatics from around the globe to celebrate the soul, grit and power of American blues.

Dates are Friday and Saturday, June 16 and 17, and RiverEdge Park,
360 N. Broadway in downtown Aurora, is the idyllic venue, serving up two days of sizzlin’ blues music, cold beer, tasty festival food and a damn good time, all overlooking the gorgeous Fox River.

Gates open Friday, June 16, at 6 p.m. for day one of Blues on the Fox, featuring an all-ladies lineup – three-time Grammy nominee and international blues favorite Shemekia Copeland at 7 p.m., followed by Chicago’s own living legend, the incomparable Mavis Staples at 9 p.m.

Come back Saturday, June 17, for day two. Gates open at 2 p.m. Chicago’s own Guy King Band’s classic jazz sound of yesteryear fused with a fresh spin starts at
3 p.m. Devon Allman, the son of musical royalty who delivers a thoroughly unique blend of blues and rock that is all his own, plays at 5 p.m. 

Blues on the Fox rocks into the night with Blues Hall of Famer, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy nominee Elvin Bishop at 7 p.m., climaxing at 9 p.m. with the legendary Jonny Lang shredding his brand of blues, gospel, pop, R&B, rock and soul.Don’t wait to get your tickets, blues fans. Early bird tickets are only $10 per day if purchased through May 31. Regular tickets are $20 per day starting June 1 and on-site. Children 12 and under are admitted free to Blues on the Fox but must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older.For tickets and information, visit

RiverEdgeAurora.com, call the RiverEdge box office, 630.896.6666, or stop by in-person at RiverEdge’s satellite box office, the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Saturday.The RiverEdge box office will also be open on-site both days for day-of sales, beginning at noon. All tickets are general admission. Ticket fees not included.

RiverEdge is easy to get to from Chicago via Metra’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) line. Paid public parking is available in the Metra lot, with additional private lots surrounding the park and in downtown Aurora.

Guests are encouraged to bring folding and bag chairs. Concessions at RiverEdge boast a diverse food menu and bar featuring domestic and craft beers, wine, sodas, bottled water and more. Outside food is welcome in the Park as well, with restrictions. Only soft collapsible coolers no larger than 12″ W x 12″ T x 12″ L are allowed. Coolers, as well as any other personal items, must fit in front of or under chairs and must not take up room on either side. No outside beverages are allowed in, with the exception of two sealed bottles of unflavored water per person. All coolers are subject to inspection. One cooler per patron.

Events at RiverEdge Park take place rain or shine, unless conditions endanger the safety of artists and the public. Concertgoers are advised to follow RiverEdge Park on Facebook and Twitter @RiverEdgeAurora for all concert updates, or call the RiverEdge Park Weather Line, 630.723.2480, to check status if inclement weather is pending.

The 21st Annual Blues on the Fox Festival premier sponsor is Old Second Bank. The festival is also sponsored by Rush-Copley Medical Center, Fox Valley Park District, EarthMover Credit Union, Chiro One Wellness Centers, Paramount Fence and Kane County Chronicle. The official radio station is 93.1 WXRT-FM.

More about the bands

Friday, June 16

Gates open: 6 p.m.

Shemekia Copeland: 7 p.m.
Whether she’s belting out a raucous blues-rocker, firing up a blistering soul-shouter, bringing the spirit to a gospel-fueled R&B rave-up or digging deep down into a subtle, country-tinged ballad, Shemekia Copeland sounds like no one else.
“She roars with a sizzling hot intensity,” raves the Boston Globe. She has “gale force singing and power” writes the  Chicago Tribune. NPR says she’s “fiercely expressive.” Growing up with her bluesman father, Johnny Clyde Copeland, Shemekia always knew she wanted to sing, but it wasn’t until she was 16 when she began opening for her father that her explosive voice began blowing audiences away. Since then, she’s been nominated for three Grammys and has been a mainstay on the blues circuit. She’s sung with legends like B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and opened for The Rolling Stones. Her newest album is the 2015 Alligator Records release, the Grammy-nominated Outskirts of Love. Recent honors include the 2016 Artist of the Year and Album of the Year at the 2016 Living Blues awards, and the Contemporary Blues Female Artist Award at the 2016 Blues Music Awards. For more, visit shemekiacopeland.com.
Shemekia Copeland -
Shemekia Copeland – “Married To The Blues”

Mavis Staples: 9 p.m.

Talk about a living legend. Mavis Staples has seen and done it all, but that doesn’t mean she’s ready to hang up the microphone. Not even close. Grammy Award-winner Mavis Staples – yes, the one who turned down a marriage proposal from Bob Dylan – was born right here in Chicago and began singing with her family at local churches in 1950 when she was just a little girl. Now, 67 years later, Staples is still belting out those eye-watering, jaw-dropping gospel and blues notes that made her a star enormously respected by her peers: Ice Cube and Ludacris have sampled her vocals, and she recently sang with Arcade Fire. When you think about the best freedom songs of the 20th century, Mavis is right there near the top of the list with “Down in Mississippi” and “I’ll Take You There.” And with a recent Presidential Medal of Freedom and Kennedy Center Honors, she is hotter than ever. Learn more at livinonahighnote.com.
Mavis Staples+Jeff Tweedy -
Mavis Staples+Jeff Tweedy – “You Are Not Alone” Acoustic

Saturday, June 17

Gates open: 2 p.m.

Guy King Band: 3 p.m.

If you’re looking for that classic jazz sound of yesteryear fused with a fresh spin that’s all his own, look no further than Guy King. He first came to the U.S. from Israel on tour at the age of 16 before later heading to Chicago and joining the band of legendary Willie Kent. In 2006, King began his own incredible solo career performing at House of Blues, Buddy Guy’s Legends and more. His own mind-blowing brand of blues, jazz, soul and R&B makes his amazing performances stand miles above the rest. King’s passion for music is so great that when growing up in a small village in Israel, he had to travel for hours to get to a record store in Tel Aviv. When they didn’t have the Albert King record he wanted, he placed an order for it and had to do the whole trip again a month later. While those days are over, King’s love for music and jazz has only grown, cementing him as a world-class musician that needs to be seen to be believed. His newest album, Truth, released by Delmark Records in 2016, is nominated for a 2017 Blues Music Award for Best Emerging Artist Album. For more visit guyking.net.

The Guy King Band salutes Buddy Guy at the 2016 Fifth Star Awards
The Guy King Band salutes Buddy Guy at the 2016 Fifth Star Awards
Devon Allman Band: 5 p.m.

He might share the same last name as his famous dad and uncle, but Devon Allman is his own musician – and an amazing one at that. Devon first picked up the guitar when he was a teenager and hasn’t put it down since. Instead of his name, Devon used his voice and incredible songwriting skills to break into the business, and what started as playing in local bands and working in a Guitar Center has skyrocketed into a critically-acclaimed career-hailed as “powerful” and “soulful.” With his own band behind him, Devon uses his custom blend of blues and rock to deliver a show that will leave you electrified and excited for what this son of musical royalty will do next. While you might hear echoes of his dad, Allman delivers a thoroughly unique sound that is all his own. For more visit devonallmanband.com.

Devon Allman Band -
Devon Allman Band – “I’ll Be Around”
Elvin Bishop: 7 p.m.
Having been inducted into not only the Blues Hall of Fame, but the Rock and Roll of Fame, Grammy nominee Elvin Bishop knows a little something about music, and he’s going to give a lesson impossible to forget. It’s all right here: “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” “Let It Flow” and so much more. This is the man who sat in with the Grateful Dead, co-billed a series of concerts with The Allman Brothers Band and had one of his songs featured on the smash soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy, proving that his music has a timeless quality that attracts new and old listeners alike. Bishop’s musical career began in 1963 when he met Paul Butterfield and joined his blues band. For five years, they played together until he left to form The Elvin Bishop Group. Over the years, he’s released more than 20 incredible albums. His last studio album, Can’t Even Do Wrong Right, dropped in 2014. More at elvinbishopmusic.com.
Elvin Bishop with Mickey Thomas -
Elvin Bishop with Mickey Thomas – “Fooled Around And Fell In Love”
Jonny Lang:  9 p.m.
Lang was only 12-years-old when he first picked up a guitar. He must have felt a spark when he touched it, because what he’s produced since is nothing short of stunning. All you need to do is look at his five albums that have charted on the Billboard 200 and his two Grammy nominations, including a win for his 2007 album Turn Around. His sixth studio album, Signs, will be released in North America on September 8 via Concord Records. On all of his songs, Lang shreds with his own brand of blues, gospel, pop, R&B and rock, then he uses his smooth, soulful voice to tug at your heart, soul and mind. See and hear how at jonnylang.com.
Jonny Lang, Buddy Guy & Ronnie Wood (Watch for the Bill Murray cameo)
Jonny Lang, Buddy Guy & Ronnie Wood (Watch for the Bill Murray cameo)

RiverEdge Park’s 2017 summer season – chronological list of concerts and events:

Sunday, May 28
ColorVibe 5K Race

Friday and Saturday, June 2 and 3
Two Brothers Summer Festival featuring X Ambassadors, Saint Motel, Blind Pilot, Knox Hamilton, Savoir Adore and The Way Down Wanderers

Sunday, June 11
Chicagoland Tour de Cure cycling event for the American Diabetes Association

Friday and Saturday, June 16 and 17
21st Annual Blues on the Fox Festival

Sunday, June 18
Sacred Heart Festival

Saturday, June 24
Dark Star Orchestra: Continuing the Grateful Dead Concert Experience
Sunday, July 2
Good Vibes Music Fest featuring Dru Hill, Ginuwine, Jon B and moreTuesday, July 4
Aurora’s July 4th Celebration
Friday, July 7

Downtown Alive! The Chicago Experience

Thursday, July 20

Steve Miller Band with Peter Frampton

Friday, July 21

Kesha and the Creepies

Friday, July 28


Friday, August 4

Downtown Alive! American English

Friday, August 11

Jason Derulo

Thursday, August 17

Southern Uprising Tour featuring Travis Tritt, Montgomery Gentry, The Marshall Tucker Band and The Outlaws

Friday, August 25

Get the Led Out: The American Led Zeppelin

Saturday, September 16
Fiestas Patrias
About RiverEdge Park

RiverEdge Park, renamed Thomas J. Weisner RiverEdge Park in 2016 in honor of former Aurora Mayor Thomas Weisner, debuted in 2013. It is a general admission outdoor summer concert venue with a capacity of up to 8,500, boasting state-of-the-art acoustics and lighting, a warm community feel and gorgeous views on the banks of the Fox River. The venue is anchored by the contemporary John C. Dunham performance pavilion. 

RiverEdge Park is managed and programmed by the Aurora Civic Center Authority (ACCA), which also oversees operations for Aurora’s historic Paramount Theatre. The RiverEdge Park 2017 Season is sponsored by the Dunham Fund, Superior Beverage and the City of Aurora.

For tickets and information, visit RiverEdgeAurora.com or call 630.896.6666.

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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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