April , 2019

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Archive for March 1st, 2018

Bipartisan Support Powers Passage of Landmark Legislation to Protect Illinois Communities From Illegal Guns

Posted by Admin On March - 1 - 2018 Comments Off on Bipartisan Support Powers Passage of Landmark Legislation to Protect Illinois Communities From Illegal Guns

Year-long grassroots and digital advocacy campaign led by GPAC and coalition group shepherds passage of Gun Dealers Licensing Act 

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois House passed the Gun Dealers Licensing Act (SB1657), an historic public safety measure that would protect children and families from illegal guns flowing into our communities, making Illinois the first state legislature in the nation to adopt major anti-gun violence legislation following the tragic mass shooting at a south Florida high school earlier this month.

The bill now awaits Governor Rauner’s signature to become law.

SB 1657 prevents illegal guns from getting into the hands of criminals by giving state authorities and law enforcement officers the tools to hold accountable corrupt or negligent gun dealers, a major source fueling the illegal gun trade in Chicago and across the region.

The bill’s passage caps a sweeping effort led by the nonpartisan, Illinois-based Gun Violence Prevention Political Action Committee (GPAC) and more than 120 partner organizations with the Gun Violence Prevention Coalition dedicated to eliminating gun violence in communities across the state. They launched an aggressive digital engagement and grassroots campaign last year to support passage of this bill. Their social media activations reached more than two million Illinoisans statewide and 650,000 video views during this time. 

“Thousands of lives will literally be saved with the passage of this bill and for that our coalition of 120-strong advocate organizations along with state Senators and Representatives on both sides of the aisle who voted for it can hold their heads very high,” said Kathleen Sances, President and CEO of GPAC. “The passage of this bill represents a milestone victory against the gun lobby and their allies, and shows the rest of the country that it’s possible to take them on and beat them because we did it right here in Illinois.”

The Gun Dealers Licensing Act eliminates gaps that have for too long allowed guns to fall into the wrong hands. From 2013 to 2016, 40 percent of firearms used in crimes in Chicago came from lax gun dealers within Illinois, according to the 2017 Gun Trace Report. Thanks to loopholes in federal law and a lack of federal resources for enforcement, Illinois hasn’t had the necessary tools or authority to combat the illegal gun trafficking that is threatening families and communities.

SB 1657, which passed the Illinois Senate with bi-partisan support last fall, requires criminal background checks for all gun shop employees. It would require training to help gun shop employees identify a buyer purchasing a gun for someone else, require basic store security measures to help prevent theft, and strengthen law enforcement’s ability to catch those responsible for illegal gun trafficking.

Despite momentum building in Illinois and nationally to address the scourge of gun violence, firearm injuries continue to be the number one cause of death for children in Illinois. Last year, more than 600 people in Illinois died as a result of a gunshot and thousands more were injured with difficult journeys to recovery. 

“Children in Illinois – and across this country – have a right to grow up in communities free from gun violence,” Sances said. “But that cannot be achieved unless we’re willing to work courageously to keep illegal firearms off our streets and away from those who mean to do harm. Now, we have taken an incredibly important step in that direction.”

About G-PAC:

The Gun Violence Prevention Action Committee (G-PAC) is a nonpartisan political action committee dedicated to electing public officials with the courage to stand up to the gun lobby. In 2013, gun violence victims and survivors created G-PAC to counter the political influence and clout of the gun industry. By providing strategic campaign support to committed legislators, G-PAC aims to protect communities from the gun violence epidemic, which takes an average of 1000 lives each year in Illinois.

With support from a growing bipartisan coalition of legislators committed to ending this epidemic, G-PAC fights for the passage of sensible gun safety measures supported by gun owners and non-gun owners alike. These measures include lifesaving legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of criminals, gang members, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill. For more information, visit: https://gpacillinois.com/about-gpac/ and follow G-PAC on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gpacillinois.

Decision by Mayor’s Hand-Picked Board to Close Black Schools is Assault on Democracy

Posted by Admin On March - 1 - 2018 Comments Off on Decision by Mayor’s Hand-Picked Board to Close Black Schools is Assault on Democracy

Proxies for mayor add insult to injury by voting to close Black schools on last day of Black History Month, in another round of attacks on educational rights.


CHICAGO, ILThe Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement today in response to the decision by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s hand-picked school board to close five Black schools over sweeping community opposition. CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey can be cited for attribution:

Today we saw the naked hand of political repression reach out from the mayor’s office, when Rahm Emanuel’s hand-picked board ignored the passionate pleas of students and parents and voted over sweeping community opposition to close another five Black schools. To add insult to injury — and drive home the racist character of these closures — the board voted this travesty on the last day of Black History Month.

It was truly gut-wrenching to listen to elementary and high school students beg this board, sometimes through tears, to protect rather than annihilate their school communities. Other students were full of anger, saying repeatedly that the board would never do to a white school community what was being done to them today. Students who were barred from the board meeting occupied the lobby of school headquarters, then took their protest – and their anger – to city hall, where they held another impromptu rally to oppose this mayor’s racist school policies.

Yet this school board ignored them – just as the school bureaucrats and the mayor who dictates their actions ignored parents, students and community residents four years ago, when Emanuel instigated the largest wave of mass school closings in U.S. history. Four years ago, the burden of those school closures fall overwhelmingly on the shoulders of Black and Brown students. Today was no different.

The reality is that this mayor and the school bosses he appoints don’t give a damn about the well-being, education or future of this city’s working class Black and Latinx students. Quite the opposite. This mayor, like the mayor before him, has ratcheted up school privatization, disinvestment and nakedly racist funding policies that undercut working class students of color. Emanuel’s proxies today rubber stamped a longstanding racist cycle of disinvestment in Black neighborhoods. The mayor controls the school board — and mayoral control continues to drive these policies, while shielding the board from repercussions for their actions.

Twice, now, the Illinois House of Representatives has voted overwhelmingly to end the mayor’s choke-hold on the school district and provide for an elected, representative school board in Chicago. Yet the legislation remains stalled in the Illinois Senate. It’s time for Senate leadership to take the path of democracy and justice, and join the House in granting the largest school district in the state the same democratic rights enjoyed by the rest of the state.

The vote to close these schools – to acquiesce once again to the mayor’s pitiless and failed school policies – has reignited a fire for democracy that will leave Emanuel’s reputations in tatters and the seats of his current board members empty. We’re asking every Illinois resident to contact their state senator and demand for Chicagoans what every other school district in the state has: an elected, representative school board that provides residents with the democratic control and accountability we deserve. And we will continue to fight school privatization, school closings and so-called phase-outs on the ground with our members, our parents, our students and this city’s growing grassroots movement for educational equity, in what is evolving into one of the great civil rights battles of our time.

House Democrats Pass Sweeping Gun Safety Measures, Answering Nationwide Call from Student Activists

Posted by Admin On March - 1 - 2018 Comments Off on House Democrats Pass Sweeping Gun Safety Measures, Answering Nationwide Call from Student Activists

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Responding to a nationwide call from students and parents for immediate action on gun safety in the wake of another tragic mass shooting, Illinois House Democrats passed critical legislation reducing access to assault rifles, banning the sale of ‘bump stock’ modifications, and licensing gun dealers to ensure all state and federal laws are met Wednesday.

“In the span of just one week, we have witnessed yet another tragic mass shooting targeting young people in a place where they should always be safe, and we’ve seen the murder of a Chicago Police officer who was killed while pursuing a gunman armed with weapons of war,” said Speaker Michael J. Madigan. “But we have also seen our students stand up and demand their safety come first, and we’ve seen people from across our state stand together—first in mourning, and then in resolve for change. Today, Democrats and a few thoughtful Republicans stood up and answered the call, but the silence from Governor Rauner speaks volumes and is reflected in the fact that the majority of his caucus opposed even these most basic gun safety measures. While the successful passage of these bills is a critical step for safer communities, it should have been a step we took together rather than another example of the governor’s failure to lead.”

The sweeping package of gun safety legislation passed by Madigan and House Democrats Wednesday includes:

  • House Bill 1465, which raises the minimum age to purchase an assault rifle from 18 to 21.
  • House Bill 1467, which bans the sale of bump stocks and other modifications like those used by the Las Vegas shooter to turn an arsenal of semi-automatic rifles into fully automatic machine guns.
  • House Bill 1468, which requires a 72-hour “cooling off” period on all assault rifle sales.
  • Senate Bill 1657 and House Bill 1273, which ensure gun shops will comply with these and other state and federal laws by creating a gun dealer licensing system. These bills will hold gun dealers to the same standard as many other licensed professions including car dealerships, real estate agencies, and even beauty salons, to ensure gun shops meet basic levels of security and training.

“In just six years since Sandy Hook, more than 400 of our young people have been victims of school shootings,” said Kathleen Sances, president and CEO of the Gun Violence Prevention PAC. “Meanwhile, children are dying everyday here on the streets of Chicago and nothing has been done to stop it. If these children were victims of a foreign terrorist, our leaders would spare no expense in eliminating the threat. If they had been killed by a defective product, that product would be recalled overnight. Today, legislators took a major step forward on behalf of victims by taking critical steps to protect our children, families and communities from gun violence.”

“Our work does not end here,” Madigan said. “We will continue this push for stronger gun safety laws, and we hope Governor Rauner will finally decide to join us to protect our schools, protect our communities and protect our children.”

NAACP: Demand Qualified Federal Judges

Posted by Admin On March - 1 - 2018 Comments Off on NAACP: Demand Qualified Federal Judges
From Derrick Johnson
NAACP President & CEO
It’s not every day that you can put a face to injustice, juanita.

But with Thomas A. Farr, President Trump’s nominee for a lifetime appointment to a federal court in North Carolina, the resemblance is clear. Farr’s record of opposition to civil rights is lengthy and consistent. Throughout his career, Farr has supported and worked for efforts to intimidate, misinform, or otherwise disenfranchise African-American voters. Quite simply, his confirmation would be disastrous for people of color in North Carolina.

What’s more, the court to which Farr is nominated has a long history of exclusion. Despite the fact that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina is home to approximately half of the African Americans living in the state, this court has never had a judge of African descent in its 143-year history. The Obama Administration nominated two excellent Black female candidates to this court, but neither was ever confirmed.

Stopping Farr’s confirmation isn’t a partisan issue. It’s a matter of justice for all.

This morning, I joined fellow civil rights leaders and Members of Congress to voice our concerns on the grave consequences of Farr’s confirmation. Will you join us in demanding qualified, honorable candidates for lifetime appointments as judges?

Tell your Senators to oppose the confirmation of Thomas Farr.

Give to the NAACP to fund our fight for justice.


In Solidarity,

NAACP <info@naacpnet.org>


County Board President Preckwinkle: Gun Safety and Votes in Springfield

Posted by Admin On March - 1 - 2018 Comments Off on County Board President Preckwinkle: Gun Safety and Votes in Springfield

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle statement on Gun Safety and Votes in Springfield

“A step toward more comprehensive gun safety laws is a step in the right direction because every gun death is one too many.

I’m heartened that the state house will be taking action today on a variety of gun bills. But a vote is not enough. We must not stop pushing for commonsense change until it is law and we cannot stop at the state house because we are also in dire need of federal action.

I support, as always, Springfield’s efforts to pass the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, which is long overdue and would take the common-sense approach that gun dealers should be licensed like any other business. In Illinois, we require businesses that want to sell liquor, cars or tobacco to have licenses. It is unconscionable that we do not already require this for gun dealers, as it would promote public safety without infringing on gun owners’ Second Amendment rights.

I also support a ban on military-style assault weapons, a ban on high capacity magazines and a ban on civilian sale of body armor because the accessories of war have no place in the general population.

I hope Springfield does the right thing, that Washington pays attention and that we can move forward together so no child—not a teenager in a high school in Parkland, Florida or a young person on the streets outside school in Chicago—has to fear for their lives.”

Black Writer Conference Positions Authorpreneurs to Take From the Page to the Stage

Posted by Admin On March - 1 - 2018 Comments Off on Black Writer Conference Positions Authorpreneurs to Take From the Page to the Stage

Attendees at Red Ink Conference

Detroit, MI (BlackNews.com) — The Red Ink Conference: The Premier Conference for Authors & Editors will empower attendees to write, edit and market their next bestseller – at a fraction of the cost. Many of the attendees will be indie authors who are just starting their publishing journey. They are inviting aspiring bestsellers, as well as those who want to take their writing to the next level by editing for other indie authors, to join us in Troy, MI at the Hilton Garden Inn on Saturday, May 19, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The conference will cap at 100 attendees. Collectively, our conference speakers, Tenita “Bestseller” Johnson, Valerie J. Lewis-Coleman, Vanessa Lynn and Bro. Bedford have over 30 years of industry experience and run successful businesses that support indie authors nationwide. Together, they are determined to make a dent in the book publishing world and have attendees learn new, innovative information that will position them to build a solid platform as an authorpreneur and speaker.

Attendees can expect to glean information on marketing, crafting a solid book synopsis, as well as self-publishing industry secrets that will save them both time and money. In addition, authors and aspiring authors alike will learn how to take their manuscript from the page to the theatre stage. The Red Ink Conference will also debut in Atlanta this year on September 15, 2018 for the first time. Registration for Atlanta will open April 1, 2018.

Early bird admission tickets are $97 through April 1, 2018 for the Detroit conference. Thereafter, general admission tickets are $167. VIP attendees and vendors will receive an on-site professional photo shoot at the event.

How to Register:
To purchase tickets, visit www.theredinkconference.com

For interviews or more information, please contact Tenita Johnson at redinkconference@gmail.com or 313-999-6942

Photo Caption: Attendees at last year’s Red Ink Conference in Detroit, Michigan .

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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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