27
April , 2017
Thursday

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education has announced the following meeting for April ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL – In the wake of revelations that at least one con artist ...
Attorney General, Department of Financial & Professional Regulation Take Action Against Online ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced the House Consumer Protection Committee unanimously voted ...
James Fortune Leads with Ten Nominations, followed by Bebe & Cece Winans, Fred Hammond and ...
Illinois Republican Chairman says Quinn's “matinee performance” is like re-arranging the deck chairs on the ...
Collections include $101 million recovery for state pension systems CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General ...
Online petition at Cullertown.com for citizens to tell Illinois State Senate President Cullerton to stop ...
By Rev. Harold E. Bailey President of Probation Challenge/PCC Internet Network There are six things ...
Munster, IN- Celebrating the most romantic night of the year, powerhouse songstress Felicia P. Fields ...

Archive for the ‘Headlines’ Category

Trump Trashes Protections for Students and Taxpayers

Posted by Admin On April - 25 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Changes to Student Loan Repayment Plans Benefit Multi-Million Dollar Companies and Hurt Taxpayers, Students

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Private companies that service college loans will profit at the expense of students because the Trump administration killed commonsense changes to reduce the default rate among college borrowers, Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs said today.

“Let’s be clear about what President Trump’s changes mean. These service centers, when speaking with college graduates who want to work out a payment plan, will not have to tell the truth,” Frerichs said. “It will needlessly result in more college defaults for individuals and higher profits for corporations at the expense of every-day taxpayers.”

For years, college borrowers received poor service and inaccurate information when they called loan servicing centers with questions about their loans, including how to change repayment plans to lower monthly payments until their earnings improved. These service centers act as middlemen between lenders and borrowers. The poor service led to students paying higher fees and an increase in default rates.

Higher fees needlessly burden students, causing them to pay more than is necessary. This reduces discretionary spending when we know consumer spending makes up nearly two-thirds of our economy. Further, defaulting on these college loans hurts all taxpayers because the loans are federally funded. Current estimates peg $137.4 billion in federal student loans are in default.

 

Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos, scrapped the reforms initiated by the Obama administration before they could be fully implemented. In doing so, DeVos did not indicate what would be done to address the poor service and inaccurate information that led to some defaults.

The information gap is significant. A 2015 study by the General Accountability Office (GAO) concluded half of those making student loan payments could have paid less under government rules that consider income when formulating payment plans. Only 13 percent of borrowers, however, knew to ask for lower payments. The GAO is an independent, non-partisan agency that works for Congress.

 Trump’s changes mean higher profits for loan servicing companies that manage $1.2 trillion in government-funded loans. The Trump administration is issuing new contracts to these middlemen charged with helping borrowers find the best repayment plan and avoiding default. The Obama administration’s contracts included customer service requirements. Companies balked at the demands and called them unnecessary, time consuming and, therefore, expensive. As a result, Trump dropped them.

 

For example, gone now are provisions that would tie compensation to promptly answering telephone calls, providing accurate information, completing applications for income-driven repayment plans, and payment processing times.

 

“Their profit-margins just increased because they do not have to take the time to make sure that they are providing accurate information that would keep an honest individual in payment status rather than default,” Frerichs said. “These are federal loans. By writing a memo to rescind a commonsense rule, DeVos and Trump just ripped money from taxpayers’ pockets and handed it to the executives managing these multi-million dollar companies.”

The issue is important to Frerichs in his role as a champion of college savings in Illinois. Bright Start and Bright Directions are private-sector college savings investment tools managed by the state treasurer’s office. Together, there is more than $8 billion in 450,000 active accounts. This money is completely separate from Illinois’ other investments and cannot be used by the state to pay any other obligations.

DC Black Leaders Frustrated With Local Elected Officials

Posted by Admin On April - 17 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Washington DC elected officials out of step with African American leaders attempts at progress

DC Board of Elections
Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) – DCs Mayor Bowser, Council Member Anita Bonds, and DCs Attorney General Racine, have not shown support for the proposed Recovery Act for Living Descendants of American Slaves, which does not depend on government funding, and seeks compensation from former entities that used slave labor or participated in slavery.DCs Attorney General, went further last week and filed an opposition to have the proposed DC Recovery Act to be on the ballot for voters to determine if it should become law.At the Board of Election Hearing last week, African American leaders, John Cheeks and Jerry Owens of the United States Citizens Recovery Initiative Alliance (USCRIA.Com) Attorney Malik Z. Shabazz, Amy Jenkins, and others, in a capacity filled room, spoke in support of the proposed law, also supported by Congressman John Conyers though he did not attend; in attempts to have the Boards approval for the proposed law to be placed on the ballot.Malik Shabazz Esq of Black Lawyers for Justice stated, We hope that all barriers are soon crossed so to clear a path for his [ for Mr. Cheeks] referendum to be placed on the ballot for 2018.”

Amy Jenkins, The DC Recovery Act attempts to make whole living descendants of African American slaves, and for this we will fight for recovery under the DC Recovery Act. She pointed out that the Constitution was created by white men who favored land owners and themselves and did not allow Africans to vote.

Jerry Owens: The DC Recovery Act is indeed the rising tide that will lift all ships,

After hearing supporters, the Board Chairman determined a decision was not to be made at this Hearing because of concerns by board members and the Attorney General, the Act may be unlawful. The Board gave Mr. Cheeks and his counsel time to submit a brief defending the legality of the proposed law to be placed on the ballot.

DC Mayor and DC Council Members are also out of step with Mr. Cheeks efforts in the courts to improve contracting opportunities for African Americans, by ending a 20-year virtual monopoly of District road construction contacts by alleged racketeering Fort Myers construction companies controlled by the Rodrigues-Shrensky families.

Cheeks attempts, in Court, to open bidding on road construction contracts to fair and open competition which would need procurement reform, that would allow African Americans opportunities to obtain District construction contracts has not had the support of the Mayor, and Council Member Anita Bonds, despite the fact Mr. Cheeks publicly stated a sizeable amount of Court settlement proceeds would be used to assist African Americans and others in the District of Columbia.

. Both of these African American elected officials appear to have ties and loyalty to Fort Myer even though Fort Myer was to pay $900,000 for discrimination which resulted in lower wages for African Americans and harassment of minorities according to the Department of Labor.

Mayor Bowser recently demonstrated her loyalty to Fort Myer, when she allegedly had two government employees fired who refused to give contracts to Fort Myer, according to Court documents filed by the employees. City Council Member, Mary Cheh initiated and is continuing investigative hearings behind closed doors concerning the Mayors involvement

Further exacerbating African American unemployment in the city, the Mayor has not enforced legislation requiring Fort Myers companies to hire required amounts of Washington, DC employees, which would likely be African Americans. Only a small fraction of Fort Myers labor is from DC, most are from Maryland and Virginia.

Both Mayor Bowser and Anita Bonds are on public record of receiving sizeable campaign donations from Fort Myer. Anita Bonds is also a former executive of Fort Myer.

It appears African American elected officials are at odds with African American leaders and may have differing objectives, in pursuing social progress for African Americans.

 

Photo Caption: Left to Right: Malik Shabazz., Amy Jenkins, and Roussan Etienne. Jr. presenting arguments before the Board of Elections

 

 

Indivisible IL-5 to Host Town Hall on Resisting Trump Agenda on April 17

Posted by Admin On April - 13 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

In cooperation with Senator Dick Durbin, Congressman Mike Quigley, and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky

In town halls all across the country, Indivisible groups are successfully pushing their representatives on a wide range of issues. Senator Dick Durbin, Congressman Mike Quigley, and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky will be participating in a Town Hall meeting focusing on the new era of active citizenship. This event is about regular people—many of them with no prior experience in political activism—stepping forward to have a stronger voice in their government. 

 

Indivisible IL-5, an umbrella group supporting local Indivisible groups across Chicago’s North Side, Northwest Side, and suburbs within Illinois’s Congressional District 5, is hosting the event.

Speakers:
Dick Durbin, US Senator
Mike Quigley, US Congressman,
Jan Schakowsky, US Congresswoman,
Ann Williams, IL State Representative
Greg Harris, IL State Representative

Topics: Russia investigation, health care, immigration

Location:
Auditorium, Irish American Heritage Center
4626 N Knox Ave, Chicago, IL 60630

 

Agenda:
5:45 PM: Doors open
6:15 PM: Opening remarks by Indivisible IL-5
6:30 PM: US Senator Dick Durbin, U.S. Reps. Mike Quigley and Jan Schakowsky
7:30 PM: IL State Representatives Ann Williams and Greg Harris

Additional information:

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/643898879138884/

Indivisible IL-5’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/indivisible.chicago.il5/

About Senator Dick Durbin
Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Springfield, is the 47th U.S. Senator from the State of Illinois, the state’s senior senator, and the convener of Illinois’ bipartisan congressional delegation. Durbin also serves as the Democratic Whip, the second highest ranking position among the Senate Democrats. Senator Durbin has been elected to this leadership post by his Democratic colleagues every two years since 2005.
Durbin sits on the Senate Judiciary, Appropriations, and Rules Committees. He is the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and the Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee.

About Rep. Mike Quigley
Mike Quigley was elected to Congress to represent Illinois’ 5th District on April 7, 2009. A former Cook County Commissioner who began his career through community service and environmental stewardship in the Lakeview neighborhood, Mike has served the Chicago area for more than thirty years. In the U.S. House of Representatives, he serves on the Appropriations Committee and the Intelligence Committee, where he is helping lead the investigation into Russia. He also serves as Vice Chair of both the Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition and the LGBT Equality Caucus.

About Rep. Jan Schakowsky
Jan Schakowsky was elected to represent IIllinois’ 9th Congressional District in 1998, after serving for eight years in the Illinois General Assembly. She is in her tenth term, serving in the House Democratic Leadership as Chief Deputy Whip and member of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. She is a member of the House Budget Committee, as well as the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where she serves as Ranking Member of the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee, and as a member of the Health and Oversight & Investigations Subcommittees.

About Indivisible
Indivisible’s mission is threefold. 1. Resist Trump’s agenda. Indivisible believes Trump’s agenda is racist, authoritarian, and corrupt. It must be stopped. 2. Focus on local, defensive congressional advocacy. 3. Embrace progressive values. Indivisible models inclusion, respect, fairness, and non-violence in all of their actions. Indivisible IL-5 represents the Indivisible ideals by demanding that local Members of Congress serve as Chicago’s voice in Washington, DC. For more information on Indivisible visit www.indivisibleguide.com.

Debt Collector Returns $2.7 Million to Victims

Posted by Admin On April - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Just last week, the FTC mailed checks returning money to more than 5,200 people, thanks to the FTC’s settlement with Rincon Debt Management. People who lost money are getting back the full amount of the fraudulent fees they were charged – an average of $525 – which adds up to more than $2.7 million.

A few years ago, at the FTC’s request, a court shut down the debt collection business, Rincon Management Services LLC, and banned the owners from doing debt collection ever again. The company’s employees had used illegal and abusive practices, threatening people – in both English and Spanish – with arrest and lawsuits if they didn’t pay. They even added fraudulent charges onto people’s debt. This settlement, which required Rincon to repay those fraudulent charges, is part of the FTC’s ongoing enforcement actions to stop abusive and illegal debt collection practices.

If you get a check, you have 60 days to cash it. Questions about this refund? Check with the FTC’s refund administrator, Analytics at (844) 330-6742, or go online.

If you’re ever contacted by a debt collector, know your rights. And if you think a collector has violated those rights, tell the FTC.

Chicago Police Clash With New Era Detroit and New Era Chicago

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

Stimulate the Mind: Read A Good Book

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On April - 4 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago, IL – This is the ideal time to stock up on books by Author & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. Bratcher has been an Award-Winning Journalist and Publisher for 41 years. These books also make great gifts for any occasions.

All books are by Author & Publisher Juanita Bratcher


haroldcoverHarold: The Making of a Big City Mayor

Harold Washington, Chicago’s greatest mayor, was the first African-American elected mayor of the City of Chicago.

In the book, Bratcher zeroes in on how this spirited campaign got off the ground, how the dream was accomplished, and the uphill struggle that brought it about. The book focuses on:

  • The early stages of the campaign
  • Voter registration drive
  • The infusion of racial politics into the campaign
  • Excerpts/statements/speeches on the campaign trail
  • Washington’s views on the Rev. Jesse Jackson
  • Interviews following his inauguration
  • Black aldermen’s views on the city’s first black mayor
  • Council wars/polarization
  • Selected quotes from the campaign
  • The battle cry for change
  • Why Washington accused former Mayor Jane Byrne of trying to destroy the Democratic Party
  • Washington accused the Vrdolyak ’29, headed by then Alderman Edward Vrdolyak, of a nervous reaction to his administration’s reform process. Vrdolyak tried to sabotage every agenda Washington tried to put in place or change.
  • 16 pictorial pages

$10 plus $3.00 S&H

strogercoverBeyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders

A biography of John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, was a legendary icon in county, city and state politics

Stroger spent almost four decades in public office. He was elected as a Commissioner to the Cook County Board of Commissioners in 1970. He served as ward committeeman before becoming a commissioner. During his 24 years as a sitting commissioner and then heading up the powerful Finance Committee, Stroger made a run for President in 1994, and won. At the age of 77, Stroger was running for a four-peat term in 2005. He said he was running for re-election because he had a vision for County for the next four years.

In the book Stroger discussed race and politics, dealing with the white media

“I’ve been dealing with race in terms of different racial people and culture. There are some people who are saying subtly that some race is being played in it (2006 campaign). But when you got a guy of my pigmentation and a white guy running there may be some race (involved). But as you know, even before I got to be President, I (put together) a multi-racial group. I’d like to think that I’d be judged in the end on my performance as an elected official.”

  • Quotes from various elected officials
  • Stroger’s staying power
  • Stroger suffered a debilitating stroke. He won the primary election but asked Democratic Party to replace him on the ballot with son, Todd
  • Stroger goes out a winner, declaring: “This is probably one of the most difficult periods in my life (recuperating from stroke, and calling it quits). This is a battle I’m going to win.”

$22.95 plus $3.50 S&H

icryI Cry For A People: In Their Struggle for Justice and Equality

A provocative book of poetry, a soul searching view of Blacks’ struggle in America, with an Introduction by the Honorable Illinois Appellate Court Justice R. Eugene Pincham (deceased):

“From the beginning of America, continuously and uninterruptedly to the present and beyond,  my people, Black people in America, have labored, struggled, bled and died combating vicious racial laws, customs and practices. Their struggle has been unending. Juanita Bratcher’s I Cry for a People is a compilation of heart wrenching prose of the struggles of my people, Black people, for justice and equality in this land. She eloquently expresses the sentiments of the unheralded, oppressed millions who sacrificed, without notable acclaim. Bratcher’s book is a well-deserved tribute to them, their sacrifices and struggles –  Retired Illinois Appellate Court Justice R. Eugene Pincham

In the book, there are poems such as:

  • The Scars of Slavery Are Upon Us
  • America, Don’t Turn Your Back On The Poor
  • The Menacing Eyes of Racism
  • The Almighty Bigot Stands In The Door
  • The Dynamics of Politics
  • The Power of the Ballot
  • Black Man Come Home To Your Children
  • Homeless People Are Humans
  • Hey, Mister Politician
  • Don’t Blame Me For Your Failures

And many, many more.

$8.00 plus $2.50 S&H

goldroseA Celebration of Love

The perfect gift for Valentine’s Day and an ideal gift for anniversaries, special occasions, birthdays, etc.

Can’t say what you’d like to say to that special person(s) in your life? A Celebration of Love is a book of love poems for Lovers at Heart. This is a Tel-A-Luv book. So buy the book and celebrate love with that significant other.

$10 plus $1.50 S&H


rhmbookcoverCrooked Curves: The Last of the Red Hot Mamas

(A novel)

Try this ONE on for size

They got game! Seven women (red-hot mamas) all living unstable, unsavory lives with sordid pasts, find themselves pawns in the middle of a vicious and controversial scandal.

A spellbinding novel, a story about love, courage, deception and triumph of a wealthy black family in crisis. Robert and Patricia Nemac, patriarch and matriarch of the Powerful Nemac clan, had positioned themselves to blow the lid off a dark, family secret, one that would rock the foundation of the powerful Nemac Empire, and jerk at the nerves of every family member. It is a powder keg waiting to explode! An albatross around their neck! It is a rude awakening for Robert Nemac, the patriarch of the rich Nemac clan. With one flame dead and another one carrying his baby, he is caught in the crossfire of murder, fatherhood, and the scorn of his wife over his dead mistress’ child, and his infidelities. In the end, he wages an all-out battle against his mistress’ fiance for custody of the child he fathered, against his bitter wife’s wishes. At the same time, he tries to earn back his wife’s love and respect.

$9.95 plus $3.00 S&H

onemoretimeLove Me One More Time

(A novel)

What happens when love goes wrong?

A passionate, romantic love affair goes on the skids. Can it be saved? Dr. Cal Laney, a medical doctor, is fit to be tied when he goes on a wild goose chase in search of his former sweetheart (Lori Russell) who disappeared without a trace for more than a decade. He finds it painfully agonizing to allow himself to be this uptight over a woman whose disappearance has put him through nothing short of a living hell and pushed his life into mental turmoil. When he finds her, he gets the biggest shock of his life when she reveals a secret to him he never expects to hear, leading him to demand answers for this untimely revelation. Will he end up finding solace in her arms, something he has desired for the last ten years? Or will he have a change of heart and make a beeline right into the arms of another woman who’s been waiting in the wings for his love and affection?

Unrelenting Love Tested

Dr. Cal Laney is one of six professional black men (known as the Super Six, powerful and modestly wealthy, who has bonded over the years in an enduring, longtime friendship. When the going gets tough they can count on that solvent friendship to see each other through. So when Laney’s love life has some very daring and traumatic moments, in dire need of some sexual healing, he reluctantly seeks the advice of his buddies about his wanton love affair. He finds their responses quite mind-boggling. Will he abandon their advice altogether? Or will he pick up the pieces and try to mount them back together again?

$15 plus $3.00 S&H

Send check or money order to:

CopyLine/Book Sales

9026 S. Cregier Ave.

Chicago, Il 60617

Please make sure your address is legible


Books Layout and Design by Pamela & Clarence McMillan

First published 11/27/2013

 

 

Utility Disconnections Leave Thousands Around the Nation “Out in the Cold” or Left in the Dark

Posted by Admin On April - 3 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

NAACP report outlines disproportionate impact of utility shut-offs on poor and African American communities

BALTIMORE, MD –According to a new report from the NAACP, utility company shut off policies disproportionately impact low-income and African American communities, literally leaving thousands in the dark, stranded in the cold during winter or severely impacted by sweltering summer temperatures.

With 2016 on record as the hottest year to date, and January of this year documented as the 3rdhottest January on record, many are looking at the coming summer and winter months with fear and dread regarding the potential for utility shut-offs, that leave a disproportionate number of African American and poor communities in the dark and out in the cold.

““The life-threatening fact that 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000, means climate change and global warming are painful household realities for those whose heat, air-conditioning and power are shut off. Dangerous and unnecessary shut offs in the sweltering heat and frigid cold disproportionately impact the poor, the elderly and communities of color,” said NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks. “The measure of our great nation is not unreasoned and unrestrained profitability but rather reasoned solutions and unrestrained compassion for vulnerable populations. This report is inspired by such compassion and offers such solutions,” emphasized NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks.

The report issued by the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program (ECJP) shows lower income communities spend a greater portion of income on electricity and heating costs than high-income communities. African Americans are twice as likely to live in poverty as non-African Americans and spend a significantly higher fraction of their household income on electricity and heating as non-African Americans, who spend more on energy used in the production and consumption of goods.

Since African Americans make up a higher percentage of low-income households, their vulnerability to high energy prices and in turn utility disconnections is exacerbated at levels disproportionate to other groups due to rate hikes or swings in weather.

The NAACP’s ECJP in analyzing state policies concerning utility shut-offs, showed:

• customers with limited income bear a disproportionate burden of energy bills;
• disconnections have a disparate impact on low-income communities and communities of color;
• customers may be reliant on utility services for medical devices and life-supporting systems;
• vulnerable customers’ use of hazardous heating, cooling, and lighting measures can have harmful and even fatal results.

NAACP ECJP also highlights the inconsistencies in state shut-off polices, which makes it tougher to implement national utility reforms. States and the District of Columbia are uniform only in the fact that all are required to send out disconnection notices, yet:

• 7 states offer no payment plans to cure delinquency;
• 8 states have no medical protection policies on affecting disconnection of services;
• 11 states have no disconnection limitation polices;
• 14 states have no date-based protection policies. Date based – set specific dates of when customers cannot without due diligence be disconnected from a utility service;
• 28 states have no temperature-based policies: Meaning regardless of how cold it becomes, utilities can be shut-off;
• 11 states have no disconnection limitations; and
• 36 states have reconnection fees.

These inconsistencies in consumer protections result in thousands of individuals and families each year ending up with no heat or power in their homes during the worst of times.

Unfortunately, these numbers are slated to expand tremendously due to President Donald Trump’s proposed elimination of the Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The elimination of LIHEAP would disparately impact over a million African Americans, and nearly 7 million Americans who utilize LIHEAP. 

SAMPLE ESTIMATES OF STATES AFFECTED BY ELIMINATING LIHEAP

 

Iowa – 85,777 households

Michigan – 623,549 households

Ohio – 454,520 households

Pennsylvania – 391,461 households

Wisconsin – 214,531 households

*Climate Nexus

“Caught between a rock and a hard place, low-income families across the country are often faced with tough choices between putting food on the table, paying for medicine and lighting and/or heating their homes.” said Jacqueline Patterson, Director of the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program. “In researching this report, we’ve seen too many cases where poverty ends up being a death sentence when circumstances result in fatally perilous choices.

For Arizona native Amy Mays whose struggles with utility shut-off and path to energy independence are profiled in the report, new policies are needed immediately.

“We need these solutions sooner rather than later, because climate change is going to make these issues worse. Extreme weather events, like dangerously hot and cold days, are projected to increase as a result of climate change – stretching ratepayer’s pockets and putting them at even greater risk if their power is shut off. ”

The amount owed by low-income customers for unpaid utilities often has a minimal impact on company finances.

Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (First Energy) 2015-2016

Executive Base Salary    Total Compensation     Pay Increase

1  $ 1,118,558.00     $ 4,238,701.00         $ 3,120,143.00 

2 $ 636,154.00       $ 2,339,431.00          $ 1,703,277.00 

3 $ 510,231.00        $ 7,054,125.00          $ 6,543,894.00 

4 $ 752,789.00        $ 3,004,793.00         $ 2,252,004.00 

5 $ 599,176.00         $ 2,135,552.00          $ 1,536,376.00 

6 $ 552,404.00        $ 2,017,272.00          $ 1,464,868.00 

Total $ 4,169,312.00   $ 20,789,874.00   $  16,620,562.00 

A study of utility costs and spending in Cleveland, OH found that while customers with Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company who were facing disconnection owed nearly $12.3 million in unpaid bills between 2014 and 2015, the top executives for the same company were paid more than $16.6 million in performance bonuses.

Total Service Disconnections for Nonpayment

Jun 2014 – May 2015

Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company  14,594

Columbia Gas of Ohio  92,313

Dominion East Ohio  62,398

Orwell Natural Gas  $216

Total  169,521

SOLUTIONS

According to the NAACP, there are several solutions that can implemented by states and utilities to begin to decrease the impact of shut-offs among poor and communities of color. The solution strategy begins with the establishment of a universal right to uninterrupted energy service, which would ensure that provisions are in place to prevent utility disconnection due to non-payment and arrearages.

The NAACP ECJP also calls for a moratorium on utility shut-offs and calls for utility companies to incorporate a basic set of principles into their policies including:

• Secure ACCESS to utility services for all households;
• INCLUSION of all customers in the development of utility policies and regulations;
• TRANSPARENCY of the actions of and information held by utility companies, regulating bodies; legislatures, and utility affiliated organizations;
• PROTECTION of the human and civil rights of all customers; and
• Advance programs that help ELIMINATE POVERTY, so that all customers can pay utility bills.

“We can create more humane policies but it will involve a greater number of activists and individuals from communities disparately affected by cut-off policies,” said Jacqui Patterson.

“Through directly engaging elected officials, utility companies and local legislators, we can get the type of solutions listed in the report passed into law and in doing so change this nation for the better” she added.

Copies of the “Lights Out in the Cold” report can be found on our website at naacp.org

Click here or email mrussell@naacpnet.org

Shooting, Lack of Oversight Stain Chicago ICE Office

Posted by Admin On March - 31 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

From: Latino Union.Org

Community organizations prepare mass meeting to Expand Sanctuary in Chicago

This week, an immigration agent under direction of Chicago ICE Director Ricardo Wong shot an unarmed man inside his home.  

Just days earlier, several residents who were racially profiled and wrongfully detained last August received notice that the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is refusing to intervene in their case.The following are statements from local immigrant rights organizations in response:

Analía Rodríguez, Executive Director of Latino Union

“This shooting and the rejection of our racial profiling complaint are not a mistake – they are a direct result of the lawless, unaccountable group of agents that Wong has created. Communities of color need freedom and safety in our homes and workplaces. Instead, the Chicago ICE office is detaining men for nothing more than appearing to be Latino while waiting for work. ICE is not about public safety – it is a public danger.”

Organized Communities Against Deportations

“The Chicago ICE office and its director, Ricardo Wong, have repeatedly planned and executed violent raids in our homes and in our workplaces. They have rejected our racial profiling complaint proving yet again that Ricardo Wong’s ICE office has no accountability to the public, and offers no recourse to the people it targets. We will nevertheless continue to shed light on their abuses and organize our community to defend and protect each other. The City of Chicago must also take concrete steps to pass a Welcoming City ordinance with absolutely no carve outs. On April 8, dozens of local groups will gather for Expand Sanctuary in Chicago, a community action meeting about the campaign to expand sanctuary protections for all Chicagoans.”

Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Assassination Marked by New Level of Unity Among Labor, Black Lives Matter and Immigrant Rights Groups in Chicago

Posted by Admin On March - 29 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Under the rubric, “Resist. Reimagine. Rebuild,” a new Chicago coalition will host a Citywide teach-in the evening of April 4th at the headquarters of the Chicago Teachers Union, 1901 W. Carroll, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Event will include speeches by local activists, a tribute to Dr. King’s commitment to racial and economic justice, information on organizing in other cities and music by the hip hop duo, Rebel Diaz.

More than 30 Chicago area labor and progressive organizations have been meeting on the south side since November to map a new plan of action to resist the current climate of xenophobia, racism, and anti-immigrant sentiments. We include Arab and Muslim organizations, LGBTQIA groups, immigrant rights groups, workers centers, low wage worker organizers, youth groups, grassroots and cultural workers from various communities, labor unions, women’s groups and Black Lives Matter organizations.

  • No deportations
  • No Muslim ban
  • No racist police violence
  • Yes to workers rights, living wage jobs, unionization and the Fight for 15
  • Yes to all rights for women and LGBTQIA people in our communities

This event will build for planned actions on May Day, in coordination with others, and as a part of a nationwide united front project called “Beyond the Moment,” initiated by the Movement for Black Lives and partner groups, which marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s historic “Beyond Vietnam” speech where he condemned militarism and materialism and called for a “radical revolution of our values” as a nation. We will join the rally and march beginning in Union Park in Chicago on May 1 at 1:00 p.m.

All are welcome but registration is recommended: https://citywideteachin.eventbrite.com
Those interested can follow us on Facebook for more details and updates.
https://www.facebook.com/Resist-Reimagine-Rebuild-Chicago-717202298452091/

Lies, Threats, Debt Collection: Tale of a Few Cities

Posted by Admin On March - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

When a debt collector harasses and threatens you, it can be downright distressing – and illegal.

The FTC announced a complaint and settlement with American Municipal Services Corporation (AMS), which collects debts for cities and towns. The FTC alleges AMS made false threats and misrepresentations to get people to pay, and under the terms of the settlement, they’ll have to stop. The FTC says AMS threatened people would be arrested, have their driver’s licenses suspended, have their vehicles impounded, and have their debts reported to credit bureaus. Using names like “Warrant Enforcement Division,” AMS made people think these letters came directly from government authorities, according to the FTC.

But the FTC says AMS broke the law when collecting those debts. AMS had no power to jail people, nor did they actually know whether municipalities really intended to do so. In addition to stopping these deceptive and illegal acts, the order requires AMS to give up collection fees obtained using these tactics.

Under federal law, debt collectors cannot:

  • falsely claim to be law enforcement officers
  • falsely claim you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay
  • threaten to seize, garnish, attach, or sell your assets — unless they legally can and intend to do so
  • give false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit reporting company
  • use a fake company name

If it’s a personal or household debt, it’s illegal for debt collectors to:

  • call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • contact you at work if you’ve told them verbally or in writing that your employer doesn’t allow such calls
  • contact a third party about you for any reason other than getting your contact information
  • harass you or anyone else they contact about you

Learn more about your rights when facing debt collection.

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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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