27
April , 2017
Thursday

President Barack Obama's Statement:   “Since joining the Department of Education, John has worked to build on ...
Washington, DC Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch: Thank you, Associate Attorney General [Stuart] Delery, for that ...
Open Letter From COAL CHICAGO, IL - Dear Members of the General Assembly and the Chicagoland ...
IHSA Speech-Individual Events State Finals to be held at Peoria Civic Center PEORIA, IL – High ...
September Workshops Will Also Focus on How to Finance a Franchise, Legal Considerations, and City ...
Chia Obama: 69.6% vs Chia Romney: 29.5% San Francisco, CA (BlackNews.com) -- Now there is ...
WASHINGTON, DC -  On Saturday, December 13, the NAACP will join other leading civil ...
Ambitious second term agenda includes robust economic development efforts and continued reform of ...
By Chinta Strausberg In just two-weeks, the fifth “Operation Hope” will come to the Auburn ...
Kellogg Foundation’s Christopher and Joint Center’s Smedley reflect on Place Matters WASHINGTON, DC ...

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Legislators Stand with Community to Issue People-Focused Legislative Agenda Following Governor’s Budget Address

Posted by Admin On February - 15 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Group Slams Governor Bruce Rauner’s Non-Budget Address for the 3rd Year in a Row

On Wednesday, following the Governor’s budget address, community members tired of Rauner’s blame game and policies of targeted community disinvestment will join with legislators to announce a new plan to put people back on the agenda in Illinois.

The status quo has failed millions of Illinoisans and Rauner doubled down on this failure.  The people of Illinois are a smart investment. Instead of wasting public resources on providing loopholes for corporations and wealthy stock traders, the group will lay out a legislative agenda that provides Illinois families with the programs and services they need to prosper.

The event will be held February 15th 2017 at the Illinois State Capital, outside the Governor’s Office, in Springfield, Il at 1:20 p.m.

Members of the General Assembly standing in support, Members of the Grassroots Collaborative including:  Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Chicago Teachers Union, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, SEIU Healthcare Illinois, will be in attendance, including:

 

Representative Chris Welch (D-7)

Representative Sonya Harper (D-6)

Representative Litesa Wallace (D-67)

Amisha Patel, Executive Director of Grassroots Collaborative

Alejandro Sanchez, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council

Janet Ramos, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

Cassandra Roley, SEIU Healthcare Illinois

 

Maynard, the Documentary Film About the Life and Times of Maynard Jackson, the First Black Mayor of Atlanta, Moves Into Final Production

Posted by Admin On February - 2 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Maynard Documentary Film

Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com)MAYNARD, the much-anticipated documentary film, which is being made about the life and times of former Atlanta Mayor Maynard H. Jackson, is turning the power on and moving full-steam ahead into post production.

Thanks to the award-winning documentary filmmaker, Sam Pollard, the work of Auburn Avenue Films, Inc. and the perseverance of Maynard Jackson III, Wendy Eley Jackson and the production team, final interviews have occurred in Atlanta, Jacksons home town. Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin; Jacksons widow, Valerie Jackson; Jacksons children; Douglas A. Blackmon, former AJC reporter and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Slavery by Another Name, his first law partner, Andrew Patterson; his former CAO at Atlanta City Hall, George Berry; and many other individuals who played major roles in the life of this giant of a man have been in front of the camera. The mayors aunt, June Dobbs Butts (the only living daughter of Jacksons grandfather, John Wesley Dobbs, who was often referred to as the mayor of Sweet Auburn Avenue), provided an applauded interview to round out the history on the Dobbs family.

Pollard, the films director and the creative mind that is leading the production, will continue filming evocative imagery in and around Atlanta in February. Other special interviews are in the works which include President William Clinton, former Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell, and Dr. Michael Lomax, president of the United Negro College Fund, who once served as a speech writer for the mayor during his first term in office, as well as the Commissioner of Parks & Recreation for the city. Post production is scheduled for the months of February/March; and then on to the plans of getting the film ready for submission at the Sundance Film Festival in January of 2018.

The MAYNARD documentary trailer was recently presented during the Choose Georgia Film Making in the South event at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival recently held in Utah. We received outstanding support for our efforts while at Sundance, said Wendy Eley Jackson, with Auburn Avenue Films. We went to Sundance to have a presence at the table and to begin the process of making more connections within the industry which we accomplished, Jackson added.

MAYNARD the documentary will present an intimate view of Jackson from those who knew him best, such as Ambassador Andrew Young, Vernon Jordan, and his childhood friend Sammy Bacote. The film will include video archival footage and rare photographs. The interviews with family and co-workers who helped sustain the Maynard movement during his terms as mayor and beyond will detail the full story of Maynard — the man, the mayor, the game changer, and the politician.

How did Maynard do it? is the question that the documentary will answer. In addition to being referred to as Action Jackson from time to time, Mayor Jackson was known as an articulate, charismatic and compassionate leader who served a record three terms as Atlantas mayor. Among his many successes, he earned his place in Atlanta history books for building the world’s busiest airport and is known nationally for developing a model for affirmative action programs that was used in cities around the United States.

Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) will serve as the presenting station for the film and an educational partner for MAYNARD. This partnership will insure that the history lessons of Jacksons three terms tie into GPBs extensive educational programming. These lessons, about Atlantas first African American mayor, will be provided in perpetuity for students through the GPB Education curriculum which is offered to both teachers and students.

A recently added plus for the MAYNARD movie production team was the Academy Awards Nomination, Best Documentary Film Feature Category, of I Am Not Your Negro in which Henry Adebonojo served as a part of the production team for this film. Mr. Adebonojo is the director of photography for the MAYNARD documentary and an award-winning filmmaker and photographer.

For more details about the film, visit www.maynardmovie.com
About GPB
As one of the largest PBS stations in the nation, Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB Media), has been creating content worth sharing for over 50 years. With nine television stations, 18 radio stations and a multi-faceted web presence, GPB strives to educate, entertain and enrich the lives of our viewers and listeners with programming that includes statewide radio news, current affairs, high school sports, educational resources for teachers and students and enlightening programs about our state like Georgia Outdoors and Georgia Traveler.
About Auburn Avenue Films, Inc.
Auburn Avenue Films Inc. is an Atlanta based television and film company specializing in development, production, and post production of multi-cultural content for television, film and digital platforms. Their belief in collaborative storytelling allows them to develop high level scripted and alternative programming. For more information please follow our progress about the MAYNARD movie at #maynardmovie or contact Auburn Avenue Films at 404-505-8188. You may also visit the following website: www.auburnavenuefilms.com
About the MAYNARD film Director Sam Pollard
Samuel Pollard is an accomplished feature film and television video editor, and documentary producer/director whose work spans almost thirty years. He recently completed as producer/director a 90-minute documentary titled The Ground On Which I Stand: August Wilson for the PBS series American Masters. Pollard received an Emmy and Peabody respectively for his work on Henry Hampton’s Blackside production Eyes On The Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads and I’ll Make Me A World: Stories of African-American Artists and Community. As an editor some of Pollards credits include Spike Lee’s films Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Girl 6, Clockers, and Bamboozled. Pollard along with Lee also co-produced Spike Lee Presents Mike Tyson, for HBO which Mr. Pollard received an Emmy; Four Little Girls, a feature-length documentary about the 1963 Birmingham church bombings which was nominated for an Academy Award; and When The Levees Broke, a four part documentary that won numerous awards, including a Peabody and three Emmy Awards. He also co-produced and supervised the edit on Lees If God Is Willing And Da Creek Dont Rise. Pollard also served as producer/director of Slavery By Another Name a 90-minute documentary for PBS and as editor for the feature length documentary Venus and Serena on Showtime.

 

Photo: Maynard Holbrook Jackson, the first African American Mayor of Atlanta, GA, served three historic terms.

 

 

Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Announces 2017 Legislative Research Fellows

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation announced its inaugural class of legislative research fellows. Fellows were selected from a large pool of talented applicants that were, after much deliberation, narrowed down to four recipients. Applicants were tasked with developing a legislative proposal that aimed to positively impact the Black community.  Fellows are responsible for drafting memos, developing fact sheets, executing communication strategies, preparing presentations, legislative analysis and impact analysis. Our fellows will be providing the Council on Urban Affairs information to help ILBC members make informed decisions that helps that black community, while developing the next group of leaders through work experience.

Below are a list of the fellows:

Crystal Martin

Presently, Crystal is a high school counselor at the Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men, in Chicago Illinois.  She is a 2nd year PhD student of Community Psychology at National Louis University with a dissertation entitled “Survivors Guilt vs. the ‘Sell Out’: Social Barriers to College Persistence for African American First Generation College Students”, which explores the self sabotaging behaviors of this student population.  Crystal holds a BA in Television Production and Directing from Columbia College Chicago; an MA in Counseling and an MEd in Educational Leadership from Lewis University, and Post Graduate Certification from the National Institute for Urban School Leaders at Harvard University. Through a grant from the Pollination Project, in December 2016, Crystal started First2Finish, a non-profit college access program targeting first generation students and making investments for college readiness beginning in the first grade.  First2Finish will enroll its “First Class” of participants in Fall 2018.

 

Subria A. Whitaker

Subria A. Whitaker is from Chicago’s South Side and currently resides in the Morgan Park Neighborhood. An alumna of Morgan Park High School, Subria graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences with Distinction in Communication in May, 2016. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Sport Administration from Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies.Last summer, Subria was selected by the Delta Research and Educational Foundation to participate in the Congressional Black Caucus Emerging Leaders Program where she served as the 2016 Stephanie Tubbs Jones Intern in the Office of United States Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge. She’d previously served as an Undergraduate Intern in the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.

Malayzja D. Anderson

Malayzja D. Anderson is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in World History from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Her current research interests include student activism, 20th century social movements and Middle Eastern history. As a Graduate Assistant in UIS’s Diversity Center, Malayzja develops student programing aimed at retaining minority students and facilitates micro-aggression reduction workshops. Malayzja is currently the Treasurer for the UIS Rotaract Club, Vice President of Graduate Assistants in their union and a mentor for the Necessary Steps Mentor Program at UIS. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in African American Studies and another in History from Chicago State University. In 2014 Malayzja served as a Public Policy Intern in Senator Kimberly A. Lightford’s district office.

NdjuohMehChu

NdjuohMehChu, a native of Jersey City, New Jersey, is a third-year J.D. Candidate at the University of Chicago Law School.  At the Law School, he is an active member of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project and previously served as a clinical student in the Law School’s Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project. Ndjuoh has extensive experience in issues at the intersection of social justice and human rights.  He has held positions at the ACLU of Illinois and the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago.  Ndjuoh previously served as an International Human Rights research fellow at the University of Lucerne School of Law in Lucerne, Switzerland and again at the University of Milan, Cattolica in Milan, Italy. Prior to Law School, Ndjuoh worked as a Special Education and Math teacher in the South Bronx. Ndjuoh is also a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick with degrees in Economics and Africana Studies.

As Violence Soars, Governor Continues to Pursue Personal Political Agenda Over Needs of Residents

Posted by Admin On January - 26 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

From: Amisha Patel, Executive Director of Grassroots Collaborative

CHICAGO, IL – On Wednesday, Governor Rauner delivered his third state of the state address without having successfully passed a budget. The following is a statement from Amisha Patel, Executive Director of Grassroots Collaborative.

“Today, Governor Rauner attempted to borrow from the Trump playbook and layout alternative facts about the state of Illinois under his leadership, but the reality is that his time at the helm has been an unmitigated disaster for Illinois families. Precious lives have been lost as a result of the elimination of state anti-violence funding and erosion of the social safety net. In addition to pushing disinvestment, Governor Rauner has contributed to an escalating climate of scapegoating of Muslim and immigrant communities in Illinois by eliminating all state funding for immigrant services and attempting to ban Syrian refugees.

“The diverse set of communities that Grassroots Collaborative represents understand that our state needs a new way forward. We need a People’s Agenda, one that closes capital gains loopholes and fully funds education with that revenue. We need universal childcare so that children have a safe learning environment while their parents go to work. We need criminal justice reform that takes money out of incarceration and reinvests in the communities most affected by policing. These ideas and more are the way to move the state forward.”

NNPA’s Chavis Receives Promise of First Press Interview with President Trump

Posted by Admin On January - 16 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
 

By Hazel Trice Edney

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Omarosa Manigault, recently named assistant to the president and director of communications in the Office of Public Liaison for the Trump Administration, has promised the first press interview with President Trump to Benjamin Chavis, president/CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, according to sources who attended a private meeting with the Trump transition team Jan. 4.

Manigault’s promise of the interview was disclosed after a representative of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) stressed the importance of Black reporters interfacing with the president. Both Chavis and NABJ representatives participated in the closed door meeting at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Northwest DC.

“When NABJ said we need to make sure that somebody Black interviews the President first, [Omarosa] said, ‘Oh no. Ben Chavis and I have already spoken and he’s going to be the first interview,'” recounted veteran civil rights leader Barbara Arnwine, president/CEO of the Transformative Justice Coalition, in an interview this week. Arnwine said Chavis then “acknowledged that that was correct – that they had already been in touch with him about it.”

No working press was allowed inside the meeting, described as “off the record” for those in attendance. The meeting, billed as a “listening session” with Manigault and other senior members of the Trump transition team, drew dozens of Black leaders representing approximately 30 different mostly non-partisan and non-profit organizations.

This reporter and CNN’s Betsy Klein staked out the meeting for more than three hours standing outside the building on the sidewalk. Some organizational leaders spoke guardedly after the meeting while others declined comment.

Leaving the meeting, Chavis gave no details on what happened inside. However, reached by phone, he gave a general statement.

“2017 marks the 190th year of the Black Press in America. And the tradition of the Black press has been to engage whoever is in the White House on behalf of Black America. There are issues that affect our quality of life and we cannot afford to be excluded from the position and the power that would impact the quality of life of Black people,” Chavis said.

Manigault and Trump team members departed after the meeting without making any comments to the media.

If Chavis is granted the interview, it would mark a departure from the Obama treatment of Black newspaper reporters. Despite numerous requests, no one-on-one interviews were awarded to NNPA representatives after this reporter interviewed Obama as president-elect on Jan. 19, 2009, the eve of his first inauguration. However, Obama did grant interviews to Black radio talk show hosts Al Sharpton and Joe “The Black Eagle” Madison. Journalist and communications specialist Jeff Johnson also interviewed the president on BET amidst racial unrest following police shootings of Black people two years ago.

It remains to be seen whether Chavis’ interview with Trump will reveal what sensitivities Trump may have to African-American issues. So far, the President-elect has only spoken of dealing with the high homicide rates in Black communities and building the infrastructure in “inner cities”. He has said little or nothing in favor of civil rights agendas or of police shootings and abuses of Black people.

Trump’s presidential campaign was marked by racial animus.  Since his election to the presidency, he has called for America to unite across divisive political and racial lines while simultaneously making nominations and appointments of people who are racial lightning rods. His appointments include Steve Bannon, former head of the alt-right, White supremacist voice, Breitbart News, as a chief advisor. He has also nominated Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general. Civil rights leaders and more than 1,000 law professors are protesting Sessions confirmation because of what they describe as a history of racial insensitivity.

According to multiple sources who were inside the meeting, some civil rights representatives expressed strong opposition to the controversial nomination of Sessions. However, based on interviews, the Trump team remained in “listening” mode on that topic, simply nodding without comment.

Arnwine, widely known for her passion on civil rights and social justice issues, said she told the Trump team that the President-elect needed to “withdraw the nomination of Sessions and that there would be no real rapport with the African-American community until that was done. And that no matter what they did, that would be something that they could not overcome.”

Manigault was joined by a number of transition colleagues, including Ken Blackwell, Trump’s domestic policy chair, and Katrina Pierson, a chief advisor.

The team did not respond, except Manigault explained to her colleagues who Arnwine is and her reputation of outspokenness in the civil rights community, Arnwine said, “There was chill in there. You could tell they were pissed off.”

President-elect Trump himself appeared to dismiss the concerns of the civil rights leaders. He told a CNN reporter that Sessions is a “high quality man” who would be “good” as attorney general.

Hilary Shelton, director of the Washington Bureau of the NAACP, said it is a “tough thing to gauge” where the relationships between the Trump Administration and Black leaders will go from here. He quoted Sessions as having described the NAACP as “‘one of the most un-American organizations in the United States of America’ because we’ve been trying to, quote, ‘shove civil rights down the throats of the American people.'”
Questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee about his posture on race-related civil rights issues, Sessions insisted during confirmation hearings that he will uphold civil rights laws.

Conservative pastor, Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church, praised the administration for “giving significant grass roots leaders an opportunity to state what they’re about, what their agenda is, and what they’d like to see happen.” He called Manigault a “great leader.”

Most of the organizations represented in the meeting were non-partisan, with Black Republicans and Democrats participating. Among others observed by this reporter leaving the meeting were Melanie Campbell of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation; Dr. Barbara Skinner of the Skinner Leadership Institute; Deana Bass of Bass Public Affairs; Dr. Elsie Scott of the Ron Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center at Howard University; Ron Busby of the U. S. Black Chambers Inc.; Harry Alford of the National Black Chamber of Commerce; Dr. E. Faye Williams of the National Congress of Black women; Rev. Charles Steele of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Lezli Baskerville of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, and Janice Mathis of the National Council of Negro Women. Journalist and communications specialist Jeff Johnson was also seen leaving.

Other organizations listed on the emailed invitation, obtained by the Trice Edney News Wire, were the National Association of Blacks in Broadcasting; the American Association of Blacks in Energy; the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition; the National Action Network; and the National Urban League. Sources said several sororities and fraternities, the Concerned Black Men and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives were also represented.

In the emailed invitation they were told that the meeting “will allow for an opportunity to briefly share your priority issues with the official Transition Team.”

According to interviews with Arnwine and other organizational representatives, the Trump team mostly just listened, but appeared overtly interested in the organizations’ positions on school choice and vouchers. Some civil rights leaders say school vouchers siphon money away from public schools.

“They asked every single group what’s your position on vouchers,” Arnwine said, describing the Trump team as “laser focused” on that issue. “They were really trying to get the optics of how the groups would react to school choice and voucher initiatives. That was very clear.”

They also seemed overtly interested in the funding of Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as building up the infrastructure of the nation, sources said.

Shelton, of the NAACP, praised Manigault for her handling of the meeting, saying he has known her for years.

“It will be fascinating to see how things move ahead with her. I have a lot of respect for her,” he said. “The question is how affective will Omarosa be able to be in an administration like this one.”
Photo: Dr. Benjamin Chavis, president/CEO, National Newspaper Publishers Association

Congressman Maxine Waters Announces her Endorsement for Lorna M. Johnson for DNC Vice-Chair

Posted by Admin On January - 16 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
 

WASHINGTON, DC – California Congresswoman Maxine Waters announced her support for business woman, philanthropist and political organizer, Lorna Johnson in her pursuit to become a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee.

For many years, Lorna Johnson has supported the Democratic Party as a compassionate advocate and effective fundraiser. With more than 15 years’ experience as a political organizer and philanthropist, she has served tirelessly as a member of the National Advisory Board and National Finance Committee since 2008. Over the past 8 years she has been touted as a strong political advocate in the democratic party raising millions both domestically and internationally to support the party’s causes.

A proud American of Jamaican-Cuban decent and a successful business owner in the real estate and healthcare industries, Johnson has also been a devout champion for the less fortunate. In 1999, as part of her “Education and Advocacy” platform she launched the Compassion for Teen Life Foundation. Recognized for her commitment and strong leadership, she was selected to collaborate with Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, to successfully launch his Building Community Foundation campaign in Jamaica.

US House Representative Maxine Waters applauded Lorna for her decision to run for one of the available slots as DNC Vice-Chair, “Lorna is a champion for the underserved and has raised millions of dollors for the deomoctratic party. Her tireless and amazing philanthropic work, as well as her dedication to providing health resources and education to the underserved, is exemplary!”

Humbled by Waters’ support, Lorna Johnson is poised to begin a successful campaign to build a more diverse and healthier Democratic Party as vice chair for the DNC.

#DNCVoices #DNCDiversity
Bringing Your Voice to the Table

For more information about Lorna Johnson visit www.LornaMaeJohnson.com

Slaughter Takes Oath of Office as New Legislator, Vows to Stand up for Middle-Class Illinoisans

Posted by Admin On January - 12 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – State Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, took the oath of office on Wednesday to represent the 27th District in the Illinois House of Representatives. He issued the following statement:

 

“This is a humbling experience for my entire family and the communities I represent.  I cannot wait to get to work on the many challenges facing our state and our neighborhoods. I consider this opportunity one of the greatest honors of my life, but the work ahead will be tough and decisions will be difficult.

 

“It is in all of our best interests to pass a budget that helps the working people of Illinois. A great number of our citizens are being denied critical services because the governor continues to rigidly pursue an agenda that drives down wages for middle-class workers. The governor continues to hold our social service providers, our school children, our healthcare providers and those they serve as hostages in this budget battle. The governor needs to know that I will be supportive of common sense solutions that move our state forward, but those solutions must help, not hurt, the people of the 27th District.

 

“I remain hopeful that the children of Chicago are no longer used as a scapegoat in our political process. Our schools need adequate funding and the people in our communities need jobs.  I look forward to being a strong and persistent voice for those I am fortunate enough to serve.”

 

Slaughter’s constituent service office can be reached at 773-445-9700 or slaughterj@ilga.gov.

 

 

At Issue: The Mayor, the Feds, and Reform

Posted by Admin On January - 12 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
From: Invisible Institute

By Curtis Black

Mayor Rahm Emanuel vowed to continue reform of the Chicago Police Department – which he characterized as a program of “training, technology, and transparency” – regardless of the outcome of a U.S. Department of Justice investigation of the department.

The DOJ is expected to issue its report on constitutional violations by CPD within the next week. Rather than negotiating a court-approved consent decree, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, the DOJ now aims at reaching an “agreement in principle” regarding reforms that are needed.

A City Hall source told the Sun-Times that the mayor was resisting pressure from DOJ to sign a letter of intent now to negotiate a consent decree, preferring to take a chance on lighter enforcement by the feds after Donald Trump is inaugurated as president.


President-elect Donald Trump (Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons)

Trump’s attorney general designee, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, said he was not aware of the DOJ investigation into Chicago police and wouldn’t commit to moving forward with it, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois told WBEZ. In the past Sessions has voiced opposition to the use of consent decrees to reform police departments. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Sessions confirmation hearing was being live-broadcast online via multiple outlets.

Emanuel told the Sun-Times that since his own Police Accountability Task Force issued its report in April, he has been “systematically going through and putting in place the recommendations of change I think are important.”

Police Board president Lori Lightfoot, who chaired the task force, told Crain’s Chicago Business that Emanuel has implemented “only a few” of the 126 recommendations in the April report.

Laquan McDonald investigation continues

Police Supt. Eddie Johnson was among top brass who reviewed the October 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald and agreed that it was justified, despite viewing video which subsequently resulted in murder charges against Officer Jason Van Dyke. That’s according to sworn testimony given during an Inspector General investigation of the follow-up to the shooting, the Chicago Tribune reported last month.

Johnson was deputy chief at the time. Then-Supt. Garry McCarthy was also in the group that reviewed the shooting.


Garry McCarthy and Martinez Sutton (City Bureau)

“Everyone agreed” that Van Dyke’s use of force was appropriate, Lt. Osvaldo Valdez told investigators, the Tribune reported. In addition, the lead detective on the case, David March, told investigators, “I was informed the entire command staff concurred with the findings and conclusions of my investigation.” March determined that Van Dyke’s actions were “absolutely proper.”

Johnson “strongly disagreed” with Valdez’s statement, a police spokesperson told the Tribune. He declined to elaborate.

The Tribune article reveals details of an IG investigation into the aftermath of the McDonald shooting. The IG’s report on that investigation has not been publicly issued.

The Tribune revealed that Inspector General Joseph Ferguson recommended firing Chief of Detectives Eugene Roy and Deputy Chief David McNaughton in addition to nine lower-ranking officers, but Johnson postponed acting in order to allow Roy and McNaughton to retire instead.

In addition, “multiple witnesses told the inspector general that detectives investigating the shooting refused to accept their accounts of what happened and threatened them,” the Tribune reported. To date, no disciplinary action for intimidating witnesses has been recommended.

One witness is suing the police department: Alma Benitez has charged she was detained and pressured to change her story, according to the Tribune.

Of 15 department members the IG recommended disciplining for their role in the investigation of McDonald’s shooting, Johnson has moved to fire only five, but the superintendent is still weighing discipline against four others, the Sun-Times reported.

Meanwhile, special prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes has issued subpoenas to “police officers who either abruptly resigned, were fired, or were told to resign by police department brass,” according to the Sun-Times.

Watts cases reviewed

CPD’s general counsel is reviewing allegations around reversed convictions linked to corrupt former Sgt. Ronald Watts, WBEZ reports.  The review “could lead to other cases,” a department spokesperson said.

As detailed last year by Jamie Kalven at the Intercept, for over a decade Watts extorted protection money from drug dealers and framed those who wouldn’t go along.

WBEZ also reported that a South Side district commander was selected by Supt. Eddie Johnson for a top position after promoting one of Watts’ underlings, ten months after Watts was arrested for stealing from a government informant.

Fred Waller – named patrol bureau chief by Johnson last year – was commander of the Wentworth district when he nominated Alvin Jones for sergeant. Jones was named along with Watts in numerous misconduct complaints and worked on four Watts cases in which convictions were later overturned.

A department spokesperson said Waller didn’t know about the complaints and “potential wrongdoing.”

Police whistleblower Shannon Spalding scoffed at that claim, as did Lionel White, whose 2008 conviction following an arrest by Watts’ team was overturned last year. White alleges Jones beat him during his arrest – a claim supported by hospital records, according to WBEZ.

Supt. Johnson told WBEZ the department would “go back and take a look at” Waller’s promotion of Jones.


Shannon Spalding (Chicago Tonight)

Congress Certifies Trump. Growing 1000s Say NO! Vow To STOP Trump/Pence Fascist Regime Before It Starts!

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

From: RefuseFascism.org

Mission and Plan for a Month of Massive Resistance   

 

“Imagine if people, in the tens of millions, filled the streets, powerfully declaring that this regime is illegitimate and demanding that it not be allowed to rule!  The whole political landscape would be dramatically transformed, every faction within the established power structure would be forced to respond—and all this could well lead to a situation in which this fascist regime is actually prevented from ruling. This is not some idle dream but something which could be made a reality if all those who hate what is represented by this fascist regime translate their outrage into firm determination and massive mobilization to create the conditions which make this possible,” says the Mission and Plan for a Month of Massive Resistance

 

Congress certified Donald Trump’s election. Democrat Joe Biden said, “It’s over.” But growing 1000’s, including many prominent voices are saying it is NOT over! “We certify this fascist regime as illegitimate,” Carl Dix, one of RefuseFascism.org‘s initiators, declared today. “We are going to #FloodDC!”

 

Growing numbers of prominent voices, including Cornel West, Alice Walker, Rosie O’Donnell, Ed Asner and many others, along with thousands of signers, called for millions to take the streets in political protest and resistance to prevent what they argue is a fascist regime from taking power in a full-page signed ad in the New York Times on Wednesday. “Stop the Trump/Pence Regime Before It Starts!” it states.

 

“Today’s Congressional vote underscores the urgency and truth of our Call to Action, Dix says, which states:

 

 

“[Stopping Trump/Pence] is not wishful thinking but could be made a reality if all who hate what is represented by this fascist regime translate our outrage into massive mobilization to create the political conditions which make this possible. We are millions. Our only recourse now is to act together outside normal channels. Every faction within the established power structure must be forced to respond to what we do – creating a situation where the Trump/Pence regime is prevented from ruling.”

For Interviews with Initiators of RefuseFascism.org and signers of the Call to Action, including concerning plans to #FloodDC, contact: Larry Everest 917-553-8972

Go to RefuseFascism.org for Initiators, Call to Action, Plan to STOP Trump/Pence, schedule of Protests and Events @RefuseFascism Facebook: RefuseFascism #NoFascist2017

 

BACKGROUND

Prominent scientists, actors, musicians, intellectuals, activists, religious leaders, and over 3,000 others, have called for massive protests and resistance to “Stop the Trump/Pence Regime Before It Starts!” in a full-page signed ad on January 4 in the New York Times.

 

 

The declaration, “NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America” warns that Trump is “assembling a regime of grave danger” whose fascist character “renders it illegitimate and an immoral peril to the future of humanity and the earth itself.”

 

 

They state: “millions must rise up in a resistance with a deep determination such that we create a political crisis that prevents the Trump/Pence fascist regime from consolidating its hold on the governance of society.” To achieve that they call for “protests that don’t stop—where people refuse to leave, occupying public space, and more and more people stand up with conviction and courage.”

 

 

Signers to this “Call to Action” from RefuseFascism.org include: Imam Aiyub Abdul-Baki, Justice Committee, Islamic Leadership Council of New York; Ed Asner, actor; Bill Ayers, activist, educator; Charles Burnett, filmmaker; Isabel Cardenas, Salvadoran-American activist; Margaret Cho, comedian, actor; Chuck D, rapper, author; Joe Dante, filmmaker; Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party, USA; Alex Ebert, musician; Niles Eldredge, evolutionary biologist; Eve Ensler, playwright; Merrill Garbus, Founding band member, tUnE-yArDs; Pastor Gregg L. Greer, Freedom First International, SCLC; Lalah Hathaway, singer; Marc Lamont Hill, CNN commentator and professor, Morehouse College; Chase Iron Eyes, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; Evelyn Fox Keller, Professor Emerita of History and Philosophy of Science, MIT; Robin D.G. Kelley, Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA; Wayne Kramer, musician; John Landis, filmmaker; Vic Mensa, rapper; Debra Messing, actor; jessica Care moore, poet; Thurston Moore, singer, songwriter, guitarist of Sonic Youth; PZ Myers, evolutionary developmental biologist; Rosie O’Donnell, comedian, actor; Arturo O’Farrill, composer and musician; Michelle Phillips, musician; Milton Saier, PhD, Professor of Molecular Biology UCSD; Yusef Salaam, one of the Central Park Five; Michael Shannon, actor; Danny Simmons, visual artist; David Strathairn, actor; Alice Walker, author; Cornel West, writer and professor; Saul Williams, poet and performer. (Organizations, institutions listed for ID purposes only)

 

 

“Stranded by the State” Premieres, a New Video Series Chronicling the Human Impact of Illinois’ Ongoing Budget Crisis

Posted by Admin On November - 18 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

In These Times magazine and Kartemquin Films partner to release director Liz Kaar’s online video series illustrating the personal toll of the de-facto budget cuts in Illinois across a range of issues. The series also grapples with potential solutions to the ongoing crisis.

 

CHICAGO, IL — Today, In These Times magazine and Kartemquin Films release the first installment of a new multi-part video series, Stranded by the State, that chronicles the long-term toll of the ongoing budget crisis in Illinois on state residents.

 

Directed, edited and produced by Kartemquin associate Liz Kaar, the trailer for Stranded by the State is now available to watch at inthesetimes.com/stranded. The first full episode will be released on Monday, November 21.

 

“Crisis creates opportunity,” Governor Bruce Rauner told the Chicago Tribune editorial board in April 2015. “Crisis creates leverage to change—and we’ve got to use that leverage of the crisis to force structural change.”

 

Illinois has not passed a real budget in over a year, the first state to do so since the Great Depression. The ongoing fight over the budget between Gov. Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly has been covered widely, but what do the effects of this lingering crisis look like in people’s day-to-day lives?

 

Using the cinéma vérité style favored by Kartemquin (the Chicago-based non-profit documentary production collaborative behind fifty years of classic documentaries, such as Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters), the series follows the families, workers and students living through the de-facto budget cuts, showing the many ways the budget crisis is deteriorating the fabric of Illinois communities.

 

Each episode will focus on a different aspect of the crisis—from higher education to social services to housing—as well as who is benefiting from the crisis and what kinds of solutions could ultimately solve it. The series incorporates data connecting the situation in Illinois to long-term trends of austerity affecting the country at large, and demonstrates how it ultimately costs taxpayers more in the long run.

 

“We’ve cut services back to a degree that now people who are vulnerable are using the most expensive services,” says Sol Flores, Executive Director of La Casa Norte, a social service agency for homeless youth and families in Chicago. “It means more mental health emergency room visits, more emergency hospitalization; it means incarceration for juveniles and adults…The young people, children and families that we don’t invest in today, we’ll be confronting tomorrow. And we will pay one way or another.”

 

The series is a co-production between In These Times and Kartemquin Films, two veteran Chicago media organizations with a long history of covering social justice issues.

 

Upcoming episodes will feature issues including at-risk youth, adult literacy, senior food programs, immigrant services, higher education and supportive housing. They will also explore the impact of toxic swaps as well as potential revenue-based solutions to the budget crisis.

 

At a time when residents across the state are facing the brunt of the budget crisis created in Springfield, this series puts a human face on how these cuts are causing anxiety, hardship and pain across Illinois.

 

Liz Kaar, an independent film director and editor based in Chicago, has worked closely with Kartemquin Films for the last decade on over a dozen films. Most recently, she co-directed and edited Hard Earned, the company’s award-winning six-part series for Al Jazeera America about low-wage workers.

 

“I’m drawn to stories that make the political concrete and show the material effects of policies on real lives,” says Kaar. “This series looks beyond just the numbers to show the complexities and ripple effects of Illinois’ disinvestment in its residents. We’re living in an age of austerity, when important programs are being defunded on all levels of government, when ‘tax’ is a dirty word, when the social safety net is in tatters and people’s basic needs go unmet. With a businessman just elected president of the United States, the experience of Illinois under a ‘CEO’ governor may soon play out on the national level. We may well see the harmful effects documented in this series—on families, workers and communities—writ large. This is a time when we must ask ourselves who we are as a society, and who we want to be.”

 

In These Times, an independent, nonprofit magazine, is dedicated to advancing democracy and economic justice, informing movements for a more humane world, and providing an accessible forum for debate about the policies that shape our future. To read more, visit InTheseTimes.com.

 

Kartemquin Films is a not-for-profit collaborative center for documentary media makers who seek to foster a more engaged and empowered society. In 2016, Kartemquin celebrated 50 years of sparking democracy through documentary. Best known for producing HOOP DREAMS and THE INTERRUPTERS among over 55 documentaries that examine and critique society through the lives of ordinary people, Kartemquin is a national leader in documentary media advocacy and professional development programs that help further grow the field. For more information, visit www.kartemquin.com.

 

For more information, contact:

 

Miles Kampf-Lassin

Community Editor

In These Times

miles@inthesetimes.com

(773) 914-9141

 

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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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