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November , 2018
Tuesday

CHICAGO, IL - Chicagoans participating in tonight's National Moment of Silence for victims of police ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Anna Heistad.  Minnie Vautrin. Thomas Jones.  Three ordinary people who did extraordinary ...
New York, NY.  – On December 11th, 2015, Perri Pierre will hold a Christmas party ...
CHICAGO, IL – On Thursday, February 18, civil rights activists and leaders from around the ...
Illinois 529 plan named top five in nation   The Bright Start College Savings Program has been ...
Statement by President Barack Obama on the Apprehension of Ahmed Abu Khatallah The United States has ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education has announced the following meeting for Oct. ...
Brewer awards scholarships to 30 student leaders as part of donation and leadership symposium Atlanta, ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) is announcing that they do not ...
The story behind Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention   Wendy Wolf, editor of the revealing new ...

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

State Reps. Welch, Harmon Fight to Bring Greater Protections for Immigrants, Stand Up to Trump’s Extremism

Posted by Admin On June - 16 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – In an effort to fight back against Donald Trump’s hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, is partnering with Senate President Pro Tempore Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, to make Illinois a welcoming state to immigrants by enacting new safe zones.

“People need to stick together in these tough times instead of trying to divide and turn us against one another,” said Welch. “So when our president uses hateful words to describe immigrants as murderers and rapists, he is trying to make them out to be the enemy of our nation when that couldn’t be more false.”

Welch and Harmon are working to establish greater protections for immigrants in Illinois, given the continued rhetoric and action currently coming from the White House. With threats of deportation to rip Illinois families apart, Welch and Harmon are working to pass Senate Bill 35.

The measure directs the Attorney General to develop model policies for the Immigrant Safe Zones Act which include protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, requirements for warrants based on probable cause and any other relevant constitutional protections. If enacted, the numerous public entities, including schools, libraries, courts, health care facilities and more, would be prohibited from engaging with Trump’s federal agencies with the intent to help facilitate deportations.

“I believe the current political climate has left immigrants feeling horribly vulnerable.  I hope this legislation gives them a sense of security in the state they call home,” said Harmon. “Immigrants in Illinois are hardworking people who contribute to our communities.  They have built their homes here. They are raising their families here. They should be treated like human beings, not taken away like criminals when they drop their children off at school.”

Basham, Madigan to Bolster Human Resource Staffing as Part of Ongoing Effort to Change the Capitol Culture

Posted by Admin On June - 16 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – House Speaker Michael J. Madigan and new chief of staff Jessica Basham announced they will begin conducting a thorough search to hire a human resources director and an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action officer to promote a fair, equitable, and unbiased work environment for the 200 employees of the Speaker’s office and advise supervisors and oversee investigations related to discrimination and harassment.

These hirings are a direct result of conversations with lawmakers and staff. Acting in consultation with the Speaker, Basham is already meeting with lawmakers and staff and will conduct regular meetings with groups of legislators and staff to update them on the office’s efforts to continue changing the culture within the Capitol. Meetings will be conducted throughout the summer to maintain an ongoing dialogue and solicit additional ideas.

In addition to the hiring of a human resources director and an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action officer, Basham and Madigan are considering numerous additional steps to change the culture in the Capitol, including:

  • Conducting performance reviews on all current directors and supervisors, which will include input from staff.
  • Requiring all directors and supervisors, including the chief of staff, to participate in new management training programs this summer.
  • Meeting with staff members within the Speaker’s office to solicit suggestions for changes to personnel policies and manuals. These policies and manuals will subsequently be updated, based on the feedback received.
  • Creating a confidential process for employees to anonymously register complaints or make suggestions.
  • Researching the availability of additional harassment prevention training which all staff would undergo on a continuing basis.
  • Reviewing and revamping the organizational structure of the House Democratic Staff and Speaker’s Office, in order to incorporate suggestions from staff and members and bring transparency to the roles and functions of staff.

Basham and Madigan will continue to consider additional steps based on the outcome of these conversations.

Candidates interested in the human resources manager position or equal employment opportunity/affirmative action officer should send a resume and cover letter to:

Office of the Speaker

Attn: Jessica Basham

300 State House

Springfield, IL 62706

For More Information:

Steve Brown

847-922-5361

 

Attorney General Madigan Applauds Passage of Legislation to Strengthen Employment Protections for Service Members

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan  applauded Illinois lawmakers for passing legislation to clarify and strengthen laws to ensure that Illinois service members’ employment and rights are protected while they are fulfilling military requirements.

SoldiersMadigan initiated Senate Bill 3547, the Illinois Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (ISERRA), to strengthen and simplify current state laws designed to provide employment protections to service members. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Tom Cullerton and Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, passed the Illinois Senate and House unanimously and will now be sent to the governor.

SB 3547 simplifies existing Illinois law by consolidating all of the provisions, including employment protections for Illinois service members. In doing this, SB 3547 seeks to make it easier for employers to understand and follow the law. The legislation also gives Madigan’s office the authority to file civil lawsuits to enforce ISERRA and requires her office to create the position of ISERRA Advocate to provide training and information to employers and service members. The advocate will be responsible for investigating complaints and drafting the required notice of rights and duties for employers to post.

“When military service members undertake their job to serve our country, they should not lose their civilian jobs at home,” Madigan said. “This legislation strengthens service members’ employment protections, provides training and enforces the law’s requirements to ensure that service members do not return home to find themselves without a job.”

“Service members and their families make innumerable sacrifices for our country, but their non-military employment should not be one of them,” Chapa LaVia said. “Strengthening employment protection laws and helping employers understand how to comply with those laws is just one way we can thank service members and their families.”

Madigan’s Military and Veterans’ Rights Bureau advocates for service members, veterans, and their families and investigates and pursues cases of fraud committed against them, including unlawful advance pension lenders that target veterans and their pension benefits and annuity sales that are misrepresented as effective VA benefit claims assistance. Military service members, veterans and their families can contact Madigan’s Military and Veterans Rights Hotline for help at 1-800-382-3000 or 1-800-964-3013 (TTY) or through Madigan’s website.

The Military and Veterans Rights Bureau also provides assistance to service members, including mediating landlord-tenant disputes for service members facing Permanent Change of Station orders that conflict with lease agreements; mediating financial transaction disputes, such as fraudulent credit report entries or erroneous debts; and seeking to obtain compensation owed to veterans or service members on military leave from their primary employer for annual guard/reserve training.

 

Valerie Jarrett: Say You’ll Vote in 2018

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

From: Valerie Jarrett
Former Senior Advisor to President Obama

 

President Obama often says that “if you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”

It’s not always easy. It’s far from guaranteed that you will be able to make as much progress as you want. There are days when we’re reminded so clearly that we have not yet reached our destination, and that is why we have to work every day to treat our fellow citizens with dignity and civility.

The culture that we’re creating and the interactions we have with our fellow citizens each day are influenced by those who we elect to represent us.

When we elect people that continually demean others — those of another race, or religion, or gender, or identity, or sexual orientation — and reach for an America in the past instead of one in the future, the results hurt us all.

That’s not who we are — and we can’t ever stop saying so.

We have a responsibility to demand better of our elected officials. We have a responsibility to vote in 2018.

Voting isn’t a magic and immediate solution to every problem we face.

Fixing this will take a willingness to listen and respect one another. It will take a level of empathy towards people who have different opinions than our own, and an effort to understand why they ended up feeling the way they do.

But here’s where we can start: At the ballot box.

Who we lift up to represent us speaks volumes about whether we treat each other with compassion and civility — and it’s time to demand better.

Our government will be as good as we make it. Say you’ll vote in 2018:

 

I will vote

 

 

State Rep. Harper Pushes Measure to Require Greater Accountability on Currency Exchanges, Works to Lower Fees on Consumers

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Currency exchange customers could see lower fees under legislation sponsored by state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago.

“Many people rely on currency exchanges for the basic and necessary service of cashing checks,” said Harper. “Unfortunately, the folks who rely on currency exchanges find themselves stuck with extremely high fees and they are often the ones least in a position to be able to afford them. My legislation will hold currency exchanges accountable and help to ensure that these fees are reasonable and consider the impact on consumers.”

Harper’s Senate Bill 2433 modernizes current Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) practice by requiring the agency to take into account new fees and how those fees will disproportionately impact communities of color when setting the maximum fees that currency exchanges can charge.

“Too many currency exchanges are taking advantage of people who lack access to banks and credit unions by charging unreasonable fees on those who have no choice but to turn to these businesses to cash their checks,” Harper added. “This legislation provides added protection for consumers, particularly in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and help guarantee equal access to vital financial services for everyone regardless of income.”

Harper represents the 6th District, which includes all or portions of Armour Square, Bridgeport, Chicago Lawn, Englewood, Gage Park, Back of the Yards, Canaryville, New City, West Englewood, and Marquette Park.

House Speaker Madigan on Bipartisan, Balanced Budget: Budget Holds the Line on Taxes and Spending

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – House Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement Thursday after passing a bipartisan, balanced budget:

“For the second time in as many years, House Democrats have worked alongside our Republican colleagues in the Legislature to pass a bipartisan, balanced budget. As House Democrats have said throughout the past four years, when we can work together in good faith we can accomplish great things.

“Our budget holds the line on taxes and spending, and creates a $15 million surplus that will be used to pay down old bills. We cut government bureaucracy like high-paid consultants and duplicative IT systems at state agencies to invest our finite resources in critical services, provide $350 million in new funding for public schools, and reverse the governor’s cuts to education programs, health care, child care and senior services.

“While there is more work to be done, this compromise budget shows yet again that when extreme demands are not preconditions to negotiation, Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature can work together to move Illinois forward.”

Asked to Pay by Gift Card? Don’t

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

 

 

Has someone asked you to go get a gift card to pay for something? Lots of people have told us they’ve been asked to pay with gift cards – by a caller claiming to be with the IRS, or tech support, or a so-called family member in need. If you’ve gotten a call like this, you know that the caller will then demand the gift card numbers and PIN. And, poof, your money is gone.

Scammers are good at convincing people there really is an emergency, so lots of people have made the trip to the Walmart or Target or CVS to buy gift cards to send these callers. And scammers love gift cards – it’s one of their favorite ways to get your money. These cards are like giving cash – and nearly untraceable, unless you act almost immediately.

So here’s the most important thing for you to know: anyone who demands payment by gift card is always, always, always a scammer. Try this gift card buying exercise out at home – especially when anyone asks you to pay with a gift card:

Q: Should I buy an iTunes, Google Play, Steam, Kroger, Walgreens, BestBuy, Amazon, CVS, Rite Aid or ANY OTHER gift card for someone who demands payment? For any reason?

A: NO.

Gift cards are for gifts, not payments. If you’ve bought a gift card and lost money to someone who might be a scammer, tell the company who issued the card. (The contact info might be on the card, but might require some research) Call or email iTunes or Amazon or whoever it was. Tell them their card was used in a scam. If you act quickly enough, they might be able to get your money back. But – either way – it’s important that they know what happened to you. And then please tell the FTC about your loss. Your report helps us try to shut the scammers down.

Memorial Day Has Special Meaning For African-Americans

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS
From: Marc Morial
President & CEO, National Urban League

History has not settled on the origins of the holiday we now celebrate as Memorial Day.

 

According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, roughly two dozen places claim to be the birthplace of the holiday. Yale historian David W. Blight places the origin in Charleston, South Carolina, in the waning days of the Civil War. By May, 1965, most white Charlestonians had fled the city but thousands of formerly enslaved Black residents remained and carried out demonstrations. On May 1, they gathered at the Washington Race Course and Jockey Club, which had served as a Confederate prison camp where hundreds of Union soldiers died under filthy and deplorable conditions. They were memorialized as “The Martyrs of the Racecourse.”

According to the New York Tribune, “At 9 am on May 1, the procession stepped off led by three thousand black schoolchildren carrying arm loads of roses and singing ‘John Brown’s Body.’ The children were followed by several hundred black women with baskets of flowers, wreaths and crosses …. when all had left, the holy mounds — the tops, the sides, and the spaces between them — were one mass of flowers, not a speck of earth could be seen; and as the breeze wafted the sweet perfumes from them, outside and beyond … there were few eyes among those who knew the meaning of the ceremony that were not dim with tears of joy.”

This Memorial Day, as we reflect on our gratitude for those who gave their lives in defense of our country, we also honor our ongoing triumph over enslavement, repression and injustice.

California Lawmakers Seek to Strengthen Police Use-of-Force Law…And More

Posted by Admin On May - 31 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Race & Justice News

The Sentencing Project

Reforms

California Lawmakers Seek to Strengthen Police Use-of-Force Law

In response to Sacramento police officers’ killing of Stephon Clark, California lawmakers Shirley Weber and Kevin McCarty introduced The Police Accountability and Community Protection Act (AB-931), reports The Nation. The legislation would tighten the guidelines regarding when officers can use lethal force, raising the standard from “reasonable force” to “necessary force.” The bill would allow officers to take deadly action “only when it is necessary to prevent imminent and serious bodily injury or death” and if there is no reasonable alternative—such as verbal persuasion or de-escalation. Research on 97 of the 100 largest police departments across the country by Campaign Zero, an organization dedicated to eradicating police killings, has shown that departments strengthening use-of-force standards reduced killings by police by 25%.

The Los Angeles Police Protective League, Peace Officer’s Research Association of California, and the Sacramento Police Officers Association have all come out against the proposed legislation. Peter Bibring of the ACLU of California, whose team helped write AB-931, notes: “Police unions have been writing the laws for decades so as to protect officers. This [bill] is the community finally asking to have their voice heard.”

Incarceration

Latinos Remain Overrepresented in Texas Solitary Confinement

Although the Texas prison system has reduced the number of individuals held in solitary confinement by 4,000 over the past decade, Chron reports that Latinos remain overrepresented. According to data from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Latinos, African Americans, and whites each comprise roughly one-third of Texas’s prison population. But Latinos make up about half of those in administrative segregation, though their share of the solitary population decreased by 3 percentage points between 2008 and 2017. African Americans’ share of the population in administrative segregation grew from 18% in 2008 to 25% in 2017.

Criminalization of Latino Residents in Montgomery County, NY

In 2015, New York State’s Montgomery County had a jail incarceration rate that was double that of New York City, reports the Vera Institute of Justice. While New York City’s jail incarceration rate dropped 60% since 1991, the rate in rural upstate New York increased by 66%, writes Jack Norton. Montgomery County’s political leaders and criminal justice practitioners pursued policies that filled the county’s large jail, newly built in the 1990s, and disproportionately filled it with the region’s Latino residents, most of whom live in the small deindustrialized city of Amsterdam.

“I made a lot of money for the city,” says Howard Aison, Amsterdam City Court’s now retired judge. Aison had a policy of imposing maximum fines in every case and jailing people who did not pay. While the county’s jail incarceration rate has decreased by 30% under his replacement, Judge Lisa Lorman, many residents now believe that “Amsterdam is a city where Latino people are routinely harassed by the police.” Forty two percent of the county’s Latinos live in poverty. In 2014, Amsterdam’s City Council outlawed playing basketball “on or near city streets.” A resident of Amsterdam’s historically Latino neighborhood observed: “The YMCA is gone now. So the kids play basketball on the streets. Then they made basketball on the streets illegal, and I would actually see police in this neighborhood out ticketing people for basketball.” Reflecting on the area’s current criminal justice problems, Aison underscores the need for more media attention: “People do whatever they want. No one is watching.”

Bail

African Americans Paid Most of the $6.4 Million in Money Bail in New Orleans

African Americans in New Orleans are arrested at two and a half times the rate of whites and are less likely to be able to make bail, resulting in 87% of the city’s jail population being black, reports The Times-Picayune. “We’re using public money to suck private money out of the poorest communities to get results that are failing,” said Flozell Daniels Jr., an author of a new report by The Data Center. The city’s African Americans paid 84% of the $6.4 million dollars in bond premiums and associated fees in 2015, according to research by the Vera Institute of Justice. Daniels and co-authors Jon Wool and Benjamin Weber encourage New Orleans to follow the leadership of Washington, DC, New Mexico, and New Jersey and move away from money-based detention.

The city has made strides towards reform in recent years. Judges have increased the number of arrested people they release on their own recognizance, which requires no up-front payment. Last year, the City Council required the Sheriff’s Office to release most people upon being booked. This summer, courts will implement the Public Safety Assessment Model, a tool that will help judges better determine who poses a public-safety risk.

Policing

Resident Complaints Do Not Explain New York City’s Marijuana Arrest Disparities

African Americans have been arrested on low-level marijuana charges at eight times the rate of whites over the past three years in New York City, reports the New York Times. Latinos have been arrested at five times the rate of whites. In a recent testimony to lawmakers, a senior police official attributed this disparity to more frequent police complaints about marijuana from residents of predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods. People in poor neighborhoods may be more likely to make marijuana-related police calls because they are less likely to have a responsive landlord, building superintendent, or co-op board member who can field their complaints. However, The Times found that among neighborhoods where residents made similar rates of marijuana police calls, the police made arrests at higher rates in areas with more people of color. Although New York City’s marijuana possession arrests have declined to half of their level under the previous mayor, there are still 17,000 such arrests each year.

In response to The Times’ analysis, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the police would overhaul their marijuana enforcement policy within 30 days to “end unnecessary arrests.” The District Attorneys of Manhattan and Brooklyn are also considering plans to stop prosecuting the vast majority of people arrested on low-level marijuana charges. James P. O’Neill, police commissioner, said he would convene a working group to review marijuana enforcement tactics.

School Discipline

Civil Rights Enforcement May Drop Under DeVos

Though racial and ethnic disparities in school punishment grew worse in the 2015-2016 school year, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights may be stepping back from investigating racially disparate enforcement of school discipline policies. Youth of color are more likely to receive harsher punishments—such as out-of-school suspension and expulsion—for equivalent behaviors as their white peers, and are more likely to be arrested in school for those behaviors. A recent study by the Government Accountability Office found that these disparities “persisted regardless of the type of disciplinary action, level of school poverty, or type of public school attended.” Researchers from Princeton University also found that LGBTQ students are punished more harshly than their counterparts.

Thirteen-year old Trah’Vaeziah Jackson’s experience of being sent to juvenile detention for horseplay at school in Bryan, Texas illustrates this problem. The Obama administration’s Office of Civil Rights had investigated the treatment of youth of color in Bryan, but was unable to complete a settlement with the school district before Trump appointees assumed control. As Mother Jones and ProPublica report, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has indicated that “she may soon reverse Obama-era guidelines on disparate impact and school discipline, and her hires have signaled this policy shift.”

Speaker Madigan: House Endorses a Fair Tax Plan That Cuts Middle-Class Taxes

Posted by Admin On May - 31 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Speaker Madigan’s Statement on Fair Tax Plan:

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement after the House approved House Resolution 1025, endorsing a fair tax plan that cuts middle-class taxes while making millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share:

“Today’s vote was a promise to taxpayers that as we continue working toward a fair tax in Illinois our focus will be on cutting taxes on the middle class, putting more money in the pockets of working families, stimulating our economy and helping small businesses grow. The House Democrats backing this resolution stand ready to work with all of our colleagues to enact a fair tax plan like those currently in place in 33 states—including Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri and Indiana—and cutting taxes for most Illinoisans.

“But while our current tax structure unfairly forces hardworking families to pay a much larger share of their income in state taxes than corporate CEOs and hedge fund billionaires, Governor Rauner is willfully misleading taxpayers. He doesn’t want anyone to see that he’s blocking tax relief for the middle class, all in an effort to protect a special deal for millionaires and billionaires like himself.

“While much work remains to be done, it’s now time for anyone who is serious about cutting taxes for the middle class and growing our economy to come to the table and work with us to enact a fair tax.”

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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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