July , 2018

The 8th Ward community overwhelmingly oppose the 7 Story, 1-2 Bedrooms low income Senior Housing ...
Urge early voting for victory By Chinta Strausberg Scores of elected officials gathered earlier this week ...
(From New America Media) By Earl Ofari Hutchinson   Synopsis: A young, irresponsible, no-name white woman should never be ...
Former Hammond Cop Michael Solan Previously Framed Another Man, & Jury Issued a $9 Million ...
  Safe Driving in Neighborhood Streets Can Keep Children Alive   SPRINGFIELD, IL - The Office of the ...
By The University of Chicago Library Exhibition: Race and the Design of American Life: African ...
 Springfield, IL – Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined state Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) in celebrating ...
Washington, DC - Nearly four years after the official end of the Great Recession, African-American ...
Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that former St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter ...
 Bill Will Increase Security & Address Wait Times By Expanding TSA PreCheck, Adding More Canine ...

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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


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.”


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.”


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.


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.”

NIJC Condemns Ongoing ICE Surveillance and Arrest Operations in Chicago Area

Posted by Admin On May - 31 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Urges Community Members to Exercise their Rights


CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers have arrested dozens of community members in Chicago and nearby suburbs in immigration enforcement operations since last weekend. The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) believes that enforcement and surveillance operations are ongoing.

Recent reports reveal that officers who do not immediately identify themselves as ICE agents are making initial inquiries and requesting individuals’ identity documents. NIJC reminds all members of the community that they have the right to remain silent and should not open the door of their home or workplace unless ICE officers present a court-ordered warrant. If an individual is stopped by officers who do not identify themselves, he or she should ask whether they are under arrest and decline to answer questions.

NIJC denounces ICE’s surveilling and targeting of communities, which only serves to create fear in our neighborhoods and further overburden the immigration court system.

Individuals whose loved ones have been arrested and detained can contact NIJC’s detention team at detentionhelp@heartlandalliance.org, or may call the ICIRR Family Support Network Hotline at (855) 435-7693. Detained individuals can call NIJC collect at (312) 263-0901 on Tuesdays between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

View this statement online at: immigrantjustice.org/press-releases/nijc-condemns-ongoing-ice-surveillance-and-arrest-operations-chicago-area-urges

The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) is a nongovernmental organization dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers through a unique combination of direct services, policy reform, impact litigation and public education. Visit immigrantjustice.org and follow @NIJC.

Detention of Dozens at Chicago Day Labor Corner Prompts Citywide Response

Posted by Admin On May - 25 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

As immigration raids continue to escalate under the Trump administration and target Chicagoans’ workplaces, immigrants pledge to expose ICE misconduct and make ‘every corner a Sanctuary’

The Rally and a press conference exposing the continued pattern of racial profiling and violation of civil and constitutional rights in recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) targeting of day laborer workplaces, orchestrated by Chicago ICE Director Ricardo Wong was held yesterday. Community members shared  information on how people can organize to protect themselves from ICE.

The rally was held at 47th Street and Western Blvd (between Advance Auto Parts and the BP gas station), the site of a Saturday raid where dozens of workers were detained.

Immigrant families and community residents, including the families of day laborers targeted by the recent ICE raid were there. In addition, members of the Latino Union of Chicago, PASO, Organized Communities Against Deportations also attended.

On Saturday, ICE agents detained between 20 and 40 day laborers and community residents at the hiring site, where dozens of workers gather to connect with employers each week.

Evidence gathered by community members shows that the operation was part of a string of dozens of raids targeting immigrants’ homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces.

Community members will rally to call out ICE’s tactics and support the right of day laborers and all community members to seek work without fear of being racially profiled.

“Our communities need sanctuary, not surveillance,” said Latino Union Executive Director Analía Rodríguez. “We will hold ICE accountable for terrorizing our communities. We will continue organizing until all day labor corners, all neighborhoods and all members of our community are safe from the abusive, lawless actions of ICE agents.”

Anyone who is targeted by ICE or whose loved ones have been detained is encouraged to call 1-855-HELP-MY-FAMILY.

One of the organizations involved in answering the raid-related calls, Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD), states, “We must remember that we have tools to fight back. We come from a long history of resistance against the harm inflicted in our communities by deportations, ICE and all other law enforcement agencies. We will continue to stay vigilant. We will continue to organize and fight back. We will continue to resist the targeting and separation of our communities,” said Reyna Wences, Organizer at OCAD.

Visuals: Day laborers with tools and work clothes; signs showing what number community members should call if they see an immigration raid occurring; and dozens of community members from Latino Union, Organized Communities Against Deportations, PASO and other community organizations

The Latino Union of Chicago collaborates with low-income immigrant workers to develop the tools necessary to collectively improve social and economic conditions.

PASO – West Suburban Action Project (Proyecto de Acción de los Suburbios del Oeste) is a community-based social justice organization that works to engage community members to address issues that affect them, their families, and neighbors with the mission to build stronger communities where all residents can live dignified lives regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic or immigration status.

Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) is an undocumented-led group that organizes against deportations, detention, criminalization, and incarceration, of Black, brown, and immigrant communities in Chicago and surrounding areas. Follow us at @OCAD_CHI

Timeshare Resale Scheme Preyed on Older Adults

Posted by Admin On May - 25 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS


If you’re thinking about selling your timeshare through a resale company, research the company first. Read about this recent FTC case against Pro Timeshare Resales, and you’ll know why.

Timeshare Resales is a Florida-based company that called people – many of whom were older adults – and promised to sell their timeshare properties. The company often said it had a buyer in mind and that the sale would occur quickly. Once the timeshare owner agreed, the company would charge an up-front fee, usually of $500 to $2,500.

But, according to the FTC, the company did not sell the property quickly – or even at all. Often, it would ask for additional fees and refuse to grant refunds.

As result of its FTC settlement, Pro Timeshare Resales is now banned from timeshare resale services and telemarketing. It’s not allowed to make misrepresentations or collect any more payments for their timeshare services. Plus, it agreed to surrender more than $3 million.

How can you avoid timeshare resale scams? Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Check out the reseller. Contact the State Attorney General and local consumer protection agencies in the state where the reseller is located. Ask if they have any complaints on file. You can also search online for complaints.
  • Ask about fees. It’s better to do business with a reseller that takes fees after the timeshare is sold. If you must pay a fee in advance, get refund policies in writing.
  • Get everything in writing. Read the contract carefully to make sure it matches promises you’ve been given verbally. It should include the services the reseller will perform, plus any fees you must pay and when. If the deal isn’t what you expected or wanted, don’t sign the contract.

For more information, check out Timeshares and Vacation Plans. And, if you’ve been a victim of a scam, report it to the FTC.


Florida Appeals Court Halts Order for State to Revamp Voter Restoration System…and More

Posted by Admin On May - 25 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

The Sentencing Project

Disenfranchisement News


The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked U.S. District Judge Walker’s order requiring Governor Rick Scott and the other members of the Board of Executive Clemency to revamp the state’s voter restoration process. Judge Walker had ruled that Florida’s system of restoring voting rights to people with felony convictions is arbitrary and violates First Amendment rights to free expression and equal protection rights under the 14th Amendment. He gave the state until April 26th to create a new system.

The state appealed and the court ruled in a 2-1 decision to put Judge Walker’s decision on hold. “The Fourteenth Amendment expressly empowers the states to abridge a convicted felon’s right to vote,” appellate Judge Stanley Marcus wrote in a majority opinion. “Binding precedent holds that the governor has broad discretion to grant and deny clemency, even when the applicable regime lacks any standards.” In a dissent, Judge Beverly Martin wrote, “This unbridled discretion is not just concerning when it confronts expressive and associational freedoms traditionally protected by the First Amendment, but also when it threatens the right to vote.”

Two of the three Republicans running to replace term-limited Attorney General Pam Bondi have said that they support Bondi and Gov. Scott’s legal approach to defending the state’s rights restoration process. Democrats running for the position oppose the legal battle and support the November voting rights amendment, which would automatically restore voting rights to some people with felony convictions upon completion of their sentence.


Lawsuit seeks damages for people who were denied the right to vote while in jail

A class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of 150 people who were denied the right to vote in the November 2016 election while they were incarcerated in Allen County Jail. Indiana prohibits individuals serving a felony sentence from voting, but the majority of people in the Allen County Jail were held pre-trial or were serving misdemeanor sentences. The suit claims that Sheriff David Gladieux refused to offer absentee ballots or any other avenue for voting to the eligible incarcerated voters. Attorneys for the plaintiffs said they believe this is the first class-action lawsuit that is seeking monetary damages for incarcerated people being denied the right to vote.


State expands voting rights to many people on felony probation and parole

The Legislature recently passed a bill to restore voting rights to people on probation and parole after a five year waiting period. According to The Sentencing Project, there are 70,000 people on felony probation and parole in Louisiana. Currently, the state restores voting rights once individuals fully complete their probation and parole sentence. Because the bill requires individuals to wait five years before their rights can be restored, not all individuals on supervision will immediately have their right to vote restored. The average time on parole supervision is 6.9 years.

It took three tries for Rep. Patricia Smith, the sponsor of House Bill 265, to get the original bill out of the House. Lawmakers told Smith they had received calls from district attorneys asking them to vote against the bill. The bill earned bipartisan support in the Senate and was approved on a 24-13 vote. Governor John Bel Edwards said he intends to sign the bill into law. Once signed, the change will take effect on March 1, 2019.

New York

Gov. Cuomo restores voting rights to 35,000 people on parole

Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order to grant voting rights to 35,000 people in New York State under parole supervision. The current state law bars people in prison and on parole supervision from voting. The Sentencing Project estimates that 45% of the beneficiaries of Gov. Cuomo’s order are African Americans who are disproportionately impacted by felony disenfranchisement laws. The executive order offers conditional pardons to people on parole, but the pardons will not erase their conviction or any other conditions of their parole. Gov. Cuomo said that he will continue to issue conditional pardons to new people who enter the parole system.

Progressive Democrats have pushed to restore voting rights to people on parole but have been blocked by Senate Republicans and conservative Democrats, according to The Nation. Gov. Cuomo’s order is a temporary solution that could be halted when a new governor enters office. “Restricting voting rights is deeply problematic for a democratic society and compounds the social isolation of formerly incarcerated persons from their communities,” The Sentencing Project’s Marc Mauer said in a statement regarding the announcement. “I urge the legislature to affirm the governor’s executive order by enacting legislation to expand voting.”

International Perspective

Majority of nations view incarcerated people as “full human beings”

Disenfranchisement policies in the U.S. are far more restrictive than in comparable nations, according to a recent People’s Policy Project article by Emmitt Sanders, a researcher and community activist who spent more than 22 years in Illinois prisons. And of the countries that do impose a voting ban, this is almost always solely limited to the period of incarceration with automatic restoration upon release.

“Today, 26 European nations at least partially protect their incarcerated citizens’ right to vote, while 18 countries grant prisoners the vote regardless of the offense,” writes Sanders. Germany, Norway, and Portugal remove voting rights only from people convicted of crimes that target the “integrity of the state” or “constitutionally protected democratic order.” Both Canada and South Africa allow people in prison to vote. Britain had a blanket ban on voting for people in prison, but the European Court of Human Rights ruled that it was a violation of human rights. After 12 years of fighting with the Court’s decision, the UK changed its ban to allow voting rights for incarcerated people on temporary release and at home under curfew.

Despite growing international support for the idea that voting should not be abridged due to a criminal conviction, only two states—Maine and Vermont—allow people in prison to participate in elections. However, there is a growing momentum for states to view incarcerated people as “full human beings,” writes Sanders. “As someone who spent over 22 years of my life denied the right to vote because of my incarceration, this would be a most welcome development.”

State Rep. Welch Fights to Lower Middle Class Tax Burdens; Demands Wealthy Pay Fair Share

Posted by Admin On May - 25 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL. – Fighting to provide working and middle class families with tax relief, Illinois State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, is advocating for the adoption of a progressive tax in Illinois, undoing decades of economic injustice for working people.

“A progressive tax is exactly what Illinois needs and what Illinois taxpayers deserve,” said Welch. “This is a tax cut for everyday Illinoisans who work long hours, worry about how to pay the bills and send their kids to college, and live paycheck to paycheck, while asking the wealthiest among us to finally pay their fair share of taxes.”

Welch is joining Democratic lawmakers in pushing for a progressive tax in Illinois by sponsoring House Resolution 1025. The measure shows the support of those who are demanding tax fairness for their residents and to modernize an outdated, regressive tax structure. A recent study by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, a nonpartisan organization, found that a graduated income tax structure would provide a tax break to 98 percent of taxpayers and bring in an additional $2 billion in revenue by requiring the ultra-wealthy to pay their fair share. This additional revenue would help fund vital services that the state’s most vulnerable citizens rely upon, such as home-delivered meals for seniors and breast and cervical cancer screenings for working women.

“This effort is another piece in the fight for fairness,” said Welch. “A teacher, janitor, bus driver, painter and carpenter, and so many more, should not be forced to pay the same as a big-time hedge-fund manager or private equity billionaire like Governor Bruce Rauner, who falsely claims he understands the plight of true-hardworking Illinoisans. If he did, he’d support this effort to give middle class families real tax relief.”

Payday Loan Sharks Lose Repeal Fight

Posted by Admin On May - 21 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

From:Woodstock Institute
Historic Payday Loan Protections Defy Congressional Threat


CHICAGO, IL – In a victory for consumers and their advocates, the clock expired on Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolutions—S.J. Res 56 and H.J. Res 122—which were poised to repeal the historic Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (Consumer Bureau) payday and car title lending rule.  The Consumer Bureau rule, finalized in October, establishes common-sense consumer protections on predatory payday and title loans, such as requiring lenders to verify a borrower’s ability to repay before making the loan.

Separate from the Congressional action, the new leadership at the Consumer Bureau, appointed by the Trump Administration, has threatened to “reconsider” the rule. Consumers and their advocates are urging the Consumer Bureau to keep the rule, effective summer 2019, and to establish further protections for borrowers, such as protections applicable to longer-term installment loans.

“This historic victory is the culmination of years of hard work by consumer advocates. Hundreds of thousands of consumers in Illinois have turned to payday loans, but our laws do not protect them from getting caught in a debt trap – a cycle of repeat borrowing that extends far beyond a single payday,” said Brent Adams, Senior Vice President of Policy and Communication for Woodstock InstituteAdams wrote the State’s first payday loan law in 2005, and regulated the industry as Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation from 2009-2012Adams went on to say, “These new protections will require payday lenders to do what they should have been doing all along – determining whether the borrower can actually afford to pay back the loan without forgoing  basic living expenses and major financial obligations like rent, food, and electricity.”

As written, the historic payday lending rule will result in fewer families falling into financial ruin.  At the heart of the rule is the common sense principle of ability-to-repay based on a borrower’s income and expenses, which ensures the borrower can repay the loan without reborrowing and without defaulting on other expenses—that is, without getting caught in a debt trap.  An affordable loan is one a borrower can reasonably be expected to pay back without re-borrowing or going without the basic necessities of life – like heat or rent money.  A 2017 poll of likely voters shows more than 70 percent of Republicans, Independents, and Democrats support this idea.  In 2016, the “red state” of South Dakota voted to ban payday lending by a greater margin than it voted for President Trump (75 percent vs. 61.5 percent).

The legislative tool used to challenge the rule—the Congressional Review Act—allows a simple majority vote in Congress to undo long-considered federal regulatory safeguards without public hearings or the option to filibuster.  The CRA had been used only once before President Trump took office and began his assault on consumer protections; since then, it has been applied to repeal various rules.  In this case, neither chamber brought the payday rule resolutions to a vote during the limited time allotted for a challenge, and the important rule was not repealed.

In Illinois alone, predatory payday and title lending cost families over half a billion dollars per year in abusive fees and usurious rates.  Research indicates four of every five loans are re-borrowed within the month because most borrowers—like those in Illinois who make an average of less than $30,000 a year—cannot afford to repay loans at an average 323 annual percentage rate.  A group of 36 Illinois organizations sent letters in March urging Congressional support of strong payday protections.  Many of the same groups also support a statewide effort to cap title loans at 36 percent.

Amidst consistent pressure by consumer advocates, no member of the Illinois Congressional delegation opted to sign on as a co-sponsor of the CRA repeal resolutions.  What’s more, Illinois’ Senator Dick Durbin took the lead among his colleagues in warning the CFPB to not undo the rule.  Senator Durbin has also long championed the Protecting Consumers from Unreasonable Credit Rates Act, which would cap the interest rate on all consumer loans at 36 percent.

Woodstock Institute is a leading nonprofit research and policy organization in the areas of equitable lending and investments, wealth creation and preservation, and safe and affordable financial products and services. Woodstock Institute works locally and nationally to create a financial system in which lower-wealth persons and communities of color can safely borrow, save, and build wealth so that they can achieve economic security and community prosperity. 

The NAACP Mourns the Tragic and Senseless Loss of Lives at Santa Fe High School

Posted by Admin On May - 21 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

NAACP Statement on Santa Fe High School Shooting


BALTIMORE – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the nation’s premier civil rights organization, issued the following statement regarding the tragic shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas:The NAACP mourns the tragic and senseless loss of 10 lives today at Santa Fe High School. In addition to those killed, 10 individuals were also wounded. Nine of the 10 fatalities were students, studying subjects they loved and planning for their future. This is the 22nd school shooting of 2018 according to CNN. We cannot sit back and allow gun violence to continue to take the lives of our students. The NAACP sends our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the victims and everyone whose lives they touched. Talk alone is not enough to address the issue of gun violence in our communities and schools; sensible gun reform must become a priority among our politicians and policymakers.

Illinois Housing Development Authority Awards $26.4 million in Federal Tax Credits to Finance Affordable Housing Across Illinois

Posted by Admin On May - 21 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS


Federal Tax Incentive Will Support the Construction and Rehabilitation of 1,327 Affordable Apartments in 15 Counties


CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) Board of Directors today awarded more than $26.4 million in federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to fund 26 affordable housing developments within 15 counties across Illinois. Once sold to investors, the tax credits will generate an estimated $241.4 million in private capital to finance the creation or preservation of 1,327 affordable apartments for low- to moderate-income families, seniors, veterans, and persons with special needs. The construction activity is expected to support 2,379 full-time construction jobs and 524 permanent jobs after completion.

“The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit is instrumental in helping IHDA achieve our mission of financing safe, quality and affordable housing in Illinois,” IHDA Executive Director Audra Hamernik said. “This program is a proven public-private partnership that allows us to leverage the resources and expertise of the private sector to create jobs, generate tax revenue, and most importantly, ensure working families, seniors, and people with special needs have a place to call home.”

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program was created with the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99–514). The Internal Revenue Service allocates a certain number of tax credits annually to each state based on population. IHDA awards the credits in a competitive application process, and once developers receive the credits, they sell them to investors and use the equity generated to reduce construction and operating costs. The savings in underwriting are passed on to the renter in the form of below-market rents, which must remain affordable for a minimum of 30 years. IHDA has administered the LIHTC program in Illinois since it began in 1986. Since its inception, the program has financed more than 90,975 units of affordable housing in the state, generating $4.9 billion in private capital for affordable housing.

The IHDA Board approved the following developments to receive tax credits:

Southbridge Phase I (Chicago): New construction of 100 rental units in a mixed-income, transit-oriented development. Developed by the Community Builders, Southbridge is located in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood and is adjacent to a number of important community amenities, including recreational playing fields, the National Teacher’s Academy elementary school, and a Green Line CTA station.

Miriam Apartments (Chicago): Rehabilitation of a 66-unit former SRO building in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood that was acquired by Mercy Housing Lakefront in 1991 and transformed into supportive housing for women at risk of homelessness. Mercy Housing will reconfigure the units to provide private kitchens and baths, add common areas, and improve accessibility to allow for aging in place.

Roosevelt Road Veterans Housing (Chicago): A new five-story development from the Safe Haven Foundation to serve the housing and support needs of homeless and disabled veterans. The development will feature 87 studio and three one-bedroom apartments, as well as on-site supportive services and community amenities.

Hope Manor Village (Chicago): The Volunteers of America of Illinois will build 19 new two-flat buildings on 19 vacant lots on the south side of Chicago for veterans with families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Residents will be able to access counseling, case management, youth enrichment programs, employment services and peer support at nearby Hope Manor II, an earlier phase of the initiative opened in 2014.

Greenwood Park Apartments (Chicago): Rehabilitation of a 15 building housing complex in Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood. Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) purchased the 43-year-old property in 2016, and will use LIHTC financing to make accessibility retrofits and critical repairs in order to preserve 122 deeply affordable units in an outstanding location.

NEH II (Naperville): Construction of a five-story, 68-unit expansion to the existing 121-unit Martin Avenue Apartments senior housing complex. The addition will connect to the 51-unit south wing of the Martin Avenue complex, which will receive renovations during construction. Owned and operated by Naperville Elderly Housing Inc., the apartments will offer affordable rents with easy access to shopping, healthcare, parks and recreation.

1212 Larkin (Elgin): Full Circle Communities will create 47 units across a mix of new and rehabilitated apartment and townhome buildings. The development includes the adaptive reuse of two historic structures – the Larkin Center and Clubhouse buildings – into a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments and amenities for income-eligible families.

Anthony Place Prairie Centre St. Charles (St. Charles): Construction of a new senior apartment building that will create 74 affordable apartments for residents 55 and older. The development is a part of the City of St. Charles’ master redevelopment plan for a long-vacant 27-acre former mall property, which includes affordable and market rate housing, as well as commercial and mixed-use buildings.

The Residences of Crystal Lake (Crystal Lake): A three-story, 60-unit building featuring one- and two-bedroom apartments that will allow seniors to remain in Crystal Lake as their housing needs change. Sponsored by Turnstone Development, the building will be rented to households earning less than 60 percent of the area median income.

TCB Oak Park I (Oak Park): New construction of a 37-unit, four-story building for income-eligible families. Sponsored by the Community Builders, the property is located in one of Oak Park’s transit-oriented-development gateways and is surrounded by community amenities ad retail, including recreation, schools, restaurants and groceries.

Spruce Village (Palatine): A new construction development that will provide 44 apartments for adults with disabilities who are capable of living independently. Sponsored by the Housing Opportunity Development Corporation, Spruce Village will offer access to an array of supportive services overseen by the Kenneth Young Center and the Alexian Brothers Medical Group.

Liberty Meadow Estates Phase III (Joliet): The final phase of an affordable housing development on a 64-acre site purchased by the Housing Authority of Joliet in 2006. The Will County Housing Development Corporation will build 42 single-family rental homes and duplexes, each with an attached garage, front and back yard, and porch. Each home is set aside for residents earning no more than 60 percent of the area median income.

Fifth Avenue Apartments (Maywood): The Interfaith Housing Development will create 72 units of affordable housing for individual and families on a site donated by the Village of Maywood. The ground floor will offer a variety of common areas for resident including offices, meeting rooms and laundry, as well retail space that may include a quality grocery store.

Kings Court Redevelopment (Springfield): The Abundant Faith Ministry of Springfield will purchase and renovate an old motel, transforming the property into 18 affordable apartments while building two new duplexes on vacant land owned by the Ministry. All 22 units will be affordable to households earning no more than 60% of the area median income and will include an assortment of in-unit and community amenities.

Lofts on the Square (Belleville): Renovation of the historic Hotel Belleville/Meredith Home into 47 affordable senior apartments and retail space on the Public Square in downtown Belleville. The Southwestern Illinois Development Authority will oversee the adaptive reuse of the building, which will convert the second through sixth floors into apartments for residents over 55 who earn less than 60 percent of the area median income.

Edison Avenue Lofts (Granite City): A historic rehabilitation of the former YMCA in downtown Granite City into a mixed-income, mixed-use apartment building offering 37 affordable units. Developed by Rise Community Development, the building is in a highly walkable section of downtown adjacent to a park, a new community theater, and a historic library.

East Bluff Housing (Peoria): A scattered-site development in Peoria’s East Bluff neighborhood that will create 20 new single-family rental homes and five duplexes on 25 vacant lots. Developed by the Peoria Opportunities Foundation, the homes will be designed based on neighboring styles and will include recreational green space, as well as parking and landscaping at each site.

The Community of Sunnybrook (Alton): A new development offering 38 affordable apartments and two market-rate units for families just east of downtown Alton. Currently a vacant field, the property will soon feature 20 duplex buildings containing a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. After 15 years, the developers will make the units available as opportunities for affordable homeownership.

Anthony Place of Ottawa (Ottawa): A new four-story building that will contain 56 affordable apartments for seniors, as well as indoor parking, a fitness room, computer room, and a library on the ground floor. The downtown site currently serves as a drive-thru for the First National Bank of Ottawa, which will be mostly demolished to make way for the building.

Diamond Senior Apartments of Breese (Breese): New construction of seven single-story townhouse buildings containing 40 affordable apartments for seniors by 3Diamond Development. Construction will also include new roads, walking paths, and parking. All 40 units will be affordable to residents earning no more than 60 percent of the area median income.

Flax Meadow Townhomes (Highland): A new construction development of eight one- and two-story townhomes. When complete, Flax Meadow will offer 32 affordable units of family housing with on-site management offices, as well as a playground and open green space.

Oak Field Place (Henry): A new one-story building from Oak Grove Development featuring 30 affordable apartments for seniors in Marshall county. The development will reserve five apartments for residents with disabilities or those who are at risk of homelessness.

Morgan County Senior Homes (Jacksonville): This development will bring 23 affordable townhome units to the City of Jacksonville. The development will consist of a mix of duplexes, triplexes and four-plexes that will replace a blighted nursing home with brand new one- and two-bedroom units for seniors.

Highland Villas (Highland): The Southwestern Illinois Development Authority will build 48 affordable villa-style units for income eligible seniors. Each unit will be designed to incorporate the highest level of accessibility and a variety of in-unit amenities. The development will also include the construction of a community building.

Gillespie Senior Residences (Gillespie): New construction of 20 single-family rental homes for seniors in Macoupin County. Every nit will receive rental assistance from the Macoupin County Housing Authority, who will manage the development.

The Hills (Hillsboro): The Montgomery County Regional Growth & Development Corporation will replace the existing Kirk Terrace public housing property with 50 new affordable units in a blend of single-family rental homes, duplexes and triplexes. A community center will also be built as a part of the development to serve families of The Hills as well as another tax credit development in the area.

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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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