23
April , 2018
Monday

By Kimberly N. Alleyne America's Wire Staff Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) -- Concerned about the plight of African-American ...
      Statement by Jim Duffett, Executive Director, Campaign for Better Health Care   Hardworking Americans will no longer ...
Tips offered for preparedness gifts, holiday decorating SPRINGFIELD, IL – With the holiday season in full ...
New Artistic And Executive Directors Also Announced CHICAGO, IL -  Following a successful fifth ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL– The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is alerting the public of the ...
   "Lest We Never Forget: The Power of the  ballot"  by Juanita Bratcher Copyright (c) 2006   Introductions by Illinois ...
  Chicago, IL  -  Selecting a credit card processing service is a very important decision for ...
The Illinois Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention won Overall Chapter ...
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez was among the honorees at the first annual “Making ...
(A Reprint) 1. "The Affordable Care Act is saving my daughter's life." Stacey, Arizona 2. "Obama is for ...

Archive for the ‘News and Blogs’ Category

Speaker Madigan: “In the Past, Governor Rauner has Resorted to Severe Cuts Targeting Women, Children and the Elderly…”

Posted by Admin On April - 18 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

 Statement from Speaker Madigan

SPRINGFIELD, IL – House Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement Thursday, following a meeting between legislative leaders and the governor:

“Today I advised the governor and the other leaders that we are already at work on the Fiscal Year 2019 budget with our colleagues across the aisle, just as we did a year ago when Republicans and Democrats stood together to end the Rauner budget crisis. If the governor is finally ready to accept responsibility for the management of the state and be an honest partner in trying to pass a budget, we welcome him to this process.

“In the past, Governor Rauner has resorted to severe cuts targeting women, children and the elderly.  Democrats cannot accept this. If the governor’s agenda is to push more of his extreme cuts to health care, senior services, and resources for our most at-risk residents, or if he intends to again move the goalposts and create chaos, he should stay on the sidelines and allow serious leaders to continue working cooperatively to address the challenges facing our state.”

State Senator Raoul Passes Reform of Workers’ Compensation Program

Posted by Admin On April - 18 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) passed legislation today that puts in place a series of reforms to the state’s workers’ compensation program.

“We refuse to participate in a race to the bottom when it comes to workers’ compensation rights,” Raoul said. “We put in place a series of extremely successful reforms several years ago. Now we need to hold insurance companies accountable and ensure they are passing on savings to employers and workers.”

The measure makes several changes to Illinois’ workers’ compensation system, including: requiring electronic billing for workers’ compensation claims, allowing first responders to receive benefits the day after their accident, creating an evidence-based prescription drug formulary and changing the way insurance companies set rates with the Illinois Department of Insurance.

Raoul worked with the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association and other stakeholders on the Senate’s overhaul of the workers’ compensation program in 2011. Since then, the state’s employers have saved more than $315 million in workers’ compensation premiums.

The measure passed today includes a provision empowering the Department of Insurance to ensure savings from these and past reforms are passed on to employers. Other key components of the measure include:

·         clarification that an American Medical Association impairment report is not required to award benefits or reach a settlement, although a report may be utilized when reaching a decision

·         penalties for unreasonable delay in authorizing medical treatment

·         classification of hip and shoulder injuries as leg and arm injuries, respectively

These reforms are the result of bipartisan, bicameral negotiations. Today’s measure is identical to legislation that passed the House and the Senate last year. Although several provisions in the legislation reflected recommendations from Gov. Bruce Rauner – including controlling money spent on prescription drugs and clarifying the use of AMA guidelines – he vetoed the measure when it reached his desk.

Senate Bill 2863 passed 34-21 and moves to the House for consideration.

8th Ward Alderman Ignores Pill Hill Community Concerns and Proceeds to Let Low Income, Section 8 Senior Building Come Into Ward

Posted by Admin On April - 12 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

The 8th Ward community overwhelmingly oppose the 7 Story, 1-2 Bedrooms low income Senior Housing facility proposed to be built in the 8th Ward near Pill Hill Homes, but the alderman is ignoring their wishes

concerned_citizen_no_to_low_income_senior_housingBy Pamela Bratcher-McMillan

As I observed the Community Development Commission meeting yesterday in City Hall, I realized that the 8th Ward alderman was more of a facilitator than an administrator.  When she read the items in her notes one by one, it felt as though she was giving a report to her supervisor instead of selling the idea of why an oversized, low income senior housing development should be allowed to be built in the Pill Hill community.

And as quickly as the vote was acted upon by the Commission, it came across as a predetermined decision, that the committee knew beforehand how they would vote before the meeting started. Obviously, the committee wasn’t interested, didn’t care, or wasn’t concerned about what the community had to say. The 8th ward alderman took the mic and proceeded to say that 99% of the ward supported the Calumet Heights project.  Not so!!!! And her remarks were immediately met with “not true” criticism from several people in the audience. A large part of the 8th Ward community is angry and insulted that she would even make a move to bring the low income, Section 8 housing into their middle-and upper-middle-class neighborhood.

Secondly, the alderman has not met with the immediate community about this Senior Housing Project, the ones that will be most affected by this low income, 7 -story building with 1-2 bedrooms, with a “100-person waiting list”, down from the 400-500 person list her staff mentioned last week in a community meeting. The alderman did hold a developers meeting last week at a Senior Housing development on East 78th Street, pitching the project to what appeared to be a room full of its residents, and she told them there was a “200-person” waiting list.

The alderman failed to attend the meeting at St. Felicitas Church or at St Ailbe Church where 200 angry residents showed up for a meeting only to find it had been canceled. Many of the residents learned about the project through word of mouth, from other residents who had heard that the alderman was trying to bring it in. And believe me, they were not happy campers when they got the news. They were fiercely angry.

And although, about 8 or 10 people stepped up to the mic to express their opposition to the 7 story 1-2 bedrooms low income housing at 9329 to 9429 S. Stony Island Avenue, the Community Development Commission members – who do not live in the community, sided with the alderman.

The Community Development Committee, a small apathetic committee of folks that aren’t familiar with the area, to the horror of most in the audience, continued to vote in the face of a majority of community opponents who unanimously did not want to allow the development to proceed. This after listening to a trumped-up presentation by the 8th Ward Alderman, ignoring earlier community member comments about their concerns for losing their privacy with the huge building over their single family homes and their property value taking a dive.

The 8th Ward alderman aggressively pushed it through, and has yet to meet with the Pill Hill community, even after being sent two invitations to meetings.

What doesn’t the 8th Ward alderman get about the immediate concerns of the community that is affected by this project? The community doesn’t want it! She went on to say that in the Montclare building, another senior building in the 8th ward, that those residents had no complaints about the building being next to their homes. What does that have to do with an area where residents in homes are concerned? Her smug mockery is why the area is losing patience with her quickly. Someone in the audience at the meeting said her “attitude reaps of someone who has been in political office for too long and doesn’t care about the community. We know how we shouldn’t vote in the aldermanic election the next time around. We hear constant lies and a lack of transparency. We want our young people to find the area attractive, and we want to live and continue to grow it.  And this will only take the neighborhood down.”

It is obvious that the alderman does not care what the community wants, as per her past and present agendas for the ward.  It appears that she’s willing to spin stories – whether factual or not – to get what she wants in the 8th Ward. One wonders if the alderman is complacent or passive aggressive when people push these ideas off for development? Or has she received a directive beyond her control to carry out at the expense of the community?

To be continued…

Next Meeting:

Chicago Plan Commission Meeting
City Hall, 2nd floor City Council Chambers
121 N. LaSalle Street
April 19th at 10:00 am

 

Time for change…

Elect Linda Hudson for 8th Ward Alderman

Senator Harper Measure Creates Fairer Hiring Practices for People with Criminal Records

Posted by Admin On April - 12 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – To help job seekers find employment regardless of past criminal history, Illinois state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, is sponsoring legislation that establishes the Employee Background Fairness Act to provide protections to applicants with criminal records.

“Everyone deserves a second chance at improving their lives, especially those who are determined to turn their lives around for the better,” said Harper. “It is blatantly unfair to immediately disqualify an applicant who wants to make right from their past mistakes without considering that person’s qualifications for a position.”

Harper is leading the effort to create fairer hiring practices for individuals with criminal records seeking employment. Her House Bill 5334 asks that employers perform good faith assessments on potential hires to give them a fair shot at employment and prohibits discriminatorily disqualifying applicants because of their past records, with some exceptions. Harper is fighting for those who have paid their debt to society and now wish to give back to their communities.

“Unfortunately, race and discrimination still play a huge factor in whether someone is hired for a job,” said Harper. “I want those people who are seeking reentry into society to know that they have an opportunity to turn their lives around instead of being left to fend for themselves.”

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.

Justice Report: A Year in Review

Posted by Admin On April - 12 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS
From: Kim Foxx
Cook County State’s Attorney

Recently, I was announced the winner of Emily’s List’s Rising Star Award. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Your support has always pushed me across the finish line when it’s mattered most.
I am humbled to be counted among the incredible women fighting for change in their communities, but this award also signals a true sea change: Cook County has emerged as a national leader in the fight for meaningful criminal justice reform. The world is watching us – and the groundbreaking work we’re doing here to reimagine what real justice and public safety look like. In that spirit, I wanted to update you on some of the steps we’ve taken in the last year to make the State’s Attorney’s Office a powerful force for good:
  1. Pursuing bail reform: In recognition of the unfair impact our system has on the poor, my office has worked to address the injustices of a cash-based bond system. In collaboration with the Public Defender’s office, we have allowed for the pre-trial release of people in jail on bonds of $1,000 or less without having to put up cash. Not only does this save taxpayer dollars, but it can help to change the trajectory for nonviolent defendants who would be adversely affected by an unnecessary stay in jail.
  2. Building bridges with law enforcement: For the first time in this office’s history, we are meeting monthly with the Chicago Police Department to share data about gun prosecutions and work together to improve the prosecution of those cases. We are also partnering with law enforcement to embed prosecutors in the most violent Chicago Police Districts as part of a new intelligence-driven prosecution model that prioritizes building strong cases against the small number of offenders who are driving the most violence.
  3. Facilitating public accountability: To maximize transparency and build public trust, we’ve released annual data reports summarizing our work as well as over six years of felony criminal case data on the Cook County Open Data Portal. By providing unprecedented access into the State’s Attorney’s Office and hiring our first ever Chief Data Officer, we are making sure our work is driven by data rather than anecdote, and pushing ourselves to measure success in metrics instead of war stories.
  4. Addressing past wrongs: Under the leadership of our new Conviction Integrity Unit Director, Mark Rotert, we are rigorously investigating claims of wrongful convictions and developing groundbreaking protocols to bring clarity and transparency to this crucial work. Already, jurisdictions from around the country are seeking to learn from our efforts, adopting similar protocols in their own offices. People are so confident that we will look at these cases seriously that we’ve already seen a 500% increase in requests for review.
  5. Shifting priorities: From raising the threshold for felony retail theft to $1,000 to declining to prosecute misdemeanor driving offenses, we have shifted our limited resources away from financial-based offenses to help break the cycle of criminalization in Cook County’s most vulnerable communities. As a result, the number of people charged with felony, instead of misdemeanor, retail theft dropped significantly in 2017, meaning fewer people will serve lengthy prison sentences for low-level retail theft.
I hope you found this informative, and that you take pride in the special role you’ve played to make our work possible. Like I told you at the start of this journey, the kind of change we are seeking will take time. Our criminal justice system will not transform overnight. But while there is always more we can do – a fact that weighs heavily on me – I am proud of the progress we’ve made so far and excited about the bold new path we are charting.

As we continue to grow in our work and act on our broader vision of justice, I am grateful for your support and energized for all that lies ahead.

Sincerely,

Kim Foxx
Cook County State’s Attorney

Illinois Is 2018’s State with the 8th Highest Tax Burden: WalletHub Study

Posted by Admin On April - 12 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

With Tax Day fast approaching and a new tax code recently signed into law by President Trump, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its 2018 Tax Burden by State report, along with its 2018 Tax Facts infographic.

In order to determine which states tax their residents most aggressively, WalletHub compared the 50 states based on the three components of state tax burden — property taxes, individual income taxes, and sales and excise taxes — as a share of total personal income.

Tax Burden in Illinois (1=Highest, 25=Avg.):
  • 8th – Overall Tax Burden (10.08%)
  • 9th – Property Tax Burden (4.11%)
  • 22nd – Individual Income Tax Burden (2.44%)
  • 24th – Total Sales & Excise Tax Burden (3.53%)

For the full report, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-highest-lowest-tax-burden/20494/

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a phone, Skype or in-studio interview with one of our experts.

Best,
Diana Popa
WalletHub Communications Manager
(202) 684-6386

More from WalletHub

 

Two Paterson Police Officers Charged With Conspiring To Violate Civil Rights

Posted by Admin On April - 12 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

NEWARK, N.J. – Two Passaic County, New Jersey, men were arrested today for allegedly violating the civil rights of two individuals during a motor vehicle stop in Paterson, New Jersey, with one officer also being charged with extortion for personally accepting a firearm in exchange for reducing the charges on an arrestee, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Jonathan Bustios, 28, and Eudy Ramos, 31, both of Paterson, New Jersey, were arrested by federal agents this morning and charged by complaint with conspiring to deprive individuals of civil rights under color of law. Bustios was also charged with one count of extortion under color of official right. Both defendants are scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court.

According to the complaint:

The investigation uncovered instances in which Bustios and Ramos, both officers of the Paterson Police Department, allegedly stopped motor vehicles, detained the occupants, and searched those vehicles without any justification. On certain occasions, Bustios and Ramos also took cash and other items without justification before releasing the detained occupants.

For example, on Feb. 20, 2018, while on duty, Bustios pulled over a BMW and stopped behind the vehicle, while Ramos stopped his police car in front of the vehicle. Bustios and Ramos exited their police cars and proceeded to search the front and back of the BMW and the trunk. Bustios and Ramos also detained and searched the two occupants of the BMW and put them into the backseat of Ramos’ police car.

After searching the BMW, Bustios left the scene, drove for ten minutes, then stopped his police car and took out a white plastic bag that was filled with cash. Bustios also took out a firearm. He then called Ramos, after which Ramos released the two detained occupants of the BMW and drove to meet Bustios. Bustios passed a portion of the recovered cash to Ramos through the window of Bustios’ police car.

Later that day, Bustios and Ramos turned in the firearm that they had recovered. In the offense report pertaining to the firearm, they told a false story about having recovered the firearm due to a tip by a concerned citizen. In fact, there was no tip by a concerned citizen. They did not report to the Paterson Police Department that they had stopped and searched the BMW, detained and searched its occupants, and taken cash, all without any warrants.

Bustios was also charged with extortion under color of official right for an incident that allegedly occurred on March 14, 2018. Bustios arrested and detained an individual and placed the individual in the backseat of his police car. Bustios then told the individual that Bustios would not charge the individual with resisting arrest and would allow the individual to keep the cash that the individual had on him, in exchange for the individual helping Bustios acquire a firearm. Specifically, Bustios said, “I ain’t gonna charge you with resisting, and I’m letting you keep your money bro.” Bustios then told the individual, “If you don’t wanna make the deal, you don’t have to make the deal.”

The individual ultimately agreed and directed Bustios to the location of a firearm, which Bustios allegedly recovered and kept without turning it over to the Paterson Police Department. According to Paterson Police Department records, as he had promised, Bustios did not charge the individual with resisting arrest. Bustios also submitted an arrest report in which he failed to mention any details about recovering a firearm.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights count with which Bustios and Ramos are charged carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The extortion under color of official right count with which Bustios is charged carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Bradley W. Cohen in Newark, with the ongoing investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, as well as the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division.

Source: FBI

Senator Dick Durbin: Tell Trump, No, You Cannot Use the Military Budget to Pay for the Wall: Sign The Petition

Posted by Admin On April - 12 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

 

After rejecting no fewer than six bipartisan deals to protect Dreamers, President Trump is still looking for a way to rile up his anti-immigration base.

Now he’s suggesting that funding intended for America’s military be cut in order to pay for his wasteful border wall.

Add your name now to tell Trump: No, you can not use the military budget to pay for the border wall.

Trump has proven to be an unreliable and unstable negotiating partner who doesn’t understand complex immigration issues and isn’t interested in working together on real solutions. If he was, he would have helped us pass a bipartisan compromise to address the DACA crisis, which he created himself by ending the program.

The military budget’s purpose is to operate, equip, and pay our Armed Forces. Trump can’t just decide to use it for a different purpose — that’s not how government appropriations works. That money is set aside for our troops and that’s what it should be used for.

Sign my petition to tell Trump that he can’t divert money from our troops to pay for the border wall.

If the President is really intent on stepping up immigration enforcement, he shouldn’t take it out on DACA recipients. These are inspiring young people who are contributing to our communities and our economy. They just want a chance to give back to the only country they have ever known.

I won’t give up working towards a solution for them, no matter what the President says.

My best,

Dick Durbin

Add Your Name

 


NAACP: The Breach and Misuse of Data (on Facebook) of 87 Million Users was Negligent at Best…

Posted by Admin On April - 11 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

 

NAACP Statement on Facebook’s Improper Data Collection Breach

 

Following the congressional testimony given today by Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, NAACP remains concerned about the data breaches and numerous privacy mishaps that the tech giant has encountered in recent years, and is especially critical about those which occurred during the 2016 presidential election campaign.

 

In October of 2017, NAACP issued a statement reprimanding the Russian sponsored advertisements that appeared on Facebook – ads that were used as propaganda in the 2016 presidential campaign, and promoted disingenuous portrayals of the African American community. In March 2018, press reports revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a British big data firm, gained access to the personal information of 87 million Facebook users without the users’ consent.

 

“The breach and misuse of data of 87 million users was negligent at best and exploitative at worst,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of NAACP. “Sixty-seven percent of African-Americans who use the internet are on Facebook, and a significant amount of them may have been affected by the breach. Privacy, whether offline or online, is an unquestionable civil right, and Facebook has a duty to protect its users from any malicious attacks, and inform them on any failures in protecting them from such attacks. On both accounts Facebook has failed its users, particularly the people of color who were adversely affected by the propaganda promoted during the 2016 presidential election.

 

“Facebook’s commitment to the Honest Ads Act – an act that would mandate that political ads be clearly labelled as such – is an admirable first step towards reconciliation of their gross negligence – however much more needs to done to ensure that African Americans will not unfairly bear the brunt of Facebook’s business model. Just yesterday, it was revealed that the largest Black Lives Matter page on the platform is in fact a fake page linked to a white man in Australia. Such revelations call into question Facebook’s integrity and how much the company values its overwhelming amount of Black users.

 

“With the issue of Net Neutrality already posing a challenge to African American internet users, NAACP cannot stay silent on any further exploitation of our core constituency on the web. Both the Russian sponsored ads and the hack by Cambridge Analytica, a firm that worked on the Trump campaign, were methods that may have influenced the 2016 presidential campaign by suppressing the Black vote. In a democracy where our vote is our currency, NAACP is calling on Facebook to take a stance against any methods of voter suppression on its platforms, and make significant changes to its operations which would ensure a stronger safeguard on the data of its African American users.”

FTC Asking for Access to Your Computer? It’s a Scam

Posted by Admin On April - 11 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

 

Scammers pretending to be with the FTC or with FTC refund administrators are calling, asking for remote access to your computer. It’s been reported that the scammers are calling specifically about the FTC’s Advanced Tech Support refund program. Their goal is to make you think you are moments away from getting money that’s owed to you – and, to get the money, all you need to do is allow them to connect to your computer. It’s a scam.

These kinds of scams, where imposters ask for remote access to your computer, are called tech support scams, and they exist in many forms. They may try to trick you into installing malware, sell you software that’s worthless, or direct you to websites and ask you to enter your credit card number and other personal information. They may also ask you to pay them by buying gift cards or prepaid debit cards at local stores or online.

In the case of the FTC’s Advanced Tech Support refund program, all checks have already been mailed to those affected. The FTC is no longer accepting any new claims. The scammers have told people to call if they have questions, but the number they give also is false. The only number to call for information about the real Advanced Tech Support Refund program is 877-793-0908.

The FTC and its refund administrators will never request remote access to your device, or ask you to pay to receive a refund. Any caller who does is a scammer. If you get a similar call, hang up immediately, report it to the FTC, and spread the word. It may help someone close to you avoid a scam.

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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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