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December , 2018
Monday

‘King would hang his head in shame’ By Chinta Strausberg Proud to have ...
March 11-17, 2018 designated as a week to recognize 2,600 volunteers SPRINGFIELD, IL – Governor Bruce ...
(From New America Media) By Aruna Lee and Summer Chiang State Sen. Leland Yee, who earlier this ...
Columbus Dispatch/New America Media By Encarnacion Pyle COLUMBUS, Ohio--When people talk about abuse in nursing ...
Work for Oprah this Summer! She is hiring paid interns and more ...
Meet Darnell Parker, Certified Fraud Expert and CEO of CFE Mableton, GA -- ...
By Juanita Bratcher Funeral services for Earl Calloway, lyric tenor and longtime Fine Arts & Entertainment ...
Chicago, IL – Reform leader David Hoffman, the former Chicago Inspector General and U.S. Senate ...
G.U.R.L.S. lead global leadership program founder establishes legal defense fund for falsely accused young ...
The White House announced that Deesha Dyer has been promoted to Special Assistant to ...

Archive for the ‘Religion/Commentary’ Category

Football’s Great Redemption: An Open Letter to the #NFL

Posted by Admin On October - 21 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Cute Hot ShotI am not sure why football was the sport chosen to represent America’s disregard for black people… I realize the symbolism of not standing for the anthem… but I do look forward to the half time show, and heard Rihanna will not be performing.

This reminded me of an idea I had a while back. My ex was a season ticket holder for the Bears, and loved football so I felt him best to pitch it. He declined. I like playing Madden… and I have now worked two College Football games on the sidelines… and those are my qualifications. Other than that, I am a Software Developer. Enough about me… on to the plan.

During the times the football is not on TV… I presume the stadium is empty. Not all the time, but some of it. At 61,500 people Bears Stadium is the third smallest in the NFL… Located in the South Loop, the zip code has a population of about 25,000 people according to what I just read on a real estate website.

So here is the idea… instead of just being our Colosseum… be our forum. Give each zip code a day to meet and discuss the issues they are currently facing. Loudly. Let people walk onto the fields and speak. Let people hear what they can do for each other.

Then tally it. If one man presents an idea, let others vote then and there what to do… let them speak if they are also being affected so that change may be shared amongst those that don’t speak up.

There are many people living in silos of desperation. Show them how powerful their voices truly are.

I was happy as a survivor to see that while I am in Raleigh… there is a breast cancer event at Soldier Field. So as to say… football is trying. They’ve got one of my causes… Let us see if they will tackle another.

Feel free to contact me for tech support, logistics, or a film crew :)) I’ll come visit.

All the best,

cutehotshot

Social Justice Sunday September 2; Pastors Asked to ‘Call the Nation to Its Conscience’

Posted by Admin On August - 31 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS
 
 
Sunday, September 2nd, has been declared as “Social Justice Sunday” in Black Churches across the United States. “Social Justice Sunday” will serve as the kick-off to the “Call to Conscience – Forward to Action” event to be held September 5th and 6th in Washington DC.
“Historically the Black Church has been the conscience of the nation”, said Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, President of the Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. “The Black Church called and challenged the nation to live up to its words and creeds, to be its best self,” Jackson added.
Little for the advancement of Blacks in this country was achieved without the leadership and participation of the Black Church. The first protest movement in the United States was led by Richard Allen, a freed slave, who led Blacks out of St. Georges Methodist Church in Philadelphia because of discrimination, and founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Since then the Black Church has led efforts to advance the cause of Blacks. The leadership of the Abolitionist Movement, birth of the NAACP, Civil Rights Movement and other efforts were led by religious leaders. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s was led by ministers who were advocates for social justice. This activism led to the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Equal Opportunity Act, and a host of other successes. In fact, the greatest period of growth in the Black Church occurred when the Black Church was more socially active.
“In the current environment, there is an urgent need for the Black Church to again be socially active, and Black preachers to be faithful to their prophetic calling”, said Bishop Frank Madison Reid III, Chair of Social Action for the AME Church. “We are disappointed that there are some of our colleagues who have proven to be ‘professional prophets’ who tell the king what he wants to hear, rather than being prophets of God and telling the king what he needs to hear”, Reid said.
Jackson concludes, “The Bible is filled with scriptures that speak to Social Justice, and God wants His church to be about social justice, to not only praise Him, but also to serve Him. Hear the words of Jesus, ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven.’ In the midst of increased and blatant racism, anti-immigration, need for criminal justice reform, income inequality, voter suppression, and efforts to undermine our democracy, the Black Church must again call the nation to its conscience” Jackson said.
In addition to the sermon, other components of the worship service will focus on social justice. The music, scriptures and litany will all be related to social justice.
It is hoped that “Social Justice Sunday” will motivate worshippers to be active and involved in their communities, and the work of God’s kingdom on earth. “The church at its best, is not the church gathered, but the church scattered”, Bishop Jackson said, “When after hearing God’s Word, you leave the Lord’s House, to go into the Lord’s world, to make a difference in the Lord’s name.”
Jackson concluded, “Let’s gather on ‘Social Justice Sunday’ and then depart to do justice in God’s name.”
For More Information: (770)-220-1770
 

Will the Real Alderman Michelle Harris Step Down as Alderman of the 8th Ward

Posted by Admin On August - 20 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan

The 8th Ward looks disgusting, and we can prove it. Don’t believe it? Drive up and down its main streets. Ald. Michelle Harris is helping the area plunge down into a slum by allowing businesses to come in that prey on the poor all the while attempting to transform the 8th ward and its communities into a slum to inevitably help and allow strangers to come in and buy for pennies on the dollar.

In the meantime, your property values will go down and crime will go up. Within the slums she builds and cultivates is one of the most affluent black communities in Chicago known as Pill Hill. Once a very wealthy black community, her reign has littered the surrounding area with deteriorating businesses and vacant property leaving the area only desirable for blood-suckers and exploitative businesses to come in, including her tower of Babel that pitted the communities against each other; thanks to her forked tongue delivery of the project and its component known as the Montclare, a low-income senior housing project that she was able to get the go-ahead from the city to allow construction. It will be her testament to her tenure and the ornament that shines in the middle of the devastation created under her watch including dialysis centers, organ donation facilities, businesses that buy blood from our young, businesses that can fence merchandise stolen from our neighbors, cash advance, storage units for people to store and many will eventually lose what they have due to discrimination and unemployment.

page from Michelle Harris site that was changed

To add insult to injury, Ald. Harris has changed the report  abandoned vehicles page on her website to report vacant/abandoned buildings, instead of adding a new page to report abandoned buildings. Is this an attempt to look like she was concerned  about the abandoned buildings all the time by editing an existing page so it wouldn’t look like a new page? So much for reporting abandoned vehicles! This is just one example of the deception that constantly takes place when her ineptness is exposed or feels her position (she calls it a job) is threatened. It’s obvious she was shamed into looking as if she was concerned about it all the time, when she was not, yet she was tooting her own horn all over the place about how she was building the 8th Ward up with a low-income housing project in a middle to upper- middle class community. What a joke!

We saw all of the pictures of the slums and lack of maintenance on empty and abandoned buildings, some in deplorable and dangerous conditions as well as severely broken sidewalks and filthy streets being shared on the Citizens for “Linda Hudson, 8th Ward Aldermanic Candidate’s” Facebook page, and obviously she and her staff did too.

While they are half hanging street cleaning signs, the Department of Streets & Sanitation is coming through every month cleaning streets and ticketing the cars of people that didn’t see the signs because they weren’t placed properly where they could be seen. There was a time when residents didn’t get tickets on their street, the sweeper just went around and you you’d lose out on the cleaning.

Ald. Harris, please, for the well-being and sake of the community, step down as alderman. It is obvious you haven’t been a good caretaker for the ward. You’re in over your head – no creativity, no ideas, no vision, and nothing for the 8th ward but blight.

 

Photos courtesy of Citizens for “Linda Hudson, 8th Ward Aldermanic Candidate.”

NOTE: Click on first image and use left & right arrows to navigate gallery.

Linda Hudson for Alderman of the 8th Ward

U.S. Has One Justice System for the Wealthy, and Another for the Poor and People of Color

Posted by Admin On May - 1 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS
From: Marc Mauer
Executive DirectorThe Sentencing ProjectI

 

 

want to bring your attention to some of The Sentencing Project’s newest resources on criminal justice reform:

  • In a new report to the United Nations on racial disparities, we explain how the United States essentially operates two distinct criminal justice systems: one for wealthy people and another for poor people and people of color. By creating and perpetuating policies that allow racial disparities to exist in its criminal justice system, the United States is in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to ensure that all residents—regardless of race—are treated equally under the law.
  • For nearly 20 years the Justice Department has sponsored a research fellowship program around race and criminal justice in the name of noted sociologist and civil rights leader, WEB Du Bois. In an op-ed for the Guardian, I call attention to the troubling news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has diverted this program towards issues that would make a student of the Du Bois legacy shudder.
  • More than 5.7 million American kids have experienced parental incarceration at some point during their lives, writes Kara Gotsch, Director of Strategic Initiatives, in the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare’s annual CW360 degrees report. The essay outlines the negative impacts mass parental incarceration has on families and communities, and provides recommendations to reduce our prison population and to support the various needs of children with justice involved families.
  • In the American Constitution Society’s blog, Kara also explains why the Trump Administration should address the urgent opioid crisis by prioritizing investments in treatment over incarceration. Ratcheting up already tough sentences for people with drug convictions will produce little public safety benefit while carrying heavy fiscal, social, and human costs.

We hope these materials will be useful to you in your work.

Sincerely,

Marc Mauer
Executive Director

“The City’s Gift of a Trojan Horse”: Low Income Housing Project in the Pill Hill and Calumet Heights Area Will Tilt the Scale and Structure of the 8th Ward Community

Posted by Admin On April - 27 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago's Trojan Horse to the Pill Hill Calumet Heights CommunityBy Pamela Bratcher-McMillan

Despite several studies that reveal low income housing high rises never made the cut, and that the city of Chicago has torn down many of these low income housing high rises all across the city, the 8th Ward alderman and the city are hell-bent on bringing the Montclare low income Section 8 housing project into the Pill Hill and Calumet Heights community, an affluent middle and upper middle class neighborhood. The studies found it was a plan that failed (low income high rises).

The alderman and city want to erect a low income high rise housing project consisting of 134 units, 7 Story, in the Pill Hill and Calumet Heights area, one of the most affluent black communities in the city of Chicago. It is believed by many that this is a continuing effort to run Blacks out of the city. Two city agencies – a commission and committee –  approved the low income housing for the 8th Ward and are pushing to deliver the 7 story, low-income Trojan Horse to this middle and upper middle class black community which will be located at 9329 to 9429 S. Stony Island Ave. It’s not so much about the senior low income housing project, but they have the audacity to take away a much needed business real estate that could  economically empower the community.

When I thought about this proposed housing project, I felt that the supporters of this plan are trying to squeeze a very unattractive square into a round peg off on the neighboring community, giving the impression that it is a gift to low income seniors in the community.  But a Trojan Horse immediately came to mind. I did a web search to see did others see it that way, and they did.

There are many buildings being built in downtown Chicago. And surely, there are market rates and low income units that could be used in developments downtown as well. Many residents in the 8th Ward are wondering if this proposed building they want to bring to the South Side is an attempt to keep Chicago segregated. The market housing in the low-income units will displace people in the community as rents and taxes will go up. It’ll start with this one bad idea and will balloon out of control.

And because 8th Ward Alderman Michelle Harris lacks foresight, the community has to take the reins on this and try to keep the Montclare housing project out of the ward. The community will have to save themselves from this catastrophic idea that she would allow to take place.

Nearby beaches, highways, Indiana, and with the Obama Library coming, the South Side of Chicago has it going on. The Pill Hill community residents have built and beautified the Calumet Heights area, and now strangers want to capitalize on their hard work that was done over the past forty plus years and walk away with it. Shame on them, shame on the alderman for not having the insight to see what is taking place, and shame on residents who’ll sit idly back and let it happen.

By the way, usually on these types of projects “25-30” percent of the units go at the lower rates and the rest are market rates when developers take on projects such as this. The proposed low-income senior housing in the Pill Hill area would be just the opposite. It’s a fact that most of this type zoning is done in black communities and most of the time Blacks lose out because of it.

In areas comparable to the Pill Hill community in non-black areas that oppose rezoning, downzoning takes place instead of upzoning? The bottom line is, the new building will cause taxes to go up, rents to go up while really only accommodating a 134 unit building. These projects are normally used to strong-arm areas that reject unnecessary rezoning. Low income communities of color are aggressively targeted for purpose of gentrification. The only person that will profit from these catastrophic affects this will bring about is the developer and those that they have made deals with.

To be continued:
Zoning board meeting is May 9, at 10:00 am
City Council Chambers
City Hall, 2nd. Floor

 

Linda Hudson for Alderman of the 8th Ward

Blacks and Hispanics Struggles: Where is Our Place in the American Dream?

Posted by Admin On April - 27 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS
By Elder Raymond Christian
Copyright. All Rights Reserved

 

Was the Dreamer Wrong? Where is our place in the American Dream?

Our struggles are much worst today than ever before.  With 879,000 Black men in prison today, and Hispanics being forced to go to Mexico. It should not make you wonder what the American dream has in place for minorities.

 

When you look at the stats on what is taking place today in America do minorities really believe they are a part of the American dream? If you are a Black American you would have to wonder just which part of the American Dream you fit in. Is it the dream that says since Whites are investing 185 billion dollars a year in building prisons there will be more Blacks needed to be incarcerated. So they can help build or make products for the investors to receive a profit from their 185 billion dollar investment.

 

Right now, in the year 2018 for every 10,679 Black men incarcerated there is only 1,537 whites incarcerated. There are 2 million children on the Ivory Coast of Africa and Ghana in slavery today. This is the part of your American Dream I honestly believe as much as I respect Dr  Martin Luther King. His dream did not give him the vision to 2018.  No jobs for Blacks in America, how do you hold onto a dream you are not a part of.
Hispanics in America are being forced back to Mexico is this the dream of their future. For every 1,235 Hispanics locked up only 425 Whites that’s 3 times the ratio. So once again why do your think Whites are investing 185 billion dollars a year in building prisions. These are not investment to grow the community. Prisons are being built to be filled by our children this is their future in America. I Have a Dream today.

 

The Cocoa Plantations are already in the United State Hawaii and Florida. I did not say new factories and companies I said plantations the same plantations your ancestors were once slaves to. Our Hispanic children are already working on the Tobacco Plantations at the age of 7 years old, 15 hours a day. These children are also being raped and sodomized.  Hispanic children are dying from terminal cancer because of the slug bacteria on the tobacco plants and nothing is being done to help them. This is not the American dream Dr. King spoke of. We must become more cognizant in our thinking or the reality of what is taking place here in America will confine minorities to subservient conditions.

 

You must read my sixth book about titled “The Cocoa Plantations  America’s Chocolate Secret…forced child labor… by Raymond C. Christian.  There are five year old children being sold into slavery, used as child sex slaves, child prostitution and child organ trafficking. What Dream are we a part of???

Just know, God is always watching.

Did Mayor Rahm Emanuel & Alderman Michelle Harris Conspire Together to Bring a Low Income Section 8 Senior Building to the 8th Ward?

Posted by Admin On April - 26 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

By Rev. Dr. Harold Bailey

President & Founder of Probation Challenge

& The PCC Network

Did Mayor Rahm Emanuel & Alderman Michelle Harris Conspire Together to Bring a Low Income Section 8 Senior Building to the 8th Ward?

That’s what I’m being told by several sources who strongly believe that Mayor Rahm Emanuel, along with 8th Ward Alderman Michelle Harris, conspired to bring the proposed Montclare low income Section 8 Senior housing project to Pill Hill, a prominent, middle and upper middle class section of Chicago’s  8th Ward.

The proposed development would be located at 9329 to 9429 S. Stony Island Ave.,  which consist of 134 units, 7 Story tall; a strip of land where 8th ward residents earlier were successful in running out Street Prostitution/Pimps and other undesirables who sought to take over a community of hard-working taxpayers and organized home-owners.

Just recently, 8th Ward residents blocked a marijuana facility and pawnshop from coming into the ward, projects supported by Alderman Harris.

Allegedly the proposal was conceived months ago without residents being made aware of downtown’s intents.

Another ‘hush venture’ in the community was to have medical marijuana dispensed close to a school but the project was shut down. This project was also at the direction of Alderwoman Michelle Harris.

It’s understood that any venture in Chicago regarding construction must be approved by the City Council and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. For certain, what’s done in the dark will surely come to the light.

 

To be continued:
Zoning board meeting is May 9, at 10:00 am
City Council Chambers
City Hall, 2nd. Floor

OP-ED: Amidst Black Homeownership Crisis, a Mortgage Leader Rises Up to Teach

Posted by Admin On April - 24 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS
 

By Hazel Trice Edney


Lois Johnson, founder/CEO, United Security Financial Corp
 

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – As America commemorates the 50th year of the Fair Housing Act, the unfortunate numbers have been repeated often: “The gap between White and Black homeownership is wider now than it was in 1960,” PBS reported earlier this year.

The reasons vary. In a nutshell, redlining, credit issues, and plain old race discrimination have been blamed for the homeownership disparity that partially results in the median net worth of White American families being 10 times greater than Black Americans, according to the New York Times.

But America does not lack those who, not only monitor such statistics, but those who feel a charge to bring fairness and equality to the unjust situation that the numbers reveal. Lois Johnson, Founder/CEO of United Security Financial Corp, is one of those people who recognizes the crisis in Black homeownership and are determined to do her part to rectify it.

The former real estate sales agent and full time accountant for the United Parcel Service believes a deficiency in financial education is a large part of the problem. She came to this conclusion after she found she could not acquire loans for people to whom she had sold a house without having to “put up a fight”. And on top of that, she couldn’t get a loan for her own church.

“I was a member of Faith Temple Pentecostal Church here in Salt Lake City, Utah and I was the business manager for the church. And we ran into a problem just trying to get a commercial loan for the church. And I said, ‘Well, that’s it.’ I said, ‘I think I’ll just try doing this myself.’ I became a loan officer. I got really good at it,” she said. “And I was able to get more people loans so I just took it from there and here I am today.”

Lois Johnson speaks on homeownership during the recent Stateswomen for Justice Luncheon at the National Press Club. PHOTO: Roy Lewis

More than 30 years later, Lois Johnson is among the leading independent home mortgage lenders in the nation. Licensed to operate in 49 states, she is the country’s only African-American Ginnie Mae lender and is also an issuer of Fannie Mae, which is a conventional lender. But even after working in the homeownership industry for 38 years, she still sees a plethora of problems.

In her decades of experience, she has come to believe the Black homeownership crisis is still existent due to information about home buying and mortgage lending being withheld from African-Americans. And she’s decided to do something about it. In the following conversation with the Trice Edney News Wire, Lois Johnson answers key questions about issues that hinder home ownership:

Trice Edney: Why should homeownership be the centerpiece for a strategy to build legacy wealth in the African-American community?

Lois Johnson: Because a house is usually the largest item that will create wealth. Just think about it. If you buy a house and you stay in that house for a period of time, that house is going to become worth a lot more than what you paid for it. If you keep that house long enough the value of your home will grow. Then you can pull cash from your home and buy another home and still have value in it. On the other hand, big ticket items such as cars and boats depreciate and sometimes can’t be resold or can only be sold for a lot less. But when you sell a house, you might get two, three or more times as much as you bought it for.

Trice Edney: What is the minimum credit score (or FICO score) required to purchase a home?

Lois Johnson: The FHA [Federal Housing Administration] will take it at maybe 540. Most lenders won’t go any less than 620. That’s about the lowest FICO that the average lenders will take – including Gennie Mae and Fannie Mae lenders. If we get too many low FICO scores it could cause our ratings to go down which could cause us to lose our Gennie Mae licenses. That’s why Gennie Mae issuers and Fannie Mae issuers don’t like to take low FICO scores. They’re putting themselves in jeopardy. Now, on the flip side of that, there are ways in which you can increase your FICO (credit) score.

Trice Edney: What is the best way to repair and increase one’s credit score?

Lois Johnson: You may go to a credit repair agency or your lender can also tell you what to do. Then there are things that you can do on your own. For example, if you have a charge card and your limit is $1,000, your balance should never be any higher than 75 percent. In other words, you should never charge over $750, which is 75 percent of your loan limit. That will maintain your FICO score. Also, there may be collection items on your credit report that may be removed with a vendor settlement. That will increase your FICO Score as well.

Trice Edney: What are some of the greatest obstacles to increasing your credit score and what can be done about them?

Lois Johnson: Child support. Communicate with the child support recipient to make sure the amount on your credit report is accurate. If it is not, the recipient can draft a letter correcting the information that’s in the bureau. The agency then has to correct the information that’s been reported. This will increase your FICO score.

Also, always pay your bills on time. Some people think, well, if I pay it a day late, then that’s not bad credit. But that’s a late payment. As long as you pay that bill before the next payment is due, then that company will not report you as late.

Finally, if you have student loans and every last one of them are late, that pulls your credit score down. Whatever agency you’re paying for the student loan, have them combine them into one loan. Then have them make an adjustment on the payments. This will lower your debt ratio and enable you to make your payments on time. This will certainly increase your FICO score.

Trice Edney: What are the psychological impediments to homeownership?

Lois Johnson: You shouldn’t listen to everything that people say. For example, it is said that you must have at least a 20 percent down payment to purchase a home. That’s just hearsay; in fact, you may purchase a home for as little as 3.5 percent down payment on an FHA loan or 0 percent down on a VA loan. And you may pay 3 percent or 5 percent down on a conventional loan. Also, there are many lenders who offer down payment assistance, such as United Security Financial (for more information, call 1-800-373-4186).

Trice Edney: What are some of the special mortgage programs for people who are buying their homes for the first time?

Lois Johnson: There are down payment assistance programs as we indicated above. Then, there are lower down payment programs such as FHA, VA and Fannie Mae loan programs. There are also state financing programs available to first time home buyers.

Trice Edney: How long should a person wait to apply for a mortgage loan after bankruptcy?

Lois Johnson: That depends on whether you’re applying for a Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Affairs or a conventional loan. In most cases it’s 3-5 years.

Trice Edney: If somebody wants to apply for a home equity loan after they secure their first mortgage, how long does it take them to qualify for a home equity loan?

Lois Johnson: If it’s an FHA, VA or conventional loan, in most cases it’s six months after you purchase the home.

Trice Edney: Is a refinance the same thing as a second mortgage?

Lois Johnson: No. With refinance, you pay off your current mortgage and acquire another first mortgage. In other words, you have a new first mortgage.

Trice Edney: What is the difference between getting a second mortgage and reorganizing or refinancing your home?

Lois Johnson: A second mortgage is an additional mortgage that you place on your home and you still maintain your first mortgage. A second mortgage is obtained to take cash out of your home. In most cases, you will receive a higher interest rate on your second mortgage.

Trice Edney: What is a really good HUD-certified, home counseling agency that you know of?

Lois Johnson: Marcia Griffin at HomeFree-USA. You may also contact HUD and they will give you a list of home counseling agencies in your area.

Trice Edney: What is the average time it takes to close on a mortgage loan?

Lois Johnson: The average time is approximately 30 days.

Trice Edney: How does a homeowner modify their payments?

Lois Johnson: If you are gainfully employed and making money, then a modification program is out there. The government has approved that. The problem is getting the information to the people. There are loan modifications through Ginnie Mae and Fannie Mae. The homeowner must contact their lender and apply for a loan modification. If you’re having problems, you may contact USF and we will assist you with that modification process. Homeowners really don’t have to lose their homes. There again is the lack of knowledge. We’re not getting the information to the public.

Trice Edney: How many cosigners or coborrowers can you have on your loan?

Lois Johnson: You may have several borrowers on the home. However, it depends on the qualifications of each borrower/co-borrower.

Trice Edney: Can you use a part-time income to apply for a mortgage loan?

Louis Johnson: Yes, you can use a part time income so long as you have been working that part time position for two years. And it doesn’t have to be the same part time position. You just have to establish a track record that says you have actively worked part time for two years and filed it on your income tax return.

Trice Edney: So why is the homeownership crisis still lingering in the Black community?

Lois Johnson: The number one thing is lack of knowledge. But, it’s people of all backgrounds who have this lack of knowledge – not just African-Americans. I’m finding out a lot of this because I’m in a lot of states and I’m finding out that it’s more African-Americans who don’t own homes than it is other nationalities. I’m available to all people. The problem with our people is that we often don’t have all the information we need. Yet, the lenders and the bankers they go to are more willing to give others what they need to help them. I watch this. When I started a career in mortgage banking, I saw so many minorities being turned down. And they have the same qualifications as Caucas

People ask mortgage and homeownership questions after Johnson speaks at the recent Stateswomen for Justice Luncheon. PHOTO: Roy Lewis

ians who didn’t get turned down. Probably some of them got approved who should not have gotten approved, but it was because of the help that was given to them. They were told what to do. So, within the guidelines, we should provide our people the information that’s needed to acquire a loan and refer them to the right agencies that can help them.

 
 
 
 

Trice Edney: Any final advice for obtaining a home?

Lois Johnson: Yes. Make sure you go to a good experienced person. And even if they turn you down, go to another one. Go to housing counseling like HomeFree-USA, let them give you advice and get you prepared for home ownership because you’re going to run into obstacles. I wouldn’t be where I am today except for the grace of God and persistence. I kept going and going until I got what I was after. And I’m still pressing.

OP-ED: I Say No to a Starbucks Boycott

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

By Jerroll Sanders

Jerroll Sanders

Starbucks has proven to be one of America’s most responsible corporate citizens. In 2014 following the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, by Officer Darren Wilson, then Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz took action when other corporations remained silent.

Starbucks launched its national “Race Together” campaign that encouraged Starbucks’ baristas (workers) to write “race together” on customer coffee cups to spur conversations about race within Starbucks locations. Months later in 2015 following the shooting of Walter Scott, Starbucks CEO Howard D. Schultz was again venturing into the arena of race relations while appearing on stage at Spelman College-a historically-black women’s institution-as part of a panel discussion on the book titled, “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”

Again and again, Starbucks has been at the forefront of corporate America when it comes to cultivating a society where all people matter.

As President and CEO of ONUS, Inc.-a national organization committed to Resolving Longstanding Problems that Seem Too Big to Fix, I firmly believe in the power of boycotts. Following the killing of Michael Brown, ONUS conducted one of the most effective and long-standing boycotts in Ferguson, MO, against Sam’s Club and Walmart.

Both stores routinely called upon Ferguson Police to arrest Black men who verbally challenged managers’ decisions. Unlike Starbucks, Walmart, Inc. doubled-down in support of its employees’ hateful actions and made no apology for saddling good citizens, who happened to be black men, with unwarranted police records. Walmart then relied upon its deep purse to vigorously defend its deplorable actions.

Starbucks is no Walmart. While I firmly embrace boycotting as an effective tool of free speech, boycotting cannot and should not be Black America’s one retort to offensive acts carried out by individual employees representing what has proven to be a good corporate citizen. I do not mean to imply that Starbucks is perfect; I surmise that Starbucks still has internal issues related to race and diversity.

Nonetheless, I appreciate the steps Starbucks’ CEO and Board of Directors have and are taking in response to the incident in Philadelphia, such as the swift issuance of a public apology, public rebuke of the offending employees’ actions and the planned shutdown of Starbucks outlets nationwide for diversity and customer service training. Starbucks is demonstrating that its promise to do better is far more than a mere gesture designed to quiet a public uprising.

Starbucks has earned what millennials refer to as “street cred.” Consequently, the Corporation deserves grace when employees make missteps or engage in discriminatory actions rooted in personal perspectives. While I am confident Starbucks will make right with the young men who were wrongfully arrested in Philadelphia, I urge its leaders to again take the corporate lead by helping to revamp policing in America nationwide.

The Uniform Reporting Law Enforcement Improvement Act (URLEIA) is the solution to America’s policing problem and will effectively revamp policing from the ground up. Corporations, like citizens, have a responsibility to ensure policing nationwide is guided not by the whims of individuals and powerful conglomerates but by the constitutional and humane application of law.

Learn more about URLEIA by visiting www.ChangeIsOnUs.org. Learn more about Jerroll Sanders who is a business executive, author of The Physics of Money: If You’ve Got My Dollar, I Don’t, diversity expert, and strategist by visiting www.jerrollsanders.com.

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

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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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