by Lesley R. Chinn
With the new school year now in full swing for South Suburban students, at least two school districts
faced problems last week with transporting students to and from school.
While heavy delay times had some students waiting on bus stops for as much as 45 minutes in School
District 167, still others had no service at all in School District 154. Due to budget cuts, students in
School District 154 had to walk to school, while parents protested the move by the Board to cut transportation services.
“The intention was never to have the kids walk to school. It was the intent of the board to have parents seek other means to get the children to go to school,” said District 154 Superintendent Carol Kunst. In a letter dated April 15, 2008 and obtained by the Citizen Newspaper, District 154 reiterated its decision to eliminate service to students. Although the decision was first made public in 2007, the letter served as additional notification to parents that the service would be cut this year.
Kunst who cited budgetary reasons for cutting the service, said the Board investigated the options.
According to the letter, the district explored other alternatives, including buying a new or used bus.
However, the cost in total, including maintenance, compensation to drivers, fuel, insurance and other costs, “was just too expensive an investment to keep the buses running.”
Matt Vanover, spokesman for the Illinois State Board of Transportation said most districts are required to provide transportation for students who live more than 1.5 miles from the school they attend. The students in Shool District 154 walk 2.5 miles to school from their homes.
Known as a “common school district” or one that was created prior to 1917, Vanover said “common
school districts” like District 154 aren’t required to provide transportation. In addition, schools are
reimbursed for transportation on a prorated basis statewide, he said. Depending upon its “Equalized
Assessed Valuation,” on the average, schools are generally reimbursed by about 60 percent of the
cost, he said. Anytime the cost of transportation increases, expenses such as fuel, labor, and maintenance costs increase as well. This has a domino affect on school districts, he explained.
Meanwhile, at School District 167, extensive waiting times have been an issue for the district since last
year, according to reports. The first day of school on August 26, was no different. Students standing at bus stops waited for as much as 45 minutes before being picked up on a day when they were only in school for one hour due to a shortened school schedule.
District Superintendent Dr. Pamela Hollich suggested parents call the area school within the District 167 to address future complaints. “If we don’t know what the problems are, we can’t solve them,” she said. However, reportedly, problems associated with delays in arrival times have been ongoing.
Officials from the Kickert School Bus Line station in Chicago Heights, the company that provides the service to four schools within the district, attributed the current problem to fuel costs and a shortage in personnel. According to one source, who wished to remain anonymous, last year the company employed 220 drivers but needed 243 drivers in order for the operation to run smoothly. “We used to be able to run with 220 drivers…but with everyone getting out at 2:45 p.m., those same 40 routes have now turned into 82 routes because you have to run everything individually. That’s just a
hardship on the bus companies, the district, and everybody.” Increasing gas costs have also impacted on service to students, he said. However, Hollich claimed the district has been working with the bus
company to resolve the issues.
“There has been a reorganization of the bus company and they are working to change some of their procedures. Right now, we’re tracking some of the complaints.” Typically, the first week of school is erratic because of new drivers learning the routes. “We certainly expect that by the end of next week, kids are being picked up on time and making it to school,” she said.
by Dwayne T. Ervin
Arecently released report called “School or the Streets,” has confirmed what experts have recognized
By investing in early childhood education, a reduction in crime and an increase in graduation rates follow. Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Illinois, an anti-crime organization made up of over 220 police chief, sheriffs, states attorneys and other law enforcement leaders, called on state and national policymakers to increase access to quality early childhood education for all children.
According to the report, early childhood education results in higher graduation rates by 10 percentage points and would prevent 150 murders and more than 8,000 aggravated assaults in Illinois each year. In addition, Chicago’s Child – Parent Center, a high-quality early education program showed that children left out of the program were 70 percent more likely to be arrested for a violent crime by age 18, as opposed to children who participated in the program.
“As we are painfully aware, the headlines are too full of stories of violence and tragedy. We know that intervening in the earliest years can make a big difference. It’s irresponsible of us not to act on that to make sure all our kids have access to quality early childhood education,” said Lisa Madigan, attorney general and member of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Illinois.
In Chicago, only 51 percent of students graduate in four years, and in nearby Joliet, only 48 percent
graduate in four years. Illinois cities are not alone; nineteen of the top 25 largest cities in America graduate less than 60 percent of their students on time. According to the report, high school dropouts are three and a half times more likely than graduates to be arrested and eight times more likely to be incarcerated. Reportedly, nearly 70 percent of all inmates in our nation’s prisons failed to earn a high
“The crucial fact is that early investment in quality early education has proven to cut the number of dropouts we are seeing in our schools,” said Jeff Kirsch, vice president of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids. “It is incumbent upon us to make this critical investment for the future safety of our children and security of our neighborhoods.”
“A quality preschool gives early learning skills where they learn how to get along with other kids. They learn how to hold a book, how to hold a pencil and other things we would take for granted,” said Ben Peck Deputy Director of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Illinois. “Our youth are our most precious citizens and law enforcement, community leaders, educators ad parents must do everything possible to ensure
they have every opportunity for a promising education and future,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Jody P. Weis.
Head Start also helps prepare children for kindergarten but the program is limited in terms of the children served. Members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Illinois, want to see all children, regardless of income, served by early childhood programs.
“Eligibility for head start is 100% of the federal poverty level – this would be $17,600 per year for a family of three. In communities where everyone earning below 100% of the federal poverty level is being served, and there is a documented need in the community, Head Start programs can serve families earning up to 130% of the federal poverty level – or $22,880 for a family of three,” said Peter Gray Communications and Marketing Project Manager for Illinois Action for Children.
Other initiatives include, “Preschool for All,” a program funded by Illinois that seeks to make voluntary, high quality preschool education available to all three- and four-year-olds in Illinois. The program began in 2005 and was reauthorized this year. Although Preschool for All’s first priority is to serve lowincome children, future goals include eventually being able to serve all preschool children in Illinois.
Prepared remarks of Michelle Obama, wife of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, for her address to the Democratic National Convention on Monday night in Denver, as released by the Obama campaign:
As you might imagine, for Barack, running for President is nothing compared to that first game of basketball with my brother Craig.
I can’t tell you how much it means to have Craig and my mom here
tonight. Like Craig, I can feel my dad looking down on us, just as I’ve felt his presence in every gracefilled moment of my life.
At six-foot-six, I’ve often felt like Craig was looking down on me too…literally. But the truth is, both
when we were kids and today, he wasn’t looking down on me – he was watching over me.
And he’s been there for me every step of the way since that clear February day 19 months ago, when
- with little more than our faith in each other and a hunger for change – we joined my husband, Barack
Obama, on the improbable journey that’s brought us to this moment.
But each of us also comes here tonight by way of our own improbable journey.
I come here tonight as a sister, blessed with a brother who is my mentor, my protector and my lifelong
friend. I come here as a wife who loves my husband and believes he will be an extraordinary president.
I come here as a Mom whose girls are the heart of my heart and the center of my world – they’re the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing I think about when I go to bed at night. Their future – and all our children’s future – is my stake in this election.
And I come here as a daughter – raised on the South Side of Chicago by a father who was a blue collar
city worker, and a mother who stayed at home with my brother and me. My mother’s love has always
been a sustaining force for our family, and one of my greatest joys is seeing her integrity, her compassion, and her intelligence reflected in my own daughters.
My Dad was our rock. Although he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in his early thirties, he was
our provider, our champion, our hero. As he got sicker, it got harder for him to walk, it took him longer
to get dressed in the morning. But if he was in pain, he never let on. He never stopped smiling and laughing – even while struggling to button his shirt, even while using two canes to get himself across the room to give my Mom a kiss. He just woke up a little earlier, and worked a little harder.
He and my mom poured everything they had into me and Craig. It was the greatest gift a child can
receive: never doubting for a single minute that you’re loved, and cherished, and have a place in this
world. And thanks to their faith and hard work, we both were able to go on to college. So I know firsthand from their lives – and mine – that the American Dream endures.
And you know, what struck me when I first met Barack was that even though he had this funny name, even though he’d grown up all the way across the continent in Hawaii, his family was so much like mine. He was raised by grandparents who were working class folks just like my parents, and by a single
mother who struggled to pay the bills just like we did. Like my family, they scrimped and saved so that
he could have opportunities they never had themselves. And Barack and I were raised with so many of
the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.
And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children – and all children in this nation – to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.
And as our friendship grew, and I learned more about Barack, he introduced me to the work he’d
done when he first moved to Chicago after college. Instead of heading to Wall Street, Barack had
gone to work in neighborhoods devastated when steel plants shut down, and jobs dried up. And he’d been invited back to speak to people from those neighborhoods about how to rebuild their community.
The people gathered together that day were ordinary folks doing the best they could to build a good life. They were parents living paycheck to paycheck; grandparents trying to get by on a fixed income; men frustrated that they couldn’t support their families after their jobs disappeared. Those folks weren’t asking for a handout or a shortcut. They were ready to work – they wanted to contribute. They believed – like you and I believe – that America should be a place where you can make it if
Barack stood up that day, and spoke words that have stayed with me ever since. He talked about “The world as it is” and “The world as it should be.” And he said that all too often, we accept the distance between the two, and settle for the world as it is – even when it doesn’t reflect our values and aspirations. But he reminded us that we know what our world should look like. We know what fairness and justice and opportunity look like. And he urged us to believe in ourselves – to find
the strength within ourselves to strive for the world as it should be. And isn’t that the great American
It’s the story of men and women gathered in churches and union halls, in town squares and high school gyms – people who stood up and marched and risked everything they had – refusing to settle, determined to mold our future into the shape of our ideals. It is because of their will and determination that this week, we celebrate two anniversaries: the 88th anniversary of women winning the right to vote, and the 45th anniversary of that hot summer day when Dr. King lifted our sights and our hearts with his dream for our nation.
I stand here today at the crosscurrents of that history – knowing that my piece of the American Dream is a blessing hard won by those who came before me. All of them driven by the same conviction that drove my dad to get up an hour early each day to painstakingly dress himself for work. The same conviction that drives the men and women I’ve met all across this country:
People who work the day shift, kiss their kids goodnight, and head out for the night shift – without disappointment, without regret – that goodnight kiss a reminder of everything they’re working for.
The military families who say grace each night with an empty seat at the table. The servicemen and
women who love this country so much, they leave those they love most to defend it.
The young people across America serving our communities – teaching children, cleaning up neighborhoods, caring for the least among us each and every day.
People like Hillary Clinton, who put those 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling, so that our daughters -
and sons – can dream a little bigger and aim a little higher.
People like Joe Biden, who’s never forgotten where he came from, and never stopped fighting for folks who work long hours and face long odds and need someone on their side again.
All of us driven by a simple belief that the world as it is just won’t do – that we have an obligation to fight for the world as it should be.
That is the thread that connects our hearts. That is the thread that runs through my journey and
Barack’s journey and so many other improbable journeys that have brought us here tonight, where the
current of history meets this new tide of hope.
That is why I love this country.
And in my own life, in my own small way, I’ve tried to give back to this country that has given me so
much. That’s why I left a job at a law firm for a career in public service, working to empower young
people to volunteer in their communities. Because I believe that each of us – no matter what our age or background or walk of life – each of us has something to contribute to the life of this nation.
It’s a belief Barack shares – a belief at the heart of his life’s work.
It’s what he did all those years ago, on the streets of Chicago, setting up job training to get people
back to work and afterschool programs to keep kids safe – working block by block to help people lift up
It’s what he did in the Illinois Senate, moving people from welfare to jobs, passing tax cuts for hard working families, and making sure women get equal pay for equal work.
It’s what he’s done in the United States Senate, fighting to ensure the men and women who serve this
country are welcomed home not just with medals and parades, but with good jobs and benefits and health care – including mental health care.
That’s why he’s running – to end the war in Iraq responsibly, to build an economy that lifts every family, to make health care available for every American, and to make sure every child in this nation gets a world class education all the way from preschool to college. That’s what Barack Obama will do as President of the United States of America.
He’ll achieve these goals the same way he always has – by bringing us together and reminding us how
much we share and how alike we really are. You see, Barack doesn’t care where you’re from, or what
your background is, or what party – if any – you belong to. That’s not how he sees the world. He nows
that thread that connects us – our belief in America’s promise, our commitment to our children’s future
- is strong enough to hold us together as one nation even when we disagree. It was strong enough to bring hope to those neighborhoods in Chicago.
It was strong enough to bring hope to the mother he met worried about her child in Iraq; hope to the
man who’s unemployed, but can’t afford gas to find a job; hope to the student working nights to pay for her sister’s health care, sleeping just a few hours a day.
And it was strong enough to bring hope to people who came out on a cold Iowa night and became the first voices in this chorus for change that’s been echoed by millions of Americans from every corner of this nation.
Millions of Americans who know that Barack understands their dreams; that Barack will fight for people like them; and that Barack will finally bring the change we need.
And in the end, after all that’s happened these past 19 months, the Barack Obama I know today is the
same man I fell in love with 19 years ago. He’s the same man who drove me and our new baby daughter home from the hospital ten years ago this summer, inching along at a snail’s pace, peering anxiously at us in the rearview mirror, feeling the whole weight of her future in his hands, determined to give her everything he’d struggled so hard for himself, determined to give her what he never had: the affirming embrace of a father’s love.
And as I tuck that little girl and her little sister into bed at night, I think about how one day, they’ll
have families of their own. And one day, they – and your sons and daughters – will tell their own children about what we did together in this election. They’ll tell them how this time, we listened to our hopes, instead of our fears. How this time, we decided to stop doubting and to start dreaming. How this time, in this great country – where a girl from the South Side of Chicago can go to college and law school, and the son of a single mother from Hawaii can go all the way to the White House – we committed ourselves to building the world as it should be.
So tonight, in honor of my father’s memory and my daughters’ future – out of gratitude to those whose triumphs we mark this week, and those whose everyday sacrifices have brought us to this moment – let us devote ourselves to finishing their work; let us work together to fulfill their hopes; and let us stand together to elect Barack Obama President of the United States of America.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.
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by Dwayne T. Ervin
Mayor Daley came to the South Shore Cultural Center on 7059 South Shore Drive recently to tell Chicagoans the city will not raise property taxes next year in spite of a struggling economy.
“For well over a year, our nation’s economy has been getting worse month by month, slowing into what
is now a recession,” he said. “Few of our nation’s economists predicted just how bad things would become and many now believe that things will actually get worse before they get better.”
The Mayor made his remarks during the third in a series of three public hearings on the 2009 budget and added the city will put, “better management” ahead of, “turning to taxpayers for new revenue.”
Previously, two other hearings were held at Falconer Elementary School located on 3020 N. Lamon Ave. and another at the Department of Senior Services Central West Regional Center on 2102 W. Ogden Ave.
As the city prepares the budget, he said his staff would seek to limit the number of jobs that will need to be cut and the number of services reduced. Increasing cost efficiency and consolidating more departments could be apart of the plan, he said. In addition, the city will investigate developing a plan for using proceeds from the Skyway, and the potential leasing of the parking meters and Midway Airport as additional sources of revenue. Preliminary estimates indicate a shortfall of $420 million.
The Mayor pointed to management improvements which he said have already resulted in a savings of
more $30 million and that will become apparent by the end of the year. Measures include a hiring
freeze; a 3 percent cut across-the-board-cut on all 2008 non-personnel costs, excluding those critical to public safety and security; renegotiation of price, terms and scope of some vendor contracts in addition to suspension of all non-critical out-of-town travel as well and increased participation in the voluntary employee furlough program.
In July, the Mayor announced another round of budget reductions including furlough days for nonunion
employees, the elimination of the non-union employee wage increases scheduled for July 1, 2007 and January 1, 2008 and a voluntary severance program for eligible city employees.
One resident commenting on the psychological impact a job loss can have asked the Mayor to consider
the importance of providing community mental health services. “We can’t afford budget cuts in the mental heath system,” said Carol Smith. “We are already short staffed. People who have lost their jobs are depressed,” she said. “If you cut anywhere, don’t cut mental health.”
“We are not alone. Every city and state is struggling to balance their budgets without cutting services that impact residents,” he added. “I wish I could stand here tonight and say to each of you that the people of Chicago, that all the steps we’ve already taken this year and will take in the coming weeks to reduce spending will balance next year’s budget.
“I can’t, because the nation’s economy is projected to get even worse in the next year—and therefore to act responsibly we muse recognize that our city’s revenue situation will get worse as well,” Daley said.
Group says it’s discriminatory; Meeks says boycott still on as planned
by Lesley R. Chinn
While the 1954 landmark decision Brown vs. the Board of Education struck down separate but equal, the Chicago Urban League and numerous members of the clergy have filed a discrimination lawsuit against the State of Illinois and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to address unequal funding in education. The lawsuit claims the state’s current system for school funding is unconstitutional and stands in violation of the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 2003.
Represented by the law firm of Jenner & Block, representatives of the Urban League said that the state’s public school scheme has racial and ethnic disparities; violates the uniformity of taxation provision of the Illinois Constitution; violates individuals’ rights to attend high quality education institutions and their right to equal protection under the law. The lawsuit, filed in conjunction with the Quad County Urban League, specifically challenges the state’s method of distributing school funds to local school districts.
“We can no longer allow the current flawed system of school funding to continue in Illinois for yet another school year. We cannot allow another minority child to begin a school year knowing they will not be given the same opportunity to learn compared to white students in wealthy school districts,” said Urban League President and CEO Cheryle Jackson.
According to the education advocacy group, A+ Illinois, the graduation rate is 81 percent for white students compared to 52 percent for African-American students and 57 percent for Latino students. “Those percentages are totally unacceptable…” Jackson stated.
A+ Illinois statistics also showed that a one-year increase in average education levels reduces the overall arrest rate by 11 percent; lowers murder and assault rates by 30 percent; car thefts by 20 percent; arson by 13 percent and burglary by six percent. The report also showed that adults lacking a high school diploma are more likely to receive public assistance. Nationally, if all high school dropouts on public assistance were able to acquire a diploma, the country would save up to $10.8 billion annually in welfare, food stamps, and public housing costs, the report concluded.
Illinois ranks 49th out of 50 states in school funding. In contrast, the state has the nation’s fifth largest personal income and currently operates the fifth largest public school system, according to the lawsuit. “Our school funding system is broken and it’s now time to start working on solutions,” said Mary Ellen Guest, campaign manager for A+ Illinois.
With these statistics, Jackson said it is nearly impossible to put students on the pathway toward success. “When our children’s skills are remedial, they have no future. A child’s future should be determined by how big they can dream, not by which school district they live in,” she said.
Responding to questions regarding why the suit is being filed now, Jackson said the Urban League had
hoped the state would be an advocate for the people. She said the Urban League has continuously lobbied and testified to address changes in the way education is funded.
If students are expected to succeed, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. said they should be given quality resources to work with. “Our children lack computers, textbooks, gyms and the teachers are often teaching outside of their subject areas. We’re trying to fight for a leg up so they can compete.” Rev. Jackson called on the Governor to include children and schools as a top priority in his $25 billion capital improvement bill now.
Chicago Public Schools chief executive officer Arne Duncan, said that everyone should be on the same side when it comes to properly funding education. “For at least 30 years, we have waited expectantly for something to happen, only to be disappointed time and time again.”
When questioned about whether the lawsuit will eliminate the September 2nd boycott of the Chicago Public Schools which is also being organized to protest unequal funding in schools, Rev. State Senator James Meeks (D-15) who has been at the forefront of those efforts, said the event will continue as planned. For the past six years, Meeks has pushed education reform legislation in Springfield. So far with Senate Bills 750, 755, and 2288, Meeks’ education reform legislation measures have not been passed. “I can’t pass legislation by myself. Our state cannot be what it can be until all our children are afforded a quality education. Education must be for all people.”
In 2006, Meeks said Gov. Rod Blagojevich promised to put $2 billion in education. The Governor also discussed leasing the lottery to do that, which would result in raising the level of education spending to an additional $2,000 per student. “That $2,000 could do a lot in solving this issue. I would suggests the Governor keep his promise,” he said. Jackson added the lawsuit does not include state legislators because the State of Illinois acts as a legal entity. “In this lawsuit, it doesn’t matter which state agency fixes the problem of school funding as long someone in the state gets it fixed,” she said.
Teachers and other clergy leaders said the lawsuit is long overdue and are calling for other solutions to
funding schools equally.
As a fifth grade teacher at Sawyer Elementary School, Maureen Forte said that parents are pressed with rising taxes and were under the impression that the lottery was going to help fund the school system. She also pointed out that about 90 percent of the students at her school come from low-income households and qualify for the free lunch program. “Where is the money going to come from? We may have to look at the casino to help offset the cost of education. Kids have to be educated and depend on property taxes to help fund the schools.
“Teachers are underpaid and do most of the work. We have aldermen and state legislators that are looking for an increase in their salaries. If we stop paying all of them, maybe we can take it and give it to a poorly run school,” she said.
Patricia Boughton, a social studies teacher at Harlan High School, called for an allocation of the income tax and less reliance on the property taxes. “That way the wealthy will pay their share. The wealthier school districts tend to be the ones with the big shopping malls and paying millions of dollars to a relatively small school district,” she said.
Rev. Steve Jones, president of the Baptist Pastor Conference of Chicago and Vicinity, said this lawsuit should force legislators to reassess how schools are funded. “This is the year 2008 and we’re still stuck behind this elitist system where only the few are getting the benefits and the majority are suffering,” he said.
When asked for a response to the lawsuit, Matt Vanover, an ISBE spokesman, said ISBE had not seen the lawsuit and therefore was unable to comment. Calls and e-mails to officials from the Governor’s office were not returned.
Republican Party official says he doubts it
by Lesley R. Chinn
Recent Gallup polls have U.S. Senator Barack Obama and John McCain in a dead heat and tied at 45 percent. Both candidates have been closely matched up for the past 11 days with neither enjoying a significant lead.
Usually after the convention, a candidate gets a four or five point jump in the polls, said Dick Simpson, UIC professor and department chair of the political science department.
“Coming out of the Democratic Convention, if there is no major gaffe, there will generally be a five percent jump in the polls.” All of this should work in Obama’s favor, he said.
After a bitter primary campaign between Obama and his former opponent Hillary Clinton, Lee Roupeas, chairman of the Cook County Republican Party, said the Democratic Party is still fractured and divided. “Given Senator Obama’s treatment of Hillary Clinton’s supporters, it’s going to be very difficult for those 17 million voters who went out to vote in the primary to all rally behind him.”
“It’s kind of presumptuous for the Republicans to say that the Democrats are divided when the conservative religious right are refusing to join or and support McCain,” said Rev. James L. Demus III, pastor of Park Manor Christian Church and former Clinton delegate and supporter. “In the same way that the Democrats have their internal issues, the Republicans have theirs,” he said. “The Democrats will come together when they come out of the convention and win this election.”
The 1968 Democratic National Convention, which took place 40 years ago, still resonates with voters who remember a divided Democratic Party with violence that erupted in the streets. At that time, supporters who backed former candidates Robert F. Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy did not unite behind Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey over issues on the Vietnam War and support for then President Lyndon B. Johnson.
“The year 1968 was a classic example of Democrats not supporting the party and it cost them the election,” Simpson stated. Unlike 40 years ago, he predicted a different outcome this year even though a recent gallup poll shows Republican less divided.
Although Democrats outnumber Republicans in the electorate, about 84 percent of Republicans polled from August 11 to 17, said they would vote for McCain compared to 79 percent of Democrats who said they would vote for Obama in November. Over the same period, Democratic support has ranged from 78 to 82 percent compared to 83 to 85 percent for McCain. In spite of the gap, Simpson predicted Clinton supporters will come back into the fold to unite behind Obama. “The economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are going badly, and the Republicans are seen as having failed on foreign policy and the economy. Although McCain says that he is different from President Bush, voters aren’t convinced and so he has a big gap to overcome.”
With the Democratic National Convention taking shape this week in Denver, Colorado, followed by the Republican National Convention from September 1-4 in St. Paul, MN, Roupeas said McCain will have the
opportunity to clearly state his vision on policies that include renewing the economy and implementing
a diversified energy solution. “When we talk about keeping taxes low at a time when the economy is struggling, it will become clear that McCain has a better policy that affects average Americans,” he said.
Speaking from the DNC in Denver, State Rep. Al Riley (D-38) focused on the historic significance of the
convention and referenced Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” made 45 years earlier. “Dr. King and the sacrifices he made paved the way for today’s elected officials. The significance is that America has the opportunity to show the world that when it comes to the things we talk about with regard to a Democracy, we can make it true for ourselves.”
by Dwayne T. Ervin
On 79th Street from Cornell to Cregier, over 100 residents came together recently to vote the vicinity dry. Petitions in support of the change have been submitted to the City’s Clerks Office. Commenting on the crime rate in the fourth district and the correlation between liquor stores and crime, Linda Cohran, Founder of United Blocks Association of South Shore (UBASS) said the two go hand-in-hand.
“We have worked very hard with our petition drive to clean up our neighborhood,” she said. “Statistics show that when you close liquor stores, crime goes down. We are committed to transforming our community and taking our neighborhood back so we can have peace, order and tranquility in our neck of the woods. Instead of watching the neighborhood go down the drain, we need to build it up.”
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by Lesley R. Chinn
While a coalition of pastors are currently planning a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) boycott on September
2, another clergy group wants parents to make sure their children go to school on the first day.
To stress this effort, the Baptist Pastors Conference of Chicago and Vicinity, headed by its president
Pastor Steve Jones held a press conference last Thursday in front of Hyde Park Career Academy, 6220 S.
Stony Island. Black Star Project executive director Philip Jackson and student participants joined them.
While there is a need for an equal school funding formula, Jones, also pastor of Spiritual Awakening M.B.
Church, said it should not be at the expense of the children. “They didn’t create this funding formula. State
lawmakers did. Don’t take this skewed funding formula out on the children and use our babies as political
fodder as a cover-up for failed state laws,” he said.
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by Lesley R. Chinn
Illinois ranked twelve on the list of states facing the highest number of foreclosures with a total of 8,915 statewide.
While California topped the list at 72,285; Florida and Ohio have felt the pinch as well. In Florida, 45,884 homes were foreclosed on while in Ohio, 13,457 homeowners were the victims of foreclosures. RealtyTrac, a leading online foreclosure marketplace site recently reported that activity on the nation’s foreclosures increased by eight percent over the last month.
According to one local housing agency, the forecast in geographic areas like Roseland, South Chicago
and West Englewood— is just as bleak. Statistics provided by the Neighborhood Housing Service (NHS) indicated that Roseland recently filed 400 foreclosures while NHS officials predicted that the South Chicago community would face 423 foreclosures for the year; 540 for Auburn Gresham; 403 for North Lawndale; 600 for Englewood; and 813 for West Englewood.
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The Quentis B. Garth Scholarship Foundation has established a partnership with the Chicago Community Trust to create the Quentis B. Garth Foundation Endowment Fund.
The Q.B.G. Foundation Endowment Fund, a new affiliate fund of the Chicago Community Trust, one of Chicago’s oldest and most respected foundation, will enable the Q.B.G. Foundation to sustain its mission and legacy of providing scholarships and academic support for years to come.
Mr. William Garth Sr., founder and chairman of the QBG Foundation and the Endowment Fund, stated:
“We are please to partner with the Chicago Community Trust to create this Endowment Fund that will help
us to expand our charitable giving in providing scholarships for financially challenged youth, while also helping us to sustain our work for the future.”
The QBG Foundation was introduced to the Chicago Community
Trust Agency Endowment Fund Program after participating in a presentation facilitated by the Monroe Foundation. The Monroe Foundation is a community and enterprise development
intermediary that links notfor-profits to funding opportunities
of Chicago-area foundation and corporate giving programs.