In an address at a Clayco Construction s in Elk Grove Village October 7, 2021, President Biden announced COVID vaccine mandates for all Federal employees. He praised Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for following suit with their COVID vaccine mandates for State and City employees, Last month, President Biden announced a mandate requiring businesses with 100 or more workers to ensure their employees are vaccinated or show a negative test weekly or more frequently.
Chicago, IL – Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. was arrested along with 30 others Monday, July 26th, outside of the office of Senator Krysten Sinema, a Democrat, who opposes the abolition of the filibuster, and charged with third degree misdemeanor and trespassing on private property.
Arrested along with Rev. Jackson were: Rev. Dr. William Barber, who heads the Repairers of the Breach and co-chairs the Poor Peoples Campaign, Attorney Barbara Arnwine, president/founder of the Transformative Justice Coalition, her chairman, attorney Daryl Jones,
and 26 others.
“Rev. Jackson and those arrested were engaging in demonstrations which may result in civil disobedience outside of the office of Sen. Sinema and other senators later this week in Texas,” said Rev. Janette Wilson, senior adviser to Rev. Jackson. “He was charged with third degree misdemeanor and trespassing on private property.”
"The purpose of these demonstrations is to highlight the need for the Senate to join the House in passing H.R. 1/S.1, the "For the People Act," a comprehensive voting rights bill, even if it requires getting rid of the Senate filibuster, and to encourage the House to finish writing and vote on H.R. 4, the "John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act," that will establish new national Section 4 criteria for triggering Section 5 or the preclearance provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. This would correct the damage done by the Supreme Court's decision in Shelby," Rev. Wilson said.
Rev. Jackson is pushing for passage of the “For the People Act” that expands, not restricts voting rights. However, Republicans blocked the bill with a filibuster on June 22, 2021. It failed to secure the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture after a party-line vote of 50-50. Rev. Jackson is vowing to carry his fight for the passage of the civil rights bills to Texas later this week. File Photo by John L. Alexander
CHICAGO - Securing Federal funds to complete the modernization of the 95th Street train terminal was the aim of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Illinois Congressional team that toured the facility with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg Friday July 21, 2021.
"A lot has been done but there's a lot more work to do," stated Congressman Bobby Rush. He, and Secretary Buttigieg, along with Cong. Robin Kelly, Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Tammy Duckworth and CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr., answered questions regarding legislative support for funding and the expected timetable for the project's completion.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot joins DOT Sec. Buttigig along with Senator Dick Durbin and Congressman Bobby Rush as Chicago Transit Authority President Dorval Carter, Jr. explains plans for completion of the modernization of the 95th street CTA terminal. Photo by Marcus Robinson.
After officials toured the 95th street terminal, Senator Durbin stated that legislation will soon be introduced to finance such projects, and he and his colleagues in Washington must be prepared to vote in support of it.
"This is an amazing project, it will be here to serve future generations," Senator Durbin said.
Senator Duckworth noted that accessibility is a key component in rebuilding America's infrastructure."It means investing in our transit systems so that all are wheelchair accessible."
In his first trip to the Chicagoland area since his election, President Joe Biden came to promote the benefits of his American Families Plan in strengthening the American economy. He spoke to an audience at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake Illinois, a Northwest Suburb of Chicago explaining the economic benefits of affordable higher education, proposing two years of free community college education. During his remarks President Biden recognized the work of Democrats in Illinois, praising U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth and U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood. Photo by Marcus Robinson.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle meet briefly with President Biden as he arrives at O'Hare Airport. The President was briefed about recent incidences of gun violence in Chicago and pledged Federal support to help alleviate the distress families face in inner city communities. His American Families Plan is currently being reviewed in Congress. His visit is intended to encourage more support among Republicans. Photo by Parthenia Luke.
President Biden promised more manufacturing jobs in areas needed to improve the environment and the U.S. infrastructure, such as the installation of new pipes and the construction of roads and bridges. His American Families plan faces opposition from Republicans in Congress. His visit to Crystal Lake, an area that favored Donald Trump in the last election, was intended to drum up Republican support by focusing on the economic benefits to residents. Photo by Marcus Robinson
Building on a strong team of diverse experts in their fields, Governor JB Pritzker announced the following appointment in his administration:
PRISONER REVIEW BOARD
Virginia Martinez will continue to serve on the Prisoner Review Board.* Prior to her current role, Martinez was the Director of Policy at the Community Renewal Society where she worked with staff and church leaders to identify, develo
SPRINGFIELD, IL - House Bill 3653, introduced by Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D) Illinois 17th District, outlines provisions aimed at better police training and accountability. Among those provisions are a ban on the use of chokeholds, increased training in crisis intervention, more mental health screening for officers, and requirements that officers submit data to an FBI database on the use of force. Whistleblower protections are increased and the right to make phone calls and access their personal contacts before police questioning is codified.
Detainees, prisoners and all those who interact with police officers will have the expectation of prompt medical care while in custody, with special accommodations made for pregnant women.
Charges of resisting arrest must cite a justification for the origin of arrest that was allegedly resisted against under the measure as well. The purchase of military equipment like .50 caliber rifles and tanks by police departments would also be banned.
Courts will also see changes under the legislation including an end to the practice of cash bail as well as an end to revoking drivers licenses for nonpayment of fines.
The changes are a question of accountability, transparency and humanity, said John Rakowski of the Illinois State Bar Association in his testimony in favor of the legislation. He stead that the structural problems in the criminal justice system require a bold response.
“This Bill is.a bold response,” Rakowski said. “Now is not a time for incrementalism.”
The wide-ranging legislation came about in the months following the tragic death of George Floyd and increased calls among citizens and activists for a comprehensive approach to reforming the criminal justice system.
Sims and other members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus lead the effort in the Illinois General Assembly by convening nine public hearings in the months following the demonstrations of the summer of 2020. In all, Sims lead more than 30 hours of committee hearings soliciting input from law enforcement professionals, trial lawyers, prosecutors, community members and many other groups.
“A measure this transformative would not be possible without the heightened interest and vocal support of Illinoisans whose consciences have been shaken by years of misconduct without meaningful consequences,” Sims said. “Change, when it comes, always seems as if it has come too late but I know that our successes here today are not an end, but a beginning to uplifting our communities and better supporting law-enforcement in ways that improve our criminal justice system.”
House bill 3653 passed the Illinois House and awaits the governor’s signature to become law. Once signed, it will be effective immediately.
"Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy. The will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded. We have learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed." Joe Biden
Families of victims of police violence, organized by Justin Blake Sr., join Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., Congressman Bobby Rush and Congressman Danny Davis at a Get Out The Vote rally in downtown Chicago..
Thanking her family and supporters for a decisive win in the Primary Election, Illinois State's Attorney Kim Foxx pledged to continue her program of seeking justice from the wrongfully convicted. She defeated challenger Pat O'Brien in the November 2020 General Election, retaining her position as the first African American Female Illinois State's Attorney
Kim Foxx thanks her family and supporters in her victory speech, noting that the voters focused on her success in releasing the wrongfully convicted and refused be distracted by a trial involving a celebrity. She pledged to continue the work of righting the wrongs in the Criminal Justice System. Photo by Marcus Robinson
"We've been righting the wrongs of the past by vacating convictions of the wrongfully accused as part of our commitment to justice. This is why my office has overturned over 100 cases in the last three and a half years," declared States Attorney Kim Foxx in her victory speech before members of the press Tuesday evening, after challenger, former Cook County assistant state's attorney Bill Conway conceded. Other challengers include former assistant U.S. Attorney and assistant Cook County state's attorney Donna More and former Chicago Alderman Bob Fioretti.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic candidate for President, addresses a crowd in Chicago at the RPC Labor Luncheon June 28, 2019. Photo by John L. Alexander
Former Vice President Joe Biden defeated Berne Sanders in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois in the Tuesday March 17th Democratic Primary Election, pulling ahead of Sanders in the delegate count, and creating a nearly insurmountable lead as the candidates prepare for an uncertain Democratic National Convention. The Coronavirus outbreak prompted the Governor of Ohio to close the polls as a public health measure. The outbreak, which has sickened more than 5,000 people in the U.S. has caused some states to postpone elections and candidates to cancel rallies and instead hold virtual events. Governors across the United States continue to issue updates on new measures to contain the virus.
CHICAGO—Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, World Business Chicago (WBC) Vice Chair Mellody Hobson and WBC President and CEO Andrea L. Zopp today announced that Zopp will step down from her position at the end of the calendar year. Zopp is moving on to an opportunity at Cleveland Avenue, a privately-held venture capital firm that accelerates and strategically invests in innovative food, beverage and restaurant concepts and emerging brands. Michael Fassnacht who serves as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for the city of Chicago, a position currently held within WBC, will serve additionally as Interim President and CEO.
During her more than three years of leadership at WBC, Andy has been an incredible partner to both our city and business community while executing the agency's mission of driving inclusive economic growth," said Mayor Lightfoot. "Her dedication to creating, advocating for and advancing socioeconomic opportunities in underserved communities has truly left a lasting, positive impact on Chicago, and I am confident she will continue to be a driving force of change in her new role. I congratulate Andy on this exciting next step in her professional career and thank her for her years of service to our city."
“Andy leaves a strong team and board of directors whose collective work and passion for Chicago will continue uninterrupted,” said Mellody Hobson, WBC Vice Chair. “Andy’s leadership of WBC has led to many impactful programs and initiatives and certainly helped guide the organization through the challenges presented by the pandemic.”
A search for a new president and CEO will begin in early 2021. WBC is a public-private, non-profit partnership that drives economic development, job creation, supports business and promotes the city as the place for international businesses to invest. WBC will continue serving a critical role in driving inclusive and equitable recovery, as laid out in the Recovery Task Force report, with an emphasis on our region’s particular strengths in high-growth areas: expanding the region’s TD&L; strengthening Chicago’s healthcare and life-sciences ecosystem; and building on the region’s assets in food and agriculture. Michael Fassnacht, who is currently part of the city’s Recovery Task Force and will serve as Interim CEO and President for WBC, will continue the organization’s critical work.
“Now more than ever is a critical time to focus WBC on its core tasks of helping Chicago businesses to thrive and attract new companies to our great city,” said Michael Fassnacht, “We will be diligent in our search to identify a leader to drive economic growth in all of our City’s 77 neighborhoods.”
Zopp served as the President and CEO of World Business Chicago for three years. Prior to that she served as Deputy Mayor, Chief Neighborhood Development Officer for the City of Chicago, CEO of the Chicago Urban League and other executive leadership positions. She served in the United States Attorney’s Office and was the first woman and African American to serve as the First Assistant in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Zopp is passionate about creating stable businesses and strong communities and in all her roles, she fought for safety, expanded and inclusive economic opportunities, helping youth and young adults achieve academic and career success, and advocating for social justice.
“Historically underrepresented groups have been held back from advancements in VC and Tech because of money and access,” said Zopp. “While I’m saddened to leave WBC, I am excited for my next chapter at Cleveland Avenue that will not only involve improving access for underrepresented minorities, but also lifting up our businesses, communities and neighborhoods. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it has a positive impact that leads to generational change.”
Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker announces new plans for curtailing the spread of the Coronavirus in his daily press briefings. Photo by Marcus Robinson
ACCEPTANCE ON BEHALF OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
I, Joseph R. Biden Jr., President of the United States of America, having seen and considered the Paris Agreement, done at Paris on December 12, 2015, do hereby accept the said Agreement and every article and clause thereof on behalf of the United States of America.
Done at Washington this 20th day of January, 2021.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on December 12, 2015 and entered into force on November 4, 2016. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
The Media Connection TV Host Naimah Latif is joined by Chicago photojournalist Marcus Robinson and Memphis Radio Host Wallace Redd to take a look at the messages from the Inaugural Speeches by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. From the swearing in of the first female Vice President by the first Latina Supreme Court Judge, to the young African American Female Poet Laureate, the Inauguration signaled a new era of inclusion.
"It is a tragic day in the United States of America when our Democracy is being undermined by a President who just doesn't know when it's time to go," stated Republican Washington Congressional Candidate Marilyn Strickland in an interview with ABC News January 6, 2021, as angry protestors armed with flags, signs and possible weapons, stormed the Capitol Building in Washington DC. The protests disrupted the Senate's Electoral Vote count in the Presidential Election in which Joe Biden was to be confirmed as President and Kamala Harris as Vice President. The victory of Democrats in the Georgia runoff elections held Tuesday seemed to be the catalyst for the violent protest, openly encouraged by President Trump's tweeted messages. Photo Courtesy of ABC News.
Hours after police removed protesters from the Capitol building, members of the President's Cabinet reportedly took a serious look at invoking the 25th Amendment in order to remove President Trump from office and install Vice President Pence until the January 20, 2021 inauguration of Joe Biden.
Section 4 of the 25th Amendment states, "Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President."
Photo by Parthenia Luke
Issued Wednesday, December 1, 2021
“Today, at my direction, the City’s Department of Law voluntarily dismissed their lawsuit against the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 without prejudice.
“This Verified Complaint for Injunctive Relief was initially filed in response to the president of FOP Lodge 7, John Catanzara, repeatedly calling for his members to engage in an illegal work stoppage or strike—which is strictly prohibited under Illinois Law. The past few weeks have shown what I have said from the beginning to be true: that our brave police officers are smarter than their FOP leadership, and care more about their city, their fellow Chicagoans, and upholding their sworn oath to protect and serve, than they do Catanzara’s frivolous demands to stop working.
“It should be noted, that should the FOP or John Catanzara take any further action toward encouraging an illegal work stoppage or strike, we can and will immediately refile this action.
“From day one when this requirement was announced in August, this entire process has been and will continue to be about protecting the lives and safety of all Chicagoans. The data shows that we are succeeding in that mission, and that police officers recognize that protecting and serving in the times of global pandemic means ensuring that that they are vaccinated against COVID-19. The number of officers who have come into compliance with the City’s vaccine reporting mandate, as well as the mandatory vaccination policy, have continued to grow since October 15th, and I have complete confidence that the entire Department will be in compliance with City policy in the near future.”
Dec. 11, 2019 - Members of NCOBRA Present an award to Evanston 5th Ward Alderman Robin Rue Simmons. Photo by John L. Alexander