Malcolm Crawford (grey shirt), Executive Director of AAABNA inside Cunningham’s Subway addressing customers about “Buy Black”initiative
Malcolm Crawford (grey shirt), Executive Director of AAABNA inside Cunningham’s Subway addressing customers about “Buy Black”initiative
In a movement to improve business growth among African American businesses the Austin African American Business Networking Association, lead by Executive Director Malcolm Crawford, many supporters from the Austin community, the Westside and metropolitan Chicago came out in support of the AAABNA’s “Buy Black” initiative. ‘Our goal is to be a true networking organization…..The organization’s mission is to create African-American business growth through networking and to provide nurturing and support for emerging and existing businesses.
One African-American business is selected each month and promoted through various communication outlets to buy black. For the month of May, the Subway franchise, located at 304 N. Pulaski, right on the corner of Lake Street and Pulaski was selected. The Owner’s, a husband and wife team, Pastor Kevin Cunningham and wife Deidre used creative financing to purchase the subway already in existence and up for sale.
The creative financing came through the Cunningham’s taking and investing their retirement savings. Pastor Kevin Cunningham, a former teacher at Pope Elementary drew down his pension from the Chicago Public School system, when Pope School was targeted for closure. Wife Deidre used her money from her retirement at the Internal Revenue Service after working there for over 25 years. The Cunningham’s retirement money and an existing Subway for sale made for a perfect deal for the Cunninghams. They had to go to Subway University for ownership training. After being approved for the franchise purchase and they have been open and operating. “November 20 is when we took position,” said Co-owner Deidre Cunningham.
Congressman Davis came to buy a subway sandwich and stated to the owners “This is a wonderful place.” “We need to turn dollars over more in the community outside of the barbershop and the beauty shop,” stated 28th Ward Ald. Jason Erving. Owner Kevin Cunningham went to Ald. Ervin’s office to help resolve some challenges that he was having after it had been in business about a month. “I think it’s important to show that black’s support businesses in the community and when we support a black business at this magnitude, it let’s other people know that we invite you to come because we spend money, and this is what this is showing. That’s how you build our community block by block, said State Rep 8th District, LaShawn K. Ford.
People need to see that you can have a black business in the hood and be successful. Often we are told that we don’t support our own and we are here to shoot that myth in the foot, Here is a guy (and his wife) that went through the hard work of the details of starting a Subway and we’re here to support him,” said another supporter.
Said 25 yr old Marseille Jackson, “Just to be out here today and see all this support makes my heart glad. This makes my heart glad because we are called for rallies, we call for marches. We want to fight the violence and the crimes in Chicago. But in order to do that we need to use our economic power. I hear every day that we need change. In order to get change you need power. And in order to get power you need some money. So when we start supporting each other we can get the power back. And once we get the power back, we can get the change we need in our community…We have to keep it consistent and we have to show people we support each other. If we don’t support each other how can we expect others to support us. It’s not about black, white, yellow, Mexican, none of that, it’s about supporting our community. So let’s get on Facebook, Instagram, twitter, the church page website whatever and let’s let people know that we sold out the subway on Pulaski and Lake and we supported the Cunninghams.”
“I heard somebody say a long time ago that the revolution will not be telecast, (in the crowd somebody stated “televised”), and if we informed the news media that somebody got shot down for something, they would be out here. They won’t telecast positive news about African-Americans,” Said one speaker.
“We got the African Village here, the Nation of Islam inside, you got a Church of God in Christ, and you got Black Construction Alliance, alderman, and NAACP. So you got a nice mixture of people shopping black,” said Malcolm Crawford.
Stated Chicago Westside NAACP, President Karl A. Brinson, “One of the things we suffer with, especially being Chicago, in Cook in being County, and the State of Illinois in the black community is we are so politically top heavy. We rely on politicians to do everything for us. When in all instances, it does starts economically wise. When start investing in us and start creating stuff for us then we can influence the dynamics of legislation and politicians. We can have them doing what they should do as actually representing us instead of leading us. Because we don’t have our own self-sufficiencies to say to them this is what we want and you go make it happen. We need to get back to that point in Chicago at this time.”
The Subway franchise, located at 304 N. Pulaski is looking for continued support from the community, so whenever you get the chance, stop by and support them.
City of Chicago loses 464,134 votes from voter apathy, since 2008 primary
The City of Chicago has lost 464,134 votes from the total of people that voted in the 2008 primary. Only 16.44% of registered voters actually took part in the 2014 primary that just took place March 18. The statistics show that a trend in voter apathy is steadily increasing in the primary (see Table 1 graphic). Even though the 2008 primary was a presidential primary that produced a black presidential nominee, the 2012 primary was also a presidential primary. Comparing those two primaries, the Republican Party increased by 4,180 votes cast. The Democratic Party decreased by 376,714 votes cast, over 59%, partly because there was no opponent to Democratic incumbent President Barak Obama.
According to the City of Chicago Board of Election results there was an increase, from 2012 to 2014, in the amount of total registered voters. The 2014 primary increased by 79,997 new citizens registered to vote. But the citizens who actually voted decreased by 90,178 votes. The decreased amount that did not vote is more than the new citizens that registered by 10,181 voters.
Voters are not caring enough to get out and vote. Denise, a single mother of three, who did not vote stated, “I just didn’t care. I didn’t like any of the candidates. ” Most voters are voting more on a key candidate that they want to go into office or not get into office, than on issues that would benefit them or against issues that would hurt them.
In speaking with one Alderman on the Westside before the election asking him his thoughts on the upcoming election he stated, “My fear is the turnout projection is going to be low.”His fears were realized because the turnout was very low.
In 2008, there was an extreme jump from 2006 in the amount of Chicago voters who actually voted in the primary by 272,817 votes showing strong voter interest in who was running in the primary. Still, only 52.7% of the voters participated, leaving 47.3% or 618,399 voters who did not vote in that primary but are registered to vote.
On the local city ward level, Table 2 shows the vote total for eight westside wards. All eight show a decrease in the number of voters who cared to participate in the primary.
Of the eight wards, the 37th ward had the smallest decrease between 2012 and 2014. The 29th ward had the highest percentage of its total voters to actually vote with 19%. The 22nd and 25th wards both had the lowest percentage at 10% of their total registered voters. With the trend reaching these record lows, inspiring voters has a void that isn’t being filled.
Reaching younger voters for the primary elections also has critical flaws. When asking young registered voters why they didn’t vote, their response is that “this election is not important, because there is one in November,” said Nakea Gresham. Or as stated by another young man in his middle 20’s, they are just like me “I’m always hearing about some politician going to jail.”
For reasons other than not caring to vote early voting and absentee ballot resources are made available for those who want to vote but are restricted. For more information about these and other resources you can go to http://www.chicagoelections.com
Richard Boykin, candidate for Cook County Commissioner of the 1st District announced, at his Chicago satellite campaign office (5641 W. Division Street) opening, a Day of Action for campaign volunteers on Saturday, January 25.Supporters for Boykin’s were greeted and welcomed for volunteering, neighborhood canvassing and phone banking. They were encouraged by Boykin and Congressman Danny K. Davis, for their determination despite the cold and snow that weekend.
“I am thankul for the positive momentum and support my campaign has received thus far and look forward to solidifying this movement on Chicago’s West Side,” said Boykin. “Much work remains over the coming weeks to prevail in this race. That’s why I’m asking all those who have a stake in our community to lend a helping hand to the campaign during our Day of Action up to the primary in March.”
Boykin recently launched his campaign for Cook County Commissioner among community members, faith leaders, Congressman Danny K. Davis and other elected officials. On the heels of Boykin’s campaign launch, the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) offered its support by endorsing his run for the First District Cook County Commissioner seat. CFL, founded in 1896, focuses its efforts on strengthening individual local unions by creating a unified voice for the labor movement in the Chicago area.
“Based on the interview process exercised by the CFL’s Committee on Political Education, our affiliates have moved to support Richard Boykin in his run for Cook County Commissioner,” said CFL President Jorge Ramirez.
In addition to being endorsed by the CFL, several elected officials from Cook County’s First District have also backed Boykin including the following suburban mayors: Oak Park, Maywood, Forest Park, Broadview, Westchester, Bellwood and Hillside.
Boykin, a partner with Barnes and Thornburg, LLP, previously served as chief of staff to Congressman Davis for nine years after being his legislative director. During that time, Boykin played an instrumental role in several of the Congressman’s initiatives including welfare-to-work, health care, energy and utility, and appropriations accomplishments. Key areas of focus for Boykin’s campaign include criminal justice reform, economic development and expanding access to mental and medical health care services.
For more information about the campaign, please visit http://www.boykinforcookcounty.com or call 708-948-7913.
Get Covered Illinois today announced a church-based enrollment drive during Black History Month to enroll uninsured consumers in health insurance before the March 31 open enrollment deadline. Throughout February, more than 50 African-American churches will host events designed to inform and enroll uninsured community members, in addition to hundreds of other Get Covered Illinois enrollment events happening across the state.
The enrollment drive will formally kick off at Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church (7545 S. Vincennes Ave., Chicago, IL 60620) at 10:30 am on Sunday, February 2, where Rev. Walter W. Matthews Sr. will announce the Get Covered Illinois church-based enrollment events during the worship service. Navigators will be present after the service to answer questions and assist with enrollment. Charles Watkins, Regional Outreach Coordinator for Get Covered Illinois will also be present to answer questions about the enrollment drive.
“The Affordable Care Act provides an historic opportunity to close the gap of the uninsured and reduce health disparities that disproportionately affect minority communities,” said Jennifer Koehler, Executive Director for Get Covered Illinois. “Black History Month is an important opportunity to address health barriers impacting the African American community and remind uninsured residents of the affordable, comprehensive coverage options available to them.”
As of December 28, 2013, more than 61,111 Illinois residents have signed up for coverage through the Marketplace. Individuals, families and small business owners have until March 31 to enroll in a health plan before receiving a fine. In order to get coverage beginning March 1, enrollment must be completed by February 15.
Nearly one third of African Americans in Illinois are uninsured. African Americans are impacted by greater health disparities compared to other races and ethnicities for a number of reasons, including lack of access to affordable health care. African Americans are twice as likely as whites to be diagnosed with diabetes, and are disproportionately impacted by cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. According to the Centers of Disease and Control, insurance coverage is strongly related to better health outcomes.
Participating churches will facilitate and provide enrollment resources available through Get Covered Illinois to their congregations and to members of the surrounding community. State-trained Navigators will also be present at these churches throughout February to answer questions, schedule enrollment appointments and enroll residents on-site.
“As a Pastor, I know firsthand how access to quality health care affects the physical and spiritual well-being of our community,” said Rev. Walter W. Matthews Sr. of the Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church. “The African American faith community is proud to partner with Get Covered Illinois to provide uninsured residents with the enrollment assistance they need to secure affordable, comprehensive health coverage.”
For a complete list of enrollment events throughout the state, visit getcoveredillinois.gov/events. Enter your zip code or address to find an event near you.
Under the Affordable Care Act, thousands of Illinoisans who were previously unable to get insurance can now get covered. All plans included in the Marketplace must:
• Cover recommended preventive services free of charge
• Include a cap on out-of-pocket costs
• Have no lifetime or yearly dollar limit on coverage
• Not reject anyone on the basis of a pre-existing condition
Get Covered Illinois is urging health care consumers to take advantage of the assistance that is being offered via the web, over the phone and in person through hundreds of community partners across the state:
• Visit our website at getcoveredillinois.gov (includes a Spanish-language version).
• Call the Get Covered Illinois Help Desk at (866) 311-1119. Operators available daily from 8 am – 8 pm.
• Meet in person with a specially trained “Navigator” who can help you understand your options and even help you enroll at one of the hundreds of partner sites across the state. There are more than 1,500 Navigators that can be located by visiting the website and entering your zip code or through the Help Desk.
• Attend a Get Covered Illinois event. Visit getcoveredillinois.gov/events to find an event near you.
Follow Get Covered Illinois on >>Facebook: facebook.com/coveredillinois
24TH Ward Alderman Michael D. Chandler is pleased to announce the following business development, local event, ex-offender and social service programs and activities available to 24th Ward residents.
City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Launches New Small Business Center Support Website: The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) have launched its new Small Business Center Website. The website is a one-stop destination for entrepreneurs starting or running a small business to find information on City services, financial opportunities, company site location assistance and business development resources. For more info, contact the (BACP) at 312-74GO BIZ or go to its website at: www.cityofchicago/sbc.
Alderman Michael D. Chandler Sponsors Disney on Ice Discounted Coupon Tickets: 24th Ward Alderman Michael D. Chandler is offering discounted ticket passes for the Disney on Ice Let’s Celebrate shows scheduled for January 29, 2014 through February 9, 2014. For more information or to pick up tickets, call the 24th Ward Community Service Office at (773) 533-2400. The 24th Ward Community Service Office is located at 1153 S. Keeler Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60624.
Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) and Illinois Small Business Development Centers (ISBDC) sponsors Free Entrepreneurial Program Exclusively Targeted for Ex-Offenders: The Jewish Vocational Services and ISBDC/Duman Entrepreneurial Center are offering a Basic Entrepreneurial Support and Training Program. Session will begin on February 18, 2014 at the JVS Chicago Offices located at 216 W. Jackson, 2nd Floor, Chicago, Illinois. For more info, contact JVS Chicago at 855-463-6587 or their website at: info@JVSChicago.org.
Federal Express Offers Small Business Development Grants: Federal Express Corporation is sponsoring a business grant program for small businesses. Grant amounts under the program are from $1,000-25,000. To participate, a business must register before February 9, 2014 on the approved Federal Express website at: www.fedex.com/grantcontest. Grant award winners will be announced on March 24, 2014.
State Homelessness Prevention Funds for Youth: Youth in need of housing to prevent homelessness can now apply for state funds for housing assistance. The sponsoring organization is LaCasa Norte, located at 3533 W. North Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60647. Phone number is: (773) 276-4900. The program will provide assistance with security deposit, rent, utilities and/or mortgage.
Information on these and other programs and services can be found on 24th Ward Alderman Michael D. Chandler’s website: www.aldermanchandler.com or call the 24th Ward Community Service Office at (773) 533-2400.
Movie 43 12 Years a Slave
THE BEST AND WORST MOVIES OF 2013
This was a year in movie that ended better than it started. And with a few exceptions during most of the year, Hollywood may feel their box office receipts were descent compared to recent years. But I felt the public was beginning to catch on and realize with their wallets that Hollywood is truly running out of ideas and are only left to recycle that we’ve already seen before.
The year began badly with a lame mini movie of skits in “Movie 43” to recycling old action movie stars in failed movie comebacks in “:The Lat Stand”, and “Bullet to the Head”. Even some of the summer blockbuster movies felt short of their expectations.
Still, if it weren’t for the few early releases and those movie that came out in the fourth quarter. Well, thank goodness the year in movies for 2013 ends on a high dramatic note that should generate a lot of Oscar interest and jockeying for nominations before the March 2 telecast.
THE BEST MOVIES OF 2013
1. 12 YEARS A SLAVE
Director Steve McQueen’s unflinching, visceral cinematic game-changer with Chiwetel Ejiofor’s stunning performance turns this true story of slavery into a revealing and honest horror movie
2. AMERICAN HUSTLE
Another cinematic game-changer of a different sort from filmmaker David O. Russell on his 1970’s take on Abscam that is so ruthlessly entertaining.
Filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron’s space odyssey saga is a visual stunner that deserves the IMAX treatment for its sense of wonder, terror and possibilities
4. AUGUST, OSAGE COUNTY
Chi playwright Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer play winning play redefines the dysfunctional in this Oklahoma family gathering that makes you thankful for your family.
Filmmaker Alexander Payne’s sensitive direction, honest humor and dialogue brings out the best and worst in people led by a career defining performance from Bruce Dern as the determined senior who thinks he’s won a million from the Publisher’s Clearing house.
Spike Jonze’s clever and insightful take on a lonely man’s romantic relationship with the voice of his computer that draws man and machine closer with similar human results.
7. FRUITVALE STATION
Director Ryan Coogler’s right-to-the-point true-drama led by a star turning performance from Michael B. Jordan as the black victim killed on a California subway by overzealous cops.
8. DALLAS BUERS CLUB
Another incredible Oscar worthy performance from Matthew McConaughey in this late ‘80’s true story about this imperfect man who’s diagnosed with AIDS who manages to bring the drug from overseas that the U.S. wouldn’t approve that helped saved many homosexual lives.
9. THE EAST
Under-rated but still thought-provoking and intelligently dramatic offering co-written by its star Brit Marling as the covert operative who infiltrates an anarchist group against certain cooperate CEO’s and their greed on society. And how she begins to feel the way we all do about corporation and conglomerations.
10. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
Director Martin Scorsese goes “Goodfellas” on Stockbrokers in this incredible tale of excess worth the amazing performance by Leonardo Di Caprio and Terence Winter’s frenetic script.
11. Captain Phillips
13. All Is Lost
14. 20 Feet from Stardom
16. Lee Daniels’ the Butler
17. The Spectacular Now
18. Bless Me. Ultima
20. This Is the End
THE WORST MOVIES OF 2013
1. Movie 43
3. Disney’s The Lone Ranger
4.The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
5. Grown Ups 2
7. G.I. Joe: Retailiation
8. Jack The Giant Slayer
9. The Big Wedding
10. White House Down
…. And let’s not forget these losers….
… And the award to the movie that was unnecessary to make a remake (again!):
…. And the award to the over-the-hill action hero stars in their contrived movie comeback:
It’s a three way tie between Arnold Schwarzenegger in “The Last Stand”, Sylvester Stallone in “Bullet to the Head” and of course, Bruce Willis goes John McClane in the wrong script in “A Good Day to Die Hard”.
… And last but not the least, an award for “Take your kid to Apocalypse Work Day”:
Will Smith’s latest attempt to make son, Jaden Smith into a film star in “After Earth”
2014 OSCAR PREDICTIONS
By David Schultz
With the annual announcement of nominations for the upcoming Academy Awards, the predictions begin in earnest before the March 2 telecast. A lot of noise has been made over who were snubbed for nominations in certain major catalogues.
Frankly, to those that got subbed like Robert Redford for “All is Lost”, Tom Hanks for “Captain Phillips “and Oprah Winfrey for “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”, Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal in “Prisoners”, to name a few.
It was none of their fault their performances came out during a crowded year for varied performance catalogues that couldn’t make the cut.
In fact, most of the year’s best performances emerged during the last quarter of the year. As the studios usually aims their best films for that year end consideration and their Oscar campaigns.
But since we are a nation that judges everything by winners and losers; there are a few catalogues with one clear winner and may be a surprise or two.
While a couple of nominations will be a horse race between two candidates. At any rate, it should make for an interesting and exciting 86th Oscar telecast. So here are my choice on whom and what movies to expect to win versus those I felt should have won.
“12 Years a Slave” should be the clear winner, but don’t discount the momentum of “American Hustle”
If “12 Years a Slave” doesn’t take best picture. The academy might give best director to Steve McQueen, but there is momentum and the chance David O Russell could snatch it for “American Hustle”.
It’s a tough call, even though I would love to see Chiwetel Ejiofor win for “12 Years a Slave”. It would still be “all right!” if Matthew McConaughey wins for “Dallas Buyers Club” who has been on a hot streak of solid performances for the last two years.
Cate Blanchett is my choice to win for Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine”, but Amy Adams might be the Academy’s choice for “American Hustle”.
Best Original Screenplay:
“American Hustle” (Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell)
Best Adapted Screenplay:
The honor should go to John Ridley for “12 Years a Slave”, but the Academy might pull a surprise here to Bill Ray for “Captain Phillips”.
Best Supporting Actress:
Jennifer Lawrence could be a two time consecutive winner that could upset who should win the honor, newcomer Lupita Nyong’o for “12 Years a Slave”.
Best Supporting Actor:
Jared Leto for “Dallas Buyers Club”. Even though there are strong contenders with Barkhad Abdi for “Captain Phillips” and Jonah Hill for “The World of Wall Street”. It’s totally Leto’s transgender performance to win.
Best Documentary Feature:
Who will win” “The Act of Killing”
Who should win: “20 Feet from Stardom”
Best Animated Feature:
It’s almost any one race to win, but the Academy might give it to Disney’s “Frozen” but I think it should go to 86 yr. old Japanese animator Hiyao Miyazaki’s promised last film “The Wind Rises”
“The Grandmaster” might be the one to upset “Gravity’ for this honor.
Best Visual Effects; “Gravity”
Best Sound Mixing: “Gravity”
Best Costume Design:
Best Film Editing:
Best Production Design: “Gravity”
Best Foreign Language Feature:
The Hunt” (Denmark) should win but I think the Academy might go with “The Great Beauty” (Italy)
Best Makeup and Hairstyling:
“Dallas Buyers Club”
Best Music Score:
“Gravity” (Steven Price) is what I predict, but the Academy might go with “Her” (William Butler and Owen Pallett).
Best Original Song:
It’s possibly a three way race between Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” from “Despicable Me 2”, ( my personal choice) over “Let it Go” from Disney’s “Frozen” (that is an obvious Academy choice, but then there is “Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”, that could be the Academy’s chance to honor his recent passing.