Roll Call staff and supporters, including Exec Director Milton Golden (hat), 27th Ward Ald. Walter Burnett (grey sport coat) and Linda Weatherspoon (left of Burnett)
Roll Call “Ballin” the “Click or Ticket Campaign”
The past few summer months Roll Call has been campaigning to promote safe driving throughout the Westside of Chicago. In partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation, University of Illinois-School of Public Health (IDOT/UIC-SPH) implemented the Safe Communities of IL (SCIL) project in which several organizations and community leaders were given a grant to host five campaigns promoting the message, “Click It or Ticket It” and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” There are three campaign dates that are required during the national holidays, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and two campaign dates in which the grantees could select a date to get the message out. The target population is African American & Hispanic males from the ages of 18-34 years old, in several high risk communities throughout Chicago.
Roll Call’s first event, “Open Mic Night” kicked off with a bang, in the Lower Westside community at the Major Adams Community Center (MACC), located at 125 N. Hoyne. The North Lawndale Community News (NLCN) had the opportunity to attend the second event, “Ballin for a Cause,” a basketball tournament also located at the MACC also; this event was a great success with well over 150 attendees in and outside the gym. The gym was filled with mostly, African American males from different parts of the community that came to play ball.
Roll Call’s Executive Director, Milton Golden stated, “to create a safe haven for our children,
If you’re going to use drugs, don’t drive. If you don’t do that, you’re saving lives.” The “Click it or Ticket It” campaign for Roll Call, coordinated by Administrative Director Linda Weatherspoon, was noted for her passion for the program. Weatherspoon stated, “to get our target population out between the ages of 18-34, Hispanic and African Americans we hosted a basketball tournament, which had an incentive of $150.00 for the winner. Other incentives were books, donated by former Chicago Bulls player Mickey Johnson, and other prizes given out between games. “This is something positive that black men are doing,” stated Angelique Orr, Managing Consultant for Safe Communities of Illinois.
Alderman Burnett of the 27th Ward gave his support by attending the event. “I think this is a great thing. It also gives younger people a chance to break down the barriers and stereotypes giving them a chance to know each other. I appreciate Roll Call for trying to turn things around making sure brothers and sisters don’t make the same mistakes that they made and that we have safe communities.” Roll Call was honored in the SCIL newsletter as “Grantee of The Month” in their July Newsletter which can be viewed online at http://www.scilchicago.com/#!news-letter/c23ih.
NLCN also had the opportunity to attend the third event, “Ballin’ For A Cause 2″, basketball tournament this time located in the Austin community at the Austin Resource Center located 150 N. Central Ave. at the event sponsored by MTV’s “Are You the One” star Simone Kelly. Simone, who is also the daughter of Linda Weatherspoon agreed just the night before after a call from her mother to make sure the event took place. Rev Robbie Wilkerson, Executive Director of the newly acquired Austin Resource Center was formerly the Austin YMCA. “I was asked by the Alderman to take over the facility,” said Wilkerson, which during the interview, was full of youth playing in the gyms.
According to SCIL’s website, in 2012, 145 people died in the city of Chicago as a result of a motor vehicle crash. Of those fatalities, 28 were African-American males and 19 were Hispanic males, representing a third of all motor vehicle crash fatalities. To tackle this problem, 37 communities have been identified as having high fatality rates from low seat belt use and high alcohol use. The Westside of Chicago has received a multitude of deaths because of alcohol and other substance abuses.
Two other events are being planned by Roll Out for the “Click it or Ticket” campaign, a Cookout @Hamiln & Madison Garfield Park – August 23, 2014 12:00 p.m. – until dusk and a Labor Day Cookout across from 3668 W. Roosevelt – September 1, 2014 – 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. For more information contact Roll Out at 773-940-1552.
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.