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  • the Metra Flyover project in Englewood where the fact the African American contractors got less than 1 of the work when the contract was awarded last spring led to protest rallies and marches From the start CTA was committed to ensuring that the communities impacted by the Red Line Reconstruction Project also benefitted from the resources invested in the effort To make this happen they sought the help of the Chicago Urban League and other community organizations to work with them to ensure that African Americans had access to jobs and business opportunities On the jobs front we ve helped the community gain access to the jobs that have been created by the project including construction workers bus drivers and traffic control aides Already many people from the community have been hired and more are on track for employment In addition we ve been a clearinghouse for contractor hiring and we have created a database of nearly 2 000 qualified workers and contractors for future projects We ve also worked to ensure that African American entrepreneurs are connected to the subcontracting opportunities presented by the project Since last spring the Chicago Urban League has worked with CTA to ensure that African American and women business owners could compete for the millions of dollars in construction contracts created by the system reconstruction Through our Entrepreneurship Center we worked with CTA to prepare and connect many African American and women owned companies or Disadvantaged Business Enterprises DBE to the prime contractors on the track and station work The effort and focus paid off and we ve got the numbers to prove it For track work total DBE contracts are 66 5 million with 40 million going to African American firms For station work DBE firms secured more than 17 5 million in

    Original URL path: http://www.thechicagourbanleague.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=1&ModuleInstanceID=368&ViewID=047E6BE3-6D87-4130-8424-D8E4E9ED6C2A&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=858&PageID=1&GroupByField=&GroupYear=0&GroupMonth=0&Tag= (2016-05-01)
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  • and careers We will discuss how public and private partners can work together across various sectors to increase African American participation in STEM education and careers African Americans are already behind so we need a more deliberate strategy to get more African Americans into the pipeline to STEM careers The economic indicators I mentioned earlier speak volumes about where we should be focusing our efforts on education job training and even school field trips to companies that hire STEM workers In STEM there are direct pathways from education to careers that provide middle income wages and economic empowerment that can strengthen families neighborhoods and communities We need to know how to get there STEM education has to be accessible to all students no matter where they attend school We have to level the playing field in our public schools Other ways to connect people to STEM jobs are career fairs that show them what these jobs look like Public private partnerships are another great way to build access and connect people to training and jobs It s a new day Companies want to engage with the African American community to build a skilled workforce and train workers with the requisite skills Chicago is already taking positive steps Chicago Public Schools in partnership with City Colleges of Chicago and several corporations has established five Early College Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Schools ECSS This public private partnership has had a tremendous impact at Michelle Clark George Corliss CVCA Lake View and Sarah E Goode high schools The corporate partners are Cisco Verizon Wireless Motorola Solutions Microsoft and IBM Together this effort connects high schools colleges and the workforce in an effort that prepares our children to succeed in college and in their careers At the Chicago Urban League we see job

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  • proclivities Yet 13 years into the New Millennium corporations governments political parties clergy and yes even some civil rights groups continue to leave Black women out of the conversation Black women want to lead Whether it s in their homes their communities their churches or in the business world modern women want their shot at the big chair and it s time we give it to them Chicago is a city in crisis with escalating gun and gang violence high dropout rates and no immediate solution to the high jobless rate among teenagers and young adults During Women s History Month we ll be reminded of influential Black women whose lives and legacies challenged the nation to live up to its principles Three women come immediately to mind Coretta Scott King Betty Shabazz and Myrlie Evers Williams These women shared a similarly tragic fate in that each was married to a charismatic civil rights leader became a widow when her husband was assassinated and continued to work for the movement and wield whatever influence she had to change oppressive laws and policies These women drew on their own sense of self preservation and each other to keep husband s legacies alive But they also became leaders in their own right finding their unique voices as they pursued justice and social change Another woman recently thrust into the national spotlight by tragic circumstances also comes to mind Cleopatra Cowley Pendleton whose 15 year old daughter Hadiya was killed Jan 29 in a senseless shooting Since then Ms Cowley Pendleton has emerged as an activist in the anti violence movement It is not a role she sought but neither has she run from it adding her voice to those advocating for tougher gun laws It s my job to keep talking she

    Original URL path: http://www.thechicagourbanleague.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=1&ModuleInstanceID=368&ViewID=047E6BE3-6D87-4130-8424-D8E4E9ED6C2A&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=854&PageID=1&GroupByField=&GroupYear=0&GroupMonth=0&Tag= (2016-05-01)
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  • K Hawkins 773 451 3536 desk 773 892 5427 cell rhawkins thechicagourbanleague org Lauren Love 773 451 3524 desk 773 896 5723 cell llove thechicagourbanleague org WHO Chicago Urban League WHAT Community Film Screenings and Discussions WHERE Chicago Urban League 4510 S Michigan Ave Chicago IL 60653 WHY Established in 2012 the Chicago Urban League s Black History Month Film Festival is presented annually as a forum to engage the community in honoring the achievements of African Americans examining current community challenges and exploring strategic solutions that can lead to an empowered future In February 2013 the Chicago Urban League Black History Month Film Festival will again present a series of films intended to educate empower and inspire Chicago s African American community The films and conversations that follow the screenings will give audiences an opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue on issues including gun violence the effects of poverty healthy eating and the challenges of urban youth Throughout each topic our remarkable history will be highlighted as a tool for inspiration and positive action Films confirmed for the 2013 Black History Month Film Festival include Wednesday February 6 2013 6 00 PM Benji a portrait about the life of

    Original URL path: http://www.thechicagourbanleague.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=1&ModuleInstanceID=368&ViewID=047E6BE3-6D87-4130-8424-D8E4E9ED6C2A&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=853&PageID=1&GroupByField=&GroupYear=0&GroupMonth=0&Tag= (2016-05-01)
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  • Urban League Hearing Highlights Impact of Persistent Drop in Youth Employment Rates Lack of Summer Jobs Program Resulting In Increased Violence In Chicago Area Communities WHAT Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will join state and local legislative educational civic and community leaders for a hearing on youth joblessness A diverse group of youth will testify on their experiences and the opportunities that employment and education provide Additionally education and youth advocacy organizations will testify about programs and policies that could help reduce violence in Chicago area communities Chicago Urban League President and CEO Andrea L Zopp and Jesse Ruiz chairman Illinois Council on Re Enrolling Students Who Dropped Out of School will open the hearing on behalf of convening co sponsors which include the Chicago Urban League Youth Connection Charter School Chicago Area Project Black United Fund of Illinois Westside Health Authority Chicago Jobs Council and the Alternative Schools Network A new report outlining new data on unemployment will be released at the hearing as part of an ongoing series commissioned by the Alternative Schools Network and prepared by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University Boston Mass WHO Panelists will include Illinois Governor Pat Quinn s Office Deputy Chief of Staff Toni Irving Illinois Department of Human Services Director Michelle Saddler Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale Illinois State Senator William Willie Delgado Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter Illinois State Senator Dan Kotowski Illinois State Senator Heather Steans Illinois State Representative Toni Berrios Illinois State Representative Kenneth Dunkin Illinois State Representative Mary Flowers Illinois State Representative Esther Golar Illinois State Representative Lisa Hernandez Cook County Commissioner Edwin Eddie Reyes Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele City of Chicago Alderman Walter Burnett

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  • and those close to retirement The group contends HB 6258 offers a viable framework for comprehensive pension reform We strongly urge the General Assembly to take up this bill now Illinois lawmakers owe it to state employees retirees and taxpayers to embrace this opportunity for reform and start securing a stronger financial future for our State said Laurence Msall president of the Civic Federation House Bill 6258 was recently introduced by State Representative Elaine Nekritz D Northbrook and its chief co sponsors are State Representatives Daniel Biss D Evanston David Harris R Mt Prospect and Chris Nybo R Lombard The proposed legislation would address the State s pension funding crisis by Reducing the State s unfunded pension liability by an estimated 28 billion or 29 from 95 billion to 67 billion Reducing the State s required General Funds pension contributions in FY2014 by approximately 1 8 billion or 29 from 6 2 billion under the current funding plan to 4 4 billion This does not include 1 6 billion of required debt service payments on pension bonds Achieving 100 funding by 2043 and would create a legally enforceable right to compel the State and other employers to make required contributions Additionally the legislation gradually shifts the normal cost of pension benefits to employers giving school districts community colleges and universities time to build these new costs into their budget plans The reforms would also allow local and State contributions to be enforced through the court system Other major features of the bill are included in the open letter to lawmakers Click here to download the letter The pension funding crisis continues to jeopardize the State s financial stability Illinois already has elevated borrowing costs and the lowest credit rating of any state from Moody s Investors Service Due to the

    Original URL path: http://www.thechicagourbanleague.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=1&ModuleInstanceID=368&ViewID=047E6BE3-6D87-4130-8424-D8E4E9ED6C2A&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=846&PageID=1&GroupByField=&GroupYear=0&GroupMonth=0&Tag= (2016-05-01)
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  • medical treatment and hospitalization In Chicago 428 people were shot and killed this year 50 of which were children 17 years of age or younger In speaking about these national tragedies and gun violence in urban communities at the Newtown prayer vigil President Obama said We can t tolerate this anymore These tragedies must end And to end them we must change I couldn t agree more It s time for a change We have to do better We don t have a choice While I m more than willing to join the conversation about stronger gun control laws and increased funding for mental health services I believe that our problems won t be solved by addressing these issues only It s much broader than this I believe we must first address the culture of violence in the country We must rethink how we view and respond to violence in our lives We must ask ourselves why we worship and reward violence in the music and entertainment industries If some of us celebrate movies that feature an exorbitant amount of violence just imagine how our children respond when we let them play video games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty which are among the most violent video games ever made I think it s safe to say that this acceptance of violence in pop culture contributes to our oftentimes episodic response to real acts of violence in our communities and around the nation We must take stock of what we allow into our homes onto our airwaves and in our theaters and be vigilant about what we will and will not allow to become culturally acceptable As a collective group of citizens we all share in the responsibility of leaving this world better for the generations that follow

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  • on education reform recently On it was a principal from one of Chicago s turnaround schools She said that parents initially were angrier about the turnaround than the poor quality of the education their children had been receiving They had come to accept the school as bad as it was Complacency and satisfaction with the status quo are not our history Battles have been fought to ensure that every child has access to a quality education Yet today expectations among so many people in the African American community are still very low It s time to change It s time to raise the bar on our expectations of and our aspirations for our children In 1957 nine African American children risked physical harm to integrate Central High School in Little Rock Arkansas One of them Elizabeth Eckford had to face an angry white mob alone her first day of school Her parents didn t have a phone so she was unaware the other eight were meeting that morning to enter the school together As she approached she soon realized the soldiers at the door were not there to protect her they were there to block her from entering the school Elizabeth had to walk back through the angry crowd to the bus stop but she held her head high Eventually she attended and graduated from Central High School Elizabeth and her family never doubted her worth her value or her right to the same opportunities provided the majority children of Arkansas How can we today with a history filled with Elizabeth Eckford and others like her accept less for our children The positive engagement and encouragement of a parent guardian or mentor in a young person s life can be a critical factor in their educational success Yet too often

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