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Posted: Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Community forum entry by: Priscilla Giles

Were you there? On June 28, 2015 well over one hundred honor roll students, recent high school graduates, and continuing graduate students were at Springfield Baptist Church to be recognized and/or awarded monetary incentives to reach higher heights on their way to success.
Dr. Dorothy Holmes Williams was also honored as she ends yet another career and launches onto one of her own choosing which will combine her personal creative work with personal leisure. She was the mistress of ceremony for the 30th anniversary of the Unity Scholarship program held at rotating Black churches. It is an organization made up of Black civic and Greek organizations, churches and families who unite to honor these special people. The founders, C. Louise Brown, Yvonne Davis, the one who gave it the name, Charlene Jones and director, the late Helen Cromer Cooper were also recognized with honor as well as former mayor Lorraine Morton and elected public officials and educators of District 65 and 202.
The theme was spelled out by the speaker, Ahmadou Drame, Community & External Affairs Coordinator at Evanston Township High School. In this role he prepares students for life after high school. He himself is a graduate of ETHS and the product of a single parent (mother) home. He did not sugar coat the life and hardships he experiences in his graduate and post graduate schooling that really made him reach for the stars and become the man he is. He emphasized the determination and commitment it takes to succeed, challenging all levels of students and those in the audience also.
Special surprise guest was the movie star Harry Lennix, who also emphasized hard work and determination seeking extraordinary methods to succeed.



Posted: Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Community forum entry by: AJ Segneri, Lead Organizer, Foundation for a United Front

The Foundation for a United Front is baffled on the action the Evanston city council allowing to have firing ranges within the city limits. Plus, being equally dissatisfied with the city management of even having such a business to be among the residents of Evanston.
Allowing to have a firing range, that also rents and sells firearms, sends a message of promoting a violent enterprise in the city. Already 1.7 million children live with an unlocked and loaded gun in their home in the United States. The industry alone profits $993 millions. Wal-Mart, which Skokie and Niles has, is the largest seller of guns and ammo. That means 1/3 of US homes has a gun
It was once said that “With the right to bear arms comes a great responsibility to use caution and common sense...” So the question begs. Can the city council handle the responsibility of allowing such a business to come into our community? And take on the results it comes with it?



Posted: Friday, July 10, 2015
Community forum entry by: Albert Steiner

When will Democrats show some backbone in Springfield, proposing a deficit budget is simply childish, lazy, and refusing to seriously face Illinois budget problems. To have any face at all, Democrats need to submit a budget with cuts, and tax increases that balance the budget, of course they will be shot at. That is the cost of being mature. If they aren't mature enough, man enough and woman enough to do that, then it must be time for term limits to force out the game players. Democrats are failing their obligations to us the citizens of Ill. when they play games while the ship is sinking. I don't like the Republican approach, but it looks a lot better than the games that Democrats are playing.


Posted: Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Community forum entry by: John Frank

Long-time Evanston residents John Frank and his wife Carolyn Calzavara have founded a new theater company here in Evanston, the 2nd Act Players, with the mission of featuring newly emerging talent and the works of playwrights that touch on key turning points in people’s lives. As they plan their 2015 productions, they are looking for volunteers with experience in non-profit fund-raising to help them organize fund-raising events that will firmly establish their company on the North Shore theater scene. Anyone interested in becoming part of this exciting dream, please email: johnnfrank@evanston2ndactplayer.com or call John at 847-571-0235.


Posted: Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Community forum entry by: Elliot Zashin and Catherine Buntin

The Illinois legislature is in the throes of the debate over the coming fiscal year budget. If one believes what we hear on the news or read in the newspapers, the state is in crisis and many social service, health and educational programs “MUST” be cut in order to balance the budget.

Several important points to note:

Contrary to what the Governor says, Illinois is not “broke” and the cuts that he is proposing are not necessary.

Illinois is a relatively wealthy state it ranks 11th in the nation in per-capita income but it has one of the most regressive tax structures in the country.

There are significant sources of revenue which should be tapped in the short run:
(1) HB 3436: would require corporations to tell the legislators and the public what income taxes they actually pay to the state
(2) HB 0295: would close certain corporate tax loopholes
(3) HB 0106: A financial transaction tax (a very small charge on all CBOT and CME trades) could produce a projected 10 billion annually

In the next few months, the legislature needs to place a binding referendum on the next statewide ballot which would amend the state constitution to allow a graduated income tax. With a graduated income tax, the structural deficit could be eliminated.

Democrats are resisting the Rauner cuts, but for needed revenue, they are considering income (including retirement income) and sales and service tax increases that would fall substantially on the middle and working classes, and in effect, would make the Illinois tax structure even more regressive.

Democrats can save the state's social safety net programs if they stop protecting major corporations (many of which pay no significant income taxes) and stop protecting the 1% whose income is taxed at the same level as the rest of the population. These steps must be taken instead of relying on regressive taxes.

We believe Democrats must change the narrative in Springfield. We are tired of “inequality for all” and expect legislators to provide leadership to balance the state budget by fixing the “revenue welfare” being given to corporations and the very wealthy in our state. The time is now.



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