Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Mayor Emanuel Unveils First-Ever Chicago New Americans Plan
New Plan, Developed over Months of Community Conversations, Outlines 27 Distinct Initiatives That Can Create Thousands of Jobs and Boost the Ability of Chicago’s 560,000 Foreign-Born Residents to Fully Contribute to the City’s Growth
Mayor's Press Office 312.744.3334
Today, Mayor Emanuel released the Chicago New Americans Plan, which outlines 27 initiatives to build a thriving, diverse and welcoming city over the next three years. The plan, which is the first of its kind in the nation, highlights the potential economic impact when the City supports the creation and expansion of immigrant-owned businesses; develops, attracts, and retains talent and expertise from other countries; and aims to bolster the City’s status as a vibrant and welcoming international city.
“With residents from over 140 countries and more than 100 languages spoken in our city, Chicago is a city of immigrants,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These immigrants are small business owners, teachers, parents, clergymen, elected officials, and leaders in our communities. This is why I am committed to making Chicago the most immigrant friendly city in the nation. I thank the ONA Advisory Committee for assisting us in developing a plan that will ensure Chicago continues to thrive and grow and attract the world’s leading human capital to compete in the 21st century global economy and beyond.”
By implementing the initiatives listed in the Chicago New Initiatives Plan, the plan proposes to create thousands of jobs by increasing the growth of immigrant small and medium sized businesses and by doubling the exports of immigrants businesses. The plan also states that making early childhood options and summer enrichment opportunities more available to immigrant parents will increase savings later; for each dollar spent on early-childhood education, seven dollars in savings are coming.
In July 2011, Mayor Rahm Emanuel created the Office of New Americans and set the goal for Chicago to become the world’s most immigrant-friendly city. Just months later, the Mayor convened an advisory committee comprised of 50 leaders representing Chicago’s business, academic, civic and philanthropic communities. The goal of the advisory committee was to identify challenges unique to immigrants, recommend initiatives to be implemented over the next three years, and develop a detailed implementation plan for the Office of New Americans and its partners.
The Chicago New Americans Plan recommends a broad array of new programs and initiatives, which are designed to improve the day-to-day lives of immigrants while promoting Chicago’s economic growth and cultural vitality.
The plan’s 27 initiatives are grouped into three categories: Our Growth, Our Youth, and Our Communities. The three categories are divided into eight subgroups which will focus on economic opportunities, human capital, education, public safety, health, city services, civic engagement and ensuring that Chicago remains a place where diversity is welcomed and celebrated.
“The Chicago New Americans Plan is an economic improvement and community development tool that will be a national model for creating a city that welcomes and incorporates the immigrant community into all city services and programs,” said Celena Roldan, Executive Director, Erie Neighborhood House. “Historically serving immigrants since 1870, Erie Neighborhood House is committed to empowering the immigrant community through the Mayor’s New American Plan and applauds his efforts to make Chicago the most immigrant friendly city in the country.”
"As one of the most rapidly growing immigrant groups in the Chicago area, South Asian Americans appreciates having a voice as the city considers how to make the city more inclusive and leverage the great potential of all immigrant groups,” said Ami Gandhi, South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI).
"Our humanity is enhanced by our differences; we build Chicago knowing that our diversity represents our strength and our best selves,” said Jerry Doyle, Vice Provost, Illinois Institute of Technology. “The Mayor's announcement today reminds us all that we are ONE Chicago; that as we welcome, embrace, and celebrate New Americans we draw upon and renew the long-standing tradition of Chicago as a city of immigrants upon whose shoulders we have launched the dreams of millions; a city whose voice and achievements serve as a beacon for all to aspire to - including ourselves."
To make Chicago the world’s most immigrant-friendly city, the City will effectively manage the implementation and success of this plan. The Office of New Americans will utilize a multi-tiered scorecard to measure initiative implementation and results. The scorecard will also evaluate the extent to which the initiatives together are improving economic, civic, and cultural vitality for Chicago.
The ONA collaborated with Civic Consulting Alliance, A.T. Kearney, and Downtown Partners Chicago, all of whom provided their support on a pro-bono basis, in the development of the plan.
The Chicago New Americans Plan was unveiled at the Erie Neighborhood House, a place historically serving immigrants since 1870. The Chicago New Americans Plan and a full list of initiatives are available at http://www.cityofchicago.org/newamericans.
ONA Advisory Council Members in their respective subgroups:
Omar Duque, President and Chief Executive Officer, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Nilda Esparza, Executive Director, Little Village Chamber of Commerce
Sue Gin, Chief Executive Officer, Flying Food Groups
Liz Griffiths, Executive Director, Albany Park Chamber of Commerce
Luis Gutierrez, Executive Director, Latinos Progresando
Michael Mini, Director Government Relations, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce George
Chunkau Mui, Global Business Consultant, U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency
Rob Paral, Principal,Rob Paral and Associates
Jaz Park, Board Member, Korean American Association of Chicago
Alberto Senior, Senior Exec., Miller Coors
Alejandro Silva, Chief Executive Officer, Evans Food Group
Roberto Rodrigues, Professor, University of Chicago
Human Capital and Education:
Nancy Aardema, Executive Director, Logan Square Neighborhood Association
Ana Bedard, Associate Director, St. Augustine Institute for Workforce Education
Tanya Cabrera, Associate Director, Illinois Institute of Technology
Gerald P. Doyle, Vice Provost, Illinois Institute of Technology
Roberto Gonzalez, Assistant Professor, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration
Jill Kushner Bishop, President, Multilingual Connections
Clara Lopez, Vice President , El Valor
Juan Rangel, Executive Director, United Neighborhood Organization (UNO)
Harold Rice, Executive Director, Albany Park Community Center
Juan Salgado, President, Instituto del Progreso Latino
Rebecca Tancredi, Managing Director, Upwardly Global - Chicago Office
Safety, Health and Access to city services:
Walter "Slim" Coleman, Reverend, Centro Sin Fronteras
Ahlam Jbara, Interim Executive Director, The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
Kathleen Jung Hee Fernicola, Policy Director, Asian American Institute
Viviana Martinez, Chief of Staff, Office of Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia
Mary Meg McCarthy, Executive Director, National Immigration Justice Center
Katya Nuques, Associate Director, Enlace Chicago
Caroline Orzac Shoenberger, Director, Chicago Legal Clinic
Maria Pesqueira, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mujeres Latinas en Accion
Sima Qureshi, Executive Director, Muslim Women's Resource Center
Celena Roldan, Executive Director, Erie Neighborhood House
Layla Suleiman Gonzalez, Director Office of Strategic Planning, Illinois Department of Human Services
Tania Uzueta, Advocacy Coordinator, LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Project - ALMA
Bernie Wong, Executive Director, Chinese American Service League
Civic engagement, Diversity welcomed and celebrated:
Lawrence Benito, Executive Director, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights
Dalila Fridi, Senior Technical Application Analyst, Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Ami Gandhi, Executive Director, South Asian American Policy and Research Institute
Maricela Garcia, Executive Director, Gads Hill Center
Alie Kabba, Executive Director, United African Organization
Gary Kenzer, Executive Director, Polish American Association
Emma Lozano, Founder, Centro Sin Fronteras
Denise Martinez, Director of Office of New Americans, Office of the Governor
Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director, CAIR Chicago
Rebecca Sanders, Executive Director, Chicago Cultural Alliance
Freddy Santiago, Pastor, El Rebano Church
Elena Segura, Director, Office for Immigrant Affairs and Immigrant Education, Archdiocese of Chicago
Friday, November 09, 2012
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Lone Woman Has Saviano on Edge
By RAY HANANIA • Southwest News-Herald Newspaper Friday, November 02, 2012
Kathleen Willis was a long time activist in DuPage County at a time when the only thing a politician could be was Republican. So how did she end up in the center of a fight on the Southwest Side and suburbs?
Willis switched to the Democratic Party to run for State Representative against 10-term incumbent Angelo “Skip” Saviano in the 77th House District.
Saviano is known for his occasional temper tantrums but it’s the viciousness of his followers that caught my attention. Saviano’s supporters have made derogatory and personal attacks against Willis, referencing to her weight. It’s very unprofessional.
Rather than address Willis or contain the ugly personal mudslinging, Saviano has run to the media claiming he is a “victim” of Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan.
When a do-nothing politician wants to distract voters from his poor record, they always try to make Madigan the issue. But Madigan has been on the right side of a lot of issues that have put him in conflict with Saviano.
For example, Saviano is best known for his defense of McPier, the political bastion of taxpayer waste. When it was controlled by disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his cronies, Saviano introduced bill after bill to dump funds into the sinkhole of spending at the McPier.
He claims Madigan is mad at him because of McPier and because he has slammed Lisa Madigan, the Illinois Attorney General, who has rightly challenged allegations of mob influence in a proposal to build a casino in Rosemont. But many of the people involved in that effort were close to mobbed up investors.
Madigan is a Democrat. He supports qualified Democratic candidates who seek legislative office. He’s been effective fighting hard for the region and the state. Saviano finds that difficult to understand.
Saviano attacked Madigan because the downtown Chicago media attacks Madigan. The notoriously biased Chicago Tribune, flagship of a collapsed Republican fiefdom, hates Madigan.
The Tribune endorsed Saviano claiming they can’t reach Willis, but I found her easy to reach. Here’s her Web page: http://www.kathleenwillis.org.
The Tribune hates Madigan because Madigan stopped the Tribune from getting tax money to bail out their former baseball team, the Chicago Cubs, and renovate Wrigley Field. The Tribune was forced to sell the Cubs and they have always blamed Madigan.
Allies of Saviano organized a phony “community forum” in the west suburbs last week. Willis went to defend her record. When she got there, she was ridiculed and attacked personally. But she had one key ally, Southwest Side Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-12th).
As soon as Sandoval got up to speak to defend Willis, the organizers tried to shout him down. Sandoval’s message was clear.
“The Republicans have never cared about the concerns of the Latino community. It’s the Democrats who have supported Hispanics,” Sandoval said over and over again.
The meeting erupted into confusion. Saviano’s activists tried to push Sandoval to stop talking. But he refused to budge. Sandoval is not called “El Cabello” for nothing. Here’s the link to the video. You HAVE to see it!
I don’t know if Willis will defeat the whining Saviano. But I do know she is backed by a lot of good people like Madigan and Sandoval who continue to be shamefully slandered by Blagojevich’s pals.
When the going gets tough, Sandoval is the guy you want on your side.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and political analyst. Reach him at http://www.TheMediaOasis.com — City & Suburban News-Herald
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Saturday, September 15, 2012
By Ray Hanania
The tragic killings of four Americans during protests in Libya including the American Ambassador to Benghazi, Christopher Stevens, has over-shadowed a major aspect of the role hate plays in provoking communities to hate.
The Stevens killing was a tragic exception to the rule involving protests that are sweeping the Arab and Muslim World against America’s hypocritical standards when it comes to hate speech.
An American extremist originally thought to be an Israeli American produced a movie which defames in the most offensive manner Arabs, Muslims, Islam and the Prophet Muhammed.
To Arabs and Muslims, the film was no different than a man standing up in a crowded theater and yelling “fire,” but then also blaming the “fire” on a specific religious or ethnic group.
While Americans have expressed unbounded criticism of the murders of Stevens and the three other Americans, the initial criticism of the promoter of the hate video was tempered by arguments that “people in American enjoy the right of free speech” and “free speech is a corner stone of Democracy.”
That changed days later when it was determined that the man, who claimed to be Israeli American Sam Bacile, has been identified as an outspoken anti-Muslim Coptic Christian, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. Immediately, police set upon Nakoula and determined that he had outstanding criminal warrants.
For those who argue that as disgusting as Nakoula’s anti-Islamic and anti-Arab video is, it is protected by free speech and American society is powerless to take any actions, I would remind them about the vicious campaign orchestrated by pro-Israel groups and activists against Helen Thomas in 2010.
Critics charged that Thomas, an award winning veteran journalist and the first female White House correspondent, had engaged in anti-Semitic hate speech when she flippantly responded to questions posed in an ambush by a notoriously racist anti-Arab supporter of Israel.
In fact, the Anti-Defamation League, which selectively fights instances of bigotry and hatred, issued a statement that gave the Society of Professional Journalists, the national organization of mainstream American media, the mandate to act on Thomas, one of the SPJ’s veteran and honored members.
The SPJ had created a Life Time Achievement Award in her name that was awarded to a long list of prestigious journalists.
But the ADL coordinated with the SPJ’s newly elected Israeli American president and a national SPJ board that had become increasing hostile to American Arab SPJ members and that same year terminated its then young program to give American Arab members of the SPJ a voice to raise issues concerning imbalanced media coverage.
The ADL spearheaded the assault on Thomas and issued this statement on January 10, 2010 to give the SPJ’s board cover for their political move to censor Thomas and punish anyone who dared to question media bias in favor of Israel, a foreign country:
“Fortunately, there are consequences in our society for those in positions of power or authority who publicly express racist, anti-Semitic or prejudiced views. We are pleased that the executive committee of the SPJ agrees that this award was no longer appropriate given the unprofessional and unbecoming conduct of its namesake.”
If you dispute that the ADL’s role was merely as an observer, it’s worth noting that the ADL statement denouncing Thomas came one year before the SPJ national board under its Israeli American presidency terminated the Helen Thomas Life Time Achievement Award, Jan. 14, 2011.
What are the consequences of anti-Arab and anti-Islamic hate speech? Statements by American politicians defending the rights of the haters included a declaration by Republican Candidate Mitt Romney attacking President Barack Obama for bowing to Arab and Muslim extremism.
The Egyptian embassy statement read, “The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims, as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”
Romney said that a statement issued by a low-level Administration aid from the Egyptian embassy expressing regret for the hatred expressed in the video was a “surrender” to our enemies and an apology for “American values.”
Yes, when someone criticizes Israel, they become anti-American Nazi anti-Semites.
When someone criticizes Arabs and Muslims, or even denounces hatred against Arabs and Muslims, they are ridiculed as contradicting American values of free speech.
Maybe that’s why this year the ADL has been invited by the SPJ’s increasingly anti-Arab and anti-Muslim national board to be a sponsor of this year’s journalism convention which takes place in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Sept. 20.
Maybe someone should make a video about that. But God Forbid that we might protest, being Arab and Muslim and all.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning journalist who ended his more than 30 year long SPJ association by tearing up his membership card. Reach him at www.TheMediaOasis.com.)
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Palos Heights Restaurant showcases local comedians
Sam Buca’s in Palos Heights will showcase a lineup of local comedians at a special performance Wednesday Sept. 26.
Performers will include longtime club owner and comedian Bill Brady, comedians Brian Hicks, Paul Kelly and a special appearance by Southwest News-Herald Columnist Ray Hanania.
The show begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10 each with a two drink purchase minimum. Dinner is also available for guests during the show.
For information, call Sam Buca’s, 12231 S. Harlem Avenue, at 708-361-1226.
Friday, September 07, 2012
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
2012 Democratic National Committee Convention Platform
The Middle East. President Obama and the Democratic Party maintain an unshakable commitment to Israel's security. A strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States not simply because we share strategic interests, but also because we share common values. For this reason, despite budgetary constraints, the President has worked with Congress to increase security assistance to Israel every single year since taking office, providing nearly $10 billion in the past three years. The administration has also worked to ensure Israel's qualitative military edge in the region. And we have deepened defense cooperation—including funding the Iron Dome system—to help Israel address its most pressing threats, including the growing danger posed by rockets and missiles emanating from the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. The President's consistent support for Israel's right to defend itself and his steadfast opposition to any attempt to delegitimize Israel on the world stage are further evidence of our enduring commitment to Israel's security.
It is precisely because of this commitment that President Obama and the Democratic Party seek peace between Israelis and Palestinians. A just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian accord, producing two states for two peoples, would contribute to regional stability and help sustain Israel's identity as a Jewish and democratic state. At the same time, the President has made clear that there will be no lasting peace unless Israel's security concerns are met. President Obama will continue to press Arab states to reach out to Israel. We will continue to support Israel's peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, which have been pillars of peace and stability in the region for many years. And even as the President and the Democratic Party continue to encourage all parties to be resolute in the pursuit of peace, we will insist that any Palestinian partner must recognize Israel's right to exist, reject violence, and adhere to existing agreements.
The 2008 Democratic National Committee Convention Platform
Stand with Allies and Pursue Diplomacy in the Middle East
For more than three decades, Israelis, Palestinians, Arab leaders, and the rest of the world have looked to America to lead the effort to build the road to a secure and lasting peace. Our starting point must always be our special relationship with Israel, grounded in shared interests and shared values, and a clear, strong, fundamental commitment to the security of Israel, our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy. That commitment, which requires us to ensure that Israel retains a qualitative edge for its national security and its right to self-defense, is all the more important as we contend with growing threats in the region–a strengthened Iran, a chaotic Iraq, the resurgence of Al Qaeda, the reinvigoration of Hamas and Hezbollah. We support the implementation of the memorandum of understanding that pledges $30 billion in assistance to Israel over the next decade to enhance and ensure its security.
It is in the best interests of all parties, including the United States, that we take an active role to help secure a lasting settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a democratic, viable Palestinian state dedicated to living in peace and security side by side with the Jewish State of Israel. To do so, we must help Israel identify and strengthen those partners who are truly committed to peace, while isolating those who seek conflict and instability, and stand with Israel against those who seek its destruction. The United States and its Quartet partners should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel's right to exist, and abides by past agreements. Sustained American leadership for peace and security will require patient efforts and the personal commitment of the President of the United States. The creation of a Palestinian state through final status negotiations, together with an international compensation mechanism, should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel. All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949. Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.
-- Ray Hanania
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Saturday, August 04, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
John Hinckley, Jr.'s shot Reagan, Brady and Orland's Police Chief Tim McCarthy on March 30, 1981.
John Hinckley, Jr.'s shot Reagan, Brady and Orland's Police Chief Tim McCarthy on March 30, 1981.
The 2nd Amendment was written for a different world, and there's no reason why it can't be changed to protect our rights in today's world.
He wasn't a criminal, but he got a hold of a gun.
The two kids at Columbine High school in 1999 in Columbine, Colorado were not criminals. But they got a hold of an arsenal of weapons.
On Jan. 8, 2011, Jared Lee Loughner killed six and wounded at least 12, including then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, outside a grocery store in Tucson, Ariz. He wasn't a criminal either.
On Nov. 5, 2009, Major Nidal Hasan, a psychologist with the U.S. Army, killed 13 soldiers and wounded 42 others at a base in Fort Hood, Texas. He wasn't a criminal and was authorized to have a legal weapon.
On April 3, 2009 Jiverly Wong, 42, burst into a citizenship class at an immigration center in Binghamton, N.Y., and killed 13 and wounded four, before he killed himself. He wasn't a criminal.
On March 30, 2009, a gunman shot eight people to death and wounded several others at a nursing home in North Carolina. Most of those killed were elderly nursing home patients. The suspect did not have a criminal past.
On March 29, 2009, a man killed five of his family members, including his two children, and wounded his wife at a townhome in Santa Clara, Calif., before killing himself.
On March 10, 2009, Michael McLendon, 28, killed several of his family members including his mother and grandparents, and then went on a rampage killing 10 people in several towns in Alabama before killing himself.
On Dec. 24, 2008, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, 45, dressed up in a Santa suit and showed up at a Christmas party at his ex-wife’s parents’ house in Covina, Calif., and killed nine people to death. He then burned the house and then killed himself.
On Feb. 14, 2008, a former graduate student at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill., killed five students in a lecture hall, and wounded many others, before shooting himself.
This is just a partial list of the mass murders that have taken place. There are two dozen more I can cite. In EVERY CASE, the killers were NOT CRIMINALS, but regular people who got a hold of a weapon and then went on a murder spree.
It isn't just "criminals" who we have to stop from getting guns.
The 2nd Amendment was written for a different world, and there's no reason why it can't be changed to protect our rights in today's world.
-- Ray Hanania
(Some of the chronology data above is from WKBT News in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.)