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The [MLK Birthday 2018] Weekend Desk Report

1. From Chicago Votes:

Dozens of volunteers will gather at Cook County Jail to register Cook County residents currently incarcerated to vote on Sunday as part of a civic engagement program facilitated by Chicago Votes, a non-partisan organization dedicated to building a more inclusive democracy by putting political power in the hands of young Chicagoans.

For the last several months Chicago Votes has led massive voter registration drives in the Cook County Jail. After this weekend, they will have registered almost a thousand new voters.

This effort, being called the Cook County Jail Votes program, has been supported by a coalition of community groups including: The League of Women Voters, Chasing 23, Social Works, Indivisible South Side, Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law, University of Chicago Democracy Initiative, Cook County Sheriff's Department and over 30 volunteer deputy registrars.

"In the spirit of Dr. King, Chicago Votes is working to enfranchise thousands of new eligible voters whose voices have the right to be heard in our democratic process," said Chicago Votes Executive Director Stevie Valles. "Every time Chicago Votes volunteers have entered the jail, we've been greeted with incredible gratitude and enthusiasm from the people we've met there, who are eager to get engaged and participate positively in civic life in our city."

2. From Soul in Chicago:

More than 500 hundred people representing a cross section of Chicago's social, racial and economic justice landscape will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and commit to an increased effort on issues affecting poor and working class communities in the Chicagoland region. The King Day 2018 Commemoration and Public Meeting will be held on Sunday at 2:3 0p.m. at Trinity United Church of Christ, 400 W. 95th St.

Several organizations are sponsoring and/or participating in the public meeting, including Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL), Action Now Institute, BlackRoots Alliance, SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Assata's Daughters, Trinity United Church of Christ, A Just Harvest, and Worker's Center for Racial Justice.

The theme for the event is Reclaiming Our Rights through Justice, Faith & Power.

"If Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr were still alive today he would be celebrating his 89th birthday on January 15th," said SOUL Executive Director Tanya Watkins. "This year also marks the 50th anniversary of his assassination. Both of these historical markers are significant, not just because Dr. King was one of the most significant figures of our history, but also because we now live in an age where everything he stood for is under attack. The historical significance of this moment must be the motivation for the fight against the injustices we are experiencing locally and the blatantly racist, pro-corporate, and anti-worker administration in the White House."

Katelyn Johnson, executive director of the Action Now Institute noted, "We work to build our communities towards our fullest potential because we have faith that a better world is possible. The moral arc of the universe bends towards justice because all of us are reaching up to pull that arc towards our liberation. We are going to keep marching towards the Dream in 2018, and this event is the kickoff to that march."

Several of the issues participating organizations are working on will be addressed, ranging from criminal justice reform to school equity. Elected officials and candidates running for governor have been invited to attend and to speak specifically to the issues raised.

3. From The Rev. Jesse Jackson:

As the nation prepares to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - one of our greatest Americans - on Monday, President Donald Trump offers a stark contrast in leadership.

The best way to react to Mr. Trump's latest decidedly non-Presidential outburst is not with anger at his incendiary, vulgar and racially-charged remarks this week about immigrants from "shithole countries."

The best response is to do what Dr. King fought so hard for. It is to get registered to vote and then to cast ballots in massive and historic numbers. The 2018 midterm elections are just around the corner.

Now more than ever, we must continue Dr. King's movement to "redeem the soul of America."

Hours after the worldwide firestorm ignited by his vile words, Mr. Trump is denying saying them. But Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois was in the room where it happened and said today at Chicago's 32rd annual breakfast celebrating the life of Dr. King that it is "exactly what [Mr. Trump] said and he said it repeatedly."

When it comes to veracity, I'll put my faith in the Senator from the Land of Lincoln.

Mr. Trump's outburst came during a meeting at the White House about immigration reform.

Silence is betrayal. Democrats must demand a vote on a clean Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, bill. They should fight for a reversal of the policy throwing 200,000 El Salvadorians and 60,000 Haitians out of the country.

And Mr. Trump should immediately apologize to the American people for embarrassing our nation before the world and apologize to the countries and the vast continent he insulted - Haiti, El Salvador and Africa.

Perhaps Mr. Trump has no idea that our rich, diverse and powerful nation was built by slaves and immigrants. Perhaps he does not know that 7 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world during the last decade are in Africa and it is the most resource-rich continent on earth, including rubber from Liberia, gold from Ghana, diamonds and uranium from Congo. Perhaps he does not have a clue that African immigrants to the US are among the most educated groups in the United States. They are professors at some of the major colleges, universities, and other institutions across the U.S. They are doctors and elected officials. They serve in the military and some have made the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation overseas and right here at home.

Just two weeks ago, Emmanuel Mensah, an immigrant from Ghana and member of the National Guard, was home for the holidays and lost his life from smoke inhalation while trying to save people from a deadly apartment fire in the Bronx section of New York City.

It is becoming increasingly and depressingly obvious that there is so much Mr. Trump does not know about the world and his own country he purports to lead. Ignorance is a weapon of mass destruction in the hands of the powerful.

Racism must not be normalized. It must be condemned. Every U.S. Senator and member of Congress must do so immediately. On an issue like this there should be no Republicans or Democrats, just Americans coming together and standing up for what's right.

That is the best way to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

4. From My Block, My Hood, My City:

We've been working to reduce segregation in Chicago through encouraging citizens to explore and personally invest in Chicago's 77 unique communities. My Block, My Hood, My City invites you to celebrate King Day Weekend by exploring one or more communities. Visit a hidden gem business, artful intersection or a community root. Introduce yourself to someone, see what you can learn from the different sights and sounds around you, take a picture of yourself wearing M3 gear and hashtag #Formyblock #MLKDay

There are so many assets in these communities, you can choose to visit public spaces (parks, playlots, architecture, artful intersections landmarks), events (events that are specific to these communities) or hidden gems (beloved, locally owned businesses and restaurants). The choice is up to you!

Each site you visit increases your social capital and enhances the interconnectivity of the city. Because as MLK stated, "In a real sense all life is interrelated. All persons are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the inter-related structure of reality."

Englewood: Ogden Park, Kusanya Cafe, 63rd & Halsted

Washington Park: DuSable Museum, Currency Exchange Cafe

West Ridge: Walk down Devon, Khan BBQ

Humboldt Park: Humboldt Park, Boat House, La Bruquena

North Lawndale: Douglas Park, The Firehouse, El Gran Burrito

Bronzeville: Harold Washington Cultural Center, Chicago's Chicken & Waffles

Pilsen: Walk down 18th, Plaza Tenochtitlan, Fogata Village

Hyde Park: Promontory Point, Obama Kissing Rock, Mikky's

Chatham: Cole Park, Bungalows & manicured lawns, Dat Donut

In the interconnected Chicago that we envision, all 77 community areas will contribute to the music of the City. If one community area is struggling, the entire piece will suffer and we should all be concerned. I encourage you all to step outside of your comfort zone and explore. You can travel the world without leaving Chicago.

5. From The Chicago History Museum:

The Chicago History Museum commemorates Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s impact in 2018, the 50th anniversary of his assassination, with an exhibition that explores his work in Chicago and around the nation.


New on the Beachwood since the last column on Wednesday . . .

Taking Short Break From Denouncing Trump Authoritarianism, House Dems Join With GOP To 'Violate The Privacy Rights Of Everyone In The United States'
Renewal of the controversial Section 702 allows government agencies to spy on the e-mails, text messages, and other electronic communications of Americans without a warrant, no big whoop.


Chicago vs. Wisconsin
Gout vs. clout; Packers vs. carjackers; Dahmer vs. Rahmer.


Illinois Legislators Urged to Act Quickly to Secure Voter Files
Vulnerabilities in the interstate "Crosscheck" program are more extensive than election officials have admitted.


Beachwood Sports Radio: What's Nagging Us About Nagy
(It's mostly the media.) Plus: There Is No Longer Any Doubt That Ted Phillips Is The Theo Epstein Of The Chicago Bears; The Truth About Nagy's Press Conference; Cubs Stove Still Cold; Rick Hahn Off The Chain; Blackhawks Season Increasingly Looks Lost; Loving Lauri; Saban's Tide; Illinois Still Sucks; and Schweinsteiger!


Can The Olympics Save The World?
This may be a global shadow puppet show, or it might help thaw the frozen relations between North and South Korea. It's possible to hold both positions as the complex elements of the long, tragic history of the division of Korea and its exploitation by global superpowers merge and collide.



A post shared by Jon Cook (@jon8283) on



MLK On Hate And Love.


A sampling.

Uber Uber Alles: A Beachwood Special report. Rated F for Funny.


"We Don't Consider You A Legitimate Journalist" - How I Got Blacklisted By The Pentagon's African Command.


"Sport Is A Mechanism Of Control In America."


What The Laquan McDonald E-Mails Really Show.


A sampling.


I'd say they're his base, but that's just the media's fabricated narrative; wealthy racists are his base.


Also funny how the hard-to-get hearing initially got canceled, then was rescheduled for Friday afternoon on a holiday weekend. So the next time you complain about bad-faith Republicans in Washington, take a look at your local Democrats.



The Weekend Tronc Line: Dream state.


Posted on January 14, 2018

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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