Citizen Stopping Child Trafficking is Everyone’s Job, Says More Too Life Founder — Page 3 Week of July 10, 2019
| Vol. 50 | No. 28 | www.thechicagocitizen.com
Co-founder and CEO of Black Tech Mecca, Fabian Elliot (pictured) recently hosted the 2019 State of the Black Tech Ecosystem conference to discuss the racial disparities that exist in Chicago’s tech sector and how to resolve them. Photo Credit: Black Tech Mecca
RECENTLY RELEASED REPORT FINDS RACIAL DISPARITIES IN CHICAGO’S TECHNOLOGY SECTOR
A Chicago-based think tank, Black Tech Mecca, recently hosted it’s 2019 State of the Black Tech Ecosystem conference where technology industry leaders, educators, and economic development experts all gathered to discuss the racial disparities that exist in Chicago’s tech sector. PAGE 2
Corporate Catwalk Identifies Gap in Market for Women’s Workwear
Small Business Job Growth Slows in June, While Wage Growth Increases
The Roots’ ‘The Tipping Point’ To Be Reissued For 15th Anniversary
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2 | CITIZEN | Chicago Weekend | Week of July 10, 2019
NEWS briefly EDUCATION
UNITEDHEALTH GROUP ANNOUNCES ATLANTA HBCU PARTNERSHIP, $8.25 MILLION INVESTMENT IN THE EDUCATION OF FUTURE DATA SCIENTISTS UnitedHealth Group and the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC), the oldest and largest consortium of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), are partnering on a new initiative. The five-year, $8.25 million investment by UnitedHealth Group is part of an ambitious collaboration with AUCC and its membership: Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine and Spelman College. The investment will fund the launch of the AUCC Data Science Initiative, which will offer technical classes for students who want to specialize in data science or learn data analysis to give them a competitive edge when they look for jobs in their field of study.
PEAK SUMMER: MORE THAN ONE IN SIX PEOPLE LIKELY TO GET FOOD POISONING An estimated 48 million Americans, or one in six, get sick from food poisoning each year, many suffering from violent vomiting, diarrhea or even death in rare cases according to the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention. “Fresh produce is catching up with poultry as a leading cause of infections, but undercooked chicken is still the most common cause of death from food poisoning,” says Colin Zhu, DO, a board-certified family and lifestyle medicine physician who has additional training as a chef and health coach. “While produce will show no signs of infection, meats that appear undercooked should be avoided,” he said. According to an American Osteopathic Association (AOA) press release, consulting a food thermometer will ensure foods reach appropriate internal temperatures high enough to kill bacteria. The AOA also advises refrigerating leftovers within 2 hours of cooking or within 1 hour if the food was served in temperatures reaching 90°F.
LAW & POLITICS
FEDEX SHAREHOLDER INVESTIGATION: CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT FILED Thornton Law Firm LLP recently announced that it has filed a lawsuit against FedEx Corporation on behalf of FedEx shareholders (NYSE ticker: FDX). FedEx investors who have purchased at least 500 shares of FedEx stock between September 19, 2017 and December 18, 2018, and are interested to learn more about the case are encouraged to contact the Thornton Law Firm at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 617-531-3917. Interested FedEx shareholders have until August 26, 2019 to apply to be lead plaintiff. The lawsuit alleges violations of the federal securities laws, and the class has not yet been certified. Until certification occurs, you are not represented by an attorney. If you choose to take no action, you can remain an absent class member.
Recently Released Report Finds Racial Disparities In Chicago’s Technology Sector Continued from page 1 BY KATHERINE NEWMAN
A Chicago-based think tank, Black Tech Mecca, recently hosted it’s 2019 State of the Black Tech Ecosystem conference where technology industry leaders, educators, and economic development experts all gathered to discuss the racial disparities that exist in Chicago’s tech sector. In addition to the conversations that took place, Black Tech Mecca also released their own data-driven State of the Black Tech Ecosystem report and gave recommendations on how technology opportunities and employers could adapt to become more equitable. “Our main focus is on helping cities to assess the racial equity in their local tech ecosystem so that they can drive measurable growth. Our goal is to help cities activate what we call a Smart Black Tech Ecosystem which essentially is just an ecosystem where resources are being optimized through data-driven insight,” said Fabian Elliott, CEO and co-founder of Black Tech Mecca. Black Tech Mecca’s mission is to inspire the development of Black Tech Ecosystems that
will guarantee black people are able to fully participate in the global technology sector. The organization uses data to better understand the racial disparities that exist in technology careers and then works with local stakeholders to build strategies for eliminating barriers and creating opportunities for black people to enter the tech sector, according to information provided by Black Tech Mecca. The State of the Black Tech Ecosystem report laid out several key findings regarding Chicago’s tech ecosystem. The report found that there are 135 youth coding programs and camps available in Chicago but the majority are being offered downtown and in north side neighborhoods and only 16 operate during the school year. Also, among the 32 tech incubators and accelerators identified in Chicago, only seven were physically located within five miles of a predominantly black neighborhood. “One of the findings that stands out and the one that jumps off the page to me is what we found about black women and senior leadership,” said Elliot. “A lot of times, we’re either talking about race or we’re just talking about gender and we don’t look at intersectionality
as often. I was just shocked that there was such a gaping difference when you keep gender consistent and when you look between white women and black women.” The report found that while women are underrepresented in tech corporations, black women have significantly less representation than their white counterparts. In Illinois, there is only one black woman in senior leadership for every 151 tech workers and among white women, it’s one for every 10. To wrap things up, the State of the Black Tech Ecosystem report gives recommendations on how to close these racial gaps in the technology sector and create more opportunities for black participation. The report recommends providing city incentives and grants for incubators and accelerators to establish hubs in predominantly black and low-income neighborhoods and developing a citywide coalition to expand Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs inside and outside classrooms starting in kindergarten. To learn more about the Black Tech Mecca visitwww.blacktechmecca.org.
Americans Are “Somewhat Confident” That They’ll Have Enough Money to Comfortably Retire According to New Survey A new survey of 1,700 Americans between the ages 25 and 65+ examines their confidence levels with regards to having enough money for a comfortable life during retirement, with some fascinating and shocking results. The study was commissioned by Gold IRA Guide, a renowned online magazine covering alternative investments for IRA and 401k account holders. The survey asked 1,700 Americans the following question along with three possible answers: How confident they felt they would have enough money to live comfortably when they retired? l Somewhat confident l Not Confident l Very Confident “Somewhat Confident” is the winning answer overall, with “Not Confident” coming as close second According to the findings of the survey, when asked how confident they felt that they would have enough money to live comfortably when they retired, 40.6% of respondents answered “somewhat confident”. When demographic filters were applied, that percentage increased to 43%, with 55 to 64 year olds. The most compelling results from the survey, comes with the
Question and results of the survey
second most popular response. Of the survey respondents, 32.4% said they were “not confident” that they would be able to comfortably retire with enough money – making that almost a third of all who responded to the survey. The results become even more intriguing, if not shocking, when demographic filters were applied specifically to females. According to the survey results, 38.3% of females between females 25 to 54 years old indicated this response. These results seem to unfortunately address the pressing socioeconomic issue of gender pay gap. This, if further corroborated regarding the final response 26.9% of respondents said they were “very confident” that they would have enough money to live
comfortably during retirement. However, when demographic filters were applied to reflect specifically males, 31.2% surveyed indicated “very confident” – thus making that the second most popular answer amongst men. In addition, the survey also found a steady percentage increase for the “very confident” response amongst older males: 31% of males between 45 to 54, 36.4% of males 55 to 64, and 40.3% of males 65+, respectively. “This survey is a real eye-opener. Most importantly, it inadvertently seems to address the issue of the wage disparity between men and women, and how things have to change,” stated Mark Turner, CEO of Gold IRA Guide. The overall conclusion from the
survey findings is the dramatically different sentiment towards retirement income confidence between men and women. Nearly 40% of the women of working age, who participated in the survey, indicated that they were not confident they would not have sufficient money to live comfortably during retirement. Despite positive economic numbers, and a great confidence in the stock market, this survey highlights how worried Americans are about their retirement savings. Learn more about the study and see a complete breakdown at: https://goldiraguide.org/new-survey-reveals-how-confident-americans-feel-they-will-have-enoughmoney-to-retire-comfortably/
CITIZEN | Chicago Weekend | Week of July 10, 2019
Stopping Child Trafficking is Everyone’s Job, Says More Too Life Founder “Putting a stop to human trafficking has always been about prevention,” said Dr. Brook Bello, founder of More Too Life, an Open Doors Outreach Network Provider, and the nation’s leading anti-human trafficking and victim recovery organization. As human trafficking levels increase during difficult and challenging economic periods, especially within families where children are the most vulnerable, teachers, school nurses, counselors, and other educators become the most empowered first responders as they are in the best position to identify child abuse, neglect, and trafficking. During a recent keynote speech at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) 2019 International Conference, Dr. Bello spoke passionately on the ever-increasing human trafficking problem, offering anecdotes of her own life story and the transition from victim to survivor and thriver
to champion. As part of the applause-filled speech, Bello detailed the “root causes of human trafficking” which take on many forms including child abuse, racism, domestic violence, and ignorance. Bello’s unique first-hand understanding of how teachers assisted her journey, by providing her, and other tender aged youths with the guidance and support they require. That path to recovery was amplified when she singled out her own fifth-grade teacher who provided that necessary leadership the youngsters in today’s world need. The emotionally-charged, tear-filled speech offered encouragement to educators and teachers and was truly magnified when she said, “The taste of freedom for the first time is the taste of the depth of our human souls, and that’s what teachers give and do every day: share what was, lead us to determine what is, and give us the tools to create what will be.”
“Human Trafficking is a serious societal issue and one that all of us need to address,” said David Arkless, board chairman of More Too Life. “We can do that by supporting agencies that work on behalf of children and victims of all ages, and by making sure that we know the signs of human trafficking and what to do to prevent it.” Arkless is the former President of ManPower Group Global and a respected participant in the Davos Global Economic Summit. Following the keynote, a group of 100 audience members attended her book signing and embraced Bello, sharing their own pain from abuse, rape, or the feeling of just being overwhelmed as they handle the daily deluge from many neglected, abused and possibly trafficked students whom they come into contact with. “It is the responsibility of all Americans to participate in the prevention of child trafficking in their
Dr. Bello and Ashton Kutcher speak at International Educational Empower 2019 Conference in Chicago.
communities,” said Bello. “There are things that you can do to help children who are in danger.” Bello provided the teachers and educators with easy to implement tools to assist them in victim identification and methods to inform and engage with law enforcement and
child welfare agencies. “These are tough times,” said Bello. “The public can help make things easier for children at risk by reporting suspected child trafficking and supporting those organizations that put children first. Child trafficking prevention is everyone’s job.”
Black families have a dime for every dollar held by Whites BY CHARLENE CROWELL NNPA Newswire Contributor
If you’re like me, every time you hear a news reporter or anchor talk about how great the nation’s economy is, you wonder what world they are living in. Certainly, these journalists are not referring to the ongoing struggle to make ends meet that so much of Black America faces. For every daily report of Wall Street trading, or rising corporate profits, you’re reminded that somebody else is doing just fine financially. To put it another way, ‘Will I ever get past my payday being an exchange day…when I can finally have the chance to keep a portion of what I earn in my own name and see how much it can grow?’ When new research speaks to those who are forgotten on most nightly news shows, I feel obliged to share that news – especially when conclusions find systemic faults suppress our collective ability to strengthen assets enough to make that key transition from paying bills to building wealth. Ten Solutions to Close the Racial Wealth Divide is jointly authored by the Institute for Policy Studies, Ohio State University’s Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. This insightful and scholarly work opens with updates on the nation’s nagging and widening racial wealth divide. It then characterizes solutions offered as one of three approaches: programs, power, and process. According to the authors, programs refer
to new government programs that could have a major impact on improving the financial prospects of low-wealth families. Power refers to changes to the federal tax code that could bring a much-needed balance to the tax burden now borne by middle and low-income workers. Process refers to changes to the government operates in regard to race and wealth. “For far too long we have tolerated the injustice of a violent, extractive and racially exploitive history that generated a wealth divide where the typical black family has only a dime for every dollar held by a typical white family,” said Darrick Hamilton, report coauthor and executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University. From 1983-2016, the median Black family saw their wealth drop by more than half after adjusting for inflation, compared to a 33 percent increase for the median White households. Keep in mind that these years include the Great Recession that stole nearly $1 trillion of wealth from Black and Latinx families, largely via unnecessary foreclosures and lost property values for those who managed to hold on to their homes. Fast forward to 2018, and the report shares the fact that the median white family had 41 times more wealth than the median Black family, and 22 times more wealth than the median Latinx family. Instead of the $147,000 that median white families owned last year, Black households had $3,600. When Congress passed tax cut legislation in December 2017, an already skewed racial
wealth profile became worse. “White households in the top one percent of earners received $143 a day from the tax cuts while middle-class households (earning between $40,000 and $110,000) received just $2.75 a day,” states the report. “While the media coverage of the tax package and the public statements of the bill’s backers did not explicitly state that it would directly contribute to increasing the racial wealth divide, this was the impact, intended or otherwise.” With the majority of today’s Black households renting instead of owning their homes, escalating rental prices diminish if not remove the ability for many consumers of color to save for a home down payment. As reported by CBS News, earlier this year, the national average monthly cost of fair market rent in 2018 was $1,405. Recent research by the National LowIncome Housing Coalition on housing affordability found that more than 8 million Americans spend half or more of their incomes on housing, including over 30 percent of Blacks, and 28 percent of Hispanics. Homeownership, according to the Center for Responsible Lending, remains a solid building block to gain family wealth. But with an increasing number of households paying more than a third of their income for rent, the ability to save for a home down payment is seriously weakened. CRL’s proposed remedy in March 27 testimony to the Senate Banking Committee is to strengthen affordable housing
in both homeownership and rentals. To increase greater access to mortgages, CRL further advocates low-down payment loans. “The nation’s housing finance system must ensure access to safe and affordable mortgage loans for all creditworthy borrowers, including low-to-moderate income families and communities of color,” noted Nikitra Bailey, a CRL EVP. “The lower down payment programs available through FHA and VA, provide an entry into homeownership and wealth-building for many average Americans.” “Government-backed loans cannot be the only sources of credit for low-wealth families; they deserve access to cheaper conventional mortgages,” added Bailey. “Year after year, the annual Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data reveals how consumers of color, including upper-income Black and Latinx households are disproportionately dependent on mortgages that come with higher costs. Our nation’s fair lending and housing finance laws require that the private mortgage market provide access for low-wealth families. We need additional resources for rental housing to address the affordability crisis that many working families face.” There’s really no point in continuing to do the same thing while expecting a different result. When the status quo just isn’t working, change must be given a chance. Charlene Crowell is the Center for Responsible Lending’s deputy director of communications. She can be reached at Charlene.email@example.com.
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The national index declined 0.45 from the previous month and is down 1.09 percent from June 2018.
Hourly earnings growth rose for the third consecutive month, now 2.65 percent above a year ago
Small Business Job Growth Slows in June, While Wage Growth Increases
The Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch for June shows slowing small business job growth accompanied by continued steady wage growth, together indications of an increasingly tight labor market.
The Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch for June shows slowing small business job growth accompanied by continued steady wage growth, together indications of an increasingly tight labor market. The national jobs index fell 0.45 percent from the previous month to 98.32 in June. Conversely, with a three-month annualized growth rate near three percent, hourly
earnings growth during the past quarter is the strongest since 2017. Hourly earnings growth rose to 2.65 percent ($0.70) in June, while weekly earnings growth fell to 2.02 percent due to a continued decrease in hours worked from a year ago. “The two-year long, gradual slowing of small business job growth took on a more rapid pace in June with the index declining to 98.32,” said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit. “The jobs index is still reflective of employment growth, though at a slower pace than recent years,” said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. “With hourly earnings growth increasing, it appears the challenging hiring environment is finally starting to push wage growth higher for small business workers.” Broken down further by geography and industry, the June report showed:
l The South continues to lead regions in employment growth; the West remains the top region for hourly earnings growth. l Texas holds the top spot among states for small business job growth; Illinois held its lead among states for wage growth. l Dallas is again the top metro for job growth; San Diego continues to lead metros for wage growth. l Falling to 97.75, job growth in Leisure and Hospitality slowed the most in June at 0.85 percent. The complete results for June, including interactive charts detailing all data at a national, regional, state, metro, and industry level, are available at www.paychex. com/employment-watch. For more information about the Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch, visit www.paychex.com/employmentwatch and sign up to receive monthly Employment Watch alerts.
Average New-Car Prices Up 3% Year-Over-Year for June 2019 The valuation analysts at Kelley Blue Book recently reported the estimated average transaction price for a light vehicle in the United States was $37,285 in June 2019. New-vehicle prices increased $1,131 (up 3.1%) from June 2018, while decreasing $67 (down 0.2%) from last month. “Transaction price growth accelerated in June, climbing 3% as demand for trucks and SUVs pushed sales and prices up in those segments. Light trucks and SUVs are expected to account for about 71% of sales in June, up from 68% a year ago,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “Overall, SUV prices were up 4% and trucks rose 3%, while car prices were flat (and still lost market share). Luxury and mainstream mid-size SUVs are showing the most strength right now, with brand new models such as the BMW X7 and Kia Telluride driving incremental sales and price growth for their brands.” www.thechicagocitizen.com
CITIZEN | Chicago Weekend | Week of July 10, 2019
More Women and Minorities Needed for Financial Planning Jobs StatePoint - Americans’ need for competent and ethical financial advice continues to grow, but the population of professionals who can provide such advice is shrinking. At the same time, the demographics of wealth in the U.S. are shifting. The average net worth of African American families increased by 30 percent from 2013 to 2016, according to the Federal Reserve. Women now control more than one-third of wealth in the country, according to The Boston Consulting Group. And an “InvestmentNews” report found the top-fifth of Latinos, or more than 2.1 million households, have an average wealth of more than $400,000. Not reflecting these changes, however, are the demographics of today’s financial planning workforce. Less than onefourth of the more than 84,000 Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professionals are women, and only 3.6 percent are Black or Latino. The gap between the current state of the financial planning profession and what is needed in this shifting landscape presents big career opportunities for aspiring CFP professionals, particularly female and minority candidates. “We need more financial planners,” says Brittney Castro, a Los Angeles-based Latina CFP professional. “It’s such a great career. You’re helping people with their money, you make good money, and
you have ultimate freedom over your time. That’s a win-win-win.” Financial planners earn a median pay of $89,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also projects that job opportunities within the financial advisory industry are expected to grow by 15 percent between 2016 and 2026. This means CFP professionals can enjoy lucrative careers with longterm opportunity and room for growth, all while helping others. The ways in which diverse financial professionals benefit their communities is multifaceted, according to Justin Sullivan, CFP, an African American investment advisor for a wealth management company in Atlanta. Giving back is a central part of the work, he says, whether through formal financial planning services or simple conversations with people in the community. “I think we take for granted what people know, especially when you talk about groups that have not historically been exposed to wealth.” Becoming a CFP professional also provides opportunities to serve as a mentor for future generations of financial planners and encourage even greater diversity in the profession. “There are not many of us -- women of color -- who are financial planners, so I have a responsibility,” says Rianka Dorsainvil, a CFP professional in Washington, D.C. “I have to volunteer and raise my hand for
leadership positions so other women of color can say, ‘I see her in me, so I can do that too.’” To learn more about financial
Financial planners earn a median pay of $89,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also projects that job opportunities within the financial advisory industry are expected to grow by 15 percent between 2016 and 2026.
planning careers, visit cfp.net/ become-a-cfp-professional. Today’s CFP professionals take pride in meeting the growing need
for financial advice, helping people in their community achieve their financial goals, and making a positive difference in their clients’ lives.
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Corporate Catwalk Identifies Gap in Market for Women’s Workwear Corporate Catwalk recently announced Corporate Catwalk box. Unlike its predecessors, the Corporate Catwalk box specializes in women’s workwear, bringing the founder Olivia Trewatha’s popular modern corporate style to an untapped sector of the subscription box market. After engaging with her nearly two-hundred thousand followers on Instagram, she realized that women wanted more out of their work wardrobes. “Working in corporate America, you have to learn how to dress accordingly. When attending customer meetings, I had to figure out a way to look professional, yet not lose my identity in a black suit,” said Olivia Trewatha, founder and CEO of Corporate Catwalk. “I know many women share this struggle, so my aim with Corporate Catwalk is to take the stress out of dressing well at work, so they can focus on everything else they have going on.” How it Works l Women fill out a short survey to share their sizing, office environment, and aesthetic preferences. l A stylist selects apparel, footwear, and accessories that best fit a client’s unique taste, budget, and office guidelines. l She will receive 5-7 items each month with a style guide detailing different ways the pieces can be worn. l She then buys what she loves and sends back what she doesn’t, with free shipping both ways. “We received amazing feedback in our beta program and women made it clear that one of the most important things they look for is personalization,” said Parker Hunstiger, lead stylist at Corporate Catwalk. “Many clients have shared that they’ve tried other subscription boxes in the past but were disappointed. We don’t rely on algorithms to pull clothes, so every box is curated by one of our stylists who chooses items based on your profile. It almost feels like we get to know these women and we’re thrilled when they love the outfits.” Sizes will aim to be inclusive, with petite, tall and plus options available. To continue to build out their platform, Corporate Catwalk has created a crowdfunding campaign on iFundWomen.
Ceo of Corporate Catwalk Olivia Trewatha
Interested clients can sign up as early adopters now and start receiving their boxes when Corporate Catwalk launches in the fall. About Olivia Trewatha Olivia Trewatha entered the fashion world in 2012 when she began her blog, Corporate
Catwalk. At the time, Trewatha was working in Corporate America for nearly ten years at two of the largest technology companies in the world. Her blog started out as a way for her to share her weekly outfits and advice for dressing in the workplace, but it quickly evolved into a full-time career. In 2019, Trewatha used her blogging
platform to establish the Corporate Catwalk subscription box with her husband, Matt Logush. Originally from the Midwest, Trewatha now resides in New York with her husband and their 2-year old son Sebastian. For more information please visit https:// ifundwomen.com/projects/corporate-catwalk
Dermablend Professional Announces Participation in 2019 Amazon Prime Day
Dermablend Professional recently announced the brand’s participation in the 2019 Amazon Prime Day. The #1 dermatologist recommended coverage brand will feature two of its bestselling products: Loose Setting Powder in Original and Illuminating Banana Setting Powder. Ranked in the top three face powders on
Amazon.com, the brand’s iconic settings powders will be available to Amazon Prime members for 31% off on Prime Day, which is slated for July 15th and 16th. Originally retailing for $29, the setting powders will each be available for $20.01. Dermablend’s Loose Setting Powder locks in makeup for up to 16 hours of consistent color
wear that is smudge and transfer-resistant. The Original shade is translucent with a matte finish, while the Illuminating Banana Setting Powder features a universally flattering brightening banana shade and a luminous finish, according to a press release. For more information, visit https://www. dermablend.com
CITIZEN | Chicago Weekend | Week of July 10, 2019
Airline Satisfaction Climbs to Record Highs Is this the golden age of air travel? According to the J.D. Power 2019 North America Airline Satisfaction Study,SM released recently, a combination of newer planes, better ticket value and improved customer touchpoints have driven overall satisfaction with airlines to its highest point in history, up 11 points (on a 1,000-point scale) from last year’s record-setting performance. The surge is driven by significant improvements among traditional carriers, while satisfaction slowed with low-cost carriers. “Airlines continue to deliver on the operational side of air travel,” said Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power. “New technology investments have dramatically improved the reservation and check-in process. Fleets are newer and travelers generally feel that they are getting great value for their money. These improvements have been most profound in the traditional carrier segment, where
“AIRLINES CONTINUE TO DELIVER ON THE OPERATIONAL SIDE OF AIR TRAVEL. NEW TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENTS HAVE DRAMATICALLY IMPROVED THE RESERVATION AND CHECK-IN PROCESS. FLEETS ARE NEWER AND TRAVELERS GENERALLY FEEL THAT THEY ARE GETTING GREAT VALUE FOR THEIR MONEY.” MICHAEL TAYLOR Travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power. customer satisfaction has climbed considerably. “While low-cost carriers have historically had the highest levels of customer satisfaction in our study, due to a strong sense of value for money among customers, that line is starting to blur as traditional carriers improve their services and operations,” Taylor added. “The one area where both traditional and low-cost carriers can still improve, however, is in in-flight services. It continues to be the lowest-ranked factor in the study, as many airlines still struggle with in-flight enter-
tainment, connectivity, in-seat power and food service.” Following are some of the key findings of the 2019 study: l Record-high customer satisfaction: Overall satisfaction with airlines increases 11 points to 773, continuing an eight-year trend of satisfaction improvement. l Improvement driven by traditional carriers: This year’s significant gains in customer satisfaction are driven by the traditional carriers, whose segment satisfaction score improves 22 points from 2018. The low-cost segment—while still having higher overall satisfaction than the traditional carrier segment—declines 6 points from 2018, thus driving a segment convergence in satisfaction.
l Tech investments in reservation and check-in systems pay off: The reservation and check-in experiences are the most satisfying portions of the airline experience, driven by investments in digital check-in technologies, self-service kiosks and a concerted effort among airlines to improve the efficiency of the preflight process. l In-flight service remains a stumbling block: In-flight services, such as seatback entertainment, food service and Wi-Fi continue to be the lowest-ranked part of the air traveler experience. Specific in-flight amenities that have the greatest positive effect on customer satisfaction are fresh food, seatback games and seatback live television.
Study Rankings Among traditional carriers, Alaska Airlines ranks highest for the 12th consecutive year, with a score of 801. Delta Air Lines (788) ranks second and American Airlines (764) ranks third. Among low-cost carriers, JetBlue Airways (817) and Southwest Airlines (817) rank highest in a tie. For Southwest, this is the third consecu-
tive year at the top of the J.D. Power ranking. Among Canada-based airlines, Air Canada (729) saw its customer satisfaction score decline 5 points from 2018. WestJet (758) saw its score increase 11 points but remains below the low-cost carrier average. The North America Airline Satisfaction Study, now in its 15th year, measures passenger satisfaction with airline carriers in North America based on performance in seven factors (in order of importance): cost and fees; in-flight services; aircraft; boarding/deplaning/baggage; flight crew; check-in; and reservation. The study measures passenger satisfaction among both business and leisure travelers and is based on responses from 5,966 passengers who flew on a major North American airline between March 2018 and March 2019. The study was fielded from April 2018 through March 2019. For more information about the North America Airline Satisfaction Study, visit https://www.jdpower. com/business/resource/jd-power-north-america-airline-satisfaction-study.
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Promotional rate and Annual Percentage Yield (APY) are accurate as of 6/19/19 and assume monthly compounding for Certificate of Deposit (CD) and quarterly compounding for Individual Retirement Account (IRA) with a 2.00% APY. Minimum balance to open CD and earn stated APY is $5,000 in new money. New money is defined as money not on deposit with First Midwest Bank at or within 90 days prior to account opening. Money must remain on deposit for length of time specified to earn stated APY. The 7 month CD will automatically renew in 6 month intervals earning the then current APY of the traditional 6 month CD. Penalty for early withdrawal. Fees may reduce account earnings. No brokered deposits. May be withdrawn at any time, cannot be combined with any other offer or rate enhancements, and is open to individuals only from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin.
8 | CITIZEN | Chicago Weekend | Week of July 10, 2019
The Roots’ ‘The Tipping Point’ To Be Reissued For 15th Anniversary In honor of its 15th anniversary, The Roots’ legendary sixth album The Tipping Point is available once again via Geffen/Urban Legends. The amalgam of hiphop, soul and funk, originally released on Geffen Records in 2004, has been reissued as standard black double vinyl as well as on translucent gold limited-edition colored double vinyl, to be released July 12. Order The Tipping Point now at https://urbanlegends.lnk.to/ TheTippingPoint The Tipping Point, named after Malcolm Gladwell’s 2000 pop-sociology classic in which he explored how minor movements and behaviors can proliferate, was where the Roots really honed their sound and messaging. The Philadelphia rap crew, led by MC Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, was at a crossroads, with acclaimed albums like 1996’s Illadelph Halflife and 1999’s Things Fall Apart under their belt, while still five years away from their national TV turn on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. On highlights like “Star,” “Don’t Say Nuthin’” and “Guns Are Drawn,” the Roots did what they do best: blending multifarious influences from soul, funk and jazz music, funneled through a canny social conscience and kinetic musicians: bassists Adam Blackstone and Leonard “Hub” Hubbard, guitarists Anthony Tidd, “Captain” Kirk Douglas and Martin Luther, keyboardists Kamal and Omar Edwards and more, helmed by producers Questlove and Scott Starch. The album samples Sly & the Family Stone (“Everybody is a Star” on “Star”), Al Hirt (“Harlem Hendoo” on “Stay Cool” and the Rimshots (“Dance Girl” on “Web”). At the time, the Roots were restless about their message, wanting to make music about
Valerie Hollingsworth-Baker, Zeta 25th International President (right) and Zakkiyyah Nazeeh, Zeta Pacific Regional Director (left), welcome Hollywood actress and community advocate Nicki Micheaux (center) into the Zeta sisterhood at a reception held on June 28, 2019 in her honor in Los Angeles.
In honor of its 15th anniversary, The Roots’ legendary sixth album The Tipping Point is available once again via Geffen/Urban Legends. The amalgam of hip-hop, soul and funk, originally released on Geffen Records in 2004, has been reissued as standard black double vinyl as well as on translucent gold limited-edition colored double vinyl, to be released July 12. Order The Tipping Point now at https://urbanlegends.lnk.to/TheTippingPoint
crucial issues rather than hedonism. “People could have easily thought, ‘OK, these guys are about to be all on this yacht, pouring champagne on people,” Questlove said in a 2006 interview with Rolling Stone. “I’m kind of noticing that nobody in urban music really has the balls to just stop partying for one second.” The Tipping Point is full of declarations and calls to action, a cultural splash that would make Malcolm Gladwell proud. Black Thought puts it best on “Guns Are Drawn”: “We go to war and transcend space and time / When every record ain’t a record just to shake behinds.” The Tipping Point is just that: a battle cry. The results debuted at No. 4 on Billboard’s Top 200 and gleaned positive reviews: at the time, Slant Magazine described The Tipping Point as “their most jovial effort yet,” and Entertainment Weekly called it “an eclectic and often
breezy reimagining of hip-hop’s energetic essence.” Now’s your chance to revisit this legendary chapter in the Roots’ history on exclusive translucent gold limitededition double vinyl. To honor this reissue of The Tipping Point, Urban Legends is partnering with key institutions in Philadelphia, including the Roots’ media company, OkayPlayer. The Tipping Point Track Listing Side A 1. Star 2. I Don’t Care 3. Don’t Say Nuthin’ 4. Guns Are Drawn 5. Stay Cool 6. Web 7. Boom! Side B 1. Somebody’s Gotta Do It 2. Duck Down! 3. Why (What’s Goin On?) 4. The Mic 5. Melting Pot 6. Din Da Da SOURCE Geffen/Urban Legends www.thechicagocitizen.com
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated Inducts Hollywood Actress And Community Advocate Nicki Micheaux As An Honorary Member Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, a 99-year old international women’s service organization, has awarded honorary membership to Nicki Micheaux, actress, producer and director. The induction ceremony took place on June 28, 2019 during the sorority’s 48th Pacific Regional Leadership Conference in Los Angeles, California. Best known for her role as Jennifer “Jenn” Sutton in the ABC Family drama series Lincoln Heights, Micheaux received two NAACP Image Award nominations for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for the portrayal. “While most know Ms. Micheaux as a Hollywood actress, it is her advocacy work uplifting women and children that makes her a perfect match for Zeta,” said Zeta International President Valerie Hollingsworth-Baker. “Her effort fighting against global poverty and shaping the perceptions and treatment of Black boys and men among law enforcement align with both our Z-HOPE™ (Zeta Helping Others Excel) and GET ENGAGED™ social action initiatives. We are proud to welcome her into our sisterhood.” Micheaux currently has a recurring role on the NBC drama series Chicago P.D., where she plays Alicia Price, the wife of Ray Price with guest star Wendell Pierce. She has appeared in
numerous others roles in both film and television, including Animal Kingdom, Six Feet Under and Soul Food, and expanded her repertoire by writing and directing a short film, Veil, a sci-fi action thriller. Additionally, she serves as an ambassador for Oxfam, a non-profit confederation of independent charitable organizations focused on the alleviation of global poverty, and Moms of Black Boys (MOBB) United, Inc., a national coalition of concerned moms of Black boys dedicated to positively influencing how Black boys and men are perceived and treated by law enforcement. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, founded in 1920 on the campus of Howard University, will celebrate 100 years of service in 2020, commemorating the work of its five fearless founders who envisioned a sorority that would promote the highest standard of scholastic achievement and Finer Womanhood. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Zeta has initiated a diverse membership of more than 120,000 college-educated women with over 800 chapters in North America, Europe, Asia, The Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East. For more information about Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. visit www. zphib1920.org. SOURCE Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
CITIZEN | Chicago Weekend | Week of July 10, 2019
Millennium Park Theatre Series Includes Nine Local Theatre Companies Performing From July Until October All the world’s a stage – especially at Millennium Park this summer. The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) has announced nine new Millennium Park Summer Theatre Residencies as part of the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre. The free series will feature nine local theatre companies performing throughout Millennium Park on select dates from July to October. The participating companies include: Aguijón Theater Company, Barrel of Monkeys, CircEsteem, Chicago Dance Crash, Chicago Full Moon Jam Productions, Collaboraction Theatre Company, Emerald City Theatre, eta Creative Arts Foundation and Free Street Theater. The companies have been commissioned for one-week residencies and will present sitespecific theatre performances that engage the Park’s unique architecture, design and public art – with Wrigley Square, the Great Lawn and Cloud Gate Plaza serving as the stage. For details, visit MillenniumPark.org. “We are very proud to present nine of our city’s most dynamic and diverse theatre companies at Millennium Park, Chicago’s town square,” said DCASE Commissioner Mark Kelly. “To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must go to our theatres. This is where the city bares its fearless soul. From Broadway musicals to storefront plays and improv, there’s a seat waiting for you at one of our more than 200 theatres – and, this summer, in Millennium Park. The Millennium Park Summer Theatre Residencies were made possible by the generosity of the Bayless Family Foundation. Additional support from the Millennium Park Foundation and the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation Endowment at Millennium Park Foundation, in conjunction with the summer-long Family Fun Festival, will help to support theatre programs for families including daily, interactive drama workshops presented by Lookingglass Theatre July 22-26 at Chase Promenade North. Throughout the summer, Rick Bayless, acclaimed Chicago chef and theatre enthusiast, will host video interviews with the Millennium Park Theatre companies to further showcase what makes each of these companies worth celebrating. “This performance series is all about spotlighting the wildly vibrant and diverse talent here in Chicago,” said Rick Bayless. “To have it hosted in Millennium Park, in all its summertime glory, is just spectacular.” Visitors to Millennium Park are
also invited to interact with a special Year of Chicago Theatre public art activation by scenic designer Eleanor Kahn. The work is comprised of a skeletal series of mirrors and doorways with a playful interior, to be installed at Cloud Gate Plaza in July. Guests are invited to open doors and travel through a maze that constantly shifts their interior perspective, reframes their view of the outside world with shape and color – and go on their own adventure. A Hot Tix booth will be onsite on key dates, offering half-price tickets to a wide variety of Chicago theatre productions. Just halfway through the year, DCASE and the League of Chicago Theatres have already accomplished many things on behalf of Chicago’s 200+ theatres – having secured $1 million in new foundation support; offering more financial grants to theatre projects; the launch of a new theatre asset mapping project aimed at bolstering theatre on the South, Southwest and West Sides; a major advertising campaign and global media events; strategic partnerships; theatre-themed cultural programming at Millennium Park (film series, theatre series), the Chicago Cultural Center (exhibitions, special events), the Chicago Riverwalk (Art on theMART, lantern processions), and in all 77 community areas as part of the Chicago Park District’s ‘Night Out in the Parks’ series; and more. Over 100 arts industry volunteers are serving on committees to advance this important initiative. Promotional and programming support for the Year of Chicago Theatre is provided by Art on theMART, Chicago Loop Alliance, Choose Chicago, HMS Media, Illinois Restaurant Association, LUMA8, The Magnificent Mile Association, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and others—plus many City departments and sister agencies including the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Transit Authority and Department of Aviation. The Year of Chicago Theatre follows the success of 2017 and 2018 initiatives celebrating Chicago’s public art and its creative youth. The mission of the Year of Chicago Theatre is to make 2019 a year in which the city emphasizes the prominence of its expansive and innovative theatre industry. For more information about the Year of Chicago Theatre, visit ChicagoPlays.com and join the conversation on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) @ ChicagoDCASE and @ChicagoPlays (#2019isYOCT #ChiTheatre).
The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) has announced nine new Millennium Park Summer Theatre Residencies as part of the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre. Pictured is the cast of Stand Up! eta Creative Arts.
The Millennium Park Summer Theatre Residencies were made possible by the generosity of the Bayless Family Foundation. Additional support from the Millennium Park Foundation and the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation Endowment at Millennium Park Foundation, in conjunction with the summer-long Family Fun Festival, will help to support theatre programs for families including daily, interactive drama workshops presented by Lookingglass Theatre July 22-26 at Chase Promenade North.
10 | CITIZEN | Chicago Weekend | Week of July 10, 2019
CAPITOL RECAP: $45 billion Infrastructure bill becomes law with new taxes to pay for it Other bills signed, new state laws take effect BY CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS
SPRINGFIELD – Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker made several stops this week on a statewide promotional tour for a $45 billion capital infrastructure plan he signed into law in Springfield on Friday, June 28. During stops in Walker’s Bluff, Champaign, Rockford, Waukegan and other impacted cities, Pritzker said the six-year capital plan could create 540,000 jobs while investing in roads, bridges, railways, universities, early childhood centers, a state crime lab and veterans homes, among others. House Bill 62, the infrastructure plan dubbed “Rebuild Illinois,” allocates $33.2 billion for transportation, including $11 billion for the Illinois Department of Transportation’s multi-year plan and $14 billion for other road and bridge projects. It also includes $4.7 billion for mass transit, $1 billion for passenger rail and millions for ports, aeronautics and other projects. Higher education will see $2.9 billion in infrastructure spending while K-12 and early childhood education will see a combined $526 million. Pritzker said all of Illinois will benefit from the plan as he defended a portion that dedicates about $6 million to each Democratic state senator for projects in their districts, compared to $3 million for each Republican senator. Democrats and Republicans in the House would each see about half those amounts respectively. “The fact is that a majority of the funding in the infrastructure bill goes
to downstate Illinois,” Pritzker said. Pritzker also touted a statewide expansion of broadband internet infrastructure which will receive $420 million in funding. The plan additionally allocates $4.4 billion to deferred maintenance at state facilities and $1 billion on environment and conservation projects for hazardous waste, sewer and park projects among others. Health care and human services will see $465 million in funding for affordable housing, hospitals, health centers and other grant programs. Another $1.8 billion is allocated to various “community and economic development” projects such as education and scientific facilities and projects in economically depressed areas. Another $50 million provided by the funding bill will be set aside for bicycle path projects. Mark Denzler, president of the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association, touted career and technical education measures such as a pre-apprenticeship program that will receive $25 million in funding to “help address the skills gap and workforce challenges facing manufacturers across Illinois.” Revenues for the capital plan come from a pair of bills — Senate Bills 690 and 1939 — one raising the motor fuel tax and transportation-related vehicle fees, the other enacting a massive expansion of gambling in the state. The gaming bill — which allows for six new casinos, expansion of gambling at racetracks, added video gaming machines, higher taxes and maximum bets on video gaming machines and the legalization of sports gambling — is expected to generate at least $350 million annually at full implementation and will support vertical capital debt service.
* * * NEW TAXES: The first wave of tax increases that will pay for the state’s $45 billion capital infrastruc-
ture plan took effect Monday, July 1. Motor fuel, cigarettes and e-cigarettes became more expensive after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bills 1939 and 690. The most direct tax for consumers is the 19-cent increase to the motor fuel tax which will help fund $33 billion in spending on transportation projects such as road and bridge repairs and public transit. The motor fuel tax on regular gasoline and diesel fuel both increased to 38 cents, up from the current 19 cents. In addition, though, people who buy diesel fuel pay an additional tax, “for the privilege of operating motor vehicles which use diesel fuel.” That additional fee rose to 7.5 cents, up from the current 2.5 cents, bringing the total tax on diesel fuel to 45.5 cents per gallon. Going forward, the motor fuel tax will increase annually by the consumer price index, which is usually close to 2 percent, but would be capped at a 1 cent peryear increase. The gas tax increase and $45 billion infrastructure plan drew bipartisan support in both houses, including from Republican state Rep. Margo McDermed of Mokena. “The capital plan does contain additional sources of revenue, but it is necessary long-term sustainable funding that will help us avoid the peaks and valleys of intermittent funding, which leads to starts and stops on projects our communities are counting on,” McDermed said in a news release. “Further, people who drive on our roads every day are paying for it, they just don’t realize it.” The motor fuel tax increase is ex-
pected to bring in about $1.3 billion in added infrastructure funding, while other fee increases for licenses and registrations will not take effect until Jan. 1. Also starting July 1, the tax on a pack of cigarettes increased to $2.98, up from $1.98, while a separate state law would prevent anybody under the age of 21 from purchasing cigarettes. The tax increase is expected to generate about $159 million in revenue for the next fiscal year, all of which would go to the capital infrastructure plan. Senate Bill 690, which laid out a massive statewide gambling expansion, included the cigarette tax language and also defined electronic cigarettes such as e-cigars, vapes and hookahs as “tobacco products.” This allowed the state to charge a 15 percent wholesale tax on these products beginning July 1. ONLINE LOTTO: House Bill 3661 gave the Illinois Lottery expanded authority to sell various game tickets on its online platform. The bill allows for the online sale of Lotto, Lucky Day Lotto, Mega Millions, Powerball, Pick 3, Pick 4 and other draw games offered at retail locations.
* * * MARIJUANA AND PETS: With legalization of adult-use marijuana set to begin Jan. 1 in Illinois, the American Veterinary Medical Association is warning residents of the dangers marijuana ingestion can cause their pets. “We’ve seen a marked increase in any state that has legalized marijuana, where there’s been a huge spike in the amount of cases of animals coming into veterinary hospitals, clearly under the effects of marijuana,” said Dr. John de Jong, president of the AVMA. De Jong said THC, the psychoac-
tive substance in marijuana, is toxic to dogs. The AVMA said an animal’s ingestion of THC can cause vomiting, incoordination, depression, sleepiness or excitation, low blood pressure, low body temperature and seizures. Edible products, which will become legal in Illinois Jan. 1 as well, serve a particular risk. That’s because they are often mixed with other products such as chocolate or other complex sugars which are also poisonous to dogs. De Jong said he was not aware of any immediate deaths of animals caused by marijuana ingestion, but the toxicity of THC to dogs could cause serious damage. De Jong said the process of treating a pet for marijuana consumption is “supportive care,” although more intensive medical intervention can sometimes be necessary. If a pet does show signs of marijuana toxicity – such as rigidness, nervousness, poor balance, seizures, drooling or dribbling urine – de Jong said a veterinarian should be contacted as quickly as possible. De Jong said smoking in the same room as a pet could be dangerous as well, although the evidence of ambient smoke affecting pets is more anecdotal. The AVMA said marijuana smokers should do so away from pets, and any edibles should be kept secure and inaccessible to pets.
* * * Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit news service operated by the Illinois Press Foundation that provides coverage of state government to newspapers throughout Illinois. The mission of Capitol News Illinois is to provide credible and unbiased coverage of state government to the more than 400 daily and weekly newspapers that are members of the Illinois Press Association.
CITIZEN | Chicago Weekend | Week of July 10, 2019
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12 | CITIZEN | Chicago Weekend | Week of July 10, 2019
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