Joins Rep. Yarbrough to Advocate for Crime Prevention Efforts

CHICAGO - October 10, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today joined parents, lawmakers and neighborhood activists to stress the need for more anti-violence programs for youths and to highlight the positive influence such efforts have on the community. Governor Quinn was joined by Rep. Karen Yarbrough (D-Maywood), who has been a strong voice in the Illinois General Assembly for violence-prevention programs.

"I'm proud to join staunch advocates like Rep. Yarbrough who are working to confront violence in our neighborhoods," said Governor Quinn. "We must continue to support programs that strengthen our communities and provide our children with alternatives to risky behavior."

As Chairwoman of the Public Safety Appropriations Committee, Rep. Yarbrough has fought for increased funding for violence prevention throughout Cook County and Illinois. Rep. Yarbrough is also among the first to recognize the value of early intervention programs, which use trained mediators to diffuse tense situations before they become deadly.

"Young people who see violence every day need prevention programs and caseworkers to show them that it's not worth getting mixed up with gangs," said Rep. Yarbrough. "These programs help youth get back on the right track by providing new ways to resolve conflicts."

Last month, Governor Quinn announced that the Illinois Department of Human Services will receive nearly $4 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Justice Assistance Grant funding. This funding will support evidence-based programs that help reduce community violence. Programs that will receive the funding include those that focus on child welfare, youth violence prevention and juvenile delinquency prevention and reduction programs.

Governor Quinn was also joined today by Hon. Henderson Yarbrough, Mayor of the Village of Maywood; Gary Slutkin, Executive Director of the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention and CeaseFire; Barbara Cole, Director of Maywood Youth Mentoring; Rev. Marvin E. Wiley, Senior Pastor at the Rock of Ages Baptist Church; Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez (D-Cicero); Rep. Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago); Rep. Deborah Graham (D-Chicago); Rep. Susana Mendoza (D-Chicago); Rep. Esther Golar (D-Chicago); and Rep. Robert Rita (D-Crestwood).


New Law to Highlight Contributions of Hispanics in U.S. History

CHICAGO - October 10, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn and Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez today raised awareness of a new law that requires the history of the United States taught in public schools reinforce the role and contributions of Hispanics.

"I salute Representative Hernandez for her work championing this important legislation," Governor Quinn said. "The new law ensures that U.S. History is taught accurately to our students and emphasizes the important contributions of Hispanics throughout our nation's history."

Senate Bill 1557, sponsored by Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago) and Representative Elizabeth Hernandez (D-Cicero), was passed overwhelmingly with bipartisan support.

The bill amends Section 27-21 of the School Code by providing that curriculum on the history of the United States is to reinforce the study of the role and contributions of Hispanics, including on issues such as the events related to the forceful removal and illegal deportation of Mexican-American U.S. citizens during the Great Depression.

"It was alarming to learn how Hispanics Americans were treated during the Great Depression, and that it has gone unreported for so many years," Rep. Hernandez said. "It's critical that this period in history be taught in our schools so that we can learn from the mistakes of the past."

Section 27-21 of the School Code currently requires U.S. History to be taught in all public schools, and further outlines that curriculum must include the role and contributions of various peoples and ethnic groups.

The bill is effective as of January 1, 2010.


Provision passed by House paves way for Pentagon to provide benefits to Iowa National Guard troops

Washington, DC - Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) today announced that his Guaranteed Benefits for Our Troops Act (HR 1222) was included in the final FY2010 National Defense Authorization Act, which passed the House today by a vote of 281-146.  The legislation will now be sent to the Senate for passage and then onto President Obama to be signed into law.

Braley's fix will ensure that hundreds of Iowa National Guard members are provided benefits they were promised under the Department of Defense's Post-Deployment/Mobilization Respite Absence (PDMRA) program, commonly known as "Respite Leave."  Over 20,000 Army National Guard members across the country - including almost 800 members of the Iowa National Guard - did not receive benefits they earned due to delay between the announcement of the leave program by the Department of Defense and the implementation of the program by the individual services.

"Today brings us one critical step closer to ensuring that National Guard troops across the country receive the benefits they earned and deserve," Braley said.  "Iowa National Guard troops have served some of the most grueling and lengthy deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we owe it to them to provide these long overdue benefits immediately.  I'm looking forward to seeing President Obama sign this important legislation into law, and seeing Iowa National Guard troops finally receive the benefits they have long been promised by the Pentagon."

Respite Leave was designed to provide service members deployed to places like Iraq and Afghanistan for longer than established rotation cycles additional help to reintegrate back to civilian life, as well as to improve the retention of service members who had experienced especially long tours of duty.

Once the Respite Leave program was announced, however, there were significant delays before its implementation.  The Department of the Army, for example, didn't issue its corresponding policy for implementing Respite Leave until more than six months after the Pentagon's January 2007 announcement of the program.

Because of this gap, thousands of soldiers from the Army National Guard did not receive proper Respite Leave compensation.

Braley first introduced the Guaranteed Benefits for Our Troops Act in July 2008.  The bill, which will allow the Pentagon to retroactively grant up to $200 per day to affected troops, has previously passed the House as part of the FY2010 National Defense Authorization Act and as part of a Department of Defense appropriations bill.

The legislation will now be sent to the Senate for passage and then onto President Obama to be signed into law.

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In addition to the Pumpkin Festival held at Fejervary Park on October 24th, the City of Davenport Parks & Recreation Department has focused their efforts in supporting the men and women of the U.S. armed forces by organizing Operation Tee Off To Iraq. Operation Tee Off To Iraq is an organized effort to collect and distribute donated golf supplies overseas to inspire the men and woman of the armed forces to keep up their efforts during demanding times.

To further support our efforts, inspired donations of used golf clubs, balls, tees, and monetary donations for shipment are greatly appreciated.

Donation table will be present at the front gate of the Pumpkin Festival at Fejervary Park on October 24th.

Interested donors not able to participate in Pumpkin Festival, please contact: Polly Delange -Senior Clerk, Davenport Parks & Recreation at 563-326-7816.

WASHINGTON- On Friday, October 2, representatives from faith communities nationwide met with Reverend Joshua DuBois, director of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, to voice concern about the conflict in Sudan. Members of the Interfaith Sudan Working Group delivered a letter to President Obama, signed by 1,410 Christian, Jewish and Muslim clergy, including Seminarian Josh Ebener and Henry Karp from Davenport.

The letter emphasized the decades of war, famine, and marginalization inflicted upon the Sudanese, and urged the Obama Administration to:

· Continue efforts to enforce the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between North and South Sudan

· Work with the international community to bring lasting and sustainable peace to Darfur

· Ensure that the 2006 agreement in Eastern Sudan is upheld


The letter concluded with a message underscoring the group's diverse religious background, unity around Sudan and Darfur, and support for President Obama's international leadership on the issue.

Dr. Stephen Colecchi, director of the Office of International Justice and Peace for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops delivered the letter to Rev. DuBois. "When I delivered the letter to Rev. DuBois, I emphasized the support for Sudan that the faith community can offer. The letter signed by over 1,400 clergy underscores our commitment to working with President Obama to bring lasting and sustainable peace to Darfur and Sudan," Dr. Colecchi said.

During the meeting, the faith leaders asked Rev. DuBois to convey their message to President Obama that Sudan should be a priority for his administration. The group also asked administration officials to incorporate important policy recommendations from the Interfaith Sudan Working Group when they convene regular meetings prior to the 2010 Sudanese elections and 2011 referendum. Violence against women, which has been reported in staggering numbers recently, was also an area of concern for the faith leaders.

To view the letter, please visit:

Faith Leaders who attended the meeting:


· Ruth Messinger: President, American Jewish World Service

· Galen Carey: Director of Government Affairs, National Association of Evangelicals

· Reverend Gloria White-Hammond: AME Pastor; Co-Founder, My Sister's Keeper

· Alissa Karg: Deputy Regional Director for Africa, Lutheran World Relief

· Pastor Cindy Lapp: Representative, Mennonite Central Committee; Pastor Hyattsville

· Dr. Stephen Colecchi: Director, Office of International Justice and Peace, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

· Bishop David Jones: Bishop, Virginia, Episcopal Church

· Imam Mohamed Magid: Vice President, Islamic Society of North America; Director, ADAM'S Center

· Archbishop Vicken Aykazian: Archbishop, Armenian Church of America.




In May, volunteers from Modern Woodmen, Genesis and other local organizations put together hundreds of Jared Boxes at Modern Woodmen Park. These Jared Boxes were donated to hospitals and included toys and games for ill children.

We were recently informed that this volunteer project won a national award from the National Fraternal Congress of America, who organizes the national Join Hands Day efforts. Only 10 project were chosen nationwide, so this is wonderful news.

In addition to a plaque, we will receive $1,000 to use for next year's Join Hands Day project.

Join Hands Day project in Quad Cities receives national recognition


Local group receives $1,000 for making "Jared Boxes"

A group of volunteers in the Quad Cities was recognized by the National Fraternal Congress of America (NFCA) for its exceptional volunteer project on May 2, 2009 - Join Hands Day. This was one of only 10 projects nationwide honored as Excellence Award winners.

The 10 awardees were selected from hundreds of volunteer projects that emphasized youth and adult partnerships on Join Hands Day. Each award-winning project will receive $1,000 and a plaque. The award money will be saved to use as seed money for a Join Hands Day 2010 project in the Quad Cities.

At Modern Woodmen Park, Modern Woodmen members were joined by Quad Cities River Bandits, Genesis Health System, Scott County DAV/Auxiliary, Cub Scouts, 4-H, Girl Scouts, St. Paul the Apostle School. More than 151 youth and 209 adults made 425 Jared Boxes, shoebox-sized containers filled with toys, games and crafts for children who find themselves in hospitals, bereavement and trauma support.

A panel of independent judges selected this year's top projects. The judges selected the winners based on the project's uniqueness, its youth involvement, recruitment, publicity and the value of the project to people and the community.

Sponsored by Modern Woodmen and America's fraternal benefit societies, Join Hands Day is designed to bring youth and adults together to plan and implement volunteer service projects in their communities. As the generations work side by side, they learn more about each other, sparking a new level of understanding and respect.

"In its 10 years JOIN HANDS DAY has really come into its own. Communities are developing this year's event based on previous projects to further enhance the community and relationships begun a year ago," said Joseph J. Annotti, NFCA President and CEO.

Since its conception in 1999, JOIN HANDS DAY has awarded 100 Excellence Awards. This is the final year for this award program.

About the NFCA

The 123-year-old NFCA unites 65 not-for-profit fraternal benefit societies operating in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.  The association represents 9.3 million fraternalists in 37,000 local chapters, making it one of America's largest member-volunteer networks.  Fraternal benefit societies provide their members with leadership, social, educational, spiritual, patriotic, scholarship, financial and volunteer-service opportunities.  Combined, the NFCA's member-societies maintain more than $353 billion of life insurance-in-force and, in 2008 alone, contributed almost $424 million to charitable and fraternal programs, and volunteered nearly 94 million hours for community-service projects.  These statistics demonstrate the commitment that fraternals make to those in need and exemplify the true meaning of the NFCA signature phrase:  Joining Hands to Touch Lives.  For more information, visit the NFCA's Web site at

27 Mothers Presented with Gold Star Banners; More Than 80 Families Attend

CHICAGO - September 27, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today presented Gold Star Banners to 27 Illinois mothers whose sons and daughters died in combat while serving their country in the Global War on Terror. More than 80 members of Illinois Gold Star families who lost family members on active duty since September 11, 2001 attended the ceremony at the University of Illinois at Chicago Student Center.

The ceremony, which was co-sponsored by USO of Illinois, marked Gold Star Mother's Day. The day has been commemorated on the last Sunday in September since President Franklin Roosevelt declared the first Gold Star Mother's Day in 1936. Please see attached list of the 2009 Illinois Gold Star Recipients.

On August 16, Governor Quinn signed legislation to formally designate the fourth Sunday in September as Gold Star Mothers Day in Illinois.

"Gold Star Mother's Day honors those whose sons or daughters gave the ultimate sacrifice in the name of our democracy," said Governor Quinn. "It is so important that we give everyone in our state the opportunity to express our reverence and respect for these patriotic families and their loss."

Presenting Gold Stars to mothers is an American tradition dating back to 1918, at the end of World War I. At that time, President Woodrow Wilson suggested that instead of wearing conventional mourning black from head to toe, families of men and women who had died in service to their country should wear a black armband with a gold star to signify their loss and their pride. Bereaved families also displayed Gold Star banners - gold stars on a white background with a wide red border - in the windows of their homes.

Verizon Wireless also generously sponsored the Illinois 2009 Gold Star Ceremony. Committed to honoring those who lost their lives in service to our country and their families, Verizon was also a sponsor for the 2007 and 2008 Gold Star Mothers ceremonies.

Governor Quinn was joined at the ceremony by Dan Grant, Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs; Anthony Enrietto, Jr., President of the USO of Illinois; and Alice Smith, Gold Star Mothers of Illinois. Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein recited the poem "To Illinois' Gold Star Mothers.


After the culmination of 14 years, the Midwest-upper Mississippi region debuts The German American Heritage Center as a new museum during Grand Opening on October 3-4, 2009
1862 - 2009: From immigrant hotel to interacitve heritage museum

DAVENPORT, IOWA (September 23, 2009) Over the past 14 years, the German American Heritage Center building (712 W Second Street, Davenport, Iowa) was saved from demolition, restored, renovated and became listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This was accomplished through the efforts of volunteers who gave their time, labor and support to the vision of GAHC.

"The vision of the German American Heritage Center began with a humble start. A small group of passionate volunteers united to celebrate German-American heritage. Since then we have grown into a historic treasure that also reaches across cultural boundaries, finding commonalities amongst us all," said Executive Director, Angela Hunt.

View several photos that show the amazing transformation of the building over the past 14 years in our photo gallery.

Since 2007, GAHC underwent a complete interior renovation and has increased exhibit space by six times the original layout. A ribbon cutting ceremony will kick off the grand opening weekend that takes place on Saturday, October 3, 2009 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday, October 4, 2009 from noon - 4 p.m. Admission is free to GAHC during the grand opening weekend. The museum will debut the improvements and the new interactive, audio-visual permanent exhibit, "The German Immigrant Experience." The exhibit takes visitors on an exploration of what it was like to be an immigrant to this area in the 1800s.

A brief history: From immigrant hotel to heritage museum
Built around the late 1860s, the GAHC location appears to have had its earliest history in the hostelry enterprise. Around 1872, the thirty-room hotel was a popular spot for many immigrants, visitors, and farmers who came to Davenport. Its German character as a "Gast Haus" lasted well into the early years of the twentieth century. Today the GAHC serves as a museum, genealogy research center, and educational/cultural resource.

What to expect at the newly expanded museum

New interactive, audio-visual permanent exhibit, "The German Immigrant Experience"
The new exhibit space at the museum is 3,550 square feet and includes two additional traveling exhibit spaces. The permanent exhibit is highly interactive and includes a theater, audio-visual stations, artifacts and two restored hotel rooms. The creation of this exhibit area marks a major milestone at GAHC; achieving its goal of providing a premier educational, historical and recreational experience. The exhibit was designed by Morgan-Bailey Consulting out of Des Moines, Iowa.

Additional new traveling and special exhibit spaces
GAHC now has two special/traveling exhibit spaces. These spaces will change throughout the year showcasing different exhibits. Current special exhibits include "Brewery Ephemera," that explores the history of local breweries established by German immigrants; and "A to Zither," a journey into the world of the sounds and tradition of the German zither instrument.

Expanded education and recreational programs and events
With the newly expanded exhibits at GAHC, we will create seven new education programs for schools, new field trips, outreach programs and education tours. The permanent exhibit is specifically designed so that all curriculum areas from geography and literature to science can be explored. Special new group tours, community programs, member-only events and trips will also be offered.

New facility rental space
GAHC has a new rental space on fourth floor that boasts panoramic views of the Mississippi River and the City of Davenport. GAHC will use the space for programs and will also make it available for private and nonprofit groups to rent. Discount rates are available for GAHC members and nonprofit groups. The space can hold up to 100 persons, includes a kitchenette, restrooms, tables/chairs, and audio-visual equipment.

Below are details on the grand opening event:

GRAND OPENING WEEKEND:"The German Immigrant Experience"
Open to the public, Free admission during the grand opening weekend
Saturday, October 3 - 4, 2009; 10 am - 4 pm

Sunday, October 4, 2009; 12 - 4 pm

During grand opening festivities, the Center will unveil the new interactive permanent exhibit. Enjoy special performances by the German Dancers, zither music demonstrations, children's activities, and more. Visit or call 563-322-8844 for more information. The German American Heritage Center is located at 712 W 2nd Street, Davenport.

After the grand opening weekend, GAHC will offer new hours. Below the new hours, admission and membership rates are listed:

Tuesday through Saturday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.


For more information please visit for photos, videos, programs, and events.


The hottest charity event in Iowa and a night you won't want to miss!

(Des Moines, IA) The third annual Bras for the Cause Gala and Auction will be held Saturday, October 3, 2009, at Hy-Vee Conference Center in West Des
Moines. It will be a night packed with dinner, dancing, auctions and MORE:

7:00 pm  Appetizers, Cocktails and Silent Auction Opens
8:00 pm  Dinner and Live auction
9:00 pm  Dance

One of the hottest and most creative fundraising events in central Iowa, artists from all over the globe have created one-of-a-kind bras to be partnered with a
variety of other incredible items for the auction. Sponsored by Mercy Medical Center; The Iowa Clinic; Iowa Health - Des Moines; ABC 5; Bank of the West;
HyVee; Stacey's Bra & Lingerie and Sitehawk; the event allows the Bras for the Cause Iowa Foundation to continue to help Iowans in the fight against breast and cervical cancer.

In 2009 there will be an estimated 16,000* new cancer cases in the state of Iowa. Of those new cases, 7,800 will be women and 2,150 of those women will be affected by breast cancer. 100% of the funds raised by Bras for the Cause Iowa Foundation remain in Iowa to promote women's health.

Learn more about Bras for the Cause Iowa Foundation and how you can get involved by visiting

For More Information Contact:
Beth Cummings 515-490-9214


Braley introduced legislation creating "Clunkers" program in March

Washington, DC - Today, Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) will hold a press event in Bettendorf to discuss the success of "Cash for Clunkers" on the widely popular program's last day.

At the event, Braley will be joined by John McEleney, Chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, and Gary Thomas, President of the Iowa Automobile Dealers Association.

"Cash for Clunkers" gives consumers rebates of up to $4,500 to trade in old gas guzzlers for new, fuel-efficient cars. Braley introduced the original "Cash for Clunkers" legislation with Ohio Rep. Betty Sutton in March. Visit for additional details.

WHAT: Press event on Cash for Clunkers

WHO: Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) along with John McEleney, Chairman, National Automobile Dealers Association, Gary Thomas, President, Iowa Automobile Dealers Association and Craig Miller, General Manager, Lindquist Ford

WHEN: TODAY, Monday August 24, 2009 @ 11:00am CDT

WHERE: Lindquist Ford, 3950 Middle Rd, Bettendorf, Iowa.

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