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Hot Off the Presses

OK, maybe it’s not The Da Vinci Code, but we like to think our stylish 2010 Annual Report still has some allure. You can read all about the work we did over the past year, including several compelling client stories. You can learn about the exhausting advocacy we did to make the Illinois ADAP program more accessible to more people. And you can marvel at the overall groovy design, done by our staffers Ricardo Cifuentes and Mary Hankey. And best of all, it’s posted on our website! You can read it...

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We Hope You Didn’t Miss the Fun

We can’t imagine what you were thinking if you missed the swanky, sexy party we threw last night. It was a splendiferous Argentine bash we called Club Tango. Now that we’re done nursing our hangovers, we’ll show you some of the fun we all had. Fun guests! Fun food! Fun silent auction! And professional tango dancers! See? We told you it was fun. We’re confident we’ll see you at next year’s...

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Pooped Paralegals

Don’t be surprised if you hear snoring coming from the offices of two of the Council’s hardest working paralegals, Kate Miller and Dale Green. They’ve each had two Social Security hearings in the past week — and Kate has another one scheduled for next week. If you’ve ever had to represent someone at a Social Security hearing, you know the gargantuan amount of work that goes into preparing to face the judge. But here’s the truly goofy thing: in three of the four hearings, the judges already had everything they needed to make a decision in the case. They didn’t need to drag Kate, Dale and their clients to their offices in the first place. Oy gevult. To wit: 1) Last week Dale went to a hearing with a 28-year-old client who suffered from mental retardation. A few weeks...

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Hail Mary!

There’s a groovy new gal in the Council’s corner office — Mary Hankey, our new Community Outreach Coordinator. Mary grew up in Chicago’s north suburbs, then attended University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she received a degree in journalism and women’s studies. While there she discovered her passion for advocacy, focusing on women’s rights and sexual assault education. “The school was the only Big Ten university without a women’s crisis center,” she says. “There was a center in Champaign, but it was a good 20 minutes from the university. So I worked with other students to bring a women’s center to campus.” Eventually their efforts were successful. Mary graduated last spring and then spent a year working in development for the Taproot Foundation which provides business talent to nonprofits. Last week she joined the Council’s team, and we’re sure...

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Let Us Pat Ourselves on the Back

A note from our executive director, Ann Fisher: There are lots of ways to measure how effective we are. We get lovely responses on our client satisfaction surveys. We see how many cases we open. We review our training evaluations. We see the results of our advocacy in the Governor’s budget. But one thing I’m always looking for is whether we do better for our clients than we do for ourselves. In other words, are our clients better off because funders give us support, rather than giving money directly to our clients? You’ll be glad to know the answer is “yes.” I just looked at our case outcomes for fiscal year 2010. Even if we disregard all the wills and powers of attorneys we prepared, all the debt we got discharged or forgiven, all the Medicaid, Medicare or Illinois...

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2010 Advocates of the Year Announced

I know you’ve all been sitting beside your computers with bated breath for months, wondering who would be named 2010 Advocates of the Year. Well, wait no longer. Here is the esteemed list: Alan Amberg Alan Amberg’s advocacy for people with HIV stretches back more than 20 years. He’s created informational programs for LesBiGay Radio (the station he founded), written cutting-edge medical articles for many top hospitals, developed innumerable trainings for AIDS service agencies, co-chaired Cook County’s HIV Regional Implementation Group – all while helping thousands of HIV+ clients navigate complex medical and insurance networks as a neighborhood pharmacist. Patrice DeanA tireless community advocate for more than 10 years, Patrice Dean has devoted her time and energy to organizations serving the needs of people with HIV. She has been a member of the Mayor’s Council on AIDS, a co-chair...

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