May 292014

Please see the following emergency press release (from E.N.D.) that has just come across the COAL desk. This legislation represents a “Fight to Create Minority Opportunities in the Chicago Film Industry through SB1816“. COAL strongly supports this legislation and asks that each of you call your State Legislators, as well as Ken Dunkin (head of the combined Black Caucus) to push for a vote.

COAL Board of Directors

E.N.D. Productions and R&J Productions, Inc. Fight to Create Minority Opportunities in the Chicago Film Industry through Bill SB1816 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Former Alderman Ed H Smith, Nate Grant and Delvin Molden of E.N.D Productions, along with R&J Productions, Inc. push to create a strong support base for legislation which represents and gives voice to People of Color in the Entertainment business in Illinois. The mission is to amend the existing proposedTax Credit Act of 2008to include a diversity compliance of 35% fair hiring below-the-line of union jobs, contract(s), department heads and training.

The goal is to include a provision based on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with fairness of hiring on the basis of race, color and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.  The bill will amend the tax credit expenditure on a sliding scale of $250,000 to 1.5 million dollars paid to performing artist(s) above-the-line for production budgets ranging from $750,000 to 10 million dollars. In order to qualify for the above-the-line tax credit, the bill requires production(s) to hire 35% People of Color below-the-line to work on production(s) based on department heads, union laborers, labor contracts, production assistants and training connected to all of the Illinois labor expenditures listed in the Film Production Service Tax Credit Act of 2008 Sec.1-10.

The Senate Bill (SB) 1816 is a vehicle of change that will encourage fair hiring for increase parity in movies and television shows shooting in the State of Illinois.

The number of people of color working successfully in the film industry in the State of Illinois is at a record low. In 2013, productions based in the state generated $358 million in revenue and in the process created over 6000 jobs. SB 1816 amends the existing Illinois Film Tax Credit by expanding the credit to include on-screen talent labor expenditures. SB 1816 is intended specifically to include actors working in front of the camera in Illinois, and does not contain state residency requirements.

The local economy immediately benefits from a “trickle down” factor of 2.5% of film “spend” in the state. Thus, allowing for more people of color representation in films being produced in the state, mainly in City of Chicago. The ability to add jobs and revenue to bolster minority owned film productions and talent, is just the turn of the tide E.N.D Productions and R&J Productions, Inc. have been looking for.

E.ND. Productions and R&J Productions, Inc. are excited about the SB 1816 legislation, and we are asking for Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (Please contact her at (773) 667-0550) and Kenneth Dunkin (Please contact him at (217) 782-4535) to put SB1816 onto the floor to be voted on and passed. The deadline for this is this Thursday, May 29th, 2014! If not this bill will not come back up for review this year in September, and will postpone the livelihood of many persons of color in the industry.

E.N.D Productions and R&J Productions, Inc. implores family, friends, and supporters to go to to find the telephone number to call your legislator in your area. By showing how important this issue is to the communities of Illinois, we believe this will allow this bill to be passed. Make this important call, and then pass the information on to everyone that you know, and allow SB1816 to become a reality!

Go  to WWW.VOTESMART.ORG  to get Senate Bill 1816 PASSED!!!!

Click here for a copy of the Press Statement.

The time to work seriously and collectively, to improve the state of our Community, is upon us…
Let’s Get  to Work

See this issue of COAL News: May 2014 3.0 Issue of COAL News

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