America’s Heroes Group making a difference
The Cook County Bar Association Foundation’s Legal Clinic Committee and its Board of Directors recently chose Vietnam veteran and host of America’s Heroes Group, Clifford P. Kelley, to be honored with the Justice Freeman Award at the 2nd Annual Justice Freeman Awards Reception and Fundraiser.
Kelley has distinguished himself as a popular talk show host who brings a wealth of knowledge on local, national and international affairs to WVON’s vast listening audience. A native Chicagoan and attorney, he has been active in Chicago’s political arena for more than 30 years, including 16 years in the Chicago City Council.
Kelley has been a featured guest on issue-oriented programs on local, national and international television and radio. He is also a frequent contributor on Chicago Tonight, which airs on Chicago’s public television station, WTTW-Channel 11. He has also been a frequent political analyst on election day, on Fox 32 and Channel 9 news.
During the Justice Freeman Awards the Legal Clinic Committee will include a moment of recognition for Kelley’s tireless service to vulnerable Chicago communities through his devotion to quality media content, which has often been of significant legal relevance.
“This is an honor to be awarded the Cook County Bar Association Foundation’s Judge Freeman Award,” said Kelley. “Judge Freeman is someone I have known since the Harold Washington administration.”
Supreme Court Justice P. Scott Neville will also be recognized at the November 9 event.
Cook County Recorder of Deeds Yarbrough creates Veterans Service Office
The Cook County Military and Veterans program and services seminar, along with the Discount Card workshop was recently held at Malcolm X College on October 24, 2018. Retired Colonel Dr. Damon Arnold, a panelist on the America’s Heroes Group weekly Saturday talk show, was the keynote speaker for one of the workshops that day.
The annual program is sponsored by the Cook County Recorder of Deeds office. Karen A. Yarbrough, Cook County Recorder of Deeds, has united with the organization to serve and inform the community.
Yarbrough is a full-time administrator, overseeing a $12 million budget and 160 employees – the second largest Recorder’s office in the United States. In that role, she has established herself as a national leader in the growing movement to change the office of county recorder from a place where property fraud happens, to a place where property fraud is confronted.
Throughout the nation’s jurisdictions the Recorder of Deeds office is often not just the depository of property records, it may also record birth, marriage, death and election records. That is not the case in Cook County.
The Office of the Cook County Recorder of Deeds accurately records, stores and maintains land records and other official documents in perpetuity for public and private use, facilitating home ownership and mortgage lending.
Yarbrough, whose husband was a veteran, established a special office to support veterans, including the recording of veteran DD-214 Military Discharge Certificates, and access to a Military and Veterans Discount Card.
Known as the Veterans Service Office, it is located in downtown Chicago. Veterans and their families are able to avoid lines and receive private and attentive service in a comfortable environment.
To understand the significance of the service Yarbrough’s office provides, one need only compare the discharge certificate to a birth certificate. The DD-214 Military Discharge Certificate is the official documentation of a veteran’s active service history. In order to access any type of benefits the veteran or veteran’s family member must present a DD-214—it is a necessity.
The office also entered into a public/private partnership with the Veterans Affairs office to establish a discount program for veterans. It provides access to a large list of businesses across Cook County, including restaurants, museums and retail.