CivicLab To Emanuel: 'Come Clean' About $1.7 Billion In Unspent TIF Funds

Volunteers with Chicago's CivicLab want a full accounting of the more than $1.7 billion that was sitting in the city’s collective tax increment financing (TIF) district bank accounts at the end of 2013.

Tom Tresser, co-founder of the CivicLab and leader of its volunteer-based TIF Illumination Project, said the group plans to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the city within the week to "demand the mayor to come clean" about how those unspent funds will be used. Tresser said the group is prepared to take legal action if the city denies the FOIA request.

"We asked for (similar information) last year, and they told us to go take a leap," Tresser said at a TIF discussion Wednesday evening at the CivicLab, 114 N. Aberdeen St. "This time, we're going to sue if we don't get it."

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Couple Claims Chicago Police 'Bullied' Them For Filming Officers In Garfield Park

A Chicago-area couple says they were "bullied" by police for taking a cellphone video of officers in Garfield Park earlier this month.

Keyia Mandeldove, a massage therapist from Berwyn, was at Garfield Park on August 8 with her massage chair providing free services to community members. Mandeldove's fiancé, Akula Segal of Chicago's South Side, was also with her at the park, located on the city's West Side.

That day, Mandeldove said several police officers arrived at about 7:30 p.m. to do a "sweep" of Garfield Park and to ask those congregating in the area to leave for the night.

Mandeldove, who says she has been a frequent visitor of Garfield Park for the past 15 years, proceeded to have a conversation with the supervising officer on the scene about why people were being asked to disperse. She and the law enforcement official also discussed when the next local community policing meeting would be held, Mandeldove said.

"They weren't coming in the park to address me about being there with the massage chair, they were just there to sweep the park," Mandeldove said. "And I said, 'Hey, where can I find a CAPS [Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy] meeting?' I said, 'Since we've been coming to this park, (the police) close it down anytime between 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. everyday.' And I just want to know where can I go meet with someone to find out why they're doing this, and is there any way to get the park to close at the right time?"

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Quinn Camp: Rauner Is 'Hiding' From Voters, Released 'Phony' Debate Schedule

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner have agreed to take part in three traditional debates before the November general election. But the governor's campaign says the Republican is "hiding" from voters and "misleading" them about his debate schedule.

"The public knows virtually nothing about Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner and he wants to keep it that way. In limiting the number of debates to a paltry three, he is hiding from a transparent airing of his views and plans for Illinois," said Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson.

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Karen Lewis Discusses Potential Mayoral Run During Stop On Chicago 'Listening Tour' (VIDEO)

Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Karen Lewis said she is "seriously considering" running for Chicago mayor and will decided whether to challenge Mayor Rahm Emanuel when she has "certain things in place."

"And those things are, primarily, the three things you need to run a campaign," Lewis said at a Tuesday evening discussion about city issues, held on Chicago's far Southwest Side in the 19th Ward. "You've got to have money. You've got to have people, and you've got to have time."

"I want to run things on my timeline," she added at the talk, moderated by journalist Walter Jacobson and hosted by the CTU at the Beverly Woods Banquet Hall, 11532 S. Western Ave.

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Progress Illinois EIC Takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (VIDEO)

Throughout the last week, we've seen politicians, celebrities and countless Americans take part in the ALS ice bucket challenge to raise awareness about the devastating progressive neurodegenerative disease and raise funds for the ALS Association.

Thanks to my buddy JD Stamper, it is now my turn to take part in the ice bucket challenge. 

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