OP-ED: What FDR Actually Said And What Bruce Rauner Doesn't Get This Labor Day

The following is by Izabela Miltko, deputy press secretary of the Quinn for Illinois campaign.

Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner has never met a union he's ever liked, and his own words make that amply clear. He's called them "tumors." He called them "immoral." He even threatened to shut down the government to get his way.

Now, it's not bad enough that Rauner demonizes and consistently attacks unions that represent working men and women, but he really thought he was getting a dig in on that last characterization. That's because Rauner was ascribing his hatred for labor to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Rauner was being quoted by the State Journal-Register when he claimed that FDR was speaking about public-sector unions and said that, "government unions are wrong...they shouldn't exist, they're immoral."

Rauner's hero up in Wisconsin, Scott Walker, has similarly tried to appropriate the words of President Roosevelt and create the impression that these words and sentiments are true.

They're not. In fact, they’re not even close. And the fact that Rauner is trying to get away with this lie-at the same time advocating against workers, unions and the minimum wage-is an insult to us all.

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Guest Post: Harris v. Quinn: Another Nail In The Coffin Or Shot In The Arm For Labor?

The following is written by Keith Kelleher, founder and president of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas, and an International Vice-President of SEIU.

Earlier this summer, when the U.S. Supreme Court weakened labor protections for 26,000 home care providers in Illinois, most analysts characterized the decision as a dire portent for unions representing low-wage workers.  So here's what happened next:  The day after the ruling in Harris v. Quinn, those 26,000 home care providers began earning the latest in a series of wage increases their union had collectively bargained on their behalf. 

Just like the wages they fought so hard to increase during the past 30 years — wages that were once an unconscionable $1 an hour -- these home care workers will not be held down by the Supreme Court.  In fact, this year alone, our union, which includes the low wage, mostly female workers penalized by the court ruling, added 10,000 home care personal assistants to our membership. 

We did it the same way we built home care unions three decades ago — by organizing. 

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Study: Businesses In Low-Income, Majority Minority Areas Struggle To Access Credit

Small businesses in low-income, majority minority neighborhood in the Chicago area were less likely to receive loans between 2008 and 2012, according to a new report by the Woodstock Institute.

On average, about two of every seven businesses in low-income, majority minority areas received small business loans—including business credit cards, lines of credit, and traditional loans of under $1 million—from large financial institutions with assets of more than $1 billion, according to the report, “Dis-Credited: Disparate Access to Credit for Businesses in the Chicago Six County Region.”

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Southwest Side Chicagoans Question TIF Use In 23rd Ward (UPDATED)

Residents of Chicago's 23rd Ward raised concerns about the city's tax increment financing (TIF) program after learning Wednesday evening that millions in economic development funds have yet to be spent in their community.

At the CivicLab's TIF town hall meeting at John F. Kennedy High School, Southwest Side community members learned that the six TIF districts located in the 23rd Ward had about $16.6 million sitting in their collective bank accounts at the end of 2013. Last year alone, the ward's TIF districts collected nearly $2.3 million in property tax revenue, according to the CivicLab's analysis.

Business owner and Southwest Side resident Martin Arteaga, who is running for alderman in the 23rd Ward, attended the meeting.

"There needs to be a lot more clarity and transparency as to where this TIF money is going," he told Progress Illinois. "Here in the 23rd Ward, particularly in the Midway Airport area along Cicero Avenue, you have a bunch of empty lots. We could use some of that money to redevelop that area and actually be able to expand our tax base, because we have thousands of people who pass through going to Midway Airport.

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Chicago-Area Activists, Families Call On Holder To Investigate Shootings By Local Police

Demonstrators delivered a letter to Chicago's Dirksen Federal Building Wednesday demanding that United States Attorney General Eric Holder launch an investigation into crimes, they say, have been committed by the Chicago Police Department (CPD). The letter calls on Holder to investigate the CPD as a whole, as well as Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and law enforcement in other local municipalities where individuals were either killed or harmed by police.

The demonstrators said the shooting of Mike Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African-American male in Ferguson, Missouri, is part of a larger pattern of police targeting people of color.

“Ninety people have been murdered by Chicago Police officers in the last four years,” said Ted Pearson, a member of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR). “Something has to be done to stop this, what’s been going on in Ferguson is just the tip of the iceberg.”

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