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Carrie Austin


PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Jun 17, 2015

Chicago City Council Roundup: $1B Borrowing OK'ed, Minimum Wage Fight Continues

Progress Illinois provides highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Nov 12, 2014

Chicago City Council Roundup: SRO Ordinance, Treasurer Appointment & Pot-Ticketing Hearings

Progress Illinois details the highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Apr 2, 2014

Chicago City Council Roundup: Emanuel Defends Pension Plan, Aldermen Call Mental Health Service Hearings

Progress Illinois provides some highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

Quick Hit
Thu Nov 14, 2013

Guest Post: City’s Mammogram Program To Stay Open, Still More Work To Be Done To Expand Access

The following post comes from the Public Health Organization.

The Public Health Organization (PHO) applauds the City’s decision to keep the mammogram program open and provide additional funding to Roseland Community Hospital to expand mammography services to low-income, uninsured women.
"I continue to champion breast cancer screenings, because it saves lives! Next year's budget contains $2.2 million for breast cancer screenings maintaining the City's current funding levels for mammography services despite the loss of a $300,000 state grant. I encourage both women and men to get screened and I’m happy these services will be made available to an additional 1,500 uninsured patients at Roseland Community Hospital,” Alderman Carrie Austin shared in a statement.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Oct 30, 2013

Chicagoans Demand Aldermen Release Crucial Legislation From Rules Committee (VIDEO)

Chicagoans took to City Hall Tuesday afternoon to demand that aldermen resurrect critical ordinances from the Rules Committee, also known to some as the place "where good legislation goes to die."

About 50 organizers with the Grassroots Collaborative, a coalition of labor and community groups, staged a "burial protest" highlighting the various measures stalled in the rules committee, putting a specific focus on a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Surplus Ordinance Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) introduced back in July.

The ordinance calls for any TIF surplus funds to be sent back to government agencies, including the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district, which would help ease recent school budget cuts. The measured garnered support from 32 out of the  council's 50 aldermen, but it's been pending in the Rules Committee since it was introduced.

TIF funds come from a portion of collected property tax dollars from those living inside a TIF district. TIF dollars are typically used for economic development projects in the city. The activists, however, said the "buried" TIF Surplus Ordinance would release millions of additional dollars that could be used for the struggling public schools system as well as expanded community services, including the reopening of six city mental health clinics that closed last year.

"But instead of being debated and voted on, this ordinance is stuck in [the] Rules Committee," stressed Grassroots Collaborative Executive Director Amisha Patel. "There it's buried along with many other good ordinances."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Oct 10, 2013

Alderwomen, Health Care Advocates Urge City To Keep Breast Cancer Screening Program Open

A Chicago program that works to provide free mammograms to uninsured women may be at risk of being privatized or closed following the state's decision to terminate the city health department's grant funding for the effort over alleged mismanagement and quality of care concerns.

During a Thursday press conference at City Hall, a number of Chicago's African-American alderwomen, breast health advocates and unionized workers said it's crucial for the city to invest in the program in order to keep the program running and operated in-house.

Officials with the Public Health Organization, which has members who are patients and workers of the city’s Breast Health Program, said the city should continue funding the program while it invests in correcting the mismanagement and quality of care issues, which prompted the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to pull the $296,000 in Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program funds back in April.

The city's Breast Health Program program serves thousands of women each year, and it is specifically focused on working to reduce the breast cancer mortality rate among African-American women in Chicago, a rate that is 62 percent higher than white women in the city. The health advocates at Thursday's gathering said they are particularly worried that if the Breast Health Program ends, four mammography sites located in low-income, minority communities would close.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
Wed Mar 20, 2013

CPS Rumored To Announce Some 50 School Closures Thursday

The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is set to announce Thursday that some 50 schools will be closed at the end of this school year. If this is accurate, it would be the largest number of schools in the nation to be closed at one time, the newspaper reports.

CPS has notified several aldermen to prepare for school closures in their wards, according to the Sun-Times.