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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
9:32am
Wed Sep 10

Public Interest Group Gives Republican IL Lawmakers 'Poor' Marks On Legislative Scorecard

A new legislative scorecard highlights just how politically polarized the Illinois state legislature is on social and economic justice issues.

Citizen Action/Illinois, a public interest organization and a progressive political coalition, released its 98th General Assembly scorecard last week, and no state Republican legislator scored higher than a "poor" rating.

Overall, 45 state representatives and 19 state senators, all of whom are Republicans, received "poor" scores between 10 percent to 49 percent. Meanwhile, no Democratic state lawmaker scored lower than 50 percent.

The scorecard, which gauges "each official’s dedication to social and economic justice," is based on a selection of significant votes taken by the 98th General Assembly, which started in January 2013 and ends after the upcoming fall veto session. Citizen Action/Illinois analyzed 25 votes in the House and 23 votes in the Senate on legislation involving health care, education, consumer protection, civil rights and other topics. Read more »

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:54pm
Mon Aug 25

After Quinn Vetoes Illinois Ride-Sharing Legislation, Supporters & Opponents Sound Off

Both proponents and opponents of state legislation that would have regulated commercial ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft are speaking out following Gov. Pat Quinn's decision on Monday to veto the measure. Progress Illinois rounds up some of the reaction to Quinn's veto and takes a look at the debate leading up to his decision. 

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:42pm
Wed Aug 6

Activists Call For Restrictions On The Use Of Antibiotics In Factory Farms

Consumer rights advocates and health professionals are calling on the Obama administration to restrict the use of antibiotics on healthy factory farm animals, saying the “overuse and misuse” of antibiotics generates bacteria that are resistant to one or more classes of drugs.

“Bacteria is getting resistant to these antibiotics they’re using at factory farms, and the bacteria is then being passed to our community through the air we breathe, through water, through animal waste and through the food we eat,” said Dev Gowda, of the consumer advocacy group, Illinois PIRG. “President Obama and the FDA need to take action and essentially save antibiotics for future generations.” Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:07pm
Wed Jul 16

Consumers Target Walgreens Over 'Toxic Products'; Public Pressure Grows Over Antibiotics Use In Livestock (VIDEO)

A small group of health advocates, dog owners and Walgreens customers in Chicago called on the nation’s largest pharmacy chain to remove products that, they say, contain harmful chemicals from its shelves.

"Many major retailers in the Chicago area such as Target, Bed Bath & (Beyond), even Walmart have taken direct action to begin to remove some of the worst toxic chemicals from their products, and unfortunately, Walgreens, the flagship of Illinois, has refused to make a commitment to take action on these products," said Lynda DeLaforgue, co-director of Citizen Action/Illinois, which organized the Wednesday morning protest outside of the new Walgreens store at 410 N. Michigan Ave. in the Wrigley Building. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Public News Service
3:44pm
Tue Apr 29

Will Internet Be Pay To Play?

Creating a "pay to play" system runs counter to what the Internet has been from the beginning, according to a watchdog group. Norman Solomon, co-founder of RootsAction.org, said thousands of people are signing petitions protesting a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal that would allow broadband Internet providers to give content providers, like Netflix or ESPN, faster download speeds for higher prices - prices that would no doubt be passed on to customers. 

"We're basically telling the FCC that we need an open Internet - that it shouldn't be 'payola,' it shouldn't be big corporations that have the money get to go in the 'fast lane,' and people without the money have to chug along in a big traffic jam on the Internet," Solomon said. Read more »