Environmental groups are reacting to a U.S. House measure that could open the door to new invasive species in the Great Lakes as well as a recent settlement over a 2011 leak at a nuclear power plant located on Lake Michigan's shoreline.
Jhatayn "Jay" Travis, a community organizer who is challenging incumbent state Rep. Christian Mitchell in the 26th District Democratic primary, took jabs Monday at her opponent during a press conference with members of the Chicago Teachers Union and a few elected officials.
U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (7th) joined Chicago Alds. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th) and Brendan Reilly (42nd) at the press conference, held at the Billy Goat Tavern on Michigan Avenue, to tout their support of Travis, who made an unsuccessful bid to unseat Mitchell in 2014.
Travis' campaign is calling Mitchell a "Rauner Democrat," because the incumbent allegedly shares "elite donors and a political agenda" with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
"He receives over $200,000 from the very same interests he claims to be fighting against, and these are also the very same interests that back a governor who has held the needs of families and the services that they need hostage in this indefensible budget impasse," said Travis, former executive director of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO). "So I would say to you, it's time that we have representation in the 26th District that stands with the people and not with corporate interests."
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) was reportedly investigating a deal signed under Barbara Byrd-Bennett during her tenure at the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) district long before she came to Chicago to run the city's public school system.
The same day former Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett pleaded guilty to her role in a multimillion-dollar kickback scheme, education activists and local lawmakers on Tuesday stressed the need for an elected school board in the city.
"We're here because we want every position on that school board elected by the people of Chicago," Action Now's Executive Director Katelyn Johnson said during a morning press conference at Federal Plaza before Byrd-Bennett's arraignment. "We have a right to democracy. We have a right as parents and community members to voice our opinions about our schools, and we have a right to a better school system. Our children deserve it."
Top administrators at Illinois public colleges and universities "are enjoying extensive perks and a lack of accountability."
That's according to a report released Friday by the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus detailing the cost of executive benefits and compensation at the state's higher education institutions.
Examples highlighted in the report include an annual housing stipend of $35,000 for the president of Governors State University in south suburban Chicago, memberships at the Sangamo Club and Illini Country Club for the president of Springfield's Lincoln Land Community College and $887,000 in total compensation provided in one year to a former University of Illinois at Chicago chancellor.