Five Chicago aldermen want to surplus funds from a tax increment financing, or TIF, district located in their wards and use the money to help "alleviate the budget crisis" at the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools.
Progress Illinois rounds up the action at Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting, during which aldermen approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2016 budget — including a $588 million property tax hike — and zoning for the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.
Ahead of Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting, several aldermen and housing advocates called for a hearing on an ordinance that would provide the council with greater oversight of the Chicago Housing Authority and expand access to affordable housing.
With various groups delivering petitions to the Chicago Board of Elections this week, Chicagoans are continuing their call for two referendums to be added to the March 18 ballot. The non-binding referendums focus on the minimum wage and future of a Logan Square neighborhood school.
In the ongoing fight to increase the minimum wage, a coalition of Chicago families and groups, including Action Now, the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Grassroots Collaborative, ONE Northside, and SEIU* Healthcare Illinois Indiana, delivered petitions to the board of elections demanding that the city establish its own minimum wage.
"I support raising the minimum wage in Chicago for low-wage workers because we are not invisible. We will not stand by and let our elected officials maintain the status quo," said Carlos Navarro, a retired Marine veteran and a ONE Northside leader living in Chicago's 46th Ward. "I'm tired of seeing families in my community struggle to get by on poverty wages and I am confident this referendum will show the Chicago City Council that there is a need to raise the minimum wage to a fair and living wage."
Ames Middle School parents plan to deliver new petitions and ballots to the Chicago Board of Education Wednesday that students and the local community overwhelmingly oppose affiliating the school with the Marine Corps next year.