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William Davis
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:31pm
Mon Apr 11, 2016

Illinois Lawmakers: Rank-And-File Legislators Key To Breaking Budget Impasse

State lawmakers on both sides of the aisle discussed the Illinois budget stalemate Monday, suggesting that rank-and-file legislators are key to breaking the monthslong impasse.

Four Democratic and four Republican state lawmakers participated in the talk, co-hosted by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, CFA Society Chicago and Truth in Accounting.

One panelist was Rep. Robert Pritchard (R-Hinckley), who said rank-and-file lawmakers have been engaged in state budget talks.

"We've been working together. We've been actually talking in smaller groups and we've been talking in private. So saying what we've been offering, I think, would be a break in that confidence," Pritchard said at the event, held at the Union League Club of Chicago. "But the important point is that legislators do feel the pressure that you're putting on, and we are talking. We are looking for where there's compromise. And I think we're gonna see the fruits of that shortly."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:50pm
Mon Apr 27, 2015

Illinois Legislature Poised To Reform School Discipline Policies

Last week, the Illinois Senate passed legislation that would reform school discipline policies. Progress Illinois takes a look at the pending bill, now under consideration in the Illinois House, and the problems it aims to address.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:59am
Thu Apr 17, 2014

CPS Students Want State Lawmakers To Fix 'Broken' School Discipline Policies

A group of Chicago students is ratcheting up the pressure on state lawmakers to get behind "common-sense" school disciplinary policies.

Student leaders with Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE) argue zero tolerance discipline policies have resulted in zero gains in schools across the state. Dozens of students demonstrated at the Chicago Public Schools' (CPS) downtown headquarters Wednesday morning before marching to the Thompson Center to call on state officials, including Gov. Pat Quinn, to fix "broken" school discipline policies across Illinois. The group wants state lawmakers to set limitations on the use of disciplinary actions that eat up classroom learning time and have a disproportionate impact on students of color.

"Students want to stay in school. Students want to learn, and they want discipline (policies) that make sense," said Jose Sanchez, VOYCE's Safe Schools Consortium coordinator.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:43pm
Tue Apr 15, 2014

Illinois Social Service Providers Brace For A 'Tough' Budgetary Year

The philanthropic and non-profit community in Illinois is bracing itself for what is expected to be a "painful" budgetary year.

"It's going to be tough," said Valerie Lies, president and CEO of the Donors Forum, a member association working to strengthen the state's philanthropic and non-profit sector. "I feel like we haven't even started to dig ourselves out, and I think [this] gubernatorial election will be an important one."

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
5:02pm
Mon Jan 20, 2014

Chicagoans Hold MLK Day Rally, Discuss Socioeconomic Issues & Legislation

    Thousands gathered Sunday at St. Michael the Archangel church on the city's South Side to celebrate and pay tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and also make a call for economic and racial equality. The two-hour-long rally saw dozens of speeches from community organizers, local politicians and others who tied Dr. King's legacy to today's struggles for economic justice.

Quick Hit
by
12:53am
Tue Jul 2, 2013

Activists Call Out A Bad Apple On Michigan Avenue

The following was written by Jacob Swenson, a community activist and University of Chicago student.

At the Apple store on Michigan Avenue Monday, not everyone was looking to buy the latest version of the iPhone.  Employees and customers alike were taken by surprise when, during the lunch hour break, more than 60 members of Fair Economy Illinois began chanting slogans such as “Apple, Apple you’re no good, pay your taxes like you should!”

As the they assembled on the large glass stairwell of the two-story building, activists held up signs that played off Apple’s own creative branding, saying, “iPaid my taxes, Apple should too” and “It doesn’t take a Genius to pay your taxes.” 

Quick Hit
by Steven Ross Johnson
5:43pm
Mon Jan 28, 2013

Pension Reform, Gay Marriage & Gun Control Rule Community Meeting With State Lawmakers (VIDEO)

Public frustrations over how Illinois’ elected leaders are addressing the state’s most pressing issues was shown in full display over the weekend as an informal meet-and-greet over coffee quickly led to some contentious moments between lawmakers and constituents.

Worries over the state’s pension system, gun control, marriage equality and the environment were all discussed at an event held by State Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago) Saturday. More than 50 people attended the discussion for a chance to ask questions of state Senate Pres. John Cullerton, as well as Williams and State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). Some however used the opportunity of the forum to air their grievances at the three legislators about the way those problems are being handled.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
11:11am
Mon Jan 14, 2013

Community Group Brings Together Politicians, Religious and Community Leaders In A Call For Social Justice

Busloads of Chicago and suburban residents filed into the pews of a South Side church Sunday for an afternoon remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr. and called on a dozen elected officials to join their push for social and economic justice in the area.