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."
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.