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Willie Cochran
Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
2:13pm
Mon Jun 15, 2015

Cook Co. Commissioner Pushes Plan To Reduce Chicago Gun Violence

Aspects of Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin's 7-point plan to curb gun violence received mixed reactions at a summit the West Side politician held Saturday. The most contorversial part of the plan involves charging individuals who commit gun crimes as domestic terrorists.

The summit, held at the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, was attended by city and county officials as well as academics and community activists. Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel were invited to the summit, but did not make an appearance. Boykin says the purpose of the summit was "to put meat on the bones" of his plan.

Boykin unveiled the gun violence prevention plan in May after he became concerned about the increasing number of shootings in his West Side district. Since the plan's release, Boykin has come under fire for the concept of charging individuals that shoot a gun, and their accomplices, as domestic terrorists. Boykin did not escape that criticism at Saturday's summit.

Quick Hit
by Wendell Hutson
1:35pm
Fri Nov 7, 2014

Woodlawn Legal Clinic Offers Free Counsel To Low-Income Chicagoans In Need

Once a month, needy individuals with legal problems can start to find some relief at a South Side clinic.

The Woodlawn Legal Clinic at AKArama Center, 6220 S. Ingleside Ave., is open every second Wednesday of the month from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The clinic caters to those seeking assistance in dealing with any number of legal problems, including martial and housing issues.

Ald. Willie Cochran (20th), whose ward includes the clinic, said additional opportunities for free legal assistance are necessary to help the growing number of families in need.

"Not everyone understands how to handle legal matters and as a result things sometimes go from bad to worse for them," said Cochran, a former Chicago police officer. "This clinic helps people understand the process."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:31pm
Wed Oct 8, 2014

Chicago Aldermen Approve IG Measure, Washington Park TIF; Elected School Board Referendum Gets Squeezed

Progress Illinois provides highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
9:32am
Mon Aug 18, 2014

Chicagoans Raise Concerns Over Proposed Washington Park TIF District

Chicago's Community Development Commission advanced a controversial plan to the city council last Tuesday that would create a new tax increment financing district in the economically struggling Washington Park neighborhood on the South Side, despite opposition from some local residents. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the issue.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
2:48pm
Mon Mar 18, 2013

Town Hall Meeting Illustrates Lack Of Communication With Taxpayers On TIF Projects

Taxpayers are largely kept out of the loop when it comes to how their property taxes are used by tax increment finance (TIF) districts, according to Tom Tresser, co-founder of the Civic Lab.

Aiming to promote transparency in government and give residents background information on neighborhood TIF projects, the Civic Lab and the TIF Ad Hoc Committee of the Washington Park Community hosted a town hall meeting at the Washington Park Field House Saturday.<--break->

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
4:31pm
Thu Jun 21, 2012

Black Caucus Aldermen Voice Concerns As Pot Ticketing Plan Advances

The Chicago City Council committee on public safety voted 13-1 today for an ordinance pushed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to change possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana from a criminal offense to a civil violation punishable by fine.

The committee hearing raised questions about how fines would be implemented, particularly if they might disproportionately hurt black residents in low-income neighborhoods who make up about 75 percent of the of Chicago Police Department's pot arrests.

“This will raise dollars on the backs of poor people,” said Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) at the hearing. Dowell and other black caucus aldermen, such as Ald. Willie Cochran (20th), raised these concerns, but did not vote against the legislation.