Explore our content

Quick hits | All dates | All authors
All categories
Quick Hit
by
5:34pm
Mon Sep 1

OP-ED: What FDR Actually Said And What Bruce Rauner Doesn't Get This Labor Day

The following is by Izabela Miltko, deputy press secretary of the Quinn for Illinois campaign.

Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner has never met a union he's ever liked, and his own words make that amply clear. He's called them "tumors." He called them "immoral." He even threatened to shut down the government to get his way.

Now, it's not bad enough that Rauner demonizes and consistently attacks unions that represent working men and women, but he really thought he was getting a dig in on that last characterization. That's because Rauner was ascribing his hatred for labor to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Rauner was being quoted by the State Journal-Register when he claimed that FDR was speaking about public-sector unions and said that, "government unions are wrong...they shouldn't exist, they're immoral."

Rauner's hero up in Wisconsin, Scott Walker, has similarly tried to appropriate the words of President Roosevelt and create the impression that these words and sentiments are true.

They're not. In fact, they’re not even close. And the fact that Rauner is trying to get away with this lie-at the same time advocating against workers, unions and the minimum wage-is an insult to us all. Read more »

Quick Hit
by
5:23pm
Mon Sep 1

Guest Post: Harris v. Quinn: Another Nail In The Coffin Or Shot In The Arm For Labor?

The following is written by Keith Kelleher, founder and president of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas, and an International Vice-President of SEIU.

Earlier this summer, when the U.S. Supreme Court weakened labor protections for 26,000 home care providers in Illinois, most analysts characterized the decision as a dire portent for unions representing low-wage workers.  So here's what happened next:  The day after the ruling in Harris v. Quinn, those 26,000 home care providers began earning the latest in a series of wage increases their union had collectively bargained on their behalf. 

Just like the wages they fought so hard to increase during the past 30 years — wages that were once an unconscionable $1 an hour -- these home care workers will not be held down by the Supreme Court.  In fact, this year alone, our union, which includes the low wage, mostly female workers penalized by the court ruling, added 10,000 home care personal assistants to our membership. 

We did it the same way we built home care unions three decades ago — by organizing.  Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:40pm
Thu Aug 28

Study: Businesses In Low-Income, Majority Minority Areas Struggle To Access Credit

Small businesses in low-income, majority minority neighborhood in the Chicago area were less likely to receive loans between 2008 and 2012, according to a new report by the Woodstock Institute.

On average, about two of every seven businesses in low-income, majority minority areas received small business loans—including business credit cards, lines of credit, and traditional loans of under $1 million—from large financial institutions with assets of more than $1 billion, according to the report, “Dis-Credited: Disparate Access to Credit for Businesses in the Chicago Six County Region.” Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:52am
Thu Aug 28

Southwest Side Chicagoans Question TIF Use In 23rd Ward (UPDATED)

Residents of Chicago's 23rd Ward raised concerns about the city's tax increment financing (TIF) program after learning Wednesday evening that millions in economic development funds have yet to be spent in their community.

At the CivicLab's TIF town hall meeting at John F. Kennedy High School, Southwest Side community members learned that the six TIF districts located in the 23rd Ward had about $16.6 million sitting in their collective bank accounts at the end of 2013. Last year alone, the ward's TIF districts collected nearly $2.3 million in property tax revenue, according to the CivicLab's analysis.

Business owner and Southwest Side resident Martin Arteaga, who is running for alderman in the 23rd Ward, attended the meeting.

"There needs to be a lot more clarity and transparency as to where this TIF money is going," he told Progress Illinois. "Here in the 23rd Ward, particularly in the Midway Airport area along Cicero Avenue, you have a bunch of empty lots. We could use some of that money to redevelop that area and actually be able to expand our tax base, because we have thousands of people who pass through going to Midway Airport. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
8:41pm
Wed Aug 27

Chicago-Area Activists, Families Call On Holder To Investigate Shootings By Local Police

Demonstrators delivered a letter to Chicago's Dirksen Federal Building Wednesday demanding that United States Attorney General Eric Holder launch an investigation into crimes, they say, have been committed by the Chicago Police Department (CPD). The letter calls on Holder to investigate the CPD as a whole, as well as Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and law enforcement in other local municipalities where individuals were either killed or harmed by police.

The demonstrators said the shooting of Mike Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African-American male in Ferguson, Missouri, is part of a larger pattern of police targeting people of color.

“Ninety people have been murdered by Chicago Police officers in the last four years,” said Ted Pearson, a member of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR). “Something has to be done to stop this, what’s been going on in Ferguson is just the tip of the iceberg.” Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:24pm
Wed Aug 27

Study: Wage Growth Remains Sluggish For Most American Workers

Real hourly wages fell for just about all U.S. workers, including those with a college degree, between the first half of 2013 and the first half of 2014, according to an analysis of new wage data by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

The EPI study, "Why America's Workers Need Faster Wage Growth — And What We Can Do About It," looked at the most recent and available wage data by decile and educational attainment.

"The recovery has not been completely jobless for a while now, but it does continue to be pretty much wageless, or at least wage growthless," said EPI economist Elise Gould, the study's author. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
11:12pm
Tue Aug 26

On Women's Equality Day, Quinn Signs Law Protecting Working Pregnant Moms

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation Tuesday that provides extra protection for pregnant women on the job.

“It’s important for employers to know, by law, that accommodations are sometimes necessary for our pregnant moms,” said Quinn at a press conference at the Alivio Medical Center in Pilsen. “This is really the best way to help families in Illinois. We want our families to be healthy from the start.”

House Bill 8, sponsored by State Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago) and State Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) makes it a civil rights violation to refuse to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees who decide to work while they carry their baby to term.

“I’ve heard horror stories of women being fired from their jobs or having to hide their pregnancy because if their bosses knew they were pregnant early on they would’ve been fired,” said Flowers. “Women have even lost their babies because the employer would not make the type of accommodations necessary for them.”   Read more »

Quick Hit
by Anthony Burke Boylan
6:07pm
Tue Aug 26

Chicago Immigration Reform Advocates Press Local ICE Director For Action On Pending Deportation Cases

Josefa Gonzalez and her two children felt secure when her partner, Wilson Gomez-Pu, was working full time and supporting the family.

But that all changed when Gomez-Pu has was placed in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility. He has been facing possible deportation for the last year on a nearly 14-year-old order despite having no history of violent crime. And now his family, including children Wilson, 11 and Dalilah, 7, are threatened with eviction.

It was for his case and many others like it that dozens of protesters rallied in front of the ICE field office, 101 W. Congress Parkway, Monday as immigration reform advocates met with local director Ricardo Wong. They asked for a speedy resolution for pending cases, a release for Gomez-Pu and other detainees, and additional reforms. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:46pm
Tue Aug 26

New #WEmatter Twitter Campaign Amplifies Women's Economic Security Woes

Organizations and individuals across the country are taking to social media on Tuesday as part of a new campaign to promote policies designed to strengthen the economic security of women and families.

The launch of the social media movement coincides with Women's Equality Day, which marks the anniversary of women winning the right to vote on August 26, 1920. 

Those participating in the campaign are organizing under the hashtag "WEmatter" on Twitter and other social media outlets. Read more »