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Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
3:43pm
Wed Aug 24

Bernie's 'Our Revolution' Campaign To Launch Wednesday In Chicago, Nationwide (VIDEO)

Despite having lost the Democratic presidential nomination, "the Bernie revolution" will continue with the "next phase" launching nationwide Wednesday night.

Some 2,600 watch parties and meetings are set to take place across the country tonight as former Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) addresses thousands of his supporters to "lay out some of the next steps we can take as a movement to empower a wave of progressive candidates this November and win the major upcoming fights for the values we share," according to Our Revolution President Jeff Weaver, who also served as Sanders' presidential campaign manager.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:07pm
Thu Aug 18

Enviros Campaign To Counter Mark Kirk's 'Illinois First' Bus Tour

Environmentalists are following U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) on the campaign trail this week to counter his "Illinois First" bus tour message.

NextGen Climate Illinois is showing up at Kirk's campaign stops as part of its own bus tour, called "Kirk First." The environmental group wants to hold "Senator Kirk accountable for his actions" and show "voters how he puts his own self interests above those of Illinois."

"Despite what he'd like constituents to believe, Senator Kirk has shown that he does not put 'Illinois First,'" NextGen Climate Illinois spokeswoman Katie Cronin said in a statement. "He has voted to protect tax breaks for Big Oil and has voted to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon pollution. It is clear that Senator Kirk does what he thinks he has to do to get re-elected at the expense of the people of Illinois."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:13am
Thu Aug 18

CTU Presses School District To Support TIF Surplus Ordinance At Budget Hearing

Chicago Public Schools officials heard familiar pleas for more school funding during a budget hearing Wednesday night in the South Loop.

CPS convened the 6 p.m. hearing to get public feedback on the district's proposed $338 million capital budget for 2017. The hearing, held at the National Teachers Academy, was thinly attended and ended an hour early.

"I like the capital plan, but most people came here because they lost teachers at their school, they lost programs at their school," Martin Ritter with the Chicago Teachers Union told CPS officials.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:48pm
Thu Aug 11

Chicago Urban League Unveils 10-Year Blueprint For Dismantling Structural Racism

The Chicago Urban League released a 10-year blueprint Wednesday to undo structural racism in the city and create more equitable education, employment and economic development systems for African-American residents living in the most disadvantaged communities.

Chicago Urban League officials released the plan as the organization commemorates its 100th anniversary.

"Our vision is that by 2026, residents of every community area in Chicago will have access to the services and supports they need not just to succeed, but to really thrive as members of the greater Chicago community," said Stephanie Schmitz Bechteler, vice president and executive director of the Chicago Urban League's Research and Policy Center.

"The league's 10-year plan is a focused effort that lays out our commitment to making racial equity a reality. When this happens, it sets the stage for a stronger African-American community and that, in turn, makes a stronger Chicago."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:29pm
Thu Aug 4

Experts: Financial Transaction Tax A 'Win-Win For U.S. Economy'

A financial transaction tax would help Wall Street work for Main Street, experts at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute (EPI) argue in a new report.

In light of the Democratic Party endorsing a financial transaction tax in its platform, EPI's report details how much revenue such a policy could raise, putting the figure anywhere between $110 billion to $403 billion annually.

The tax would impose a small levy on trades of stocks, bonds, derivatives and other financial transactions.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
9:35am
Fri Jul 22

Top CEOs Made Less In 2015, But They Still Earned 276 Times More Than Average Worker

CEOs at America's largest firms received an average of $15.5 million in compensation last year, meaning they earned 276 times more than the typical worker in 2015, new research shows.

The $15.5 million in average CEO compensation was down about 5 percent from 2014, when the figure was $16.3 million, and up 46.5 percent since the economic recovery began in 2009, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

"Most (83 percent) of the decline in CEO pay from 2014 to 2015 can be explained by the drop in the value of realized stock options in that period," EPI's report reads. "Therefore the decline in compensation does not reflect any structural change in how CEO compensation is set or changes in corporate governance. CEO compensation will likely resume its upward trajectory when the stock market resumes upward movement."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:16am
Thu Jul 21

Tyson Meat Company Ranked As Worst Illinois Water Polluter Among Agribusinesses

New research shows the Tyson Fresh Meats animal slaughtering facility in Hillsdale was the top water polluter in Illinois among major agribusiness operations in 2014.

That year, the Tyson Fresh Meats plant released over 2 million pounds of pollutants into the state's waterways, according to the Environment America Research & Education Center's report.

The environmental advocacy group examined the "water pollution footprints" of Tyson Foods and four other major agribusinesses, Cargill, JBS, Perdue and Smithfield, in Illinois and other states. Forty-four percent of the nation's pork, chicken and beef is produced by those five companies, according to the report.

Researchers analyzed the most recent 2014 data from the federal Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) on pollution discharges into waterways from the five major agribusinesses. Among the findings, Tyson's facilities released the most pollutants nationwide -- nearly 21 million pounds. 

That's more pollutants "by volume than even Exxon Mobil or DuPont," according to the environmental group.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:45pm
Wed Jul 20

Chicago Aldermen Approve Property Tax Rebate, Propose Sources Of Revenue For Schools

A group of Chicago aldermen proposed a package of ordinances Wednesday to generate revenue for the city's cash-strapped public schools.

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district has a $300 million budget gap, and schools are reportedly facing a 7 percent funding cut in the upcoming academic year.

"We've received some money from the state, but it's just not enough," Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) said at a press conference before the council meeting with fellow aldermen, the Chicago Teachers Union and other education advocates.

"We need to find more progressive and more viable solutions to increase revenue so that all of our schools can be adequately financed, so that we can give quality teachers an opportunity to teach in our schools," he continued. "When I had a conversation with a principal yesterday, she was perplexed that she could not hire a 20-plus year veteran school teacher because she could not afford it. That's not right."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:33pm
Tue Jul 19

Chicago Aldermen Call On Illinois Congressional Delegation To Oppose TPP

Chicago aldermen who oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will introduce a resolution at Wednesday's city council meeting urging the Illinois Congressional Delegation to reject the 12-nation trade agreement.

Alds. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th), David Moore (17th), Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) and Anthony Napolitano (41st) joined labor allies at City Hall Tuesday afternoon to announce the resolution, which is being proposed ahead of next week's Democratic National Convention.

"We're calling on the delegates at the Democratic National Convention to take this off part of their platform agenda so that they can look out for the working class, for the people that they are supposed to represent," Sadlowski Garza stressed.

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