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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
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.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Mon Oct 22, 2012

Local Issues Marginal in Walsh-Duckworth Race

The old expression “all politics is local” seems not applicable to the high-profile 8th congressional district race between U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-McHenry) and Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth.

Unlike in the 17th congressional district race in western Illinois or even the neighboring 10th district contest, there is little in the 8th district race that is of exclusive interest to those particular voters. The battle between Walsh and Duckworth instead has focused on major national issues such as Medicare and Social Security, with Chicago and national media attention often covering the money being funneled into the race or the latest histrionics of Walsh, including his outrageous comments last Thursday on abortion. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Steven Ross Johnson
Fri Oct 19, 2012

U.S. Incomes Failing To Keep Pace With Rising Housing, Transportation Costs

Affordable-housing advocates are calling on local and state governments in the country’s 25 largest urban areas to address the rapid rate at which housing and transportation costs have risen over the past decade.

According to the findings of the new report, “Losing Ground”, the combined cost of housing and transportation within those metro areas increased by 44 percent between 2000 and 2010, while household incomes rose 25 percent during that same period.

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Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Fri Aug 3, 2012

Third Chicago Airport Far From A Sure Thing

Prior to a leave of absence that began June 9, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Chicago) was focused on the construction of a third Chicago area airport in the south suburb of Peotone. So it was interesting to see the Chicago Sun-Times report Monday that a top Illinois Department of Transportation official said the Peotone airport “is going to happen.” Was a longtime Jackson goal finally realized with Jackson out?

The short answer is no. A proposed Peotone airport must get FAA clearance on several matters, and secure significantly more money. Plus, a standoff between Will County and Jackson must be resolved. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Steven Ross Johnson
Tue Jul 3, 2012

Funding Tacked Onto Transportation Bill To Speed Up Asian Carp Prevention Plan

The recent legislative fight in Washington to keep the interest rate on federally-subsidized Stafford loans from doubling also provided an unexpected victory for those concerned with keeping invasive species out of the Great Lakes.

Included within the $120 billion transportation bill Congress passed last Friday was a measure to extend the student loan interest rate at 3.4 percent for one year as well as a provision requiring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to come up with a plan in 18 months to prevent Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes.

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Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Mon Jul 2, 2012

Better Late Than Never: Chicago Area Transit Officials Relieved By Passage Of Federal Transit Bill

The massive federal bill that outlines spending for both highway and public transit projects finally cleared Congress Friday. Local transit officials are happy, though some national observers are a bit more skeptical.

“This is a step forward and gives us a little stability,” Joseph Costello, executive director of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) told Progress Illinois.

According to Costello, the bill provides a feasible way for RTA to get additional federal money for projects such as the long overdue extension of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Red Line. CTA is under the umbrella of RTA, which also is in charge of the region's suburban trains and buses. Read more »