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Roderick Sawyer

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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.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:49pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Chicago City Council Roundup: Ridesharing, Guns, Sweatshops, SROs & $15 Minimum Wage

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

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:32pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Report: $15 Chicago Minimum Wage Would Lift Up Struggling Workers, City's Economy

A proposal to hike Chicago's minimum wage to $15 an hour would not only be a boon for many low-wage workers but also the city's economy, according to a new report by the Center for Popular Democracy.

"Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would promote economic stability among Chicago workers, economic vitality in their neighborhoods and economic growth throughout this city," said Connie Razza, director of strategic research at the center, which works both locally and nationally to build "the strength and capacity of democratic organizations to envision and advance a pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial and economic justice agenda."

The new report comes ahead of Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting, during which aldermen with the Progressive Reform Caucus plan to introduce an ordinance for a citywide hourly minimum wage of $15 an hour. The ordinance was developed with members of Raise Chicago, a coalition of community and labor groups advocating for a higher hourly wage floor in the city. Chicago's current minimum wage is $8.25 an hour, the same as the base hourly wage in Illinois and $1 more than the federal level. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:47pm
Wed Apr 30, 2014

Chicago City Council Passes Plastic Bag Ban, Petcoke Regulations

The Chicago City Council voted Wednesday to partially ban plastic shopping bags and put in place tougher regulations for petcoke facilities. Progress Illinois takes a look at the two issues as well as other highlights from the council meeting.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:54pm
Fri Apr 25, 2014

Chicago City Council's Progressive Reform Coalition To Push For $15 Minimum Wage

While legislation to lift the state's minimum wage has been pending in the legislature for some time now, Chicago Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) said he and his fellow Progressive Reform Coalition council members are working to drum up support for a $15 minimum wage in the city.

At a minimum wage forum Thursday night hosted by Action Now’s “Faith in Action” coalition in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood, Sawyer said the council's progressive caucus is looking to put forward a $15 minimum wage ordinance, though the details are still in the works. 

The first step, Sawyer said, is to get more aldermen and residents involved in the discussion.

"I think (raising the minimum wage is) a basic level of respect to your constituents that are working out here hard," he told Progress Illinois. "I was at one function where a young lady worked 10 years at McDonald's and she talked about how she can't even afford the food to eat where she works. So it's frustrating, and we need to get these wages to a level where they are respectable to the citizens."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
7:09am
Mon Apr 14, 2014

ACLU's Lawsuit Alleging Chicago 911 Dispatch Disparities Moves Forward

A lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois against the city of Chicago alleging discriminatory police deployment practices moved forward last week after a circuit court judge granted the plaintiffs' motion for discovery in the case. Progress Illinois takes a look at the case and newly-released figures on police dispatch times across the city.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:54pm
Wed Jan 15, 2014

Chicago City Council Roundup: E-Cigs, Affordable Housing & Charter Expansion

Progress Illinois recaps some of the happenings at Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
9:58am
Tue Dec 10, 2013

Chicagoans Deliver Coal, Candy Canes To Politicians Based On Public Education Votes (VIDEO)

A few hundred public education activists took to City Hall and the Thompson Center Monday evening to deliver their holiday list of demands as well as lumps of coal and candy canes to the offices of naughty and nice elected officials. Progress Illinois was there for the protest.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:53pm
Wed Nov 20, 2013

Ald. Burns Introduces Chicago Corporate Tax Disclosure Ordinance

Ald. Will Burns (4th) wants all publicly-traded corporations seeking subsidies or contracts from the city of Chicago to publicly disclose the amount they pay in Illinois income taxes as well as any tax breaks they receive. 

Burns introduced the Chicago Corporate Responsibility and Tax Disclosure Act at Wednesday's city council meeting. Under the proposed measure, big corporations asking for city actions, subsidies and contracts would also have to report net and taxable income.

Alds. Pat Dowell (3rd), Leslie Hairston (5th), Roderick Sawyer (6th), Natashia Holmes (7th), Toni Foulkes (15th), Ricardo Munoz (22nd), Deb Mell (33rd), Michele Smith (43rd), James Cappleman (46th), Ameya Pawar (47th), Harry Osterman (48th) and Joe Moore (49th) have signed on as co-sponsors to the measure thus far. Leaders with the Fair Economy Illinois coalition are also in support of the proposed ordinance, which has been sent to the Finance Committee.

"We are increasingly turning into a society, which in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. takes necessities away from the many and gives luxuries to the few," Fair Economy Illinois leader Rev. Marlan Branch of St. James AME Church said before Wednesday's council meeting. "The city of Chicago spends millions of dollars each year subsidizing and contracting with big corporations. Those corporations have a particular responsibility to support the common good, which should include publicly disclosing the corporate income tax they pay to the state of Illinois."

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