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Robert Fioretti

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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
7:07pm
Wed Jan 22, 2014

Chicago Board Of Ed OK's New Charters; Might Join Forces With CTU Against IL Charter Commission

At its monthly meeting Wednesday, the Chicago Board of Education approved seven new charter schools scheduled to open over the next two years. Also on Wednesday, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis and Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale said they might "join hands" to push back against the Illinois State Charter School Commission.

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
5:02pm
Mon Jan 20, 2014

Chicagoans Hold MLK Day Rally, Discuss Socioeconomic Issues & Legislation

    Thousands gathered Sunday at St. Michael the Archangel church on the city's South Side to celebrate and pay tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and also make a call for economic and racial equality. The two-hour-long rally saw dozens of speeches from community organizers, local politicians and others who tied Dr. King's legacy to today's struggles for economic justice.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
10:51pm
Wed Dec 11, 2013

Chicago City Council Approves Independent Budget Office; Elected School Board Referendum Gets Squeezed

Progress Illinois provides some highlights from 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.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:11pm
Wed Nov 13, 2013

Chicago Aldermen Fail To Discharge TIF Surplus, Elected School Board Proposals From Rules Committee

The Chicago City Council's Progressive Reform Caucus made an effort Wednesday to bring up for a full vote two pieces of legislation that have been stuck in the Rules Committee for months, but their efforts were thwarted. Progress Illinois was at Wednesday's city council meeting and details how the attempt flatlined.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:17am
Thu Oct 31, 2013

Chicagoans Talk 2014 Budget With Progressive Reform Caucus At Town Hall Meeting (UPDATED)

Public schools, mental health services and Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to phaseout the city's health care subsidy for a number of retired municipal workers were some of the concerns Chicagoans raised at a budget town hall meeting Wednesday night.

The city council's Progressive Reform Caucus held the packed town hall meeting at United Electrical Workers Hall and heard comments from dozens of residents about the mayor's proposed 2014 budget, which was unveiled last week.

The mayor's $8.7 billion 2014 budget does not increase property, sales or gas taxes, but Progressive Reform Caucus members expressed worry that the spending plan relies mainly on other increased taxes and fees that would impact everyone from drivers to cigarette smokers to cable TV customers as a means to help close the city's $339 million deficit.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:38pm
Wed Oct 30, 2013

Chicagoans Demand Aldermen Release Crucial Legislation From Rules Committee (VIDEO)

Chicagoans took to City Hall Tuesday afternoon to demand that aldermen resurrect critical ordinances from the Rules Committee, also known to some as the place "where good legislation goes to die."

About 50 organizers with the Grassroots Collaborative, a coalition of labor and community groups, staged a "burial protest" highlighting the various measures stalled in the rules committee, putting a specific focus on a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Surplus Ordinance Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) introduced back in July.

The ordinance calls for any TIF surplus funds to be sent back to government agencies, including the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district, which would help ease recent school budget cuts. The measured garnered support from 32 out of the  council's 50 aldermen, but it's been pending in the Rules Committee since it was introduced.

TIF funds come from a portion of collected property tax dollars from those living inside a TIF district. TIF dollars are typically used for economic development projects in the city. The activists, however, said the "buried" TIF Surplus Ordinance would release millions of additional dollars that could be used for the struggling public schools system as well as expanded community services, including the reopening of six city mental health clinics that closed last year.

"But instead of being debated and voted on, this ordinance is stuck in [the] Rules Committee," stressed Grassroots Collaborative Executive Director Amisha Patel. "There it's buried along with many other good ordinances."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:48pm
Thu Oct 24, 2013

Breaking Down Emanuel's 2014 Chicago Budget

Although Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed 2014 budget unveiled Wednesday includes no increases on property, sales and gas taxes, some aldermen say the plan relies too heavily on hiking other fees and fines to help reduce the city's $339 million deficit. Progress Illinois provides an overview of the mayor's budget plan.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
11:57am
Wed Oct 16, 2013

Community Members Launch Economic Plan To 'Take Back Chicago' (VIDEO)

Chicagoans packed a town hall meeting Tuesday evening to launch a new social and economic justice agenda for the city. Progress Illinois was there to learn more about "Take Back Chicago."

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