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Chicago City Council

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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:18pm
Tue Jun 14, 2016

Chicago Housing Authority CEO Lauds Progress On Controversial Plan For Transformation, Advocates Remain Skeptical

Chicago Housing Authority CEO Eugene Jones, Jr. spoke at the City Club of Chicago Monday afternoon, detailing the agency's progress toward reaching a key goal under the original Plan for Transformation and lauding the agency's success. But some housing advocates are not that impressed.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:40pm
Thu Jun 2, 2016

Chicago Aldermen, Advocates Denounce Consolidation Plans For City Colleges Child Development Program

A coalition of early childhood education advocates spoke out Thursday morning against plans at the City Colleges of Chicago to consolidate child development programs to a single location at Harry Truman College in the North Side Uptown neighborhood.

Four Chicago aldermen joined the advocates at a morning press conference before the City Colleges Board of Trustees meeting. Coalition members, including representatives from the Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU* Healthcare Illinois, said consolidating the educational programs could adversely affect early childhood education students living on the city's South and West Sides, where several programs are closing.

"This will have an enormous hardship on students trying to get to the North Side. It will devastate these programs, and it will take needed support services out of these communities," said Tony Johnston, president of the Cook County College Teachers Union, which represents full-time faculty and other City Colleges staffers. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:55pm
Wed May 18, 2016

Chicago City Council Roundup: Aldermen Propose Privatizing Airport Security; Debt Transparency Ordinance Passes

From airport security to debt transparency, Progress Illinois rounds up highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
6:22pm
Mon May 9, 2016

Chicago Housing, Police Accountability Advocates Picket Emanuel Fundraiser Over CHA Practices

Police accountability and housing activists are pushing back against city government as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel attempts to replenish his campaign coffers at his first fundraiser since the Laquan McDonald shooting video was released.

The activists are picketing at Emanuel's pricey Monday night fundraiser, which costs individuals $5,400 while corporations are required to cough up $10,000. The event is being held at the home of real estate developer Robert Winslow.

Affordable housing advocates are calling on the mayor to make "substantive reforms" to the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), including a complete overhaul of the agency's policies. While Emanuel tapped Eugene Jones Jr. to take over the housing agency in January, CHA critics say that is not enough.

The Chicago Housing Initiative (CHI) has pushed back against CHA for its practices, blasting the agency for reportedly hoarding about 6,000 housing vouchers and 2,800 vacant units while more than 120,000 needy families sit idle on the agency's waitlist. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:59pm
Mon May 2, 2016

Homeless Chicagoans, Advocates Skeptical Of Housing Pilot Program For 'Tent City' Residents

Homeless individuals who live under Lake Shore Drive viaducts on Chicago's North Side met Monday morning with city officials to discuss a new pilot program that will provide them with housing and support services. 

Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler and North Side Alds. James Cappleman (46th) and Harry Osterman (48th) were at the meeting, held at Weiss Memorial Hospital. Also in attendance were various homeless advocates, service providers and community members.

At issue was a city pilot program, announced late last month, aimed at placing 75 chronically homeless individuals into permanent housing. The homeless individuals live in tent encampments, also known as tent cities, under viaducts near Lake Shore Drive at Irving Park Road and Foster, Lawrence and Wilson Avenues. 

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
11:37pm
Thu Apr 21, 2016

Sidestepping Major IPRA Upheaval, Emanuel Implements 'Almost A Third' Of Police Task Force Recommendations

After the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force released a scathing report last Wednesday on the department, saying officers have "no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color," Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced the immediate implementation of about one-third of the group's outlined recommendations.

The new reform measures will focus on three goals: increasing transparency, creating trust between city residents and officers, and improving police accountability and oversight.

"As a city, we cannot rest until we fully address the systemic issues facing the Chicago Police Department, and the steps announced today build on our road to reform," Emanuel said in an announcement detailing the reforms. "Under the leadership of Superintendent Eddie Johnson, the police department will implement these reforms immediately while we continue to work together to find additional ways to restore the fabric of trust in communities across Chicago. As we look toward the future, our city will be better off because we faced up to these challenges and confronted them head on."

Some of the specific reforms include training CPD officers to "better understand cultural differences" and improving the department's Bureau of Internal Affairs as a means to address cover ups and ensure officer accountability for misconduct. Dispatchers with the Office of Emergency Management and Communications and 911 call takers would also be trained "to improve their interactions and deliver the best service possible to the public," according to the mayor's office.  

The immediate changes coming to the Chicago Police Department do not include, however, two of the most sought-after reforms: the disbandment of the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) and a review of the police union contract.

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