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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:01pm
Mon Sep 19, 2016

Refugee Resettlement Surges In Chicago, Local Experts Say

The number of people seeking sanctuary in the Chicago area is growing significantly, according to a local agency that helps refugees resettle in the city.

"Right now, we are experiencing a really crazy surge in arrivals," Lea Tienou told an audience of college students as well as immigrant and refugee service providers and advocates.

Tienou is associate director of refugee family adjustment and employment services at the Heartland Alliance. She spoke Monday afternoon at DePaul University's Loop campus as part of a panel discussion about the global refugee crisis. 

The Heartland Alliance typically sees about 20 refugees per month, Tienou explained. Just in the last month, however, 100 refugees came to the agency, and 90 more are expected to seek assistance from the Heartland Alliance in September.

"It's been a really busy time, and this is throughout the country that we're seeing a really large influx of arrivals," she said. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:36pm
Wed Sep 14, 2016

Chicago City Council Roundup: Water & Sewer Tax Hike Passes, O'Hare Bonds Get Approved

From a new water and sewer tax to O'Hare bonds and TIFs, Progress Illinois rounds up highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:56pm
Mon Sep 12, 2016

Report: Paid Sick Time Beneficial To Workers And Businesses

As paid sick leave laws continue to gain traction across the United States, a recent report finds such policies to be a win-win for workers and their employers.

For its report, the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) examined over a dozen scholarly and policy research articles covering the health, economic and social benefits of paid sick time.

"Seeing the research brought together, from a range of disciplines, makes a striking case for universal access to paid sick days as a low-cost strategy for improving health and economic well-being," IWPR Vice President and Executive Director Barbara Gault said in a statement.

The think tank's analysis came shortly Chicago passed legislation mandating earned paid sick time and as commissioners in Cook County are set to vote on similar policy on October 5. Chicago was the 34th jurisdiction in the United States to guarantee paid sick days.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:31pm
Fri Sep 9, 2016

Chicago Activists To Rally For Education Policy Changes At First Presidential Debate

Education activists from Chicago and other U.S. cities will rally outside the first 2016 presidential debate later this month in Hempstead, New York in hopes that the candidates will embrace their seven-point public education policy agenda.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:14am
Fri Sep 9, 2016

Jill Stein Rallies In Chicago, Rejects Criticism Of Green Party's Political Platform

From police violence to the media's coverage of her campaign, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein addressed a wide range of topics during a rally in Chicago Thursday evening. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:10pm
Wed Sep 7, 2016

O'Hare Contract Workers Allege 'Rampant Wage Theft' (UPDATED)

Contract workers at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport are allegedly facing "rampant wage theft," and they are calling on the city and state to investigate the issue.

O'Hare workers and SEIU* Local 1 officials discussed the wage theft allegations Wednesday morning and announced filings of wage theft complaints with the Illinois Labor Department and Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

The charges include 60 Chicago minimum wage ordinance violations and 20 Illinois Labor Department violations, according to the union. 

At issue are security officers, baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, wheelchair attendants and other workers who are employed by O'Hare contractors, including Universal Security, Prospect Airport Services, and Scrub, Inc. The union recently conducted a wage theft survey of about 300 contracted O'Hare workers, finding that they collectively lost $1 million in wages last year.

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