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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
7:28pm
Mon Feb 23, 2015

Election 2015: Will Emanuel Avoid A Runoff?

Progress Illinois provides an election preview of Chicago's mayoral election, in which incumbent Rahm Emanuel could be forced into an April runoff contest.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:10pm
Thu Feb 19, 2015

UIC Education Experts: Chicago Should Move To An Elected School Board

Policies under Chicago's mayor-appointed school board "have exacerbated historical educational inequalities" in the city, according to a new report by University of Illinois at Chicago education researchers. Progress Illinois takes a look at the report and the debate over an elected school board.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
12:25pm
Wed Feb 18, 2015

Chicago's 36th Ward Candidates Discuss Education, Campaign Priorities (VIDEO)

A week before Chicago's municipal election, three of four aldermanic candidates in the 36th Ward participated in a public forum Tuesday night in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood.

Those vying for the Northwest Side ward seat, left vacant by Ald. Nick Sposato (36th) who is running in the 38th ward due to the city's ward remap, include business owner Christopher Vittorio, reference librarian Alonso Zaragoza, and Omar Aquino, a former employee of U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D, IL-8). Business owner Gilbert Villegas is also running for the seat, but did not attend Tuesday's event.

Roughly 50 residents of the 36th Ward, which includes portions of the Belmont Cragin, Portage Park, Montclare, Galewood, Dunning and Hermosa neighborhoods, attended the debate hosted by the Communities United organization.

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
7:32pm
Tue Feb 17, 2015

Stamps Centers Campaign Around Education In Chicago's 37th Ward Race

Community activist Marion Stamps fought for the rights of public housing residents displaced by the demolition of the Cabrini Green housing development on the near North Side when she ran for 27th Ward alderman in 1995.

Twenty years later, her daughter, Tara Stamps, is fighting in that same vein, but focusing her fight on education. She is among four challengers, including Leroy Duncan, Maretta Brown-Miller and Otis Percy, running against West Side Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) in the February 24 municipal election.

The 2013 closing of 50 Chicago Public Schools, an influx of charter schools, and excessive red light and speed camera fines are examples of the failed policies that have led to disinvestment in black and Latino neighborhoods, according to Stamps. The time was right, she added, to stand up against such actions.

"While I still have my mother's passion, and I share many of her beliefs about community, this fight is my fight," said the mother of three and teacher of 18 years. "It's authentic to me because I understand how all of this is connected to education."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:57am
Wed Feb 11, 2015

Chicago's 32nd Ward Aldermanic Candidates Trade Jabs At Lakeview Forum

The two aldermanic candidates in Chicago's 32nd Ward race traded barbs throughout a Tuesday evening political forum, with incumbent Ald. Scott Waguespack coming under attack for his "personality conflicts" and challenger Elise Doody-Jones taking heat over her residency.

A pro-Mayor Rahm Emanuel super PAC's involvement in the 32nd Ward race was also discussed at the candidate forum, hosted by the South Lakeview Neighbors at the Athenaeum Theater, 2936 N. Southport Ave.

Chicago's 32nd Ward includes parts of Bucktown, Lake View, Lincoln Park, Logan Square, Roscoe Village and Wicker Park.

Waguespack, who has held the 32nd Ward seat since 2007, is a member of the city council's Progressive Reform Caucus. Doody-Jones is a small business owner who formerly served as treasurer of 1st Ward First, an independent political organization in Chicago's 1st Ward that supports the ward's current alderman, Joe Moreno.

Doody-Jones presently resides in the neighboring 1st Ward but says she will move to the 32nd Ward, if elected. She was asked about her residency at the top of Tuesday's forum, to which Doody-Jones explained that her Logan Square home is located just outside the ward's remapped boundaries.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:07pm
Tue Jan 27, 2015

CTU, Allied Groups Call For Quazzo's Resignation From Chicago Education Board (VIDEO)

Members of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and other allied organizations increased their calls on Tuesday morning for an elected school board and the resignation of Chicago Board of Education member Deborah Quazzo, who has come under scrutiny over her business interests following a recent Chicago Sun-Times investigation.

Chanting, "Quit, Quazzo. Quit," about 30 CTU members, parents and organizers with Action Now, the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, More than a Score and other groups picketed outside the offices of GSV Advisors, an investment firm of which Quazzo is the founder and managing partner. The company's offices are located in the John Hancock Center, 875 N. Michigan Ave.

According to an investigative report published late last month by the Chicago Sun-Times, five educational tech companies in which Quazzo has invested have allegedly tripled their business with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) since Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed her to the board in June of 2013. The firms have reportedly been paid nearly $3 million by CPS since Quazzo's board appointment. The CPS inspector general launched a probe into the matter in light of the newspaper's findings.

The CTU maintains that "Quazzo's seat on the board represents an unethical conflict of interest" and demonstrates the need for an elected, representative school board.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:52pm
Fri Jan 23, 2015

Experts Discuss Outcomes Of 2013 Chicago School Closings

Progress Illinois provides highlights from a panel discussion on the aftermath of the 2013 school closings in Chicago.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
12:48pm
Thu Jan 15, 2015

Chicago's 31st Ward Aldermanic Candidates Debate About Progressive Values, Campaign Funding

Aldermanic candidates for the 31st Ward, including incumbent Ald. Ray Suarez (31st), debated Wednesday night and discussed their platforms for next month's municipal election.

Those challenging Suarez, who was first elected alderman of the Northwest Side ward in 1991, include lawyer and professor Sean Starr, former reporter Milagros Santiago and Irma Cornier, a community outreach coordinator at NewLife 316.

More than 50 residents of the ward, which includes portions of the Belmont Cragin, Portage Park, Hermosa and Logan Square neighborhoods, attended the debate hosted by the Belmont-Cragin United community organization.

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