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Quick Hit
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1:02pm
Thu Feb 12, 2015

Op-Ed: "Black Lives Matter!" Our Attitude Toward The Elections In Chicago

The following comes from the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

What are the mayoral and aldermanic elections really about? There are a host of gut level issues raised by the various candidates that seem to address public education, job creation and unemployment, elimination of pension funds, public safety, the housing crisis, the health care crisis, MBE/WBE Independent Contractors, and all the ancillary issues that lie dormant in the social savagery created by budget cuts that further impoverish the poor and enrich the rich. But what about the racism, driven by an ever-deepening economic crisis and the political delirium of the powers that be, that is casting a shadow over all these issues? Ah! Therein lies the problem; everybody is ignoring the racist cutting edge of all the gut level issues afflicting our City, and getting away with it.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
11:58am
Thu Feb 12, 2015

Mayoral Candidates Court Chicago's Youth Vote At Forum

Three of Chicago's five mayoral contenders participated in a youth-led candidate forum Wednesday evening focused on issues that affect the lives of young people of color in the city. Progress Illinois was there for the event.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:24pm
Wed Jan 28, 2015

Deb Mell Takes Heat For Family Ties At 33rd Ward Candidate Forum

Aldermanic candidates running in Chicago's 33rd Ward sounded off on issues ranging from the minimum wage and charter schools to "political dynasties" and "machine politics" at a Tuesday evening forum sponsored by several Northwest Side neighborhood groups.

In Chicago's 33rd Ward, incumbent Ald. Deb Mell is being challenged by Tim Meegan, a public school teacher at Roosevelt High School, and Annisa Wanat, a non-profit consultant and former Peace Corps volunteer. Mell, the daughter of former Ald. Dick Mell (33rd), was appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to fill her father's council seat after he retired in July 2013.

At the packed candidate forum held at Newton Bateman Elementary School, Mell touted a number of accomplishments in her 18 months as alderman, including efforts around affordable housing, cracking down on "absentee" landlords, making the ward office more accessible and voting to raise the minimum wage to $13 by 2019.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:20am
Thu Jan 22, 2015

Advocates Urge Rauner, Illinois Legislature To Prioritize Mental Health Funding

As the Democrat-controlled Illinois legislature and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner gear up to tackle the state's fiscal problems, including a multi-billion budget deficit, mental health advocates are warning against further cuts to community-based services.

"Community mental health services have been cut to the core, and we're seeing a lot of the fallout," said Heather O'Donnell, vice president of public policy and advocacy for Chicago-based Thresholds, a recovery service provider for people with mental illness in Illinois.

Among other issues, O'Donnell noted that the Cook County Jail has about 2,000 inmates with some form of mental illness. And 22,000 people with mental illness in the state are living in nursing homes even though they "don't need that level of care." These people, she explained, would likely be homeless if they were not living in such facilities due to the lack of housing and other supports for them to live independently.

"We just need to make sure that we preserve every dollar, because we don't have anything else in the community mental health system that we can cut without costing the state far more than the cuts," O'Donnell stressed.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:58pm
Tue Jan 13, 2015

Garcia Talks Public Transit, TIF & Red Light Cameras At U Of C

At a Monday night talk at the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics, Chicago mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia reiterated his support for scaling back the city's red light camera and tax increment financing (TIF) programs as well as his desire to boost investments in public transportation. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the discussion.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:43pm
Wed Jan 7, 2015

Fioretti Talks Ride-Sharing Safety, Ethics & Policing At U of C

Progress Illinois provides highlights from Ald. Bob Fioretti's Monday talk about his Chicago mayoral bid a the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:16pm
Fri Oct 17, 2014

Chicago Hosts U.S.-Canada Energy Summit; Cook County Board Opposes Canadian Nuclear Dump

Canada's minister of natural resources is in Chicago this week to talk U.S.-Canada energy policy. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the minister's keynote address and takes a look at a controversial proposal to build a nuclear waste disposal facility in Canada near Lake Huron's shore. The Cook County Board passed a resolution last week against the Canadian nuclear dump.

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