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Quick Hit
by Op-Ed
12:52pm
Wed Mar 18, 2015

OP-ED: On February 24th, Chicago’s Working Families Said: 'Fool Us Once…'

The following is written by Keith Kelleher is president of SEIU* Healthcare Illinois Indiana.

Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to knock on doors throughout Chicago for our mayoral and aldermanic candidates.  What stood out in almost every conversation I had was the length and breadth of disappointment with the policies of Mayor Rahm Emanuel from voters. 

Mostly, people felt they had been fooled by Rahm.

The dissatisfaction with the Mayor and his policies and those of his rubber-stamp aldermen was fully revealed on Election Day when Jesus "Chuy" Garcia defied all the polls and ended with 34% of the vote, almost double what most polls were predicting. The election forced the mayor into a runoff --  along with many aldermen previously assumed to be "safe" -- a ringing denunciation of both the mayor and his policies and of his aldermanic allies.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:38pm
Tue Feb 17, 2015

Gutierrez, Illinois Immigration Reformers Call Judge's Ruling A 'Temporary Setback' (VIDEO)

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) says educational outreach around President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration will press ahead, despite a federal judge's ruling on Monday that temporarily stalled the administration's deportation relief plans.

The Obama administration is expected to appeal the judge's ruling, which comes in response to a lawsuit filed by a group of 26 mostly Republican-run states seeking to stop the president's immigration directives. Illinois has not joined the lawsuit, which claims the two immigration executive orders signed by Obama in November are unconstitutional. The federal judge, Andrew Hanen of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas, determined that the states met the minimum requirements needed to proceed with the lawsuit. 

Hanen's temporary injunction blocks Obama's two new immigration programs from taking effect before the case is decided. The application process for one of the new immigration policies was slated to launch Wednesday.

At a Tuesday morning press conference in Chicago, Gutierrez and leaders with SEIU* and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) called the judge's decision a "temporary setback" that won't derail their efforts to help immigrants prepare for administrative relief.

"This process can be delayed, but we as a community will not be deterred," Gutierrez said, adding that he believes Obama's new immigration policies will ultimately prevail after the legal process plays out. "Let's make it absolutely clear that the president's actions are well established in legal precedent."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:12pm
Tue Feb 10, 2015

Executive Immigration Actions Could Boost IL Economy; Voters Oppose GOP Efforts Against Relief

President Barack Obama's recent immigration executive actions could greatly benefit Illinois' economy, according to new data. Meanwhile, the battle in Congress over Department of Homeland Security funding rages on as a new poll shows that most Illinoisans oppose GOP efforts, supported by U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, to thwart the president's steps on immigration.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:47pm
Thu Jan 15, 2015

SEIU Local 1 Launches Janitorial Contract Campaign On MLK's Birthday (VIDEO)

Chicago janitors represented by SEIU* Local 1 took to the streets Thursday morning as they began gearing up for pending contract negotiations.

SEIU Local 1 leaders and dozens of Chicago custodians from institutional and commercial services kicked off their 2015 janitorial contract campaign on the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. Their contracts are set to expire in April.

The unionized janitors, including many who clean Chicago Public Schools (CPS) buildings, rolled out their campaign calling for better wages and benefits outside of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Preparatory High School, 4445 S. Drexel Boulevard.

"Of course, Martin Luther King, he stood for many things, but people fail to realize he died supporting the sanitation strike in Memphis, supporting sanitation workers who were being treated unfair," said Lonnell Saffold, director of institutional services for SEIU Local 1. "We believe that it's only right we be here to commemorate him and realize that his struggle is not going to die."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:54pm
Thu Dec 4, 2014

Chicago Fast Food Workers Call For $15 During National Day Of Strikes (VIDEO)

About 500 Chicago fast food workers and their supporters hit the city's downtown streets Thursday morning to call for a $15 an hour minimum wage and union recognition during a national day of strikes in 190 U.S. cities. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the Chicago protest.

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