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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
9:44am
Tue Sep 15, 2015

Irregular Work Schedules Taking A Toll On Families, Experts Say

Unpredictable and non-standard job schedules can negatively impact the development of children and adolescents whose parent work such shifts, and policy changes are needed to improve workplace scheduling practices, experts argue in a recent issue brief published by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

Children of all ages whose parents have erratic or non-standard job schedules are at higher risk for adverse cognitive and behavioral outcomes, reads the brief, authored by University of New South Wales lecturer Leila Morsy and EPI research associate Richard Rothstein.

"When parents can't predict when they will or won't be working, their entire home lives are disrupted -- they engage less with their children in critical activities like reading and telling stories," Morsy said in a statement. "In many states, parents working irregular schedules even lose eligibility for child care subsidies."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:09pm
Tue Aug 25, 2015

What's The Status Of Women's Equality In Illinois?

Ahead of Women's Equality Day on Wednesday, a new study shows Illinois is the third most equal state for women. But don't get too cheery over the findings, independent experts say. 

WalletHub, the personal finance website, ranked all 50 U.S. states on gender equality in three areas: education, political empowerment and workplace environment. Illinois had the third best overall ranking, behind New York at No.2 and Hawaii at No. 1. Utah earned the worst ranking.

A leader with the Chicago-based advocacy group Women Employed was pleased to see Illinois come in third for women's equality. However, the ranking "doesn't mean things are primarily good for women in Illinois," stressed Women Employed's Associate Director Jenny Wittner.

"It just means that by certain measures (conditions are) better than other states," she said.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
9:46pm
Tue Aug 18, 2015

Chicago Aldermen, Advocates Release City Proposals To Strengthen Immigrant Integration

Chicago aldermen and immigrant advocates unveiled a list of proposals Tuesday aimed at improving the lives of immigrants across the city.

Issues of language access, legal representation, safety and services for immigrants are addressed in the Chicago Immigration Policy Working Group's six-point immigrant integration plan.

The newly-formed working group is comprised of three Chicago council members, Alds. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th), Ricardo Munoz (22nd) and Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), and 14 leading immigrant advocacy organizations such as the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, the Latino Policy Forum and the National Immigrant Justice Center.

"Two years ago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated that he is committed to making Chicago the most immigrant-friendly city in the United States," Ramirez-Rosa said at a Tuesday press conference. "As the Chicago Immigration Working Group, we share that commitment, and we're excited to get to work alongside the mayor to fulfill that goal."

Quick Hit
by Michael Joyce
9:38pm
Mon Aug 10, 2015

CAN TV Workers Set To Vote On Unionizing At Public Access TV Station

Chicago Access Network Television (CAN-TV) workers will continue their push for unionization, with Tuesday being a critical day in their drive for representation thanks to a scheduled National Labor Relations Board election.

CAN-TV employees are looking to unionize due to low wages, complaints about working conditions and hours, as well as "feeling disrespct[ed] and marginaliz[ed] by management," according to an announcement.

At a recent press conference and rally, CAN-TV executive director Barbara Popovic gave a statement on behalf of the cable public access television station.

"CAN-TV recognizes the rights of our employees to hold an election, and as an employer we will not take any action to interfere with those fundamental rights," Popovic said.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:04pm
Thu Aug 6, 2015

Illinois Legislature Recognized For Passing Key Progressive Policies In 2015 (UPDATED)

Illinois got a nod in a new top 10 list of progressive policies passed during state legislative sessions this year.

The State Innovation Exchange (SiX), a group working with state legislators to advance progressive policies across the country, compiled the list. SiX was formed in an effort to counter the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that crafts and pushes conservative, corporate-friendly state legislation.

According to SiX's review, the top 10 state-level progressive measures approved thus far in 2015 involve the following: closing the wage gap for women and minorities; accommodating pregnant workers; implementing earned sick leave; expanding access to higher education; tackling the student debt crisis; reducing carbon emissions; modernizing voter registration; repealing the death penalty; increasing police accountability and public safety; and preventing abusers and stalkers from obtaining guns.

"We are convinced that progressives are right on the issues and the SiX review of the states bears that out. From advancing the economic security of working families to improving access to voting we saw that even in a map that is deeply red, progressives were able to achieve some important policy victories in 2015," SiX Executive Director Nick Rathod said in a statement. "I'm confident that as SiX grows and is able to better resource, train and organize legislators around the country, we can help to see that progressives are able to achieve more of the types of policy victories like those that made the list this year."

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