Explore our content

Quick hits | All dates | All authors
All categories

Pages

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
5:59pm
Tue May 17, 2016

Environmentalists Demand Transition To Renewable Energy At BP Whiting Refinery, 41 Arrested

More than 1,000 environmentalists and Chicago-area residents protested at the BP Refinery in Whiting, Indiana demanding an end to the use of fossil fuels and a transition to the sole use of renewable energy.

"From the toxic waste created by extreme extraction of tar sands destroying indigenous communities in Canada, to toxins created by the BP Whiting refinery producing sacrifice communities in the Greater Chicago area, to the catastrophic effect on our climate, the urgent need for a just transition away from fossil fuels to a 100 percent renewable energy economy is abundantly clear," said Mariah Urueta, a Food & Water Watch Michigan organizer.

The protesters, joined by more than 70 local and national organizations, walked two miles through area neighborhoods, ending the march in front of the refinery. There, they sat in a circle at the facility's gates Sunday until 41 of the protesters were arrested by police donning riot gear. Those arrested were released shortly after being charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing. The protest took place as news broke that April's temps exceeded global records, which is the seventh consecutive month of such news, sparking analysts to contend that 2016 will likely be the hottest year on record by far.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:09pm
Thu May 12, 2016

'Reassigned' CPS Principal Blasts Emanuel Administration Over 'Politically Motivated Charges' (UPDATED)

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) principal Troy LaRaviere faced the media Thursday morning to speak out against the "politically motivated charges" leveled against him by the district.

Last month, CPS removed LaRaviere -- an outspoken critic of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS -- from Blaine Elementary School in Lakeview and reassigned him to his home with pay until the disciplinary process is complete.

CPS has 12 total dismissal charges pending against LaRaviere involving insubordination, dereliction of duty and ethics violations. 

LaRaviere's removal comes as he runs for president of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, the election for which is currently underway and ballots will be counted next week.

"When I was a lone voice, the administration tolerated me," LaRaviere said this morning at the Wishbone Restaurant on Lincoln Avenue. "But when faced with the prospect of an organized group of education leaders speaking as one on behalf of students, they've moved with haste and reckless abandon to prevent that from happening."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:12pm
Wed May 11, 2016

Illinois Senate Passes Domestic Workers Bill Of Rights

Legislation to create a "Domestic Workers Bill of Rights" in Illinois passed the state Senate Wednesday, bringing caregivers and house cleaners one step closer to greater job security and improved working conditions.

The bill, which the House approved last May, now goes back to the lower chamber for a final vote, according to the Illinois Domestic Workers Coalition.

The domestic workforce, mostly made up of women, has historically been excluded from protections under state and federal laws extended to workers in other industries.

The proposed "Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights Act" is meant to ensure that domestic workers in Illinois are paid no less than the minimum wage, receive at least one day off a week and have protections against sexual harassment.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
6:22pm
Mon May 9, 2016

Chicago Housing, Police Accountability Advocates Picket Emanuel Fundraiser Over CHA Practices

Police accountability and housing activists are pushing back against city government as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel attempts to replenish his campaign coffers at his first fundraiser since the Laquan McDonald shooting video was released.

The activists are picketing at Emanuel's pricey Monday night fundraiser, which costs individuals $5,400 while corporations are required to cough up $10,000. The event is being held at the home of real estate developer Robert Winslow.

Affordable housing advocates are calling on the mayor to make "substantive reforms" to the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), including a complete overhaul of the agency's policies. While Emanuel tapped Eugene Jones Jr. to take over the housing agency in January, CHA critics say that is not enough.

The Chicago Housing Initiative (CHI) has pushed back against CHA for its practices, blasting the agency for reportedly hoarding about 6,000 housing vouchers and 2,800 vacant units while more than 120,000 needy families sit idle on the agency's waitlist. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:55pm
Mon May 9, 2016

Illinois Republican Lawmaker: Budget Proposal Possibly On The Horizon

State Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) says she is hopeful a bipartisan committee of state lawmakers will have a budget proposal ready to present soon.

Bellock is a member of the budget working group, which was reportedly formed by the governor and is meeting daily. She spoke Monday afternoon at a City Club of Chicago discussion on the Illinois budget. Three other state lawmakers were on the City Club of Chicago panel, including state Sens. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) and Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and state Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills).

The budget working group, Bellock said, is comprised of "budgeteers from all the different (appropriation) committees." The group is "trying to come up with" a budget proposal and is working on "line item after line item after line item," she explained.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:16pm
Thu May 5, 2016

Ventra Puts Financial, Administrative Burdens On Chicago-Area Social Service Providers, Report Finds

Chicago-area social service providers that offer transit assistance to their clients want some relief from the financial and administrative challenges they claim to face when using Ventra, the regional fare-payment system.

That's according to a new survey-based report by the Chicago Jobs Council, a coalition of organizations, businesses and individuals focused on improving access to employment opportunities for people living in poverty.

Fifty-three social service providers, funded by multiple city of Chicago and Cook County agencies, participated in CJC's survey about their experiences with Ventra. The providers operate various programs, including workforce initiatives, and serve youth, the homeless and other individuals in need, according to CJC.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:19pm
Wed May 4, 2016

Wage Theft Alleged In Lawsuit Against Chicago Dunkin' Donuts Franchisee (VIDEO)

Former Dunkin' Donuts franchise workers filed a federal class action lawsuit Wednesday, alleging wage theft at 16 downtown Chicago locations operated by the same owner.

The suit alleges that the franchise owner frequently made unauthorized deductions from workers' paychecks for cash register shortages, manipulated time cards and failed to pay the minimum wage and overtime.

Christina Padilla, 23, is one of two former Dunkin' Donuts franchise workers named as plaintiffs in the suit, which is seeking class action status to cover over 100 current and former employees of the locations in question.

"Workers have [had their] wages stolen, and they have been mistreated until they quit," Padilla said in announcing the class action suit.

Quick Hit
by Michael Joyce
5:55pm
Mon May 2, 2016

Fight For $15 Takes Battle For A Living Wage To Chicago Suburbs

The Fight for $15 campaign is taking their call for a wage increase and better working conditions to the Chicago suburbs. The workers' rights campaign held a rally at Evanston's Fountain Square over the weekend.

Emboldened by recent Fight for $15 victories in New York and California, speakers called out McDonald's and other low-wage employers, demanding that they at least match Chicago's recent minimum wage increase.

"We all know Evanston is becoming increasingly less welcome to low-income residents by way of rising property values and less affordable housing," said Gabriel Machabanski, of the Open Communities organization. "Equally important, but less emphasized, is the stagnant poverty wages. Chicago has taken action and increased its minimum wage. There's no reason workers on this side of Howard should be making less than $10 an hour."

Illinois Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) also spoke at the event, saying that the economic landscape of the country has changed over the last 30 years, concentrating the distribution of wealth among the elite.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:59pm
Mon May 2, 2016

Homeless Chicagoans, Advocates Skeptical Of Housing Pilot Program For 'Tent City' Residents

Homeless individuals who live under Lake Shore Drive viaducts on Chicago's North Side met Monday morning with city officials to discuss a new pilot program that will provide them with housing and support services. 

Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler and North Side Alds. James Cappleman (46th) and Harry Osterman (48th) were at the meeting, held at Weiss Memorial Hospital. Also in attendance were various homeless advocates, service providers and community members.

At issue was a city pilot program, announced late last month, aimed at placing 75 chronically homeless individuals into permanent housing. The homeless individuals live in tent encampments, also known as tent cities, under viaducts near Lake Shore Drive at Irving Park Road and Foster, Lawrence and Wilson Avenues. 

Pages