The week that was in Illinois politics and government (September 24-28).
Chicago and Cook County News
We reported Monday on the new face of gang violence in Chicago. Gangs are more splintered now and their leadership is increasingly younger and more fluid.
A mayoral task force released a report this week with broad guidelines for how to redevelop the site of two Chicago coal-fired power plants on the Southwest Side that shut down in August.
Worker-rights advocates are calling on Chicago car wash owners to clean up their act when it comes to providing a fair wage to their workers. The call follows yje release of a University of Illinois study which found incidents involving wage theft and hazardous working conditions appear to be a systemic problem within the industry throughout the area.
The portion of Chicagoans who are low-wage workers, defined as those who earn less than $12 an hour, increased from a quarter to a third of the workforce between 2001 and 2011, according to a study released Tuesday from non-profits Action Now and Women Employed.
A grim study from the National Immigrant Justice Center released Thursday found that undocumented immigrants housed in detention centers, who are usually slated for deportation, face 23-hour solitary confinement for minor infractions such as having an extra blanket.
On Thursday, Associate Judge Thomas Donnelly threw out the October 2011 arrests of 92 Occupy Chicago protesters for violating the Chicago Park District's curfew.
A federal trial started Thursday pitting the city of Joliet against the Obama administration and 700 tenants of a public housing project that city officials want to tear down.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Monday that downtown Millennium Park will now have free wireless internet, and that all Chicago parks may soon have broadband access.
As of Tuesday, Chicago voter registration was down by 225,000 people compared to 2008, with 1.2 million city residents on the voter rolls. Voters can register by mail until October 9. Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and David Orr, the county clerk, organized a countywide voter registration effort Tuesday.
We took an extended look at the future of gambling legislation Tuesday. Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed legislation to expand gambling last month, but he may also have laid the framework for a compromise in the fall veto session.
Gov. Pat Quinn’s press secretary Brooke Anderson wrote an op-ed Thursday defending Quinn’s labor record amid a series of conflicts with AFSCME Council 31 public employees union. One of these disputes is that the two sides are far apart on a new collective bargaining agreement after the old one expired June 30.
AFSCME Council 31 spokesman Anders Lindall fired back with an op-ed of his own Friday, accusing Quinn of “endlessly repeating lies.”
A poll released Wednesday by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University shows that voters in the Land of Lincoln differ with state leaders in not so obvious ways. Perhaps the most striking finding is that statewide acceptance of gay marriage is on a sharp rise.
With the fate of Tamms Supermax prison at an impasse, those who support its closure made the case Wednesday that the facility must shut down on human rights grounds.
Environmentalists are nervous after the Illinois Pollution Control Board granted St. Louis energy company Ameren a five-year extension at the end of last week for meeting new sulfur dioxide pollution standards.
A Chicago federal appeals court denied a request on Monday from imprisoned former Illinois Gov. George Ryan that the three-judge panel rehear his plea for an early prison release.
There is somewhat good news regarding national jobs numbers: The U.S. Labor Department changed their estimate of how many jobs were created between the end of March 2011 and the end of this March, stating that there were 386,000 new employment positions in that time.
PI reported Tuesday that the Obama administration's deferred action program, which is intended to let undocumented immigrants aged 30 and under avoid deportation, is just getting started amid concerns the initiative could abruptly end if Republican nominee Mitt Romney wins the presidency.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 American Community Survey released last week carried one critical piece of good news – the number of people without health care is slightly down due to an initial step in implementing the landmark 2010 Affordable Care Act.
We examined Friday some new campaign season reading, “The MoveOn Effect” by David Karpf, a media and public affairs professor at George Washington University. The book looks at how older advocacy organizations are adopting, or not, to new technology.
The 8th Congressional district race heated up this week with Joe Walsh receiving just over $1 million from Super Political Action Committees.
Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth, meanwhile, released a new ad Wednesday that shows her pedaling a modified bicycle with her hands and telling voters she will "go the extra mile" to maintain Medicare and make college more affordable.
Poll results released by the Cheri Bustos campaign Friday show that the candidate is closing the gap between herself and incumbent U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-Colona) in the 17th congressional district race.
A federal appeals court in Chicago heard oral arguments Monday on the constitutionality of Wisconsin's 2011 law that restricts the collective bargaining rights of certain public employees.
Earlier this week, UNITE HERE Local 1 released a video illustrating how some of its members feel about Barack Obama and his presidency.