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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:44pm
Tue Apr 26

Children At Risk: Protections Needed To Improve Welfare Of Youth With Incarcerated Parents

Having a parent in jail or prison can have the same impact on a child's well-being as abuse or domestic violence, according to a new report that is pushing for the expansion of support services to families affected by incarceration.

Children of incarcerated parents face increased risks of financial and emotional instability, the new study, released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, reports.

"Incarceration breaks up families, the building blocks of our communities and nation," reads the study. "It creates an unstable environment for kids that can have lasting effects on their development and well-being."

Some 186,000 kids in Illinois, representing 6 percent of the state's child population, have a parent who has served time behind bars. Nationally, 5 million kids, or 7 percent of the child population, have had a parent in jail or prison during their childhood, according to the research, based on data from 2011 and 2012.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:40pm
Wed Apr 13

Chicago City Council Roundup: Aldermen Confirm Top Cop, Push For Paid Sick Days

From police oversight to paid sick days, Progress Illinois rounds up highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:15pm
Tue Mar 8

On International Women's Day, Chicago McDonald's Workers Demand 'Respect' On The Job (VIDEO)

Women McDonald's workers and their allies spoke out against alleged workplace abuses during a Chicago protest held Tuesday morning to coincide with International Women's Day. Progress Illinois was there for the protest. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:07pm
Fri Apr 10, 2015

Report Outlines Reforms To Strengthen Illinois Charter School Oversight

The oversight system of charter schools in Illinois contains "fundamental flaws" that need to be revamped in order to prevent fraud, argues a report by Action Now and the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD).

The report -- which pointed to the scandal involving insider deals at the charter school operator United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) as a more recent example of the need for stronger oversight -- noted that over $13 million in charter school fraud, waste or abuse has been uncovered in Illinois since the legislature passed a 1996 law allowing charters to open in the state.

As a result of the state's "lack of transparency and necessary oversight," there are likely more instances in which funds were inappropriately used in the Illinois charter system than has been reported, the researchers claim. According to their estimate, charter school fraud in Illinois tallied up to nearly $28 million in the last year alone.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:11pm
Tue Nov 18, 2014

Disability Rights Activists Demand Closure Of Troubled Rogers Park Nursing Home (VIDEO)

Activists protested Monday afternoon outside of a Rogers Park nursing home where numerous disabled children and young adults have died in recent years.

Toting signs reading "Kids need love not nursing homes," about 20 disability rights advocates with the group Access Living demanded that the troubled facility now called Alden Village North shut its doors for good. The activists, who staged a similar protest against the facility in September, also stressed the need for more community-based supports for people with disabilities. 

"We believe that no child with a disability should be in a nursing home, but if they have to exist, this is not one here that should" remain open, said Gary Arnold, public relations coordinator at Access Living.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:52pm
Mon Apr 7, 2014

Bangladeshi Garment Workers, UIC Students Join Forces In Call For Improved Factory Conditions

Nearly a year after the Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh, two organizers of the Bangladeshi labor movement encouraged University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) students to continue pressuring clothing companies to sign an important workplace safety accord.

Aleya Akter, 29, general secretary of the Bangladeshi Garment and Industrial Workers Federation, and Aklima Khanam, 20, a garment worker who survived the deadly Rana Plaza disaster, visited the university Monday.

"I want to tell university students [that] we're making clothing for you, so do you want us to be in factories like Rana Plaza … where workers are dying," Khanam asked while speaking through a translator.

The UIC's chapter of the United Students Against Sweatshops, a student run-organization active on more than 150 college campuses in North America, hosted Monday's discussion about the continued struggle for garment worker safety in Bangladesh.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
8:28pm
Mon Mar 24, 2014

Ahead Of Quinn's Budget Speech, Child Welfare Advocates Warn Against More Cuts To Vital Services

As the expiration of the state's temporary income tax hike approaches and budget cuts loom, family and child welfare advocates say Springfield lawmakers — and candidates running in November's General Election — should spell out what they will do to address health disparities among kids in Illinois.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:23pm
Mon Mar 10, 2014

Chicago McDonald's Workers Celebrate International Women's Day, Call For An End To Verbal Abuse

    Fast food workers and their supporters protested at Chicago's Rock N' Roll McDonald's on Saturday afternoon to call out a restaurant manager who allegedly told an employee to "put a bullet" in her head.

Members of the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago (WOCC) and the Fight for 15 campaign staged the demonstration to coincide with International Women's Day. 

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