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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:47pm
Thu Jun 16, 2016

Chicago Workers Cheer Committee Passage Of Paid Sick Time Ordinance

Chicago workers burst into cheers Thursday after a city council committee advanced legislation to make earned paid sick leave a requirement in the Windy City.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
7:37pm
Mon Jan 11, 2016

No Budget Agreement In Sight As Lawmakers Gear Up For The New Legislative Session (UPDATED)

With the state's 2016 legislative session starting this week, Progress Illinois checks in with lawmakers and government experts on the status of the budget impasse.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:42pm
Thu Nov 12, 2015

Paul Vallas Voices Support For A 'Hybrid' Elected School Board In Chicago

Paul Vallas, the former head of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district, says the city should have a "hybrid" school board with both voter-elected and mayor-appointed members.

He spoke Wednesday night at an elected school board forum hosted by state Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago) at the Athenaeum Theatre on Chicago's North Side. 

Other panelists at the discussion included Wendy Katten with the Raise Your Hand coalition and Eric "Rico" Gutstein, a professor in curriculum and instruction at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

"I believe that you do need elected members of the school board," said Vallas, who was the CPS CEO from 1995 to 2001 and also ran schools in New Orleans, Philadelphia and Bridgeport, Connecticut. "I believe that you do need transparency."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:03pm
Mon Jul 8, 2013

Community Activists Turn Attention To Chicago’s TIF Program In Light Of CPS Budget Cuts

As local public schools begin to grapple with devastating budget cuts, community activists from across the city continue to put the spotlight on Chicago’s tax increment financing (TIF) program.

Since its inception in 1986, the city’s TIF program has raked in about $5 billion in property tax dollars. Of that money, $2.7 billion was diverted from the school district.

In return, Chicago’s TIF program looks to spur economic development in blighted areas by providing subsidies to companies for projects, such as housing complexes or a shopping center. TIF money has also been used for school building construction projects.

But at a recent TIF town hall meeting, Rogers Park residents criticized the program, saying it has done little to generate economic development in the 49th Ward and other struggling communities across the city.

“We need to end the TIF program,” said 49th Ward resident Don Olson at the CivicLab’s TIF forum held at Loyola Park last week.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:41pm
Mon Jun 17, 2013

West Side ‘Peace Corner’ Provides A Safe Haven For Youth (VIDEO)

The Peace Corner Youth Center on Chicago's West Side offers youth a safe and recreational space after school and during the summer. Just before a violent weekend of shootings across the city left eight people dead and more than 40 wounded, Progress Illinois attended the non-profit's open house to learn more about its violence-prevention programs.

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