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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:46pm
Fri Nov 15, 2013

Gutierrez Says Immigration Reform Is Not Dead, Urges Activists To Keep Pressure On House GOP

On a conference call with reporters Friday, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) urged youths, like the two teens who approached House Speaker John Boehner at a diner this week to discuss immigration reform, and supporters of the movement to keep the heat on Republican leaders about passing a bill that would fix the nation's broken immigration system.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
2:59pm
Mon Oct 28, 2013

House Republicans Must Act On Immigration Reform, Say Community Leaders, Elected Officials (VIDEO)

Inaction on immigration reform will have negative consequences for the mostly white, male-dominated Republican Party during next year’s election, according to a group of protesters who vowed Saturday to vote Illinois’ GOP congressional delegates out of office if they do not work towards passing legislation that would overhaul the nation’s broken immigration system.

“Give us a vote on citizenship or risk extinction,” read flyers left outside of U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam's (R, IL-6) downtown Chicago office doors Saturday as more than 50 immigration reform advocates chanted, “Remember November!”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:36pm
Wed Oct 9, 2013

Illinois Latino Politicians Slam Roskam For Holding Immigration Reform Hostage

Latino elected officials in Illinois had a clear message for "anti-immigrant" U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R, IL-6) at a Chicago press conference Wednesday: listen to the voters and bring immigration reform legislation up for a vote in the House.

Last Wednesday, House Democrats introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill that is nearly identical to the bipartisan immigration reform package the Senate passed in June. Leaders of the GOP-led House, however, appear to be ignoring the measure, which would also create a pathway to citizenship for the nation's more than 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Those at Wednesday's gathering said Roskam, Illinois' top House Republican and the chamber's chief deputy whip, has the power to help advance the measure to the floor for a vote, but instead, he's holding immigration reform hostage.

"We have an Illinoisan (who) is becoming an obstacle in making sure that our immigrant brothers and sisters get a fair chance, and that’s got to stop," said Chicago Ald. Ray Suarez (31st). "If (Roskam) doesn’t wake up, I believe in November, [the] next election, the Latino community and the Asian community are not going to be supporting this gentleman."

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
1:57pm
Tue Jul 16, 2013

Racial Justice Event Highlights Need For Solidarity Among U.S. Minority And Immigrant Communities (VIDEO)

Too seldom are cultural and ethnic barriers bridged between Chicago’s black and brown minority and immigrant communities, according to Alie Kabba, an immigrant from Sierra Leone and executive director of the Chicago-based United African Organization (UAO).

Dubbed the Racial Justice Roundtable, UAO hosted its third and final workshop on the effect of racism and racial inequality on immigrant and minority communities over the weekend. The workshop highlighted different forms of racial inequality, including institutional and structural racism, and discussed the need for all communities of color to come together on a unified mission for social justice.

“Too often we work within different silos and we are never really connected,” said Kabba regarding Illinois’ numerous immigrant rights and advocacy organizations. “We want to make sure those of us engaged in the work of social justice are building black-brown alliances and starting to use a racial justice lens in our discourse about public policy issues and their impact on our communities.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:45pm
Wed Jun 26, 2013

Emanuel Introduces Assault Weapons Ban, Student Safety Measure At Busy Council Meeting

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced an ordinance at Wednesday’s city council meeting that looks to ban the import, sale, transfer and possession of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in the city.

The move comes in response to the concealed carry legislation the Illinois General Assembly passed last month that is currently awaiting action from Gov. Pat Quinn.

State lawmakers are required to come up with new legislation by a July 9 deadline following a federal court ruling back in December that struck down Illinois’ concealed carry ban. The deadline was extended from June 9 to July 9 to give Gov. Quinn more time to consider the bill once it passed.

Under the proposed statewide concealed carry legislation, HB 183, sponsored by State Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg), Illinois municipalities will have 10 days after the bill is signed to pass a new or updated assault weapons measure.

The Chicago Police Department is making a “strong effort” to bring down gun-related crimes and violence in the city in part by putting more police on the streets and getting “kids, guns and drugs” off of them, Emanuel said in remarks after the meeting.

“It is essential that we make sure we do everything to bring safety to all our communities and neighborhoods throughout the city,” Emanuel said. “The assault weapon ban, and making sure it’s comprehensive, is part of that overall strategy — bringing safety throughout our streets.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:22pm
Wed Jun 26, 2013

Illinois Citizens Ranked 16th In Overall Well-being, New National Data Shows

The overall well-being among Illinois residents has seen a slight improvement over the years, according to data from the American Human Development Index (HD Index) updated this month by Measure of America.

The HD Index factors in three issues Americans feel strongly about and also gauges human progress: health, education and income. The index tackles the question of how Americans are doing as opposed to how is the economy faring, which is something the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and other economic indicators seek to answer.

Illinois earned the 16th best HD Index score out of the 50 states, according to the “The Measure of America 2013-2014”. The report also includes an interactive map that lets users examine quality of life trends.

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
1:37pm
Wed Feb 20, 2013

Gingrich, Axelrod Talk Politics, Demographics & The Future Of The Republican Party

In front of a more than 600-person audience, former speaker of the house and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich sat down for a 90-minute conversation with former White House senior adviser, President Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, and new MSNBC correspondent David Axelrod at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics last night. Progress Illinois was there for the candid discussion.

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