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Bridgeport
PI Original
by Ray Quintanilla
3:39pm
Fri Jun 24, 2016

Can ‘Miss Obamacare’ Save Health Care? Enrolling Latinos Is Critical

Progress Illinois talks to one of the local players involved in getting a key demographic enrolled in Obamacare.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:56pm
Tue Mar 10, 2015

Five Chicago Housing Providers Sued Over Alleged Discrimination Against The Deaf

The disability advocacy group Access Living is suing five Chicago housing providers for allegedly violating of the federal Fair Housing Act by discriminating against people who are deaf.

Access Living, in partnership with Kirkland & Ellis LLP, filed the five housing complaints -- based on "fair housing tests" that paired deaf and non-disabled testers -- in federal court on Tuesday.

"It's hard enough for people with disabilities to find accessible, affordable housing," Access Living's President and CEO Marca Bristo said at a news conference to announce the complaint filings. "But when people with disabilities face discrimination by housing providers, the struggle to find housing becomes exponentially more difficult."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:18pm
Fri Dec 5, 2014

Aldermanic Candidate Questions TIF Use In Chicago's 11th Ward, Calls For Better Use Of Funds

Tax increment financing (TIF) districts located solely in Chicago's 11th Ward on the South Side had $69.5 million in unspent property tax revenue sitting in their collective bank accounts at the start of this year. 

That money would have otherwise been dispersed among the local units of government that rely on property tax revenue, including the school and park districts, were it not for the city's controversial TIF program, which is intended to spur economic development in "blighted" areas.

The Chicago-based CivicLab revealed that TIF finding and relevant information at a Thursday night meeting held at the First Lutheran Church of the Trinity, 643 W. 31st St., in Bridgeport.

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
1:59pm
Fri Jul 25, 2014

Chicago Religious Leaders Hold Prayer Vigil To Highlight U.S. Incarceration Epidemic

“You don’t have to pray, believe in the same God or even a God to come to a prayer vigil,” Pastor Thomas R. Gaulke told a small group assembled in a meeting room at First Lutheran Church of the Trinity in Bridgeport. 

Gaulke and the group were finalizing an agenda for a prayer vigil that some 60 people attended last night for the families and friends of loved ones who have been incarcerated. The vigil, which took place in an empty lot on 31st street near the 9th District Chicago police station and the Bridgeport Homes housing project, came together as part of a collaboration between faith leaders like Gaulke and community organizing groups, including Bridgeport Alliance, IIRON and Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:32pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Report: $15 Chicago Minimum Wage Would Lift Up Struggling Workers, City's Economy

A proposal to hike Chicago's minimum wage to $15 an hour would not only be a boon for many low-wage workers but also the city's economy, according to a new report by the Center for Popular Democracy.

"Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would promote economic stability among Chicago workers, economic vitality in their neighborhoods and economic growth throughout this city," said Connie Razza, director of strategic research at the center, which works both locally and nationally to build "the strength and capacity of democratic organizations to envision and advance a pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial and economic justice agenda."

The new report comes ahead of Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting, during which aldermen with the Progressive Reform Caucus plan to introduce an ordinance for a citywide hourly minimum wage of $15 an hour. The ordinance was developed with members of Raise Chicago, a coalition of community and labor groups advocating for a higher hourly wage floor in the city. Chicago's current minimum wage is $8.25 an hour, the same as the base hourly wage in Illinois and $1 more than the federal level. 

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
8:51pm
Wed Oct 9, 2013

CTA Study Reveals Ridership Does Not Justify Implementing A Full 31st Street Bus Route (VIDEO)

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) board voted Wednesday to make the No. 35 bus route’s expansion to West 31st Street permanent, but an agency study revealed potential ridership does not justify funding a 31st Street bus route that travels east of Kedzie Avenue.

The original 31st Street bus route, which ran from Cicero Avenue to the lakefront and cut through South Side neighborhoods such as McKinley Park, Armour Square, Bridgeport and Bronzeville, was discontinued in 1997 due to low ridership.

Since then, South Side activists, many of whom packed the agency’s board meeting Wednesday to hear the results of the year-long feasibility study, claim people in their communities have been held captive in a public transportation desert.

“For us today, the results that were presented are disappointing and infuriating,” said Rev. Tom Gaulke, pastor at First Lutheran Church of the Trinity and vice-chair of the Bridgeport Alliance, in a presentation before the board. “The conductors of the study don’t seem to understand the real situation and our real need. They must not have looked very closely at the needs of our community.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:47pm
Thu Jun 6, 2013

TIF Program Angers Bridgeport, McKinley Park Residents

Residents of Chicago's 11th Ward were outraged upon learning that $57.4 million in property tax money was sitting in their tax increment financing (TIF) districts' collective bank accounts at the end of 2011, according to data unveiled by the CivicLab.

One resident suggested at least one way that money could have been put to use at the CivicLab's TIF Illumination Project meeting Wednesday night.

Maureen Sullivan with Bridgeport Alliance said she has been pushing the city to renovate the Ramova Theater at 35th and Halsted streets for years, to no avail.

The city currently owns the property, which has been closed since 1986, Sullivan said.

“It could be a thousand-seat performance space and the largest economic generator on Halsted Street, and it's sitting there empty," Sullivan said in remarks after the meeting, held at the McKinley Park library. "And I'm so angry, because when I talk to the city, they dangle (TIF) in front of you, like 'we may be able to get you some TIF funds for this.'”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:03pm
Thu Apr 4, 2013

State Coalition Hosts Talk On Reversing The Chicago River

Illinois’ Healthy Water Solutions Coalition has a vision for Chicago’s future.

It includes revitalizing the Chicago River via restoring the natural divide between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins.

Physical separation of the basins and Lake Michigan is the only permanent solution to prevent invasive species from transferring through the Chicago waterways, members of the coalition said at its public “Changing Course: Revitalizing the Chicago River” talk Wednesday night. The meeting was set to get more people engaged with the issue.

“This is about a lot more than Asian carp,” said Tim Eder, executive director of the Great Lakes Commission. “This is about more than just one fish that threatens Lake Michigan. It’s about a number of different invasive species ... but it’s also about more than fish, and the ecosystem, and the lake. It’s about restoring and utilizing a precious resource that in many ways the city has turned its back on.”