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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:31pm
Thu Mar 24, 2016

Ryan Renounces Previous 'Makers And Takers' Rhetoric As Progressives Rebuke GOP 'Austerity' Budget Plan

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI,1) expressed regret this week for his past comments against poor Americans, saying in a major speech Wednesday that he was wrong for calling people "makers and takers."

"There was a time that I would talk about a difference between 'makers' and 'takers' in our country, referring to people who accepted government benefits. But as I spent more time listening, really learning the root causes of poverty, I realized something. I realized that I was wrong," Ryan said during his speech about the state of American politics. "'Takers' wasn't how to refer to a single mom stuck in a poverty trap, trying to take care of her family. Most people don't want to be dependent. And to label a whole group of Americans that way was wrong. I shouldn't castigate a large group of Americans just to make a point."

In a question and answer session after his speech, delivered before a group of House interns, Ryan added, "I was callous and I oversimplified and I castigated people with a broad brush. That's wrong. And there's a lot of that happening in America today. I myself have made that mistake."

Despite Ryan's noteworthy change in rhetoric, and his push this year to make combating poverty a top GOP priority, critics say his policies speak for themselves.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:05pm
Mon Feb 8, 2016

Travis Campaign Calls Mitchell A 'Rauner Democrat' In 26th District Race

Jhatayn "Jay" Travis, a community organizer who is challenging incumbent state Rep. Christian Mitchell in the 26th District Democratic primary, took jabs Monday at her opponent during a press conference with members of the Chicago Teachers Union and a few elected officials.

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (7th) joined Chicago Alds. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th) and Brendan Reilly (42nd) at the press conference, held at the Billy Goat Tavern on Michigan Avenue, to tout their support of Travis, who made an unsuccessful bid to unseat Mitchell in 2014.

Travis' campaign is calling Mitchell a "Rauner Democrat," because the incumbent allegedly shares "elite donors and a political agenda" with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

"He receives over $200,000 from the very same interests he claims to be fighting against, and these are also the very same interests that back a governor who has held the needs of families and the services that they need hostage in this indefensible budget impasse," said Travis, former executive director of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO). "So I would say to you, it's time that we have representation in the 26th District that stands with the people and not with corporate interests."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:10pm
Fri Jan 22, 2016

Election Preview: Democratic Primary Race Heats Up In 8th Congressional District

Progress Illinois talks with the two leading candidates running in the 8th congressional district's Democratic primary race.

Quick Hit
by Op-Ed
7:53pm
Tue Dec 1, 2015

Op-Ed: Clean Water Can’t Wait

The following was co-authored by Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL,7) and Environment Illinois' Brittany King. 

Clean water is the cornerstone of life. We need it for drinking, bathing, eating, playing, brewing, and everything in-between. Unfortunately, Illinois' waterways are in jeopardy now more than ever. From toxic chemicals to combined sewage overflows to factory farm runoff, there is currently more haunting our waters than there is to be thankful for.

As rain returns to Chicago we are faced with the prospect of more and more combined sewage overflows as our water systems are overwhelmed, releasing contaminated water into Lake Michigan. Since 2014, over 20 billion gallons of contaminated water have been released into Lake Michigan. What's even scarier is that 5 million people rely on Lake Michigan for clean drinking water every day.

It's not just Lake Michigan facing threats, however; waterways throughout Illinois are all facing a variety of pollution problems. In fact, these problems plague waterways nationwide.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:26pm
Wed Jun 18, 2014

Most Illinois Congressional Members Get Passing Grades On National Poverty Scorecard

Six Democratic members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation had a perfect voting record in 2013 on legislation important to people living in poverty, according to a new scorecard and report published by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.

Meanwhile, no Republican Congressmen from Illinois earned a grade higher than a 'D' on the center's 2013 Poverty Scorecard, which looked at the voting record of every U.S. senator and representative on poverty-related issues during the last calendar year. The scores were tabulated based on 18 votes taken in the House and Senate on legislation covering a variety of subject areas including budget and tax, food and nutrition, health care, immigrants, cash assistance, domestic violence, education and the workforce, to name a few.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:10am
Mon Jun 2, 2014

Six Illinois Congressmen Get F's On Immigration Score Card

Most lawmakers in the GOP-led U.S. House are "failing the Latino community" when it comes to immigration issues, according to a preliminary score card released last week.

The initial 2014 National Immigration Score Card is based on immigration-related votes taken by the 435 House members of the current 113th Congress.

The worst score of 59 percent went to 219 House members, all of whom are Republicans including six from Illinois. A total of 170 House lawmakers, all Democrats, received the best score of 100 percent, with nine of them being from Illinois. As a whole, the House earned an average score of 77 percent.

“Our community is being disproportionately devastated by the broken immigration system that this Congress refuses to fix. This preliminary score card shows that most in Congress are clearly failing us on immigration right now,” said the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement's (LCLAA) Executive Director Hector Sanchez. “Latinos can no longer tolerate more excuses on why reform has not passed."

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