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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:01pm
Mon Sep 19, 2016

Refugee Resettlement Surges In Chicago, Local Experts Say

The number of people seeking sanctuary in the Chicago area is growing significantly, according to a local agency that helps refugees resettle in the city.

"Right now, we are experiencing a really crazy surge in arrivals," Lea Tienou told an audience of college students as well as immigrant and refugee service providers and advocates.

Tienou is associate director of refugee family adjustment and employment services at the Heartland Alliance. She spoke Monday afternoon at DePaul University's Loop campus as part of a panel discussion about the global refugee crisis. 

The Heartland Alliance typically sees about 20 refugees per month, Tienou explained. Just in the last month, however, 100 refugees came to the agency, and 90 more are expected to seek assistance from the Heartland Alliance in September.

"It's been a really busy time, and this is throughout the country that we're seeing a really large influx of arrivals," she said. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:57pm
Tue Mar 31, 2015

Chicago's Fight For $15 Campaign To Expand Beyond Fast Food Workers (VIDEO)

Fast food workers with the Fight for $15 campaign are set to strike on April 15 in 200 U.S. cities, including Chicago, as part of a national day of action for higher wages and union recognition.

They will be joined on the picket lines by a growing number of low-wage workers and allies as the movement for better pay and working conditions continues to expand to industries beyond fast food. Chicago adjunct professors, college students, cab drivers, child care workers and leaders with the "Black Lives Matter" movement are among those who will be protesting with fast food employees on April 15, organizers said during a Tuesday news conference.

The April 15 strikes and protests across Chicago will culminate with a large rally near the University of Illinois at Chicago's student center in the late afternoon, workers said. 

April 15 will mark the eighth time Chicago fast food workers have walked off the job since 2012, when the fast food industry was first targeted by striking employees in New York City before the Fight for $15 campaign gained traction across the country. Those with the Fight for $15 movement have been pushing for union recognition and a $15 minimum wage, which is a yearly salary of about $31,000 -- enough to cover workers' basic needs, according to organizers.

"This thing is growing so fast," Chicago McDonald's worker Douglas Hunter said of the Fight for $15. "Two years ago, when this movement started out, all we wanted was $15 an hour and the right to form a union ... The Fight for $15 is grown up now. We're now a social justice movement."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
9:56am
Mon Jul 14, 2014

Study: Vegetarian & Low Meat Diets Can Help Mitigate Climate Change

Eating less meat or none at all has the potential to significantly shrink an individual's diet-related carbon footprint and "can make a valuable contribution to climate change mitigation,"according to a recent study published in the journal Climatic Change.

The study examined the diets of 29,589 meat eaters, 15,751 vegetarians, 8,123 pescatarians (vegetarians who eat fish) and 2,041 vegans between the ages of 20 to 79 in the United Kingdom. Participants took a "food-frequency questionnaire" asking how often in the last year they consumed 130 different food items. Researchers were able to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions, which trap heat and warm up the planet, associated with the various foods.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:18pm
Thu Mar 13, 2014

Chicagoans, Aldermen Clash On $55 Million TIF Subsidy For McCormick Place Hotel

The Chicago City Council last week agreed to allocate up to $55 million in tax increment financing (TIF) funds for the development of a new Marriott hotel adjacent to the McCormick Place convention center. Progress Illinois details some of what proponents and opponents have to say about the project.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:23pm
Wed Mar 5, 2014

Chicago City Council Roundup: Paid Sick Days, Parking Meters, Petcoke & Puppy Mills

Progress Illinois provides the highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:17pm
Wed Feb 12, 2014

Ralph Martire: Illinois School Funding Reform Must Include Changes To Tax Policy

Reforming Illinois' public education funding system has to include fixes to the state’s tax policy, argued Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, at a DePaul University education forum Tuesday evening.

“For decades, Illinois has denied an adequate education to the vast majority of its school children, and it’s set up a structurally-racist system of education finance that specifically singles out African Americans and Latinos for very poorly funded education,” Martire said at the discussion about equity in education. “To fix that, we need to raise taxes the right way.”

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