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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:24pm
Wed Jan 28

Deb Mell Takes Heat For Family Ties At 33rd Ward Candidate Forum

Aldermanic candidates running in Chicago's 33rd Ward sounded off on issues ranging from the minimum wage and charter schools to "political dynasties" and "machine politics" at a Tuesday evening forum sponsored by several Northwest Side neighborhood groups.

In Chicago's 33rd Ward, incumbent Ald. Deb Mell is being challenged by Tim Meegan, a public school teacher at Roosevelt High School, and Annisa Wanat, a non-profit consultant and former Peace Corps volunteer. Mell, the daughter of former Ald. Dick Mell (33rd), was appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to fill her father's council seat after he retired in July 2013.

At the packed candidate forum held at Newton Bateman Elementary School, Mell touted a number of accomplishments in her 18 months as alderman, including efforts around affordable housing, cracking down on "absentee" landlords, making the ward office more accessible and voting to raise the minimum wage to $13 by 2019.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:06pm
Tue Mar 18, 2014

SEIU Members Help Nancy Schiavone Get Voters To The Polls In Illinois' 40th District (VIDEO)

Nancy Schiavone, who is running in the hotly contested Democratic primary race in Illinois' 40th representative district, saw support Tuesday morning from SEIU* Local 1 members who hit the streets on Chicago's Northwest Side to canvas on behalf of the candidate.

"We've identified folks, and we're hoping that we get them to the polls," Schiavone told Progress Illinois at her campaign office ahead of the canvas. "We have a really terrific field program, and we're just going to keep at it until 7 o'clock tonight," which is when the polls close. 

Schiavone is one of four Democratic candidates vying to unseat incumbent State Rep. Jaime Andrade (D-Chicago), a former top aide to the now retired Chicago Ald. Dick Mell (33rd). Andrade has represented the 40th District since August after being appointed to fill the vacancy left by Deb Mell, who succeeded her father as alderman of Chicago's 33rd Ward. 

The other Democratic candidates in Tuesday's 40th District Democratic primary battle include attorney Aaron Goldstein, community development organizer Wendy Jo Harmston and electrical engineer Mark Pasieka. There are no Republicans running in the 40th district, which includes parts of the Logan Square, Albany Park, Avondale and Irving Park communities in Chicago.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:52pm
Mon Mar 17, 2014

Election Preview: Tensions Boil Over In The 26th District Legislative Race

Jhatayn “Jay” Travis, who is challenging incumbent State Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago) in the 26th District Democratic race, blasted her opponent Monday for "questionable election tactics." Mitchell's campaign called Travis' comments "desperate and superfluous." Progress Illinois details the latest scuffle kicking up dirt in the race on the eve of the primary election.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:18am
Mon Mar 17, 2014

Election Preview: The Democratic Battle In Illinois' 40th District

The five-person race in Illinois' 40th legislative district on Chicago's Northwest Side is one of the key Democratic battles to watch in Tuesday's primary election. Progress Illinois takes a look at the contest.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:57pm
Tue Feb 11, 2014

Candidates In Crowded 40th District Race Talk Pension Reform, Other Issues

From taxes to public education funding to statewide pension reform, the six candidates vying to represent Illinois' 40th District on Chicago's Northwest Side laid out their positions on a number of issues at a public forum Monday night. Progress Illinois was there for the forum.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:40pm
Wed Jul 24, 2013

Aldermen Introduce TIF Surplus Ordinance, Wrigley Revamp Gets The OK At Bustling Council Meeting

Progress Illinois recaps some of the highlights from Wednesday's city council meeting.

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
4:48pm
Tue Apr 30, 2013

Education Experts Question CPS Clout List Kept Under The Duncan Administration

A list kept under former Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan’s administration of clout-heavy Chicagoans and public officials looking to get kids into some of the city’s top schools was made public last week.

Some education experts say the log is another example of the intense competition for too few high-quality school seats in the city and the disparity in education and economic investment in Chicago neighborhoods.

“The fact that there’s so many people who want to get into those schools shows that the people really want a quality education, and the system should be responsive instead of disinvesting in various school communities,” said Eric “Rico” Gutstein, faculty associate with the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Collaborative for Equity and Justice in Education.

PI Original
by Angela Caputo
11:42am
Tue Mar 16, 2010

As Foreclosures Spread, Bankers Say: "We're Doing Our Best"

Ald. Ray Suarez (31st Ward) and State Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago) called a joint meeting in Chicago on Monday to pressure the banks to do a better job maintaining foreclosed properties and to speed up the unduly slow modification process to keep more people in their homes.

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