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Edward Acevedo
Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
2:15pm
Wed Aug 28

Local Residents Demand A New Community Center At Whittier Elementary (VIDEO)

A group of parents and community members are calling on Ald. Danny Solis (25th) and officials from the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district to build a new community center at Whittier Elementary School, to replace La Casita, which was demolished earlier this month.

La Casita, which served as a volunteer-run library that provided computer access, English classes and after-school programs to local residents of Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood on the Southwest Side, was torn down without notice. District officials cited safety concerns and severe disrepair to the CPS-owned fieldhouse that was being used as a community center until the moment a demolition crew arrived on August 17.

“What happened, I found to be very unjust, very traumatizing,” said Lisa Angonese, 52, executive director of La Casita and member of the Whittier Parents Committee (WPC), which ran the community center’s programming. “We saw a demolition of a precious and valuable building right before our very eyes, traumatizing to the parents, children and members of the community.” Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:01pm
Mon Aug 12

Activists Demand Justice For Uninsured Immigrants In Need Of Organ Transplants

Immigrants in need of organ transplants and their allies have occupied the public space in front of Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The occupation began Sunday evening following the Friday death of Sarai Rodriguez, 25, an uninsured and undocumented Chicago immigrant originally from Mexico who was in critical need of a new liver.

Rodriguez’s family and dozens of activists held a remembrance ceremony outside Northwestern Sunday evening and camped out overnight. The occupation will continue through Monday, the group said.

Read more »

Quick Hit
by Michael Sandler
3:24pm
Tue Feb 5

Illinois' Asian American Caucus Hopes To Push Community Issues Forward, Promote Political Involvement

Andy Kang noticed the funny looks.

At an Asian American Center for Advancing Justice conference in Chicago last year, Kang, the Asian American Institute’s (AAI) senior staff attorney, presented an idea for a legislative caucus that would address the needs of Asian Americans in Illinois.

However, Illinois doesn’t currently have—and has never had—an Asian American member in the state legislature. “They said, ‘you’re going to form an Asian American caucus with no Asian American elected officials?’” Kang told Progress Illinois. “But it makes sense, so long as we yield results.”

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Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
3:35pm
Fri May 4, 2012

State Could Hike Minimum Wage, Reinstate Early Release Prison Program

This is typically the busiest month for the Illinois General Assembly – state lawmakers stay in Springfield each week to agree upon an annual budget by May 31 and act on other major bills. This year, again the focus is on the state budget – and the related problems of underfunded pensions and rising Medicaid costs.

But there are other key measures that have flown under the radar so far during this hectic legislative season – including a bill that would give Illinois the highest minimum wage in the nation, at effectively $10 an hour. Read more »