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Infrastructure Trust

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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:48pm
Wed Mar 25

Hopkins, Pattison Face Off At Heated 2nd Ward Runoff Debate

Progress Illinois provides highlights from a fierce debate between Brian Hopkins and Alyx Pattison, Chicago's 2nd Ward aldermanic runoff candidates.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
9:31pm
Fri Oct 24, 2014

Chicago Activists Target 'Rubberstamp' Aldermen, Unveil Website Tracking Voting History

While the focus is on the November midterm elections, Chicago residents will soon head to the ballot box again for February's municipal elections. In order to help voters prep for that election, community activists launched a new website Thursday designed to make the votes of Chicago aldermen more transparent and clear.

"Voters need a real tool to understand who their alderman stand for and what they stand for," said Amisha Patel, executive director of Grassroots Illinois Action, which helped put the website together.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
2:58pm
Wed Jul 10, 2013

Group Unveils Plan To Tackle Privatization, Increase Government Transparency

The push back against privatization, or putting public services and assets in the hands of private entities, has become more organized. Last week, a public interest group released a legislative agenda to combat privatization, which they say too often contributes to the downward spiral of local economies and the growing wage gap in the U.S.

The newly-released “Taxpayer Empowerment Agenda” is a package of policy recommendations intended to assert taxpayer control over public resources. Unveiled by In The Public Interest (ITPI), a resource group focused on privatization and contracting, the agenda is being introduced to lawmakers across the country in the hopes of making government contracting processes more accountable and transparent.

“We wanted to introduce a set of proactive public protections aimed at defending our communities from the often detrimental effects of privatization,” said Shahrzad Habibi, research and policy director for ITPI.

PI Original
by Matthew Blake
4:52pm
Fri Jan 18, 2013

No Movement On Chicago Infrastructure Trust, Yet

Proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel last March and approved by the Chicago City Council in April, the Infrastructure Trust outlined a way to finance infrastructure projects in the city during a time of prolonged federal and state budget crises and near absolute political aversion to tax increases. Its polarizing central concept of private companies investing in public infrastructure and then receiving some undefined return on their investment was alternately seen as a revolutionary way to improve Chicago and a nefarious step towards private investors opaquely dictating public policy. We take a look at what has come of the controversial Trust thus far.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
3:49pm
Fri Oct 26, 2012

What Brad Schneider Would Do, If Elected

Brad Schneider persuasively makes the case that there are “real differences” between him and his opponent U.S. Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) in the deadlocked race for Illinois’ 10th district representative.

And Schneider need convince almost no one that Dold is part of a legislative body mired in “unbelievable gridlock.”

But like many candidates running for Congress, Schneider is caught in a moment of political uncertainty where there is an absence of bold policy ideas.

Quick Hit
by Brandon Campbell
9:08am
Wed Aug 29, 2012

Environmentalists Warn Private Investors Could Hike Illinois Water Fees

Local residents could begin to feel a financial pinch at the kitchen sink as more private investment firms take aim at public water utilities.

That’s according to a new report from a citizen’s advocacy group that shows some major financial players, like JPMorgan Chase, Australian bank Macquarie and the Carlyle Group, are taking advantage of the public sector’s slow recovery from the recent recession by buying up public utilities.

Emily Carroll, Midwest regional director at Food & Water Watch, said Chicago’s water infrastructure system isn’t “at risk of being sold, per se.” But Carroll warned that Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s controversial Infrastructure Trust will smooth the path towards public-private ownership of some Chicago utilities.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
4:49pm
Tue Jul 24, 2012

Board Takes First Step Toward Cook County Land Bank

The Cook County Board passed a resolution today setting up a committee that has 60 days to devise a model for a county land bank, an ambitious proposal that board President Toni Preckwinkle called a “critical tool to help combat the foreclosure crisis and eradicate blight in our communities.”

As we have reported, a land bank is a quasi-governmental organization intended to seize and manage properties until they can be put into productive use.

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