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Labor Day
Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
6:41pm
Thu Feb 19

Obama Designates Pullman District National Monument, Praises Emanuel Days Before Election

President Barack Obama was in Chicago Thursday to designate the Pullman factory district as a national monument. With a stroke of the president's pen, the Pullman Historic District is now a national monument, and the city's first national park. The new monument's boundaries are 103rd Street to the north, 115th Street to the south, Cottage Grove Avenue to the west, and the Norfolk & Western Rail Line to the east.

In his speech at the designation ceremony, which was attended by Gov. Bruce Rauner -- who has a reputation for being a union antagonist, Obama highlighted the importance of labor unions, saying "As Americans, we believe workers' rights are civil rights."

"Gradually our country would add protections that we now take for granted: a 40-hour workweek, the weekend, overtime pay, safe workplace conditions and the right to organize for higher wages and better opportunities," the president said. "So this site is at the heart of what would become America's labor movement -- and as a consequence, at the heart of what would become America's middle class."

Quick Hit
by
5:34pm
Mon Sep 1, 2014

OP-ED: What FDR Actually Said And What Bruce Rauner Doesn't Get This Labor Day

The following is by Izabela Miltko, deputy press secretary of the Quinn for Illinois campaign.

Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner has never met a union he's ever liked, and his own words make that amply clear. He's called them "tumors." He called them "immoral." He even threatened to shut down the government to get his way.

Now, it's not bad enough that Rauner demonizes and consistently attacks unions that represent working men and women, but he really thought he was getting a dig in on that last characterization. That's because Rauner was ascribing his hatred for labor to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Rauner was being quoted by the State Journal-Register when he claimed that FDR was speaking about public-sector unions and said that, "government unions are wrong...they shouldn't exist, they're immoral."

Rauner's hero up in Wisconsin, Scott Walker, has similarly tried to appropriate the words of President Roosevelt and create the impression that these words and sentiments are true.

They're not. In fact, they’re not even close. And the fact that Rauner is trying to get away with this lie-at the same time advocating against workers, unions and the minimum wage-is an insult to us all.

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
2:19pm
Fri Aug 22, 2014

U.S. National Parks Director Visits Chicago To Review Efforts To Include Pullman Area In System

Efforts to designate parts of the Pullman community on Chicago’s far South Side as a national park site could see some presidential muscle behind the cause.

The head of the U.S. National Park Service toured what remains of the Pullman Palace Car Company Thursday as part of a visit to gage public support for including portions of the community, created by its namesake founder George M. Pullman, in the national park system. Jonathan B. Jarvis, the national parks system director, said a little known presidential power given under the 1906 Antiquities Act could make the proposal a reality sooner than later.

That route seems doable since legislation proposed by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) and U.S. Rep Robin Kelly (D-IL,2) have been stuck in committee in both chambers since the bills were introduced. The Antiquities Act allows a president to use an executive order to designate a site as a national monument.

Jarvis said there are two ways to establish a new park within the national park system — one is through Congress, which he said “we have not seen a lot of movement on” even though both bills have bipartisan support.

“But there is an alternative path and that is presidential power,” he added.