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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:44pm
Thu Aug 20, 2015

Health Care Providers Rally Against State Budget Stalemate Outside Rauner Donor's Offices (VIDEO)

As the budget impasse in Springfield rages on, about 50 health care providers and their supporters urged a wealthy donor for Gov. Bruce Rauner to "pay his fair share" in state taxes during a Thursday morning protest. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:52am
Thu Aug 21, 2014

CivicLab To Emanuel: 'Come Clean' About $1.7 Billion In Unspent TIF Funds

Volunteers with Chicago's CivicLab want a full accounting of the more than $1.7 billion that was sitting in the city’s collective tax increment financing (TIF) district bank accounts at the end of 2013.

Tom Tresser, co-founder of the CivicLab and leader of its volunteer-based TIF Illumination Project, said the group plans to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the city within the week to "demand the mayor to come clean" about how those unspent funds will be used. Tresser said the group is prepared to take legal action if the city denies the FOIA request.

"We asked for (similar information) last year, and they told us to go take a leap," Tresser said at a TIF discussion Wednesday evening at the CivicLab, 114 N. Aberdeen St. "This time, we're going to sue if we don't get it."

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
7:34pm
Mon Oct 21, 2013

Chicagoans Urge DePaul University President To Reject $55 Million In TIF Funds For Basketball Arena (VIDEO)

Chicagoans fed up with the mayor's decision to use public funds to help finance a controversial DePaul University basketball arena near McCormick Place urged the college's president Monday to refuse the $55 million in tax increment financing (TIF) funds set aside for the project.

About 40 education activists picketed outside a City Club of Chicago luncheon at a downtown Maggiano's where DePaul University President Rev. Dennis Holtschneider was speaking. The protestors said the private and profitable college does not need taxpayer dollars for the project, arguing that TIF money would be better spent on public education.

"Accepting city money from schools and from people who need it the most is not in the light of the tradition of St. Vincent DePaul," said Roderick Wilson, executive director of the Lugenia Burns Hope Center, an organization represented at Monday's protest. "They're not living up to their legacy, and we want to remind him of that ... This is not acceptable, and we want [Holtschneider] to refuse that money and let it go back to our schools."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:12pm
Thu Sep 26, 2013

Former Ickes Residents Urge CHA To Provide Replacement Housing: 'We Just Want To Come Home'

Chicago Public Housing activists say it is unacceptable that the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) has once again broken its promise to deliver replacement housing units for former residents of the now demolished Harold Ickes Homes, which saw its last families move out in 2010.

The Ickes public housing buildings on the near South Side had more than 1,000 units before they were torn down between 2009 to 2010. CHA has yet to bring back 312 replacement units that it promised to construct, and it appears there are no concrete plans to build any of them in 2014, according to CHA's proposed 2014 Moving to Work (MTW) Annual Plan.

On Thursday, more than a dozen former Ickes residents and their supporters gathered at a vacant lot at State Street and Cermak Road, one of the former Ickes sites.

"It is unfortuante that every time that housing numbers were supposed to be promised, those numbers were reduced," said the Rev. Robert Jones of Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church. "The city talks about the economics, but yet money is found to put a tremendously large DePaul center not very far from here, and yet we still have this vacant field."

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.”

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