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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:36pm
Wed Sep 14, 2016

Chicago City Council Roundup: Water & Sewer Tax Hike Passes, O'Hare Bonds Get Approved

From a new water and sewer tax to O'Hare bonds and TIFs, Progress Illinois rounds up highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:13am
Thu Aug 18, 2016

CTU Presses School District To Support TIF Surplus Ordinance At Budget Hearing

Chicago Public Schools officials heard familiar pleas for more school funding during a budget hearing Wednesday night in the South Loop.

CPS convened the 6 p.m. hearing to get public feedback on the district's proposed $338 million capital budget for 2017. The hearing, held at the National Teachers Academy, was thinly attended and ended an hour early.

"I like the capital plan, but most people came here because they lost teachers at their school, they lost programs at their school," Martin Ritter with the Chicago Teachers Union told CPS officials.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:38pm
Wed Jan 14, 2015

Chicagoans Pack Hearing On Using South Side Park Space For Obama Library

About 1,000 South Siders, preservationists and others packed the second of two spirited Chicago Park District hearings Wednesday afternoon to discuss the possible use of parkland for the Barack Obama presidential library. Progress Illinois was there for the meeting.

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
4:53pm
Fri Dec 12, 2014

Chicago Treasurer Proposes Investing City Pension Funds In Black Neighborhoods

A day after taking office, Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers hit the ground running launching a 77 communities in 77 days listening tour throughout the city.

That tour brought Summers to the Bronzeville neighborhood last week, where he met with residents and business owners to discuss black communities getting a slice of the $50 billion fiscal pie the city has to invest each year. Summers spoke to a group of 50 at the Bronzeville Visitor Information Center, located at 3501 S. King Dr.

Summers told the crowd that his office manages a combined $50 billion in investments as well as employee pension funds and retirement plans. He said he would like to see some of that money invested in neighborhoods like Bronzeville.

"I don't view a neighborhood investment strategy as a risky strategy," said Summers, a product of Bronzeville. "I don't view that as any more risky than investing in Korea's debt, which we do, or investing in a cement company in Mexico. I don't believe investing in Bronzeville is any riskier than that."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:13pm
Tue Dec 2, 2014

Chicago City Council Approves $13 Minimum Wage, Worker Advocates Applaud

Chicago's minimum wage will go up gradually to $13 an hour by 2019 under a mayor-backed plan that cleared the full city council by a 44-5 vote at a special meeting Tuesday. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the council debate and vote.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:37pm
Thu Sep 25, 2014

Chicagoans Urge Emanuel To Support Corporate Tax Transparency Ordinance (VIDEO)

Chicagoans protested at Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office Thursday morning for corporate tax transparency.

At City Hall, activists with the regional community advocacy group IIRON urged Emanuel to support a long-pending ordinance that would require all publicly-traded corporations seeking subsidies or contracts from the city to publicly disclose the amount they pay in Illinois income taxes and any tax breaks they receive.

Big corporations asking for city actions, subsidies and contracts would also have to report net and taxable income under the proposed Chicago Corporate Responsibility and Tax Disclosure Act, which Ald. Will Burns (4th) introduced last November. Since then, the proposed ordinance, which has 12 co-sponsors, has been stuck in the Finance Committee, chaired by powerful Ald. Ed Burke (14th).

"Resources have been cut, and cut again, as we are told that we are in a 'budget crisis,'" said IIRON member Maria Alicia Ibarra of Bridgeport's First Lutheran Church of the Trinity. "At the same time, it is not clear (whether) corporations making record profits are paying their fair share to the common good ... Show us the money. Give us transparency."

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