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Ray Suarez

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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
12:25pm
Wed Feb 18

Chicago's 36th Ward Candidates Discuss Education, Campaign Priorities (VIDEO)

A week before Chicago's municipal election, three of four aldermanic candidates in the 36th Ward participated in a public forum Tuesday night in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood.

Those vying for the Northwest Side ward seat, left vacant by Ald. Nick Sposato (36th) who is running in the 38th ward due to the city's ward remap, include business owner Christopher Vittorio, reference librarian Alonso Zaragoza, and Omar Aquino, a former employee of U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D, IL-8). Business owner Gilbert Villegas is also running for the seat, but did not attend Tuesday's event.

Roughly 50 residents of the 36th Ward, which includes portions of the Belmont Cragin, Portage Park, Montclare, Galewood, Dunning and Hermosa neighborhoods, attended the debate hosted by the Communities United organization.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
12:48pm
Thu Jan 15

Chicago's 31st Ward Aldermanic Candidates Debate About Progressive Values, Campaign Funding

Aldermanic candidates for the 31st Ward, including incumbent Ald. Ray Suarez (31st), debated Wednesday night and discussed their platforms for next month's municipal election.

Those challenging Suarez, who was first elected alderman of the Northwest Side ward in 1991, include lawyer and professor Sean Starr, former reporter Milagros Santiago and Irma Cornier, a community outreach coordinator at NewLife 316.

More than 50 residents of the ward, which includes portions of the Belmont Cragin, Portage Park, Hermosa and Logan Square neighborhoods, attended the debate hosted by the Belmont-Cragin United community organization.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:16pm
Wed Dec 10, 2014

Chicago City Council Approves Taxi 'Fairness' Ordinance, Delays E15 Plan

Progress Illinois provides highlights from the last Chicago City Council meeting of 2014.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:58pm
Wed Mar 12, 2014

Election Preview: A Look At The 39th District State Representative Race

With less than a week until the March primary election, eyes are peeled on the 39th District state representative race that pits politically-connected incumbent State Rep. Maria "Toni" Berrios (D-Chicago) against community organizer and former Huffington Post reporter Will Guzzardi. Progress Illinois takes a look at the contest, which has been called possibly the "most important state legislative race in Illinois in the primary."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:38pm
Wed Oct 30, 2013

Chicagoans Demand Aldermen Release Crucial Legislation From Rules Committee (VIDEO)

Chicagoans took to City Hall Tuesday afternoon to demand that aldermen resurrect critical ordinances from the Rules Committee, also known to some as the place "where good legislation goes to die."

About 50 organizers with the Grassroots Collaborative, a coalition of labor and community groups, staged a "burial protest" highlighting the various measures stalled in the rules committee, putting a specific focus on a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Surplus Ordinance Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) introduced back in July.

The ordinance calls for any TIF surplus funds to be sent back to government agencies, including the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district, which would help ease recent school budget cuts. The measured garnered support from 32 out of the  council's 50 aldermen, but it's been pending in the Rules Committee since it was introduced.

TIF funds come from a portion of collected property tax dollars from those living inside a TIF district. TIF dollars are typically used for economic development projects in the city. The activists, however, said the "buried" TIF Surplus Ordinance would release millions of additional dollars that could be used for the struggling public schools system as well as expanded community services, including the reopening of six city mental health clinics that closed last year.

"But instead of being debated and voted on, this ordinance is stuck in [the] Rules Committee," stressed Grassroots Collaborative Executive Director Amisha Patel. "There it's buried along with many other good ordinances."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:36pm
Wed Oct 9, 2013

Illinois Latino Politicians Slam Roskam For Holding Immigration Reform Hostage

Latino elected officials in Illinois had a clear message for "anti-immigrant" U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R, IL-6) at a Chicago press conference Wednesday: listen to the voters and bring immigration reform legislation up for a vote in the House.

Last Wednesday, House Democrats introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill that is nearly identical to the bipartisan immigration reform package the Senate passed in June. Leaders of the GOP-led House, however, appear to be ignoring the measure, which would also create a pathway to citizenship for the nation's more than 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Those at Wednesday's gathering said Roskam, Illinois' top House Republican and the chamber's chief deputy whip, has the power to help advance the measure to the floor for a vote, but instead, he's holding immigration reform hostage.

"We have an Illinoisan (who) is becoming an obstacle in making sure that our immigrant brothers and sisters get a fair chance, and that’s got to stop," said Chicago Ald. Ray Suarez (31st). "If (Roskam) doesn’t wake up, I believe in November, [the] next election, the Latino community and the Asian community are not going to be supporting this gentleman."

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
3:51pm
Tue Aug 14, 2012

Emanuel Opposition May Squelch Use Of Eminent Domain On Foreclosures

A San Francisco-based firm spent the morning trying to sell the Chicago City Council on the idea that they can use eminent domain to seize properties in danger of falling into foreclosure. The firm argued that the use of eminent domain, which occurs when government acquires private property in the name of the greater good, could lead to the public benefit of fewer foreclosures. Representatives from Mortgage Resolution Partners LLC had the ear of Ald. Ed Burke (14th), chairman of the City Council Finance Committee, and the backing of Ald. Ray Suarez (31st), head of the Housing and Real Estate Committee.

But the effort was perhaps futile as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel indicated at a press conference today that he opposes the plan.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Emanuel said that he did not think eminent domain was the “right instrument” to combat foreclosures.

Quick Hit
by dradmin
6:02pm
Tue Mar 8, 2011

O'Hare Lease Postponed As Aldermen Think Back To The Meter Deal

Earlier this afternoon, the Chicago City Council Committee on Aviation did not vote on a major lease the Daley administration has negotiated with the firm Westfield Concessions Management to redevelop O'Hare Airport's Terminal 5 and expand the number of retail outlets there from 15 to 26. Aviation committee head Ald.

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