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Robyn Gabel

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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
2:16pm
Thu Feb 18, 2016

Illinois Rep. Cassidy Seeks To Increase Inmate Access To GED Education (VIDEO)

In an effort to reduce recidivism, State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) introduced legislation last week that would increase "timely and comprehensive" access to GED education for Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) inmates.

"I think that the general public would be surprised to hear how little programming is available for the folks that are incarcerated in our facilities," Cassidy said at a news conference at the Howard Area Community Center in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood on the North Side.

Joined by formerly incarcerated men and activists from the ONE Northside Violence Prevention Coalition, Cassidy said the legislation aims to turn the IDOC "into something whose mission is dedicated to the act of making someone better."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:18pm
Thu Jun 19, 2014

Report: 6 Million Pounds Of Toxic Industrial Pollution Discharged Into Illinois Waterways (VIDEO)

Industrial facilities discharged 6.1 million pounds of toxic chemicals into Illinois' rivers and streams in 2012, shows a new report by the Environment Illinois Research & Education Center.

The "Wasting Our Waterways" report ranks Illinois as the 13th worst U.S. state for the total volume of toxic industrial releases to waterways.

At the national level, polluting facilities dumped 206 million pounds of harmful chemicals into American waterways in 2012, according to the report. And some 8.39 million pounds of toxic pollution were discharged into the Great Lakes watershed. Ammonia, chromium and lead are among the chemicals released into Illinois' waterways, according to the report.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
9:24pm
Mon Apr 14, 2014

Durbin Joins Congressmen In Unveiling Report On E-Cigarette Marketing Practices, Presses FDA For Regulatory Action

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) hopes a report issued Monday detailing the marketing tactics used by electronic cigarette companies will coerce the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take regulatory action on the products.

E-cigarettes are currently free from numerous sales, marketing and product regulations at the federal level that apply to traditional cigarettes.

Durbin and 11 other Democratic lawmakers from the U.S. House and Senate launched a joint investigation into the marketing practices of nine companies that make commonly sold e-cigarette brands including MarkTen, Vuse, NJOY King, Eonsmoke, LOGIC, V2 Cigs, VaporCouture, Blu, Green Smoke and White Cloud. The investigation's findings were revealed Monday. The report shows a recent uptick in e-cigarette marketing, including tactics that Durbin says appeal to minors.

"E-cigarettes are a candy-flavored addiction, which is dangerous to our young people across America," the senator said on a press call Monday morning about the new report. "It is growing in popularity among children and sadly poses serious public health threats."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:27pm
Fri Aug 23, 2013

IL Advances Offshore Wind Energy Research, But Lake Turbines Still 'Light-Years' Away, Experts Say

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Lake Michigan Wind Energy Act earlier this month, but don’t expect wind farms to pop up in the lake anytime soon.

The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) and Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), authorizes the state to conduct further research on which parts of Lake Michigan are suitable for offshore wind energy development before any leases or permits are issued for such projects.

The recent measure piggybacks on the recommendations cited in an Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) report released last year that first explored the issue after the state set up the Lake Michigan Offshore Wind Energy Council in 2011.

Under the new measure, IDNR is now tasked with developing an offshore wind “siting matrix” to identify preferred or prohibited development areas in the lake based on existing wildlife, infrastructure, transportation and other environmental factors. IDNR is expected to use its own funds for the study, which is projected to take at least two years.

Within this two-year research window, devices will be installed on the lake to track wind currents, peak hours and other factors, explained Gabel’s legislative assistant Matt Trewartha.

But that’s just the beginning, acording to experts.

Quick Hit
by
12:53am
Tue Jul 2, 2013

Activists Call Out A Bad Apple On Michigan Avenue

The following was written by Jacob Swenson, a community activist and University of Chicago student.

At the Apple store on Michigan Avenue Monday, not everyone was looking to buy the latest version of the iPhone.  Employees and customers alike were taken by surprise when, during the lunch hour break, more than 60 members of Fair Economy Illinois began chanting slogans such as “Apple, Apple you’re no good, pay your taxes like you should!”

As the they assembled on the large glass stairwell of the two-story building, activists held up signs that played off Apple’s own creative branding, saying, “iPaid my taxes, Apple should too” and “It doesn’t take a Genius to pay your taxes.” 

Quick Hit
by Steven Ross Johnson
4:41pm
Tue Mar 12, 2013

Rally On Social Policies Morphs Into Protest At Ald. Moore's Home (VIDEO)

What started out as a neighborhood gathering in support of various public policy changes quickly turned into a march, which culminated into a rally outside the front doorstep of the home of 49th Ward Chicago Alderman Joe Moore.

A diverse crowd of hundreds that included college students, residents, community activists as well as several elected officials, attended the public meeting held Sunday evening in the Willye White Field House in Rogers Park.

The event, held by the community group Northside P.O.W.E.R., brought together various interests under a common theme of what they described as the “corporatization” of such public concerns as education, healthcare, affordable housing and taxes.

“This is a fight against corporate power and greed,” said Northside P.O.W.E.R. Chairwoman Beth Lanford. “This is a fight against the corporatization of our society. We must stop the process of turning our common good into their private gain.”

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