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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:57pm
Thu Jun 18

Brighter Job Prospects Predicted For U.S. Teens This Summer

U.S. teens still face a pretty bleak employment landscape, but their job prospects are predicted to be a bit brighter this summer, according to a new study by the Center for Labor Markets and Policy at Drexel University.

The study estimates that the nationwide 2015 summer employment rate for teens ages 16 to 19 will be 29.8 percent. That would represent the highest teen summer employment rate since 2008, when the figure was 32.4 percent.

The predicted 2015 teen employment rate of 29.8 percent is up from 27 percent in the summer of 2014 and 26.7 percent in 2013.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:44pm
Wed Jun 17

Chicago City Council Roundup: $1B Borrowing OK'ed, Minimum Wage Fight Continues

Progress Illinois provides highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:45pm
Tue Jun 16

South Side Group Launches Campaign Around Obama Library Community Benefits Agreement

With the Obama presidential library set to come to either Jackson or Washington parks in Chicago, a South Side group is seeking help in crafting a proposed community benefits agreement (CBA) to ensure local residents and businesses are not displaced by the possible gentrification that could come with the project.

The Bronzeville Regional Collective, comprised of South Side organizations and community development advocates, has created a seven-point CBA blueprint for the Obama library development.

"We don't want to see the South Side become what Lincoln Park was in the '60s and '70s," said Bronzeville Regional Collective member Anton Seals Jr., who is also on the South Shore Planning and Preservation Coalition's board.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:59pm
Tue Jun 16

As Demands Grow For Federal Rental Assistance, Housing Advocates Oppose Cuts In House Budget Bill

Progress Illinois takes a look at the growing demand for federal rental assistance and why many housing advocates are opposing a controversial appropriations bill approved by the U.S. House last week. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:42pm
Mon Jun 15

'Moral Monday' Activists Arrested While Protesting Rauner's Proposed Budget Cuts (VIDEO)

Several grassroots activists and clergy with Fair Economy Illinois participated in an act of civil disobedience during a downtown Chicago protest against Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed budget cuts. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the "Moral Monday" demonstration, during which seven protesters were arrested and another 21 received citations.

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
2:13pm
Mon Jun 15

Cook Co. Commissioner Pushes Plan To Reduce Chicago Gun Violence

Aspects of Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin's 7-point plan to curb gun violence received mixed reactions at a summit the West Side politician held Saturday. The most contorversial part of the plan involves charging individuals who commit gun crimes as domestic terrorists.

The summit, held at the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, was attended by city and county officials as well as academics and community activists. Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel were invited to the summit, but did not make an appearance. Boykin says the purpose of the summit was "to put meat on the bones" of his plan.

Boykin unveiled the gun violence prevention plan in May after he became concerned about the increasing number of shootings in his West Side district. Since the plan's release, Boykin has come under fire for the concept of charging individuals that shoot a gun, and their accomplices, as domestic terrorists. Boykin did not escape that criticism at Saturday's summit.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:16pm
Fri Jun 12

Report: Low Wages In Full-Service Restaurant Industry Cost Taxpayers $9.4 Billion Annually

Many full-service restaurant industry workers are forced to seek public aid to supplement their low wages and lack of benefits, and that leaves U.S. taxpayers with a $9.4 billion tab each year.

That's according to a recent report by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC). The restaurant worker advocacy group found that nearly half of the more than 4 million full-service restaurant workers live in households enrolled in at least one public assistance program.

Of that $9.4 billion, $1.4 billion represents the public cost of low-end pay and benefits provided at the country's five largest full-service restaurant companies, which collectively earned $704 million in profits and paid their chief executives $27 million in the last year alone, according to ROC.

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