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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
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.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
12:51pm
Thu Sep 5, 2013

Minneapolis Mayor To Chicago's Gay Couples: 'Our City Would Like To Marry You' (VIDEO)

With a slogan that reads “I want to marry you in Minneapolis”, the city's mayor, R.T. Rybak, unveiled a Chicagoland ad campaign on Thursday urging the city's LGBTQ couples to make the six-hour drive to the City of Lakes to get legally married.

"Chicago is my kind of town, but it's a second city in human rights. Right now, that gives a tremendous competitive advantage to Minneapolis,” said Rybak, who announced the campaign from the roof of the Center On Halsted, at 3656 N. Halsted St., a community center catered to LGBTQ Chicagoans in the heart of the Boystown neighborhood.

“The people who built this neighborhood, who have done so much incredible work in this community, you deserve equal rights,” he said. “Come to Minnesota, a place that recognizes that you already should have those rights."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:58pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Struggling Small Business Owners Seek Help From Cook County Commissioners

Chicago small business owners and Northwest Side residents say local businesses are dying off, and they need Cook County officials to intervene. 

"We, of course, have been slaughtered in the recession in the last four to five years," said Mark Thomas, owner of The Alley Chicago, at a Cook County economic development forum Thursday morning.

Thomas told Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and Commissioners Edwin Reyes (8th) and John Fritchey (12th) that landlords should see some sort of tax incentive to encourage them to rent space to local businesses rather than chain stores.

Elise Doody-Jones, a small business owner in Logan Square, added that rents are too expensive. The high rents are a burden for neighborhood businesses and can often discourage small business owners to set up shop, she said.

Larger corporations generally do not move their businesses into communities until they feel the demographics and income levels are right, she explained.

"It's really the small businesses who run on a shoestring that step in," she said. "But the rents are too high because the property taxes are too high."