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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:38pm
Fri Jan 16

Durbin, Gutierrez Slam 'Hateful' Republican Legislation To Rollback Immigration Programs (VIDEO)

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) decried legislation passed in the GOP-led House this week that would block President Barack Obama's recent executive actions on immigration and end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Speaking at a Friday morning press conference in Chicago, the two lawmakers also shamed Republicans for "instilling fear" in people who are getting ready to apply for administrative relief under the president's immigration orders signed in November.

On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled House approved a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill including amendments that would reverse Obama's immigration plan and defund the DACA program, which grants a two-year protection against deportation for immigrants who came to the United States as young children.

"On the floor of the United States House of Representatives, they passed what I would consider to be one of the most hateful measures in modern congressional history," Durbin said at Erie Neighborhood House, 1347 W. Erie St. "What they said was this: If you are a person who benefits from DACA ... you will not be able to renew your DACA status. Nor if you didn't apply in the past can you file for the first time for DACA. Well how many people will be affected by that Republican amendment? We estimate 2 million young people in America eligible to sign up for DACA. Six-hundred thousand have already signed up for DACA, 30,000 in the state of Illinois."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:31pm
Thu Oct 30, 2014

Housing Activists Criticize Emanuel's Management Of CHA At Anti-Homelessness Event (VIDEO)

While Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was at a pricey downtown breakfast event on homelessness, city housing activists and homeless families protested outside Thursday morning citing the mayor's "failure to support reform of the Chicago Housing Authority."

"Under Mayor Emanuel's watch, the CHA has failed to release 13,500 available housing vouchers, left thousands of public housing units vacant, stopped rebuilding public housing and stockpiled over $432 million in surplus cash at the expense of housing for thousands," said Paul Burns with the Metropolitan Tenants Organization and the Chicago Housing Initiative, which organized today's protest.

"And yet today, the mayor shows up to a breakfast about ending homelessness," he continued. "This is hypocrisy, and we will not be silent ... The truth is that until the mayor begins talking about reforming the CHA and setting clear standards for the agency, he is not talking about ending homelessness."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:58pm
Tue Aug 5, 2014

Report: CHA Failed To Spend Millions In Federal Housing Voucher Money (VIDEO)

Over recent years, the Chicago Housing Authority has built up large cash reserves primarily by holding onto millions in federal funds intended for housing vouchers, shows a recent report by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. Progress Illinois takes a look at the report's findings and gets reaction from affordable housing advocates.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:04pm
Mon Jul 14, 2014

Foster, Community Leaders Analyze Modern Day Civil Rights Issues (VIDEO)

The country has made great strides in the 50 years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law, but much remains to be accomplished, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL,11) said at a panel discussion on the topic in Darien Monday morning.

July 2 marked 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and natural origin.

"As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and all the steps forward ... we really have to continue to ask ourselves: What are the great civil right struggles that we face today," Foster asked at the talk with community members, held at the Indian Prairie Public Library in DuPage County.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:43pm
Tue Apr 15, 2014

Illinois Social Service Providers Brace For A 'Tough' Budgetary Year

The philanthropic and non-profit community in Illinois is bracing itself for what is expected to be a "painful" budgetary year.

"It's going to be tough," said Valerie Lies, president and CEO of the Donors Forum, a member association working to strengthen the state's philanthropic and non-profit sector. "I feel like we haven't even started to dig ourselves out, and I think [this] gubernatorial election will be an important one."

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