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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Dec 18, 2013

Is The CPS Safe Passage Program Keeping Students Safe?

Some parents and education activists say the Chicago Public Schools' expanded Safe Passage program that launched this year has been working well to keep students safe. But others argue that the program is simply a "roll of the dice" when it comes to young people's safety. 

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
Thu Nov 21, 2013

South Siders March To U Of Chicago Hospital In Demand Of A Trauma Center

More than 200 demonstrators marched down Cottage Grove Ave. on Chicago's South Side Wednesday night to the University of Chicago Medical Center. The protesters demanded the hospital open a Level 1 trauma center.

While chanting “how can you ignore while we’re dying at your door,” the group left two mock coffins covered in flowers across outside of the hospital on 58th Street. The demonstration came just hours after a state hearing hosted by state Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) to discuss the lack of a trauma center on Chicago's South Side. Calling the area a “trauma desert,” community groups and activists say a South Side trauma center would save lives. 

“People wouldn’t have to travel as far,” said Zan Adams, co-founder of RISE Chicago, a member group of the Trauma Center Coalition, and organizer of the demonstration.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Nov 7, 2013

Austin, Galewood Residents Unveil Community Sustainability Action Plan

Chicago's Austin and Galewood community members unveiled their draft "sustainability roadmap" Wednesday evening, detailing ways in which they will take action to strengthen their neighborhoods.

The new community-based planning initiative on the West Side is taking place in Ald. Deborah Graham's 29th Ward. Prior to Wednesday's meeting, residents and other community stakeholders held two "visioning sessions" where they floated ideas to be included in their plan on how to make their neighborhoods more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. Check out Progress Illinois' full coverage of the first visioning meeting here.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Nov 6, 2013

A Look At The Fall Veto Session: What's Happened & What's Next (UPDATED)

Progress Illinois provides a roundup of the highlights from the fall veto session, and offers a look at what might be next.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Oct 4, 2013

Quinn Pulls Criminal Background Question From State Job Applications

Gov. Pat Quinn on Thursday issued an administrative order that "bans the box" on applications for state government jobs, requiring state agencies to evaluate an applicant's skills before asking about criminal history. 

Going forward, applicants will not have to check a box on state employment applications indicating whether or not they have pled guilty to or been convicted of any criminal offense other than a minor traffic violation. State agencies are still allowed to conduct background checks and request conviction information, but not until later in the interviewing process.

"It just removes that first hurdle," said DeAngelo Bester, co-executive director of the Chicago-based Workers Center For Racial Justice. "A lot of times when people apply for a job and check that box off, that application is thrown in the garbage. This will at least give them the opportunity to get an interview."