Community activists are calling for accountability from the City and Chicago Police Department for what they say is the disproportionate placement of DUI checkpoints in African-American and Latino neighborhoods.
Last month, a Chicago Tribune investigation showed that 84 percent of all sobriety checkpoints in the city are placed in black and Latino neighborhoods, while predominantly white areas contain fewer of the monitoring stops. From February 2010 to June 2014, the Chicago Police Department scheduled 152 roadside sobriety checks. Of those, 127 were in communities of color, and no police district with a majority African-American or Latino population had fewer than five DUI checkpoints.
Activists with the group say that the disproportionate amount of checkpoints, particularly in Latino communities, is racially motivated and harms immigrant communities by encouraging deportations.
"By targeting Latino neighborhoods, Chicago police is not only being prejudiced, it's also engaging in anti-immigrant behavior and abetting deportations," said Martin Unzueta, a member of the group Organized Communities Against Deportations, at a Monday press conference on the fourth floor of City Hall.
Following Tuesday's official announcement that the Obama presidential library will be built in Chicago, local activists continued their push for a South Side trauma center with a march from Washington Park to the home of University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer. Progress Illinois was there for the demonstration.
Progress Illinois provides highlights from Chicago's jam-packed city council meeting, during which Gov. Bruce Rauner delivered remarks about his "turnaround agenda" and aldermen passed a historic reparations package for Burge torture survivors.
Last week, the Illinois Senate passed legislation that would reform school discipline policies. Progress Illinois takes a look at the pending bill, now under consideration in the Illinois House, and the problems it aims to address.
Protesters held an overnight candlelight vigil outside the home of University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer as part of the ongoing campaign for an adult trauma center on Chicago's South Side. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the push for expanded trauma care services in the city.
Workers fighting for higher wages and the right to unionize began a series of day-long rallies and speak-outs this morning in what organizers say will be the largest mobilization of low wage workers to date. Coordinated protests by the Fight for 15 movement and its allies are taking place in more than 200 cities in 30 countries with workers from multiple industries demanding a $15 an hour wage and better working conditions.
In Chicago, workers and their supporters rallied at numerous McDonald's locations across the city, beginning with an early morning demonstration that drew 200 at a South Side restaurant location at 8321 S. Ashland. The protests, led by fast food workers, have also drawn home care, child care and airport workers as well as college students, adjunct professors and Brink's armored car and armed security guards.
"I scrap and scrape and stress all day, every day," said Douglas Hunter, a 53-year-old maintenance worker at a McDonald's location on Chicago's West side. Hunter, who has a 16-year-old daughter, has participated in numerous strikes for more than a year. He said low wages contribute to the degradation of neighborhoods.
Chicago mayoral candidate and Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia stressed his support for a graduated state income tax at a Thursday morning University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) panel discussion on race and inequality.
Garcia said property taxes, which are a major source of revenue for public education in the city and state, are "very regressive in terms of how they affect the general population" and are "not the best source to fund schools."
"A fairer system of taxation would be a graduated state income tax, or something that is more progressive tied to an income tax," Garcia said in a follow-up with reporters after the talk, which was sponsored by UIC's Great Cities Institute. "I think that is a much more sustainable funding source for schools, for human services and things of that nature. I think it's one that we really need to look at. States that have that type of progressive taxation tend to have better-funded school systems and less disparities in education."
African Americans are not being provided an equal opportunity for work at Ferrara Candy Company, according to a group of protesters who took their message to the company's Forest Park factory Tuesday morning.
"Ferrara Candy makes millions of dollars, particularly in the Halloween season, on the folks in this community. We want them to ensure the people who make their candy in this community are the folks that actually live in this community," said Elce Redmond, organizer with the South Austin Coalition Community Council.