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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:20pm
Tue Oct 27, 2015

Emanuel's Proposed Property Tax Hike Could Hit Renters Hard, Report Shows

One day before Wednesday's budget vote in the Chicago City Council, a Northwest Side community group released new research showing that Chicago renters could take a significant hit under Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed property tax increase.

Emanuel wants to increase property taxes by a record $588 million over four years to pay for police and fire pensions and school construction. Aldermen are scheduled to vote on the mayor's budget package, including the property tax increase, at Wednesday's council meeting.

A report released Tuesday by Communities United, formerly the Albany Park Neighborhood Council, examined the potential impact of the proposed property tax hike on renters in two-flat buildings across seven North Side neighborhoods.

The grassroots social justice group found that tenants in two-flats on Chicago's North and Northwest Sides could see their rent increase between $50 to $100 a month, or $600 to $1,200 a year, after the property tax increase is fully implemented.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:58am
Mon Sep 14, 2015

Illinois Women Won't Achieve Equal Pay Until 2065, Report Finds

The year 2065.

That's when Illinois women are projected to achieve equal pay in the state, if the current rate of progress in closing the gender wage gap continues, shows a recent report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR).

Of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, women in Illinois -- who currently make 80 cents on average for every dollar earned by men -- have the 25th shortest wait until they will see equal pay.

In other states, women born today probably will not achieve pay equality during their lifetime if current trends continue.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:41pm
Thu Sep 10, 2015

Minority, Low-Income Students Impacted The Most By College Debt, Report Shows

As the new school year gets underway, here are some troubling facts about student debt: minority and low-income students are borrowing at higher rates to attend college, and they're more likely to become indebted dropouts than their white and wealthier peers.

That's according to a recent report on college student borrowing by race and income from Demos, a progressive public policy organization. The research comes as the issues of college affordability and student debt emerge as hot campaign topics in the 2016 presidential race.

"While college is commonly regarded as a key tool to move up the economic ladder, we have created a system based almost entirely on acquiring debt to get ahead, with no regard to how it would impact different communities," report author and Demos senior policy analyst Mark Huelsman said in a statement. "This system is essentially pushing students of color and low-income students even farther down the ladder, adding an additional level of risk that previous generations did not take on when paying for college, and saddling them with additional disadvantages as they enter the workforce."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:04pm
Thu Sep 10, 2015

New Overtime Proposal Could Have Big Impact On Single Mothers, Women Of Color

A recent analysis shows 3.2 million women would become newly eligible for time-and-a-half pay under the Obama administration's new overtime proposal. Women of color and single mothers would be impacted the most by the proposed overtime policy, according to the research. 

Quick Hit
by Michael Joyce
9:38pm
Mon Aug 10, 2015

CAN TV Workers Set To Vote On Unionizing At Public Access TV Station

Chicago Access Network Television (CAN-TV) workers will continue their push for unionization, with Tuesday being a critical day in their drive for representation thanks to a scheduled National Labor Relations Board election.

CAN-TV employees are looking to unionize due to low wages, complaints about working conditions and hours, as well as "feeling disrespct[ed] and marginaliz[ed] by management," according to an announcement.

At a recent press conference and rally, CAN-TV executive director Barbara Popovic gave a statement on behalf of the cable public access television station.

"CAN-TV recognizes the rights of our employees to hold an election, and as an employer we will not take any action to interfere with those fundamental rights," Popovic said.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:07pm
Fri Jul 24, 2015

Report: Higher Ed Investments Key To Closing Racial Unemployment Gap In Illinois

Young Illinois adults of color are facing significant disparities in employment, wages and educational attainment, a new report shows.

The Millennial research and advocacy group Young Invincibles put out the report, arguing that greater investments in higher education are key to closing the gaps.

"Creating more opportunities for people of color to attain higher education is a critical step towards addressing the striking disparities in employment and wages in Illinois and nationwide," Eve Rips, Midwest director of Young Invincibles, said in a statement. "With Illinois students paying some of highest tuition in the country, proposed cuts to higher education could further fuel racial disparities in education attainment."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
9:58pm
Thu Jun 25, 2015

U.S. Homeownership Rate Keeps Falling, While Tally Of Cost-Burdened Renters Hits Record High

The national homeownership rate continued its downward trend in 2014 as the share of U.S. renter households reached its highest level in 20 years, according to the annual State of the Nation's Housing report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. A record number of U.S. renters are also facing housing cost burdens, the new research showed.

For the 10th straight year, the national homeownership rate dropped in 2014, falling to 64.5 percent. The rate ticked down to an even lower 63.7 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

The number of U.S. owner-occupied households fell for the eighth consecutive year in 2014, dropping by 233,000.

"Perhaps the most telling indicator of the state of the nation's housing is the drop in the homeownership rate to just 64.5 percent last year," the Joint Center for Housing Studies's Managing Director Chris Herbert said in a statement. "This erases nearly all of the increase from the previous two decades. In fact, the number of homeowners fell for the eighth straight year, and the trend does not appear to be abating."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:59pm
Wed Jun 24, 2015

Cash-Strapped Illinois Getting Shortchanged In Federal Revenues, Report Shows

A new study by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute makes the case for closing the "payer state" gap at the federal level. Progress Illinois takes a look at the new research.

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