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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
12:14pm
Tue Mar 18, 2014

Durbin, Foster Discuss Immigration Reform, Needs Of Hispanic Business Owners (VIDEO)

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D, IL-11) met with a group of Hispanic business leaders in Joliet on Monday to discuss how the federal government can better support minority business owners and, subsequently, the community at large.

Passing immigration reform, both elected officials agreed, is the single-most important thing Congress can to do benefit the Hispanic community and its business leaders.

By providing a streamlined path to citizenship for America’s more than 11 million undocumented immigrants, the country would see significant economic growth, including increases in tax revenues and jobs, Durbin and Foster both said.

“(Immigration reform) takes the fear out of the lives of those who are here undocumented," Durbin said. "It gives them a chance to get legal status and it fixes this broken immigration system. It died in the House, it’s just been sitting there for almost a year now. That’s just awful.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:32pm
Wed Feb 5, 2014

Former House Speaker Hastert, Cardinal George Push For Immigration Reform

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Cardinal Francis George joined Illinois business leaders at a discussion in Chicago Tuesday afternoon to press House Republicans to pass immigration reform this year.

Hastert, a Republican who served as House speaker from 1999 to 2007, said immigration reform should accomplish two key goals. He says there should be a pathway to legalization and eventual citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. The nation's borders also have to be deemed secure, and checkpoints need to be open and able to facilitate people coming in and out of the country, the former lawmaker said.

"Where are we today in Congress," he asked those at the event, hosted by the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition. "Is there a possibility that we can do that? I think so. I am not going to name names, but I sat down with a couple of those [ House GOP] leaders within the last eight or nine months and talked about these issues, and I think there's an understanding, and I think it's time that we move forward."

Cardinal George, the archbishop of Chicago, joined Hastert in support of a pathway to citizenship. He also called on the federal government to halt deportations.

"We should end deportations because they break up families, and the family, not the individual, the family is the basic unit of our society," George told reporters in remarks after the event, held at DePaul University. "If you break up families deliberately, you're going to have a much weaker society, and besides, the human suffering of the children especially and also the spouse." 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:33pm
Wed Jan 29, 2014

Breaking Down Quinn's State Of The State Address

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s “State of the State” speech Wednesday afternoon zeroed in on job creation, a new early childhood education initiative and efforts to boost small businesses and rebuild the middle class, including a renewed push to raise the state's minimum wage. Progress Illinois takes a look at some of the highlights from the speech.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:53pm
Wed Nov 20, 2013

Ald. Burns Introduces Chicago Corporate Tax Disclosure Ordinance

Ald. Will Burns (4th) wants all publicly-traded corporations seeking subsidies or contracts from the city of Chicago to publicly disclose the amount they pay in Illinois income taxes as well as any tax breaks they receive. 

Burns introduced the Chicago Corporate Responsibility and Tax Disclosure Act at Wednesday's city council meeting. Under the proposed measure, big corporations asking for city actions, subsidies and contracts would also have to report net and taxable income.

Alds. Pat Dowell (3rd), Leslie Hairston (5th), Roderick Sawyer (6th), Natashia Holmes (7th), Toni Foulkes (15th), Ricardo Munoz (22nd), Deb Mell (33rd), Michele Smith (43rd), James Cappleman (46th), Ameya Pawar (47th), Harry Osterman (48th) and Joe Moore (49th) have signed on as co-sponsors to the measure thus far. Leaders with the Fair Economy Illinois coalition are also in support of the proposed ordinance, which has been sent to the Finance Committee.

"We are increasingly turning into a society, which in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. takes necessities away from the many and gives luxuries to the few," Fair Economy Illinois leader Rev. Marlan Branch of St. James AME Church said before Wednesday's council meeting. "The city of Chicago spends millions of dollars each year subsidizing and contracting with big corporations. Those corporations have a particular responsibility to support the common good, which should include publicly disclosing the corporate income tax they pay to the state of Illinois."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:56pm
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.

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