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Leslie Hairston

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Quick Hit
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11:31am
Thu Jun 27, 2013

Op-Ed: City Council Progressive Reform Caucus Speaks Out On CPS Budget Cuts

The Chicago City Council Progressive Reform Caucus members released the following statement on Thursday in response to the news of massive cuts to Chicago Public School budgets across the city.

Even after all the supposed cost-savings arising from the closing of 50 public schools, Chicago Public Schools are now facing the most severe budget cuts in their history. While we still do not know the full extent of these cuts, at least 850 CPS employees will lose their jobs. Schools received their new budgets this month and found their budgets severely reduced.

As elected representatives of the communities of Chicago, we are alarmed by the stripping of basic necessities which define a school. The neighborhood schools have been reduced to beggars, lacking such essentials as sanitation supplies, library book funds, field trip money, playground supervision. The principals have been given the new budgets and told to ‘do more with less.’

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
2:50pm
Thu Apr 11, 2013

49th Ward Hosts Community Budgeting Meeting Geared Towards Latino Community

Rogers Park residents gathered for the final installation of the 49th ward Participatory Budgeting Project Expo last night and listened to proposed infrastructure projects for their community.

The meeting, which was entirely in Spanish, was geared specifically for Rogers Park’s Hispanic residents.

Project organizers said they hoped the Spanish-language meeting would boost civic engagement from the community’s Hispanic population.

“It’s been a challenge to get the Latino community to participate, and the idea was that if we provided them with a space where they could dialogue about the projects it would be easier for Spanish-speakers to participate,” said Jose Melendez, a volunteer mentor to the Participatory Budgeting Spanish Language Committee and member of the Participatory Budgeting Leadership Committee.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:57pm
Tue Apr 9, 2013

Uptown Residents Unveil Community-Inspired Projects At Participatory Budgeting Expo

Uptown residents laid out their plans last night on how they’d like to divvy up the 46th Ward’s $1.3 million “menu money” budget as part of a new participatory budgeting process some Chicago aldermen are adopting.

Each year, Chicago aldermen receive city funds and decide how to use the pot of money for infrastructure needs in their wards, such as improving sidewalks, traffic signals and streetlights. 

The participatory budgeting process allows residents to decide how the money is spent based on a community vote.

Prior to participatory budgeting, Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said he and his staffers would ride their bikes down streets and alleys looking for areas of improvement in the ward, which was “very inefficient.”

“This (participatory budgeting) process understands that those people who know the ward the best are those who live in it,” Cappleman said to about 30 residents at an expo yesterday showcasing the proposed projects.

PI Original
by Aricka Flowers
10:24pm
Wed Mar 13, 2013

Second So-Called Progressive Caucus Emerges In Chicago City Council, Begging The Question Of Why?

A second group of aldermen, calling themselves the Paul Douglas Alliance (after the liberal Illinois U.S. Senator and former member of the Chicago City Council), announced they are forming a new so-called progressive caucus. The move comes one day after the council's original progressive caucus, the Progressive Reform Coalition, announced their legislative priorities. Progress Illinois breaks down what the formation of the second progressive caucus could really mean.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
11:11am
Mon Jan 14, 2013

Community Group Brings Together Politicians, Religious and Community Leaders In A Call For Social Justice

Busloads of Chicago and suburban residents filed into the pews of a South Side church Sunday for an afternoon remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr. and called on a dozen elected officials to join their push for social and economic justice in the area.

PI Original
by Matthew Blake
6:20pm
Tue Apr 24, 2012

Emanuel's Infrastructure Trust Passes Council Vote Despite Continued Concerns (VIDEO)

The Chicago City Council passed 41-7 today Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s controversial “Infrastructure Trust” public-private partnership, arguably Emanuel’s most significant proposal in his one year as mayor.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
3:45pm
Wed Apr 18, 2012

Emanuel Infrastructure Trust Vote Postponed, But Opponents Not Celebrating

Ald. Edward Burke (14th), chairman of the Chicago City Council Finance Committee, deferred a full City Council vote today on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Infrastructure Trust public-private partnership plan, arguably the most consequential and controversial proposal of Emanuel’s brief time as mayor thus far. Burke delayed the vote amid speculation that Trust opponents might use a parliamentary maneuver to table the measure.

However, the City Council is anticipated to hold a special session next Tuesday, April 24 to vote on the measure, much to the chagrin of ordinance opponent Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd).

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
3:20pm
Thu Mar 8, 2012

G8 Moves, But Summit Ordinances Stay

Chicago is sorting through the stunning White House announcement Monday that Camp David, not McCormick Place Convention Center, will play host to the Group of Eight summit May 19-21, after months of hype and build up.

One lingering question – which Progress Illinois looked at yesterday – is if World Business Chicago, the non-profit in charge of managing both the G8 and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summits, will redirect their fundraising efforts now that just NATO is coming to town.

Another concern: What becomes of two controversial ordinances that passed City Council in January, in anticipation of the simultaneous summits? According to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office, both measures are still in effect.

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