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Quick Hit
by Michael Joyce
4:51pm
Thu Jul 30

New Housing Campaign Casts Spotlight On Those At Risk Of Foreclosure, Eviction

Demonstrators gathered outside of several downtown financial institutions this week to launch a social media campaign highlighting the fact that while the financial crisis might be over, many are still at risk of eviction from their homes.

The demonstration began outside of the Citibank on 11 South LaSalle St. Tuesday, where demonstrators chanted, "We got sold out, banks got bailed out."

The ralliers continued on to four other financial institutions in the area: Chase Bank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Fannie Mae.

This demonstration marks the launch of the Fannie/Freddy 99 Coalition's national social media campaign, called "We Are the Faces of Eviction."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:25pm
Thu Jul 30

Chicago City Council Roundup: Dyett Civil Disobedience, Stop-And-Frisk & Privatization Safeguards

Progress Illinois provides highlights from Wednesday's busy Chicago City Council meeting.

Quick Hit
by Op-Ed
3:51pm
Tue Jul 28

Op-Ed: NY Wage Board Raises For 200,000 Fast Food Workers - Another Legacy of Jon Kest, Famed New York Organizer

The following was written by Keith Kelleher, president of SEIU* Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas.

Breakfasts with my friend, progressive icon Jon Kest, were always lively. We'd talk about organizing, progressive politics and life. But when we met at a Brooklyn diner three years ago, even I couldn't believe what he wanted to discuss this time: an audacious plan to win raises and union rights for 200,000 fast food workers in New York, and help spark a movement calling for $15 an hour for hundreds of thousands of home care, child care, airport and other underpaid workers across the United States.

If you don't know Jon, he was one of New York's - and the nation's - premier community, political and labor organizers until his life was tragically cut short by liver cancer in December, 2012.

We didn't know about his diagnosis that morning. But we did know that we were on the ground floor of a potentially transformative movement.  Jon and his staff at the New York Communities for Change (NYCC) in New York, and Madeline Talbott and her staff at Action Now in Chicago, working with SEIU, had been experimenting with organizing underpaid fast food workers in New York and Chicago.

I was somewhat disbelieving when Jon unveiled the idea of helping fast food workers in New York organize and take action on a grand scale to help win historic raises. I organized fast food workers in Detroit in the 1980s. The work was hard and victories were few and far between. Although Jon and I worked in different regions, our experiences were similar: the hard working men and women in those jobs were excited and highly motivated by the idea of forming a union to win better wages that would support their families.

Still, the odds seemed long.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:17pm
Tue Jul 28

Logan Square Community Rallies Against Local School Budget Cuts (VIDEO)

Logan Square parents, teachers and students rallied Tuesday morning to speak out against the deep spending cuts affecting local public schools. The group also demanded that tax increment financing (TIF) funds be used to restore school budgets.

Those who attended the rally, held at the Illinois Centennial Monument in Logan Square, said releasing TIF surplus dollars would be an immediate way to boost school budgets while city and school officials work toward identifying long-term fiscal solutions for the district.

Leaders with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, which organized the rally, said 10 of the group's partner public schools face a combined $4.7 million in budget cuts for the upcoming school year.

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