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Quick Hit
by Anthony Burke Boylan
8:49pm
Wed Apr 23, 2014

Chicago Environmentalists Take Fight To Doorstep Of 'Worst Corporate Polluters'

Grassroots groups from all over Chicago’s progressive landscape came together for a Climate Convergence on Earth Day, chanting for environmental and economic justice. The activists marched to corporations they say are the worst environmental offenders to deliver cease-and-desist orders, including Boeing Co., JPMorgan Chase Bank, and the British Petroleum oil company.

“If we do not have immediate change, we will face climate catastrophe by 2050,’’ said Jackie Spreadbury, an organizer with Global Climate Convergence Chicago. She called for people, planets and peace over profits as the rally began in front of the State of Illinois Center Tuesday, The event included speeches and protest songs like “This Land is Your Land’’ and original songs tailored to the event.

“The forces against us are strong, so fight not just these ten days, but every day,’’ she said, referring to the 10 days of action GCC has scheduled through May 1, or May Day. The May Day event is a march from the historically significant Haymarket Square to the ICE building on Congress Street to fight for immigration rights. Click through for more details and check back with Progress Illinois for coverage of Chicago's May Day events.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:37pm
Tue Aug 27, 2013

Illinois Enacts Landmark Homeless Bill Of Rights

Homeless people in Illinois often run into roadblocks when they try to vote, apply for a job and access various public services due to their housing status.

But Illinois took a significant step earlier this month to help improve the situation of those without a roof over their heads by becoming the second U.S. state to enact a Homeless Bill of Rights.

Under the new state law, which took effect immediately, people cannot be discriminated against or denied basic equal rights merely because they lack a permanent address.

Bob Palmer, policy director at Housing Action Illinois, said the recent effort is also about ending the stigma associated with people who are experiencing homelessness.

“The one thing that everyone who is homeless has in common is that they can’t afford a home, and so homelessness is really an economic problem,” Palmer said. “To focus on somebody’s personal short comings is a diversion from the real problem.”

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
3:17pm
Tue Aug 13, 2013

Family On The Brink Of Losing Their Home Asks For Mercy, Loan Modification: 'We're In Big Trouble' (VIDEO)

A family on the verge of homelessness due to foreclosure asked a Cook County Circuit judge on Tuesday if he would turn down TCF National Bank’s Motion for Order of Possession for their house.

Domynika Pawelczak-Gutierrez, 36, who has lived with her family in Chicago’s Garfield Ridge neighborhood on the 5300 block of South Major Avenue for eight years, said the bank feels entitled to do business as usual, when the conditions under which she is losing her home are “anything but usual.”

The same week her husband lost his job in 2009, her teenage daughter, Hilary, underwent spinal fusion surgery, which forced her to be bedridden and required home care for roughly two months. Pawelczak-Gutierrez said the family was forced to rely on her income as a server to live and pay for Hilary’s medical expenses.

“We’ve been through a lot — I started using credit cards and getting myself more and more in debt. But we’re just starting to start over,” said Pawelczak-Gutierrez, who added that she filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. “I’m running out of options, I don’t know where we’ll go or what we’ll do if we lose the house.”

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:48pm
Wed Jun 5, 2013

Illinois General Assembly Spares Cuts To Education Budget

Early childhood education advocates say the state's budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year that passed in the state House and Senate last week is a partial victory. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at how education will be funded under the new budget.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
3:28pm
Thu Apr 25, 2013

Supportive Housing For Veterans Coming To Chicago's Englewood Neighborhood (VIDEO)

By the end of June 2014, more than two acres of vacant land in Chicago’s South Side Englewood neighborhood will be transformed into an affordable housing development with services for veterans and their families.

Gov. Pat Quinn and Ald. JoAnn Thompson (16th) announced the new housing facility, called Hope Manor II, at a breaking ground ceremony today.

“As people of America, we have a profound debt of gratitude to the men and women who answer the call to duty and volunteer for our military, they are our heroes and always will be,” said Quinn.

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