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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
12:25pm
Wed Feb 18

Chicago's 36th Ward Candidates Discuss Education, Campaign Priorities (VIDEO)

A week before Chicago's municipal election, three of four aldermanic candidates in the 36th Ward participated in a public forum Tuesday night in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood.

Those vying for the Northwest Side ward seat, left vacant by Ald. Nick Sposato (36th) who is running in the 38th ward due to the city's ward remap, include business owner Christopher Vittorio, reference librarian Alonso Zaragoza, and Omar Aquino, a former employee of U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D, IL-8). Business owner Gilbert Villegas is also running for the seat, but did not attend Tuesday's event.

Roughly 50 residents of the 36th Ward, which includes portions of the Belmont Cragin, Portage Park, Montclare, Galewood, Dunning and Hermosa neighborhoods, attended the debate hosted by the Communities United organization.

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
7:32pm
Tue Feb 17

Stamps Centers Campaign Around Education In Chicago's 37th Ward Race

Community activist Marion Stamps fought for the rights of public housing residents displaced by the demolition of the Cabrini Green housing development on the near North Side when she ran for 27th Ward alderman in 1995.

Twenty years later, her daughter, Tara Stamps, is fighting in that same vein, but focusing her fight on education. She is among four challengers, including Leroy Duncan, Maretta Brown-Miller and Otis Percy, running against West Side Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) in the February 24 municipal election.

The 2013 closing of 50 Chicago Public Schools, an influx of charter schools, and excessive red light and speed camera fines are examples of the failed policies that have led to disinvestment in black and Latino neighborhoods, according to Stamps. The time was right, she added, to stand up against such actions.

"While I still have my mother's passion, and I share many of her beliefs about community, this fight is my fight," said the mother of three and teacher of 18 years. "It's authentic to me because I understand how all of this is connected to education."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:57am
Wed Feb 11

Chicago's 32nd Ward Aldermanic Candidates Trade Jabs At Lakeview Forum

The two aldermanic candidates in Chicago's 32nd Ward race traded barbs throughout a Tuesday evening political forum, with incumbent Ald. Scott Waguespack coming under attack for his "personality conflicts" and challenger Elise Doody-Jones taking heat over her residency.

A pro-Mayor Rahm Emanuel super PAC's involvement in the 32nd Ward race was also discussed at the candidate forum, hosted by the South Lakeview Neighbors at the Athenaeum Theater, 2936 N. Southport Ave.

Chicago's 32nd Ward includes parts of Bucktown, Lake View, Lincoln Park, Logan Square, Roscoe Village and Wicker Park.

Waguespack, who has held the 32nd Ward seat since 2007, is a member of the city council's Progressive Reform Caucus. Doody-Jones is a small business owner who formerly served as treasurer of 1st Ward First, an independent political organization in Chicago's 1st Ward that supports the ward's current alderman, Joe Moreno.

Doody-Jones presently resides in the neighboring 1st Ward but says she will move to the 32nd Ward, if elected. She was asked about her residency at the top of Tuesday's forum, to which Doody-Jones explained that her Logan Square home is located just outside the ward's remapped boundaries.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:56pm
Wed Feb 4

Rauner's First State Of The State Address Garners Mixed Reviews

During his first State of the State address on Wednesday, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed raising the state's minimum wage to $10 over seven years, pushed his plan for right-to-work zones and vowed to keep his campaign promise to increase education funding. Progress Illinois provides highlights from Rauner's speech and rounds up reaction to his agenda for the state.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:12pm
Tue Feb 3

Chicago Education Activists Keep Pressure On Ald. Burns Over Dyett High School (VIDEO)

Chicago education activists who have been fighting to preserve Walter H. Dyett High School as an open-enrollment, traditional neighborhood school protested outside of Ald. Will Burns' (4th) office Tuesday morning, claiming the South Side alderman "pretends to be progressive while pushing privatization."

Members of the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School, who for more than a year have been advocating for a community-driven plan to turn the facility into a "global leadership and green technology" open-enrollment high school, are upset over the prospect of a contract operator taking control of the Bronzeville school. They are also angry because the alderman has not endorsed their global leadership and green technology proposal.

"Instead of honoring the community plan and believing in democracy, Ald. Will Burns has given Dyett over to private operators and left it open for the school to be a contract school," said Jitu Brown with the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School, which is spearheaded by the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO).

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:24pm
Wed Jan 28

Deb Mell Takes Heat For Family Ties At 33rd Ward Candidate Forum

Aldermanic candidates running in Chicago's 33rd Ward sounded off on issues ranging from the minimum wage and charter schools to "political dynasties" and "machine politics" at a Tuesday evening forum sponsored by several Northwest Side neighborhood groups.

In Chicago's 33rd Ward, incumbent Ald. Deb Mell is being challenged by Tim Meegan, a public school teacher at Roosevelt High School, and Annisa Wanat, a non-profit consultant and former Peace Corps volunteer. Mell, the daughter of former Ald. Dick Mell (33rd), was appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to fill her father's council seat after he retired in July 2013.

At the packed candidate forum held at Newton Bateman Elementary School, Mell touted a number of accomplishments in her 18 months as alderman, including efforts around affordable housing, cracking down on "absentee" landlords, making the ward office more accessible and voting to raise the minimum wage to $13 by 2019.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
12:48pm
Thu Jan 15

Chicago's 31st Ward Aldermanic Candidates Debate About Progressive Values, Campaign Funding

Aldermanic candidates for the 31st Ward, including incumbent Ald. Ray Suarez (31st), debated Wednesday night and discussed their platforms for next month's municipal election.

Those challenging Suarez, who was first elected alderman of the Northwest Side ward in 1991, include lawyer and professor Sean Starr, former reporter Milagros Santiago and Irma Cornier, a community outreach coordinator at NewLife 316.

More than 50 residents of the ward, which includes portions of the Belmont Cragin, Portage Park, Hermosa and Logan Square neighborhoods, attended the debate hosted by the Belmont-Cragin United community organization.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:58pm
Tue Jan 13

Garcia Talks Public Transit, TIF & Red Light Cameras At U Of C

At a Monday night talk at the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics, Chicago mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia reiterated his support for scaling back the city's red light camera and tax increment financing (TIF) programs as well as his desire to boost investments in public transportation. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the discussion.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:28pm
Wed Dec 17, 2014

Chicago Mayoral, 24th Ward Candidates Court West Side Voters At Local Forum

Chicago mayoral and 24th Ward aldermanic hopefuls spoke to West Side residents at a Tuesday night candidate forum. Progress Illinois was there for the event.

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