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Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
4:53pm
Fri Dec 12, 2014

Chicago Treasurer Proposes Investing City Pension Funds In Black Neighborhoods

A day after taking office, Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers hit the ground running launching a 77 communities in 77 days listening tour throughout the city.

That tour brought Summers to the Bronzeville neighborhood last week, where he met with residents and business owners to discuss black communities getting a slice of the $50 billion fiscal pie the city has to invest each year. Summers spoke to a group of 50 at the Bronzeville Visitor Information Center, located at 3501 S. King Dr.

Summers told the crowd that his office manages a combined $50 billion in investments as well as employee pension funds and retirement plans. He said he would like to see some of that money invested in neighborhoods like Bronzeville.

"I don't view a neighborhood investment strategy as a risky strategy," said Summers, a product of Bronzeville. "I don't view that as any more risky than investing in Korea's debt, which we do, or investing in a cement company in Mexico. I don't believe investing in Bronzeville is any riskier than that."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:13pm
Tue Dec 2, 2014

Chicago City Council Approves $13 Minimum Wage, Worker Advocates Applaud

Chicago's minimum wage will go up gradually to $13 an hour by 2019 under a mayor-backed plan that cleared the full city council by a 44-5 vote at a special meeting Tuesday. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the council debate and vote.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
10:54am
Tue Sep 23, 2014

Karen Lewis Meets With Voters: ‘I’m Qualified To Be Mayor’ (VIDEO)

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis met with residents of the McKinley Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side Monday night and discussed how she would run City Hall if she were elected to be Chicago’s next mayor.

Lewis touched on a myriad of subjects ranging from budgeting, tax increment financing (TIF) and housing to confronting violence in Chicago at the Monday night forum, held at the New Era Windows Cooperative, 2600 W. 35th St., as part of the ongoing “Conversations with Karen” series.

“What qualifies me to be the mayor, is that I care deeply about this city and I care deeply about the entirety of the city,” she said.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:28pm
Tue Jun 24, 2014

Southeast Side Chicagoans Want Answers About Reported Uptick In Petcoke-Filled Trains

Southeast Side Chicagoans are sounding the alarm on the latest environmental and public safety issue impacting their communities — an alleged uptick in trains transporting uncovered piles of petcoke, a byproduct of oil refining.

Over the past two months, some Southeast Side residents say they have noticed increased train traffic on old rail lines in the Hegewisch community that have previously been unused for many years. The trains, many of which pull more than 100 cars, are moving in and out of the area day and night, said Tom Shepherd of the Southeast Environmental Task Force. 

Shepherd said the trains are carrying unenclosed petcoke, which is mostly coming from the BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana and stockpiled at storage facilities along the Calumet River on Chicago's far Southeast Side. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:25pm
Mon Jun 9, 2014

Chicago Education Activists Target Ald. Burns Over Future Of Dyett High School (VIDEO)

Chicago education activists are ramping up their fight to save Walter H. Dyett High School from closing at the end of the 2014-2015 school year. 

At a news conference at City Hall on Monday, a coalition of parents, students and South Side community leaders blasted Chicago Ald. Will Burns (4th), whose ward includes Dyett, for not supporting their proposal to keep Dyett open beyond 2015 and transition it into a "global leadership and green technology" open-enrollment, neighborhood high school. Toting signs reading "Stop disinvesting in black children," members of the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School called the alderman's lack of support for their community-driven, academic plan "disrespectful" to the families who live near Dyett and accused Burns of "ignoring" the needs of neighborhood children.  

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:25pm
Mon May 12, 2014

National Nurses United, Southeast Siders Rally For Chicago Petcoke Moratorium At City Hall

Registered nurses and community activists rallied at Chicago's City Hall Monday afternoon, demanding that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and council members install an immediate moratorium on all petcoke operations in the city.

Chanting "Moratorium now!", dozens of Southeast Side residents, members of National Nurses United and other allies delivered a letter to the mayor's office, urging Chicago's elected officials to "cease all petcoke operations, transport and storage within the city until it is learned what impact petcoke has on the health of Chicagoans or until the piles are enclosed."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:27pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Coalition To Revitalize Bronzeville's Dyett High School Demands Meeting With Mayor, CPS CEO (UPDATED)

A broad coalition of Chicago educators, parents and South Side activists demanded Wednesday that Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Mayor Rahm Emanuel meet with them on a community-driven proposal to keep Walter H. Dyett High School open and transition it into a "Global Leadership and Green Technology" neighborhood high school.

The Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School — which formally presented its academic plan for the South Side public school at April's Chicago Board of Education meeting — wants a meeting with the officials within the next two weeks. 

Back in 2012, the Chicago Board of Education voted to phaseout Dyett, located in the city's historic Bronzeville community, due to poor academic performance. Dyett is expected to close completely in 2015.

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