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Quick Hit
by Michael Joyce
7:39pm
Tue Mar 29, 2016

Chicago City Colleges Students, Educators Blast System Over Consolidations, Tuition Hikes

There was palpable anger in the standing-room only audience as the Alliance of City College Unions hosted a town hall meeting Monday night to discuss a number of issues, including tuition raises and program consolidations.

Following February’s no-confidence vote for City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl Hyman, faculty members say they have been let down by the administration, save a select few.

Loretta Ragsdell, president of the city colleges’ part-time faculty union, thanked all the politicians who have advocated on behalf of faculty.

“We have a lot of friends in politics,” said Ragsdell. “Not Rauner, and certainly not Rahm.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:31pm
Thu Mar 24, 2016

Ryan Renounces Previous ‘Makers And Takers’ Rhetoric As Progressives Rebuke GOP ‘Austerity’ Budget Plan

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI,1) expressed regret this week for his past comments against poor Americans, saying in a major speech Wednesday that he was wrong for calling people “makers and takers.”

“There was a time that I would talk about a difference between ‘makers’ and ‘takers’ in our country, referring to people who accepted government benefits. But as I spent more time listening, really learning the root causes of poverty, I realized something. I realized that I was wrong,” Ryan said during his speech about the state of American politics. “‘Takers’ wasn’t how to refer to a single mom stuck in a poverty trap, trying to take care of her family. Most people don’t want to be dependent. And to label a whole group of Americans that way was wrong. I shouldn’t castigate a large group of Americans just to make a point.”

In a question and answer session after his speech, delivered before a group of House interns, Ryan added, “I was callous and I oversimplified and I castigated people with a broad brush. That’s wrong. And there’s a lot of that happening in America today. I myself have made that mistake.”

Despite Ryan’s noteworthy change in rhetoric, and his push this year to make combating poverty a top GOP priority, critics say his policies speak for themselves.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:29pm
Mon Mar 7, 2016

Lewis Reiterates Plan For CTU, CPS ‘Showdown’, Calls Rauner A ‘Sociopath’ Over Budget Battle

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis spoke Monday morning at a convention for the statewide Parent Mentor Program. She talked with reporters afterward about the status of contract negotiations with the district and the union’s plans for an April 1 “showdown.”

Quick Hit
by Michael Joyce
12:53pm
Mon Mar 7, 2016

Red-Light Camera Protest Eclipsed By Political Rivalry

What began as a protest against Chicago’s red-light cameras quickly shifted into political grandstanding, as supporters of House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) showed up en masse to picket against 22nd district challenger Jason Gonzales.

Earlier in the day, at the corner of 63rd St. and Kedzie Ave., the Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras enjoyed raucous support from the pubic, as passing cars and pedestrians stopped to show their support.

Mark Wallace, director of Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras, says red-light cameras have been strategically placed throughout the city based on revenue potential, not safety needs.

“This was a scheme motivated by money, but presented to the public under the disguise of safety,” Wallace said. “They choose primarily poor and low-income areas because they have high rates of traffic, where they would be able to get high rates of tickets and revenue. The city has, in effect, put into place a solution for a problem that didn’t exist, under the disguise of safety.”

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:06pm
Thu Mar 3, 2016

Can Unions Affect The Economic Mobility Of Children? One Recent Study Says Yes.

Progress Illinois takes a look at the findings of a Center for American Progress study showing that “economic mobility and union membership go hand in hand.” 

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