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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:46pm
Fri Nov 15, 2013

Gutierrez Says Immigration Reform Is Not Dead, Urges Activists To Keep Pressure On House GOP

On a conference call with reporters Friday, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) urged youths, like the two teens who approached House Speaker John Boehner at a diner this week to discuss immigration reform, and supporters of the movement to keep the heat on Republican leaders about passing a bill that would fix the nation’s broken immigration system.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:25pm
Tue Nov 5, 2013

Ames Middle School Officials, Parents Demand Meeting With CPS Over Military School Plan

Logan Square parents, residents and the Local School Council (LSC) at Ames Middle School say they want Chicago Public Schools (CPS) officials to meet with them about the district’s plan to affiliate their neighborhood school with the Marine Corps next year. 

Ames LSC members stressed at their meeting Tuesday morning that those from nearby feeder schools should also have an opportunity to weigh in about the decision to convert Ames, located at 1920 N. Hamlin Ave., into a military academy. Those feeder schools include John Barry Elementary, Laughlin Falconer Elementary, Kelvyn Park High School, Sharon Christa McAuliffe Elementary and William P. Nixon Elementary.

No CPS officials attended Ames’ morning LSC meeting, although several school district representatives were reportedly invited to attend.

“Nobody has had the courtesy to come to us, the parents, constituents and, most importantly, the students that will be most affected [by this decision],” said Ames LSC member Jose Jaramillo. “We are tired of trying to fight a battle of people making decisions for our school when we are the ones that are vested and give all our time for the excellence of our community and school.”

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
2:59pm
Mon Oct 28, 2013

House Republicans Must Act On Immigration Reform, Say Community Leaders, Elected Officials (VIDEO)

Inaction on immigration reform will have negative consequences for the mostly white, male-dominated Republican Party during next year’s election, according to a group of protesters who vowed Saturday to vote Illinois’ GOP congressional delegates out of office if they do not work towards passing legislation that would overhaul the nation’s broken immigration system.

“Give us a vote on citizenship or risk extinction,” read flyers left outside of U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam’s (R, IL-6) downtown Chicago office doors Saturday as more than 50 immigration reform advocates chanted, “Remember November!”

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
3:57pm
Wed Sep 25, 2013

Local Organizations Push For Increased Civic Engagement On National Voter Registration Day (VIDEO)

With the 2014 general election just 13 months away and voter registration numbers at an all-time low, hundreds of volunteers took to Chicagoland streets Tuesday to mark National Voter Registration Day in an effort to get as many new voters on the rolls as possible.

“Election after election, millions of voters aren’t able to vote because they miss voter registration deadlines or they didn’t know how to register,” said Rebecca Reynolds, 28, executive director of Chicago Votes. “This day is a day to try to make sure we leave no one out.”

Chicago Votes, a volunteer-run civic engagement advocacy group, served as Illinois’ lead organization on Tuesday’s national day of action to increase voter registration. More than 40 local groups, including the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, partnered with Chicago Votes to encourage residents to exercise their basic right to vote.

“Voter registration has hit an all-time low in the city of Chicago,” said Reynolds. “We’re trying to make voter registration easier, and more accessible to everybody.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:56pm
Fri Aug 9, 2013

Northern Illinois Light Brigade Puts ALEC In The Spotlight

A few dozen activists and members of the Northern Illinois Light Brigade gathered near the Palmer House Hilton Thursday evening in an effort to shine some light, literally, on the pro-corporate and conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Thursday was day two of ALEC’s 40th annual three-day conference, which is being held at the downtown hotel this week.

The light brigade illuminated large letter signs that read “Fight To End ALEC,” and other slogans. The signs drew attention from curious people on the street as well as looks from likely ALEC members as they made their way in and out of the Palmer House.

Activist Bill Weiss, a Kirkland, Illinois resident, said ALEC creates legislation that hurts average people while filling the pockets of big corporations.

“As long as ALEC is allowed to continue to write our laws for us, they’re never going to be laws for the people,” Weiss said. “They’re always going to be laws for the corporations, and we can’t let that happen.”

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