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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:12pm
Mon Mar 23, 2015

New Poll Looks At Latino Perspectives In Chicago Mayoral Race

A new survey shows Latino registered voters in Chicago overwhelming support Chicago mayoral challenger Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia over Mayor Rahm Emanuel. But while Latino voters are strongly pro-Garcia, they are not necessarily anti-Emanuel, the polling results indicate.

Of the 406 Latino survey respondents, 61 percent opted for Garcia, while 18 percent said they would vote for Emanuel if the April 7 runoff were held today. Twenty-one percent of survey respondents were undecided in the poll, conducted March 16 through March 20.

Latino Decisions’ bilingual telephone survey — co-sponsored by the Latino Policy Forum, National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) and Univision Chicago — has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.

Representatives from the groups involved with the survey, along with Northwestern University political science lecturer Jamie Dominguez, whose expertise includes Latino and Chicago politics, spoke at a Monday morning forum to discuss to the polling results.

Panelists stressed the importance of the new survey, noting that the Latino vote is generally under-polled in Chicago mayoral polls.

“No other poll conducted this season has aimed to connect directly with (Latinos) or sought to gauge their perspective on critical issues,” Dominguez noted.

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
7:32pm
Tue Feb 17, 2015

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, 2015

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.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:31pm
Tue Feb 10, 2015

Corporate Subsidies Contributing To Economic Inequality, Study Shows

State and local economic development subsidies awarded to large corporations are exacerbating inequality in America, argues a recent report by Good Jobs First.

Such subsidies are intended to spur economic development and job creation. But, as the report points out, they tend to be given to low-wage employers as well as billionaire-owned “profitable, growing companies that do not need tax breaks to finance a project, meaning that the subsidies serve mainly to increase profits.”

“Inequality has many causes, and now we can say development subsidies are among them,” said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C.-based subsidy watchdog group. “Subsidies are being awarded to large, profitable companies controlled by billionaires such as Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, while we have too many communities that really need the help.”

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.

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
1:37pm
Tue Dec 9, 2014

Experts: Bright Spots In ‘Solid’ November Jobs Report, But Economy Far From Full Recovery

Despite the rosy numbers reported in last week’s November jobs report, which showed U.S. employers added 321,000 positions last month and average hourly wages went up slightly, experts say the economic recovery still has a long way to go. Progress Illinois provides reaction from economists and labor experts on last month’s job and employment figures.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:18pm
Fri Dec 5, 2014

Aldermanic Candidate Questions TIF Use In Chicago’s 11th Ward, Calls For Better Use Of Funds

Tax increment financing (TIF) districts located solely in Chicago’s 11th Ward on the South Side had $69.5 million in unspent property tax revenue sitting in their collective bank accounts at the start of this year. 

That money would have otherwise been dispersed among the local units of government that rely on property tax revenue, including the school and park districts, were it not for the city’s controversial TIF program, which is intended to spur economic development in “blighted” areas.

The Chicago-based CivicLab revealed that TIF finding and relevant information at a Thursday night meeting held at the First Lutheran Church of the Trinity, 643 W. 31st St., in Bridgeport.

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