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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:34pm
Thu Mar 6, 2014

10th District Race: Candidates Sound Off On Elected Chicago School Board, TIF Reform

Three of the five candidates vying to unseat incumbent State Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) in the crowded 10th District Illinois House race took part in a forum Wednesday night, discussing everything from education to TIFs. Progress Illinois was there for the discussion. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:24pm
Tue Feb 25, 2014

Debate Over Luxury Housing Development In Uptown Rages On

An advisory zoning committee for Chicago’s 46th Ward signed off on a private developer’s request for $14 million in tax increment financing (TIF) assistance for a proposed luxury housing complex in Uptown at its monthly meeting Monday night.

The 46th Ward’s Zoning and Development Committee, put in place by Ald. James Cappleman (46th), approved preliminary plans for JDL Development’s TIF project despite opposition from low-income housing advocates in the area.

A group of about 30 community activists staged a protest outside of Cappleman’s office Monday night before attending the zoning meeting, held at Weiss Memorial Hospital. The protestors toted signs reading, “Stop displacing our neighborhood” and “Save Uptown diversity.” 

“Cappleman, as alderman over his tenure in office, repeatedly supported gentrification projects that affect the community in ways that force out diversity from Uptown and that have devastating effects on low-income communities and communities of color in Uptown,” community activist Ashley Bohrer said at the protest. “Building affordable housing would be the best way to use public money for public services, and that means helping communities that are in the most need.” 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:35pm
Thu Feb 20, 2014

Cook Co. Board Hopefuls Tout Endorsements At Candidate Forum; Boykin Fires Back At Residency Concerns

Candidates running in the crowded West Side Democratic primary race for Cook County commissioner had a chance to make their pitch to voters at a candidate forum Wednesday night. Progress Illinois provides some of the highlights from the event.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:46pm
Wed Nov 27, 2013

Report: Illinois Ranks No. 5 For Reducing Pollution, Saving Water From Wind Power

A new report ranks Illinois as the fifth-best U.S. state when it comes to reducing carbon pollution and saving water thanks to wind power.

Illinois generated 7.7 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity through wind power in the state last year, according to the “Wind Energy for a Cleaner America” report from Environment Illinois. That wind energy prevented some 4.7 million metric tons of harmful carbon pollution from getting in the atmosphere, similar to removing 971,000 cars from the road, according to the report.

Wind power in the Prairie State also helped to save 2 billion gallons of water in 2012, which would have instead been used to support coal-fired power plants, the report reads. Those 2 billion gallons of water are enough to meet the daily needs of more than 63,000 people.

Additionally, the wind energy Illinois generated last year stopped 4,300 tons of nitrogen oxide and 5,400 tons of sulfur dioxide from being released into the air.

“Wind energy has given us a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving,” Lisa Nikodem of Environment Illinois said in a statement. “Now our state and national leaders need to take action to make sure we don’t leave this cornucopia of environmental benefits on the table.”

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:11pm
Wed Nov 13, 2013

Chicago Aldermen Fail To Discharge TIF Surplus, Elected School Board Proposals From Rules Committee

The Chicago City Council’s Progressive Reform Caucus made an effort Wednesday to bring up for a full vote two pieces of legislation that have been stuck in the Rules Committee for months, but their efforts were thwarted. Progress Illinois was at Wednesday’s city council meeting and details how the attempt flatlined.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:56pm
Thu Nov 7, 2013

Austin, Galewood Residents Unveil Community Sustainability Action Plan

Chicago’s Austin and Galewood community members unveiled their draft “sustainability roadmap” Wednesday evening, detailing ways in which they will take action to strengthen their neighborhoods.

The new community-based planning initiative on the West Side is taking place in Ald. Deborah Graham’s 29th Ward. Prior to Wednesday’s meeting, residents and other community stakeholders held two “visioning sessions” where they floated ideas to be included in their plan on how to make their neighborhoods more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. Check out Progress Illinois’ full coverage of the first visioning meeting here.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:34pm
Mon Oct 21, 2013

Chicagoans Urge DePaul University President To Reject $55 Million In TIF Funds For Basketball Arena (VIDEO)

Chicagoans fed up with the mayor’s decision to use public funds to help finance a controversial DePaul University basketball arena near McCormick Place urged the college’s president Monday to refuse the $55 million in tax increment financing (TIF) funds set aside for the project.

About 40 education activists picketed outside a City Club of Chicago luncheon at a downtown Maggiano’s where DePaul University President Rev. Dennis Holtschneider was speaking. The protestors said the private and profitable college does not need taxpayer dollars for the project, arguing that TIF money would be better spent on public education.

“Accepting city money from schools and from people who need it the most is not in the light of the tradition of St. Vincent DePaul,” said Roderick Wilson, executive director of the Lugenia Burns Hope Center, an organization represented at Monday’s protest. “They’re not living up to their legacy, and we want to remind him of that … This is not acceptable, and we want [Holtschneider] to refuse that money and let it go back to our schools.”

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