South Siders Call On Pastor Brooks To Resign From Tollway Board, Use Political Influence To Promote Progressive Revenue Solutions (VIDEO)

About 40 Action Now members gathered outside of New Beginnings Church on Chicago's South Side and demanded that Pastor Corey Brooks use his influence to represent the community in the state's ongoing budget battle. Gov. Bruce Rauner recently tapped Brooks to join the Illinois Tollway Board.

Action Now says the tollway appointment, which pays $30,000 a year, comes as a result of Pastor Brooks' close relationship with, and endorsement of, Rauner.

Those that rallied outside the church want Brooks to step down from the position, and lobby Rauner for progressive revenue solutions for the state.

Many of Chicago's South Side residents will be negatively impacted by Rauner's proposed cuts to key services like the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), as well as Medicaid and the Child Care Assistance Program.

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Lawsuit Against Chicago's Red Light Camera Program Moves Ahead

The latest legal challenge against Chicago's red light camera program has lived to see another day, at least for now.

During a Thursday court hearing, a Cook County judge allowed the red light camera case to proceed to the next round of the motion-to-dismiss stage.

The complaint, filed in Cook County court by five plaintiffs against the city in December 2014, challenges the legality of Chicago's red light camera program, which began in 2003 under Mayor Richard M. Daley's administration.

Thursday's court hearing centered around three of the city's six arguments to throw out the case, with the judge siding with the plaintiffs on all but one of the points. In the ruling favorable to the city, Associate Judge Rita Novak dismissed the claims of two of the five plaintiffs in the case due to procedural issues. 

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Chicagoans Rally For Police Accountability In Memory Of Sandra Bland

Hundreds gathered for a demonstration just north of the Chicago River earlier this week to memorialize Sandra Bland and call for an end to police violence as well as systemic and institutionalized racism.

Bland, a 28-year-old Naperville woman, was arrested during a routine traffic stop while driving through Texas in mid-July. She was found dead, reportedly by hanging, in a Waller County jail cell three days later. Officials say Bland's death was a suicide, but friends and family disagree. Bland's death and the circumstances surrounding the arrest have sparked national outrage.

"No matter what happened, if this woman took her life, she took her life because the system forced her into a position where she felt she had no way out," said Mariame Kaba, founding director of the organization Project Nia.

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New Housing Campaign Casts Spotlight On Those At Risk Of Foreclosure, Eviction

Demonstrators gathered outside of several downtown financial institutions this week to launch a social media campaign highlighting the fact that while the financial crisis might be over, many are still at risk of eviction from their homes.

The demonstration began outside of the Citibank on 11 South LaSalle St. Tuesday, where demonstrators chanted, "We got sold out, banks got bailed out."

The ralliers continued on to four other financial institutions in the area: Chase Bank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Fannie Mae.

This demonstration marks the launch of the Fannie/Freddy 99 Coalition's national social media campaign, called "We Are the Faces of Eviction."

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Milestones Celebrated, Call For More Progress At Justice Day 2015

An electric atmosphere permeated the air as hundreds of people from a broad range of cultural backgrounds united on the Winnetka Village Green to celebrate Justice Day 2015. The event took place on Sunday, the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s visit to Chicago's North Shore suburban area to encourage residents to "live together as brothers and sisters," while also campaigning for fair housing during a time when realtors conspired to keep such neighborhoods segregated.

Speakers at the event included NAACP Washington Bureau Director Hilary Shelton, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL,9), and former Chicago Tribune columnist and civil rights activist Carol Kleiman.

Kleiman participated in housing marches in Chicago as well as Selma, Alabama. She noted her astonishment at the hatred she witnessed, but added that it wasn't unfamiliar.

"It was shocking to see the hatred on the faces of young white boys waving their confederate flags," said Kleiman. "But the faces down South, the faces of hatred, looked very much like faces I saw up North, here in Chicago."

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