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Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
Tue Sep 16

Activists Protest Near West Side Shooting Involving Chicago Police

A weekend shooting involving Chicago police sparked a protest on the city's Near West Side Monday evening.

On Saturday, Denzel Ford, 20, was shot by a Chicago cop after he allegedly attempted to run down an officer with his vehicle. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, officers in an unmarked vehicle stopped Ford near the corner of Western Ave. and Lake St. on suspicion of selling narcotics. Police allege that Ford refused to comply with orders to leave the vehicle and instead accelerated, striking the unmarked police vehicle, which then struck two officers and injured one. A police officer then fired multiple gunshots, wounding Ford.

Community members and relatives of Ford dispute the official story from police.

Kemesha Ford told the crowd of a few dozen demonstrators Monday that her cousin was not a killer.

“We are sick and tired of the police shooting our kids,” said Ford. “Everybody is not a killer. Everybody isn’t doing crime. He was unjustly shot.” Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue Sep 16

Town Hall Meeting Illuminates TIF Use In Chicago's 2nd Ward

South Loop residents and other Chicagoans weighed the pros and cons of using tax increment financing (TIF) in the city's 2nd Ward at a community meeting Monday night.

The seven TIF districts located almost completely or 100 percent within the 2nd Ward, which currently includes the South Loop, West Loop and Bronzeville neighborhoods, raked in more than $1 billion in property tax revenue since their inception through the end of 2013, according to city data revealed by the CivicLab at the meeting, hosted by the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance, a South Loop community organization. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Sep 15

Report: Wage Theft Costs U.S. Workers Billions Of Dollars Annually (UPDATED)

The "widespread" problem of wage theft in America might be costing U.S. workers more than $50 billion annually, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

EPI researchers came to the $50 billion estimate based on the findings of a separate, 2008 survey of front-line workers in low-wage industries in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. In the three major cities, workers in low-wage industries experienced close to $3 billion in total annual wage theft, which includes paying employees less than the minimum wage and failing to pay for overtime.

"Survey evidence suggests that wage theft is widespread and costs workers billions of dollars a year, a transfer from low-income employees to business owners that worsens income inequality, hurts workers and their families, and damages the sense of fairness and justice that a democracy needs to survive," the EPI report states. "If these findings in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles are generalizable to the rest of the U.S. low-wage workforce of 30 million, wage theft is costing workers more than $50 billion a year." Read more »