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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:11pm
Fri Aug 5

Chicago's West Siders Seek Ballot Referendum For Community-Funded Mental Health Center

Chicagoans who are organizing a ballot initiative to create a community-funded mental health center on the West Side submitted double the required petition signatures to the election board Friday. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:34pm
Thu Jul 14

Controversy Over Joe Walsh's Threatening Tweet Spills Over Into 66th House District Race

Controversy over former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh's incendiary tweets posted last Thursday after the deadly sniper attack on Dallas police officers has spilled over into the state's 66th House District race.

The Democrat in the race, Nancy Zettler, is calling on her Republican opponent, Allen Skillicorn, to disavow Walsh's "hate-filled statements."

Walsh has faced backlash for a now-deleted tweet that threatened "war" on President Barack Obama and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:13am
Wed Jul 6

Job Barriers Facing Ex-Prisoners Could Cost U.S. Economy At Least $78 Billion

U.S. economic growth suffers when former prisoners and convicted felons are locked out of the labor market, a new study shows.

Employment barriers faced by former offenders resulted in the estimated loss of 1.7 million to 1.9 million workers in 2014, reducing the overall U.S. employment rate by almost 1 percentage point, according to the report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

That translates into a $78 billion to $87 billion loss in annual gross domestic product (GDP) for the United States.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:22pm
Tue Jun 7

Former Illinois Governor Calls For Compromise In Springfield As Budget Impasse Continues

With the state budget stalemate nearing the one-year mark, former Illinois Republican Gov. Jim Edgar made a plea Tuesday for "civility," "compromise" and "compassion" in Springfield.

Speaking in Chicago, Edgar said the "best public policy comes out of compromise," explaining that "you can't get things done if you're not willing to meet your adversaries halfway."

"We ought to have checks and balances, but we shouldn't have shouting matches," he added at the "Illinois: Vision for the Future" event, hosted by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform at the Standard Club.

Edgar, who became governor in 1991 and served two terms, said Illinois is currently in the "worst shape" he seen over the 50 years he's been around state government.

"We have so many people out there hurting because government's not solving the problem," he stressed. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:40pm
Thu Jun 2

Chicago Aldermen, Advocates Denounce Consolidation Plans For City Colleges Child Development Program

A coalition of early childhood education advocates spoke out Thursday morning against plans at the City Colleges of Chicago to consolidate child development programs to a single location at Harry Truman College in the North Side Uptown neighborhood.

Four Chicago aldermen joined the advocates at a morning press conference before the City Colleges Board of Trustees meeting. Coalition members, including representatives from the Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU* Healthcare Illinois, said consolidating the educational programs could adversely affect early childhood education students living on the city's South and West Sides, where several programs are closing.

"This will have an enormous hardship on students trying to get to the North Side. It will devastate these programs, and it will take needed support services out of these communities," said Tony Johnston, president of the Cook County College Teachers Union, which represents full-time faculty and other City Colleges staffers. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:44pm
Thu Apr 28

Cook County Officials Press For Action On Youth Unemployment To Combat Chicago Violence

At a state hearing Thursday, Cook County commissioners urged for action on youth unemployment policies to help address gun violence in Chicago.

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