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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:33pm
Mon Jun 23, 2014

Report: CPS Closings Limited Parental Involvement, Adversely Affected Children

A new University of Illinois report shows that last year's round of 50 Chicago public school closings has had a negative impact on both parents and students. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the report's findings.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:42pm
Fri Feb 28, 2014

Policy Experts Provide Insight On Obstacles & Solutions To Redistricting Reform

The national “partisan arms race” that comes with the redistricting process is a leading obstacle for those who want to see states reform the way electoral district boundaries are drawn, said panelists at a redistricting reform discussion at the University of Chicago. Progress Illinois provides some of the highlights from the panel discussion.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
3:57pm
Wed Dec 18, 2013

Chicagoans Push For Ballot Referendums On Ames Middle School, Minimum Wage (UPDATED)

With various groups delivering petitions to the Chicago Board of Elections this week, Chicagoans are continuing their call for two referendums to be added to the March 18 ballot. The non-binding referendums focus on the minimum wage and future of a Logan Square neighborhood school.

In the ongoing fight to increase the minimum wage, a coalition of Chicago families and groups, including Action Now, the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Grassroots Collaborative, ONE Northside, and SEIU* Healthcare Illinois Indiana, delivered petitions to the board of elections demanding that the city establish its own minimum wage.

"I support raising the minimum wage in Chicago for low-wage workers because we are not invisible. We will not stand by and let our elected officials maintain the status quo," said Carlos Navarro, a retired Marine veteran and a ONE Northside leader living in Chicago's 46th Ward. "I'm tired of seeing families in my community struggle to get by on poverty wages and I am confident this referendum will show the Chicago City Council that there is a need to raise the minimum wage to a fair and living wage."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
10:51pm
Wed Dec 11, 2013

Chicago City Council Approves Independent Budget Office; Elected School Board Referendum Gets Squeezed

Progress Illinois provides some highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
5:15pm
Tue Dec 3, 2013

Illinois Lawmakers Ram Pension Reform Bill Through, Labor Preps For Legal Fight (UPDATED)

The Illinois General Assembly passed a controversial pension reform bill Tuesday, and labor is now prepping for a legal fight.

The House voted in favor of the bill 62-53 and the Senate barely passed the measure with a 30-24 vote. The bill needed 30 votes to pass through the Senate.

State Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Aurora), who was the lone member of the ten-person, bipartisan conference that didn't vote for the bill to move out of committee said the state's pension debt is the fault of the state legislature — not public employees and retirees. She also pushed back against House Speaker Michael Madigan's (D-Chicago) assertion earlier today that the pension system was "too rich" for what the state to afford.

“I believe this was actually more caused by the fact that we as a state did not make our pension payments as we should have even though the employees worked and their full payments were made,” Holmes said. “So I think a lot of this problem stems from the fact that we actually didn’t do what we were obligated and should have done.”

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:10pm
Tue Dec 3, 2013

Illinois Lawmakers Poised To Rush Vote On Controversial Pension Reform Proposal

All eyes are on Springfield Tuesday as state lawmakers are expected to take another shot at approving legislation that addresses Illinois' $100 billion in pension debt, which is the worst in the nation. Progress Illinois takes a look at the proposal and includes some of the reaction about the plan thus far.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:46pm
Fri Nov 15, 2013

Gutierrez Says Immigration Reform Is Not Dead, Urges Activists To Keep Pressure On House GOP

On a conference call with reporters Friday, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) urged youths, like the two teens who approached House Speaker John Boehner at a diner this week to discuss immigration reform, and supporters of the movement to keep the heat on Republican leaders about passing a bill that would fix the nation's broken immigration system.

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