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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:34pm
Thu Jul 14, 2016

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 Ashlee Rezin
5:40pm
Thu Aug 28, 2014

Study: Businesses In Low-Income, Majority Minority Areas Struggle To Access Credit

Small businesses in low-income, majority minority neighborhood in the Chicago area were less likely to receive loans between 2008 and 2012, according to a new report by the Woodstock Institute.

On average, about two of every seven businesses in low-income, majority minority areas received small business loans—including business credit cards, lines of credit, and traditional loans of under $1 million—from large financial institutions with assets of more than $1 billion, according to the report, “Dis-Credited: Disparate Access to Credit for Businesses in the Chicago Six County Region.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:39am
Wed Dec 4, 2013

RTA Far From Achieving "World-Class" Public Transit System, Experts Say

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) has a lot of work to do if the northeastern Illinois public transit network it oversees plans on becoming a "world-class system" anytime soon, panelists said at a discussion on the topic Tuesday at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

The RTA is the oversight agency for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace, covering Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. The agency was created in 1974 and was reformed in 1983 and 2008.

Stephen Schlickman, who served as RTA's executive director from 2005 to 2010 and currently heads up UIC's Urban Transportation Center, said RTA's multi-agency structure "isn’t working as well as it should be." He noted that regional public transit systems in other U.S. metro areas are typically organized as one agency. The region's current transit structure has four governing boards, for the RTA, CTA, Metra and Pace, with 47 members.

"There is a serious lack of accountability when you have such a complex structure," he stressed. "We have complexities, not only in governance, but also in service overlap, in capital planning and programming, in the equities in the allocation of our finances. These topics defy public understanding."

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.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:30am
Fri Sep 6, 2013

Study: Poverty Skyrockets In Chicago Suburbs

The share of people experiencing poverty in the Chicago region was split evenly between the suburbs and the city as of 2011, a new study by the Heartland Alliance’s Social IMPACT Research Center shows.

The 50-50 balance is a drastic change compared to 1990, when about 66 percent of the region’s poor people lived in the city, while 34 percent lived in the suburbs.

By 2011, nearly 630,000 suburbanites were living in poverty, which is a 95 percent increase from 1990, according to the ”Poverty Matters” report. That increase far outpaced the overall 29 percent suburban population growth from 1990 to 2011. Meanwhile, the number of Chicagoans living in poverty remained about the same during that time period.

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