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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:41pm
Thu Feb 18, 2016

Report: Illinois Lost Solar Jobs In 2015, Ranking Slips Two Spots

Illinois lost about 300 jobs in the solar industry last year, according to the annual "National Solar Jobs Census" released by the Solar Foundation.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:21pm
Thu Dec 10, 2015

Progressives To Make Debt-Free College A Key 2016 Election Issue In Illinois, Other States

Progressive lawmakers from 10 U.S. states, including Illinois, have rolled out a legislative campaign in support of debt-free college.

On a Monday conference call organized by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), 10 Democratic state legislators said they will introduce non-binding resolutions in their respective assemblies backing debt-free public higher education. The aim is to spark a larger conversation about debt-free college and make it a key 2016 election issue, according to the lawmakers.

Debt-free college resolutions will be introduced in the early primary states of New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina plus Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

"(Monday's) announcement is part of a larger progressive strategy for 2016, ensuring that the entire Democratic Party, from the top to the bottom of the ticket, is unified behind a big, bold economic populist agenda -- an agenda that motivates people to get to the polls, and it would be a game-changer in the lives of millions," said Kayla Wingbermuehle, PCCC's debt-free college campaign director.

Quick Hit
by Op-Ed
3:49pm
Wed Oct 21, 2015

Op-Ed: Fruit From A Rotten Tree - The Truth About Barbara Byrd-Bennett & CPS

The following is from Jitu Brown, national director of the Journey for Justice Alliance and one of the Dyett Hunger Strikers.

As a CPS parent and long-time community organizer, I am appalled by the actions of Barbara Byrd-Bennett in stealing from Chicago's children to feather her already robust nest. What is more appalling however, is Mayor Rahm Emanuel's effort to isolate her actions as the corruption of an individual; and our acceptance of such nonsense. Corruption and discriminatory actions that disregard the voices of Black and Brown parents is central to the culture of the school privatization movement. While millions of dollars are pumped into selling the public on "school choice", nationwide corporate education interventions have failed to improve the academic outcomes in Black and Brown communities, while a laundry list of "reformers" have been caught violating the public trust.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:04pm
Thu Aug 6, 2015

Illinois Legislature Recognized For Passing Key Progressive Policies In 2015 (UPDATED)

Illinois got a nod in a new top 10 list of progressive policies passed during state legislative sessions this year.

The State Innovation Exchange (SiX), a group working with state legislators to advance progressive policies across the country, compiled the list. SiX was formed in an effort to counter the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that crafts and pushes conservative, corporate-friendly state legislation.

According to SiX's review, the top 10 state-level progressive measures approved thus far in 2015 involve the following: closing the wage gap for women and minorities; accommodating pregnant workers; implementing earned sick leave; expanding access to higher education; tackling the student debt crisis; reducing carbon emissions; modernizing voter registration; repealing the death penalty; increasing police accountability and public safety; and preventing abusers and stalkers from obtaining guns.

"We are convinced that progressives are right on the issues and the SiX review of the states bears that out. From advancing the economic security of working families to improving access to voting we saw that even in a map that is deeply red, progressives were able to achieve some important policy victories in 2015," SiX Executive Director Nick Rathod said in a statement. "I'm confident that as SiX grows and is able to better resource, train and organize legislators around the country, we can help to see that progressives are able to achieve more of the types of policy victories like those that made the list this year."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:43pm
Tue Jul 29, 2014

EPA Holds 'Clean Power' Hearings; Poll Finds Climate Change To Be A Hot Topic For Minority Voters

A new poll shows that minority voters in key battleground states view climate change as a "high-profile issue" and will be more likely to back candidates who support efforts to combat the problem. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the implications of the the poll's findings as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency holds public hearings in four cities this week on its proposed plan to cut carbon emissions.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:32pm
Wed Jul 2, 2014

Report: 10 Percent Of Illinois Beach Water Samples Have Unsafe Bacteria Levels

Hitting the beach this Fourth of July holiday?

A recent report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) suggests that swimmers take precautions to avoid getting sick from beach water that might be contaminated.

The NRDC's annual "Testing the Waters" report showed that 10 percent of water samples taken last year from 49 monitored Illinois coastal beaches and beach segments — all located in Cook and Lake counties — tested positive for high levels of bacteria from human or animal waste.

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