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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
2:16pm
Thu Feb 18, 2016

Illinois Rep. Cassidy Seeks To Increase Inmate Access To GED Education (VIDEO)

In an effort to reduce recidivism, State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) introduced legislation last week that would increase "timely and comprehensive" access to GED education for Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) inmates.

"I think that the general public would be surprised to hear how little programming is available for the folks that are incarcerated in our facilities," Cassidy said at a news conference at the Howard Area Community Center in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood on the North Side.

Joined by formerly incarcerated men and activists from the ONE Northside Violence Prevention Coalition, Cassidy said the legislation aims to turn the IDOC "into something whose mission is dedicated to the act of making someone better."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:30pm
Thu Dec 10, 2015

Relocation Of CPS Bus Stop Raising Concerns Among Rogers Park Parents

Rogers Park parents say they're worried about their children's safety now that the walk to their bus stop is longer after its relocation by the Chicago Public Schools district earlier this year.

Their original bus stop was located at Stephen F. Gale Elementary Community Academy, 1631 W. Jonquil Terrace. Students were reassigned this school year to a bus stop at Eugene Field Elementary School, 7019 N. Ashland Ave.

North Side parents who spoke out early Thursday morning outside Field Elementary claim the district reassigned them to the new bus stop without their input and has been unresponsive to their concerns raised after the relocation.

"We're extremely concerned about our children's safety, having to walk in the dark across busy streets through gang territory," said Rogers Park resident Tiffany Mikell, whose 10-year-old son catches the bus at Field Elementary and attends Disney Magnet Elementary School, 4140 N. Marine Dr.

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.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:48pm
Wed Oct 7, 2015

Parents, Daycare Providers Rail Against Rauner's Child Care Cuts At Chicago Hearing

Progress Illinois recaps Wednesday's state hearing in Chicago on the Rauner administration's changes to the Child Care Assistance Program, which have thus far resulted in nearly 5,000 children being denied access to state-subsidized daycare.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
10:41am
Tue Aug 11, 2015

Protesters Call For A Fair State Budget Outside Home Of Rauner Campaign Donor (VIDEO)

Illinois "Moral Monday" activists protested for a "fair and just" state budget in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood and outside the Lincoln Park home of a top campaign donor for Gov. Bruce Rauner. Progress Illinois was there for the Monday evening demonstration.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:11pm
Tue Nov 18, 2014

Disability Rights Activists Demand Closure Of Troubled Rogers Park Nursing Home (VIDEO)

Activists protested Monday afternoon outside of a Rogers Park nursing home where numerous disabled children and young adults have died in recent years.

Toting signs reading "Kids need love not nursing homes," about 20 disability rights advocates with the group Access Living demanded that the troubled facility now called Alden Village North shut its doors for good. The activists, who staged a similar protest against the facility in September, also stressed the need for more community-based supports for people with disabilities. 

"We believe that no child with a disability should be in a nursing home, but if they have to exist, this is not one here that should" remain open, said Gary Arnold, public relations coordinator at Access Living.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:40pm
Thu Sep 18, 2014

Chicago Housing Activists Fight To Save A Rogers Park 'Community House' (VIDEO)

Chicago housing activists are fighting to halt the eviction of tenants living in a Rogers Park home who have turned the property into a community center.

The tenants of the home, located at 7245 N. Ridge Ave., had their first eviction court date Thursday morning at the Richard J. Daley Center, and about a dozen community members came out to support them.

Jorge Ortiz, an organizer with Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction, lives in the home with his family, including his mother and uncle. Ortiz and his family moved into the Rogers Park home two years ago after the previous property owner, who was facing foreclosure, abandoned it. The current tenants, with the help of Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction, turned the property into a "community house," which has a neighborhood garden and hosts clothing drives, movie screenings and health fairs, activists said.

The tenants and their supporters want CitiMortgage, which the organizers say currently owns the home after purchasing it at a foreclosure auction, to negotiate with them and consider donating the property or selling it at a low cost to a Chicago-based community land trust.

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