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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:54pm
Tue Jan 12

Chicago Development Panel Advances Controversial Uptown Housing TIF Project

Chicago's Community Development Commission (CDC) unanimously approved a controversial plan Tuesday to provide a $15.8 million tax increment financing (TIF) subsidy for an upscale apartment complex in Uptown, despite opposition from some local low-income housing advocates.

The $125 million luxury housing development, proposed for the former Columbus Maryville Academy site near the city's lakefront, still needs Chicago City Council approval.

A group of about 30 community activists spoke against the proposal outside of City Hall's council chambers before attending the CDC meeting. The protesters toted signs reading, "No Public Funds For Private Profit." They saw support from Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey and TIF activist Tom Tresser.

"I stand with my Uptown neighbors ... to demand that Mayor Emanuel's rubber stamp not be used one more time by the Community Development Commission to rob the taxpayers of Chicago and send millions of public dollars into private pockets," Tresser, with the TIF Illumination Project, said during public comment at the CDC meeting.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:20pm
Tue Oct 27, 2015

Emanuel's Proposed Property Tax Hike Could Hit Renters Hard, Report Shows

One day before Wednesday's budget vote in the Chicago City Council, a Northwest Side community group released new research showing that Chicago renters could take a significant hit under Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed property tax increase.

Emanuel wants to increase property taxes by a record $588 million over four years to pay for police and fire pensions and school construction. Aldermen are scheduled to vote on the mayor's budget package, including the property tax increase, at Wednesday's council meeting.

A report released Tuesday by Communities United, formerly the Albany Park Neighborhood Council, examined the potential impact of the proposed property tax hike on renters in two-flat buildings across seven North Side neighborhoods.

The grassroots social justice group found that tenants in two-flats on Chicago's North and Northwest Sides could see their rent increase between $50 to $100 a month, or $600 to $1,200 a year, after the property tax increase is fully implemented.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:17pm
Tue Jul 28, 2015

Logan Square Community Rallies Against Local School Budget Cuts (VIDEO)

Logan Square parents, teachers and students rallied Tuesday morning to speak out against the deep spending cuts affecting local public schools. The group also demanded that tax increment financing (TIF) funds be used to restore school budgets.

Those who attended the rally, held at the Illinois Centennial Monument in Logan Square, said releasing TIF surplus dollars would be an immediate way to boost school budgets while city and school officials work toward identifying long-term fiscal solutions for the district.

Leaders with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, which organized the rally, said 10 of the group's partner public schools face a combined $4.7 million in budget cuts for the upcoming school year.

Quick Hit
by Op-Ed
12:52pm
Wed Mar 18, 2015

OP-ED: On February 24th, Chicago’s Working Families Said: 'Fool Us Once…'

The following is written by Keith Kelleher is president of SEIU* Healthcare Illinois Indiana.

Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to knock on doors throughout Chicago for our mayoral and aldermanic candidates.  What stood out in almost every conversation I had was the length and breadth of disappointment with the policies of Mayor Rahm Emanuel from voters. 

Mostly, people felt they had been fooled by Rahm.

The dissatisfaction with the Mayor and his policies and those of his rubber-stamp aldermen was fully revealed on Election Day when Jesus "Chuy" Garcia defied all the polls and ended with 34% of the vote, almost double what most polls were predicting. The election forced the mayor into a runoff --  along with many aldermen previously assumed to be "safe" -- a ringing denunciation of both the mayor and his policies and of his aldermanic allies.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
10:37pm
Mon Mar 16, 2015

Emanuel, Garcia Spar Over City Finances During First Debate

Progress Illinois provides highlights from the first televised debate for Chicago's mayoral runoff election between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia.  

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