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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:28pm
Fri Aug 26

Illinois Corrections Department, AFSCME Pointing Fingers On Inmate Assault Of Pontiac Prison Workers

The Illinois Department of Corrections and AFSCME are trading blame over the recent inmate assault against six employees at the Pontiac Correctional Center.

Four correctional officers and two lieutenants were taken to the hospital, and have since been released, after suffering non-life threatening injuries in a Sunday fight with five inmates at the Pontiac maximum-security prison.

IDOC released a statement this week saying the Pontiac incident apparently stemmed from a staff "failure to follow workplace safety procedures already in place."

AFSCME, which represents the prison workers, responded by calling the department's attempt to blame Pontiac employees for the altercation "shameful and baseless."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:10am
Fri Aug 26

Millennials & Their Children Face Massive Economic Hit If Climate Change Goes Unchecked

Millennials and future generations will face staggering economic losses over their lifetimes due to climate change if current trends continue, according to a new report.

Demos and NextGen Climate sought to quantify the economic costs of climate change on millennials and their children.

Without significant climate change action, a 21-year-old college graduate from the class of 2015 with median earnings could lose more than $126,000 in lifetime income and $187,000 in wealth as a result of environmental problems, the report found. A 21-year-old with median earnings but no college degree stands to lose $100,000 in income and $142,000 in wealth over a lifetime.

For the entire millennial generation, the total loss of lifetime income due to climate change could hit nearly $8.8 trillion, the study showed.

"Climate change may very well be the biggest threat ever faced over the lifetime of a single generation, impacting the incomes, wealth and livelihoods of millions of millennials," NextGen Climate President Tom Steyer said in a statement. "We have a moral responsibility to act so that our children are not crushed by the costs of climate change."

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
3:43pm
Wed Aug 24

Bernie's 'Our Revolution' Campaign To Launch Wednesday In Chicago, Nationwide (VIDEO)

Despite having lost the Democratic presidential nomination, "the Bernie revolution" will continue with the "next phase" launching nationwide Wednesday night.

Some 2,600 watch parties and meetings are set to take place across the country tonight as former Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) addresses thousands of his supporters to "lay out some of the next steps we can take as a movement to empower a wave of progressive candidates this November and win the major upcoming fights for the values we share," according to Our Revolution President Jeff Weaver, who also served as Sanders' presidential campaign manager.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:07pm
Thu Aug 18

Enviros Campaign To Counter Mark Kirk's 'Illinois First' Bus Tour

Environmentalists are following U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) on the campaign trail this week to counter his "Illinois First" bus tour message.

NextGen Climate Illinois is showing up at Kirk's campaign stops as part of its own bus tour, called "Kirk First." The environmental group wants to hold "Senator Kirk accountable for his actions" and show "voters how he puts his own self interests above those of Illinois."

"Despite what he'd like constituents to believe, Senator Kirk has shown that he does not put 'Illinois First,'" NextGen Climate Illinois spokeswoman Katie Cronin said in a statement. "He has voted to protect tax breaks for Big Oil and has voted to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon pollution. It is clear that Senator Kirk does what he thinks he has to do to get re-elected at the expense of the people of Illinois."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:13am
Thu Aug 18

CTU Presses School District To Support TIF Surplus Ordinance At Budget Hearing

Chicago Public Schools officials heard familiar pleas for more school funding during a budget hearing Wednesday night in the South Loop.

CPS convened the 6 p.m. hearing to get public feedback on the district's proposed $338 million capital budget for 2017. The hearing, held at the National Teachers Academy, was thinly attended and ended an hour early.

"I like the capital plan, but most people came here because they lost teachers at their school, they lost programs at their school," Martin Ritter with the Chicago Teachers Union told CPS officials.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:48pm
Thu Aug 11

Chicago Urban League Unveils 10-Year Blueprint For Dismantling Structural Racism

The Chicago Urban League released a 10-year blueprint Wednesday to undo structural racism in the city and create more equitable education, employment and economic development systems for African-American residents living in the most disadvantaged communities.

Chicago Urban League officials released the plan as the organization commemorates its 100th anniversary.

"Our vision is that by 2026, residents of every community area in Chicago will have access to the services and supports they need not just to succeed, but to really thrive as members of the greater Chicago community," said Stephanie Schmitz Bechteler, vice president and executive director of the Chicago Urban League's Research and Policy Center.

"The league's 10-year plan is a focused effort that lays out our commitment to making racial equity a reality. When this happens, it sets the stage for a stronger African-American community and that, in turn, makes a stronger Chicago."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:29pm
Thu Aug 4

Experts: Financial Transaction Tax A 'Win-Win For U.S. Economy'

A financial transaction tax would help Wall Street work for Main Street, experts at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute (EPI) argue in a new report.

In light of the Democratic Party endorsing a financial transaction tax in its platform, EPI's report details how much revenue such a policy could raise, putting the figure anywhere between $110 billion to $403 billion annually.

The tax would impose a small levy on trades of stocks, bonds, derivatives and other financial transactions.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
9:35am
Fri Jul 22

Top CEOs Made Less In 2015, But They Still Earned 276 Times More Than Average Worker

CEOs at America's largest firms received an average of $15.5 million in compensation last year, meaning they earned 276 times more than the typical worker in 2015, new research shows.

The $15.5 million in average CEO compensation was down about 5 percent from 2014, when the figure was $16.3 million, and up 46.5 percent since the economic recovery began in 2009, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

"Most (83 percent) of the decline in CEO pay from 2014 to 2015 can be explained by the drop in the value of realized stock options in that period," EPI's report reads. "Therefore the decline in compensation does not reflect any structural change in how CEO compensation is set or changes in corporate governance. CEO compensation will likely resume its upward trajectory when the stock market resumes upward movement."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:16am
Thu Jul 21

Tyson Meat Company Ranked As Worst Illinois Water Polluter Among Agribusinesses

New research shows the Tyson Fresh Meats animal slaughtering facility in Hillsdale was the top water polluter in Illinois among major agribusiness operations in 2014.

That year, the Tyson Fresh Meats plant released over 2 million pounds of pollutants into the state's waterways, according to the Environment America Research & Education Center's report.

The environmental advocacy group examined the "water pollution footprints" of Tyson Foods and four other major agribusinesses, Cargill, JBS, Perdue and Smithfield, in Illinois and other states. Forty-four percent of the nation's pork, chicken and beef is produced by those five companies, according to the report.

Researchers analyzed the most recent 2014 data from the federal Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) on pollution discharges into waterways from the five major agribusinesses. Among the findings, Tyson's facilities released the most pollutants nationwide -- nearly 21 million pounds. 

That's more pollutants "by volume than even Exxon Mobil or DuPont," according to the environmental group.

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