Explore our content

Quick hits | All dates | All authors
All categories

Pages

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:11pm
Tue Jun 30

CTU, Allies Protest Outside Municipal Bond Conference, Call For Progressive Revenue Options (VIDEO) (UPDATED)

While the Bond Buyer's Midwest Municipal Market Conference was being held Tuesday at the InterContinental Chicago hotel on Michigan Avenue, over a dozen Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) members and their allies protested outside the event this morning.

Holding signs reading, "CPS: Broke on Purpose," the education activists were there to highlight controversial financial deals the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has with banks and to call for fair-share revenue options to help tackle the school district's pressing fiscal issues.

Those at the protest, spearheaded by the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE), marched in a circle chanting, "Fat cats profit and kids come last. Who pays taxes? The working class."

"There's been numerous long-term financial deals, bond deals, swap deals that have put CPS under a heavy burden of debt," explained CTU organizer Martin Ritter. "They've got bad financial advisers. Many of them are at this conference."  

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
8:43pm
Fri Jun 26

Rauner's Budget Veto Draws Ire Of Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, Service Providers

Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of a $36.3 billion budget bill may force the state into a government shutdown, which doesn't sit well with State Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Westchester), chair of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC).

"We cannot stand back and allow this to happen," said Lightford, who fought back tears, after learning of the veto. "I don't give a damn how much money he has. He can sit up in his mansion and not be affected, but all of us will feel the pinch. I want to fight. I need all of you all to fight with us. We have to fight this governor."

"Don't confuse my tears as a sign of weakness. I am mad as hell," Lightford added. She made the statements at an ILBC rally against spending cuts proposed under Rauner's Turnaround Agenda. The governor's plan calls for a set of reforms on workers compensation, term limits and a property tax freeze, among other things.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
9:58pm
Thu Jun 25

U.S. Homeownership Rate Keeps Falling, While Tally Of Cost-Burdened Renters Hits Record High

The national homeownership rate continued its downward trend in 2014 as the share of U.S. renter households reached its highest level in 20 years, according to the annual State of the Nation's Housing report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. A record number of U.S. renters are also facing housing cost burdens, the new research showed.

For the 10th straight year, the national homeownership rate dropped in 2014, falling to 64.5 percent. The rate ticked down to an even lower 63.7 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

The number of U.S. owner-occupied households fell for the eighth consecutive year in 2014, dropping by 233,000.

"Perhaps the most telling indicator of the state of the nation's housing is the drop in the homeownership rate to just 64.5 percent last year," the Joint Center for Housing Studies's Managing Director Chris Herbert said in a statement. "This erases nearly all of the increase from the previous two decades. In fact, the number of homeowners fell for the eighth straight year, and the trend does not appear to be abating."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:18pm
Tue Jun 23

Public Interest Group Urges Subway To End Antibiotic Use In Meat (VIDEO)

An Illinois public interest group and its affiliates across the country launched a nationwide campaign Tuesday urging Subway to serve only antibiotic-free meat and poultry at its sandwich shops.

Specifically, the Illinois Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) is calling on Subway to "stop using meat raised with the routine use of antibiotics."

Illinois PIRG canvassers promoted the public interest group's "Subway: Go Antibiotic-Free" campaign late Tuesday morning at a Chicago Subway restaurant at 319 S. Jefferson St.

Outside the Subway location, Illinois PIRG volunteers and interns distributed flyers and asked passersby to pose for photos with signs reading, "I was craving a sub, but I wanted meat raised without antibiotics."

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
4:04pm
Mon Jun 22

Illinois Fast Food Workers Rally In Solidarity With New Yorkers Testifying For $15 Minimum Wage

Nearly 100 fast food workers and community activists picketed outside the McDonald's restaurant adjacent to the Chicago Board of Trade to show solidarity with workers in New York who are testifying at the last wage board hearing called by the state's governor, Andrew Cuomo, to recommend an increase to the minimum wage.

The demonstrators also called on Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to put a stop to proposed state budget cuts that would impact home and child care workers.

Holding signs that read "New York, Chicago has your back" and "We need raises, not cuts," demonstrators spoke passionately about how a wage increase to $15 an hour would improve their lives -- and how Rauner's proposed budget cuts could harm working families.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:57pm
Thu Jun 18

Brighter Job Prospects Predicted For U.S. Teens This Summer

U.S. teens still face a pretty bleak employment landscape, but their job prospects are predicted to be a bit brighter this summer, according to a new study by the Center for Labor Markets and Policy at Drexel University.

The study estimates that the nationwide 2015 summer employment rate for teens ages 16 to 19 will be 29.8 percent. That would represent the highest teen summer employment rate since 2008, when the figure was 32.4 percent.

The predicted 2015 teen employment rate of 29.8 percent is up from 27 percent in the summer of 2014 and 26.7 percent in 2013.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:45pm
Tue Jun 16

South Side Group Launches Campaign Around Obama Library Community Benefits Agreement

With the Obama presidential library set to come to either Jackson or Washington parks in Chicago, a South Side group is seeking help in crafting a proposed community benefits agreement (CBA) to ensure local residents and businesses are not displaced by the possible gentrification that could come with the project.

The Bronzeville Regional Collective, comprised of South Side organizations and community development advocates, has created a seven-point CBA blueprint for the Obama library development.

"We don't want to see the South Side become what Lincoln Park was in the '60s and '70s," said Bronzeville Regional Collective member Anton Seals Jr., who is also on the South Shore Planning and Preservation Coalition's board.

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
2:13pm
Mon Jun 15

Cook Co. Commissioner Pushes Plan To Reduce Chicago Gun Violence

Aspects of Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin's 7-point plan to curb gun violence received mixed reactions at a summit the West Side politician held Saturday. The most contorversial part of the plan involves charging individuals who commit gun crimes as domestic terrorists.

The summit, held at the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, was attended by city and county officials as well as academics and community activists. Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel were invited to the summit, but did not make an appearance. Boykin says the purpose of the summit was "to put meat on the bones" of his plan.

Boykin unveiled the gun violence prevention plan in May after he became concerned about the increasing number of shootings in his West Side district. Since the plan's release, Boykin has come under fire for the concept of charging individuals that shoot a gun, and their accomplices, as domestic terrorists. Boykin did not escape that criticism at Saturday's summit.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:16pm
Fri Jun 12

Report: Low Wages In Full-Service Restaurant Industry Cost Taxpayers $9.4 Billion Annually

Many full-service restaurant industry workers are forced to seek public aid to supplement their low wages and lack of benefits, and that leaves U.S. taxpayers with a $9.4 billion tab each year.

That's according to a recent report by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC). The restaurant worker advocacy group found that nearly half of the more than 4 million full-service restaurant workers live in households enrolled in at least one public assistance program.

Of that $9.4 billion, $1.4 billion represents the public cost of low-end pay and benefits provided at the country's five largest full-service restaurant companies, which collectively earned $704 million in profits and paid their chief executives $27 million in the last year alone, according to ROC.

Pages