Explore our content

Quick hits | All dates | All authors
All categories
Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
8:41pm
Wed Aug 27

Chicago-Area Activists, Families Call On Holder To Investigate Shootings By Local Police

Demonstrators delivered a letter to Chicago's Dirksen Federal Building Wednesday demanding that United States Attorney General Eric Holder launch an investigation into crimes, they say, have been committed by the Chicago Police Department (CPD). The letter calls on Holder to investigate the CPD as a whole, as well as Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and law enforcement in other local municipalities where individuals were either killed or harmed by police.

The demonstrators said the shooting of Mike Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African-American male in Ferguson, Missouri, is part of a larger pattern of police targeting people of color.

“Ninety people have been murdered by Chicago Police officers in the last four years,” said Ted Pearson, a member of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR). “Something has to be done to stop this, what’s been going on in Ferguson is just the tip of the iceberg.” Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:24pm
Wed Aug 27

Study: Wage Growth Remains Sluggish For Most American Workers

Real hourly wages fell for just about all U.S. workers, including those with a college degree, between the first half of 2013 and the first half of 2014, according to an analysis of new wage data by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

The EPI study, "Why America's Workers Need Faster Wage Growth — And What We Can Do About It," looked at the most recent and available wage data by decile and educational attainment.

"The recovery has not been completely jobless for a while now, but it does continue to be pretty much wageless, or at least wage growthless," said EPI economist Elise Gould, the study's author. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
11:12pm
Tue Aug 26

On Women's Equality Day, Quinn Signs Law Protecting Working Pregnant Moms

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation Tuesday that provides extra protection for pregnant women on the job.

“It’s important for employers to know, by law, that accommodations are sometimes necessary for our pregnant moms,” said Quinn at a press conference at the Alivio Medical Center in Pilsen. “This is really the best way to help families in Illinois. We want our families to be healthy from the start.”

House Bill 8, sponsored by State Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago) and State Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) makes it a civil rights violation to refuse to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees who decide to work while they carry their baby to term.

“I’ve heard horror stories of women being fired from their jobs or having to hide their pregnancy because if their bosses knew they were pregnant early on they would’ve been fired,” said Flowers. “Women have even lost their babies because the employer would not make the type of accommodations necessary for them.”   Read more »

Quick Hit
by Anthony Burke Boylan
6:07pm
Tue Aug 26

Chicago Immigration Reform Advocates Press Local ICE Director For Action On Pending Deportation Cases

Josefa Gonzalez and her two children felt secure when her partner, Wilson Gomez-Pu, was working full time and supporting the family.

But that all changed when Gomez-Pu has was placed in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility. He has been facing possible deportation for the last year on a nearly 14-year-old order despite having no history of violent crime. And now his family, including children Wilson, 11 and Dalilah, 7, are threatened with eviction.

It was for his case and many others like it that dozens of protesters rallied in front of the ICE field office, 101 W. Congress Parkway, Monday as immigration reform advocates met with local director Ricardo Wong. They asked for a speedy resolution for pending cases, a release for Gomez-Pu and other detainees, and additional reforms. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:46pm
Tue Aug 26

New #WEmatter Twitter Campaign Amplifies Women's Economic Security Woes

Organizations and individuals across the country are taking to social media on Tuesday as part of a new campaign to promote policies designed to strengthen the economic security of women and families.

The launch of the social media movement coincides with Women's Equality Day, which marks the anniversary of women winning the right to vote on August 26, 1920. 

Those participating in the campaign are organizing under the hashtag "WEmatter" on Twitter and other social media outlets. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
4:39pm
Mon Aug 25

Education Activists Call On Emanuel To Keep Dyett Open, Demand More Input In School Reforms (VIDEO)

Education activists on Monday renewed their call to keep Bronzeville’s Walter H. Dyett High School open beyond 2015. The group also allege that Chicago Public Schools (CPS) officials are phoning Dyett’s few existing students and urging them to transfer because the school may be shuttered earlier than planned.

The demonstrators also called on the Emanuel administration to support more community involvement in CPS school reforms.

“When they get these schools, they get our communities,” said Jitu Brown, national director for the Journey for Justice Alliance.

The education activists, led by Brown and the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), held a press conference Monday at City Hall and requested a meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, in the hopes he would intervene on the school’s closure and support turning Dyett into a "global leadership and green technology" open-enrollment high school. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:41pm
Mon Aug 25

Chicago Activists Seek Justice For Michael Brown, Speak Out Against Police Violence (VIDEO)

About 50 activists rallied outside of the Everett McKinley Dirksen U.S. Courthouse in Chicago Monday morning to call for justice in the death of Michael Brown.

The Chicago-based community group ONE Northside held the protest as part of a national day of action for Brown — an unarmed black 18- year-old who was fatally shot on August 9 by a white Ferguson, Missouri police officer.

In addition to ONE Northside, National People's Action affiliates in six other states, including Missouri, Nevada and Ohio, demonstrated on Monday, the same day Brown's funeral was held in St. Louis. Read more »

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
2:19pm
Fri Aug 22

U.S. National Parks Director Visits Chicago To Review Efforts To Include Pullman Area In System

Efforts to designate parts of the Pullman community on Chicago’s far South Side as a national park site could see some presidential muscle behind the cause.

The head of the U.S. National Park Service toured what remains of the Pullman Palace Car Company Thursday as part of a visit to gage public support for including portions of the community, created by its namesake founder George M. Pullman, in the national park system. Jonathan B. Jarvis, the national parks system director, said a little known presidential power given under the 1906 Antiquities Act could make the proposal a reality sooner than later.

That route seems doable since legislation proposed by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) and U.S. Rep Robin Kelly (D-IL,2) have been stuck in committee in both chambers since the bills were introduced. The Antiquities Act allows a president to use an executive order to designate a site as a national monument.

Jarvis said there are two ways to establish a new park within the national park system — one is through Congress, which he said “we have not seen a lot of movement on” even though both bills have bipartisan support.

“But there is an alternative path and that is presidential power,” he added. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:52am
Thu Aug 21

CivicLab To Emanuel: 'Come Clean' About $1.7 Billion In Unspent TIF Funds

Volunteers with Chicago's CivicLab want a full accounting of the more than $1.7 billion that was sitting in the city’s collective tax increment financing (TIF) district bank accounts at the end of 2013.

Tom Tresser, co-founder of the CivicLab and leader of its volunteer-based TIF Illumination Project, said the group plans to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the city within the week to "demand the mayor to come clean" about how those unspent funds will be used. Tresser said the group is prepared to take legal action if the city denies the FOIA request.

"We asked for (similar information) last year, and they told us to go take a leap," Tresser said at a TIF discussion Wednesday evening at the CivicLab, 114 N. Aberdeen St. "This time, we're going to sue if we don't get it." Read more »