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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
3:17pm
Tue Aug 13, 2013

Family On The Brink Of Losing Their Home Asks For Mercy, Loan Modification: 'We're In Big Trouble' (VIDEO)

A family on the verge of homelessness due to foreclosure asked a Cook County Circuit judge on Tuesday if he would turn down TCF National Bank’s Motion for Order of Possession for their house.

Domynika Pawelczak-Gutierrez, 36, who has lived with her family in Chicago’s Garfield Ridge neighborhood on the 5300 block of South Major Avenue for eight years, said the bank feels entitled to do business as usual, when the conditions under which she is losing her home are “anything but usual.”

The same week her husband lost his job in 2009, her teenage daughter, Hilary, underwent spinal fusion surgery, which forced her to be bedridden and required home care for roughly two months. Pawelczak-Gutierrez said the family was forced to rely on her income as a server to live and pay for Hilary’s medical expenses.

“We’ve been through a lot — I started using credit cards and getting myself more and more in debt. But we’re just starting to start over,” said Pawelczak-Gutierrez, who added that she filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. “I’m running out of options, I don’t know where we’ll go or what we’ll do if we lose the house.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:40pm
Thu Aug 1, 2013

Fire Sprinkler Proposal Sparks Outcry At Chicago Town Hall Meeting (UPDATED)

Chicago residents vehemently voiced objections to the state fire marshal’s proposal to require all residential high-rise buildings to install fire sprinkler systems within the next 12 years at a town hall meeting Wednesday night.

The costs associated with implementing the water sprinklers are just too much to bear, far North Side residents said at the fire code meeting, hosted by State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) at Loyola University’s Cueno Hall.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:24pm
Tue Jul 30, 2013

Activists Call On CHA To Develop Plans For Increased Public Housing (VIDEO)

Housing activists are calling on the Chicago Housing Authority's (CHA) Board of Commissioners to refrain from considering proposals that sell or swap portions of vacant land to various entities, such as the city of Chicago. The land, protesters said, should instead be used to replace public housing that has been torn down under the agency’s Plan for Transformation.

Gathered outside of CHA’s downtown headquarters Monday, roughly 30 activists criticized proposed development plans, such as tennis courts and a retail facility, on CHA-owned vacant land formerly occupied by public housing.

“There’s no plan to replace the housing that we know of,” said Roderick Wilson, executive director of the Lugenia Burns Hope Center, and organizer of the protest. “When the CHA came up with this Plan for Transformation to demolish public housing and to rebuild and transform it, they promised replacement housing that wouldn’t concentrate poverty. But where is it?”

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
4:19pm
Thu Jul 18, 2013

Local Groups Voice Displeasure With Kirk's Votes On Nominations

Two local groups have voiced their displeasure with U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's (R-IL) votes on the nominations of Mel Watt for the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Gina McCarthy for the job of administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Quick Hit
by
1:36pm
Wed Jul 17, 2013

Op-Ed: Urban Agenda, 'Now Go Out and Make Me Do It' - Facade of Recovery Hides Broad Failures in Urban Areas

The following was written by Dick Simpson, former Chicago alderman and professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

American cities and metropolitan regions are in crisis. Suburbs as well as inner cities.

At Operation PUSH’s International Convention on July 7th, scholars, pubic officials, civil rights leaders, and citizens met to hammer out a new urban and metropolitan agenda to meet this crisis. There has not been a national urban agenda since the Carter administration three decades ago. The Office of Urban Affairs that President Obama opened when he went to the White House has been impotent.

Consider the magnitude of our urban problems. 500 hospitals have closed in the last two decades while three out of four urban emergency rooms are at or over capacity. Our health is at stake.

Not only is Chicago closing 50 public schools but in 2010 public school districts across the country closed 1,929 schools. Charter and private schools are growing instead. Meanwhile, college student loan debts exceed $1 trillion; the average graduating student owes $27,000. Our education system is failing.

There are more African-American adult males in prison, jail, or on parole than were enslaved in 1850 before the Civil War. Prisons have been privatized and we have a now prison-industrial complex housing too many of our residents.

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