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PI Original
by Aricka Flowers
Tue Oct 1, 2013

U.S. Government Shutdown: How Did We Get Here And What's Next?

The U.S. government has shut down. Now what? Progress Illinois takes a look at how we got here and what could happen over the next several hours and days as leaders in the House and Senate refuse to give in to the other's demands.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Sep 27, 2013

Chicagoans With Mental Illness Push Back Against Stigma At Town Hall Meeting

Stigma and misconceptions about people with mental illness can create major barriers when it comes to them accessing housing, employment and other services and supports, according to panelists at a Chicago town hall meeting on the topic Thursday. 

Janice Parker, a panelist and assistant director of consumer affairs at the Illinois Institute of Technology's Center on Adherence and Self Determination, said she's suffered from severe depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder due to a previous abusive marriage. She says she has faced discrimination numerous times just due to her illness. For example, when she tried to receive a government-provided medical card when her condition made it too difficult for her to work, she was told, ”Well, you don’t look sick to me.”

But Parker, who is African American, said what's really bothersome is that she's felt stigmatized the most within her own community.

"In our community, women aren't supposed to be tired," Parker said at the discussion, hosted by Access Living. "We're not supposed to be overburdened. [They say], 'Buck up ... Stop being a wimp."

Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Sep 23, 2013

Illinois Congressmen Say Government Shutdown Likely, Blast Republicans For 'Playing Politics'

The U.S. House's vote to fund the federal government on the condition that the Affordable Care Act be defunded is leading many lawmakers to believe that the likelihood of a government shutdown is becoming increasingly more probable.

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL, 5) says he believes there will be at least a short-term closure of the federal government due to the latest spending battle in Congress.

"Normally I am an optimistic person," Quigley said at an unrelated Chicago press conference Monday. "I mean I'm a Cub(s) fan. Anybody can have a bad century. But this Congress is having a bad couple years. I think one of the problems that we're facing here is that Speaker Boehner doesn't have control of his caucus."

"It is a multi-headed monster, and I think that the tip of the dog's tail, not just the tail wagging the dog, it's the tip of the dog's tail wagging the body politic," the congressman continued. Read more »