In response to gun control ordinance passed by the Chicago City Council last week, gun rights supporters filed a federal lawsuit to fight a new restriction prohibiting Chicagoans from stepping outside of their home with a handgun.
On the eve of a crucial committee vote in the Chicago City Council, the Sun-Times "heartily endorsed" the Sweet Home Chicago affordable housing ordinance today. The measure would set aside 20 percent of tax increment financing (TIF) revenue collected each year to
fund new and rehabbed developments. From their editorial:
frequently are criticized for siphoning money from schools and the like
to subsidize questionable investments that get little oversight. With
this ordinance, the public would at least know how a portion of TIF
funds each year would be spent.
The paper makes some
constructive recommendations for tightening up the bill to "enhance development," including committing resources to
once-blighted neighborhoods where older residents are now being priced
out. Aldermen should consider those suggestions when they meet to discuss
the ordinance tomorrow (PDF) at 10 a.m. For an analysis of the bill's support
in committee, check out our post from last week.
During Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting, almost every alderman expressed "reluctant" support for Walmart's plan to build a second store on the South Side. While backing the ordinance in question, many of the speakers also lamented the low wages paid by the mega-retailer and the stores' affect on local businesses. Almost entirely absent from the discussion, however, was the strong possibility that the new Walmart developments in Chicago will be partially subsidized by taxpayer dollars. The one exception came from a somewhat unlikely source: 50th Ward Ald. Bernie Stone, who gave an impassioned (if not particularly eloquent) plea in favor of a proposed ordinance that would require companies receiving financial assistance from the city to pay their workers a living wage. "If you take our money," he said, "you're eventually going to have to pay a living wage." Watch it:
In his indispensable new Reader interview, labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein noted that there are "hundreds and hundreds of examples" of Walmart using tax increment financing (TIF) and other forms of local public subsidies to gain further financial advantage. Aldermen should be prepared for them to do the same here in Chicago.
The Daley administration said Tuesday
that an ordinance for new city gun regulations could be introduced and
approved by aldermen within the next week. But numerous lawmakers say
they haven't been briefed yet on the city's plans.